Thursday, June 27, 2013

Cell Phones...

Sometimes I really dislike these things!  Currently, I have service with Cricket, but I'm thinking of going back to TracFone.  The big thing is that it's starting to annoy me.  Not necessarily the phone itself, but kind of the company.  I've had the phone
for probably close to a year now, I'm not real sure.  Maybe it's only 6 or 9 months.  hahaha.  But after using the wi-fi hotspot with no problems for the first 4 months, it suddenly stopped working.  So I took it in and was told that I was on the wrong plan for having that capability and I shouldn't be able to use it.  It didn't matter that I told him I'd had no problems up til then, all he cared about was that I shouldn't have been able to use it.  I think they just wanted to charge me extra.  I think I only use 10-20% of my total data plan each month and for that I have to pay almost $64.  It would suck to have to lose my wi-fi hotspot ability, but to not have to pay $64 every month...I think I'm willing to give it up.   A thing I don't like about the phone itself is that if you send even ONE text message to a number or email address it becomes a permanent part of your phone's memory and there is no way to delete it other than re-set the entire phone.  It also doesn't delete pictures, which starts to take up a lot of memory.

I've used TracFone before and I liked it.  Their service doesn't have all the bells and whistles as other providers, but I can live with that.  I can also live with only paying for what I'm using.  I switched because I had a friend I was texting a whole lot with and was using up all my minutes, but we don't text all that much anymore so I think I'm safe in going back to something like TracFone.  I've been looking for one and found this one
WalMart claims the phone doesn't work in my zip code yet Best Buy sells it IN-store.  The only reason why I can think WalMart would say it doesn't work is so they can sell more of their plans or Net10 or something because when you enter your zip code to find phones that do work in your area it comes up with tons of Straight Talk, Net10 and WalMart phones and the only TracFone is shows available in my zip code is a very basic phone.  I find that hard to believe.  Why would Best Buy sell them in store if they didn't work?  I will need to go and check it out, but won't until my current month runs out, which will be July 25th.  Anyway, the TracFone has triple minutes, which means for every minute of airtime you buy you get 3.  Pretty cool.  I really don't want to pay $64 a month anymore.

Well, I'd better get to work.  In our meeting yesterday we discussed internet usage and attendance and I've already broken one of those.  hahahaha.  It's supposed to be super hot this weekend.  Oh joy!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Breyerfest/ Avoiding Blab

I think I'm going to have to take a break for awhile from least until after Breyerfest, then we'll see.  Because BF is so close now, less than a month away, it seems like every other post is about BF.  Initially I found it exciting because I could live through the people who were going, but now it just bums me out and makes me feel excluded with all the talk about meet-ups and what room you're going to be in and all the people who're going to sell stuff at BF.  Some of the models being put up for sale are ones I'd really like, too.  But the straw that broke the camel's back, so to speak, was the thread from a Blabber giving away 3 sets of model-sized halters and fly bonnets.  All you have to do is share your favorite Breyerfest memory.  Well, I've never been and I don't know that I ever will go and to exclude so many people like that makes me unhappy.  People who don't get to go to BF don't have contests open only to people who aren't going.  Oh well.  It's my own feelings and I have to deal with them.  In the meantime, I'll be staying away from Blab until after Breyerfest is over.  It's easier that way...for me, at least.

On the way to work this morning I was going to stop at Jack in the Box to get a Pina Colada Smoothie.  It's been a couple of weeks since I've gotten one and I decided today was a good day.  Except when I pulled into the parking lot I noticed there wasn't a poster on the window for the smoothies.  Nor did I see it listed on the first menu board.  Because of how that particular restaurant's drive-through is, I didn't go to the ordering menu board because I didn't want to get up there and discover there were no Pina Colada Smoothies and have to back out again (that's what happened last week...they were out of the mix).  According to the website they're still available so maybe they're a permanent part of the main menu board.  I don't know.  Maybe I'll check the one near my house.

We're having a unit meeting this afternoon.  It doesn't look like it's going to be very good.  <sigh>  I'm just not having a very good day today.

