Catching up…

Time flies – Its been a couple weeks since our last post. Things have been crazy with work and the farm. We’re left with only our goat, Clark, right now due to the latest visits from the local cougar. In the coming weeks, I plan to build some form of nite time pen for the animals so that we can restock our flock and not have them get picked off immediately. We’ve concluded the cougars are like raccoons here – if you get rid of one, another one comes along shortly, so we just need to work out a better means of keeping livestock that doesn’t include getting cleaned out once or twice a year and then having to try to trap/shoot the offending predator.

Speaking of predators, we got home late last nite and I forgot that I left the chicken hutch wide open. Luckily, the local raccoons hadn’t discovered it but this lil’ guy did:

It was around midnite, and from the looks of the eggs, he had been there awhile. He wasn’t attacking the chickens, but merely noshing on all their eggs. He was unconcerned about me shining a light in thru the open door and just went about his business, occasionally looking up with an expression like “wow – these a really good”. It was funny watching him try to open them, since he couldn’t get his mouth around them. He would just roll them out of the clutch and on to a harder part of the floor and bang on them til they opened. He left about 5 mins after I discovered him and I got everything closed up for the nite w/o having the chickens smelling like skunk spray for the next couple weeks.

Reno 2008

Scenes from the Reno Air Races 2008. The P-51 “Strega” won the Unlimited Gold class this year – Its flown by a farmer from Bakerfield, CA – Bill “Tiger” Destefani. This might be his last year at the races, so he goes out in style.

Two days of good weather and good racing. Lots o’ fun. I’ll upload some video I took soon. Just importing it from our ancient camcorder now (still uses tapes – how quaint in this age of digital media).

Lisa’s in San Diego, Art’s in Reno

And Laura is watching the farm! I think we’ll all get some rest and relaxation, in our own separate ways.

My weekend started today, with an airplane ride!!! I can’t say that I LOVE wrestling through the airports and dealing with strangers and having to sit next to them for stretches of time, but I cannot help it, I love to travel. San Jose International was incredibly easy to navigate this morning, the flight was packed, but my tolerance level was unusually high so everything went nicely. The flight left on time and arrived on time. The rental car was ready and waiting.

I made a bee-line to La Jolla as soon as my ass hit the seat of the mediocre rental car. If it was Art and I, or Laura and I, or anyone and I, we would have rented a convertible or something nice, but as it is, it’s just me….ehhh, a well used Honda RAV 4 will do.

“Why La Jolla?” you ask? “Aren’t you in town for a conference or some dork-fest like that?” Well, yeah, but here’s a fact: I never go to a conference without planning something really fun around it. See, conferences are, by nature, eventually tedious. No matter what the subject, 8 hours a day of anything, ANYTHING, is bound to get tedious. Add to this, most conferences are in places I either haven’t been before, or places that I know and like (location, location, location!). So really, when I have my employer pay for a conference, I actually plan the conference time around the fun time. Don’t misunderstand, I go to all the sessions, but I make time to relax and have fun. Fact. Everyone I’ve gone to conferences with just stares at me in awe when I tell them this. Apparently this never occurred to them. Well, it should. Life is meant for living, every minute of it. And I cannot fathom flying into a strange town, holing up in an hotel, going to ‘sessions’ all day, eating dinner in the hotel restaurant, scurrying back to the hotel room to sleep and then do it all over again, then getting on a plane to go home. BOOOORRRRRINNNGGG. So, back to my story…La Jolla. A mere 15 minutes from the San Diego Airport. If I’m going to do this, I’m going to do this right. Starting with a facial at Gaia Spa in La Jolla.

