Parkinson Beat Goes On

Here’s a fun story + video about a local group of Parkinson’s patients trying to win a Doritos’ Super Bowl Ad contest.


BOISE — A group of Parkinson’s patients in Boise is hoping to raise awareness about the debilitating disease by creating a commercial for Doritos chips.

It’s part of a nationwide competition called “Crash the Super Bowl.” The winning ad will air during the big game.

On Friday, Wide Eye Productions visited St. Luke’s Elks Rehab Hospital to shoot the 30-second commercial with some Parkinson’s patients.

“This is a Parkinson’s therapy group that actually uses rhythm therapy to help them delay their disease,” said Director Bill Krumm.


Richard Herdegen was diagnosed with Parkinson’s five years ago.

“It’s more than just a tremor,” he told us.

Doctors say the disease develops gradually and can also cause stiffness and slowed movement.

Herdegen came up with the idea for the commercial based on challenges he’s faced. He wanted to include his friends, hence the therapy class setting.

Krumm, who works for Wide Eye Productions in Boise, says production of the commercial was funded by St. Luke’s.

Story boards outline the premise of the ad. They show a Parkinson’s patient struggling to open a bag of Doritos chips. He can’t get it to open because his hands shake so badly so he tries a knife, a samurai sword and eventually a chainsaw.


“In the course of the commercial, one man’s frustrations turn into a success and that inspires the rest of the group,” added Krumm.

While a Parkinson’s diagnosis isn’t funny, Herdegen says it was important to make the ad light-hearted and fun.

“I think it’s easier if you can poke fun at yourself a little bit,” said Herdegen.

He hopes the message will resonate with others and help raise awareness for Parkinson’s disease, which has no cure.

Herdegen says although it’s a long shot, he already knows what he’d do with the $1 million grand prize.

“All of the funds that we get will be donated to a Parkinson’s nonprofit,” he said. The goal is to fund Parkinson’s research.

He told us seeing the commercial and its message about Parkinson’s played during the Super Bowl wouldn’t be half bad either.

“We think it’s going to be good enough to be a contender,” added Krumm.

Contest submissions will be accepted through November 15. From a pool of up to 50 semifinalists, three finalists will be named. People will eventually be able to vote for their favorite commercial.

Photo Booth + Dogs = Adorable

From Huffington Post

2 Pit Bulls Went Into A Photo Booth, Emerged As Stars Who Broke Down Breed Stereotypes

Some people look at a pit bull’s big blocky head, and feel afraid. Photographer Lynn Terry feels inspiration.

“They have that perfect shaped skull that is photogenic at any camera angle. They are typically energetic and happy,” Terry says. “Then again, I may just be biased because I love them as dogs too. I’m always rooting for the underdog.”

Nearly a decade ago now, Terry got to posing her beloved, photogenic pits in a dog-friendly version of a photo booth. The photos were for a local animal rescue group’s charity calendar, and they were a great big hit.

Terry moved on to other projects, for a while. But for a Valentine’s Day promo in 2014, she pulled out the booth again. Her own dog had died, and she decided to make sure that other people would have lasting images of their own favorite canines.

Those two dogs you see up above — Bumper and Willis, two pit bulls who live in St. Louis, both rescued out of fighting and now well-loved, deeply spoiled pets — came in and started kissing and mugging.

Terry got that feeling, in a big way, that she was onto something special.

“I knew immediately,” she says.


Soon, the whole world knew.

Practically overnight, Terry became an internet sensation. And now she’s got a brand new book, called Tails from the Booth, featuring dozens upon dozens of these wonderful pictures.


Many are of pit bulls. Some are of other types of rescue dogs. (A few aren’t rescues at all.)

All get the chance to show off their best, goofiest angles.

“I truly believe that I owe my career to animal rescue,” Terry says. “Through my photography, I have had the opportunity to generate much-needed revenue for these organizations. In return, I have been able to produce a huge collection of beautiful imagery.”

