It started with a rainbow!

Monday, November 2nd, 2015.  The day was an okay day.  I was doing a lot of driving to help out a neighbour of mine with some work of his.  Unfortunately the day had also been spent re-living some events from a few days earlier which were not quite so pleasant.  I couldn’t seem to break the mesmerism of the in-harmony which had occurred the previous week.  Then I saw the most amazing thing.  In the

.....it started with a rainbow
…..it started with a rainbow

distance a beautiful rainbow.  As I got closer, it became obvious that the end of the rainbow was right in front of me.  It was amazing as far as I was concerned.  I have never seen the end of a rainbow it wasn’t until a few days later that I realised that my dash cam had actually captured this phenomenon!

Unfortunately, in my awe of the rainbow I failed to notice that the traffic in front of me had come to a halt and as such I rear-ended the car in front me.  I wasn’t going fast but distraction had taken me

away from the more important task of full attention on the road and not the rainbow.  I had to get towed and wound up in a rental car but all along I kept thinking to myself, ‘there must be some sort of blessing in this unfortunate incident’.  ‘Something so beautiful as this rainbow must have some blessing to accompany it.’ See my next post …

 

 

Working Dogs – and the Security System!

I work nights at the Oakland airport where the year round average temperature is about 65 degrees F (18 C).  There is always a breeze blowing and basically the weather is the primary reason I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area.  I drive a small toyota truck with an extended cab and nice camper shell on the back.  I have 2 wonderful dogs that go with me almost everywhere.  They only accompany me when the weather is conducive.  Having lived in Texas for about 12 years I am well aware of the dangers of a hot vehicle and as far as I am concerned any vehicle parked in the sun when the outside temperature is above about 65 deg is too hot for my dogs.  I work graveyard shift, the overnight shift, so I can have my dogs accompany me to work and hang out in the back of my truck while I work.

I have a 10 hour shift and with 2 hours for driving….if I left them home they would be home alone wondering where I am for 12 hours and no way to go outside or eat etc … In my current situation they have a huge bed in the back of my truck, 3 water bowls, they get to go outside at least once a night usually at least 2 or 3 times and they get to stop at dog parks on the way to and from work.  There has been one night that I deemed to be too hot to take them (last night) – not because of the outside temperature but rather the accumulated temperature of my vehicle over the day seemed to me that it would take too long to cool down so I did not want to have them in the vehicle for the possible 1 hour of slight discomfort.

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This is the picture of their encampment in the back of my truck.  The bed is a PVC frame with 2 large couch type cushions on top.  It is super soft and they seem to sleep in about every position on this bed!  It measures about 4 1/2 feet square! Windows all around and newly cleaned blankets almost daily.

I park in an area of the employee parking where I am allowed to back in.  My goal is that if the dogs bark at anyone – for example getting into their car, I impact the fewest amount of people.  The most people I could impact are about 2.  A person parked on either side of me.  No one can park behind me.  There is a dirt run right behind which I use to walk the dogs at night.  I was concerned that maybe my dogs barked more than I thought so I found a way to add cameras to my truck and have a camera aimed on the dogs and at the time of the incident I am about to speak of there was a  camera aiming forward out of my vehicle so I could see people walking by in the event my dogs barked at them

The following 3 videos show what took place at 0135 am on the morning of August 3rd, 2015.  The employee bus had just passed my car at 1:28 am as seen in the still picture.

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Employee bus passing my truck at 1:28 am

 

People would have been let out at the bus stop about 50 ft behind the location of the bus as it is driving away from that bus stop.

This video was taken at 1:32am -the dogs are awake, looking around -not barking.


This video was taken a minute later. Dogs awake and aware but still not barking or agitated in any way.

Now Check out this video and see how quickly things change!!


