Saturday, August 31, 2013

A small, horse/hobby-related rant...

Where shall I begin?  I don't want to go too far back or be too irrelevant or your eyes might glaze over, but I do have to touch on the 'beginning' to get to the day that resulted in this post.  And this is just so I can get it off my chest so it won't bug me anymore...I hope.

I started collecting probably around 1977 or 1978, I'm not sure.  I don't even remember how I started collecting, whether it was because I liked horses and saw a Breyer and asked for it or because I'd made a new friend and she had some and because I wanted to be like her I started wanting them.  It doesn't really matter, I think.  I know I already loved horses by the time I got my first Breyer, though, so that is significant to this story.  Remember that.  I've liked horses since I was at least 3 years old so that would've been 1973.  I'll save you the math...I'm 43.  Hahahahaha.  And not that it matters, but I don't live with my mom, she lives with me.  She moved in after my dad died.  I do live with my brother, but he had two roommates when I moved in.  We have a pretty nice 4 bedroom house and we split everything 3 ways.

Okay.  So we've established that I've loved horses for at least 40 years, right?  And I've been collecting for about 38 years.  Now, during that time, I wasn't always in the hobby.  My buying was sporadic in my teens and in my 20s I started live-showing.  In my 30s, however, my involvement was nonexistent.  I just didn't buy any models and I let my subscription to JAH lapse.  I even got rid of most of my models.  I still liked them and I still loved horses, but... So anyway, I think I started collecting again when I was 41.  I'm not sure what re-ignited my interest, but it didn't spark, it FLAMED.  I jumped back in with both feet and was off.

If you've made it this far, I applaud you.  We're in the homestretch.  I've been with my current employer for more than 12 years.  I started as a temp in Risk Clearance then went to Check Processing where I was hired full-time.  After about 3 years my department had to downsize by two so I decided to volunteer to move back to Risk Clearance and that is where I met Malissa.  She was my supervisor.  I worked in Risk Clearance for about 1 1/2 years.  During that time, she became aware of my passion for orca, dolphins and lighthouses, but not horses.  I never mentioned liking horses, although I still did.  After those 1 1/2 years I saw that Check Processing was looking to hire someone due to a retirement.  A couple of my co-workers in RC encouraged me to apply so I went to the CP supervisor and asked him if he would consider me for the job if I applied and he said yes.  So, I applied and I got the job back in CP.  I've been back there for probably 6 years or so and don't plan on going anywhere anytime soon, but that's irrelevant.  I still kept in somewhat touch with Malissa, but when she moved to the Pima Center to become the supervisor of an SPD unit, we occasionally went out to lunch and would often chat in the halls.

Fast forward to this past week.  I was leaving work for the day and encountered her just outside the building as she was coming inside.  We stopped to chat and she asked about the a/c in my car and asked if I had any plans for a new car in my future as she knew of previous car issues I'd had. I told her no because I really wanted to try to go to Kentucky next year.  Of course, she wanted to know what was in Kentucky and I said it was everything horse.  Her response was "oh, so now it's horses?"  That comment made me feel like a child who jumps from one thing to another.  I told her no, it's always been horses and she said that she knew I liked dolphins and "those light stick things".  She said she was surprised, then, that I'd never been there before and encouraged me to go.  It all worked out in the end, but her comment was just so...I don't know.  Condescending isn't the right word, but it's pretty close.  It bugged me, for sure.  Fortunately, I don't have that problem with my current co-workers or supervisor.  When I told my current supervisor of my plans for next summer he was real supportive and recorded the dates I wanted off work in his calendar book so there was an unofficial record of it.  A co-worker of mine has actually been to Breyerfest before because her oldest daughter collects, but that's neither here nor there.

I don't know. The conversation just left me with a bad taste in my mouth and made me like Malissa a little less.  <sigh>.   I know I shouldn't let it get to me and now that I've written about it hopefully I can put it behind me.  Thanks for letting me vent.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Koalas and reptiles...

