Monday, December 31, 2007

One More.

Easily, the leap of the weekend.
Never underestimate your canine athletes.
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Cleared For Takeoff

I've often mentioned here my preference for shooting on fields that have some character. "Flat" is the enemy of exciting lure coursing, and lure coursing images. On the list of great fields, soccer fields are usually at the bottom of the list.

This weekend, we were at a soccer/football/baseball complex located in the center of a big oxbow of the Brazos River in Richmond, TX. This is not your average soccer field lure coursing field... What makes it different from your run-of-the-mill flat field?

Ditches!

Hounds that negotiated the three jump opportunities on the course flawlessly were rewarded with high scores. The same can't be said for the less successful leapers...

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Believe It: It's the Only Chicks These Guys Can Get.

P*TA is shipping inflatable sex dolls overseas, apparently for wild sex parties involving chickens, scalding hot water, and a goatee'd dead guy in a white suit. That's some rough sex.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Help Find Haggis.

No, not that nasty Scottish "delicacy"... this is a Scottish Deerhound, "Haggis", who's been missing near Bowie, Maryland since a car accident Thanksgiving. Details here.

According to reports on the Deerhound discussion list, he's been spotted many times, but will not approach anyone. He's in survival mode. I've heard of this happening with Salukis that get lost in the New Mexico deserts.. they become practically feral overnight, and won't even approach their owners. It's what keeps them alive.


Hopefully Haggis can be reunited with his people soon.

Georgians. Pick Up Trucks. A Pee Wee Football Team?!?

This will irritate Todd, but I can't help myself. There's just too much raw material. I'm just at a loss for this guy's motive.
All that's missing is "Mama", and "Prison". "D-i-v-o-r-c-e" is probably in his future, if this loser's even married.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Fark.

I just love Fark. Follow the link to see holiday stories about:

  • Slow news day: Woman discovers she is allergic to Christmas trees

  • Humbug, the law that banned Christmas

  • It wouldn't be Christmas on Fark without at least one story of a drunk naked guy plowing his car into a garage. Happy Holidays, everybody

  • 6.2 magnitude quake hits Japan. No word on possible tsunami. Large Caucasian man in red suit seen near epicenter wanted for questioning

  • LAPD arrests 280-pound man dressed in Santa hat, red lace camisole, purple G-string, and black leg warmers for DUI. Thankfully, this article has no pics


  • Man missing in the wilderness near Humptulips found safe just in time for Christmas. In related news, submitter now can't stop saying 'Humptulips' (I've actually been in Humptulips! - DG)

...and some non-Christmas stories:



  • Man demonstrating how he would kill companion with a nail gun shoots himself

Check it out. Lots more where that came from.


Monday, December 24, 2007

Anniversary.

Christmas day marks the 3rd Anniversary of the Hare-Brained Express Tour blog. I just finished looking over the very first couple of posts. I was pretty clueless, and Blogger was pretty primitive. But we've gotten to this point, and while readership isn't in the "Daily Kos" range, by any stretch of the imagination, we're averaging close to 20 looks a day. And that's pretty good. Thanks everybody.

Merry Christmas to All...

..or whatever your special holiday. As I mentioned the other day, we didn't get a card made this year, for a variety of reasons, none of which are important enough to go into here, so I just had a brainstorm. Our.. My Christmas Card to all readers... with thanks to Robert Earl Keen:

Sunday, December 23, 2007

And That's Why They Call it "Jerky".

I was sure this story was going to take place somewhere in the South.

One-Handed Photography.

Why "one-handed"? I present you with Exhibit A. My left hand was busy holding dogs. Fortun-ately, I found out that vibration reduction is a good thing to have, especially when all I had was the heaviest camera in the arsenal-and no flash. Thank goodness for "editing tools"! Would have been a good time to test out a new D300. (I wonder if we're getting one for Christmas??).

