Tuesday, May 31, 2011

2011 Bolder Boulder Scenes

One never knows what - or who - one will see in this race...

Last Day of May

It's the last day of May, and temperatures are supposed to be in the upper 70s today, and in the low 90s the first two days of June. That's good and bad. It's good, because we need some sunshine and warmth - most days in May were either overcast or rainy, and we needed the rain. It's bad because we (in the South Platte River watershed) have our snowpack at 313% - once that snow really starts to melt, we'll have flooding. Of course, we already have flooding in several counties, but this flooding is likely to rival that of the Missouri, Ohio, and Mississippi Rivers... oh, my. Hopefully, the sun will slowly melt the snow so that Boulder Creek doesn't flood; my possessions are few, but they are dear to me - books, photos, the kits, and my genealogy records. I do have the PC hard drives up on stands 5 feet above the floor, but Boulder Creek has been known to flood (where my apartment is located) to 70 feet. (Please, not while I live here!) In any event, the kits are outside in the sun and newly mowed grass, and are so happy to be out, after I kept them inside yesterday. Brandi seems to be doing very well, considering her age and illnesses - we slept together last night.
And, after having multiple conversations with MDs and the folks at Medicare, I have finally been informed that once the surgery for my fistula fails three (3) times, I can get a second opinion that Medicare will pay for - and that once the surgery fails after 3 times, they would have the surgeon do some other type of procedure. Apparently the government (via Medicare) believes that "the third time's the charm." We'll see. I certainly can't afford the out-of-pocket expense of a second opinion - it's been quoted to me as "about $2700 to $3000" - by another physician in Boulder. - The up-coming PowerBall drawing is supposed to be worth about $200 million this time around - maybe I can win and get my nether regions repaired....
I sat and stood outside the apartment from 7 a.m. until 11:30 a.m. yesterday, yelling for the participants in the Bolder Boulder. The apartment driveway where I stand is 1/4 mile from Folsom Field; once inside the stadium, they have to make one lap of the track inside and they hit the finish line. I'm rotten, I guess.... I stand there and yell that there's only "a quarter-mile to go!" and "You can do it!" I was shocked that over 50 people stopped by (after they had finished their run) and thanked me for cheering them on - a lot of the women racers hugged me, and many said they don't think they would have finished if they hadn't heard me yell that there was only a quarter-mile left. My psychiatrist ran yesterday, and remembers hearing me yelling; I saw both Jim and Kathy run by; and the entire Chandler family went by as well.... other than that, there were ROTC squads, a herd of Chick-Fillet cows wearing "Eat Mor Chikin" signs, several parrots, a wonderful Uncle Sam, Batman and Robin, men in kilts, men in sequined majorette uniforms, several men in towels (with Run Naked painted on their chests and backs), a red devil, a Jesus, a gorilla carrying a man in a cage, several bananas, Pac Man, ballerinas, mariachis ... it was quite an entertaining crowd. More than 58,000 folks entered the race, and almost 54,000 completed it. The fastest running time was by a young man (28) from Evergreen, who finished the 10 K run in less than 30 minutes and 30 seconds.
Heading back to Brandi in a few minutes.... Enjoy your week!

Monday, May 30, 2011

Memorial Day 2011

Please support our veterans. Both those who have fallen in battle or after retirement, and those still living with us. The United States was born on the blood on the of early settlers, the Native Americans, and the soldiers who fought here, on this continent, as well as those who have served so wonderfully in other countries and on /under the seas. We would not be here to celebrate without their sacrifices. This is a heart-felt "Thank You" to any and all veterans of the United States of America.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Boulder Images

The Boulder Public Library

Sculpture in Central Park

The Pearl Street Mall on a sunny afternoon

Sallies Out

It's foggy and a light mist is falling, just as it was when I returned home at 9:30 last night. It's 53 degrees out, and I wore my light-weight rain coat out when I was walking this morning - not that I was cold, but because I wanted to stay a little bit dry. The kits are running in and out, chasing each other, and they are damp from the mist. Other than walking to the recycle bins, the laundry room, and out onto the patio, I plan on staying inside for the rest of the day - just to avoid people. Rosie and Remy were very happy to see me last night, so we took a short walk, and then I read to them. Since tomorrow is Memorial Day and the race, I won't see them, and then I have an appointment with Dr. Shapiro at 10 on Tuesday, so I'll walk them after I've seen Jed. But I have begged a ride with Kathy and Jim back to their neighborhood after the race, so I don't have to pack up and travel by bus over to Brandi's. I'll be back here every afternoon to blog, check e-mail, and love my kits.
With all of the tornadic destruction, and the flooding of the lower Mississippi River, it seems as though other places are being over-looked. How many of you know about the flooding of the reservations in Montana and the Dakotas? Multiple Indian reservations are under water, and have been under water for some time now. But the Native Americans don't get the publicity that everyone else does.... I mean, doesn't losing everything you own, as well as your farming and ranching income, because of flooding on the reservation, where the government says you must live, compare with the folks who are losing everything due to the flooding along the lower Mississippi and the tornadoes in Joplin, Tuscaloosa, Oklahoma and the midwest? Uh-oh. I'm getting angry. I'd better let that topic drop....
And another topic for a Sunday - the homeless and mental illness. There is a big brouhaha going on in Boulder at this point in time, because The Carriage House, a non-profit group that provides aid and assistance to the homeless wants to expand to a larger building. The building in question is on Broadway, between Arapahoe and Canyon, and the back of the building is separated from Central Park by Boulder Creek. One block west is the public library, and the several parks that form the backdrop of the Boulder Creek Festival, from 4th Street up to 13th. The current location of The Carriage House is four blocks to the north, on the west side of Broadway. The Carriage House gives the homeless a place to stay during the daytime hours, and offers a free lunch, counseling and aid. The Homeless Shelter is another 30 blocks north on Broadway, and is closed to the homeless during daylight hours. The homeless tend to congregate in the public library and Central Park when the Shelter is closed. The groups of men and women do, sometimes, appear threatening to me, so I can only imagine what others might think or feel. -
Now, at one point in time, Jeff and I had our condo repossessed, and we lived out of our Dodge Caravan - luckily, we had access to showers where I worked (we had a gym) and we slept in the vehicle. That's as close as I've been to being homeless. - I travel on the bus a great deal, and the folks who stay at the Homeless Shelter and I tend to travel on the same busses. I know that a lot of the people are down on their luck and are doing their best to find a job, make a decent living, and get a place of their own to live in. Then there are the other folks, who travel from city to city, and they discuss where you can get the best hand-outs, best sleeping arrangements, best food, etc. from St. Louis over to Seattle and San Francisco. (The folks from the Homeless Shelter call me "the dog lady", because they always see me on my way to or from walking dogs.) The big to-do is that people in Boulder believe that the homeless population consists mainly of sex offenders and homicidal maniacs. Studies at the Homeless Shelter and the Carriage House have shown that less than 1% of the homeless are known sex offenders, and none are "homocidal maniacs." Business-men (and -women) in the downtown area want the Carriage House moved away from the parks, Broadway, the Pearl Street Mall, and other tourist destinations. I'm honestly not sure how I feel about it - I can see the business-folks point of view (no one who owns a business wants groups of smelly, un-kempt panhandlers around), nor do most of the sincerely job-seeking homeless do that. But then there are the professional moochers - and they have staked out their "personal" corners on which to pan-handle, and they will beat the stuffing out of anyone else who dares to try to get money on "their" spot. But I really felt bad for the real homeless, those seeking jobs, counseling, etc. earlier this week. A 9-year-old girl was walking to school and someone tried to grab her and pull her into a passing car. A description was obtained of the man, and he was turned in to police by the director of The Carriage House. The Carriage House works with local law enforcement, and they have taken a huge body-blow by admitting that it was one of their "members" who tried to abduct a young girl.... But does one wormy apple mean all apples are rotten? I don't think so....

