Archives for October, 2011

Raw feeding 911 Part IX;Don’t run with the meal,please..

 In the previous entry titled “Raw feeding 911“, “Raw feeding 911 Part II“, Raw feeding 911 Part III“, Raw feeding 911 Part IV,
I wrote basic of the raw diet for dogs such as what to feed, how much to feed,
what to do when your dogs had digestive upset, what to do when traveling,
and other tools that are good to have such as freezer. Also, you have
found the videos of our dog “Palette” eating her meals in the entry Raw feeding 911 Part IV.

 In the previous entries titled “Raw feeding 911 Part V“, “Raw feeding Part VI“you have learned how I feed Palette when she has a big meal day.

 In the previous entry titled “Raw feeding 911 Part VII“, you have learned where you can buy all the raw diet food and what green beef tripe is.

 In the previous entry titled “Raw feeding 911 Part VIII“, you have learned what benefit your dogs would get when you feed raw diet meal with bones,what you can do when your dogs are having problems eating bones, and whether feeding raw diet pre-made patties can be an alternative ways to feeding a real bone to your dogs, and about giving supplement to your dogs.

Holding the bone with my paws…

 As
you can see in those series of entries, with fresh food diet, you would notice by now that your dogs can eat
various kinds of protein source, and they can get all different kinds of
nutrients from each protein source.

 Also,raw diet for your dogs is not just about
food being fresh without preservatives, additives etc. You can see what your dogs would be eating every single time you feed your dogs, and you know where your dogs’ food is coming from. Then, if the menu you have offered had problems, you can always tweak the menu detail accordingly. You can have full control over the menu your dogs would get.

 Since they can get all kinds of vitamins and minerals through wide variety of real food, you would see the difference in their coat,energy level,digestibility,sweet breath (No more doggy breath), and white teeth etc..as well.

 And I have to add that our lady vet commented the other day that she thinks that our dog’s immune system must be strong because she recovered from hot spot with more than the level she thought Palette would recover to.

 Whether for human or for animals, good diet is the base of the good health and, we should feed real food, not processed food.

 Don’t run with meal,please?

 On and off, I see people asking what you can do when dogs are prone to run with meal to places of their choice and munch on the meal on the spot.

 With this situation, management on your side can help prevent the problem happening again. You have to be consistent with the response, but dogs are smart and they can learn very quickly where they should eat the meal on, and where they cannot eat the meal on.

 As you can see from Palette’s raw diet pictures and videos, I use the vinyl shower curtain as feeding mat.

 When she gets big meal, I spread the vinyl shower curtain feeding mat to maximum and let her use the maximum space in the kitchen. When she gets regular size of meal, she eats on folded vinyl shower curtain with smaller space.

 When I just started out raw feeding, she did not know where is the appropriate place to eat the food on and, I used straightened puppy exercise pen to limit the access to the next room.

 The puppy exercise pen had 5 panels and, my husband took 2 panels off, and I placed the 3 panels zig zag way in between the rooms, and I sat next to her feeding mat so that I can let her know food stays on the mat.

I used to feed like this..

From high point view..

 You can see what I meant by zig zag way to set the puppy exercise pen panel..

 Right when the food gets out from the feeding mat, I said “Oops”, and I put the meal back on the feeding mat.

 If she picked up the meal on her own, I said “Good” and I walked toward her without any touch (they should walk back as you walk toward them) and, said “On the mat” by pointing to the feeding mat. Then,I guided her toward the feeding mat and when her paws touches to the feeding mat area, I said “good” and retreated to the spot I was sitting on.

 It was repeated over and over.

 After a while, she started tugging her meal to the feeding mat right when she sensed the meal will be out from the feeding mat, and after seeing that, I took out the puppy exercise pen panel, and I just stayed near her for just in case.

 As time passes by, I did not feel the need to be so close to her to supervise so, I just started supervising her from some distance away,and started reading magazine etc and check up on her now and then.

 Again, if her meal was out and if she were ignoring to putting the meal back on the feeding mat, I said “On the mat” and she picked up the food and brought the food back to the feeding mat.

 When/If she ignored my “On the mat” cue, I went to the kitchen and guided her to the feeding mat to tell her that food stays on the feeding mat.

 If you have a dog that loves to dine on wherever she likes, be consistent in your response to the behavior and help them learn that food stays on the feeding mat.

 Being consistent, calm, patient are the 3 keys to the success.

 You can teach your dogs to eat their treats on their bed as well with the similar  method.

 Every time they started chewing on the preferred spot of their choice on the carpet,couch etc.., walk toward them without any touch and just point at the doggy bed and tell them “On the bed” and use your body to guide them to the doggy bed they can chew treats on.

 Then, next time you hand their treats to your dogs, tell them “On the bed” and they would go trot to their bed and eat the treats on their bed.

 Just like any other rules you would train them to understand,all of your family members have to response to them the same way you do too, so there will be no discrepancy in the message to your dogs regarding the rules in the house.

Hmm… Egg! I love egg!

If you were wondering what happened to the shell, I ate them.

I ate them all. Yum! No yummy left behind
 

Oh,yes, that was one good meal!

You should have one too!


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Oct 30, 2011 | 0 | Uncategorized

Name seals in Japan

 In the previous entry titled “Japanese coins and bills“, I wrote about what the  Japanese currency would look like.

 Here, I would like to write about banks in Japan.

 When I came to the states, banks here were one of the culture shock for me.

 For starter, banks here open till 5pm or 7pm depending on the banks.

 In Japan, banks are open Monday through Friday from 9am to 3 pm, and closed on weekends. You can use ATM on weekends,and you will see the ATM machines at banks,at department stores, at the post office,at the convenience stores,and at the airport.

 I notice that here in the states, if you wish to use the ATM machines at the banks where your account is not registered, banks would charge about $2-$3 per withdrawal and, I do not remember you would get charged that much in Japan.

 In Japan, banks are not just for depositing/withdrawing/saving/transferring money. You can pay the utility bills at the banks as well. In fact, if post office or convenience store was closer to you than banks, you can go to either post office or convenience stores and pay your utility bills there.

 My husband has told me that he could pay the utility bill in the past at the grocery store. In Japan, I do not think we could pay the utility bill at the grocery store.

