Friday, October 31, 2014

Could it really be...?

Anybody who has followed my blog or even read it off and on probably know I love Cheetahs.  I'm a huge Cheetah nut!  Whenever I go to the San Diego Zoo Wild Animal Park (or, Safari Park as they're now calling themselves, but I still call them the Wild Animal Park or WAP for short) I always spend most of my time at the Okavango Outpost, which is where the 3 Cheetah live.  I won't go into a big ol' story about the history of the litter of 4, but will just say that my passion for this African Spotted cat really intensified when I took a behind-the-scenes tour at WAP and not only had an (non-physical) interaction with Pombe, but I also heard a Cheetah purr for the first time.  Yes, Cheetahs purr just like a domestic cat.  That is the main difference between Big Cats and Small Cats.  Big Cats include Lions, Tigers, Jaguars and Leopards and they can roar but not purr while Small Cats such as Mountain Lions and Cheetahs can purr but not roar.  And boy can a Cheetah purr LOUD.  They also like to lick anybody close enough to them.  Anyway, 3 of the 4 sisters born in one litter lived on exhibit at WAP while the 4th one lived at the breeding center.  Cheetahs tend to be nervous and excitable cats and Makena didn't like being out on exhibit so she was raised separate from her sisters.  Then Pombe started to separate herself from Etana and Moyo so it was decided she should move to the breeding center as well and possibly start having babies of her own.  To date, neither one has had any babies to my knowledge.  So, until recently I thought it was still Etana and Moyo on exhibit but then I saw a cat named Lindiwe mentioned and there's also a litter of 4 kittens.
I have yet to be able to find out any information on them other than that they were born about 4 months ago and there's 2 boys and 2 girls.  I don't know who their mom is or anything else because the information hasn't been put on the internet about them and I haven't been there in about 3 years or so (I don't always like making the 30 minute drive from San Diego to Escondido) so I haven't been able to ask anyone about them.  I was supposed to go to San Diego tomorrow for a couple of days, but had to cancel that trip but now that I have a good car, I'm going to try to go in February before my membership expires.  We'll have to wait and see, though.  But that's still about, what, 3 months off?  And these 4 little ones will change quite a bit in that time.

But that's not all on the Cheetah front.  A few months ago my local zoo lost both of their males due to old age.  First Ratel died from either heart failure or myocardial fibrosis and then his brother Juma

Friday, October 24, 2014

house call...?

On Wednesday I did something rather impulsive and bought a new car.  It's a brick red 2014 Nissan Versa Note.  I often get to feeling wreckless and end up buying something I proba ly shouldn't,  but this is the first time I've boughten something so...expensive.  it's my first brand new car (well, 'new used' it was a rental) and in between freaking out over how much it's going to cost me, I'm excited over the freedom it will give me.

the dealership has already taken my car off the website so I had to get this side shot from Google images.

Regular readers of my blog know a little about the problems I had with my past car...I could only go local places and never somewhere that had steep inclines.  So every winter I was left hoping it would snow at a low enough elevation so I could go 'play', but more often than not I was left bummed because I couldn't get to where the snow was without renting a car, which usually meant I stayed home.  Now I can go to Flagstaff and play in the snow.  Now I can go to zoos and wild animal sanctuaries that are further away and require drivi g on roads with steep inclines.  Now I can drive to San Diego or Las Vegas and not have to worry about the costs of flying then renting a car.  I can go visit my closest friend (since 3rd grade) who only lives 6 hours away in Southern Utah.  I don't know how often I will do any of that, but the point is, now I CAN.

