Monday, June 30, 2008
Sunday, June 29, 2008
Margaret originally got me the first season of 30 Rock (see? not a jealous bone in her body). But I had already watched it on Netflix, so she had to get something else. What did she get me?
(I'd prefer not to get Google-assisted answers... let's just hear from the folks who actually know without looking it up) ;-)
UPDATE: We've got two guesses so far... I'll post all the comments when I decide we've had enough fun. I think, though, it's time for a hint: One of the main characters is Harry S. Truman.
Saturday, June 28, 2008
This was set at one image every second for 40 seconds.. (the first three images were culled).
Friday, June 27, 2008
Some flowers are already done blooming for the season...
And for you fungus fans... just hang on as they're only now beginning to erupt. Probably throw some images up next week before we take off for parts known, and unknown.
UPDATE 1: I've done a little looking around, and it would seem that the blue flower might be some type of Lupine... which would explain the similarity to the bluebonnet, which is also in the Lupine family. Still looking for specifics..
That seedball reminds me of some of my fireworks pictures.. or a fountain I've seen somewhere; probably in a mall.
...supposedly this is John McCain. Does he look like this guy?
Now that looks like McCain.. (doing his best Pete Coors- well known right wing Nazi- impersonation; love the way the pocket flaps wave in the breeze!). Could it be that the first image has been manipulated to make him appear more... oh, I don't know... younger? Presidential? ...instead of like the old guy in your neighborhood who stands in the yard in his bathrobe, shaking his fist at all the cars, and yelling at them to "slow down!.. whippersnappers!" Hey, it works for all the fashion magazines.
Thursday, June 26, 2008
Then we'll be off on a "leisurely" 2+ week trip to Lompoc, CA, where we'll be shooting a whole lot more lure coursing, plus LGRA racing. Specifically, we'll be there for the Scottish Deerhound Club of America's National Specialty, but there will be other Regional specialties going on, including greyhounds, and a couple of other breeds.
We've been told Lompoc is a "must experience" at least once. Beautiful surroundings. Cool nights, warm days, and near the ocean. As it turns out, the coursing and racing will be taking place in Santa Maria, about 30 miles away, so I'm not sure how much Lompoc we'll get to "experience".
In our "Year of Meeting Bloggers", we'll add Christie Keith of Dogged Blog, Pet Connection, and other blogs, to the list we started back in February with Steve B. As we're both Deerhound owners, I guess this meeting would be inevitable... eventually.
Once the Lompoc event is done, and we haven't yet experienced an earthquake, wildfire, mudslide, traffic jam, inversion layer, or any of the other events that make California.. special, we plan on hanging around to do the lure coursing trials up in Hollister, California. The folks there have tried to get us to come out for a while now, and this is the best opportunity we'll have. Hollister is best known for the 1947 "takeover" by motorcycle gangs that was the inspiration for the movie, The Wild One. Cool- I hope there's a museum!
After that? We're workin' on it, but I'm sure we'll be tired of the People's Republic of California by that time and will be working our way back East.
Stay tuned, and watch the schedule.
There.. that should be vague enough to not violate Big G's terms of service.
Friday, June 20, 2008
Belligerent. Wouldn't run away, even with 5 dogs pushing me from behind as I stood in the doorway to capture this, admittedly soft, (understatement), image.
Dammit, they're a pain in the ass, but they sure are cute!
Today's science report involves that tree in the background, to the left of the EZ-Up. The one with all the clumps of white flowers. It's a Japanese Lilac Tree, and it's attracted a number... a large number... of Carpenter bees. At one point they were too numerous to count- over 30, anyway, plus numerous smaller bees, flies, and butterflies.
Look at the hind leg on this guy. He'll be popular when he returns to the nest.
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Today's missed opportunity: Baby turkeys.
Reconsidered taking the camera when I walked Sandia, and I was still close enough to go back for it, but decided, "nah.. won't see anything today". I had even taken a few steps back toward the Express. Sigh.
Out of the brush and onto the trail they came... singly, and occasionally in pairs. About 5 inches tall. Not sure how old that would make them, but they could fly! Once they realized there was a large human- with a dog- not 15 feet away, they took to the trees. They fly better than adults, who wandered slowly off in the opposite direction. I think we were meant to follow.
What next? Waiting for our first Bobcat!
Oh yeah... I did pick up at least one tick. Penance.
Saturday, June 14, 2008
Anyway, he moves pretty quickly for a tiny tot, when you approach him, so I couldn't interfere with "nature" even if I wanted to. Still, the odds are against him, which must be why the hens typically lay 6-15 eggs, and can sometimes lay up to 40 (!). And they do it twice a year. Their numbers are solid, and trail only Mallards in numbers shot each season.
I could be seeing more.
Friday, June 13, 2008
Any of you who may have viewed the Planet Green network in its brief life, let me know if it's really this bad...
"It's impossible to say whether the show's smug superiority is more grating than its anorexic thinness of content, but seeing them in combination may fill you with a kind of retributive rage. I for one want to go out and kill a dolphin."
Wednesday, June 11, 2008
And Sandia self-posed for me in a nice setting... What's the Boy Scouts' motto? Oh yeah.. Be Prepared. Well, I once hacked a hole in my knee with a hatchet... during a "hatchet safety" session at a Boy Scout "Camporee". But, that's just me.
Tuesday, June 10, 2008
And here's something only a handful of people saw on Saturday. The lightning and thunder were closing in, the judges on Field B decided to get the hell off the top of the hill, and to get the lure operator off the ladder. The whippets that had been at the line, were on their way down the hill to shelter. I caught movement out of the corner of my eye in the direction of the woods...