 Another thing is that, Japanese banks in the city also have foreign currency exchange service, and as long as common currencies,they have foreign currency on hand and you can get them on the same day.

 Here in the states, you can exchange foreign currency at the particular malls, but in Japan, you cannot exchange currency at the mall/department stores but banks if not at the airport.

 Opening,closing, and other services at the banks in Japan require the personal name seal for bank called “Gin-kou In”.

 Using signatures and ID cards to all services at the banks are norm here in the states, but in Japan, we use name seals instead.

 There are three kinds of seals. One is called “Mi-to-me In”. We use the “Mi-to-me In” for informal documents at the office or at home.

 Another kind is called “Ji-tsu In” and these are the seals to use for legal/official documents or contracts such as when you buy house,cars etc.. “Ji-tsu In” is legally recognized individual seal. When you register the “Ji-tsu In”, you will receive the certificate for the seal. Often times, you will be asked to present the certificate along with seal.

 Another kind is called “Gin-kou In”. Gin-kou means “Bank” in Japanese and, it is the seal used for all the services at the bank.

 When you open the account at the bank, you will get the balance booklet and,you will register your “Gin-kou In” and in the booklet, you will find one of the page has your registered “Gin-kou In” with protected cover on the page along with other necessary information.

 Interesting thing is that, in Japan, we do not get personal check books. To pay the bills, you will get the forms sent to your house and pays at the post office,banks,or convenience stores or set the bills be paid automatically every month from your bank account.
 
 To use the “Mi-tome In” or “Ji-tsu In” or “Gin-kou In”, you will press the seals onto the red ink pad and press it over the documents to imprint the seal.

 Usually, when you go to the bank,there are red ink pad at the counter for you to use. You can find tissue papers to wipe the ink off from the seal at the counter as well.

 I came across youtube video of Hanko,and you can see what seals look like.

 For Japanese, seals are made in unique style of Chinese characters and for those from overseas, seals will be in Kata kana;different style of Japanese letters.

 The poster call the seal “Han-ko” in the video clip, but the term “Han-ko” can mean all kinds of stamps including animal characters engraved to stamp on etc, and the term carry less important meaning.

 Therefore, for name seal, you would most likely hear the word “In kan” that means “seal” in Japanese.

Name seal in Japan..

 If you were a blog subscriber or reading this from facebook, please click here to watch the video clip.

 One thing I found it different from Japan regarding credit card is that, in Japan,there is no credit card score. I am surprised that real estate companies etc would check your credit scores and use that to see if you are kind of person that pay loans etc on time etc and make contract with you.

 In Japan, if you did not use credit card, it is considered as “good standing in financial management” for yourself. Here in the states,I wonder if you did not use credit card at all, credit card score is low?

 Also, since we use cash for most purchases in Japan, there are no debit card, credit card question be asked,as well as purchase does not require signatures on the receipt to make a purchase unless you would use the credit card at the store.

 These things were some of my culture shock experience in the states.

 
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Oct 26, 2011 | 0 | Uncategorized

Palette’s note:Squeaky Eggs

 Have you ever wondered if you could actually see how other dogs are enjoying the products before purchasing one?

 
Not just pictures,but in video so that you can actually SEE how the products are being used? I have started series titled “Palette’s Note”, which you can read about products detail and see video clips from Palette’s taste test.

 
This time,it is not about treats. I like to put out detail on Squeaky Eggs.

 

Squeaky Eggs..

 Squeaky Eggs are great toys for dogs that loves squeaky toys or loves playing the game of fetch.

 Since Squeaky Eggs are oval shape, when it bounce on the floor, it bounces/rolls to unexpected directions and it makes the game of fetch more fun for dogs.

 Palette loves to just lay on the floor squeaking the squeaky eggs, or run with it while she squeaking the squeaky Eggs. Best way she enjoys the squeaky eggs is via playing the game of fetch with me.

 She gets so excited and, she chases after the Squeaky Eggs, grab them,and brings the squeaky Eggs squeaking and toss it to me so I can throw the squeaky egg toy again.

 If I ever let her decide when to stop the game of fetch, it will be endless and I will be throwing the squeaky eggs over,over,over,and over again enough to make my arms feel sore.

 The size of the each squeaky Egg toy is about 3″ x 2″, and one package comes with 3 squeaky eggs;1 yellow, 1 orange,and 1 blue squeaky egg toy.

 If you have Eggs babies interactive dog toy or I-Qube interactive dog toys, or other interactive plush toys such as Hide a squirrel animal puzzle, you can use these squeaky eggs as replacement to hide in the toys.

 If you read in the previous entry titled “Palette’s note: Hide a squirrel animal puzzle“, you would already know that I am a big fan of interactive dog toys because interactive dog toys let the dogs to think and play and personally I feel that those type of toys are good mental exercise for dogs.

 You also noticed that I have got the interactive toy that you can put the squeaky eggs into it so dogs can take the squeaky eggs out from the toy for our K9 executive chef “Palette” on her birthday to see if she likes it and also if I like the toy.

Product A.

 As a concept of the toy, I liked it and, thought it will be a nice toy but..I found a few problems.

1. The opening of the toy is described as elastic opening but it stretched to about 3.5″ , and it was a little tight for me to put the squeaky eggs especially the last 3rd squeaky egg

2. If you put the 3 squeaky eggs enough to goes in all the way,and when dogs are trying to grab the squeaky egg with mouth, they can use just front teeth to grab about 1/4″ of the squeaky egg but, even if using both paws to hold the toy to get the squeaky egg out, it was very tight and hard for them to take the squeaky eggs out from the plush toys.

 I wish the
opening were more elastic or bigger opening for easy grab and removal. I would think that making the nice size opening on back bone area might be good.

 Palette got so frustrated for the fact that she cannot get the squeaky eggs out no matter how many times she tried with paw holding and grabbing the squeaky eggs with front teeth to pull, she tried to chew on outside of the toy.

 Maybe she thought if she chew from outside the toy, she could take the squeaky eggs out.

3. Only way they can easily take the squeaky egg out is to place the squeaky egg half way out from the opening.

4. When all the squeaky eggs are out, your dogs may find the cloth inside..

 I suppose the white cloth is there to prevent squeaky eggs to travel to too far edge of the toy, but this thing got Palette’s so much attention and she tried to rip if off. I had to take the toy away from her.

