Roxy training diary month 29
October 2005


Don't forget: It's Janel Wommack Weekend at the RoxyLog

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Vickie Tippens, of Douglasville GA, is the 100th visitor to the RoxyLog Aficionados Frappr site.


I have always made fun of scrapbooking, which is extremely popular here in Utah.  But the realization that the RoxyLog is merely an electronic scrapbook has really ruined my day.

Roxy did not make it as one of the 14 pet costume photos published in today's Ogden Standard-Examiner.  We wuz robbed.  They did post an electronic version, but they made all the table cells square, so her picture (along with most others) looks incredibly smushed.  If they had said they wanted square, I woulda cropped the stinking thing square.  Sheesh.


Prickly Pair

Snow-topped Ben Lomond

October Sunset over Great Salt Lake

Oct 30.  A beautiful fall day, and the cold rain that had been forecast did not materialize.  So, after making a little headway into my grant application, I decided to get going on the other things I hoped to accomplish this weekend — a bit of exercise, and a trip to the laundromat.

I knew that with the time change, I would have to start fairly early in the afternoon to avoid hiking in unfamiliar territory in the dark.  So, I started making preparations for my trip about 3.  I was trying to decide which one of the dogs to take with me.  Roxy was the natural choice, since Annie was still recovering from her bout of hemorrhagic gastroenteritis that ruined last weekend. 

Roxy, however, is due to come into season any day now.  She hasn't started swelling, but she is incredibly cuddly with me and incredibly rude and (literally) bitchy to Annie. 

While I was pondering these imponderables, and stripping the bed to get ready to take everything to the laundromat, Dylan came up and started doing his cuddly, kissy-face thing.  He was just so darn sweet and loving, and then I remembered: it's been a long time since we took a walk together.  Plus, both Annie and Roxy had seen Waterfall Canyon, but Dylan had not.  I had forgotten the camera both times before.  I could remember it this time.

So, Dylan and I set out.  I was hoping for not very many other dogs, and as it turned out, we only encountered two other dogs, border collie types, who had enough sense to leave Dylan alone as we moved ourselves a good 5 yards off the trail to let them pass.  Dylan was fascinated by the unusual smells, and other than being a jerk to other dogs, he was a perfect little hiker.

In fact, of all three of the dogs, Dylan turned out to be the most avid rock climber.  He didn't hesitate to clamber up even the most difficult parts, where he had to jump three feet or more up a rock face.  Once he even got stuck, and he just kept pushing and leaping until his little hunky self made it up and over.  Once we got up to the canyon, we were pretty much alone.  We met a few people coming down. 

I did notice that we were losing light, but in the canyon, it's hard to tell the time.  When we got to the top of the canyon, and got the requisite picture of Dylan posing by the waterfall, I noticed it was already 5 pm.  With the time change last night, I expected to lose all light by 5:30 pm.  So, we didn't get a lot of time to enjoy a rest, but had to head straight back down.  My legs felt rubbery and out of shape, but Dylan inspired me to keep going and we made it back down to the Bonneville Shoreline Trail (and out of the canyon) in time to catch another glorious Salt Lake sunset. 

It has been raining here for much of the last two days, and cold rain down here at 4400 feet means snow up in the mountains.  It's neat the way it happens: the clouds roll in and obscure all but the lowest benches (flattish foothills at the base of the mountain), and then when the clouds clear there is snow where the clouds were.  It looks like the snow got down to 7000 feet or so this time.

The picture at lower right, taken on Saturday after the rain cleared, was actually taken in the parking lot behind our back fence. 

We did not see Janel Wommack anywhere in the canyon.  Oh well.

Ben Lomond, Lewis Peak, Dylan Reddog

Dylan Visits Waterfall Canyon


More of Dot's amazing talents

Return of the Floating Kuawarri Dogs

Oct 29.  Longtime readers of the RoxyLog will recall the Amazing Air Leash, developed by Jeff Jaquish for walking Kuawarri dogs.  Jeff writes that he's now developed a leashless Air Leash.  He wouldn't reveal how you steer the new Leashless Air Leash; could it work on voice commands?

Roxy's sire, Tate, is a Kuawarri dog.  All the dogs pictured in the Air Leash ad in February's RoxyLog have significant Kuawarri blood.  Coincidence?  I think not. 

