Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Making A Little History

Today, Tuesday January 30, 2008, Sandia became the first Galgo Español to run officially in an American Sighthound Field Association lure coursing trial. Granted, it was only the "Singles" stake.. (hounds run by themselves, with only a ribbon as a reward), and he didn't win... but he did take the 2nd place ribbon... Out of an entry of 2. It has something to do with his propensity to stop in mid-course and want to come back. A simple shouted command to keep going gets him around the rest of the course. It wasn't always that easy, so I'll take what we get.

This image was supplied by photographer, Lee Gearhart of Uma Rapiti Photography, who plies his talents in the Southeast US. You may find more Sandia images at his website.

I'll have more on the pond in the picture in a future post. It played a big part in keeping everyone entertained this weekend.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Hare-Brained Express Tour 2008. A Look Back.

For the first time since the Express took to the road, our annual odyssey didn't begin and end in Georgia. Ended, yes, (red flag) but we started our 2008 travel in southeast Texas (green flag). Things are back in sync now, as we're not leaving Georgia until the first or second of January. I assume we'll end 2009 back with our friends in good ol' red Georgia!

This map illustrates our GPS trail for the year. What it can't show, unfortunately, are the legs that were traveled more than once. Trust me, there are quite a few. It also shows our travel leaning more and more towards the Southwest, a trend I suspect will continue, until we don't travel at all.

That California trip sticks out like a sore thumb, doesn't it?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Merry Christmas from the Families.




What the heck. After perusing South Park, Monty Python, and other Christmas anthems not safe for work or kids, I ended up with the same video we used last year. And it's so good, arguably the greatest non-traditional holiday tune ever, we're just going to make it an annual thing. Our "christmas card" to you!

Only In the Southwest.

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The quality's not great, but that can be explained away by the fact I shot it from the moving Express, through a dirty windshield... the curved part... with my phone! It's also heavily cropped, but was just too cool to pass up.
If it's hard to make out... it's this fellow in a Santa suit.

Thats the Old Christmas Spirit!

The Farkers are having fun with this one... I particularly like the comment from the British MP who declares "These cards are profane. Christmas is a Christian festival and should not be associated with swearing and vulgarity."

So, on this shortest day of the year, I'd like to wish one and all a happy Festivus! Patrick the Terrierman, explains why the distinguished MP is basically full of crap.

Meanwhile... I do need to throw together at least one web card for this holiday season. If you know us, watch your inboxes!

Saturday, December 20, 2008

Nice Trip.

For no other reason than I like my free screen capture software...

While Margaret was in Michigan battling snow, cold, sleet, rain, and what-all, this was the trip I made the last week-plus. The dogs and I battled nothing but sun, wind, jackrabbits.... and abject poverty. You can help, and it won't cost you anything. Just click... you know.. up there at the top? Those things I can't mention? Do it. It will make you feel like.... Christmas!

East to West on the top, and West to East on the bottom. If you care.

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

Portraits: Dogs at Play.

Man, I've missed this place. It might be snowing and blowing elsewhere in New Mexico, but down here in Deming, it's been mostly sunny and in the mid-60s the last couple of days.

That's weather to take the dogs out in, and out we went. On Tuesday, I took Randir and Buffy to the other side of the Floridas. We jumped one jack that Buffy chased for a while, till it went through a fence. Randir didn't see it, so I didn't get the annual picture of the old dog and the rabbit. There'll be more opportunities next month when we return. Today, Sandia and Fanny got to chase 3 hares with Dutch's and Beth Ann's dogs. One was neatly dispatched after a 2 minute course.

So.. without further adieu...

Randir. AKA "freak of nature". To paraphrase David Allan Coe*, if he looks 12 and a third, I'll kiss your ass.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Still the prettiest dog on the planet. Don't you even try to disagree with me.

Buffy's sister, Fanny. Getting in touch with her "inner Lion".

And Sandia. Now over a year and a half, and looking debonair. (And showing off the evidence that he now knows how to go through barbed wire, although the secret is to go under it.)
*Be advised, if you follow this link, it ain't work safe.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Br'er Rabbit. Lepus Californicus.

The Blacktailed Jackrabbit. Nice of him to consider the composition, too, don't you think?

I went out with the 12+ YO Randir, and the nearly 9 YO Buffy today, and got some really nice late afternoon-lit shots of them. When I figure out which ones I like best I'll post them.

The Alternative Anthem.

A couple years back, I wrote about Susan Werner's alternative anthem, "My Strange Nation". Recent events in America have shown that the optimism expressed at the end of the song was not misplaced, and when all is said and done, it really is a love song.

I just put it on my new MP3 player, so I thought I'd share it once more. Enjoy.

Monday, December 15, 2008

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Moonset.


Brownfield, Texas.
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Socorro, New Mexico

Watch for more images from the current trip on the slideshow window to the right!

No Cigar.

As hunts go, this one was about as strange as they come. Yesterday, we had 10 dogs start, and after the first run (TCC runs two complete runs in a hunt, as opposed to a seeded final), the roster was pared by one following a tail injury on one of the dogs, which was operated on in conditions that could only be compared to Civil War field surgery. Let's just say it was uncomfortable to watch. Man, those suckers can bleed.

