Thursday, January 31, 2008

Unsafe in Any Decade.


Noooooooo!! No! A thousand times NO! Hasn't this asshole screwed up enough elections for two lifetimes? Please someone, put me out of my misery.. better yet, put him... wait, does he have Secret Service protection yet? I better let you all finish that particular sentence.
Not again.
Sob!

Gleaned from Google Ads.

Hope you all are checking out the Free Hog Hunt ad. I'm afraid my semi-dyslexic brain looks at that every time and sees "Tree Frog Hunt". MMMMmmmm-mmm, 30-40's my limit.

Every now and then something interesting pops up, up there. I saw this product advertised, but only briefly, the other day. Good thing I remembered the name of the business. This is a very interesting product. I'm trying to figure out if it's a product that would lend itself to Open Field Coursing. It's certainly less expensive than the California-made mechanical slips that most of the people are using now.

I'd like all my hunting friends to check it out and see what you think. It may need some modifications, but they wouldn't seem to be difficult. It would probably also be easy to modify for lure coursing. Check it out and send me some feedback.

Looking for dog food? Lots of ads for that up top, too. Help us out, and check them out.

Dad? Can We Go Hunting?

That's what he's saying. I don't need an animal communicator to figure that out. It's been four days.. the winds of the last two days (35, gusting to 50 and blowing lots of dust) has petered out, bringing in a cold front from the North. Perfect, to go out and chase a few.
As usual, Buffy used her scouting talents to jump all the hares today. She just doesn't have the endurance any more to stay in the race, (and the picture). I had Sandia on a slip lead for this one. I let him free course back to the car, and on the way back Buffy jumped one for him.. they disappeared across the road, but I did see Sandia jump one of his own on the way back. Just about the time we got to the car, we got another one up, but too far away. I actually called Sandia off of it. He's one smart puppy.

Today's Nature Shot: Horned Larks. This desert's thick with 'em.
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Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Not Politics. Aren't You Glad?

Getting back to dogs... think dogs don't know how to have fun?


We're in New Mexico... (well, I am, anyway) to avoid this crap, but damn! This looks like a blast!

HT Paula, my BFF ;^p

Monday, January 28, 2008

We Roll 'em Out, You Pick 'em.


Mysterious Traveler Entrances Town With Utopian Vision Of The Future

Listen. It beats the latest "State of the Union Address".

If you don't vote, don't bitch.

Election (1999)

Election year humor from your friends at Slate.com

Proof-readers Wanted

Have you stopped beating your wife?
The following confusing poll arrived today with our regular Trailer Life Directory Technical eNewsletter:
We Want to Know
Do plan to RV more or less in 2008
than you did in 2007?

Yes

No

Thank you

Sunday, January 27, 2008

The Rear End's the First to Go.

That's what they say, anyway. Here's more proof that Randir is a biological freak! Remember, this is an eleven and a half year old -male- Scottish Deerhound. And... he'd just had 4 or 5 (short) runs on jackrabbits prior to this leap.

video

Forgive the quality.. I shot this with the phone :)

Saturday, January 26, 2008

What Bulgarians Want.

Had our first visitor from Bulgaria yesterday. One of the fun features of SiteMeter is the ability to glean a lot of information from the visitors to the blog. This would include the search words they used on Google to end up with the old Hare-Brained Express 2008 on their search results.

I don't know what's more disturbing.. the search, or the fact that we had a post that was, at least on the surface, relevant.

I'm going to go out on a limb, and say this visitor is an old Soviet Bloc female Bulgarian Olympic weightlifter.

Friday, January 25, 2008

Making Great Dogfood.

Begin by having fast, agile, and long-winded hounds who can catch the second-fastest land mammal in America.

Then follow the steps in the slide show... (advisory: If you're used to getting your meat in a bag at a fast food drive-thru, or in the shrink-wrapped, styrofoam packages I mentioned previously, these images may not be your cup of tea)



For detailed step-by-step instructions, click on the slide show.

