Smart Cars

While most people don’t drive around with these newest technologies, as more and more people start buying up the latest models it won’t be long before almost everyone on the road has this technology at their fingertips… So what do you think, is this technology that rocks and we should embrace, or is it kinda creepy???

Blind Spot and Cross-Traffic Detection

Blind spot detection features identify people, other vehicles, or objects within vehicles’ blind spots and provide an instant warning to the driver. Similarly, cross-traffic detection systems can detect vehicles, people or objects in a vehicle’s path while backing out of a parking space and alert the driver.

Driver Recognition System

This system allows multiple drivers of a vehicle the ability to program various vehicle settings including seat positions, mirror positions, and climate control & stereo settings that can all be activated when the driver enters the vehicle.

Night Vision System

This technology provides the driver with a high-beam image of the road ahead, without distracting other drivers, using an infrared light beam that is invisible to the human eye. An on-board camera is used to capture images up to 500 feet away that are then presented on a display in the vehicle’s cockpit.

Parking Assist System

Parking assist systems help drivers park backwards or parallel park using a built-in computer and small sensors located at the rear of the vehicle. After confirming feasibility of targeted parking position, the vehicle’s parking movements would be done automatically by the vehicle.


Angel’s my name, and finding a Forever Home is my game. I have come back to Animal Friends because the person who adopted me is now in a nursing home and can’t care for me. I was heartbroken when I got here, but I’ve been making a real effort to make friends.
Even though this is my second time around in the shelter, I am not quite used to being in a cage and being taken out for exercise and socialization. I know I want to be petted, but something in me makes me want to squirm at the same time. I do that too when being picked up, but if you don’t want to carry me around all day, we’ll get along great!
I know my maturation is what many people look for in a cat. What I need is someone who will be patient with me until I accept them completely. Being timid is not really a bad thing; with love and patience I’ll come out of my shell and provide my new owner(s) with lots of purrs. And with my great experience, I have learned all the proper cat behaviors such as grooming myself and always using my litter box. Please give me a chance. Come see me At Animal Friends!

Diva Amy and her #1 selling hat made famous by Bret Michaels

If your a girl and like to ride motorcycles then chances are you know who Diva Amy is, you can’t miss her with her leopard blinged out dresser. Did you also know that Amy is the designer for the most popular cowboy hat in the country right now?
Ever since he made his appearance on the Celebrity Apprentice Bret Michaels has made Amy’s design of the white cowboy hat with black roman cross the #1 selling hat.
Television viewers everywhere got to know POISON lead singer Bret Michaels all over again when he appeared on and won this most recent season of “The Celebrity Apprentice”. Throughout the show, Bret wore three of the eight cowboy hats handmade by Diva Amy exclusively for Bret, including a white hat emblazoned with a black Roman cross, and a black hat adorned with feathers and a spark plug. During the finale, Bret passed around Diva Amy’s other hats to his team members to wear for his Snapple presentation.
“To thank Bret for wearing my hats, I’m donating 10 percent from the sale of each hat to the Bret Michaels Foundation, which in turn funds the American Diabetes Foundation, the group for which Bret was playing on ‘Celebrity Apprentice’.” Michaels also wore the white cowboy hat with black cross when he appeared on the finale of “American Idol”, and can also be seen wearing it on every bottle of Bret’s Blend Diet Snapple Trop-A-Rocka.
Diva Amy created her company, Team Diva, 12 years ago to design hats, T-shirts and accessories with rock and rollers and motorcyclists in mind. In addition to Bret, other celebrities who wear Team Diva hats include Paris Hilton, who sported the embellished cadet caps at the Sundance Film Festival last year; Ringo Starr, who bought a few cowboy hats; and Miley Cyrus, who has been seen wearing the “Bret Michaels” hat. All styles are original by Diva Amy who painstakingly applies all the nail heads, semi precious stones, Swarovski crystals, leather and other embellishments on her creations herself.
To learn more about the Bret Michaels hat, visit


Keep your Vehicle A/C crankin’

