Archives for 2020

Sylvester, June 11th Pet of the Week!

Thufferin’—well, you know. His name’s Sylvester, but the resemblance between his personality and the iconic cartoon character’s ends with his name and color pattern. Syl’s a mere babe at 3 months old, but he promises to be a handsome guy, with that cross between a milk mustache and Salvador Dali’s! No smug attitude like his namesake’s—just a whole lot of friendly and playful—but we’d still keep Tweety Bird at a distance! Because the shelter is closed to the public, adoption appointments are conducted through email, so contact AnimalRescue@longbeach.gov to meet Whiskers. Ask for ID#A643327

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(This rescue encouraged by the usual suspects.)

Llama Llama Best Summer Ever * Beautifully Illustrated & Written, Filled With Kid-Appropriate Adventures

Llama Llama springs to life in these heart-warming tales based on the award-winning book series by author and illustrator Anna Dewdney.  Join Llama Llama, Nelly Gnu, Luna Giraffe, Euclid the Sheep and Gilroy Goat as they explore their safe, friendly hometown and make childhood memories. On this DVD, join Llama Llama as he camps, boats, floats and swims his way through his BEST summer ever!  Adventure and learning awaits with Llama Llama and pals! KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Ethan P. comments, “I like Llama Llama Best Summer Ever! DVD because it is very entertaining.  It is a great tool to entertain young children or kids my age, especially during this pandemic. Each episode is very well illustrated and the script is well written.” Cadence G. adds, “I like Llama Llama: BEST Summer Ever! because all the episodes are different and have their own little adventure, even though all eight episodes have to do with summer activities.” Katherine S. wraps it up with, “Llama Llama’s Best Summer Ever! is so entertaining to watch. It has adorable characters, fun animation, great music and lots vibrant content.  The short episodes are the perfect length to keep young children entertained.” See their full reviews below

Llama Llama Best Summer Ever
Ethan P., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 11

I like Llama Llama Best Summer Ever! DVD because it is very entertaining.  It is a great tool to entertain young children or kids my age, especially during this pandemic. Each episode is very well illustrated and the script is well written.

This DVD is based off the award-winning book series by author and illustrator Anna Dewdney.  One of Dewdney’s of the first books in the series is Llama Llama Red Pajama.  Her Llama Llama books have been adapted into an animated television series for Netflix and this DVD is a compilation of episodes about summer.  Llama Llama and his friends Nelly Gnu, Luna Giraffe, Euclid the Sheep, Gilroy Goat explore their hometown and have fun at the same time making childhood memories. This is truly the best summer ever for Llama Llama and his friends! Every episode is a new story with a new story line. This DVD includes eight episodes with a duration of approximately 11 minutes each for a total of 90 minutes of fun and adventure.

The animation is neat with bright colors, very detailed and colorful landscaping and excellent voice-overs that match each character.  My favorite episode is “Last Day of Summer” which is about Llama Llama going kiting with his mom and friends at the beach, but it starts raining so his mom suggests doing indoor activities.  His mom thinks of a fun way to go kiting indoors.  They place a sand-looking mat on the floor; turn on a fan and Luna stands on the background to move fake waves made by cardboard.  This episode is my favorite because it gives you a very good idea of how to have fun while staying at home during this pandemic.

The moral of this show is to never give up because Llama Llama does not stop trying to sell lemonade and keeps trying until he eventually gets customers. This shows how to keep trying even when things don’t work out the way you want them to. It teaches children to be persistent because there is no worse battle than the one you don’t fight for.  This show also teaches children to be creative and to be resourceful like when they are kiting inside the house.

I’d give Llama Llama Best Summer Ever! 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it ages 5 to 18, plus adults can watch and enjoy this DVD with their children!  This DVD is available now so go and look for it! It’s perfect for summer and pandemics.

Llama Llama BEST Summer Ever!
By Cadence Graber, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 11

I like Llama Llama: BEST Summer Ever! because all the episodes are different and have their own little adventure, even though all eight episodes have to do with summer activities. At times, certain parts get a bit cheesy, but the characters are so cute that I think little kids will like this DVD.

This DVD is about Llama Llama and his friends Euclid the Sheep, Gilroy Goat, Nelly Gnu and Luna Giraffe having different adventures, like the one when Llama Llama wants to help Euclid buy a new tire for his bike because it breaks, so the crew helps him raise money by starting a lemonade stand. Another adventure is when Llama Llama and Nelly Gnu have a babysitter and have so much fun together. Although, Llama Llama has to step in a few times to help out the babysitter when certain things go wrong.  You’ll have to watch the episode called “Llama Llama and the Babysitter” to find out what happens and how Llama Llama comes to the rescue. It is really cool to see all of the characters have fun together and solve problems when they need to. I also think it’s neat that the characters are so funny and have their own little personalities. My favorite part is when all the friends have an indoor summer day because it is raining. They take their game of sand volleyball inside, which is something I’d like to do. I’m not the best at playing volleyball (okay, I’m horrible), but it’s still a fun game to play with friends.