As reported yesterday, Sandia finished second to his sister, Maya. The Holiday Cup, (which, in fact, is not a cup at all, but a massive wooden chest with a bronze casting of what looks suspiciously like an Italian Greyhound), is awarded to the hound with the highest combined score for the two days. So we returned today minus most of the competitors. In fact, today's hunt consisted of yesterday's 1st place hound, Maya, the 5th placer, Camille, and one of the 2nd place hounds, Sandia. For the mathematically challenged, that's an entry of three. All Galgos.

But somebody had to win the cup, and there was no lack of suspense because there was only 3 points separating the hounds, so off we went to the field.

Very high winds were predicted, along with the possibility of snow or rain, so we were hoping to get this finished quick. The wind was already blowing pretty briskly as we started walking, and questioned our sanity as we had to stop every couple yards to remove "Jumping Cholla" spines from the dogs' pads.

Mercifully, we jumped the jackrabbit after only about a half hour of tramping through the mesquite, yucca, and cholla. Sandia saw it first, off to our right, and I called the "Tally Ho". The course was unexciting, as courses go, and the dogs were soon out of our sight. The judge, standing on the tailgate of her truck, saw a little more than we did, but not enough to satisfy her. She wanted a re-run, but Steve and I had had enough. We said just score it, and agreed to end the hunt on this prelim run.

Sandia won the course over Maya by one point, but he went into the day trailing by two. The "cup" went to Maya.... L-R Chris Mason (breeder), Holiday "Cup", Maya, Steve Garth.

Congratulations Maya and Steve! The torch has been passed to the next generation of Galgos!

Saturday, December 13, 2008

Sandia's "Maiden"

Briefly- Sandia's first judged hunt would have to be viewed as a success, as he did end up tied for 2nd place (with two greyhounds). And he did finish ahead of his Aunt Camille, who finished 5th.

So? Sounds like there's a "but"...

But... his sister, Maya, won the hunt.

Ah, tomorrow is another (wetter, windier) day!

Friday, December 12, 2008

)(@$&*) Hillbillies!

Of course all the southern Republican Senators voted against helping the middle class autoworkers. They were following orders from their constituents masters in Japan, Germany, and Korea.

And you thought our fathers and grandfathers won that war...

Another Adolescent Fantasy Gone....

Bettie Page has left us, at age 85.

What? You don't know Bettie Page? Poor kids. Have Netflix send you a copy of The Notorious Bettie Page, the 2005 biopic starring Gretchan Mol.

I may cry.

Nearly SFW:

Thursday, December 11, 2008

What a Life.

Last Monday, I dropped Margaret off at yet another airport- Austin, TX in this case. She'll be in Michigan for a couple of weeks, then she and her mother will be flying to Georgia for Christmas with a large chunk of the family.

I returned to our parking place of late, the driveway of our good friend Sherita, in the tiny burg of Santa Anna, Texas. (Dining tip: H&H Diner. Another case of good grub in small towns. In this case, the jalapeno cheeseburger's to die for. They also make their own pies and cookies.) Sherita has wireless internet access in the driveway, so I have no excuse for not blogging for the last couple of weeks other than the usual: lazy.

I left Santa Anna this afternoon, bound for Socorro, NM where, this Saturday, a certain Spanish Greyhound will run in his first official hunt. This trip was up in the air until I actually backed out of the driveway- it seems "Mr. I've-never-seen-anything-I-wouldn't-put-in-my-mouth" last Sunday retrieved, from a nearly impossible location, the big bottle of generic Ibuprofen, chewed off the lid, and scattered the contents around the living room of the Express! This, while I was shooting the AHCA trial, and Margaret was outside manning her laptop for the clients. I didn't think he actually ingested anything because of the amount left on the floor, but it became very apparent on Monday, that he had, indeed, swallowed a couple before deciding they weren't to his taste. Evidence including diarrhea, vomiting, frequent urination.. all the typical signs of Ibuprofen toxicity.

Unfortunately, it was 24 hours after the fact, so any first aid would have been useless, and it was time for a lot of breath holding. The vomiting only lasted for a few hours. The diarrhea is still an on and off thing, but the blood- indicating stomach ulceration- is becoming less, with a regimen of Mylanta, Immodium, and yogurt. I had blood work done by the local country doc, and all the kidney numbers were normal, and the blood was clotting normally. Most importantly, his activity level is back to obnoxiously normal!

So, I hit the road. Rather late, actually, but I made it to Brownfield, TX , just East of the New Mexico border on US380. I'm staying at Coleman Park, a nice city park with 14 free full-hookup RV sites, five of which are now filled. And, as a bonus: free WiFi!

300 miles to go. I'll have high speed wireless again at Casey's in Socorro. I plan to spend a couple of days there after the hunt, and do some wildlife and landscape shooting, and will share that when it happens. And more.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Prostate Health? Drink 17 Beers a Day.

Benjamin Franklin said, "Beer is the proof that God loves us and wants us to be happy."

Now there's research in many parts of the world that shows that beer can also make us more healthy. From cardiovascular health to prostate health to reducing hot flashes in menopausal women.

Ah beer. I know lots of folks who will welcome.. embrace this news. Of course, the Farkers were all over this one.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Look Before You Litigate!

New Math Geography.

Here's something to ponder.

Nearly every day, the twirling globe widget on the sidebar records a visitor from yet another country. It's now up to 229 countries. So, as I was changing the header, yet again, I wondered aloud to Margaret, "How many countries are there?" She said, "Good question, why don't you Google it". So I did.