Must be a lot of tryptophan in jackrabbit. All the resident hounds have been sound asleep since dinner!

Milestone: The Best Ever.

I don't care if you don't agree with me. The greatest baseball radio play-by-play man- ever- turned 90 today. Don't believe me? Rent One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. What other baseball announcer could inspire a column like this one from the author of Tuesdays With Morrie?

A New, Completely "Natural" Feed From Nutro?

Well.... no. Of course not. But soon, since I couldn't find a procedure anywhere on the Internet for dressing out these guys, (and being someone who doesn't mind getting his meat in the magic shrinkwrap and styrofoam packaging), I decided to have an expert, none other than author, fisherman, houndman, M. H. Dutch Salmon, show me how it's done. And since I have a camera, and know how to use it... you all will learn how, too.

This fella's documented from the chase to the dog food dish. Next jack, I'll try out Steve Bodio's recipe... I'm thinking I'm going to like it. Dogs are already half out of their minds here, and it's still outside in the crockpot.

That's coming up in a future post. Hang in there.
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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Eight More Years!

This week's Onion story, plays on your sense of nostalgia. If this weren't deliberate satire, it would make a great true story. Dammit.

Chasing Jackrabbits Sure Makes Me Sleee...zzzzzzz


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Today's Feature: Fanny!

Posing nicely, here, with Cooke's Peak as a background. Last time we saw Fanny on these pages, she was chasing plastic, and looking damned good about it. This, however, is significantly more impressive:

Hard to believe this hare got away. But Fanny's going on 8, she's not 8 months old. She's running well enough to get entered in Dutch Salmon's Desert Hare Classic, though.

We started of with Fanny free coursing, and Sandia on a slip lead for the first time. He was in this course, but I held him up just a little too long, so he didn't make the pictures. They ran about a half mile, and both came back quickly.

Then we jumped one that was too far out.. Fanny took off anyway, but I held Sandia. The course took Fanny back towards the car, so I started walking that way with Sandia. I watched as Fannt flushed another on her way back... a very fuzzy, distant telephoto shot shows that she should have come back with tail fur in her mouth! She was soooo close all day.

Before Fanny made it back to us, we jumped one for Sandia to run on his own. There are some pictures, but this is Fanny's day. :) He disappeared over a ridge pretty quickly. There's a good sized valley, with lots of brush, so I knew he'd be back soon. And he was, just about the time Fanny got back, so I leashed them up, as they'd had enough work for one day... Fanny 3, Sandia 2, and it was starting to sprinkle.

As we left the field I saw my old friend, the Golden Eagle on a power pole. Magnificent creature!

Wow! A Record-Setting Day.


(click to enlarge)
You guys are awesome. You must really like Sandia. Or was it the old Deerhound? Whatever the motivation, yesterday set an all time record for visits to this site. 126 visits! Only a few weeks ago, the daily average was around 18-22. Do the math. The traffic increase seems to be connected to our westward movement into New Mexico. Hmmm.

And based on the new country counter we've put on the sidebar, we're actually getting readers from other coutries.. I mean other countries besides the Netherlands. ;-) South Africa? Bahrain? Austria? Yemen? Sweden? Argentina? Vietnam?...... Vietnam? (No, I don't have any children there trying to hunt me down... that I know of.) A quick check on SiteMeter shows that many of the visitors from these other countries... 30 different countries!, actually spend time here, and read stuff. Others, for whatever deviant reasons, get here from Google searches that take them to the screwing deer photo I used in a previous post. Many others come here from Patrick's blog, or Steve Bodio's Querencia, which is odd, since he doesn't have a link to us there.

Anyway... thanks for visiting. I'll try to make it worth your while to keep coming back. For instance, I'm taking Sandia out again today, so we can beat the possible "wintry mix" that's coming tomorrow.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Family that Preys Together...




