Friday, February 24, 2017

All About the Breed: West Highland White Terrier

Also known as the Roseneath Terrier, and simply as the Westie, the West Highland White Terrier is an intelligent and happy breed. But how do you know whether you are ready to purchase a pet and if this breed is right for you? This information is absolutely necessary in making the decision to purchase a pet.


The origin of the West Highland White Terrier can be traced back to 17th century Scotland. Enthusiasts believe the West Highland White Terrier to have contributed in creating such breeds as the Skye Terrier, Silky Terrier, Scottish Terrier, Dandie Dinmont Terrier, and the Cairn Terrier, though this has never been proven scientifically or otherwise.

Throughout its history, the West Highland White Terrier has been most commonly used for hunting small game, killing vermin such as rats, as a show dog, and companion, proving its superior abilities to work while providing friendship.

The West Highland White Terrier was introduced to the United States in the late 1800’s, and recognized by the American Kennel Club in 1908.

Today, while the West Highland White Terrier has attained an underground popularity as a show and companion dog, the breed remains somewhat rare world wide.

Personality Traits

Best known for its happy and outgoing nature, the West Highland White Terrier thrives on strong and dependable relationships with humans. This breed is very intelligent and generally responds well to training. As a pet, the West Highland White Terrier is obedient, loyal, loving, and affectionate. These dogs can be somewhat stubborn and independent at times, usually when their curious and adventurous nature gets the best of them. This breed is very active and enjoys spending time outdoors, digging, and playing games such as fetch.


Due to its need for human attention and eagerness to please and impress its owner, the West Highland White Terrier generally responds well to basic training and commands. These dogs are highly intelligent and have the ability to learn to perform most any task their trainer is willing to take the time to teach.

Establishing immediate dominance, trust, and respect is key to successfully training the West Highland White Terrier. This breed responds best to a stern yet gentle approach and positive reinforcement.

Benefits and Disadvantages of the Breed

There are many benefits to owning a West Highland White Terrier. This active breed is often quite amusing and entertaining to watch while at play. These dogs are very bright and capable of learning to perform many impressive tricks and tasks. When properly socialized from a young age, the West Highland White Terrier gets along well with small children and other pets. The West Highland White Terrier is obedient, loyal, loving, and affectionate, making an excellent family pet and companion alike.

Unfortunately, there are also disadvantages to owning a West Highland White Terrier. These energetic and athletic dogs require large amounts of daily exercise and room to run and play. Anyone wishing to purchase this breed lacking the adequate amount of time and space to dedicate to the dog is strongly advised against doing so. A West Highland White Terrier not receiving the proper amount of exercise and space will often act out destroying property, digging, chewing, barking, whining, and ignoring basic training such as housebreaking.

The West Highland White Terrier has a strong instinct to hunt and will occasionally indulge in a good chase. When on the run, these tiny dogs are rather quick, and may pose a threat to other animals, neighborhood pets, and small woodland creatures. The West Highland White Terrier must be leashed or properly secured at all times when outdoors.

For reasons unknown, the West Highland White Terrier is known for loving to dig and being very vocal. It is not unusual for this breed to dig a hole under a fence within the matter of only a few minutes. The West Highland White Terrier must be supervised or properly secured at all times when outdoors.

This breed’s full and gorgeous coat requires almost constant attention, brushing, and grooming to prevent matting and maintain its attractive appearance.

As previously mentioned, the West Highland White Terrier remains somewhat rare world wide and can prove difficult to obtain. Individuals seeking to purchase this breed often encounter such challenges as inability to locate a breeder, high prices, and being placed on long waiting lists.

Common Health Concerns

While the West Highland White Terrier is typically known as a healthy and hearty breed, they do suffer from a few health problems, including: patellar luxation – dislocation of the knee, hip dysplasia, Legg-Perthes Disease – degeneration of the hip joint, Globoid Cell Leukodystophy – a disease causing the destruction of myelin, and bloat.

