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It’s Harvest Time

It’s harvest time.

In California, that means it’s Wine Time.

Grapes on the Vine:  Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

I had plans to depart tomorrow for five days in Napa.

I wanted to shoot harvest and all that it entails.

I cancelled those plans due to * other things * going on in my life right now.

I admit, I’m a little disappointed.

But, there will be other times to visit Napa.

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Teen Car Accidents

Why do so many teens continue to die in avoidable car accidents?

And, I’m really emphasizing the word avoidable here.

Last weekend, five South Orange County teens died in an accident and the sixth (the driver) is hospitalized with a head injury.

The five who died were burned beyond recognition.

The teens were returning from Knott’s Berry Farm at 2:15 in the morning.

The police say speed was a factor in the BMW’s accident.

So many people are now saying, “Don’t assign blame – just mourn the loss of the three boys and two girls.”

Me …?

I say bullshit.

There are powerful lessons to be learned here.

I think it is a disservice to those who perished if people don’t LEARN from this tragedy.

I don’t know every detail of the circumstances, but let’s look at what has been published in newspapers the past few days:

•  Drugs and/or alcohol were not factors in the accident.

•  The car being driven was a BMW.  (I would argue a BMW is a weapon in the hands of a teenage boy.  There is no “good” reason to permit a teen to drive one.)

•  The BMW belonged to a sixteen year old boy without a driver’s license.  (It was registered to someone else, but the boy had bought it used from a relative.)

•  The driver was not only unlicensed, but he didn’t even have his driver’s learning permit.

•  The driver had been repeatedly told to “slow down” by people who had driven with him in the past … he had a habit of speeding.

•  Which means he also had a habit of driving without a license.

•  There were six people in a car that can only hold five.

•  Young licensed drivers in California are not permitted to drive past 11:00 p.m.

•  Young licensed drivers in California are not allowed to drive with other teens in the car.

•  Seatbelts were NOT being worn when the car crashed.

•  How many laws were broken here?  I can’t even count them all.

•  Five innocent passengers are dead.

•  The unlicensed, speeding, driver is not.

•  At the age of 16, the unlicensed, speeeding, driver is automatically sentenced to a life of guilt and shame.

The parents of the sixteen year old boy who was driving are refusing to talk.

Of course they are, they are about to be sued for every penny they own.

You cannot tell me they didn’t know their son was driving on a regular basis without a license.

I am outraged by the lack of parental supervision and the glaring neglect of parental responsibility.

I don’t know what the other parents knew or did not know.

How did they think there kids were getting to and from Knott’s Berry Farm?

Surely they all knew that by law their kids couldn’t ride home with a non-adult driver.

It’s possible the other parents were misled to think an adult would be bringing their child home –

I don’t know.

What I do know is this –

This tragic accident was preventable in a multitude of ways.

My heart absolutely breaks for the families who lost their kids.

What a horrible, avoidable, waste of life.

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Seven Weeks Old – Newfie Pups!

The litter of Newfoundland puppies is seven weeks old.

I thought I’d share some photos.

(These photos belong to the breeder – they’re not mine.  She has given me permission to share.)

In the first photo, the mom is teaching her babies about retrieving a stick.

VadaWStickPups

The puppies are curious.

What does mom have and will she share?

She lets them take a look.

VadaStick

It doesn’t take long for the pups to figure it out this Stick Stuff.

Hey everybody, look what I got!

PupStick

Playing with a stick is fun!

But wait a minute …

Mom is over there, and she’s the one with milk.

Let’s see who can get to her first!

AllSix

And then, once they had enough milk …

Let’s practice retrieving again!

Maybe our human mom will want to give us more of that other type of food?

PupWbowl

Because, clearly, we’re starving to death.

Nobody ever feeds us?

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The Weekend At A Glance

Record breaking heat was the theme of the weekend.

Oh, and add in a non-healthy dose of allergy-induced sinus issues.

On Friday, I went to the Angel’s playoff game against the Kansas City Royals.

Sunset at the stadium:

Angels Stadium © SHaggerty 2014 W-1

Angels Stadium – Taken with my Sony RX 100 III point and shoot

I met up with some family and friends for some pre-game fun.

The Angel’s played terribly, but it was still a fun night.

Angels Stadium Spectators © SHaggerty 2014 W-1

It was the first time I’ve attended a playoff game and the stadium was CRAZY –

In a fun, good, way.

I had family around most of Saturday.

On Sunday I went to the Kings of Leon and Young the Giant concert.

I took my point and shoot again.

I haven’t had time to upload photos yet, but I’ll be sure to share soon.

For those of you who are enjoying fall – cool weather and pretty leaves …

I’m terribly jealous!

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Angel Island, San Francisco

One year ago, today ….

I was on Angel Island in San Francisco.

Click on photo to purchase, or to view larger, in 24atHeart gallery.

The view of the bay, the sailboats, and the Golden Gate Bridge was spectacular.

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Real Life

It seems like it’s almost easier to get posts written when I’m on the road vs. when I’m home.

I’ve been super busy this week trying to get my “real life” caught up.

Part of My Real Life included cancelling a mini-vacation I was scheduled to leave on next week.

I’ve been trying to juggle too many balls and something had to give.

My priority right now is being available when my sister needs me.

