Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Today's Health Tip

Here I was, thinkin' that I was going to meet up with Stone Phillips at this nice rural Ohio home, and we'd discuss teen sex on national TV... Instead, I get whacked over the head, and when I wake up, my back's been sewn up... and my kidney's gone!

In all seriousness... this is an example of why it's smart to cover up and/or wear your sunscreen! This is where one of two "atypical" moles had resided on the back of yours truly. The other one was on the back of the neck, and looks about the same.

They were removed last Friday at the Ann Arbor VA hospital by a pair of young... really young, dermatologists. I had thought, at first, that I'd wandered onto the set of Grey's Anatomy, they were so pretty... the boy doctor and the girl doctor.

So I spent the better part of an hour face down on a surgical table while they went at my flesh.

They reassured me that these were not malignant... but that they weren't exactly normal, either. All in all a scary proposition.

And that's why we weren't at the race meet in Antioch last weekend. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Going... Going...

...and nearly gone. "I heard the news today, oh boy..." that the city of Detroit has finally decided to tear down Tiger Stadium.

And when it's gone there will be only Fenway Park in Boston to represent the old time stadiums. It's hard to get really worked up about it.. it's been sitting unused for 7 years now. The last game played there was in 1999.

This web site
keeps track of "at risk" ball parks. There's a nice sentiment there that resonated with me somehow:

For many, old ballparks represent simpler times and a more egalitarian atmosphere; they also serve as direct links to the past, bridges to childhood memories of time spent as a child with parents and loved ones.

No wonder, then, that an old ballpark can stir some powerful memories. In an ever-changing world, an old ballpark is an island of stability and tranquility. There are few places that are the same as they were 20, 30 or 75 years ago. Your grandfather's Tiger Stadium is the same as your father's Tiger Stadium. Sadly, it's not your Tiger Stadium if it's torn down to make way for a Best Buy or a Home Depot. That's why this list was compiled: to stir public awareness and to perhaps make people realize that there are old ballparks worth saving.

I don't know how "powerful" the memories are, but they remain.. Tiger Stadium is the one sports venue in Detroit that I went to more than once or twice. I saw one hockey game at the old Olympia... never went to "The Joe". Saw one Pistons game at Cobo Arena. Haven't been to the new football field yet, or Comerica Park- the Tigers' new home. I was trying to remember how many times I have gone to Tiger Stadium.. at least half a dozen, probably more.

I remember coming into Detroit to attend a game when I was very young. I was with my father, and the neighbor kids and their father. We were down on the expressway, and there was a house burning, up on the surface street. "Fully involved", as they say on TV. Had nothing to do with Tiger Stadium, per se, but I remember it like it was yesterday.

I think it was at Tiger Stadium where I first became unable to pee in public.. may need hypnosis to confirm that theory.. but there was an event in the public restroom that I remember well. Big room with long troughs. Very fancy plumbing, and zero privacy. I might have been 10, or so.

In later years, we drove down from Saginaw to see Mark "The Bird" Fidrych pitch. He was a phenomenon of the '70s. Known for talking to the ball. The game was rained out. We spent the rest of the afternoon at the Lyndell AC. A legendary bar near the stadium.

I saw the Lions play an ABC Monday Night Football game there. The series was in it's second season. We could see Howard and the boys in the booth.

That booth was another phenomenon of Tiger Stadium.. hanging off the upper deck, directly behind home plate. Van Patrick, or Ernie Harwell, or George Kell, or Al Kaline would have to duck the foul balls. You could hear the ricochet on the broadcasts. And how did Ernie always know where the guy down the left field foul line, who caught the ball, lived? "That foul ball was caught by a man from Whitehall, Michigan..." Amazing.

I've sat everywhere in Tiger Stadium... the upper deck on the 3rd base side, the box seats on the 1st base side, the centerfield bleachers, lower deck behind the plate.

So many amazing things happened there, just in my lifetime. I didn't go to any games in 1968, (I was in the Navy), but I followed closely the World Series from my duty station in Memphis. They were all Cards fans- it was Tim McCarver's hometown.) The CW is that the Tigers saved the city that year... it was the year after the riots. The Tigers brought the city together.

Again in 1984, the year of "Bless You Boys". The Tigers started the season 35-5 and never looked back. That World Series gave us a preview of Kirk Gibson's proclivity for dramatic home runs.

An on and on. I can see the stadium in my mind's eye. I can smell it. I can taste the peanuts purchased from the vendors on the way to the turnstile. I guess I'm going to miss it. I'm surprised at how much the memories came back as I started to type.

Comerica Park's a nice place. One of the best of the new "retro look" parks. But it ain't on Michigan and Trumbull.

Friday, June 16, 2006


The observant among you will notice certain changes to the right of this post. First, the absence of the Google Ad. This was supposed to generate lots of income from the millions of readers of this blog, when they click on the ad for "West Highland Terriers For Sale", or "Mac lessons", or whatever. In a year in a half, the total number of click-throughs on this fine program totalled exactly: 0. I never even clicked on them myself, because that would be illegal! So, our total income from the Google AdSense program totalled exactly: $0.

