Saturday, November 29, 2014

Is patience really a virtue...?

And how is having patience prove you have high moral character?  Does that mean if you have little or no patience it means you have little or no morals?  I don't agree with that.  I can't?   I know I have morals and I refuse to believe that just because I'm impatient I have no morals.  It's the patience I sometimes have little of.  If I want to go somewhere,  I usually want to go *now*.  If I want to go somewhere that takes awhile to get to or doesn't open for awhike I get restless waiting for the time to leave.  A few weeks ago I wanted to go for a drive in my new car, but my brother needed to use my car to power his air compressor to inflate the tires on his motorcycle, which was fine.  What wasn't fine was having to wait until he was ready to go.  I almost told him to just use our mom's Jeep to inflate the tires, but he wanted to use my car because it was parked right next to his motorcycle.  It was frustrating waiting for him.

So what is the purpose of this blog post?  It's about my impatience.  I know I bought my camera on Thanksgiving,  but the camera store was open that day.  They also shipped that day.  I didn't get a tracking number until yesterday.  Okay.  Now I have a tracking number,  but it won't give me a guesstimate as to when my stuff will be delivered.  That's all I want to know.  Just give me a time frame.  It's supposed to be expedited delivery, which is 3 business days.  So why can't UPS tell me if that means it'll arrive Tuesday or make me wait until Wednesday?  That's not too much to ask, is it?  I certainly don't think so.  I also bought a pair of shoes for work Fridays/casual days and that will be expedited shipping as well, but I'm not too concerned about when they will arrive.  When I go back to work Monday I'll have to wear my "main" shoes until Thursday so as long as they arrive by then I'll be happy.  Well, maybe not happy since I paid extra for the faster shipping.  With the camera the expedited shipping was free because of how much it cost.  The battery grip and memory card I paid for the expedited (how often can I say that word?)  shipping, but it was only 50cents.  I just want to know when my camera will be here!!!  Is that too much to ask?  I don't think so.

Did I mention that I finally got paperwork from the bank that has the loan for my car?  I was really getting frustrated getting all of the "sorry, but..." notices that it was such a relief to finally get the one tjat said "congratulations!"  I was really starting to get worried.  Well, anyway, it arrived yesterday and I went ahead and paid my first bill even though it's not due until December 6th.  I'm hoping that now that I finally have the first payment under my belt I can finally relax and enjoy my new car.  I still have moments whee I see it in the driveway and can't believe it's mine.  It looks so foreign in the space that my black Ford Taurus sat for about 7 years.  Hopefully it'll finally settle into my brain that it is, in fact, mine.  I guess time will tell.

Well, I guess that's it for now.   I need to finish my laundry then maybe work on my story.  Have a good one!

Friday, November 28, 2014

Black Friday...

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving and didn't eat too much.  My brother invited a buddy of his over and we all ate too much.  For as long as I can remmeber,  we've hosted friends who didn't have anyplace else to go.  Honestly,  though, I've gotten to the point where I'd rather just go out to eat.   Probably because it takes so long to cook everything and I end up stuck doing clean-up.  A couple of years ago my brother actually cleaned up everything, but last year he fell asleep and my mom was tired so I 'sent her to bed', which left me to clean everything.  Fortunately this year, though, I was able to able to get my brother to do *some* of the clean-up.  I gave him the choice of doing the dishes or putting away left-overs and after some hemming and hawing he agreed to deal with the left-overs.  He tried to get out of it by saying he did the dishes two nights ago and I said that was different because Thanksgiving generated more dishes and such than a regular meal amd it would get done a lot quicker if we worked together.  Guess who ended up dealing with the left-overs...?  Me.  Oh, he put them in containers, but he didn't make sure there were matching lids first so he was getting mad that he couldn't find lids for the containers he picked so I had to step in before he blew a gasket.  You wouldn't believe how bent out of shape he can get over tiny things.  Anyway, I found a couple of matching lids then moved some of the left-overs into containers whose lids I already had.  Figures.   Oh well.