Sandia's Aunt Camille ...and himself.
UPDATE 1/23/08: Some people thought that Sandia caught a second jack. Would that that were true! I just remembered this picture of Camille from a TCC hunt two years ago, (which also appeared in the Performance Sighthound Journal article on the Galgo), and how Sandia looked so similar with his jack. I wanted to put the two together. That's all.

Monday, January 21, 2008

Oh Wait! This is Really It!

What comes after giddy? (Besides "up"). We returned to the "big ranch" today, after a one-year hiatus. Things are looking good there.

Let Sandia loose with Buffy and the auld warrior, Randir, and they almost immediately got into action.
Sandia can close! This hare is in peril.

And look who's joining in!! (Shh.. let him think he's helping.. he's 11 1/2 now, after all).

But Sandia apparently doesn't need any help, even though Buffy sneaks into the shot to try and steal some of the glory. This run came as quite a shock to me... I didn't expect this level of performance for a couple of months yet. He's only 8 months old! Thank you Chris! He's definitely a keeper. And to the reader who is here every day from Holland... I expect a comment! ;-)

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Semper Fi.

Saw this new TV commercial today during the Patriots-Chargers game. It gave me chills.


I've enjoyed watching the Silent Drill Team ever since I first saw them on the Ed Sullivan Show back in the early '60s; or was it the '50s?!? Yikes! I'm old.

Some of you know that while I was a "Navy guy" for 4 years, my last year, 1969, was spent with the Fleet Marine Force in VietNam, with a Marine rifle company. I have a lot of respect for them.

Semper Fi.

This Is It!

Giddy. That's how I feel. But, after all, what did I expect? He got to watch us on Wednesday. And he got to watch at least 12 courses at the hunt yesterday. I knew he'd know what to do.
Off-lead portrait. Cooke's Peak.

What's that? Something moving!

It's a rabbit!

Go! Sandia, Go!

And, of course, he came back. We'll keep him.

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Scenes From a Hunt.

Yesterday, I took Sandia and the camera to a nearby hunt. It was good to see old friends, and meet some new ones, and get reacquainted. But mostly, it was good to see hounds doing what they do, doing what they've done for more than a Millenia; and doing it in such a beautiful setting.



This dog worked hard, over a long, long time and a great distance. Usually, unlike life, hard work isn't rewarded. In this case it was.

They're back out there today, but I have another task. It's time to let Sandia loose on a jackrabbit. Let the learning begin!
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Friday, January 18, 2008

Might As Well Get a Greeter Job at WalMart.

It's bad enough these days, when anybody with a couple hundred bucks in their pockets can get a fair-to-decent digital SLR camera, and set up business as a "Pro-fesh-uh-nul Photographer". My advantage, of course is experience. Having the technology and camera speed and knowing how to use the technology and that speed are two different things. 9 times out of 10 I'm still going to get the better shot than the other guy. Or girl.

Fer example, I get communiques like this:

Dan
Are you going to shoot any ASFA trials in places where I tend to show up? J ___ ran pretty well at ___ over ___ _____, but the photographer's work was not very good. __ has a poor sense of timing, and ___ focus is sloppy. I want a good picture of J___ for her breeder

(Edited to avoid embarrassing anyone)

So, what me worry?, right?
But, as "the Coach" on ESPN's College Game Day is wont to say: "Not so fast, my friend". Casio is about to tilt the field of play way out of whack. Beginning in March, any granny, or cuzzin Bruce with a thousand bucks laying around can get the perfect shot, (s'long as they can aim the damned thing, that is). The magic machine they will do this with is below:




See what it says on the lens barrel? If you want to see what kind of resolution you can get at that kind of speed, check out the samples here. Pretty impressive. So impressive I might as well retire to a life of leisure and panhandling in Deming, New Mexico.


Just kidding.

Alone Again. Naturally.

Seems like lately all I'm doing is driving Margaret to an airport. Yesterday, it was the El Paso airport, and she was off for a week in New York, to visit her son, and daughter, who is also visiting NY. Then she'll fly to Michigan to visit with her parents, and get accustomed to that thing we remember as... "snow". Cold, she could have had here. Woke up to 15 degrees this morning. She'll be in Michigan two weeks... long enough to remember why we went away almost 5 years ago in the Express. The forecast for the area is not good; but typical.

