Friday, February 27, 2009

Clothing With a Message

I don't usually promote fashions available from CafePress that don't make us a buck or two, but Patrick has designed some pretty cool gear with a message some who read this blog don't want to hear.  Doesn't mean it ain't so.  Check it out- he's selling with 0 markup, and he's letting you copy the art on the blog to make your own... whatever.  I'm going to make a shirt!

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

There's Political News...

...and then there's POLITICAL NEWS:

The Obama kinder will finally be getting their White House Dog sometime in April.  The news, such as it is, is that this won't be the puppy, promised by the POTUS on election night, but a rescue dog.  And what kind of rescue dog, you might ask, if you didn't already know?  Why, it's going to be a Portuguese Water Dog... just like the two Ted Kennedy owns, and like the ones a lure coursing friend of ours in Texas owns.

It's great that the Obamas are choosing a rescue.  It's unfortunate that they are choosing a breed that has so many health problems.  They've done their homework well on so many other parts of their lives, but not this time.  I guess they didn't get the message from Pat Burns.  

Personally.. I'd suggest a Galgo-  that's just me    ;o)

UPDATE 2/26: Or maybe not.  Time will tell.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Jennifer Says Michigan Will Take Your Money, Bobby.

Our friend, Cindy, who teaches at Louisiana State University- Shreveport, along with her husband, Paul, has mentioned to us often the lack of funding for higher education in the state, and the governor's attempts to further reduce what little funding there is.

Apparently, Cindy, the governor knows best.... Louisiana must have plenty of cash.....(?)

This is really Sarah doing a bit of  Victor-Victoria, isn't it?

Hare-Brained Homestead From Space.

Courtesy Google Maps..  In relation to the town of Deming, and I-10.  (Dark areas are the Florida Mountains, and the North Florida Mountains, with the Florida Gap between).

Rock Hound State Park boundary is to the north of the unnamed road. Rock Hound is the only park in America where rock collecting is encouraged, rather than prohibited.

Landscape vegetation includes two palm trees, lots of cholla and prickly pear cactus, barrel cactus, a fig tree, and other trees, bushes, and shrubs yet to be identified. The pale pink roof to the right of the house is the cabin.  Lot is all the darker area, plus all the way to the right edge of the image frame.

Monday, February 23, 2009

A Change Is Gonna Come...

More than one, actually.

Since we committed to purchase the house in Deming, I've been referring to it here as "Mountain House".  More for lack of a better idea than anything else, it was merely a "working title" based on the fact that it was, well, up in the mountains.  Now that we've had some time to give it some thought, we are ready to unveil our Official Name:

This is the basis for a wood front gate sign, that our friend Tavo, (owner of the other dog in the Desert Hare crash) is going to carve for us.  Until last weekend we were unaware of this additional talent (among many) of Mr. Cruz.  We can't wait to see the finished work!

Another name that's going to have to change, is the name of this blog.  We're no longer going to be on "tour".  As mentioned before, we'll be venturing out occasionally to major events when invited.  This one was easy.  Once our travels taper off at the end of May, this missive will forever be known as:  Hare-Brained At Home.  The content won't change much.  We'll still write about whatever seems interesting at the moment, like the dogs, or good places to eat, or politics.

And if we're not traveling from event to event, whatever will we do for money?  We always knew that we'd have to come up with some kind of employment to keep us entertained (and fed) in the manner to which we were accustomed.  On a suggestion last Summer by our friend Steve Garth, Margaret did some researching and came up with our new, local business...   

Margaret thought the name was too "cutesy".. but I think I've beaten her into submission, and she's put together some cool potential business card designs, and logos.  This is just one example.  
The countdown clock on the sidebar, will let everyone know how close we are to moving in.  This is damned exciting!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Recipe for Disaster.

And I thought this only happened in lure coursing.  Not the part about the two jacks, though.

The scene:  Dutch Salmon's Desert Hare Classic, somewhere in the southwest US.  Margaret was slipping Sandia, in pink, between Luna, a lurcher/Tazi cross (and the winner of last year's event), and a saluki in blue.  