Saturday, May 28, 2011

Boulder Creek Festival & Bolder Boulder

The Boulder Creek Festival 2010

American Flag parachutist arriving at Folsom Field (the finish line for the Bolder Boulder)

The starting line for the Bolder Boulder - an electronic timing chip is attached to your running shoe before you start your race

Visitor Inundation

The morning arrived bright and sunny, but we now have mostly cloudy skies. While out walking this morning, I ran into 5 young ladies from the track team at the University of Virginia (Charlottesville), who are here for the Bolder Boulder. About 30 minutes later, I met a couple from Jacksonville Beach, Florida, who are also here for the race. After finishing my 5 miles, I began to run into family groups with small children who were here for both the Boulder Creek Festival and the race... So far, they have over 58,000 entries for all the different divisions of the Bolder Boulder - the wheel chair race, the runners, joggers, and walkers, and the Elite runners, who run the 10 K in less than 35 minutes.... I'm getting tired thinking about it.
Other than fussing about having to wear their collars and tags today (and tomorrow,too), the kits have been good. Since the Harvest House hotel is completely filled, and I know that both kits sometimes go under the fence to visit their parking lot and the tennis courts, I'm insisting on them wearing some form of ID. Monday, with everybody running by, and then walking back, they won't be allowed out at all. In another two weeks, it will be time for the Belmont Stakes, and I'll be rattling on about the horses running in the race, as well as (I'm sure) about the horse I'll ride in the Roosevelt National Forest. I finished reading Specimen Song this morning, and am trying to decide which of the 10 new books I should tackle. I'll be heading over to Rosie and Remy's for at least two hours tonight, then back at home until I head out for Brandi's on Monday afternoon.

Friday, May 27, 2011


... near Gateway, Colorado

...along the Chesapeake Bay, with friends

Carolyn!!?? What are you doing in Idaho?

Festivals, Riding, Dreams

Folks are starting to show up in Boulder for the weekend's festivals. While walking this morning, I met folks who were here for the Bolder Boulder from Alabama, Michigan, Washington, Connecticut, and Nigeria. And a lot of vendors are already here for the Boulder Creek Festival, on top of our usual crowd for Saturday's Farmer's Market. I know that the Harvest House hotel behind me is really jumping - and someone was singing "Happy Birthday" at 5 a.m. this morning in the HH parking lot. I'll be heading over to walk the Rs in a few minutes, and then I'll spend a couple of hours with them Saturday night, while the family is out for dinner and the theatre in Denver. ** And I forgot to mention in yesterday's blog that the half-price dog adoption offer is good through May 31 at the Boulder Valley Humane Society. **
The sun has been playing hide-n-seek this morning with the clouds. The kits are sunning on the concrete patio, and it's already 60 degrees out. I know that the weather here, in this little valley nestled up against the eastern flank of the Rockies, is hard to predict; yesterday, the western views were ever changing. When I was out walking, early, I could see the Indian Peaks clearly, with a few rocky ridges poking through the snow; the Flatirons were clear and crisp. When I left to walk the Irish kids at 9, the clouds had gathered and the Flatirons were invisible (let alone the Indian Peaks, 30 miles away), as were the nearest foothills. At noon, the Flatirons were visible, but the mountains directly behind them were being hugged by clouds. Throughout the afternoon, the clouds dropped and rose in height, so the vista was always different. - That's Colorado.
This is so silly - my horseback ride is almost 2 weeks away, but I'm excited. Where am I planning to ride? The business is Sombrero Ranch, and the place I want to ride is at their Allenspark location. If you're interested, you can see their website at: http://www.sombrero.com/ ; they offer all sorts of riding packages, hunting, camping and fishing packages, and just plain riding horse (or pack horse) rentals for the entire summer. If I had a place to keep it, I'd rent a horse for the summer! Gimme, gimme! I'm just like a little kid in a candy shop with an insatiable sweet tooth!
Got ten new books to read from the public library. I think I'm going to have to stop reading about Native Americans for a little bit - this morning, I was dreaming about being with the family tribe and being caught in a tremendous storm that started out as sand, and changed to snow. I awoke with a jerk, and Lovey meowed at me, and my response, without thinking, was , "At least we didn't have to eat the horses." Then I went back to sleep and starting dreaming about the Dineh (the Navajo) and the Yorbis (alien natives) on a world that Andre Norton created many years ago - and some Metis joined us and started up a fiddle competition.... Maybe it's a good thing that I visit my shrink on Tuesday!
Have a super weekend!!