 
I am planning to cut the clothe off, and put a new squeaker in there and fill with stuffing and change it to squeaky frog. I know Palette loves squeaky toys.

 Not all fun were taken away though. Palette and I have found that the squeaky
eggs are actually nice one for fetch ball game.

 As mentioned above, squeaky eggs are oval shape,and when they bounce on the ground, it is
unpredictable where the squeaky eggs would bounce back. Plus, she can
come back to me squeaking the squeaky eggs.What a great toy;one toy with 2 kinds of fun!

 Palette
and I have great time playing fetch squeaky eggs game. She put her
tongue hanging out from her mouth and she gets so talkative. She woofs at me *Woof,woof,woof* with wiggling butt and she gets very excited for the
next throw.

 With all these experiences, you would not find this specific interactive dog toy on our store, but you can get these fun squeaky eggs dog toy for your furry friends.

 Let’s watch Palette in action with Squeaky Eggs.If you are a blog subscriber or reading from face book,please click here to watch the test video clip.

 When you throw the squeaky eggs, especially when you aim at the wall or on the floor, the toys tend to bounce more unpredictable directions.

 Palette and squeaky eggs

** Please note that the squeaky egg package we offer comes with 3 different colors;1 yellow,1 orange, 1 blue. Palette’s squeaky Eggs we tested were all yellow color.

 As you can see in the video above, she is very very excited and enjoy the game of fetch. After the video was taped,she had a power nap.

 You would often hear “Tired dogs are happy dogs”, and I agree with that

* Pant,Pant,Pant*

I love the game of fetch squeaky egg toy!

*squeak* *squeak* *squeak*

Bringing the toy to mom so she can throw again!

Balancing the Squeaky egg toy…

I woof at mom with excitement, but I can be zen mind if needed to be

 You
can read how to teach your dog to bring the ball back to you and see
Palette in action with fetch ball/Frisbee game via videos in the
previous entry titled “Playing game of fetch ball/Frisbee“.

*** As with any chews,toys, please make sure to supervise when they play with this toy.

To visit our store,please click here or paste and copy the link below into your browser.

http://yassysgdk.com/main.sc

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Oct 23, 2011 | 0 | Uncategorized

People food for thought Part XIX; Olive Oil

 If you were following all the recipes on our blog, you will notice by now that I use extra virgin olive oil for almost everything from bread baking to dish making except frying foods.

 I like using extra virgin olive oil as everyday cooking oil, and I use either peanut oil or vegetable oil for frying foods, drizzle sesame oil over Asian dish (Chinese/Korean/Japanese dishes) to give those dishes more depth of flavor or use the sesame oil to make the sauce for the dishes.

 Back home in Japan, I do not think we used Olive oil as everyday oil. Our everyday oil was vegetable oil and, on occasions, we used sesame oil.

 There are many cooking oils available in the market but, what oils do you use? Do you have any preference over another?

 I use extra virgin olive oil because I know that it is healthy oil to cook with.

Cooking with olive oil and health benefit..

 The other day, in the local newspaper, I have found an article about olive oil and health benefit cooking with it.

 According to the news article written by Jennifer Motl, French  research has revealed that people who use olive oil to saute food or use in their salad dressing had 40% lower risk of strokes.

 The researchers collected blood samples from more than 7,000 volunteers and they have measured the blood level of oleic acid (monounsaturated fat in the olive oil).

 Those who had higher level of oleic acid had 73% lower risk of strokes over 5 years.

 Not only that, Olive oil is known for its ability to reduce the risk of heart disease,diabetes, and some cancers.

 Belgian researchers found that people who consumed most olive oil had 50% lower risk of bladder cancer than those who least had olive oil.

 If you were asked to name some countries famous for the olive oil, you would probably say “Italy”,”Spain”,Greece”.

 Their diet;Mediterranean diet, include lots of olive oil,vegetables,fruits,,fish and less meat and diary, and according to the Spanish researchers,they had 50% lower risk of developing diabetes.

 Greek researchers found that Mediterranean eating pattern reduced risk of breast cancer over 20% in older women.

What is Monounsaturated fat?

 Monounsaturated fat is “healthy good fat” and, typically the fat that can stay liquid at room temperature,and turns solid when chilled. 

 What you should limit the amount of fat in your diet are Saturated fat and Trans fat. Those two are the bad fat.

 Unlike Monounsaturataed fat, saturated fat stays solid at room temperature and good example is butter.

 Trans fat is the oil hydrogen was added to liquid vegetable oil to make them more solid.You can check the food label and you can spot them with another name for the trans fat “partially hydrogenated oil”.

 Good example that may contains trans fat are french fries, potato chips, donuts etc..

 You can read more on Trans fat here at wikipedia website.

Types of olive oil..

 You always would see me mention “Extra virgin olive oil” in cooking entries. There are many kinds of olive oil on the market, but I like the extra virgin olive oil,especially the one “cold first pressed Extra Virgin Olive oil” and my favorite brand of olive oil is Colavita brand.

 Over the years, I have tried different kinds of olive oil but I find personally that Colavita brand extra virgin olive oil is more fruity and, taste better compared to the other brands.

 What are the difference between the olive oil?

 Extra virgin olive oil; According to Colavita olive oil website, Extra virgin olive oil are the unrefined,unprocessed juice from olives that were pressed soon after the harvest. Often times, acid is less than 1 %.

 Jennifer writes, Extra virgin Olive Oil is packed with antioxidants and flavor.

 Virgin Olive oil; this is also a first pressed oil but contains higher acidity level than Extra virgin olive oil usually around 1%-3% acid.

 Fino Olive oil; it is a blend of extra virgin olive oil and virgin olive oil.

 Light Olive oil; this is highly refined olive oil with less added quality virgin olive oil. The term “light” refer to its color and taste, not fat or calories.

 You can read more on type of olive oil at Colavita olive oil website here and homecooking about website here.

How Olive oil is made..

 When green olives turns red, it is a time for harvesting. Producers place the upside down umbrella-like tool to collect olives under the tree.

 These olives get separated from leaves,brunches through the machine and,olives get smashed under the motor until paste texture.

 Then, oil get extracted.

 You can see how olive oil is made at the discovery channel website here.

 Jennifer suggests to swap the vegetable oil with olive oil in the marinades,salad dressing not just cooking with Olive oil.

