Hurricanes and such

We’ve been in the path of one hurricane that’s already gone through, Florence and now in the path of a second, Michael. Florence did very little here, we prepared like heck for it but we only got rain and a bit of wind. Michael is not supposed to bring much and we haven’t done any preparations. Watch us get slammed. As I write this, I’ve got two solid black bobtail kittens running around the office. One I can catch, the other is more timid. Like I needed more cats, but I can’t pass up a private fetish that I have for solid black bobtail kittens. These came into the shelter with their mother, also a black bobtail, but she had white on her.

So, photography was supposed to be the topic of this post which was supposed to be written days ago. I was expecting a relatively quiet day on Monday until I get a call from one of the vet techs at Gaston Low Cost Spay and Neuter asking, “what’s up, how many cats are you bringing?” I hesitated and told him at least 15 on Wednesday and he said, no, I’ve got you in for today. I flipped out thinking there was a mistake and there was, on my end. You can bet that won’t happen again. I called all the people who were on my list for Wednesday’s run to see if they could get their cats rounded up quickly and of course none of them answered the phone. Story of my life. So I called the shelter to see if they had any cats that needed to be spayed or neutered. They sure did! I ended up bringing 12 from the shelter and one that I was fostering here. That got my heart rate going more than I wanted it to running around throwing traps in the car then flying to the shelter and getting cats loaded and then hauling them to Gastonia, all before 10:30.

As it turned out, I think it’ll be a good thing because we are supposed to get a good bit of rain from Michael and hauling cats in the rain would not have been terribly pleasant nor would it have been good to let newly spayed or neutered cats out in the heavy rain that is forecast for tomorrow. Another potential conflict was avoided by not doing a cat run on Wednesday. I did a presentation on the Community Cat Project at the Crouse Community History and Photo Project yesterday afternoon. I was invited by the organizer to attend. The more people who know about and hopefully support the Cat Project the better. This would have conflicted with gathering cats. I had worked out arrangements, but it would have been a bit of a trick to pull off.

I hate that it set me back on my ever growing list of cats, but it’ll get done in due time. People don’t seem to understand that this problem didn’t get to the way it is in a few months, it is not going to be fixed in a few months. I still have four more runs in October and five or six in November.

Photography, now that I’m not working for the paper, I’m doing very little photography. I photographed an event Saturday evening which reminded me how much I enjoy photographing events. I got paid for that gig and I really hate to work for free. That’s the problem with photography, people expect you to do it for free or they’ve got some relative with a cell phone or new camera that is happy to use their newly-found expertise. That does not change the fact that I do love photography and I’ve invested a lot of time and money into it. As with the writing, I need to do daily practice. I still would like to get better at videography.

So, I’m setting a goal – daily writing and photography. I suffer terribly from what’s called in Buddhism practice, the “Wanting Mind.” When I’m avoiding something uncomfortable, in this case boredom or the inability to get up off my butt to do anything (the second reason is the usual culprit), I think a new piece of gear or acquisition will make it all better. That is rarely the case. The cure for the Wanting Mind is to just sit with it – get on first name basis with it. Once you do that, it’ll stop being a problem. I almost bought a new camera lens, it’s a lens I’ve wanted since it first came out but to date I haven’t bought it. I almost did and if it weren’t for the New York camera store being shut down due to a Jewish holiday, I would have it by now. Instead I rented it with the option of purchasing it. Luckily for the powerful being who tends to look out for this horrible problem of mine, the lens did not work properly, the focus ring was really gritty and felt horrible to use. Come to find out, my old eyes are really good enough to focus manually, which is necessary for this lens. I sent the lens back and I’m supposed to get a refund for the rental, which is a good thing.

The dog business is another problem with the Wanting Mind. I got the puppy, Obi, and it’s a good time to have a puppy because I have free time to work him, but am I? Nope. Lazy ass can’t get up to do it. I am actively searching for an older dog who is ready to train on stock now – do I need another dog? Nope. The idea seems to be a good one, I’d like to have a dog to work on stock – for the first time in all the time I’ve had Border Collies, I have not only good working sheep, but fenced in, different sized areas to work them. Two dogs that seemed promising have already fallen through. There’s another in the works. We’ll see what happens. Meanwhile, I’ve got a friend working towards building agility equipment. I’d like to get back into agility and using a dog to do both seems to be a good thing for both me and the dog. So, that’s another daily thing to work on, training the puppy. He’s just 16 weeks old now, plenty old enough to start training some behaviors, if I can get off my lazy butt.

Until later …