Monday, May 22, 2017

Assorted Photos

Male black-chinned hummingbird

Female black-chinned hummingbird has tongue extended

Baby black-chinned hummingbirds

2017 filly - Sweet Jane is dam, Puzzle is sire

2017 filly - Secret Feather is dam, Riptide is sire

Stallions posturing - Puzzle on left, Neptune on right

My hero, Clint Watts

Bits and Pieces

We pulled our mail in Friday afternoon about 15 minutes after it was delivered.  There was only one piece, addressed to me, and it was from the company we rent our apartment from.  I opened the envelope, turned the oddly folded piece of letter-sized paper over, and my eyes were assaulted by the word "URGENT!" that covered the width of the paper.  There was a letter under it, stating that the company had not received our paper-work to renew our lease and they were giving us a warning before we would have to pay a penalty fee.  We received our letter inviting us to renew on May 6, and we filled out all 25 pages of information and signed and dated it that day.  On Monday, May 8th, we took the paperwork directly to the office and turned it in to the receptionist at the main desk.  She wanted me to fill out four more questions (yes/no answers) that I hadn't marked, because the questions began with, "If you are a student...", which I had marked No.  I called and left several messages Friday afternoon, and Beatrice sent an e-mail. A few minutes ago, I called and got the lady who sent the letter, and for whom I left two messages on Friday.  I stated my name and asked if they had found my paperwork, and she said, "Of course, it's here on my desk."  I ten asked if she needed anything else.  She said we need to give her copies of our 2017 forecast Social Security Statements.  I have made copies of both and we will shortly be delivering them - and asking for a receipt from the reception desk.
   Having listened to a certain man for the past few weeks, I have decided that my hero is now Clinton Watts.  I like the way he moves, thinks before answering questions, and his snarky, sly sense of humor.  Having seen him testify before the Senate Intelligence Committee, and hearing his opinions on multiple news shows, has shown me a man of erudition and thoughtfulness.  I loved his, "Follow the trail of dead Russians" comment, and I also felt for his "Nobody has my back covered" statement.  I would, and will, cover his back at any moment - even though I am not a trained agent....
   The noose seems to be tightening around the 45th Administration's Russian collusionists...  Mike Flynn looks to take a big fall; and having Steve Bannon and Reince Priebus return very early from the first international trip seems odd - of course, Steve Bannon looked as if he expected every Saudi citizen was going to try to kill him. And the two "top ladies" would not wear head scarves in honor of the Saudi's beliefs...  And I can't believe the moron was upset that he couldn't land his helicopter on top of a UNESCO World Heritage site.  Firing James Comey was one of the worst things the orange idiot could have done; let's see what Bob Mueller does to him.  And the nut job just told an Israeli conference that he had "just returned from a trip to the Middle East"......  He really has NO brain.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Cloud Computing Wins Preakness Stakes

The seven-to-five betting favorite, and winner of the Kentucky Derby, Always Dreaming, jumped out of the gate beside Classic Empire and the two colts led the field to the top of the stretch.  Then Always Dreaming began to fade drastically, even though the time for the early Preakness furlongs was slower than the Derby.  It looked like Classic Empire, the second betting choice, and last year's two-year-old champion, would win the race.  Then Cloud Computing, who last raced six weeks ago, came charging up beside Classic Empire.  The two colts battled the last sixteenth of a mile, but Cloud Computing managed to win by a head.  Classic Empire was four and 3/4 lengths ahead of Senior Investment, who was a half-length ahead of Lookin At Lee.  Always Dreaming faded to finish in eighth place.
   A $2 win ticket on Cloud Computing paid $28.80; a $2 place ticket on Classic Empire paid $4.40; and a $2 show ticket on Senior Investment paid $10.20.  A $2 exacta bet paid $98.40; a $2 trifecta bet paid $2,194.60; and a $2 superfecta bet paid $16,325.60.
   The race was completed in 1 minute, 55.98 seconds.  Here is the order of finish, with their Derby finish spots in parenthesis, if applicable:
1     Cloud Computing
2     Classic Empire  (4)
3     Senior Investment
4     Lookin At Lee  (2)
5     Gunnevera   (7)
6     Multiplier
7     Conquest Mo Money
8     Always Dreaming   (1)
9     Hence   (11)
10   Term of Art

  No Triple Crown Champion in 2017....

