Thursday, December 27, 2007

And yet another....

The magic hour of four o'clock has arrived. At 4:00 PM dogs are allowed on the beach! C'mon, let's go! The tide's low, and everything!
We even have Lillian and Jon to help with frisbee throwing!
Hey, let's not dawdle to look at birds!I mean, there's not much frisbee time left!
Sure those birre pretty, but there isn't much light left after four this time of year. Better not waste it!
Because soon it will be dark!
And the Christmas Tree on the end of the Scripps Pier will glow.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Christmas Dinner -- oh, the strangeness!

Dinner was at our house this year.
What a strange conjunction of Germanic kitsch -- the Yule Tree -- and SoCal ambience!!
It just seems strange....
Daisy had her friends here too. It was the very first dinner party that Rocky had been invited to! He provided percussion with that thumping good tail of his. He was happy to be here and just as good as gold.
Sunny was also a very good boy, unless you take points off for each octopus leg amputated...

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Another walk on the beach

The tide is low...C'mon already, let's get with the frisbee!
The tidepools make it that much better, especially with friends along.

Kylie the Australian Cattle Dog.
And Bailey, the Kelpie.
Sunset came all too quickly!

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Why we love really really low tides...

Last week we had a series of what we call "minus tides." A minus tide is a low tide that reads as a negative number on the tide charts because the water level is below the reference point, the "Mean Lower Low Water." MLLW is defined as the average of the lower low water height of each tidal day observed over the National Tidal Datum Epoch. The previous Epochs were 1960-1978 and 1983-2001, pretty large aggregates of data. Hmm, maybe my "number of Scripps Pier pilings whose bases are exposed" is a simpler measure! At any rate, we were having 14 pairs out of the water, so the tide was about as low as it ever gets here. And the point is ... the frisbee playing is superb!

And best of all, we can look forward to these evening low tides again over the Christmas week!

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Thanksgiving Weekend Recap

How could we be happier? This weekend we discovered how much we like playing with the Chuck-It squirrel in our microscopic back yard! It soars, it jiggles, and the hang time is delicious!

Makes us think about getting out onto the big wide beach ... where the serious frisbee is played. And big and wide it was today!

At about 4:15 we headed down to the beach. The light was already failing.

We're having several afternoons in a row with "minus tides," and today's was a -1.7 feet! This is about as low as it goes here. I just paged through the 2007 tide calendar, and I could find maybe 3 days with tides this low or lower. Our tides range from a high of about +7 feet down to the lowest of -1.9 feet. My own personal measurement system is the pier. The number of pairs of pilings whose bases are out of the water tells me how low the tide is. This afternoon the number was between 14 and 15, as many as I've ever counted.

Of course, Daisy says, "Throw the g.d. frisbee!"

It's pretty amazing how much space there is when there's a good low tide, no sun, and a touch of chilliness!

It's getting dark so darn early these approaching- solstice days. We started with a cloudy and fairly gray sky, and by 5:15 PM, we were playing chuck-it in the dark!

A highlight of the weekend was Erin's Sunday afternoon piano recital at Greene Music recital room. She played three pieces with great verve and musicality.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

A Story with a Happy Ending

A terrified young dog in a pound in Missouri, scheduled to be euthanized Monday morning. No good reason. It's just that the pound doesn't do adoptions, doesn't keep strays for more than five days, doesn't make exceptions. Wendy and Connie decide they want to save his life. The first thing they do is give him a name. From now on, he's not a number, he's Jasper, and Wendy posts his plight on the Border Collie Boards.

There's something about his face that speaks to me. Though he's clearly tense and frightened, his face looks too familiar to be passed by. He looks like Daisy.

I contact Wendy and offer to sponsor Jasper. Debbie offers to foster him in the Ruff Mutt Border Collie Rescue, where she can evaluate him and find him a permanent home. Now Jasper is a dog with a future. Connie and Wendy set the wheels into motion. Connie, who is the driving force behind an authorized rescue organization called Southwest Missouri Canines -- SW MO K9s -- tags Jasper as a dog she'll pull from the pound before he can be killed.

Jasper is in Springfield, Missouri, and Debbie and her Ruff Mutts are in Garland, Texas. Wendy creates a chain of connection. Connie will pull Jasper from the pound and take him to the Angel Animal Clinic to be bathed, vetted, vaccinated, and neutered. After this is done, Connie will bring Jasper to Carthage, Missouri, 65 miles away. Wendy will drive the 90 miles from West Fork, Arkansas, to meet her there. Jasper will spend the night with Wendy, and early the next morning he'll be sent with Wendy's friend Mike, who's heading down to a motorcycle swap meet in Sherman, Texas. Debbie will drive 60 miles up from Garland, Texas, to gather Jasper there, and bring him to his new foster home with the Ruff Mutts.