Now that you know all about the breed, do you think you are ready to own a West Highland White Terrier? Remember, purchasing a pet is a big decision and should be discussed thoroughly and seriously with your entire family.


Labels: All About the Breed: West Highland White Terrier

An Introduction to Post Rock: The Musical Genre of the Future

Do you ever wonder what music in the future might sound like? Do you ever find yourself wishing that the rock n’ roll genre would evolve into something that hasn’t been done a thousand times before? Then welcome to the world of post rock. Post rock is a genre of music that has been around only a short while so you might not know very much about it. However it could be a gateway or, at the very least, an influence on what you will be listening to 10 years from now. The definition of post rock is that it takes traditional rock instruments, such as the electric guitar, and uses them to create textures rather than riffs and power chords. One of the main identifiers in the genre is the long length of songs. For example, most songs are much longer than the conventional 3 to 4 minute songs with many reaching past the 10 minute mark. “Wall of sound” is a term that is used quite a bit in post rock music. It involves a lot of layering, reverb and delay in the instruments to blend them together into one massive sound. As a result, the songs tend to have an epic feel to them. There are a few bands in the genre that stand out as being more accessible and easy to listen to than others. If you are new to the genre, Explosions In The Sky, Sigur Ros and This Will Destroy You are some good post rock bands that would be a good starting point

Explosions In The Sky are a post rock band from Texas. Most of the time their live set consists of 3 or 4 electric guitars, drums and an occasional bass guitar. Because of this, their songs have lots of light delicate places, but also a few of the hard “wall of sound” type moments. They are also one of the more poppy post rock groups out there. They do not have any lyrics or vocals in their songs. However, there are guitar parts that get stuck in your head after you hear them being repeated throughout a song. “Your Hand In Mine” is probably their most popular song. Some fans of the song praise it as being just as well composed, if not better than, some classical songs. My personal favorite by them is “The Birth And Death Of The Day”. They do a good job of relating the sound of the song to it’s title even without any lyrics. I can imagine each part of the song representing different times of the day. There is a place in the song where the drums really kick in (about the 4:38 point through the 6:18 mark) that is some of the most intense and inspiring music I have ever heard.

Probably the most well known band in the post rock genre is Sigur Ros. They have world-wide critical acclaim and hail from the tiny island country of Iceland. Sigur Ros (which means “Victory Rose” in English) have a very organic sound. They use a wide variety of string and brass instruments to achieve this sound. They are also one of the few post rock bands who use lyrics and vocals in their songs. Although, on most of their albums, the lyrics are in Icelandic and the vocals are used almost like another instrument. They are very famous for the “wall of sound” sound. However, their style is very diverse from album to album. The “wall of sound” side of them is most apparent on the album “Takk”. The album has one of my favorite song by them titled “Glosoli”. I’m a sucker for an epic song and “Glosoli” has one of the best build-ups, and then explosion of sound near the end.

This Will Destroy You are another band from the very large state of Texas. Like Explosions In The Sky, they use mostly guitars and drums, but with electronic elements thrown in. Unlike Explosions, however, they like to layer guitar parts more often. As a result, they create a much heavier type of music than Explosions. They have only one full length album out, with another one scheduled to be released later in 2010. But even as a young band they have a maturity to their sound and a nice sense of melody in their songs. My favorite song of theirs would have to be “A Three Legged Workhorse”. I once saw a video of people in wing suites soaring off cliffs and along beautiful mountain sides, set to this song. Ever since then, I have had those images set in my mind every time I listen to the song.

So, whether you are looking for the poppy accessibility of Explosions In The Sky, the organic epic-ness of Sigur Ros, or the heavy electronics of This Will Destroy You, there is probably something for you in the post rock genre. We’ll have to see what road these three bands (and others like them) take us on as they make their mark on the future of music.

Labels: An Introduction to Post Rock: The Musical Genre of the Future

Angels We Have Heard on High: Free Sheet Music and History

In this Christmas season, “Angels We Have Heard on High,” is one of the favorite songs for many. It is a wonderful song to sing and it’s a great piece to play on the piano. My son learned this song for his Christmas recital and he found it fairly easy to learn and he was under 8 years old at the time.

