Location: one hour from Suffolk, Rockingham, and Scarborough, United States

I'm one of the co-authors of Point of Hopes, Point of Dreams, and The Armor of Light (which, contrary to some reviews is NOT a Points novel). Proud member of CoastLine SF, Piscataqua Obedience Club, and admin for Horseboard.

Thursday, May 26, 2005

Blogger Gadfly

That's me. There are two folks currently blogging who are two of my favorite folks in the world, and also two of the best writers. Unlike me, they don't post very often.

Not often enough, in fact.

Not nearly often enough.

So recently, I have found myself in the role of the gadfly. "Hey, you know, that would make a terrific blog entry." That kind of thing.

Sometimes, as with a slot machine, or the turn of a friendly card, the tactic reaps generous dividends, as today, when both Spacity and Galacticsouth were updated!


Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Throwing ourselves out first floor windows

That's what one of my neighbors said we'd be doing if it doesn't stop raining soon. I said, heck, I'd probably be throwing myself out of my cellar window.

It's not even a Hundred Year Storm kind of rain -- thank heavens! No, it's mean, persistent, drizzling, soaking, stubborn stuff. Sometimes it actually rains and the rest of the time the air is just wet.

The basil isn't just unhappy, it's about gone. The ferns seem happy. So does the hosta. The Solomon Seal looks ok for now, but the slugs will be showing up any minute now. The tomatoes are waterlogged. I'm waterlogged. Vixen looks up at me with misty eyes when we go out... no wait, those are my glasses that are misted over.

We're supposed to be getting a nor'easter tonight, but I think they were a little off, I think we had it last night. It was a wildly windy night. We lost power for 3-4 hours, the trash barrel decided to take a small trip, the lid got run over... right now, it's downright tranquil out there, just a heavy mist falling.

By the time we see the sun again, I should have one of those gorgeous English complexions!

Monday, May 23, 2005

Air kisses

I am no horse-whisperer. I am no animal communicator. Wish to hell I were, but I'm not.

Cam is not drinking his water. He's eating his grain, but not drinking. Not eating too much grain. Ron thinks that it might be the weather (have I complained yet about the weather this month? No? Don't worry, I will.), that the cold and damp may have exacerbated his joint problems and have him feeling off.

I had a long talk with him yesterday. Cam got me through chemo, and if he needs me to cheer him along and get him to drink his water, then I will do so. He also needs someone to pick up the cost of his Adequan -- the person who had been underwriting it has died. I'm hoping I can do that for him.

I love this little Standardbred a lot. When I go to his stall, he'll stick his head out and whuffle first one side of my face, then the other. Just like Marylou Whitney, he gives air kisses!

I gave him some carrots yesterday -- they at least have some water in them! -- and he chomped them right down. But I don't know why he would go off his water... unless, like me, he's sick to death of the stuff as it keeps falling from the sky! I'll be out there later this week, to check on him. And give and get air kisses!

Monday, May 16, 2005

Mind the Gap

The last time I was at The Stone Church (Music Club) in Newmarket, NH. was two years ago, right before I was scheduled to go in for a biopsy. So, a lot has happened in the interval. Sunday night, I made a triumphant return... no, wait, it was Jon Nolan making the triumphant return, I was just delighted to be there and hearing him and his band rock out.

The music was great. It rocked, it was loud -- but never so loud you couldn't hear the lyrics, and that's good, because Jon's lyrics are some of the best around -- the band was fantastic, all around (Tim McCoy looks like Liev Schreiber playing a bass player. But his bass playing is powerfully good). One glass of wine per set, thank you. Strange to be able to get the Bonny Doon Pacific Rim Riesling as opposed to the cheap jug white they used to serve. But the Bonny Doon is one of the wines now being bottled with screw-tops, as opposed to corks, so maybe that's an homage to divey-ness past.

What was _weird_ though, was the sense that the last time I was there, it was still more like the 20th century, and this was most definitely the 21st, largely because of the intrusive presence of People With Digital Cameras. You never used to see cell phones, camera phones, digital cameras, at a ZuZu gig. Sunday, there was this chick with a tiny digital thing who kept holding it above her head while she checked the view, holding it practically in the faces of the musicians. Heedless, pretty much, of anyone else around her. She was going to get her photos, and that was that. Hee-hee, aren't I cute? The determination would be one thing if she were a journalist. Or the mother of one of the band members. But she wasn't. She had her new toy, and public space became, by rights, HER space while she got her shots. There've always been photographers at the ZuZu shows, sure, and sometimes they'd get down front for their shots, but the folks with the film cameras got in, got their shots, and got out.

Ah, the hell with it. Minor annoyance, just an interesting phenomenon, the tech and cultural gap between the last Say ZuZu concert and Jon's first solo CD release. The music was great. Jon's new songs are outstanding. Here's to the start of many more nights (early nights) at the Church.

Thursday, May 12, 2005

Elitist Nonsense

Vixen and I are enrolled in a Rally Obedience class, which is, in a way, an exercise in futility, as she is ineligible to take part in any Rally competitions. Currently, Rally Obedience matches are under the auspices of the American Kennel Club only -- and Vixen is a mixed breed.

