Thursday, March 30, 2006

Margaret Knows Her Way Around A Camera, Too.

Lately, this space has tried to be political punditry, film and book criticism, and satirical slapstick... among other things. We've lost track of the fact that we're primarily about photography! We've seen a lot of my stuff here, and for more of that there's always the website

But Margaret's been stretching her photographic legs lately, too, so we'll be posting some of her interesting work here. Much of her stuff is shot from the righthand seat of a moving vehicle,(She shot the "Impeach Bush" yard sign for the previous post). So here's some more from that perspective: These were taken on the mountain south of Jellico, TN on I-75. We were going north and seeing our first snow in nearly 48 months! That would account for the extreme concentration on the part of the driver... I really like the use of negative space in the above shot.. it gives it a feeling of true desolation. (Which is how it felt at the time!)
Will post some of Margaret's good abstract nature work in the future. Watch this space.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Home Sweet Home

After spending the last 7 months in Red (NC, MO, SD, NE, OK, TX, GA, FL, TN, OH) and purple (NM) states, it's good to be back in a good old Blue state.. in this case, in our home town, Ann Arbor. These signs are pervasive here... conservatively, no pun intended, in about every 5th yard in the neighborhoods we drove through today. While the sentiment is noble and just, the reality is that it ain't gonna happen... terminal stupidity is not a "high crime and misdemeanor", and since the alleged president is not having an affair with an intern or page, it's not likely to get the attention of the congress. The people have an alternative, however, as writer Kevin Phillips explains here. There may be hope for our "strange nation" yet.

Sunday, March 26, 2006

Incest and Vomit and Bestiality Oh My!!

I love Since many theatre chains refused to book
The Aristocrats, I was only able to see it courtesy of our Netflix subscription. Without going into details that would gross out even the least squeamish of our readers, it's a documentary, produced by Penn Gillette (of Penn & Teller) and Paul Provenza (shown below demonstrating Drew Carey's punchline gesture). It's the deconstruction of a 100 year old Vaudevillian joke, that comedians still tell to each other, (but rarely to the public- when you see the film you'll know why. Film critic David Edelstein says, "If The Aristocrats doesn't shock you, there's something deeply wrong with you. You need to be locked up—now." And that from a positive review!). It features 100 comedians from Robin Williams to Gilbert Gottfried, and from Rita Rudner to Whoopie Goldberg... all putting their own spin on this classic underground joke. My favorite? The special South Park animation sequence; and in a segment you'll have to see*, the joke is told by a mime! There are moments where you'll be asking yourself, "what th....??", and others where you'll be, like Rob Schneider at the Friar's roast of Hugh Hefner, on the floor in gut-busting pain. I guarantee it. I'll let Margaret have the last word.. "It was completely disgusting, but I still enjoyed it". What more do you need? Check it out.

*He was a mime after all...

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Totally Irrelevant Celebration

Not that it means a damn thing in the grand scheme of things but Duke is OUT. And I couldn't be happier.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Sirs, Lords, Ladies, and all that British Stuff

As I noted in a previous post, Sir Mark Prescott was not knighted. He came about his title, as a Georgian Anglophile who knows him put it, "the old fashioned way, he inherited it". Now this is something that I didn't know, and based on comments on one of the dog lists I'm on, others didn't know about either. As luck would have it, has an article today that explains how it works:

"Human nature being what it is, people have always wanted baubles and prefixes, and human nature being what it is, these things have often been for sale. After all, the baronetcy, a quaint hereditary knighthood, was devised by King James I in the early 17th century specifically to raise cash. With the advent of electoral politics, it was parties that turned to selling honors—and prime ministers who were beset by importunate wannabes. After Lord Salisbury became prime minister for the first time in 1885, he said that dealing with those aspiring lords or sirs had "been a revelation to me of the baser side of human nature."

That was then. This is now... the article, entitled So You Want to be a Lord: How to buy your way into the British aristocracy, by Geoffrey Wheatcroft (Sir?), covers the latest British scandals involving buying and selling of titles. So now you know the whole story!

War Declared on your Dog!

You love your dog. You work your dog. Or both. The ARistas are out to take your dog away from you, one baby step at a time. None are more insidious than the H$U$. (I will not post the correct characters here, because there's no way I will tolerate a Google ad for these creeps on my page). If you hunt... with or without a dog, you owe it to yourself to read this recent post in Matt Mullenix's blog.

