Last night I got to rock out at the last North American stop of the Guns n Roses “Not in This Lifetime” tour. In a moment that made me realize just how old I’ve gotten, I realized the last time they played San Diego- in 1992- I was also there. I was in high school, high on life (and probably a few other things unintentionally, as tended to happen at those arena shows), idealistic about the future. Guns n Roses was the biggest name in rock at the time, at the height of their fame and the zenith of their success.
Things fell apart for them shortly thereafter.
Axl Rose spent the next two decades litigating with his former bandmates, holed up in a mansion somewhere getting plastic surgery and churning out less than awesome music. While his star faded, the rest of us went on with our lives, going to school and having careers and starting families. You know, growing up. Such is life.
I had low expectations for the show, to be honest. The band fell apart due to Axl’s temperamental nature and the shows often started three hours late and ended after one or two songs. When he was on, he was ON, and the rest of the time he was a disaster. He was the rock god equivalent of the vet who burns out in a flame of glory and leaves veterinary medicine forever to hole up on a lake somewhere to nurse their wounds in solitude. (Not that I know what that urge feels like, of course.)
I was not the only one who gave this reunion short shrift. The first time he walked out on stage at a warmup show, he broke his foot and everyone said, “Oh, here we go. This is going to be a disaster.” There’s a reason Spinal Tap was a cautionary tale, they said. Once you leave something great, you’re done. You can never go back. This is no longer going to happen:
The murmurings were nonstop: Axl’s had a ton of plastic surgery. He looks old (hint: he is, as are we all.) His voice isn’t the same. He can’t move his hips the way he did when he was 20. The band still all hates each other.
All of this is true.
But they went out there anyway, and played a monster three hour set despite the creaky joints and the lower octaves. They came out on time and nailed everything. It was like being back in 1992 except even better because I can legally drink! When’s the last time you sat in a packed stadium arena listening to a power ballad with fireworks onstage and a 10 minute guitar solo? It was before cell phones for sure. And it was awesome. Yes, things changed, but a lot of those changes were for the better.
There’s actually something super metal about getting old and refusing to let people stop you from all the stuff you’ve been told you can’t do any longer. About getting up in front of a PACKED stadium with your face looking exactly like what everyone said it would look like and singing about your serpentine with your hips moving exactly two inches in either direction and waiting for the cameras to zoom in on your before flipping everyone the bird- and hearing them all cheer. That takes some brass ones, my friends.
In 2012, a reporter asked him if Guns n Roses would ever get back together and he replied, “Not in this lifetime.”And yet here we are, a little older, a little wrinklier, a little wiser, and clutching our Zippo apps that won’t burn your fingers in lieu of the actual lighters.
You can change your mind. You can go back. You can embrace what time has changed and laugh about it and refuse to apologize for it and kind of love it. It’s the only way to live, really.
I never in a million years would have thought Axl Rose would be doling out inspirational life messages at 54 years of age but I guess I was wrong too. It’s never to late to burn down the house.
The summer sun creates a great opportunity to spend time outside for both humans and pets, but with the sunny rays come some sweltering temperatures. Because our dogs and cats don’t speak English very well, it’s important to know when and how to help your dog out in the heat.
Who doesn’t love to delight their dog with a car ride? Although car rides anywhere other than the vet are fun for most dog, running errands and leaving your dog in the car can be a deadly risk. A car can turn into an oven very quickly when the air conditioning isn’t running and there is no air flowing through the windows and the temperature inside the car can surpass the temperature outside. The longer your vehicle sits in the sun the hotter it gets on the inside. Below is a chart of the temperature outside and the temperature the car can be:
|OutsideTemperature||10 Min. CarTemperature||30 Min. CarTemperature|
Going on walks is great exercise, but we’ve all walked barefoot on sizzling asphalt, cement and even docks and decks. Your pet’s paws are skin too and don’t have any mysterious properties protecting them from the heat. In the summer walks on asphalt and cement may not be possible. Test the asphalt heat by placing the back of your hand on the asphalt for 10 seconds. If it doesn’t burn, you and your dog are good to go. If a walk is necessary to your dog’s routine on those scorching days, there are shoes for dogs that can protect their paws.
Many pets love lounging in the sun, but did you know that they are susceptible to sunburns too? Although their fur protects them, their nose and sometimes parts of their belly are exposed. Some dogs require more coverage especially those with thin hair, white hair or who have been recently shaved. Don’t use human sunscreen on your pet because it’s not necessarily safe for them. Instead, there is sunscreen specifically for dogs. When applying doggy sunscreen, don’t forget your pet’s tummy because the ground can reflect the sun’s rays. It’s also very important to provide shade so your dog can get out of the sun if they feel too hot.