As for Bumper and WIllis, those dogs who got the ball rolling with this project — their mom Kelly Garrison says it’s been a great couple of years for them, too.

They love the attention, when their many fans recognize them out and about.

And Garrison’s thrilled to think of the good her dogs, in turn, might do.

“I hope everyone can see the true character of pit bulls through their silly, fun-loving expressions,” Garrison says. “It’s hard to believe that our two, who we just wanted pictures of, became this famous duo.”


You haven’t seen the end of these guys, either.

Terry’s got a new photo series that Bumper and Willis are starring in. It’s called Pitties as Pin Ups, and she shot it for the rescue group Mutts N Stuff‘s 2016 calendar. They’re defying expectations this time, too.

“Bumper got to do some ironing and laundry for the shoot,” Terry says. “And Willis was a librarian. He doesn’t mind wearing ladies’ clothing.”


Follow Lynn Terry’s work on Facebook. Order the 2016 Mutts N Stuff calendar here and Tails from the Booth here.


And get in touch at if you have an animal story to share!

Only Three Votes Count

Just read about a tiny town in north eastern Idaho that’s got a ‘big’ election coming up. Clayton, Idaho bills itself as “The Town That Refuses to Die!”

Vote-Counts1The population sign reads “7” and there’s going to be an election next week to fill the mayoral position and three city seats.

Guess that means that only three votes count if four of the people vote for themselves. 🙂

This is a fun read and a bit of Americana…


CLAYTON, Idaho – On Tuesday, voters around the state head to the polls to weigh in on mayoral and city council races, and the tiny central Idaho town of Clayton is no exception.

Clayton, with an official population of seven as of the 2010 census, is looking to elect four people to city seats.


Set snugly against the Salmon River and in the shadows of the Sawtooth Mountains, Clayton was founded in 1881 as a mining community. It was once home to a couple hundred residents. Now it’s the second smallest city in the state.

The sign on the edge of town puts Clayton’s population at seven, although there are about a dozen registered voters. Still, a big drop from the 2000 census when 27 people called the town home.

“We had a couple get divorced and the lady left town and crossed out 27 and made it 26,” said resident Cheryl Baker, who is also in charge of the town’s election.


“We’re going to elect a mayor and three council members,” she said.

That means about a third of the population will be running the one-road town, which is how it’s been for the last decade or so. But it hasn’t always run smoothly.

“Everything had just fallen apart here,” said Bill Odom, Clayton’s city clerk.

Within the last two years, the city in the center of Custer County has had two mayors resign, leaving Clayton without a governing body.

That is, until Wendi McKnight was asked to step up.

“I’m the only one that’s dumb enough to do it,” said McKnight, Clayton’s interim mayor.

So the owner and operator of the Liar’s Lounge is looking to extend her mayoral term in what is strictly a write-in election.


“Well, if one person gets one vote and nobody else, then they’ve got it, so, it’s pretty simple,” said Odom, who has only been city clerk since September.

He took on the job for two reason:

“One, was they desperately need one and, secondly, because I stepped in a trap and got caught,” said Odom.

While it seems all who hold office here do so reluctantly, that’s not exactly the case. They do it to keep the city a city.

“If there’s no mayor, and there’s no council then we go to county and we don’t want to go to county,” said McKnight.

So this election is pretty important.


“It is a very big deal, you betcha,” said Odom. “This is a funky little town that we are trying to keep alive”

Even if it’s not really hotly contested.

“It’s not hotly contested that’s for sure,” said Baker. “What’s hot about it is if you’re picked, you’re stuck, you gotta come.”


“Have a Better Day!”

You know when your insurance agent ends the phone call with, “Have a better day!”, things haven’t gone that well up to that point of the day…


I had two insurance agents tell me the same thing within ten minutes. So I’m assuming that line–“Have a better day!”–is something they learn in insurance school.