The animation is really good because you can see everything that is going on at all times; it’s really life-like. The voices of the characters fit them perfectly. I like how all the characters are so different from one another. For example, Llama Llama (Shayle Simons) is usually confident and has a strong voice, while Euclid (Brendon Sunderland), who is kind of shy and nerdy, has a weaker voice. It is exciting to see the characters play together outside in the summer. I look forward to being able to do more summer activities as it gets warmer in Minnesota, where I’m from.

The message of the DVD is you should take advantage of beautiful sunny days, but that you can still have fun even if it’s not sunny or if things don’t always work out the way you planned. Each episode has its own little message, so you’ll have to check out this DVD to learn more.

I give Llama Llama: BEST Summer Ever! 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 4 to 10. This DVD is available now, so go look for it.

Llama Llama: Best Summer Ever
By Katherine S., KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, age 12

Llama Llama’s Best Summer Ever! is so entertaining to watch. It has adorable characters, fun animation, great music and lots vibrant content.  The short episodes are the perfect length to keep young children entertained.

This DVD is about Llama Llama and his friend having the time of their lives on their summer vacation. Episodes include Let’s Go Camping, Beach Day, Boat Float and Last Day of Summer. Wherever Llama Llama goes, there will always be fun.

The Llama Llama animated series is so cool, because they are based on the award-winning book series by author and illustrator Anna Dewdney.  There are several lovable characters including Llama Llama, Nelly Gnu and Luna Giraffe. This DVD is approximately 90 minutes long with eight episodes.  My favorite episode is Last Day of Summer, because it shows that even if the weather is bad you can still have fun indoors during the summer.

There are a lot of positive messages in this DVD including keeping a positive attitude when your plans change unexpectedly and, if you go with the flow and have a positive attitude, the outcome can still be fun.  We also learn that a little bit of practice can make you feel more confident and that if you feel as if you are not getting enough attention from your parents, just know that they still love you. This DVD has no bad language and there is nothing risky or dangerous that kids might try to do.  However, there are scenes showing jealously.

I give this DVD 4 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 8. This DVD is available now. I totally recommend this DVD for your kids.

Do You Leave Lights on For Your Dog?

When you’ve gone out for dinner in the evening, have you left lights on for your dog? If so, then you’re not alone! Many pet parents do this. But is it really necessary? It depends.

Can Dogs See in the Dark?

Yes, in fact they can see better than we do in the dark. However, they don’t see as well as cats can in the dark. How can dogs see better than we do when there are no lights on?

First, you’ll need to understand how the eyes work. Our eyes and dogs’ eyes have cones and rods, which are light receptors inside the eye. Rods make it easier to see when the light is dim, while cones help us to discern colors.

Dogs have a different number of cones and rods than we do. They have fewer cones than we do, meaning they don’t see as many colors. While we have three, dogs only have 2; researchers aren’t sure what two colors dogs can see, but many believe dogs can see yellow and blue.

In addition, our canine friends have more rods in their eyes, which makes their night vision much better than ours. Dogs also have an extra layer of tissue in the eye called the tapetum lucidum, which literally means “tapestry of light.”

Have you seen your dog’s eyes glow in a photo or when the light hits just right? In a photo, you may see your dogs’ eyes flow yellow or green. That’s the tapetum. The tissue reflects light onto the retina, somewhat in the same way a mirror shines light. The effect is that dogs have more night vision. They can see in the dark and when there’s a limited amount of light.

Even though dogs can see better in the dark than we can, they’re not able to see when it’s totally dark.

Along with the ability to better in the dark, dogs also have 250-degree vision, compared to our 190-degree vision. This wider field of vision allows more light into the eye, making it easier for them to see in low-light or darkness.

What About Leaving My Dog in the Dark?

The answer depends on the circumstances. Just like us, dogs usually sleep at night, in the dark. They don’t need a light on in most cases. So, it may not be necessary to leave a light on for your dog when you’re home and in bed sleeping. Your dog knows the routine and will settle down to sleep.

