Sunday, August 31, 2008

First Night Home After Surgery

Well, we had a restless night here at the Red Dawn household. Poor Sara could not get comfortable. Seems the dosage of pain medicine was just not enough. I don't think she slept at all. I finally had to call the vet and she upped her pain medicine dosage. Hopefully she will rest a little easier. At least I know she is generally okay. She hasn't lost her appetite in the least bit.
It is always so hard to see these pups in pain or discomfort. I can't rest myself. I worry non-stop until they are back to feeling normal. I know some may think it is weird but they are like my children and all I want is for them to be happy and healthy.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Sara is Home

I brought Sara home around 11:30am. She is a little sore but is resting comfortably now that she is in her own environment. One thing that never leaves Sara is her appetite. Even after stomach surgery, she still enjoys her food. She is getting multiple little meals for the next 21 days. It is great to have her home. I missed and worried about her. Now we can all relax a bit.

Friday, August 29, 2008

Sara is Settled at the Emergency Vet

So I saw what was in Sara's stomach. The stuff almost had the consistency of pine needles. And there was so much of it. When did she eat that stuff?!!? She is now resting comfortably at the Emergency Vet for observation. I hate to leave her there but they are good with the animals and will be able to monitor her better than me. I guess I better like my job better. I am building a new wing for the animal hospital. :-)

Sara's Out of Surgery

Just got the call from the vet. Sara had a huge matted ball of bermuda grass that had stuck into the wall of her stomach. Bottom line-it wasn't going anywhere. Poor thing. She couldn't have felt good. I pick her up at 6:30 and bring her to the emergency vet for a few hours of monitoring. More to follow.

Sara Has An Obstruction in Her Stomach

Looks like I will be contributing more the new wing at the vet's office. On a serious note though, Sara hasn't been able to keep any of her food down so I knew something wasn't right. I brought her to the vet and they found she has an obstruction in her stomach. Sometimes these things will pass but since this has been going on for three days, it was unlikely. Now she is undergoing surgery to have it removed. All kidding aside, I am a little nervous. Once the surgery is done, she will have to be moved to the emergency vet so that she can be monitored. I will update the blog once she is out of surgery and I know everything will be okay.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Sporting Breed Dogs and 106 Degree Weather

For those of you who don't know, sporting breed dogs (particularly pointing breeds) need a lot of exercise. When they don't get it, they can be pretty pesky. So when it is over 100 degrees, it is hard to get them the exercise they need without risking heat stroke for the dog and the human. My dogs are really needy this way and if they don't get out, I don't get a good night sleep. Because of that, it is always a challenge this time of the year because of the heat. I know, you are probably thinking, "but you live in the bay area, land of the fog". Well not so fast my friends. Forty-five miles northeast of SF is usually at least twenty degrees hotter than in the city. Fortunately, I live about 35 miles from an island surrounded by water. So that is where we went. The dogs ran, and then swam to cool off. No heat stroke for them. I, on the other hand, was another story but the things we do for our dogs and a good night sleep.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Because They Make Me Smile

What better way to end the blogging day than to post some cute doggy faces. At least they make me smile.

Job Satisfaction???

Let me just answer that question by saying today may not have been the best day for me to fill out my Employee Satisfaction Survey.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Ft Funston and Whales-Nature is a Wonderful Thing

Today I met up with Kate at Ft Funston. It was a foggy day which is always great for the dogs. They play so hard and enjoy themselves so much. It was a relatively quite day for this type of weather. Not many people or dogs out. Fine by me. I like the tranquility. We walked for about 2 hours and were heading back to the cars when out of nowhere Kate noticed a whale jumping up out of the water about a hundred yards off the shore. At first she wasn't sure if it was a whale because neither of us has ever seen them off Ft Funston. It was definitely a whale though, There were sailboats in close proximity and both the sailboat and the whales were about the same size. Besides that, the whales (yes whales) were blowing water out of there blow holes. We were both in awe of seeing these magnificent creatures that we stood on the cliff for a good twenty minutes waiting for them to blast out of the water. We weren't disappointed. We got to see this about five or six times. My biggest regret was that I didn't bring my digital SLR and only had the point and shoot. No pictures of the whales. One thing Kate and I talked about was that if more people got outdoors and saw things in there natural environment, people would be more respectful of the impact humans have on this planet. Let's face it, dead zones in the seas, rapidly melting glaciers, weather changes. We really do need to think more about our carbon footprint my friends.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Freight & Salvage-The Final Act

