Friday, April 25, 2008

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Merry Ole' England

As I've lately been enjoying sharing some of my photography with you, I thought I'd throw in some pix from previous trips to England...Not much time for narration this morning, but I give you the Houses of Parliament:
Windsor Castle:

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Saturday, April 19, 2008

A Visit to Porcelain Borzoi

I had an absolutely wonderful time yesterday stopping by to visit the good folks at Porcelain Borzoi. I met John and Margaret at Westminster, and they graciously allowed me to come by and see their gang at home. These dogs are the sweetest!

Wind and Sky

Friday, April 11, 2008

Pelican Still Life

That's Ms. Maggie-Posh to You!

Okay, so maybe not the most dignified pose ever, but a girl's gotta' air out her belly and get it rubbed!
I had lunch with my friend the other day and got to meet Maggie Posh, firmly ensconced in her forever home, and ruling the roost already ;D She is a real sweetheart. She came right up to me and promptly rolled, exposing belly to be rubbed. And that's pretty much what I did the rest of the visit! That, and be licked...a lot.

You, too, could be blessed with this much undying gratitude and unconditional love. Go check out the shelter nearest you!

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Cute 'ittle baby goats!

These little cuties will soon be joining the menagerie out at the barn ;D

Sunday, April 6, 2008

The Amazing Azteca

This is Solana, my beautiful, sweet 4 year-old Azteca mare.

(You might notice that someone [who shall remain nameless] has gradually chewed off much of her name plate!)

For those of you who aren't familiar with Aztecas, don't worry! I wasn't familiar with the breed until just a few years ago. Originating in Mexico, the breed comes from crossing Andalusians with Quarter Horses. This produces amazing animals that capture the best of both breeds. For more information, follow this link to a nice description of the history and standard of the American Aztecas:

Wha'cha Doin'?

Look at that Neck!

The Mad Genius of Stephen King

Stephen King is my hero! What was that?! Did you just roll your eyes? Okay, okay, that's fine. I'm somewhat used to that reaction. All I can say is let me refer you to one of my favorite quotes: "There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all arguments and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance--that principle is contempt prior to investigation." (Or, "don't knock it if ya' ain't tried it"!)

So, if you've tried to read Stephen King and you don't like him, then so be it. If, however, you've never even touched one of his books because "he's a horror writer, and I don't like horror" then that's fine too, but don't roll your eyes when I say that the man is an absolute genius. He is one of the most amazing authors of our times. And yes, his books are creepy, scary, spooky. Sometimes they're gross. But this is a man who is completely in touch with the inner workings of the ordinary person's mind. He gets the fears that whisper to us when we're alone in the dark. He knows our secret desires and obsessions. And he's able to convey those in everyday language without sacrificing the ability to weave magic from his prose.

Plus, he is the master of late 20th century pop culture, inserting sly references which, when encountered in the midst of mind-numbing terror, make me screech out loud with nervous laughter. He knows how to play us.

Yes, I obsessively read everything he comes out with. I was shocked when he announced several years ago that he might not stop writing, but he would stop publishing. I celebrated when he found he just couldn't do that to me, Constant Reader.

I just finished _Duma Key_, his latest offering. I am still in that slightly awestruck, I couldn't put it down but didn't want it to end, mourning phase. I'll get over it. But I won't forget it for some time. When I least expect it, some ghost from one of his stories will jump out at me. (Oh yeah, thanks Stephen for giving me the phobias about clowns and storm grates!)

Stephen King is my hero.

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Exercise is Hard Work

So, LoML and I bought a Bowflex and have been exercising. It's fun, but as we're mere mortals, we need much supervision. The only problem is that supervising exercise is *really* hard work. It tends to wear one out.
Good thing he had a pillow!

Dolphin Watch

Again, may I say I live in an amazing place. Breathtaking, actually. My friend and coworker called me yesterday morning on her way in to work. She had to pull off the road to take some pictures, and a video....of a newly-born dolphin! The best we can figure, she got there right as the blessed event was taking place. The normal practice is for the mother dolphin to go to a shallow area to have her baby, accompanied by an "auntie" dolphin, who will swim around and keep everyone else away.

I tried to embed the video here, but am still learning my away around these things, so the best I could do was embed the link:

You'll hear vehicle traffic in the background...this was just off the main road! You'll also hear the exclamation from my friend's son ;D Watch the video a couple of times and you'll see the best shot of the baby right after the video starts. Mom breaches the surface, closely followed by baby. How cool is this???


Thursday, April 3, 2008

Soaring Pelican

The Birds Come

The Soundtrack of My Life

"Sometimes the world tries to knock it out of you. But I believe in music the way that some people believe in fairy tales" --August Rush

Okay, first, my plug for the movie: August Rush is an amazingly beautiful movie. I admit it: I'm a movie junkie. I love movies...all kinds of movies. I love the whole experience of watching movies, whether it be in the theatre or at our home theatre (although increasingly I go for the latter crying babies, pauses for snack breaks whenever necessary, etc.). And I admit I'm not a very harsh critic. I don't need my movie to be profound, to be a contender for one of those art-sy awards from Cannes. I just like being entertained. I like suspending disbelief and being transported away through some one's imagination to another time, another place. Now, having said all that, I certainly appreciate it when a movie has a message or makes me feel or makes me think. August Rush certainly did all that. And I hesitate a little when I tell my friends how very much I loved this movie, because I wonder if they'll like it as much as I did...if they'll be flat-out blown away. And I realize that maybe part of the draw for me is that here is a movie with characters who feel the pull of the music running through their lives...and I relate to that.

Which brings me to my second point: my life has a soundtrack. By that I mean that always, underneath everything, has been the music. My parents love music. Would I if they didn't? I don't know. I guess it doesn't matter. I know I was exposed to all kinds of music growing up. I was taught music theory, took lessons on a couple of different instruments, developed a passion for singing. (Yes, I was even in several bands in my teens and early twenty's, though we would always manage to break up right before we would play anywhere.)

Over the years my taste in music has changed some. There are constants that will always comfort me. But I also go through phases...some of my past phases might even surprise people who know me now. (Best perhaps to save that for another time.) You know how a good composer can weave a theme through a soundtrack so that certain musical elements will evoke a mood or introduce a character? My inner composer does that. There are songs that can instantly transport me back through time and space to some particular point in my life. That's powerful.

Another interesting (read weird?) piece of trivia about me: I wake up every day with some song running through my head. Yep. Every day. It's different every day. Sometimes it's just a song that I've listened to recently. But sometimes it's more about a mood...I don't even know if it's a carry-over from a dream or if it's like a forecast for the day ahead. Sometimes it's a song I swear I haven't heard in years. Where does it come from? Your guess is as good as mine.

Does anybody else out there have a soundtrack? Wanna' share what's on it?