Sick puppy

Dretti came down with some sudden abdominal pain tonite that got us concerned enough to rush him down to the emergency vet. He had a fever and seemed pretty distressed – barfed up his dinner and was looking pretty out of it. After some xrays and ultrasound, it doesn’t look at first glance that he was having bloat which is what Lisa was most worried about. But he’s going to spend the nite at the clinic being watched and on fluids, etc. Keeping our fingers crossed that he’s all better by morning.

Fraley said I’m his beta-tester for all things cool….

Well, duh!

Situation: Stereo in the Jeep is kapoot after 6 years of being exposed to, well, everything an off road vehicle with the top off 6-7 months out of the year would be exposed to.

the Lisa Nit-Pick Factor: Do not want a cd player (dust n dirt and bounce factor). Do not need a bunch of fancy crap (no touch screens or dvd player, etc). Buttons must be minimal (dust n dirt factor). Ease of use is essential. (simple mind in use factor) Must play the ipod or whatever (tech factor).

Must have: Ipod capability.

Negligable: Radio capability. Installability by consumer.

Solution: Sony DSX-S100

*Relatively inexpensive (as car stereos go) at $119.99.

*ONLY PLAYS DIGITAL MEDIA. No flippin’ CD player. Who plays CDs anymore, seriously? Even if you have a multi-cd changer, an Ipod or mp3 player holds so much more and gives you endless variety that cds just don’t. I think we’re a few years off from this type of stereo becoming mainstream (people in the midwest, no offense to anyone in the midwest, are still watching movies on VHS), but this is exactly what I’ve been clamoring for years about being the obvious direction to go in. Especially in the Jeep. Off road it’s just too damn bouncy for CDs to play without skipping all over the place, and packing those suckers around and changing them out is just annoying. I have a lot of music, a WHOLE LOT, and it’s all on ipods.

*Ease of use: high. Very simple to pull up playlists and just rock on. Remote control feature is good for when you’re moving. (-) remote does not have backlight for nighttime (-) remote does not allow playlist browse by name (you have to manually futz with the stereo)

*Few buttons. Not as few as the Pioneer we looked at, but not in the same class, as the pioneer had a cd player that I didn’t want (same price though)

*Home instalability. I had an aftermarket Pioneer in it, so that made it mucho simpler to just pull the old unit and wire this one in (much easier than taking out a factory install)

My Jeep comes with 2, count em, TWO engineers to install stuff!

That’s Art the Husband with his hand all up in my Jeep’s junk. Fraley is on the left, saying what Fraley is most often overheard telling Art “yer killin’ me, dude…wouldya just….you’re going to break it…..arrrgggg!”. I’m still a little unsure why Fraley didn’t snatch Art up and marry him before I did. He makes a much better wife than I ever will. 😉

This is the dude I beta-test all things cool for! He drives a clown car (a Scion) and may just be more type A than I am. I think I love him. But not for those qualities. Nor when he puts his socks….not his socked feet mind you… just his socks, on my coffee table. Andretti adores him. And he helps Art the Husband focus, mostly by yelling at him. He makes me look like a kitten in comparison. 🙂 Paul Fraley, you’re my hero.

Overall product review: Awesome. If you have a Jeep you mash around with, leave open, etc. this may very well be the perfect solution to your stereo wants/needs. If you have a regular car, it will still be perfect. Now…gotta go trail test it. Sierra off road this weekend….woo hoo.

Hi honey, look what I did with the yard….

I turned it into my own little homespun obedience ring.

It’s actually been this way for a little while, I just take the tape down at night and move the jumps off the lawn (don’t need them getting watered by the sprinklers). Dretti is competing in Open Obedience and having a ring that mimics what we go into at dog shows helps immensely. Practicing the jumps and especially heeling with the ring tape really helps him focus. Notice the baling twine stays on the step in fence posts. The wind up here is ferocious, and without it the poles and the tape flutter and bend all over the place. It’s a small, flimsy ring, but it’s better than no ring or dragging everything down the hill to the nearest park. Those jumps are solid wood, and moderately heavy. I like them to stay pretty much in one place as much as possible. 🙂 Laaazzzzyyyyy.

This is Dretti, focusing on anything but practicing his obedience:

When they’re outside, they want in. When they’re inside, they want out. Never the two shall meet.

Q, thinking maybe he heard Art come home. Ha ha little dog, I was lying.

Now, if I can get Art to mow the lawn again we can practice without breaking an ankle, or hunting for the dumbell through the trees. I mean long grass.


Art goes to Boston, I go to San Francisco

After dropping Art at the airport a little before noon on Sunday, I decided to hit the city and see if I could hook up with a friend (yes, I do have one or two) to have dinner at the Front Porch in the Mission. Good news? Yes, she is hot to do dinner. Bad news? She had a big lunch, so I have mega time to kill. Since it takes me about an hour to get home, I’m thinkin it may be best to find something to do for the next how ever many hours. It’s San Francisco. I’m me. Duh. Find something to do? Well double duh. The only camera I had was my i-phone, it’ll do. I walked about 18 blocks and this is what I came up with. Amazing what you see when you pay attention. This was just neighborhood stuff. And my observations, of course.