195 is the answer. Hmmmm.

I think the discrepancy can be explained in the last paragraph:

"However...
Recognize that there are dozens of territories and colonies that are sometimes erroneously called "countries" but don't count at all - they're governed by other countries. Places commonly confused as being countries include
Puerto Rico, Bermuda, Greenland, Palestine, Western Sahara, and even the components of the United Kingdom (such as Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales, and England - they're not fully independent countries, states, or nation-states)."

So, I'll be changing the header to better reflect the reality.
Unfortunately, I don't know all the countries and territories that are
represented there, as it only lists the 30 most popular. The rest are all
bundled under "Other countries". Whoever they are, 229 is still a lot!

Convenience... At a Price, Of Course.

As we left the lure coursing trial in Hutto, TX last Sunday, I decided I wanted to avoid the usual glut of traffic we would encounter on US79 and I35. Bad nearly all the time, it's worse on Sunday afternoons and Fridays. I hopped on the toll road (130). This was only the second time we've traveled this highway, because the first time we were put off by paying $4.50 for a roughly 6 mile trip. This time, however, we weren't pulling the car, and we would be going about 20 miles or so. The nice thing about the toll roads is that Texans rarely use them, so traffic is very light.

As we approached the toll plaza, I noticed that in addition to the "TXTag" lane, (a prepaid option, similar to that used on toll roads all over the country), there was also a sign for "Pay by Mail". That's different, I thought. I wondered how that worked. Could it be as simple as it sounds? Camera takes a picture of your plate and mails you a bill? So, when we paid the lady in the toll booth I asked. And that's exactly how it works.

What a great idea, even though there's a dollar charge added to the bill. I use almost that much in gas to slow and stop, then idle while we exchange cash (an item we're occasionally low on) for a receipt, then have to accelerate back to freeway speeds. What convenience to just.. keep.. going. I like it. Wish they did that in Chicago, and Oklahoma, among other places.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Outtakes.

By now you've all seen the viral video of Governor Palin pardoning a turkey while other turkeys are being whacked in the background. But have you seen the outtakes? SlateV has them here.

Friday, November 21, 2008

We Hit the Big Time

When you blog, at least on the level that we here at the old Hare-Brained Express Tour blog, you expect to be read by your friends, acquaintances, customers, family, (I'm not sure even my family reads this... maybe Margaret's does), and that's about it. We get visited to the tune of around 30 visitors a day.

Then you write something like my satellite radio rant the other day, and suddenly you get linked by Rolling Stone online. Yeah... that Rolling Stone. How cool is that?

I bet that's never happened to Patrick... or Steve... or.. or.. Todd. :-)

"Clown Face"


Another image from our "Summer Vacation". We've already posted a picture of the largest bird we saw at Pinnacles National Monument. Here are some smaller, but no less unique birds.

These are Acorn Woodpeckers. Quite tame, so they posed patiently for the cameras. Note the "clown face".

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Team Beige at the Shore.

Specifically, Cayucos, CA on Estero Bay... a short drive from Paso Robles. This is the beginnig of where we start catching up on image postings. There's a new slide show of great "beach sport" on the sidebar. Don't miss the UFO!

And while I'm mentioning new stuff on the blog, here's a few more things of note:
  • "Reactions" ... these are the boxes at the bottom of each post. If you're too shy to comment, or too lazy, just tick an appropriate box. Lets us know we're on the right track, blogwise.
  • "Comments"... are now embedded in the post. No need to open a new window.
  • "Follow"... this is for bloggers. Allows you to follow your favorite blog. Located on the sidebar, you can see we now have 5 "followers". Find the edit tools on your Blogger dashboard.
  • "Subscribe"... other ways to keep track of this blog.. by email or, more commonly, in a "reader". Click through for information.
  • Worldwide... we've now been visited from 224 countries!
  • "Library Thing"... it's been there a while, but I don't think we've mentioned it. Just a fun widget that helps you keep track of the books on your shelf. Click on it and see what I've (Dan only) been reading. See if you can detect any patterns :)

Lure Coursing?

Well.... yeah. From the ASFA Region 3 Invitational in New Mexico a couple of weeks ago. Didn't I tell you the field was way cool? Looks very much like another activity I enjoy in New Mexico.
But, of course, it couldn't be, could it?
I've got a shit-ton of images to post going back to this Summer. This is just the start. It is, after all, primarily a photography blog...

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

We Find Good Food Again.

Someday, some university or culinary institute with time and money on their hands will fund research on why little, itty-bitty villages are homes to such great eateries.

Last weekend we were shooting a lure coursing event in Chickasha, OK. The trial was in conjunction with a dog show, so when we were looking to get something to eat on Saturday evening, we were hoping to avoid any place glutted with "show people".

Thanks to the sleuthing skills of our friend Elizabeth Lane, we found ourselves driving ten miles north to the little town of Amber, (pop. 521), home of Ken's Steaks and Ribs.

As we approached the establishment on Main St. (no traffic signals or blinkers, just stop signs), we first noticed Ken's Gas Station, and Ken's Convenience Store, and finally, at the end of a long building, Ken's Steaks and Ribs. There were a few cars and trucks parked in front. Then we saw the rest of the parking lot. A very packed parking lot! The place was apparently very popular.