After the intermission, we listened to the headliner. His name was Steve Forbert. I had never heard of him but he has over 20 records out. He would be what I would consider a social protest folk songwriter/singer. He apparently has quite a dedicated following, not quite to the level of the Grateful Dead, but they are out there. His show has a lot of audience participation which includes singing a certain parts of his songs. None of our group knew any of his songs so we obviously didn't sing along. I am quite the people watcher and just let me say, there were quite a few interesting people to look at. There was a woman doing upper body interpretive dance, her butt never left her seat. There was a man down on the floor snapping pictures with his flash, basically blinding poor Steve Forbert. But the most interesting character was a woman who was there by herself. Throughout both singers' sets, she was bobbing her head, doing the snake with her arms, and snapping her fingers as though she had castanets on them. One may think she was not all there or if she was, her mind was in an altered state. Anyways, about three quarters of the way through the set, Steve began talking about his next show and that he would be appearing with Al Stewart (Year of the Cat). Well, this woman screamed "I love Al Stewart. He is my favorite". She got out of her seat, went straight up to the stage and began having a conversation with Steve Forbert as though they were the only two in the building. This went on for a good five minutes. It was funny and sort of sad at the same time. We all laughed partly because it was such a funny situation but also because of the uncomfortableness of the situation. That passed. The concert was over and we hung out with Wendy and Trina for about a half hour. It was finally time to say goodbye. The visit was too short but I was happy to see that Wendy seems to be truly happy with her job and her life.
The above pictures are of Wendy helping Steve Forbert with his adoring fans, Stepan and Suzy chattting with Trina, and then a group photo with all of us (except for Jeff and Doyle).

Freight & Salvage Part Two-Trina Hamlin Plays

So the Trina concert finally kicks off. I was excited. Wanted it to be good because I know that Wendy has put a lot of effort into helping this talented woman be successful. Trina was the opening act for Steve Forbert so with the exception of us, that is who most of the audience was there to see. Here music was very catchy and it didn't take long for this engaging entertainer to reel in the audience members. I definately think she added a number of new fans including our gang. The biggest disappoint for us was Trina's set was too short. I hope that Wendy has an opportunity to book her in the bay area again. It would be nice to see her play again and to see Wendy. In the meantime though, I have her new cd to listen to.
After Trina's set, we had some time before Steve Forbert played to take a few pictures. Besides the picture of Trina on stage, there is Jeff and Doyle, Stephan, Suzy, and I, and Stephan and Suzy (cute, aren't they).

Freight & Salvage Part 1

The night to meet up with Wendy and watch Trina Hamlin finally arrived. I was afraid I may not be able to make it because it didn't seem I was ever going to kick the sinus infection or get rid of the fever. Thankfully, the last of the fever seemed to leave me on Friday morning. I was really looking forward to the show for a number of reasons. I was excited about getting together with so many of my friends at one time (we were ten strong), excited to see Trina Hamlin for the first time, and really excited about seeing my friend Wendy for the first time in about 15 years. Maris (my sister), Tanya, and I drove together. When we made it to Berkley, we found a parking spot about 100 feet from the location. How often does that happen? Our timing was great too. We saw Wendy crossing the street to pick up some food. I was able to visit with her for few minutes before the concert which was a good thing since she was quite the busy one and I knew we wouldn't have been able to chat otherwise. It was great to see her and she looks great. We met Trina too. She came across as very personable, really friendly and greeted us as though she had already known us. After our brief visit, we went to stand in line for the door to open. The rest of the group of ten began to arrive and we all hung out and had a few laughs. It was all good. The doors finally open and we went and took our seats. It was a small venue. It seated about 200 people at the most. As we were all chatting, who walks in, Steve Wozniak. I thought that was pretty funny. Of course, I know him primarily from the "Kathy Griffin: My Life On The D-List" as Kathy's boyfriend, but my more techy friends were excited because of his Apple connections. Funny to see him there really but cool. We chatted a little more and finally settled in for the entertainment.
The first picture above of Wendy plying her wares and the second is of Kate and Mark.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Pink Eye, Sinus Infection, and Spreadsheet Hell

It certainly has been a strange few days. Last Wednesday I felt an oncoming cold. You know the feeling you get...itchy nose, scratchy eyes, etc. Next day, cold symptoms. At least they were relatively minor. I figured I would get over it quickly. Things seemed to be heading that way until I got laryngitis on Saturday. I really struggled to get out any words (some may think that was a good things) but I actually felt better. Then on Sunday I woke with one eye swollen shut AND a sinus headache. OUCH! Not fun at all. I had hoped I would feel better on Monday but no such luck. I woke with two swollen eyes, a POUNDING sinus headache and a fever. Not fun. I realized I had a sinus infection and pink eye. Now I have never had pink eye before and had always thought it was a sickness reserved for children and their parents. Not being a parent or being around children very often, I was smug in my delight of never getting it. Well that is what I get for my smugness, almost 50 and my first case of pink eye. On top of all this illness, I am in the midst of spreadsheet hell. I won't bore you with the gory details but suffice it to say that having a 101 degree temperature AND trying to update (literally) thousands of lines of information is hardly a recipe for fun or success. This has been my life in a nutshell the last few days. Fortunately I am on antibiotics and on the road to recovery from both the illnesses AND the spreadsheets.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Two Days of Reserve Winner's Dog