 I think they are good ideas.

 I have never made cakes with olive oil but,she introduced olive oil cake (Strawberry lemonade Cornmeal olive oil cake) in her article She says it is a cross between corn muffin and coffee cake.

 I love experimenting things. I must try it and see how it comes out.

 To read her full article on Olive oil,please click here.
 
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Oct 20, 2011 | 0 | Uncategorized

Palette’s fall treats diary;October 18th,2011

 Last month was a little hectic month for us. Normally, we visit our vet once a year for yearly check up, but we visited them twice in a month.

 For Palette, car ride is so exciting and, as soon as I open up the car door, here she comes passing through between my legs and hops on to the car seat and she is ready to roll.

 I then connect the doggy seat belt to secure her in the car and off to the vet.

 At the vet, she had one bad experience with guy vet who yanked her leash with stern voice “No” with his finger pointed at her and positioned her body with force as he wants her to be when she flinched and growled when he touched her with the way she did not feel so comfortable with, but since we made sure since the incident that we will see her favorite lady vet, she is very happy to meet the lady vet and friendly vet tech and ladies at the reception desk.

 She goes around everyone with wiggling butt with ears fold and,asking around for nice petting or attentions. She is so excited when she gets any attentions from them.

 At the vet office, at the second visit, we saw 2 doggie statues. One was a bull dog,and the other was Labrador.The statues were set in the small goods section at the side. There you will find a bit of squeaky toys, Frisbee etc..

 She loves to go sniff there with curiosity what she would find. Then,she noticed those statues.

 I was looking at her how she reacts to those statues. She greeted with nose taps to bulldogs statue with wiggling butt, and then with the Labrador statue, the statue was sitting straight and too tall for her to greet with nose taps. She is a tall Corgi, but still stumpy than Labrador statue She wiggled her butt a couple of times and then we went in to the exam room.

 The reason we went there twice was to clean her wound and re-check for her hot spot.

 One day, I caught her chewing vigorously just above her butt cheek. I interrupted her chewing, but it was all red and did not look good, so we visited the vet.

 Until next day we could visit the lady vet, Palette wore her comfy cone to make sure she would not chew any more and makes the area worse than before.

I have greeted everyone at the first vet visit wearing funky hat;comfy cones.

The lady vet tech told me I looked cool with this funky hat

 Good news is, within 1 week time, the area got better nicely and, her area was shaved off to treat the area but already fur stated growing back.

 The lady vet was wowed with the fast recovery and commented that Palette must have strong immune system because she did not expected it to be healed to this level.

 Below picture is about 2 weeks after the area was shaved.

Dad said my butt was shaved like a baboon!

 I guess it is all with good wholesome fresh food diet she is on.

 The area is still noticeable but she is on good mend.

 If you were reading up this Palette’s diary series, you have read me mention it would be cool if Palette could bring me everything we need for daily walkie such as poop bag,leash etc..

 As you know, one of her chore is to bring her leash to me but now, I am happy to announce that she is now officially received another chore of the day;bringing poop bag to me for walkie.

 I was worried, she might find the bags fun toys and tear it up or make a hole during the process of retrieving, but it was not the case.

 I say “Poop bag,please” and she brings one poop bag to me from poop bag box without any hole in it.

 Do your dogs have their chore of the day? Giving them some sort of chore/job is good because even those tiny moment of them helping you with chore is a good way to give them a stimulation. Plus we both have fun with those

 With this “Palette’s treat diary” series, I thought it would be interesting for you to tour around our kitchen to see what kinds of cool down treats she is getting,and share her cool down treats recipes with you.

 

 

 

Oct 18, 2011 | 0 | Uncategorized

Chinese cooking:Zesty BBQ Fried Rice

 In the previous entry titled ” Chinese cooking: BBQ Fried Rice“, I have introduced you how to make basic BBQ Fried rice using BBQ beef brisket.

 This is the updated version of the dish. I have made it recently and came out good so I thought I would share the recipe as updated version of my BBQ Fried rice recipe.

 With this updated version of BBQ Fried rice, I have used roasted poblano pepper to add a little bit of zing to the dish, and hot sauce to add a little bit of vinegary flavor to the dish with a bit of zing.

 So, how do you make “Zesty BBQ Fried Rice”? Here is how.

Zesty BBQ Fried Rice..

<Roast poblano pepper>

** I usually buy 3 poblano peppers,roast them all. Then, I use what I need for the dish and keep the rest in the freezer for later use.

1. Set the oven to broil “high”

2. Line
the cookie sheet with foil,and put the peppers and broil them

3. As it gets
broil,you will start seeing charred area,and some area starts looking
like peppers had blisters or some kinds.

4. Keep an eye on it and rotate
the peppers with Tong and when all peppers became blister-looking all
around, take the peppers out,and place them into bowl,and seal it
with saran.

** This makes steaming effect and as it cools down, it makes easy for you to peel the outer skin off.

5. After 10-15 min later, peel the
outer skin off,seeds out and wash under cold water.

6. Chop them fine and keep in zip bag.

** freeze the leftover roasted poblano peppers for later use such as Chile Rellenos (Stuffed Poblano pepper).

You can see the recipe in the previous entry titled “Chile Rellenos” here.

<Boiled shredded chicken>

** I usually boil 2 boneless chicken breast at a time in a water with bit of McCormick’s steak seasoning and dash of dry sherry.. Then, I use what I need for the dish and
keep the rest in the freezer for later use.

1. Boil 2 boneless chicken breast in water with a little bit of McCormick’s steak seasoning and dash of dry sherry

2. When meat got cool enough for you to handle, shred them and keep in the zip bag.

** Keep the leftover shredded chicken breast in freezer for later use.

<Zesty BBQ Fried Rice>

1.To the skillet, drizzle Extra virgin Olive Oil, and when it gets heated
up, add thinly sliced celery 1/2 stalk, knackwurst 3/4 chopped to bite size pieces and add 1/2 valida onion chopped, 1/8 red pepper
chopped, 1/8 green pepper chopped, and stir

** Valida Onions are meatier and sweeter and it balances out well with zesty flavor coming from roasted poblano pepper,hot sauce etc..

** Valida Onions are my top pick to cook for Caramelized onions, especially good with French onion dip roast beef sandwich.