While I'm on the subject of blogs... there are a few more that I've discovered recently- none more informative or entertaining than this one from New Mexico falconer and houndman, Steve Bodio. His take on the current coursing controversy is enlightening, but you should check out the archives for much, much more. Warning: This site will also make you hungry from time to time. Maybe even hungry enough to try jackrabbit!

Speaking of the coursing controversy in California, there is still time, (although it's running out) to do your part to help Stop the California coursing ban. Note the quote from my Rightwing friend, Bob Jahn (shown here doing his best King of the Hill's Dale Gribble impression). I tend to reject just about all of Bob's politics, but he's spot on here.

The last blog, is my pitiful attempt to counter the gloom and doom. It has nothing to do with dogs, or coursing, or politics. It's Where the Hell is Matt? The journal of full-time globe-trott... er, globe-dancer from Seattle, Matt (Last name not given). He's the guy you may have seen on Ellen, or Good Morning America, or other programs. Wherever in the world he is, he gets someone to film him doing his goofy whiteguy dance. The locations are incredible. Check out the film here. Not only is the blog generally hilarious, but it is educational as well. Well worth a look.

Monday, March 20, 2006

A Different Kind of Writer's Block

In the last few weeks I've had so many things I wanted to post here that I ended up not posting anything. It's also a problem when we spend so much time without a high speed connection. Anyway- I've got some time tonight, and I'm at the Flying J, and the 1's and 0's are flying back and forth between the laptop and the roof of the travel plaza, so... here goes:

Susan Werner

Those of us who despair of our nation's downward spiral to the Right can at least take comfort in the fact that there's someone out there who can voice our despair in a poetic way. And a beautiful voice it is. Give a listen to Susan Werner's My Strange Nation. It gives us hope that the America we learned about in grade school can be returned to US. It's been getting a lot of play on Sirius Disorder. And it's a free download at the website.

That Greyhound "Thingy"

Well, it went off without a hitch. Unless a 1000 yard drag lure that wouldn't work, and a serious leg injury to one dog, and numerous toe injuries to a bunch of others can be considered "hitches". Other than that, I guess it can be considered a rousing success. In fact, just from the numbers alone: 40 entries! it can be considered a rousing success. Organizers are unclear, but they think this is the first time in ASFA history that the Open Stake in greyhounds has had to be split.

We're happy with our little part in the event. That would be Rally's 3rd place finish in the Open Flight A, not the income derived from photographing the event- that would currently stand as the 3rd worst weekend event for us since we took our show permanently on the road. At least it was enough to get gas to get to the next event in Ohio, and there will still be some internet sales, so it might eventually be a financial success as well. One can hope.

One of the delightful surprises of the weekend was meeting, and hearing speak at the banquet, Sir Mark Prescott- the man who rescued the Waterloo Cup from rust and disuse, and wrote an excellent history of the event. He discussed some of the history at the banquet, and gave a cautionary tale on the recent brouhaha about open field coursing in California. Based on what he told us, it's apples and oranges, and he's got nothing of use for us. For instance, it's unlikely that any open field event in the United States will ever draw 100,000 spectators. That was the crowd for a Waterloo Cup in the 1920's!

Meeting a live Knight was interesting, but it's getting old hat. A few years ago in Lexington, KY I met, and had dinner with Sir Terrence Clarke, another notable canine authority. Wha..? What's that? Oh. I didn't know that.. it turns out that "Sir" Mark is not a Knight. He merely inherited the title. I wonder if that's also true of Sir Terrence. Probably. And Sirhan Sirhan as well, I suppose.

Anyway, back to the action. Without going into all the ins and outs, when all was said and done, a whole bunch of hardware, champagne, and fancy big rosettes were handed to my good friends, Mike and Karen Lorenzo, whose Dresda ended up winning the whole shebang. A much anticipated matchup between Dresda (codename: Tweezer; just check that bite!) and Jerry Burrus's Gilda didn't happen as Gilda, AKA: the blackest dog I've ever seen, dislocated a couple of toes in winning the Open Flight A.

And then there was this:
When I first saw it, it was just after a course had been stopped due to equipment malfunction, so I naturally assumed it was the caution flag. No racing to the finish line, and pit lane is closed! I don't know. Margaret finally 'splained it to me.