**eta** And the hits just keep coming.  I decided to go take one last look at Blab and looked at the auction models thread.  Boy am I sorry I did.  Not only is the latest model to be released for preview one I am growing a conga on, but he's a GORGEOUS color.  <sigh>
Now I REALLY need to stay away.  There'll only be one of this guy and there's no way I could ever afford him if he ends up on the secondary market.   Hopefully the color will end up on a regular run.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

NAN/ North American Nationals

When I was still active in live showing, NAN wasn't a major deal like it is now.  Getting a horse qualified for NAN was a perk, but since there weren't that many NAN shows yet it wasn't really all that important.  I'm not real sure how that whole thing goes as I've never shown in a NAN qualifier.  The annual show I used to go to wasn't yet part of NAN before I had to stop so I've never gotten a NAN card or NAN cookie.  I'm sure, had I been able to show, I would've been all over that, though.  Knowing how I was about chasing the ribbons and trophies.  I won a few, sure, but only one time did I ever win what I thought was the grail of my local show.
From my horse showing "career", this is the only item I still display.  The ribbons are in a box somewhere, but I still have the trophy AND the horse that won it.  He's still in decent shape, too.

In either 1995 or 1996 I went to a live show in Las Vegas and saw a lot of neat scene set-ups.  One girl had done a camping scene and put gold fish in a small pond.  I thought that was the coolest thing.  And at that time, it was pretty innovative.  But nowadays, the scenes are so much more involved.  These photos were taken by Martina Vannelli at NAN over this past weekend and are used with her permission

Where did they come up with these ideas?  I was going to share an entry, but changed my mind because it disturbed me too much.  I know it's fake, but I don't like the looks of it.  If you want to see more photos Martina took, check out her Picasa albums.  The disturbing photos are in Day 1.  I don't need to tell you which ones they'll see them and know...

But the NAN show wasn't just about nifty scene set-ups.  There were halter classes as well and here's some of my favorites

I could never afford the nice tack sets so I always showed in halter (without a halter).  A couple of times I did performance, but I don't remember if I even got a ribbon because it was so basic compared to the others.  Oh well.  I'd like to consider getting back into live showing, but Arizona Live ended 2 years ago and that was the only big show here so I don't know where I could show again.  Oh well.

Well, Breyer has announced another web special.  It'll be the third in their Greek mythology they're doing.  I didn't win the first two, Poseidon or Apollo and I don't know if I'll try for the new one.  I'll have to see him first.  Of course there's all sorts of speculation as to which mold it is.  The chance to enter to win won't be until July 2nd and I'm not sure when they'll let us know what it looks like.  Soon, I'm sure.  But this is what they've revealed so far
It's obviously a mold with a very upright neck.  Who knows.  I have no interest at the moment to look through the "Breyer Catalog" and see who it could be.  My first thought was the 5 Gaiter
But the neck muscling doesn't look quite right.  If it IS the Ethereal, I won't be getting it, that's for sure.  Though I might try if there's enough people looking to get him then sell him, but I just don't care for the mold.
The mane really bugs me.  Reminds me of Medusa with her head full of snakes.  No offense to Kathleen Moody.  She's a wonderful lady who I've had the pleasure to know and have had at my house for a "home live show"  The more I look, though, the more I think it could be an Ethereal and he would certainly fit a Greek God more than 5 Gaiter would.  Who knows?  I guess we'll have to wait and see, huh?

I'd better get to work.  It's gonna be a busy day for me.

Saturday, June 22, 2013


Breyerfest is just around the corner.  A month or so away.  I've never been because, quite frankly, the thought of spending that much time in an airplane scares the spit out of me. Plus, it's kind of expensive.  Mainly the airfare.  Every year there's a different theme and this year is Denim & Diamonds.  Initially I wasn't too interested in the theme, but the more I thought of it and likely the abundance of stock horse things that would go with it, I became interested.  So, when someone on Blab posted a thread looking for a third person to share a room with her and another person, I jumped on it.  I would fly to Dallas where they lived and could even stay with her the night I arrived to save on hotel costs plus stay with them again when we got back so I wouldn't have to worry about rushing to the airport.  It sounded perfect and I was getting excited, but then I asked how long they were planning to be gone and the excitement quickly deflated.  I couldn't be away that long.  I have too many responsibilities.

So, now, here we are.  About a month away from Breyerfest and Breyer has been releasing auction models just about every day, it seems.  The Special Runs are pretty nice...

