Monday, December 24, 2012

Yes, a Christmas Tradition. Plus One.



I say Robert Earl Keen's Merry Christmas from the Family is the greatest holiday song. Ever. Other people swear by the Pogues' Fairytale of New York.

Who cares? Let's listen to them both! Decide..  or not.

Sunday, April 01, 2012

Bucket List: Cooke's Peak. Check.

Cooke's Peak
Cooke's Peak is hard to miss.  It peers over the mountains that line Interstate 25, 50 miles away.  When you're driving north on Columbus Highway in Deming it appears much closer than it really is.. as if it's squatting right on the road in front of you.  At 8408 feet, it's the highest point in Luna County.. more than a thousand feet higher than the Florida Mountains.  Part of the attraction is the peak itself, which appears (and mostly is) a solid mass of exposed rock.

I've wanted to stand on Cooke's Peak before we even lived here.  We began hunting in it's massive shadow when we were just February visitors in an RV.  The more I read about the hike up, the more I knew I wasn't going to attempt it alone.  It took years to meet the right "guide".

Enter Dave Shephard.  Originally from somewhere in New England, and a fellow former full time RVer, he now lives in Deming, and is an avid hiker, climber, and explorer.  He's also a fellow member of the Deming Photography Club.  We shared a beer after a reception at the Deming Arts Council where the club had an exhibit in January.  We hatched the plan at Mimbres Brew.   At first we were going in February, then early March.  Finally, Thursday, March 22 was firm.

We met up outside of town, drove to the parking area, and did it.  I should mention that, unlike other recent years, I hadn't done any kind of climbing this Winter.  Most of my exercise involved walking the flats while hunting with the dogs.  Make no mistake, this 9 hour adventure hurt me.  I lagged behind going up and coming down, but by golly, I did it.  the proof's in the slide show..




Bring on the next mountain!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

April Fools

Asmall gallery of some of the more unusual vehicles seen at Deming's annual "Smokin' Oldies" car show, because I suddenly ran out of time to write a clever April 1 post....

Easily the most unusual vehicle at the show.. and it wasn't even in the show!
 Honda GoldWing  powered trike.
Gotta love the coolant overflow receptacle!

Waiting for the intrusive wand ultrasound.


"Girl I'm just a Jeepster for your love"

Several visitors were fatally impaled on the fins.

Insert toilet seat joke here.


Friday, March 30, 2012

Ch-Ch-Ch-Changes..



As promised, (though not as expeditiously as previously implied..) a story about the completely new direction our lives are about to take.

First let's back up to some time last Spring.. or maybe it was Summer.  At Margaret's usual monthly trip to the auction, she met a lady from Madison, WI who happened to live near us.  As they became better aquainted, Sam (Samantha, I presume) told Margaret about a conversation she'd had with the owners of the little, used bookstore in town.  She was interested in buying the store, and wondered if we would be interested in going in on it with her.  We were intrigued, did some digging around and some research and decided that yes, we would be interested.

As our interest increased, Sam's seemed to wane.  So much so, that she left town last Summer to return to Madison, but is now residing also in Florida.  That did nothing to dampen our (Margaret's) resolve.  Roping in a family member to be a "silent partner", we set the wheels in motion to become book store owners.

The first thing we needed to do was buy the building from the person who was leasing it to the book store business owners.  We didn't want to be at the mercy of a stranger who didn't even live in New Mexico.  That was accomplished a week ago, Tuesday, when we closed the deal on the building and property.

The business owners' lease expires at the end of May.  At that time, we'll purchase the inventory, and take over the business, while the current owners retire to the house they're building in the wilderness of Datil, NM. (Look it up).

While we won't change the name of the store, we'll be doing business as Dog-Eared Enterprises, LLC.  We'll also be creating some gallery space in the store for my local landscape and nature images, so Shot On Site Photography will also be folded into Dog-Eared Enterprises.

The store features extensive titles on southwest history, New Mexico, the borderlands, plus all the other topics you'd expect to find in a bookseller's.  We expect to have an increased internet presence over what they're currently doing, including a Facebook page, which I expect everybody to "Like".

The dusty backyard visible in the pictures, will have a chain link fence installed to complete the enclosure, and will become 1) a dog yard for the daily "store dogs", and 2) a space to rent out for "events" such as weddings or receptions and such.

So with that, we are truly, once and for all, completely retired from the "traveling to dog events" business.  It was fun, but we're moving on.


Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Future Headlines

Posts coming up by the end of the weekend...

This happened yesterday.
This happened today.

This will happen tomorrow...


