Lessons from our friends – good to remember!


A reminder to be sure to spare more … for all who love us ūüôā

I was forwarded an email with some appropriate dog images that and I can’t resist sharing some of those images here!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.


Anyone who knows me knows that my pups are pretty important to me and source of great joy in my life.  Ever since I started living on my own I have had at least one dog.  For a while, whilst I lived in Texas with my big backyard and house I was actually up to 3 dogs and a cat.

In the more recent ears (until about 5 years ago) I had just one dog and a cat.  Boeing (dog) & Milo (cat).  Boeing & Milo loved each other and were great friends and playmates.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Then Sky joined our life!

The Kids flat
Sky Boeing & Milo all got along perfectly!  There was a little period of getting to know each other for Milo (the cat) and Sky.  But both quickly accepted one another.  Boeing never had a problem with Sky.  Boeing was about 14 years old when I got Sky who was still essentially a puppy .  Sky was about a year old when I brought her home.

When Boeing passed away it became very obvious that Sky did not like to be left alone and so I found a puppy for us all on petfinder.com.  Zulu was about 8 weeks old when we picked him up and has proved to be the perfect complement to our family.  Zulu has always been completely comfortable being left at home when I have to go to work or other places and as such has made Sky more comfortable being without me.  Sky and Zulu bonded instantly and they just live to love one another and enjoy life!

Dogs love and give so unconditionally that they are truly a terrific example for us humans who can sometimes get caught up in petty differences!  Thanks Sky, Zulu & Boeing for always being so loving to one another and to me.  Love is reflected in Love and they live and express that idea unconditionally!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

One of the special things about Zulu is the way he seems to know exactly which people to approach for love and which dogs to approach. ¬†I have seem him run up towards people with his tail wagging only to realise before getting to close that they weren’t dog people and turn around without hurt feelings as though he had never even headed their way. ¬†He reads people 2015-11-12 11.38.04-3
and dogs amazingly well and one of his dear friends from the day he met her is Tilly, the harbourmasters’ dog. ¬†Tilly is at least 12-13 yr old and from the day he met her Zulu has always rushed up to her and showered her in kisses. ¬†Tilly has been having a rough go of it for the past couple of years but more often than not, Zulu’s adoration perks Tilly up and at times she even runs to greet him too!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I am so blessed to have these pups in my life and grateful for all the good times and even the challenging times. ¬†They weren’t the perfect dogs out of the box and they are still very individual. ¬†They are good dogs and rarely get in trouble or get me in trouble ūüôā

Meet the Prius!

Truck before I fixed her!

As you may recall from an earlier post,¬†I have done a lot of work on my little Toyota Tacoma to get it fixed and back on the road after the unfortunate¬†car accident in February. ¬†The job was no quick job and I knew I couldn’t get her back on the road quickly if I was to do a good job. ¬†The insurance company of the man who hit me paid for my rental car for a few weeks whilst they were trying to determine if I was at any fault in the accident. ¬†I was in a bit of limbo¬†because though I knew I would not be found at fault I was unsure as to the value the insurance company would¬†assess my truck and if it would be deemed fixable or not …. The truck was a 1996 Toyota Tacoma and though that sounds old, this truck has actually gone up in value as opposed to down.

Truck in work!! No small job!

I bought her for $4000 about 4-5 years ago and that was the going price. ¬†Now you can’t buy one similar for $6000! ¬†These trucks are known for their indestructible engines! I do wish the body had proved a little more indestructible but it’s all good now.

The insurance company wound up paying me $6000 for the truck and let me buy it back from them for $350. ¬†It cost me about $1800 in parts to fix it. ¬†In the meantime I needed another vehicle and was in search of a vehicle that could make my 25 mile commute to work a little more fuel efficient since gas prices are so high in California. ¬†The vehicles I would find in the $6000 price range just weren’t right for me and I couldn’t find one that fit my preconceived notion of what I wanted.

I looked at Subarus, Toyotas, SUVs … I found cars I liked but when I would research reliability or especially fuel economy, well, there were no easy choices!