(Scroll down to the bottom of the February 2005 RoxyLog to see the Air Leash dogs: Finn, Kit, Dot, and of course, Roxy.) 

Air Leash Developer Jeff Jaquish writes of this blog, "I think it really should be called a 'Dlog'."


Snow atop Mt. Ogden

Snowbasin Ski Area is just on the other side of this mountain.  A Thanskgiving opening is planned.  Let's go skiing!

Ingrid Rosenquist, the best damn deputy county attorney Yellowstone County, Montana ever had, has pictures of a water-operated Air Leash on her photo pages.

So many changes in the Air Leash world.  It's hard to keep up with Air Leash technology.  Maybe I need to get a subscription to Popular Science or something.  The pace of change has really increased since Emily Overholser went to work for that defense think tank.  Could it be that some super-secret Black Ops gubbmint agency is behind these leaps and bounds (!) in Air Leash technology?  Hmm.

Speaking of secret gubbmint operations, I bet you're sitting there at your computer, bored, saying to yourself, "I wonder why no one has posted to the Internet a movie of a ballerina dancing with a gigantic robotic penis?"  Well, wonder no more.  Your prayers have been answered.  Another public (or is that pubic?) service of your RoxyLog.

By the way, I have it on good authority that Janel Wommack has never danced with a gigantic robotic penis.

Roxy Tries Out the New Seesaw

Two on a Seesaw Is Never Allowed

My Bed.  You Got a Problem With That?


The new seesaw arrived Thursday.  It turns out the truck driver's daughter goes to Weber State.  Anyway, I didn't get it unpacked until Friday evening, so Saturday morning was our first time to try it out.  Getting the camera out and trying to take a picture of Rox on the seesaw was good Gamblers practice, because I had to send her away to do it.  Unfortunately, she'd get to the tipping point, plant the far end, and then say, "Where are you?"  Then she'd turn around and go the other way.  So, the seesaw is going well, but the send-away to the seesaw needs work. 

I tried sending Dylan, since he'll do a great Gamblers run for me, but I should've put Roxy up.  As soon as he climbed on the seesaw, Roxy got on right behind him.  That changed the tipping point, plus Roxy was mystified as to why the seesaw should be going down before she got to the apex. 

Roxy has gotten into the habit of getting into bed and sitting on my pillow when bedtime comes.  That, in itself, is cute.  What's not cute is that she won't move.  Meanwhile, Dylan has parked himself in the center of the bed, and if I try to shove Roxy out of the way, Dylan gets mad at both of us.  Annie, wisely, waits until everyone else has gotten settled, then comes up and takes the place we've saved for her.  It's all in the Rulebook.

I'm spending Saturday morning procrastinating — I have a grant application to write — and waiting on the Cable Guy.  My internet connection has died suddenly for three Saturdays running now.  Who knows what today will bring?  It's pretty bad when Qwest DSL looks like a better deal.

Update on the Cable Guy: As I was sending this to publish, the phone rings.  (Actually, it doesn't ring.  It plays the theme from 'Flipper'.  But you know what I mean.) 

Here's the problem.  When my cable goes out, I call a customer service center in Winnipeg, Canada.  They tell me to unplug the modem, then plug it back in.  I have done this so many times that I know to try it before I call, but if you do that, they still make you do it while you're on the phone with them.  So the only way to communicate to Ogden, Utah that you are having a service problem, is to schedule an appointment with a technician.  I know this is painfully stupid, but I swear it's true.  Further, if you schedule an appointment, then cancel or don't keep it, that doesn't work.

So, finally, I get the call from the technician and he says, "You're having trouble with your service?"  I said, "Yep."  He says, "We've been working on a problem in your area."  I figured that.

How stupid is this?  The only way Winnipeg can communicate with Ogden is by scheduling a technician.  And there is no apparent way that Ogden can communicate to Winnipeg that they are having an area outage, because when I call Winnipeg, they evince surprise that I am having a problem. 

Jim and Hazel

(from the RoxyLog, September 2004)

The last guy in Winnipeg actually looked at some sort of record for the last week and could see that my modem was down when I said it was, like clockwork (or actually, like calendar work) on Saturday.  Might this information be useful to the folks in Ogden?  Apparently not, because they don't ever get anything except my service appointment.

Oct 28.  The Frappr map for our little kaffee-klatsch is almost at 100 map pins.  I'm still missing a few states, so if you hail from Arkansas, Alabama, Alaska, Maine, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Vermont or Wyoming (among other states), stop in.

