Monday, March 31, 2008

Post Number 200

Wow. Isn't this supposed to be a mind-bloggingly entry? I mean, who ever thought I would make such a milestone?

Anyway, I was just going to remind everyone that there are eleven days until 12-of-12 photo time. AND it falls on a Saturday. Yea. Photos from the barn and other not-so-thrilling places. The crowd chants: "Anything but commuting photos. PLEASE!!!"


Sunday, March 30, 2008

Final Four Part Two


So, I have all four teams in the Final Four, for whom should I root? Now, that it is Kansas and not Davidson, there is no true underdog.

To recap, my choices are the following: Tarheels, Tigers, Bruins, and JayHawks.

I am going on a limb, again; but it is a stronger one, at least in the eyes of the selection committee.

I will say North Carolina and Memphis, with the TarHeels winning it all.

I mean, a tarheel should be able to beat up a jayhawk, and a Tiger should be able to take the bruin.



Final Four

Well, with the Memphis defeat of Texas, I am guarnteed that I will have picked the winner of this year's tourney. (Yes, the final Elite Eight game is being played, but I picked both of them, so I will have all four Final Four Teams this year.

Not too bad. But I really thought one of the number ones would bite the dust sooner than this. Ah, well. So, now. Whom do I root for?

More on that topic later.


Saturday, March 29, 2008

Great two days with Luke

Well, I had the best two days on Luke that I have had in a long time. We went to Heather's yesterday and no issues (me not him). No racing heartbeats, no rapid pulse. Just got on, walked around. Trotted. Cantered. Worked through the trot pole grid, like I had been doing it all my life. (for those of you who don't know, I have a major, poles on the ground, issue. A pole 3 feet in the air, not a problem. Pole flat on the ground. VERY scary).

I know. I am mental. What you find easy, I find very hard. What you find hard, I can't understand why you don't get it. Anyway......

We moved as a tandem around the upper arena and even ventured to the lower arena for the first time. No panic. Wow. It was wonderful.

Went today. There were more people there today. (It is Saturday. Most everyone shows up for the Saturday lessons.) I went through the trot grid beautifully. We added a small jump to the end of the grid. Poor Luke. He wasn't sure if he was supposed to jump it or trot it. So, the first two times, he trotted. The third time through, I squeezed my legs a bit harder and he jumped it. WAY COOL feeling. I love it. As the grid poles are raised, the two interior obstacles become a bounce. I am not quite ready for a bounce in that my back can't take the shock yet, so we sat the higher grid out. But while my fellow riders were being tortured, Luke and I cantered around the lower arena and he was not the least bit "antsy" about leaving the herd. (That is his major issue).

IT WAS A WONDERFUL TWO DAYS. Jumpers, here we come!!!!!

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Elite Eight

They are down to eight. I still have five:
West: UCLA
South: Memphis
East: North Carolina
Midwest: Kansas and Davidson

Well, I will have at least ONE of the final four. UCLA is leading as I post this message; but I haven't listened to any of the games, since I was at the barn most of the day and that circle of friends, doesn't follow college bball.

More on the barn later.


Thursday, March 27, 2008

Don't faint. . . .

because it isn't really as clean as the photo portrays it. (The files and papers are in a storage box to be filtered through this weekend, when I finish the taxes).

We are interviewing a potential housesitter this evening and I didn't want to scare her off with my filing method. The plant on the table is from an arrangement my coworkers gave me five years ago.

Have a great weekend. I plan to. Have a lesson on Luke both Friday and Saturday; car racing in Marysville and taxes. Ah, life on the 21st century version of Green Acres ranch.


Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Another Commuting Pet Peeve

Well, apparently I have more than I thought I did. Or, maybe, just maybe, now that I think about them, I notice them. Who knows? Not even the Shadow, but I digress.


