Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Here I go...deviating again!

Normally I finish a blog post talking about the weather, but today I'm going to start with the weather.  I woke up this morning and went in search of the current temperature.  Three news channels said it was 56 degrees so on my way out the door, after checking one last news channel (it had been on commercial break), I put on my jacket and walked outside to...warm.  Not warm warm, but certainly not 56 degrees cold.  I was disappointed to say the least.  I'm anxious for the cold weather to start and the freezing cold air conditioning in my office doesn't count.  My biggest gripe about living in the desert...possibly my only the weather.  No, I take that back.  It isn't the only gripe.  The other one is that it's not near the ocean or a large body of water and so there's no lighthouses.

Ooooo.  What a wonderful segue into my next subject.  No, folks, that wasn't planned.  hahaha.  There are lots of interesting and unique lighthouses out there, but probably none more so than Sullivan's Island in South Carolina.  Activated in 1962, it was one of the last major lighthouse built by the government and has quite an interesting shape.

It resembles an air traffic control tower more than a lighthouse, but it's triangular shape serves a very important purpose.  With its point facing the ocean, this lighthouse can withstand winds of up to 125 miles per hour and has, fortunately, been able to withstand every storm that has been thrown at it.  It's the only "square" lighthouse in the United States, but it's also the only one with an elevator.  I'd love to visit it one day.  Harbour Lights made a sculpture out of it, but it's hard to come by and when it came out I wasn't collecting them and since Harbour Lights is no longer in business, they're even harder to get.

I'm having problems.  I really want to go to northern California this summer and do a lighthouse tour, but I keep thinking about San Diego and how it's been more than a year...almost 2 years...since I've been there and I'm really missing it.  I haven't made any firm plans for anything so right now it's just all in my head, which is bad enough.  hahaha.

Yay!  I'm going to talk about horses!  My main favorite colors are paint, appaloosa and bay, but I'm very particular about the kind of bay I like.  I don't dislike the other colors, but hey, it's good to have preferences, right?  It's part of what's so great being an American...the right to choose.  Anyway, recently someone posted a picture on Facebook of a gorgeous horse that I just went nuts over
Reining In Diamonds---Shining C Grulla Horses
I'm not totally crazy about the bald face, but I love the soft grey and the two-toned mane.  I think she (he?) is just beautiful and would love to have a horse that color.  It kind of reminds me of a Weimaraner dog, the coat color.  **ETA** Thanks to one of my followers, Alyssa M,  I now know the beauty above is Reining In Diamonds aka Cricket of Shining C Grulla Horses.  A beautiful mare who is currently in foal to Black Tie Gunner.  But it sent me in search of other Grulla colored horses and while I couldn't find any that looked quite that nice, I did find some other cool-looking ones...or at least ones their owners are calling Grulla...

The second horse doesn't appear to have a dorsal stripe and the other three aren't real apparent.  And I don't know, but I think I'd call #4 a liver chestnut or seal bay more than a Grullo, but I'm not expert.  I'm not real familiar with color genetics in animals, more people and I'm hardly an expert with that.  But #4 looks like it has a faint dorsal strip so it could be a Grulla but I'm still leaning towards seal bay.

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

Friday, October 25, 2013

New Breyer Collector Club Horse...

 Okay, so I guess I lied when I said my next post was going to be about lighthouses again, but new stuff about horses always trumps everything else.  hahahaha

Now, I'm not real sure about the details on this guy, but I know that I must have him...
He's the 2014 Collector's Club exclusive, but I don't know exactly what that means.  Will he only be up for grabs through a drawing?  Or will he be available to anyone in the club who wants him?  I definitely hope it's the latter since I conga this mold.  Okay, my conga only contains two models on the mold, but that's neither here nor there.  The dapples look nicely done and I love the little snip on his nose.  At least...I *think* it's a male.  I *think* there's something there that's supposed to be there, but it's kind of difficult to say for 100% certainty. 

Well, that's it for today.  It's Friday.  Yay!  No plans for the weekend other than grocery shopping on Sunday.  The temperature has warmed up to the 90s again.  Ugh!

I hope everyone has a good weekend.

