Saturday, August 29, 2015

New Toy

Some of you mat have read my post  few weeks ago about my incident with my tablet when my car door hit my hand and caused me to drop my tablet.

My tablet ended up with a crack along one corner that I knew would eventually cause problems with the usability of the tablet.  I didn't know when it would happen or what the issue would be, but I recently found out.  The touch screen recently stopped being as sensitive.  I would enter one letter but it would put in something else.  Initially I thought it was just me typing to fast or something, but the mistakes were appearing a lot more often and I knew it had to be because of the screen.  Another indicator was when I was trying to play a game.  I would touch one item to pick up but something else was picked up instead.  The final straw, the event that led me to venture to Barnes & Noble in this 500 degree heat, was when the screen image started jumping all over thelace, opening new windows without my wanting it to and images jumping all over.  When the screen first cracked I went ahead and did some research into what my next tablet would be.  I like Samsung and B&N  had them for  a good price so I decided to get another one, but the 10".
It is significantly larger than the 7" I was using.  It's a little difficult to do any speed typing because of it's size, but I can turn it vertical (the default design in horizontal) and that makes it easier.

Today the Arizona Humane Society is having a fund-raising telethon and so far they have raised more than $130,000!!!  It's quite cool.  Someone is matching the donations, which is awesome.  We have a dog, Bear, who came from the Humane Society (Dyna&Harley came from a rescue) and my kitty Abbie did, too (Temecula&Royal came from a no-kill shelter).  Bear came from the shelter itself while Abbie was adopted through a "satellite" facility.  About 10 years ago we had another dog from the Humane Society as well and a former roommate adopted from Rabies Animal Control.  TW  was a throw-away I found at a grocery store one night and CC was a feral cat.  Sadie, my dad's dog, was pretty much abandoned by her owner and was lower to run back and forth across a fairly busy highway in Star Valley.  So I guess you can say my family has a thing for unwanted animals.  I should donate something.

We've had some pretty good storms come through here this past week.  Dust.  Thunder and lightning.  Rain.  We managed to escape losing power, which is good.  Tomorrow it's supposed to be 110 degrees.  Ugh.  When will it finally cool down?

Thursday, August 13, 2015


Did I  say that loud enough?  No?  How about this...

I HATE ARIZONA!!!!!!!!!!!!

Yes, it has it has good blizzards, no mudslides, no tornadoes or hurricanes.  We are home to one of the 7 Natural Wonders of the World and have beautiful places to visit such as Sedona, Painted Desert and more Indian Ruins than you can shake  stick at.  What we lack in natural disasters, however, we more than make up for in unbearable weather.

We were  fortunate this year in that it didn’t  start getting really hot until the end of June.  Well, now the surface of the sun I call home, also known as Arizona, is making up for it.  Look at this graphic for proof
Our normal for this time of year is 105.  Today we matched a record.  If it hits 115 tomorrow it will be setting a new record.  Yeah.  That's  not the kind of record I'm  looking forward to.  Now, try doing that heat without air conditioning...yup.  I got home from work yesterday and noticed it was a little warm so I  looked at the thermostat and it read 84.  And it was quiet.  As in the thermostat said it was on, but I  couldn't  hear it going.  Not good.  I always say it's  good we only rent because we don't  have to pay major repairs, but it also has its  drawbacks...mainly waiting for the landlord to respond to your texts then calling the repair guys out.  That didn't  happen  last night and by the time we went to bed it was 90 degrees.  I probably woke up 4 times last night and had a hard time getting back to sleep because it was so hot.  During one of the times I  was up my poor kitty Temecula was panting.  He's  a short-haired cat, but it was just super hot.  Abbie didn't  seem to be quite as bothered by the heat although her body was pretty warm to the touch, too, and she meowed every time  I  touched her.

Got home today and the thermostat said 97.  Not.  Good.  Not even a little.  My mom said the repair guys were here for an hour then got called away and sid they'd  be back, but never did.  My brother got in touch with the landlord who claimed the repair guy said the a/c wasn't  getting any power and suggested flipping the circuit breaker.  Would you believe that did the trick?  Gaah!  The temperature is slowly going down, but it's  got a ways to go.

Did I  mention how much I  hated Arizona?