If you go out for the evening and leave your fur baby at home, he may feel better if you leave the light on. Some dogs may feel afraid of the dark when you’re not there. This could be a part of separation anxiety. Other dogs may be scared of the dark if they were abused or neglected before you adopted them. Sometimes it may be difficult to tell if your canine companion is afraid because you’re away, or if he’s had reason to be afraid in the past.

Is My Dog Afraid of the Dark?

You may be able to test whether or not your pup is afraid of the dark. One thing to try is leading your dog into a dimly lit room and watching his response. Or you could pretend to be going out for the evening, leaving your dog in the dark at home.

Some people have found their dogs will become more vocal when left alone in the dark. Their dogs will bark, howl, cry and whine. These could be signs that a dog is afraid of the dark and/or experiencing separation anxiety. One more cause could be that he is experiencing vision troubles, so he can’t see very well in the dim light or the dark. This could be a problem that develops in older dogs, or dogs that have certain eye/vision conditions.

Dogs may also act out when they’re alone in the dark. They may become more destructive, chewing up anything and everything as a way to release their fear or anxiety. You may come home to find couch pillows in shreds scattered over the living room, or maybe your dog has knocked over and chewed the potted plants, etc.

Other dogs may hide in a small space, such as a bathroom or under a table or bed while you’re away. And they may be more sensitive to noises outside your home at night.

If you believe your dog is suffering from separation anxiety, then it’s a good idea to talk to the vet about this. Anxiety is a medical condition that can be treated with medications and/or behavioral modification.

Your fur baby may have a vision problem, which will also need to be checked by the vet.

Maybe your fur baby just doesn’t like being alone in the dark—that’s OK.

Ways to Help Your Dog Feel More Comfortable in a Darker Setting

There are some things you can do to help your dog feel more comfortable when it’s dark.

1). Use light timers or light sensitive bulbs: one solution is to buy some light timers or light sensitive bulbs. Timers will turn the lights on at a time you set. Light sensitive bulbs will turn on when the light becomes dim. Either method will turn on lights for your dog, so he can feel better.

2). Use night lights: for dogs that have vision problems in the dark, nigh lights can help the dog to see better. For instance, if your pup sleeps with you at night, but then goes to another room or downstairs, leave night lights along the route he uses. This way he’ll be able to see better and feel safer in the dark.

3). Leave a radio or TV on: this may be helpful for dogs that are suffering from separation anxiety. You may choose to leave the TV or a radio on while you’re away for the evening. This way, your fur baby will have some normal sounds in the background to soothe and calm him. It will feel like he’s not alone.

Did you know there are TV programs and YouTube videos that are made especially for dogs? These often work well for dogs who have separation anxiety. However, if your canine companion has a strong prey instinct, you may want to avoid programming that includes small animals like squirrels, etc. Your dog may get so excited he decides to chase that animal on the screen, knocking over the TV in the process!

Being afraid of the dark, experiencing vision problems in low-light, or having separation anxiety in the dark can be scary for some dogs. It’s OK to leave the light on while you’re away to make it easier for your canine companion to get around and feel more comfortable.

How to Lower your Electric Bill

Another month with a high electricity bill? It seems like a common issue to everyone. Many electricity providers sometimes charge you way too much. The first thing we advise you to do is reliable research on electricity providers. Companies like Reliant Energy Houston make it possible with its various collection of user experiences and customer’s recommendations.

Except for changing your electric suppliers or hiring an electrician , you can also do a few things to avoid paying so much. Here you can find a few ways of how to lower your electric bill and save the money.

Start from an energy audit. Some devices consume more energy than others, and limiting their usage can significantly lower your bill. Moreover, paradoxical as it seems, a lot of energy is being used in the air leaks places. Check drafts detailed instructions and find such leaks yourself.

Get rid of “vampire energy.” Lots of people are not aware of the fact that many devices leech energy even when you don’t use them. Accessories like phone chargers, kitchen appliances, or TV cables “steal” electricity also if you’re not at home and contribute to 20% of the monthly electric bill. If you want to save the energy, unplug all the chargers when not used. If you’re getting away for longer, empty your fridge and turn off the whole electricity.

Consider changing your lights for fluorescent ones. They consume less energy and make about 75% less heat. Even though such lights are more expensive than incandescent bulbs, they last much longer, in fact, up to ten times longer, depending on lighting habits. Switching to fluorescent lights can significantly lower your electric bills.

Saving electricity protects not only your wallet but also the environment. Follow our little 3-step guide and enjoy spending money on more exciting things than the electric bills.

Rubio’s Giving Complimentary, Clear, Reusable Tote Bags for World Oceans Day Monday, June 8th and Tuesday, June 9th!