Anyway, Mr. Puppy was suffering from extreme cabin fever, so I packed him.. and Rally, in the car and drove 30 miles to the Big Thicket National Preserve, where these images were taken on the Kirby Nature Trail. We had a great walk, with the following exceptions:
  • Extra 3 miles of walking, backtracking to find the cell phone


  • Half a dozen deer ticks on the dogs. (None on me.)
Other than that, a very nice afternoon for a walk. More images are on the new slide show on the sidebar. If you want to see larger images, click on the slide show to be taken to the web album. Enjoy. As usual, heavy on the fungi.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Crazy Horse Lives!

image ©Crazy Horse Memorial Fnd.

The Memorial, that is. With the help of a $5 million matching donation, from a South Dakota billionaire banker, the memorial, which promises much more drama than a bunch of dead presidents or Confederate generals, will probably be completed. Hopefully in our lifetime.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Mother of Invention.

I've been logging a lot of internet time since I have a lot of it on my hands, and I don't have to share "WiFi time". Tonight I finally decided to check out a relatively new service from Netflix, called "Watch Instantly". I/We've been subscibers of Netflix for a number of years, and enjoy the huge catalog of movies they have to offer.. mainstream flicks, indies, documentaries, TV shows, foreign, classics... the list goes on. Our problem is our travel schedule. The movies have to catch up with us, and we don't always watch them right away. In fact, right now we've got a movie on our shelf we've been carrying around for over a month. That's not economical at $16.95 a month.

With the "Watch Instantly" option, I can download up to 16 hours of movies during any billing period, so tonight for my "road test" I downloaded some Japanese Anime... a little ditty called "Girl's School"... (and now I know why geeks and adolescent boys are so enamored of this genre ;^)

Next, wanting to watch something short, I chose Season 1 of 30 Rock, (primarily because I was forced to miss it when it was on air because - someone - always wanted to watch CSI instead). My personal opinion is that 30 Rock is one of the funniest, and best written programs on television due, in no small part, to it's creator, Tina Fey. Not only is she wickedly, brilliantly funny, but she's so damn hot! (It's OK... Margaret knows about this crush and is cool with it.. right?) Besides, I'm not alone!


Anyway, my experiment with Netflix downloads.. (which are included in our monthly service, by the way) was a mixed positive. Because I'm parked a fair ways from the antenna at this campground, the signal was low, causing some buffering issues, but Netflix has a nice fix, which halts the stream until a sufficient amount of buffering has occurred to not hold up the movie again. Their viewer (which you download for your first movie) adjusts to the speed of your connection. Overall, I like it, and will probably use it whenever we're in a place that has faster than dial-up speeds.

A Pretty Cool Dog.



HT Linda Stillwell in Oklahoma.

Not to bum everybody out, but it's been reported that Skidboot passed on earlier this year.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

A Problem.

The return flight's not until the following Friday!
Shades of "Donald & Lydia". So much for doing our part for world peace.

I've Got Some Bad News.. and Some Good News.

There. It's not just the South. Received word last week from Margory that the spectre of AB1634 is about to raise it's ugly head again. Just when we were ready to venture into the Sunshine Golden State next Summer for the Scottish Deerhound Club of America National Specialty at Lompoc. Not if this piece of garbage passes, we won't. Not one tire tread will cross that border, and if the Club is smart, they'll pull their event out of the state. Anyway, keep abreast of the news on this issue by regularly checking (and supporting) the link above.

On a related subject, Steve Bodio informs us of a new advocacy group directed specifically at sporting dogs. Check out the website, and see if it deserves your support. I like the looks of it.

The Bachelor

That's me. Took Margaret to Houston Intercontinental Airport.. (yeah, yeah, I know.. think Washington National.. or Idlewild).. to fly to spend Christmas with "the Georgia Reiniches". (Congratulations reader Cynthia!). Ordinarily, we'd both go, but with no events to attend in Georgia it made no sense to make the 900 mile trip there when we were going to be back here in Texas for year end.