Fortunately for us, Elizabeth and our other 3 dining partners were already at the head of the line for our table, and so was Ken himself, dressed in white from head to toe, with red suspenders (and belt). He looked like a cross between Colonel Sanders and Arthur Fiedler. He whacked Margaret on the arm in friendly greeting as we approached.

Down to business. Ken's serves only the basics, so there's no menu. Ribs (3 or 5), Sirloin (5oz or 8oz), Prime Rib, or Chicken. The salad bar is constantly kept fresh, with Romaine not iceberg! If you've never been there before (which Ken ascertains when you arrive), there's a basket of ribs on your table when you get back from the salad bar- one for each person at the table.

Our table was split between ribs (the best I've ever had, with a great dry rub that needed no sauce), and prime rib. The sirloin wasn't missed, though. As we were eating our salads, Ken approached the table and asked how we like to order steaks... we were pretty much together in the medium/medium rare camp. So Ken says, he's going to have the cook do up a medium rare sirloin for us to try. I'm trying not to use so many superlatives in this review, but by god that was the best tasting sirloin I've ever had.. seriously. Lean but juicy, with an almost buttery flavor. And really, really tender.

Based on this dining experience, we'll make the Chickasha trials a regular part of our Fall shooting schedule. It's not to be missed, even though....

...there's no bar or alcohol
...no credit cards, cash only
...only open Thursday through Saturday, 4-9:30

...at least our group comprised the only "show folk" in attendance.

Are You Sitting Down?

Before I forget, we need to return to the story of that clunker Pontiac Tempest I blogged about a couple of weeks ago. The question I posted was, "What would you pay for it?" To review, it's 45 years old, and has no motor or transmission.

We had a pretty spirited conversation going on in the comments section (check it out if you weren't one of the commenters), so we know what you'd pay. What did someone actually pay last month? Well, before I let you know, I should point out that at one time that clunker looked very much like the car above. In fact, after reading the history of these vehicles, there's a 99% chance I saw that very same clunker running at the Detroit Dragway back in the early 60's!

OK.. you've read the history. Sit down. Here's the real deal. It's fun to read through the posts where the seller kept adding information as he began to realize just what he had on his hands for sale. Moral?: If it's rare, it's worth it, no matter what it looks like. Now wasn't that fun?

A Sirius Rant.

If you're a subscriber to satellite radio... either Sirius or XM, you already know what this is about. Like me you woke up last Wednesday, turned on your radio, got the message "Updating streams... this may take a few minutes". OK, this has happened before, no big..... WTF?!?!?!?!? Sirius Disorder, the station I listened to about 60% of the time, was gone. In its place, something called "The Bridge". I have no idea what format "The Bridge" is, because it's currently the home of "Led Zeppelin Radio" for a limited engagement.

Welcome to "Sirius XM"... the future of satellite radio. We know the merger was approved in the congress last Summer. We knew there were probably going to be some changes coming. We knew ...thought... there would be some time before the changes took effect that we would be sent an email, or got some kind of notice about what the changes would entail. Un-uh. I listened to Sirius all the way across New Mexico, and a hunk of Texas driving back to Oklahoma last Tuesday. Not a word was mentioned on any of the stations I listened to. Larry Kirwan spoke as if he'd be there the next day, and the day after that.

Wednesday morning some time.. probably right in the middle of a song on some channel, it all changed. I was pretty sure I knew what happened, but until I got an email, hours after the fact, from Sirius, trumpeting their wonderful new channel lineup, I could only guess. It took a lot of online time to ferret out the true nature of the beast. Indeed, Disorder was gone. As was the classic jazz channel I listened to, replaced by something lighter weight from XM. Left of Center.. the alternative, "college format" channel was replaced by "Sirius XM U". And on and on it goes.

Most media sources I Googled, agreed this transition was not handled well by the corporate brain-dead. (Read the article, but also the comments). While almost no one, in or out of the media, knew what the changes would be, or when, save this site, which let its readers in on it. It's now bookmarked on my computer, as I don't want to be, as The Who sang, fooled again.

Writing this one week after the fact, I can now say that this would be much more blistering had I responded immediately. But now I've got a week under my belt... or between my ears. Things may not be as bad as they seemed at first. The Loft, a station recommended by Sirius for folks who liked Disorder, is loading up with some of my favorite shows- "Vin Scelsa's Idiot's Delight", David Johansen's Mansion of Fun (perhaps the most eclectic bit of programming in the history of broadcasting), Lou Reed's New York Shuffle, and perhaps most importantly, Meg Griffin- the brains behind the Disorder channel will return December 1st with a program called..... Disorder.

I'll still miss Larry Kirwan's Celtic Crush, and The Kennedys' Dharma Cafe on Saturday mornings, but on the plus side- Outlaw Country remains, anchored by wild man Mojo Nixon, and it's been complemented by a new channel, Willie's Place, featuring Texas Honky Tonk music! All the NPR channels are untouched, and in December we'll also get a channel for movie soundtracks, so maybe things arent as dire as they seemed last week. Time will tell. It appears maybe our emails did some good.

Tell us about your transitory experiences last week when your favorite channels disappeared.. do it in the comments section.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Real "Deal".

Time for one of those fun quizzes we like to do around here... this one is automotive related.

