Thursday, June 30, 2011

Hunky and Spunky

Hunky and Spunky is a 1938 animated short film, part of the Color Classics series produced by Fleischer Studios and distributed by Paramount Pictures.  The short cartoons revolve around a mother burro and her son. 

I had not seen them before and one night,  very late, they came on, and low and behold, it was a cartoon version of Sega and Baby April.  Complete with the big ears.

OK, see the likeness, this is Mom (Hunky):

And this is Spunky:

Some of the features include The Barnyard Brat (1939), You Can't Shoe a Horsefly (1940), A Kick in Time (1940), Always Kickin' (1939), Vitamin Hay (1941), Snubbed by a Snob (1940). 

And Spunky even has four white socks! 

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Political Science for Dummies


You have two cows.
Your neighbor has none.
You feel guilty for being successful.
You push for higher taxes so the government can provide cows for everyone.

You have two cows.
Your neighbor has none.

You have two cows.
The government takes one and gives it to your neighbor.
You form a cooperative to tell him how to manage his cow.

You have two cows.
The government seizes both and provides you with milk.
You wait in line for hours to get it.
It is expensive and sour.

You have two cows.
You sell one, buy a bull, and build a herd of cows.

You have two cows.
Under the new farm program the government pays you to shoot one, milk the other, and then pours the milk down the drain.

You have two cows.
You sell one, lease it back to yourself and do an IPO on the 2nd one.
You force the two cows to produce the milk of four cows.
You are surprised when one cow drops dead.
You spin an announcement to the analysts stating you have downsized and are reducing expenses.
Your stock goes up.

You have two cows.
You go on strike because you want three cows.
You go to lunch and drink wine.
Life is good.

You have two cows.
You redesign them so they are one-tenth the size of an ordinary cow and produce twenty times the milk.
They learn to travel on unbelievably crowded trains.
Most are at the top of their class at cow school.

You have two cows.
You engineer them so they are all blond, drink lots of beer, give excellent quality milk, and run a hundred miles an hour.
Unfortunately they also demand 13 weeks of vacation per year.

You have two cows but you don't know where they are.
You break for lunch.
Life is good.

You have two cows.
You have some vodka.
You count them and learn you have five cows.
You have some more vodka.
You count them again and learn you have 42 cows.
The Mafia shows up and takes over however many cows you really have.

You have all the cows in Afghanistan , which are two.
You don't milk them because you cannot touch any creature's private parts.
You get a $40 million grant from the US government to find alternatives to milk production but use the money to buy weapons.

You have two cows.
They go into hiding.
They send radio tapes of their mooing.
You have two bulls.
Employees are regularly maimed and killed attempting to milk them.

You have one cow.
The cow is schizophrenic.
Sometimes the cow thinks he's French, other times he's Flemish.
The Flemish cow won't share with the French cow.
The French cow wants control of the Flemish cow's milk.
The cow asks permission to be cut in half.
The cow dies happy.

You have millions of cows.
They make real
 California cheese.
Only five speak English.
Most are illegal.
Arnold likes the ones with the big udders.

(I do not have a source for this)

Monday, June 27, 2011

Roanoke Grand Prix

On Saturday night we attended the Roanoke Grand Prix, part of the Roanoke Horse Show, in Salem, VA.  It was the Aaron Vale show, once again, as he took both first and second prizes. It was a $50,000 class, so Aaron's haul was worth the trip from Florida.  He also won the $7500 Welcome Stake and the $5000 Speed Class earlier in the week.

It was Vale's 11th win at Roanoke.  Of the 22 horses, only 5 went clean the first round and the indoor arena is tiny, outfit with 10-foot jumps.  An 8 foot vertical was the trouble spot for many riders.  Ramiro Quintana's Graf Lando was a respectable third.  Conor O'Regan riding out of Upperville, VA was fourth on Solerina and Patent Pending and Harold Chopping rounded out the top five.

Vale's Tibor won the class and last year's winner, Paparazzi was reserve.  It was a fun evening. Great crowd, lots of action.  It did not disappoint.

(photo, Roanoke newspaper)


One of my favorite brands is Lacoste and they seem to be getting better with age.  I'll even admit to owning one polo shirt for over 30 years, and it is still going!

These shirts just never go out of style and look at the great colors:

Can't wait to visit the Lacoste store at the US Open in New York later this year.  Enjoy your Monday!  Go Serena and Venus!

Friday, June 24, 2011

Horse Showing

Just got back from two long days of horse showing with Sega.  So a little behind the eight ball.  The barn did well, lots of ribbons, fun for all....................

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

National Sporting Life Library

The National Sporting Life Library and Museum in Middleburg, Va, just outside of Washington, D.C. is indeed a national treasure.  Founded in 1954, it is dedicated to preserving, promoting and sharing the literature, art, and culture of horse and field sports.  It is now an important research facility with over 17,000 books and works of art in its collection. 

