Was up and about by 8:30, way too early to hit the rodeo, so I did what I had been planning to do today, broke down the half dozen boxes which had not been flattened yet, piled the other 30 or so, which had been flattened, onto the dolly (on top of a used litterbox cartridge and a faux non-stick cookie sheet) and dumpsterized them. The livingroom is now a bit more open. There is still the second cookie sheet and a box from an in-dash unit which was in the old car (because it has styrofoam blocks in it) and an old not-flat-rate USPS box. Maybe tomorrow. Maybe next week.
About 11:00 I was in the car and headed for the rodeo, and I made the same mistake as last time, followed the GPS direct route, which is an enormously long and dangerous drive on a 1-lane road crammed with insane bicyclist and motorcyclists 90% of the way to the ranch.
Finally got to the entrance a little after noon, and was told this wasn't the entrance anymore, it was up the road half a mile. Drove a mile up the road, did not see another entrance. Drove back, and they said they forgot to mention it is on the other side of the road from the rodeo, there is a tunnel under the road there.
When I get to the parking lot, I am told to walk along the "caution" tape to the tunnel. Nope, no tunnel there. "Oh, not the caution tape right here. You see that caution tape half a mile away at the bottom of this muddy hill? That one."
In the past, the parking lot was on the same side of the road as the rodeo, but this year they reserved the whole thing for RVs and handicapped parking. Apparently there was less land now, because the ranch is in the process of being donated to the the park service. In fact, the road to the parking lot had one of those little wooden park service "no dogs/firearms/midgets" signs.
Finally got there, and they were running way late. I was hoping to miss the Grand Entry, scheduled for noon, but it didn't happen till 12:30. And it was long.
Bull riding was the first event, they had a lot of participants but I think only two qualified, so I got a lot of great shots, I thought, of people falling off in dramatic fashion. More on that later. Next up was goat dressing, which is not real photogenic because it's just a race for pairs of people to put panties on a goat from a running start. The goat is tethered to a fixed position. Most of the time all you see are people's butts. Then came calf dogging, where a person is put into the chute with a calf which has a pair of horns, and has to get the calf to go across a line a foot from the chute, and then flip it tits-up. Only a few of the contestants managed that. After seeing a few it gets old. Then came the drag race, which puts a cow on a leash, and the team consists of a man, a woman, and someone in drag. Did I mention this is a gay rodeo? Anyhow, the cow had to be brought across the arena past a line, the person in drag has to mount the cow, and then the team needs to get the cow back across the line. That's one of the more photo worthy events, people fall off a lot, and usually the cow resists being pulled, making for lots of tension in the picture.
There was barrel racing and flag racing to come, but those take a lot of time to set up, and are not that much fun to shoot, so I bailed. There was no bronc riding, I don't remember why (someone told me, but I forgot). Roping events were in the morning before I arrived.
Went home the smart way - La Honda Road becomes a nice well-maintained, divided 55 mph highway after it passes the ranch, and ends at Hwy 1, the Pacific Coast Highway, which is also well maintained and mostly 55 mph, and at Half Moon Bay turn right to Hwy 92, which is sometimes windy, but on a Sunday when the sun is out it is always congested, which makes it not popular with 2-wheeled idiots, and I think safer because no one is trying to do the speed limit when the caution signs say 30. And that hooks up with I-280 to the south bay.
A couple of blocks from the Wolfe Rd. Exit is 99 Ranch market, and a Starbucks. I stopped into the market and picked up some on-sale moon cakes, and my favorite frozen dim sum, 2 out of 3 were on sale, and samples being offered. I picked up the two on sale and asked the sample person where the third one was, she showed me, but wanted to talk me out of buying it because it wasn't on sale. But it's still pretty cheap, and I like it. Went to the produce section looking for longans, but they didn't have any, but they did have lovely big limes for 20¢ each, and huge celery bunches for 99¢.
I was tired from the long drive, and wanted to use a restroom before going home, so I stopped off in Starbucks, read on the Nexus' Kindle app, enjoyed the eye candy, and when the last person in line for the restroom went in, I got in line. And waited. And waited. I think he was changing clothes and taking a sponge bath. Or maybe he got tied up on Facebook (he had a backpack which probably had a laptop inside). Finally got to use the facilities 10 minutes later, then back to the comfy chair for a while, mostly viewed the eye candy, there were many and varied pretty women there.
Then en route to home, stopped off at Safeway, stocked up on TV dinners, ice cream, and milk. Also got a fresh container of eggbeaters. Totally forgot to get a case of diet Coke. That's okay, they fixed the machine at work.
If it wasn't Sunday I would have gone to get gas, but I'll wait till tomorrow evening. Almost stopped at Half Moon Bay, the big no-name station at the edge of town had it for sale at $3.86. It's > $4 most of my neighborhood. Gonnifs. It should be $2. Thanks Mr. Obama for not handling that situation.
Home, discovered that TiVo had not recorded the 49ers game, but looking at the sports news, I guess it was trying to save me from high blood pressure.
Slurped the photos from the camera into the PC and discovered that the stupid thing had destroyed a bunch of my best photos by auto-setting the shutter speeds way low. It was dialed in for "P" which is supposed to balance the shutter speed and lens opening, but instead it shut down the lens to f/10 and slowed the shutter to 1/60 on a lot of the key shots. Got to remember to dial in a high shutter speed for sports events.
I did manage to get some good shots. They are here. A couple of my favorites:
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Somewhere in there I had two of the small TV dinners, finished off the last of the lactose-free chocolate ice cream, gave the cats their evening kitty crack, caught up on FB, watched the end of the Steelers-Cowboys game and wrote this.
Plans for tomorrow:
PO - mail the girl scouts coin gift box to sister
Monday Night Football
May go to BASFA if the game sucks