Saturday, March 17, 2012

Progress Reports. (2 in 1)

A few weeks ago I wrote about the emergence of the poppies, and also about the beginnings of Sandia's thyroid supplement treatments.  Here, in a single image, is evidence that not only are the poppies on an accelerated growth spurt, but also that the supplements are beginning to have, however slight, a noticeable effect on Sandia's appearance.


Saturday, February 25, 2012

Sooner Than Expected..

Spring poppies in the yard
When we moved in in the Winter of 2009, we heard stories about the poppy blooms that would cover the foothills with blankets of gold.  We were told we'd be lucky to see them once or twice in our lifetimes here... they were "7 year blooms".

Well guess what.  We had a spectacular poppy (and other wildflowers) season in 2010.  And it looks like it's going to happen again this Spring after yet another fairly wet Winter.

Our yard is beginning to fill already.. the above image was just at the end of the driveway between the house and the Hare-Brained Express.  I'm also starting to see bands of gold in the small gullies of the Little Florida mountain foothills.  More to come...



Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sad Sack..

"Sandia" (TSH WatermelonMan @ Shotonsite)

Having fathered what may turn out to be one of the happiest accidental breedings we never plan on repeating, we decided it was time to have Sandia neutered.  That "happy" event took place a week ago Tuesday.  He's taking it well, all things considered.

In addition to the surgery, we also requested that blood for a full Thyroid panel be drawn and sent to Michigan State. (They're good for something!)

Since last Summer, he's seemed depressed, and had gained more than ten pounds.  From above he looked like a sausage.  All the ripped muscles he had during the coursing season a year ago were gone.  We tried cutting back on his meals, and took him out to the field to run jackrabbits.  That was sad, as he had none of the explosive speed coupled with deep bottom endurance from last year.  It hurt to see him laboring behind all the other dogs when he had always pushed himself to be in front to fight for the hare.

I was pretty sure he was hypothyroid, a fact born out by the lab results from MSU.  We can now begin treatment with a relatively inexpensive supplement.  It's too late for this coursing season, but I'm optimistic we'll have our awesome Galgo back to his old self in time for next year's batch of jackrabbits.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Winners Winners Winners

L-R Mike McLaughlin, Dutch Salmon, Paul Domski, Tavo Cruz
2010 was the first year in the history of Dutch Salmon's Pack Hunt that 3 packs caught jackrabbits, and ended up tied at the top.  Our pack was included in that triumvirate.  Now, just 2 years later, it's happened again.

This means one of two things: Either the dogs are getting better.. or the hares are getting worse.

Dutch Salmon's "Phoxy", and the hare that got away

Friday, February 17, 2012

Shamed!

I've been shamed.

I have this "Donate" button, over there towards the top of the right sidebar.  I figured, what the hell, maybe someone's getting enough enjoyment, or useful information out of this blog that they'd maybe pay fifty cents for it.  It's been there for nearly the entire eight years this blog's been in existence.  In all that time, there has not been a single donation made.  Not even when we were roaring hither and yon around the country in the Hare-Brained Express, and I was posting up a storm.

I had pretty much given up on getting rich off this blog.  I had thought maybe I could get beer money, between the Donate button and the Google Ads, but no such luck.

But something changed today.  I opened my emails and discovered that a donation of more than fifty cents had been made into the PayPal account!  Significantly more!  By someone I don't even know.  And this, during a period when I've been posting at a rate of 4 times a year.  Obviously, this is a call to do much better.

Thank you, person from Farmington, NM.  I will try to do better.  It's not like there hasn't been a whole lot going on around here.  And if we get the water pipes replaced, and Margaret's yarn supply organized, you can most certainly sleep in the "Lincoln Bedroom" if you're ever down here.

Here's a picture from my recent trip to Kilbourne Hole.

180° view inside Kilbourne Hole

Friday, December 09, 2011

Willow Plays at Being an Otter

Trying out a new, simple, animated GIF creator..  Had this sequence of pics from this morning of Willow discovering snow for the first time.. (or the first time in a long time).

Thursday, December 08, 2011

Facebook Favorites Calendars!

It's that time of year again!

Each year, we take the 13 (or more) most liked images from our Shot On Site Facebook Page, and put them in a calendar, which we then sell in the hopes of turning a couple dollars of profit, and in turn, brighten up your offices, kitchens, kennels, or outhouses, or the homes of those to whom you gift them.

This year, we're doing something a little different.

We have two calendars! A Dog-themed calendar, and a Not-Dog-themed version. One for the kennel and one for the kitchen, eh? Or one for a gift for that rare non-dog owning friend on your gift list.