But the new car isn't without the moment, at least.  I got a security system installed.  And now I'm waiting for the technician dude to come see what's wrong with it.  Yes, you read that right.  He's coming to my house to look at it.  How is that for service?  It's not that the alarm doesn't work because it does...just not when it's supposed to and it does work when it isn't.   I've driven cars before with those keyless entries before.  If you want to unlock the doors, you hit the 'unlock' button.  Same with locking the doors, you push the 'lock' button..aaaaand that's where the problem is.  When I push the 'lock' button it not only locks but it also makes the alarm go off so you have to quickly unlock the door then start the car to get it to stop.  And now, the alarm is also going off when you unlock the doors.  Ohhh, ot right away, no.  That would be too easy.  No, it waits until you're inside before going off so it can take glee in deafening you, all the while laughing at your stupidity for not knowing how it's supposed to work.  Yes.  My new car is mocking me.  So now I'm waiting for the alarm dude to show up and hopefully figire it out so I won't have to take it in to the dealership on Monday.  I have already taken the day off since at the time the alarm dude and I hadn't made arrangements for him to come by so if he can get it figured out tonight that leaves my Monday I may just drive down to the zoo in Tucson...something I've been wanting to do for almost a year.., ever since they rescued the two Grizzly Bears from Californià.  They also have a 3 week old African Elephant calf and some lion cubs.  So hopefully the alarm will get figured out tonight.  He should be here anytime, depending on traffic.

In other news, I got an email from Breyer for the 2015 Premier Club.  Because I had unknowingly let my Collector Club membership to expire and renewed it last week, I am elegible to join for the first time ever without having to re-renew my Collector Club membership.   I'm sorely tempted to join this year because the first models are pretty neat
Who doesnt love a black Paint Horse, especially this flashy?  The problem is, I dont know if I can afford the club now that I have car payments staring me in the face again.  And while I like the Traditional size models, it's mostly the Stablemate I'm interested in...
The adult SM is Chrome, the new mold introduced at the 2013 Breyerfest.  I only have Chrome because Bourbon Street is too low of a run for me to be able to afford, but I really want this one.  Unfortunately, the cost of it would be on top of the cost for the big ones.  <sigh>  Yes, there are always people willing to buy and sell, guess is this version of Chrome will come with a pretty penny on the secondary market and until I can get a pattern established between my car payments, slightly higher insurance cost and my paychecks, I'm going to have to be very careful what I spend my money on, which really sucks, but hey, I have a new car.  A reliable car.  And that's the most important thing of this, right?

Well, the alarm guy is here and one of my cats is DEMANDING attention so I guess I should sign off.  I hope everyone has a good weekend.  Tomorrow I am going to do my first horse hunt in my new car...with air conditioning, I might add...then test it on some steeper inclined roads to see how it performs.  It's only a 4 cylinder engine but it has this CVT transmission which is supposed to give it better performance.

Until next time..

**update** the alarm guy accidentally put in the wrong voltage and that's why it was misbehaving.  He fixed that and now the alarm only sounds when it when someone is trying to steal it.  Good thing the battery will shut off if the car is started without the programmed key.  What awesome service!  And he said I can call him anytime I have a question or issue.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

What. A. Day!!!

It started early this morning and ended late afternoon.  In between I went horse hunting...didn't see streak has ended at 4 successful Tractor Supply Company for the first time ever (they just recently opened a couple of stores here)

I'm surprised they sell saddle pads, girths and bridles but no saddles... I wonder why...?  Anyway, I think this is the first time I've ever been someplace that actually had horse blankets
It was a pretty neat store.  I bought three magazines and the TSC exclusive model Travis.  He's my first model on the Carrick mold.

From Tractor Supply I headed back to my horse area for a quick search...coming up empty again...then went and had lunch.  With a full and happy tummy I went to the car dealership and that's when things went "horribly wrong"...stay tuned for more details.

Saturday, October 18, 2014

It's a random stuff kind of day...

After getting my laundry started this morning I went outside with the dogs so they could get rid of some of their puppy energy.  We found out yesterday that Dyna weighs 66lbs and Harley is 75lbs.  75 pounds!  And they're still growing!  Greater Swiss Mountain dogs can weigh up to 150 pounds but hopefully they'll take more after the Labrador part of them.  It was nice sitting outside with them.  The temperature was only about 63 or so.