The only mold I collect of those three is the middle one...Lady Phase...but I really like the other two. Initially I wasn't too thrilled about Twill (lady phase) but the more I look at her the more I like her and may just have to try for her on the secondary market. Or see if I can get a buddy on Blab to snag me one. Anyway, it's the auction models that I'm really drooling over. I don't collect either mold, but for these two I'd make an exception
I've seen posts on Blab asking people to bid on the auction models for them, or buying raffle tickets for them, but that would make me nervous. I know most of the people on Blab are honest, but it's my own paranoia that would make me nervous. I am having someone pick me up two of the special Stablemates and that's making me nervous because I don't know her and I've already paid her because she needed the money to buy the One Day Ticket needed to score the Stablemates. It's "only" $50 but still... So, anyway, next year is the 25th anniversary of Breyerfest and I REALLY want to go. Not just for the plastic ponies, but because Kentucky is home to all things horse. Then they also have a couple of zoos and I have totally sucked lately in my zoo travels. If I don't go to Kentucky I can go back to San Francisco or Seattle and have zoos and lighthouses and my lighthouse hunting has severely lacked, too. But then I think how neat it would be to maybe be Kentucky where I finally get to ride again. I don't know. I just don't know. Gaaaaaaah! Well, I hope y'all have a good weekend. No big plans here. Maybe work on my stories a bit. Maybe make a couple of halters. We'll have to see...

Thursday, June 20, 2013

When my mind starts to wander...

I'm not a creative person.  At.  All.  I have a creative mind, but there's a short-circuit somewhere between the creative part of my brain and my hands to execute it.  Except on rare occasions and even then it isn't exactly art museum worthy.  hahaha. 

When I was in high school I was in Study Hall and was bored.  I had a large white cup on my desk and a pen so I started to draw on the cup.  21 Jump Street was a popular TV show at the time and so I drew a picture of a stick figure riding a stick figure horse over a jump with people watching in the background.  The tie-in to the show?  The rider's number was "21" and she was jumping.  Get it?  hahaha.  Stupid, I know.  A friend of mine saw my drawing and said she wished I would get bored more often.

Fast forward to yesterday.  My company is developing a new claims system and we had a demonstration for it yesterday.  We were told to bring only a pen or pencil because we could write notes on our hand-out and also to leave our non-company cell phones behind so we could give them our un-divided attention.  Well, my phone was in my pocket, on vibrate.  No big deal.  I brought my pen but also a drink because I'd been coughing all afternoon and didn't want to disrupt the class.  I wasn't the only one who did, though, and a couple of people also brought notebooks even though we were told not to.  No big deal.  We went over the hand-out and the slide presentation then went back and they went through the hand-out, page by page, to see if anyone had any questions on the different things we'd talked about.  That's when my mind started to wander...
I started out just drawing lines and boxes on this one

This started out as exclamation points because the presenter kept saying "If you have any questions, go ahead and write them down."  It was getting annoying

The logo for my "ranch"  It's much better in my head than here. hahaha
As you can see, I definitely didn't get the artistic gene in my family.  My paternal grandmother painted with oils.  My dad's sister has made a career out of mixed media (mostly painting) and my brother is pretty good, too.  He'd be better if he took classes or something.  My dad had an eye for photography and I've gotten that from him.  My mom used to like short stories and I got that from her.  So I guess I am a little artistic, but not as well as I'd like to be.  I can't draw something and make it look like an actual photo or really realistic.
pencil drawing by Karmel Timmons
Oh well.  I envy those that can do stuff like that and am happy for their talent.

Guess I'd better get to work.  Today is check cutting and I'm already behind on other things.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Wild Horses Pt 2

This is a continuation of the ones I posted yesterday.  Apparently I had them accessible the whole time, but didn't realize it.  Ooops.  Oh well.  hahaha.

 These 2 horses are from the first herd I encountered on Friday.  I really liked the "strawberry roan" (not sure if that's what she is, but...), especially since she came the closest and posed for a couple of photos before walking away

And then there was the chestnut, who got pretty close, but she didn't seem too interested in having her picture taken

My Lady Phase conga is the only large-ish one I have, although my Stone ISHs are rapidly increasing in numbers.  I do, however, have several mini congas.  Very mini.  I've got several that are only 2 members, and a couple that are 3 like San Domingo

and Stud Spider
At one time I had the original San Domingo and Stud Spider models, but gave them away years ago.  It seems to be that the first model in a mold is given that name for the entire mold as a collective in the hobby so even if you don't have the original Stud Spider model you have a conga of the Stud Spider mold since Stud Spider was the first model released on that mold.  I need to get another Stud Spider.  And the black appy Lady Phase because I like black appaloosas.  The Stud Spider mold is one I'd like to increase my conga on, though.

My shoulder is starting to hurt again.  I had problems sleeping Monday night and on Tuesday it was hurting.  I thought maybe it was because the bag I take to work with me is so heavy and I've been wearing it over my shoulder the past few days instead of carrying it by hand.  So I cleaned it out last night and while it's much lighter now and I switched to carrying it on the right, my shoulder is still hurting today.  Not a huge amount, but enough to be noticeable.  Right now it feels like a muscle cramp.   I hope it doesn't get as bad as it did last time.  That was the worst!