Its permanent collection consists of over 200 works of art including objects by artists such as Paul Brown, John Emms, Herbert Haseltine, Sir Alfred Munnings, Edward Troye and Franklin B. Voss.  Below is Alligator by Franklin B. Voss (1880-1953), oil on canvas.

Another painting by Voss, Portrait of Elida B. Langley, Riding Sidesaddle at Sandown, 1921.

Sir Alfred James Munnings (English, 1878-1959), The Barn, oil on canvas:

Edward Troye (American, 1808-1874), Goliah, oil on canvas, a gift from Mr. Paul Mellon:

Their current exhibition, Horses at Work and Play, runs until June 30th.  It highlights literature and art from the collections and features antique toys from the renowned Athelstan and Kathleen Spilhaus collection. 

If you are in this area of the world and love horses, art and books, you will be mesmerized by this collection.

Check out their web site for more details.

Enjoy your Tuesday!

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Education of Baby April

I have not mentioned Baby April in quite a while.  She has been in school again and is making fine progress.

She is SO BIG and SO POWERFUL. But when she is quiet, she is SO GOOD.   Once a week I take her to see the trainer for a long lesson. Sometimes she is good, other times, well not so good, but she always "bottoms out."  The good news is that she has really improved since last summer.  She had much of the winter off, to grow up a bit more and mature, so I was pleased to see that my plan was a good one.

I took her to a big show in April to hang out and get ridden and she was a good girl then too.  But her jump is what excites me the most.  The mare has a fabulous jump (and you can't teach that).  Talented mare, for sure, with good genes, and it shows.

Even over the small jumps (2'6 or 2'9) she has great form, so I can't wait to see what she looks like when she jumps 3'0 to 3'6.  We are taking her to her first show next week.  Not expecting much the first few times out, as she needs a lot of mileage, but there is definitely potential there.  Stay tuned!

The Seven Stages of Aging on Horseback

Fall off pony.  Repeat.  Bounce. Laugh. Climb back on. Repeat.

Fall off horse.  Run after horse, cussing.  Climb back on by shimmying up the horse's neck.  Ride until sundown.

Fall off horse.  Use sleeve of shirt to stop the bleeding.  Have friend help you get back on horse.  Take two Advil and apply ice packs when you get home.  Ride next day.

Fall off horse.  Refuse advice to call 911; drive self to urgent care center.  Entertain staff with tales of previous daredevil stunts on horseback.  Back to riding before cast comes off.

Fall off horse.  Forget name of horse and husband.  Flirt shamelessly with paramedics.  Spend week in hospital having titanium pins screwed in place.  Start riding again before doctor gives green light.

Fall off horse.  Fail to see humor when hunky paramedic says "You again?"  Gain firsthand knowledge of advances in medical technology thanks to stint in ICU.  Convince self that permanent limp is not that noticeable.  Promise husband you will give up riding.  One week later, purchase older, slower horse (read, "seeing eye dog.")

Slip off horse.  Relieved when artificial joints and implanted devices seem unaffected. Tell husband that bruises and scrapes are from gardening accident.  Pretend you don't see husband roll eyes and mutter as he walks away.  Give apple to horse.

(From BCHA newsletter)

Natural Bridge

If you have not ventured to see The Natural Bridge in Virginia, just off I-81 between Roanoke and Lexington, you should. It is a magical place (we went early on a weekday, so there was no one there) that was once owned by Thomas Jefferson.  He had a cabin on the property (it was torn down in the 1960's).  George Washington surveyed the area and you can see his initials carved in the stone even today.

It is open year round and it does not take long to see it.  Jefferson bought it in 1774 (along with 157 acres) and sold it in 1833. It remains in private hands to this day.  In 1998 it was designated a National Historic Landmark by the Department of the Interior.

 It is hard to describe hall tall it is.

It was about 10 am when these photos were taken, maybe a bit earlier.

It was a very hot day, high 90's.

Happy Monday!

Friday, June 17, 2011

Poplar Forest

Thomas Jefferson is synonymous with Monticello, his famous house near Charlottesville, VA.  But he also built a second home near Lynchburg, Poplar Forest.  Few of his contemporaries were aware of Jefferson's getaway or its location and it remained out of the public eye, known mostly to Jefferson scholars and architectural historians until the early 1980's.

The 4819-acre plantation provided him with significant income and was the perfect setting where he could read, write, study and garden after retiring from public life. In fact, Jefferson wrote his only book at Poplar Forest.

In 1806, Jefferson traveled to Forest, VA to supervise the laying of the foundation for the octagonal house we see today.  When his presidency ended in 1809, he visited the retreat three to four times a year, staying from two weeks to two months at a time.  He made his last trip to Poplar Forest in 1823 as declining health made visiting the plantation impossible.  In 1828, two years after his death, Francis Eppes, his grandson, sold the property to a neighbor.

The design of Poplar Forest is highly idealistic in concept - it was perfectly suited to Jefferson alone, so that subsequent owners altered it significantly and in 1845 a fire led the then owners to convert Jefferson's magnificent small villa into a practical farmhouse.  Amazingly, the property was privately owned until 1983 when a non-profit corporation began the "rescue" of the landmark. 