If you want to meet Janel Wommack, now would be an ideal time.  It's Janel Wommack Weekend at the RoxyLog.  You can do a Google search for Janel Wommack and you will get at least 50 hits.  That means that Janel Wommack is really, really cool. 

Plus, Janel is Hazel's mom.  Hazel is just about the coolest kid who ever lived.  Need proof?  Check out Hazel's pictures at right.

Plus, Janel named a dog "Pretty Hate Machine", call name "Ripple" .  How cool is that?  Pretty cool.

Come to think of it, though, there is one area where Janel is deficient.  She hasn't gone to the Frappr map to stick a pin in it.  We should encourage her to do that, especially since it's Janel Wommack Weekend here at the RoxyLog.

Young Hazel Learns the Value of Hard Work on the Farm

Check out our Frappr! Oct 25.  If you are reading this, please go to Frappr and stick a pin in the map.  It looks like you have to include a shoutout (just a brief greeting) in order for the map thingy to work.  It would be interesting to see what kind of geographical distribution RoxyLog readers have.


After I wrote Sunday's RoxyLog entry, Annie got much sicker than Pepto-Bismol could handle.  By Sunday night, I was really worried about her, and Rosemary was worried by email.  So I took her to the veterinary ER about 9:30.  Diagnosis: "hemorrhagic gastroenteritis".  Translation into English: "her guts are upset and blood is coming out".  Wow.  For that, I paid $260?  No, actually, for the peace of mind I paid $260. 

They gave her a shot of some sort of painkiller that made her stagger around, and that just got her pissed off.  She also got some fluids subcutaneously, which made her lumpy, and that wasn't her favorite thing either.  I guess it would be weird trying to sleep with a lumpy body.   It was the ultimate in It's Just Not Right. 

So, to top it all off, she kept me up most of the night Monday morning: we got home around 12:30 am, and I needed to be up at 5:30, so I got maybe five hours of really poor quality sleep.  Annie, of course, had the worst of it.  By Monday, the Flagyl had started to kick in, and she started wagging her tail again.  She really liked getting i/d fed to her from a spoon. 

Today, Tuesday, she is doing great.  I gave her a little solid food with her i/d.  Everyone is happy.  I'm getting some sleep.

Quote of the Day

"I just thought, 'You know what? After a year of being really heady and really sensitive, I just want to blow some (expletive) up.' "

— Claire Danes on choosing her role in Terminator 3


Oct 23.  Annie is being particularly Marieke-ish today.

Marieke was our first cattledog mix.  Half cattledog, half Elkhound, Rosemary found her at the Houston ASPCA.  She was eight when Rosemary and I started dating, and even though she lived with us for eight more years, and made it all the way to Jackson, she never really accepted me as a part of the family.

It has been decreed that Annie will receive a Pepto-Bismol with her meals.  She has had a GI upset since she came back from Ruffledale.

So, last night, I put a Pepto-Bismol in with her food.  Even though it partly dissolved, she managed to eat around it, leaving a little pile of pink goo in an otherwise clean bowl.  So I put peanut butter on it and she made a horrible face, but it eventually went down.

This morning, I stuck it to peanut butter, and got back a clean pill without peanut butter.

So I smeared peanut butter on all surfaces, and got back a clean pill without peanut butter.

It ended up being shoved down her throat, which she didn't like much.  Who knows what the next phase of the Pepto-Bismol Wars will entail.

The trailer for Underworld: Evolution is here.  It looks to be just as mind-scrambling silly as the first one.  As they were recapping the plot of "Underworld", I found myself not able to remember much of it — and I've seen it maybe three times.   I remember some really cool bullets, and a lot of disaffected youthful vampires hanging out at a mansion, and lots of dripping water and some dude they kept in the basement.  But apparently I missed some important plot point, because the trailer makes a big deal out of Basement Dude.


Oct 22.  Today I received birthday flowers from my wife.  I enjoyed these much better than the birthday flowers I received from "Jeff" (see below).

They had been delivered while I was out of town, but my neighbors were nice enough to hold onto them until I got back.

Another set of neighbors had me over for birthday dinner last night.  That was sweet of them.  It was my first exposure to the well-known LDS Jello Mold phenomenon.  Jello Mold with cream cheese frosting is not a bad way to lose your Jello Mold virginity, though.