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Available for Adoption from BVHS

Lima Bean, a 10 month old spayed female

Marbles, 3 year old neutered male wire haired Dachshund mix

Moose, a 10 month old smooth Collie mix (neutered male)

Murray, a 5 year old neutered male (long-haired, currently clipped)

Half-Price Dog Adoptions!

The sun has just appeared from behind the clouds this morning - the kits are on the patio, and I have the door and window wide open (it's 52 degrees, but with all the glass in my east wall, it's much warmer inside). I just started re-reading Peter Bowen's first two Gabriel Du Pre mysteries. I do like his representations of the Metis people! And, I have to admit that I hoped I would win the lottery last night, but no one did, so this weekend's estimated amount is $187 million for PowerBall. I did receive an answer from the Allenspark stables; they are still conducting trail rides, even with the EHV-1 outbreak. They state this is due to a "closed herd" policy, and the fact that the trails they use are generally not used by other riders - so it looks like I'll be on horseback on June 9.
The Boulder Valley Humane Society is holding a half-price adoption "sale" for any dog that is 6 months old, or older. They currently have 53 dogs and puppies up for adoption, as well as 71 cats and kittens. If you can, please adopt a new friend. There is one wire-haired dachshund mix that is especially cute! Actually, if I had room, and the time, I would adopt about six of the dogs in a heartbeat - not to mention a dozen or so cats.....
Since Monday is the 33rd annual Bolder Boulder, that means it's also time for the 24th annual Boulder Creek Festival - held May 28th, 29th, and 30th this year. The Festival is free to the public and features something for everyone: 10 separate event areas with 500 vendors showcase everything from community arts and crafts to health alternatives and technology while five performance stages feature a spectrum of music and dance. The Festival also features carnival rides, food and beverage vendors, and the signature event: the Great Rubber Duck Race!

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Today's Critters

A 10-foot alligator attacks the front bumper of an Alachua County Sheriff's car near Gainesville, Florida. (My old home!)

An Arabian mare greets an Iraqi donkey in Nebraska.

Riding across flooded countryside (actually they are crossing a paved road) in Yazoo County, Mississippi. (Hello, big river.)

Weather, Critters, Bolder Boulder

I only had Rosie and Remy out for a 20 minute walk-jog yesterday due to rain, lightning and thunder. I was soaked from the knees down, and discovered that my old sneakers now leak - my right foot got soggy. A squirrel is giving Nedi "what for" out on the back fence, while Lovey is watching from the cat tree inside. It's a drab, grey morning so far; I can see the Flatirons and the Front Range clearly, but the mountains behind them are hidden in cloud or fog. No snow-caps to be seen this morning. Due to more than 3 inches of rain-fall yesterday, several counties out on the easterly plains of Colorado are under Flood warnings. Boulder only had 2/5 inch of rain in the last 24 hours. (And I simply can't figure out how I have muddy kitty foot prints running across the chest of the clean grey shirt I put on this morning....)
This Monday is, of course, Memorial Day. Besides honoring all of this country's veterans, it also means it is time for the Bolder Boulder again. This will be the 33rd time that the 10-K race will be run; Olympic marathoner Frank Shorter organized the first race, and is still involved. Both my sister and brother-in-law will be running again this year. I'll be standing in my usual spot at the north corner of the apartment complex's driveway, cheering on the runners. From where I stand, there's only a 1/4 mile left of the course (half of it uphill) to the finish line... I take out a chair, a bottle of cold Coca-Cola, and enjoy myself watching the runners go by (usually about 50,000). It's usually about a 5 hour show. After the race this year, I'll be heading over to Brandi's house to stay with her for a week. She is such a sweet dog! I'm looking forward to spending some quality time with her.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Rocky Mountain National Park's Trail Ridge Road

This photo was taken on Trail Ridge Road earlier this morning, showing a Park Ranger measuring the snow along the side of the road - where he's measuring the height is 22 feet. Trail Ridge Road is usually open to traffic by the Memorial Day weekend - it won't be this year. There are still a large number of snow avalanches and rock slides across the road that have yet to be cleared so that the public can drive across the Continental Divide at over 12,000 feet. It is still snowing in a lot of areas above 9,000 feet. - Boulder? We're a little bit higher than a mile, even though the town is located in a valley. I can look west every day and still see snow-capped mountains behind the Front Range....
And think good thoughts for the nation's midsection - the tornadoes have started up again.

Paddy O'Prado

Grey colt Paddy O'Prado winning the Dixie Stakes, 21 May 2011. Photo by Anne M. Eberhardt, from The Bloodhorse.

Oh Me, Oh My....

Poor, poor Joplin, Missouri. I feel for everyone that has been affected by this tornadic tragedy. We had thunderstorms off and on yesterday afternoon and last night. Lovey wasn't afraid of thunder until recently; she curled up with me in nasty weather, but she didn't hide. Nedi is frightened by thunder, and hides either in the closet or under the bed when it grumbles. Lovey is now doing the same. (Banichi wasn't bothered by thunder; and Lovey wasn't bothered by it when she was with Nichi-ji. I guess she is very sensitive to her kitty-mate's feelings.) Last night, she came out from hiding after a thunderclap and sat on my chest and shivered for almost an hour. I can't figure this out....
Our local paper finally published an article on the EHV-1 outbreak (which does include Boulder County) and about staying at home and off the trails; some idiot posted the comment: "Yeah, stay off the trails, they are covered with disease." This person really is an ignorant fool. EHV-1 is extremely virulent, and horses don't even have to touch noses to spread the disease - it's passed by aerosol nasal spray and just by the virus "shedding", or falling off, a horse that has passed the incubation stage and is in the infectious stage (7 to 10 days after infection). An infected horse that nuzzles a tuft of grass, or a tree branch, (or just walks along a trail, breathing normally) leaves behind deadly viral germs. I want to give this fool a dose of spinal meningitis, the human equivalent to the neurological form of EHV-1!
Last year, trainer Dale Romans ran Paddy O'Prado in the Preakness. He didn't do very well, and Romans switched the colt back to turf racing, where he continued his winning ways. Paddy got a few months vacation recently, and his first race this year was the Dixie Stakes, the turf race just before this year's Preakness. Paddy O'Prado won brilliantly, running from last place to win by a nice margin. He seemed fine after the race, in the winner's circle, and as he cooled out back in the barn area. Later that night, he became sore on a single leg, and he was treated for a bruised foot. But the lameness continued to grow; finally X-rays were taken and it turns out that Paddy broke a couple of sesamoid bones in his foreleg during the race. Paddy O'Prado will be retired to stud. (Trainer Dale Romans also trains Shackleford, who won the Preakness, after Paddy won the Dixie on Saturday.)

