Monday, August 21, 2017

Total Eclipse: Totality

I live in what has lately been called the "zone of totality" which basically means, I had a chance to see a total solar eclipse without leaving my own back yard.

As the sun becomes obscured by the moon, the shadows change shape through the trees. Instead of circles of bokeh light, everything becomes crescents.

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During totality, it is safe to look directly at the sun without any protective eyewear. And it was amazing, and stunning. The whole world went dark and cold for just over two minutes, before the moon started moving out from in front of the sun. I can't imagine the terror something like this would cause if you didn't know what was happening or why. Eclipses historically are signs of horrible things to come, and I can see why an ancient civilization would think that. But then, the sun reappears, and within a few minutes, the sky is bright enough to not be able to tell the difference.

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The "diamond ring" as the moon moves away from the sun after totality

Hope you all had a chance to view the eclipse.

Saturday, August 12, 2017

Stay Cool This Weekend

We're headed out for another weekend of dog sports. Hope you all stay cool!



Wednesday, August 9, 2017

TA, Part Six: The Ferry Home

We made the last ferry back to Port Angeles just barely. They put on about three cars after us and that was it. But we were super relieved to get on the ferry and be on our way home.

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Victoria was beautiful from the boat as we pulled away, making me want to come back even more. We also ran into a group of fellow flyballers on the ferry. We didn't bring all the dogs on deck with us this time so that the level of craziness was a little lower than the first trip. but we made sure to get a group photo.

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Since it was actually still light, if late in the day, we had some fun with photos around the outside decks on the ship.

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This fire station was one of my favorites. The wind was blowing like crazy, which you can tell from Ptera's ears.

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And from Tazer's fur.

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Our dogs weren't the only ones on deck. This is Mischa, who rode on the ferry out with us on Friday, and we met again on our way home. She is the same age as Ptera.

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After the ferry docked, we cleared customs, dropped off our extra person and dog at their car to make their own way home, and headed back to Oregon. I stayed the night at a friend's house before continuing home the following day. This tournament was quite a trek to get to, but it was a ton of fun. I would happily do it again.

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Tuesday, August 8, 2017

TA, Part Five: Victoria

At the end of a long weekend, the last thing you want is to be stuck in a foreign country for another night, in a city you have never been to. We hadn't realized we needed a reservation for the ferry so far in advance, and when we went to make our reservation, the ferry was full. They always leave some room for first-come, first-served people as well, but it can fill fast. Sunday evening, the last ferry is at 7, and when we arrived for it hours in advance, we were told we had about a 50% chance of getting on the ferry. Yikes. But, with nothing else we could do about it, we took it in turns to walk around the city of Victoria for a little while as we waited.

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I can't say I know what all of the buildings are that we saw, or the right names for anything. If I do this trip again, I will plan to stay on the island until Monday afternoon, and have a full day of checking out Victoria before I leave. It is a beautiful city.

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Sonic and Ptera overlooking the harbor

We didn't take all of the dogs with us, and made sure at least one person stayed with the car (the car holds your place in line, basically, and you aren't all required to be there until the customs check 90 minutes before sailing).

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Rizzo was being pushy and annoying on leash, so got stuck in a bag instead. I think she acted like that on purpose to get carried. This was a hot walk, but not horribly so with a bit of breeze.

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I believe this is the Parliament building, though I won't swear to that. Sonic and Ptera were being my expert posers.

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And then a memorial statue, I think to soldiers in WWII. But we were on a deadline to get back to the car for the customs check by this point, so we didn't spend much time exploring or doing things like reading placards.

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Huge awesome tree that we just had to pose the dogs with. I believe this is a redwood. It is amazing looking.

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And finally, pretty close to the ferry area, we passed this fountain. I am unsure of what it stands for, but it was gorgeous.

As little time as we had in Victoria, I am glad I was able to explore for a little bit, and see at least some of the must see attractions in the city. I am sure I missed about a thousand times more things than I was able to see, and would love to come back sometime with more time to explore.

Monday, August 7, 2017

TA Part Four: Closeups

This could basically be a post called "Fun with Fisheyes" to be honest. A collection of all those absurdly close up photos I just had to take while at the tournament.

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Prima, posing like the pro she is

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Super excited puppy

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Dixie was on the team Ptera ran with for the weekend

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Little miss Karma

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Steeem. This is so him. He is the most absurdly friendly dog ever, in a totally overwhelming way

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Impatient to get in the lanes, and telling us about it.

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Bryn wasn't super sure of the fisheye at first, but was willing to investigate

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Milo always sits pretty for his treat at the end of his runs

Saturday, August 5, 2017

TA, Part Three: Tournament

The Total Anarchy tournament is held on Vancouver Island every summer. This year, the tournament was held indoors at what is (in the winter) a curling rink. It wouldn't be big enough for a huge two ring tournament and all the teams that go with it, but for a one ring tournament, it was a really nice venue.