I like Koalas.  They're not my absolute favorite animal, but I like them.  I've always thought they were neat, but didn't really start "considering" them until my zoo hosted a brother/sister pair from the San Diego Zoo a couple of years ago.  Kobe and Sookie were only here for 5 months, but they made quite an impression on me.  I still don't know why they never came back and it's a total bummer, but for those 5 glorious months we had them.  San Diego has the largest colony of Koalas outside of Australia and their colony is constantly growing.  Yesterday I was reading their blog and there was one about a female named Tonahleah.  She was born at the zoo 4 years ago this month, but she almost didn't make it.  One of her keepers went to check on them and saw that one of their females, Nariah (also Sookie's mom), was in the "birthing position" so she left her alone to do her thing.  A little while later she went back and noticed something tiny and pink on the ground.  When Koalas are born, they're about the size of a jelly bean.  They crawl up their mom's tummy and go inside the pouch where they spend the next 6 months nursing and growing.  Well, for whatever reason Tonahleah fell to the ground instead of crawling up into the pouch.  Fortunately the keeper noticed her and the joey and her mom were rushed to the vet where it was decided they would put the joey into Nariah's pouch and hope for the best.
Luckily, it worked and Tonahleah has grown into a big, healthy koala, who's had 3 joeys of her own. 
Well, in that blog where I found all this out, it was announced that she'd recently given birth.  This will be the first joey born after they moved into their new exhibit space at the zoo so the keepers are particularly excited because, I guess, it means they've settled in and are comfortable in their new surroundings.  The baby won't be visible until early 2014 so maybe, instead of going in December like I'd planned, I'll go in January or February.  We'll see.

This next part is about snakes.  If you don't like snakes then you can just go on about your business.  hahaha.  I'm not a HUGE fan of snakes.  In fact, there's really only one kind I like and that's the Cobra.  Don't ask me why because I couldn't tell you other than they fascinate me.  When I was younger I went with my family to a huge swap meet-type place called Park & Swap and my dad bought this King Cobra statue that was really neat.  Anyway, last year I went on a tour of a place in Scottsdale called the Phoenix Herpetelogical Society.  It's a rescue for reptiles.  All kinds of them from turtles/tortoises to gila monsters to all kinds of snakes to crocs and gators.  We were inside the snake room when I saw what was in one of the terrariums...
A cobra.  His name is Elvis.  What?  Can you think of a better name for a KING?  Hahaha.  This was the first time I'd ever seen a cobra in person and not only that but he had his hood spread.  He didn't seem to like all the people around.  One gal accidentally knocked into his terrarium and I saw him strike out at her.  Of course, he was behind glass so it wasn't any big deal, but it was pretty cool to see.  In addition to Cobras, I also like alligators and crocodiles and PHS has quite a few.  I didn't get to spend much time with them because it was at the end of the tour and I had to leave a little early to get to my next tour, but I did get to see some of them.  I think this is a nile crocodile
When I got home yesterday my mom told me about a story she'd seen where a photographer had his camera snatched while shooting at a crocodile farm and two months later the alligator coughed it up.  The camera was destroyed but the memory card was fine and he recovered a picture of a bunch of alligators where you can see a couple in the foreground then dozens of eyes in the distance.  My mom said all you could see was a bunch of red eyes but as you can see from the photo, that's not entirely accurate
Their eyes aren't red, but they are 'shining'.  Look at them all!  It turns out the camera was missing for 8 months, not the 2 my mom thought she heard, and that the alligator didn't swallow it.  I didn't think it had since it would've known right away it wasn't something it could eat or digest.  My guess is that the gator snatched the camera and tripod after the picture was taken and realized it wasn't food and let go of it.  Somehow the camera, likely courtesy of the strap, got wrapped around his leg where it spent the next 8 months.  One of the keepers at the farm noticed the camera when the gator was out sunning himself and called the photographer he knew it belonged to and the guy got his camera back.  Pretty neat, huh?

Well, it's Friday.  Yay!  I hope everyone has a great weekend!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Not a good way to start the day...