Monday, May 23, 2011

Riding in...

... Colorado, with the Front Range as a backdrop.

... Wyoming, along the Oregon Trail.

... Utah, taking a drink near Kanab.

The Equine Herpes Virus 1 Outbreak

Equine Herpes virus 1 is a nasty kind of illness - most horses who are exposed to the virus develop the symptoms of a normal cold (rhino-virus); they have a runny nose, run a low temperature, are lethargic, and just feel crummy. But a few horses will develop the neurological type, and it is deadly. Since the original outbreak, traced back to an Ogden, Utah reining and roping horse show that covered the last days of April and the first two of May, there have been at least 8 deaths. Horses in the Alberta province of Canada, as well as nine western states (Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Utah and Washington) have been reported to the US Department of Agriculture as being positive for the neurological type of EHV-1. Local veterinarians have listed 4 things for concerned horse owners to do: 1. Stay at Home!, 2. Re-inoculate your horses against rhino-virus; recommended: Rhinomune, Pneumabort-K, Prodigy, or Calvenza EHV. 3. Add immune boosters to your horse's feed; recommended: Zylexis or EqStim. 4. Do not travel with your horses unless it is absolutely necessary - i.e.: wildfires, mudslides, flooding, tornadoes. Then keep your horses in a self-imposed quarantine until you can safely return to your home barn. ....
It is gorgeous here. The sun is shining, it's already 60 degrees, I've walked 5 miles, and am consuming my breakfast. The kits are out on the patio, sunning; and I'll soon be off to walk the dogs. I watched Tom Selleck in Jesse Stone: Innocents Lost last night and thoroughly enjoyed it. I loved Robert Parker's Jesse Stone novels, and I am glad that Selleck is keeping Jesse alive. - Tom Selleck wrote the script and was the executive producer for the TV-movie. I also love the golden retriever, Reggie, in the movies - he gets his own credit at the end of each show; he is portrayed by Joe.
I have found that I can go on a half-day trail ride up in Allenspark - I'm going to ask Kathy if she thinks she can sit in a saddle for a couple of hours. If she says yes, then I'll be horseback riding for my birthday!! (And I'll get someone to take a few photos of me on a horse, once again!) Yes, I am acting giddy. The possibility of being on, and with, horses makes me high.

Sunday, May 22, 2011

Rural Scenes

Horses grazing in Nebraska

Devil's Tower National Monument, Wyoming - Most Native American tribes referred to it as "the Bear's Lair" or "the Bear's Den."

Horsetooth Mountain is frequently used as a symbol for Fort Collins, Colorado.

Hum-Drum Stuff

I've been up and going since 5 this morning - Lovey decided there was "something" on the patio that just had to be investigated. I don't know what it was, even though it had both Lovey's and Nedi's rapt attention - possibly a raccoon. I haven't seen a 'coon around here since April a year ago when Banichi and multiple other critters (raccoons, squirrels, rabbits and moles) were poisoned. Nedi is currently laying beside the brick patio wall, while Lovey is on the middle platform of the cat tree. It was bright and sunny earlier, but clouds have begun building, so I don't know if we'll have rain today or not. I know there's a chance of rain for the rest of the week. My only request is that it's dry for several hours each morning, so I can get the doggies walked. Besides my holiday bookings through 2015, I now have a booking for April of next year... Apparently Sue liked the way I cared for her yellow Labs last month, so she has already engaged me for next year.
I'm half-way through the last book that I have checked out from the library, so I'll be heading back to the library either today or tomorrow... It will depend upon how energetic I feel, and whether or not I get "stir crazy." I've already walked my 5 miles this morning - yesterday I could see snow all over the Front Range, but by this morning it has all melted; only the Indian Peaks are snow-capped today. - Kathy has taken a vacation day for my birthday, so she can spend all day with me - "doing whatever" I "want to do." She has suggested we go visit Parnell's Irish Cobs, a Gypsy Vanner horse farm, in Fort Collins. (See: http://www.parnellsirishcobs.com/) How do I tell her that being that close to the horses, and walking around the farm, will make me (uncontrollably) want to ride? Maybe I should just make reservations for us to ride up in Rocky Mountain National Park that day...

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Preakness Finish Photo

Winner Shackleford, second-place Animal Kingdom, and third-place Astrology are all in this photo by Anne M. Eberhardt in The Bloodhorse.

Shackleford Wins Preakness

The bright chestnut Shackleford held off hard-charging Animal Kingdom to win today's Preakness by 3/4 length. Flashpoint, the Florida-bred grey, and Shackleford fought for the lead through the first half-mile. Flashpoint used himself up in the speed duel and finished last, but Shackleford was able to dig a little deeper and hold off the pressing Animal Kingdom. Astrology, a son of A.P. Indy, finished third, with Nick Zito-trained Dialed In in fourth place. Dance City, the Virginia-bred got up for fifth place to take the last of the purse money. My other picks finished in 7th, 10th, and 12th places - not a record to be proud of. The order of finish, after Dance City, was: Mucho Macho Man, King Congie, Mr. Commons, Isn't He Perfect, Concealed Identity, Norman Asbjornson, Sway Away, Midnight Interlude, and Flashpoint. As soon as he appeared on the track for the post parade, I scratched my pick of Sway Away - he was just too nervous and washy. And I have to admit that Shackleford had me worried - but I remembered that he frequently "got hot" before other races.... For a $2 bet, Shackleford paid $27.20 to win; Animal Kingdom paid $4.20 to place; and Astrology paid $8.00 to show. The $2 Exacta paid $114.80; the Trifecta paid $1,401.80; and the Superfecta paid $6,212.60. The 1 mile and 3/16ths was run in 1 minute and 56.47 seconds. Shackleford's sire is Forestry, his grandsires are Storm Cat and Unbridled.
... Nedi caught another young sparrow this morning. He brought it in to me alive and unharmed. I took it back outside, checked it over, and gave it a few minutes to calm down while cupped in my hands. I then released it into an aspen, and after a few seconds, it flew away. I wonder what kind of tale that little bird will tell its' family?

