Archive | June, 2005

Happy Anniversary!

29 Jun

Happy 42nd anniversary to my parents! I can only hope that JB and I will be as lucky to spend so many years together!

Here is the latest picture I have of my parents together.

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And here I am with them on my wedding day.

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Earthquake!

27 Jun

Yesterday, after a mountain bike ride, we were sitting around the camp fire area enjoying lunch. My two brothers were in deep conversation, and my nephew, Jack, was trying to play soccer with me while I was seated in a lounge chair eating a sandwich (in other words, he would kick the ball to me and then beg for me to kick it back).

“Earthquake!” JB exclaimed. Everyone kept talking and doing what they had been doing.

“Earthquake!” he repeated. Still no reaction.

“Hey! We’re having an earthquake!” he said, finally interrupting my brothers’ conversation.

“How can you tell?” I asked, as I felt nothing, and the trees didn’t seem to be moving.

Then I felt it. I swear it went on for like 30 seconds. Jane, who had been in the camper napping was awaken by the shaking.

“Wow, I wonder if San Francisco just had The Big One,” someone said.

When we got home, I looked up Google News and got the scoop. We were about 60 miles outside of the epicenter. Read the article.

Annual Mountain Biking and Boating Weekend

27 Jun

This weekend was the fifth annual Cook kids mountain biking and boating weekend at Bullard’s Bar Reservoir in the foothills of the Sierras in California.

It was a grand time. We mountain biked and swam both days (chose to do open water swimming instead of water skiing this year), and the weather was incredible.

The bears were back this year, but not with the vengence of last year. We had a bear go into a campsite close to us, and at 5 in the morning, the idot in that campsite decided to scare the bear away by using his car alarm. Multiple times. Nice way to wake up the entire campground, loser! A simple shout of ‘go away’ wasn’t enough for him!

We brought two out of our three Black Dogs camping. Bringing dogs camping always adds a bit more complication and work, so I really didn’t want to bring any. However, we thought that we’d have a bunch of people looking at our house this weekend with the real estate agent, so we decided to take two dogs. Poor Shadow had to stay home because we weren’t sure how he would get along with my brothers’ two male dogs.

The fist night, we let the dogs sleep in the truck bed, which is covered by a shell. They were barking constantly. I was ready to strangle them. They did a lovely job of keeping all three camps in our party awake, and finally at 3 am, I took Heidi, the main barker, and put her in our tent, much to JB’s chagrin.

Heidi was an angel once she was in the tent. Hence, the next night, we put both dogs in the tent with us, and voila — angel dog campers! They were great! Plus, I got to snuggle with Tucker all night long, which was lovely.

We did come across a suicidal midget dog this weekend, though. A little white dog that looked more like a rat ran straight over to our campsite and started barking at Tucker, seeming to say, “I’m going to kick your butt, you big giant black dog.”

If there is one thing you need to know about Tucker, he HATES little dogs with a passion. I don’t know where he got this, but the second I saw that little dog aproach Tucker, who was tied to a tree, I knew there would be trouble.

Dust flew, and I screamed, and Tucker was like, “bring it on you little rat, I will KILL you!” Soon, the rat ran away, but then Heidi, who happened to be off the leash at that point, took off in hot pursuit.

Want to see a little rat dog’s owner flip out? Sick your Rottwieler on it!!! Luckily, JB caught Heidi, and the rat dog escaped. But good golly, the adrenaline. I later saw that those campers had three rat dogs with them, and they learned to keep their dogs away from our campsite after that.

And after all that effort to vacate two of our dogs from our house, not one person looked at the house. Not one. Damn “Brad”.

I got to spend good quality time with my two nephews and one of my nieces this weekend, which I enjoyed completely.

With that, I give you the family camping trip pictures, starting with my favorite — JB and I after we swam about 1200 yards in the lake on Sunday.

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(I’ve placed the rest on another page to save those of you on a dial-up connection. You know who you are!)
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“Brad”

24 Jun

Our real estate agent signs his name in quotes. I’ve received two faxes from him today, and both were signed:

Thanks,
“Brad”

I find this really strange. His business card says Brad, so it’s not like he’s shortening Bradley to Brad in his signature.

Since my name with the state of the Nevada is officially A, perhaps I should start signing my signature as “A”. That’d be cool, wouldn’t it, “Brad”?!

Not So Sweet

23 Jun

The other day, after signing a house offer that stood to make our real estate agent a lot of money, he shook my hand with an ever so soft shake and called me Sweetie.

I’m still cringing from that.

Never call a woman sweetie in a business situation. Never.

I’ll have to come up with a good response if he does that again. “My pleasure, babycakes.”

And by the way, our offer was rejected, so we’re back to the drawing boards.

Turn signal!!!

