Thursday, August 28, 2008

R I P Del Martin

With all the hoopla over the DNC, the story of Del Martin's death at the age of 87 has received little coverage. She was the partner of Phyllis Lyon. After being together for 55 years, they married last June in San Francisco with the mayor officiating. They were responsible for founding several of this country's gay rights organizations.

Phyllis said that people were always asking them how they had made their relationship last so long. She said that if they had a formula for that, they would have written a best selling book and had a million dollars.

Del stood up and lived her life out loud. I wish the best for Phyllis now.

One of the things that I have heard almost all of the speakers at the DNC say is that they want to see equal rights for everybody and all of them have included gay and lesbians specifically in their phrasing.

It's about time.

Soundtrack for this post: Hattie and Mattie by Eric Schwartz.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Just Waitin' Around

It is Saturday afternoon and the hot spell seems to have broken. We can hear thunder and we are waiting for one of these.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

They Call Him Pooky

Our visitor from the other night seems to have made some friends at the shelter. They have at least given him a name. They got a pretty good shot of him, too. I tried to download it but couldn't do it. Here's the link:

You have to check dog, male, black, leave the age column at no preference, and chcek medium for size. When you get to the first page of dogs, go to the bottom and click on page four. He is the second one down.

I am hoping that because the staff gave him a name, they are interested in him and will help find a rescue group for him if no one claims or adopts him. Our dog Lani, had been in the same shelter for almost three months before we found her and she came to live with us so I know that friendly dogs are given a chance there.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Old Tractors

I found these photos on craigslist Santa Fe. My dad has had one of these since 1951, when it was new.It is an H Farmall. He has been using it almost continiously since he bought it. He told me a couple of weeks ago that he has just had it refurbished. It only gets used now for parades.

My great uncle had a tractor similar to this one.

This is a Super A Farmall. The one my uncle had was a C Farmall or Cub. This tractor is one of the first vehicles that I remember driving. Explains a lot, doesn't it?

Soundtrack for this post: Little Feat's Down on the Farm

Friday, August 8, 2008

Tequila at Midnight

OK, eleven thirty but that doesn't make it sound as cool, does it?

Actually, there is nothing cool about the situation. About 9:30 tonight, the next door chihuahuas started yapping and Lani, who was in the house at the time, started growling and snarling. This is not a terribly unusual occurrence but this time it reached a deafening level and showed no sign of stopping. I let Lani out into the back yard where she ran to the fence and kept barking and barking and barking accompanied by the chihuahuas. I went into the garage and turned on the light that shines over the driveway. That is when I heard the car alarm. Looking out the garage windows, I could see nothing. The dogs were getting more and more excited so I opened the garage door. That was when I saw him. He was peeing on one of the cars in the neighbor's driveway.

The neighbors came out to see what was causing all the commotion.

"Over here," I yelled. "It's a dog." I walked toward him as he turned toward them. I put my hand on his neck. No collar. I began stroking him.

"I bet someone dumped him out here,"said M.

"Watch him, and I'll go get a collar," I said.

I turned toward the garage and here her give him the command to sit. Looking over my shoulder, I saw that he had done it. M and her husband, A, praised him. Their granddaughter wanted to pet him but we weren't sure it was a good idea. I put the collar on him and he seemed almost grateful. M held him by the loop on the collar while I got a leash and Stephen.

We put the leash on him and decided to put him in our back yard until morning if Lani approves. Then I can take him to the vet to see if he has a chip. It is dark out here and some people drive way to fast to leave a dark colored dog out on his own.

Lani has been going berserk. Stephen got a leash on her and brought her out to the side yard to meet the visitor. They sniffed each other in greeting and we decided that he could stay in our back yard until morning. Lani wanted to play but he did not seem to know any of her games. We let them hang out a while them then brought her in and gave him some food. He didn't seem interested. He had been marking everything and we did not want to bring him in. Lani laid by the back door and whined until we let her out. After a while, it became apparent that he was going to keep the chihuahuas barking all night by going over to the fence repeatedly.

I took a photo of him and posted it to craigslist in the lost & found and the pets sections. By the time I was finished, it was clear that we could not keep him overnight as we had planned. Stephen volunteered to make the drive down to the shelter. I wrote a note saying that he knows sit and shake and possibly down and a few other commands as well as where he was found and that he seems to have a sweet disposition. Luckily, there was an attendant on duty when he got there so he was able to talk to someone instead of just leaving the note.

When he got home, we decided that we both needed a shot of tequila. Taking the boy to the doggy jail was not an easy decision and not an easy thing to do after we decided we had to do it. We do think we will want a second dog some day. We both knew that this was not our dog. Cute as he is, he is already taller that Lani and seemed to be pretty young. My guess is about six months. He has not been neutered. He was somewhat timid but I have the feeling that he is pretty active when he settles in and we are not looking for a really active dog. In fact, we are not looking for a dog at all. He put his head on my knee and leaned against me for petting. He treated Stephen the same way. We hope he finds a loving home. He did not deserve to be dumped, if that is what happened.

Friday, August 1, 2008

The Heat Goes On

Day before yesterday was an unusual day. The offical temperature here only reached 98 degrees. Yesterday the official temperature was 101 but at one time, the weather feature on my google home page said 108. It is not unusual for us to have hot temperatures this time of year, but this is getting out of hand. We have been experiencing this kind of heat since mid May and have only had a couple of inches of rain since it began. We did get a little bit of a break for a few days last month and last Thurdsay was wonderful. We got just over an inch of rain here that day thanks to Dolly. Most of Austin, however, got nada drop.

This is such a contrast to last year when we had so much rain that flooding was a problem and our real summer temperatures did not get started until around the first of September. We are thankful now for all of last year's rain because the lake levels are still pretty high. They are dropping at a fast pace so water conservation measures are being enforced by the city. I have a well in my front yard so my water consumption is not regulated by the city. However, I don't know how much water is in the well so I am being pretty conservative.

The thing about this weather is that you really can't get out and move around much. I have been experiencing bouts of cabin fever. I am seeking out things to do that keep me inside such as yoga, or near water such as visiting friends with a pool. I take Lani to the park first thing in the morning for her walk. If I can't get there by 8:30, we just don't go. I am getting quite a bit of reading done.

We are keeping our thermostat set at 80 degrees in the daytime and slightly cooler at night due to the distance from the thermostat to the bedroom. We also have a fan in the bedroom and a ceiling fan in the living room. We have put a clothes line in the garage(too many trees to put one outside) so that the dryer is not getting too much use. I am cooking most of the time in the crock pot or the microwave. We are also eating quite a few sandwiches and some salads. Anything to keep from using the oven or more than a couple of burners. We have trees that cover most of our roof and keep the sun off of it most of the day.

I know that we are fortunate to have this house and our air conditioning system and the means to pay our electric bill. There are people right here in town who do not have it so good. Family Elder Care's Fan Drive provides fans for people who would not otherwise have them. I always donate enough money for at least one fan but I think I will be donating more in the coming weeks.

I hope your weather is much milder than ours and that you are having a wonderful summer.

Soundtrack for this post Lovin' Spoonful: Summer in the City