Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Happy Halloween!

Have a safe and happy Halloween! Don't eat all your candy in one sitting.

I have my usual festivities tonight, that being absolutely nothing. Just work...

Monday, October 30, 2006

Game Fowl #1

Game Fowl #1 is now available on a multitude of items in the CafePress store (see link on right side of this page).

Yeah baby! Who wouldn't want this bad boy on a thong?? ;-) (Or a shirt, mug, post card, etc.)


Unfortunately my picture came out blurry, but check out what was in the house today!! Came in the same way the frogs do I suppose!

Sunday, October 29, 2006

I am so stupid

If I would just stop for half a second and pay attention I would have seen that today is not the first or third Sunday of the month, and therefore there was no auction. Unfortunately I didn't realize that until I drove ALL the way out there... about 45 minutes each way. I got up to 5:30am for nothing!!! Grrr. I'm going back to bed.

Saturday, October 28, 2006

Pictures Today

Horses are so optimistic. They always think it might be dinner time.

Dusty says hi. He got a bunch of time off during art show/England insanity, but I swear it's like someone came over and worked with him while I was gone because he's suddenly much better! Maybe Shylah talked to him, or maybe it just took that long for everything to sink in! :-)

This turned out pretty!

It's very dry here. The horses gets major static electricity issues, though Dusty seems more prone to frizz-butt than the girls. Maybe he swishes his tail more. Then again Shylah is generally in dreadlocks (all natural) so hers doesn't do this as much.

And now some chicken pics. Really nice head on this BBRed pullet!

Birchen pullet from the Silver OE X Black RC cross. The ONE bird that came out the color I expected!

Purebred black! Really! He's a Brassy Back sport. As a Brassy he's not very well colored but I'll try him as breeding stock to bring in a new bloodline.

Ugly combs on the Blue Silver girls (Silver OE X Black RC) but they are cute anyway.

I hate painting but it does make things look better. We painted this coop today. I didn't realize how pink that light brown colors is. Hmm.

Cuckoo pullet. Not a very Rosecomby head just yet.

This is the one I showed just for kicks in Paso Robles last weekend.

The 1/2 Dominique pullet.

I still like this guy! I'm going to try breeding him to the Cuckoo pullets.

The one rose combed cuckoo male I kept. I don't like all the solid feathers but believe it or not he was the best one.

The Golden (?) Duckwing cockerel (Silver OE X Black RC).

I have mutt birds too! Got this one and her sister from JJ, they are Dominique/OE/Silkie/??? Right?

Purty pullets.

Friday, October 27, 2006

missing a show

I hate that I am missing a poultry show this weekend. I'm such a show junkie, I know!!! It's down in Ventura. I went in the spring. Looong drive, but really not that bad. I sorta like long trips alone anyway. I had actually planned to go to this one, but at the time I stated that, I hadn't anticipated going to Indiana. But I decided for the sake of the art business it's really important that I attend the big show in Indy, and unfortunately that means my participation in the fall shows here in CA definitely suffers. *sigh* Looking at it realistically though, my birds aren't any more show-worthy than they were last weekend, taking another weekend off would have been tough, and with this stupid cold I wouldn't have or be much fun this weekend anyway.

But I still hate missing it. And I'll hate missing the one in Bakersfield next month too. The next time I show my birds will be in the middle of January. January!! That seems like ages away. But you know what. I'll be done with the Standard by then. :-)

Then what?

If I only knew.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

the blahs

The weather is beautiful. I have a little more time than I did. I ought to be out working the horses, a job I have been neglecting. And I'm sick. AAAAARRRRRG!!!! Stupid @#$% cold! Maybe *next* week I will feel good enough to be out there! Grumble grumble gripe gripe.

I might take more birds to auction on Sunday, I haven't quite decided yet. There aren't a lot. Last year was a really good year, I had a lot of really good birds. I don't know what's up this year but I'm just over all not that impressed. I think I'll be lucky to get one or two "keepers" out of the Black cockerels. Maybe the same from the BBReds. I have to wait and see how they all feather out before I decided what to keep, since sickle length is an important factor in that decision. The BBRed pullets are better this year, at least a few of them. Now I have to cross my fingers and hope they don't turn white in the face. That's the downside to the new bloodline I brought in to part of the flock a couple of years ago. While it vastly improved the feather color, it also produces white-faced birds. You know, if it ain't one thing it's another.

The Brassies and Blue Brassies need work next season. I've sorta let them go and it shows, they are too inbred, and WAY too small. Compared to my black ones they are just teeny tiny, and that's not so good. I think I will use one of the Brassy Back sport males (from the Blacks) to put some new vigor into that line. Might mess up the color, but I'll deal with it.

The big Indiana show is right around the corner now. In a way I wish I was showing birds there, but at the same time it's nice not to have to worry about it, and none of them would be ready anyway. I do sort of wish I was going to have an art booth there, since I would probably do pretty well, but again it's a relief not to have to mess with it, and it would also be very expensive. It's funny to think about all the stuff I hauled back to Ohio on the airplane 4 years ago, I think with all the restrictions these days I'd probably have to drive in order to bring everything I would need! I'm planning to get a jacket or something embroidered with my name and logo on it, I want to be easy to find, and I definitely want to do some marketing while I'm there! Darn it I wish could be done with the Standard by then!

