Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Zorro attacks Chip when--

SUMMARY: Odd dog behavior patterns.

Today's "fun" dog behavioral pattern:

Zorro attacks Chip (so I have a fight on my hands) when:

  • Zorro naps behind my office chair and I roll backwards and hit him
  • I tell Chip in an annoyed or angry mother voice not to do something
  • I tell Zorro in an annoyed or angry mother voice not to do something
  • The dogs are excited (e.g., visitor) and I try to grab Zorro's collar to keep him from jumping on the visitor or attacking Chip
  • We're out for a walk and Chip starts to bark enthusiastically at another dog
  • I'm dozing off at night and both dogs are in their separate beds at opposite ends of my king-sized bed--I never see what precipitates this one, except that when I snap on my light, it's always at Chip's bed, nowhere near Zorro's bed (and Zorro's bed is closer to me than Chip's, usually). This is the biggest reason why, for the first time in my life (other than with new dogs), the dogs are now usually sleeping in their crates at night.


Zorro does NOT attack Chip (thank goodness; I don't need more stupid fights) when:

  • Chip, who is astonishingly picky about his personal space at times, leaps up and snaps at Zorro because Zorro was, I don't know, scratching and wiggled the bed, or, whatever, maybe Zorro looked at him?

Wayyyyy Too Many Photos

SUMMARY: SmugMug gallery list

I just discovered an unofficial SmugMug plug-in for Chrome that lists all of my SmugMug galleries! For fun, here's the list, with the following notes:


  • This list doesn't include my private/hidden galleries
  • No guarantee that there's anything in a gallery 
  • Many galleries are incomplete (you know: The ol' I'll Get Around To Uploading The Rest Eventually trick)
  • The tool doesn't include my descriptions of the galleries--but not many have descriptions, so that's OK
  • No guarantee on quality--many photos are pretty bad, actually, but whatevs.



Business
Adobe Palettes Open House Jan 26, 2016
Adobe Party March 1 2013
COLLADA F2F Montreal Sept 08 Ellen photos
COLLADA F2F Montreal Sept 08 Herbert photos
Touring 14th Floor Demolition

Dad's scanned slides
1963-64 Querida Drive

Disney parks

Disneyland 2009 November
Disneyland Nov 2009 Friday
Disneyland Nov 2009 Saturday
Disneyland Nov 2009 Sunday
Disneyland Nov 2009 Thursday

Disneyland 2013 Dec
TemporaryHoldingAreaForDland2013

Disneyland 2015 November
Disneyland 2015 Nov Thursday
Disneyland 2015 Nov Wednesday Trip to Anaheim
Disneyland 2015 November Friday
Random People Hats Clothing Kids Shoes Disneyland Nov 2015
TempHoldingAreaDland2015Nov

Disneyland Trip 2015 Jan.
Disneyland Friday - Jan 2015
Disneyland Saturday - Jan 2015
Disneyland Sunday going home - Jan 2015
Disneyland Thursday - Jan 2015
Disneyland Wednesday - Jan 2015
Madonna Inn 2015 January
Random People Hats Clothing Kids Shoes Disneyland Jan 2015
Ride Interiors Blurry Disney Jan 2015

Disneyland and Races Nov 2017
Disneyland Races Nov 2017
Mr Fox No.12 and Hotel Hidden Mickeys

Disneyworld Etc 2015 May (Mostly unedited unsorted)
Disney World Epcot - Camera 1 - Sunday May 2015
Florida 2015 May Hotels Etc.
RandomLindaClothing

Disneyworld Etc. 2017 April
Disney World 2017 random uploads
Disney World Hotels Etc. 2017 April
Disney World Races 2017 April
Disney World Travel to 2017
Disneyworld Apr 2017 - Hotel

Disney's Calif Adventure 2006 Feb
Disneyland 1961 circa
Disneyland 1977 Spring
Disneyland 1983 Sept
Disneyland 1990 Feb
Disneyland 1990 Sept
Disneyland 1995 August
Disneyland 1996 September
Disneyland 1998 September
Disneyland 2000 Feb
Disneyland 2002 Nov
Disneyland 2002 Sept
Disneyland 2006 Feb
Disneyland 2007 December
Disneyland Viewmaster 1950s versus 2009
Together at Disney