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Time for a bit of a deviation...does that make me a deviant? hahahaha

Mostly I talk about horses, both real and model, on my blog but today I want to talk about another passion of mine...lighthouses.
1st Order Fresnel Lens

2nd Order Fresnel aka Clamshell
 Unlike with horses, I can't exactly say I've liked lighthouses since the "beginning of time".  In fact, I can't pinpoint when I started liking them or even why I started liking them.  I know that around 2002 I met a girl at an NHL player appearance and it turned out she liked lighthouses and that may have sparked an interest or a renewed interest.  I can't say for sure, but I know that I like them.  I guess it doesn't really matter why I like them, huh?  Some things, though, are nice to know because it's a pretty big hobby for me...going lighthouse hunting.  I also collect the statues, although I haven't gotten any in awhile and unfortunately the company that made them closed up shop a couple of years ago so the owners could retire.  In 2004 I visited my first lighthouse in person.  Even though I'd been to San Diego many times, I had yet to visit either of theirs and it would be another year or two after the February 2004 trip to the Bay Area of northern California to finally see them.  I only got to see a couple of the ones in NorCal, unfortunately, due to my traveling companion not wanting to do much of anything except sit in our hotel room, watch TV and eat "gold fishies" and while without her I wouldn't have been able to make the trip at all, it was a bit of a disappointment.

In September 2004 I went on my first lighthouse hunting trip.  Well, it wasn't just for lighthouses, but also to return to where I was born and to go on a whale-watching cruise and see orca (killer whales) in the wild.  I did get to see some of the lighthouses of Puget Sound and the Straits of Juan de Fuca, but it was all from boats.  Hahaha.  The one lighthouse I had the potential to see in person and on dry land, Alki Point, I kept getting lost trying to get to it.

Since that first trip in 2004, I've seen maybe a total of...10-12 lighthouses, but they've all been on the West Coast.  Not that it matters where they are.  Hahaha.  I've never been to the East Coast or the Gulf Coast or anything.  Not because I don't want to but because of the length of a flight to get there.  I'd LOVE to see the lighthouses in New England, but that's not likely to happen.  If my before-mentioned lighthouse friend gets married and invites me to her wedding then I'll get a chance to see some of the North Carolina and Virginia lighthouses, but again, that's not likely to happen.  Not because I don't think she'll get married, but because we're not really in a place right now where she'd even invite me.

But I digress.  Lighthouses come in a variety of shapes and heights.  Something that is popular to photograph is the stairs inside when the lighthouse is open to tours.  Some lights are still active Coast Guard bases and are closed to the public while others are owned and operated by a private group and have tours all the time and then some lights are a combination of the two.  So when you're able to actually go inside the tower and climb the stairs, it's popular to take pictures.  Short lighthouses, like what are mostly found on the West Coast due to it's terrain, have shorter stairways
Point Fermin, San Pedro, CA

Old Point Loma, San Diego, CA
and taller lighthouses have long staircases...dizzying staircases...
Bodie Island--North Carolina

Currituck--North Carolina

Hunting Island---South Carolina

The stairways are as unique and varied as the lighthouses themselves.  None of the above photos were taken by me, but I have been inside and photographed Point Fermin and Old Point Loma, I just don't have them accessible right now as they're on an external hard drive and I don't have computer abilities at home anymore to get photos off of it whenever I want to.

Well, that's it for now.  I know this post wasn't very exciting, but I wanted to blog about something other than horses.  My next blog post will likely be about lighthouses again with some of my own pictures and tales, but I'll also put in a little bit of horse talk since that's probably why most of you read my blog.  :-)

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Weekend tragedy of the plastic kind...

I don't like doing laundry.  I never have and I doubt I ever will.  I don't do anyone else's laundry except my own and I do it as little as possible.  I have enough clothes to go 3 weeks without doing any, but my mom and I have a pretty good system where we alternate Saturdays.  My brother usually does his on Sundays.  Anyway, this past Saturday was my turn, as I likely mentioned last week.  I did my first load and when I finished hanging stuff up in my closet I left the door open because I knew I'd need to get into it again in about 45 minutes and my door isn't the easiest to manipulate.  Well, that turned out to be a mistake.  Big.  Huge.

