Saturday, May 31, 2008

California... Day 4... Part 1 of 3...

I told you I have a lot of shots...
And I told you she was showing dogs... every day... dogs...

"Just a leeeetle bit closer and your soul will be miiiiiine!"

I just couldn't get over this wonderful eye.

Ok, so we were on the road by noon and heading toward Joshua Tree National Park. Maybe someone can shed some light as to why there is a Mammoth on the side of a mountain. I'm assuming that fossils are found in them thar' hills...

Everyday, up until now, consisted of clouds.

I wish they would set these up in the Long Island Sound already. I found them quite relaxing.

The park is beautiful and caters to rock climbers.

There are trails to wander on and many sights to see. Unfortunately my wife feared having to drag ourselves out if the desert with rattlesnake bites... so we didn't wander to far. (The day after this trek a woman at the dog show with a dalmatian was telling me that her dog was bit by a rattler... while we were out on our hike. He was given antivenin and was ok. It was actually the second time the dog had been bit in two years!)

Waggy leaves one behind for Hollywood. Take that!

Even in this arid land the ground is teaming with life. I wish we could have stayed till dark to see some REAL wildlife.

I was told that these Joshua trees only grow in this area of the world at around 2,000-6,000 feet above sea level. They thrive in the area that is the park.

Enjoy the desktop image...

Our vacation starts to look up.

Come again tomorrow :)

Friday, May 30, 2008

Hollywood is a dirthole... Day 3...

Day three started with another dog show. This was an all breed show and was held at a big complex.

Cayenne was getting more comfortable near the breed rings and was eager to please her masters and breeders.

Chance (The Wag) gave a little "sucky face" to the camera.

Then he was all about business...

He showed well but no advancement today.

Sadie's owners are friends of ours. Isn't she precious?

Now for the title of this post.

Why didn't anyone warn me? What a dump Hollywood is.

The sign says it all :)

"That female impostor ain't got nuthin' on me!"

So why did I hate Hollywood so much? It's a TRAP! When a street sign says one hour metered parking from 9am to 4pm... and you put an hours worth of change in a meter at 3:30pm... you expect to be safe. But instead, we returned to our vehicle at 4:15 and it was on a tow-truck!!!

We had all our belongings in the vehicle because we were going to a new hotel and pleaded with the officer to not tow it. We were told that it was a no parking zone after 4pm (F*#@) Sooooo, we had to pay $152 to the tow people to release the vehicle and we have an additional $140 fine that we have to send to CA.

AND I STILL HAVEN'T SEEN INDY YET! I should have gone to the movies and said F*#@ Hollywood. What a freakin' dump :(

If we were a minute later we would have been screwed. If it wasn't for the fun lunch I had with Stefan my vacation would have officially sucked! Thanks again for the personal meet and greet and book signing :)

And, apologies to Old Old Lady in the Hills. She lives in a beautiful house overlooking what I called a dump. If I had planned ahead I might have been able to meet her... and had a better time in Hollywood.

WIIF #67

Laura flew right into last weeks home!

Here is What Is It Friday? #67

Laura is on a roll and nailed this Escher-esque lamp post! It reminded me of something out od "War of the Worlds".

The fine print: On Fridays I will post an image in hopes that visitors will leave a guess in the comment section. The following Friday (or when someone guesses correctly) I will post a wide shot of the item. Each Friday a NEW image, along with a link to the previous weeks post, will be posted.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Cali... Day 2...

So, the main reason my wife went to California was for... what else... dog shows. We had our boy Chance entered, as well as Cayenne (from Cali) and a dog that my wife co-owns (Toddy).

Toddy won big that day :)

And Ella's sister Cayenne did rather well too :)

Mid-day, I took a nap and slept through a hail storm... NO JOKE! High winds picked up the canopies at the show ground and hail pelted the people and dogs. I woke up to the wife bursting into the hotel room after running through the rain and hail.

Afterwards, I found some escargot...

This should have been a "WIIF?"

They were everywhere...

I looked up and my eye caught this interesting scene... well as this one.

This day was my wifes' and I knew the Border Collie specialty would take up quite a bit of the day. So off on another trek through the mountains.

This time we came across some scary-tight roads that brought me to the above dam. We didn't want to traverse these roads in the dark so we turned around and this time put the right info into the GPS.

Oh, and the reason we came to CA...

Chance received an Award of Merit at the Border Collie Specialty. A high honor indeed :)

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Kal-i-for-nigh-Aye.... Day 1...

So the wife and I went to California last week. We haven't been on a real vacation in over nine years and I think I can say we still haven't been.

We saw some nice sights, met some nice people, and got some ribbons for our dogs... but we had our crap days too.