Jasper doesn't know about all these people working on his behalf. He does know that when he's at Wendy's, he is brought out to a sunny lawn, where he is spoken to kindly and stroked gently, and he likes it. (Thanks to Wendy for the next three pictures.)
He's gentle and submissive, and he just can't get enough loving. He meets a neighbor's dog, and his good manners with other dogs start to become evident.
Jasper's just so sweet and friendly, Wendy cries a bit that early morning after Mike picks him up to take him to Texas. Jasper spends the morning at Mike's booth at the swap meet, where he charms everyone who comes by. Mike's comment: "I think I want to keep him!"
Soon, Debbie brings Jasper to his temporary home with the Ruff Mutts. This is an important transition for Jasper -- will he be able to integrate into the pack? A dozen or so dogs is a lot of new dogs for one young pup to meet all at once. But Jasper LOVES all the other dogs. He takes to them all almost instantly. He's playful and well-socialized. The future is looking bright for this sweet little dog, thanks to some amazing people who were willing to put in the hours to save his life. I stand in awe of their work and feel lucky to have had a chance to play a small part in it. Rescuers, you are truly amazing!

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Fancy-schmancy board in action

Using my birthday present Scrabble Board at Scrabble Club tonight. Didn't help me win, though. Could I get my money back?
Lost in thought, deep in the subterranean bowels of the Scripps Green Hospital, downwind from the luscious aromas of hospital cafeteria steamtable food, ripened and aged through a three-hour dinner service. Mmmm! Kinda like hotdogs at a baseball game.Thinking just too hard!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Oh yeah, here's the "before" picture!

The car Vivian lived out of this summer up in Montana where she was a river rafting guide. Notice the squashed top!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Cleaned Up! (the car version)

Back from the paint shop, looking foxy!165,000 miles, new paint, new tires, and looking just as cute as a big ol' robin's egg!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Cleaned Up!

Today, for the first time since the fires, I looked out over the ocean and there was no orangy-brown haze over the horizon. We're back to our usual misty marine layer mornings, and the air is breathable. Hooray! In honor, I cleaned the fallen ash off the decks and Daisy and I had breakfast on the front porch.
Each of us has one of our favorite things on the table. Guess whose is whose!

Saturday, October 27, 2007

October 2007 Fires

Almost four years to the day after the infamous Cedar Fire, it happened again. Exceedingly dry weather, Santa Ana winds, and all it takes is a spark. The local NPR station, KPBS, created an interactive Google map of the fires that took on a life of its own, becoming the authoritative fire status map. Google sent a team of developers down to work with the local station and it really took on a life as a Google pilot project. Many other news sites linked to it.

The Witch Creek Fire was the largest and scariest, though Stock Dog Ranch (where Daisy and I go to work sheep) was threatened more by the Poomacha Fire that was burning down Palomar Mountain, threatening the Palomar Observatory as well. Fortunately, between the weather and the help from aerial firefighters, the hazard seem to be dialing down.

While we aren't in the line of fire, we get a lot of ash and horrible air quality. The moon was orange and the daylight sky was too. This picture was taken at sunset looking out from our front porch.
Which was covered with a fine, choking ash.
This enhanced satellite photo was taken on Wednesday. I added the little red X to show where we are -- in the plume of smoke from the Witch Creek Fire.
We're in our second day of offshore winds, and today we even had a little bit of rain, so our air is greatly improved!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Vivian comes to town

Vivian came down over her fall break week. The weather was great, and she got some surfing in. A special treat was meeting boyfriend Tyler, who is very, very nice.And good-looking too!
And he likes Tundra. Of course he would never have risen to the level of "boyfriend" if he didn't!
And Daisy learns again to live under the heavy paw of Tundra, and loves it.

Thursday, October 4, 2007


Living in California is exciting! On October 3rd, part of Mount Soledad slumped down the hill, taking with it a goodly chunk of Mount Soledad Road, the main street over the mountain, as well as nine houses. These pictures are from the San Diego Union Tribune Picture Gallery, "Mt Soledad Hillside Collapses:"This isn't the first time. Though it wasn't ever talked about, the same hill collapsed when the houses were originally being built in 1961.
Not too far from mom's and sister's houses, either, crudely marked by me with green and purple stars on the Yahoo map. The landslide occurred at the red star.
What next??!!