We have a limited stock of both, that we will sell for a mere $15 each, postage included. All you have to do it email either Margaret (margaretfairman@gmail.com) or me, (dan@shotonsite.us). We'll then send you a PayPal invoice, and upon payment, will mail out your calendar.

If we run out of our stock, all is not lost. If you'll look over to the right sidebar, you'll see display links for both calendars. These links will take you to Lulu.com, where you can review the calendars before buying, and you can also buy calendars for $17 plus postage.

See? Time is of the essence if you want to save about $6! We're waiting for your emails.

Introducing "H1LDA"


A Secret!


Beatles - Do You Want To Know A Secret

Jumping straight back into the blogosphere without so much as a by your leave, sir.. Beginning with the most recent news.. (and there is a lot!).  

Back in September, just before we went on the aforementioned train trip to New York, Ashley and Sandia had a not-so-secret assignation, which I was not quick enough to break up.  That resulted in the not-so-little bundle of joy you see here.

Born on November 17, she shares her birthday with my late mother.  I decided that called for naming her after my mother- Hilda. (This was also the name of Dutch's very first sighthound, so that made it even more apropos!)  Since she was born a singleton, some modification of the spelling was called for.  I stole the idea from a large, midwestern athletic conference logo.  I named her H1LDA.  Make sure you get it right.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Choo Choo

We're taking a trip!  We're taking a train trip!

Later today, we'll drive up to Albuquerque, check into a downtown hotel, and tomorrow around lunch time we'll board the Amtrak to Chicago, and then to New York.

Had I received my new ASUS notebook today, (instead of the scheduled delivery tomorrow), I'd resume blogging on this trip.  I still might, but it's not likely, because it's too much of a PITA to "type" on the little tablet.

I will, however, be Tweeting the trip, so if you want so see where we are, and what we see, follow me: shotonsite64

Normal blogging should resume when we get back next week.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Hiatus

Like the French, I'm taking the Summer off.  When the temps cool, posting will return. Apologies for the lack of advance notice.

Thursday, June 09, 2011

The Buckeyes' Summer of Schadenfreude.

Click to animate.



Starring ~ Terrell Pryor as Hogan "Tats" Hero
               OSU Prez  E. Gordon Gee as Klink, the Bell Captain Colonel
               
Disgraced former OSU coach, Jim Tressell as Sgt. I. C. Nutting-Schultz.

"LSUfreek" appears regularly in the college football blog, Every Day Should Be Saturday .  Follow him on Twitter.

Buy lots of popcorn.. it's going to be a long, fun Summer!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Hacks.

"20+ year career. 500 drug controls worldwide, in and out of competition. Never a failed test. I rest my case." - Lance Armstrong tweet

Remember back in the 80's, when 60 Minutes did their hatchet job on Audi, claiming the cars took off by themselves, even though the drivers were standing on the brakes? And then, when it was shown that while the drivers thought they were standing on the brakes, they were actually standing on the accelerator, which is why they drove into storefronts, and rivers, etc.? And this was long before today's "sophisticated" electronics which make Toyotas really take off by themselves? And when presented with the actual facts, that due to a slight design flaw the brake and accelerator pedals were a little too close together for big American feet, they just ho-hummed and moved on to the next ambush victim without so much as a mumbled "sorry" to Audi?

Yeah. That 60 Minutes. They're going to do it again this Sunday. I'll miss it, because I haven't watched it in over 25 years. See if you can't miss it, too. And I hope a million cancer survivors march on CBS headquarters in protest.

Monday, May 09, 2011

Beyond The Sea




The parents.. Otis/Fada.  Image ©Camilla Colleen
Earthly arrival early June.  Hare-Brained Homestead arrival anticipated late-August or early September.  Watch this space

Life at the Hare-Brained Homestead

So, enough with the semi-hopeful signs of life with the trees.  Here are some things in the yard that are positively thriving.  The drought-hardy, Chihuahuan Desert native flora..
Ocotillo

Prickly Pear Cactus

Cholla Cactus


Survival Mode

The drought continues.  According to the weather services, the humidity late yesterday afternoon was 1%.  The dew point?  A ridiculous -20°F.  That’s right.  Twenty freaking degrees below zero!SOS_4091  And since the ambient temperature was 110° higher than that, it wasn’t likely that we would squeeze any moisture out of the air.

Somehow, despite the lack of any measurable precipitation since the end of last year, (and that was a single snow fall, so really, the dry spell goes all the way back to Summer), things are turning green.  It’s most noticeable when driving  home from town.  Huge green swaths of creosote bush surround the base of the Florida Mountains.  In the yard, the mesquite brush seems to be the most drought-hardy of all the plants.  Dammit.  Of all the flora I wish dead, the mesquite is at the top of the list!