Oh Boy! Ruffledale! Let Me In!

You're Gonna Leave Me Here, Aren't You?

OK, That Was Fun.  Come Back Now.

Oct 21.  Today was a "day trip" to Long Beach, California to look into partnerships for aerospace economic development.

I left the guys at Ruffledale Thursday evening.  It was really nice to see two of the three of them all excited and happy to be at the boarding kennel.  That made me feel a lot less guilty about leaving them there.

Roxy, on the other paw, has not been a real fan of Ruffledale.  I have gotten the impression that the feeling is mutual, because apparently she carries her Unabridged Rulebook with her when she goes there, and tries to be Miss Playground Monitor.  In a group situation, that's not welcome. 

The trip out was uneventful.  Chris Millard made the trip with me.  My alarm went off at 4 am, as planned (ugh).  I got to the airport on time, and the flight was smooth and not too long.  The rental car was a purple PT Cruiser, so that matched my purple shirt and tie that I had worn for Weber Wear Friday.  Traffic was not horrible. 

We had breakfast with someone I had not seen in 30 years, my high school chum Kay Chestnut Jobe who is now working in the aerospace industry, with Boeing.  It was funny when we pulled up in front of her house; her teenaged kids were on their way to school, and they were simply thrilled to see me.  Well, not really.  I had to laugh to myself, though, because the last time I saw Kay, we were teenaged kids who wanted little to do with adults.  So what goes around comes around, I suppose.

Kay did a great job of setting us up with some networking ideas during our working breakfast.  Then Chris and I headed down to Long Beach to see the enterprise zone that Cal State – Long Beach created out of the old naval station there. 

The trip back, I was cutting it a bit close, because we lost an hour with the time zones and I was due into SLC at 4:45 pm.  It's about a 30-40 minute drive in rush hour traffic to Ruffledale, and with getting the car and so forth, I was going to make it to Ruffledale about 30 minutes ahead of their 6:00 pm closing — I thought.

I had not suspected that we would sit on the tarmac at LAX for 45 minutes while Air Force One traversed Southern California airspace, but that's exactly what happened.  Apparently, pilots are worried that if they fly through the same airspace as the President, that the stupidity fog that is left in his wake will seep into their brains and make it unsafe to fly.  Or something like that.  So we had to wait while President Bush flew out to dedicate a new pavilion at the Reagan Presidential Library.

That made me late getting into SLC, but TeAnna, Ruffledale's owner (and Dylan's new favorite lap) was kind enough to wait on me while I rushed out there.  I only had to beg a little.



October 20.  Jackson.  


Chaffin Bozeman, her mom, and Black Heeler, Lily, drove to Tennessee for the ACD Specialty.  Lily had a great time, and came home with an HIC (Herding Instinct Certified) title.  That's Lily, Chaffin, and Larry Painter in the photo [photo credit, Don Baker].

Lily used to be very shy and seeing her become an accomplished dog of the world is just great! 


Lily, HIC

Chaffin also sent some "mystery photos" that she took when they went out to dinner.  I didn't realize our little girl's fame had spread that far North!


Remember Roxy's cheerleader photos (scroll down)?  One is entered in the annual Moosedog

Howl-o-Ween contest, which raises money for a very worthy Elkhound Rescue group.  The donation is $1/vote. (If you vote, please don't forget to send your $$ to the address on the site.)  Some of my favorite photos are among the Y2K entries.

Oct 19.  I swear, you can find just about anything on the Internet.  At right, an example.

How to Tie a Cherry Stem

with Your Tongue

An embarrassing thing happened to me yesterday.

I came home from work to find that boxed flowers had been delivered to my doorstep.  I thought, "oh, how neat.  Someone bought me flowers for my birthday."  (Which is actually Friday.) 

So of course I want to know who got me these nice flowers.  So I take the vase they shipped me, and fill it with water, and put these nice flowers in water.  Then I open the card.

It says,

Happy Birthday.




Well.  I was both flattered and creeped out.  I did attract a male stalker once, when I was in grad school, but he just called on the phone at 2 am and breathed.  This guy Jeff, though, sent flowers, and so I figured I had attracted a higher-quality stalker.

It just didn't add up, though.  I don't know anyone named "Jeff", and no guys in my classes had been making eyes at me.  Perplexed, I checked the box again.  The address label said, "Julie Hatch", with my address on it.

