Saturday, January 31, 2009

Super Bowl Pick.

Having no emotional connection with either team, I was in a quandary about who to pull for in tomorrow's Super Bowl. Everybody needs to pick somebody.

Using empirical research techniques, and scientific method, I.... oh hell... I just checked the rosters for former University of Michigan players. No contest, as it turns out. The Phoenix Cardinals have 5 former Wolverines, while the Steelers have only two, and considering the Cardinals are already the prohibitive underdog, the choice is easy. Go Cards! As a bonus, Alan Branch is from New Mexico.

And Go Blue! I'm sure no other University has, or maybe ever had, that many alums playing in a single Super Bowl!

"The Lincoln Bedroom."

Due to unprecedented requests for access to the future residents of Mountain House, we've decided to call the little guest cabin "The Lincoln Bedroom". The Clinton years weren't totally wasted on us! I don't have to explain how it works. When the DUTCH T-Shirt button is removed tomorrow, it will become self-explanatory. Nice little place. Small fridge and microwave, shower, sink and toilet. What else could the weary traveller ask for?
Of course, a "donation" does not have to be in the form of money. Food, alcoholic beverages, etc. are welcome as well. We're easy. ;o)

Friday, January 30, 2009

A Grand Old Man.

That's my boy, last weekend. The walk turned out to be a little longer than anticipated due to the lack of hares. About 3 miles, in fact, and he was pretty fagged when we got to the car, and the next day, he never got out of bed, except for the daily "walk". Three days later, he was as frisky as ever. What a freak of nature, to be traipsing in the desert, climbing the Express's stairs, and jumping into the bed at an age when... well, he doesn't have a lot of company.

I hope he survives until we move into the Mountain House, so he'll always be with us.

No Lawn Mower... No Way!

Mountain House. (Working title). New Slide Show available on the sidebar.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Best. Month. Ever!

By 1.

1365 to 1364. And climbing.

Thanks, visitors!

Putting Those Donations to Good Use.


Not the donations sent here to help out Dutch Salmon's family. I'm talking about the money donated to PETA. (Not by anyone who reads this blog, of course, but those other people.) They're not going to be able to help out all those widdle cuddewy-wuddewy furry critters... you know, the ones they end up euthanizing... if they're blowing 3 million bucks on a pornographic Super Bowl commercial.
Alas, we won't get to see the cute lady do herself with a broccoli. NBC decided the ad was too racy. It's OK though... PETA was just going to lie to us.

Like always.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

What Was It?

Even when you're underneath it, the T.A.R.S. Aerostat doesn't look twice the size of the Goodyear blimp. That's because this "weapon" in the so called "War on Drugs", is on a 25,000 foot tether.

The one in my picture is one eleven that the Air Force operates from the Carribean to Arizona. It is located, as you might guess, outside of Deming, New Mexico. It's purpose is not to catch "il-ee-gals" (sorry Todd), but "radar interdiction" of planeloads of illicit drugs coming from the south. So, while Rick correctly identified what it is, Cindy was the only one who got the hint.

There is no prize... you all should be proud of a job well done.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Fundraising Update.

Thanks to all who have ponied up and ordered the DUTCH T-shirts to help out with the Salmon family expenses in the wake of Buddy's illness. Thanks, especially, to those who also got quilt raffle tickets, and ordered items from Dutch's bookstore.

We got orders from local New Mexico residents, and also from as far away as Florida and Massachusetts, Eastern and Western Canada, including the Maritimes, and Great Britain! Dutch has a lot of friends, but also there are strangers out there who just wanted to help.

The T-Shirt orders have dropped to a trickle as of today, so we'll pull the plug on them on February 1st. I'll remove the "Donate" button then. That will give us time to order up the blank shirts and other paraphernalia Margaret will need to produce the final product, and get it to all who donated in a timely fashion.

We'll add our check to the one the quilt raffle folks will be giving Dutch at his Pack Hunt in mid-February.

Thanks again!

Shot On Site. Going...going... ??

The other day I posted a picture of a beat up 2-story barn in the middle of some very spacious ranch land. We had our listing guide in hand and used up more than a half tank of gas looking at various levels of abode.