So, this morning I was getting ready for work and I happened to look up at one of my shelf thingies I have a bunch of models on and horror of horrors...
Sorry for the crappy cell phone picture, but that was all I had handy--my cell phone.  Somehow, sometime, my two Roxys fell over and took Mistral Hojris with them, who then conked into Totilas.  I don't know when it happened or even how.  I was running late and didn't have time to check for damages.  I just put them back upright and ran out the door.  Luckily I don't live show anymore (there are none in my area anymore) otherwise I'd be pretty freaked out, but I'm still going to be bummed if there's any "bruising".  <sigh>  That's the second time this has happened, but with a different shelf thingy.  They're not the sturdiest of shelves, but they're sitting on something that is very sturdy so I don't know what happened.  Maybe a car rubbed against it when they were on the dresser to drink water or just lay there.  I'm surprised I didn't hear them falling so I may not have been in the room when it happened.  <sigh>

So, I got my Stablemate shadow box thing.  It came on Tuesday like it was supposed to but I didn't get around to taking a picture until this morning.  Again, please forgive the hideous cell phone picture
My Halloween swap partner's horse is likely in this group, but I'll have to decide which one to send.  I have an aversion to painting over a perfectly good paint job and have thought of alternatives, but we'll see.  I also ordered a couple of things from Amazon for her, which I hope she likes.

Well, I suppose that's it for now.  I get a 3 day weekend this weekend because Labor Day is Monday.  Today my mom and brother, I guess, are going to look at the refrigerators at a nearby Lowe's.  We don't really NEED one, but she wants to go look and my brother has today off.  Mom and I will do our usual grocery shopping on Sunday.  Woohoo!  hahahaha.  I'm going to try to do something productive this weekend, but we'll see if that actually happens.  hahahaha.

Til next time!

Monday, August 26, 2013

Beyond Aggravating!

So, last week I bought the 12 piece Stablemate set from the breyer website
I want the pinto Clydesdale and the Quarter Horse above him and the Standardbred is really starting to grow on me.  Anyway, a couple of days later I checked my bank account and saw they had charged me already so I went to the Breyer site to see if it was going to ship soon and it said the item would be available to ship after September 2nd.  That was a shock because it didn't initially say that and had I known I would have probably looked someplace that had it in stock.  Then a couple of days later I got a UPS notice saying it had shipped and the delivery date is supposed to be August 27th, which is tomorrow.  Well, according to the UPS website, my package is still in New Jersey.  If it's due to be delivered tomorrow I'd expect it to have made more movement by now, wouldn't you?  All UPS items go through Kentucky where their hub is and that hasn't even happened yet.  Did my box get lost after leaving New Jersey?  I sure hope not. 

Hehehe.  No.  I'm not the most patient person when it comes to waiting for packages.

Another thing that is annoying is that last week I saw someone was selling 3 of the 4 Stablemates from 2012 Breyerfest:  Carling, London Pride and Moonraker.  (all photos from idyourbreyer)

The only one they didn't have up was Butter, which was okay because I'm not too crazy about the mold or the color
So I emailed her direct, not through the link on MH$P because that doesn't always work.  Anyway, I asked if the models were still available and i was interested in all 3.  Now, I don't expect an answer right away, but several days went by and there was no response.  The next time I looked the ad was gone.  Okay, fine.  Maybe she sold them or decided to not sell them, but how hard would it really be to respond to an email asking about them and say they're no longer available?  It would take, what, all of 30 seconds.  Initially I really only wanted Moonraker but now I want London Pride and Carling, too.  hahaha.  But if I could only get the 4 of them then I'd take Butter, too, know.  hahaha.

I have this friend in Ohio that was pregnant.  I say "was" because she ended up giving birth on Saturday.  It's funny, though, because I got an email from her on Friday saying how she wished she could go ahead and start her maternity leave, but she was still about a week or so from her due date and she didn't want to start too soon, but she didn't have any motivation to work and there wasn't much for her to do.  Then Saturday she went into labor so she got her wish.  Ella Irene was born Saturday night...This picture was taken a little over an hour ago as they got ready to leave the hospital
I can't have children of my own (I had cancer when I was 38) and I haven't wanted kids since I was 25, but I'm really happy for Sarah and sometimes I think about babies.  But no.  I'm not going to adopt.  hahaha.  I still don't like kids, but every now and then...hahahaha.  Sarah has an almost 2 year old son and two step-dauthers (plus pets) and their family is now complete.  

