Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Of Cats and Dogs

I am one of those people who sincerely believe that pets make our lives better. In fact I can't imagine not sharing my space with a pet. As many of you recall, we presently have two pets, Owen, our Persian kitty (pictured here at left) and Sheldon, our Standard Poodle. It amazes me how social they both can be. Sheldon usually goes to work with one of us every day, and Owen works at home as guard-kitty. He likes to hide under the glass top table, in the middle of the base pillars that support the glass. I suppose with the chairs around the table base, it protects him from any wildebeests who could come charging in without a moments notice. Owen sure is smart about things like that. When we come home from work, Owen runs to the door to greet us. I swear that cat can tell time. Sometimes, if we are running late he will be waiting by the door, and immediately begins talking at us when we cross the threshold. Of course, Sheldon is so excited to be home again to see his brother that they soon run around and play together for awhile.

above: Sheldon loves to be outside on the patio, relaxing by the pool.

above: ...while Owen waits patiently by the door, inside wishing he could get outside to play. Aside from the heat, I don't want the cat outside, too many hungry hawks with sharp eyes.

above: Sheldon is such a social creature. He follows me around wherever I go in the house, and listens to everything I say. Sometimes I think he actually understands me.

above: Owen has a few other favorite spots in the house. This end table is handy for its proximity to the wild jungle-like plant.

above: Sheldon loves to sprawl out and relax, content with watching me blog away on my laptop.

above: When comfort comes first, Owen heads for his favorite side chair. This one has an especially comfortable spot on top, ideal for meditating and practicing mind control over humans. Funny thing is I think he is pretty good at it. I find myself mumbling "must open can of organic cat food for Owen...must open can or organic cat food for Owen...."
Well that's all for today. Hope you enjoyed this little post of Cats and Dogs.
-Rick Rockhill

Sunday, June 28, 2009

This Just In...Billy Mays is Dead

Both Wikipedia and TMZ have confirmed that TV product pitchman Billy Mays was found dead today at home in Tampa, Florida. Billy Mays was just 50 years old (July 20, 1958 - June 28, 2009). His wife found him early this morning and called the ambulance; he was pronounced dead at 7:45 AM. He is known for pitching all kinds of products including OxyClean, Kaboom, Mighty Putty, Sham Wow, Orange Clean and lots more. Check out this annoying video from YouTube:

Sunday Art Review: Lady Gaga An Artist?

For nearly two years, I've written a weekly Sunday Art Review post. For each installment, I select a theme or attempt to represent a different genre or medium of art. Of course art is by its very nature is highly subjective. We all vary in our preferences, and to be sure people disagree on what should be considered art. Surely everyone would agree that paintings and sculpture are considered art; but what about tapestry, photography, dance, fashion, blown glass, acting or music? Dictionary.com defines art as: the quality, production, expression, or realm, according to aesthetic principles, of what is beautiful, appealing, or of more than ordinary significance; any field using the skills or techniques of art. I thought it might be interesting to push the envelope a bit this week and use pop music artist Lady Gaga as an example of a modern day artist. As a newcomer to the commercial music industry, I'm certainly not suggesting she is the most talented music artist; Gaga has a limited body of work still. Yet she distinguished herself among a very crowded playing field of sameness. She has an individualistic style which she expresses in sometimes shocking but an always interesting manner. Like other contemporary music artists, she understands the importance of her look as much as her voice and lyrics. This was the inspiration for this week's Sunday Art Review: Lady Gaga An Artist? Whether you know (or like)her music, take a look at these images and decide if you think she is expressing herself in a more than ordinary manner. She may not have the voice of Sarah Brightman but she has a style all her own. See for yourself:

above: the many faces of Lady Gaga. Her cutting edge fashion helps define her music

above: At an appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres show, Lady Gaga donned her now famous "orbit hat" that rotated and swiveled as she moved. She certainly made a statement with it.