Then I remembered that Jeff and Julie were the people we bought the house from.  Oh.

Now I'm in trouble.  I've got some flowers that belong to a guy's wife, and they're not mine, and she's having a birthday and will be mad at him for not getting her anything.  And I have no idea where they live or what their phone number is.  And I'm sitting here with some stolen flowers.

So I called our next door neighbors, the Beeches.  I figured they knew how to get ahold of Jeff and/or Julie.  As it turned out, there was a Relief Society meeting at the Ward in a few minutes, and Julie was going to be there, so Julie got her flowers and I got off the hook.  Sort of.

What that got me was an invitation to ride with the Beeches to the Junior League's candidate debate.  Talk about it, shout about it / When you've got to choose / Anyway you look at it you lose.  After the debate, a reporter from the Standard-Examiner asks me what I thought of it.  So now I'm going to end up quoted in the paper in the midst of controversies between the city and my place of work.    This whole thing has gotten out of control, and all because some guy Jeff sent his wife flowers. 

You can see the results here.


Remember Thorn, Roxy's sister, co-star of the very first RoxyLog?  Her "mom" Liz Sharpe wants Thorn to get equal time.  So here are pictures of Thorn herding.  Roxy wishes she could have this much fun.


Oct 18.  Ingrid Rosenquist, the best damn deputy county attorney Yellowstone County, Montana ever had, and her dog Finn and puppy Sinjin, were inspired by Pioneer Annie to take some photos of her own westward voyage.  Plus they stopped at Wall Drug, which is a requirement if you drive through Wyoming or South Dakota.  Did you know that Wall Drug sells mounted or stuffed — oops, Aussies, I mean "plush" — jackalopes?  Considering how rare a live jackalope sighting is, it's amazing that the government allows this endangered species and icon of the Old West to be hunted and killed.  Maybe they use only jackalopes who die of natural causes.  Or maybe the government has a secret jackalope ranch near Crawford, Texas.

There was (is?) a fire in Burch Creek canyon. It appears to be along the trail Greta von Plant and I hiked last month.  That's a shame.  Maybe I can hike up and see the damage first-hand on the weekend, assuming they put it out.  I would never dream of having a campfire on that mountain.


Weber State! Weber State! Great! Great! Great!


Oct 17.  Mornings are dark here.  I generally get up about 5:30, and it's maybe 2 hours until the sun comes up.  This morning I turned on the lights in the den and found a huge spider behind my computer chair.  Before I could get it out of harm's way, Roxy dispatched it with a swift smack of the paw.  Game, set, match Roxy.

I decided, for no particular reason, to dress Roxy up in a Weber State cheerleader uniform and take a picture of her.  You didn't want to see the outtakes.  Here are my best three; feel free to email me and let me know which one is your favorite.  The best one may go to the Standard-Examiner for their Halloween photo contest.

Roxy 1, Spider 0


Photos: Keith Cartwright

Oct 17.  We missed the 2005 ACDCA National Specialty in Lebanon, Tennessee.  That just kills me, because I really, really look forward to seeing all my ACD friends once a year, and this makes three years in a row that I've missed.  I had planned to go, reserved the time off at work, then that b***h Katrina had other plans.

Anyway, it's cold comfort, but herewith are pictures of Dylan's nephew Baxter getting his NAP and NJP (see here and below for abbreviations) at the agility trial Oct 8-9. 

"Mom" Liz Sharpe writes: " Baxter was my very special star at the Specialty. On Saturday and Sunday, he qualified and placed in all four of his agility runs, finishing his Novice Agility Preferred title and his Novice Jumpers Preferred titles on Saturday, and earning insurance legs in both classes on Sunday."

Liz is also Mom to Roxy's full sister Thorn.  Liz and Thorn qualified (Started level) on both sheep and cattle Friday, October 14. 

Scroll to the bottom of the very first RoxyLog, day 1, to see a picture of Roxy (on the bottom) and Thorn (on the top) playing together before they were cruelly separated.


Oct 16, Jackson.   The tree is gone!  Next step is getting the fence repaired, which isn't that big a deal since no posts were disturbed.  Books and CDs are getting packed although I could swear those books are breeding when the lights are turned out.  It sounds like I'm getting so much done, but there is so much more to do.  Maybe I'll pack dog ribbons tonight. 