Well, I'd better get back to work.  It's Monday again.  Oh joy!  hahaha.  I got NOTHING done over the weekend. Well, I did laundry and went grocery shopping.  Big whoop.  Have a great day.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Buy it or try to make it?

I recently started back on Weight Watchers (for the bazillionth time) but I'm doing it on my own, not through meetings or online.  I can't afford either one of them right now so until I can, I want to get a jump start on it.  Anyway, so I have this little points calculator and when I got it, it came packaged in a neat little pouch of bubble wrap.  Well, over the past couple of years the bubble wrap has deflated to nothing and doesn't really provide much protection anymore.  It's not really a fragile item, it's made mostly out of plastic, but I personalized it with a sticker on the outside cover (inside cover, too, but since that's on the inside of the 'lid' I'm not worried)
But if I don't keep the calculator in something, the sticker will get all munched up and I don't want that.  So I decided, for shits and grins, to look on Etsy to see if they had any sort of WW type stuff I could buy and found this cute pouch
It's cute and the seller has different fabrics so I could see if she had one with horses on it or had access to it.  But It's $9.00 and I'm not sure I want to spend that much.  So I'm wondering if I should try to make my own.  I don't have a sewing machine, but I can sew pretty decently by hand.  How hard is it to sew a straight line?  hahaha.  Would it just be better to buy one or should I try to make it myself and hope it comes out?  Or...this just hit me...see if I can find some sort of small pouch in the cosmetics section of Wal Mart or something.  Maybe I should try looking there first.  Or even the sewing area of Michaels might have something I can use.  Yeah.  Maybe I'll try that first. 

So, I've changed my mind about Breyerfest...again.  I've decided to give it a real effort to try to save the money and go.  I have quite some time between now and then to save money and during that time there'll be a couple of months with 3 paychecks in it and then there's taxes in February.  I still get refunds so that'll help.  Of course, if something should happen to my car and I need to fix or replace it, then I'll have the BF money to do that with.  But I really want to try to go.  I want to see Kentucky and meet some of my Blab friends who live on the other side of the country.  And I want to get neat horses first-hand instead of having to try for after-market.  Like Sixes and Sevens.
I've always liked the Cantering Welsh Pony and this guy was part of BF 2012.  I still don't have him but I haven't really been trying to find one lately.  And then there's Moonraker
A cute little stablemate that I've been unsuccessful in finding.  A couple of days ago I found someone who was selling 3 of the 4 from last year and I emailed her, but I haven't gotten a response yet.  I got a Clydesdale SM during the Spring Fling pony swap on Blab this year and I've fallen in love with the mold.  I heard some people say there were some left-overs this year, but since I wasn't there...

Oh well.  Only time will tell if I can go or not.

Happy Wednesday! 

Monday, August 19, 2013

A little late, but...

Okay.  So.  On Tuesday I took the day off from work.  A Mental Health Day, if you will.  I went looking for wild horses, but found none.  Granted, I went earlier than I normally do, but that's okay.  They've been seen that early.  Anyway, I know it's not always a guarantee I'll find them.  Eventually, I decided to go to the Brass Armadillo, which is an antique mall in Phoenix.  I've always heard the ladies I used to show with talk about it and thought it might be a good source of models.  I found a few.  Mostly Classic size and a few Traditionals that I didn't want.  I guess I was looking for that epic find that I couldn't live without.  I found a few real horse saddles.  In good shape, too.  But since I don't have a real horse I don't need a saddle.  I did have a saddle once.  A Billy Cook roping saddle that I won at a PetsMart when Stateline Tack was in some of the stores.  Man, I loved that saddle.  I would've kept it, too, but my truck needed serious repairs and I didn't have the money so my parents bought the saddle from me and put it on consignment at a tack store near where they lived.  Guess what?  The saddle was stolen.  Someone allegedly broke in and stole it.  Why do I say 'allegedly'?  Because my saddle was the ONLY thing taken.  Even the police think it was an inside job.  Oh well.  It was insured, but for less than the worth, but at least it was insured.  But I digress.   I finally find this one...I don't know what to call it.  It's not an area because it was just one place.  It wasn't a booth because the booths were in a different area.  I guess you could call it a locker, even though it didn't have doors and wasn't locked.  Some of the others had those.  But this one didn't.  There were some Breyers in boxes and then this...
Sorry for the crappy cell phone picture.  But it was a box full of Stablemates.  A bunch of different ones and for different prices.  As you can probably imagine, it was difficult to see just what was in there.  I should have stood them all up and sorted them, but for some reason I didn't think to do that.  I just sort of went digging and came away with 5...
(L) 5901 Grulla Pinto 1998
(R) 710897 12 Pc set JC Penney 1997

