Monday, October 27, 2014

NOLA sans dogs

Everybody has this shot, right? Kinda like that same picture of the Golden Gate everyone and their uncle has taken? 

Jackson Square 

Loved, loved, loved New Orleans.

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I would move there in a heartbeat if there was something for me to do work-wise. Not heavy into the manufacturing there. They seem to prefer cooking over making. The Ritz on Canal. Not where I stayed.

  Ritz-Carlton

Back in my yoot, oh about a hundred years ago, I drove a carriage in Chicago. Pay sucked. Weather really sucked. (Consider sitting on Michigan Ave for 10 hours in February. Brr doesn’t cover it.) However, 20+ years later and it is still the best job I have ever had. I sat in Jackson Square drinking badass coffee and contemplating whether a return to an outdoor job would be a good move. They seem to use mules there instead of horses. Not sure why. Could driving them be much different? Maybe I sort of retire at 44 and become a tourist schlepper? 

Jackson Brewery 

The people there are just great. It always seems to go to one extreme or the other with touristy places. Either the locals are assholes to you because you’re not from there or they are overly fake-nice like Disney-esque-no-one-is-really-that-happy nice. In New Orleans, nicely right in the middle. Friendly, happy to point you in the right direction, but not overly anything. They also love to point out that it is New Orleans…two words…not nawlins….not new orleeeeeeeens….just New Orleans. We have the same thing here. San Francisco is San Francisco. Or even just The City. Not San Fran. Certainly not Frisco. And if you want someone to know for sure that you are not from here please refer to California as Cali.

  Walgreens 

This about sums up New Orleans. Dru Hill, SWV, Alton Brown. 
Indeed. Haha. 

Saenger Theater

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Toys and the pouring motion

Neither of my dogs are self-entertaining. I’m not sure how much of that is a breed trait thing or how much is just how they have been raised. I really prefer an interactive dog. I don’t get the enjoyment of standing around and watching your dog do something without you. To each their own, of course, but I don’t get wanting to have a dog that doesn't give a shit if you are there or not. Because of that, I have never really encouraged my dogs to go off and figure out their own games. I play *with* them. Bella, for sure, needs some human interaction. She doesn't see toys as something to bother with alone. She won’t even tug with Kate unless I am holding the middle of the rope. Even then, she isn't really tugging with Kate. Kate is playing a parasitic role in *our* game of tug. 

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Kate, though, she doesn't really need human interaction. She doesn't really play with other dogs in a typical sense. At daycare last week there was a bulldog in with them. For some reason, bulldogs really seem to love pushing jolly balls around. Love it! I don’t know why that would be a breed thing, but it seems to be. Kate had the bestest time ever following that ball-pushing dog around….all…..day. She was so damn happy. It was hysterical. She doesn't want to take the ball. Doesn't get in the way. Actually makes a concerted effort to stay out of his way. Just runs alongside, barking, tail going like mad. It’s like it doesn't occur to her to do that herself. Or that wouldn't be fun. Or something. But, getting others too is a riot. 

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The pouring thing, how do your dogs react to this? I put some juice in a bottle I was re-using. I wasn’t sure that the seal would work and wanted to check before I let it leak all over my car. Bella, being the nosy britches she is, was standing in front of me. I tipped the bottle 90° and held it to see if it would leak. Bella blinked hard and backed up like she thought I was going to pour something on her. ‘Cause, you know, I do that all the time, just randomly pour stuff on her in the living room. *eye roll* Since the only time something is poured on her is during a bath and even then, never just over her head – how rude – I wondered where that reaction came from. I did the same thing to Kate and her reaction was to move toward the bottle like I was giving her something. Hmm. Tried on one of the other dogs in house, same reaction as Kate. A Bella phenomenon? Is she just paranoid? 

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Perhaps.

Monday, September 29, 2014

She's aging

Look at the gray ears! 

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Now, of course the white on the tip of her left ear had always been, but the right? When did that start getting white? And all the hair on the inside? I think the problem with Kate is that she is not so much graying as just fading. She is starting to get really light in the areas where her color meets the white. She’s blending. Also, spending a little more time enjoying the small things. Not just ball-type small things. 

Sundog. 

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The photo below is just so Kate. She really wants to do what you want, but there are always limits. In this case, Kate’s complete lack of bendable anything. She also doesn’t really adapt. See, if Bella couldn’t reach with her prominent leg, she would have tried using the other one. Kate? No. I asked them to touch each other. To Kate that means touch something with your left foot. Not her problem is it is not in range. :) Had Bella been on her other side, it would have worked. 

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Sunday, September 28, 2014

I was going to post today

But, Comcast is an asshole and clearly doesn't want me to be the kind of productive that would require an Internet connection.

In lieu of said actual post, please enjoy Kate's Comcast face.


Thursday, September 25, 2014

What's that?

Rain, rain, rain!

Like, actual wet stuff falling from the sky. Woke both Bella and me up early. Been a long since we have heard tink, tink, tink on the gutters. Kate slept through as she isn’t much concerned with those sorts of things.