Well Mr Fritz didn't win yesterday or today but he did take reserve winner's dog. Basically second place. Hopefully either he or his brother Jasper will win tomorrow.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Red Dawn Mr Fritz is Winner's Dog

Red Dawn Mr Fritz earned two more points towards his championship for a total of eleven points. Congratulations to the Hahn Family. Mama Sara is very proud of her handsome son.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Fun on the Lake

Part of my weekend in Kentucky entailed being pulled around by the boat on a tube and holding on for dear life (see picture to the right). I have never done that before but had a kickass time. We spent between 3 to 4 hours each day on boat. We took turns out on the tube. The first day, there were two of us on the tube at a time. My uncle was the driver on Saturday and was a little more gentle on us in the beginning but as the speed built up, it reached a cresendo as we were pried from the tube by centrifugal force. It took a tremendous amount of grit and determination to hang on. On Sunday, my cousin was the driver and there was no build up. It was gangbusters out of the gate. We did some solo tubing on Sunday. It was fun too because you could get a better grip and use your weight to stay on the tube. I was really amazed at the amount of energy it took to hang on. I was really sore on Monday, even the muscles between my lower chin down to my collarbone, all from gritting my teeth. Below is a link to a photoshow. Take a look." />" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="240" height="205">

70th Anniversary-The Commentary

The day of the flight (August 8th) came. I was nervous as hell thinking about getting on the plane from the moment I woke. I took the dogs out for a walk hoping to ease the nervousness (didn't help). Once back from the walk, I packed everything up and headed to drop the dogs at their sitters and then off to the airport. I arrived well ahead of schedule. I have not flown for years and really didn't know what to expect. Once I arrived, I noticed my flight was delayed by 1 1/2 hours. It was scheduled to take off at 1:10pm from SF and arrive in LA at 2:30pm. My flight from LA to Nashville was scheduled to leave at 3:25pm. You can probably see where I am going with this. Anyway, Southwest was great. They got me on an earlier flight and I made my connection with ten minutes to spare.

Once in Nashville, I waited for my sister Tiffany and her family to arrive. We picked up the rental car and headed to Alvaton, KY. Yee Ha! It was about an hour and a half drive (although my uncle would disagree but then again, he did race cars). The roads leading to Alvaton were very dark. We did fine until the last five miles. We couldn't find our turn off. It was strange really. There were no lights on the street signs and they were the size of a regular street sign. This would have been challenging enough on a regular two lane road in daylight but we were trying to read them on a divided highway going 50 mph in pitch black darkness. You can imagine how well that worked. After turning on to four or five roads to read the signs just to realize we were on the wrong road, we finally found our turn off. Whoo Hoo! We got to my aunt and uncle's house and they led us to the lake house. We got to bed about 2 am.
Saturday morning was busy. Although my Aunt had done a fantastic job of preparing for the party, some things couldn't be done until the day of. We had signs to hang, water balloons to fill, food to prepare. My grandparents were expected to arrive at 12:30. Mind you, they had no idea of what was going on. We finished everything and got into our hiding places ready to surprise them. When they arrived, they were completely shocked that we were all there. It took awhile for it to register with my grandmother what was actually happening. Once she did, she cried tears of joy. It was awesome! My cousin and his wife had special t-shirts made for them (see in the photoshow) and they wore them all day. We didn't have a party per se but more of a total weekend get together. We stay at the lakehouse all weekend and ate, played games, visited with everyone, and went out on the lake. Really a great time. I won't be surprised if we end up going to their 75th wedding anniversary.

Mememe & Grandpa's 70th Anniversary Weekend Photoshow" />" type="application/x-shockwave-flash" width="240" height="205">
Click on the link above. Commentary to follow.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Off to Kentucky Tomorrow

So I am off to Kentucky to celebrate my grandparent's 70th wedding anniversary. That's right, 70 years of marriage. That, to me, is amazing. Now I must tell you, I am terrified of flying. So afraid that I stay awake at night thinking about making a reservation. I have not gone to visit my grandparents as much as I would like because of this. But how do I not go visit them for such an event. My grandparents are two very special people. They were and still are very influential in my life. Truly, I don't know that I would be were I am today without their love and support. They have NO idea we are all going out to surprise them. I cannot wait to see the look on their faces. It will be cool! I plan on taking lots of pictures and some video of the weekend. There will be no entries for the next few days but be prepared for pictures and tales once I am back.