As I mentioned the other day, I've had the week off from work.  My office was going to be closed Thursday and Friday anyway so I just took the other 3 off.  On Monday I drove down to Tucson to go to the Reid Park Zoo and even though I was only there for a couple of hours, I saw all of the animals I wanted to see.  The 3 month old African Elephant calf was super cute.  When I first got there, Nandi was in the yard with her mom Semba and older brothers Punga and Sundzu.  The other adult female, Lungile, and the adult male, Mabu, were in a different area of the exhibit not visible to the public.  Sundzu and Punga are 4 and 7 years old respectively and Punga is almost as big as Semba the mother, it seemed, but the two brothers kept sparring.  Quite interesting to watch, but it concerns me about the ability of keeping the family together long-term.   Anyway, little Nandi just ran all over the place and avoided her wrestling brothers, but then suddenly there was another big elephant in the mix and the youngsters took off running.  It was the adult male, Mabu.  I'd been hoping to see him so I took some pictures then moved on to the Grizzly Bears next door.  I was disappointed because the keeper was in the exhibit doing some clean-up so I sat on a nearby bench to wait a bit and soon the keeper was putting out some food for the bears and I knew they'd be out soon.  From the bears I went and saw Junior, the Black and White Ruffed Lemur.  He came from the Duke Lemur Center in North Carolina and they're waiting for a week of warmer weather so they can 'take delivery' of 3 siblings from South Dakota.  The lion family was last on the list, but they were snoozing in the back of the exhibit and not really very visible.  I took a bunch of pictures and will post some here next week when I can get them uploaded to my computer at work.

Wednesday I went horse hunting.and saw one horse, but there was evidence others had been in the area recently.  If it was still summer I'd say it was probably people out trail riding because in the Phoenix area you don't generally ride in the heat of the day so it's not unusual to see trailers parked at the trailheads at 7am.  This time of year, however, when the sun is still pretty low at 7am and it's too cold to ride before the sun is really up so it had to be wild horses.  I took a few pictures then returned home to take my mom to lunch.

Well, if those 3 days (including my trip to the Phoenix Zoo Saturday) have shown me anything, it's that I need a new camera.  While horse hunting it wasn't an issue because there was only the one I saw and he didn't move a whole lot so there was plenty of opportunity to 'fix' it without missing any good shots, but there've been times when they were moving and with my camera locking up like it has, at the zoo animals move and if a lion or cheetah or something yawns, I like photographing the yawn.  That's really something I love about digital cameras:  the ability to take a bunch of pictures and not have to waste film or pay for prints that are blurry or simply didn't turn out.  So anyway, I spent Thanksgiving morning looking at different possibilities.  My first ever SLR camera was a Pentax and every now and then I think about going back to them.  They have in-camera image stabilization and are weather sealed, but because I have Canon lenses, I'd have to buy new lenses for a Pentax.  Even so, the set-up would be less expensive than Canon
I am a bit weird. I actually only like the above one because it lights up. Not a reason to buy a camera, but the cheaper price tag is

As you can see, two of them come with 2 lenses while the third is a body only and I'd have to add a lens.  The K-5IIs is more in line with the Canon 40d I have, which is considered mid-level.  The first 2 are considered intoductory level so I feel it would be a step back, but considering how affordable they are, I may just decide it's okay.  I'm not going to be able to buy a new camera for a few months, yet, so it's not a big deal right now deciding which to get.

Or, I could stay with Canon.  I wouldn't need to buy one with lenses since I already have some, but even just a body only would be a little more expensive to get one equivelent to what I have now
But that's not even the current model and I'd kind of like to get the most recent model, which is the 70d
B&H has a really neat package deal, but it comes with a pretty neat price.  The current battery grip I have*might* work on the 70d, but I don't know.   The cost of the above kit is about what I paid for my 40d back in 2008 so it's a good price, but more than I have now or even soon because of my car payments, once they start.  They have less expensive kits, too, and cameras without the whole she-bang that I can consider
But it would be a step down from what I'm used to.  Again, though, I have some time to consider my choices.  I certainly don't *need* to buy an equivalent camera to what I have now,  but, well, the higher-end ones tend to be a little larger and beefier and fit my hands better.  A battery grip might improve the feeling on a lower-end model, but I don't know.   It kind of sucks, though.   I'd hoped to go spend a couple of days in San Diego for my birthday, but now it looks lime I'll have to spend the money on a new camera, which is fine since I'll get more use out of it for the money than 2 days in California.   I don't know.   I don't like having to make decisions.  Hahahaha.