Photo Credit: Rubio’s.

With beaches across the country re-opening and World Oceans Day on Monday, June 8, Rubio’s Coastal Grill is giving away free, reusable tote bags. No coupon is needed, simply order from Rubio’s Coastal Grill on Monday, June 8 and Tuesday, June 9, to receive a complimentary bag, while supplies last. 

Celebrating the eatery’s long-standing commitment to the ocean and sustainability, Rubio’s has celebrated World Oceans Day for nine years by giving away reusable bags. This year’s bag is a clear, reusable tote that is made with 78% recycled material and is 100% recyclable. It’s perfect for family picnics or a day at the pool, and is approved for use at the sports events and concerts that so many look forward to safely attending again.

“We’ve missed spending weekends enjoying the beach during quarantine, and Rubio’s is passionate about keeping our oceans clean and safe for generations to come,” said Ralph Rubio, Rubio’s co-founder. “As beaches re-open and we welcome guests back to dine in our restaurants and on our outdoor patios safely, our dedication to ocean conservation includes serving a menu of craveable dishes featuring sustainable or responsibly sourced seafood, using reusable catering bags, Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI)-certified paper cups and compostable takeout containers.”

 Rubio’s locations across California, Arizona and Nevada are open, and guests are encouraged to order through the Rubio’s app and Rubios.com. Rubio’s is offering take-out, curbside or express pick-up and free delivery with a minimum order of $20. For more information about Rubio’s Coastal Grill and to view the menu, visit Rubio’sFacebook and Instagram.

Credit: Rubio’s Coastal Grill. I received some form of compensation to post.

When are couples most likely to divorce?

The word ‘divorce’ doesn’t usually have positive associations. We think about quarrelling partners who just can’t stand seeing and living with each other anymore, so they end up in court. Actually, the reasons for a divorce can be numerous and they are not always that dramatic. What are the circumstances of the majority of divorces? How and then do they take place?

The ‘key period’ for a marriage

Research shows that the very beginning of a marriage and the time after, on average, the fifth year, are relatively ‘safe’ in terms of divorce risk. The most important and ‘dangerous’ period, however, is said to be the time within the first five years of a marriage. This is usually the time when problems are starting to arise, partners get involved in everyday issues, they may not have time for each other. The first years of marriage also demand a lot of decisions, such as having a baby or taking a mortgage. All the things may build tension between the partners and if they’re not resolved properly, they increase the risk of a divorce. If you want to learn how to tackle such problems, consult a therapist or simply read some guidelines online, for example here.

Other situations

Of course, partners may divorce also in other stages of their marriage, as problem can occur anytime. According to psychological studies, the most common reasons for divorce include infidelity and affairs, financial struggles, lack of communication or constant arguing. It’s not always easy to predict which of these issues will be a part of our own marriage, however, there are still some solutions out there. If the partners feel that their marriage is coming to an end, they can always take psychologists’ advice and try therapy together. In case it doesn’t help, a divorce seems to be an emotionally difficult, but still reasonable solution. If you feel lost and anxious about the end-of-marriage issues, visit Survive Divorce.

The reasons and circumstances for a divorce can be various. Every couple is different, with different backgrounds, problems, and memories. It’s worth remembering to always try to communicate with the partner because then the chances of saving the relationship are higher. However, a divorce doesn’t have to be a nightmare  – sometimes it’s even a new beginning.

Captain, June 4th Pet of the Week!

Orange cats are special—they just are. This boy, just 11 months old, is already a Captain! Yep, that’s his name—we think that his good looks, charm, kindness and constant desire to be held raised him in the ranks. Despite what the song says, you don’t need to wait another day for the Captain of your heart. The ship’s come in! Because the shelter is closed to the public, adoption appointments are conducted through appointment, so call 562-570-PETS or email AnimalRescue@longbeach.gov to meet Ninja. Ask for ID#A643336 and special instructions about Ninja’s care and condition.

(This rescue encouraged by the usual suspects.)

Anne, May 28th Pet of the Week!

Could Anne be any more adorable, or any more obvious that she’s making up to you so you’ll take her home? Anne’s a silly girl who loves to play at being shy, but she’s actually coquettish—or is that co-cat-ish? She’s a year-old tabby who loves nothing more than to lounge around and turn her world literally upside down! If you’d like Anne to do the same for you, find out how you can adopt her by calling 562-570-PETS or emailing AnimalRescue@longbeach.gov. Our shelter’s closed to the public right now, so adoptions are conducted through appointment. When you contact us, specify Anne and ID#A642922 .

(This rescue encouraged by the usual suspects.)