Dogs

Classes and Seminars
Agility Class Thursday Morning
Power Paws Camp 2007
Silvia Trkman Masters Handling Seminar Nov 2009
USDAA Judging Clinic, Sept 2010

Individuals
Aira
Boost - My favorite photos
Boost Favorites Attempt 2
Breed Photos Best
Breed Photos Chase
Breed Photos Chloe
Breed Photos Holly
Bump photos
Diana and Callie
Ellen Terri Trek Yoshi Aug 2017
Ellen's Dogs
Jamela Memories
Jim and Django
LH_gatesteward
Reo ADCH
Saskie
Sparkle ADCH
Sparkle Physical Therapy
Sparkle and Ben 2015
Sparkle, Ben, Mackenzie 2016
SparkleCarsonPorsche

Miscellaneous
Bay Team Agility Demo for Sunnyview June 18 2009
Foggy Dog Agility Practice, Feb 17 2008
Road Trip Sept 6 2008
VEP Memorial Day Festival and Agility Demo

Nationals

2014 USDAA Nationals Cynosports World Games
ArleneBenStandard
Assorted 2014 USDAA Nationals
Barb Standard
Biathlon Awards
Closing Ceremony
Costume contest
Deanna & Quin playing
EliciaStandard
Grand Prix Finals
Grand Prix Semis
Individual Team & Awards images
Karey Krauter USDAA award
KathieStandard
Katrina's Diamond Award
LauraFireballStandard
LindaAbbyLureCoursing
MaryMacStandard
Perf Grand Prix Final
Perf. Steeplechase (PSJ)
Pf/Ch Team Relays
Senior Dog Mementos
Silvina Tcam Maja Dock Diving
Steeplechase/PSJ Semis
Susan Paulsen and Butter
Susan Paulsen's volunteer students
Unsorted 2014 USDAA Natls
Yukari with Simba bouncing

2006 ALL photos: USDAA Nationals dog agility
2006 highlights: USDAA Nationals Scottsdale dog agility
2007 Barb Jones photos: USDAA Nationals Scottsdale dog agility
2007 highlights: USDAA Nationals Scottsdale dog agility
2008 USDAA Nationals Cynosports Scottsdale dog agility

Parties
Agility Class Wednesday Night Jimmy Buffett 2007
Bay Team 2009 Holiday Party (Jan. '10)
Bay Team 2010 Holiday Party (Jan '11)
Bay Team 2011 Holiday Party (Jan. '12)
Bay Team 2012 Holiday Party (Jan '13)
Bay Team 2014 Holiday Party (Jan '15)
Bay Team 2017 Party (Jan '17)
Bay Team Fun Day Hollister June 2010
Dreams of 90s Alive Dog Agility Woodstock 2012
MHDS 2014 Holiday Dec 22
SMART 2006 Holiday Party
SMART 2017 Holiday Party
Tammy 40th Birthday 2008

Trials

Bay Team Sept 3 2018 USDAA Western Regional
Bay Team 2018 Monday USDAA Regional winners

Bay Team CPE July 23-24 2011 San Martin
Bay Team CPE Oct 2011 Costumes
Bay Team CPE agility trial Santa Rosa December 2009
Bay Team July 2006 CPE Dog Agility Trial
Bay Team September Labor Day 2006 USDAA Dog Agility Trial
Bay Team USDAA Jan 2007
Bay Team USDAA July 2009 Sweep's ADCH
Bay Team USDAA July 2015 Manzanita Park
Bay Team USDAA June 15, 2018
Bay Team USDAA June 2017
Bay Team USDAA Sept 2017
Haute Dawgs October 2011
NAF November 2010 Hula Hoops
NAF USDAA November 2013
PASA ASCA November 2014
SMART USDAA April 2017
SMART USDAA Aug 2015 Manzanita Park
SMART USDAA Carmel July 2010
SMART USDAA Jan 2015 Thorson
SMART USDAA Nov 2015 Thorson
Santa Rosa USDAA Agility Trial Dec 2008
USDAA BayTeam July 2013
VAST USDAA May 2015