Well,  I guess that's it for now.

**update**  call me crazy, but I bought a new camera.  The Canon 70d body.  Not the fancy package shown above because I didn't get it from B&H, but rather another well-known camera store in New York.  I would've gotten the package one except B&H didn't have a buy now/ pay later-type feature and Adorama does.  Adorama has package deals, but none like the one at B&H, but that's okay.  I didn't expect to be approved for the credit so I started with just the camera body.  When I was granted that credit and I saw how much, I went back and ordered a battery grip and memory card.  I hope I haven't bitten off more than I can chew, but the damage has been done, so to speak.  The camera is now in 'shipping' mode and will be shipped by the end of the day.  I expect to get another email shortly about the rest of it since both are being sent expedited.  For those who are wondering about the older camera I gave my brother that I said I could use until I could afford a new one, we couldn't find it.  This camera will be my Christmas and birthday gifts for awhile.

This is a huge drawback to having improved my credit rating over the past year or so...I'm no longer just rejected outright for lines of credit.  Even with small lines of credit I can easily get into trouble so I need to be careful.  Being offered credit every time I turned around is how I got into trouble the first time.  Hahahaha.

Saturday, November 22, 2014

New Stone Models...

Well, new to me anyway.  On Blab, someone started a thread about how they were about to buy their first OOAK from Stone and wanted to know if they should gloss or not.  I never do, but that's besides the point.  Anyway, that thread, combined with some Stones posted on one about Appaloosa models led me to see what Stone had to offer.  I almost wish I hadn't,  though, because they do layaway and that's the last thing I need to be considering right now because I may need a new camera.  More on that later.

To anyone who reads my blog at any given point, knows I like the Stone ISH mold the most.  I have, what, 7 Stones and all but 1 is an ISH.  I don't know why I like them so much, I just do.  Anyway, without further ado, here are the latest in Stones that I wouldn't mind having...

Mr Jack Frost...Blue Roan Tobiano
 Fried Turkey(!!!???)...Braided Mane Stock Horse
Wishbone...Black Appaloosa

They weren't all ISH, though.  Initially I was attracted to this Chestnut English Pony named Roasted Chestnut, but what interested me made me look kind of strangely at him on my second glance
The lifted tail.  I thought, initially, that it was pretty neat and different, but now all I can see is a pony lifting his tail to do his business.  Hahahaha.  He's still a very nice-looking model, but the tail is just... Hahahaha

So today I made it out to the local zoo to see the new Cheetah brothers.  In the past, the Cheetahs have been let out at least 30 minutes before the general public (members are allowed in an hour before the general public) so I was expecting it to be that way today.  I'd told my mom I'd be home by 9:00 or 9:30 but when the Cheetah were finally allowed out at 8:56 I knew I was going to be late.  I tried to call home to let my mom know I wss going to be late, but was having issues with my cell phone.  Anyway, the 3 brothers/littermates were allowed out and I started taking pictures.  After every 3rd or 4th picture, though, I had to turn it off and pop out the batteries or my camera wouldn't work anymore.  That won't do, especially when it does it while I'm out shooting horses.  I don't know if my camera is finally going downhill or maybe it's the battery grip I use.  Before I give up on it I'll have to detach the grip and see if that helps.  If not, there's an older dSLR I gave my brother when I got my 40d that I can use until I can afford a new one.  I'm tempted to go away from Canon, but all my lenses are Canon or Canon-compatible so it would make sense to keep with it.  Anyway, I was happy to finally get to see the Cheetah brothers and got a bunch of pictures.  I haven't uploaded them to my computer, yet.  I'll share here if I got some good ones.  I also got to meet one of the Cheetah keepers and ask her some questions and that's always good.

On Monday I'm planning on going to Reid Park Zoo in Tucson.  It's about a 2 hour drive.  I'm not looking forward to the drive, but 2 hours is better than the almost 4 hours I'll have in a few weeks when I go to Bearizona...if I decide to go.   Hahaha.  I really need to go, though.  The place has been open about 4 years now, maybe 5, and I've never been there.   The brothers that own it, their parents own Bear Country USA in South Dakota (I think) and many of the initial bears they had when they first opened came from Bear Country.  I'm also planning a wild horse hunting trip.  Maybe Thursday because there'll be fewer people on the road and where they might be.