On a day that started out looking like hares were going to be at a premium, no one expected two to fire out of the tall grass like so many sporting clays.. one to the south, one to the north.  The "Tally Ho!" was called, and it was time to choose your rabbit!

Initially, Sandia and Luna chose two different hares, which got them going in opposite directions,

...which got them into what could have been a very serious situation.  In fact, it turned out to look much worse than it actually was. (And give me points for being professional, and keeping the shutter button pushed when my dog was in the middle of flying ass over teacup in the middle of the desert!).

They found their feet so quickly, that all three dogs got back on the jack, and a good course ensued.  I know it was good, because Sandia won it!

That got him into the second round, where he ended up finishing the day in 4th place.  I'm not unhappy with that, considering he was running against 18 of the best hounds in the southwest.  I am a bit unhappy that he finished behind his sister, Maya.  Again.  But as a friend reminded me, as a boy dog, he's not going to mature as fast, and if he's real good this year, he'll be awesome next year... and Maya will be in season!   ;o)  So that's our rallying cry:  "Wait till Next Year!"

More details on the Pack Hunt and Desert Hare Classic will be found in a future issue of Performance Sighthound Journal.  (We hope.)

Monday, February 16, 2009

"Cute" Weekly Bird of Prey

Burrowing Owl.  Although they are listed as endangered in many states, we see a couple every time we go out to hunt.  This one let me get pretty close before he bolted.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Yard Life.

We had to drive up to the new house today to make sure the manufacturer tags were still on both sections per federal law. (Who knew?).  As we turned off the pavement, there were a couple of trucks parked on the shoulder looking up at the mountains behind the house.  We stopped and asked what they were looking at.    Ibex was the reply.  They're reguler visitors I guess, so now we have to add a spotting scope to the budget.

As we turned into the driveway, much to our surprise, we jumped the young jackrabbit pictured above.  As it turned out, he was a valuable test subject for the fencing around the yard. I chased him, slowly, with the camera as he pretty much tested the entirety of the perimeter fence, finding no way out, until he worked his way back to the open gate.  If he couldn't find a hole, neither will the dogs!

The vacant  lot next door is home to a covey of Gambel's Quail.  Wildlife is abundant.  Can't wait for our first rattler of the Spring.  Yes I can.

He looks a lot like the Mimbres pottery rabbit, doesn't he?

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Capitol Dome - Redux

It snowed yesterday.  First time since we arrived this Winter.  Put a dusting on the car and the Express, which was gone two hours later.  The sun came out, and the wind, strong to begin with really picked up.

I looked at the Florida Mountains, still resplendent in their white coat, and channeling Tina Fey said, "I want to go to there".  The clouds were spectacular, the sky was deep blue, and every detail of the mountains, and their most noticeable feature- "Capitol Dome"- stood out in deep relief.  In other words, paradise for a landscape photographer!

So after that buildup, I'm going to show you a Photoshopped "black and white graphic pen" image...
The spectacular color images can be found in the sidebar slide show.  Don't miss the new portrait of our new home!

Monday, February 09, 2009

What Does Big Ben Say?

BONG!  BONG!  BONG!.....

Weren't you just outraged and incensed about that picture of All-American Wonder Boy, Michael Phelps huffing away on a bong?

Yeah, me neither.

I'm with Seth...

What's the big surprise?   Where did Phelps do the bulk of his pre-Olympic training?

Ann Arbor.

What happens in Ann Arbor every April 1st since the 60's?   Andrew?  Anybody?

I rest my case.

Peaks In A Blanket.

Did you get the pun?  Awful isn't it?

By the way... just out of the picture to the left is Mountain House.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

An Instant Classic?

Margaret's done it again!

Anyone who's received an email from me will recognize the quotation  from my signature line.  Our friend, MaryAnn in Southern California noticed it and had a great suggestion.  We should put it on a shirt.  And so we have, and they're now available at our CafePress storefront.  And not just shirts but hats and coffee mugs as well.