I don't  want to even think of it being 115 degrees for the next 2 days so I'll  share a picture of my fuzzy butts Temecula and Abbie.  Abbie is the grey tabby in the front.  She's  TINY.  This picture makes her look about the same size as Tem, but they're  not.  He's  twice her size.  And if you've  been  following  my blog for awhile you might notice the tabby is a different color than the one I've  shared here before.  I don't  know  if  I  mentioned it before, but I  lost my red tabby Royal back in January.  He was diagnosed with diabetes and the vet believed that was just one of his medical problems.  I couldn't  put him through daily insulin injections and trips to the vet every two weeks so I  made that tough decision nobody wants to make.  I still feel guilty about it, but I  know deep down it was the right choice.

I hope everyone has a great weekend.  My brother is supposed to be going to a music festival in Irvine with a buddy of his so my mom and I  might go have dinner at our favorite restaurant Saturday.  We haven't  eaten there in  more than a year.

*just a quick little note*  98% of my blogging is done on a 7 inch Samsung tablet and sometimes it has a mind of its own and it often results in misspelled words.  I  usually proofread what I've  written, but sometimes I  miss something here or there.  Now, you might think it's  no big deal that it says "tje" instead of "the" and in the grand scheme of things, it doesn'tm but it bugs me so if I  see it I have to fix it.   And the last sentence of this had originally said "we haven't  eated there i more than a year"...that one is a bit embarrassing  to me.  The missing 'n' for 'in' is no big deal, but the 'eated' is the biggy.  Hahahaha.

Oh, and the heat has claimed another  Yesterday  I  was out looking for the horses and even though I  spent most of the time in my air conditioned car, when you pair that with not having a/c in the house and the high temperature  in general...I woke up this morning feeling under the weather so I  stayed home.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Another victory for the Wild Ones...

The forest service guys have decided to take a step back and reevaluate plans to round-up the wild horses along the Salt and Verde Rivers (aside from the fact that legally they can't do anything right now because of the injunction)
 Photos by ME!!!!  PLEASE don't  take without permission
Both of these pictures are mine and aren't  for use without permission.

Anyway, according to the article they have decided to work with citizens and the activist groups.  Gee, if you'd  done that to begin with rather than be underhanded and sneaky, it would've  saved a lot of time, energy and HEARTACHE.


Forest Service backs away from wild horse roundup

The Tonto National Forest on Thursday appeared to have backed away from a plan to round-up free-roaming horses along the Salt River, citing the strong public backlash.
Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., on Thursday provided The Arizona Republic with a statement from Neil Bosworth, Tonto National Forest’s supervisor, saying, “We appreciate the local community’s feedback and we’ve decided to take another look at the proposed gathering of stray horses at Tonto National Forest."

Isaac Hale/The Republic
Salt River Horses trot around at Butcher Jones Recreational Area in Tonto National Forest located near Mesa on Aug. 4, 2015.
"The Forest Service will continue to engage with the local community, state and federal officials to explore potential alternatives for meeting our obligations for both land stewardship and public safety."
U.S. Forest Service officials were not immediately available to elaborate on Bosworth’s statement.
Earlier Thursday, a legal request to halt the removal of 100 free-roaming horses near the Salt River was temporarily denied by a judge, according to a statement from a local horse advocacy group.
The Salt River Wild Horse Management Group went to federal court seeking an injunction late Tuesday that would halt the Tonto National Forest Service’s plan to remove the horses in an area near Bush Highway in the far East Valley.
That request was temporarily denied Wednesday morning, until the defendants in the case are properly served. They were expected to be served today, according to the statement from the Wild Horse Management Group’s lawyer.
“It is not permanently denied,” the statement said. “The judge simply advised us that we need to properly serve our defendants before any decision can be made.”
Wild horses of Salt River

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

A small victory, but still a victory...

I may put too much of my personal life "out there".  I don't  mean on the web, but in general, day to day things.  Because friends and co-workers know I  spent several years as a Sea World regular, whenever something happens there, they come to me for my opinion and details.  Whenever something happens at a zoo, people come to me as well.  Not only that, but after something  happens at a zoo I can't  even visit one without some random people seeing my camera and wanting to ask me if I'd  heard about blah blah blah and what do I  think about it.  Forget that I'm  trying  to focus on taking  pictures, they just start talking to me.  I don't  think  I've  ever approached another photographer at the zoo and asked them about blah blah blah.  Well, now that I've  been going  out photographing the Salt River wild horses I have, once again, become very popular.  Everyone wants to know what I  think and if what this group says is true or what that group says is true.  Monday I  tried to tell my family that the topic of the horses was off-limits and I  didn't  want to talk about it.  That lasted all of 10 minutes.  <sigh>.  So, I  have become the unofficial cheerleader or spokesperson or whatever for the wild horses at work and home.  Nothing I  can do about it so I  may as well embrace it and hope I  don't  scare people off with my passion.  If I  do, it's  your own fault for asking me about them.  Hahahaha.