Saturday, May 20, 2017

Assateague Island Photos

Sunrise on the beach

Bald Eagle on a duck blind

Twilight drink

Assateague Lighthouse

Poco Dot  - filly by Riptide, out of Poco's Starry Night

Suede, who lost her foal in early March

Tuleta Star nursing her filly by Hoppy (aka Little Dolphin)

Black-chinned Hummingbirds

We had a late-May snow storm, here in Boulder, that began Wednesday night and lasted until late Thursday night.  It began with rain and pea-sized hail, then turned to rain.  At 6 in the morning, the precipitation turned into large fluffy snowflakes, but within an hour it was sleet.  Our temperature throughout the day never rose above 31 degrees (F), and the clouds dropped a continuous fall of snow, sleet and rain.  We ended up with a little over five inches of snow; Ward had 38 inches, and Nederland had 28 inches.
   With the three bird feeders filled in the tree below us, and the small free-standing feeder we have on the balcony (besides the water bowl), we watched our feathered friends, along with the squirrels happily munch away all day.  The usual visitors to our balcony are sparrows and finches - and we have pieces of sunflower seeds in their feeder.  (The thistle feeder, and the nuts, berries and seed mixtures are used in the tree hanging feeders.)  Also on the outer corners of the balcony are two solar-powered glass sculptures.  A blue, green and clear glass owl (Wendell) is on the north side, and, in front of my desk window is Penny the penguin.  Her body is blue,head black, face white - and she wears a red winter scarf and Santa hat.
   At 5 p.m. in the midst of the snowstorm, with a temperature of 31 degrees, I was astounded to see a single hummingbird trying to feed from Penny's scarf and hat.  I have always known there are hummingbirds in Colorado - as a matter of fact, there are 11 types that are usually found here in the summer.  I have seen them in the suburbs, in neighborhoods where I house sit, and through open spaces and up in the mountains.  In the two years I have lived in this apartment, I have not seen a hummingbird here.  The hummer returned Friday morning, seeking nectar, again.
   After taking clients to the Denver International Airport yesterday, I stopped and purchased a hummingbird feeder on the way home.  I mixed up the sugar water, and hung the feeder, almost next to my window.  By the time I had walked from the balcony to my bedroom, and sat down at my desk, a hummingbird had appeared and was eating.  I was thrilled!  I kept seeing a single hummingbird all afternoon, and up until 7:30 yesterday evening.
  I was awakened at 5:25 this morning by Nedi, who was in the windowsill and chittering.  The hummingbird spent almost five minutes sipping nectar.  It has made multiple visits since then.  Less than ten minutes ago, a male and female appeared and ate together...  I looked them up in my birder's guide, and found that they are black-chinned hummingbirds.
   Then, too this morning, Beatrice, my room mate, called me into her bedroom, where we could see three deer feeding on the hill behind the apartments.  I took photos, but two had left by the time I returned.  I am now sitting at my desk, awaiting the return of the hummers, so I can "capture" them with my camera....
   And, don't forget - The Preakness Stakes will be run this afternoon at Pimlico Racetrack, outside of Baltimore, Maryland.  Always Dreaming will be following his quest to become a Triple Crown Champion.  There was a heavy rain early this morning on the track, so we will have to see what the footing is like this afternoon/evening...

Thursday, May 18, 2017

New Chincoteague Pony Foals

Tuleta Star bay filly by Hoppy

Calceti'n bay colt by Maverick

Suzy's Sweetheart chestnut colt by Riptide

Marguerite of Assateague's foal with one blue eye by Maverick

Black Star's bay pinto colt by Wild Thing  *

Thetis' pinto colt by Wild Thing  *

White Saddle's buckskin pinto colt by Legacy  *

* The three photos marked with the asterisk are copyrighted by
DSC Photography of Greenbackville, VA.  *

Ten Vie For Black-Eyed Susans

There will be ten colts running in the Preakness Stakes on Saturday.  Half of them ran in the Kentucky Derby, while the other half are "fresh."  Nine of the ten colts were born in Kentucky, with Conquest Mo Money being a New York bred.  Following  are the post positions, name of the colt, (where he finished in the 20 horse Kentucky Derby field,) his morning line betting odds, and the name of his sire:
1     Multiplier                     50 to 1      The Factor
2     Cloud Computing        12 to 1      Maclean's Music
3     Hence  (11)                  20 to 1       Street Boss
4     Always Dreaming  (1)    4 to 5      Bodemeister
5     Classic Empire  (4)        3 to 1       Pioneer of the Nile
6     Gunnevera  (7)             15 to 1       Dialed In
7     Term Of Art                  30 to 1      Tiznow
8     Senior Investment        30 to 1       Discreetly Mine
9     Lookin At Lee  (2)       10 to 1       Lookin At Lucky
10   Conquest Mo Money    15 to 1      Uncle Mo

The post time for the Preakness is 6:48 (EDT); the purse is $1.5 million for the one and three-sixteenths mile race on the main dirt track.