All in all: a great experience. However. If your aesthetician happens to be severely Hungarian with a name like Hiljke….be forewarned. This woman will massage and facial you to the verge of nirvana, then cross over (and it is a very fine line) to some Eastern European Torture Regime. The soothing massage evolved into a mission to dominate my knotted shoulder muscles. Ouch. And then….my pores. Mind you, I have really nice skin. It has always been nice, rarely a blemish, pores as tight as a nun’s asshole. Not according to Hiljke. She was like a midwife to each and every individual pore on my nose. I would have been alright with just silently wincing thru the pain, but no, Hiljke had to talk me thru each extraction. “If you could see this, oh my, that was a big one, but eet eez over now, now for thee next wuun” That’s okay, I don’t really have any desire to see what you’re doing Hiljke, that’s why my eyes are closed and I haven’t asked for a mirror. But overall, it was sooooooo relaxing, and my skin looks 100% better and I’m a good deal lighter in the tension department. I’m happy.

So then, off to wander the beach. It wasn’t sunny today, overcast and humid actually. I went to La Jolla Cove (Boomer Beach) and semi-observed some sucker getting married into a California Blonde the park above the beach. Heh. A very asian man, not part of the wedding assembly, approached and asked me where he could “see the sea dogs, I want to see the sea dogs, where they are?” It took me a moment to realize he meant the sea lions. Dog. Lion. Whatever. There were no sea dogs today, just a butt load of pelicans. He wasn’t interested in pelicans, just the sea dogs. Tough titties buddy.

The rest of the afternoon was so relaxing. Just finding my hotel and discovering the San Diego Gay Rodeo is this weekend, and, by sheer coincidence is being hosted at my hotel (!!!) OMFG, how cool is that????!! The actual rodeo is in Lakeside or somewhere removed from the hotel, of course. I’m in the Hillcrest District tonight, and I’ve already seen at least a dozen “cowboys”, resplendent in their urban cowboy hats, denim SHORT-SHORTS (I shit you not) and……….boots. I’ve also seen a few authentic looking urban cowboys, sans short-shorts, but denimed up just the same. These men are buff, and oh-so-good looking, as gay men are wont to be. Straight men this handsome would be oh-so-boring and hard to handle, really. Gay is ever so much more fun.

At this moment, right now, I’m having dinner at Ortega’s Mexican Grill. Laura and I visited here when we came to San Diego after our wedding reception several years ago. It’s just as good now as it was then. I’m enjoying the second of two of the best Mojitos I’ve ever had. I’m eavesdropping on the two tables on either side of me (both ‘dates’; one sounds like a first date, and even I would like the dude to shut the hell up about his ‘personal adventures’. His stories are soooooo long and boring. How this chick is maintaining an interested affect is beyond me, but she’s still in the game. What a trooper.) Actually, dinner is done, I’m just waiting on the check. My waiter has no clue about any Gay Rodeo. Probably because he’s not gay. Just one of those uber-handsome hard to handle straight guys. Uggg. So I’m going to go back to the hotel to post this, read a little cytology refresher so I’m not totally stupid tomorrow, cleanse my tortured yet glowing face with some ‘all organic nettle wash’ and then sleep like the dead (thank you Mojitos).

At this very moment in time, life is good. Pretty damn good. And my pores are tight again. If they were ever loose to begin with, that is.

Too much to hope for

Dang – cougar came back last nite and killed our last sheep. Clark the Goat is really friendly this morning and wants out of the pasture. He’s going to spend nites in the barn now – don’t want to lose him. With luck, we can trap the cat tonite, otherwise, we’re sorta out of bait.

Uneventful weekend

Nothing dramatic this weekend – cougar hasn’t returned. Lot of vultures are performing ‘cleanup’ – there was at least 20 of ’em milling around. Like the lobby at a busy restaurant. “Good evening folks – carcass for 4 – that’ll be about 30 mins”. Lisa took Dee to a dog show over in Grass Valley from Fri-Sun, so I got to dog-sit Dretti. We pretty much hung out and slept / kicked back. Went out to ride Jack on Sunday – managed to stay on. Somehow riding Jack reminds me of learning to kayak – any given outing, I could end up out of the boat… or on the ground in the case of riding Jack.

Lisa picked up some new veggies for the garden (lettuce, etc) since the first batch has gone to seed. We’re getting some decent stuff from the garden this year (tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, etc). Corn doesn’t seem to have been successful – we might end up with some chicken feed out of it.