March 24, 2008

Free TV and Free Movies at Hulu.Com

Have you heard about the latest "free" movie and TV site: Good news: it offers some decent stuff. Bad news, there are commercials.

Why check it out? First, there are the collections. (Click here for the full list.)

There's the Christopher Walken Collection (remember the Continental?) and the Steve Martin Collection (includes the full run of The Jerk, plus several SNL skits), as well as several collections from The Family Guy, the Office, In Living Color, SNL ... you get the idea.

Second, there are the full-feature films.

(Go here for the list.) There are sorta current movies like:

Master & Commander: The Far Side of the World with Russell Crowe
The Simpsons Movie
Ice Age

as well as not so current movies, such as:

October Sky
The Big Lebowski
The Usual Suspects

No real classic films, though - unless you count The Three Amigos or Planet of the Apes as classics.

And then there are the TV shows (full list is here). They have full episodes of old and new shows, such as:

The Family Guy
Charlie's Angels
Prison Break
Alfred Hitchcock Hour
My Name is Earl
The Rockford Files
Miami Vice.

No Seinfeld, though. No Star Trek, no Magnum P.I., no Golden Girls or All in the Family or Friends.

But heck. It's new, it's growing, and there's some pretty cool stuff here to check out for free.

New finds for me today included Mrs. Piggle Wiggle - one of my favorite children's books (actually a series) with Jean Stapleton in the starring role, and some great SNL skits -- "Down By the River" is here, some of "Celebrity Jeopardy," "Killer Bees," "Mr. Bill," plus lots of current stuff.

No "More Cowbell," though. At least, I couldn't find it.

March 22, 2008

Personal Post: Lost Dog - Found Dog

Driving down a busy street on Wednesday, I almost hit a puppy who was stuck mid-lanes, scared and not sure which way to run. In a bad decision, the pup darted to its right, and almost got hit by a big, white delivery truck. Thankfully, the truck screeched to a stop as I had done, and together, we blocked traffic on the road until the dog safety manuevered itself out of the street.

Pulling to the side of the road, the pup came right to me: a chocolate lab mix, with pretty green eyes, very friendly. Obviously someone's pet who had no street-smarts. This was a baby who was cared for: nails freshly clipped, clean, knows all about riding in a car. No tags, no collar. The dog knew some commands: sit, come.

So, I put the puppy in the back seat and took her to the nearby vet: no microchip. Brought the baby home, segregated the poor thing in a side courtyard (yes, I've done rescues before) and did the following:

1. Printed out signs "Found - Puppy" with my cellphone number and placed them at intersections near where I'd found the dog. (I learned in surfing the web that most dogs are found within a 2 mile radius of their home.) No personal info - the cellphone number, so far, isn't identifiable in some web listing. (Policeman-friend insisted on this anonimity.)

2. Called all vets in the surrounding area. There were four. (Lots of people, I learned, call vets to see if their dog has been brought in for care.)

3. Called the Animal Defense League and the Humane Society. Both are no-kill facilities.I never heard back from the ADL, but I spoke with the Humane Society.

At the Humane Society, you call at 8:30 each morning, to see if they have space. Sooner or later, you get in. Puppies and kittens get taken first - they have the biggest turnaround. (I would have to take the pup to the Humane Society, there was simply no way that our family -- especially my oldest dog, male and a Border Collie mix -- would be able to keep this adorable mutt.)

4. Placed an ad in the San Antonio Express-News -- they will run lost and found pet ads for three days, for free. Great community service.

5. Called several friends and found someone on stand-by to take the pup if the owner didn't appear.

And, voila! The next afternoon (after a noisy night of dogs barking and puppy crying - you know the scenario) the owner called.

What worked? The signs on the telephone poles at the street intersections. One of the owner's friends saw the sign, and called him.

Lesson I learned: Microchipping dogs can be a very good thing. The border collie I mentioned earlier doesn't have a chip, and I'm taking him in -- the Humane Society can do this for $25 and it takes less than a minute.

Sure, it may be painful for him: but that chip could get him back to me, if he ever got lost. I vote yes for microchipping your pet.
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