Today, we got more serious, and called a realtor, so we could look at one place in particular that captured our fancy. She told us about another place that was just coming on the market, and not listed yet. It was, she said, "in the mountains". The price she gave got our attention.
We met the agent at a nearby crossroads, and followed her, as promised into the mountains. The North Florida Mountains to be precise. Which means one of the views from the porches is...

...The South Florida Mountains. Look behind, or to the North and the North mountains are practically in the yard. This little, (about a thousand sq ft) house sits between Rock Hound State Park, and Spring Canyon State Park. The view straight west from the front porch is of the Deming Plain, far below.

For people who would want to come visit, there's a bonus:

This little guest cabin sits behind the main house, on the 1 1/2 acre fenced lot. It has a kitchenette, bed, and 3/4 bath. The main house comes with a washer and dryer, side by side fridge with ice maker, dishwasher, 2 full baths, a perfect room for an office, and one bedroom. Yes just one, which is probably why the price for all of this on a nicely cactus-landscaped lot is.. wait for it.... $60,000. Margaret loves this place. So do I.

But we still wanted to see the house we originally called the agent about.. adobe "work-in-progress", 16 miles south of Deming. Also 1000 sq ft, with 18" thick walls, the owner/builder began this project in 2004. There's a detached workshop/garage as well. I really like this place, but it's priced considerably higher than the mountain house. But not out of reach. And there are miles and miles of jackrabbit habitat right out the back door!

Interior is still under construction, and is only two rooms. The bedroom is to the right of the bed, which had been moved to install the bedroom floor tiles. Next, this large main room will get tile on the right, which is the kitchen side, and the left will get hardwood. Love the exposed beam ceiling!
As if that weren't cool enough... he's put in Sherita's shower!

...and added a cedar plank ceiling. On 4 acres, this one goes for $79,000, has views of the Florida Mountains as well as the Tres Hermanas mountains near the border, which is only about 20 miles south.

We've probably never been closer to getting off the road, and settling down than we are right now, right here.

But don't worry. Shot On Site Photography is not going away... at least not completely. If we do this thing, we'll still have the Hare-Brained Express, and will continue to shoot the high profile sighthound events like the ASFA II, and breed specialty trials, and we'll probably continue to travel East to Georgia at year end. Margaret would insist. It's that grandchildren homing device implanted in her brain.

We'll be starting a new business in this neck of the woods, too, doing photo and video home inventories for insurance and estate purposes. In fact, Margaret ordered the software today.

And a photographer could make a career out of just recording the various faces of the Florida Mountains. Plus, there's so much more of New Mexico to explore and discover.

Just a heads-up. What a day.

Panic Much?

A few of my blogger friends have recently posted gloom and doom pieces about an animal rights whacko President Obama has placed in charge of something called the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. Oh NO!! There goes our pure bred dogs. It'll be Tofu for lunch every- single- freakin'- day!


Fortunately, we have people like "Terrierman" Pat Burns, to actually do the work to uncover the real story behind the viral email panic. Patrick is kind of a DC insider, and he's not panicking.

You should probably read the whole thing. I did and learned a new term: "Chain pull".

Monday, January 26, 2009

Home On the Range.

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The other day we took a long drive around the Deming area, looking at land and homes for sale. This wasn't one of the places, and while the "house" is probably in our price range, the land most certainly isn't.

Search on...

What Is It? (With Hint)

Just a fun diversion from all the seriousness here lately. This is a little game that Patrick play over at Terrierman blog. Just post your answers to the comments section, and all will be revealed in a couple of days.

Playing isn't a requirement, and you don't need to whine about it. You can just say "no".

You People Are Great!

When asked to step up, you respond with vigor.

While we're not exactly swamped with DUTCH T-Shirt orders, we've gotten more, in a short time, than I would have expected. Some people have even donated the $28 and decided to fore go the shirt so the whole amount goes to Dutch, which is cool. Other people are sending cash, with no strings (or T-Shirt orders) attached.

