Set dressing

Before me and Miss dog were movie extras I had no idea what actually went into making a movie. The movie we were in (we were sort of in, our scene was cut) was set in present day, so we just dressed in a tidier form of normal wear. But the movie that M’s uncle was in was a period piece, dust bowl 1930’s so the town had to get a few additions to make it look the part. It did not need much to make the town appear old and decrepit.

This is actually the window of the old post office, they built a new one about 15 years ago. Perhaps there was once a barber shop in town, but not in living memory.

An elderly resident remembered when this was a general store, but of course the window sign is new. I don’t ever remember this being open for business in the past 43 years.

The set designers stuck up a few posters to give some atmosphere, I guess this sort of thing might have played in small towns. Maybe?

A faded circus poster for an imaginary circus. I suppose that elephants could have got here on the train (back when it stopped in town).

And here’s another poster for a competing circus, they were certainly popular, I guess. The other addition to the town, a dirt street, was removed after filming. Only these signs and posters show that they were ever here.

All of this flotsam of moviemaking has piqued my curiosity about this movie. I did check and it has only been released at a film festival and in Russia (?). But I expect that one day, sooner or later the movie will be released on Netflix or Amazon Prime and I will be able to satisfy my curiosity (or the scene will have been cut). 🙂

Art Day

Every so often I simply must take an art day to get some creative inspiration or just to take time to bunk off from doing nothing. And as there was an artist talk at the local museum, I decided that this was just the thing.

So there she was, going on to her fans about how she uses her inspiration to make work. I had been listening, but the chairs were uncomfortable after a while, so I decided that I was as inspired as I was going to get from this.

This artwork is by another Native American (Red Indian to you Brits) artist. I like it both as a piece of art, and as something that casts a lovely shadow. You know how obsessed I am with shadows and the play of light.

Today I was captivated by this shadow, from a well-known piece of Pop Art. I have previously featured another part of the shadow, the horse he rode in on.

But it wasn’t this horse! This horse is part of a fashion exhibit and definitely an inspiration. After all who doesn’t want to go about looking like a horse? So with all this new inspiration floating about in my brain, I galloped off (actually, I got in my car and went home. Perhaps I shall create some art another day).

Fair

Since people first started doing agriculture, there have probably been harvest festivals. Here we have a similar event, the State Fair (without all the pagan stuff of the original harvest festivals).

Yes it features all of the essentials of a good fair, with plenty of free attractions, as well as the sort that cost money. Last November when I was taking the shuttle from the airport there were a number of folks travelling to Pueblo to pitch their acts. So I did hear quite a bit on the trip about the business of being a professional stage hypnotist. Apparently only one of the guys was hired.

This was a troupe of incredibly cheesy cowboy actors, who staged a little shootout between evil do-ers and the good guys. I was quite surprised to see that they had fans of their little melodrama, who knew? (Or imagined this was possible).

Also in the cheesy entertainment category are the racing pigs. Now the pigs themselves are adorable as they run around their racetrack, all for the prize of a cookie (surely it’s not good for pigs to be eating cookies). But the cheesy part of the show is the announcer. He gives the pigs ridiculous names that are puns on the names of various celebrities, while giving out a line of patter. To engage the crowd, he appointed one person from each section as cheerleader. If one’s pig won, the cheerleader was given a plastic pig’s nose to wear while doing a silly dance. It was a prize most coveted by the under 5’s.

What would a fair be without rides? It’s all part of the tradition.

And then there is the food; various foods that are fried or served on a stick, but are an essential part of the fair experience. This stand was serving up all-American Mexican treats, fried sticks of dough covered in sugar. Things that one might never eat if not for the fair, it’s all part of celebrating the bounty of the harvest (and perhaps an echo of the pagan celebration after all).

Cat friends

Although I am acquainted with many, many dogs (I do love them so), I also have a number of cat friends.

This is Freya, who came from the Humane Society as a kitten (not actually in that box). That thing on her neck is a cat locator. Should she by chance escape into the great outdoors, it helps to find her. One just points this radar gun sort of thing in different directions until one hears a beep. Then one follows the beeps until one sees the cat. It’s really quite handy.