Trials by Guest Photographer
Bay Team CPE June 2009 Guest Photographer
Bay Team CPE March 2008 Guest Photographer
Bay Team CPE agility March 2007 Guest Photographer
Bay Team USDAA May 2010 Prunedale Guest Photographer
Bay Team USDAA Sept 2007 Guest Photographer
Bay Team USDAA Southwest Regional Sept 2010 Guest Photographer
Boost photos by Sarah
Tika photos by Sarah
UKI Fun Match January 31 2010 Guest Photographer


Bonnie Doon August 2010


Boost (Smart Gallery


Scully's Retirement Sept 29 2009


Tika (Smart Gallery)


Events

Martial Cottle Park Grand Opening Dec 13, 2014
Miscellaneous at Martial Cottle Park Grand Opening
Speakers at Martial Cottle Opening Speakers

4th of July Fireworks 2012 Cupertino
Crossword Tournament Alameda High Plus Art Sept 12 2009
Giants Game 6 2014 World Series from San Francisco
Hellyer Park Festival In The Park June 23, 2012
Monterey Bay Area Research Inst. Annual Open House
Mt. Hamilton Lick Observatory Evening
National River Clean-Up Day May 21 2011
Renaissance Pleasure Faire Hollister 2006
Renaissance Pleasure Faire Hollister 2013
SCA Baron/Baroness of the Westermark ceremony
San Jose Giants Game May 2008
Santa Clara County Fair August 2, 2009
Saratoga High School Winter Choir Dec 2008
Stanley Cup Visit

Family

Horseback jumping lessons June 27 2009
Ann
Classmates
Dogs, Horses, and Misc
Elizabeth
Katie

1970s scanned slides (Dad's)
Ann Horse Jumping May 6, 2011
Cal State Stanislaus Graduation June 2008
Dawn's and Simon's October 10 2009
Dinner At Genji June 26 2008
Elizabeth graduation
Finch Gathering Feb 2009
Garage Sale Sept 2014
Genji Feb 7, 2018
Genji June 22 2009
Happy Mother's Day, Mom
Joe smart gallery
July 2007
Kate's Birthday
KatesBirthday
LP Heath House
Leif and Nicki Wedding
Linda and Paul Ceiling Teardown Feb 3 2018
Linda and Paul painting day
Linda and Paul's Wedding by Keith
Linda and Paul's wedding by Pro
Mom and Dad
Mom's Diary 1951 (excerpts)
Mothers Day 2015 at Ed Levin Park
Possible obit photos
Selected Carol Anne photos
Sisters
Thanksgiving 2006
Thanksgiving 2009
Thanksgiving 2010
Thanksgiving 2013
Thanksgiving 2014
Wilkinson House

Family Christmas Photos

Xmas 2008
Christmas 2008: Best of
Christmas 2008: Elizabeth's Photos
Christmas 2008: Second best
Christmas 2008:Sharon's Photos

Christmas 1956 through 2002
Christmas 1964 (Dad's Photos)
Christmas 1968 (Dad's)
Christmas 1974
Christmas 2003 (partial)
Christmas 2004
Christmas 2005
Christmas 2006
Christmas 2007
Christmas 2009
Christmas 2010
Christmas 2011
Christmas 2012
Christmas 2013
Christmas 2014
Christmas 2014 from Parents
Christmas 2015
Christmas 2016
Family Christmas trees
Mom's Christmas Village
Xmas - hats and other things on heads
Xmas Cameras

Flowers
Lisa's Springtime Yard 2014
Yard April 10 2010
Yard Flowers March 15 2011
yard May 15 2012

Friends
AussiesAtOutback
Boxing Day 2010
David's Memorial Feb 2011
Monster Baby Shower
Scottish Games
The Lab Shoot April 2010
TheLabShootMarch2010
Wednesday Night 8:15 Christmas Dinner