So here I sit, at the Escapees Rainbow's End RV park in Livingston, TX. Just me, 5 dogs, and a cat. There's a big ham dinner on Christmas at the Activity Center, and maybe one of the single RV geezer ladies will hit on me. You never know.

Anyway, there's plenty to do around here. The Big Thicket National Preserve is not far, and Lake Livingston offers much to explore as well. I'll survive.

Oh! One more thing: We never got around to getting a Christmas card done this year. So don't be running breathlessly to your mailboxes every day. I should come up with something before the holiday.

If not, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to everybody!

Monday, December 17, 2007

Wow! It's Like Christmas in.. in.. December!


Yes, that's brand spankin' new University of Michigan football coach, Rich Rodriguez... Godfather of the spread offense. And believe you me, boys and girls there's going to be some changes made... not just at Michigan, but the whole Big Ten; if they want to keep up, that is. This will represent a sea change, a paradigm shift, a... a... oh, I don't know- pick a superlative- in the conference. This might just be the guy to drag the Big Ten, kicking and screaming, into the 21st Century. And I couldn't be more excited. We will soon be playing a very un-Big Ten brand of football!

When the rumors first surfaced last Friday, I thought it would be a great hire, but didn't think it would have a prayer. We talked about it at the lure trial this weekend, but no one thought, given the ridiculous way the coaching search had progressed over the last month, that Michigan would accomplish anything more than getting Rodriguez a healthy raise from West Virginia U. When I was told yesterday that Michigan actually pulled it off, I was ecstatic.

The same can't be said for the poor residents and students in West Virginia. For the second time in less than a year, Michigan has grabbed a high profile coach from West Virginia University. Last spring it was John Belein, the basketball coach. They're feeling abused down there, but it's been going on for over a hundred years. As it happens, Michigan's first great football coach, the legendary Fielding H. "Hurry Up" Yost, known best for his "point a minute" teams at the turn of the last century was born in Fairview, West Virginia in 1871, only a handful of miles away from Rodriguez' home town. Wow.

I even got an email from a well known veterinary orthopedic surgeon who operates out of Wheeling, WV and is a WVU grad, voicing his disappointment in Coach Rod, and wondering how he could leave the team in the lurch and not even coach the Fiesta Bowl game. But this is just how the game is played in the big time, like it or not.

And speaking of playing the game... if West Virginia had done it's part, and not gotten upset by the lowly Pittsburgh Panthers in the last game of the year, then "Coach Rod" doesn't have his secret meeting with the Michigan search team in Toledo, Ohio, and Les Miles is assembling his new coaching staff in Ann Arbor, and not preparing to put a whoopin' on Ohio State in the BCS National Championship game. Funny how things work out.

For now, we'll just have to remember, if we have to take a dog to WV for treatment, we'd better remove our "M" sticker from the rear window, and the "Big House Football" frame from around the license plate.

Just like I can't wait to get to New Mexico to run the dogs on jackrabbits, I can't wait for next Fall!

Friday, December 14, 2007

Yeah. They're That Good!

Patriots Proud Of Defeating Whoever That Last Team Was

The Onion

Patriots Proud Of Defeating Whoever That Last Team Was

FOXBOROUGH, MA—Patriots quarterback Tom Brady diplomatically emphasized that defeating whoever it was they had just played gave him and his...

Site Changes

Seems like whenever we return to civilization from an extended visit to a land of zero, or limited, internet signal, it's like being resurrected from the dead. I'm sure you're tired of coming aboard and seeing the same (cute) picture for over a week straight. But here we are again, at a decent little campground on the side of US 290 near Hempstead, TX. Not WiFi, but the GPRS/EDGE is about as fast as I can remember.

Anyway.. over the past month we've made some changes to the blog. While the general appearance remains the same, we've been able to add a lot of new elements, because Blogger finally made it easy to do.