Oct 15. I had internet access in the morning, but not all afternoon or evening.  It was out almost 24 hours, which makes the second weekend in a row that this has happened.  Fie on Comcast.

Weber State won a game over Sacramento State, so that was a fun outing.  I love my seat: row 18, seat 22.  Right at the 50 yard line.

The dogs spent the evening relaxing.  As you can see, neither Roxy or Dylan were traumatized by Roxy's recent tooth extraction.  I took a picture of Annie, too, but by the time I got to her, she was up and staring at me: "What do you think you're doing?"  She was on her own round dog bed, like Dylan, but sitting up in a manner becoming her Princess status.

With no internet, the lawn got mowed and the middle two levels of the house got vacuumed and my Tuesday lecture slides got prepared.  Amazing how that works.


Where It Was

Where It Is Now

Oct 14. Roxy's Day of Destiny.  Roxy's first general anesthesia was scheduled for today.  She had cracked a molar on the top left side of her mouth, and it needed to come out.  I didn't take any "before" pictures, but here are a couple of "after" pictures.

Annie was happy that Roxy spent the day at the vet's, because:

1) That lousy stinking upstart b***h is gone.

2) I get canned dog food!

Dylan was happy that Roxy spent the day at the vet's, because:

1) I get canned dog food!

2) I get canned dog food!

Roxy came back from the clinic pert and ready to go, but with a sore mouth, so I didn't want to subject her to hard kibble.  I stopped at the store and bought 3 big cans of Pedigree in different flavors; Roxy got all canned and the others got mixtures of canned and kibble. 

Dr. Nebeker had told me that the tooth was pretty well decayed inside.  You can see this in the photos; there is a big black rotted area near the top side of the middle piece in this photo.

The extraction site seems to be healing well.  She is not bothered much by it, so I'm planning to taper off the Rimadyl they gave me; of course I will continue the antibiotics.

This date was chosen because I wanted to get her hips X-rayed as well.  An orthopedic vet, Dr. Smith, came up from Salt Lake and he and Dr. Nebeker did both a PennHIP and OFA views on Roxy.  The PennHIPs were gone with Dr. Smith, but I got to see the OFA views; they look pretty good to me.  We'll see what comes back from the databases.

Roxy's preliminary OFA came back "fair".  (See Roxylog March-April 2004.)   One really cool thing about Roxy's entry in the OFA database is being able to see how her brother and sisters are doing.  The ones that have been tested (sisters Thorn and Tender) are both OFA "Good". 


Oct 10.  The best sappy song lyric ever written, you ask?  (Okay, you didn't ask, but I'm gonna tell you anyway.)  It's from the Moody Blues.  I rediscovered it today.  Gosh, I must have listened to that record (on vinyl, no less) about 3 Brazilian times when I was a teenage boy.  I still love it.

If only I had had a son, I could have named him Graeme Edge.  Now that's a great British name.  Kid'd be a great drummer, too.  Not a great poet.  ("Breathe deep the gathering gloom / Watch lights fade from ev'ry room...")  Cue Leonard Pinth-Garnell.

Isn't it a total kick to rediscover something you once loved, but had not thought about in years and years?

The Story in Your Eyes

(Justin Hayward)

... And the sound we make together

Is the music to the story in your eyes ...


Oct 9.  Thanks to Cristine Jennings, who is probably the coolest math tutor I've ever met, I was invited to a Canadian Thanksgiving celebration.  (Thanksgiving Day is Monday, Oct 10 in Canada.) 

I haven't had to eat Thanksgiving dinner since joining Weight Watchers, so that presented me with a problem: what sort of potluck dish could I bring?  The Smith's near the house is lousy with acorn squash, so I figured I could do something with that. 

So, I took an acorn squash recipe I found online and modified it so that it was WW-compliant.  It's posted here.   It was quite tasty, if I do say so myself.  The biggest problem is that I had never prepared acorn squash before, and I did not realize that cutting one of those suckers in half is like splitting a cinder block with a knife.  Next time I will take the circular saw to it.

The day started out cloudy.  There was a spectacular misty cloud hanging near the ground at the Promontory Mountains and Ben Lomond, which gave the morning a uniquely spooky air.  That turned into some misty rain about mid-day, but by afternoon it turned into a glorious, crisp but not cold fall day. 