Well, I guess that's it.  Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Too many ponies?

Okay. To be fair. Is there really such thing as having too many plastic ponies? Well, yeah. Maybe. Especially if they're starting to crowd you out. hahaha. I don't particularly think I have "too many". I do have quite a few, but not like some of the collections I've seen and I'm thinking seriously of downsizing and just concentrating on a small number to conga, but we'll see. I have a hard time giving things away sometimes. Anyway, I feel like I've been on a buying frenzy lately and they keep showing up. The most recent one arrived yesterday from a store in Virginia via Amazon. It's the ELCR Lady Phase that came out 3 years ago to benefit the Equestrian Land Conservation Resource, which is fighting to protect riding trails and open land for other equestrian activities.  Breyer donated a portion of each sale to the ELCR, which is cool.  This is the first of 2 so far (I have the other one, too)
I think this is my first "swish tail" on this mold and it's definitely my first full-blown glossy (my Totilas is a semi-glossy). I love the satiny feel of the plastic on it. The original Lady Phase had a short tail. Later they came out with a long tail version and then the swish tail. Why didn't I think to take pictures of the different tails? I don't know. But now I have all 3 tail types and my conga is now 7 strong. woohoo! I'm officially out of room on the Lady Phase shelf, though.  These gals are packed in like sardines!
I have a Stone DAH on order, but we won't talk about that one just yet since it'll be awhile before he arrives. There's a couple of others on the Stone website that I really want, but my bank account isn't letting me buy them. hahahaha. But I now have 4 ISH from Stone. Not bad considering I only started collecting them a couple of months ago. Now I think I'm kind of addicted. I had a chance to get 4 more for a good price, but again, the money thing.
Can you tell I have a thing for grey Stones? Only Sleigh Bell isn't grey. hahaha. Gosh, I really need to come up with a better name for those guys.

So on Friday I took my big camera and went "horse hunting". I'd hoped to find the Gila River herd a co-worker keeps talking about, but couldn't and ended up "donating" $10 to the Indian casino down there. So I headed north and encountered two herds. One was right by the road (on the other side of a fence) and had about 8-10 members and the other one was about 2 miles up the road and on a hill. I saw at least 4 but there were likely more since the ones I saw were up on a small hill and when they went down the hill they were hidden from view. It was great. The first herd had a grey-ish one and a strawberry roan while the 2nd one seemed to be made up entirely of bays. Okay, well, for some reason I can't find the pictures of the strawberry roan so that herd will have to wait until tomorrow, but I'll show pictures of the 2nd herd. I didn't get as many good photos of them as they were further away and they didn't stick around very long after I stopped my car.
After that I went in search of some more domesticated ones and found this pair in a corral a couple of miles from my office. At first I just stopped my car in the middle of the road (there was no traffic) and took pictures through the fence then left, but then I got to thinking, why can't I get out and take pictures? I'm not harassing the horses or anything. So I went back and when I pulled off the road I discovered I could shoot them through the fence while staying in my car...less disturbing to the animals and anyone who might be home, no? I really liked the black (or is she super dark brown?) mare
Well, I suppose I should get to work. We're down 2 people. Or is it 3? One was expected but the other two weren't.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Custom Model Horses...

Last week I was going to do this whole post about custom model horses, but then something came up and it never materialized. This one is Take 2 of that original, but on a much lesser scale. I like customs. I prefer Original Finish (OF), but I've seen some awesome customs out there. I even have one myself. Not an awesome one, but it's the only one I have and I've had it since 1992, I think. I bought it at a live show in Oceanside, California and it was made by Darian Buckles. Back then, many customs had hair and were called R/R/H. Mine has hair.
Back then, paint was applied with make-up sponges using the "dab" method and had a rough texture. Nowadays people often use airbrushing or paintbrushes. They were being used to some extent back then, but not as much as they're being used today.  I don't know what mine originally looked like, but it's still a pretty drastic custom.  The show I bought him at, there was another one that had started out as three different horses that were standing and were turned into a lying down mare with udders.  The detail was amazing!  I *think* it was done either by Sarah "Mink" or Laurie Jo Jensen.  I tried taking pictures, but they didn't turn out very well.  Anyway, that brings me to the present.  The other day (yesterday, maybe) I was on Blab and someone posted an ad they'd seen on MH$P for a piece done by Sue Kern.  The model started out as Weather Girl
and ended up a pregnant Arabian mare (not sure what breed WG is)

It looks NOTHING like the original!  It just blows me away what people can do with a plastic horse!  I don't know that I'd want to own one that was such a drastic custom unless it was a portrait piece of my own horse or something like that, but it's still really cool-looking.

