Waiting at the Post Saturday, Jan 3 2009 

3 January 2009
In a departure from our travelling norm, we are staying at a hotel rather than a Bed & Breakfast. We made the decision when we arrived in the small village of Bridge of Allan on the outskirts of Stirling to visit the Bridge of Allan Brewery. The brewery, like most businesses in Scotland, had taken the day off. So, we went inside the adjoining hotel on a lark to inquire as to cost and availability. To our delight, the General Manager gave us a rate (that included breakfast) that was on par with, indeed a fraction less than, B&Bs in the area. So, although the building exterior is antiquated (Victorian, I believe), the interior has been gutted several times and currently is very art deco with a splash of Danish modern. What it is, is comfortable. So comfortable in fact that by the time we got up and finished breakfast (good, but not as good as what Erlend had been providing at #2 Cambridge Street) it was closing on noon. We walked to the only Post Office in town, bought the necessary postage, then spent the next half hour affixing all the stamps to the postcards and mailing them.
Waiting for the Master
(This photo was taken as I re-entered the Post Office to help affix the postage. The well-behaved, beautiful, if aging Spaniels were waiting patiently by the door)
By this time the pubs were open, and I stopped in at the bar inside the Adamo Hotel to get a pint of Lomond Gold from Bridge of Allan Brewery. Upon receiving the pint, I also received the invitation to visit the lounge in the adjoining room to watch the Hearts v Hibernian derby on Setanta Sports. This is a match to which I’d been trying to get tickets for four days. But, as the Tynecastle Stadium only holds 17,800 people and the tickets were going for upwards of 400 quid it had proven to be nearly impossible. Therefore, the invitation proved irresistible. My wife soon joined me and we made acquaintance with a charming individual, Euen, who is moving to Dubai in the next few weeks. Perhaps I’ll take his place here in Scotland. 🙂
When the game was over, a disappointing nil-nil draw, we walked over to the Bridge of Allan Brewery where we engaged Craig (the keep), Douglas (the brewmaster) and Mack (a displaced Iowan) in conversation and beer drinking – The Glencoe Wild Oat Stout is exceptional. Dinner at the Allan-Water Cafe followed by a quick pint at the Crooked Arm and then it’s time for a journal entry. So, here I am.
Cheers.

~KR (Written on 3 January 2009)

Watching:
Barcelona v Mallerca (1 -1 at 58 minutes)

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.008 sec (1/125)
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 10 mm
ISO Speed: 800
Exposure Bias: 1/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire
Software: picnik.com

Cormac Nose Wednesday, Nov 12 2008 

10 November 2008
I was sitting on the chair relishing the company of my wife and playing with my camera. I was trying to decide just what my photo of the day was to be. Cormac, with typical Border Collie enthusiastic curiosity, came to find out what I was doing and why that little silver box was making whirrry-clicky noises.
Cormac's Nose
Cheers

~KR (Written on 12 November 2008 )

Listening to:
Bathroom Stall by Dame Lee

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 1 sec (1)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5.8 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

Please? Monday, Oct 20 2008 

19 October 2008
“I know, I promised to clean the back yard. I will, I will, but please, throw the ball already, come on…pretty please?!”
I swear I heard those words coming out of Cormac.
Throw the ball already!
Day two of MB at TRF and me being at home with the dogs. I was less bored today because I created a lot of work for myself (new websites I’m working on), and I went down to No Frills Grill for lunch and a beer while I watched the Cowboys NOT show up to play against the Rams. Luckily, I also got to see the Bears show up to play against the Vikings. In between all the work, and the NFL game, I played with the dogs some more. They seem to like that.
Cheers.

~KR (Written on 20 October 2008 )

Listening to:
Possum Kingdom by Toadies
from Rubberneck

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.167 sec (1/6)
Aperture: f/5.5
Focal Length: 23.2 mm
ISO Speed: 80
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

Caught! Monday, Oct 20 2008 

18 October 2008
Marita Beth went down to the Texas Renaissance Festival last night. I stayed home due to the expense of kenneling two medium-sized dogs for 2 or 3 nights. It’s just gotten out of hand, expense-wise, so we made the difficult decision for me to stay home (I told you that "tomorrow" didn’t get any better). I did get to watch Arsenal stumble through beating Everton, and I did get caught up on some recorded television; but point-of-fact is, I spent most of my day bored out of my skull. The day was lovely, so I kept the backdoor open giving the dogs free reign to bring in all the fallen leaves from the backyard. That also meant that I played with them, and in effort to stave off tedium, I did play with them…a lot. This is Cormac catching a little worse-now-for-the-wear soccer ball.
Catch!
You can’t really tell, but his head is about 5 1/2′ off the ground. This is one of the few successful catches he made. Most of the rest of the throws bounced off his nose making it easy for ‘Tia to catch and return.
Cheers.