The Lady Gaga Package

And Now Check Out Her Music from this YouTube clip:

And so, what do you think, could Lady Gaga be considered art? The Sunday Art Review is intended to make you think now and then, so I hope to hear your opinions with a comment.
-Rick Rockhill

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Rick's Roadshow: 24 Hours in St Louis, Missouri

Wow. What a crazy past couple of days huh? Ed McMahon, Farrah Fawcett and then Michael Jackson. Like many people I've been watching the news coverage of these passages with a sense of curiosity and melancholy I suppose. Some of these folks were very close friends of my friends, so I'm aware of some things not played out in the media. Needless to say I've not posted anything on the blog since Wednesday. I have another installment of my Rick's Roadshow series to share from my recent trip to St Louis, Missouri. As a reminder it was primarily a business trip, but decided to stay an extra night on my own to have dinner with some dear friends. The evening began with cocktails at a fab hotel lounge that looked directly out onto the famous St Louis Arch. If you look closely in the photo above, you can see the Arch beyond the bar in the near distance.

above: I had a delicious Grey Goose Martini with blue cheese stuffed olives...

above: After our one cocktail we headed over to dinner. As the car was gliding past the Arch, I snapped these two photos. I thought they were an interesting perspective.
Review of My Dinner At Niche

above: We made our way to a wonderful restaurant called Niche, located in the Benton Park area. Niche is owned by famous chef Gerard Ford Craft, with whom I met and chatted while dining.
above: Niche has a small but cozy wine bar area.
above: I thought this was a neat photo on our table. Niche has great attention to details throughout. The servers were friendly, knowledgeable and prompt- all hallmarks of a good dining experience.

above: For a starter I had this pasta appetizer. It was smoked Hinkebein Hills Farm Port Shank Pappardelle & pears. Mmmmm!

above: one of my friends had this fish appetizer. I think it was trout, but I forgot to take notes. I just thought the plate looked so colorful I had to include it.
Onto The Entrees...
above: One friend had thus interesting beef dish, high quality "Fruitland Farms" Ribeye Beef, oxtail, smoked carrots with wild green potato puree. It was perfectly prepared.

above: My other friend had the Pan Roasted Scallops with morel mushrooms, cauliflower, romanesco, fennel, rhubarb and guanciale. Lots of flavor that lingered delicately.

above: For my entree, I had the "Farrar Out Farm" Berkshire Pork Loin, scrapple, sharf farm asparagus, watercress, with apple jus. It was incredibly delicious!
The after dinner...

above: We met some other local friends at a nearby restaurant/lounge to say hello. I forgot the name of this place but I loved the ceiling! Maybe someone from St Louis will find this post and leave a comment with name of the place. It was a fun evening, St Louis is one of my favorite destinations to visit. This wraps up the latest Rick's Roadshow series, but don't despair, I have more travel coming up again soon, and of course, you'll be able to come along.
-Rick Rockhill

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Rick's Roadshow: Nashville, Tennessee

Welcome to day two of Rick's Roadshow: Nashville, Tennessee. It was a day full day of meetings, with no time at all to take more photos or have fun exploring. No matter, afterall this IS a work trip. However...early in the morning I ran into one of my famous author friends, the talented and charming Harrison Forbes, who has been busy promoting his book "Dog Talk" across the country. Harrison is also host of "Pet Talk", the nationally syndicated radio talk show about pets. Harrison is from the Nashville area and is a local favorite. He has a big new deal pending for something I can't talk about yet, but it will be blogworthy for sure, so stay tuned! On another note, thought I'd mention that I ran into someone else famous...

Reba McIntyre! She is so tiny...and very sweet too. My camera was packed away so I wasn't able to get a photo together- DARN! It's been a fun trip...stay tuned as Rick's Roadshow continues from St. Louis, Missouri.
-Rick Rockhill

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Rick's Roadshow: Franklin, Tennessee

