Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Gee, That Was a Doozy!

As I admire at this photo of the serene slough running through Dover Bay, recurrent images of a 400-pound hacker sitting on a bed go floating on down the waterway. . . . at least temporarily.  

Then I go back to scratching my head.  

I always thought it was "elephants in the room" or great big gorillas, but never until last night had I envisioned a 400-pound hacker sitting on a bed in some clandestine room somewhere on Earth.

Is this entity a newly discovered addition to the animal kingdom or a new species of gorillas? What the heck is it anyway?

Maybe I'll learn more by watching "Saturday Night Live" this weekend when the creative geniuses---who still remember truth---provide us with a tangible image of a 400-pound something or other rolling around on that bed (with a plateful of spaghetti on the night stand) gleefully hacking away at unsuspecting websites in places yet unknown.

'Til then, I'll just have to imagine the scene and hope this hacker is caught before it establishes a direct connection or even a job in the White House. 

Besides seeing the need for a good, strong handkerchief to curb some obvious nasal distress, the hacker phenom tops my takeaway list from last night's "Great Debate" of suppositions (nice term for 'I just made that up')  on one side and generally researched and credible facts on the other. 

And, I just read this morning that the nasal passage-impaired candidate says it's gonna get tougher next time we get to watch a "great debate."   

Looks like the fall season for TV viewers has scored big with its 2016 debate series.  

I can't wait to see how said fat hacker evolves into a regular caricature with each new episode.  

What's even more interesting is to learn that what we saw last night was really not what we saw.  

In many cases---according to the news as we make it up----what many thought was the winning player among the two verbal pugilists in last night's season opener lost miserably. 

I guess we have just got to get used to the fact that facts really aren't facts.  Instead, all this time they've really just been a figment of imagination, depending on whose imagination is at work at the time. 

Never mind that a lot of imaginations have been putzing along on basically the same page for as long as I've been alive, but we have also learned over the years that change is inevitable and when that change comes from a vivid imagination, GET READY!  

That fact will soon be history.  

OOPS!  No, it won't be history cuz history is what we use to draw conclusions and history is to be forgotten.  

No, that fact will be just become another new figment.  

Stay tuned.

That 400-pound hacker on the bed is gonna take time out from slurping down the spaghetti, sneak into a computer near you and steal any morsal of truth that is floating around in your computer or your brain.

Soon you'll be acting just like Hazel in Kurt Vonnegut's "Harrison Bergeron" every time the sound of a ball peen hammer hitting a milk bottle goes off in her head while she's watching TV debates with her husband George. 

"Gee, that was a doozy," you'll say, and when the hammer goes off again ten seconds later " . . . GEE, that was really a doozy." 

Where's that handkerchief????  Take me back to that serene slough in Dover. 

Happy Tuesday. 


Monday, September 26, 2016

Yay! Yay! Ruff! Ruff! and Moo! Moo!

What a weekend of activity---all good! 

Yesterday my sister Laurie won another Top Ten Ribbon in dressage at the Arabian Sport Horse Nationals in Nampa.  She, Roxzene and Pache will, no doubt, be "floating" as they come home today from a week of competition.  

Congratulations to all on a fine week competing among the nation's finest. 

While Laurie was horsing around in Nampa, Annie was visiting with cows and Border Collies in Germany and Austria----the Alps, to be exact.  

It was a "working" trip, but by most other folks' standards, it's mighty fine work, doing all that hiking and sight seeing in all that beauty. 

I think Annie's supposed to be back in Seattle Tuesday.  Willie will be joining her Wednesday night at the Sounders match, where Annie won a bunch of enviable perks, like walking the sidelines and hobnobbing with the team, with a guest, no less.

So, Willie's making a quick trip over to serve as her guest at the soccer match.

Willie and Debbie and I went to the dogs yesterday at Dover and had a fine time.  They served as guides for the fun run which benefits the Panhandle Animal Shelter, and I took photos.  

I'll post a few samples below.

With all the stuff going on with just this family and with another family member in the cousins' contingent spending several days in Ireland while another is hunting for a big horn sheep, I have a feeling that this weekend's reunion will involve a lot of lively conversation.  

It's a fun life.  Someone's gotta live it. And, these folks are making the most of it, along with their animals. 

Yappy Monday!



Sunday, September 25, 2016

Gone to the Dogs at Dover

Actually, I will be out the door when my friend Helen and Cherry tune in to read and edit this morning.  So, Helen and Cherry, go easy on me.

Big event at Dover this morning starting at 9, and its purpose is to support the Panhandle Animal Shelter.  It's a walk/run, and, in many cases, will include the walkers'/runners' best friends. 

I'd like to take Liam BUT I'm taking pictures.  

Liam and I haven't exactly practiced teamwork with photography, especially in settings with a whole lot of people and other dogs to meet. So, he'll stay home.  Maybe next year.

I think it's gonna be a lot of fun, especially out there at beautiful Dover Bay. 

