Thursday, December 5, 2013

mostly horses...

 there is a lot behind my brothers place in Texas that these horses hang out on.  i went for a walk on sunday and ended up chilling with them.  got the camera out.  above and beyond the horse is this lone tree that i found to  be quite beautiful.  it's in an empty lot on my brothers street.  soon, this lot with horses on it will be turned into more houses and the lot with the tree will be doubled and made into a small neighborhood park.  spoke to some of the neighbors while i was out strolling and the one gentleman expressed concern as apparently these trees have an extensive root system and often are sensitive to changes around it.  hopefully, it survives.  it really is a pretty tree.
 i'm guessing the horses are appaloosa's as a sign was posted in a nearby lot with a sign that said appaloosa xing.  just a guess though as i'm not very good with my horse identity.
 my brother did give me the name of the park that had the dinosaur footprints that we went to.  Dinosaur Valley State Park.  so i looked it up.  i tend to skepticism, at sites i saw there were photo's of the prints i saw with the water level even lower.  apparently the area was probably a wet land made of a limey mud which once it hardened preserved the footprints.  it's thought they were from theropods and sauropods.
 i think i've always been a skeptic about things, or perhaps i evolved into a skeptic.  i have very early memories of seeing pictures of poor children in africa and asking questions in my head about religion.  we'd been taught that you had to be of a certain religion to make it to the highest kingdoms of heaven and as a kid i felt it was unfair that i'd been lucky and been born in a family where i was bound for heaven wheras these kids seemed to have no chance.  now they do have doctrine to cover these lapses, but for me that only raised more questions.  so i guess it's a chicken vs egg thing for me.  did i become generally skeptical later in life or was i just always a skeptic.  for sure after i left the church of my childhood i found that i had no idea what was true and what wasn't.  when you find you don't believe all that you were taught to believe you have to start over to some degree and recreate what you believe.
 so do i now believe these are actual dinosaur footprints?  it does seem more plausible that they truely are remnants from the past.  apparently bones have also been found in the area.  it also appears that scientists have taken samples of these stones and done dating of them.  so i am for sure more of a believer than not.  of course, in my internet readings there is also stories of a creation theorist who finally admitted that he'd also created human footprints in the same area to try and prove his own theories about man.  there is indeed an institute of creation research that we passed by on the way to/from the valley.  these footprints are pretty well known in the area.  so it is cool to have had the opportunity to see them for myself and be able to ponder them.
 horses do exist.  felt bad though as these guys made their way to the fence where i was snapping photo's of them and they were hoping for a treat which i did not have for them.
 haven't been around horses too much in my life. i was always fascinated by them and wished many times as a child that i could ride them and that we would move to a community where there were horses and ranches and such.
 we came close once as we drove to Hemet in California to check it out for a job my dad was looking into.  i think he did work out that way at some point and commuted.  we never moved there.
 here is another one with that cool tree.  there are a lot of beautiful trees there in Texas.
 we got freezing rain last night and i have been incredibly lazy today.
 i will have to make my way to work tonight and get back at it.  nice to have a few days off before heading back.  always good for the dogs i think.
 have been catching up on my newspaper reading. one small and sad story that caught my eye was a family from Kake that had their car broken into at the Native Hospital.  the only thing stolen was a backpack, it contained the ashes from their still born baby.  i do hope whoever took this bag returns those to the hospital, how devastating for that couple.
 just heard on the news that Nelson Mandela has passed away.  seems he's been pretty sick for some time.  some people just make a huge impact on the world around them and Mandela is one of those people, to remain calm and rational rather than be reactive takes strength and courage.  to have been imprisoned for as long as he was and yet to be able to not be vindictive is amazing.  he changed history, not many of us can say that.
 China has laid claim to some uninhabited islands near Japan that they also claim as theirs so things could get a bit sticky over in that region.  there is also brewing a mess in Bangkok.  Thailand has been a tourist haven it seems with relative peace, that may be changing.
 Anchorage is getting a Cabela's and a Texas Roadhouse restaurant so more jobs. there is also a hardrock cafe that will be opening in Anchorage as well.   there are a few bears still out there cruising neighborhoods and getting into trash and birdfeeders.  grizzlies it seems. a mother charged with the death of her toddler...strange story, which is generally a sign of a lie.  a man in Bethel was also accused of assaulting his toddler and a 5 year old in the house. why do these people choose to breed is always my question.  if you don't want kids or don't have the patience to deal with them don't have them, it's not required.
 some radioactive material was stolen and then recovered in Mexico.  apparently no risk to anyone in the area except those who handled it after it was stolen.  there's one system of justice i guess. i always love strange news stories like this one.
 read more about the crash near St Mary's.  4 died, including a 5 month old baby.  6 survived.  credits to people in the area who assisted the survivors.
 on Monday, my picture of Blossom again appeared in the local paper.  still in black and white, bummer as it's so much prettier in colour.  it's the one where she is bright from the suns glow.  fun to see her mug in the paper anyway.
 Iraq is still a mess or getting messier.  over 8,000 have died in what appear to be executions over the past year, article asks if death squads are back.
 sun never really showed up today.  it was still pitch black out there after 9 am.  we are getting down to our days of minimal light.  then solstice will come and we will start to gain back time.
 it was nice to get south and spend a few days in sunshine.
 a few times i just sat outside and soaked it in.
 a school bus hit and killed a moose.  luckily there were no kids on board.  the schools were closed today in Anchorage due to the ice and freezing rain.  always funny that the kids go to school when it's well below 20 here, but when it warms a bit and freezes, the ice keeps them home.
 a grizzly was killed in Juneau after being hit by a car.  i was reading that and the name of the fish and game biologist sounded familiar.  Stephanie Sell, she was the biologist out at Round Island when we were out there a few summers ago.  she was switching jobs so that she could have a more regular schedule and switched to a desk job of sorts.
 read the records from our year out there after i saw her name.  they did have quite a few visitors that year. i suspect we were the largest group.  always fun to read the report on round island.  they did note seeing the spotted seal, which was during our time there so we are in the report.  not our names but the events from our time there.
 this donkey was at another home along the walking route i took.  below you can see the sign that made me think perhaps these horses are all appaloosa's.  who knows. i did have to take a class in college at Los Angeles Pierce College years ago where i had to identify the various breeds of horses, sheeps, cows, pigs and such.  information i quickly forgot.
 another strange story that was kinda cool.  wheelchairs controlled by tongue piercings for people who are paralyzed.  all they need to do is move their tongue in the direction they wish to go and the magnetized piercing changes the wheelchairs direction.  who comes up with this stuff, amazing.
 on a local note, another article about APU building a road and further closing off their lands from the university lake dog park.  they have always been mad that a dog park was created at the lake there and have done everything they can to get rid of it.  of course in the planning stages they said nothing and only started to involve themselves after the park was created.  they claim they had no knowledge, but i think that would be a bit embarrassing for a university to be so clueless as to what is going on in the community around them .
 so the lake will be further chopped up and fenced in.  of course, equally irritating is the many people in every community across our nation who feel entitled.  who seem to believe that the rules are only meant for others and not for them to follow.  despite the fence that was put up, people continue to walk around it with their dogs and let them run off leash on APU property.  if you dare mention the situation to these people they get angry with you and continue on with what they are doing without regard to anyone but themselves.  so this hasn't helped the situation between the dog park and the university.
 here is yet another photo of my favorite tree in the neighborhood.  when i find a tree i like i can get a bit obsessed.  as i only had a zoom and a macro i kept going back further to get the entire tree in as i really wanted it in black and white.  this brought me across the street and into the neighbors property which is why i ended up in a conversation with them.
 i do tend to take up conversations with pretty much anyone so that isn't unusual.
 these next few are from a stroll Tom, Eric and i took in Grapevine old town.  i may have that name wrong.  it was really cute revitalized area of town.  i always love strolling through places like this, wandering through happy that Tom and Eric were open to the idea as well.
 a blend of the old and the new. of course, much of the old was really new, just fashioned after the old, which i think they did quite well.