Thanks to bloggers Steve Bodio and Todd Birchfield our original post went nearly viral. On the first day we broke all visit records, logging 247 visitors!
We received donations from Great Britain, as someone had cross posted Steve's post- which linked our post- to the British website, The Hunting Life. We're still getting several visitors a day from that site.. and a lot of them are off to the bookstore, as many of the comments were about Dutch's landmark book, Gazehounds & Coursing. I think he may be moving a few copies this month.

I've heard from the quilt raffle organizers, and they've raised over.. well, a lot of money, and that was before you all read about it here, so a lot of money may turn into a shitlo boatload of money.

And if you follow the live traffic feed over there on the sidebar, you'll see that a goodly number of blog visitors have left via Dutch's bookstore . Dutch has confirmed one book sale... a very expensive book, in fact.. as a direct result of our post.

So.. why not keep up with the good news:

Buddy came home from the hospital on Saturday, and in Dutch's own words, "is on the mend". The snowball effect of which is that Dutch was able to bring out his hounds yesterday.. hounds who hadn't run in nearly a month.. to put the fear of god your deity of choice into a few jackrabbits. We took this opportunity to give Dutch his own shirt. He likes it, and thinks everybody should get one! ;o)

Other than the fact we had to walk 2 hours before jumping the first one, a good time was had by all. We'll be doing it again tomorrow.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Step Up to the Plate.

Many of the readers of this blog know Dutch Salmon, or know who he is. In addition to being one of the best outdoor writers in America, he's one of the true gentlemen of the sport of hounds and open field hunting.

We've known Dutch, and his wife, Cherie and son, Buddy for almost 10 years. Just before New Years, Buddy was air-lifted to the University of New Mexico Hospital with a sinus infection that got out of control, first with paralysis, then seizures. He's had at least one brain surgery, and is still hospitalized.

This has caused financial hardship, and untold wear and tear on vehicles, as there's no easy way to get from Silver City to Albuquerque.. just check a map.. not to mention the cost of lodging in a city hundreds of miles from home.

The coursing community of the southwest has stepped up to try and help defray some of these costs the Salmon family are facing. There is a raffle going on for a "Saluki quilt" for which I'll try and post the details of.

We'd like to expand the effort beyond New Mexico. One way you can help is to check out Dutch's bookstore. There are thousands of titles available, on subjects ranging from open field coursing and fly fishing, to biographies of the heroes and villains of the Old West, and more. If you've never checked it out, now would be the time. Books make great gifts!

Not content to sit and let others carry the load, we've come up with a unique fund raiser: The "Dutch" T-Shirt!

Yes, it's the same great style as the official poster for your favorite new President, and the image posted here recently of an eminent blogger/photographer.

The large (6.7" x 9.7") image will be displayed prominently on your choice of White or Natural cotton T-Shirts, in S-M-L-XL for $28 including shipping. All proceeds, less our raw materials and shipping costs, will be turned over to the Salmon family. Please email me: , or Margaret: with your order, and with questions about orders and sizes other than those listed. We'll accept payment by PayPal, or personal check. I've placed a tool at the top of the sidebar for PayPal orders directly on this site. If you use this method to order and pay, make sure you tell us the color and size of the shirt you want in the message box.

I heard from Dutch by email this morning. He says Buddy is improving, and may be able to come home soon. He also told me he hasn't chased a hare in more than a month.... possibly a personal record. All the more reason to hope for Buddy's return to health.

We hope you all can help. And pass this information on to those who aren't savvy and hip enough to read this blog!

UPDATE: Here are the details on the quilt raffle. I'm sorry, I couldn't add the pictures of the the quilt, but I've seen it, and it's pretty cool, especially if you have Salukis, or are close to someone who is:

"Cindy Brown has donated a 52 inch quilt in shades of blue and gray withSaluki heads in the corners (see photos), to be raffled off and all theproceeds will go to Dutch and his family. Cindy will bring the quilt andtickets to the hunt on January 17^th . The tickets will be $10 each or 3for $25.00. SWCC will offer tickets via the USPS. Send your check, madepayable to SWCC to the treasurer Bill Brown, PO Drawer 29, Mesquite, NM88048, sorry no paypal. The tickets will be returned to you and thedrawing will take place at the Dutch’s Pack Hunt on February 14^th .Checks will be taken up until the day of the drawing and tickets givenout if you are sending a check by mail it must be postmarked by February5^th so we have time to get the tickets back to you. If you are notpresent at the drawing the quilt will be mailed to you and watch for theannouncement on the lists we have posted information to."

