Thursday, September 27, 2007

Soil Sampler

Bright spraypaint appeared in the front yard yesterday marking underground water and power lines. This morning: BANG, BANG, BANG interrupted my morning snooze. Neighbors on either side had soil samples bored out with this contraption to pound the soil collection pipes down more than 20 feet.
There are underground rivers in this area. Whenever anyone wants to build a basement they must first find out if they are on one of those rivers. If so, they must build a battleship underground to keep out the water. Very expensive. Very noisy and long construction projects.
Oh well. We shall see. It's really just a very small problem. Snooze on. I shall meditate wishing safety and peace to the hundreds of Burmese monks who were woken up last night by soldiers and hauled away to who knows where.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Burma and Insecticide Today

Got my monthly insecticide dose today. How I hate it. Smells bad. But, Alice says the local fleas and ticks are so bad in this hot weather I must have some protection. I have been scratching a lot lately. A lot.
Over in Burma, I suppose the military junta there thinks they are doing the same sort of thing. Something that "has" to be done. As if those they hurt are just insects.
But.... what the junta is doing.... denying their own citizens free elections. Today, it began killing peaceful Buddhist monks.... while the world.... especially the countries blocking UN action.... stand back ... just watch and talk.... yack, yack, yack.
Pika's person asked Alice this morning for an edit on a paragraph explaining why a book should get an award in commemoration of the Dayton Peace Accords which helped calm some things down in the old Yugoslavia. A book all about the history of nonviolence in political changes. How odd today of all days to think about that. The day the Burmese military junta opened fire on peacefully marching and chanting monks. The day I am free another 30 days from biting bugs...
As a Buddhist myself, I hope the insecticide Alice gave me just makes me untasty and does not kill the bugs.
Those monks in Burma must figure out a way they can be untasty, too. I think they have if enough people around the world keep watching what is happening there and demand of their own leaders to stand up and do something. I'll be watching.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Big Floating Marbles

Got a walk around a Pre-1900 high school last week. Two reflecting pools filled with floating marbles. Bobbing and turning in the wind. Each trying to escape its leash tied one foot down underwater.
No retriever would have fun in there - all those leashes would catch paddling paws. Heavy smell of chlorine - not good to drink. Slippery and wet places for people to sit upon. We were the only ones there...
Still..... Alice liked it for a while until she started to think about it from my perspective.
She's been thinking a lot about Burma this week. Big curfew and brand new strike today. A whole country full of people tied down like those big marble balls to a reflecting pool bottom. Set themselves free! Imagine what would happen. Beats being tied up forever and always.

Monday, September 24, 2007

Adelaide and Her Family

Alice got an e-mail from Adelaide's Dad today. Here I am with her, most of her family, and Alice. I showed her around my neighborhood last July, and Alice and I took her on a short ride in the white car. Maybe I'll see her next Summer? Her family likes to visit the USA during the long school vacation. She and her brother can surf. Her Dad likes to look for old Jaguars. Her Mom says she likes to shop.
It's been many years since Alice went to their country, the Netherlands. She remembers going to Amsterdam twice. Looking at old slides of her Grandfather's trips to visit chemcial colleagues at Royal Dutch Shell....
Perhaps sometime in Winter when the Elfstedentocht race is called? There's nothing like than in the USA. Adelaide's Dad has been in it. Wow.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Woodside Pub

I like to go the the Woodside Pub. Lots of dogs there Friday afternoon. A poodle just back from the groomer with her own two pink towels to lie upon. A cairn under a table and another cairn on a lap. Me, too, of course. I got lots of chicken. Poodle didn't get any. Dunno what the cairns got.
Poodle got a bowl of water but I didn't want any of her water. I waited to drink out of Alice's water glass when she was done with it. With ice. Yep.
Alice thought the funniest thing was when the cairn lapsitter's person had to get something in the parking lot, her male lunch companion answered her cell in a deep voice, "This is Pam!" and all the people at my table laughed.
It's nice to go there. And nice to leave with family. Getting to go home or go on more adventures. Tra-la!

Monday, September 17, 2007

Block Party

Here I am with neighbor Aida Rose at the Sunday bloc party. Almost everyone was there. Two other dogs came. Lots of food. Got some WONDERFUL chicken from Aida Rose's Mom.
Aida Rose like Alice got stuck in Hurricane Dean. But, unlike being stuck in the remnants, Aida got the full force as it came ashore in the Yucatan. She and her family were at a hotel. They were worried, but not for long even though they were in the worst of it. At 7 AM, the hotel staff knocked on their door. They thought they would be told they had to evacuate, even though there was no apparent damage. Nope! Just a friendly wakeup call to find out what they wanted for room service breakfast.
They had a lot of fun seeing some newly discovered Mayan ruins including some near the Guatamalan border. And, they all liked seeing the colonial town of Merida.
But, whle I like adventures, isn't it the greatest to come home and smell all the home smells and see your old friends?

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Tulip Pillows

Spent a bit of time last night on the couch at Sta. Rita. I discovered I could push a tulip pillow away from an edge and then cozy between it an the armrest of the couch. The pillow is just my size for a chin rest, too. Life is good. Often.
Meanwhile, I got ESP word from my doggie relative Pika, that The Big Man in her life was having a good time with his work buds celebrating something the Mexican Congress passed Friday night. Pika noticed he had been working a lot the past year. A lot. Out of the house early in the morning, home very late, so tired, little energy for play or walks.
Well. Everyone's gotta do what they gotta do. Me, I think an afternoon nap in the sun would be great right now.