This is not a new phenomenon; at least for the section of Interstate 80 through the lovely college town of Davis, CA. I can remember travelling from our home in Sacramento to San Francisco to visit relatives and EVERY time we would get over the causeway, just entering the Davis community, my father would begin his mumblin' curses under his breath. AND he wasn't even driving. "Don't these people in this @#%%$ town know how to merge? Wonder where they learned to drive. Must have gotten their drivers' license from a Cracker Jack sticker." and so forth. These events occurred over 40 years ago.

Spring forward to today. I am driving The Red January (related to the submarine Red October), the 1983 Toyota PU with 321,000 miles. The Hybrid is in the shop for its 100,000 mile check-up. I am cruising at 60 in the slow lane. The lanes next to me are cruising at 65 and 70. I approach an interchange. Three cars gearing up for the merge. AT LESS THAN 40 MPH. I remain steady, trying to move to the left. No room. I continue, but slow a bit. All three cars enter the freeway at 40mph. AND STAY THERE. It took them nearly a mile to get up to speed. Now, for all of you thinking maybe its an old ramp with little room to get up to speed; kibosh that idea. There was plenty of room to let me continue, but no they had to move right over in front of me. I finally am able to move over and continue on my way. Another 1/2 mile down the road and I return to the slow lane. And proceed at 60 mph. Another 1/2 mile down the road, one of my three "friends" run right up on my bumper and flash their lights signaling for me to move over a lane. THERE IS NO LANE TO MOVE TO!!!!!!!!!!! I am as far to the right as possible. What if I was in the Monster Truck towing Luke and only going 55mph.

UgH. I am beginning to think we need to put the radio back in Toyota.

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Monday, March 24, 2008

10 of 16 is Sweet

Wow. What a basketball weekend. Davidson sends #2 Georgetown home. Butler loses in overtime, but made a go. Here's how my teams shake out.

East: Two Teams
North Carolina and Washington State. They play each other.

Midwest: Four Teams
Kansas plays Villlanova and Wisconsin plays Davidson. I think both Davidson and Villanova can pull these games out, but no matter what, I win.

South: Three Teams
Memphis plays Michigan State. Since I have a side deal between the Spartans and Bucky, got to route for Memphis. Stanford is the third team. They play Texas. Toss up in my book.

West: One Team
You would think this would have my strongest bracket seeing as I am on the West Coast and all we ever see is these guys. Ah, the luck of the draw. Down to the favorite, UCLA. Western Kentucky is a 12 seed, can they continue on down the road? You bet they can.

Here's to Friday.


Friday, March 21, 2008

Madness End of Day Two

And then there were 32. Of my sixteen original picks, three go home after one waltz. 81%.

These teams live to try the tango this weekend. None with each other. More on Sunday evening. There is nothing like college basketball. Four lower seed teams move on.

Washington State
North Carolina
Michigan State


Another Commuting Pet Peeves

Friday afternoon traffic. Everyone swishing to get to where they think they need to be. The traffic flow is exceeding the speed limit by at least 10 mph.

Then, up ahead. bam. Red tail lights. Boom. Boom. Boom. Everyone slows to 40. 30.20 Why?

A Highway Patrol Officer (or other law enforcement person) is sitting on the side of the road. Alone. In his (or her) car. Not moving. Maybe finishing a ticket or writing one for the car that is a bit farther up, but WHY do people go from Speed Racer to the Slowski's in less than ten yards?

I am not talking about those drivers in the slow lane who are slowing down to give the Officer room and are being conscientious about people being on the freeway. I am talking about the people who just passed me like I was a billboard on the side of the road (standing still) and now they are slamming on the brakes.

I think if my friends at the Highway Patrol wanted to slow CA drivers down, all they have to do is put an Officer on the side of the road every mile or so. Would probably save the department fuel costs.

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Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Commuting Pet Peeves

I don't have many. But one I do have involves those wonderful signs on the side of the freeways. And it isn't actually the signs, or even the information disseminated from them. I understand the need for them; and how they help save lives. No, my issue is with


I am driving home this evening, Eastbound on Interstate 80. Traffic is a bit heavy for it being a vacation week, but everyone is moving the speed limit from Vacaville to Dixon. Suddenly, traffic slows to 30 mph. No apparent reason. Then it occurs to me. There was an AMBER ALERT earlier today. I will bet the sign is on with a message. Sure enough. As soon as cars pass the sign, traffic moves back at the speed of light (or at least the speed limit).