Well, I guess that's it for now.   I hope everyone is having a good weekend and you're staying warm.  Our low temperatures are pretty chilly but our daytime highs are still 'too high' (for my taste) and it's actually supposed to be 80 degrees on Thanksgiving and that totally sucks.

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Beach Riding..

I'm annoyed with Blogger again.  Or maybe it's my tablet I should be annoyed with.  Either way,  I'm annoyed.  On my Blogger page where it shows all the ones I'm following, it won't let me scroll down for some reason.  So if a bunch of people suddenly blog about something, I will only see the most recent 4, which is a bummer.

Anyway, I'm the self-proclaimed Queen
of finding interesting stuff while looking at other stuff.  I was looking at something on Facebook a few minutes ago and I saw a link to something that looked neat then followed that to something else that looked neat and here I am,  blogging about it.

In a previous blog post I mentioned how neat it would be to ride a horse on the beach.  In Imperial Beach, which is south of San Diego, you are allowed to ride on the beach at Border Field State Park.  You can literally get within spitting distance of Mexico there and see an actual fence that separates the two countries.  I've been there once and was amazed at the number of families playing on the beach and in the water on the Mexico side and how easy it would have been to just walk around the fence or through it because the 'posts' were pretty wide as it extended into the water.  They have since changed that and now it's no longer as easy.

So anyway, I found some pictures of a group of people riding in the ocean or just leading them around in the water without the tack on them.  Some of the horses looked like they were enjoying the surf while others not so much
There was even a mule there!
I really like the paint...gorgeous!
The group even raced along the beach a ways
Riding in a bikini?  That doesnt look very comfortable hahaha
Unfortunately, it's the next picture that stood out to me the most.  Don't get me wrong, I'm not judging because I certainly don't have the right to, but it's obvious she's not riding a rented horse because no commercial stable in California would let her on one of their horses

Maybe I should get my own horse... Except it would have to be a draft or part draft because I'd never imagine getting on a horse the size in the picture at the weight I'm at now.  But now that I've called out and pointed to the pink elephant in the do I re-program my brain to want horses more than food?  My extra weight is the only thing keeping me from riding.  I've tried so many times to get with the program, but eating out is so much easier than making lunch every day to take to work.  My family isn't exactly suupportive in my efforts either. 

**eta** One of my readers mentioned Irish Sport Horses so I looked them up on Google and found this beauty...
I'd also found a stunning gray one, but for some reason it won't upload. Bummer since he's absolutely gorgeous! Anyway, thank you, Bella, for mentioning a breed I hadn't even thought of. :)

So, the past 3 days, today included, I felt the need to get away from the office.  Monday would have been my dad's birthday and I really didn't want to be at work that day so I went out at lunch...there's a neighborhood about a mile or so from my office that has horse property so I drove over there to peek in on a couple of places where you can see the horses from the road.  I've posted pictures here before that I've taken in the area.  I saw some horses.  A couple of what I initially thought were Alpaca only to get a better look at them yesterday and realize they were Llamas.  And also some really neat houses.  I'm a nut for nice houses.  Add to that hearing two good songs on 'regular' radio stations and William Tell Overture (lone ranger theme) on the classical station I've been listening to more and more lately, getting a good parking spot when I got back to the office and getting back to my desk right exactly on time, I was feeling pretty good.  I don't feel as though driving around during lunchtime every day is the key to staying happy at work, but I think maybe I should get away from my desk more often.

I've had my car for a month now and my first payment is due in 2 weeks, but I have yet to hear from the bank that holds my car loan and that's making me nervous.  Also, I got a letter today from the dept of trans saying I don't have liability insurnce on my Ford and I'd better prove I have it or they'll suspend my registration.  Of course I don't have insurance on it anymore...I used it as a trade-in and the dealership was supposed to submi the notice of sale to ADOT within 10 days and apparently they didn't so now I have to contact them to find out what's going on. 