Yesterday, the ban in Arizona on same sex marriage was ruled unconstitutional and so now it's allowed.  I grew up having several gay friends and it makes me happy that they can now marry the person they love and can finally enjoy many of the benefits of heterosexual couples, which is what most same sex couples have wanted.  The same rights that they couldn't have because they weren't married.  Also, while he doesn't agree with the ruling, the state Attorney General will not file an appeal.  He said it would be unethical and a waste of tax-payer money.  There are now 31 states that allow same sex marriage.  I don't know that it'll ever be allowed in all 50 states, but you never know.

So yesterday I went to Blab.  I don't go there very often anymore, for reasons I won't get into here since some people there visit my blog, but I went yesterday.  There was a thread about the new 2015 Breyers were starting to be revealed, but mostly it was about the new Collector Club program and the annual exclusive model.  I got last year's model, Rajah, and I will get the 2015 one.  It's a pretty palomino paint on the Latigo mold
I can't wait!  My membership had expired back in June so by renewing after August I am now eligible to join the Premier and/or Vintage clubs should I choose to do so and I won't have to re-new a 2 month old Collector Club membership to do so.  Also, the cover of JAH was shown and it's guessed to be the 2014 edition
Jennifer B. from Braymere Custom Saddlery made the tack.  So talented.  This is her 2nd JAH cover in a row.  The model itself is also creating quite a buzz.  It's the Carrick mold, but on a color that hasnt been released yet and people are wondering if this is the first regular run release.  I hope so.  It's a great color.  The email sent out about the new Collector Club said that there would be another event like Passage to the Pacific and Big Easy Bash will be in the Fall of 2015.  Nobody knows where it will be, but if it's on this side/half of the country I may see if I can go.  I guess I would need to decide how far I'd be willing to travel and go from there.  Colorado.  California.  Washington.  Oregon. Utah.  New Mexico.  Texas.  All places I'd easily be able to go to.  I'd have to give up my San Francisco lighthouse/zoo trip in the Summer of 2015, but I think I'd be willing to do that.  But if it's further east such as Illinois, Minnesota,  Florida etc then the cost would be too much.  I'll likely be making car payments again so I'd be limited on how far I can travel due to cost.  Hopefully,  though, it'll be on this side of the country since BEB was on the East Coast.   We will just have to wait and see, I guess.

So, this morning on my Facebook there was a post by St Augustine Lighthouse that I kind of wish I hadn't seen.  A winery in Florida created a special bottle and a portion of the sales will go to the preservation society for the lighthouse.  I don't care about the wine, I want the bottle!

Pretty neat, huh?  I looked at the winery's website to see if they have online sales and they do, but they dont ship to Arizona.  Waaaaaa!  That's not fair!!!!  I wish i knew someone in Florida that could get me a bottle and mail it to me, but i don't.   Besides, if there's some kind of state law about shipping to Arizona I wouldn't want it to be confiscated.  Here's a picture of St Augustine Lighthouse, just because
Today is Opening Day for Turf Paradise, our local Thoroughbred race track.  It's their 59th yer.  Pretty cool, for sure, but I think I've mentioned before that I don't watch or support horse racing anymore.  The track is givjng free stuff away, but nothing that would make me say "wow! I need that!"

The new riding stable at Saguaro Lake Ranch is now open.  Today is their open house.  I thought about going, but decided not to.  Why?  I don't know.   I have my laundry to do and I don't really like going places on laundry days.  Silly, I know, but I never claimed to be a totally rational person.  I'm a red-headed Pollack...i can hve my quirks.  Hahahaha.

Well, I guess that's it for now.  I hope everyone has a good weekend.