Obviously, something wasn't working... and that something was: Google Ads. So I've resorted to a more direct approach: The Tip Jar. I really don't expect it to do much better than the Google AdSense program, but who knows? It works through PayPal, and it's for a good cause. When you click on the Tip Jar (assuming you find the content of this blog a) helpful, b) insightful, c) humorous or entertaining, d) educational, or e) all of the above), you will be directed to PayPal.com where you can donate any amount no matter how small (or large) to the "Bounder Fuel & Maintenance Fund". It costs a lot of bucks to haul this 10 ton behemoth around the country... lessee.... 80 gallon fuel tank X $2.75 a gallon..... wow! You could feed a platoon of Marines in Iraq for that kind of money. And, we just put over $800 into it for a tune up and new front springs; the coach batteries are dead.. that's another $150, minimum. And the beat goes on.

This will spur us (me) on, of course, to make this blog even better. It was enlightening to find, at the II, that people actually read it! I had no way of knowing.. readers rarely comment, which was the only way to know someone had looked- until I added the counter- another new feature on the right hand side. It is also linked to an ad. I have no idea what Pronto Pasta is, nor do I wish to find out. The counter's free because of it. Maybe if someone clicks on the Pasta thing, they'll report back on it.

Lastly, I was shamed into putting the link to "Go Coursing Dot Com"... since there's supposedly a link to our photo site on their site. (I haven't found it, nor have I found the photo credits for the fine photos of their hounds). The proprietors are good people, Red State-bound though they are, and the products I've used.. mostly the "Burn Out" (and mostly on me!) are excellent. When our coursing and racing blankets wear out, we'll replace them from GoCoursing... Check them out! Now, maybe they'll be shamed into making a donation for fuel...

Onward and upward...

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Is This Oxymoronic?

Think about this: The Fifty Greatest Conservative Rock Songs. Apparently not to the National Review. Here's a commentary I found on the Huffington Post, where you can link to the whole sordid article.

By the way.. "Wouldn't It Be Nice" aside.. the Beach Boys's Pet Sounds was one bitchin' album. (And we were conveniently ignoring the "abstinence message" back in the '60s anyway... isn't that right dear?)

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Speaking of Underwear..

We rarely stop at campgrounds that have cable TV.. and we don't have a dish, so discovering Fuse TV was quite a revelation last night. Proof that anyone.. maybe even me.. will do anything for money. You gotta see Pants Off- Dance Off. I can't think of anything to add.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Boxers, Briefs, or.......?

Never know what you're going to read at Slate.com, as the above link will show. Gotta admit, I like the 3rd option in cold weather, but in the hot, sticky stuff we've got going on now... going "commando" is preferable. Lessons from Vietnam well learned.

Where to Next...?

While it's fun to report, and opinionate, it's always good to be reminded what this blog-thing is really all about for us. The reminder came last weekend at the ASFA II when probably no fewer than a dozen people (probably more- I wasn't counting- but enough that I was astonished by the volume) asked: "Where you guys off to next?" Well, for their benefit and yours, here it is:

This weekend we're at Purina Farms, Gray Summit, MO for LGRA. Photography and racing (if other greyhounds are present.)

Next weekend- off. We were originally planning on another LGRA/WRA meet in Antioch, IL, but the VA called me and wanted me to come on over next Friday to cut some more out of my back.

June 23-25 The "Ridgeback Rodeo", in Pennsylvania. This one should be interesting.

July 1-2 Michigan Gazehound Assoc., ASFA trial, Metamora, MI
Jully 3 RRCUS specialty trial, same place.

July 8-9 LGRA, Oberlin, OH.

Aug 5-6 LGRA, Lewisville IN "On the banks of the ..... whatever creek it is" (Good dog cooling stuff.)

Autumn will be full, and will be posted later. As you can see, there are lots of holes in our Summer schedule. Holes that are sorely in need of filling, if we're to survive the season, and put gas in the beast... I mean the "Express". We could use some suggestions, here. Including non-dog things: art shows, little league baseball, soccer, horses, etc. This is our cry for help!

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Dan's Latest, Greatest Tee-Shirt Design

Maybe not quite as daring as the "Freedom is...." shirt, but may have more mass appeal, especially among the Full Time RV set, who are our kindred spirits. I think it looks good on black. Margaret likes light blue. And it will be evolving, as we're never running out of "roads", (witness Colorado 94 in a previous posting.) $20 bucks. Posted by Picasa

Interesting Developments From Across the Pond

In light of the recent demise of AB2110, I thought it might be of interest to see what's been developing in Great Britain.. where the ban on hunting with hounds emboldened the ARistas in California. One year on, the hunts go on. Read about it here and here.