Next Thursday is Thanksgiving.  My office is closed Thursday and Friday for the holiday so I also took Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday off.  The plan is to drive down to Tucson on Monday to visit the zoo there.  I haven't been there in a little over 4 years and they've had some acquisitions and births since then, including a pair of grizzly bears.  I'll talk more about that after my visit.  Other than that and having Thanskgiving Dinner.  Oh, and I'll probably go see Penguins of Madagascar that comes out November 26th.   I loved that cartoon when it was on Nickelodeon.  The movie voices won't be the same as the TV voices with 2 exceptions so that will sound strange to my ears, but I'm sure I'll get past that.

Well, until next time..

I went to the website listed on the letter received from the DOT yesterday and entered the information it requested. It told me the information did not match what they had on their records and that possibly meant the transfer of ownership had taken place already so a Notice of Sale wasn't necessary. O.o What? Then why the heck did you send the letter to begin with??? I just love the government sometimes. DOT is government, right? If not, they certainly act like it.

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

2014 Just About Horses

After worrying the past few days that I hadn't renewed my Collector Club membership in time to get this year's JAH (they had arrived in California and a collector in Arizona got hers this past Saturday), mine arrived today.  Yay!

The cover is an awesome compilation of talented artists.  Jennifer Buxton of Braymere Saddlery was responsible for the great-looking tack...she was on last year's cover, too, and Anne Field did the doll and saddle pad
There's an article about improving your model photography, which I haven't read yet...
An article on how to make a racing saddle...
Pictures from Breyerfest 2014 and models that were made available during the year...they said Kashmir was the first model in the Big Cat Series, but it was actually Kimbia
A great article on Sarah the Mink, aka Sarah Minkiewicz-Breunig
I can't help but chuckle a little when I see people get so excited over a "Mink" original and the prices they go for. Or how big of a following long-time sculpture Kathleen Moody has. I knew them before they became famous in the hobby. From the moment I saw one of Sarah's R/R/H (what they were called back then) at a show in Oceanside, CA I was in awe of her talent.  She was such a sweetheart,  too.   I've probably mentioned it before, but Kathleen moody came to my house once for a house model show that were popular in the early 90s.  It wasn't ling after that when Gem Twist was released.

Anyway, the thing I was most looking forward to, since I'd already found out the Carrick mold on the cover was a test color (grumble grumble), was the 4 Ideal Quarter Horse models
Unfortunately,  all it said was it would be available in January 2015.  I don't know if all 4 will be available at the same time or one at a time, but I'm excited to get them.

In addition to the above, a collector event in the Fall of 2015.  Unfortunately,  I may have a conflict.  The Fresno Chaffee Zoo is scheduled to open their new Africa exhibit in October 2015 and I'd really like to attend that, but if the collector event is close enough to my side of the country to make attendance a likelihood, I'd ne hard-pressed to pass it up.  Hopefully Breyer will give us more information about it fairly soon.  Right now I'm more interested in knowing where it is than when.

Today when I was at work it really hit me how much I miss being around horses.  I haven't ridden in a long time.  All the horses I've been around in recent years have been show horses and wild horses.  Not really ones you can just reach out and scratch on the forehead, jaw or neck.  It really...hurts my not be able to be near horses.  I know people with horses.  I work with a gal who has one.  And I know people who know people with horses,  but I can't exactly invite myself over to pet and hang out with their horses.  Some days I have an intense ache to be near them.  I suppose I could just distance myself from them, but how do you do that?  Between my model collection and escapades to find and photograph the wild horses on the reservation...horses are too much a part of me.  Of what I am.  Who I am.  Yes, I'm more than just horses, but...I don't know. ..

Well,  I guess that's it for now.   Today is Wednesday and so the work week is almost over.  Yay.

Monday, November 10, 2014

Not in the market for a horse, but...