On my way to pickleball this morning, I was involved in a car wreck.

I’m fine and so are the drivers of the other two cars.

Two of us were stopped in traffic and the other driver forgot to stop. She (Car #1) ran into me (Car #2) which pushed me into the car in front of me (Car #3). The police officer called to the scene told us all that Car #1 was clearly at fault.

Thankfully no one was hurt. The cars, however, didn’t come away unscathed. My car is the white SUV. 


Back Left

What was interesting to me was that Car #1 never said much at all. I think she asked if I was ‘okay’. I assumed that we were all ‘okay’ because we were all ambulatory and no one was bleeding.  (For the record, I never believed in whiplash until it happened to me, so I know not so sign off on a medical release right away. Whiplash often doesn’t set in until later…)

Anyway, Car #1 never said, “I’m sorry.” or “Wow, I messed up.” She did say that it was her first accident which surprised me because she was in her early 40’s.

Car #3 was a young high school student and this was her first accident, too. I didn’t find out until I talked with her insurance company that Car #3 remembers two distinct impacts to her car.

That was a surprise to me because I remember only two impacts to my car: one from Car #1 followed shortly there after by my car hitting Car #3.

The front of my car is damaged but the damage is significantly less than the back. And the back of Car #3 has minimal damage (at least to my untrained eyes).


Long story short, now Car #3’s insurance company is saying that they are not sure if I’m not at fault for the damage to her car.

Hopefully between witness testimony and police reports this will all be resolved quickly, at least insurance time quickly… 🙂

Halloween in the City

This will be our first Halloween inside city limits.


Most Halloweens, we could count the total number of Trick or Treaters we got on two hands.

But the thing is… We never knew how many we would get, so I always used that as an excuse to buy LOTS and LOTS of candy.

Of course, I wanted to be prepared, so I bought the candy early.


And, of course, the candy was too tempting, so we at most if not all of it before Halloween.

So, of course, I had to buy MORE candy before Halloween. By that time, I was candied out, so I’d make sure I didn’t have any of my favorite candies. No Almond Joys. No candy corn. It was okay if it had lots of my least favorite candies. Snickers, M&Ms, Smarties…


Because we’re in a new location, I am not sure how much candy get.

Our subdivision has almost 150 houses which sounds like it might yield a bunch of trick or treaters. But most of the residents are retired, so I knew there wouldn’t be many from our subdivision.

However, there is a subdivision right next door that has oodles of kids. So I assumed that we’d need lots of candy.

Chocolate has gotten so expensive that I specifically looked for mixed bags that didn’t have chocolate but had some of my favorites: Tootsie Rolls!


I’m trying to ration my pre-Halloween feasting so that I have enough candy to actually hand out to however many kids show up.

If I’ve eaten too many, the kids will get healthier granola bars.

For some strange reason, there are lots of those in my house… 🙂

Must Be an Elephant Debate Coming Soon

I notice that Donald Trump is back headlining the news again.

POL-Elephant 2-2

Must mean the Republicans have a debate coming up again soon…

Presidential elections always make me wish I lived in another country. . . just to avoid the multiple months we spend listening to campaigners (aka complainers).

If I lived in Canada, I’d only have to listen to I would… and I didn’t… and She didn’t…  and He would…  about 80 days.

England would be even better. A skimpy 58 days.

How wonderful would that be?

We’ve already had over SIX MONTHS of campaigning.

And we’ve STILL got over TWELVE MONTHS left to go.



A little belief goes a long, long way…

What happens when young girls who believe in themselves play with a Barbie doll?

Imagine the Possibilities! Barbie

What happens when a young boy who loves soccer moves from Spain to Northern Ireland and happens to connect with two coaches who believe everyone should have a chance to play?

Google Translate: Alberto’s Story

PS Thanks to Melissa for sharing these with me!

Farewell to an Irish Belle

maureen-ohara-honorary-oscarMaureen O’Hara died today.