It’s a great season to play with your pet in the sunshine and beautiful weather. With these tips and of course supervision and plenty of fresh drinking water, you and your dog will have a fabulous summer.
Here’s a Memorial Day tribute to Military Animals from The Animal Den
Memorial Day is a day we observe to commemorate those who died while serving in America’s armed forces. Many men and women sacrificed their lives to preserve the freedom we find in the United States and we are forever grateful. There are a number of our furry four-legged, finned and feathered friends that have served and currently serve in the military, and in their honor, we’d like to share some of their stories with you. (All of the following animals survived through their military service.)
Sergeant Stubby, World War I, Army
During Stubby’s life, he managed to climb the social and military ranks from mixed-breed stray to sergeant. Found in 1917 while wandering the campus of Yale University, Stubby was adopted as the mascot of the 102nd Infantry while they were training for battle during World War I. Off to France Stubby went and without any formal training, he learned to detect gas attacks and also was able to hear when it was time to duck and cover. He was wounded by a German grenade, but once he healed he gladly went back to the trenches. Near the end of the war, Stubby was injured again in both a leg and chest by another German grenade. He then was smuggled home by fellow soldier Robert Conroy. Upon return to the states, Stubby was celebrated for his heroism and participated in parades and even met some of our countries’ presidents. In addition to the medals he earned, he even has a brick at the Liberty Memorial that reads: Sergeant Stubby, Hero of WWI, A Brave Stray.
Sergeant Reckless, Korean War, Marine Corps
Sergeant Reckless was a Mongolian mixed-breed horse that was raced in Korea before she was purchased by a group of Marines in 1952. She was trained to be a pack horse for the Recoilless Rifle Platoon. After training, her sweet disposition allowed her to roam the camp freely and she had an appetite for just about anything she could find including Coca-Cola and poker chips. Her primary duty was to deliver up to 216 pounds of artillery. She learned the routes very quickly and was able to lead herself after being shown the path a few times. Sgt. Reckless was shot only twice and received two purple hearts. At the end of the war, she was brought to the United States and was the guest of honor at the Marine banquet upon her arrival. She retired in 1960 at Camp Pendleton with full military honors.
Zak, Homeland Defense, Navy
Zak is a California sea lion weighing in at 375 pounds. Residing in San Diego, Zak was chosen to be trained in the Navy’s Marine Mammal Program. Sea lions are known for their intelligence and, much like training a dog, are taught with rewards and positive reinforcement. Zak’s duties are to patrol piers and Navy stations for any type of swimming attack and to detect sea mines. He is doing a great job so far as there hasn’t been a successful attack yet.
Smoky, World War II, Air Force
Smoky is probably the tiniest military animal weighing in at just four pounds! This Yorkshire terrier was found in a foxhole in New Guinea during World War II in 1944. She was originally thought to belong to a Japanese soldier, but when she didn’t understand any Japanese commands when taken to a Japanese prison camp, she was given to Corporal William A. Wynne. She was a part of 150 air raids and received eight battle stars. She survived a typhoon in Okinawa and even parachuted from a tree in a parachute specifically designed for her. She also assisted in building an airbase. Because of her small size, she was able to run a cable through an eight-inch pipe. To learn more about this amazing little pooch, Wynne published a book about his time with her titled Yorkie Doodle Dandy: Or, the Other Woman Was a Real Dog.
Private First Class (Pfc.) Hammer, Iraq War, Army
Pfc. Hammer is an Iraqi born tabby cat that was born on site of an 4th Infantry Division Army base. Named after the team that adopted him, Team Hammer, he boosted morale and also kept the area free of mice and other pests. After his fifth mouse, he was promoted from stray to Private First Class. In return for being such a positive member of the team, the unit would protect Pfc. Hammer during attacks by tucking him into their armor. Upon realizing the unit would be returning home, Sergeant Rick Bousfield contacted Allie Cats Allies who raised enough money to bring Pfc. Hammer to the United States. Pfc. Hammer is now retired and resides with his fellow soldier Bousfield.
Cher Ami, World War I, Army
There were more than 200, 000 pigeons recruited by the United States to serve in World War I and Cher Ami was one dedicated bird. Cher Ami was given to the Army in 1918 and was trained by American pigeon trainers. Her claim to fame in addition to 11 other successful deliveries, was her determination to deliver a message that saved 200 men who were trapped behind
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The husky is an awesome furry friend. Enjoy and share this great husky pet meme!