Hiking
Alum Rock Park, Boccardo Loop Trail, Oct 2011
Big Basin Redwoods State Park Nov 22 2008
Black Mountain Hiking Sierra Club Sept 2, 2009
Blossom Hill Area Hike To Mall May 10 2008
Blossom Hill area--Sunrise Hike in Neighborhood May 2009
Castle Rock Hiking Sept 2007
Coyote Creek Trail Oct 2011
DogWalkStanford_Oct2013
Fremont Older Open Space Hike August 2010
Geocaching
Golden Gate Area and Wildflowers July 31 2011 (Bay Area Ridge Trail 1)
Guadalupe River Trail Feb 16 2008
Henry Coe Bell Station Hiking June 8 2008 Burra Burra Trail
Henry Coe Hiking Feb 9 2008
Henry Coe hiking Feb 25(?) 2006--people and scenery
Henry Cowell Redwoods Hiking August 8, 2009
Kammerer Open Space April 14-2013
La Colina Park Nov 26 2010
Long Ridge Open Space Hiking July 29
Los Gatos Creek Trail to Vasona Feb 7 2010
Los Trancos Earthquake Fault Trail Oct 5 2008
Milagra and Sweeney Ridges August 15, 2010
Monte Bello Ridge Sierra Club April 2008
Monte Bello to Black Mountain June 25 2008
Monte Bello to Black Mountain May 9 2012
Morgan Territory Mar 28 2010, scenery, dogs, and wildflowers
Morgan Territory, Dogs, Wildflowers, May 30, 2011
Parker Ranch March 2013
Picchetti Ranch Open Space Preserve with Sierra Club April 2009
Picchetti Ranch Open Space Preserve with Sierra Club June 2008
Pichetti Ranch wildflowers hike Apr 2014
Pinnacles Jan 2003
Pinnacles Jan 2005
Pinnacles May 1984
Pulgas Ridge Hike With Dogs
Rancho San Antonio April 13, 2011
Rancho San Antonio May 11 2011, Sierra Club
Rancho San Antonio May 14 2008
Sanborn Hiking Nov 6, 2011
Santa Teresa County Park Hike Aug 11 2010
Santa Teresa County Park Hike Aug 6 2011
Santa Teresa County Park Hike Thanksgiving 2011
Santa Teresa County Park Hike and Wildflowers
Santa Teresa County Park Hike with Dogs Feb 2011
Santa Teresa County Park Hike with Dogs July 2010
Santa Teresa County Park Hike with Dogs June 2009
Santa Teresa County Park Hike with Dogs and Friend March 2013
Santa Teresa Dec 18, 2011
Santa Teresa Hike with Dogs Oct 3 2009
Santa Teresa Park Hiking August 12, 2009
Shoreline Park Sierra Club Apr 2 2014
Shoreline Park Sierra Club May 2 2012
Sierra Vista Sunrise Rain Hike
Sierra Vista Trail Opening Oct 2011
Skyline Ridge Hiking Sierra Club August 19, 2009
Stevens Creek Lookout Trail June 20 2008
Stevens Creek Tony Look Trail Hike June 18 2008
Stevens Creek Trail (Lower) - Mar 18 2009
Sunol Regional Wilderness Hiking
Sunol Regional Wilderness Hiking Apr 2009
Teague Hill Hike October 4 2008
WIndy Ridge 9-30-12 (Bay Area Ridge Trail)
Wildcat Canyon Regional Park hike
Yosemite Valley to Glacier Point Hike Aug 22 2009

History
Lexington Reservoir Empty: Visit Vanished Towns of Lexington and Alma Dec 2008
Loma Prieta quake

Hobbies
Grandma's Buttons
SunnyvalePhotoClubLibrary2015


My SmugMug Creations



Nature

Santa Teresa Wildflowers March 28, 2015
Ellen's Santa Teresa Wildflowers Mar 28, 2014
Sue's Santa Teresa Wildflowers Mar 28, 2015