This video was at 1:35am. I now have a video camera aimed on the back door of truck. It appears to me from the video that some unsuspecting person decided to try and open the vehicle and did not realise there were dogs inside. As they started to open the back hatch of the truck Sky, the white Australian Shepherd lunged at the door and them and pushed the door the rest of the way open and Zulu decided to follow along for the heck of it I guess.  Now I keep the camper shell locked and have a camera aimed at the back door in the event someone tries this again.  The security system was definitely effective.  Whoever it was was scared off by the dog coming at him or her … Sky ran and was on the outside of the parking lot fence when I go there. Zulu stayed right behind the truck.  I reailised they were gone about 10 minutes after it happened and rushed out to the parking lot to see why my dogs were not in the truck.  The back camper shell door was open and the video evidence I was able to review later gave me a better sense of the chain of events short of having an actual suspect.

I called the police to see if they had any surveillance outside the vehicle.  They didn’t and their thought was that someone who heard my dogs barking and felt sorry for my dogs let them out.  If you look at all three videos the main thing you should notice is that if anything- they did not notice the person who had to have come up from behind my vehicle to open it.  There were no barks ahead of time -only the barks when they were surprised by the intruder.  Hopefully that person has learned better than to open other peoples vehicles and I now lock the camper shell to avoid such intrusions!

Here’s a video of their ride to work – my truck could use some better shocks!  But they seem to be enjoying the ride and the view

And here is Zulu making himself comfortable –making his bed – as you can see ample room for both pups!

I do love my dogs -they are my family and though it would be more convenient for me to leave them at home when I work -but would that really be the humane thing to do.  Left at home wondering for 12 hours where I am .I had to leave them home the other night because it was just too hot.  They seem more on guard and less restful than they do at work …

I had the videos on them of course- Zulu slept peacefully as usual but Sky was vigilant all night long -pacing looking and listening and staying on perpetual guard.  As you can see the size of the bed they chose to sleep in is actually slightly smaller than the one in my truck.  They chose to sleep outside on my other boat as opposed to inside out of the weather.  It was hot inside so I don’t blame them for wanting a little breeze …

I know I’m crazy about my dogs and maybe a bit crazy otherwise but they are worth it.  Right now as I write this, Zulu is sound asleep in his bed and Sky -always needing to know where I am is asleep at the foot of my bed with her head on my leg so she knows my every move.  She is so faithful!!

 

Poetry Reading -who goes to those sorts of things…??

In truth I am impressed by those who write poetry.  My sense of poetry has always been with the concept that poetry should have a sense of rhyme and kind of bounce to it with some sort of cadence.  I’ve had a  tendency to shy away from those poems that didn’t fit into the rhythm and rhyme sense of verse so tonight was definitely a night which challenged those predetermined ‘needs’.

I was invited to support a local poet from my aquatic-therapy class ( this poet is also in the aqua- therapy class).  I had wavered on my commitment to meet with two friends from the class.  Poetry reading! I’ve never intentionally gone to such an event.  Tonight was a definite treat and I am grateful I was willing to allow myself to partake and enjoy the fruits of two very talented poets as they painted vibrant pictures with their  a rich landscape of words.

The two poets we heard from were Ellen Bass & Chana Bloch.  Listening to these two poets read their work took me past my preconceived notions that poems must be based on rhyme to be good or enjoyable.  Two masters at the art of painting with words took us on a journey through different phases of their life.

The poetry Ellen read seemed based on relationships and maybe a sort of advice.  Her descriptive words captivated and drew me into her world even when I would have preferred to have not been drawn in so far.  (Her poem ‘What did I love‘ about her participating in the killing of the chickens she would eat was more descriptive than I would prefer on this subject but certainly worthy of a listen or a read before your next chicken dinner).  I enjoyed her poetry and her descriptions as needed preceding and following that set the appropriate stages.  A canvas full of a vast array of colour was painted with her words and descriptions.

Chana’s poems brought you to a destination.  The poems she read took you to a landscape and point in time.  Her family roots in Russia and her Jewish background set most of the stage.  I appreciated the subject matters and the brevity of her words.  Chana’s poems (at least the ones shared) concisely illustrated her story.  I didn’t feel like there was a landscape of millions of colours presented before me in her words but rather an honest, to the point, journey and resulting destination.

