Sunday, April 29, 2007

Cowboy Sundae

We had the bestest time today.

Girl above is an example of fashion surprises at the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival. Since no cameras are allowed, I have to work from memory. This overweight but stylish gal caught my eye in spite of my tattoo phobia. She was wearing a strapless red and white polka dot dress with tattooed bows on the backs of her legs. Talk about accessories (that trail you for a lifetime.) On her back was a brand new dish plate size floral tattoo, and her hair was two tone, blonde and raspberry with a double Anita roll in front. Harlequin glasses and a friend not quite as outstanding completed the look. (you thought I'd draw the friend too?)

Otherwise the main fashion dos were cowboy hats, big buckles, big bellies, big arms. It was 103 yesterday, but today was cooler. I began to realize that the people in really fancy period Western dress were paid to do so.

We were delighted by David Bourne
who plays classic saloon piano with verve and education, a treat. He knew Pete Clute, who was the piano player at Earthquake Magoon's, where I spent a few months as cocktail waitress long, long ago. (1971!!)His specialty is tunes from before Ragtime. He started his career at Knott's Berry Farm, and has published a book about it. I'm interested in the early days of the KB Farm myself, but that's another story.

Best for Last: The String Devils played before a huge audience who were all on their feet cheering at the end. I spoke to Whit Smith, before the show and am going to build a web site for them. yay hooray, happy day for me.

Friday, April 27, 2007

Cowboys in the Morning

We're off to the cowboy festival in Santa Clarita tomorrow. I'm really looking forward to old favorites Sourdough Slim, Baxter Black, Don Edwards and fave Whit Smith's new band, The String Devils. Here's their press info:
  • "Western Swing is alive and well in the hands of former Hot Club of Cowtown members Whit Smith and Jake Erwin. Their recent alliance with Texas fiddler Katy Cox has the band writing new songs and arranging everything from jazz standards, early Americana and Latin melodies to fiddle breakdowns!"

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Luxor is an odd place

While in Las Vegas, we stayed at the Luxor, the pyramid shaped hotel. The decor is quite breathtaking if you are in the right frame of mind, but the graphics the hotel used were hideous.

They have this ugly image of grimacing Carrot Top everywhere, as well as an ad for a topless review, right on the folder your plastic key is in. Even blurry it's ugly. I have more shots from the Luxor at my flickr page.

Charbucks napkins

Click on a napkin. This is from my old Charbucks saga around 2000... I reassembled it in Flash just now.

David Halberstam crossed my path

When I was in eighth grade I was the feature editor for the school newspaper, and very serious about pursuing a career as a newspaper writer. I was invited to go to a special conference in New York, for school newspaper editors, the culmination of which was a luncheon at a big old hotel in Manhattan. David Halberstam, the famous journalist and author who died this week, was the guest speaker.

The room was filled with young teenagers who took themselves seriously. They didn't seem at all like the kids in Chatham, New Jersey. Everyone seemed so smart and informed. I'd never experienced anything like this. Halberstam's speech was very inspiring, and it left me with the feeling that there were many more possibilities in life than I'd ever imagined before.

I can still picture that dining room. It had balconies where people were also seated. I didn't know anyone there, and I had a wonderful time. I always felt this luncheon changed my life.

And thinking on it later today, I think it made me feel as if I'd crossed into the world of "Catcher in the Rye."

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Las Vegas World Cup was a wow

Three days of watching the best riders in the world compete was a great thrill. The fences were gigantic, and the arena a tight little space. I ordered tickets early so we got seats up really close, along side of numerous wealthy oversize people wearing VIP necklaces. On the final day we were overlooking the jump where Meredith Michaels Beerbaum, number one rider in the world (and winner of the Cup two years ago), jumped the liverpool, (a jump with water below it), and fell off for no apparent reason, just like any other rider in the world might do. See someone's video of that ride here.

Beat Mandli of Switzerland with Ideo du Thot won the World Cup, second was to German Daniel Deusser and Air Jordan Z and the two tied for third were Marcus Beerbaum, Germany, and Steve Geurdat, Switzerland. In the U.S. the majority of competitive riders are women, but it's the reverse in Europe.

We didn't see the first day's event, when our personal favorite, Richard Spooner, had a hard time on his horse Cristallo.

But Richard did place third in Saturday afternoon's Grand Prix, a separate competition from the World Cup. He was riding eight year old Ace. Eight is very young for a horse to be jumping these heights. You can see a video of his go here.

Here's Richard conferring with legendary trainer, George Morris, who formerly was quite disdainful of West Coast riders but seems to be changing his mind about them.

Dinah was getting Richard's autograph here. He is so nice to his fans. The t shirt she's handing him to sign was shot out of an air gun by a clown, and she managed to catch it. She was annoyed that I took her picture. She has about a dozen grooming brushes signed by Richard.

Friday, April 20, 2007

Hooked on the Watering Hole

I get up really early, and since I've gotten so hooked on the African webcam it's even earlier. The only times I get a good view are before 7 am in California.
I madly push print screen and print into a Photoshop file. It's always at the same watering hole, so you get a sense of place after a while, and it seems that much more amazing when new animals are seen there. (off to Las Vegas in the rain, which we haven't seen in a LONG time.)

