Wednesday, January 30, 2008
Well, I got over myself. I realized how blessed I am. I am healthy, I have wonderful family and friends who love me, I have a lot of freedom with my travels and work, and I have a wonderful little travel buddy who is always happy to see me. Am I lucky or what? Life is good, and I'm going to try to remind myself of that every single day.
Well, I'm usually happy to see The Staff. Except when she is lagging on getting to work and leaving me with a chicken strip. Or when I find a really, really good smell outside and she yanks me away with the leash.
Monday, January 28, 2008
That's what I did on Saturday because it was such a nice day before the storm hit. Only one problem: I forgot to close the vent before I snapped on the vent cover. Don't ask me how I failed to notice that it was open, except that I think it was getting dark when I put the cover on. So that nice, hard rain that we had Saturday night came through my open vent and collected on my vent cover. Did I notice the sagging vent cover the following morning? No! Imagine my surprise when I started removing the vent cover, only to discover a small pond had formed inside of it. Honestly, sometimes I don't know where my mind goes. But if you ever run across it, please send it home.
It looks like another day off for me. The storm continues, and it's REALLY windy. The motorhome is rocking and rolling, the wood fish in my mobile from Baja are clacking together, and I had to put the TV antenna down. It's a very blustery day.
Wind is not good for the canine olfactory sense. It creates a sort of Tazmanian Devil of smells which are hard to differentiate. It makes tracking very tricky and the location of any danger difficult to pinpoint. Canines don't like wind -- unless they are riding in a car with the window down. Speed makes up for the sensory confusion.
Sunday, January 27, 2008
Here are some photos I took the other day after another storm. The snow level was down quite low, and there were some interesting clouds. If I had Photoshop, I bet I could really make my photos look dramatic.
I guess I'm taking today off. I can't show photos in the rain. This is a special treat, since I never take a weekend day off. Those are usually my best work days. Yesterday I sold a canvas, our highest-priced item, so that will help make up for the lost income today. Work has been going pretty well. This Air Photo job is actually a pretty decent income for a part-time job. I really like the freedom and flexibility it gives me, so I'm glad I found it.
Maybe it's my imagination, but I get the feeling that Rylie might be trying to get rid of me today. Nah, I must be imagining things.
The Staff is deviating from the schedule. She should have left for work by now, which means she would give me a chicken strip, tell me to be a good boy, and that she would see me after work. Where's my chicken strip?
Saturday, January 26, 2008
This morning he woke me up earlier than usual and as soon as we were out the door he started heading to Sparky's place. I put my foot down this time and didn't let him get away with it. The last time we went to Sparky's house he was given another treat by Sparky's owners. I don't want them to think we are just coming by for the treats.
Bingo! Sparky's staff is well trained.
Wednesday, January 23, 2008
There goes The Staff exaggerating again. Sparky's all right, and I'm always happy to see a pal. But The Staff is forgetting what really attracts me to Sparky's place: His owner gave me a biscuit.
Monday, January 21, 2008
On an entirely different and frivolous note, we are awaiting a shipment of dog treats from dog.com. Rylie is completely out of bully sticks and chicken strips. He's down to the Milk Bones, the freeze dried liver, and the Gooberlicious peanut butter treats. Is he spoiled or what?
If I were spoiled, I would have complete access to the treat cupboard.
Saturday, January 19, 2008
Sales have been pretty decent lately, and I meet an interesting assortment of people in my work. Today I met a stunt man, a prison warden and an artist. There are a lot of retired people in Pahrump, many of whom bought land here when it was really cheap with the idea that they would retire here some day.
On our morning walk today Rylie and I ran into Sparky, the bearded collie, in the pet run. We haven't seen Sparky for awhile. I haven't seen Rylie so excited to see another dog since he last saw his old dog group at the park in California. He even tried to get Sparky to play, which is unusual. Rylie and Sparky are the same age, but Sparky is a lot bigger than Rylie. It was good to see Rylie having so much fun socializing. Usually he doesn't seem all that interested in other dogs after the initial greet and sniff.
I'm getting so bored, I'll play with ANYONE at this point.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
Mt. Charleston on a Gray Day
Every day when The Staff comes home from work I give her pants, coat and hands a good sniff. This tells me what she has been up to during the day. For instance, today she was romping around with a middle-aged, miniature poodle with bad teeth and in need of a bath. She also was chewed on by a young, golden retriever puppy who is teething, shedding, and has a tendency to piddle at unfortunate times. The other day there was a bull mastiff who is very unsure of himself and is just getting through the awkward teenage years, and a Queensland heeler who ate canned food for breakfast. The canine olfactory sense makes the evening newspaper unnecessary.
Tuesday, January 15, 2008
The Staff doesn't understand. It's not that I'm letting the Little Squirt be the boss, it's that I'm her big brother and I have to watch out for her. She's also a bit on the skinny side underneath all of that fur, so she could use some extra treats.
Sunday, January 13, 2008
This morning I sold an aerial photograph to a couple who lived on several acres down a dirt road, not far from where the mountain range begins on the northwest side of Pahrump. They have some horses and a couple of large, mixed breed dogs. As we were completing the sales transaction, they told me about a wolf that had appeared in the area a couple of years ago. They think the wolf must have been brought into the area, since Pahrump is not wolf territory. When they saw the wolf, they saw that it had been shot, and that it was unable to hunt for food. They figured that the wolf would die of starvation, so they fed it.
Two years later, the wolf has become a frequent visitor to their property, gets along very well with their two dogs, and even will allow Walter to touch her. It took their horses a year to get used to having the wolf on the property, but now they don't mind. When I came out of their house, Lady, as they have named her, was lying in their driveway. I asked if I could take a picture of her, and Lady obliged.