So, Roxy and I decided to tackle Waterfall Canyon.  We got lost a couple of times, but not bad lost; I just had trouble keeping on the trail. 

Then, when we made it to the waterfall, I had a sublime experience.  I laid there on a rock, just chilling, and looked up at the waterfall where it comes over the "lip" of the cliff.  Right there, there is an overhang, and there is little water this time of year, so the overhang turned the water into a fine mist which then got caught in the breeze and swirled around, like swarming chironomids.  The wind kept changing up on the cliffs, so the swarm moved about like a living thing.  It was gorgeous.

Walking back down, I decided to try to find a more direct route to Waterfall Canyon, since I keep wandering around on the benches trying to find it.  I did find a trailhead which connects to the Bonneville Shoreline Trail, and thence to both Strongs and Waterfall Canyons, so that was worth the trip.  We got back just as the sun was setting.


Oct 8.  My Internet connection was down Friday night and all day Saturday.  Funny how we come to rely on it.  Now I'm thinking...what about one weekend a month with no Internet?

Today's milestone: I ran my first 5K.  I had two goals: 1) to run the whole way and not have to walk; 2) to finish between 30 and 35 minutes.  I can walk 5K in about 45 minutes and a respectable time in my age group is 20 minutes, so I split the difference.

As it turned out, my time was 31'34" which is now not only my "personal best" but my "personal only" as well.  It was fun.  I want to do it again sometime soon.  In training, a mile and a half was about as far as I could go, but I had always heard that it's different when you're racing — and they're right about that.   The first mile was terrible.  There was a long uphill slog, and I had some doubts about whether I could make it.  But I just practiced some positive self-talk, and kept going, and felt better at the end.  I even saved a little back for a sprint to the finish line, just because I could.  No placement for me, but my boss got 3rd place.  I was hoping that I could score a ribbon to hang on the brag wall downstairs, so that there would be hundreds of ribbons for Annie, dozens for Roxy, and one little ol' ribbon for me.  Maybe next time.

Watched the movie Crash tonight.  Someone please tell Hollywood that Thandie Newton is not beautiful.  Her arms are like matchsticks. That can't be healthy, and healthy is beautiful in my book.  She makes Calista Flockhart look fat, and that's saying a lot. 


Oct 6.  Ever wondered how traffic on the RoxyLog compares to traffic at (say)  Well, now you know.

Why is there no blue line for  Because our traffic is zero.

Oct 5.  Have you ever wanted to see a spot-on impression of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir?  Whilst looking up the Dan Aykroyd skit with the guy who had been mauled by a bear (see below), I found this gem.  Michael O'Donoghue was always one of my favorites.  His National Lampoon story called "Laughing All the Way" was one of the formative experiences in my life.
Rosemary just published an update with Katrina stories.  Since it was September, it went in last month's RoxyLog, but you should go look at it if you haven't seen it already.
Sept 30 - Oct 2.  Dad came out for a visit, so Annie and Dylan had to stay at Ruffledale while Roxy got to go on a big adventure with us.

We should have known, seeing this sign on the outskirts of town, that Roxy was not going to get away so lightly with her bad behavior at Ruffledale.  We strongly suspect that either Annie or Dylan had something to do with this.  They both looked pretty happy when we dropped them off, however.

We decided to take the scenic route up to Yellowstone Park.  This meant following the route of US 89 up through northeast Utah, then slip up into Idaho at Bear Lake, and finally follow the Idaho-Wyoming border north through the Grand Tetons and into Yellowstone Park.

Luckily for the RoxyLog, there were ample photo opportunities along the way.

Roxy meets with a resident of Montpelier, Idaho to discuss bear safety.

Roxy serves her time.

Roxy met a new friend in Montpelier, Idaho while we were taking a quick snap of the "Beware of the Bears" bench downtown.  Montpelier is proud of the fact that they eradicated the last bear, Old Ephraim, in 1913 or something.  Old Ephraim has a statue in the center of town, but I bet he'd rather still be terrorizing residents.  Roxy discussed bear safety tips with a local.

Near Thayne, Wyoming, the local US Marshal caught up with Roxy and she ended up doing a stint of jail time to make up for her bad behavior at Ruffledale.

Over by the US Marshal's calaboose was the Wolf Den Inn and Restaurant, which featured a life-size and fairly realistic replica of a wolf under its sign.  Roxy took umbrage and her hackles immediately went up, as you can see in these pictures.  She barked at the wolf for a while, yet he seemed unconcerned with her presence. 