Tuesday, May 16, 2017

Off For a While & The Preakness

The Preakness Stakes will be run Saturday at Old Hilltop, Pimilico Racecourse, outside of Baltimore, Maryland.  Always Dreaming will be facing horses from the Kentucky Derby, as well as several new, and fresher, horses.  I wish him well this Saturday.

  I am just so completely amazed and disturbed by the actions of the current President of the United States that I feel the need for a break from my blog - otherwise, it would be full of angst.  The way the elected leader of our country is acting is completely idiotic; he speaks without thinking of consequences and he lies out of both sides of his mouth.  He makes me ill.  I get up every day and wonder what the stupid bigoted child has done this time.  I'm headed back to my psychiatrist and therapist, thanks to him and his administration.

  I'll be back in a few days.....

Sunday, May 14, 2017

Moms and Babies - Photos

Happy Mothers Day!

One of the interesting things about Mothers Day, for me is the history of the family.  My Mother was born and raised on Chincoteague Island, Virginia, with a few months, here and there over the years, in old New York City near the Fulton Fish Market.  Mom was the second-oldest, and when her Mother died, my Mom raised the two younger kids, so my sister and I were Mom's second set of kids to raise.  Several of the local Chincoteague men asked Mom to marry them, but Mom always said, "We've known each other since we were born.  I love you like a brother, but I can't marry you."  Then she fell in love with a deeply tanned man with reddish-black hair and green eyes from the Naval Air Station on the Mainland, while she was working in the PX.
   My Mother's Mother, Aleda, was wooed as a 15 year-old by a waterman who was a boarder at her grandparents' house across the lane.  I only know a few things about my grandmother - we have a postcard photo of her in a dress and holding a few flowers, and my cousin Aleda looks exactly like our Grandma Aleda...  Aleda died almost 20 years before my birth, due to cancer.  My Mom told several different versions to us girls - she told me that Aleda died from "cancer of the blood," which I thought meant leukemia; she told my sister that Aleda died from cervical cancer; and Mom told her sister, who told her daughters, that Aleda died of ovarian cancer...  I should order her death certificate and find out.   A week after her 16th birthday, Aleda "eloped" to Maryland with my grandfather, and they were married under the Marriage Oak, a huge tree just over the state line...   But we do know that Grandma Aleda had a temper.  Her father took contract jobs through various people and agencies - including the US Coast Guard, who were in charge of running and maintenance on both the Assateague Lighthouse and the Killock Shoal Lighthouse.  Great-grandfather paid my grandfather, his son-in-law and Aleda's husband, a small portion of cash to take care of the lighthouses in his stead.  Grandma Aleda and Cap'n Walt had four children, and scrambled pretty hard to make ends meet.  It was right after the Wall Street Crash in 1929, when Grandma Aleda went to ask her father about payment for the lighthouse care.  Great-grandpa wasn't at home, so Grandma started looking at his ledgers - and found out that her father was keeping three-quarters of what the US Coast Guard was paying for the lighthouse care, while only paying his son-in-law one quarter of the income.  Mom said it took almost a year before Grandma would speak to her father again - and he ended up paying Grandpa 90 percent of the contract money because Grandma said she'd turn him in to the government...   Wow...

Thursday, May 11, 2017

Various Photos

On 8 May, Boulder had high winds and rain - Golden and Evans, CO had hail....

Hail in Evans after the snow plows came by...

Red squirrel

Bald eagle on duck blind

Toby, a yearling Chincoteague pony

2017 Chincoteague filly, by Ajax, out of Dream Catcher

Oooooooo My.....