Gace de la Vigne was a French poet who may also be found under "de la Bigne", and lived either in the 14th or 15th century.  In other words, details about his biography are rather sketchy.  What is known, is that he wrote extensively about dogs, as any Google search will turn up.  He was, in fact, the first person to use the word "terrier".

I first heard of of him on Steve Bodio's Querencia blog way back in 2005, when he wrote the following:
By the way, Gace de la Vigne is also author of someting I want engraved on silver:
"De chiens, d'oyseaux, d'armes, d'amours,

Until that point, I was changing the quote on my email signature on a regular basis.  Once I read this short, simple but powerful statement, I was certain I wouldn't change the quote again.  And I haven't.

Currently, we've "stocked" the store with Scottish Deerhound and Galgo Espanol (which could pass for longdog, staghound, and lurcher in a pinch) products.  We're hustling to get Greyhounds, Salukis, and Afghan hounds up.  Other breeds can be added if there is enough demand.

MaryAnn predicts this item will become a "classic".  We hope she's right.

Pack Practice

A shot from this morning.  Bad weather was forecast for overnight, but when I put Sandia and Fanny in the car and headed north, there wasn't a cloud in the sky. 

This is our "Pack" for next week's Pack Hunt.  Haven't decided yet whether we'll include Buffy just for fun. (Although she's pretty good at finding rabbits, so there's that to consider.)  Fanny, going on 9 years old, can still contribute in a big way.. it just takes her a week to recover.

We got up 4 rabbits in about an hour.  It was a good workout, which ended as the winds picked up, the rain started, and the temperatures dropped.

Other packs beware!

Saturday, February 07, 2009

Great New Products!

I almost forgot to post this.

Last year, we had a great promotion that was very popular.  Art gallery style posters featuring your dog.  It was so popular, it got us through the New Mexico break without going broke and having to push the motor home back to the March events.

This year's "special" is a creative twist on our popular "I'd Rather Be Coursing" bumper stickers.  Instead  of a generic sighthound breed, you get your very own dog on the sticker.  And!  They're bigger than our regular stickers.. 4" x 12".

Many of you are already aware of this promo, as we "spammed" about 600 emails to our friends, customers, and others in our email address books.  If not, here's some cool samples, and a copy of the email that was sent.  These aren't available through, (but we've got a terrific new item we're adding there soon.  Stay tuned.), and you'll have to contact Margaret directly.

This special was supposed to end to end today, but since I forgot to promote it on the blog, we're going to extend it to the end of next week, February 14!   Remember that we have to have taken a picture of your dog at a trial or race to take part in this promotion!

Happy New Year to all!
First of all, we apologize if you have received duplicates of this message or if you prefer not to receive our occasional communications. To remove your name from our list simply reply and put 'Remove' in the subject line.
Dan & I are in Deming, New Mexico until the end of February for a little R&R with our dogs.   In the past several months many of you asked if we could personalize our  I'd Rather Be Coursing bumper sticker with your own dogs. Our answer then was that it is cost prohibitive to do so on a one at a time basis. But we thought it was a great idea...  if we could do a large batch at one time.
So the Personalized Bumper Sticker is our Winter Special. We'll take orders through Friday, February 6th. That gives you just over 2 weeks to pick your favorite photo. The attachment shows the choices for background color and text. The personalized stickers are 12" X 4" (larger than our generic stickers!). Here's the scoop on cost and choices:
         $19 for the 1st bumper sticker
$3.50 for duplicates
$3.00 for postage
We will invoice you through PayPal which can be paid online or by mailing us a check.
Info we need from you:
  • Photo choice (check the photo # on our website) Please give me the event and date. A stretched or streamlined tuck will work best for the space available.
  • Background color choice (yellow, blue, green, red, pink).
  • Text choice (I'd Rather be Coursing/Love at First Sighthound/The Happiness of Pursuit).
  • Dog's name (if you want it printed on the sticker).
  • Rabbit preference (stretched, tucked or moving away).
You can also order our generic stickers for $5 - we have most breeds available.
Let us know if you have questions. We look forward to hearing from you.
Dan Gauss & Margaret Fairman
Shot On Site Photography

Empty Echoes in the Senate.