Anyway, she took the new camera with her. I thought I'd give the little camera a little review.

A couple weeks ago, when we were still in Texas, we drove down to Austin to the CompUSA store to get a replacement antenna for our Microsoft Streets & Trips GPS. (Sandia-damage, if you must know.) Turns out the store is closing, and had everything on clearance, so we got more than we planned on.

Our shopping included not one, but two of the slick little Fuji FinePix Z10 fd's.











We've always wanted a compact digital camera for those times the digi-SLR's were too bulky to carry. Well, this little gem is compact, as you can see. It has an optical, and digital zoom lens that is completely internal, so nothing sticks out. 7.2MP resolution.. better than my old D70 SLR. It also does movies... as seen in a previous post, (although, I have to work on my technique). It can instantly re size files for blogging... love that! And it comes in cool colors! (Would I pick anything but blue?). 6 other colors are available. They were marked down to $153 from $179 in the clearance sale. If you want one, I just discovered B & H Photo & Video has them in stock for $143. Oops.

But Dan, you say, how are the still pictures? Well, I returned to one of my favorite settings, with my favorite new model, and shot this:

Other than cropping... this is "as is". No other editing. It's also a smaller copy of the original fullsize file (for quicker uploading). I'm likin' it.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

A Little Wound-Salt for Our Friends in Texas

You half believe this is true, don't you?

:-p

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

City Slickers Beware!

So.. whatever happened to "truth in advertising"?
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Day One.

As we pulled into the field north of Deming, I looked North and spied a couple of eagles. Young Goldens.. possibly the same two I posted pictures of on this blog a little over a year ago.


There were also dozens of Northern Harriers in the air.

We parked, got the dogs out and set off to find us a few jacks... Margaret walking student, Sandia, with Fanny and Buffy free coursing. We spotted 3 jacks during the course of our first mile. The girls saw none, as they were out of position.
About that time I saw something moving about 200 yards ahead of us. I thought it was a coyote, so we got the girls leashed up, because then I spotted a second... then a third... and suddenly I realized there was a whold herd, and they weren't 'yotes; they were wild pigs, and it was really a fortuitous that we had everybody leashed.


Except, as luck would have it, that's when we jumped the jack that everybody saw! Sandia is getting pretty excited about this stuff, and wants to be let go. Well, we were still pretty close to the pigs, so nobody got let go.

I decided the only way the girls were going to get something to chase was if we kept them on slips. Good thing, too, as Buffy almost dived headlong into this...
Judging from the way it's opened up it was either the eagles or a harrier that got him. We may have interrupted somebody's lunch. It gets worse. We'll be revisiting this unfortunate critter, but...

It was starting to get a little warm, and we decided to work our way toward the car, keeping the girls in the slips. We jumped one just to Margaret's left.. she slipped Fanny, I slipped Buffy, and poor Sandia could only stand and watch what turned out to be a short exercize run, as the jack lost them in some dense brush. We headed towards the car, and Fanny did, too. Buffy, however, remembered where she saw a jackrabbit that wouldn't elude her. Yeah... off she went, and it didn't matter that it was almost a thousand yards back the way we came.. she went right to it. I was yelling my head off, telling her, "NO!", and "Stop!", and other totally useless commands. As I approached her and her lunch, she did what she's done for years: Picked it up and trotted away from me. We repeated this exercize in frustration twice more, and I just decided, screw it! (or words to that effect), told her we were leaving, and headed back to the car. She looked up at me, and at least she didn't say "Goodbye", she just looked mildly perplexed.

I got to the car, we got the other dogs loaded, and we saw Buffy wandering around, not exactly coming, and not exactly going away. Basically, she was milking the moment for all the drama she could. But I had a secret: The magic green cow tripe treats.