This is her brother Thor, a purebred Maine Coon cat. He was still a kitten when I took this photo, now he weighs almost 15 pounds (he’s a big boy).

This is Cupcake (and she is no sweet treat), who is a bit of a devil-girl. She enjoys being petted until that fateful moment when she has had enough. Then she whips her head around and bites you (or me). But she is pretty and her owner loves her, so she does her job.

This is Nico, a sort of Siamese-ish cat. He’s quite friendly with beautiful blue eyes. He normally wears a collar to prevent him from leaving his yard, but he had broken this and was waiting on a replacement (he is a bit of a naughty boy).

This time around I didn’t get to actually see this cat, but I have seen him before. It’s Tuna, the amazing acro-cat. He has been trained to use his paw to bong away on a cowbell, among other things (Yeah, I know if he was a dog it would be no big deal, even rather mundane. But training a cat to do anything on command is truly amazing).

More Fate

Combining patriotism and strength, this machine is more about divining one’s personality rather than telling the future. But I suppose that one’s personality type leads to a certain sort of implied future (after all, no one wants to be a weakling!).

One of the oldest forms of fortune telling is the horoscope, that somehow one is subjected to astrological influences based on the date of one’s birth. Of course, just like going to an expert a palm reader, for a really special prediction, one must consult an astrologer and have a chart drawn up. Based on the minute of one’s birth, as well as the date this is said to be much more accurate. But how can we trust the factual basis of this prediction (plus it costs more than a quarter).

Then there is the Magic 8 Ball, allegedly a child’s toy, that will give one an answer to any question. Was this the right question?

One can also get a prediction for the future from a fortune cookie. The cookie one gets is a truly random choice, as this fate is hidden inside a cookie. Perhaps the universe is telling us something? I guess I am looking for a sign.

And here it was, displayed on an official street department signboard. Well with a sign like that, the answer is clear. Turn around and go back to bed, it’s the safest prediction, at least for the immediate future. 😉

Fate

I think that most people wish that they knew what Fate has in store for them. And there are different ways to try and find this out.

When I was a young woman I did go with a friend to see a palm reader once. We were driving around aimlessly with a guy when we passed the fortune teller’s house, and my friend suddenly needed to know her fate. So she got the guy to pay the five dollars, and was told the usual sort of vague promises, while me and the guy giggled in the corner. I can’t remember if any of the predictions came true, but surely after all these years at least one of them must have. (You will meet a stranger, you will come into money, you will marry a guy, etc. etc.)

For a much more impersonal reading than from a live person, this machine would give your fate based on one’s astrological sign. And for only a penny! Surely the machine would know one’s fate.

Then there was this palm reader, which will work for only a quarter. The image shown is wearing a turban, so one can count on this reading being accurate.

Or would a yak be a more trustworthy fortune teller?

This guy has the crystal ball, tarot cards and the turban, so I assume this machine would be the most reliable predictor of one’s future. But I don’t know for sure because I put my quarters in the horse racing machine (I lost).

So I leave you, dear reader, with a few quotes about fate saved in my commonplace book: “there’s fate at the end of every story” and “knowing too much of your future is never a good thing”. Both are possibly true.

Or maybe this is the machine with the answers? (Your actual mileage may vary).

Cowtown

To be called a “cowtown” implies one of two things: either the town is located in a cattle raising area, or the town is small, isolated or unsophisticated. I choose to think that this city is a cowtown because we have the annual strolling of the cows through the downtown area (what could be more sophisticated?).

The event starts with a small herd of longhorn cattle, including the adorable babies.

The TV news babe was there to cover the event (this is the sort of assignment that they delegate to the interns) along with her cameraman. How was she to know that the news part of the story would be at the other end of the stroll?

Police were ready to escort the herd and stop traffic (the sirens were on low to avoid startling the cattle).

And they’re off! Strolling along a busy street (well it’s a busy street a few blocks from here).

At the end of the trail, near the final destination of cattle pens were these ancient activists, with their handmade bedsheet signs (how quaint, this reminds me of the 60’s).