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Coming Right Up!

As I write this, we're sitting at 19,999 visitors to this blog. The next one will be nearly famous... ;o)

UPDATE: 4:19PM MST... Welcome, visitor number 20,000, from Tijeras, New Mexico. I'm pretty sure I know who you are, (L.O.), but please contact me to confirm!

Monday, January 19, 2009

17 Miles of Bad Road.

This past weekend, Sandia took part in the TCC* Derby in an area near Socorro, New Mexico. The event consisted of breed hunts on Saturday, with the winners and other placers moving on to run for the Conejo Cup on Sunday.

To get to the hunt area, it was required to navigate the above pictured county "road"; dust, washboard ripples, and soft powder ruled the day. We had to do this twice a day.

By virtue of winning the "Sprint Stake" on Saturday, defeating several of his litter mates, and his mother, along with a shag-coat longdog and a whippet, Sandia got to join the Cup hunters on Sunday.

When the dust cleared, and the scores were tabulated, Sandia wound up in 3rd Place... along with three other hounds.

He's pictured here with Margaret, and judge, Paul Sagar from Great Britain. I thought he might end up 2nd or 3rd... I just didn't expect all the company.
And we'd like to congratulate the winner, Frank Cassano's nice Saluki, Haba.

It was a beautiful weekend of spectacular coursing, with lots of sunshine, cool temps, (mostly) good sportsmanship,
and most importantly of all....

...nobody blew up!

*The Coursing Conservancy. Sorry, no link- website not available to the public.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Best Little Wh.. Bath House in Texas.

One of the reasons we like to park at our friend, Sherita's place is this awesome shower. It's not a stall... nosireebob! This... room.. replaced a common stall. Walk in, sit... or stand... and let the two shower heads drench you.

OK, maybe it's not the coolest shower in Texas, but I'll bet it's the coolest in Coleman County, because Sherita did all of the construction herself. And not just the shower, but the whole damn bathroom!

See, not only does Sherita breed Borzois that kick ass in just about any kind of running competition you can enter a hound in, but she's also an independent contractor, who can be found up on somebody's roof one day, and under a house in a, uh "world of shit" as it were, the next.

She writes about her home repair and construction adventures in her blog, which I've had on my blog list for quite some time. It's mostly to write up her dogs, but I get the most entertainment from the stories like the one linked above, and her observations on the human carnival.

Sherita's hospitality has been appreciated by us gypsies for a couple of years now. I mean, how do you thanks someone who's generosity extends so far as to install a 30 amp outlet on her house for us to plug in to?

I guess this is a start. :o)

I'm Flattered, but...

... they really need to work their spellchecker.

Gauss Gause, Texas.

Answer: "Holy Crap!!!"

Question: What's the only appropriate response, when you drive around a curve and are confronted by a shovel the size of a city block?!?
..And you're not in Pennsylvania, Kentucky, or West Virginia. Didn't expect this in Texas.

Dan's Inauguration Poster.

Make your own "Obama-style" poster here.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Air Show.

This weekend's lure coursing trial was held at the Triple Crown Dog Academy in Hutto, TX, and while there was plenty of speed, grace and agility on the ground, (Sandia picked up another 2nd place finish in Singles.... and he now runs a complete course without stopping in the middle!), the real show was in the air!

There were birds of prey aplenty, and they made the most of their photo ops, by flying directly overhead several times a day.

Of course, there will always be Red Tailed Hawks...

...and this was one of a pair that were doing quite the aerial ballet most of the weekend. I think they may be up to something.

As I was shooting the second runs of the day, I heard a commotion in the thicket next to where I was sitting. I glanced over in time to see all the small birds diving into the brush. I knew immediately what I was going to see overhead...

...this Sharp-shinned Hawk, on the prowl for lunch.

Finally, there was this large fellow; a Red Shouldered Hawk. My Peterson Guide says the red on the shoulders is not always visible from below, but it shows up just fine here. But just in case it didn't, there is the "window" at the base of the primary feathers to confirm the identification, which shows up plainly here as well.