Wednesday, April 18, 2007

Going to Vegas on Friday

Dinah and I are driving up to see the FEI Showjumping World Cup: the greatest jumping horses in the world competing for big prizes and recognition. I hope Richard Spooner wins. (awful site, great rider) He's my favorite rider, a California boy. He's always nice to his horses and his fans, and looks like a surfer.

Here he is going over some monster jump two years ago, in Las Vegas.

Nice Frog Art- Jim Woodring

Ever feel like this? I received a link yesterday to jim woodring's site. The site is a bit overloaded with links and text, but the images are a treat.

Tuesday, April 17, 2007

the big fantastical sea...

my mother flushed my sea monkies down the toilet... she said they were unchristian...

she wasn't usually that illogical... why did a Chinese firecracker company choose this as the image?

Monday, April 16, 2007

virginia on my mind

so sad
so sad
so sad
so sorry
for students
for parents
for people in authority
who have to answer...why? (and why didn't you...?)
strange, the multiple bomb threats at this school, this year. was the unnamed killer behind those too?

Sunday, April 15, 2007

Many goats like it high

I like goats, even though our goats kamikaze me at the knee when I look the other way. This goat was up high at a farmer's stand in Somis, California, on Saturday. Those bare feeder stations you see are resting spots for the goat, if it cares to climb.

African webcam-- careful, it's addictive

This is an amazing live web cam from a watering hole in South Africa. I'm not sure if it's triggered by movement or someone is watching the camera remotely and following whatever moves, but it operates 24 hours a day.

I've seen elephants, turtles, wildebeest, deer, wild dogs, and warthogs, in the last couple of days. The action is much better in the daytime. You may find it to be quite addictive.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Looked in the mirror lately?

Kind of matches my self image after a day of writing Flash code. Love those double roller bangs, don't ya?

Tuesday, April 10, 2007

Firecracker collectors

When I feel uninspired, I go to ebay and look at firecracker labels. It amazes me also that people order these through the mail. In spite of all the disclaimers, I'm pretty sure they're buying an ancient string of crackers.

In 4th grade, I held one in my hand after lighting.

Don't try it.

Monday, April 09, 2007

a little blue

Chick didn't make it.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Happy Easter!

There are lots of military Easter postcards, mostly printed in Germany, from the early part of 1900's. Here's a fine example. Nuts!

Saturday, April 07, 2007

Found this chick late this afternoon. Notice its stub beak, (is it called the eye tooth?), used to break out of the egg. The whole phenomenon of eggs hatching is so amazing.

Unfortunately one of the moms is psychotic, so I've had to move this chick to the laundry room, with a heat lamp and stuffed animal chick for company in a cardboard box. Unidentified psychomom was pecking away at the baby. eek, it happens. (cause of last chick's demise.)

I'm guessing it was Pirate, the one eyed hen, because we always wondered if she lost a part of her brain when she lost her eye.

I moved the parakeets into the laundry room too, so chick can hear their melodic sounds. Here's hoping chick survives. Chickens live a pretty brutal life, let's face it. And don't even talk about turkeys... (or maybe I will.)

Friday, April 06, 2007

Come ON chickens!

Our silkie chicken hens have been sitting on 13 eggs for three weeks, so it should be time for some chicks to show their cute faces. We had one early hatch that didn't survive. These gals have been so dedicated to warming the eggs. It would be a shame if none hatched. There were two roosters to provide the essential brew. But these chickens are so inbred now, they're almost like that song, "I'm my own Grandpa."

Thursday, April 05, 2007

Video video everywhere

Suddenly there are so many opportunities to post your video. I'm just testing It's not clear to me whether you'll see an ad when you look at this, and honestly I wouldn't even want to look at this myself, but I just wanted to test the code and playback.

I've seen a startup that's charging money for downloads,cartoon brew films. Everyone's looking for the missing dollars, knowing how popular internet video has become. I don't have an ipod, so downloading to my ipod doesn't exactly appeal to me. I kind of like the scruffy bus station feeling of youtube. These other places are trying to grab the bucks with more dignity. Just thinking about it.

A Delightful Surprise

Have you ever received a chocolate cake out of the blue? No, of course not.

Imagine my surprise and delight this morning, when Mr. Fedex, whose name is Country, brought me a mystery box and inside was my own chocolate Easter egg cake from my new internet pal Linda D, totally unexpected, and already half eaten!

WOWOHWOW! And love those candy worms!
Thank you Linda!!!

Amidst my chocolate frenzy, I suddenly thought I should take a picture before it was all gone. If only I'd had more self control, you'd see more of the cake in this picture.

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Pepper needed the emergency vet

Got a phone call last night that Pepper wouldn't get up-- the news a horse owner dreads. Dinah and I rushed out to the stable. He had a fever, was breathing heavily, wouldn't eat. Ben gave him some Banamine, which worked wonders. The vet said to hose him down because it sounded like fever. She heard sand sounds in his gut. They've been feeding him on the ground the last month, bad bad. But by morning he was okay again. This is a picture from the early days. He's now about 25.

Monday, April 02, 2007

I live in Northridge

If you don't see this, it's because you don't have a flash player.

Sunday, April 01, 2007

A rock for Linda Davick

Linda Davick
has some nifty rock faces on her blog, so I had to post one of our own moss smiley face rock in Colorado.

Year after year this dear rock keeps smiling.