Welcome to a new edition of Rick's Roadshow: Franklin, Tennessee. I'm on the road for a few days on business with lots going on, so not a lot of time to blog I'm afraid. The flight in was uneventful-the way I like 'em. It sure is humid and sticky here in our nation's south. Yikes! I believe Lois and Hank live here in the Nashville area...wish I had time for a meet 'n greet. Went to a neat restaurant for dinner, called the Boxwood Bistro, which I recommend if you are in the area, it is delicious and had great service. When i arrived in town, we drove through scenic Main Street Franklin, which is quite charming. Lots of well maintained old buildings with character. Driving through the older part of Franklin is easy on the eyes; rolling green countryside, lovely homes and subtle reminders of southern life. It was a great first day for Rick's Roadshow. I spend tomorrow in Tennessee...maybe I'll have time for another post, so stay tuned for more from Rick's Roadshow.
-Rick Rockhill

Monday, June 22, 2009

Pet Food Industry Magazine Article

I'm off for some business travel for a few days. In the meantime, if you'd care to read a riveting article I wrote for the June issue of Pet Food Industry magazine, click here. It goes for several pages so prepare yourself with a comfortable chair. When you click through, look at the top of the webpage for the "forward arrow" to see the next page of the article.
Thanks for stopping by, see you tomorrow with an update from Nashville, TN!
-Rick Rockhill

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Sunday Art Review: Fathers Day Art

Is it me, or is this year flying by? People have always said "As you get older, time goes by even more quickly". Sheesh, sure seems true to me anyway. Somehow it is already Father's Day. Yikes the year is half over already. For this week's Sunday Art Review, naturally the topic is Father's Day Art. My birth father is long deceased, but always with me. My step father has been a friend and a father too. So today's post is for both of them. To all the fathers out there, young and old, living and deceased, let us remember their contributions to our development. I thought I'd start off featuring a fun retro 50's era father's day card, which reads: Happy Father's Day to my Dapper Dad. I just love that, dapper dad part. No one talks like that anymore-except me anyway. But what do I know, I still wear ascots for gosh sakes. I hope you enjoy today's Sunday Art Review: Father's Day Art

above: "Father's Love" by Lindsay Dawson

above: "Sashi and Father", by Sashi

above: Fatherhood, Keith Haring

above: Father and Son, by Peter Forst
above: Father and Children sculpture, artist unknown
I hope you enjoyed today's Sunday Art Review: Fathers Day Art. Now that I am done with this I can go feed my four-legged furry kids.
-Rick Rockhill

Saturday, June 20, 2009

The Saturday Seven: Things That Should Annoy Me But Don't

"Most people are about as happy as they make up their minds to be" . Those are words of the great Abraham Lincoln that, for some reason influenced my perspective on life from an early age. I consider myself to be a fairly positive-minded individual. Even when things go wrong, or not as planned, I tend to make the best of the situation and keep smiling. Our lives are filled with enough challenges large and small- why let the little things get you down? Indeed it really does come down to choices we each make. This was the inspiration for another scintillating edition of The Saturday Seven: Things That Should Annoy Me But Don't
#1 Splashed unexpectedly by a lawn sprinkler. It actually is a little refreshing and brings me back to childhood.
#2 Birds nest on the side of the house. First instinct is oh no, I need to get that out of here, but when you see the mama bird protecting her little chicks, it is hard to knock it down.
#3 Brown bananas. Darn it, how did I let them go brown? I hate wasting food. No problem. They make a nice milkshake, muffins or flambe!
#4 Overpriced movie popcorn. To be honest, it makes me crazy to pay $6 for popcorn, but a movie experience doesn't seem complete without it so I get over it and move on.

#5 Crying Baby. A bundle of joy, and they have no idea what's going on anyway.

#6 Whimpering Puppies. OK, so this is similar to #5 but there is one difference. Puppies are way cuter that a newborn baby so its a different emotion that allows me to move on and not be annoyed.

#7 That long line at Starbucks. Amazingly people stand in line for ages but it is worth the wait for that delicious cup of cawfee
What's on your list? I'm running a special today, all comments are FREE!
-Rick Rockhill


This blog is about life experiences & observations and stuff I am interested in. It is simply a side hobby and creative outlet; generally, with a tongue-in-cheek tone. I don't take it too seriously, nor should you. I do not profess to represent every point of view. Nothing on this site is a paid post.

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