When I brought my clothes basket it with the second load, I bumped into the closet door and it went crashing down  (sorry for the horribly dark picture)
If you look, you'll see two cats...or, one cat and part of a cat.  The closet door landed on my desk chair and often there's a cat on that chair.  I was very fortunately that there wasn't.  That would have been devastating.  But they were okay.  But that wasn't it.  After bumping into the closet door I also bumped into my dresser.  Water from the cats' water glass sloshed onto the dresser (the mug is on top of the dresser) and the dresser bumped into one of my two horse shelf units and down they came...
Big Chex To Cash fell about two feet onto several of my lighthouse sculptures and my hurricane glass from Rainforest Cafe in Las Vegas.  I heard something break.  It was glass-sounding so I knew it was the hurricane glass but I knew there would be damage to Chex because a couple of the sculptures he landed on had pointy tops.  I was afraid to look.  So I didn't.  Not right away anyway.  Initially I thought the only casualties were Chex and my top row of horses, which include Topsails Rien Maker, Bet Yer Blue Boons, Constellation, Lil Ricky Rocker and Zips Chocolate Chip
I left them where they were and put up my clothes, but then I saw the shelf from a different angle and saw I'd had a double-domino
This one hurt the most.  That is the majority of my Lady Phase conga.  Seeing them slumped over made me feel ill.  Literally.  I got a headache and my tummy started to hurt.  It would be 7 hours before I could bring myself to investigate the damages.  Fortunately, Chex only received some scratches and paint scuffs from the lighthouse sculptures.  One of my LP models got a scratch that was about an inch long.  Not a deep scratch where you could really even feel it, but it's there.  I think because they were packed in so tight and had the "poles" on the sides, that's what kept them from falling over entirely.  A few of my Stablemates fell over on the other shelf, but none of the bigger ones did, which I'm grateful for since my Stone ISH conga is there along with my Ravel and Kalahkaari "congas".  I don't like them more than the Lady Phases, but they're more money.  Boy am I glad I don't collect china or resin.  hahaha.

There was more I wanted to write about, but I can't remember now and I need to get to work.  It's Monday and I have plenty to do so I should probably do it.  I hope everyone has a great day!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Blab's Secret Santa and the new PC release...

So, sign ups have begun for the Secret Santa on Blab.  Last year I missed sign ups by a day or two and have been looking forward to it all year, but now that it's getting started, I don't know if I want to join.  I haven't been spending as much time on Blab lately and if I joined SS I would have to visit regularly in case someone posted a message to ask me questions.  Plus, I would have to post questions to ask what my partner might be interested in getting.  That part isn't exactly a requirement but it helps in finding out what your recipient might like and since I'm a huge fan of buying stuff my recipient really wants I'd want to make sure to find that sort of thing out.  I have a few days to decide what I'm going to do, but right now I'm thinking I'm not going to do it.  It would, though, be nice to get a Christmas present.  I don't get any anymore except what I buy myself and so it would be fun.  And it would be nice to buy stuff for someone and knowing exactly what that person wants.  We'll see.

The new Premiere Club model has been released.  I'm not in the PC but I really want this guy...
It's a new mold and they already have plans on a regular run color for him, too, but I also want this one.  Problem is, I'm not in the Premiere Club.  It looks like there's a very noticeable line of overspray along his crest, but I can overlook that for this one.  I already posted on Blab that I'd be willing to buy him if someone wants to stay in the club but doesn't want this model but I don't have much hope in getting one.  Not right away anyway.  I got the Kalahkaari after market and for a somewhat reasonable price but I'd prefer to get him at cost.

Today is laundry day.  Oh joy.  I also need to mail out my spooky swap.  I can't believe I ended up waiting until the deadline to mail it out.  There's that procrastination hard at work again.  Hahaha

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

I'm in total surprise/shock/amazement/etc!!!!!!

Yesterday I was nosing about on the inter-webs and while following different links I found an image of some orca whales in front of a whale watching boat
The boat immediately looked familiar and so I enlarged it on the website and discovered that it was, in fact, the boat I'd done my whale watching trip on back in 2004 in the San Juan Islands, WA.  I decided to save the photo and maybe have it printed and put it in my scrapbook from that trip as I didn't have any pictures of the boat.  Well, today I was looking through my saved photos on my computer and was actually going to delete this one but I thought, just for shits and giggles, wouldn't it be amazing if I was actually on that boat?  So, I opened the image in Paint and enlarged it and just started at the bow of the boat and worked my way backward because I was all over the boat that day.  Well, guess what?  I am IN the photo!!!!!!!
I circled me in red.  I mean, what are the odds!  You may be wondering how I can know it's me.  Well, the size is right.  The way I stand and hold my camera are right.  The clothing would have been similar, if not identical, to what I was wearing during that trip.  I just can't believe it.  A chance photo taken by someone on another whale watching boat.  Island Adventures doesn't even use the Island Explorer II anymore.  I'm so glad I decided to look closer at the picture before deleting it.