Almaden Lake Park Birds Aug 2011
Almaden Quicksilver Vicinity Feb 14 2009
Birds in my yard
Coyote Ridge WIldflower Hike 12-04-15
Critters
Edgewood Park Wildflowers March 28 2009
Elkhorn Slough October 2011
Ellen's Plants
Golden Gate Park Conservatory of Flowers Carnivores
Guadalupe River Trail Birds Sept 2011
Guadalupe River Trail Dec 20 2008 with Dogs and more
Henry Coe hiking Feb 25(?) 2006--plants
Lick and Moonlight Fires
Los Trancos Open Space Thistle Pull July 25 2009
Love California In January - My Yard Jan '10
Plants Blooming In My Yard 2009 July 15
Plants Blooming In My Yard 2009 June 15 (27)
San Francisco Bay Area Wildflowers
Santa Teresa County Park Wildflowers May 4 2012
Santa Teresa Wildflowers April 16, 2011
Santa Teresa Wildflowers April 19, 2011
Sierra Azul Wildflower Survey April 2008
The Yard Has Gone To The Dogs
Yard Deities, Flowers, Birds, and Like That 2009 May 16
Yard Flowers Late April 2009

Other
Boxes 2001 move - never again
ForDonna - Bay Team trailers
Shopping Center Sunset Halloween Oct 24 2009

Photography

The Random Photo Number Project
Photos Numbered 2119
Photos Numbered 2850
Photos numbered 0033

Bay Checkerspot Butterfly, story behind photo
CompareThreeLenses (these images are reduced in size)
Found an unused one-use film camera from 13 years ago
Photo Of the Day 2011
Photo of the Day 2012
Photo of the day 2013
Random
Testing123
photo alterations

Portfolio
Candids
Find originals, reedit, and reevaluate
Photo Club Awards
Portfolio in process

Some favorites
Assorted and Abstract
Cityscapes
Creatures great and small
ELF's dogs portfolio
ELF's favorite animal shots
ELF's kids portfolio
ELF's miscellaneous portfolio
ELF's people portfolio
ELF's plants portfolio
ELF's scenery portfolio
Flowers and plants
Nature and landscape
People and Pets portfolio
Photo Highlights 2015
Photo of the Day 2016
Possible for work calendar
PossibleCalendar2013Thumbs
PossibleCalendarPhotos2017
RandomShots
Sports and activities
Travel

Special
1970s Ellen
Household Items Available
In honor of Ron's birthday 2018
Others Photos
WorkingAtTrials-ForBlog2011-06-28
Yard Gear Going Away 2018

Travel

CaliforniaArizonaMay2010
Day 1A Casa Da Fruta

Havasu Falls Grand Canyon May 2008
Day 1A Romero Visitor Center San Luis Reservoir
Day 1B San Joaquin Valley National Cemetery May 2008
Day 1C Los Banos Park and Museum, Sunset
Day 2A Calico Ghost Town
Day 2B Kingman, Seligman, I-40, and Route 66
Day 3 Hike from Hualapai Hilltop to Supai
Day 4 Supai; Navajo, Havasu, and Mooney Falls; wildlife and flowers
Day 5 Hualapai Hilltop, Seligman, and Grand Canyon
Day 6 Grand Canyon, Flowers, and Snow
Day 7 Grand Canyon, California Condors
Maps of Trip

Montreal September 2008
COLLADA Montreal Sept 2008
Montreal Sept 21 2008
Montreal Sept 23 2008
Montreal Sept 24 2008
Montreal Sept 25 2008
Montreal Sept 26 2008

Nevada-Arizona 2016
Trip 2016 Day 1 California
Trip 2016 Day 3 Las Vegas

Northwest Trip May-June 2018
Trip Maps May-June 2018

To Colorado for Photo Workshop 2017
Arches National Park 2017
Colorado Photo Workshop People
Colorado Workshop Photo Selections

To Idaho for Solar Eclipse Aug 2017
Reno NV to Victor ID for Eclipse Aug 20, 2017
San Jose to Reno for Eclipse, Aug 19, 2017
Victor, Idaho for total solar eclipse

Alameda and Jack London Square 2008
Casa De Fruta--and Everything June 8 2008
Drive to Monterey Feb 27, 2010
Drive to Monterey July 27 2008
Filoli 2003
Filoli 2004
Filoli 2011
JacksPeakAndCanneryRow
Monterey Beaches and Aquarium Dec 26 2008
Moraga Steps, San Francisco
San Franciscio Presidio March 2011
Sierra Snow Trip March 2005

Vicon
Vicon 2005
Vicon 2006 Alex
Vicon 2006 Athena and Cyrus
Vicon 2006 Christyn and Brian
Vicon 2006 Miscellaneous People
Vicon 2007 Album Photos
Vicon 2007 Bonus Photos
Vicon 2008
Vicon 2009
Vicon 2010



Thursday, August 30, 2018

A bouquet of AKC dogs--

SUMMARY: Which would you pick?