Question: What would you pay for this 1963 Pontiac Tempest? Oh.. it has no motor. Or much of anything else... except dents and rust. Oh.. the windshield is plexiglass. (Hmmm. That must be a hint.)
Send your guesses to comments section below. (Googlers are cheaters!) I'll post the answer in a day or two.

Traveling Light.

Last Friday morning I packed up my cameras, a laptop, a suitcase, and one male Galgo Español into the Escape. Leaving the Express, (not to mention Margaret, four dogs and a cat), in Boswell, Oklahoma, I headed West. My destination: The ASFA Region 3 Invitational in Stanley, NM.

It's been a long, long time since I've made a 650 mile road trip in a car. I've forgotten how hard it is, which is to say I re-learned to respect those of you who travel great distances to events every week, or even every other month.

I had to get used to using public restrooms! And filling the tank at the auto pumps at the Flying J's instead of the RV lanes. (There was good news at the pumps, however. Flying J in Wichita Falls, TX: $1.93/gal for unleaded- $1.85 with my frequent fueler discount!). Not traveling with all of our possessions meant I had to constantly worry that I hadn't left anything important behind. In fact, I did. We didn't load our dwindling inventory of "I'd Rather Be Coursing" bumper stickers. A minor inconvenience, I guess, in the grand scheme of things. Would have been worse to forget the camera, or memory cards.

I arrived exhausted, about 10 hours later. The last 250 miles, or so, being much faster than the first 400, as I finally got on the Interstate in Amarillo. I hate slowing down for all the little burghs in Texas. Other states have found a cure for this: they're called bypasses.

My hosts, Steve and Joan Garth, (whom you may remember from our Summer trip to California), were waiting with wine, and a comfort-food dinner. I tried to keep up with the conversation and be sociable, while I attempted to shake off the sensation 2 hours after I parked in their driveway, that I was still sitting in a speeding vehicle. At 7:30 I said I needed to put my head on a pillow for a minute. My minute ended when I got up the next morning to go to the trials.

What a great location for a lure coursing trial. I'll have pictures in a coming post. Not big trial... most of them in the West are smaller than what we normally see in the East, but the people are friendly, the dogs run as well as they do everywhere, and the lunches were good. Not to spoil the suspense, but a trial here leaves one hard pressed to separate reality from fantasy. As you'll see.

Saturday night, a large group had dinner at The Buford Steak House in Moriarty, NM. My filet was good, but I think many in attendance would have been more impressed had they not been out of many of the things they would have wanted: Merlot, Cobblers of any kind, certain side dishes, etc. Kind of inexcusable for early on a Saturday night. But like I said.. the meat was as advertised.

Sunday was the Regional Invitational trial. A little different from what we're used to, as Saturdays are the normal day in other ASFA regions. But their reasoning goes back to the small trial thing. Having a regular all-breed trial on Saturday gives dogs who don't get out much a chance to get the point they need to run in the Regional.

I should mention the weather. Fabulous. Saturday was sunny and 70's, and very, very dry. Sunday started the same, with some clouds coming in around lunchtime, followed by an increase in wind, and finally, as the trial was ending, a precipitous drop in temperature. We got out of there just in time. Many of the Coloradans left in somewhat of a panic as there was bad weather threatening the Raton Pass between New Mexico and Colorado.

It was raining Sunday night as I went to bed, but rain was forecast for Monday. "light showers... 30%" is what the Weather Channel said. No problem. I'd brought my rain gear. Sandia and I were going to chase some Jackrabbits today, along with a couple of his litter mates, so it was rather disappointing to look out the window this morning and see.... white. Blowing... white. Whiskey.. Tango... Foxtrot? As the locals are fond of saying to visitors in times like this: "Welcome to the East Mountains".
Snow on South Mountain

The snow wasn't going to stay on the ground for very long, but the wind wasn't going to let up either, and that effectively scotched our planned hunt. Dogs can get disoriented and lost when running in the desert in high winds. The forecast for tomorrow looks much improved, so we're going to hit the desert before I head back East to Oklahoma. I owe Sandia that much for being cooped up in the car, and in a house full of strange dogs and people all weekend.
Besides, we need to get back and keep Margaret in line. When I called her this morning, she was in Paris!!!
...
...
...
Texas. ;)

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Answer: Hang On!

Question: What do you do if your dog is an extreme flight risk?

(Images from the LGRA and NOTRA Other Breed National Race Meets, Windyglen Ranch, Boswell, OK; Nov 1-2, 2008. More on the Shot On Site website.)

Monday, November 03, 2008

My Last Post on BarkObamaBlog.

Assuming there is not another election theft in the offing, Bark Obama Blog will go off the air on Wednesday, having outlived its usefulness, and served its purpose. I gotta say, it was fun being a small part of it. I didn't post much, but I hope I did my share.

Since not everyone who reads this blog reads Bark Obama, (and shame on you!), I thought I'd reprise my final pre-election post there. It's entitled:


Last Minute Advice for All My Republican Friends.

Both of you. You're uncomfortable with the McPain/Calin ticket. I know... I can read your body language. But you just can't bring yourself to vote for Obama/Biden. I understand. I once voted for John Anderson. If you're truly conflicted, I have just the ticket for you: Bob Barr. Saw him on PBS NewsHour a couple of weeks ago.. he's just the guy for you. In fact, if you've got friends with the same hesitations about the 'Cainster let 'em know that a vote for Bob Barr will make them feel oh-so-good. The more the better. Really. Do it. Do it tomorrow. Lots and lots of Republican votes for Bob Barr. Ignore for a moment he's a friend of Al Franken's. So is Gordon Liddy, and we don't hold that against Al. (Although, we might should...).