Friday, September 14, 2007

What Alice Liked Near Bishop

Here is the sky Alice saw Sunday when she arrived in Bishop. The Plumas fire was still going north, so the sky was pretty spectacular. Ray thought it was too, so here he is also taking a picture. On the flight home, Alice took a picture looking south over the Sierras. Those big mountains are where she hiked with her Grandfather so long ago. A bit further south of there, at the Fourth Recess Lake is where her CAP squadron's namesake, Jon Kramer, died on a search. Such a tragedy. He was set to graduate from Santa Clara University in Spring 1970, but just before he graduated he was called to search for the missing Cehr family plane lost between Mammoth and Fresno. He went down in a plane underpowered for the grid he'd been assigned to search. Back in those days, searchers flew a few hundred feet above ground lower than they do now.
A weird time, mid-April to mid-May 1970. Apollo 13 came home safe the same week the Cehr search started. Cars turned over and burned by Anti-Vietnam War protestors in Alice's hometown, while Jon was due to enter US Naval flight training right after he would have graduated.
Alice thinks a lot about searchers who have died on these mountains. She tells me she won't take undue risks. I believe her. She knows the consequences of undue risks. But, she does love those mountains.

Thursday, September 13, 2007

I Tree'd a Raccoon!

Alice wanted to go home after a visit to Sta. Rita last night. I smelled and heard something wild in the backyard. Had to drag, DRAG! her into the pitch black backyard. Pulled her over the patio, around the patio corner post, and then to the neighbor's yard. She finally heard the creature, too, in the box hedges. Mad dash over there in time for both of us to see somthing pretty big scrambling up the willow tree. Alice saw it had a big hunched back. A nearly full-grown raccoon. I was not scared at all. The nerve of those sewer-living wild things coming into the yard full of flowers and tomato plants. Humph! Dog on Duty. Hooray for me! The brave coon hound, Alice said.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The Smell of Slick

When I greeted Alice this afternoon, I could tell she had been around Slick, the black lab I see sometimes at the local airport. She quickly hugged me close and told me Slick said hello to me and not to worry, I am still her number one dog. That made me feel better.
Here is a photo of Slick about 6:30 AM Monday morning at a search base somewhere on the other side of the Sierra Crest. Alice said he has a knack for padding over to each search aircrew member as they return to the base building for debriefings after each sortie. He'll look in their eyes. Count the people. And wag his tail at each one. And, let himself he patted. That's why her chemical-smell outfit also smelled a bit like Slick.

Alice Came Back

Hooray! Alice came back this afernoon in her chemical-smell outfit. She was gone three nights. She looked tired. Flopped down on a sofa with me for a while on a short nap. Now she is back to her phone and computer while I sit on my pink spot. I am hoping for a long walk this evening and holding out for some chicken. She is thinking maybe watermelon since the Summer is not over yet. Like the melon in this scroll above me maybe? We shall see, as she says.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Deep Thoughts

I'm not quite sure what this puppy is thinking. A person has written something. (Perhaps someone who reads Japanese well can tell Alice?) A poem? I bet the puppy is wondering where his Momma is. He hasn't learned yet how to calm down 100%. Zen out, as Alice would say. He's almost there. Must meditate on the horizon. Let his mind travel to another place and time. Feel the sun on his fur and cold wet nose. Warmth spreading out with his thoughts to his warm Momma. Hmmmm.

Friday, September 07, 2007

Late Night Sewing

Alice stayed up very late last night sewing on a Nomex flight suit. Can't say I like the smell of those things. Too many laboratory-made chemicals on them.
It seems the search flying group Alice flies with has lots of changes in its uniform regulations. A patch OK last year is no longer OK next year. What a pain in the fingers and pocketbook, too, says Alice.
I just do not see the point of this search flying so many of her colleagues are doing this week for a pilot missing from Nevada. Honestly! Just ask us dogs to ESP the situation. But no, the people can't speak "dog" yet, so what's the use in that?

A Brand New House

A large number of people, including Alice, have been helping to get a brand new house ready for sale. I wonder if she ever thinks about what such a new house means to us dogs?
I mean.... all the work, all the effort by the people.... but no welcoming dog water bowl in the kitchen!! I suppose some buyers might not like to think any dog or cat would ever be welcome.
Still..... I think any dog would like this house. Nice cool stone floors, smooooooth wood floors without any sawdust trapped in the varnish. Lots of soft carpets. Grass.... and perhaps best of all a tempting beyond belief line of little shrubs just my size!
But, rats!!! Alice won't let me even sniff them. Says they are too delicate. Ooooo. Well. I think I understand her point. Only a new owner's pet should have first dibs on those lovely plants.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Gamble in Summer

Hot, hot, hot is California in Summer. I seem to be spending a lot of time in the shade. Inside. Or on walks stopping to sniff more under trees than under the open sky. Big bunny at Gamble Garden is doing well. No flowers for his eyes yesterday. Pumpkins plumping up.
I feel a hush in the air. Waiting for Halloween? Waiting for that chubasco to hit in Baja del Sur today? That search for a missing famous pilot in Nevada and California?
Alice dug to the bottom of a big pile of things in a closet to find her heavy flying jacket and survival kit for search sorties. She said all missing aircraft searches in the USA have the same effort for everyone. Being famous is no help to those missing. It just means that CNN and some other national news outlets get interested. Maybe she will fly out of Bishop for that search tomorrrow? Who knows?