I'm not a big AKC fan for various reasons, BUT their different breed groups were what I memorized as a child. I could recite all of the dogs in each group well into my college years.  (Somewhere in there, though, I discovered that the world contains hundreds of other wonderful breeds.)

This came around on FaceBook and I couldn't resist:

If you could own one dog from each AKC Group, which would you choose? This can be a breed you currently own, have owned or would like to own! 

(I add: Or you can expand your horizons and view the breed groups from around the world as consolidated in Wikipedia. Or from the widest-spread international organization, the FCI, who groups them differently than everyone else.)

  • Sporting - Labrador Retriever, from working/agility lines, not the overly stocky/chunky show type
  • Working - German Pinscher maybe
  • Herding - Blue merle Border Collie or Australian Shepherd or several others 
  • Hound - Maybe Irish Wolfhound
  • Toy - Maybe Manchester Terrier
  • Non-Sporting - Poodle
  • Terrier - Border Terrier or Soft-Coated Wheaten Terrier or Parson Russell
  • Miscellaneous - The members of this class vary over the years as they become more widely accepted and moved into the other classes, and as other rarer breeds start to become popular.  From what's there right now, maybe a Norrbottenspets or Mudi
  • Foundation Stock Service - Not really a breed group. Mostly breeds who don't want to be AKC conformation dogs, is my personal thought. Maybe Sidney Thomson-- that is,  Kromfohrländer-- or Danish-Swedish Farm Dog or Kelpie

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Technology

SUMMARY: Expensive and lying around everywhere.

We here at Taj MuttHall (that is, Human Mom, 2 dogs, and Mr Fox No.12) have the following in the way of "high tech" gear used for communication currently or at one time:
  • A 2017 Macbook Pro that was working perfectly except for occasional extremely irritating and often challenging sticky keys (which Apple finally acknowledged in June was their problem), which I took to the Authorized Dealer yesterday for the warranty repair with a promise that it would be done by the end of the day, but it failed diagnostics, so they were going to try again, so I have no email, no applications that read my actual current data...like that. Back to the stone age. Only web-based apps for me today.
  • This Mac Mini (that I am using in the interim and it is slowww and has no current software) from wayyy back. 
  • A Mac 512K ( that would work fine if it had a working floppy drive into which to insert the System diskette but I cannot get one of those, nor have the ones I have be repaired, which is why this original was retired).  It lives on in my attic and on Wikipedia.
  • A slew of Macs of various models who remain here only as ghosts.
  •  A 2011 MacBook Pro that works fine (although had been getting slower over time) but sometimes doesn't work at all, so it must sit in the corner and ponder its sins. 
  • A 2011 MacBook Pro whose screen broke so you can see only the left 1/3 or so (actually handed over to a friend recently for homeopathic therapy (so I don't expect any cures any time soon)).
  • A Windows laptop running Vista that I haven't needed in 2 years (my company provided it for some contracts) and that's likely well over 10 years old
  • Another Windows system running I don't know what but probably more recent OS than that. It was my dad's and I have it to, in theory, be working on converting all of his vast numbers of Word Perfect files (all of his books and everything else are in this) to Word so the rest of us can read them.
  • One home phone, the main line, with a wireless handset and a base with answering machine (digital, not tape) that hangs on the wall in the kitchen and does not have caller ID or any other such new-fangled features. I have a wired-to-the-wall-and-coiled-handset-wire phone in my bedroom also on that line. You would maybe not be surprised how many people say, "but I texted you!" And I say, "How--you don't have my cell number," and they look at me blankly and say, isn't this your phone number?  Yes... yes, it is.
  • One office line that's for work, nominally. Internetz come through there. Has a pretty modern phone with a limited display (and digital answering machine) and also TWO bases and wireless handsets--very handy to have the extra one in the living room during the recent years when that's where I was working because of my back. And bluetooth if I could figure out how its new-fangled ear piece works.
  • A printer...  a printer for goodness sake... that's also connected to the interwebz and is wirelessly operated, which is also very convenient from the living room or from my renters' phones. It's also a scanner and a fax. I got it to replace my old dead fax. Ask me how many faxes I've sent or received in the last couple of years. (Hint, fewer than 1.)
  • My regular flip cell phone that my so-called friends deride regularly. 
  • An inherited iPhone 4 with an actual service plan that isn't being used, following my model for Netflix (sure, I'm paying every month, because someday I might use it) and Dish Satellite (sure, I'm paying every month, because someday I might use it). 
However, since I successfully cancelled my Dish subscription this past week, I think I'm going to bite the proverbial technology bullet and get a new cell phone.