By the 1980's Jefferson's planation was a mere 50 acres.  Approaching development threatend the landmark and two other remaining original buildings on the property.  A group of local citizens and a $50,000 gift enabled the property to be purchased and rescued from development.  An adjacent tract was purchased (saving it from a housing development) with $1.7M garnered from area banks, the group was buying time and this enabled them to save the property and to later go out and raise needed funds.

Today the non-profit owns 577 acres of Jefferson's plantation retreat free and clear and has taken title to another 39 acres with bank loans.  There are additional parcels of critically important land that are unprotected and these tracts hope to be purchased in the future.

It is amazing structure, I prefer it over Monticello.

The property is still a "work in progress" but thank goodness the building was saved from development and destruction so that we all might enjoy it as Jefferson clearly did.  Did you know that Jefferson also owned Natural Bridge?  (Hint, wait for a future post).  Happy Friday!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Unknown D-Day Memorial

Because it is June, the anniversary of D-Day, I have to give this a plug.  Hubby (who is a former Army Ranger) and I ventured out a few weeks ago and ended up in Bedford, VA (which lies in the middle of nowhere, east of Roanoke, south of Lynchburg), and went to the D-Day Memorial.  We were expecting a nice monument, a few statues, some flags, that sort of thing.

We were blown away when we actually got there, to the Memorial.  It is HUGE, awe-inspiring, a work of art.  Any history buff, WWII afficiando should make the trek.  It is WELL WORTH IT and you can see some of the other sites near-by including Natural Bridge (will save that for another day), Popular Forest (Thomas Jefferson's "other" home, which will also save for later), The Peaks of Otter (just off the Blue Ridge Parkway) and the many sites in Roanoke, not to mention the two virtually unknown J Crew outlets (not factory stores) in near-by Lynchburg.

The Memorial is not doing well from what I understand and they need monetary support and visitors; you have to want to get to Bedford.  Another interesting tidbit, why did they put the Memorial in Bedford?  Because more soldiers were killed on D-Day from Bedford than any other city, per capita.  The movie "Saving Private Ryan" is based on one of the solidiers from Bedford.  And there is a great book (which I am currently reading), called "The Bedford Boys."  And there is also a documentary film (although I did not think it was very good).

Take a look at some of these photos of the monuments.  I can't tell you how impressive it is.  If your dad or granddad was at D-Day or even just in the War, a donation in their name to the Memorial would make a wonderful Father's Day gift.  My husband's dad was in fact at Omaha Beach, but not on the first day when the slaughter really took place.  How these people sacrificed for our country and others is just beyond belief.  And we just forget over time, what happened, and how things were during the War.  We need to remember or we need to learn about it before all of the Veterans are gone.

A photo of Bedford's Company A, the National Guard Unit that was the first to land at Omaha Beach and suffered so many casualties. 

Another photo of the Memorial:

Since our visit a day does not go by that I don't think of how many lives were changed forever during the War.  It really is worth the trip to Bedford.  Enjoy your Thursday!

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Hermes Blankets

Sheer indulgence.  An Hermes Avalon Blanket is nothing less.  At $2500 a pop, they don't come cheap, but it is a once in a lifetime purchase.  It is on my "wish list" and I can imagine what it would be like to cozy up to one of these on a cold winter's day. Sarah Jessica Parker looks pretty chic wrapped up in hers, but doesn't she always?

There are five colors on the Web site at the moment. Not sure which one I prefer.  Can I have one of each?

They just add to a room:

And this one is quite unique.  Must be vintage, made of silk, wool and cashmere:

 Enjoy your Tuesday and go Bruins!

Monday, June 13, 2011

Chuck Pinnell Leather

Horsey people love leather like some women love diamonds and furs.  It must be part of our DNA.  Take me to a tack store, not to the jewelry store!  Nothing gets better than Chuck Pinnell's leather work.  He is known for making half chaps, which are "chaps" that mold to your lower leg, making a "tall boot" with a pair of "paddock" boots.  I ride in half chaps in the warmer months, move to full chaps for the winter, but many people now ride in half chaps year round.

Here's a photo of Chuck.  He is based just outside of Charlottesville, VA in Crozet.  He attends some of the better horse shows (Hampton Classic, Capital Challenge and others).

Here's a photo of his workbench, where all the lovely stuff is made:

Take a look at what he can do.  It is amazing stuff, read also expensive. These are half chaps.  You can have them made any way you want.  Some have fringe like these. Leather comes in all colors, so you can be creative if you want.  Adding a monogram is always nice.

This is how they look on.  I wear mine with jeans and paddock boots:

These are some of the full chaps that he makes.  Think of cowboy, leather chaps, but much more sophisticated:

He also can finish your needlepoint belt.  These are some of the best looking ones that I have seen.  These will outlive all of us!

Chuck also offers other items, belts (more traditional, less horsey), wallets, hunting bags, and he can finish needlepoint pocket books.  Look at these belts:

You don't have to be "horsey" to like these!  Enjoy your Monday!
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