Sunday, August 31, 2014


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.


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.


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


Why do I let you do this to me?



It also creates the world's worst family photos


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.


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?!


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.


Monday, August 11, 2014


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!


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


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…






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! 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

The best bed poser

She really does look smashing on white.


Sunday, July 6, 2014

A little coast trip

As much as I suck at landscape photography it is hard to make the California coast look bad. 


Bixby Bridge. Not as popular as that other California bridge so often photographed in the fog, but a pretty neat structure nonetheless. I can’t imagine building that! 

Bixby Bridge 

“Hey! We’re on a big pile of sand!” 


What is not to love about Carmel? I wish there was something to do for a living there other than own a restaurant or tourist shop or pick berries. What a great place to be. 

Belly thinks so, too. Although could have used sun glasses. 


She is just fascinated by moving sand. I think she thinks something is there making it more. Kate, as you can tell, not that impressed. 


They did very well with the fireworks. They don’t really do anything other than get a little clingy, but still, we do a lot of Cookies for Boom-booms. Bella picks up on this game quickly every year. 

“You hear that? Where’s my Charlie Bear?” 


Saturday, July 5, 2014

Camera words

If you have a dog and a camera you most certainly employ those special please-look-a-little-cuter photo op words. "Squirrel" or "birdies" work particularly well for Bella. Especially if uttered in the form of a question.

To get Kate to go from this...


To this...


Just a whispered "who's there?"

Which is funny 'cause she could not care less if someone was actually there or not.

Friday, July 4, 2014

Crappy cell pic but...

How cute is the firework induced cuddling?

Safety in numbers, right?

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Vacay and home poopers

This is the first time in nine years that I have had 2 weeks off. Well, sorta two weeks considering I went in on Monday and will probably do so again tomorrow. But, hey, going to work with the dogs while wearing shorts and flip flops doesn't really count as work, right? I am more of a long weekend person. I kind of get bored easily. I like my relaxation condensed, but more frequent. And, historically, filled with agility trials. The girls get a little bit of the short end of the stick thing going on, too. I have been feeling no need to get up early to get them to park before everyone else gets up. So, they get back yard time instead of park time, But, they are graced with my presence all day, so that should make up for it. 

Oddly casual 


One thing that I have been noticing a lot being home is the amount of people that let their dogs potty on other peoples’ lawns. Do you do this? I am thinking maybe my opinion on the matter is….overly sensitive? Must be if so many other people do it. I never do this. I think it’s weird. Just because someone doesn't have a fence doesn't mean it’s OK to be on their property? Yes? 

 We don’t do a lot of neighborhood leash walks as I prefer to go elsewhere, but we have our Thursday morning walk loop. I always potty my dogs before we leave. I give them opportunities to go in more public spots like a park or green space around the grocery store parking lot. If they do have a need I try to at least direct them to the area between the sidewalk and the street. 

I have watched so many people just stop in front of our neighbors’ lawn, extend the stupid flexi leash and let their dogs wander up on their lawn to potty. They are picking up after their dogs, but still, so weird. Seems like a very rude thing to me. 

Kangaroo tail! 


Kate is so funny. She is a master at waiting… 

Sidebar – She know the difference between “Kate” and “wait” but not “Kate” and “cake.” So, all you long-named-dogs people are wasting your breath, they stop listening after the first letter. :) 

…Physically she is a great wait-er. She will stay right where she stopped. Mentally, though, not the best wait-er. I have them take turns in the back yard because it’s not that big. Making her wait brings out The Wrist of Angst. Any built-up anxiousness lives in her right front leg. :)


Get in my belly! 


No idea how these things happen 


The other good thing about time off….washed all the dogs beds. They now all smell like Bounce and are static-free. 


We will go down to Carmel for the Fourth. Well, actually the fifth. The fourth we will be holed up in a hotel avoid drunks with explosives. Hoping to enjoy early morning beach time and PCH while folks are sleeping it off.

So, American folk, have a safe and happy Fourth. Don't blow any appendages off or set your neighbors house on fire. Keep those dogs inside. And, remember designated drivers!

Everyone else, proceed with a normal weekend. :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

One upping

Generally speaking, collies with the lower case "c" tend to be the one-uppers of the dog world. They do everything better. Bestest at the agilities, the flyballs, the herding, the walking in circles. They retrieve better than the retrievers, they hunt better than the hunters, they dig better than the terriers.

In their own minds, anyway.

Not a lot of self esteem issues with the little c collies.

Bella happens to be the queen of the I-can-do-that-better crowd.

Very unimpressed with Kate learning to pick her foot up. She doesn't need anyone to do that. Certainly no one could pick her foot up better than her?

"I can get that all by myself, thankyouverymuch"


Monday, June 23, 2014

You know why they hum?

'Cause they don't know the words.

Juvenile Anna's Hummingbird
Backyard, San Jose, CA

Thursday, June 19, 2014

It's like bingo night


Nothing much to write about because nothing much going on. I guess that’s how retirement goes? You get boring and squishy and start eating dinner at 3:30? 

She is starting to look like one of the Serta sheep. 

Other aging changes, too. Bella, the I-don’t-play-with-dogs-because-that-would-make-me-dog-like now has a couple of BFF’s. Since things have slowed for them and we are not going to the dog park and not going to agility trials I started taking them back to daycare on Fridays. Mix it up a little. Have a little social time. Neither have ever been much for playing with other dogs, but they do really love going there. They get people time and treat time and training time. Now, apparently, dog time. When I hear that Bella was paling around with a border collie it makes sense. Similar play styles, similar weirdness, similar personal space bubbles. However, I kept hearing about how she just *loved* one particular dog. The elusive Butler. “Bella had a great day….her boyfriend was here today!” I finally asked what he is. 

A Golden. 


And a young one at that. 

 I can’t tell you how confusing that is to me. A golden? A young Golden? She has never been a retriever fan. They are normally put in the annoying box, frowned at and then ignored. “Large” and “floppy” are not dog characteristics that she normally finds appealing. Butler must be a quite sensible gent. 

And when the hell did Bella become a cougar?! 

I think I may need to request video of her tramping it up. 

Kate has turned into the people person at daycare. Every time I watch them on the cameras Kate is either stalking a person or a toy. That is about the only border collie trait she has; she can stare with the best of them. 

Or, just do this.