I got another visit from FedEx on Saturday.  Again, from Stone.  I'm surprised they showed up two weeks apart from each other when I ordered them the same day and the one I got this past Saturday was the one I'd ordered first.  His name is Chasing Pirates, which I don't like, but at least it's more gender-appropriate than some of the others.  I'll have to give him a new name, of course, but who knows when it'll happen?  I've been saying that since I got Speckled Jelly Bean and he still doesn't have a new name.  Hahaha.  Now I'm waiting for my first DAH, but that'll be awhile.  I should be getting another horse this week, though.  Anyway, here's Chasing Pirates. 
His photo doesn't do him justice.  His dapples are real nice and the paint on his mane is the best I've seen out of all my Stones (no overspray).  But with this horse, my ISH conga has officially spilled onto the shelf below.  Not because I have too many, but because the rest of the ISH shelf contains my Zippo Pine Bar and Roxy mini-congas   I need to do some rearranging or something.

Today is Monday.  I had a 3 day weekend.  I guess it's time to actually do some work.  Darn!  hahaha

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Me and horses...

I'm not sure if I've mentioned this before or not, but I've been riding horses since I was 4 years old so about 39 years, although I haven't ridden since 1999 so I can't say I've ridden for the whole 39 years.  Either way, even 25 years is a lot of time spent in the saddle.  I've ridden at various commercial stables, in a city-run program (got my first fall there), in college (broke my only bone after my 2nd fall ever) and a couple of summer camps.  I even got to ride a police horse once.  So, how is it that despite the massive amount of time I've spent in the saddle, there's only 2...count 'em...TWO photos of me riding?  One was taken at an old west town while on a lead-line pony.  Sorry the picture is blurry but it's a picture of a picture
Don't you just love the fashion from the 70s?  This wasn't the first time I'd ridden...that happened in Minnesota a year earlier when we'd spent a month on a family ranch.  I still remember it like it was yesterday.  Hahaha.  The only other photo of me on a horse was the last time I went riding...for my 29th birthday.  A good friend of mine got me (and her) a 4 hour ride in a nearby mountain range well-known for gold prospecting.  Neither of us had done a ride that long, but we were eager to go and it was probably the best birthday gift I've ever received
I hate that I haven't been able to ride in so long.  I hate that I don't have more pictures of me on horseback.  I know what I need to do to get back into the saddle but I seem helpless to do it.  It's nobody's fault but my own.  My parents got it started when I was a kid and now I don't know how to stop.  I need to because I want to go riding sooooo bad.  <sigh>

So, in a former life I was a HUGE hockey fan.  I went to tons of NHL games and to player appearances and practices.  As a result, I got to know a bunch of the players.  Not entirely on the fan/player level but on a person to person one.  As such, I knew some of their wives and kids as well. Several hockey wives here in Arizona like horses and have horses.  One player and his family are trying to get sort of a horse country club going that would be open to the public.  For $300 a month you get the use of one of their horses and the facilities.  Sort of like having a horse but not have to worry about feed, vet and farrier bills.  At $300/month, though, only e high income people can afford to belong and could likely afford to keep their own horse and not rent one out from someone else.  But if you don't have time to care for a horse but still want to ride whenever you like pretty much then I guess this wouldn't be a bad set-up.

Anyway, there's one hockey wife I know who had aspirations to be an Olympic dressage rider.  She trained with a well-known rider in Idaho.  Bought her own training ranch in Arizona.  Had expensive, maybe Olympic caliber horses.  Her hope was to ride in 2012 but it never happened, although she was long-listed in the early 2000s. Her 18 year old daughter, however, might end up making a future Olympic team. She's been training with Stefan Peters for 6 years now and moved to California to attend college and so she could be closer to training. Recently she went on a horse buying trip to Germany. She's apparently a very accomplished rider and as you can see by these photos, she has good form
I see pictures and read stories about her and can't help but remember her as a 5 year old and her dad was annoyed with her behavior so he "threw" her into the backseat of the car then spent the next several minutes signing autographs. I told him he might want to roll down the window or turn on the air conditioning because she was sitting in a black car in a parking lot. I was surprised by his treatment of her that day. I'll always think of her as that child, though, even if she makes the Olympics. It would be cool to know actually know someone on the US Equestrian Team.