On I go. Not thinking about my recent frustration with people who can't read at 65mph, I continue on Interstate 80 Eastbound. (I have an alternate route that I can take when traffic is heavy). We move swiftly through Davis and head for the causeway. STOP. Ugh. Was there an accident? What?!

15mph for three miles. The obstruction? You guessed it. Another sign. WITH THE SAME INFORMATION. What? Didn't YOU people just read this information not more than 10 minutes ago? And yes, as soon as a car passes the sign, it is 70 mph.

No wonder cars don't get good gas mileage. Going from 65 to 15 and back to 70 can't be good for consistency purposes.


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Monday, March 17, 2008

The Madness has Begun

Well, on the airways, there has been much scrambling and grumbling about how the committee distributed the 64. I don't care. I wait for the bracket then I pick my usual suspects, a few long shots, at least one sentimental favorite and come up with 16 picks.

So, Here they are, for what they are worth. (Have the usual standing bet with my Michigan State alum friend, but other than that, just pick for fun).

Washington State
North Carolina
Michigan State
St. Mary's

Will keep you posted as they wind down to one.


Flossing is hazardous to your teeth

No joke. I don't care what "they" say.

I was flossing my teeth this morning. Yea, I know novel concept. (Talk to my dentist, he is FOREVER, after me to floss even more. It's just to drum up business).

I use the "wimpy" wax-coated, mint flavored tape. A move from one gap to the other. OOPS! the floss shredded. What the ???? I move it back up and try and come down. Stuck. I just pull the floss out by the end. Well, part of an old filling came with it. BUGGER.

So, I am off to the dentist. Third time this year I have graced his office with my presence. I am becoming a fixture.

Basketball picks tonight.


Saturday, March 15, 2008

Congrats, Bulldogs (the Georgia Ones)

Wow. Let the madness begin!

Them 'Dawgs, with a record of 15-16 and ranked 6th in their tourney, had to win twice today. AND did. Historical and amazing.

Due to weather in the Atlanta area yesterday, the Georgia/Kentucky game was postponed to this morning. It took overtime, but they were the victor and then turned around and beat Mississippi State this evening.

All for the privilege of playing Arkansas, who beat the fourth ranked team in the country, Tennessee, in the SEC final and a opportunity of any automatic invitation to the big dance.

Yea. College basketball. All the drama and tons of the fun. Where Cinderalla still has hopes and dreams of attending the ball.


Friday, March 14, 2008

So, Angus got a sock shoe

So, I didn't spend the $75 for the track shoes; just $40 for the sock shoe. He seems to like it ok. Least he isn't wearing the cone for the evening. He has been up and down the stairs ok. Isn't licking his toe and is still talking to me. A good sign.

They only come in Yellow and Black combo, so I guess we'll be routing for the Georgia Tech team this month.

"Yuppie" Sticker Shock

Well, Angus' check up would have gone well today, had he not banged the "heck" out of his toe trying to get into the Escape without assistance. (Should never have had him see me pick up the leash).

He bled all over everywhere. So, he is still on antibiotics and the vet sent us to REI for a dog boot. Hence, the sticker shock hit.

Did you know that you can get a set (that's four for those of you not familiar with the canine anatomy) of "Nike" style boots for your furry friends?

Did you also know that they are more expensive than MY Nike shoes? (Ok, so there are four for a dog, but really)

Did you know they come in colors? Fashionable colors!

Photos to follow.

Did you know they come in as many sizes as their human counterpart?

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

March 12 of 12

March, my favorite month and here are this month's 12 of 12. My contribution this month is a Baker's Dozen.

12 of 12 is a cool project started by Chad Darnell. Check out his site. He gets photos from all over the globe. Really Cool.