“ANGELS WE HAVE HEARD ON HIGH” : Here is the free sheet music. Take note of the green button that can be pushed to hear the arrangement, which will help in deciding on this music and learning the song.


n A.D. 129, Telesphous, Bishop of Rome, ordained that, “In the Holy Night of the Nativity of our Lord and Savior, all shall solemnly sing the ‘Angel’s Hymn.’ ” With that proclamation the ‘Angels Hymn’ became the first Christmas hymn of the Christian church. LEARN MORE

For many years, the hills of southern France were home to shepherds whose duties required their presence day and night, year-round. To celebrate the birth of Jesus, a custom evolved among the shepherds that can’t be traced to an exact date. On Christmas Eve, these shepherds shouted “Gloria in excelsis Deo, Gloria in excelsis Deo!” from hill to hill, spreading the celebratory news. LEARN MORE

Angels we have heard on high
Singing sweetly o’er the plains,
And the mountains in reply
Echoing their joyous strains.

Gloria, in excelsis Deo! Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

Shepherds, why this jubilee?
Why your joyous strains prolong?
What the gladsome tidings be,
Which inspire your heavenly song?

Gloria, in excelsis Deo! Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

Come to Bethlehem and see
Him Whose birth the angels sing;
Come, adore on bended knee,
Christ the Lord, the newborn King.

Gloria, in excelsis Deo! Gloria, in excelsis Deo!

Labels: Angels We Have Heard on High: Free Sheet Music and History

Allstate Insurance: Marketing Practices and Customer Service Review

A couple months, Allstate had been mailing a lot of offers to my mom for her to switch her car insurance. Considering my mom is on the list with the credit bureaus not to receive offers of service, credit, etc, we thought after a while that the junk mail from Allstate would stop. When it didn’t, I decided to call in to the Allstate customer service line listed in the letter.

The representative told me that she could not handle a removal request and she transferred me to another department. He removed my mom without any problems and then I told him to remove me as well. In a rather unprofessional matter, he flipped out wanting to know who he was talking to. I tried to explain that I handle everything for my mom, but he was not listening at all. He refused to remove me from the list and started lecturing me about how I could not remove her.

He actually added her back to the mailing list.

I hung up and then called straight back in. I had to be transferred yet again to another department. I asked for a manager. When the manager came on, I briefly explained the situation to him, but apparently, he was already aware of the representative’s version of what had happen. Then, he started trying to get me to switch to Allstate.

I told him that I didn’t appreciate the hard sale pitch and had no interest in changing companies. He said my mom’s name and that he “was removing her, whoever she was.” He then asked wouldn’t it be easier to trash the letters than to call in to be removed from the mailing list.

I explained to him that I care about the environment and I often take the time to call in to companies who send the most junk mail to be removed from their mailing lists.

He echoed the word environment as if I had just said something completely ludicrous and foreign. I asked, doesn’t Allstate care about the environment?

He did not reply and hung up on me. He never removed me from the mailing list either. But at least my mom was removed since she was getting the most junk mail from Allstate.

I had my mom call a local Allstate office to make sure I was removed. The person told her to be removed to make sure that we are on the list with the credit bureaus to avoid offers of service, credit, etc.

My mom assured her that we both are on that list, but were still getting these marketing offers. The lady at the Allstate office said she would do her best to find a way to remove me.

We haven’t gotten any more junk mail from Allstate since this happened. If their customer service is this bad when trying to be removed from a mailing list, what would they be like when filing a claim?

Labels: Allstate Insurance: Marketing Practices and Customer Service Review

Archer Farms Black Pepper & Sea Salt Potato Chips: Product Review

I have always been a big fan of salty snacks, especially chips. I would take a bag of potato chips or Doritos over ice cream or cookies any day of the week. When it comes to potato chips, plain ones were never my favorite. I love all the different flavors of potato chips, especially barbecue and salt & vinegar. I usually purchase Utz or Lay’s brand chips at the store because that’s what I grew up with.