(L) 410436 Parade of Breeds JC Penney 2008
(R) 5981 4 Pc Gift Pack(?) 2002-2006

(C) 711096 12 Pc Set JC Penney 1996
I knew as soon as I picked one up they were older because they felt different than the current ones.  More solid.  Despite being all jumbled in that box they were in pretty good condition.  I haven't identified who they are yet since that isn't really all that important to me.  I keep thinking about going back and getting some more, but that'll have to wait.  There's one or two more locations of the Brass Armadillo so maybe I'll try one of those instead.  We'll see.

So if you are on Blab and you read the monthly "I've been PIFed" threads you may have already read about this, in which case, you don't have to go any further.  The only thing that'll follow this is a rant about the weather.  hahaha.    Otherwise, read on.  Last Wednesday I came home from work to discover a LARGE box at my spot at the kitchen table and I asked my mom if it was for me.  She brings in the mail each day and puts it at our spots.  Anyway, she said it wasn't hers.  I had NO idea what it could be since I haven't ordered anything.  She suggested it was a horse and I said not likely since I hadn't ordered any and she said maybe it was from one of my "horse friends" (meaning the ones on Blab).  I said I didn't think so since I hadn't participated in the PIF thread in a couple of months and the box felt too light to be a horse.  She disagreed.  I also didn't recognize the address and said I didn't have any "horse friends" in Texas (I'd forgotten Sarah lived in Texas).  So I opened the box and saw the card and that I had been PIFed.
Unexpected PIFs are the best kind because you have NO idea.  Since I hadn't asked for anything in awhile, this was totally unexpected.  I have no clue how they managed to pull it off, the three of them, or where they got the idea to get me a Twill, but it doesn't matter.  I'm quite happy they did.  :)  Over the weekend I took some more pictures of her.

Pretty neat, huh?  And no.  Despite looking like she has texture to her, she doesn't.  That's just part of her paint job.  She doesn't feel any different than any of my other Lady Phase models.   She's definitely the most unusual one.  hahaha.

Well, this past weekend we were under a Severe Heat Advisory and boy did it get hot.  Yuck!  Yesterday it was pretty humid, too, although officially the humidity was only 19%.  It was still very hot and sticky.  I think we broke a record for high temperatures for this time of year.  No fun.  We'd been pretty lucky so far this summer but it looks like that luck ran out.  Hopefully relief is on the horizon and it'll start cooling down.  I hope.

Have a great Monday!

**Update** I have managed to identify my 5 Stablemates.  Wow.  I'm pretty happy.  The condition of them considering the ages is remarkable!

Friday, August 16, 2013

Money Tree...

It's settled.  Either I need to plant me a money tree or I need to remove Stone Horses from my Facebook feed because it just gets me and my checkbook in trouble.  Just a little while ago I was on FB and saw they were having a weekend sale so I went to look.  Big mistake.  BIG.  Huge.  There were several that I want and while I know they have lay-away, I don't like spending that much money on one horse.  I definitely have champagne tastes but on a Smirnoff Ice budget.  Yes, I know the saying is "beer budget" but I don't like beer.  I've always had fairly expensive tastes, but most of the time I'm smart enough to live within my means.  But that doesn't keep me from drooling all over the plastic prettiness...