You can see the recipe of French onion dip roast beef sandwich with caramelized onion in the previous entry titled “Quiznos/Panera bread menu; “Yassy’s version” here

** My favorite brand of Knackwurst is via Heartmann’s. Their knackwurst is MSG free.

2. When onions got translucent, and other vegetables in the skillet got soften up, add handful of shredded chicken breast chopped rough, and about 1 tbs -2 tbs of chopped poblano pepper and stir

3. Add cooked Kokuho rose rice to the skillet

** In a pinch, you can use other kind of rice,or pick up cooked Jasmine rice at Chinese food place

** Kokuho Rose Rice is my favorite white rice,which I think is most close to Japanese rice I am familiar with

4. Break the rice down with wooden spoon and cook the rice,vegetable, and meat

** About 18 oz (wt) of white rice will be enough for adult 3 servings or so

5.
When you see no big lumps of rice in the skillet, mix well with
vegetables and meat, and pour 5 packages of Famous Dave’s “Rich & Sassy
BBQ sauce” over the rice and mix well, and add a little bit of hot sauce and mix well

**
1 package of BBQ sauce is equal to 1 oz weight. When we visit Famous Dave’s, I usually have “To go box” and I ask for additional BBQ sauce packages on the way out. If you use BBQ sauce
from grocery store, you can pour the sauce using the weight of the sauce
used in the recipe.

6. Taste and adjust the flavor to your taste

7. Enjoy!


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Oct 13, 2011 | 0 | Uncategorized

Why male dogs lift their legs up to pee?

 The other day, I was watching talk show on TV and, part of the segment was potty issue for kids. One of the viewers with a boy on the show was asking them about how they can teach kids (boy) to learn to potty standing up,not sitting on the toilet.

 That got me thinking about potty issue for dogs. As you all know, generally, male dogs lift their leg to pee and female dogs squat to pee. Is the lifting the legs up for male dogs a learned behavior from other male dogs or is it a behavior from natural instinct?

 I myself have not had a male dog before and, I did not have opportunity to observe and learn. So, I tried looking for the answer but, I could not find the answer to the specific question.

 I wonder if the lifting legs was learned behavior from other male dogs in the family, then, if male puppy grew up with just mother dog and sister dogs, that puppy would not lift his leg up to pee and rather squat to pee like other dogs in his family do??

 While I could not find answer as to how male dogs learn to lift their legs up to pee, but do you know why male dogs lift their legs up to pee? There are reasons behind it.

Why male dogs lift their legs up to pee??

 You all know that when dogs pee, they are not just passing through waste from their body,but they are also sending out the pee-mail to other dogs in the neighborhood.

 Dogs sniff out
ground and try to collect doggy daily news on the ground on their walkie,but at the same
time, they are checking their own daily news spot and
check
when,who passed the area.

 They can get so much information from
pee-mail or poo-mail from who,when,the specific dog’s health, mood to if the mail were from female dogs,then,if the dogs are in heat or not.

 Therefore, for males dogs, lifting their legs up and leave their pee-mail as high as possible so messages be sent effectively without being diluted by other dogs’ pee-mail is reasonable things to do.

 If you think about it, if they lift their legs up and pee as high as possible, not only they do not have to worry about their message be diluted by other dogs’ pee-mail, but also the pee-mail will be placed around other dogs’ nose level and easy to be found.

 One of the dog books I brought from Japan had section talking about male dogs lift their legs up to pee over vertical objects such as mail box etc, and one of the reasons the book said was that higher the pee-mail is, the further the scent be sent in the air.

 Also, the same book said the reason why some dogs scratch the ground with back legs after potty time is because by scratching the ground with back paw nails, they can leave the another scent from scent glands between the pads of their paws.

 I found it very interesting.

 On the talk of potty issue for dogs, I came across pee-mail youtube videos.

 Below is the pee-mail youtube video #1. The dog in question is the dog named “Panama” and he starts off peeing with one leg up but then, he got tired waiting for his pee to stop, he started peeing without leg lifted up and watch out how long is his pee-mail is.

 The video clip shows, it is 1 min 57 seconds but he was still peeing when the video got cut off. The video is titled “longest pee in history” but it sure looks like longest pee I thought it is cute that he is peeing with his favorite squeaky toy in his mouth

 Palette had some occasions as a puppy she wanted to bring her favorite squeaky buddy to potty.

Longest pee in history..

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 Pee-mail video #2 is the male dog peeing handstand-walk and leaving his pee-mail art on the wall. I thought he is a very athletic dogI am sure that the other dog that visited the area would get a big surprise

Amazing peeing dog..

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Nature or nurture, that is a question.

Do you think male dogs learn to lift their legs up from other male dogs or is the behavior from natural instinct?

 

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Oct 11, 2011 | 0 | Uncategorized

Japanese coins and bills

 In the previous entry titled “Shopping smart for groceries“, I wrote that, in Japan, many people use cash to pay for almost everything and, credit cards are for emergency use,and we barely use it at stores to buy things. Therefore, we have rough ideas as to how much we have on hand.

 If you live in Japan, you will have many chances to see Japanese coins and bills in your wallet, and recognizing and differentiate each coins/bills become important.

Japanese coins and bills..

 In Japan, there are 6 kinds of coins and 4 kinds of bills.

 As you know, Japanese currency is “Yen” (Pronounce as in “ENd”. There is no sound “Ye” in Japanese,and if we write as we pronounce the word, it will be “En” as in “ENd”).

 1 yen; Pronounce “I-chi en” is the lightest coin among the 6 coins,and you will find the sapling picture on its back. On its front you will find the number “1” and they are smallest,lightest coin and it will be easy for you to identify the coin.The coin also has smooth edge around the coin.

 1 yen is approx about one cent in US currency.

 With 1 yen, unless you will pay the due with exact amount on the receipt, you would barely use it for everyday purchase.

 When I was a kid, I had a piggy bank, and I remember putting coins I do not use and saved up.

 5 yen; Pronounce “Go en” is the gold color coin with center hole and you will see number “5” on the front with rice stalk picture on its back.Edge is smooth.

 5 yen is approx about 5 cents in US currency.

 5 yen is the lucky coin, because in Japanese, “go en” means “good luck”.