Starting from the top, you've probably already noticed the slide show. I picked jackrabbits to start, but will probably change the subject matter from time to time. If you want to see a larger version, just click on an image.

Below the slide show, I just added our shooting schedule for the next 2 and a half months. This is much more convenient than doing it in a post and then watching is scroll down, down, down and out of sight (and mind). It's always going to be right there. That big gap between the AAWC trial at Hutto, and the Pack Hunt/Desert Hare Classic, represents our "vacation" in New Mexico. We'll be running jacks, eating green chilis, and drinking tequila. I also may venture into Mexico for some discount dental work and new glasses. And maybe this will be the year I finally meet Steve Bodio face to face! That may mean more tequila.

The next couple of blocks of items remain pretty much as they always were. I should point out a few new links in the "blogroll". First, they're not all "blogs", but that's just a technicality, right? You can now link to both of our Photoreflect sites: Events, for your dog's pictures in action, and the Nature & Art site. You were probably also wondering what's up with the "Life With the Georgia Reiniches". First one not named Reiniche, (or Jenkins) to guess correctly will win a $5 Shot On Site gift certificate. Hint: check their archives.

I also added Fark.com. Yeah, like he needs our help. If you've just crawled out from under a rock, Fark is the number one visited site (OK, occasionally number two) on the internet. Go there and you'll see why. It's addictive.

Last, at the bottom of the sidebar, is the return of the Backwards Bush countdown calendar. Where we're about to go under 400 days!

Dog posts and more puppy pictures coming soon! Just weighed Sandia. 49.5 pounds! Holy Crap! And one other news flash: We now know why Rally has been so slow of late. She's begun a tear of the achilles tendon on her left leg. So she's back on the disabled list for at least two months, according to Dr. Don Hulse of Texas A&M. Thanks doc. :(

Monday, December 03, 2007

Y' Want It?


You can have it. Go on. Take it. You know you want it. C'mon take it. Just try.

I believe I've finally succeeded in capturing Sandia's personality. ;^)

Rally's, too.

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Monkey In the Middle.

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More Fun at the South's Expense.

I don't make this stuff up. While watching some football this weekend, on CBS's Chattanooga affiliate, I noticed something strange. Everytime a promo for the Victoria's Secret annual Christmas program came on, the volume would go down, rising up again after the spot. It would also happen when the football announcers would talk about it. This happened on Saturday, during the college games, and on Sunday during the NFL broadcasts. And who's job is it to sit and monitor these spots, because it was definitely someone manually turning a volume control dial? (Because they didn't always get the sound all the way off).

Is it me, or is this just plain weird, since the air dates and time are flashed on the screen during the promos? So who's being protected here? Or maybe it just says something about literacy in the South.. they can't hear it, and they certainly can't read it.

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Wilderness.

Yes, we're lost in the wilderness again. This time, about 6 miles east of I75 near Calhoun, Ga. We're camped out for the week at friends' new home and lure coursing venue: "GANG Park". As coursing fields go, this one's got some character, ie: no flat, level parts anywhere. Cool.For economic reasons, we decided to stay for the week following the trial we shot last weekend, even though we're not shooting this weekend's trial. When the bus ain't moving, we ain't spending money! We also had access to the field and some pretty big dog runs all week...
...something we don't see at a normal campground. Drawbacks include the fact that neither our phones, nor our aircard are picking up a signal. So I'm writing this from the Java Junction Cafe in Calhoun. Pretty good place.
UPDATE: I got rushed out of the coffee shop on Saturday before I could finish this with a fun little anecdote. The name GANG Park comes from the lure coursing club, "Greyhound Association of North Georgia". We know that, but apparently the nearby residents didn't. When the homeowner put up a fancy "GANG Park" sign, the town offices were flooded by calls wondering how they could let "gangs" have their own place!? It's all been straightened out now, and since there was no permit for the sign, it has now been removed.

GOP Whine Cellar: Can't win if'n we can't cheat!

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