So, the national forest people followed the letter of the law and posted their public notice of intent to remove them in a newspaper, albeit a very small and specialized one they probably hoped nobody would see.  Boy were they wrong.   Someone noticed it and alerted the proper people.  Initially it was just a small group of activsts, but that number has balooned to more than 60,000 and from all over the world.  Yesterday there was a rally at one of the locations the horses hang out and there were even some horses there at the time, including a 2 day old foal.  Most of the news stations were out there to broadcast the rally and Mike Watkiss, who is a well-known  journalist in Arizona did several broadcasts from there.  People have been sharing the plight of these horses all over social  media  and supoort for them has exploded.  The best part is that the Arizona government is involved.  Senators John McCain and Jeff Flake are supportive of the horses remaining where they are and Governor Doug Ducey promising Arizona will do what it can to protect these horses.  We are even trying to get celebrities behind us.

But at the moment, we have a reprieve.  The public notice said the round-ups would start Friday and only an act of Congress could save them.  Well, it looks like we are a step closer to that act of Congress.  I speculate that the forest people chose now to start the round-up  because Congress is not in session.  Now it doesn't  matter because they agreed to wait until Congress is back in session in September.  It's  a small victory, but a victory nonetheless.  It's  very relieving to know that we have state senators and representatives behind us.

Here is the story from the Arizona Republic's website.  Note that the forestry spokesperson claims they haven't  received any of the letters from the politicians yet, but I  doubt that for some reason.  She says they will read the letters and they had better!


Congressional delegation: Delay Salt River horses roundups

As members of Arizona's congressional delegation sought to delay or halt the removal of 100 free-roaming horses in the Tonto National Forest, a state lawmaker said Wednesday she had been promised no removals would take place until at least September.
"We are assured that no action will be taken to round up or remove the Salt River horses before the U.S. Congress comes back into session in early September," state Rep. Kelly Townsend, R-Mesa, said late Wednesday. Townsend said she was given the assurance after meetings with U.S. Forest Service officials.
I hope I get the chance to see this precious baby go through its color transformation as he grows up.  He's  brown now but will one day be solid "white" (grey)
Barbara Sullivan
There are dozens of wild horses which live along the Salt and Verde Rivers more
Republican Sens. John McCain and Jeff Flake sent a letter to Tonto National Forest Supervisor Neil Bosworth and Arizona Department of Agriculture Director Mark Killian earlier Wednesday calling for a postponement of the roundups, which had been legally posted to begin Friday.
“A growing number of our constituents have expressed deep reservations about the Forest Service’s intent to gather these horses and transfer them to the Arizona Department of Agriculture,” the senators said in the letter.
The Tonto National Forest said there are no plans to begin removals on Friday and no contractor has been selected to do the work.
Republican Reps. David Schweikert and Matt Salmon and Rep. Kyrsten Sinema, D-Ariz., sent a letter to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Tom Vilsack also requesting a halt in plans to remove the horses.
“Wild horses are an integral part of the history of America’s West, and the latest move by the U.S. Forest Service to impound the herd that roams near Mesa, Arizona, shows a disappointing lack of understanding of the priorities and needs of the local community,” Salmon said in a statement.
Spokeswoman Carrie Templin said the Forest Service has not yet received the letters and will “try to address any concerns” after the service has reviewed the letters.
Simone Netherlands, president of Salt River Wild Horse Management Group, said her team filed a request for an injunction Wednesday afternoon in federal court in a bid to legally halt the round-ups. The matter is expected to be assigned to a judge Thursday morning.
An injunction would force a legal debate on the merits of the Forest Service's proposed action. The voluntary halt touted by Townsend will allow time to seek a political compromise.
"Now that we know that there is some breathing room -- hopefully we can come to good solution in this matter,'' Townsend said.