Sen. John McCain spent the last couple of days on his Senate soapbox, reminding us exactly what he is:


And that's why you're still in the Senate, John.

Friday, February 06, 2009

Google "Chrome"

Seemingly rolled out with little fanfare- I happened to see a little blurb on a Google page- there's a new web browser in town. And it's excellent! Google Chrome.

I installed it yesterday, and so far it's performed flawlessly.  Every control is simple and intuitive.  I think there's a "help" button somewhere, but I haven't needed it.  There's very little garbage on the toolbar, which gives you a bigger screen area for content.  (See the screenshot of this blog page, above.)

And speaking of content, the web pages open at broadband speeds.. and I'm using EDGE/GPRS, which is only about twice as fast as dialup.  

It has a nice memory feature, that keeps track of the number of times I go to a website, and all the most - visited are shown on the front page when you open the browser..  so I better keep some variety in the porn surfing!

I tried Firefox some time ago.  It was OK, but there were some issues that irritated me.  I think it was a problem that had to do with .pdf files.  Haven't opened any .pdf's with Chrome yet, so I probably shouldn't speak too soon.

Give it a try.  It's free.   From download to your monitor only takes about 5-7 minutes; which is amazing in itself.

And now tonight's entertainment, which is in no way relevant to the subject, other than it has the word "chrome" in the title.  Take it, Melissa....

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Mr. Happy Tooth No More.

I brush every day; use one of those Oral B spinning, vibrating brushes. Floss nearly as often, and use an anti plaque pre- rinse, and a Listerine clone after. I don't drink sugared soft drinks, and I avoid fruit juices. I visit my dentist every... uh. Hmm. Yeah, I visit a dentist every
20 years or so....?

Okay, so I have a scheduling problem. It's associated with a recurring financial problem.. I can't afford to go t0 the dentist. No big, I thought, having only one emergency since my last root canal, sometime in the early Nineties.

Well... last month, while parked in Texas, watching TV and eating popcorn, I noticed.. my tongue noticed.. a big hole in the middle of a molar that wasn't there before the second handful of popcorn. This was a cause for concern. But not enough for emergency concern. There was some pain, but not the kind you associate with exposed angry nerve endings... more just uncomfortable. I figured I could just chew on the left side until we got to our Wintering spot in New Mexico. Which just happens to be 30 miles north of La Paloma, Mexico. Home to several English-speaking dentists, optometrists, pharmacists, etc.

I made the appointment with Dr. Oscar Daniel Perez at American Dental Care, located just a block and a half from the border, behind the famous Pink Store, (where we would have an excellent lunch afterwards, and use our free Margaritas coupons).

Border crossing from New Mexico into Paloma is, we'll say, informal. Park the car at the Duty Free shop in the US, and just walk on in to Mexico. (Returning would take only slightly longer).

For reasons I still don't quite understand, Margaret requires a dose of antibiotics prior to dental work, so we went first to one of the many pharmacies on the main drag. It may be of some interest to dog owners, that we picked up a 50-count package of Cephalexin, 500mg, for all of $4 and change, US. Just about any drug that's not a narcotic is available over the counter at great prices. The prices in Mexico would continue to amaze us, after our visit to the dentist.

When we arrived at the office, there were only a handful of people in the waiting room; all Yanquis like us, and either full time RVers like us, or dwellers of the borderlands region. It's easy to see what Dr. Perez's target demographic is.

Margaret was just getting her teeth cleaned. I was getting my teeth cleaned and, I thought, getting my filling repaired. That's when everything started to go south... figuratively speaking.

Dr. Perez looked at the tooth and what remained of the filling, and found evidence of decay around the gum line. He advised that it would be better to get a crown, than repair the filling, because I would just be paying for work on the same tooth twice. That made sense to me.