Here the herd is approaching the end and are quite tightly bunched up. Because…

This cow had had enough, so she ran into the crowd (people can move quite quickly when they need to) and then she ran into the open door of a bank, closely pursued by a couple of cowboys on horseback. They got a lasso on her and she was led back to the trailers. Meanwhile, the person who took the video on her cellphone capturing this cow’s adventure made the news, both local and national (too bad for you, TV newsgirl). All in all it was excellent publicity for a amateur rodeo and the cows went home until next year.

Goats

Baby goats are adorable. It’s fun to watch them capering about, and it’s hard not to smile at their antics. And then there is yoga, which is not adorable. I find yoga to be a stern practice, there are a lot of postures to memorize, and an instructor who is there to correct your form. But if one puts these two things together, which are not intuitive things to combine, why you get Goat Yoga. Which is really a thing.

Goats are not much interested in doing exercise just to get in shape, so a little bribery is in order. This handsome young man is placing goat treats on the backs of the ladies in this particular yoga class. And the goats are climbing aboard to sample these delicious nuggets.

So the goats aren’t doing yoga at all, they are just scrounging for treats.

Here is the yoga pose downward dog (a very typical sort of movement) combined with upward goat.

Why was this event going on? Well the name of the local brewpub that sponsored this says it all.

Dog friends

Even before I got my new temporary dog friend Ace, I had lots of other dog friends. And as Ace consumes most all of my spare time now, I’m making just a quick post to celebrate some of my other dog friends.

This soulful face belongs to Pete, a Pyrenees. His hobby is barking at anything that moves.

Rigby is a Lab, crossed with some breed that has very short legs (you never know what your dogs will get up to, when one is not looking.)

He also enjoys keeping his home safe by barking at everyone on his street. (Fortunately he lives on a quiet street).

Tucker, a chow-golden retriever mix was photographed in a pile of destruction that he and his sister caused. He enjoys making boxes and toys into small bits.

Tucker’s sister Peaches, looking innocent of destructive tendencies. She is part chow and part something else, obviously her mother got around.

Jake, a pit bull came to visit with his owner, who is one of my oldest friends. (That means we have known each other for a very long time, not that he is old, although if we have known each other for 50 years that does say something about us.) 😉 Jake’s only hobby is going to doggy daycare to romp about.

This is a particularly goofy shot of Winchester, a Lab mix. (He is much more handsome in real life). No known hobbies.

This is Winchester’s cousin Luna, a sort of Lab mix. She was looking askance at Winchester’s antics and thinking about teaching him a lesson.

Mickey is a poodle-ish dog, rescued from the streets. When he was found his hair had not been cut in a very long time. His fur was overgrown and matted. But he now lives in the lap of luxury with M’s cousin and is treated like a prince. His hobby is turning up his nose at home cooked meals.

This is a not very good photo of my great-nephew, Gary Francis S. He loves to chase tennis balls, and will run his short Corgi legs off to retrieve them, if one will only throw them. His hobby is to enthusiastically greet visitors so that they will never want to leave.

Dog friends are often the best sort of friends to have, they are always glad to see one and are easily amused, which is not usually the case with human friends.

On Tap

I do like to go to a pub occasionally, and I do like to pay attention to the odd bits of life. So here is where these two streams intersect today, in those things that the bartender moves to dispense beer (or cider). Yes I am talking about beer taps. Now when I was just a youngster, these were ordinary, plain sorts of things. Perhaps it might have the name of the sort of beer being served (where I am from this would be Budweiser, Busch, Stag or Falstaff). But times have changed and perhaps the gullible drinking public can be persuaded to try a brew based on the tap handle. At least that is my explanation. 😉

Why not try the beer preferred by elephants?

This is quite a popular local (ish) beer. M always said he knew why the Lab was laughing.

At this fine establishment the choice is between some anonymous taps or the tentacled one. I would always vote for trying the tentacle!

And then there is this choice. It appears to be a wheat beer, and it appears to be the sort of things favored by sombrero wearing zombies or other undead sorts. Perhaps not the best selling point for one’s beer, but, there is obviously a market for this. So goodbye to the old major brands (I do not miss you Budweiser), hello to the interesting taps of the craft crowd.