 If you happened to have clean sparkling 5 yen coins, put a red thin string through the hole and tie the coin,and keep it in your wallet. It is believed to bring good luck in fortune.

 Also, when I was a high school student and took an entrance exam to get into University of my dream, I kept the 5 yen in my uniform pocket and for good luck, I left the 5 yen coin with the desk I sat to take a test for.

 It maybe coincident, but I passed the exam,and attended the University of my dream.

 10 yen; Pronounce “Jyu en” is the dark brown colored bronze coin without the hole in the center. You can see number “10” on its front and you will see the temple picture on its back. Its edge is reeded.

 10 yen is approx about 10 cents in US currency.

 50 yen; Pronounce “Go-jyu en” is the silver coin with the hole in the center. You can find number “50” on its front and chrysanthemum picture on its back.Its edge is reeded.

 50 yen is approx about 50 cents in US currency.

 100 yen; Pronounce “Hya-ku en” is the silver coin without the hole. You will find number “100” on its front, and cherry blossom picture on its back.Its edge is reeded.

 100 yen is approx about $1 in US currency.

 500 yen; Pronounce “Go-hya-ku en” is the silver colored coin with slightly larger size then 100 yen coin. You will find number “500” on its front, and Paulownia blossom picture on its back.

 500 yen is approx about $50 in US currency.

 You can watch youtube video on Japanese coin below.

Japanese coins..

 If you were a blog subscriber or reading this from facebook, please click here to watch the video clip.

 Just like American coins, you can find years coins were made on the Japanese coins.

 For me, American coins are a little hard to identify and differentiate from other coins in a flash, because sizes are similar, and coin value is in English letters with small font,in stead of numbers on them. So, I have to pick a coin and read the letters on them to be sure which coins are which except the ones which are easy to spot like 25 cents coin.

 I wish all American coins had numbers on them.That way, it is very easy to identify each coins.

 1000 yen; Pronounce “Sen en”, and it is a bill with picture of “Soseki Natsume; writer, and you will find the number “1000” on its front.

 2000 yen; Pronounce “Ni-sen yen”,and it is a bill and rather newly designed bill with picture of the gate in Okinawa prefecture.I think 2000 yen bills will be very rare to get to see it and rare to use it.

 5000 yen; Pronounce “Go-sen en”, and it is a bill with picture of Inazo Nitobe ;educator, and you will see the number “5000” on its front.

 10,000 yen; Pronounce “Ichi-man en” and it is a bill with picture of Yukichi Fukuzawa ; educator, and you will see the number “10,000” on its front.

You can watch youtube video on Japanese bills below.

Japanese bills..

 If you were a blog subscriber or reading this from facebook, please click here to watch the video clip.

 On the talk of coins and bills, I like Australian coins and bills because both come with number on the face and with bills,each comes with different colors. Therefore,it is very easy to identify coins and bills especially for those who are visiting the country.

 One thing that is unique about the Australian bills is that each bill has security window with different kinds of shapes. So, you can identify each bills with the window shapes too

 Below is youtube video about Australian coins and bills.

Australian coins and bills..

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Oct 09, 2011 | 0 | Uncategorized

Connect through touch;Dog massage

 In the previous entry titled “Bonding with your dogs while grooming;brushing teeth,clipping nail,brushing“, I wrote that grooming is not chore time but great time to have bonding time with your dog.

 With grooming routine in particular, depending on each individual dog,at
first, the goal to achieve may look further away from the situation you are
in, but by doing baby step by baby step, it can be achieved. You do not need
to rushed to the goal all at once.

 Other than grooming routines, there are many activities you can make your bond stronger with your dogs through interactive plays such as Canine sports “Agility” (You can read more on Agility in the previous entry titled “Have fun with your dogs;Agility“), Fetch ball/Frisbee (How to teach your dogs to play fetch ball? Find out in the previous entry titled “Playing game of Fetch ball/Frisbee“), Doga (What is Doga? You can read about Doga in the previous entry titled “Dog+Yoga=Doga“) and daily training with your dogs (Our dog “Palette” is clicker trained. What is clicker training? Read on about the clicker training in the previous entry titled “Clicker training;clicker is your friend“) etc..

 There are many ways to connect with your dogs and make your bond stronger with them. What activities do you and your furry friends do often? How do you connect with your dogs?

 Interactive plays, daily training,going for walk etc.. are fun and, exciting. It helps make your bond with your dogs stronger.

 However, you and furry friends,both need “relaxed time”; just to be relax and calm and enjoy quiet moment together.

 I think “Doga” can be one way to enjoy the quiet moment together, but true relaxed,calm,quiet time maybe through the touch.

Connect through the touch..

 Many dogs enjoy being pet/rubbed. Palette is one of them.

 Palette loves to
get attention, loves to be pet and she cannot get enough of petting no
matter however long we were petting her.

 Once she realized we stopped
petting, she groans and adjust herself and come closer, and offer her tummy
for good tummy rubs. When we pet her slow strokes, within 3 seconds,here
comes her big yawn and narrows her eyes and falls asleep. When we pet
her faster strokes, she pants with her tongue hanging out, leaves wet
spot on her doggy bed. 

Mom,Tummy rubs please!

*Pant,pant,pant..*

I love neck scratch!

 Palette loves all the massages she get from us,and I enjoy watching her response to our massages and I find myself being calm and relaxed. I think giving massages actually works both ways;making you and your furry friends both relaxed and calm and great opportunity to make your bond stronger through the touch.

 Then, at the same time, petting your dogs is great way to check your dogs’ health; bumps,lumps,skin tags, cut, tender/sore areas, ticks,fleas etc.. 

 Once in the past, our lady vet has told us that we are pretty good at finding things,which often times things we found are nothing serious and, she reassures us there is nothing to worry about.

 Also, massage is a great way to get them used to be handled.

When dogs are nervous about being touched..

 Some dogs are very nervous about being touched.

 Dogs have sensitive
areas just like us, but they cannot get away with being untouched.
Certain spots such as muzzle area (for teeth cleaning) , paws (for nail
trimming) etc need to be handled by you, by groomer, by vet etc for
various reasons
.

 It is a important to get them used to be touched/handled sensitive areas such as paws from early age.

 Baby step by baby step, you can get them be relaxed while sensitive areas are handled. 