So, let's begin.The front seat of the Escape. A bit cleaner this month. Taken in Elverta CA at 6:15am

The flowering trees and green hills of Vacaville, CA. They won't flowery or green for long.
Taken in Vacaville CA 7:25am

Next to Mints, these are my favortie Girl Scout Cookies. Thanks, Bernie.
My Office, Vacaville CA 9:20ish am

The photos on my book cupboard. A drawing of horses exiting the ferry on Whidby Island, Adam, my nephew, Rufus, my yearling (as a weanling), and another drawing of horses and a ferry. Taken in my office, Vacaville CA around 3:40 pm.

The daily mail. Vacaville CA 4:10 pm

Left over lunch, that someone will have for dinner.
Vacaville, CA 4:10 pm

The Drive Home.
Interstate 80 East Bound. 4:35pm Davis CA

One of the reasons I love March. Spring Flowers.
My Front Gate, Elverta CA 5:05 pm

Kitty. The "fat" puppy no more. She has lost nearly 55 pound since we found out she had a thyroid problem. She actually chases Rueben.
But he won't run. Both taken in Elverta CA 5:10 pm

Feeding time for the horses. I don't know why I bother to put his food in a bucket.
Elverta CA 5:20pm

The sun trying to peak through.
Elverta CA 5:20pm

And because I can't count. Here is thirteen

The black dog in the foreground is Angus, the 18 year old. He came with me to see the flowers on Tush's burial site. (those photos didn't turn out). The house and barn are in the background. There is a creek that Angus decided to jump. He landed in the water, swam like a champ, and came up the other side. Yes, there was dry place to cross, but Why would a lab do that? Yes, he got a bath too.
Taken Elverta CA 6:00pm


Sunday, March 09, 2008

Why I Love the Month of March

It is the month by favorite "little" brother was born.

It is the month of my mother-in-law's birth and without her, there would be no loving adorable spouse.

It is the month of Madness.

It is the month the flowers start to emerge. (Photos to follow during 12 of 12.)

It is unpredictable weather wise. It can be 75 or 30. You have to keep your coat and sunscreen handy. Break out the shorts; or find those earmuffs.

It is the month that we change the time back to Arizona time, giving me more daylight in the evening so I can spend it with Luke. (and even earlier this year. YEA!!)

It is the month of the 12 hours of Sebring.


THE FERRARIS ARE BACK!!!!!!! Yes. Yes. The Formula One Season starts. THANK YOU, SPEED Channel for carrying the races live. Even if I have to wake up at 4am to watch most of them.

Yea, March is a good month.

Friday, March 07, 2008

plethora of thoughts

Happy Birthday, Jeremy. Where ever you may be.

Do you mute the radio in the car when you receive a text message on your cell phone? I do. It's not like I can't hear the message. Guess I can't do three things at once. Oh, wait. I do more than three things at home and work all the time. However, I still can't walk and chew gum.

Why are people, who are supposed to be smart, sometimes so dumb? Case in point. You have been advised not to speak to or about someone or something by the authorities. And you continually do so. Don't even realize that you are. Or, you can't make the connection from one case or incident to another.

Ever wanted to be somewhere you are not, only to find that once you got to somewhere, you truly wanted to be where you were, not where you are?

Ever lost touch with a family member or friend, only to have them call you out nowhere? And you can't decide if it is a good thing or a bad thing they "found" you? Although it is not like I was lost. Had the same job for nearly 16 years and lived in the same place for going on 19 years. Had the same home phone number for those same 19 years. (Yea, Yea, I know it is busy in the evening; thank country life and dial up, baby!!!)

Ok, so it isn't truly a plethora. But they are thoughts.


Thursday, March 06, 2008

12 of 12 just six days away

Didn't get a chance to update yesterday.

12 of 12 is Next WEDNESDAY.

If you are new to 12 of 12, it was started by Chad Darnell. (A very funny guy).

Get your camera, even if it is your phone camera and record your day visually.

It's fun.

That is all. for now.