Oh my scars and freckles!  I have become a cable news junkie!  I got up early yesterday morning and took the bus to care for Pip and Squeak; then I took the bus back home.  By then, it was 8:30, and Bea and I walked the four blocks down to Turley's Kitchen and had breakfast, then walked back home.  We then sat down and made our shopping list for the rest of the month, and set out in Christina's borrowed car.  First we headed to Longmont to do shopping at both Sam's Club and the regular Wal-Mart  - then home, each of us making 6 trips upstairs loaded down with boxes and shopping bags.  We got that put away, then went to McGuckin's Hardware, the Neighborhood Market, and finally Safeway.  Got home and brought that stuff upstairs and put away.  By then it was time to go back to take care of Pip and Squeak; I used Christina's car for that second trip to see the cats.  Then home again - to eat supper and be glued to MSNBC's news and political coverage, until I checked the incoming flight schedule for Denver International, and left the house at 10:30 to go pick up Christina from the airport.  Back home and in bed at 1:30 this morning....  Then Pip and Squeak first thing this morning, again.
   I do not like the fake President, who won a fake election with the help of Russia and Putin.  I hate his guts and am afraid that, at any moment, he might start a nuclear war because he is so completely maniacal and narcissistic.  However, I must say, quite honestly, that because of hos Presidency, I now know a heck of a lot more about our government and exactly how it is supposed to work.  I have done a lot of research that I never thought about before regarding the checks and balances of our governing system, and the precise wording of the United States Constitution, its' amendments, and clauses.  Thanks to the ineptitude of this administration, I now understand our government much better than before.
    I was completely amazed by the firing of FBI Director Comey.  And now the Deputy Attorney General has stated that he is not happy that the White House attributes it's decision to fire Comey to his internal Department of Justice memo.  Apparently, the tiny-handed tangerine tyrant still believes that he is the COO and owner of the United States of America, and that this far-flung nation can be controlled by a 70-year-old fat man with orange skin and Big Bird colored hair.  He is a complete and total joke.  The United States, once a great nation, is now the laughing stock of the universe.  -  All because the Electoral College did NOT do it's job.
   And one last, laughable item -   45 fired Comey on Tuesday night.  Wednesday, he hosted the Russian Foreign Minister and the Russian Ambassador inside the Oval Office.  He did not allow any journalists inside for the meeting, except TASS, the Russian government newspaper.  TASS immediately shared their photos with news agencies around the world - and then the President lost his cool (not that I've ever believed he had any) and claimed that "the Russians lied to us."  What a hoot! - I mean, think about it - here he is, hosting the Russian Ambassador,privately - the man whose connections with Paul Manafort, Mike Flynn, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions caused them to be (a) recused and/or (b) fired....  
    The stupid bigot is totally crazy.

Monday, May 8, 2017

Various Assorted Photos

French President-elect Emmanuel Macron

Caroline Kennedy, President Barack Obama, and Michelle Obama
at the JFK Profile in Courage Award presentation

Lastest new baby (# 28) Sashay Lady and Prince  (sex unknown at the moment)

Yes, indeed!  Step right up - invest $500,000 and receive a visa for 
the United States through the Kushner family...

White House beer party celebration for passing AHCA by 3 votes...

Five Native American tribes worked together with officials for 8 years
to have Bears Ears declared a National Monument

The EPA Administrator just announced he's replacing half of the members
of the Scientific Board of Counselors who oversee testing results.

A Few Personal Observations

I was happy yesterday to learn that Emmanuel Macron was the new President-elect of France, even though the young man was born three years after I graduated from high school, and while I was still in college...
    I missed the first hour of the JFK Profiles in Courage Award presentation last night, but Caroline Kennedy's speech made me laugh and cry.  Then her son, Jack Schlossberg, made me cry.  And, finally, President Obama made me laugh and cry.  I don't know about the first half of the program, but the last hour was truly incredible and extremely moving.  I want to thank everyone involved in that presentation.
   The count of new foals on the southern end of Assateague reached 28 Sunday.  And each and every foal is remarkably good-looking.  One little girl is a little over at the knees, but I'm pretty certain that will straighten out...  And it looks like Surf Queen is pregnant this year.  After the death of Surfer Dude, and the birth of Surfer Princess, she did not have a 2016 foal.  I'm glad she took at least one year off from reproducing.  The thing is, she was running around with almost every stallion on the north end last summer and fall, and then was leading an all girl gang - so who's the daddy?  She is currently with Hoppy...
     Forty-five and his cronies had a little beer party celebration in the White House Rose Garden to celebrate the House of Representatives passing of a "new health care bill"  by three (3 !) votes.  Has America forgotten that the bill now has to go to the Senate for voting, and then to the joint committees, and then back to the House, and again to the Senate, for approval before the tangerine tyrant can sign it into law?  What the heck were they celebrating?  It's something that would equal the weight of a mosquito - and it's just as squashable.
    The orange and yellow pricktator spoke in New York City Friday and was greeted with thousands of protesters.  He didn't even visit his wife or youngest son.  He stayed the weekend in Bedminster, New Jersey, and tweeted that it was "saving the country money."  If he'd stayed in the White House, it would have cost a hell of a lot less, but it was $1.5 million less than a trip to Florida...
    Secretary of the Interior Ryan Zinke has spent the weekend visiting two National Monuments in Utah - Bears Ears and the Grand Stairway-Escalante - to decide on whether or not he'll recommend to rescind the National Monument protection for those two areas.   There is an very rich and large coal deposit in the middle of Grand Staircase- Escalante; and there are multiple oil and natural gas deposits inside Bears Ears.  I bet he'll advocate for mining and drilling - raping the earth, instead of preserving it.
    I am looking forward to Sally Yates testimony before the Senate Judiciary committee this morning about her visit to the White House regarding ex-staffer Michael Flynn.  I hope to hear new and impeachable things from the previous Attorney General.
    I had thought that the antics of the family members of 45 could no longer surprise me - but learning that a few weeks ago, and this weekend too, of the Kushner family's presentations to monied peoples of Beijing, China and Shanghai threw me for a loop.  If any of these people with a great deal of money invested in the Kushner real estate businesses in those cities, they could get a special visa (an EB-5) to come to America.  Of course, one must invest $500,000 for each visa received.  To me, that smacks of buying the right to a visa - not applying for one.
    And, finally, it was announced last night that the new Environmental Protection Agency Administrator, Scott Pruitt, has decided to replace half of the current members of the 18 member Board of Scientific Counselors, which advises EPA's scientific arm on whether the research it does has sufficient rigor and upstanding integrity.  All of the members being dismissed are at the end of serving at least one three-year term, although these are often renewed and not terminated.  And all of those being dismissed had been told in February that their terms would be renewed.  Pruitt says that this is to ensure "a clean break with the Obama administration."  The Republican party and the Koch brothers are trying their best to kill Mother Earth - and she is not replaceable.