I’ve been watering (and no, so far there’s no shortage of water in our aquifer, knock wood) the peach tree and the pecan tree, and the fruit is looking good.

The pines, at least from a distance, look as dead as the pronouncement from a friend who knows things about trees and plants.  But if you look closely, the trees have a secret.  When stressed, as they are in extreme drought conditions, they seem to go into a kind of survival mode.  First, they dropped almost two-thirds of their needles.  New needle clusters normally would be sprouting fromsign of life the ends of the branches , but even with the constant, 24/7 drip I’ve got going to our two pines, the tree’s not sending water to the extremities.   But it is using the water!   A few weeks ago, I noticed these little green needle clusters start showing up on the branches closer to the ground.  As time passed more have begun to sprout, and on higher branches, too.

What seems to be happening, and I couldn’t find quite what I was looking for on Google, is the tree has gone dormant at the top, and the extremities, but it is keeping itself alive by pushing out enough green to keep transpiration happening. 


This is even more evident on one of the trees in the back yard.  Up until a couple weeks ago, I was certain it was dead.  While other trees in the yard were full of broad, green leaves, nothing was happening with this tree (which we’ve never identified, but we know the hummingbirds like to roost in it because it’s the closest tree to the feeder).  The ends of the branches were brittle dry.  No sign of life.
Then a strange thing happened.  Leaves began to sprout from the trunk; and from the thick areas of the branches closest to the trunk.  It looks odd, but this is another tree that’s killed off part of itself, to save itself.  Kind of like that kid in 127 Hours.

One of the climate models looking 6 months to a year out, shows a powerful el NiƱo is a possibility.  That , if it happens, will most certainly break the drought.  Will the trees then “wake up”, and go back to the way they were before the drought and the powerful February freeze?  Don’t know.  We’ll just have to wait and see, but I’m happy they seemed to have figured out a way to hang in there and wait with us.
needles

Friday, May 06, 2011

Boy Needs A Bib!

Scott's Oriole feeding on Ocotillo
The last couple of months in and around the yard have been like an amateur birder's wet dream.  The short list of birds is pretty stunning.  In addition to the pollen-covered Scott's Oriole, above we've seen-

  • Bullock's Oriole
  • Blackchinned Hummingbird
  • Roadrunner
  • Mockingbird
  • Curve-billed Thrasher
  • House Finch
  • Red Tail Hawk
  • Turkey Vulture
  • Cactus Wren
  • Western Kingbird
  • Ferruginous Hawk
  • Kestrel
  • Cooper's Hawk
  • Harrier
  • Golden Eagle
  • Gambel's Quail
  • Scaled Quail
  • White Winged Dove
  • Gila Woodpecker
  • Loggerhead Shrike
  • Western Bluebird
  • Lark Bunting
  • Western Meadowlark
  • Horned Lark
  • Pyrrhuloxia
  • Lesser Goldfinch
  • Slate Colored Junco
  • White Crowned (or White Throated) Sparrow
  • Boat Tailed Grackle
  • Common Raven
And probably more that I can't remember right now, or haven't seen yet.

The hummingbirds are probably happy the Ocotillo finally began to bloom, as it's now keeping the Orioles out of the feeder...

Thursday, May 05, 2011

Persistence Hunting

The pronghorn. The fastest mammal in North America.. the second fastest animal in the world, capable of running 55mph for extended periods.

In another part of the state of New Mexico, hundreds of miles from where I'm sitting, human beings tried to run a pronghorn down, using only their lung capacity, their legs, and their brainpower.  What the hell are they up to?
"The pronghorn is the second-fastest animal on earth, while the men are merely elite marathon runners who are trying to verify a theory about human evolution. Some scientists believe that our ancestors evolved into endurance athletes in order to hunt quad­rupeds by running them to exhaustion. If the theory holds up, the antelope I'm watching will eventually tire and the men will catch it. Then they'll have to decide whether to kill it for food or let it go."
I'm not sure whether or not I can buy into that theory, but it's really tantalizing to picture it.  Read the whole article to find out how these world class marathoners fared against our New Mexico Pronghorn.

This, of course, is not the only animal that is run down by humans.  There are numerous, incredibly fast and agile football players in college and pro ranks, including the University of Michigan who hale from a poor, rural location in Florida called Pahokee.  They  hone their skills like this..