Better than not voting.

I was listening to Radio Times last week, and the discussion was with a panel of three non-voters. These guys not only don't vote for President; they don't vote for anything. One guy's wife was an elected school board official and he didn't even vote for her! Their reasoning was the usual nonsense: Not happy with the choices. It doesn't make any difference, I don't live in a battleground state, yada yada yada.

I've only heard one person give a compelling reason for not voting: (Warning- Not work-safe, and definitely not for the little ones...)



And he's dead.

So get out there and do it tomorrow.. (if you weren't smart-as-whips like some of us were and already voted!)

Friday, October 31, 2008

Whippet Owners Will Relate...


John McCain Accidentally Left On Campaign Bus Overnight

Where The Hell Are We?

Well, anyone who can read the schedule to the right there will know we're now at Windyglen in Boswell, OK. (Actually, we're at the Hugo, OK public library right now... otherwise you wouldn't be seeing this.)

And where have we been? Oh, it's a sometimes troubling, sometimes humorous trip across some of the reddest states in the land: Kentucky, Tennessee, Georgia, Alabama, Mississippi, and Louisiana, before arriving in Oklahoma, where the Republican politicians don't just think the voters are stupid... they know it. We've been subjected to some of the worst political ads we've ever seen. Worse, we're subjected to ads from both Oklahoma and Texas. Thank dog it'll be over soon.

A funny thing happened while we were in Georgia... pollsters changed Georgia's status from "lean McCain" to "toss up"! Wow. We're good. ;-)

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

We Are The World!

I haven't paid a lot of attention to the spinning globe over there on the right. This morning I noticed we have now been visited by... OMG... 190 different countries! (I know.. most of them are looking for porn) ;)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Fall Color

...and yes, we're still blogging, although it would be hard to prove it based on the past couple of weeks' activity. Gonna try and change that over the next couple of weeks, because the leaves are turning, and it's time to head South for the Winter.

I've updated the schedule, to the left right, and you can see we're heading to Kentucky next. Leaving tomorrow as a matter of fact. Then it's the ASFA Greyhound specialty in Georgia, followed by the LGRA-NOTRA OB National race meets at Windyglen in Oklahoma. We've also added some events with some new clubs, and we'll try and get out to New Mexico before the first of the year so Sandia can get his (sizable) feet wet in the heat of organized competition.

And, of course, Margaret's kids and grand kids are calling, so we'll be in Georgia again for Christmas, and that means the folks at GANG have let us know we should also include Calhoun at the end of the year for 5 straight days of trials.

Among the other things I need to catch up on:
  1. A shout-out to the folks who made our California trip enjoyable
  2. The toilet story
  3. Anything else of note that's happened since I posted last. (This will not include anything about Michigan football, which is mothballed until next season)

Thursday, October 02, 2008

VEEP Debate Observation.

I'm glad we're not playing the "nuk-u-lar" drinking game while watching the debate. We'd be really, really drunk.

This Would Be Really Funny If....

...there weren't a grain of truth in it. Coming this October, in the Simpson's Treehouse of Horrors.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Monday, September 22, 2008

I Read Blog for Bark Obama.

Well whaddya know.... news that will impress about 85% of our friends:

My partisan leanings have caught the attention of those lovable curmudgeons over at Bark Obama , and they have had the audacity to invite me in to their circle. You may have noticed that the widget in the sidebar has changed slightly.

Who are the Bark Obama writers? Well, just just check out this roster!. That's an all star cast of the folks who, when they're not proselytising on the merits of our next President, are writing the stuff you read the most.. on blogs, in books, and in magazines... about your pets.

And my non-dog aquaintances are always telling me to get a life. Hell... see? We got life!

Check it out, for sure.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Gimme Some Truth.

Wednesdays and Thursdays are two of my favorite days of the week on Sirius radio . For two hours (more or less) each day, Vin Scelsa reprises the glory days of FM "freeform" radio, broadcasting live from his basement studio in the hills of northern New Jersey.

One song he plays, without fail, every single week is one that maybe we should hear on a daily basis during this political silly season:


Especially relevant for a certain campaign that will remain nameless here... but they like to talk about a bridge. ;-)

Brother Patrick Explains it all for You!

Confused about the whirlwind of activity... the ups and downs... the panic and fear going on on Wall Street for the past couple of weeks? Like John McSame, I don't know as much about economics as I should.

Thanks to Pat Burns the Terrierman, I can point you to an explanation that will make it all clear... especially for our fellow dog friends. Prepare to be severely pissed.

But don't worry.. according the the alleged President this morning, wrongdoers are going to be "persecuted" . (That mean they'll have dollar signs burned on their lawns? Heckled at the workplace? Sugar in the gas tanks of their Escalades?)

RTWT.

Even Mindless TV Can Rock.

Who watches "America's Got Talent"? We got kind of hooked 2 years ago. So tonight we'll see the final 5. If America votes intelligently....*

these guys are my pick to be standing at the very end.

Amazingly, differently, entertaining.

*"No one ever went broke underestimating the intelligence of the American people."- Henry L. Mencken

AAARRrrrrggghhhh!