He also seemed disinclined to bow to her superior canine will.  So, after confronting him directly for a time, she decided to use her wily stratagems and sneak up behind.  He still refused to acknowledge her.

"Damn Plastic Wolf!  Begone!"

"Maybe if I sneak up behind him..."

World's Largest Elkhorn Arch, Afton, Wyoming

And under no circumstances

should you feed the bears

marshmallows with your teeth. 

One of the best Saturday Night Live skits (from Nov 4 1978) featured Dan Aykroyd as Bob Crawford, the author of a book called Mauled, who appears on Jane Curtin's program "Looks at Books" .  He wanted to warn people that bears are actually dangerous and not cuddly at all.  At the end, he reminds everyone not to feed bears marshmallows with your teeth.  He leans in close to the camera to show that his face is half ripped off.  I immediately thought of this as I saw this sign, but I suppose there are people stupid enough to need constant reminders.  Signs similar to this one, and a sign reminding you not to stand on geysers, are ubiquitous in the park.

As it turned out, we didn't see a single bear.  There was one wolf in a meadow, but my camera picked that exact moment to deplete its batteries so no shot of that.

The Old Faithful Lodge cabins allow pets to stay with you.  Our plans were made when we thought that Pioneer Annie and Dad's dog Chico would be going along with us.  Of course, Katrina had other plans and bringing four dogs just seemed impossible.  So my aunt stayed with Chico, and Annie and Dylan stayed at Ruffledale.

There's not a lot of places that a dog can go in Yellowstone Park.  One of the employees of the lodge told me that I could take her on the paved bike trail that winds around the Old Faithful area, but posted signs said otherwise.

Early in the morning, the Old Faithful area is beautiful.  Roxy and I went for a walk at sunup.  We were looking to catch the park rangers pouring Metamucil into the geyser, but did not catch them in the act. 

Being the tourist dog that she is, I wanted to have the obligatory picture of Old Faithful, but I didn't think she would appreciate the majesty of the eruption so she had to settle for a picture of Old Faithful blowing steam in the background.

Are you sure it's not due to erupt for another half-hour yet?

Old Faithful Erupts, sans Roxy

Reminders of the 1988 Fires

Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone from Inspiration Point

Everywhere one goes, there are reminders of the massive 1988 wildfires that ravaged Yellowstone Park.  Even right up next to the cabin, there are scorched trees.  Downed trees that had been killed by the fires are everywhere, and there are stands of little 6- and 8-foot pines wherever you look.  My Boy Scout tree identification days are long behind me, but as I recall, lodgepole pines have seeds that are released only by the intense heat of forest fires so I would guess that's what kind of trees these are.

It's hard to pick a favorite part of the park, but if I had to pick, I suppose I'd say the Artist's Paintpots (below) were my favorite feature.  This is part of the geothermal area of Yellowstone where there are gigantic puddles of boiling mud.  Several times a second, it goes "bloop" and a big gobbet of hot mud spurts up.  All of us who stood there were splattered with sulfurous, hot mud.  It was incredibly cool.

On the way back from viewing wildlife in the Lamar Valley, we saw a herd of elk hanging out in Mammoth Hot Springs village with maybe 100 people watching them.  There was one bull elk, a 12-pointer, just rubbing away at one of the trees there in town.  I suppose elk prefer the tender fescue grass of a manicured lawn to the tough field grass the rangers expect them to eat.

OK, so I went in there expecting it would be huge.  I thought you could drive a bus into the thing. It wasn't all that big.  But while I was there, this huge hairy beast with tusks came in and shouted at me, "Can't you read the sign!"

Falling Rox.

[No animals were harmed in the making of this picture.]

Where the Buffalo Roam (Lamar Valley)

Urban Elk (Mammoth Hot Springs)

Excelsior Geyser Crater



Previous RoxyLogs
RoxyLog January 2005 (month 20)
RoxyLog February 2005 (month 21)
RoxyLog March 2005 (month 22)
RoxyLog April 2005 (month 23)
RoxyLog May 2005 (month 24)
RoxyLog June 2005 (month 25)
RoxyLog July 2005 (month 26)
RoxyLog August 2005 (month 27)
RoxyLog September 2005 (month 28)