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Tessa Needs More Toys

December 28th, 2017

On Christmas Eve one of Tessa’s admirers stopped by with gifts for her including some treats, a festive Crown for her head, and a new Panda Bear toy. She loves it all and the Panda Bear is already on its way to decapitation or other evidence of chew satisfaction.

Yesterday when Tessa and I returned from the evening walk, in our entryway we found a large “Peanuts” stocking filled with eight toys. The contents, balls, ropes, and plush figures have been added to her toy collection. There was no card from her admirer so we don’t know for certain who left Tessa the “Peanuts” stocking of toys.

Tessa’s toy collection fills two baskets plus another half dozen scattered around “our” bedroom and more outside on the patio. Surveying the entire collection could give the impression she has cornered the market on toys. Does she need more? After all, she just turned two years of age. At this rate of toy acquisition, we may have to rent a storage facility somewhere to hold her treasures.

Bond

Bond Shands
December 28, 2017
My Notebook blog – www.BondShands.com
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Desert Political Opinion blog – www.Facebook.com/DesertObserver
Twitter – @BondShands

Santa Paws 5k Report

December 16th, 2017

 The Sixth Annual Santa Paws 5k Run/Walk/Stroll/Crawl

The annual Santa Paws 5k event, sponsored by our local Lions Club, benefits Guide Dogs of the Desert. Registered contestants are provided with Santa Claus suits (jacket, pants, cap, beard, black belt and a white t-shirt), lots of upcoming race literature and a little candy cane. The route started at 9 am in the Temple Isaiah parking lot, and proceeded to follow a winding route north to Stevens (a block short of Vista Chino) where there’s an official mid-route water stop, before returning to the Finish Line at the starting point. There’s a separate event later in the morning for small kids on the nearby O’Donnell golf course.

I wore my Santa suit and was accompanied by Tessa who walked and jogged the route au natural. Most of those doing the event wore all or part of their Santa costume and many doggies wore Santa apparel. Men, women and children contestants included marathon runners, other runners, joggers, baby strollers, and lots of well-behaved doggies on leash. I don’t run or jog so Tessa had to pull me for much of the route, for her pace was quite a bit faster than my own.

We started the day at 6 am with our usual 4 mile walk. Managed a nice photo of the sky as dawn was breaking in the east. Clouds were noticeable but appeared to be clearing in the west. Later, around 8:30 am while seeking a parking spot, a few rain drop sprinkles hit the car, but it lasted less than 10 minutes. The significant cloud cover made the morning appear rather gloomy. That, however, made the 55 degree air temperature excellent for running and other physical activities. Like several others, I was dressed almost too warmly, but cooled off on the downhill section. As for rain, we didn’t encounter and during or after the event.

Since the event is an official timed race, RaceWire recorded all the finisher times. They captured the embarrassing finishing numbers for Tessa (and me). Overall we were 361 out of 489 finishers, 189 out of 229 male finishers, and 6th out of 6 in our age group. If I had followed Tessa’s urging to pick up the pace, we would have done better.

Photos of the race/walk also include the one from the early dawn morning walk.

This was our third annual Santa Paws 5k event and we plan on another repeat next year.

Bond & Tessa

Bond Shands
December 15, 2017
My Notebook blog – www.BondShands.com
Personal Facebook page – www.Facebook.com/Bond.Shands
Desert Political Opinion blog – www.Facebook.com/DesertObserver
Twitter – @BondShands

The Desert Sun’s 90th Birthday Celebration

December 7th, 2017

The Desert Sun’s Executive Editor and staff hosted a 90th Birthday Open House celebration Wednesday, December 6th from 5 to 6:30 pm (90 minutes).

Executive Editor Greg Burton welcomed the crowd of guests reporters and staff members in the newspaper’s Community Room. Many were drinking Apple Cider or munching on cookies, crackers plus cheese and/or turkey. After he had finished speaking Burton cut the celebratory birthday cake.

Burton’s comments included a history of the publication since its 1927 founding in the Coachella Valley. More about that history appear’s in his December article at https://www.desertsun.com/staff/24193/greg-burton/. He also covered a list of FAQs including many of those listed in “The Desert Sun Turns 90” summary page.

Following Burton’s report those present were divided into groups of ten with each headed by a Desert Sun staff member. Each group was led on a planned tour of the newspapers multi-floor facilities. Staff members were waiting at each of the sections to describe the function and answer questions. Among the areas visited were the Studio Room, Advertising, Editorial, Reporting and Printing Press.

I found both the Editorial section and the Printing Press among the most fascinating and informative. The large TV screen in the Editorial Section utilizes computer software to continually monitor online statistics from the digital version of the paper. Updating statistics included numbers of viewers, number reading an article, how long, and much more. The Printing Press was in operation during our visit and we observed papers moving along to the end of the automated ramp and being bundled.