 my brothers Eric and Tom.
 oh dear, it's after 4pm....soon i will have to get ready for work...drat!!
 have lazed about all day, but perhaps i will laze a bit more.  may need some caffiene to get through tonight.
 liked this cowboy on top of this building.
 and a totally cool harley cruising the main road.  lots to check out there.  the bike lit up and christmas music came from it.
 had to put a sign with Texas on it.  this was on an old cabin...or a new cabin recreated to look like an old cabin.
 before Darla took me to the airport we went to this lake to stroll around.  the water level is low.  this is a blue heron i think.
 always a cool bird

 i liked the red clay and probably could have spent hours there checking it all out.  sadly there is tons of broken glass and litter and graffiti out there.  humans are rotten sometimes.
 there were also signs of small dear out there and probably lots of dogs.
 with all the glass i think i'd be nervous to have the dogs out there, could cut the hell out of their pads.
 i think it wasn't originally a natural lake in this area but it seems to get a lot of use and nature likes to reclaim area's. there are fish in the waters, probably stocked at one time.
 every place varies and each place has it's own beauty. you really never have to go far to find the beauty that exists.

off to take that mini nap.  poor blossom.  she's probably disappointed in her lack of walk today.  i'm a rotten owner today.  rio on the other hand is probably quite pleased.

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