Very cool, huh?

My new phone has been delivered today.  I'm glad FedEx didn't make me wait until tomorrow, but there's still no reason they couldn't have done it yesterday.  But anyway, I got an email a few minutes ago telling me it had been delivered.  It's already activated and set up.  All I have to do is turn it on and do a couple of "housekeeping" things on it and then I'll be good to go.  I get unlimited talk/text/data for only $19 (+tax) per month.  The phone is a Motorola Defy XT.  Next month they're releasing the Moto X, but I won't buy that for awhile.  A little too expensive for my tastes, even with a $100 rebate on the Defy XT.

Well, I guess I should get back to work.  Well, I'm on my lunch break but I only have 5 minutes left and there's other things I need to do.  I just wanted to share how exciting it was to find this picture from 2004.

Monday, October 7, 2013

I can haz?

I've been wanting to share these pictures since last week, but haven't really gotten around to it.  I found them on the Pinterest board for Breyer horses.  I don't use Pinterest, but I had gotten an email about something and it showed some tiny thumbnails related to stuff on Pinterest that looked interesting so I checked it out.  Anyway, the "pins" said something about these rooms being perfect for a horse crazy little girl, but how about a horse crazy big girl?  I mean, who wouldn't want any of these rooms?

The barn room is a little more Western-y for my tastes, but I've always wanted this type of bed...where the bed is elevated and there's a desk or something beneath you.  Even as an adult I wouldn't mind an adult-sized version.  My favorite is probably the first one, although I'd probably have to figure some way to permanent attach the saddle to the footboard or I would likely be picking it up off the floor ever morning because I kicked it off.  Similarly with the jump headboard in the last picture.  I hope the rails are secured in the cups so they can't be knocked off.  I don't think your housemates would appreciate being awoken in the middle of the night by that loud "bonging" noise a rail makes when it hits the ground.  hahahaha.  The top picture sort of reminds me of a door cover I used to have that my dad gave me for Christmas one year.  It was a horse behind a stall door with its head sticking out and covered the entire door.  Man, I loved that thing!  When we moved to another house I asked if I could take it with me and luckily our new landlord didn't mind.  Unfortunately, when we moved out of that house I was moving into my great-aunt's house and then into an apartment so I could no longer keep it.  I was bummed.

Last week I mentioned about the closing of the Southern Nevada Zoological Park/Las Vegas Zoo and said an alligator went to the Phoenix Herpetelogical Society and I believe I mentioned an Otter had gone to Bearizona, but didn't know what the Phoenix Zoo took in.  I found out a few days ago they received 6 animals.  2 Patagonian Cavies (a very large south american rodent) 2 other rodent-type animals and 2 Chinese Alligators.

 The Alligators were on loan to the LV Zoo from two other facilities so The Phoenix Zoo sent one of the Alligators back to where he'd come from and worked out a loan agreement with the other facility to keep the 2nd Alligator.  I imagine he'll be placed in the former home of the Komodo Dragons until the new babies are big enough to move there.

My weekend went too fast.  The weather was very nice.  On Saturday I did laundry and on Sunday my mom and I did our weekly grocery shopping.  Then my mom and brother went to a semi-family thing across town.  I call it "semi-family" because there were people we were related to (aunt and cousin and her two kids) but mostly people we weren't related to except sort of by marriage, I guess (aunt's husband and his mom/brother/sister/etc).  I didn't want to go so I stayed home and had the house to myself for several wonderful hours.  I don't often get the house to myself on a weekend day.  My mom also went to breakfast at IHOP yesterday before shopping.  It was pretty good, but I'm looking forward to our Denny's to re-opening. 

Now, to close this off, I want to vent.  Last week I had to re-up my Straight Talk and was unable to.  I tried on the website and I tried calling Customer Service, but they told me my bank wouldn't allow the charge, which was a bunch of BS.  So I hung up on them and ordered a Republic Wireless phone.  My brother has had it for several months and has tried to get me to switch to it, too, but I was reluctant.  Now we get to the gripe.  I ordered it on Friday and got a notice that it shipped on Friday and would have a delivery date of Wednesday.  Well, by Saturday it was in Phoenix and now, apparently, it's going to sit for the next 3 days until it's delivered on Wednesday.  Tell me, what is the purpose of that?  It's in Phoenix.  Send it on to Tempe and let it be delivered to me.  I keep checking the tracking number in hopes that they deliver it today, but so far...:(  Grumble grumble.  I try not to be too tied into my electronic devices, but I don't like not having a phone.  <sigh>  Sometimes technology really bites!