What's the world coming to?

(I have photos of many of these but not easy to post at the moment, so tune in later.)

Friday, August 03, 2018

Going to the Fair Ain't What She Used To Be

SUMMARY: With occasional appearances of Mr Fox No.12.

I loved visiting the county fair when I was younger. Miles and miles of livestock from the tiniest decorative chickens or rabbits to the largest long-horn cattle and draft horses.

Food vendors of myriad confections, from cotton candy to pepper steak to garlic fries (and ice cream!) and everything in between.

Winners and participants of nonlivestock competitions: Saliva-inducing canned goods, perfectly hand-stitched clothing, rainbows of quilts, woodworking, metalworking, photography, people's carefully curated collections of curiosities, table-setting examples.

Hawkers of fantabulous whoozitzes and whatnots that you might not see anywhere else.  And of course the carnival rides and games, gleaming, glistening, shining, glowing, in a thousand colors at day and oh so much at night. 


The Santa Clara County fairgrounds used to have a field/racetrack/grandstand, too, that drew crowds for whatever was going on at any given hour.

But--probably largely through receding interest as the agricultural Valley of Heart's Delight became Silicon Valley--the fair gradually became a shadow of its former self. Wasn't helped along by management who decided to raze the grandstand/field and all of the livestock buildings and facilities some years back, and then couldn't come up with any sort of replacement that was acceptable to the neighbors or general residents of Santa Clara County.


But--we went briefly yesterday anyway. The entry arch is the same one that has been there as long as I can remember.

Yesterday was LGBTQ day/night at the fair, as they try to draw in new audiences. So there were a lot of rainbows to put us in a cheery mood. It was a good start but didn't last long and was spotty the rest of the time.



We weren't thrilled with the entrance, even. So I'll start by complaining, apologies--it gets better (I think). We went yesterday because the fair's web page said $1 entrance all day Thursday. When we got there, it wasn't, and when I got home, their page no longer said that.

And they had the entrance very poorly laid out: Big sign pointing to "Entrance" which was a long maze of fences set up to contain a huge line (no line when we got there), and as we headed through towards the end of that, we saw people coming back in our direction and discovered that the ticket booth sat  *outside* the maze even thought it was right next to the far end of the maze where the ticket takers were. So we had to walk back along that maze (neither of us feeling physically at our best), then walk back down alongside it to get tickets, then walk back out alongside it again and all the way through it again, so I wasn't feeling charitable before we even got inside. I wasn't grumpy enough to ask one of the guards to just move part of the fence for us to walk through--wish I had. Oh, well.

OK, mostly I won't complain more; I'll just be wistful as we go.

Mr Fox No.12 came along but didn't have much to say. He said he thought that speech was generally free in the U.S. of A. but based on the condition of this location, it seems to be a little under attack, he said. He stayed low in case of sudden mass shootings in the area.



Once inside,  you betcha we spotted this right away.


We sat on a bench in the shade--it was warm, not super-hot, but my delicious but drippy dipped cone called for sitting and ice creaming and talking.

Next up: The large animal building (not a barn--those are long gone. This is a repurposed building that used to hold other exhibits and vendors). We walked through, but all the lanes between rows were closed and most of the animals were tied up facing the other way or sleeping on the far side of the pens, so that was quick and dull.