22 Jun

So we are trying to sell our Blazer. Yesterday, we got a message on our answering maching about it. It went something like this:

“Yeah, I’m calling about your, uh, little Blazer. How many miles does it have on it?

TURN SIGNAL! TURN SIGNAL!

*pause* Sorry, someone just cut me off. Call me.”

JB and I listened to this message, and I was clutching my stomach from laughing so hard. Throughout the rest of the evening, one of us would randomly insert a desperate cry of “TURN SIGNAL! TURN SIGNAL!” into the conversation. Try it sometime — it’s really fun!

Tucker the Hose Dog

21 Jun

I’ve talked about Tucker’s fascination with hoses on this site before. (Side note: that is a really good story, so I recommend you go read that after this entry!)

This past weekend, JB wanted to demonstrate Tucker’s desire to kill the water that comes out of the hose for his parents. Here are some pictures I took during that show.

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And this is what he looked like after exhausting himself with that display:

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The Weekend in Pictures

21 Jun

JB’s parents were in town visiting this past weekend. Here are some pictures that I took.

On Saturday, we went to Tallac Historic Site at South Lake Tahoe. It consists of three summer residences of super rich people from the 1920s.

Here are the in-laws on a pier at Lake Tahoe.
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More shots from that pier:

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We toured this house, which was the Pope residence. These people lived here 2 months out of the year in July and August.

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This is the bedroom of Mrs. Pope.

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Just outside the Pope house is this bench. Oh, what I wouldn’t give to be sitting and relaxing on this bench right now!

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The Sign of Change

20 Jun

Things are about to change in our lives…

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That’s right, our house is now officially for sale. Any buyers out there?!

It’s That Time of Year Again

20 Jun

It’s Reno Rodeo time! I went over to the rodeo today for work to take a few pictures. It was a flashback to my cowgirl days at New Mexico State University.

This picture is dedicated to the woman that taught me to appreciate Wrangler butts. You know who you are.

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And now, for my artistic project of the day. I discovered the Shadow/Highlight feature in Photoshop, and it looked really cool on these pics.

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Snow in June

17 Jun

I am ready for summer to start. For the second time in June, we got a cold snap. The last time, it froze in the valley, putting a lot of strain on our brand new vegetable garden. This time, there is a dusting of snow on the mountains.

Did Mother Nature forget that it is June?

I snapped this picture with my camera phone on my way to work this morning. This photo was taken at about 75 miles per hour. Not bad, is it?!

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Crawling Into My Heart

16 Jun

I stopped by my brother’s house yesterday, and was there as he and I saw my niece, Kacey, crawl for the first time. Evidently, she just figured it out yesterday afternoon.

She only did a few small crawl moves, but it’s obvious she’ll be moving like a speed demon any time now.

Chuck put it accurately when he said, “Our world is about to change.”

That’s right, dear brother.

It was so fun to be there for such a momentous occasion.

Lost Faith

14 Jun

I have lost complete faith in our legal system. I thought the whole OJ innocent verdict was a fluke, but now with Jacko getting off scott free, it proves to me that our legal system is pretty screwed up.

Weekend on the Town

13 Jun

We had a wonderful weekend. Highlights include:

We redeemed a “Night on the Town” package I had won from Harrah’s Reno. It included dinner at Cafe Andriotti’s, which was some amazing Italian food. We then checked into our hotel room, where we saw sunset over the Sierras as the lights of downtown Reno came on. This is what it looked like (pics taken with my camera phone, so excuse the quality)…

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We then went to see the Harrah’s topless review show called Bareback. It was pretty good. I was pleasantly surprised to find that they also featured some men in the show, so there was a little something in there for the ladies in the audience. After the show, we headed to Abby’s bar, where we danced to the tunes of Blue Haven.

Sunday morning, we slept in, and then had breakfast at Cafe Napa in Harrah’s. JB was very upset that Cafe Napa was featuring Australian wines, but alas, he is a wine snob. As I was picking up my water glass and saying, “I’m really dehydrated”, I dropped it, the glass broke, water went all over me, and I got cut on my leg and my hand by the glass.

It was truly a graceful moment for me.

The waiter was very concerned about the blood, but truly, they were small cuts that got mixed with water, so it looked much worse than it was.

We then went swimming at the outdoor pool, got a Jamba Juice smoothie, hung out with my brother, looked at a few houses, and then went to dinner at Asiana at the Hilton.

Then, we went to see the Maroon 5 concert. If you recall, JB knows the drummer that is currently playing with Marron 5, so we had prime tickets set aside for us along with BACKSTAGE PASSES.

The show was really good, and ended with some incredible fireworks over the stage. We then went to the backstage access line, and found all kinds of groupies waiting to get in. I had my Backstage Pass proudly stuck to my shirt.