In the meantime, I was quite delighted this morning to discover that all those jars of plum jelly prepared yesterday afternoon set up overnight.  

Seems the last couple of years I've had some problems in that department and have had to recook my jelly.  

This time, though, it's a one-shot deal with 24 little jars of that pretty and zesty red stuff. 

I'm also pleased that my tomatoes are turning red now that they're in the house and sitting in the garden window.  Last night I cut up a couple and smothered them with zesty Italian dressing.  

Talk about a delight!  I guess they're definitely well worth the long wait. 

It was a very busy day yesterday, racing around trying to get things done both inside and out for next weekend's cousins' gathering, but while heading over to the Colburn farm to pick up some tables, I stopped several times to shoot some fall splendor. 

It's just coming on, and every day, every minute of fall is worth beholding.  Looks like we might get quite a color show this year. 

Anywho, I'll close and wish everyone a wonderful day.  And, soon I'll head to Dover and yell, "Go, Dogs and Masters!" and I'll just type, "Go, Laurie and Pache!!  Good luck in your last class at Nationals." 

Happy Sunday. 

Saturday, September 24, 2016

Saturday Slight

Yesterday was pumpkin-picking day at the Lovestead.  This is the second cart load picked from the manure-pile garden. 

While most garden varieties were fairly mediocre this year, my pumpkins thrived.  I planted two seeds in the top of the manure pile----each, a different species. 

Once the two plants were fenced off and covered with netting to protect them from overnight pilferers, they grew and grew and little pumpkins started appearing all over. 

I believe the harvest amounted to about 25 pumpkins of different sizes and colors. One variety turns yellow right away, while the other needs a few cold nights for color transformation. 

They make nice decorations in the front yard, and that is good because one week from today, the cousins arrive.  We could still have flowers blooming because no freezes are predicted, but it's nice to have the pumpkins added to the fall scene. 

Once we hit Halloween, I'll probably give several away and scrape the innards from at least a couple for our freezer.

After last year's dismal attempt where the deer just plain ate all the vines and the pumpkins, I'm pretty pleased. 

The entire focus for the next few days includes house cleaning, yard work and even some animal primping. 

One of the cousins, Patti, who's coming from Seattle, is a big Kiwi fan.  So, Kiwi gets to go to the beauty parlor so she'll look and smell pretty for Patti's visit. 

In other news, Laurie finished 12th in her dressage class yesterday.  It was a much bigger class than Wednesday's junior horse class, and she's pleased, especially because of Pache's comparatively young age for a dressage horse. 

She'll have one more class tomorrow and then head home Monday. 

Annie has been having fun over in Germany wearing her flipflops and taking in some rather spectacular sights in the Alps near where the Sound of Music was filmed.  Today, I think she was actually working for the entire day at the geocaching event. 

Annie will be back in Seattle Tuesday and then in Sandpoint for next weekend's cousin-related activities. 

Guess that's all for this Saturday----lots of sports events to watch and outside "to do's" ahead. 

Happy Saturday. 

Friday, September 23, 2016

Where in the World IS Annie Love? And, Finding Liam

One of Annie's photos from her first full day in Berchtesgaden.  I'm assuming that's the hotel where she is staying while attending a major geocaching event.  Annie and her colleague Bryan are representing Groundspeak, Inc. at the Geocoinfest. 

Berchtesgaden is a municipality in the German Bavarian Alps. It is located in the south district of Berchtesgadener Land in Bavaria, near the border with Austria, some 30 km south of Salzburg and 180 km southeast of Munich. 

To the south of the city the Berchtesgaden National Park stretches along three parallel valleys.                                                                       ---from Berchtesgaden Facebook page

Yup, Annie's on another world travel, and, as usual, she took along her flipflops and her Sounders scarf.  The flipflops are especially important because she and those flipflops are famous in Germany (a clip of them and Annie's feet moving on down the Camino Santiago aired on German TV this week) just in time for her to arrive in Germany.  

If you think flipflops along the Camino turned heads, you can imagine what they probably did when she and Brian toured a salt mine. 

The photo from Eagle's Nest (described below) was taken an hour or so ago.  That Sounders scarf has traveled the world with Annie. 

Annie and Bryan have a busy weekend ahead with all the geocaching activities---and to think she'll be here in Sandpoint sleeping in her own bed this time next week. I think she removes her flipflops when she goes to bed. 

In other news, Laurie and Pache will compete again at the Nationals shortly before 1 PDT today.  Good luck, Laurie. 

Here on the home front, Bill and I are breathing easier one more time, thanks to Liam. Yesterday, when he was just about at the house from playing in his pasture, Liam's nose went down, his ears turned deaf and off he went.

Things got frantic for Bill and me as Liam, oblivious to any concerns, moved on toward the south.  Foster followed but came back. 

I drove into our neighbor's driveway.  She thought she had seen Liam go back toward our place, but we learned later she had actually seen Foster.