No.12 says that he saw more interesting sheep than these up in Oregon and Idaho, he says. He did scare one into moving suddenly, though, when he tried to jump off my neck when i leaned forward to take a photo. He thought that was pretty entertaining.


What sheep do when their neighbor kicks sawdust in their face.  [Nothing, apparently. Maybe he was keeping an eye on Mr Fox. Made me smile, though.]


Be glad your neck wrinkles aren't like these.


[Dangity ding dong, I just realized that all of my photos have Mr Fox No.12's signature on them because I neglected to turn that off in my smallification dialog. Darn it.]

Pretty much all the sheep, goats, and pigs that we saw looked more like this: Plump and sleepy and uninterested in giving us photo ops. Didn't they get the memo?!


Here, all the animals were projects of 4H or FFA or the like, so they were also educational projects, meaning that educational info put together by the kids lined the pens.  Perhaps without much proofreading.  But I always learn something.


This is pretty much what all the cattle looked like to us.


A quick glimpse along the pig row of the large animal building. Those are exhibitors in the middle; we couldn't walk through there.



I'm definitely sad when I go these days because it's even less than a shell of what it used to be. Don't know whether that was entirely inevitable or as a result of management over the last decade or two. This is the main entry plaza, first thing you go through. Bare.  Not many vendors of any kind anywhere.

(My sister, an avid Society for Creative Anachronism member, said that they used to provide demos of fighting and other medieval activities here in this plaza until they realized that, even on Saturday and Sunday, their group made up about half of the people actually in the plaza.)


The "competitions" hall held the usual remnants of what used to be huge displays of photos, collections, table settings, crafts, sewing, canned goods, etc. Some nice things still, and I like looking at them.  But I sure wish there were more.  Everything done pretty much by youth (K-12), now, not much in the way for adults to participate in. There are some delightfully talented young people out there, though, and that always bodes well for the future, I think.


I did like the socially conscious quilts, including some sections from the AIDS quilt and one beautiful and moving one for the Sandy Hook shooting with the names as part of the quilting. (All but the AIDS quilt also done by "youth".)








And this--





The quilt took me back to the '80s and early '90s, when they were just figuring out what was going on, and there was so much stigma, and so very, very, very many people, particularly here in the San Francisco Bay Area, dying. Frightening times.  I'm so glad that we've made progress on all those fronts.

Read more about the quilt at aidsquilt.org.


(This chart is from the U.S. Food & Drug Administration. My feelings were more of remembering how hard the times were back then, viewed now from a distance, and relief that things got better. Still not perfect, but so much better.)

(My fair-going friend points out that things might not be as much better as they appear.)



So--back to the fair in general: Just a few of the things in the competition hall (which was also pretty sparse), but some beautiful items to regard. Look how that honey glows!


This is a painted gourd. (For exhibit only, not in competition.) "Miniature Garden Gourd House on Stump" by Iris Gach.


As a collector of dragons (and some other random things, don't cha know), I've always liked looking at people's personally curated collections at the fair. Like these piggies.




Outside, between the buildings, spray-paint artists were hard at work. How DO they do that directly out of spray cans?!
(Wolf. Purple. Love both.  Ooooowwwwwoooooooooo!)



Displays in the other exhibit hall were the now-usual bugs, reptiles, and Dianetics, and not too many of those, either; hall mostly empty.


One part of one of the old exhibit halls was set up as the Wizard's Challenge, which provided giant chess, giant checkers, a bunch of other giant games and toys, and this delightful giant bubbles station.  Dip, pull, and stream, and wowwwwww giant bubbles!  You could even capture a nearby friend in one!





Friend was having miserable back spasms and my hip was none too good, so we didn't stay all that long and didn't see all that much of the fair.   Didn't make it out to the carnival part, although that was our original goal for photos. Supposed to be larger this year, and if it goes well, it'll be back next year. Or, if not, there are other fairs within easy driving distance for future reference.

Instead, we quickly called it a day and headed over to Applebee's for dinner. My salmon and veggies were very good; certainly healthier than anything I'd have eaten at the fairgrounds. And one can't beat the air condition and the great companionship as two old (ahem, barely middle-aged?) friends talk up a storm. We always have things to talk about, and that is just plum wonderful.