Boy on the Deck

This post has nothing to do with horses.

I don’t usually care for pictures of people. I’m a biologist and a horseman, and if I want to see a person, all I need do is look in the living room at my very favorite one.

I like some people. It’s humans I can’t stand. So I don’t have pictures of them.

Humans are the cause of the vast majority of the planet’s current problems, from pollution, environmental catastrophes such as oil spills, extinction of creatures like tigers, elephants, rhinos and pangolins, to overpopulation, famine, war and climate change.

We’re a disease to mother earth. She’s in the process of fixing that as I speak.

But every once in a while you see a picture that rises above the problematic animal that is Homo sapiens and sticks with you for the rest of your life.

Such as this one. I have no idea who took the picture. It was an ad for a camera in a magazine I can no longer remember. That was late 70’s, early 80’s? I really cannot remember. I have carried this bit of paper around with me for years, because it is so….evocative.

There is only one bit of information: This is the windmill at Zaanse Schans, Netherlands. That’s it.

There is something so wonderful about this. This little boy, his eyes closed in bliss at the fresh air blowing in his face. Such a simple pleasure! I can smell the air myself!

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Revenge On The Nerds

Revenge on the Nerds

by Khutulan

We’ve all been there. Your computer stops cooperating. It destroys all your data, or

starts doing weird shit. Or it just won’t do whatever you’ve asked it to do.

You poor, desperate fool, you click on “Microsoft Online Tech Support”

You get a ‘chat box”. It may or may not be a human on the other end. You are first told how much the information is going to cost.

You tell the Tech Support nerd “My computer stopped doing “this”

The Nerd tells you: “That’s easy. You have to dreframulate the Boolean property incubus after first reformatting the inelastic collider. Only after it has heliosed, type in:

(/fhii84/coooy886/youaresoscrewed and when it prompts you with “By doing this you

agree to delete all your data and edit your registry”, click on ‘Yes’.”

Because you have no idea what the information means, you start at step one, typing in: “How do I dreframulate” and your computer says “Despite the fact that you own me, sucker, Microsoft has programmed me to thwart every attempt you make to repair me.”

I have learned how to get revenge.

I answer my business phone: “Auto repair shop.”

Microsoft Tech Support Guy: “My car stopped running; I’m stuck on the off ramp in Redmond.”

Me: What were you doing when it stopped running?

TS: “Driving it to work! I work in Tech Support at Microsoft.”

Me: Oh. Sweeet. Is it making a noise?

TS: You mean now?

Me: Yes.

TS: No, it’s not running! It can’t make noise when it’s not running!

Me: That’s not good. It means something’s wrong.

TS: That’s why I’m calling you!

Me: Is it out of gas?

TS: I don’t know. How do you tell if it’s out of gas?

Me: Seriously? You don’t know?

TS: Isn’t the car supposed to tell me it’s out of gas?

Me: It did. It stopped running.

TS: It’s not out of gas! Look, I’m a highly trained technician. I work with computers all

day. Why can’t cars be like computers?

Me: Sorry to say, sir, they already are. What was it doing before it stopped running?

TS: It was going 60 mph on the highway, then it just stopped and it’s raining like hell and I need to get to work. Why did it stop running?

Me: I’m trying to figure out what you did to it.

TS: I was DRIVING it.

Me: Are you in the car?

TS: Of course! It’s raining!

Me: What do the gauges read?

TS: What are ‘gauges’?

Me: (sighing), They’re little meters with needles. They are on the dashboard.

TS: All I see are icons.

Me: Yeah, thanks to computer geeks, no one puts in gauges anymore. What do the icons say?

TS: One says “Check Engine”. Is that bad?

Me: You should have told me that first.

TS: So I should check the engine?

Me: That helps a lot.

TS: How do I check the engine?

Me: Open the hood.

TS: Do I have to go out in the rain?

Me: That’s the only way I know of.

TS: Can’t you, like, do it remotely?

Me: No. Why don’t you “Ask a friend for help”.

TS: I don’t have any friends. Wait, here’s a homeless guy with a cardboard sign. Maybe he can tell me how to open the hood.