Wednesday, January 07, 2009

On the Road Again.

That's us. And just in time, too. With all the rain of the past couple of days we were turning mildewy. We've been parked too long in high humidity and precipitation, and are longing for the land of single-digit dew points.

So today, we bid farewell to 2008 and hit the road for the first time in '09, and are heading for Texas, and then (oh yeah) New Mexico.

But first! We needed to stop off in Acworth, GA and get the new rear window graphic installed. It was past time to get the old one off..

...The dark parts were turning white, and the whole thing was dried out and brittle. Besides, few people knew what the hell they were looking at. When they finally figured out the jackrabbit, they missed the dog completely, which gave Buffy an inferiority complex.

With Margaret's new design, the ambiguity is right out the window, (no pun intended). It's right in your face..

Almost like a Greyound Bus, huh?

Thanks to a quick install by Les and his employees, we were on the road (again) in no time, beat the Atlanta rush hour, and got 2/3 of the way across Alabama before stopping for the evening.

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Timing Is Everything

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If you were at the G.A.N.G. year-end trials last week, you remember the "pond", or you looked at the pond pictures in the previous post.
If those same trials were scheduled to begin today... they'd be cancelled. We now have not only a pond, but tributaries as well. This picture was taken from the driveway after 2-3 inches of rain fell overnight and this morning. More is on the way...
Keep your powder dry.

That's Quite A Resumé , Norm...

Below is the funniest line I've read about the Minnesota senatorial race, and subsequent recount, which ended yesterday with a proclamation of victory for author/comedian/lecturer, Al Franken. It comes from this post by Nate Silver, of FiveThirtyEight.Com blog:

"Let's be frank: Norm Coleman doesn't have much of a future in electoral politics. Defeated Presidential candidates sometimes have nine lives, but defeated Senatorial candidates rarely do, and in his career running for statewide office, Coleman has lost to a professional wrestler, beaten a dead guy, and then tied a comedian. He doesn't have much to lose by fighting this to its bitter conclusion. But it's hard to envision how he'll come up with enough ballots to overtake Franken."

Coleman should think about that before he puts the state through a long, drawn out, expensive, and ultimately futile legal challenge.

So, congratulations to Al Franken. Minnesotans have shown the guts that the Texans didn't have a few years back when they rejected Kinky Friedman as their governor.

Monday, January 05, 2009

Watch This Space.

Coming soon...
World's biggest bumper sticker! Time to change out the Express' rear window graphic. Photos to follow.

And if you're partial to normal size bumper stickers, remember we carry with us a stock of all sighthound (and more) breeds to all the trials we attend. (Pharaoh Hounds currently SOLD OUT.. Thanks guys!!).

Also, bumper stickers and more are available at our Cafe Press storefront!

Sunday, January 04, 2009

Waterboarding Is F-U-N!

My preference for shooting lure coursing on fields with a little bit of character is pretty well known. So when we arrived at the hilariously named G.A.N.G. Park, (which is, in reality, the home and property of our friends Les and Shirri), we were thrilled to see the result of weeks of rain in North Georgia; a pond, which Les thought he had filled for good, was back.

The G.A.N.G. folks, being an entertaining bunch, made sure that for most of the five days of lure coursing trials scheduled for the end of the year, the pond would be in play... at least for the more enterprising of the hounds.

So many hounds spent so much time in the water that one of the exhibitors donated a prize for the most entertaining of the swimmer/diver/skier/SCUB.. well, you get the idea. A judge was selected from those on hand to peruse and select a "winner" from our many images. When all was said and done, this Afghan Hound was picked as the best water crosser....

I decided to include a few favorites of my own, which include not just the comic antics of a few goofy dogs, but also this graceful, and picturesque Saluki...

...and for pure comic relief, this sequence featuring an Ibizan Hound who was sure... absolutely sure that...

"I can clear this thing!...

...I think I can clear this thing...

...ummm.... uh-oh...

...nope. Can't clear it after all."
For me, that was the jump of the week. Check out all the water shots at the above link, and all of the images from five full days of lure coursing here.