She was 95 years old, and she was living in Boise with her grandson and his family.

She’s always been a favorite actress of mine for so many reasons. Her beauty was nearly overwhelming, her strength matched her feistiness, and her acting skills were phenomenal.

While I’ve seen lots of her movies, two are my perennial favorites:  The Quiet Man and The Parent Trap.

qmBorn in Ireland, she was the natural choice for The Quiet Man, a film about an American who returns to his native Ireland after accidentally killing an opponent in the boxing ring. The movie is delightfully fun, and it was filmed in County Cong, Ireland.

Carol, Richie, and I bicycled through Cong and even saw the thatched house used in the movie.

ptThe Parent Trap was also delightfully fun, and is special to me because it’s about identical twins reunited after their parents separated.

I still remember seeing The Parent Trap with a group of elementary school friends at the theater. It was years after it debuted, but it was the first movie Carol and I got to go to alone without our parents.

Here are two of my favorite quotes about Maureen O’Hara:

John Wayne: I’ve had many friends, and I prefer the company of men. Except for Maureen O’Hara.

Clint Eastwood: I guess everybody was in love with Maureen O’Hara.

And here are some of my favorite photos from our trip to Cong, Ireland…














The Penny Date

Dear Gentle Blogreader,

stackofpenniesYou may have seen or heard of this before, but I haven’t. A friend posted it on Facebook.

Rich is still recuperating from his broken knee and surgery, so we can’t do this yet.

But once he’s ready for me to chauffeur him around, we’ll be doing this for our next ‘date’.

From Mix96

“The Penny Date” — Unique and Fun Date Idea!

Whether it’s your first date or your 400th, here’s fun, new, unique way of figuring out where to go!

I saw this on Pinterest the other day, and had to share it. What a fun day!


Penny Date Rules:

  1. Get dressed and grab a penny.
  2. Let your partner choose a number between 10-20. This will be the number of times you flip the penny.
  3. Pull out of the driveway and begin! HEADS is right, TAILS is left.
  4. Every time you come to an intersection, flip the penny, and turn the corresponding direction.
  5. Once you get to the number from Step 2, look around. Make your date there!

We often have a hard time deciding what to do or deciding who’s going to decide what to do.

The Penny Date will take a lot of the decision making out of each date. 🙂

Wishing You Dog Speed

Watch this to see some crazy fast dogs having a blast!

And their owners are having a rather good time as well…

From NBC News:
Off They Go! Dogs Descend on Indianapolis for Flyball

High-octane canines are competing this week at the North American Flyball Championships in Indianapolis, a city that knows a thing or two about speed.

The tournament is one of the world’s largest gatherings of Flyball enthusiasts and their eager pets, who seem to love the sport as much as their owners do — if not more.

Flyball is a steeplechase of sorts: two teams of four dogs each go muzzle to muzzle as the racing dogs take turns speeding past hurdles to retrieve a tennis ball and bring it back to their owners. Penalties are applied when a dog drops a ball or is released too soon.

The dogs seem to feed off each other’s energy, creating canine chaos.

“We don’t discourage barking — that’s their way of saying, ‘I’m having a blast,'” said Curtis Smith, an Alaska resident who has been coming to the tournament for seven years. “The camaraderie of the sport just can’t be beat,” he said.

The sport is far from obscure. There are over 400 clubs and 6,500 competing dogs in Canada and the United States, and this particular event has attracted teams from Norway and Japan.

Participants compete for the thrill; there is no cash prize. “You don’t make a penny,” Floridian Scott Earl said. “It’s all about little ribbons.”

But that doesn’t stop some from taking training seriously.

“They are athletes. We do a lot of work at the house, we work on conditioning. They eat better than we do a lot of the time,” Benjamin Hill of North Carolina said.

Although some owners have their dogs on strict diets and training schedules, it doesn’t necessarily take a champion to compete. “The everyday home pet can do it,” Hill said.