Any organization that says it promotes responsible dog ownership and yet doesn't permit mixed breeds to take part in performance events (that is, not breed/conformation) is, well, barking up the wrong tree.

The United Kennel Club does allow mixed breeds to compete in obedience events; alas, they're not going to be offering Rally for at least another year.

Of course, it's not the destination, it's the journey, and we're having a heck of a good time in class.

But the AKC really needs to get over itself, and reach out to the folks who adopt mixed breeds from shelters across the country and offer them a chance to show what their dogs are capable of.

Maybe they're just afraid that the mixed breeds will prove to be much better competitors.

Monday, May 09, 2005

BIG time Coulda-Woulda-Shoulda

If I had realized he was the only gray in the field...

If I had known he was named for Sting's son...

If I had just looked at the PPs and seen that his dam is Set Them Free...

If I had paid attention to the fact that I was listening to Ten Summoner's Tales last week for the first time in YEARS....

I'd'a had the Derby winner.

Who needs past performances when the gods are jumping up and down and waving and going, "Helloooo? How much more do we have to give you???"

It's ok, I never bet on the Derby, anyway, but the bragging rights would have been awesome.

Well, ok, the money would have been even more awesome

To those who view the glass as half empty -- all those who are saying, "This race is a throw-out unless proven otherwise," I say the glass is half full, and the race is legitimate unless proven otherwise. A careful trainer, a talented horse, and a smart jockey can make hair stand on end in the next two races. Or not. That's why they call it horseracing.

Good luck, Giacomo.

Friday, May 06, 2005

Catching Up with a Catch-All Post

No, I still don't have a clue about the Derby. Afleet Alex, Wilko, Bellamy Road, Sun King, Greater Good, and for some reason I now have this nagging feeling that Andromeda's Hero may show up. Where in heck that came from, I have no idea. However, since it's unlikely I'm going to drive through a blinding nor'easter to get to Rockingham Park to place my bets, all that's at stake are bragging rights.

The crabapple trees are now planted, thank you. Since yesterday evening was so pleasant, I took advantage of it, since, see above re: this weekend's forecast weather. If it's Saturday, it must be pouring.

It was hard work -- damn New England soil with all its rocks -- but they're in and, I hope, happy. The sparrows who hang out in the rhododendron seem quite taken with them: they were testing one of them out even before I got it planted. And since we wanted to put in something that will appeal to birds, that's a good sign.

Speaking of birds (smoooth!), I saw a pair of Northern Flickers this morning, hunting for worms across from the Middle School. They're very handsome. I had heard one a week or so ago, but had never seen one. So that was a lovely way to start the day!

The big (really big) mare, Rainbow Blue, is racing tonight at the Meadowlands. Thank heavens they have live video, because the surest bet of the weekend is that TVG won't show it because it is, after all, the day before the Kentucky Derby.

And if I'm wrong about that, I'll be happy to post and say so.

Sunday, May 01, 2005

Derby week

I have my own personal handicapper, from Saratoga Springs, no less, and I still haven't a clue about this year's Derby.

No one has come along and wowed me as both Monarchos (2001) and Smarty Jones (2004) did. I do better when a horse hits that one note inside me, a note felt, not heard. That's not to say I'm not impressed by certain of this year's three year olds. This is the crop that was hit by MRLS, by the way.

But no one has made "the move," as Monarchos did in his Florida Derby. And no one has -- for me -- put together a string of consummately professional races, stepping forward each time to confound the naysayers, that Smarty Jones did. I like Afleet Alex, High Fly for some reason that I cannot explain, so maybe he's the one? Nah, that didn't work with Brancusi... Wilko could be the one to break the curse of the Juvenile Eclipse Award winner. I really liked Rockport Harbor, and his connections (that's one of my favorite parts of Maine), and it would have been wonderful to see John Servis win back to back Derbies. But I admire Porter and Servis for stopping on the colt for now. Maybe with any luck, he'll pull a Tiznow in the autumn, and maybe we'll also see him race as a 4 year old, shocking as that might be.

Strangely -- and Jeff would probably say this is heretical -- I wonder if the Preakness won't shape up to be the more interesting race, with horses who either couldn't draw in to the Derby, or who felt that the distance was just a little beyond them, showing up.

Jeff also rightly pointed out that the Belmont is probably the only time these horses will race that mile and a half distance.... though I was intrigued to note the very full field for the Elkhorn at Keeneland this past week. 13 horses going a mile and a half on the turf. I wasn't too surprised to see Macaw win, though I'm not very familiar with his trainer, but the second and third place horses were trained by folks who know (a) grass and (b) distance -- Michael Matz and Jonathan Sheppard.

The question with the Derby, and then the Belmont, is not so much as "can he get the distance?" as "can he get the distance faster than anyone else?"

Last year, Smarty and Birdstone proved they could, head and shoulders above anyone else in the Belmont.

All I know is that someone there is in Saratoga Springs who does not love the idea of Bellamy Road winning!