A band representative then came up to the line (where I was about 5 people back from the front), and started lettting in hoards of scantily clad groupies. He’d pick one in the crowd, and then ask how many friends she had, and then girls would pipe up saying six, or eight, and all of those girls that didn’t have official backstage passes like we did were let in.

After at least 30 groupies were let in, they started asking for people with passes. That is when JB and I were let in, and we went and found the drummer, Matt. We hung out backstage for at least 45 minutes. I took pictures of the band members with my disposable camera (I had forgotten the digital at home — argh!), and sat back to watch the groupies in action. It was truly a whole new sub-culture for me.

It was a great night, but we got to bed a bit late for a Sunday night.

Mental Note

10 Jun

I just met with my new personal trainer for the second time yesterday. The first thing he asked me is if I got sore from the workouts he prescribed last week.

I said no.

Wow, did he turn up the volume on my workout yesterday.

Believe me, I’m sore!

Mental note: If you tell your trainer that you didn’t get sore at all, be prepared to be so sore you can hardly move after he is done with you.

Past Me

10 Jun

Last year, I went to a website called FutureMe.org. The site enables you to send an e-mail to yourself in the future. I opted to send myself a message in one year. I got it today, and it was really fun to get… I think I’ll go send Future Me another message today!

Dear FutureMe,

Hello. Here is a blast from your past. As I write this, I am also thinking about the impending move to Joel’s house this weekend, and all of the wedding plans that need to happen… I’ve been amazed at how drastically my life has changed in the past year, and it will be interesting to see where I’m standing this time in 2005.

I hope that life as a newlywed is all we’ve ever dreamed of.

Best of luck to you!

Shadow The Volunteer Dog

9 Jun

Tonight, I took our dog Shadow to an assisted living home for some pet therapy volunteering. This was Shadow’s first time as a volunteer, and he was a bit shy at first.

But he soon warmed up to all of the old ladies showering him with attention. He panted like crazy, but was calm, quiet and receptive.

I spent most of the evening with a woman named Vohnell. I met her as she was telling another resident goodnight. The following conversation ensued:

Vohnell: I’ll see you in the morning.
Other lady: Lord willing, if He chooses to open my eyes. Sleep with the angels.
Vohnell: If I could find another angel, I sure as hell would sleep with him.

Now that is spunk for an eighty something year old! I decided to visit with her to see what else she had to say. She was a talker.

And after about 5 minutes, I started suspecting that she was really good at telling tall tales. Let me see if I can remember all that she told me….

  • She used to own a dog kennel and train hunting dogs.
  • She used to be a pilot.
  • She used to be a school teacher.
  • She used to be a contracter.
  • She currently owns a jet, and is working with a friend of hers that works for the State to get a commercial license.
  • She worked in a national defense plant during WWII.
  • Her house caught on fire when she was in the shower, and a firefighter had to carry her out “naked as a jaybird”.
  • Her best friend was Elvis. When I laughed and asked if she had gone to many of his concerts, she said, “no, he really was my best friend.” I said, “really, did you know Lisa Marie?” And she said, “oh, yes, I knew her.” She then showed me a “picture” of Elvis, which was really a VHS tape cover, and told me about how they were out at the races the day that picture was taken.
  • Her first husband started running around on her so she flew to San Francisco to divorce him, and ‘shocked the hell out of him.’
  • She has a son that owns two gold mines.
  • That son injured both wrists, and is currently in Arizona getting his nerve endings repaired.
  • Her three sisters were killed recently in a car crash when their car went off a cliff.

    There was more, but I can’t remember it all.

    She then took me to her room to show me pictures and her entire wardrobe, and a dragonfly lamp that she was very proud of, despite the fact that she thought it was dirty.

    Vohnell, Shadow and I then went for a walk up and down the halls of the facility, and people would shout out demands from their rooms.

    “Turn on my light!” One lady said. So I did.
    “Can you get me out of bed?” another man named Maynard asked, and I promised to go get a staff member to help him. Vohnell took it upon herself to go up to one of the staff members to tell them about Maynard, and then explained to that staff person that she couldn’t help him out of bed herself because she’s a resident and their insurance wouldn’t cover it if something happened.

    All and all, it was a good night. I was entertained by Vohnell’s stories, and it was obvious that she was craving company.

    I then came home and took all three dogs on a walk at sunset. We cut across a field, and next thing I know, my socks are covered with stickers, and all three of the dogs have stickers all over their coats. I spent about 20 minutes after we returned home picking all of the stickers out of their coats. I made a mental note NOT to cut across that field anymore!

In the Presence of My Enemies

8 Jun

I was sobbing on the drive home from work yesterday. I couldn’t contain myself. I was finishing listening to the audio book of In the Presence of My Enemies by Gracia Burnham.