Well, back to it. I'm moving at the speed of cold molasses today, so my drawing may go even slower than normal.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Oct 12: Goodbye London

Up at the crap of dawn on Oct 12, our flight left around 10am. It was a good trip, exhausting yes, but good. I'm glad I had the opportunity to go. I must say though, when that airplane touched down in Sacramento, surrounded by the dead brown dusty flat fields, although it wasn't green and pretty, I was SO glad to be back. I wouldn't mind seeing more of the country there, but I feel like I had enough city. I was ready to go.

So now my blogs will return to normal life, which won't be as exciting. :-)

Anyway, I have to get back to work now. The Buff Silkies have to be done by the time I go to bed tonight, and that'll take a miracle. I have to finish though...

I think I'm getting sick. Great, just what I need.

Oct 11: London

The weather on the 11th alternated between showers, clear, and pouring rain. DP says the forecast changes about every three seconds over there. I believe it!

First up that day was a trip to the London Tower, which dates from the 17th century and is the oldest surviving Medieval castle. Pretty darn old! We went on the guided tour, led by a funny Yeoman Warder (these are the guys who were called Beefeaters) and then wandered a bit on our own, amidst occasional pouring rain. There were a lot of places were photography was forbidden though, like the display of the crown jewels. Talk about bling! Wowza.

Ooh, purty with the Tower Bridge in the back!

Ummmm, okay. A totally random chicken costume at a shop near the entrance to the Tower.

Inside the Tower walls...

Let's see if I can remember the story of the ravens. There used to be (back in the 17th century) many many many of them, to the point where they became a nuisance, but legend had it that if the ravens left the tower some sort of terrible thing would happen, so a few were kept and the rest were driven away, and there have been ravens there ever since. Not that they can leave, their wings are clipped. One Yeoman Warder has the job of taking care of the ravens. They have some pretty nice coops, I wouldn't mind having those.

They seem to be having a conference of some sort.

A suit of armor for a horse. What you can't see in this pic is the armor is fully engraved, wow!

The armor of Henry VIII. Do I even need to comment on that??... Whoa.

More horse armor...

17th century bit.

That's a lot of guns and sharp things!

17th century saddle I think!

When I rounded the corner and saw this room I think my eyes just about popped out of my head. It was a display of armor and these magnificent wooden horses from the 17th century! OMG!!! They were awesome. I don't know what they were originally for, or if they were meant to represent particular horses, but they were absolutely amazing. Such different looks to them, some looked calm and some looked downright diabolical. Soooooooo cool!

For any photo buffs, just fyi only the last horse pic was taken with a flash. Natural light is so much more interesting, but in a fairy dark room is means using the timer and propping the camera up on something solid since it's a long exposure.

And that concluded our trip to the London Tower.

Here's a view of the Tower Bridge that I took while we were walking back to the tube station.

We went back to D&D's and vegetated for a while. Here's the view from their place.

Dinner that night was a somewhat fancier event, and it became painfully aware that my fancy black shoes no longer fit me. UgH!!!! We went to a place called Sarastro, which was sort of Turkish in theme, with Mediterranean food. The decor was quite spectacular, lots of velvet and gold trim, totally over-the-top-theatrical! There were numerous opera-boxes along the walls where people could eat in these little balcony things, those were so neat! I had pasta with ham and chicken, and a lemon tart for dessert. It was all soo good.

Taken without flash...

Oct 10: London

Wow, my previous posting was my 300th!

I am determined to get the rest of the England pics on line today.

So.... after we finished on the London Eye we moseyed onward to the British Museum, which is enormous. We were there for about three hours, and did not see everything. There is sure a lot of amazing stuff there, but honestly after a while I was all museumed out...

Looks like an Egyptian Goose to me!

Holy moley... the Rosetta Stone!

Why the long face, Falcon?

As usual, I can be found hanging out with old guys... ;-) If we were all holding chickens this would be perfect.

Yay chickens!!! Always warms my heart to see chickens in a museum.

After the museum, we went to Camden Market, a huge outdoor bazaar with all sorts of interesting clothes and crafts and pretty much anything you could think of. I'd never seen entire stores devoted to goth clothing... I didn't buy anything (at any of the shops!) though I was tempted a few times. There were some really pretty things, but I don't get dressed up enough to justify spending money on pretty things! :-)

We moseyed onward, and visited D&D's friend Paul Antonio at his studio. He's a calligrapher, and I was blown away by the work that he does!

The final excursion for the evening was a visit to a pub, Ye Old Cheshire Cheese. It was deemed necessary to visit a pub and have traditional pub food. The oldest parts of this pub date from the mid 17th century. The ceilings were so low that people have to hunch over to walk down the staircase! It was small and smokey, but quite entertaining.

I had the breaded shrimp and fries (err, chips!). They called it Scampi but it's not like American scampi. And a sweet cider.. still tastes too much like beer to me, though it was definitely better, and I did manage to finish the whole thing. Not going to become a habit of mine though. I was too full for dessert but I did steal a bite of DP's "treacle sponge." Now does that sound like a horrible food or what? I was a little scared of it, but it turns out to be a sponge-cake sort of thing in a bowl of sweet sugary syrup. It did look a bit odd but it was REALLY good. Now for really bad food names, there was also one called a "Spotted Dick." I asked DJ what that is and he said it's a lot like a Treacle Sponge except it has raisins or currants or something in it. Hmm! Learn something new every day.

After we finished dinner and watched a very drunk man flirt with his imaginary friend for a while before staggering back up the stairs and nearly smacking his head on the low ceiling (hee hee!) we walked over to St Paul's Cathedral again and admired the view at night before catching the tube and catching some much-needed sleep.