Cottontails and "muck rabbits" (whatever they are)are one thing. Our blacktail jackrabbits are another thing altogether. Nobody is going to catch one on foot. That's why we use another method that's nearly as old as persistance hunting-

Friday, April 29, 2011

25th Annual SRAM Tour of the Gila

Went out to shoot Stage 2 yesterday, on Hwy 152. Different location than last year, because I wanted to get some images at the feed stations. These are in no particular order, and include both Pro Mens and Womens races, and the other classifications as well. And candids. Always candids. You can click on the slide show to see larger versions at the Picase Web Albums page.

Friday, April 22, 2011

FOR SALE: The Hare-Brained Express (!)

Yes, it’s the legendary motor home that faithfully (with only a few hiccups) carried Shot On Site Photography from sea to shining sea for almost 6 years.  It will make someone an ideal short run dog hauler for field events and shows, while still perfectly capable of the occasional long haul.  Why pay to stay at an expensive hotel? 
Express ad edit
pilot co-pilot edit
living space - galley edit               galley Headbedroom
Things that are new (or new-ish)  - the radiator ; the rear springs;  the tires (6); the alternator; the retractlable awning.
Things that are old, and/or don’t work, or may need work -  The leveling jacks. (parts are no longer available); The 5000W Onan generator will run, and produce power, but has a disturbing knock, which may be a piston rod.  Refrigerator door needs new hinge, but the fridge works great and has recently had the safety recall work performed, so it won’t set you on fire!   Much of the drawer hardware throughout needs replacing.. they’ve just worn out, or fallen out from lack of moisture.  Cabinet over sink needs connection to ceiling reinforced.
On the very last trip we attempted in late 2009, the distributor cap went wonky, which threw the engine out of time, and left us stranded outside of El Paso.  It has been repaired, but does need a tune up (spark plugs and wires were fouled, so it doesn’t run smoothly).
The chassis is a Chevrolet truck. Engine, a 454 cubic inch, with throttle body injection.
Direct inquiries to MargaretFairman@gmail.com, or Dan@shotonsite.us.

rear window

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Every Day Occurrence ..


..dozens every day, seven days a week, 365 days a year. (Unless it rains, which like....)

This was taken on our most recent 250 mile Sunday Joy Ride, west on NM Rt9, (more on our Sunday adventures in a future post), but we can usually see lots of them in the valley by just walking out onto the front porch.

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Simple Mathmatics


I can do the simple cipherin'. For instance, if I know that we have a healthy sized swarm of honeybees that hang around the leaky faucet in the yard (1), and I walk into the living room and find Buffy has changed her name to Puffy (1), then I can posit that the silly girl has put her face where it doesn't belong, and is likely       not to ever go again.That equals "2".   (1 + 1 = 2. Get it?)

Friday, April 08, 2011

One Win Away!

The Michigan Wolverine men's ice hockey team is one win away from their tenth NCAA Division 1 Championship! (Yes that's a record, as is the fact that this is their 21st consecutive year making the tournament).

Last night, behind the tallest 5'6" goalie in The Universe, they put the clamps on the Fighting Sioux of the University of North Dakota, easily the best team remaining in the tournament. They had a 36 goal scorer! Nobody in college hockey scores 36 goals! Not often, anyway. Last night he was shut out, along with the rest of his teammates, 2-0. And when Michigan scored the empty net goal to ice the victory, it was all too much for this hapless Sioux fan-




You wouldn't think there would be much flexibility in those heavily padded hockey gloves, but Louie Caporusso does a fine job of returning the sentiment!

Michigan plays University of Minnesota-Duluth tomorrow evening for the championship. On ESPN.

UPDATE 4/10/11: Alas...  Good run for a bunch of overachievers, though, especially Little Man Hunwick.

Thursday, April 07, 2011

Scientists Just Wanna Have Fun

Music awards you never heard of.. "Best Lab Song". And the winner is:



..as judged by the editors and writers of BioTechniques, The International Journal of Life Science Methods. Isn't Baylor a Baptist college? They're dancing! I won't tell.

Other finalists in the competition can be found at EarthSky. I didn't watch them, but I'll assume they're as good as the one above.

Actually, I have watched one of the other finalist videos. I even posted it here.

Wednesday, April 06, 2011

The Lost "Sparky" Video, Found.

Last year when former Detroit Tigers manager, Sparky Anderson passed away, I posted a memorial and a video clip of my favorite "Sparky moment".  As I said then, the video wasn't the version that I knew existed, but was unable to find.  Thanks to the fine folks at the Down With Detroit Facebook page I can now share this great Detroit moment with everyone..

It's very clear that Sparky wanted everyone within the sound of his voice to know, "He didn't wanta walk him". And I suppose we should offer our thanks to Hall of Fame pitcher, "Goose" Gossage, for not doing what his manager wanted him to do... walk Kirk Gibson.