Then, about a year ago, I was browsing through my local Target super store and noticed that they carried their own brand of chips called Archer Farms. The Archer Farms potato chips were available in around 10 different flavors, including tempting ones like Buffalo Wings and Black Pepper & Sea Salt. From the picture on the bag, it looks as though they were more like kettle-style chips than regular potato chips, and normally I don’t care for kettle-cooked chips. But, the Archer Farms potato chips were on sale for two dollar per bag, which was a full $1.50 cheaper than the national brand potato chips, so I decided to pick up a bag of the Archer Farms chips and try them out.

When I got home and went to open the Archer Farms Black Pepper & Sea Salt potato chips, the first thing I noticed was that the bag was designed much better than an ordinary potato chip bag. Rather than just tearing open the seam at the top of the bag, the Archer Farms chips actually featured a resealable “ziploc-type” zipper which I really liked. The potato chips smelled wonderful and seemed fresh. When I bit into the first chip, I was surprised that it was very crunchy but not as crunchy as other kettle-cooked chips I had had in the past. The flavoring was also perfect, giving the chips just a bit of a kick and making them a quick, savory snack for anytime of day.

Since then, the Archer Farms Black Pepper & Sea Salt chips have become one of my favorite snacks, and I make sure to pick up a few bags whenever I go to Target. They taste better than the national brands and come with a cheaper price tag. The regular price for a bag of Archer Farms chips is $2.69, however they are often on sale for $1.50 to $2.00 so you can save money by stocking up then. Archer Farms also makes baked potato chips for those who would prefer a healthy alternative. If you are a potato chip lover like me, head to your local Target and try a bag of Archer Farms potato chips…you’ll be glad you did!

Labels: Archer Farms Black Pepper & Sea Salt Potato Chips: Product Review

7 Must Have Tips for Improving Gas Mileage

Although the prices of gas have dropped at a fast rate, learning to improve your gas mileage is still important. Not only will you save tons of dollars at the pump, you will conserve more fuel than you ever did before. Below I have listed the best tips to safely improve your gas mileage!

Getting rid of excess Weight: This may not apply to your passengers, however; it’s important to keep the weight in your car or truck less than 2000 pounds. This involves removing old gear, baggage and other out of date items that you may be carrying around. Even add-on such as car and bike rack will slow you down tremendously. Make sure to fully unload all of the unused gear and other supplies from your truck, this is where all the weight accumulates.

Check Tire Pressure: Before hitting the road for work or any type of road trip, check all of your tires inflation pressure. Make sure the tires are deflated in any type of way, if they are your car will have to work harder to move, this means using more fuel. If you have a SUV, stay away from the oversized wheels and stick to the dealership regulations.

Stop the Idling Game: If you’re going to be outside waiting for a long time or at a spot to where you’re expected to be stuck, turn the car off. Idling will cause you to use unlimited amounts of gas in a short period of time.

Get Proper Gas: When going to the pump to gas up your gas, use the right type of fuel that your car/truck requires. Using the wrong grade of gas will not only cause you car to run improper, make noise and ruining your fuel pump, it can possible cause long term problems with your engine later on.

Get a Check Up: Make sure to get your engine check up at least 2 times every 6 months. Pay special attention to all of the filters, this means air filter and fuel filter. Make sure both of these filters are clean and not laced with grit and grime. Having dirty filters will surely burn your gas faster than a gasoline house.

Drive with Sense: Sure everything on your car may be in order as far as parts, however; why is your gas still burning away? How you drive may possibly contribute to your gas disappearing. Make sure you drive “smooth” instead of like a complete maniac on the road! When you hit the gas, do it slowly, don’t slam on the petal and make the car jerk, you’re wallet will thank you!

Cruise Control: Sit back and enjoy the ride! You don’t always have to manually worry about adjusting your speed; just use the cruise control function. Not only will this save you from overworking yourself, it will enable you to set and maintain a constant speed, which in return will save gas.

Labels: 7 Must Have Tips for Improving Gas Mileage

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