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When I was walking to my car this morning I thought, “I wonder how these tires are going to be in the rain.” Then I thought, “I bought this car in January.” January! This is the first time I have driven it in the rain. Nine months. Wow.

It was raining pretty good for several hours. We walked this morning. They were not totally soaked through to the skin everywhere, but enough that they will be soft and fluffy when I get home.

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And don’t try to figure out how to use a speed light on a new camera at 5:30 AM. Unless you want funny Blair Witch Project pictures of Bella.

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That face. It kills me.

It took me so long to figure it out she was damn near dry when I got a shot she was fully visible in.

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Eh well. Going by the California schedule, I have another nine months to figure it out!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Learning

I have been trying to get to know my new camera before my trip. Learning curve is larger than I expected. It is really hard to get used to having such a small camera in my hand. I feel like I am going to break it or drop it or forget that it is there. It is certainly not as *present* as a DSLR. It is also really easy to put your finger on the viewfinder or sensor or lens. Not a lot of real estate. You remember Will Ferrell with the tiny phone in the Jeffery’s skit? That’s about how it feels. 

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Interrupted by squirrel on wire 

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I think it will be fine for portrait-y and tourist-y type shots. Good thing seeing as that’s what I bought it for. Just need to kick the tires more. One of the issues with point and shoots is that you lose the depth. Photos tend to look flat. Flat makes Kate look like a giant. 

Yes, the fence comes up to her rib cage. 

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It’s also proving hard to get shots of Kate in the sun. Her white bits are always so blown out. More toying or a filter or shade… 

Or, just get ticked dogs. 

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Saturday, September 6, 2014

The coat

Her crazy old lady coat continues to live up to its name. I just love it on her. Does she not have the best back of the head? She looks rather feral most of the time. Her shininess kinda ruins her street cred, though.

Pelican watching.

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Cheese fest

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More snow accumulation, too. Very distinguished.

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She's going to need those little half glasses soon. If for no other reason then to wear them on the end of her nose and look over them at young dogs in a judgmental fashion.

Wednesday, September 3, 2014

Nicknames

One of her's...

Paperclip



Sunday, August 31, 2014

Parched

When do you stop calling a marsh a marsh?

 How long does the "wet" need not be a part of the wetland equation? 

 This is the Main Marsh at Coyote Hills RP in Fremont. The last photos I have of it with water in it at this end were taken in Feb of 2013.

  Main Marsh from Muskrat Trail 

A little closer. So sad. And a bit frightening.

  Main Marsh from Bayview Trail 

I’m not generally a doom and gloom kinda gal, but thing just sort of suck for California right now. 

They really suck if you are a collie-type forced to pose in from of a big rock. 

Top of Muskrat Trail 

I was surprised to hear that San Jose residents reduced water usage by 14% this year. We haven’t had mandatory reductions until just recently. Stupid if you ask me, but you didn’t. They merely asked for 20% at the beginning of the year. Since we are such creatures of habit and most people ignore requests that would mean changing something I was happily shocked by that number. Very glad that people are starting to take this seriously. You can see that people have been reducing their lawn watering. People are trying to do just enough to keep them from dying. My neighbors’ son washed his pick up yesterday. In a genius move, he parked it up on the front lawn so all run off would go to the lawn instead of down the driveway and into the street. Double duty that water!

Kate is voting for no more dog baths. She really wants to do her part. 

Kate sticking it to The Man

Monday, August 25, 2014

New pocket toy

I have not had a regular ol' point and shoot in years. Trouble is that when I travel, unless it is a dog trip, I rarely take a camera. Too bulky, too heavy, not worth the risk or loss or damage or theft. I really hate cell phone pics. They are ugly and useless unless you are simply gathering info like photographing course maps or licence plates you may need to pass on to the police. :)

I have a few upcoming jaunts that warranted (ahem) a new "little guy."

I settled on the Fujifilm X20. It is not the newest rendition of this line, but it was half the cost of the newer version. If you get into spending 4 digits it kinda defeats the purpose, right?

It is very strange holding a camera this small. The footprint of my phone is larger and it makes me feel like I have big man hands. I do not.

Looks like the pic quality is pretty good, too. Neither dog wanted to pose much. Evening sun a bit strong today. She's not moody, just squinty.

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I highly doubt it will replace either "big guy" at this point, but it will be fun to put it through its paces. I think it will work out smashingly for toursity shots.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

It's Peanut Butter Belly Time!

Miss Kate is a little gimpy for some unknown reason, so no ball this morning. Didn't want to risk a hike, either. She seems better today, but still a bit...tweaky...when she turns tight. I love her, but I am not carrying her ass back to the car from who knows where.

So as a little entertainment, admittedly mostly for me, we had a little peanut butter this afternoon.

Such a conflict for them. So excited to be getting something. Who doesn't love some peanut butter? But, then, just so annoyed for getting them into this mess.

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They do love it. Keep coming back for more. Look so pissed while eating it!

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Why do I let you do this to me?