Chana and Ellen are clear masters at their craft with the outstanding ability to captivate and paint with words. These two incredibly talented women with  diverse styles, opened my eyes to and ears, to a renewed appreciation and respect of poetry and the poets.

 

Fair Weather Sports Fan

logo2I admit it.  I am not a big sports fan by any means except for maybe the real football otherwise known as soccer in this country.  I don’t stay up on soccer/football anymore except as the World Cup gets close etc. but I’m not here to talk about football but rather basketball!

The main thing I like about basketball is the speed of the game.  Things can change in an instant and scoring seems so effortless for so many of the players and especially Mr. MVP himself, Steph Curry.

Tonight the the Warriors managed to outplay the Memphis Grizzlies and set themselves up to advance yet again to face an opponent yet to be determined.  You can easily find out all the highlights from anywhere online but the highlight to me is the sportsmanship shown by both teams before they left the court.

Both teams displayed true respect and admiration for one another.  The Grizzlies gave the Warriors a run for their money from game one.  At the end of the day the real winners were both teams by virtue of their ability to exhibit grace and strength and show the world that in spite of winning or losing they are all great athletes and gentlemen.   The Grizzlies didn’t rush off with their heads down; they stuck around and embraced their opponents.   More than that, stopped and had conversations.

This is sportsmanship at its finest.  The Warriors are a team to be proud of and I am proud of them.  I haven’t heard of any scandals following them around as there have been in other sports.  When I have watched the Warriors play I’ve watched a team that plays like a team and is a humble team.  Steph Curry is the MVP because of his outstanding ability to take those incredibly difficult shots which appear so easy for him.  The Warriors, as a team, deserves the same MVP award in my book.  They are all so very talented and make it obvious that is the teamwork that makes them all valuable and obviously the attitude starts at the top and Steve Kerr, their coach seems to lead by a great example.

Well done Warriors and keep up the good work!

warriors_grizzlies

A slideshow of some of my favourite recent pictures

A love of sunsets, my pups & my marina home is the essential subject of this video slideshow.

The first dog silhouette is of Boeing, my Australian Shepherd who passed away a few years ago.  An array of marina photos and sunsets follows.  The one bridge pictured within is the Richmond San Rafael bridge with Mt Tamalpais in the background.  The bridge is not visible from the harbour but a great sunset just the same.

The last two dog-sunset-sihouettes are of my current family members, Zulu (a 4yo catahoula) and then Sky (a 6yo Australian shepherd). The slideshow ends with a couple of stunning moonrises!

The background music is “Oh! Mio Babbino Caro” sung by Gianni Schicchi.  I’m not really an opera music listener but this piece of music inspired me to get the photos together and there is always the option to turn your sound off if the music doesn’t suit you.

Overall the slideshow is for me to remember special moments and images from the last several months and if they suit your taste you will enjoy as well.

Breathless Moments

sunset2“Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.”
― Maya Angelou
What a saying and how true.  The breaths that take our breath away are those individually special moments.  For me it is things like sunsets and the way the same scenery can look so different each day as the sun sets and illuminates the surroundings with that very special sunset light.
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No more premium parking receipts!

Practical jokes and good natured fun abound across the internet and in person especially in the realm of the advertising world on this day referred to as April Fools’ Day.  I love exploring the different examples of creativity from the various sources across the internet.

ticket avoidanceI looked at all sorts of media splashes across the web and found a number that sparked my interest.  My favourite of all maybe because I’ve received a ‘premium parking receipt’ before would have to be from Tesla!

 

Tesla Motors Ticket Avoidance Mode: To avoid parking tickets whenever and wherever possible, Tesla Motors next software update will include a Ticket Avoidance Mode. This mode will detect oncoming parking police, enacting a number of avoidance systems – including autonomous driving – to keep the ticket away from the vehicle.

 

I’d love to hear your favourite April Fool’s advertisement/campaign from 2015.  Do share!