Saturday, November 29, 2014

Sittin' on the dock of the bay

Not watching the tide roll away, though.


Just watching avocets and sandpipers across the way


Which I suppose rhymes, too. 

Possible dog song.


We managed to miss the rain today, which is actually a bummer. It was coming down so hard this morning it woke me up. Stopped dead about quarter after 7. Nothing since, but a few teasing clouds.


We may get another round later this afternoon. That will be ball in the back yard time. I have been dying for a good soaking rain. Yeah, yeah, drought and all, sure, but really it's just because it's the bestest dog wash ever. First, requires no effort or clean up on my part. Second, not stressful on the dogs (I have yet to figure out why water in a tub is bad and water outside a tub OK, but whatever). And last and thirdly, they are just the softest after a rain bath. Way better than any shampoo or rinse. Bunny soft!

Fingers crossed that wasn't the last rain for another 6 months!

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Beach day

I would love the beach so much if it didn’t have sand. Lord, how I hate that stuff. You know, it wouldn’t be so bad if it were at all possible to leave it there. I guess if you live there you just get used to it? It’s traveling properties are remarkable. I had a chapstick in the car. Opened it to use it on my drive home. IT HAD SAND IN IT. Never left the car. WTH?

 Speaking of sand, this one will be pooping sand castles in a few hours.


I don’t know how many face plants one needs to do before on realizes that slowing down a bit may be beneficial. She did not reach that magic number today. 


And this camera juggling thing is a pain. Maybe going back to just one body is the best? I’m not sure how I am doing it but I keep accidentally adjusting the exposure bias. I didn't check when I started shooting this morning. My bad, I know. So all the really funny pictures where they are getting their willies out look like this… 


I guess we just call it “art” and run with it? 

It was a stunning day today. Perfect dog temperature, too. I didn't get some extended sillies. 


But just the tail end. More old lady posing after energy drain. 


Pelly over Carmel. 


Belly over Carmel.


After she cleaned her face off by ingesting a half pound of sand. Certain bits will be very clean tomorrow!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Great day for a walk

So, that’s what we did. 

After work, of course. I am off this week, so naturally, and in the most American way possible, I end up at the office. Not for long. Had dogs with. Also wearing sweats. So, not a real work day, but still. Vacation that does not include trip to Santa Clara would be lovely. At least the 49er’s were not playing. 

The good part it at least being at work puts us closer to the bay. We went the Palo Alto Baylands for a stroll. Soo many people out! Not sure if it was normal lunch strolls for folks? Everyone else off this week? I was not expecting to see more people than we do on a normal weekend.


So many birds to watch. Very busy out there. 


You normally see pelicans in a group. Funny to see a singleton. You really notice how freaking huge they are when they are surrounded by Shovelers and Coots instead of their own kind. 


Kate was not in a posing sort of mood today. Tired from office excitement, maybe. She just *knows* there is a tennis ball in the building somewhere and must…find…it. She didn't. It was lost. About two years ago. That Kate, not much into letting go. 


I had this brilliant idea for a little trip this week, but I got busy and/or lazy about firming up plans and when I decided to do so there were no dog-friendly hotels left. Boo. So, we are staycationing. I have a long list of things that I will feel mildly bad about not getting done. Dumb shit like car washing and haircuts and new glasses and dog bathing. The beach sounds a little better. Maybe we’ll fit that in between naps and cookies. 

Bendy chops! 


Monday, November 10, 2014

Frisbee catchers

I used to get weird breed guesses for my dogs a lot. People *swore* Bella had to have German Shorthair in her because of the ticking. Some agility folk loved to argue with me about Bella being pure bred Border Collie. No amount of explaining could change their minds. I have even been told that Kate is a pit bull. 

For whatever reason, this doesn’t happen much anymore. On our walk yesterday, though, a guy who was biking with his gf stopped to ask me if they were Jack Russells. I was so not expecting that. I said, “is who a Jack Russell?” He pointed at the girls. “Them.” “Oh, no, you’re about 20 pounds off. They are Border Collie mixes.” 

“Right, those are the ones that catch Frisbees.” 


I guess when discussing my dogs, that does about explain it. 

Though, I expect that the folk that need a working dog, the keepers of the usefulness, may be a little disheartened by that. 

But the sheep, they are soo big. 


Would rather watch ducks. 


And, I rarely take notice of this, but when I do it’s like I can’t stop seeing it… Kate has the biggest sticky outy thumbs ever. Like Even Cowgirls Get The Blues thumbs. 

Should have names her Sissy.


Sunday, November 9, 2014

Monday, November 3, 2014


When I dropped the girls off last Friday I said,"Now, today is one of those days that someone might put a hat on you. Just be polite. There will be cookies, too."

Well, no hats, but a little more dog-friendly costuming. Best day care photo I have ever gotten. And that's 11 years worth of daycare holiday photos!

Just great!

Photo by some awesome employee at Downtown Dogs

Save the daylight

Worst day for dogs. That whole “fall back” thing is pretty hard. 



We actually hard rain this weekend, too! Like, real rain. The kind that gets things wet and leaves puddles. Not just the kind that puts dust spots on your car. Everything was thankful for the soak. Amazing how quickly things green up. 


I haven’t been to our morning park for a daytime walk in a while. We went yesterday to avoid dealing with Levi’s Stadium traffic, which we would have to skim on the way to any normal weekend destinations. The daytime park has apparently turned into pot central. Cars full of kids smoking. Every other picnic table, kids smoking. The park is a half mile long and really only open on both ends. It is sort of protected from traffic and animal control. One of the reason there is a fair amount of off-leash play there. I guess that sort of applies to the normal police, too. Now, I could care less what you smoke and, quite frankly, I would rather deal with stoners than drunks. You want to put something in your body that makes you stupid? Knock yourself out. However, not in public! That shit smells horrible! Cigarettes are not allowed in public parks, but this OK? 

Kate watching squirrels. Probably high. Who can tell? 


Clouds of smoke aside, it was a stunning day. Good for the girls, too. One of those bonus days when you are just going to go on a leash walk and happen upon a lost ball needing a throw. 


Excuse me, Bella’s lost ball.


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.


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.


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.


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. 


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… 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. 

Kate92814 (1) 

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? 



Monday, September 29, 2014

She's aging

Look at the gray ears! 


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. 



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. 


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.


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.


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.


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.


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

Sunday, September 7, 2014


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. 


Interrupted by squirrel on wire 


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. 


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. 


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.


Cheese fest


More snow accumulation, too. Very distinguished.


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.