(It’s a day to day thing right now.)

Being home has also made me realize how behind I am on every single aspect of my life.

So …

I’m “on call” for my sister, but otherwise home for now.

At the end of the month, there will probably be puppy related travel.

(I can hardly stand the wait!)

It’s incredibly hot here right now so I’ll try to work indoors during the next few days.

I’ll probably only come out at night.

Kind of like a vampire …!

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Fall in Southern California

It’s October first and it feels like fall.

In Southern California, fall means the air is so dry it almost crackles.

(Please pass the hand and body lotion!)

The air is so clear you feel like you can touch the mountains while standing on the beach.

Santa Ana winds, or the threat of them, are a subject of constant attention.

It’s hot … and many days are hotter than hot.

If the temperature drops into the 80’s everyone brings out their boots and scarves.

The leaves on most trees don’t turn fall colors.

They turn brown (maybe) and then they’re blown off the trees by wind gusts which can easily reach 60mph.

Concerns about wild fires run rampant.

The hummingbirds haven’t migrated anywhere – why would they?

You can buy pumpkin flavored everything – anywhere.

If you feel festive you might order a pumpkin coffee – iced, of course, because of the heat.

Most people have colds and/or eye/sinus issues due to the dry air and winds.

It seems like everyone is sniffling and/or rubbing their eyes.

There are heavily publicized heat advisories, wind advisories, and “red flag” fire warnings.

The locals are back to enjoying the beaches now that the tourists are gone.

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Dog Surfing Contest 2014

The Surf City Surf Dog contest in Huntington Beach was last weekend.

A few years ago, I shot the event and met a nice man named Colin.

Colin has a landseer (black and white) Newfoundland dog named George.

Colin has stayed in touch with me.

He lives in Toronto, Canada, and decided to bring George back to California for this year’s surfing event.

Colin invited me to come shoot the surfing contest.

I was thrilled to be provided a coveted “puparazzi” media pass.

Here’s a photo of Colin and George before the event:

Surfing Dog 3 George © SHaggerty 2014 W-1

Colin and George check out the waves.

It was great to see them again.

Colin gave me a hug and George gave me a few slobbery kisses.

Surfing dog photos are always fun for everyone.

A bulldog named Newman did very well:

Surfing Dog 2 © SHaggerty 2014 W-1

Newman, the bulldog, catches a wave.

Bulldogs are heavy with a low center of gravity.

It makes them good surfers.

I think this next dog’s name was Faith.

She seemed to know what she was doing.

Surfing Dog 1 © SHaggerty 2014 W-1

Faith, the dog, looked like a veteran surfer.

I couldn’t believe the media – they were out in full force!

There was a huge section to allow us to get good photos, but photographers were popping up everywhere.

Poodle Surfing © SHaggerty 2014 W-1

This poodle was a great surfer and was unfazed by the cameras.

It’s impossible not to smile when covering an event like this.

There are dogs jumping into the water when they shouldn’t.

There are dogs chewing on surfboards.

There are dogs who ham it up for the crowd.

This particular dog knew when a wipeout was inevitable and decided to bail out at the last possible moment:

Surfing Dog Bails © SHaggerty 2014 W-1

Dog wipes out surfing.

Some of the dogs have even learned tricks.

For surfers, it can take a lot of practice to learn to do a reverse.

This Westie pulled it off easily:

Westie Surfing © SHaggerty 2014 W-1

Westie surfing backwards – a perfect reverse.

George swam some, but had no interest in surfing this year.

Maybe he was tired from the long trip from Toronto to Huntington Beach?

Maybe the waves were too rough, or maybe George is just getting a little older.

Surfing Dog 4 George © SHaggerty 2014 W-1

George, the Newfoundland, looking disappointed.

Regardless,

It was clear George was a little disappointed with his surfing results for the day.

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Snippets

Tomorrow I’ll be posting photos of this year’s dog surfing contest – Surf City Surf Dog.

The event was held over the weekend.

I had a media pass stating I was one of the “Puparazzi.”

I haven’t had time to go through all my photos yet.

In the meantime, I wanted to update you on a few other things.

•  First of all, thank you to everyone for the outpouring of concern for my sister.

She’s in the hospital still, of course.

I was able to talk to her very briefly last night.

She has a long road ahead of her, but she’s making improvements.

I certainly know a lot about long recovery roads ….

I hope my experience enables me to be a good support system for her (even though we don’t live in the same state).

•  Are you one of the many people flooding to Ello?

Ello is a new social network.  It’s in beta.  It’s still very rough around the edges.

It’s also ad free which is why so many people seem to find it appealing.

I don’t know if Ello will grow or fade away, but it will be interesting to watch either way.

•  I’m still struggling to find the perfect boy puppy name.

SixWeeksVadaGreen

Mom Newfoundland with “my” puppy.

SixWeeks

My list of names changes daily, but here are a few of the current possibilities:

–  Higgins  (this is the name I had picked prior to meeting the pup)

-  Watson  (like Sherlock’s assistant)

-  Hugo

-  Nelson

There are (lots of) other possibilities on my lists.

(For instance, I really liked Ansel – as in Ansel Adams the black and white photographer – but no one else in my family seems to like it.)

The above four names keep recurring on every list though.

Of those four names, do you have a preference and/or any thoughts?