Good thing the appy below is sold out or I might be tempted to do layaway on him.
This next one...Mad actually a Best Offer which means he'll likely go for oooooodles and oodles of money.
They're all more than $100 and many of them are more than $200.  EEEEK!  And then there's 4 new DAH colors, but I haven't figured out how to order the one I want...chestnut going grey
I'm not real sure that's realistic on anything but an Arabian, but it still looks cool.  But when I bring up the info for the regular bodies it doesn't give this option and I'm afraid of ordering the wrong thing, you know?  And then there's this one...I wish it was Traditional scale but it's Pebbles (stablemate essentially) and there's no way I'm paying that much for something so small! hahahahaa)
<sigh>  Oh well.

During the week I was PIFed a Twill from 3 wonderful women on Blab.  I need to take some good pictures of her and I'll post those on Monday along with the Stablemates I bought at The Brass Armadillo on Tuesday.  I only really have internet access through my iPad mini during weekends and it's a hassle to upload pictures to Blogger that way so I'll wait until Monday when I can do it from work.

So, the other day I got a private message (PM) on Blab from a girl I'd boughten Pay N Go from
I won't go into the reasons why she was selling because that's her business, but she contacted me the other day and asked that if I were ever going to sell this model, could I please give her first chance at him because she never really wanted to sell him to begin with and regrets doing so but it had helped her out at the time.  I told her I'd sell him back to her now if she wanted him so we made arrangements.  Now, I have to find a box to ship him back home in.  I'm hoping he'll fit in one of the Peter Stone boxes I have.  I'm really glad I'm able to send him back to her because he means a lot to her.  Normally I don't like giving up models, but this is a special case, you know?  So, that's how my Saturday will be spent.  At the post office mailing him back.  On Sunday it's our usual grocery shopping trip.  Hurray.  I won't even say I'm going to try to make more halters because when I've said that in the past it's never happened.  hahaha.

I hope everyone, especially my TWO followers (thank you!!!!!!), has a wonderful weekend!

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

New to the herd...

About 2 months ago I ordered my first Design A Horse from the Stone Pony website.  After considering the color options, I did an internet search to make sure the colors/markings I wanted were realistic.  I guess, though, that's a cool thing about the DAH program is that you can get colors and markings that wouldn't necessarily happen in real life.  Of course, if you show your horses you'll want the realism and even though I don't show I still like realism.  Anyway, this is the picture I very loosely based my DAH on...
I knew my model wouldn't look exactly like the above picture, but I was hoping for a nice dapple grey.  Well, I didn't exactly get that.  Oh, it's still a nice dapple grey, but it looks nothing like the above picture.  hahaha.

You can't see his dapples all that well, but trust me, they're there and he's a LOT darker than I was expecting.  Overall, though, I was pretty happy with this guy, who (whom?) I named DHR Silver Sensation, barn name Gypsy (that's the name my mom gave him).  He has some real nice shading and I like the lighter shade mane and tail that is kind of two-toned.  I'm not too happy about the rub on one of his back heels and the hooves kind of blend into the rest of his body color-wise.  I really want the 2013 blaze, but was afraid it wouldn't show up on a lighter colored face like this one and so I went with a star and snip.  I think it suits him, but I'm still waiting for that epic opportunity to get the "perfect" color to put the 2013 blaze on.  I don't think I'll be buying too many DAHs, though, unless it really "talks" to me.

So while I was getting ready to take pictures of Gypsy it occurred to me I had a couple of other horses I hadn't posted photos of.  So here they are.  A couple of months late, but that's better than nothing, right?  First up is Kalahkaari.  I had actually came up with a different name for him, but I didn't write it down so now I don't remember what it was.  hahaha.

And the other was the model I got as a gift last month from a buddy on Blab.  Buttercream is on the Idocus mold and is really neat looking.  I fell in love with him when I saw a picture of him on Blab and put in my signature line that I was looking for one.  Well, Krista saw I wanted one and she had one and decided to gift him to me.
He looks better in person.  I'm not too good with indoor photography.  I'm just so tickled Krista would give him to me, especially since he usually goes for at least $80 on the secondary market.  It was really sweet and generous and hopefully one day soon I can think of some way to return the niceness.

