Friday, June 1, 2012

Catching Up on the News

I have a lot of catching up to do, as it's been a fun and busy R&R thus far.  It started with a trip to Georgetown, KY for a work related clinical rotation with my friends at Georgetown Scott County EMS.  They are great folks, and excellent street medics.  We ran some calls, some of which were pretty darned good calls, I got to remind my fingers of what they are supposed to do while I'm trying to do what I'm supposed to do, and had a great visit with my canine behaviorist friend Janece Rollet. 

The weather through most of my visit was hot.  REAL hot for a guy more accustomed to sub-zero winter temperatures than the high temperatures of humidity of the south.  Here's an example:

In the shade

One of the things I really enjoy about visiting Janece on her farm is the songbirds that flock to the feeders that she generously stocks.  Her feeders attract a wide array of colorful species that we don't see or hear up here in Alaska, and I was able to capture some fun photographs of several brightly colored and very active birds.

Indigo finch

Red finch

Red and gold finches

Red wing black bird

Gold finch, red finch and cardinal at the smorgasbord

The flight home was one of those that remind us that the English word 'travel' is derived from the old middle English word 'travail'.  It started with a cancelled flight to Dallas/Fort Worth, a delayed flight from DFW to Los Anchorage, the loss of my Kindle reader (damn it), and I arrived in Fairbanks 12 hours before my luggage.  Nonetheless, nearly everything worked out in the end so I shan't complain too much about it.

Things are looking good in the kennel.  Everyone is healthy and seems to be pretty happy.  A couple of the dogs are getting heavier than I like, so we'll be putting Amazing Grace, Just, Chinook and perhaps a couple of others on a diet for a while.  The 'puppies' Animosh and Chetan are growing up almost before our very eyes.  Yearling Aumaruq is practicing for a side-job of civil engineer by moving astounding amounts of dirt and creating huge holes that I need to fill.  I've ordered a truck load of fill dirt to help maintain the yard, as some of these holes get pretty darned deep, and dogs aren't always graceful as they negotiate their personal obstacle courses.

Aumaruq's excavations

Jeff is now completely moved into the handler's cabin and his situation is stabilizing nicely.  He and I have planted some seed potatoes that we were given, and we are going partners on some chicks to raise for meat chickens.  He has room in his 'upper yard' for a chicken pen and coop, and with the cost of lean protein being what it is, it seems like a logical and effective way to save some money and ensure very high quality meat in the process.  Certainly better stuff than we can buy in any of the local grocery stores.

I have just a few days before I have to return to work, so I'm trying to use the time to take care of just a few minor chores around the place.   I'm still doing some of the preparation work for this summer's kennel expansion project, most of which I hope to accomplish during my next R&R from work. 

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