Walter said that Lady often shows up when she sees a car coming to the house. After she posed for my photograph, she trotted after my car as I traveled down the dirt road. I could see that she still has a bad limp from the gunshot wound.
I felt a small thrill at the sight of her, and felt privileged to be in her presence. I don't know how she got there, but she has definitely overcome some adversity to survive in Pahrump. It got my day off to an excellent start.
Wolves are the tough, "street survivors" of the canine world. Dogs have a lot of respect for wolves, since they do not live the lives of pampered privilege that we do. They tough it out in the wild every day, battling for the next meal. I would definitely defer to Lady. Heck, I defer to Laila, and she's no wolf.
Friday, January 11, 2008
It has a lot of synchronized swimming, and since Cammie used to be a synchronized swimmer, she and I both have an appreciation for the training and discipline that goes into that. But more than that, the athleticism, dancing, gymnastics, diving, trapeze-type stunts, set, costumes, humor and music were amazing. There is so much to see, that you can't possibly take it all in. I could watch this show many times and not get tired of it. But then, I like the water. And it's incredible what they do in the water, in costumes, and high heels. Dancing is enjoyable to watch, but when it's done in a few inches of water -- or multiple feet of water -- it's even more impressive. The best part is, we were sitting about 25 feet from the stage. The theater is round and intimate, with no seat more than 42 feet from the stage. Performers fly up and down from the the very high ceiling, come up out of the water, and enter from all sides of the theater. It was fascinating to watch what these people can do with their bodies, and at such incredible heights and speed. I was awestruck by their strength and coordination, and the beauty of their movement. I highly recommend it.
Besides the show, we had an excellent meal at the Grand Lux Cafe at the Venetian Hotel. I had the petite filet, which virtually melted in my mouth and was ever so tasty. The house salad I ordered was enormous, more along the lines of an entree salad. I shared it with Brian, and there was still a lot left over. Even the bread was good.
We also did a bit of gambling. Cammie had the most luck, and came away with more money than she started with. I decided I had to have a piece of birthday cake (I do love cake), so we shared some molten cake at the Palazzo hotel -- yum!
It was a very fun birthday, and I was so happy to have Cammie and Brian here to celebrate with me.
Las Vegas is not a dog friendly kind of place. The Little Squirt and I hung out at the motorhome and swapped stories about the dumb things our staff have done. We have some doozies.
Monday, January 07, 2008
I spoke with my boss today, and it sounds like I will be extending my stay in Pahrump. There is quite a bit more work to be done here, so I am trying to come to terms with the idea of staying here past January. I'm finding Pahrump to be a bit of a yawner so far, so I will need to find a way to keep myself amused -- and warm. It's chilly here. I think it's the wind that makes it feel colder. I also have been hearing people say that so far this has been a cold winter for Pahrump.
Well, you can't say I didn't warn you.
The Staff is bored with HER itinerary? She should try staying home all day while her staff is at work, with no opposable thumbs. Talk about ho hum. How many different ways can one nap?
Saturday, January 05, 2008
So we had to sit around for an hour waiting for the deputy sheriff to come, only to find out that he wasn't going to write a report anyway, because it happened on private property. Grrr. I wasted a good hour of prime work time. The other guy admitted fault and his insurance company claims rep has already called me, so now all that remains is the hassle and inconvenience of meeting with the claims rep for the damage estimate and then bringing my car into the shop to have it repaired. At least no one was hurt.
So far in 2008 I have had the stomach flu and a car accident. The year is not off to such a good start, but I am hopeful that I've gotten all of the bad stuff out of the way and it will be smooth sailing the rest of the year. Am I being too optimistic?
In the "Small World" department, I sold a photo today to a woman from my home town of Duluth, Minnesota. She was very nice, but then just about everyone from Minnesota is nice, so that was no surprise. I have met two other people from Minnesota in Pahrump, but no one else from Duluth.
Tonight is bath night for Rylie, so I better go drag his reluctant hind end into the water.
Behind the chair, underneath the passenger seat, and on the side of the bed. I'm running out of places to hide. I don't like getting wet to begin with, and then The Staff uses that stinky shampoo. Get me outta here!
Thursday, January 03, 2008
I have nothing else to report, just work, work, work. I think we're supposed to get some rain this weekend, so I won't be able to make any sales in the rain. I can still work locating the homes and writing down the addresses, but no knocking on doors. Hopefully if it does rain, it won't last long. At least it has been a bit warmer the past night or two. It was in the 30's instead of the 20's.
How are those New Year's resolutions working out for you? I'm easing into mine. I decided to get up earlier in the morning so that I have more time for exercise and then can get to work earlier. Yeah, that didn't really work out the past couple of days, but I have gotten as far as setting the alarm. I don't want to rush into this and shock my system, you know.
Yeah, right. The Staff is going to get up at 6:30 a.m. I'll believe that when I see it.
Tuesday, January 01, 2008
Today was a low key day. I had big plans for getting all sorts of things accomplished that I haven't gotten around to doing, like replacing the broken thing-a-ma-bob that holds down the blinds in the bathroom, and figuring out why my bathroom faucet keeps running sometimes when I turn it off. I have never had this type of faucet before, so I'm not familiar with how it works. Well I got some things on my list accomplished, but not those. Ah well, there's always tomorrow.
Well The Staff ruined my party plans last night. She wasn't in bed before midnight like I thought she would be, so I couldn't sneak out to the party. Grrrrr.