The Barking Lot – America’s Finest Dog Blog (10/28/17)

The Barking Lot is a regular weekly feature of This Just In…Written by my lovely wife, Jennifer and me.  It opens with the weekend dog walking forecast followed by the main blog from dog lover, Jennifer. Then it’s DOGS IN THE NEWS and our close. Enjoy!

THE WEEKEND DOG-WALKING FORECAST: We grade the weather outlook for taking your pet outdoors.

TODAY:  Cloudy. High of 42.  “D”

SUNDAY:  Mostly sunny. High of 47.  “D”

Now, here’s my lovely wife, Jennifer with this week’s main blog.

Kevin has many “good reasons” why a dog is just not right for the Fischer Family at this time.  Of course topping the list is that we’re just not around enough during the day (and many evenings) to justify owning a four-legged friend.

We’re not the doggy day care type of family or that issue would be easily addressed.  I guess we have the same attitude towards our someday-dog as we did with our daughter…  It is OUR responsibility to raise/care for our offspring.  It is NOT someone else’s job to raise our kid, it is OURS.  We’re no different with our dog…  If we want the joy of pet parenthood then we are responsible for said pooch.

Yes I know we have many friends reading this blog who will vehemently disagree with this position.  They are wonderful owners, and we fault no one for choosing Central Bark or any other pup sitter.  This is simply our own opinion.

So if standard 9 to 5 day care isn’t an option for us, what on EARTH would we do if we went on an extended vacation?  We’ve been to Disney World almost more times than we can count.  If we don’t want to board our dog at an extended-stay facility and couldn’t impose on friends and relatives then what choice would we have?

Fortunately by the time we really DO get a dog, Disney will really have this program  in place and I think it’s a fantastic idea.  I know those dog-allergic and dog-fearing will be having fits over this.  Not surprising… today everyone is “sensitive” about something and we need a support group to help them through their personal tragedies.  But for the rest of us with standard coping mechanisms, lots of dog-owning families will surely benefit.

Honestly I can’t believe it took Disney this long to create these options.  Sure, they had “on property” boarding for pets for many years.  But for the majority of pet owners this wasn’t good enough and I don’t doubt why.  With the new program, you’ll be able to have your pup with you at the happiest place on earth.  And that lends a whole new dimension to the term “family vacation.”
Jennifer Fischer

Thanks, Jennifer!

Time now for DOGS IN THE NEWS, canines that made headlines the past week.

How far-reaching has the opioid crisis become?

Iditarod Doping Mystery: Who Slipped Tramadol to the Dogs?

She put her dog down — she thought.

Ikea is also for pets. New Oak Creek store to stock new Lurvig pet furniture.

Innovative dog-training program aims to help Wisconsin veterans suffering PTSD.

A dog in costume during the 27th annual Tompkins Square Halloween dog parade in New York City. Photograph: Timothy A Clary/AFP/Getty Images

Same event. Photo: Amy Lombard for The New York Times

Macaroon and his owner, Holly Tooker. Macaroon came as the “Brown-Eyed Grill” to her veggie-skewering chef. Photo: Amy Lombard for The New York Times

Pip the Yorkie as Amelia Doghart. Photo: Amy Lombard for The New York Times

Friends Diana Lucchi, left, and Asha Vereen built a saltwater aquarium for their three dogs, who took home first place in the costume competition. They are, from left, Giupetto, as an angelfish, Gianna, as a lionfish, and Penelope, as a clownfish. Photo: Amy Lombard for The New York Times

Oh, we’ve got more. Just click right here.

We close as we always do with our closing video.

We head west to California:


That’s it for this week.

Thanks for stopping by.

We’d really appreciate it if you forward this on to other dog lovers you know. Let them have some fun!

See ya, BARK, next Saturday!

Image may contain: one or more people and hat

Best Cartoons of the Week (10/28/17)


Michael Ramirez

Nate Beeler

Sean Delonas

Henry Payne

Henry Payne again

Tom Stiglich


Jerry Holbert


Chip Bok


Steve Kelley


A.F. Branco

Lisa Benson

Gary Varvel


Yaakov Kirschen

Tom Stiglich

Henry Payne


Steve Breen


Michael Ramirez


Joe Heller


Milt Priggee


Nate Beeler

Jeff Koterba



Goodnight everyone, and have a ghosts and goblins weekend!

Every Friday night we smooth our way into the weekend with music, the universal language. These selections demonstrate that despite what is being passed off as art today, there is plenty of really good music available. Come along and enjoy.

We have some spooky and some not so very spooky music this week. But first…

Enough history. Let’s get started.

I’ve selected some perfect music for the occasion and we begin with the very best Halloween music It’s by Midnight Syndicate.