TS: Hey, buddy, can you tell me how to open the hood?

Voice: You don’t know how to open the hood? You must work for Microsoft. Gimme a

twenty, dumbass, and I’ll show you. Hurry up, it’s freaking raining, I ain’t got all day.

TS: Here, dammit.

TS: OK. I have the hood up.

Me: OK. First, you have to remove the fuel injector pump.

TS: The what?

Me: The fuel injector pump. Your car IS fuel injected, isn’t it?

TS: I don’t know, what is fuel injected?

Me: Is it an older model? Is it carbureted?

TS: You mean, like a can of pop?

Me: Not carbonated, carbureted. Is there a metal bowl on the intake manifold?

TS: The what?

Me: Do you see a small metal bowl?

TS: No. I see this big metal thing with a bunch of wires and hoses and round things,

there’s all sorts of things in here. What IS all this stuff?

Me: It’s called an ‘engine’. Have you pulled the fuel injector pump?

TS: I don’t even know what that is!

Me: (dripping scorn) The fuel injector pump portions precise amounts of fuel to anywhere from 4 to 8 fuel injectors, which atomize and then inject fuel into the tops of the cylinder heads.

Everyone knows that. I can’t believe I’m telling a computer programmer something this

insanely simple. You drive the car, right?

TS: Yeah, but I don’t need to know how it works, I just need it to work.

Me: And that, Mr. Tech Support, is EXACTLY why the majority of humans on this planet

hate Microsoft and its arrogant technical non-support and computer programmers. You

purposely create programs so complicated even you can’t fix them, and when we

need help, you ignore us or treat us like morons.

If you want your car fixed, you’d better have it towed here.

I charge $125 per hour for labor, parts not included. Oh, that doesn’t include charges for

this tech support call. I take Visa, Master Card, or cash.

Good day. This chat has ended.

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Children’s Books that will never be published

When I began this blog, it was titled as it is (‘lightly’) because part of my aim was to inject humor into it.

Well, it’s been a while, and I’ve done a lot of writing not at all involved with horses. Besides, it’s my blog and it doesn’t ALWAYS have to be horsey humor. That, and the epidemic has forced me into digging into boxes of papers…news clippings, jokes, emails from friends…that I’ve always been meaning to ‘get around to’ filing it in some other form than a shoe box.

So here is one and hopefully more funny stuff will follow. Stars know we need it in times like these.

Children’s Books that Never Made It

1. You Are Different and That’s Bad

2. The Boy Who Died From Eating All His Vegetables

3. Fun Four-Letter Words to Know and Share

4. Hammers, Screwdrivers and Knives: An I-Can-Do-It Book

5. The Kid’s Guide to Hitchhiking

6. Kathy Was So Bad Her Mom Stopped Loving Her

7. Curious George and the High-Voltage Fence

8. All Cats Go To Hell

9. The Little Sissy Who Snitched

10. Some Kittens Can Fly

11. That’s It, I’m Putting You Up For Adoption

12. Grandpa Gets A Casket

13. The Magic World Inside the Abandoned Freezer

14. Garfield Gets Rabies

15. The Pop-Up Books of Human Anatomy

16. Strangers Have the Best Candy

17. Whining, Kicking and Crying to Get Your Way

18. You Were an Accident

19. Things Rich Kids Have but You Never Will

20. Pop! Goes the Hamster-and Other Great Microwave Games

21. The Man in the Moon Is Actually Satan

22. Fun Games to Play Behind the Altar

23. Your Nightmares are Real

24. Where Would You Like to Be Buried?

25. Mr. Fork and Mr. Electrical Outlet Are Friends

26. Places Where Mommy and Daddy Hide Neat Things

27. Daddy Drinks Because You Cry

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And Mother wondered why?

 Growing up, I was not your normal city girl.

I was a tomboy from the word “go”. My friends were boys. I read boy’s books. I absolutely loathed anything even remotely feminine. I wasn’t gay, nor am I now. I was just a  girl who was not girly. 