Photo Hodge-Podge

George Takei and partner Brad Altman - still happy after 20+ years!

Nedi - the wild beast

Royal Delta winning the Black Eyed Susans; photo by Anne M. Eberhardt, from The Bloodhorse

A Takei Moment

A bill passed Friday by the Tennessee Senate would forbid public school teachers and students in grades kindergarten through eight from discussing the fact that some people are gay. This has caused student protests in Tennessee. George Takei, who played Lt. Sulu in the original Star Trek series and in subsequent films, has made an offer - just use his surname instead of the word "gay". If I were living in Tennessee, then I could safely proclaim that I support Takei marriage - with George and his partner's whole-hearted support.
I guess that Nedi became a full-fledged cat, or warrior, or hunter, yesterday. He caught and killed a baby English sparrow after a very loud and violent hail-, rain-, and lightning storm. Lightning struck one of the HVAC units on top of the hotel behind us, and the light and thunder was extremely impressive. The kits hid inside a box in the closet for 45 minutes after the strike.
In looking at the results of yesterday's Black Eyed Susans, one should also keep in mind that it was set up as a handicap race. Both Hot Summer and Wyomia were carrying 6 pounds more than their three competitors, as both had previously won a Stakes race. Still, Royal Delta was an impressive sight, rolling down the stretch and winning by over 2 lengths in her Stakes debut.
The Preakness is race number 12 on today's card; post time is 6:18 p.m. EDT. NBC will be covering the race live. All of the colts will carry 126 pounds for the 1 and 3/16 miles. Today's Preakness is as wide open as the Kentucky Derby was - it's possible for any one of the 14 entries to win. I'll blog again, after the race.

Friday, May 20, 2011

Royal Delta Wins Black Eyed Susans

With a short field of five, Royal Delta tracked the front-runners, then came on with a surge to win the Black Eyed Susans Stakes by 2 and 1/2 lengths. Coax Liberty and Art Of The Hunt were scratches. Buster's Ready finished second with Hot Summer in a close third. Love Theway Youare finished fourth, and Wyomia, the co-betting favorite, trailed the field. Wyomia usually drops back at the beginning of the race and finishes with a strong acceleration. Today, she ran in the first and second places, and ran out of gas with a quarter-mile to go. Royal Delta paid $5.60 to win, in this, her fourth race in her life time, and first Stakes race. Her grandsires are Unbridled and A.P. Indy. You go, girl!

Colorado & Kansas Scenes

Site of the Sand Creek Massacre in 1864 - Colorado

A rural Kansas sunset

The Doniphan County Courthouse in Troy, Kansas.

Actually Sunny Out (Now)!

The sun is pouring in through my windows and patio doors - it's amazing. I've already walked Rosie, Remy and Lucy, wanting to get it done before it began raining again. We started May with a rain deficit of 6.25 inches; now we are 1.3 inches over our norm for this time in May. I think that May showers are bringing May and June flowers, this time around. I spent most of yesterday lazing in bed and reading Black Elk Speaks. The kits cuddled and snuggled and we truly enjoyed a cool, rainy day together. Yesterday was also my niece's birthday, and so all 7 of us went out to Efrain's, the restaurant she chose. I had looked Efrain's up on the internet and most of the reviews said that the food was absolutely super - if you like things hot. I checked out their menu on-line, and made my decision once I got there. Kathy and Jim shared a Margarita while we were waiting for our table, while niece Sarah, nephew Mike and Annie each had one apiece. Michael, Sarah's beau, had a Pacifica Cerveza. I just talked... Once we sat down and ordered, we all had a blast. Kathy and Jim had ordered the chicken chimichanga; Kathy with beans and rice, and Jim with a green salad. Jim thought the salad would help cool down the (#4, on a scale of 1 - 10, with 10 being the hottest) chicken chimichangas. There was jalapeno pepper juice well-sprinkled over the salad. Kathy took her first bite of chicken and turned fire-engine red. After blowing in and out through her mouth a few times, she drank a quarter of the Margarita, and then a glass of water. I continued happily eating my steak and fries.... Michael had a beef and bean burrito - and it was amazing to watch the sweat pop out on top of his skull with every mouthful he ate. It was the same with Jim and Mike, too. So the family provided all the entertainment for last night's party.... It was a good meal and a good evening.
Today is the running of the Black Eyed Susans Stakes, and tomorrow is the Preakness. I'm sticking with the three fillies I chose yesterday - Wyomia, Hot Summer, and Art Of The Hunt. My picks for the Preakness are: Sway Away (because of the *Forli connection); King Congie, because I like his looks; Shackleford, the blaze-faced chestnut; and Concealed Identity, the son of Smarty Jones.
Most folks remember the name of Barbaro. He was foaled in 2003, won the 2006 Kentucky Derby, and broke down in the Preakness. After many surgeries, he was put down in January 2007. Yesterday, Barbaro's owners announced the birth of a fourth full-brother to the Derby winner; the owners want a full sister of Barbaro in their broodmare barn. Michael Matz, who trained Barbaro, has full brothers Nicanor and Lentenor in his barn. Margano, a two-year-old brother, has recently begun training. The new colt arrived on May 18 and weighed in at 138 pounds. He, too, is a bay with white facial markings.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Spotlight on Pimlico