From their website:

For two decades, composers Edward Douglas and Gavin Goszka have been known as Midnight Syndicate, creating symphonic soundtracks to imaginary films that facilitate a transcendental and adventurous escape into the secret dimensions of the mind’s eye. To many of their fans, they are Gothic music pioneers brewing a signature blend of orchestral horror music and movie-style sound effects. To others, they remain the first “haunted house band” that forever changed the Halloween music genre and became a staple of the October holiday season. And some know them as the duo that created the first official soundtrack to the legendary Dungeons & Dragons role-playing game.

When my older brother was in his late teens and early 20’s he played rhythm guitar in rock bands. On Saturday nights when he was performing my parents would often go see him. When they didn’t, Dad would fall asleep and Mom would stay up with me to watch Shock Theater. I’ve loved the Universal Monsters ever since.

The truth is the Monsters popularity with moviegoers saved the studio, struggling at the time, enabling Universal to explode in growth.

The Universal Monsters were classics. Now we get classical.

“Night on Bald Mountain” is a work by the Russian composer Modest Mussorgsky in 1867. When Mussorgsky died of alcoholism in 1881, “Night on Bald Mountain” had still not been performed in public.

A contemporary of Mussorgsky’s, Nikolay Rimsky-Korsakov rearranged the composition, but kept the fierce driving theme.

“Night on Bald Mountain” got tremendous exposure when it was paired with “Ave Maria”  in the final dramatic scene of Disney’s animated “Fantasia” in 1940.

This was no cartoon. That last segment of the film featured the startling demon Chernobog who  towers over a mountain top with scary horns and massive wings.

Mannheim Steamroller is best known for their Christmas music. They’re billed as having sold the most Christmas music in history.

They also have recorded a Halloween album that includes their less demonic but still exciting version of  Mussorgsky’s classic.

Next up, it’s time to really get spooky.

David Sanborn is on sax, and Joan Osborne joins the late Isaac Hayes on a duet.

Give yourself a gold star if you knew that the original “Spooky” was recorded by Dennis Yost & the Classics IV. It reached #3 on the Billboard chart in early 1968.

Now we soften it up with a great standard.

If you listen carefully I believe you can detect a bit of Dr. John in Steve Tyrell. But the singer is  crooner all the way. Tyrell did some of his own writing on his website.

I never met Frank Sinatra, but I wish I had.

Frank created a genre of musical expression that has remained timeless and everlasting, and unlike the disposable pop culture of today will live forever as long as it has a chance to be heard. Frank Sinatra and his music have no expiration date; they are always cool and current. He sang the great songs and expressed the words in a way that makes the listener understand the intentions of the songwriter.

I am so happy to see that there is a renaissance taking place today with this music. It is important that a new generation be exposed to these great gems. They don’t write songs like this anymore. This is real music! The art of expressing your desire and needs without being crude or obvious is seen best in the songs Frank chose to sing. I believe these songs are America’s greatest contribution to the arts.

That’s it for this week.


Sleep well.

Have a great weekend.

In my book it’s the greatest horror film ever.

We close with Keith Lockhart conducting.


Happy Halloween.

Friday Night Forgotten Oldie, Halloween Style

Suppose I mention to you, “Charlie Brown,” and ask you to respond with the first thought that comes to mind.

You would/should say, “Peanuts.”

Now I say to you, “Charlie Brown on television.”

You naturally respond…

And again that would be expected. But our beloved Charlie did TV specials for Thanksgiving and Halloween, too.

This year marks the 51st year of the animated special “It’s The Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown.” The PEANUTS gang celebrates Halloween, with Linus hoping that, finally, he will be visited by The Great Pumpkin, while Charlie Brown is invited to a Halloween party.

David Benoit on the piano…

If you missed last week’s telecast of the animated classic it’s being broadcast again this Sunday 7:00 on ABC-TV.

Some fun facts about the program are here.


Remember this TV show?

And it’s theme music?

Turns out there were lyrics.

Peggy Lee recorded this in 1965. Her song was included in an Ultra-Lounge compilation many years later.


We must mention the passing this week of Fats Domino.

Gwen Thompkins of National Public Radio prepared this report. Just click on the player.

Today’s highly interesting read (10/27/17): Costumes not suitable for Halloween

A few years ago this Halloween costume was considered inappropriate.

Exclusive Sexy Pizza Costume, Adult Pizza Costume, Pizza Slice Costume

Pizza was too hot.

Now this year…

'Sexy Melania' Halloween outfit has been panned as sexist and inappropriate

If you don’t remember…

And we can’t forget this little beauty…

I enjoy columnist Tom Purcell who often injects humor, nostalgia or both into his pieces.