Sunday, May 7, 2017

Always Dreaming Wins Kentucky Derby

Always Dreaming, a bay son of Bodemeister, won yesterday's Kentucky Derby in a time of 2 minutes and 3.59 seconds over a sloppy track.  The colt, out of the In Excess (Ire) mare Above Perfection, began the race as the betting favorite.  He hung back, allowing State of Honor to lead for almost 3/4  of a mile, then Always Dreaming moved into another gear for jockey John Velazquez, and won by 2 and 3/4 lengths.  Lookin At Lee finished second, five lengths ahead of Battle of Midway.  A length further back there was a photo for fourth through seventh place.  The Irish-bred colt Thunder Snow, came out of the starting gate slowly, and then began to buck.  He was pulled up by his jockey, but had no injury.
    A $2 win bet on Always Dreaming paid $11.40; a $2 place bet on Lookin At Lee paid $26.60; and a $2 show bet on Battle of Midway paid $20.80.  A $2 exacta bet paid $336.20; a $2 trifecta bet paid $16,594.40; and a $2 superfecta bet paid $151,949.00.
Always Dreaming galloping out after winning the 2017 Kentucky Derby.

The complete order of finish follows:
1     Always Dreaming
2     Lookin At Lee
3     Battle of Midway
4     Classic Empire
5     Practical Joke
6     Tapwrit
7     Gunnevera
8     McCraken
9     Gormley
10   Irish War Cry
11   Hence
12   Untrapped
13   Girvin
14   Patch
15   J Boys Echo
16   Sonneteer
17   Fast and Accurate
18   Irap
19   State of Honor
dnf    Thunder Snow

Saturday, May 6, 2017

Abel Tasman Winning the Kentucky Oaks - Photo

Photo by:  Rick Samuels

At one point in time, Abel Tasman, daughter of Quality Road, was last in the field of fourteen on the sloppy track at Churchill Downs.  She came back with a roar, and won
by one and a half lengths....

Friday, May 5, 2017

Kentucky Oaks Results

Abel Tasman won today's Kentucky Oaks by 1 1/4 lengths in a time of 1 minute and 51.62 seconds over a sloppy track.  Daddy's Lil Darling was second by a length, with Lockdown a half-length in front of Vexatious for third and fourth places.  Abel Tasman paid $20.40 to win; Daddy's Lil Darling paid $11.00 for place; and Lockdown paid $18.40 for show.  A $2 exacta bet paid $203.00; a $2 trifecta bet paid $5,727.60; and a $2 superfecta bet paid $171,110.20.   The full order of finish was:
1     Abel Tasman
2     Daddy's Lil Darling
3     Lockdown
4     Vexatious
5     Salty
6     Sailor's Valentine
7     Tequilita
8     Miss Sky Warrior
9     Ever So Clever
10   Mopotism
11   Paradise Woods
12   Jordan's Henny
13   Wicked Lick
14   Farrell
scratch - Summer Luck

My Favorite Race Horses - Photos

 Man o' War    1917 - 1947

Hyperion   1930 - 1960

Seabiscuit    1933 - 1947

Northern Dancer    1961 - 1990

Forego    1970 - 1997

Ruffian    1972 - 1975

Sunday Silence   1986 - 2002