It was an amazing book. It was a true story about a married couple that was held hostage in the jungles of the Phillipines for over a year. Gracia’s account of the day to day living as a hostage, beheadings of other hostages, and how their faith remained strong was truly an inspiration.

Gracia’s husband died during the ordeal. I won’t give details just in case you want to read the book. But it was at the point where her husband, Martin, died that I completely lost it.

I really need to stop reading books about women losing their husbands.

But anyway, just imagining losing JB in that manner just tore me apart. Gracia then went on to describe her husband’s funeral and the reunion with her family, and although it was beautiful and I admire her strength, I couldn’t help but cry for her.

When I got home, JB said, ‘You look sun burned’, as my face was all red.

‘No, I’ve been crying.’ I then explained about the book, and hugged him, telling him how much I love him and that I never want to lose him. I also made him promise to let me die first, because I don’t even want to think about losing him.

Of course, he hugged me and soothed me, but also poked fun at how upset I was over a book.

Let me tell you, it wasn’t just any book. Go read it yourself and you’ll see what I’m talking about.

Karma In Action

7 Jun

This morning on my drive to work, I had a guy cut me off while driving through Carson City. It was one of those lane changes where he jerked the steering wheel and didn’t signal. Thankfully, I had a few feet to spare, but I honked to let him know my displeasure.

Then, as I’m cresting the hill going into Washoe Valley, I notice that I’m going a bit fast, and considering this is where I got nabbed by an airplane before, I put on my turn signal to get out of the fast lane and slow down.

I looked in my rear view mirror, and saw the same guy completely on my butt, despite the fact that I was signaling to get over into the slow lane. He then sped past me blatently flipping me off, and then proceeded to make several illegal lane changes to pass other drivers.

And guess who was out doing another airplane sting today? That’s right, the Nevada Highway Patrol. I cannot tell you how happy I was to see this guy get pulled over (at the same spot I had been pulled over before, mind you). Finally, the cops got one of the bad guys in these stupid speed traps. I looked up through my glass t-tops, and saw the airplane circling above. I smugly smiled, glad that I escaped and he did not.

Serves you right, jerk.

Seriously, how many times do relatively innocent people get pulled over for stupid stuff, when the guys that exhibit blatent road rage get off scott free?!

More Photos

6 Jun

Here are some photos I just grabbed off the camera…

This was our project last month — building our garden box! That is one cubic yard of compost in there that I shoveled and wheel-barreled myself!!!

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This past weekend, I worked at the Pro Wakeboard Tour at Sparks Marina. Here are a few shots from that event.

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Last month, I worked at the Reno River Festival. Here are a few pics from that event.

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JB’s band played at the Reno River Festival. Here is a shot of The Jason King band.

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And my favorite drummer.

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Drag Racing the Trans Am

6 Jun

This past weekend, I headed out to the Reno-Fernley Raceway for some heart pumping drag racing.

The raceway is about a half hour drive East of Reno. It is a beautiful drive. We arrived shortly after 6:00, and after I got my 2000 Pontiac Firebird Trans Am Ram Air checked by the tech inspector, I was off to the races. Literally.

It was me against my brother in his 1985 Mustang. It really wasn’t a fair race against him, but he had been drag racing before. I had not.

Our first race, we pulled up, and I winged it as I figured out how the starting lights (aka Christmas Tree) worked. My reaction time was really slow, but once I got going, I punched it and let it ride.

And then I was thinking, “Where does this race end?”

There was no distinct line to show me where the race was, so I just kept going. That is, I kept going until I saw the pavement was about to end.

Yes, my first 1/4 mile race was almost a 1/2 mile.

Luckily, for the second race, I had someone point out the finish line, and I slowed down once I hit that line.

The drag race is very nice, and believe me, it will truly get your blood pumping. Here are a few pictures from Friday night’s race:

Here is the line up of the night… Trans Am versus Mustang. One of the oldest rivalries in the car business!
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And this is what happened every time…. That’s right, I spanked him! He beat me out of the hole every time, but every time I was able to come from behind and beat him… SIGNIFICANTLY!

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Here is Chuck with my niece, Kacey. She was a remarkably good sport at this loud event!

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Here is Kacey reaching for the camera as I took her picture.

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Proof that Chuck helps out with the child care!

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This is ‘Gangsta KC’, as she is wearing her pink ball cap crooked like the gangsters do.

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Introducing Shae

3 Jun

Over the Memorial Day weekend, my parents picked up a new Vizsla puppy. She is 8 weeks old, and they’ve named her Shae Lynn.

Cute puppy pics to follow:
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This is Shae with my parents’ other dog, Shelby.
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