Everyone in the car, we started to exit the field, but we had one more photo opportunity to go, as we watched a Harrier hunting. That yielded this dramatic shot of a descent to the ground in an attempt to nab a small, furry, creature. We thought she was successful, but no dice.
Here's looking at you kid.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Announcement.

Announcement 1: We have arrived in New Mexico! Back at Dreamcatcher RV Park in Deming, and the good news is the goathead stickers that plagued us last winter in the field adjacent to the campground are pretty much gone, along with a great deal of the foliage. But there's enough cover in there to hide a lot of cottontails and jacks, and about a thousand Gambel's Quail, and other birds. I took Sandia out to see his first jacks. Took a while, but we were finally successful. I tried to video it with our new Fuji Z10 compact digital camera, (More about that in another post), with little success. But here it is...

video
It took me 3 or 4 viewings before I finally picked out the running jackrabbit. Good luck with that... :) Tomorrow we'll head out in earnest to some of our favorite fields.. Fanny will begin Sandia's training. Should have better video then.

Announcement 2: Pictures from the weekend trials in Hutto TX are now uploaded and available for viewing and purchase at our website.

Monday, January 14, 2008

Close, But No Cigar.

TCC, (The Coursing Conservancy), held its flagship event this past weekend at a location somewhere in a Southwestern state. We were interested in the results, because all of Sandia's relatives were entered. We figured any one of them would be a lock to win it all. We were wrong. So, congratulations to "Red".. (shown here running with Rally last February... the run where Rally's plantar ligament bit the dust). There was good news, though, as Sandia's mother, "Gogal" was second, and his Aunt "Camille" was third.

We're parked for the night in Fort Stockton, TX. Tomorrow, we'll finally be in New Mexico, and by Wednesday Sandia will finally see his first jackrabbit. And Randir will amaze me yet again. It's about damn time!

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Salesman of the Year.

When Patriot's QB Tom Brady finally retires from football, and owns every major record, he should consider a career in sales. He sure sold this play against the Jaguars

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Flying Fanny.

Holy cow! Where did that come from? I'm used to getting shots like this of Buffy, but I've never caught Fanny in this position. She's peaking at just the right time and will be in the best condition of her life when we hit New Mexico next week. Not bad for almost 8 years old. Jackrabbits better look out!

Friday, January 11, 2008

T-Rex vs. Blind Faith

So, we managed to extricate ourselves from the trial site last Sunday while there was still a lot of daylight left. That gave us our opportunity to spend the night at the very nice campground of the Dinosaur Valley State Park. As a bonus, there were only 3 other campers in the entire park, so we were able to spread out considerably.

We got hooked up, fed the dogs, and went back into Glen Rose for a damn good Italian dinner at Juliany's. (No review links or web page). Second time we've eaten there, and it was just as good this time as the first.

Monday morning we were able to hit a part of the park's extensive hiking trail system. Extensive enough to have a lot of back country camping locations. Our objective, however, was to follow the trail along the river to see the dinosaur tracks, left in the sand over a hundred million years ago, during the Cretaceous Period. The tracks were left by the two critters below,

one vegetarian, one meat eater. The tracks can be seen clearly in the below image, and also in more detail if you click on the new slide show on the sidebar. There's something just really cool about being able to "time travel" like this.
We spent a couple of hours on the trail, ending up at the two models (see the slide show), before returning to the Express to pack up and get out before the very generous 2PM check out time.
As we left the park, we drove by a neighboring enterprise:

The cleverly named, "Creation Evidence Museum". Yin and Yang? Fact and Fantasy? Interesting juxtaposition. We certainly didn't have the time to go in and visit, and I would have most certainly gotten us tossed out if we did. I expect we'd see a model of Fred Flintstone and his pet, Dino. Overall, it appeared pretty low budget. A bigger-budget, much more subversive version is in operation in Kentucky.
Not to worry, though. Look at those teeth. My T-Rex can shred their Dog-ma.