It's sprinkling rain and snow here - at least we haven't gotten the 3 inches of golf-ball sized hail that some areas got yesterday afternoon! The Creek is running a little high, but, so far, no signs of a flood. The kits are running in and out, getting them (and me) wet.
Tomorrow is the 136th running of the Black-Eyed Susan Stakes, the filly version of the Preakness. None of the fillies who raced in the Kentucky Oaks are racing in tomorrow's race, so there will be no filly Triple Crown winner this year.
*Of the seven competitors in tomorrow's event, four were born and bred in Kentucky: Royal Delta, Coax Liberty, Wyomia, and Love Theway Youare; Hot Summer and Buster's Ready are Virginia bred; and Art Of The Hunt is Maryland bred.
*All of the entries are bay in color; and they were born between 31 January and 24 April.
*The grandsires of Royal Delta are Unbridled and A.P. Indy. The grandsires of Wyomia are Seattle Slew and Kingmambo (and she's related to Court Jester via *Forli). Actually, all of the fillies have excellent pedigrees, and going back another generation finds every one with at least one Triple Crown race-winning stallion as a great-grandsire.
So, who am I going to root for (and place my imaginary bets on)? Wyomia, as a Williston, Florida based racer, and as Court Jester's relative, of course. Hot Summer - I like the way she looks, and with Seattle Slew, Mr. Prospector, Fappiano, and Summer Squall in her pedigree, I have to pick her. And, because one of her great-grandsires is Broad Brush, my third pick will be Art Of The Hunt, the Maryland filly.
The 136th annual Preakness Stakes will occur Saturday, with a payday of $1 million. The Preakness is always run 2 weeks after the Kentucky Derby, and is 1/16 of a mile less in distance (1 and 3/16 miles). Five colts who ran in the Derby will continue on in the Preakness: Animal Kingdom (the Derby winner), Shackleford, Midnight Interlude, Dialed In, and Mucho Macho Man. As the Pimlico track is narrower than Churchill Downs, the Preakness entries are not more than 14. We have 9 new contenders in this race, none of them horses that received a lot of publicity prior to the Derby.
* Nine of the colts were born and bred in Kentucky; Flashpoint and Mucho Macho Man were bred in Florida; Norman Asbjornson is a Pennsylvania bred; Dance City is Virginia bred; and Concealed Identity is a Maryland bred gelding.
* The single grey (or roan) colt in the race is Flashpoint; the two chestnuts are, again, Shackleford and Animal Kingdom; all the others are bays.
* Mr. Commons is the oldest colt, having been foaled on January 29. Once again, Mucho Macho Man is the youngest, as he won't be three until June 15.
*Sway Away, the bay colt breaking from post position 6, was born on April 9; his great-grandsires are Afleet, Hawkster, Bold Reasoning, and Summer Squall. (And a little farther back in his pedigree is *Forli.)
The pedigrees for these colts and gelding are awesome. If you'd like to view them, you can visit http://www.bloodhorse.com/ and see both 3 and 5 generation pedigrees. Who will I pick? I'll let you know tomorrow!
~~**~~ TV Coverage: Versus TV will show "Preakness Classics" Friday from 3 to 4 p.m. EDT. Live coverage of the Black Eyed Susans Stakes will follow from 4 to 5 EDT. The fillies race is scheduled for 4:46 EDT. Saturday, you can see part of the Preakness undercard from 2:30 to 4:30 EDT on Versus; the live Preakness coverage will then transfer over to NBC from 4:30 to 6:30 EDT. **~~**

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Preakness-Winning Fillies

Flocarline, a chestnut filly, won the Preakness in 1903

Nellie Morse, a bay filly, won the Preakness in 1924

Rachel Alexandra, a bay filly, won in 2009.

Five fillies have won the Preakness Stakes: Flocarline won in 1 minute 44 and 4/5 seconds in 1903; Whimiscal, another chestnut filly, won in 1906; Rhine Maiden, the first of the bay fillies, won in 1915; Nellie Morse beat the boys in 1924; and Rachel Alexandra won in 2009 with a time of 1 minute, 55.08 seconds.

Flash Flood Watch

Since yesterday, Boulder has seen 1.85 inches of rain. The weather folks say we'll get 2 to 4 inches of rain tomorrow, plus more on Friday. We are under a Flash Flood Watch - all of Boulder County, and especially those of us who live near a creek or river. The higher country, such as Grandma Anne on Sugarloaf Mountain, Nederland, Leadville, and the Rocky Mountain NP are expecting 5 to 10 inches of snow within the next 24 hours. It is Spring, isn't it? And, if you feel like looking at snow, here's a great news report, filmed today: http://www.9news.com/news/local/article/199089/346/Crews-working-to-get-Independence-Pass-open-by-Memorial-Day?odyssey=modnewswellimgFRONTPAGEp
I arrived home a short while ago. Lovey and Nedi are having a ball getting completely soaked, then jumping on my lap, where they head for the desk, and then shake water and mud all over the PC monitor and keyboard. They both wanted tons of love when I arrived, even before they were fed; now it's play time out in the rain. They don't know that they are supposed to dislike being wet.... What can I say?... They are my kits! .... Colorado and the West is having a very nasty outbreak of Equine Herpes virus 1 - which is spread through the air. A rancher took 16 head of his stock to a roping event in Utah last weekend; a 16-year-old mare is dead and three others are in critical condition due to the virus. The guy is really upset, because he turned the stock out with his other 40 head of roping and cattle horses, not realizing they were (a) ill and (b) extremely contagious. His entire ranch is under quarantine. This type of equine herpes virus is virulent, and it also will attach itself to llamas, alpacas, guanacos, and other camelids, besides all equines. It's awful.
The post positions are set for Saturday's running of the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico. Animal Kingdom, who won the Derby, is the morning-line betting favorite at 2 to 1; he is starting from post 11. Here are the race conditions and the colts:
$1 Million Preakness Stakes (gr. I), 3-Year-Olds, 1 3/16 Miles
PP. Horse, Jockey, Trainer, ML Odds
1. Astrology, Mike Smith, Steve Asmussen, 15/1
2. Norman Asbjornson, Julian Pimentel, Chris Grove, 30/1
3. King Congie, Robby Albarado, Tom Albertrani, 20/1
4. Flashpoint, Cornelio Velasquez, Wesley Ward, 20/1
5. Shackleford, Jesus Castanon, Dale Romans, 12/1
6. Sway Away, Garrett Gomez, Jeff Bonde, 15/1
7. Midnight Interlude, Martin Garcia, Bob Baffert, 15/1
8. Dance City, Ramon Dominguez, Todd Pletcher, 12/1
9. Mucho Macho Man, Rajiv Maragh, Kathy Ritvo, 6/1
10. Dialed In, Julien Leparoux, Nick Zito, 9/2
11. Animal Kingdom, John Velazquez, Graham Motion, 2/1
12. Isn't He Perfect, Edgar Prado, Doodnauth Shivmangal, 30/1
13. Concealed Identity, Sheldon Russell, Dean Gaudet, 30/1
14. Mr. Commons, Victor Espinoza, John Shirreffs, 20/1