I hope everyone has a good day.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

New issue of JAH/Just About Horses and other stuff...

So, yesterday I got an email from Reeves/Breyer telling me that the new issue of JAH would be shipping soon and to make sure my address was correct.  I saw the email on my cell phone so I didn't really pay much attention other than to think "Cool".  Then I went on Blab and saw they were talking about it and were referring to how neat the cover looked.  Huh?  I hadn't seen any cover picture.  So I went back to my email and looked.  It's pretty darn cool, if you ask me!
The model is the new RCMP on Big Ben, which is really cool.  I have a personal connection to police horses so I'm glad they released Trooper (a retired Canadian police horse) and now this one.  Unfortunately, the doll and tack don't come with the model and I think that's a shame since it makes the whole thing look so much better.  I'm surprised they didn't think to release it as a whole set-up like they did with the Queen's Guard.  They could make much more money because they could charge a higher price.  Anyway, I'm looking forward to getting the magazine to see what other goodies it holds.  I will then be sending it and last year's issue to a blabber in California who isn't a member of the Collector Club.  She wants to pay for shipping, but we'll see.  It won't cost all that much to ship and so I want to just give it to her.  I don't know when the magazine will arrive so we have time to sort that all out.

So, recently I found out that the Southern Nevada Zoological Park (aka Las Vegas Zoo) had closed its doors for good after its 3 keepers resigned.
The owner is a retired Las Vegas Metropolitan police officer and apparently didn't give the keepers what they needed to adequately care for the animals.  The USDA tried to inspect the facility recently and the owner wouldn't let them in.  Said they needed a warrant to inspect the facility.  Uhm.  No.  If you're an animal facility you can be inspected without a warrant.  Come on.  I'm sure it wouldn't have been hard to get one with the cooperation of the former employees, but they were able to still close the place down.  I've been there before and it's not a good place.  There were chickens and pigeons EVERYWHERE.  They outnumbered the regular zoo animals.  It was a rather sad place, really, and I'm not at all disappointed the place closed.  Unfortunately, several animals died after it shut down due to stress and no food or adequate care.  The remaining animals have all been sent or are waiting to be sent to other facilities, including this guy...
His name is Sweetness (after Walter Payton of Chicago Bears fame) and he's an American Alligator.  He was rescued by the Phoenix Herpetological Society in Scottsdale, AZ.  Unfortunately he won't be staying.  He'll hang out here for a few weeks then be moved on to a facility in South Carolina.  I'm bummed about that, but I'll get over it.  Apparently the LV Zoo's otter went to Bearizona in Williams, AZ and an animal went to the Phoenix Zoo, but PHS didn't say which animal went there.  I know it wasn't the lion Maniac Girl since she went to the Lion Habitat Ranch in Henderson, NV and the Phoenix Zoo doesn't house Barbary Apes or Binturongs or Fossas.   Maybe it'll be mentioned on Facebook.

Back to horses...I don't spend much time around training stables so I don't know if this is really the norm or not, but it definitely is out there, in my opinion.  A couple of months ago a young American rider went to Germany in search of a horse.  She found one and spent a couple of months in Germany while they got to know each other.  The horse then was imported to the United States where she now lives at the training facility of a well-known Dressage rider, which is where the young rider trains in hopes of making the next Olympics.  At the very least she's aiming for the Pan American Games in 2015.  Anyway, in reading her Twitter page I encountered this picture
Yes, folks, you are seeing correctly.  A horse standing under a heat lamp.  Yes, it does get a little chilly in San Diego County in the morning, but not chilly enough to warrant a heat lamp.  And certainly not on the day this was taken!   I get cold easily and all the times I've been to San Diego never once did I wish I had a huge heat lamp hanging above me.  Hahaha.    I wonder if the horse had a heat lamp in Germany, where it DOES get really cold...and snows!  Who knows?  But she's definitely a pampered equine now.

Well, I guess I'd better get to work.