Eventually I happened on a 2010 Prius, local to me and for $10,800.  The Prius only had 52,000 miles on it and was valued by the bank at about 15k.  The catch is the vehicle had been used by a company and had a vinyl wrap on it for advertising their company.  Also, the interior Рthe cargo was a  bit beat up from the work related tooling and equipment they hauled in it.  Here are a few pictures of the car as I first bought it:

You can click on any of the pictures for larger size!

The pictures above show the way the car looked when I bought it! ¬†All the white on the car was a white vinyl wrap with the lettering and graphics. ¬†The car is white underneath the vinyl wrap and I didn’t really want to drive around advertising for free for a company I didn’t even know!! ¬†With a little research I learned that vinyl wrap can be removed with heat. ¬†I decided I would keep the stripe portion of the graphics and that involved carefully taking a razor blade and cutting just deep enough around the stripe and then heating and pulling the vinyl till it broke along the seam.

After the side graphics & hood graphics were removed I worked on creating a little pattern on the roof from the existing green graphics.


Now some final shots of the finished product!

I also rigged up a dog ramp that slides underneath a pallet I modified dog beds are on top of the pallet and the ramp slides out so that Sky doesn’t need to jump in or out of the vehicle and I don’t have to lift a dirty dog in the car! Of course they are rarely dirty – but beach ventures do seem to equate to wet sandy dog!!

Here us a link to my google photo album  of all the picts

A day at the beach

The last couple of months have been pretty hectic!   Wrecked truck.  Trying to figure out insurance issues then new wheels then getting the new wheels in order and most recently the work of rebuilding my truck.  My patient pups have still had a few outings and lots of walks in the harbour but they have not their usual trek to the beach which has always been so relaxing and fun for all three of us.anticipation

A few days ago, after doing a little weed-wacking around my storage container in the harbour, I decided we needed a good beach outing!!  Sky and Zulu were both quite excited when I asked them if they wanted to go to the beach!!

Here’s a photo of when we first arrived at the beach . . .they were definitely wide eyed and ready to go!



This slideshow requires JavaScript.

I live in such a picturesque and dog-friendly place that most people don’t understand why I would drive 30 minutes and across 2 bridges, pay 2 tolls just to take my dogs to the beach. ¬†Well Crissy field is just an amazing beach and for now one of the most dog friendly beaches in the bay area. ¬†The dog owners at this beach are super conscientious. ¬†The dog walkers are also conscientious and then the people without dogs who come to the beach with and without their kids seem to for the most part enjoy the dogs. ¬†It is one of the few dog friendly places in the bay area that is really filled with conscientious respect for one another. ¬†I love it and¬†so do the pups!


The last couple of months … car accidents & rebuildings…

On the 17th of Feb 2016 I was rear-ended and pushed into another vehicle whilst on my way to work. ¬†The accident on it’s own was scary and jolting to say the least!

This posting is not about the accident but rather about a transition that occurred as a result. ¬†My 1996 Toyota Tacoma truck was declared ‘totaled’ by the party at fault. ¬†The cost to repair it was estimated at around $3900 on the cheap side and closer to 5k on the realistic end. ¬†The insurance company at fault considered my vehicle a total loss and payed me $6000 as a comparable equivalent to my loss. They then allowed me to buy my own vehicle back for $350. ¬†Although a total loss for the insurance overall you couldn’t buy an equivalent replacement for the truck for 6k!

I priced out the basics from junk yards in the area.  $250 for a tailgate, $200 each for front and rear bumper, fenders around $75/ea hood $150 Рclose to $1000 for the other basics not including the most important part, the radiator support.

The radiator support goes across the front end and is what the radiator is bolted to.  This piece is welded on and there are no after market or readily available junk yard parts.

I started surfing Craigslist.  I found a truck with the exact year and model that was not running for $1700.  I offered him $1000 for his truck as is.  He did not accept but in the long run allowed me to buy all that I needed for the $1000!  The truck was located about 90 minutes away and a full 4-6 hours of work in disassembly.   I came home with all that I needed to reassemble my truck -except for time.

here is a photo album of the experience

This slideshow requires JavaScript.



Then the matching of lines, welds and mechanical workings…

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It was a ¬†lot of work but a great sense of satisfaction in it’s completion! ¬†Grateful to have such a big backyard to work in and a harbour-master who is an expert welder!!

Check out my Google+ Photo album for more photos of the process.

And here are a couple of panoramas of my great work space!