The Next Events

Leaving the South. I'm insisting it's way too early to head north, but north we will go. This coming weekend, March 25-26, we'll be at Twin Tower Park outside of Fairborn, OH. Then we'll try and get the awning fixed in northern Indiana, known as RV Central. (It was damaged in Georgia back before Christmas.) From there, we'll go to Belvedere, IL for the BCOSW trial. That will be the 1st and 2nd of April. Not sure where next. I'll let you know when we know. There's an Irish Wolfhound specialty there, somewhere. What fun! A mystery!

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Today's Observation

Had dinner tonight, as we often do when travelling, at the Flying J truck stop restaurant. Pretty fair fare. Something I've noticed many times, all across the country at these places: If there's a more unfit class of people in America than truck drivers, I'd like to know who they are. These guys (and the occasional girls) are truly a mess. I can't believe any of them live past 50. I'll try and get some pictures one of these days and post them.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Hanging out in Tallahassee

Is this Florida? Or Southern Georgia? One thing for sure is that aside from being the place where the biggest ripoff in Presidential politics happened, it's where they love their Florida State Seminoles.

We decided to hang around for a couple of days, waiting for some mail that should have arrived Friday.

Meanwhile, there was the Appalachee Coursing Club trials this past weekend. While the course plans weren't exactly what I was used to from past trials here, I still got some good action. And, as usual, the lunches were first rate.

The Best in Event was won by the greyhound, Donald, owned by Glen and Pam Davis. A relative lure coursing rookie (this might have been his third or fourth trial), he's an accomplished runner. Here, he's shown in his Sunday preliminary run.

The event trophy, is the Robert Nix Memorial Trophy, which was donated by Les Pekarski a couple of years ago. While I only met Robert Nix once, back in 1996, I owe much of what Shot On Site Photography has become to him. Robert is generally considered the father of lure coursing photography. Long before the advent of digital cameras, Robert was shooting events with old, reliable manual Nikons and Leicas, and even though he eschewed photo labs, he always had images to show the very next day. Les recounted yesterday some evenings when he shared a hotel room with Nix where, the bathroom would be unavailble for most of the night because it was turned into a slide processing lab. Here is Les presenting the Robert Nix trophy to Glen Davis.

The other noteworthy happening of the weekend also involved, peripherally, Les, and his wonder whippet Gala. Gala became the first ASFA Veteran LCM3! On top of her previous 20 LCMs, that's an amazing career. Les has computed it out, and Gala (and her running mate, Spy) have each run more than a million yards. You go girl. Here's Gala (muzzle), and Spy running on Saturday.

We're still waiting to see where we're going next weekend. But while we're here, we're going to check out the area. If we find something fun, we'll let you know.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Back To Basics..

For a while now, I've lost sight of the original purpose of this blog, which was to keep the sighthound fancy aware of our travel and shooting plans. So, here goes..

This weekend we'll be in Tallahassee for the ACC ASFA lure trial. This is one of my favorite fields to shoot. The course plans always present the hounds a couple of times on each course, so I always get really good action stuff here.

The following weekend, March 11-12, we're either going to be off, enjoying Fort Yargo State Park in Winder, Georgia, or we'll be at the GOGLC trial in Brooksville, FL- this will depend on whether someone from this trial will be at Tallahassee and I can find out if we can go there in the motor home.

March 18 & 19 we will be back at Old Mill Farm in Cartersville, GA for what is being called an "ASFA National Greyhound Specialty", and which I have been referring to in my emails as "that greyhound thingy". This is a good field to run, and we may run Rally if her injured toenail is healed enough, but it's always been problematic for getting good sight angles for action. Back at the year end trials there, I did get an opportunity to shoot from a unique perspective. But Les Pekarski isn't going to bring out the 62 foot lift truck every weekend.

March 25-26 will bring us back up North for the first time since September, and it's a little too early in the season for my tastes, but we'll be at OKIGO's AKC trials in Fairborn, OH, which is another good field for unique action perspectives.

Our future plans also include the Scottish Deerhound Club of America's 100th National Specialty in Frankenmuth, MI in May, and a NOTRA weekend in Carthage, IN, also in May, and we'll be in Falcon, CO for ASFA's International Invitational in June, and this may preclude us from getting to Lexington for the Saluki Specialty.. it will require a long run, using lots of gas! Will depend on how well we do at the II.

Our 4th of July plans are up in the air right now.. we'll either be at the MGA ASFA trial in Metamora, MI or we may go back to Cartersville, as it's some sort of anniversary event, like the 20th or 25th or something.

That's it for now, we'll fill in the blanks as we get closer to April and May events.