This bike ain’t goin’ anywhere with anyone it ain’t ‘sposed to. Damn, that’s a creative bike owner. It’s like they’re daring someone, anyone, to just try and steal this bike.

I made a decision based on this street sign, basically. Well, the street sign was the final thing that made it for me.

Please interpret. I guess I’m too old and white to read street. Like I ever could.

Coffee coffee coffee. They played French music the entire latte.

Love the racing swoosh on that high performance Honda there. Bet that if you can get it started it goes sooper dooper fast n stuff.

Again, translation please. Sigh.

H is for Hipster. Which is eee- zackly what I found inside. And I quote “So, we’re going out to the desert this weekend. The REAL desert, like, hardcore. Not even any grass or anything” Oh, yes, I’d say that’s pretty hardcore honey.

Overheard (because I’m a huge eavesdropper):
“Yeaahhhh, I’m trying really hard to like living in Oakland, but……yeah”
Un-editted, uncut.

St. Peter would love the mural work on this church. I wonder if it lights up in neon at night? Considering the neighborhood, probably.

The hills have eyes. Probably St. Peter’s. Looking over the dead. Hmmm. I thought this was really beautiful, but now I’m a little scared. Now that I’m really looking at it. Hmmm. I see dead people. Everywhere. Eeeeep.

Fedora, sombrero, or Holy Crusader Superhero Mask? So many choices! And who knew there was a store that sold all three under one roof? Dang, I shoulda picked one up for the Sierra Hi-Lo Jeep poker run we’re going on next weekend! Nothing says “I can navigate ANYTHING” like a Holy Crusader Superhero Mas!. Tsk.

I think our next weapon purchase will be a raygun. Less kick. The proof is in the bunny weilding it.

Chicks with guns.

When lab animals evolve, there’s gunna be a helluva lotta payback. I’m guessing the recoil casualties are gunna be huge though. But it’s gunna take a lot of lab animals to prove my theory.

Best mural in the neighborhood. There goes the neighborhood.

The second half of Sailor Jerry’s tribute to drinking.

Booze, trash…..welcome to the Mission in San Francisco.

Authorized Medical Marijuana Dispensary. Oh California, would it be so wrong to just step off the edge and go Amsterdam instead of dancing this stupid little dance? I saw NUNS going in and out of that place. Sisters Mary and Jane? Nah, probably just doing nun stuff in the apartments upstairs.

Ring the bell indeed.

Indeed, it does.

Almost everything on their menu is fantastic. Today I had the catfish. It was okay. Not fantastic, just okay. Kind of a let down for the Front Porch.

Sweeeeeettttt! Bonus! 3-D!!!!!

Chick second from the left is who my money’s on. She’s got runners legs for sure.

Tailored for white suburbia, still, translation? I love this guy. He’s makin’ skrill on something he used to have to do when nobody was lookin’. Go Nate.

Not bad for a former punk kid street artist, again, go Nate.

A little blurred, but so’s Nate. Appropriate.

On wood as a canvas. Humongus too!

Mixed acrylic and spray can. The layering is amazing.

One of my “hobbies”…..finding amazing, or just plain edible, BBQ wherever I find myself. It’s a cultivated talent. And fun.

Decent menu.

Nice business cards. Playing cards. Cute.

Those would be my walkin shooz, I had em on for a reason today! 18 blocks worth!! Ouch. I earned my dinner at the Front Porch.

Very. Russian. I know that’s vague, but it’s based on her thick accent. Maybe I shoulda said very Eastern European. Those boots are 100% American Ho Trash though. That much I’m sure of.

I’m thinking she’s pretty much punchin’ 1/4 hour timecard. The 10 year old kid hangin’ with her threw me for a minute, but the appearance of her also Eastern European “manager” and quick exit by the kid confirmed my suspicions. She ducked into the seedy bar right quick after he showed up. Truth. I can’t make this shit up.

I love green doors.

a lot.

a whole lot. I may do a whole series on colored doors. That would be awesome.

Playground? Or place someone chains up their pitbull & Rottweiler collection? Neither is very appealing….

Playground? or dog run? drumroll please……

And the answer is? Playground for the lucky enrolled students of Katherine Michiel’s School!!! I wonder if she chains them up or just let’s them wallow off leash? “Infants to 5th grade”. Oh gawd, I hope she doesn’t put the infants in the ‘playground’. Sheesh.

Dear San Francisco Homeowner:
Your plant wants out. Badly.

Lazyboy? Check. Side table for afternoon cocktail? Check.

TV just in case there’s nothing to watch on the street? Check.

That’s right. Free! Shooz!!! Cool, maybe. Well, probably not in the case of used shooz. But FREE!!! is almost always good, right?

Well, good to know the meds are working. Yay!