So, yesterday we get an invitation for a meeting in one of the conference rooms.  I didn't look to see who all was invited and just assumed that since it was from my supervisor it would just be my unit.  Imagine my surprise when people from 2 other units were there, too.  The director of our division started off by telling us it was nothing bad and we shouldn't panic.  After talking about room and space and such at our other building, they finally got around to telling us that Operations (my division) will be moving back to the main building.  I was quite surprised.  We have a lease (an expensive lease, at that) with this building until June 2015, but they're going to start transitioning us back to the main campus, which is owned by our parent company.  My unit is expected to make the move in April 2014, but could be moved back sooner than that.  For the most part, I know it's a good thing.  There's underground parking.  A cafe.  It's greener over there and more walker friendly.  It's closer to restaurants and stores.  And we won't feel so cut off from the rest of the company.  I kind of like the building we're at now, but it'll be good to be back at the main building.  A bummer, though, is that I have some friends in a couple of other units and while they'll be moving to the same building, we'll be in different areas so I won't be able to see or talk to them very often.  We won't be that far apart, but there's little chance of running into them in the halls like what happens in the current building.  Oh well.  I guess I'll deal.

The weather yesterday was quite pleasant for early August.  It didn't get above 85 or 86 and was just generally a rather pleasant day weather-wise.  Unfortunately by this time next week it's *supposed* to be back up into the triple digits...109.  Yuck.  But Fall is just around the corner so I'm happy for that.  This summer hasn't been too terribly bad, but I'm still ready for it to be over.

Happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Papago Stables

I actually grew up about 1/2 mile from where I live now, but in a different city.  For many years we had two riding stables close by, Welden's and Papago.  Most of the time we went to Welden's, although I'm not real sure why.  I can remember going on a trail ride for my 8th birthday and riding a horse called April.  And another time we rented horses for 2 hours and rode them to our house and even went through the drive-through window of a liquor store because my dad knew the guy who worked there, but that's not really relevant to this story.  There used to be an old-fashioned Coke machine at Welden's.  The kind that had a door you open and pull a bottle of soda out after paying your 25cents or however much it was back in the late 70s.  My mom, brother and I were watching American Pickers last night and they found a place with an old Coke machine and it reminded me that Welden's used to have one so I decided to look it up on Google.  I couldn't find one exactly how I remembered, but it was a loooooong time ago and I'm sure I'm not remembering it correctly.  Anyway, my brother asked if Welden's was the one that closed (unfortunately, many years ago) and I said yes and that Papago only did boarding now.  He thought they were closed, too, and I said they weren't.  I know they weren't because I still occasionally remembered to look when driving on the freeway that went near it.  I didn't think they did trail rides anymore because it had been a long time since I'd seen any horses out on the trails so I decided to look them up on-line and discovered that not only did they have a website, but they do actually still have trail rides from November through May
 This second picture, I don't know where it was taken as it was never a part of the trail system when I road there, but it looks like a nice place to go.
 The stable is in kind of an odd place now, thanks to the opening of Tempe Town Lake and the nearby freeway.  The below picture shows a short tunnel that runs under Curry Road that connects people on the south side to the north side for equestrians, hikers and cyclists.  Although there's a traffic light not very far to the east of here, this tunnel allows them to just go under the road instead of having to go to the light.
I have many fond moments of riding at Papago.  And a friend's Aunt Michelle used to board her horses there and I often went with Michelle and her two kids, whom I babysat, to the stables to care for the horses.  I also was allowed to go alone by Michelle.  And for a brief period of time I babysat the owner's grandson.  My payment?  Free riding whenever I wanted.  It didn't last long, though.  The 3 year old was a brat and the mother, who'd hired me, was a bit of a flake and would never commit to anything.  Oh well.