Our Fancy Public Toilets

These are the fancy public toilets in San Francisco. They were bought from a French company for a lot of money each. You have to pay to use them. Once you are done, the door locks behind and the entire inside is washed from top to bottom.
This one is for you Staci.

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

New Show to Watch

I don't know how it happened but I have been sucked into "Shear Genius". I love anything to do with style (because I have so little). I hope some rubs off on me.

More Escapees from Darwin's Theory

Edward Defreitas, 36, was arrested in Toms River, N.J., in June and accused of causing a three-vehicle collision that injured two men in a car and sent two others (paramedics riding in an ambulance) to the hospital. Defreitas told police that he had been drinking and had decided to drive around until he sobered up: "He (said he) was afraid to go home and his mother finding alcohol on his breath." [Asbury Park Press, 6-11-08]
In the course of burglarizing Yaakov Kanelsky's apartment in Brooklyn, N.Y., in July, Victor Marin, 20, accidentally left his wallet (containing ID, credit cards and photos) on the bed. After Kanelsky arrived home and called 911, Marin returned and knocked on the front door. From the hallway, he begged for his billfold back and began shoving Kanelsky's money under the door, hoping to persuade him to trade. Unfortunately for Marin, $92 of his $217 cash haul was in $1 bills, and the crack under the door was tiny. Marin was still busy stuffing money in by the time police arrived. [New York Post, 7-14-08]
Teachers Out of Control: Fifth-grade teacher Susan Romanyszyn, 45, was arrested in Bucks County, Pa., in January and charged with 17 counts of threatening bombings and gun violence after she was assigned to teach fourth grade, instead. [Bucks County Courier Times, 1-31-08

Monday, August 4, 2008

A View of a Park from My Office

I don't know if I have mentioned it before in previous posts but I have a view of a small city park from my office. The park is all concrete (a true city park) that has a playground, as well as open area. Every morning and periodically throughout the day I will look out the window and watch the activities. In the AM, there are usually adults out there practicing Tai Chi or practicing waltzing. In the afternoon, there are a lot of kids playing on the playground equipment. Since I started working at the end of April, I have viewed this park as my little respite from the day to day grind. I enjoy watching the folks interact and take advantage of the park. That is until today. Mind you, nothing bad happened at the park and everyone seemed to enjoy themselves as usual. But today was a little different, at least for me. I took my little break and looked out at the activity and saw a man practicing (for a lack of a better description) with his sword. This wasn't a fencing sword but a "Pirates of the Caribbean" sword. He was thrusting and jabbing in the air and whatever else they do while fencing. Again, I must repeat, he did nothing bad. The thing is, after reading the story about the man on the bus who stab and beheaded his seat mate out of the blue, I couldn't help but be a little wary about the man with the sword. It changed my feelings about the park and the perceived innocence of the daily ongoing events. I kept thinking, "what if this man flips out?". I am a little upset with myself for letting my mind go down that path. But how does a person not, given all the crazy things that are going on in this world? I hope that I can get back to that place that allows me to enjoy my park respite again.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Finally saw it!

Okay, after a bit of a delay, finally saw Momma Mia. I have to say that the plot of the movie was light but it didn't matter at all. It was a really fun movie. I think I had a smile on my face during the entire movie. The use of the music was perfect. I really did want to burst out in sound but I didn't want to embarrass my friends so I refrained. If you like ABBA music (and really, who doesn't), go see the movie. It is fun.

WHOO-HOO!!! New Champion in the Red Dawn Kennel

Today Red Dawn's Princess Warrior "Sasa" finished her championship in style. She took Winner Bitch and Best of Winners. She adds another title to list of titles Sara's puppies already have. I am so proud of these beautiful little kids. Congratulations to Susan and Eddie, Sasa's loving owners. The picture was taken at the Specialty in June. The front dog is Fritz (Sasa's brother) and the second is Sasa.

Friday, August 1, 2008

On the Train to Oldville

I can't believe I listen to 70s music for 2 hours today. I did this willingly! When did this happen? I didn't even like that music in the 70s (okay, I confess, I did/do like disco) but today I am singing every song word for word. I guess I have taken the path down to oldville. I just sent in my membership to AARP. Who'd have thunk it? Not me.