Then Dr. Perez's partner (and wife), Dr. Karla Marmolejo, commenced to cleaning my teeth. She promptly hit a nerve in the wrong side of my mouth, swabbed on some topical pain killer and went to work again, then stopped. She had a long conversation with Oscar in Spanish and he then took over.

This is where the real bad news starts. He told me there was a line of brown material over most of the gum line, top and bottom. He thought at first it was tarter, except it wouldn't come off. It's tooth decay. He's not sure why it's so prevalent, hazarding a guess about minerals in water, but whatever the reason, it's there. It will need extensive filling.

The good news is... or part of the good news is, it's not an emergency situation, (except for the original crown thing). I can get it done in stages, and since we'll be living here it won't cause a scheduling issue. I'm getting the crown done in two weeks, before we pull out of Deming for the last big road trip with the Express. The rest will be done over the next year, after we've moved into the Mountain House.

He wrote out an estimate. That's the second part of the good news. To see what all this would cost in the US, click on the amounts:

Bridge. 4 teeth... $600

Extractions. 2 $50 each

Porcelain Crown. 1 $150

Fillings. 12 (yeah, TWELVE) $50 each

So there you have a brief report on my very first visit to Mexico. I'll be saving a lot of money, and tequila is unbelievably cheap at the Duty Free.

And speaking of Duty Free.. this one came as quite a shock to someone who's used to the Duty Free shops on the way to Canada. Here, you park your car in the lot, go into Duty Free, buy your $12 Cabo Wabo, walk into Mexico, cross the street, walk back into the US, get in your car and go home. Get drunk.

We're going to like living here.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

FREE is Good!

We're familiar with the local Denny's, because that's where the draw for local hunts is always held. Other than those events, we're not likely to breakfast at Denny's, or any other similar chain restaurant, preferring locally owned diners and restaurants.

But when breakfast is free, we're always there, dude. The above ad was one of the best of the Super Bowl, as well.

And so, we found ourselves in a very crowded lobby this morning, waiting for a table. The list was long, but the efficiency of the cooks, the waitstaff, and the table cleaners (which looked suspiciously like management), was impressive to observe, and soon we were seated, with coffee (no, the coffee price was not $5.99), and were placing our order with our waiter, Robert who, despite the frantic pace, remained cheerful. Or gay. Possibly both. Our free Grand Slams were in front of us in about 2 minutes.

That's livin'. Yum.

Monday, February 02, 2009

Weekly Bird of Prey.

Out on the ranchlands for our Sunday running of the hounds with Dutch, we popped this fellow up out of the tall grass. We see a lot of Burrowing Owls when we're hunting, but this is the second time in a couple of weeks we've seen this larger, Long Eared Owl.

We have our new friend, Zac, to thank for the identification. He'd seen them in a nearby field the previous day, and did the research to confirm the i.d. I admit, I did a lot of Googling last night, and initially was beginning to question that it really was a Long Eared Owl, because the habitat described on the various websites just didn't square with where we saw this bird. In the end, I decided it couldn't be anything else, and the "X" of white feathers on the face, just barely visible on the image below, did the trick.
We should have apologized for disturbing its sleep, as this bird is a nocturnal hunter. Sorry.
UPDATE 2/3/09: Heard from Steve Bodio, a man with much knOWLedge on the subject. He says, with about as much certainty as possible, that the above pictured bird is a SHORT Eared Owl. So there you have it. Good thing I hadn't checked anything off on my Life List yet.


OK, I've been meaning to write something about this since I first saw these dumbass Hyundai commercials. You've seen them... they were a sober interlude in all the great, and funny Super Bowl commercials... They come off sounding so noble... "hey, if you lose your income we'll let you return your Hyundai". This is new?

I don't think so...

Yeah. It's called repossession.

Sunday, February 01, 2009

Wrap Up.

The advantage of not being emotionally involved in the outcome of today's Super Bowl is that I can say, "wow... what an entertaining game".

That is all.

Because... if I was to ramble on, I'd probably whine about the only Buckeye on either roster ending up as the MVP.. Grrrrr. Defensively, ex-Wolverine, Lamar Woodley made some great plays.

That's really all. Seriously.