Papago also offers riding lessons and boarding.  Their boarding fees seem real reasonable.  For $300 a month you get a covered 12'x20' stall, twice a day feedings, once a day cleaning and bedding.  A real full-service boarding facility.  But then I remembered that the area has a drainage problem so when it rains it can get real muddy and nasty.  There's only one arena for turn-out so your horse doesn't get any exercise unless you come and put it in the round pen and let him run around.  So while it's an affordable place to board (my brother and mom both said I need to get a horse now), it's not a very practical one.  And even though they've covered the stalls, they're still out in the heat.  Yeah.  No.  I don't think I'd keep any horses there.  If I had no other choice I guess I would, but I think I'd look for other options.  hahaha.

The weather today is kind of nice.  A cool breeze.  Heavy clouds.  A little rain.  A taste of what will come in a few months once it's not so hot.  But if the sun has a chance to peek though, it's gonna get sticky!  I hate sticky.  But it was nice to drive to work with my window down.

Well, I guess I'd better get to work.  Gotta earn money to buy that horse!  hahaha. (no, I'm not gonna really buy one)

Monday, August 5, 2013

Looks like no 2014 Breyerfest for me...

I did the math the other day and just for travel expenses it would cost me almost $1,200!  That's airfare, hotel and car rental for 5 days.  That doesn't include food, gas or plastic poneh money plus whatever other things I might want to do like go to the Louisville Zoo and Cincinnati Zoo.  It's a total bummer, for sure, but I've never spent that much on a trip and it makes me nervous spending that amount.  Granted, I have almost a year to save up for it, but that's still an awful lot of money.  If I lived closer or could get either a free plane ticket or maybe share a room with 2 people it would probably be doable, but that's not likely to happen.  Besides, I wouldn't want to spend my whole time at Breyerfest otherwise I could cut down on costs by cutting a day off from my trip.  <sigh>  Part of me, though, says to just reserve a room on the off-chance I could get a discounted plane ticket during one of Southwest's flight sales  And I could go to BF on Friday then maybe the Cinci Zoo on Saturday and L-Ville Zoo Sunday since I'd be flying out of L-Ville.  I don't know.  I have to think about it.  But as of right now, I won't be going.

**eta** I just did the numbers by cutting down one day and it would save me about $300.  More if I'm able to take advantage of Advance Purchase for the hotel I'm thinking of.  But if I do that and it turns out I can't make it, I can't get a refund.  <sigh>  I just need to stick with a decision.

Friday, August 2, 2013

Being broke sucks...or...Darn you, Peter Stone!

I will NOT buy another horse.  I will NOT buy another horse.  I will NOT buy another horse.  I can't afford it.  I can't afford it.  I can't afford it.  I don't need it.  I don't need it.  I don't need it.   !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Have I convinced myself yet?  Nope.  Not likely.  But it was a Peter Stone horse that got me into the trouble I'm in right now.  Why can't I just stay away from the Stone site when I don't have any money?  Why must I torture myself?  The really crappy thing of it is, though, is that they're calling them "overstock" and once they're gone, they're gone so if I don't buy them "now", I'm pretty much screwed.   This is the one I want the most of the two I like.  Just LOOK at the shading on his face!

And I just love the detailing in this one's eyes.  You can kind of see the stripes in the irises.
And then there's this guy...

 Look at the facial markings!  Did I mention I'm a sucker for faces on horses?  Especially the Stone ones.  For being made out of plastic they have a ton of expression on their faces.  <sigh>

But I can't buy any of them because I'm pretty broke right now.  If they're still available next week then I'll see if I can swing the first one since that's my first choice.  If he's no longer available then I'll get the 2nd.  If neither one is available, then that's that because the 3rd one is more than both 1 & 2 put together.  But dangit!  I WANT THEM!!!!!!!!!  DARN YOU, PETER STONE!!!!!!!

Not much going on around here.  Work is being difficult right now.  We're short a couple of people, but we're also kind of slow so I go from periods of tons of work to having nothing.  No big plans for the weekend.  Go tomorrow to get Lottery tickets.  Grocery shopping on Sunday.  Oh boy!    <sigh> I suppose I could work on some projects I've been avoiding.  Or maybe not.  We'll see how I feel about it tomorrow.  hahaha.   I hope everyone has a good weekend.