Purcell also likes to publish conversations between two people who go back and forth on an issue of the day. From Purcell’s latest:

“Then the wife was going to dress up as a sexy convict with a short, black-and-white-striped dress, and I was going to wear a Hannibal Lecter mask and straitjacket, but Business Insider says that would be a mistake.”

“I can’t wait to learn why.”

Read Purcell’s column here.

Hey Cosmo, don’t tell me what my daughter can and cannot wear for Halloween!

Last October 31st our family was vacationing in Walt Disney World. That morning our daughter Kyla had her hair styled at the Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique. She also wanted to wear her Halloween costume.

BBB 2016

Moana 2016

The “Moana” movie wasn’t due out for almost a month, but everywhere we went cast members and other guests called Kyla “Princess Moana.” Naturally we ate it up.

Recently Cosmopolitan lectured white folks not to allow their white girls to wear this costume.

At this point, you might be saying something like: “But, I dressed up as Jasmine as a child, and I’m not a racist!”, or, “It’s just a Halloween costume, please chill the f*ck out.” But one of the best things about time is that it moves forward. You should too. You can (and should) strive to be better than you were 10, 20, or 30 years ago. If you missed the mark when you were younger, maybe think about using this Halloween as an opportunity to teach your kids about the importance of cultural sensitivity. If your child’s dream costume feels questionable, don’t just throw up your hands and hand over your credit card. You’re the parent here, and the onus of what your child wears falls on you. If your kid wears a racist costume … you’re kind of wearing it too.

What a bunch of crap.

Columnist Kurt Schlichter lays the smackdown on Cosmo.

Cosmopolitan, which surprisingly still exists and probably will as long as there are neurotic chicks living with three other gals in overpriced New York apartments trying desperately to find a man who can fill the emptiness in their lives while simultaneously telling themselves that they don’t need to find a man to fill the emptiness in their lives, says this culturally appropriates stuff from Hawaiians.

Let’s leave aside the notion that anyone anywhere should ever take child-rearing advice from those who put people like Miley Cyrus on the cover as a role model with the injunction to “Sex Up Your Holidays” – decking the halls never seemed so infectious. Instead, let’s simply savor the sheer stupidity of this new obsession.

I don’t care what the SJWs (Social Justice Warriors) say, think, or do. When they demand that I conform to their dictates, I’ve got a counter-offer.

How about I do exactly what I want and you stand there and suck it up?

Schlichter’s column is beautiful.

Today’s highly interesting read (10/26/17): “Your friends disappear when you take on the Trump wing of the party. I should know.”

Today’s read comes from an old friend.


You may have heard he’s written a new book.

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Some fellow conservatives have approached me to inquire, “What the heck happened to Charlie?”

The answer is…nothing. Today during a guest appearance on WTMJ Radio Sykes said “I’m still a conservative.”

And I believe him.

Admittedly, I am one of the many that has been a bit surprised at Charlie’s crusade over the last year or so, one that has made him a darling of the leftist news media.

I’ve always liked and respected Charlie, from when I first met him as he reported for the Milwaukee Journal to when I worked with and filled in for him at WTMJ.

I fully understand his yearning for a conservatism that is based solidly on character. That has led him to condemn President Trump which, in turn, has cost him some friends as he conceded during his WTMJ interview today.

Charlie has a timely piece in Politico about Jeff Flake, the soon-to-be former US Senator who this week attacked President Trump on the Senate floor.  Here’s a portion of his speech:

In this century, a new phrase has entered the language to describe the accommodation of a new and undesirable order — that phrase being “the new normal.” But we must never adjust to the present coarseness of our national dialogue — with the tone set at the top.

We must never regard as “normal” the regular and casual undermining of our democratic norms and ideals. We must never meekly accept the daily sundering of our country — the personal attacks, the threats against principles, freedoms, and institutions; the flagrant disregard for truth or decency, the reckless provocations, most often for the pettiest and most personal reasons, reasons having nothing whatsoever to do with the fortunes of the people that we have all been elected to serve.

None of these appalling features of our current politics should ever be regarded as normal. We must never allow ourselves to lapse into thinking that this is just the way things are now. If we simply become inured to this condition, thinking that this is just politics as usual, then heaven help us. Without fear of the consequences, and without consideration of the rules of what is politically safe or palatable, we must stop pretending that the degradation of our politics and the conduct of some in our executive branch are normal. They are not normal.

Reckless, outrageous, and undignified behavior has become excused and countenanced as “telling it like it is,” when it is actually just reckless, outrageous, and undignified.

Mr. President, I rise today to say: Enough.

From today’s read Charlie writes:

Jeff Flake is about to find out what it means to be a political orphan.

I know because I’ve been there and I can give Flake a sense of what he can expect now that he has left the safe confines of the tribe.

Read the entire column here.