Friday, October 10, 2014

Horses...real and plastic

So, a couple of weeks ago I had plans to go to a Quarter Horse show, but my health had other ideas and so I didn't go.  At around the same time I was starting to get annoyed with the way my iPad mini kept freezing up when I was doing stuff on the Internet so I started looking at what was available.  My first 'tablet' was a nook wifi+30 but all you could do on it besides read books we to order more books from Barnes & Noble.  Only a short time later, maybe a month or so, they released the nook color.  I was happy with the e-reader I had so I didn't give it much more than a passing look.  But then I decided I wanted my e-reader to be more than just a wy to read so I sold Jethro to a girl at work and bought Leroy, the nook color.  I was happy as a clam with Leroy and even bought a special SD card that turned him into a full-blown Android tablet.  Leroy and I had a happy almost 3 years together, but then that little SD card started to slow him down and I bought Abby, my iPad mini.  Abby was fun.  Spunky.  We hit it off right away and I was wondering why I hadn't bought one sooner.  She cost more than I'd spent on my other two combined, but she was totally worth it...until recently.  So when she started freezing up on me I began looking around and decided to see what Barnes & Noble had these days.  I know they'd had the nook HD and HD+, but those came out around the time I bought the iPad mini and since the SD card was currently available that was compatible, I wasn't interested.  So on the B&N website I saw they were advertising the Samsung Galaxy Tab 4 nook (nook is always lowercase letters).  Could it be?  A real live Android Android tablet from B&N that you didn't need that little card?  I'd believe I when I saw it so I went to the local store and picked one up.  I knew I'd know within a couple of minutes if it would be something useful to me was.  Unfortunately the sales lady who'd been helping me had run off to check some people out so I was left to stand there and try not to pass out while I sweated buckets in an air conditioned store.  Yeah.  Probably not the smartest thing to do, but I came home with...Sammie...and a new case.  I haven't decided what to do with Abby yet.  I can still read on her and maybe play some games, but her battery runs out so quickly now that I'd have to pretty much keep her plugged in all the time.  Anyway, this is my first blog post on Sammie.   So far, so good.

Anyway, onto the horses.  Plastic first.  At work today I decided to goof off a bit and did some Internet surfing on my computer and went to the Stone Horses website.  I really wish I hadnt, although I didn't buy anything.  I was sorely tempted, though.  So many pretties, but the prices weren't

My favorites are the last two and while the 2nd to last one is somewhat affordable, the leopard appy is the most expensive at over $400!  Eek!  This next one is really neat and affordable,  but I'm trying to talk myself out of it
Not all of them are stock horses.  I like this sassy Arabian...
So far Sammie is out-performing Abby in the blogger arena.  By now, I would've had to switch to html because the bottom would be cut off.  I like being able to see the pictures I post.

Next are the real horses I saw last Friday.   I think I'd mentioned that I didn't think I was going to see them because I had almost come out of my 'loop' before I happened to notice a bunch of colorful spots on the side of the hill.  This first photo is them still up on the hill and is cropped quite a bit
These next two were after they came down closer to the road to get away from the dude with the camera who kept trying to get closer

And finally, the's two are only slightly cropped to get rid of the excess background and are two of my favorites

Most of the horses looked really healthy and like they're finding plenty to eat, but one nursing can see her in the first photo with her foal...was underweight.  Not horrendously so, but you can see her hip bones.  Hopefully she'll get some meat on her and soon.  Oh, and in case you can't tell, the line in a couple of the pictures is fencing.  ðŸ˜† I tell you what, though, I really do feel fortunate every time I see them.  I am always honored when they allow me to share their world.

Today is Friday,  obviously.  No exciting plans.  My brother went with a buddy to their friend's cabin up north so mom and I are on our own until Sunday.   Often times we go out to eat at our favorite steakhouse when he's out of town, but he'll be going to NASCAR in November and so we'll probably go then.  There's a horse show streaming on USEF.Com so I'll probably watch some of that.

I hope everyone has a great weekend!