So most of the country is in the middle of a major heat wave, and that means your vehicle’s air conditioning system is going to be under a serious strain. If you haven’t had your system serviced in a while, take some time for an air conditioner tune up. While most new vehicles may simply be able to get away with having their A/C recharged, older cars and trucks may require a little extra attention.
If you think your A/C isn’t as frosty as it used to be, but it’s still blowing cold, you may be able to get away with simply recharging your system. To keep your vehicle in the best condition, your vehicle’s A/C system should be checked annually. Symptoms of a low refrigerant charge include poor cooling and the compressor for the air conditioner frequently engaging and disengaging (the air conditioning is constantly stopping and starting).
A service technician can check the levels of your refrigerant in your vehicle, and make sure they are refilled according to your vehicle’s manual, safely and efficiently.
For optimum functioning, make sure the system is fully charged with no leaks.
You might also choose to have a technician replace or repair any leaking components in your A/C system. Air conditioning repairs involve locating and stopping leaks; it can be tricky to find a small, slow leak in a hard-to-reach area, so it can sometimes require several attempts to fix the system. Leaks can be found by adding special dye to the system, or several other methods to locate the leak. Most repairs involve replacing O-rings, seals or hoses. A technician will troubleshoot your A/C issues, whether it is the compressor, a bad temperature sensor, or leak within your system.
Leaks or poor performance are also potentially harmful to the environment. By stopping the leak, you will prevent refrigerant from leaking into the atmosphere or on the ground where pets could get to it.
So have your A/C checked and charged and keep cool these summer months!


I came to Animal Friends with my pals Dylon and Dwight because there were just too many cats in our home. We lived with Labradors. They did not care for us, and I don’t think we liked them either. They have dogs here at Animal Friends, but the nice people who work here make sure they don’t come near us. I enjoy being picked up, and if I do say so myself, I’m the kind of cat who likes following the rules. I enjoy both people and other cats. When it comes to play time, I’ll give you your moneys-worth. I like toys that dangle in front of me, but I haven’t made up my mind about that tiny red dot that moves across the floor-I think I heard someone call it a laser pointer. 
I did not have any say in the matter at my first home, but could I please put in a request for a quiet home this time around? Really, after those barking Labs, I feel like I need my space. Come see me at Animal Friends!

Trista Boot By Harley-Davidson Footwear

Gotta tell ya we were so disappointed this holiday weekend, we actually spotted some of you ladies out there riding in FLIP-FLOPS!    Come on, we know it’s hot out there, but do we really need to tell you what would happen to your foot if god forbid something were to happen….

Well since we witnessed so many foot riding gear faux pas over the weekend we thought it would be a good time to highlight one of our favorite riding boots.

The Trista by Harley-Davidson Footwear is about as comfortable as you can get in a riding boot. We love the height of the boot, perfect to give your ankle that added support it needs to keep your feet from getting fatigued while riding. Not only is this boot comfortable but the look is sweet, you can wear this boot tucked in your riding pants or pull your riding pants down over the boot, there is plenty of room to wear it both ways.   Check ’em out at Harley-Davidson and PLEASE don’t ride in sandals anymore!!!


When you meet T-Bone, he will offer you a Beagle smile and shyly, but surely, try to climb into your lap. This gentle fellow is brimming with affection and simply needs someone to give it to. 
A couple months ago, T-Bone probably felt like the luckiest, most beloved dog in the world. But then, sadly, his owner passed away. T-Bone came to Animal Friends, 10 years old and hoping to find a second chance and a fresh start. T-Bone is calm, lovable, and simply wants to share your company. He is curious and friendly around other dogs and enjoys peaceful rides in the car. He is crate trained and always polite. But most of all, T-Bone is lovable. He adores people and constantly wants to cuddle. While it’s obvious that he loves all women, we’ve noticed that he is particularly drawn to men. Perhaps they remind him of his Dad, who he misses so much. If you are looking for a companion who’s more interested in cuddling and relaxing than playing, T-Bone could be the one for you. 
T-Bone is currently in foster care. If you can help a loving and deserving dog, call Animal Friends at 412.847.7002.

Spark Plugs, how and why we need to change ’em!

Spark plugs are responsible for transferring energy from the ignition system into the combustion chamber.  The spark plugs also transfer heat into the cylinder head where it is pulled away via the exhaust stroke. Why do you think those exhaust pipes are so hot?  Plugs come in different heat range settings. Which is best for you, well 9 times out of 10 the heat range plug your service manual is telling you to use will be right. Now if you are loading up a full dressed motorcycle and are going to be doing some real hard touring in high temps you might want to consider using a colder running plug vise versa for the opposite situation.