I enjoyed The Desert Sun’s 90 minutes 90th Anniversary celebration. The opportunity to learn more about behind the scenes workings of our local newspaper, to meet so many from the staff, including reporters, and to visit areas where the newspaper work is actually performed was both informative and enjoyable.

Photos here include the Summary Page FAQs, the Printing Press room and those in our 10-member group.

Bond Shands
December 7, 2017
My Notebook blog – www.BondShands.com
Personal Facebook page – www.Facebook.com/Bond.Shands
Desert Political Opinion blog – www.Facebook.com/DesertObserver
Twitter – @BondShands

Tessa aka Countess Dracula

October 25th, 2017
 
.      Her ladyship The Contessa Le Rouge is ready for Halloween. Yesterday she devoted precious hours to rest and relaxation before being whisked off for her haute couture appointment at the exquisite Bath & Brush beautification resort.
 
.      Tessa returned from her beautification appointment in time to be fitted for Halloween evening wear. As befits one of noble rank she will be wearing the Countess Dracula cape and medal indicating her high station. She is looking forward to greeting Trick or Treat visitors on Halloween.
 
Bond Shands
October 24, 2017
My Notebook blog – www.BondShands.com
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Bonita Ranch Weekend Motorhome Outing

September 28th, 2017

          At least five doggy companions together with nearly two dozen GOPS members (including 7 mobile bedrooms) met for a weekend of camping at Bonita Ranch in San Bernardino county. The local GOPS club (Great Outdoors Palm Springs chapter) sponsored the three day-two night outing that occurred September 22-24. GOPS members, along with their RV motor homes or tents, regularly participate in these planned outings offering opportunities to visit different areas to hike, explore, and learn while enjoying time in an outdoor environment.

          Bonita Ranch is located along Lytle Creek west of Interstate 15’s Cajon Pass in the San Bernardino National Forest. The Bonita Ranch campground is a short, but somewhat energetic hike, from the spectacular Bonita Falls waterfall.  The campground is open year round and includes hook-up sites for motor homes and tent camping facilities (water/electricity/showers).

          Our Friday afternoon arrival schedule included setting up camp, a Tea Time meet and greet, and evening campfire activities. We were located in the vicinity of other groups, including a Christian Fellowship gathering, whose singing appeared to play a significant role in their daytime activities. All camping groups respected each other and mostly observed the 10 pm to 8 am quiet time. 

          Saturday’s schedule started with morning coffee and pastries, followed by a round trip hike up a dry creek bed to Bonita Falls. The view of the Falls was quite lovely but with one rather noteworthy exception. The entire trail along the creek bed and the climb up under the trees was plastered with graffiti of all colors, designs and shapes. It seemed like almost every large rock had been defaced with graffiti. When we reached the Falls that area too had been trashed with graffiti. It was a somewhat saddening experience that leaves you wondering why do some care so little for nature’s beautiful offerings? The hiking route and Falls may be viewed at http://www.world-of-waterfalls.com/california-bonita-falls.html

          Saturday afternoon a smaller group caravanned to the Mormon Rocks Interpretive Trail in the Cucamonga Wilderness, 1 mile west of Interstate 15. The trail is a short loop that offers scenic views of the unique sandstone rocks in which it is located. The trail area and rocks may be viewed at http://digital-desert.com/mormon-rocks/.

          Continuing our Saturday afternoon caravan we drove the Angeles Crest Hwy (State Route 2) up to 7,000+ ft elevation Table Mountain to view the area planned for October GOPS camping activities. Resuming our caravan loop we took the Lone Pine Canyon Road (a 10% downhill grade) back to State Route 138 and return to the Lytle Creek area.

          Saturday evening’s events started with members grilling their entrees over a large Barbecue Pit and sharing potluck side dishes. Afterwards, another evening of campfire activities occurred.

          Sunday morning was set aside for individual member activities. Again coffee and pastries were waiting for early risers. Campground reservations were set to expire with a noon check-out time so most devoted their morning time to breaking camp and returning home. My little doggy, Tessa, accompanied me on the trip and appeared to enjoy the weekend immensely. She received lots of attention and did her best to meet and greet everyone. She didn’t notice the rather large black Tarantula that passed through our camp. I did manage a photo of it but made no attempt at contact before Mr or Ms Tarantula continued on its way.

          Scott Connelly, the outing leader, planned the event, designed the schedule, and led both the hikes and caravan trips. It was a well-organized activity and our GOPS chapter is fortunate in having him as our Vice President of Outings. For more about GOPS visit https://greatoutdoorspalmsprings.wildapricot.org/.

Bond & Contessa Le Rouge (aka Tessa)

Bond Shands
September 26, 2017
My Notebook blog – www.BondShands.com
Personal Facebook page – www.Facebook.com/Bond.Shands
Desert Political Opinion blog – www.Facebook.com/DesertObserver
Twitter – @BondShands