What I was, from the very start, was horse crazy. Despite having been born in urban Detroit to two very non-horsey parents, all I wanted was a horse. I’m certain my first words were “I want a pony”. When a western was showing on the TV, I watched for the horses. I pretended I was a horse…my upper body the rider, with reins in my fists, my lower body the horse, which trotted and cantered and even jumped. I learned to draw horses, indeed, it’s the only thing I CAN draw. I designed my stable and ranch. I had plans on owning dozens of horses…chestnuts. Bays. Racehorses. Cowponies. I had names for every one. In first grade, I was reading at 4th grade level, and devoured every horse book in the library. 

Having been born the first week in May, I was convinced that the Kentucky Derby was run for my personal pleasure. 

I made plans that someday, I would ride a horse from Michigan all the way to the Rocky Mountains, where I’d buy a ranch and raise horses.

My mother tried desperately to convince me that I was a girl. Putting me in dresses, buying me baby dolls: all that did was make me miserable.  She tried to console my longing with dogs. I didn’t want a dog. I wanted a horse.

My younger sister was a girl. She had dolls, she liked to play dress up, later on, she sneered that because I refused to design my wedding dress that I’d never get married.

Wellllll, I’m on husband #3 and haven’t designed a wedding dress yet…nor did I ever wear one. 

I remember my mother saying in despair, where did this passion for horses come from in you? Why don’t you just accept that you’re a girl in the city?

As children will when they are told by their family that something is wrong with their dreams, I had come to believe that loving horses was something to be ashamed of. So, while I still rebelled at my sister and mother trying to turn me into a girl, I began to keep my passion hidden. But  I swore that someday I wouldn’t be a girl in the city, but a girl in the country with a hundred horses. 

Well, now I am a woman in her sixties. I live in the country with plenty of room for horses, no longer want a hundred of them. One will do just fine. 

And now, I believe that I can finally answer my mother’s question of ‘why was I so horse crazy’.

The picture at the bottom of this post is the last of a series of four that my mother had hanging on the wall of my childhood home. I believe she’d gotten the four as a wedding gift. How I came to be in possession of this last one…the other three are long gone, I don’t know…but I have it.

I don’t know who painted it when, but judging by the clothing and the woman riding side saddle (a mode of riding I will NEVER do. I always felt sorry for the woman who was forced to ride that way, solely because some male decided it wasn’t right for women to ride astride.) I believe it is set sometime during the Victorian era in England.

The only other artwork that I can remember in the house was religious…which probably is why I became an atheist in second grade. 

So I believe that my mind was affected early on, perhaps as a toddler by a set of four lithographs, all showing the most amazing, incredible animal on the planet…the horse.

And mother wondered why? 

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Mixed up racing calendar

Well, we all know, now, that 2020’s Kentucky Derby was re-scheduled for Sep 5. But what of the next two races? The Preakness is traditionally raced two weeks after the derby..which would have been the 16th of May, and the Belmont comes on three weeks after THAT. But as of now, no date has been set for the Preakness. “They’re” talking about it being held in July, August or maybe October?  No one at Aqueduct has said a word about the Belmont.

I can understand putting the races on hold, I suppose. A track cannot survive a 0 ‘handle’ day (the handle being the term used for the public, attendees, people there to watch the race /bet.

But, putting the Preakness first, while it’s smart (as it’s a mile and 3/16ths, a bit shorter than the Derby’s 1 1/4 mile)…I never really understood the shorter race coming AFTER the Derby)) puts training into a frenzy. At least trainers prepping their horses for the Derby had at least a month to say, okay, let’s dial back on his training as there’s no point in him peaking for  a race that won’t be held.

I’m certain the trainers ARE keeping their horses training, but…for what length? And when will it be held, if at all? And what of the Belmont? That race, at a mile and  a half on a track notorious for its tight turns, is a tough one. YOu want to train your horse to go longer distances in ORDER.  In the meantime, the horses are in stalls, eating,  or on the track, training with no goal in mind. Owners and trainers don’t like paying for a horse that isn’t racing. (which is why a poor racer, one that’s no longer ‘good enough’ or a broken down one is disposed of quickly- and in many cases, I do mean ‘disposed’ of.)

