Sunday, August 31, 2008

Sarah Palin

I always said I liked McCain better than any of the other Republican candidates, and I was wondering who he'd pick for a running mate.
Obamah's choice of Biden struck me as curiouisly bland. I love Obamah, and think Biden will be an asset because of experience and savvy - but I was waiting for someone more exciting. McCain took me by surprise by asking Palin to be his running mate. My first reaction was "what a reactionary thing to do!" It looks like he's trying to get the Hilary supporters into his camp. I don't think they can be so naive. Palin stands for everything Hilary is against, so a voter to turn from Hilary to Palin would be ridiculous. I admire Palin for being a woman in a man's world (espeically Alaska) and I admire her decision to keep and raise her son with Down's syndrome. However, the minus's far outweigh the plusses. While I admire her choice to bear a handicapped child, I don't believe that other woman should be forced to have babies they don't desire. Palin's anti-abortion stance means she'd like to take the choice she had away from women. She made a choice. A woman should always be free to make that choice. Overturning Wade & Roe is one of Palin's objectives. That places her right in the nazi section of the government for me. She's also gun-ho, and in a country where more than 30,000 people a year are killed by guns, that strikes me as being just plain stupid. She wants to drill for oil in Alaska, to reach the measly amount of oil that is lurking beneath fragile parkland. She should be looking toward alternative, renewable sources of energy instead of pandering to the oil industry which has done enough damage to the USA and the world, thank you.
So, no thank you, Mr. McCain. Your choice of a runnig mate is interesting but toxic. I wouldn't even want to be friends with Ms. Palin. She can shoot her moose and eat it too, I'd rather live in a world where women still have a say over what happens to their bodies, where handguns are outlawed, and where renewable energy takes over oil, coal, and gas.

Oh, and I'm dying to see what happens with the abuse of power case against her. Palin sounds like a powermad harpy in this one.

Saturday, August 30, 2008


Here is a pinto polo pony.
My daughter and I called him Spot.
Then we spent the rest of the day naming all the other horses we saw with words starting in "SP".
Spot, Spider, Sparticus, Spud, Spike, Spook, Spiffy, Spade, Spearmint....
Ahhhh - the frivolty of vacation!

Here is some polo trivia:

Polo was the world's first team sport. It probably originated in ancient Persia. It was played in China and also India. British soldiers discovered it there and gave it its first official rules.
In ancient times, the game was not over until someone had been killed. It is called the sport of kings, not because Prince Charles plays, but because the rajahs played it.
Historians do not know the specific origins of the game. Some think it stems from river rat hunting with spears, others think that the first polo balls were actually goat skins, and that the game originated in the Mongolian steppes (like Bukashi).
Whatever the case, polo was taken to South America and perfected by the Argentines who have the worlds top players, horses, and tournaments. The horses are mainly thoroughbred now, although the original polo ponies were truly scruffy ponies.
Criollo horses, used to herd cattle, were the first Argentine polo ponies, being agile, tough, and quick. The Criollos were bred to throroughbreds, making faster, leaner horses. Now, only a pinto coat such as this suggests the Criollo origins. (Criollos are known for their flamboyant colors.) Polo ponies neck rein, and players use a lot of leg. Polo riding is very fluid, instinctive, and athletic. The horses are quick to respond to the rider, and there is little contact with the horse's mouth except for stops, which can be brutal.

If you want to see some photos of polo, trot over to my Sam's Shot's page!

Friday, August 29, 2008

Mooning over Vacation

Argh. My washing machine is broken.

It is 12 years old, and the repair man came today, looked at it, shook his head and told me it was beyond repair. He then gave me a bill for 75$, which I had to pay as the guarantee had run out (probably years ago...) I went to the store and bought a new machine, and the store manager told me to send the repair bill to their consumer service department to get reimbursed, so I did. Sent all the papers off this afternoon, and will wait to get my check for 75$. It will just about cover the insurance I took out on the machine. It will probably take 6 months to process my letter and send the check.

The garbage bin in my garage had the most awful stench, so I dragged it out on the street and hosed it out. Put a ton of probably dreadfully toxic stuff in it to disinfect it, and while hosing, drenched myself. Pretty much ruined a pair of shoes.

The jeans I bought for my daughter's birthday were too small (we don't see them growing up, do we?) and the store didn't have any other ones, nor do they have a reimbursement policy, so my daughter had to pick out another present, and didn't like anything, and finally (grudgingly) settled on a pink purse.

Since I've been back from Spain, the sky has been resolutely gray, as if telling me I've had enough sun, and to get back to work and stop mooning over my vacation.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

I'm BAAAaaaaaaaaack!

Spain was Lovely. We were in the south, near Gibraltar, in a small tourist-y marina called Puerto de Duquesa. We could walk down the beach to the nearest town and get groceries, and there was polo every evening.
My daughter and I went on a ride in the mountains one day - it was magic. The Spanish horses are brilliant - they step so softly you feel as if you're sitting on a rocking horse, or a sofa, as my daughter says.
Our friend Karen is starting a horse trek vacation business in the mountain region of Andalusia. Anyone interested can contact me. She does tours lasting up to six days - ending up on the beach! The day we trekked we rode down part of the old 'fish' road, a steep mountain road that the mule trains would take every evening to bring the fish up from the coast to the mountain villages. Karen will have 10 horses available starting in September!
What else can I say about Spain? It was hot - every day in the 90's, and the sand on the beach after 11 am, burnt your feet! We watched the Olympic games in the afternoon, while it was too hot to go out. The BBC and the Spanish chanals gave widly differing programs and views. It was fun zapping between the two channels. And did anyone else hear that the swimming pool was 4 cm too short??? Our favorite show was called Maestro, and we also watched The Tudors (fabulous costumes!). We didn't go out much - my husband was working so he was pretty tired in the evening. We did get invited to several assados, and discovered the 'secreto Ibirico' (grilled pork) (very yummy!). We also went to a go-cart course and my daughter was a speed demon!
Mostly it was restful and fun catching up with friends we only see once a year. And I had a whole month without internet and survived! (Hardly missed it, though I did miss my blogging pals!)
How was your August?