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Crating area

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The ring

I don't think any team was super cramped in their crating areas. It was absurdly loud in there, even for flyball, but otherwise was great.

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Unorthodogs' Torque

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Ptera was running Open with a team I haven't run with before, the Barnstormers. I found the team to be very well organized, which I appreciated. I don't enjoy running Open as much if it seems like no one knows what they are doing, or if small arguments break out all the time about who is running in what order.

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Releasing the start dog

It didn't end up being the most point-rich weekend for us. Despite that, I had a ton of fun, and would happily run with this team again. Ptera has just as much fun when she gets 500 points as when she gets 50, and the overall attitude remained one of having fun and being there to enjoy the sport with our dogs.

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Border staffies!

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Baby puppy

So many fun times at the tournament, for sure.

Thursday, August 3, 2017

TA, Part Two: Headed There

The drive to Port Angeles is stupidly long, but not bad. We hit traffic leaving Portland, and some after that, but nothing horrible.

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Pilot, co pilot

Sonic, Ptera, Steem, and Rizzo rode in crates for the drive, while Roo was totally spoiled as per usual with her front-and-center seat.

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Not our neatest packing job ever

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Ptera, riding along in her crate

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Steem. He wasn't so sure about the camera

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And Roo, with her little wool whale toy

We were running later than we'd hoped to be, and the person we were meeting to carpool with the rest of the day had missed the earlier ferry she needed to take to meet up with us due to huge lines, so she was running late as well. We were all planning on camping at the tournament until at the last minute, the venue decided not to allow camping- so instead, we were offered an unfinished basement to camp in about five minutes away, owned by someone on the host team. But we still had most of our camping stuff with us, which made for a pretty full van. Once we met up in Port Angeles, we did a really fast transfer of stuff into the van, including our third human and sixth dog, and all of their gear, and booked it down to the ferry. You have to be there at least an hour ahead of sailing time or you lose your reservation, and there isn't another ferry until after 8 the next morning.

We made it with about three minutes to spare.

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Sunset while waiting to board the ferry, over the car tops of everyone waiting with us

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The line in front of us waiting to board

Once we checked in to wait for the ferry, we potty walked the dogs, and fed them all dinner. And then sat around, waiting. And waiting some more. Boarding the ferry was interesting, as we took all six dogs out of their crates to bring with us up top. We were asked more than once on the ferry if we were a rescue group. Nope. Just a flyball team.

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In the below-decks car compartment, getting organized to head upstairs

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Sunset from the boat, and our last view of Port Angeles, WA

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Steem, Roo, and Rizzo on the boat deck, enjoying the evening breeze

The ferry crossing takes about 90 minutes, which went by pretty slow. The dogs were all pretty well behaved, with a little barking here or there. We sat out on the open deck with them for a while, but this ferry line (Black Ball) also allows dogs inside, just not in the dining areas. Once we docked in Victoria, BC, we cleared customs quickly and headed north on the island to our "campsite" for the night. We set up beds, pottied dogs, and basically passed out. It was around 2 am.

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

TA, Part One: Lunch

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My favorite decor. Closed while we were there though

For the last weekend in July, I took a spur of the moment trip to Vancouver Island for a flyball tournament I have never been to before, hosted by Total Anarchy. On Monday, a friend asked if I wanted to go to the tournament, and carpool with her and another friend. I didn't have any other weekend plans, so decided to go along. At the last minute, I stopped at my favorite local camera store in Dallas, OR (Focal Point Photography) and rented a fisheye lens for the first time ever to use on the trip.

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Jurassic food carts

We ended up being asked to bring another friend's dog up to the tournament with us to run with another team. So I went up to Portland late morning on Friday to pick up Sonic and meet my friend Tara. We would then drive up to Port Angeles, where we would meet the third person riding with us before catching the last ferry to Vancouver Island of the day.

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Sonic, looking adorable

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Ptera, not to be outdone

Tara was held up at work after an emergency vet visit made her late getting there (the dog is fine, and it wasn't one of the ones going to the tournament with us). So in an effort to get things moving the right direction and get us leaving as soon as possible, I took Sonic and Ptera to a food cart pod near by to pick up lunch.

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This place had water for the dogs, a mister set up, and offered us dog biscuits as we walked by

Ptera had never been anywhere like this before. I'm not sure about Sonic. They both took it in stride and seemed to enjoy the walk. They waited mostly patiently for our food to be made, and then enjoyed the walk back to my car again at the end.

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Just a cool stack of cans

Once I returned with the food, Tara had returned from work, and we were able to start on getting the car loaded and getting on the road.

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Wondering if Sonic got something she didn't