I've loved horses for as long as I can remmeber and I was definitely one of those little girls who asked for a pony of her own  Where will you keep it?  my parents would ask.  In my closet! was my answer.  But I never got my own.  My parents were working class and there was just no money in the budget for horse care.  So I tried to make myself happy by riding as often as possible and babysitting for people with horses.  My closest friend growing up had an aunt with horses...and two kids.  Even though S and I were only 4 months apart in age, she grew out of her horsey stage, discovered boys and became too 'important'/busy (in her head) to help her aunt with babysitting, even her own younger sister.  So I kind of became a surrogate sister for S's sister and their 2 cousins.  M, the aunt, had the horses and encouraged me to go to the boardng stable and take the foal out for exercise when she wasn't around.  In college I was briefly an Equine Science major and got to ride twice a week.  I also joined the riding club and got to be in 3 parades, on borrowed horses.  But I digress.

As an adult with a good, decent-paying job I could likely afford a horse.   I live less than a mile from the boarding stable I spent much of my youth at.    But I'm a bit of a selfish person.  Horses take a lot of time and care and cost a lot of money.  Even being as close to the barn as I am, I have a full-time job plus family obligations that would prevent me from spending as much time with a horse as it needs and deserves.   I guess recognizing that is unselfish of me.  But it doesn't stop me from dreaming.   After all, I haven't grown out of MY horsey phase yet.  Hahaha.

That brings to the purpose of this blog post.  I follow two blogs by ladies who recently (in the past year) adopted Mustangs from BLM.  We have wild horses in Arizona, but they're on tribal land and not subject to round-ups.  I've never had more than a passing thought on adopting a Mustang or even looked at what was available...until today.  I don't know what posessed me to look, but I did.  There were lots of great-looking animals, but these ones really caught my eye.  All pictures are from the BLM website

I just LOVE this 4 year old gelding's markings
This 3 year old mare has neat facial markings

This is also a 3 year old mare, but unlike the previous one, this one is unuaually tall for being a Mustang.  She is 16hh according to her information.  She also has a sweet-looking face.
This next one is an unusual color, kind of a lighter bay with obviously a bit of Paint.  But it's the 7 year old gelding's super long forelock that caught my attention.  Younger boys who have this skater style haircut are often tossing their bangs out of their eyes off to one side or other, but do you think horses care if their hair gets in the way?  Hahaba
he looks like he could be a nice mover, too.
And finally, we have the youngest and most flashy-looking of the group.  How often do you see a blue roan on a Mustang?  This 2 year old gelding is going to likely be very popular at the up-coming adoption event.  
Okay.  Apparently these horses are all part of an online auction and the blue roan's price started at $125 and is currently at $465 with 44 bidders.  The increments must be small if he's only at $465 with 44 bids.  

Well, I guess that is all for today.  For now.  I still don't know for sure if the new animals coming to the Phoenix Zoo and going into the former Cheetah exhibit will actually be more Cheetahs.  They gave an audio hint last week on their Facebook page that totally had me thrown.  It sounded like a bird chirping, but they said it was not a bird.  The other noise sounded like a growl, but Cheetahs don't growl.  They're not agressive cats.  Based solely on the audio clue, my brother was convinced it was Gibbons, but the zoo already has a pair of Buff-Cheeked Gibbons and the Cheetah exhibit is not suitable for Gibbons, but he was adamant.  Even when I discovered that the growly noise was a Cheetah purring.  It wasn't until I showed him a clue he'd missed that he acknowledged that the animal was likely a Cheetah.  The clue?  A tail and hind leg that could only belong to a Cheetah.  I was surprised he was even interested in the whole thing and he said it was because it was a mystery and he wanted to solve it.  He's now gone back to not caring.  Hahaha.  Brothers.

Friday, November 7, 2014


Chamonix is the latest from Breyer to enter for a chance to win.  I like the silver filigree, but even a cool decorator color can't make me like this mold.  Sorry.  Not happening.

I haven't yet decided if I'm going to join the Premier Club, but I have until the end of December to decide.  My car payments are $ X amount, but if I pay $ Y amount, I can get it paid off almost 2 years sooner and I like that.  It will just depend on how much out of my paychecks it'll take compared with how broke I'm willing to be.  Hahahaha.

NASCAR is in town this weekend.  Usually my brother goes and he got Sunday off so he could go, but he's decided not to go this time, for some reason.  It's a bummer because my mom and I usually have a nice dinner at our favorite restaurant,  but since he's not going,  we won't be having our dinner out.  Oh well.

Have a good weekend.