...and away he (she?) went, across the coursing field, and over a fence and out of sight. Someone shouted the obvious, "loose the Deerhounds!". Only myself, 2 of the field clerks, and the two judges saw it.
I have no idea if the deer was watching from the edge of the forest, waiting for an opportunity to bolt, or if it was just the beneficiary of extremely lucky timing. Whichever... it showed great form!
Monday, June 09, 2008
Why didn't I mind being towed? We had two big climbs in front of us, including Sidling Hill, seen here. We figured we saved $30-$50 in gas! This thing looks much more foreboding when approaching from the East.
Speaking of hills... here's the driveway at Bill's Truck & Auto-
Somehow, we didn't get a shot from the bottom looking up. But you can see me in the only place I could get a cellular signal!
Prompting our stop was I-68 itself. Mountains. If this trip taught us anything, it's that the Express needs a new radiator. We boiled the coolant once between Wheeling and the campground (which was just past Cumberland). We figured to let it rest overnight for the remaining climbs before the descent into Virginia.
We were only about 125 miles from the site of the ASFA II now, and we got an early start to take advantage of the cool morning. We were halfway up our second climb of the morning, the transmission had dropped to 2nd, and our speed to 30mph when there was a loud "BANG!!", followed by a rhythmic "bang-bang-bang-bang...." etc. Margaret, believing I am all-knowing said "What was that?". Proving I knew a little something, I replied, "Uh, nothing good". We kept climbing, the temp didn't rise, and other than the noise we kept rolling until we could get to an exit.
Being prescient, we had decided to finally renew our RV road service plan about 5 days earlier, (it had expired last November). Fortunately, there was cellular service at this particular remote exit, so I called them up and told them what had transpired: After getting out I went around to the driver's side where the noise was the loudest, got down, and was hit square in the face with pulsing hot air mixed with oil. It was coming from the back cylinder, where the spark plug used to reside. Half of it was hanging uselessly from the wire, while the rest was still in the cylinder head. It just decided to blow up. Inspecting the remaining pieces, it appeared it had worked itself loose over the months since we'd had the plugs replaced last August.
Had we been in a normal part of the country, where roads are flat, we could have driven it, but the road service determined this..
...was the wisest option. We'll try to post some video in the future to show why I couldn't disagree. And they were paying anyway.
But the fun was only beginning! The tow truck company was located up in Pennsylvania, about 45 miles away. The road service folks, in their infinite wisdom, tucked away from the realities of the world somewhere out in Phoenix,
decided "Bill's Auto & Truck" in Hedgesville, West Virginia was the place to go. "They're only 17 miles from where you are now", the road service tech told me. Not even as the crow flies was it that close! 60-some miles later, we were parked on a rural two-lane, at the foot of the steepest driveway I've ever seen. It was 20 degrees if it was 1. I drove the car up to the garage, where a hand-written sign on the window proclaimed, "Closed today for doctor visit. Sorry for the inconvenience".
This was more than a little confusing, as the road service people had talked to "Bill", and so had I. He was expecting us. I wanted to call him and find out
WTF? what was going on. But there was no cell service. Big surprise.. look up Hedgesville, WV on a map sometime... the garage is up in the hills, 5 miles west of the town. I returned to the wrecker driver who stated the obvious: he couldn't pull the RV up that driveway.. and he couldn't turn around with the Express attached.
I kept trying my phone, and finally found that if I stood up on a stone block next to the driveway, and held my head perfectly still, facing in a northwesterly direction, I could manage 2 bars! First I called the road service folks and told them, as civilly as I could manage, that this was bullshit. If the truck had towed us up to PA to his garage, we'd be back on the road already. Next I actually got hold of "Bill", who told us about an alternative driveway, (not unlike an alternate universe) right next to the steep one. It's actually a "road" which showed up on my map program. We explored it, and I wasn't crazy about its possibilities either.
At this point, the tow driver said he had to go. So there the Express was left, on the side of the road, in the hopes that Mr. Bill would arrive soon.
Margaret drove off towards Hedgesville to do business at the post office, get gas in the car, which was nearly empty, and to try and get a better signal with which to speak to Bill, the mystery mechanic.
About a half hour after the tow truck left, Bill arrived in his vintage Ford Escort.. (popular item.. his neighbor was driving one as well!). Here is where things speed up; finally! Bill decided he could do the work right on the roadside as long as I turned the rig around so his legs wouldn't hang out on the road. He didn't have the right plug, or wire, and couldn't find one locally, but he had acceptable substitutes, which he magically modified. We fired that sucker up, as Charlie Daniels would say, and I swear it sounded better than it did before the explosion. The bill was $40. The tow was covered. We were on the road by 3:30, and got to Morven Park in Leesburg, VA way before dark!
It's now more than ten days later, we're back at the Holiday RV Park in Michigan, with the II and the Saluki National Specialty under our belts, and nowhere to go for over three weeks, and frankly, we can use the rest.
We'll post some pictures from the II and such in subsequent posts.. Meanwhile, I'll be searching the internet for a suitable radiator... it's got to be installed before we make the brutal drive to Lompoc, CA in July!
Thursday, June 05, 2008
Tuesday, June 03, 2008
The first was from Barack Obama his own self.
The second was from Michelle Obama.
And the last was from the hottest member of the US House , our lone Representative, Stephanie Herseth-something..
...(she went and got married! The Horror! The Horror. )