I'll post more information about both the fillies and colts running Friday and Saturday tomorrow.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Rain and Allergies

The weather folks said that Monday and Tuesday would be bright and sunny. Boy, were they ever wrong! It was grey and yuckky yesterday, except for 2 hours, between 3 and 5 p.m.; today started out grey and chill and is expected to stay this way. We're supposed to get rain Wednesday through Friday... We need the rain. And it's been great that what has fallen so far has been a light, but constant fall - but a downpour will flood a lot of folks here. Snow is still falling in the high country, and the Arapaho Basin Ski Resort says it looks as if they'll stay open until July 4, since they still have over a 100 inch base of packed snow on their runs.
Rosie does have an allergy to pollen. So she'll be taking benadryl for a while... I took her and Remy over to play with Tess both yesterday and today. They ran themselves silly, and Rosie kept plopping herself in the koi pond to cool off. Lilly still hisses at the two younger kits, Lyra and Dhisana. Lyra is always interested in what someone else is eating, and it really bugs Lilly, even though Lyra doesn't try to grab the food. Lovey and Nedi are getting tons of love, as I check my e-mail, read my usual sites, and put together my blog. Today they were more interested in love than in food, so I guess they do miss my presence. Luckily, Lynn is due back late tomorrow, so I can spend a few days at home with the kits before my next "away" work. I miss having them in their usual sleeping positions in bed with me. Having three cats fussing over who sleeps where on top of me gets a little worn. ... Tomorrow we'll find out who will be running in the Preakness, and from which position. Versus TV will broadcast the Black Eyed Susan, live, on Friday; and they'll have the Preakness undercard Saturday, before NBC takes over the coverage. - Don't work too hard, friends!

Monday, May 16, 2011

Coyote, Ojibwa, Sioux

Coyote with mole

Arrowmaker, an Ojibwa warrior - 1903

Black Elk, Lakota Sioux shaman

Coyote Sighting

I got to view the "mangy" coyote yesterday evening. I was standing in Kathy's solarium, on my way to walk and spend time with Rosie and Remy, when the coyote trotted by, heading east on Topaz. It was moving easily, about a foot away from the pavement and on the grass verge. It was 6:30 in the evening. Wow. Luckily, we have had no recent loses of pets. I do know that both Alexy's cats and Lynn's cats really want to go outside. I feel bad, telling them, "No," but, having seen Susssie's remains, I do not feel bad. It's quite the conundrum. But I'd rather they survive and be mad at me, than become prey.
My kits have been extremely loving when I've been home. Even though the patio door is open, Nedi is in my lap, having his head, chin and neck scratched. (I'm typing with only my right hand...) Saturday, when I was ready to return to Lynn's house, I couldn't find Lovey. She didn't come when called, and she was not in the back yard. I got Nedi inside and went in search of the girl. I went all over the Millennium Harvest House property, calling her. Then I went three blocks along the Boulder Creek Path. I began looking for road-kill. Lovey was sitting on the patio of apartment A-101, on the west side of the building. Her nose was touching the sliding patio door, and she was being stared back at by - her twin. Well, the inside cat has a different stripe pattern, but it's a brown tabby, and it does look a lot like Lovey. I scooped my girl up and brought her back inside, even though she was not happy with me.
Horses.... This weekend, the Black Eyed Susan Stakes and the Preakness will be run. Pimlico will allow only 14 runners in the Preakness, and, at the moment, there are 19 owners who want to run their horses. It will, once again, be a matter of who has won how much, and whether or not was a "graded" race. There are only 7 entries in the filly division - the Black Eyed Susan Stakes, to be run Friday afternoon. None of the fillies who ran in the Kentucky Oaks are following up with a run in the Black Eyed Susan. My personal pick for the Black Eyed Susan is a Williston, Florida-based filly named Wyomia. She's been made the morning-line betting favorite at 9 to 5 odds.
$250,000 Black-Eyed Susan Stakes (gr. II, Race 10, 4:46 p.m.) 3-Year-Old Fillies, 1 1/8 Miles
PP. Horse, Jockey, Weight, Trainer, ML Odds
1. Royal Delta (KY), J Lezcano, 116, W I Mott, 3/1
2. Hot Summer (VA), R A Dominguez, 122, D Fawkes, 5/2
3. Coax Liberty (KY), G K Gomez, 116, J L Lawrence II, 8/1
4. Wyomia (KY), J R Leparoux, 122, C L Garrison, 9/5
5. Buster's Ready (VA), J R Velazquez, 116, T A Pletcher, 8/1
6. Love Theway Youare (KY), J Rosario, 116, M K Cho, 15/1
7. Art of the Hunt (MD), no rider, 116, F P Campitelli, 20/1

** And I truly am not ignoring all of the suffering that is currently occurring in the Midwest and the South. All I can do is commiserate with all of the losses the people have suffered, and/or are suffering. The terrible devastations of the tornadoes, and the horrors of flooding, are something that no one deserves. I feel most for the folks who know they are being flooded out to "protect" others from flooding. I hope these people will be recompensed over and above what they will lose. **

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Kiowa Scenes

Rainy Mountain in Oklahoma

Palo Duro Canyon, Texas - the Lighthouse formation

Grey & Rainy

Rosie has an allergy, possibly to pollen, that is making her chew her front toes and has turned her tummy red. She's now taking benadryl and is a little loopy. Yesterday was gorgeous. Today it's grey out and the weather folks say that we'll have rain by 3 p.m. and then snow later. That means I need to re-cover the tomato plants in Lynn's garden. Cloudy and Shady are doing well at Alexy's; all of Lynn's critters are fine. I'm visiting my kits before heading back to north Boulder. Lovey and Nedi both wanted lots of loving, and then they wanted to be fed. The next item on their agenda was going outside. They've both been back inside, seeking love since the first trip out. I'll split the rest of my day between Lynn's and Alexy's - reading and cooking at Lynn's and doing research at Alexy's. - Hope you have a good weekend!