So, I rushed back, climbed on the 4-wheeler, raced through the entire woods and saw no sigh of Liam.  In the meantime, Bill was walking through the woods with plans to hang out at the west end, lest Liam go that way. 

I drove back to the house, climbed in the car again and drove down Selle Road to the west. Seeing no sign of Liam, I turned around just in time to see him cross the road from the south at Murray's place, headed toward home. 

I also saw cars stopped at our turn.  Apparently, one of our neighbors had seen him on his initial run and was sitting in her car, watching for him.  When I assured her that I had spotted him, she moved on. 

I once again pulled into the Kauble's place and saw Liam in their front area.  Still oblivous to anything but where his nose was taking him, it took a couple of calls and then a "sit" and a "down."  Liam finally stopped.

When I walked up to him, I thought he had rolled in some needles.  Well, they were needles okay, but the kind that come from porcupines. 

I put him in the car, drove home, took him to the garage and found Bill who was still in the woods.  We went back to the house where he grabbed a pair of needle-nosed pliers and some gloves.  

As I held, he pulled out the quills.  Fortunately, most were on the surface, and only one that stuck out just a half an inch or so, caused Liam some discomfort as Bill had to try a couple of times to pull it out. 

Liam behaved sensibly, though, and we managed to avoid a vet visit.  My hope is that the experience might have some impact on his nose-to-the-ground sojourns. Only time will tell, but I do think the experience was slightly traumatic to the young pup.  

And, I know it was more than traumatic for both Bill and me. 

Guess that's enough from the home front.  Got lots to do today while keeping track of Liam here at home and of those family members who have followed their noses to their individual passions.  

My advice to them---let's look for positive endings and avoid the porcupines!

Happy Friday.  Check out photos and info. below. 

Berchtesgaden & Eagle's Nest

From Salzburg, the fairytale scenery of Germany’s Bavarian Alps leads to Berchtesgaden, Hitler’s mountain retreat, and Eagle's Nest (or Kehlsteinhaus), the southern headquarters of the Nazi party.

Brilliantly positioned on top of Mt Kehlstein, the lodge boasts some of Germany’s most amazing views of the snowcapped Alps and valleys. The chateau was commissioned to celebrate Hitler’s 50th birthday in 1939 and was built as a retreat and meeting house, although it was seldom used due to the outbreak of war.

These days, visitors come here to drink in those fabulous views and dine at the onsite restaurant and beer garden. While you’re here, you can take a tour of the Kehlsteinhaus and the mountain’s bunkers, including a glimpse of the reception room’s red marble fireplace, a gift from Mussolini.

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Arabian Sport Horse Nationals: Day One of Competition

Another short night after a second day spent at the Arabian Sport Horse Nationals where my sister Laurie is competing with Ravenwood Hot Stuff aka Pache.  

Barbara and Laurie purchased the flashy Half Arabian as a young gelding from Ravenwood Arabians in Ronan, Mont.  

He's still pretty young for competing nationally.  But Pache takes pretty much everything in his stride.  And, his stride, overall look and temperament was good enough at different gaits in yesterday's Half Arabian junior horse competition to earn him a national Top Ten ribbon and plaque.  

Originally, we thought he had finished fifth in the individual dressage tests among 18 competitors.  Turns out it was sixth, but that's just fine too.  A national Top Ten is a big deal for a 4-year-old with very little competitive experience under his belt. 

So, everyone was pleased as punch, probably even Pache who had spent part of the night (about 1 a.m. or so) out of his stall going around and meeting other horses.  

That meant Laurie and Roxzene spent part of the night going from the hotel to the Idaho Center to make sure Pache was safely in his stall.  They had a difficult time getting back to sleep, so it was a long day for them.

Pache's nocturnal activities didn't seem to faze him, and he performed nicely for his first national dressage test. 

It was a fun day from the morning preparation to watching the competition and, of course, watching the people and pets watching the competition.

I enjoyed an added bonus when my dear friend and former editor from the Appaloosa Journal, Diane Rice, came to the Idaho Center for a visit.  Diane recalled that the last time we saw each other was when Extreme Home Makeover had come to Sandpoint. 

A lot of water under the bridge since then, so we enjoyed some catching up.  Diane also enjoyed holding Pache for a photo or two.  My sister, Roxzene (with poop picker upper in hand) tried to look mean for their photo, but they could work at that a little. 

With just minutes left before I had to drive back to Boise, drop off the rental car and catch my flight (which left about 45 minutes late because of a storm), Pache and Laurie officially received their loot at the Awards Ceremony. 

Always meeting new friends in my travels.  Lerry from the Sport Horse National Show staff got me set up with a parking pass, and Tammy, an amazing mother of five foster children,  former college basketball player at Colorado State University, massage therapist and fellow people lover, added to the fun at the show.  

A typical entourage for each competitor-----coffee, bucket with brushes, mounting block and dog!

And, a good time was had by all.  Thanks, Laurie and Roxzene, for putting up with me.  I thoroughly enjoyed the two days spent with you at the show.  Good luck with the rest of your classes.