No races means the tracks are in deep financial doo doo. Every track in the country has bills and staff to pay, hay and feed to order, and also has to maintain a bunch of lawyers to fight off developers, greedy, ambitious people who want that land in order to get rich by throwing up 1000 houses, cheek by jowl. They’d NEVER do that to a football or baseball stadium, but horse racing? Pffft, they don’t give a rat’s ass.

And finally, what happens to the Breeder’s Cup? That race is usually run ummmmmmm the first weekend in November.  Do you see the problem?

Let’s say it this way.

Let’s say the Preakness is run in, oh, late July. This gives the trainer four weeks to prep his or her horse for the Derby, run on 5 September. Let’s say the Belmont is run, then…given the same separation of races by two (Preakness) and three weeks (Belmont), means that the Belmont might be run first weekend in October. (I’m working sans calendar here, folks, so forgive me). That leaves three weeks til November’s Breeder’s Cup. Not being a trainer, I don’t know how fast a horse can return to a ‘peak’. and that’s only if the Preakness is run, as hoped for, in July. If it’s October, the entire schedule is screwy. And that’s not even (until now, when the thought just hit me) considering that no one had to worry about how much time before the Derby a trainer had to prep his horse. Some horses in the Derby haven’t run in weeks.

So it’s going to be interesting, I suppose.

The Derby weather in 2018 and 2019 was absolutely slop. It rained and rained and rained. It tickled me to see the bimbos at the track, women who were there NOT for the racing but to be SEEN, hopefully on TV, and were dressed (like my father used to say  “like hookers”,)  wearing ridiculous hats, cocktail dresses and six inch stilettos, trying to walk through the mud without actually walking. In a relentless rain. People there for the race had umbrellas and rain jackets. Or trash bags over their jeans and T shirts, but they were drier than the Ladies in Stupid Hats.

So of course, this past Derby day, 2 May 2020, had absolutely PERFECT racing weather. 70% humidity, 72 ° (F) temperature, sunshine,  a light wind and if they’d been at Churchill downs, the track would have been fast.

NBC, stuck with two hours of scheduled on air time, made a smart choice and reran the 2015 Derby with American Pharoah, who we know, now, went on to win the Triple Crown. When you know who won, beforehand, you watch the show with an eye less tuned to ‘your’ horse, and watch the show. There was one shot of the jockeys walking towards the saddling paddock. A woman on the sidelines, wearing her stupid hat, and  her strapless, sleeveless and much too tight cocktail dress, saw herself on TV. She held her smartphone to her ear in one hand, shoved her titties out as far as she could,  and  repeatedly stuck her tongue out, wagging it like a dog wags its tail,  in what I’ve learned is called “twerking’. Oh, jeeeeeeeeez, bimbo, just stay home, next time and twerk on You Tube.

So this season’s racing, IF it goes off at all, is going to be a total mashup.





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Epidemic silver linings

If you look, you can see that there are some things good about the current epidemic:

Epidemic silver linings:

No mass shootings.

Airline executives finally understand that packing passengers like sardines is wrong.

No traffic jams.

Parking readily available just about anywhere.

Air pollution lessens.

Public restrooms finally being cleaned.

It’s permissible to glare at someone who’s not covering their cough.

You can sleep in on Sunday rather than go to church.

A reason to binge watch television.

Big decrease in drunk drivers.

The dog finally gets walked every day.

Plumbers in great demand after people clog their toilet by flushing paper towels and ‘flushable’ wipes.

Beggars vanish from their most lucrative street corners.

People actually learn to cook a meal.

Finally have time to get around to all the little tasks that have been deferred.

Sanitizing one’s home can double as ‘spring cleaning’.

The news in newspapers and on television  finally gets more coverage than sports.

Kids find out that there are things to do outside-like play.

You can cancel your dental appointment without feeling guilty.

Being unemployed is no fun, but at least it’s not your fault.

and most welcome of all:

Starbuck’s ‘campers’ are forced to use their own bandwidth and monopolize their own kitchen table.



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We all understand this

Found this while surfing.something expensive

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