Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Rick's Roadshow: Toddling Around Taipei

I'm finally getting around to posting photos from my most recent jaunt to Asia. My career takes me to some far-reaching corners of the world, and I must say I enjoy that aspect of what I do. I was in Taipei to attend the wedding. I was deeply honored to be invited to this particular wedding, and delighted to attend. Long time readers of this blog may recall that I've been to Taiwan many times, and in some cases my trip was wonderfully ordinary. By that I mean that side from the wedding, which was very cool, the time I spent with friends in Taipei was very similar to how I would spend time with close friends here at home. In total I was in Taipei five days, which was the longest consecutive number of days I'd spend in Taipei before. Two days into the visit, I found myself truly enjoying it on a very different level. 

I recall being in the car with my friends, driving around and thinking to myself 'I really enjoy being here and being with these friends'. It was a great realization for me because I caught myself truly living in the moment. For some reason that I cannot explain, I seem to have a spiritual connection to two individuals there. When you consider that both of them speak limited English, some might consider it unusual. I do not question what my spiritual connection is, or why but I know it runs deep, beyond this world. And so I just allow it to be. Even as I write this, I feel the energy of that bond. It is very cool to have such a friendship. Ok enough of me being all spiritual, onto a few photos:
Check out this cool artist who painted my name using the side of his hand- no brushes. It says 'Rick' but artistically looks like Chinese ships in the water with a mountain scape backdrop. I love this!
a local artist writes my name using his hand....

...and soon it turns into traditional Chinese art...

Now look at the finished product below. The way he wrote my name 'Rick' looks like Chinese boats and mountains. Cool huh?


OK, now here are a few random photos from an afternoon out and about in a tourist shopping area. This woman wearing the wacky hat was selling sausages-on-a-stick, and was so much fun. She had a great personality, she made me smile.

Well that's it from Taipei. If you are looking for more photos of Taiwan, check out my prior trips. July 2010 or April 2011

Monday, August 29, 2011

September is National Guide Dog Month- Please Help!

If you didn't know, September is National Guide Dog Month here in the United States. It's a time to honor the incredible canine heroes who provide life-changing independence to their human partners. Having worked in the pet industry now over 15 years, I have met many a guide dog. It wasn't until I got involved with a local Guide Dog school here in Palm Springs that I learned just how incredible guide dog programs can be. First of all, a guide dog is provided to a blind person absolutely free of charge, yet it costs the school over $40,000 and takes two years to train a single guide dog. I was still working at PETCO when Natural Balance first started a guide dog program to raise money for accredited, non-profit guide dog schools across the country. With the help of the PETCO Foundation and PETCO stores, the annual fundraisers have been helping to fund schools to provide more guide dogs to blind Americans.

You may be surprised to learn that every seven minutes someone in America becomes blind or visually impaired. Blindness can affect anyone- young, old, moms, teens, brothers, sisters, even members of our military and veterans who lost their sight during active duty. If you ever see a blind person with a guide dog, take a moment to watch them closely. You'll be fascinated by the trust the person places in their guide dog and how much they can do with their guide dog.

Guide Dogs can be trained for just about any task, to meet the lifestyle needs of the person. These dogs are truly heroes, and represent some of the best in human-canine bonds I've known. 

Guide Dog schools are funded by private donations, companies and ordinary citizens who want to help. That's why my employer, Natural Balance Pet Foods and PETCO have teamed up once again to support National Guide Dog Month. Our goal is to raise $1 million this month, but we need YOU.  
Here's how you can help:
Visit any PETCO store now through September 24th and make a donation at the register in any amount. If you donate $20 or more you'll get this nifty lapel pin in Petco stores. 
Or DONATE ONLINE NOW, at www.petco.com/guidedogs its FAST AND EASY. With any online donation of $20 or more you'll get this free plush guide dog, isn't he cute? Want to hear something cool? Last year a few of us used facebook and Twitter spread the word to our own friends about the online donation option at petco.com/guidedogs and it helped drive online donations a lot. So I'm asking for your help to share this with your own friends, repost and re-tweet the cause and the online donation page.

Our goal is to raise $1 million this September so we have our work cut out for us. Won't you help? Even a small donation from everyone you know can make a difference.
Check out this video from our spokespersons from CSI: Miami, Omar Miller and Eva LaRue and our founder Dick Van Patten:

"CSI: Miami" Stars Eva LaRue and Omar Miller Join Natural Balance Pet Foods®, PETCO Stores for National Guide Dog Month in September

The following Press Release was issued today to officially announce details about National Guide Dog Month:

LOS ANGELES, Aug. 29, 2011 /PRNewswire via COMTEX/ -- Eva LaRue and Omar Miller, stars of TV's "CSI: Miami" are teaming with Dick Van Patten's Natural Balance Pet Foods, PETCO (TM) and independent pet stores to celebrate National Guide Dog Month in September and raise money and awareness for guide dog organizations across the country.

"We want people to realize that this is more than just a fundraiser for a good cause," said Miller. "This is really about empowering the visually impaired with the life-changing gift of a guide dog. Guide dogs and training are provided at no cost to qualified applicants who are blind or visually impaired. With 10 million visually impaired people in the U.S., the demand for guide dogs continues to grow."
"Every seven minutes someone in America becomes blind or visually impaired," said LaRue. "Guide dogs are heroes, providing safe mobility, loving companionship and restoring confidence to their handlers."

Throughout September, pet parents can visit any of PETCO's more than 1,100 locations nationwide, as well as select Independent Retailers of Natural Balance to help support National Guide Dog Month. PETCO shoppers can make donations at the register or online at www.petco.com/guidedogs

All proceeds from these National Guide Dog Month activities will be donated to participating guide dog training facilities nationwide, a list of which is available at http://www.naturalbalanceinc.com/programs/NatGDMonth2011.html

SOURCE Natural Balance Pet Foods, Inc.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Everything is Back to Normal Again...

Well my most recent mysterious world travels are complete...for now anyway. I'm happy to be back home in Palm Springs with Sheldon and Duncan. (Owen is inside staring out the window at his brothers, but that's fine with him). One of my favorite routines everyday is to watch the sunrise from my patio with a nice cup of freshly brewed cawfee, with the poodles at my side, of course. It brings so much joy to me. Plus, it is so peaceful to watch the sun's rays on the San Jacinto Mountains, it a perfect place to meditate. 

Over the next few days I'll begin sharing a few photos from my travels. I'm being more cautious than years past because I know from my web tracking software there are a few people who follow this blog that "may not have pure hearts", shall we say. Nothing sinister, but I think you get my drift. That's why I've been quiet on the blog of late. So enough of that let's get ready for some new installments of Rick's Roadshow! See you soon...

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

I've Been on a Long Mysterious Trip...

I've been away traveling the world for a long time, at various undisclosed locations. When its all done, I'll post some photos, but not for a bit longer. I thought I would share this one photo as a hint for one of the places I've been. More to come....


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.

It is for entertainment purposes only it, so just lighten up and just enjoy it. Life is short, live in the moment.

As the author, thoughts/views have no affiliation to my clients, business colleagues or my company.

This blog is independent and free of any type of financial affiliations. Some images used are from the internet and sometimes hard to credit them, so if you own any and want them removed just send me a message.

No copyright infringement intended. I am not responsible for defamatory statements bound to government, religious, or other laws from the reader’s country of origin or residence. The intention of this blog is to do no harm, defame, libel or offend anyone.