Avast! Come midnight tonight, ye better be ready to Talk Like a Pirate! or ye'll be walkin' the plank and feedin' the fishes. Or, to put it another way: "Über die Planke schicken"

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Doppelganger.

The nation held it's breath.

The question on everyone's mind: How would she do? This would be a role she'd never before been cast in. The Republicans were tense. Democrats, too. This could be the deal breaker... or the deal maker of the whole presidential campaign.

In the end, as if there was ever a doubt- she didn't just hit a home run. She hit it clear out of the park.

"Dan", you're saying, "have you switched parties?".

Of course not. I'm talking about Tina Fey on SNL last night:



Perfect. Right down to the Frances McDormand "Fargo" inflection. She's still so damned hot! And a major talent on both sides of the camera.

As if I ever had a doubt.

(Watch it while you can.. NBC apparently doesn't like its stuff on YouTube for some reason, and this may be pulled.)

UPDATE: As predicted, NBC pulled the clip off YouTube, but thanks to Andrew at Regal Vizsla we've got another link up. Watch it while you can.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Wet.

Notice our schedule to the right, I've called the Raisin River River Raisin Rhodesian Ridgeback Club, (Yeah, I know what they call it, but my way is correct), trial "rained out". Actually, I don't know if the trial itself is rained out. I just know that I'm not going to stand out in a steady rain all day. And I'm not going to chance getting stuck in their very iffy parking area. It began raining here yesterday afternoon. We had a couple hours respite last night, but it began again in earnest around 1AM. It's been raining ever since. It's supposed to rain all day, and all night, too. And this isn't even "Ike", yet, the remnants of which are scheduled to roll in here on Sunday (My Official Geezer Birthday!), dropping up to 4" of rain! At least there's no wind, no lightning. Just rain.

Good day to watch some football, and maybe... finally... finish up the toilet project!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Moron Report.


We needed to go out on some errands today. Simple stuff, like some plumbing supplies for the ongoing toilet project- don't ask- , a trip to the post office, Sam's Club. Travelling West on Michigan Ave in Jackson we came upon gas station after gas station with long lines of idling vehicles.. burning untold numbers of barrels of fuel while waiting to (wait for it)... fuel up. I asked, "what do they know that we don't?".
As we finished up we heard reports of "$5/gal gas" on the "east side". Well, when we got to "the east side", it was still $3.89. Just like it was when we began our errands. Ridiculously long lines, though. Fortunately, we're not going anywhere this weekend, so we just drove by and laughed at the morons. Must be some way to pin this on Republicans.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

More McSame...


Wasn't this campaign going to be, uh, different? Tell 'em you're sick of it.

As the final frame says.. "Psst. Do Something."

Monday, September 08, 2008

The Real Original Mavericks.

A new Republican ad, shows McSame and Michael Palin, over a bunch of misleading statements, and calling them "The Original Mavericks".
FactCheck hasn't parsed this ad yet, but the title alone is the biggest lie. I mean, c'mon, I'm old enough to remember, so you'd think a real geezer like ol' dishonest John would remember too... the real "original Mavericks"......

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Nobody Does it Like Jon...

Tired of political bullshit, lying, and hypocrisy?

There are straight, academic places online where you can get the straight scoop. The best of these is Annenberg's FactCheck.Org which analyzes political ads and campaign statements for accuracy and context, regardless of political party. I check it out every time I see an ad that raises my blood pressure.

But I enjoy laughter and humor with my political exposés, and for that, there's only one place to go, (and all the great HBO and Showtime programming aside, the real reason I want satellite TV in the Express), and that's The Daily Show:



This segment is being hailed, on FARK, as the best Daily Show segment... ever. Pushes all of my (political) buttons.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Excuses.

We made it home a week ago Sunday, but we've had problems getting a signal to stick while we're at our favorite campground. I spend more time restarting the computer than surfing... and retrieving the email is a real adventure. So, in case you were wondering where we dropped out to... that's our story.

Soon I'll post another story. About the toilet. You won't want to miss that one.. guaranteed to elicit a comment or two from Santa Anna, TX. Also look for the final report on the long trip.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Fun For a Couple More Days

Olympics are almost over, but this was too much fun to pass up! Check back as it'll change daily.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

12 Years Ago This Morning...

...Randir, (Leelanau Mithrandir) was whelped in my basement in Jackson, MI. Today, like most days, he's sacked out on the bed. But he was chasing jackrabbits last Winter, and I expect he'll sprint out (briefly!) after them again next Winter. We send out birthday wishes to his two surviving sisters, Hillary and Morgan.

"...may you stay forever young." - Bob Dylan

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Local Travel Alert!

We know from the tracking and counting aids we have on the Express blog, that we have readers from a little pocket of towns in southwest South Dakota.. Custer, Hot Springs, Buffalo Gap. Don't know who you are, but we wanted to let interested parties know we will be ducking into the state, briefly, on Friday to renew our driver's licenses. We picked the office in Hot Springs to be the most convenient for our schedule.

If anyone's interested in meeting us, and more importantly, the hounds ;o) , please get hold of us by email, or phone. (Phone number is listed at http://shotonsite.us ).

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Donner Pass. (Insert tastless joke here.)