~KR (Written on 20 October 2008 )

Listening to:
Tulips by Bloc Party
from Veronica Mars Soundtrack

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.02 sec (1/50)
Aperture: f/4
Focal Length: 14.3 mm
ISO Speed: 80
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire, auto mode

May I Please Come In? Wednesday, Oct 8 2008 

5 October 2008
We have trained our dogs to not just run through any opening they see. We make them sit and wait for a release word before proceeding through the opening. Here, Cormac is waiting patiently for me to allow him in.
Please, Can I Come In?
Cheers.

~KR (Written on 7 October 2008 )

Listening to:
Do Right Woman, Do Right Man by The Commitments
from The Commitments Official Soundtrack

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.5 sec (1/2)
Aperture: f/5.5
Focal Length: 23.2 mm
ISO Speed: 80
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

Dog on a Tile Floor Thursday, Sep 18 2008 

15 September 2008
Dog on a tile floor at feeding time.
Sometimes I make them do things in exchange for their food. Tonight, I made Cormac simply lay down.
Dog on a Tile Floor
Cheers.

~KR (Written on 18 September 2008 )

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.017 sec (1/60)
Aperture: f/8
Focal Length: 5.8 mm
ISO Speed: 250
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash fired, auto mode, red-eye reduction

Mealtime Monday, Sep 1 2008 

30 August 2008
Since MB has been gone, we stay in touch through these means. It gives the other insight into the day. MB recently requested that I provide a photo of both dogs together since I’ve recently posted on each dog separately. I’m not sure this is what she had in mind, but it’s what she gets.
Meal Time
Cheers.

~KR (Written on 1 September 2008 )

Listening to:
A Girl Like You by Edwyn Collins
from Gorgeous George

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 1 sec (1)
Aperture: f/3.2
Focal Length: 7.5 mm
ISO Speed: 80
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

Kibbles & Balls Friday, Aug 29 2008 

28 August 2008
Nearly four years ago, Marita Beth and I were “gifted” in the form of a very young puppy found wandering in our front yard. The next door neighbour had rung us up one morning at 0730 to find out if we had accidentally let our dog out. Of course, we had not, ‘Tia was still sound asleep in her crate and we in our bed. This scrawny, little cross-eyed border collie puppy became a source of neighbourhood searching for the next few weeks. Our next door neighbour’s kids put up signs, we contacted the Border Collie rescue society, the pound and the local pet stores. No one seemed to own or want this dog despite caring enough to put a very expensive shock collar on his neck sans tags. As TRF approached we tried harder but found no success. Eventually we had to make a choice: the pound, or the kennel? Since the pound wouldn’t/couldn’t guarantee he’d live through the weekend, we took him with ‘Tia to the “pet hotel” (kennel) where we, obviously, had to get all of his shots and papers up-to-date. So, $300 later, that little Border Collie became Cormac and the newest member of the family.
During his travails as a solo pup scrounging for food, he picked up the habit of absolutely devouring his food in as quick a fashion as possible. In fact, he could put down an entire bowl of dry kibbles in less than 10 seconds. We did lots of research and found no effective way to curb this behaviour, and four years later we still can’t slow him down. So, an old incomplete croquet set came to the rescue and in went three balls. The subject of my photo.
Balls & Kibbles
If you have any thoughts on how to slow down a dog that thinks he’s ravenous and will never eat again, I’m all ears. Four years later it’s just irritating and I wish he’d slow his eating. Five minutes after he’s done, ‘Tia will finally finish her meal and have a bit of water as a nice post-dinner relaxer. Cormac should learn from her.
Cheers.

~KR (Written on 29 August 2008 )

Listening to:
One Tin Soldier by Coven
from Super Hits of the Seventies

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.8 sec (4/5)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5.8 mm
ISO Speed: 200
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash did not fire

Muh, Muh, Muh, Muh, My, My-‘Tia Saturday, Aug 23 2008 

22 August 2008
This is my baby ‘Tia. She looks sad because it’s bed-time. She doesn’t like bed-time very much.
'Tia
Cheers.

~KR (Written on 23 August 2008 )

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.017 sec (1/60)
Aperture: f/3.5
Focal Length: 10 mm
ISO Speed: 250
Exposure Bias: 0 EV
Flash: Flash fired, auto mode, red-eye reduction
Software: picnik.com

Just Me & the Dogs Sunday, Aug 10 2008 

7 August 2008
I, sadly, had to put my wife back on a flight to Chicago today. It’s been a real pleasure having her home two different times during the run of her festival; and, I get to go up to her part of the country next week (keep your finger crossed). But, for the moment, I’m alone again with just the dogs to keep my company.
Here’s ‘Tia performing her magical spread-eagle flying trick. She’s quite agile, really.
Flying 'Tia
I think I need to buy her a new soccer ball soon; that one is a little worse for wear.
Cheers.

~KR (Written on 10 August 2008 )

Listening to:
Carry on Wayward Son by Kansas
from Best of Kansas

Camera: Canon PowerShot SD850 IS
Exposure: 0.017 sec (1/60)
Aperture: f/2.8
Focal Length: 5.8 mm
ISO Speed: 250
Exposure Bias: 0/3 EV
Flash: Flash fired, auto mode, red-eye reduction

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