In order to change your plugs you’ll need to determine what size hex your plugs are and then grab the correct socket to match so you can remove the plugs. Remove the plug wires form the spark plug and go ahead with your wrench or ratchet and break the spark plug loose. Once you loosen the plug enough you can grab it with your hand and remove it.  Careful if your engine is still hot, you’ll burn your hand. Wait until your engine has cooled some to change the plugs.  If the plugs are totally black and reek of fuel then it’s telling you the engine is running rich, this means it’s getting too much fuel during the process of mixing fuel with air. A black plug could also mean your air filter is clogged or maybe you made some changes to your ride, like a set of pipes which is effecting how fast the exhaust is being pulled away, or it could be as simple as a change in altitude and air. A rich plug means that you will lose power as the plug tip temperature drops and causes the plug to foul out. The engine is running too fat (rich) and this is why you’ll see a plug covered with carbon or unburned fuel creating that black look.

If the plugs are totally white then the engine is telling you it’s not getting enough fuel, it’s running lean.  A lean mix means the cylinder and plug tip temperature are running high. This bleached look will indicate a lean fuel air mix. Sparkplugs should have a beige color to them; if they look real black or white and you can’t pin-point why then you’ll want to have a certified mechanic take a look. Your spark plugs should also be even in color. You never want to see one spark plug black and one beige; both spark plugs should have the same color. A fuel mixture problem could be robbing you of power. Your Engine mixes fuel with air and combustion happens when the air fuel mixture meets the spark from the spark plug. The faster you get air and fuel in and the quicker you get the exhaust out will enhance the performance of your ride.   When changing sparkplugs you’ll need to gap the electrode according to the spec listed in your Service manual. Use a spark plug gapping tool to get the correct gap.  The “gap” is where the spark happens, therefore allowing the igniting of fuel, the width of the gap is determined by the strength of the igniton. The wrong gap on a spark plug can cause your engine to run improperly.  Don’t over tighten when installing the spark plug back into the cylinder head or you’ll be rather annoyed when you want to replace that spark plug and can’t break it loose.  I recommend cleaning the threads on the cylinder head before installing a new plug to rid any dirt that may have collected there.  It’s also a good idea to use a bit of anti-seize on the plug threads, this will eliminate the threads from corroding in the cylinder head. Refer to your service manual for the proper torque on the plug.

A Healthy Griller for the 4th; Coconut Turkey Spears

8  6-inch bamboo skewers
1/2  cup purchased unsweetened coconut milk
2  tablespoons toasted shredded coconut
1  teaspoon brown sugar
1  teaspoon purchased green curry paste
1  teaspoon purchased red curry paste
12  ounces turkey tenderloin, cut into 1-inch strips or 12 boneless chicken tenders
1  tablespoon five-spice powder
1/4  teaspoon salt
1  tablespoon roasted peanut oil, peanut oil, or cooking oil
2  Key limes, halved crosswise
1. Soak skewers in water for 30 minutes.
2. Stir together coconut milk, toasted coconut, and brown sugar in a small bowl. Divide mixture in half. Stir green curry paste into one half of the mixture; cover and refrigerate until serving time. Stir red curry paste into remaining coconut mixture; cover and refrigerate until serving time.
3. Rub turkey or chicken strips with five-spice powder and salt. Place between 2 sheets of clear plastic wrap, if desired. Using the flat end of a mallet, gently pound strips to 1/4-inch thickness.
4. Thread pounded strips lengthwise onto soaked bamboo skewers. Keep strips straight; do not weave. Brush turkey with oil.
5. Place skewers on the rack of the grill directly over medium-high heat. Grill for 8 to 10 minutes or until juices just run clear, turning once. Serve with the coconut-curry sauces and lime halves. Makes 4 appetizer servings.
Tip: To make your own five-spice powder: In a blender container combine 3 tablespoons ground cinnamon, 6 whole star anise, or 2 teaspoons anise seed, 1-1/2 teaspoons fennel seed, 1 to 2 whole dried chili peppers, and 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves. Cover and blend spices to a fine powder. Store in a tightly covered container for up to 2 months. Makes 1/4 cup.
nutrition facts
• Servings Per Recipe 4 appetizer servings Calories 214, Total Fat (g) 12, Saturated Fat (g) 7, Cholesterol (mg) 51, Sodium (mg) 382, Carbohydrate (g) 4, Fiber (g) 1, Protein (g) 21, Vitamin C (DV%) 10, Calcium (DV%) 3, Iron (DV%) 12, Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet