Thursday, September 30, 2010

VW & Muse

What a week! I rarely go out and this week I will be going to two concerts, two nights in a row!

A long time ago, I posted this about the band, Vampire Weekend. Thursday night they will play at the Hard Rock Casino Showroom and my daughter and I will be there along with 1400 other people. I'm so excited.

From their new album, the song Horchata

And then on Friday night, my son and I will go see Muse live!! They have been called the loudest live rock band ever. I have loved them for years and they finally made it big last year, here in America. This concert has been sold out for ages. I bought tickets right away, back in April. I sure wish I'd bought a few extra. just kidding. not.

Here is their recent "breakthrough" song, Uprising.

Can you tell why this is one of my favorite songs? Listen to the very beginning of Knights of Cydonia.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Hey dirty!

My horses love to take mud baths, all except Yalla!, that is. However, last night, I was amazed to see my little princess covered in caked mud and all the other horses mostly clean. I just had to take pictures!

She seems to have gotten a generous sprinkling of hay on her back too. lol. 

Hey dirty - song: Candidate, artist: David Bowie, album: Aladdin Sane extras

Bowie video day (The Man Who Sold the World)

David Bowie live in 2003, A Reality Tour

This is the only Bowie song I ever hear on the radio nowadays and it's because it was covered by Nirvana during their MTV Unplugged show, unless I listen to the oldies stations. Such a pity.

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Sunday Stills (9-26-10 "S")

Todays challenge is pictures using the "S" word and NO archives. Follow me as I take a field trip to the barn.

 Ssnap dragons
 Sslop (Ssugar beet pulp mash)
 Sscout and Ssandy
Sscout, Ssandy, a Sstable and a Sshadow all in one!
Enough of mine! Go here for some more really fantastic photo links.

Sunday - song: Sunday, artist: David Bowie, album: Heathen

Friday, September 24, 2010

Then you jump back down to the rooftops

Albuquerque does not have many tall buildings in the downtown area. But there are a few. One of them, the New Mexico Bank and Trust, better known as the Gold Building (because it is on Gold Avenue) is 14 stories tall. This morning there was a Special Olympics charity event called Over the Edge which allowed certain people to rappel down the building. One of my coworkers was fortunate enough to do it. We closed the office for about an hour this morning and the five of us, and his wife, went to cheer him on. He strapped on a special climbing harness and a helmet and, after a practice rappel from the two story garage next door, he went up to the rooftop, while we watched from the street.

They rappelled off the building two at a time. He is on the left at the rooftop getting ready to jump off backwards. That is supposed to be the hardest part. Once you go off, the rest is easy, or so they say. There are spotters at the bottom holding the ropes and special safety devices to ensure the climbers are safe on the way down.
My coworker used to rock climb as a youth so I'll bet this was a piece of cake for him. He began getting into the groove, jumping off and releasing the rope
 until he began going down too fast and the safety catch on the ropes stopped him short about thirty feet up.
 By the time he could get the release to open, the other rappeller had caught up with him. I told him afterwards that I'll bet he just wanted to spend more time up there because he was coming down so fast. lol. Here they are trying not to break the windows. Our guy is wearing the black shirt.

I took my camera with me this morning, intending to photograph the event with closeups of their terrified faces, hehee, but unfortunately, my camera was not working for me. For some reason, it will turn on and the screen is black and then I can't turn it off. Uh, oh!  so I could only get these pictures from my cellphone. One of the other girls took a video of the event but it is still on her phone. It really looked like great fun.
Would you do it, given the chance? I think I would!

Then you jump back down to the rooftops - song: It ain't Easy, artist: David Bowie, album: TRAFOZSATSFM

Friday Foto

Monday, September 20, 2010

When it's good, it's really good, and when it's bad I go to pieces

One day last week my son fed the horses in the late afternoon before I got home from work so that I could ride in the evening. Usually, when I get home 6:30ish they are so hungry that all I can do is feed them. Thursday night however, they were finishing up their dinner when I came home. I quickly changed clothes and went out to the barn.

I haltered and led Yalla! out of the arena and tied her up to a post outside the barn while I groomed and saddled Scout inside the barn. I figured it would be good training for her to grow a little patience; outside, alone. Lately, she has turned into such a little devil. She is going through the  'terrible yearlings' or something. I realize that a lot of it has to do with her doting "alpha" mother and her inherited herd position but I'm wondering what to do about it? She terrorizes Nadia and bullies Scout, kicking out at them whenever she is displeased or feeling extra feisty. And she's doing it to me too. She is still very friendly, although she may be a bit too forward, always pushing in if I am petting and talking to the other horses. She loves to be hugged and rubbed all over but I am always wary of her. Actually, I think one should never let their guard down around a young horse because they are so unpredictable. Sometimes, she gets a whim and takes off, kicking out as she goes. She's even kicked out at me. I try to always keep something in my hands now when I go in to her because I don't want her to accidentally kick me. She only kicks out randomly, and I don't think she intends to hurt me, but it can get dangerous. I have read that a yearling often goes through this stage of testing her dominance over others. Unfortunately, I can't seem to "get her" to put her in her place because I never have the crop in my hands when she chooses to do it. I can see it in her eyes when she is going to kick out as she wheels around but usually there's not enough warning to stop her when I'm trying to get out of her way. I yell at her and if I could I'd whip her, but I don't want to be directly behind her at the time. I really hope it's a passing phase and she outgrows it soon but I wonder what I can do. She only does this when she's loose and it's so random that I really can't prepare and prevent it.

Okay. so anyway, I think I need to give her attitude adjustment and show her that I can control her. That's one of the reasons why I chose to tie her up away from everybody else. She pawed a bit and wheeled back and forth a few times but she is also learning to stand quietly. I want her to be able to tie up easily.

Any other ideas?

When Scout was ready to go, I put Yalla! back out into the arena with Annie. Then I mounted Scout and we rode out through the gate to the field behind my house. Sandy was hanging around the barn with me and she came along when we rode out. I was half expecting a really bad ride because Scout has been getting very buddy sour this past summer. He gets anxious and neighs back to the girls when I ride him out and he becomes very unpredictable. On this night however, he was a perfect gentleman. Maybe it was because Sandy was company, or he was feeling well fed. I had run all the horses earlier, before I saddled up so, on a whim, figuring he was already warmed up, I broke all my rules about warming up for ten minutes, and just trotted and cantered out from the field next to the barn. Maybe that actually calmed him down. Then we walked and walked and sometimes I'd ask for a trot or a canter. He responded well and then easily settled down to his nice, fast paced, 'trails' walk. Usually, he has to hustle to keep up with Nadia so he's learned to pick up the pace a bit.

 I don't know why he was so good, but it was wonderful. We could hear the girls back at the barn calling to us, er, him. He'd prick his ears and just walk along pleasantly; relaxed and quiet. Sandy would run to keep up and then take off after a rabbit. Then she'd come tearing back through the brush to us and he'd give a little half-hearted spook. Sandy sometimes followed right at Scout's heels and once she was out front about ten feet and stopped. We almost ran her over. It was great fun to go riding with my horse and my dog again. Many years ago, I would ride with my Dalmatian, Cassidy, another stray that adopted us, running along beside, in front, or behind the horse and I.

I didn't have my camera along so, alas, no pictures. We rode around the back forty until dark, a good hour or so, going down all the side roads back and forth. There's actually one very large field with trees, and two side roads so that we could switch directions and reroute without backtracking. Not once did Scout get antsy or want to hurry back to the barn although Sandy was acting rather winded after we trotted and cantered.

I brought Scout back to the barn and unsaddled him. Then I brushed him down - no sweat- and noticed how he was shedding some of the new hair he's been growing. It's cold at night here already. Then I gave all the horses some treats and turned him out with the others. All in all, it was a very good night.

When it's good, it's really good, and when it's bad I go to pieces - song: Candidate, artist: David Bowie, album: Diamond Dogs

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Sunday Stills (9-19-10 Flags)

Today's Sunday Stills challenge is flags. 
They present both the American and the Canadian flags at the Arabian Nationals.

I love the background for the winners at the Scottsdale Arabian Horse Show. 

My neighbors regularly fly the American flag

Annie has both a flag flying at her head and a "flagged" tail.

We drove under this huge flag earlier this year when we were headed out of town as we followed the funeral procession route of our former Governor, Bruce King.

We saw these prayer flags at the top of Wheeler Peak, the tallest mountain in New Mexico.

Here is a rival for those high altitude mountaintop prayer flags. This one flys off from the balloon fiesta in the opening ceremony.

For more Sunday Stills, please check here.

Sunday - song: Sunday, artist: David Bowie, album: Heathen

Across his bike and he's away!

This is crazy! A few years ago, during the Tour de France bicycle race, a horse jumps his fence and races along. I love it!

Across his bike and he's away! - song: Uncle Arthur, artist: David Bowie, album: David Bowie

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Though we're Strangers til Now

After taking her to the vet's office to look for a microchip and not finding any, we decided to keep her, sort of. I still check the lost dog ads but more and more I'm hoping there won't be one. I haven't put a collar on her yet and I still need to take her to the vet for shots but I think she's ours now. I spoke with one of my neighbors and she seems to think the dog was living nearby. She said she saw her when she walked her dogs in another neighborhood. If so, maybe she has two homes now. I wonder. I do know Sandy is very happy living with us. She is always right outside the door: morning, noon, and night. When I walk Buddha, she comes along with us and loves to roll on her back in the grass. She runs and plays with us now too. She gets along fine with Buddha and she has an "understanding" with the cats. The other night I threw down a bunch of popcorn for Buddha. Popcorn is his favorite food and he shared with Sandy. They both were running around the room picking up all the popcorn pieces side by side. 

Always, she runs down the driveway to greet us when we drive up. She is very well behaved when we bring her inside and we've been bringing her inside more and more. Winter is coming fast and she's going to need  protection from the cold. We put a dog bed on the front porch and she sleeps there for now but as it gets colder I expect she'll be spending more time inside. She's been very well behaved every time she comes in. But she's ready to go out whenever I open the door. Sometimes she runs off into the fields and I wonder where she's going. But I know she'll be back. That's how it is with strays. They don't run away when they decide to adopt you. I had a "stray" Dalmatian for ten years.

Sandy is coming to the barn with me now too. The first time she went out there, I was chasing the horses around the arena. She started chasing them too. I yelled at her and she quit and stood over by me. Now, she stands around with the horses but doesn't bother them. Yalla! is very curious of her and Sandy is happy to sniff and be sniffed. 

A few weeks ago, she was barking at one of my other neighbors when he came over to talk to me. I had seen her barking at him at other times too. I thought, "that won't do. She needs to be friends with all my neighbors or they'll call the dog police on us." So, I went over and talked with him and told him her name. He called her over and eventually she warmed up to him and let him pet her. I asked if she was a nuisance and he said no and that clearly she was our new dog. I agreed with him.

The only negative I've come across with her is that she smells doggy. I'm not used to that because although Buddha has bad teeth and bad breath he doesn't smell like a dog. Sandy's coat is very thick and wirey and I've often seen her standing in the rain, enjoying it.

Often, as I drive off, I'll see her sitting in the middle of our long driveway as if to say, "this is my place". And I think to myself, "yes, it is".

Though we're Strangers til Now - song: As the World Falls Down, artist: David Bowie, album: Labyrinth

Monday, September 13, 2010

She wants the Young American, part II

The richest Quarter Horse race in the world is run every Labor Day in beautiful Ruidoso Downs, New Mexico, and I was there!

Although getting to the track was quite a story, the day progressed, and it was finally time for the running of the All American Futurity.

All day, the paddock area was nearly empty of spectators. Most people couldn't even go down there. However, at the time of the All American Futurity saddle up, everybody who was somebody was there in the paddock area. Of course not just anybody could go there. That's another perk of the $25,000 Turf Club pass.

The infield was packed with people. I was afraid the observation deck was going to collapse.
Unfortunately, I wasn't tall enough to get this whole sign. I believe it says 1,000,000 (winner's prize) or maybe 2,050,000 (total prize money).

Hmmm, that could have been me on that hill watching from the backside...
There was a virtual sea of cowboy hats.
I found a spot by the old winner's circle where the professional photographers stood. Can you imagine, having a split second or two to get the ultimate photograph, as the horses race by, and your job is depending on it?  I'm glad I take pictures for fun. 

This dressy lady photographer from the AQHA was probably looking forward to the after parties.

She was wearing some really awesome boots!

As the horses were led out, I tried to get a picture of each one.

#1- JLs Mr. Bigtime (favorite) and #2 Jd Baccarat

#3 - Miss Racy Jess
#4 - Prospect to the Top (My SIL put $2 to win on this one)

#5 - Dm Streakin thru Fire (I put a quinella box on #5 & #6 for my son and his friend)

#6 Make Me Fly 

#7 Dominyun (My mom bet $2 to win) and #8 Cuz Iba Okey

#9 Mr. Piloto (I bet $2 to show on this one. I figured with all the other bets we placed for winners I'd settle for third.) He was the horse with the slowest qualifying time and the last horse in the race since #10 scratched.

It seemed like forever for them to go around the track, warm up, and load into the starting gates. While I was waiting for the race to begin, the people behind me were discussing how one horse had been purchased for $98,000, another for 100,000, and another for a mere $5,000. I don't remember which ones they were though. Crazy, huh?
And then they were off! They flashed by but I managed to snap a couple of pictures.

They raced to the finish line and I really couldn't tell you who won. I went inside to my mom and they kept replaying the race. There was an inquiry because several horses bumped at the beginning and there was a photo finish at the end.

Everyone waited in suspense. Then it was announced: 9 - 1 - 7. Too bad we didn't bet a show on Dominyun and a win on Mr. Piloto. He paid $46.60 on a $2 bet. Because I bet to show, I won $8.40 and my mom didn't win anything on Dominyun.

Mr. Piloto won $1,000,000 and JLs Mr. Bigtime won $750,000. Each horse won something all the way down to the tenth (scratched) horse who was awarded $50,000. In all, $2,050,000 in prize money was awarded to the horses entered in the race.

Here's a video of the race. Be prepared; it's 10 minutes long and there are some commercials. The race is in the first couple of minutes however and then there are interviews with the jockey and the trainer.

ITG-AA Futurity Recap 2010 from SureBet on Vimeo.

But that's not the end of our adventure. We figured the crowds would begin leaving right after the big race so we stayed and watched the next race. There was an accident in the parking lot so the shuttles couldn't get through. So we people watched. You should have seen the lines for the valet parking!

This lady security guard was quite the character! She raced over to the people walking out carrying alcoholic drinks and started chatting with them, putting her arm around them even, to tell them they had to leave the drink on the premises. We saw a lot of drinks downed in a hurry. I wouldn't want to mess with her!
There was also quite the display of footwear.

The in fashion for men nowadays is bling, lots of it, as evidenced by this man's belt. It's too bad the picture didn't turn out. From the roughest looking cowboys to the well-heeled socialites, we saw all everything.

Finally, after waiting about an hour, the shuttles came by, filled up with people, and left. We didn't even bother to fight the crowds to try and get on. I wonder how many people were actually there at the races? We didn't pay any admission fee so there was really no way of counting the people. I guess they could tally refreshment sales and bets but that still won't account for the actual attendance. Whew, it was a lot!

We got on with the next round of shuttles. The shuttle was half empty, because by now, lots of people had already walked to their cars. The shuttles took us down through the barns back to the parking lot because of the backed up traffic, so here's some exclusives.

This dark photo is the walkway up to the track from the barn area. I took it from the other side of the bus and through the window so you'll have to excuse the poor quality.

Finally, the shuttle let us out at the top of the hill and I walked down to my car. Then I drove to the top and  loaded my mom and her walker. She began telling me about a pickup truck that turned the corner too sharp coming out of the field into the roadway and hitting the post at the corner. Wouldn't you know it?

I did the same damn thing! My poor LOLA!!!

What good is it to cry over though? The damage was done and at least the car was still drivable and we didn't get hurt.

On the way home, along the back roads, I was driving over sixty-five for a time and a truck and horse trailer passed me going about eighty. I thought about how crazy he was and how easily they could wreck. I slowed down when I saw at least three deer standing in the shadows of my headlights at different times. I was terrified that one would jump out in front of us. I worried about the stupid truck and horse trailer too. Some time later, I passed him by because he had stopped in a pull out area along the side of the road. I wondered what happened and if he'd had a close scare. Towards home, I drove at least 35 miles with nary a car in either direction. Boy, was that strange! What a long, eventful day it was. We finally got home about 10:30PM.

She want the Young Americans - song: Young Americans, artist: David Bowie, album: Young Americans