Thursday, May 12, 2011

Still Wet

We've had 1.73 inches of rain/wet snow/precipitation here in the past 36 hours, and it's still coming down. The kits have run outside, gotten wet, and returned, complaining. I guess since I feed and water and love them, they believe I should be able to control the weather, as well. I've opened the window curtain, and Lovey is on top of the cat tree watching birds fly by. Nedi is trying to find a way to tip over the new water bowl. And, as the local Humane Society has 83 cats and kittens up for adoption, tomorrow, Friday, will be a Free Feline Adoption Day. Each adoptee has been spayed or neutered and is up-to-date on their vaccinations. If you have the resources, love and space, please adopt one of these kitties.
I think I will be doing research on Ancestry today - luckily, the access is free through our local public library. You have to go to the library, and physically use one of their PCs, but it's free. Otherwise I get to graze through the Heritage File at home, and while it's very helpful, it can also be a royal pain... Tomorrow I start staying at Lynn's house - with Tessa, the gazelle dog, and Lily, Dhisana, and Lyra. I'll also be visiting Alexy's frequently, as I'll be feeding and loving Cloudy and Shady for the three days that Alexy's in Moab. (And, thankfully, the two houses are only separated by two other houses!)
No big news on the thoroughbred racing front. Michael Baze's autopsy was inconclusive. Animal Kingdom, the Derby winner, is back at his home stable in Fair Hill, Maryland, where he jogged yesterday. Uncle Mo, the early Derby favorite, who has had tummy problems, is home at WinStar Farms in Kentucky, being checked by veterinarians on a daily basis. Archarcharch is doing well after his surgery, but will never race again.
Hope you have a good day!

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

May 11 Snow in Nederland

Hooray For Rain & Snow!

A combination of rain and fat, heavy snowflakes is falling outside. The sky is grey, it's 37 degrees out, and the kits are playing in the wetness. The skies clouded up last night while I was watching NCIS and the temperature started to drop after eleven. It was raining at 3 this morning, and when I arose at 6, we had the mixture falling. After several days in the 70s and 80s, the snow is melting upon contact with the ground and roadways. I've already gone out and purchased a few necessities so I can put together spaghetti and meat sauce for supper.
In doing some in depth reading regarding the Kiowa and Cheyenne this past weekend, I was surprised to find that most Native American males actually had facial hair. But it was removed on a daily basis with tweezers... Men removed their eyebrows, moustaches, and hair on their chins and cheeks. Sometimes a wife was allowed to help groom her husband, but usually males plucked themselves, or if they were bachelors, they assisted each other. I don't know why that was such a surprise to me, but it was.
Nedi just ran inside and shook like a dog. His long fur is standing up and out in bunches, as he is thoroughly wet. He's a funny little man. Lovey is currently sitting at my elbow, observing both my typing, and Nedi's (now frantic) grooming. She looks like Bast - so regal!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Michael Baze, 1987 - 2011

Michael Baze at Keeneland, April 2011

Carrying Tales....

Once NCIS was over tonight, Lovey came in and demanded that I go outside with her. She wanted me to see that Nedi was 15 to 18 feet up in one of the aspen trees, chasing finches. The finches were having a ball leading him higher and higher into the tree... They didn't even fly away when I went to the base of the tree and got Nedi to return to earth. I can still hear them singing mockingly to the kits.
I'm in shock. The Louisville, Kentucky Coroner's Office has confirmed that Michael Baze, the son of retired rider Mike Baze, age 24, has been found dead inside a Cadillac Escalade at the Churchill Downs backstretch. Michael was first cousin of jockey Tyler Baze. His uncle is Gary Baze, while Hall of Fame member Russell Baze, is the first cousin of his father, Mike, all jockeys. In an all-too-brief career that began in 2003, Baze won 918 races from 6,968 mounts, and his mounts earned more than $32.4 million. An autopsy will be performed tomorrow.

Kiowa Leaders - 1866 to 1890s

Lone Wolf became primary chief after the death of Little Bluff in 1866, when it became apparent that the majority of the tribe would not follow Kicking Bird or Satanta.

Kicking Bird was the leader of the "Peace" group.

Satanta (actually Set-tain-te, or White Bear) was the leader of the "War" group.
He was known as "the orator of the Plains Indians" and had a widely known and devilish sense of humor.

Satank (Sitting Bear) was the leader of the elite Ten Bravest warriors;

as such, he was allowed his eccentricities, such as not plucking out his facial hair...

Terrific Tuesday

It was 41 degrees when I got up this morning; the high is supposed to be about 65. For me, this is terrific weather! Of course, it's supposed to rain and/or snow tonight, with showers possible for the next two days... but it's gorgeous outside at the moment! The kits are playing; I had a couple of crows follow me for three blocks when I was out walking earlier; and a baby squirrel ran across my foot before it scared itself. Boulder Creek is up a few inches from yesterday's level, but nothing to worry about at the moment. Looking forward to seeing Rosie and Remy and Lucy this morning. I'll also be taking the big, new water tub for the dogs over to Kathy and Jim's, plus loaning books out to three couples in the neighborhood. This Friday, I start taking care of Lynn's dog and cats and Alexy's two cats.... I'm planning on a pleasant weekend, other than my kits will be here at home, while I'm there, in north Boulder.
Back to horses... Battle of Hastings, who suffered a condylar fracture of hi right foreleg during a turf race on the Kentucky Derby undercard, has had surgery. Dr. Larry Bramlage, the famed Churchill Downs vet, said that the colt's prognosis is good. ... Archarcharch will be retired to stud following his recovery from his condylar fracture that happened during the Derby. When Dr. Bramlage was performing the surgery on Archarcharch, he discovered several other soft tissue injuries besides the break, and recommended retirement for the three-year-old. ... The Derby had a full gate of 20 this year, and it looks as if the Preakness will have a full gate of 14. It seems that 6 or 7 of the Derby contenders have expressed interest in running back in the Preakness, plus there are 13 other colts who are also looking to run. Participation will be decided upon earnings of the different horses, as with the Derby.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Local Conditions

Boulder Creek, 14 blocks west of me, 8:15 this morning

The Snyder Creek/Kenosha Pass Fire yesterday

Snowmelt flooding in Grand County