Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Monday, April 29, 2013

Happy 80th, Willie

OK. A major component of Casey’s worlds is music. He is without a doubt the most tolerant member of our family’s eclectic musical taste, everything from classics to the Stones. Our guy’s been exposed to or endured it all. And today he had no problem at all taking in some Willie Nelson standards on his 80th birthday. Here’s an Amsterdam concert from 2000 that we found and listened to on YouTube today. The first 17 minutes is a terrific medley of vintage Willie. Good stuff. We're hoping to catch him when he appears locally in August.

Sunday, April 28, 2013

I've got all night

A perfect opportunity for escaping to a quiet nook in the house, with just the right easy listening playlist on the iPod to accompany a little light reading, competing with the chorus of an evening downpour, priceless - at least until Casey comes up with an extracurricular activity popular in Border Collie circles…why, a late night ball toss, of course. 

Of course, really, there’s nothing more that Victoria would rather do right now - at 10 pm - than join in. Are you gonna try ignoring him?

(You know you want to play. That’s right, just pick it up. I’ve got all night.) 

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Bashful bloomer

Couldn't wait to see how this relationship developed. Barely a flicker of red peeking through a blanket of lavender a week ago, this timid tulip didn't look like it had a chance of making it. 

Three or four sunny days later and it was obvious we were selling this aloof perennial short. 

Ah, spring. 

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Rerun therapy

Call it a guilty pleasure. Call it an escape mechanism, whatever.  And you know what? You’d be right. Tonight, like a lot of nights lately, we unwound, again, by streaming on Netflix an episode of one of our favorite television shows The West Wing.
Back in the day, actually the dark days of the Bush Administration, we were able to escape once a week into an Aaron Sorkin teleplay and the parallel universe many liberals like us needed during those two terms. Living and working in Washington DC, during a post 9/11 miasma of fear, preemptive war and subterfuge, we’d park ourselves in front of the TV to watch President Bartlett lead our nation the right way, the way we thought we were led when we were kids, if only for an hour.

A story-line usually doesn't grab Casey’s attention, but Vic and I are always tempted to select another dose of Martin Sheen and his staff before turning in. Like tonight, when Mrs.Landingham was hit and killed by a drunk driver, setting up episode 44, Two Cathedrals, one of the most memorable hours ever of television drama.

We'll have to fill him in tomorrow night.


Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Time out

Looks like someone is paying attention to what his body is trying to tell him. The sun’s out, the squirrels can wait, and a spot in the garden is as good as any for an impromptu nap.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Earth Day bloomers

How cool is this. Our two recently pruned cherry trees erupting into full bloom today of all days, Earth Day 2013. We weren’t quite sure how they were going to fare this year, after the visit from the landscaper last month. But once again they didn’t disappoint.

They’re showing off just like they do every spring, in spite of the new dos.

And OK, the Earth Day Google Doodle was pretty cute, but wouldn’t it have been that much more impressive with a couple of flowering cherry trees as part of the four season cycle? Are you paying attention Google

I’m sure they’re getting right on it.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Pre-launch mechanics

Wow. If you look up "Eager" in a dictionary, maybe even "Focus",  you might find this Casey pose adjacent to it.

It seems like our guy’s been adjusting his pre-Frisbee toss stance lately, like an athlete tweaking his mechanics. So now before he chases down each disc, he lifts that front left leg as he anticipates my release and his next launch down the yard.

Friday, April 19, 2013


Something told me to grab this moment, and the camera, before the skies opened up. White tulips gracing the front yard, on the cusp of surrendering to gusty winds and rain showers tonight. And it just seemed like they were breaking ground a day or two ago.

Casey is already trying to blink away the leading edge of the wet stuff. 

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Good listener

Years ago I saw a trick like this performed on the Tonight Show and was so impressed that I taught a version of it to Molly, our first Border Collie…in a matter of minutes. And she never forgot it. Herding dogs just love this interaction.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


After a day of mourning, politicizing, and posturing while the smell of cordite lingers on Boylston Street, I can't help but share the sentiment of Glenn Greenwald's follow-up piece to the Boston Marathon Bombing, as well as that of his favorite Twitter response of the day by The Guardian's Gary Younge. I wish I'd said it.

True empathy is a perfect place for healing to take hold.

Running on empty? Sometimes.

After tagging along all day, even riding backseat on errands downtown and a late afternoon hike covering three times as much ground as his guide, coaxing me off the couch with a mouthful of disc and a trademark tilt of his head, Casey still managed to guilt me into one... more...Frisbee toss. This big ol’ sloppy grin was just about all he had left though.

Sunday, April 14, 2013

Week's end

Saturday night sunset over Bellingham Bay 

Play therapy

A social call on the newest member of the family, Marley, a 5-year-old female husky-mix adopted by son Joe, resulted in some unavoidable, impromptu play therapy for Casey.

Now our guy would rather not rough-house or play with any canine, growing up on the receiving end of more than his share of bullying as low-man in the pecking order of six siblings. He learned to cope by mastering the fine art of submission, just to survive, before we found our thoroughly beta love-junkie.

So exposing Casey to playtime has been a touchy proposition, until Marley came along. And he seems to be adjusting nicely to his playful cousin. Today he even got a taste of the dominant position, if only for a moment, something we never thought we’d see. And who cares if Marley was faking it - which did cross our minds. 

This just might be the beginning of a beautiful friendship.

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

Just trying to get a little sack time

Just when Casey found his primo spot by the fireplace stove this morning Stella moved in – either to genuinely snuggle, or to con him out of his front-and-center, front row spot.

She has her ways.  And Casey is such a soft touch.

It doesn't seem fair somehow.

Monday, April 8, 2013

Tree teaser

(Whoa! What have we here!)

The notorious 1st Hill squirrel tease spotted Casey while we were on a stroll near Seattle's Swedish Medical Clinic. This little guy (or girl...who knows) caught the kid's eye as he descended to nearly ground level, staying just out of reach and shaking his rear end anytime Casey came close.

Some locals said this Western gray teases the neighborhood dogs all day long, so a newbie like Casey was no challenge.

And obviously getting a real kick out of pushing our leash law to its legal limit. 

Let it go, kid. He's working you.

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Repeat performance

Tonight we took our friend Terri up on her invitation to watch today’s sunset, once again a show stopper, in every respect.

From her condo’s shoreline vantage point, overlooking Taylor Dock on the Bay, we enjoyed an unimpeded view of the most impressive repeat performance on earth, with a blanket of cirrus only heightening the effect of one more stellar finale.