 How to get them be realxed while sensitive areas are handled? You can read about handling sensitive areas in the previous entry titled Bonding with your dogs while grooming;brushing teeth,clipping nail,brushing.

Timing to connect through the touch..

 Especially after physical exercise, dogs tend to be relaxed and lay down on the floor. When dogs are relaxed and laying down on the floor, that is the good time for you to be calm around them and give them a massage.

 When I give massage to Palette, I will be quiet or talk very soft.If I talk, I won’t do  happy voice I do for her training sessions.

 I find that happy voice excite Palette,and soft quiet talk seems to relax her. I can see why tone of the voice can play some roles in training dogs.

 Just like everything else such as grooming routines, you do not have to rush to give them a whole body massage. Try a few spots and see if they like the touch on the area.

 If they walked away from you, then, let them be. Don’t follow them and insist that you give them a massage. Do give massage on their term,not yours.

 I usually give quick scalp massage to Palette when I am reading newspaper, when she comes around and sit right next to me.

 I think she has trained me very well for that. Newspaper seems to be her cue to come close to me and sit next to me to get a scalp massage. Every time I read newspaper, here comes Palette sitting pretty right next to me and asks for the scalp massage

 I give longer massage when I sit down with her on the floor. Palette comes trot to me and lay in front of me,putting her head resting on my leg. I then give her massage or T-Touch.

 What is T-Touch? You can read more about T-Touch in the previous entry titled “Why dogs like tummy rubs?”.

 TV time is also a good time,too. Palette knows she can get nice long massages from us.

 Even just 5 minutes a day, dogs would enjoy the massage and attentions they get from you. Use the 5 minutes to connect with your dogs and relax ,calm and enjoy the quiet time together.

Stop that touch..

 If your dogs were not getting used to be handled around certain areas, most likely, they would snap at you or growl at you.

 When they gave you the warning, stop the touch and work on to get them used to be handled through a short training session.

 Also, check to see if they gave you the warning because of medical issue such as tender spots on the body.

Basic technique for dog massages..

 When you give your dogs massages, how do you give them? Which part of hands do you use and which motion,what speed do you give your dogs massages?

 For some years, I was just giving my made-up motion, slow or fast with palm or fingers but then, I thought it will be a little too limited to give Palette a real good massage.

 So, I got myself a book on dog massage and learned many variety of things you can use to give your dogs a good massages.

 I learned that I could use various parts,positions,movements of my hands for the massage.

Various parts of hands for the massage

 knuckles (bending your fingers and use the knuckle to give your dogs massages) ,thumbs,thumb pad, finger pads, open palm,finger side, closed palm,finger tips etc..

Various positions of hands for the massage 

 Palm down cupped hand,vertical/horizontal, curving 4 fingers together and separate from your thumb and make the letter “C”, “U” depending on direction of the hand etc..

Various motions of hands for the massage

 Long slide strokes to the tail end along the coat, side to side rocking motion, side to side motion with finger tips just like you play the guitar, circling (circling is common motion in Tellington touch), Kneading (rub the area with heel of your hands and  gently grasp loose furry area,pull up, and release),rubbing, give some gentle pressure with finger tips/thumb pad and give circling etc..

Various speed of hands for the massage

 I find that slow motion movement makes Palette really relaxed,yawn etc and fast movement of hands make her pant,pant,pant with her tongue hanging out.

Here are some of the list of things Palette enjoys..
 
** Long,slow sliding motion with back of my palm from back of her neck to tail ends.

** Kneading around back of her neck and, I gently rub against her fur with heel of my hands,pull the area up,and release and repeat.

** Massage around cheek;gently slide along the coat on cheek area with heel of my hands from edge of mouth and when hand slide to about ear area,go back to edge of her mouth and slide along to the base of ear area.

 After a few slide around her cheek,I hold the ear gently and move on to ear slide (I put my thumb on base of ear and place rest of fingers behind the ear and gently slowly slide through) from T-Touch technique.

** Massaging along her back by moving fingers sides to side, also enjoy long slide from neck line to the tail ends

** Shoulder massage;She likes side of her shoulder to be massaged but also enjoy circling with thumb pad around shoulder

** Upper leg massage;Palette enjoy leg massage too. I hold her one front leg with both hands and circle motion with my thumb pad.

** Chest rubbing with my hand cup formed.

** Under chin;With back of my palm,I slowly slide my palm toward her chest.

** Paw massage; placing one palm under dog’s paw, with other hand, circling gently with my thumb on paw pad, also she likes paw slide (Just like ear slide, hold paw with one hand and slide the other hand gently)

** Back of thigh massage; Scratch around back of her thigh area and she likes it a lot. Sometimes,she comes to me and sit against me with one side thigh moved to side. I scratch back of her thigh and inner thigh line,massage around waist line area, and she adjust how she sits depending on how/where she would like to be scratched.

** Tummy rubs

 Repeat the massage motions, and you can give pressure if dogs enjoy it.

 There are lot more areas/movement etc for massage for Palette, but these are just some examples for you to try out with your dogs.

 I think massage does not have to be cookie cutter technique and, you can tailor your technique toward each individual dog and give them good massages they enjoy.

 What massage techniques your dogs enjoy?

 
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Oct 06, 2011 | 0 | Uncategorized

Nail trim the doggie’s way Part II

 In the previous entry titled ” Nail Trim the Doggie’s way“, I wrote about teaching your dogs to trim their nail on their own by scratching the nail trim board.

 Here is an update working with Palette for nail trim board.

 When we decided to try out the nail board project, we went to Lowe’s and got a wooden board and non skid tape.

 The wooden board was about $9 with 48″x 9.5″x0.75″, and we asked the guy there to cut the board into half. So, we got 2 pieces that way.

 Each wooden board we got was roughly about 24″x 9.5″x 0.75″, and it is a good size board for Palette to use the board.

 Along with the wooden board, what we got was non skid tape called “Skid Guard Anti-Slip Tape“. It came with roll and container says it has about 96” long. It was about $6 per package.

 The non skid tape has abrasive surface,and you can cut off the length you want and just peel off the tape on its back side. The non skid tape we got is about 2″ width and, my husband taped the board nicely using 4 strips of tapes and stick it side by side as you can see in the picture below.

Palette’s Nail Trim Board..

White color on non skid tape surface is from Palette’s trimming action..

 Now the question was if Palette understands how she uses it.