We're on our way home at last. Only 250 miles in the log today, but we could have had more. It was just so damned hot after we left the cool breezes of Hollister, we decided that we'd spend a much cooler night at 5000 feet, high in the Sierra Nevadas. We're not really at Donner Pass- that's just a few miles south of where we're parked, which is called the "Donner Summit Rest Area". It's very cool.. both literally and figuratively. There's a trail that takes you to the Pacific Crest Trail.. the Appalachian Trail of the West.

*****
Meanwhile, here's a teaser.. well, no... it's not a teaser, it's the best shot I got at the Pinnacles National Monument. If you can't click it to enlarge, you'll have to take my word for it: That's an endangered California Condor. More on our condor-watching and high-altitude hiking in a future post.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Last Stop.

Alpaugh, CA sunset.

We made it to Hollister today, the last stop (event-wise) on the California trip. They have larger-than-normal entries for Sunday, and possibly Saturday as well. Is it the "Shot On Site Effect"? We'd like to think so.

Anyway, there's a lot of activity behind us that still needs to be reported. Maybe on the way East, we'll stop at a WiFi-equipped campground for an day or two and get caught up.

Here's a partial list of some of the highlights you should look for:


  • Restaurants

  • Wine tastings

  • Sandia and Fanny at the beach

  • Hunting with Dr. John Burchard... (chasing, actually)

  • Herb's Jackrabbit portfolio- Stunning!

  • Los Tres Amigos

  • Granite Construction tour of the big hole

  • and, hummingbirds.

Mileage now stands at 2,900 miles..... exactly!

The future? Reno, Salt Lake, Medicine Bow, Badlands... and more.

Saturday, August 02, 2008

Margaret Spends Our Gas Money.

The spoils of our Thursday Wine and Olive excursion. We may be broke, but we'll be smilin'.

Friday, August 01, 2008

So That's What They Look Like...

...when it's too late to eat 'em...
...or too soon.


Sideways.

I have lots and lots to write, but a signal barely exists up here in the hills overlooking Paso Robles.

Yesterday, we went wine and olive tasting. The above signboard is in the lot of our first (and best) stop, Vista del Rey. Trying to pick 3 or 4 wineries from the more than 200 (!) in the Paso Robles area was a challenge best handled by Margaret's cousin, Mary, who's lived here for more than 30 years.

When we get a better signal, I'll try and cover more details on our tour. Today, we're taking Sandia to run on the shore. Meanwhile, here's the view from our lodgings...


I have a couple other "mystery" images to post shortly. Stay tuned.

Monday, July 28, 2008

Lemonade.

For 3 days we've been trying to recover the Scottish Deerhound "ribbon" images from the AKC lure trial. No luck. We've tried the SanDisk recovery software that came with the flash cards. We downloaded GetDataBack, with which we had significant success a couple of years ago- recovering 5 trials worth of images from a crashed external drive. Nada. I Googled a couple of other options, but they just aren't to be had.

On Saturday, we decided to take some pictures of the lure coursing judge, Denise Como..
(All you trial secretaries out there can now put a face to the name that appears on all your trial premiums!).

We had her hold all the appropriate ribbons, and Voila!

That's why we say, "when life gives you lemons...

...there's Photoshop!" (Elements).

Sunday, July 27, 2008

That's More Like It!

For all you suffering in unbearable heat and humidity back east? The "extended forecast" looks just like the current 5-day, and the previous week was identical as well. I suppose if you look back over the last 30 days, and ahead 30 days there will be little change. However, we're not bored yet. I could see how boredom could set in, though...... BAAAhaaahahaahaahah! NOT!

*****


The perfect weather notwithstanding, the Scottish Deerhound portion of the reason we drove the 2500 miles to California was pretty much a disaster. We missed two events due to breakdowns, and the one event we did shoot- the AKC trial- "we" lost the win pictures. Perhaps our luck will change now.


We've got two weeks before the next event, up in Hollister. Our schedule is starting to fall together as to how we will spend that time.


When we leave Santa Maria, we'll head up the coast to Paso Robles, where we will park for a day or three at Margaret's cousins. She thinks she remembers that her cousin's husband is a good cook. There's that "food theme" again!


Then we have some options. We've been invited by a total stranger- but one who is familiar with this blog, and knows someone who knows Dutch Salmon, and therefore we're all friends (I like that logic)- to stop and spend time in Coalinga.


Or.. we may drive from Paso Robles to Alpaugh and spend time with Dr. John Burchard, whom I haven't seen in 8 or 9 years, and his cohorts, George Bell, and Herb Wells, (another photographer whose open field coursing images many of you may be familiar with). There's a better than even chance we could go scare a few jackrabbits.


We may do both! And probably will.


That should get us near to where we have to be in Hollister, which I've been told is only about 25 miles from where we might get a chance to photograph one of these guys:


Stand by for that! For a Hollister weather image, just add 1-2 degrees to the above ;0)

Long range plans- beyond the Hollister trials- call for a return on Interstate 80, through Wyoming, where we may veer north to Medicine Bow and, you guessed it, kick up a few more jacks. White tails, in this case. Then up to I-90 so we can see the sites of our adopted state: Badlands, Rushmore, Crazy Horse. Then we need to get our driver's licenses renewed while we're there.

And finally, back to Michigan. Whew!

I've got to talk about our dinner here in Santa Maria the other night, but I'll save that for another post. I'm still processing that.. literally, as well as figuratively.

Time to feed the crew.