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It also creates the world's worst family photos

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Or, the best, I suppose, depending on your point of view. :)

In non-dog news, we did not feel the earthquake at all. It was at 330 this morning. I am doing nothing but sleeping at that hour, so even if it was felt as far south as San Jose, it certainly wasn't by me! Or the dogs.

It has been all that has been on the TV and the radio today. Things like this perfectly showcase why I hate the news. I can't believe these people get paid for this crap. They were showing a bird bath tipped over. Yup. Bird bath. Not even the whole thing, just the unstable top part that you can knock over yourself by just tapping it with the lawn mower.

"Oh. my. word. Look at this damage, Steve."

Are you jackasses serious? Gas leaks, fire, people injured, I think even fire-related deaths, water mains broken and these tools are talking about a bird bath? Wow. Very hard-hitting, guys.

They were also very "concerned" about the status of the various rail systems in the Bay Area. Because people need to go to work? No. The effects on commerce? No. Productivity? No. People who use them as a primary mode of transportation? Nope.

HOW WILL THE PEOPLE GET THE 49'ERS GAME TODAY??

I hate you, news.

And in funnier Crappy Media News. There was an article on Yahoo this morning about the Suge Knight shooting. I don't know if Yahoo just doesn't use editors or they have the worlds worst, but one sentence in the article was:

"The pre-VMAs party, which was hosted by R&B singer Chris Brown, was filled with celebrities, including Young Jeezy, Lil' Twist, The Game, E.J. Johnson, Derek Hough, Mark Ballas, Richard Simmons, and Tyson Beckford."

It has since been corrected to read "Russell Simmons." However, how entertaining would it be to have Suge Knight and Richard Simmons at the same party?!

HAHA!  


Tuesday, August 12, 2014

As I suspected


They had a good day. Ha.

They were tired, but not overly so in a been-stressed-all-day way, so that's good.

Kate was actually stiff. I don't think I have ever seen her like that. She did, quite literally, not stop moving all day yesterday. As no spring chicken, to be expected. I am a little concerned about her being over-excited. I know a lot of people think "crazy" is normal, or fun, or a sign that the dog is having the best time, or just a breed characteristic, but I am not of that train of thought. Being unstable of mind is not good. Particularly not good in a group of dogs. Kate can make other dogs want to tell her to knock it off. I am hoping that it is just first-timer syndrome and that she will settle into a route there, too. I do like that they crated her a few times to let her chill when they thought she was nearing threshold. We'll see.


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Monday, August 11, 2014

Webcams

I confess, not very productive today. However, very glad to see them having a good time. I was a little worried. Mostly about Bella being pouty. Sometimes it is hard being the center of the universe. Doesn't seem to be a prob, though.

The usual ball time line up. Bella with ball, Kate on deck


"Hey, someone throw my donut!" 


I predict sleepy bitches this eve!

Hola

How are you?

We are fine.

Blog slacking again, I know. Sometimes one just has a life that doesn’t involve typing and cameras. So much change happening. I hate change. It’s very inefficient. Work is sucking up a lot of energy. Just how it goes some times.

Things with the girls are all normal and boring on a day to day basis. They play ball, go for walks and hikes, eat, sleep. Who needs pictures of that?

They, too, have some change to deal with. The daycare/boarding place that they have been going to for nine years is suddenly not doing boarding. They don’t exactly need daycare, but they go to keep up the familiarity with the place and people that they board with. So, new place. They started today. I have been peeking in on them when I have time. Bella is as Bella does. No surprises there. Kate? I am shocked at how much barking she is doing! Shocked, I tell you! Every time I have looked in, there is Kate…and her big gaping maw! Kate. My good quiet dog. The one who reacts to nothing. I think there are a few things going on. First, the old daycare had outside areas. As not to annoy the shit out of the neighbors, they tried to keep the dogs as quiet as they could. Not like library quiet, they are dogs, but no standing around barking for no reason, either. Two, just general excitement of a new environment. Three, toys. Old place did not have toys all over the place. Putting Kate in a room with a bunch of balls on the floor has apparently caused the self-control part of her brain to explode. All morning: pick up ball, drop ball, bark, watch it roll, pick it up again, bark, stare at it for a while, follow other dog that picked it, bark at them. Lather, rinse, repeat. She seems to be having a hell if a time. Doesn't looked stressed. Happy and loose. Just loud.

I suspect a slight coma this evening.

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Dogster?

I didn't even know this was still a thing. Good thing, I suppose, as it was the email from them this morning wishing Kate a happy birthday that reminded me that it is indeed her day. Gotcha day, anyway. 

So strange that it has been nine years. That would make Kate eleven-ish. Everything is –ish with her. 

The sorta…

   

kinda…

   

maybe…

   

almost dog…

   

It’s odd that she is not really aging yet. She can be a little stiff getting up post nap if she has had a good run, but other than that, still just weird little Kate. This pic below is from her first day home with us. They are really just reacting to the flash, but it still makes me laugh.

 Sooooo happy to be together. Ha!