 Despite my thought, she quickly got the idea within 5 minutes since the time we have placed the board on the floor.

 Just like the lady with Corgi in the video from previous entry, I too used “shaping method” with clicker.

Day 1. Goal #1; Click the clicker whenever Palette’s put her paw on the board

 Palette was quick learner and she has figured out that she can make me click the clicker and she gets treats every time her paw touches the board

 Lapsed time: 1 minutes

 Goal #2; Click the clicker whenever Palette’s paw touches the non skid tape surface

 Palette has figured out what makes me click again

 Lapsed time: 2 minutes

 Goal #3; Click the clicker when Palette scratches the abrasive surface.

 I let Palette choose which paw she scratches against the Nail trim board.

 Lapsed time: 2 minutes

 Since she was very quick to figure out, I taught her up to scratching part on the first day. My husband knows about clicker and, he was with us watching how she does with Nail trim board, he was wowed seeing Palette learning the behavior very quickly.

  I did not want to
overdo the session, and I stopped the training after she had about 3-5
good scratches on the abrasive surface.

 For her, it is one other
new game, and she enjoyed the Nail trim game very much. Every time she
hears the click, she gets excited and runs for the treats to claim it.

 To
reset Palette, I tossed treats to floor every time I click. That way,
she must move away from the board and start the behavior from zero
again.

 At the very end, I checked her nail and I did not see
much grinding action going on  the very first day, but as she got better
scratching the Nail Trim board, I could see the white line all over the
non skid tape,which I think is the nail dust It is good to know it seems working.

 Day 2 -3 Goal #1 Click the clicker only when she scratches on the abrasive surface

 Palette
got the idea that board is for scratching with paw but now and then,
she has scratched non abrasive surface and she could not make me click
the clicker but she has learned the trick to make me click by the Day 3.

 She
now started scratching better with paw on the abrasive surface,not non
abrasive surface and, I let her do the good scratches about 6-10 times
and stopped it.

 The reason why I
stopped after 6-10 scratches is that, too much scratching can actually
grind too much and trim too close to her quick. Therefore, I let her do a
little scratches and check the nail and quick and continued if I
thought we can still be okay doing scratching without cutting the quick.

 I
say “Let me see your paw”, and she puts her paw on my hand and I check
her nail trim progress. I think it is important for you to check your
dogs’ paws now and then to make sure they are not scratching too
much,too close to their quick.

 Day 4 ~ Goal #1 Click the clicker only when Palette scratches on other side of paws

 This
was a little tricky for me because in Palette’s head, she got me click
the clicker with her right side paw and, she thinks she is right and
tried with same side paw a couple of times, not the other side of paw.

 Therefore,
after seeing her trying with right side paw for a couple of times, I
decided to give her a hint; pat her left side shoulder and tap the
abrasive surface with my finger.

 This hinting seemed working well and, now she started scratching with left side paw with my left shoulder tap.

 Originally,
I thought it cool if she could scratch like digging behavior, but I
have changed my mind after noticing I needed to be careful of how much
nail being ground.

 So, my plan now is to give her a little tap on her left shoulder when I would like her to scratch left side paw and give her a cue for nail trim and, after about 6-10 scratches each side, I stop and check the paw.


Mom, camera ready?

Lets try with my left paw first.. 1,2,3..

*Sniff,sniff..*

It seems working,mom…

Palette: Mom,Did I get it right?

Mom: Yes,Palette.You are doing pawfect! Look at your nail!! Nicely done!

Last trim on my right paw..

Last trim on my left paw..

How much Nail trim board can grind your dogs’ nail??

 From Day 2 on, I started seeing the abrasive surface is making nice trimming for Palette’s nail. It was not as smooth edge as it would have been if the nail were trimmed by Dremel, and her right paw nail were uneven trim line rather straight smooth edge grind, but it was grinding nail nicely.

Palette’s left paw..

Palette’s right paw..

 I think this nail trim board is great. Especially, dogs would be stress-free if they are stressed with visual of nail clipper or dremel or groomers.

 Originally,I was wondering if the scratching the nail with non skid board would scrape against her paw pad, but it seems that dogs scratch with paw in the form of like a cup and, only nails touch the board.

 Downside is that it does not make smooth edge, rather sharp or uneven grind. So, you might need to smooth out the edge of the nail, with Dremel.However, I noticed the other day that if you do Nail trim before the daily walk and then, going to walk and come back home, the rough edge nail was smoothed out to some degree and, I did not need to use Dremel on her to smooth out the edges.

 Maybe combination of Nail trim work and walk might do the trick.

 On the side note, when your dogs scratch the Nail trim board, it will leave nail dust and stuff on the abrasive surface.

 So, don’t just pick up the board and put away. Bring it over to the trash bin without flipping the board over. Then, over the trash bin, flip the board over and pat the back of the board to get rid of any nail dust on them.

 Also, make sure to put the board away if you are not using them to trim the nail. You do not want your dogs play with it enough to cut the quick in their nail.

 Lastly, lets watch Palette in action with her Nail Trim board. As you can see, as she scratch the nail board, you see the white nail dust line on the nail trim board.. She likes this nail trim game and, I enjoy watching her getting excited for her nail trim time

Palette and Nail Trim Board right paw trim..

 If you were a blog subscriber, please click here to watch the video clip.

Palette and Nail Trim Board left paw trim..

If you were a blog subscriber, please click here to watch the video clip.

 You may wonder why Palette is drooling for Nail trim time.. Answer is nail trim treats,which happened to be Beef Dogitos (dehydrated grass-fed beef lung treats) pieces on that day. She gets excited and drool over my hands and trim board.
 
  By the video time, she was getting the nail trim treats less frequently compared to her beginning phase session, and after a couple of practice time for video clip with Nail Trim board, I have put the treats far away from her and, I was going to praise her for good nail trimming,instead of giving treats every 3-4 scratches I normally do for nail trimming time.

 However, she told me I was forgetting something, and she brought the treats bag to me. So,I decided to give her treats,and she got nice size beef lung treats after each video was taped.

Palette and Nail Trim board behind the scene..

If you were a blog subscriber, please click here to watch the video clip.

 Did any of you have tried the Nail trim board?

 Tell us how it went with your furriends!
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Oct 02, 2011 | 0 | Uncategorized