Desolation Row

As promised... Colorado State Hwy 94. Somewhere between Ellicot and US-40. Not many people.. lots of Kamikaze flying insects, as shown on the windshield. Photo by Margaret. Posted by Picasa

Buffy & Fanny See Gran'pa

This is the image that was supposed to appear in a previous post. We took the girls in to the Greyhound Hall of Fame to see their very famous relative..

As you can see, they were duly impressed, shocked, and awed.

Not sure why these images wouldn't load in the previous post, but they made it here. The mysteries of Java script, I guess.

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

ASFA II - Weekend's Best Images!

Pharaoh Hounds are not true "coursing hounds". But they are sighthounds- that is, they hunt by sight. Their true hunting style is similar to the Ibizan Hound, which hunts in heavy cover by leaping high to get a view of the prey. This Pharaoh Hound, "Emma", made the mistake of getting offline, and ending up in the dry "pond". I waited, for her to re-appear, and was rewarded with the following sequence. Up in the air, and looking for the lure.

There are more. When time allows. Most of the good stuff happens when the dogs cheat. Just a fact of life in lure coursing.

Travelling East.... and pictures!

This is why we ain't going to make it to Lexington, KY for the Saluki specialty this year. Yesterday we left Falcon, CO- site of the 2006 ASFA International Invitational. Possibly the most low key so-called "premier event" in my memory; at least since the last one held in Falcon.

Anyway, we travelled a whopping 200 miles. All the way to Quinter, KS. We took the "scenic" route. Sane people heading East, would drive the 3 or 4 miles back to US-24 in Falcon, and follow it Northeast through the relativly "civilized" ..ie: populated, areas to Limon, where you can then hop on I-70 and go downhill into Kansas. Not us. We meandered a few miles East on Falcon Hwy, to Peyton Hwy, then South about 6 miles to Colorado 94. Back on I-70 East, several days ago, I noticed the billboard trumpeting this as the "most direct route to Colorado Springs and Pikes Peak area". So we took it as the most direct route back to I-70. Makes sense, right? Once we got on 94 and headed East, we were confronted with the white-knuckle billboard: "No motorist services, next 95 Miles". About halfway to the intersection of 94 and US 40, I found myself humming Dylan's "Desolation Row". Not only were there no motorist services, there were damn few people. Between the last population center of Ellicot, and Wild Horse on 40 there were only the crossroad villages with maybe 30-50 hardy souls, total. The rest was filled with miles and miles and miles of nothing. Beautiful big country. And you get a real understanding of why it's called "Big Country". Images are still in the camera, but we'll try and show some of it when we get them loaded.

Once we got on 40, things picked up. We even went through Kit Carson, Colorado! When we finally hit Oakley, we were rewarded with the bigger than lifesize Charlie Norton bronze of Buffalo Bill and the Buffalo....

Full disclosure: I didn't take this picture. I found it on the Internet. We didn't stop.. we were more interested than normally in finding a gas station. But it was quite an impressive piece. Apparently, Mr. Cody was born 20 miles from here.

Once we got enough fuel to move forward, we stopped at the Castle Rock RV Park in Quinter. A pleasant, honor system park, which, if you're not observant, would appear to be closed for business. But we read the sign, and had the whole place to ourselves. Except for the numerous cottontails and ground squirrels that drove the dogs crazy all night.

Today, we drove another 200 miles to Abilene. (See why we wouldn't make it to Lexington?). As I sit here, we're enjoying free WiFi and cable TV at the Covered Wagon Campground. Not a bad deal at all for twenty bucks. Tomorrow, before we leave, we'll head on out to the National Greyhound Association headquarters to pick up a squawker, and maybe some new muzzles for NOTRA and LGRA racing, and we'll see what other interesting stuff they have for sale. Last week, on the way to Colorado, we stopped at the Greyhound Hall of Fame. We've been there several times in the past, but this is the first time we took Buffy & Fanny in to see Grandpa:

(there'll be an image here eventually... having trouble uploading it)

Eventually, we'll end up at the SLASH LGRA racemeet at Purina Farms in Missouri. More later.. I still want to put up a couple of images from the II.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Time again to catch up

Not in this post, however... Margaret didn't let me get near the computer today, (she's trying to earn us some money!), so all the thoughts I had planned on putting down have blown away in the gusting Kansas wind.

So much has gone on since the last posting... the quiet death of California AB2110, a couple of NOTRA race meets that Rally did well in, the recently completed ASFA II that Rally did very well in, all the travel to get from the Deerhound Specialty to the race meets in Indiana and Illinos, and the long haul from there to Falcon, CO and the II.. Whew! It's been an exhausting couple of weeks. I do want to get in a review of this II... hopefully in a couple of days. But, at this time, I can at least congratulate my friends, Teri and Jack on their IG, "Miller" winning the whole enchilada. And here he is:

More thoughts on the II and other stuff when it's not so freakin' late.