Over the next few days I will be posting pictures and detailing our journey. I hope you will come along for the ride through the good and the bad.

We arrived at JFK and tried the curbside check-in. We had a woman in front of us and two attendants. One attendant helped the woman in front of us and the other stood there until another woman walked up behind us. He then began to help HER!

Yes, ignored us and then acted like nothing was wrong. We went inside and did SELF check in and then rushed to long-term-parking and the train back to the terminal. After passing through security and RUNNING to our gate, an attendant was walking out of the corridor attached to the plane and shut the door.

Yes, we missed the flight by about 30 seconds. After telling about our ordeal we were given seats on the next flight... three hours later. Great start.

The flight was nice, but none of the headphone jacks worked... YAY! We ended up playing an on-screen trivia game against other passengers and got first place of all time on the top ten scores.

I adjusted these pictures a little to get rid of some of the haze but I love the effect it created. And look at that curve on the horizon!

We passed over the Grand Canyon and had some great views through the clouds.

Finally on the ground we met up with one of our pups. Look how big Cayenne has gotten! She turned out to be a fabulous dog and her human mommies love her very much.

I hated losing a day to the flight so I decided to take a ride into the mountains with our rented GPS.

Twenty minutes into our ride we came across what I believe is a coyote.

I asked my wife to punch in the hotel info into the GPS for our return trip and she began to nap as I drove. After a few long stretches I questioned if the GPS was taking us a round-about way. The problem was that we punched in the hotel in LA... not Claremont (where our hotel actually was)... So we took a little ride out of the way, but we got to see LA at night. On to day two...

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

I've Been Given A Blogging Award

Carletta at Round the Bend has given me a You Make My Day Award and brought a smile to a sad face!

Here are the “rules” of the award:

1) Write a post with links to 5 blogs that make me think and/or make my day
2) Acknowledge the post of the award giver
3) Tell the award winners that they have won by commenting on their blogs with the news!

I am passing this award along to (In no particular order):

1. MCF. Without his entertaining and insightful daily posts that lured me into the bloggers realm I would still be hoarding all my pics to myself. Thanks for the introduction.

2. Daily Monster. Stefan's monsters bring smiles to my face. I look forward to his posts and can't wait to see what the future brings.

3. Stacy at "A Focus in the Wild" not only shows us aspects of our world through her lens that we may never see on in person... but also shares her travel experiences with as much detail as her photos. Her accompanying captions really give you a sense of being there as her shutter clicks away.

4. Junie does it all! Great photos, great life stories, great poetry and a loving family that shares in all the antics. I greatly enjoy visiting her blog to see what she shares with us all.

5. Three Woofs and a Woo is one of my more recent haunts but I love reading about and seeing the pictures of the antics that these Border Collies do on a daily basis. Another bringer of smiles and laughter.

And I agree with Carletta! There are so many other blogs that I read and love each day that choosing just five was hard! Just look at my list of approved blogs on the left. I try to visit each one daily; and even though I don't leave comments as often as I would like I find them entertaining, insightful, comical, and enjoyable each in their own special way.

A rotten end to a rotten vacation...

My wife and I took our first kinda-real vacation in about 9 years, but more on that in some other post.

I buried our Schipperke on Monday, May 26th... Memorial Day.
::Moment of silence::

DeLaMer's Red Hot Chili Pepper (Chili-pep) was born January 15th, 1995 and had to be put down on May 26th, 2008. These past few weeks were a struggle that we thought he was recovering from. His blood counts were rising after a suspected auto-immune issue had caused some internal bleeding. Every day he had gotten stronger and we thought he was going to be fine. We had headed out to CA last week and my mother-in-law cared for him in our absence. He was brought to the vet daily to have his blood checked and after a modification to his meds his blood counts continued to rise to the highest they had been since this chapter began.

Sadly, on Sunday he crashed. We received a call that he possibly had a stroke and although comfortable he would probably not recover. We arrived at JFK on Monday and rushed to get our Chili-pepper. Wrapped in a blanket, and while keeping him comfortable and relaxed, we took him to an emergency vet and had him put down. All the while we caressed him and spoke to him.

We took him home and buried him under a holly bush that my father gave to me before his passing. My father loved Chili and used to proudly walk the "little black dog" around town while visiting all his friends. Maybe my pop will greet him up above and settle him in at the bridge for us to all meet again.

Here are some pics to remember him by. Now, if you'll excuse me, I have to wipe the tears from my eyes and off of my keyboard... :(

Monday, May 26, 2008

Sunday, May 25, 2008

Doggie critters...

I saw these two frolicking in a lake with their owners nearby.

Truly best buds. What do you do with your best buds to while away the time?

Camera Critters