This says I love miniature shoes and miniature dogs. Wow.

Miniature. Ghost. Dog.

Aren’t we all at some point?

This would make the most fab toilet seat! Nobody would linger, that’s for sure. # 1 and done….;)

Thar cahn be only wuunn.

Apple peach pecan key lime cherry chocolate cream? Nope, it’s a bar.

Seriously good name for a bakery. I’m going to remember that.

These shooz were FREE too!!! Bonus, they match! But seriously, was it that much more effort to just put them IN the garbage can? Or is this something else? I hate you, I’m gunna put your favorite shoes out on the garbage can on the corner of Guarraro and 20th? I hate these shoes, but someone else might want them, so I don’t want to throw them out? Dude, you don’t need those shoes, take em off and just leave em here, we’ll get em on the way back?

Songs win wars, not guns. We shall overcome……

Oh, hello Boston Terrier with a head bigger than mine.

To hell with sleeping out in the open on the streets of SF. Lop your REI 4 man and park your shopping cart in the allotted space. Soup kitchen opens at 8, be there or be, um….just be there, kay?

Guilt people into hygiene. Sweet.

Stop it people. Nobody cares, seriously. Stop. It. Somebody asked the question; what would they do in the wild (I know, this question is completely out of context, but it was asked) My answer:
Well, the first to go would be the small dog at the end. Daisy is gator-bait. Then Jesus and Diego would perish mindlessly chasing their soccer ball into a deadly ravine lurking with tigers, badgers and one very angry mongoose. Dad would be beaten to death by the natives for wearing his hat sideways like a retard, which signifies mental weakness and necessitates culling to avoid spreading those genes. Mom would be caught unawares by some wild animal whilst rummaging thru her oversized purse for a tic tac and a Valium. Mayra will survive, but only after being found malnourished, curled up shivering in the fetal position in the back of some smelly bone littered bear cave after a mere 3 hour separation from the rest of her ultimately doomed and quickly defeated clan.

I love picture taking and story making. 🙂

“I gots a secret”, narrated by Lisa (of course)

Starring Melvin, my sister Laura’s Chihuahua (another one I found and suckered her into taking. It didn’t take much suckering, he’s pretty cool if not a little…..odd)

Co-starring Darby Crash (at 1 year old, naive as hell), with Andretti and D-Square in supporting roles.

Laura and the Chihuahua’s came to visit at Christmas time. Melvin had some news to share. Big news.

“Come here, I needs to tells you a secret!”

“Come closer, it’s a really good secret”

“Close youz eyez, kay? So I can tellz youz my secret”

“Now keep um closed…..”

“After they neutered me? I found out I likez boyz!!!”


“Ha ha ha, slip you some chi-waa-waa tongue!”

The End

(True story. Everyone stepped back and took a moment, but all was well in the end. Friends are friends, now with fewer secrets between them)

Summer is flying by

The summer seems to be flying by this year. We’ve been pretty busy with some trips, work and the usual ranch/yard work. We’ve been pretty lucky with the weather this year – it was a good wet spring, so in spite of all the other problems California has lately, water shortages isn’t one of them this year. It has meant lots of weed growth tho, so that has been annoying. Surprisingly, fire season has been pretty quiet (so far – keeping my fingers crossed that it doesn’t flare up this fall).

We visited Arizona back at the end of May for our 5th wedding anniversary. Nice little ghost town of Jerome – its got a population of maybe 400 now, so its not a real ‘ghost’ town, but lots of neat stuff there. Pictures coming…

Last weekend, Lisa headed down to Lompoc for a dog show with all 4 of the pups. Guess it didn’t turn out all that successful in general but our dogs got their picture in the local paper:

We boarded the horses with our trainer and that gave me the chance to go on the Jeep Jamboree up on the Rubicon Trail. What a kick ass trip. Went with Jeff Arabia from Arabia’s Overkill (the Jeep fabrication shop that did most all the build up on both of our Jeeps over the past year). Jeff has been on the Rubicon for the past 15-20 yrs, so it was good to hook up with him and his buddies who know the trail well. Its around 12+ miles of some really hardcore rock crawling. Unlike most of the desert stuff I’ve done, this was all up in the high Sierra, so lots of trees, lakes, wild blueberries (unfortunately not ripe yet) and just all around great scenery. Its at least a 2 day trip – we spent 3 days, since we had a whole day of rest in the middle.

These folks didn’t listen to the spotter and ended up on their side as a result. No big deal really, but the driver kinda freaked…

We camped in Rubicon Springs from Friday afternoon-Sunday morning. Great high Sierra creek/river, lots of swimming holes, etc.

Climbing up Cadillac Hill on the way to Lake Tahoe. It looked really intimidating, but so long as you didn’t break down, it was just a good long slow craw. This picture doesn’t quite capture the steep pitch, nor the drop off the right side 🙂 l:

Ok, time to get some sleep and get packed for a quick trip to Boston tomorrow.