Weird Job Opportunity!!

July 3, 2016

San Diego, CA

Screen Shot 2016-06-23 at 5.56.55 PM

Actual screen shot of the job posting

Since retiring from my career as a commercial photographer, and then retiring from my next career as a personal trainer, I frequently peruse Craigs List looking for other jobs from which I might one day retire.

This one definitely caught my eye. It had “AMAZING OPPORTUNITY” written all over it!

Drive my dog and I around

Ok so I guess I should explain. I know there are dog walkers.

I can walk my own dog.

I do not drive, and he LOVES car rides

compensation $20

I would have jumped all over this, except that the job is in Oceanside, and that’s just too far away from where I live. All that driving would’ve eaten into my profits.

But, had this job opening been in my ‘hood, I’d be doin’ it, baby! I love dogs, and I have a car, and I’m cool with having dogs in my car. I’m sure I could have come up with a very professional looking resume to show off all of these qualifications and then some (my car is clean, my car stereo is pretty good, I never speed, I always come to a complete stop at stop signs, I always keep a doggie water bowl in my car).

I’m pretty sure this is legit. I mean, you just can’t make up stuff like this, right? Unless “Drive my dog and I around” is code for something else….hmmm……

And Then….A Dog Parade Broke Out!!!

Evening Glow. The tethered balloons fired up at night.

Evening Glow. The tethered balloons fired up at night.

Day 118           October 5, 2014

Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta, Albuquerque, New Mexico

Sleep. Wake up. Watch hot air balloons. Repeat. Day #2 of low flying airplanes at 4:30 am, followed by hot air balloons…..or NOT!!

It’d been determined (by those silly airplanes) that the winds weren’t appropriate for the balloons to take off. Instead, the balloons were inflated, but remained tethered to the ground. Still, it was fun to walk amongst all of the balloons on display.

In the afternoon, we drove into Old Town Albuquerque to have a look around and get a bite to eat. Old Town was uber touristy, but we didn’t care. As long as I can get some decent Mexican food and ice-cream, I’m a happy camper.

Beautiful old church in Old Town

Beautiful old church in Old Town

We found some cool, fun, old architecture around Albuquerque

We found some cool, fun, old architecture around Albuquerque

The highlight of the day was really one of my own creations. I’d convinced the powers that be (the organizers of the Airstream rally, and it didn’t take much convincing) that we Airstreamers should have a dog parade while we were at the Balloon Fiesta. And so, on this day, at 4:00 in the afternoon, all of us dog lovers and our fun-loving doggies, gathered in order to parade around amongst the Airstream trailers and motorhomes.

The fantastic, fabulous, fun-filled doggie parade!!!

The fantastic, fabulous, fun-filled doggie parade!!!

A grand time was had by all. Some of the doggies were dressed up, and some weren’t. Some pups and their people were dog parade first timers, and I was happy and proud to introduce these people to the world of dog parades. Others of us (mostly Californians) were seasoned dog parade participants.

Dax. Post-dog parade. Dirty and downright dog-tired.

Dax. Post-dog parade. Dirty and downright dog-tired.

The parade was a big hit, and I’m happy to say that there’s been talk of making it an annual event for the Airstream rally at the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta! Thank you very much, me!

Evening Glow

Evening Glow

Evening Glow

Evening Glow

Evening Glow

Evening Glow

Evening Glow

Evening Glow

Evening Glow. The tethered balloons fired up at night.

Evening Glow.

Evening Glow

Evening Glow

Free Food At The Mercedes Benz Dealer!!!

@ KOA in Townsend, Tennessee

@ KOA in Townsend, Tennessee

Day 105       September 22, 2014

Wytheville, Virginia  to  Townsend, Tennessee

The morning, once again, went to the dogs. Our campground had a huge fenced in doggie play area. Trixie and Dax had it all to themselves. Oh the joys of chasing a tennis ball! There was a lot of driving to be done today, so after doggie play time, we got on the road.

Heading south on Rt 81

Heading south on Rt 81

Heading south on Rt 81

Hello Tennessee!

The Space Shuttle was due for a scheduled service appointment. I had found a Mercedes Benz dealer in Knoxville, Tennessee that was able to do our service in the afternoon, so Knoxville was our target.

The peeps at the dealership were super nice, and they had a finely stocked customer lounge. While Fiona was getting serviced, I feasted on freebies…mini Peppermint Patties, cookies, coffee, other miscellaneous candies. They also had a fabulous wifi connection, so I was able to get a few blog posts up and running. And, as usual, Trixie and Dax got lots and lots of attention from the employees and from the other customers.

As far as service appointments go, this was a pretty nice one! The only disappointment was that, ‘cause the service was completed so late in the work day, they didn’t have time to give Fiona a bath. Damn!

We docked for the night at the KOA in Townsend, Tennessee, right next to the Great Smoky Mountains. We’d have to wait until the next day to have a look around!

@ KOA in Townsend, Tennessee

@ KOA in Townsend, Tennessee

Nice campsite, right next to the river

Nice campsite, right next to the river

Sticky Green Thingies, A Civil War Battlefield, And A Broken Heart

Breakfast in New Market!

Breakfast in New Market!

Day 104         September 21, 2014

Luray to Wytheville,  Virginia

I wish Jim had warned us, but he hadn’t. And so, we found out on our own, that there’s a lot of grassy sticky stuff in the landscape around his house….grassy sticky stuff that sticks to dogs like glue. And although it didn’t take but about a nanosecond before Trixie and Dax were covered in this crap, it took us a good 20 minutes to get the shit off of them.

Trixie, with all that sticky shit on her. Not a happy camper. Wouldn't stand still for a photo.

Trixie, with all that sticky shit on her. Not a happy camper. Wouldn’t stand still for a photo.

Once the doggies were cleaned up, we all drove to New Market to have breakfast at the Southern Kitchen.

Breakfast in New Market!

Breakfast in New Market!

Southern Kitchen, just like the sign says

Southern Kitchen, just like the sign says

Classic breakfast joint

Classic breakfast joint

And then we visited the New Market Civil War Battlefield. I grew up in Virginia, so I kind of hit overload on Civil War battlefields a long time ago. But, I’d never been to this one before, and it was scenic and had an interesting story behind it. Plus, the dogs were allowed on the battlefield, so they had a nice walk too…without a bunch of sticky green grassy shit attacking them!

@ New Market Battlefield State Historical Park

@ New Market Battlefield State Historical Park

View of the valley from New Market Battlefield State Historical Park

View of the valley from New Market Battlefield State Historical Park

@ New Market Battlefield State Historical Park

@ New Market Battlefield State Historical Park

@ New Market Battlefield State Historical Park

@ New Market Battlefield State Historical Park

@ New Market Battlefield State Historical Park

@ New Market Battlefield State Historical Park

Once we said goodbye to Jim, he headed back home, and we headed down to Harrisonburg, home of James Madison University. I’d graduated from JMU, and hadn’t been back there in 30 years. I knew the campus had changed a lot over the years, but it was still pretty shocking to see the growth of the campus and of the town.

H-Burg!

H-Burg!

One of the newer buildings @ JMU

One of the newer buildings @ JMU

My old dorm

My old dorm

The Quad. Where is everyone? Back in my day, this place would be packed with kids playing frisbee and playing guitars!

The Quad. Where is everyone? Back in my day, this place would be packed with kids playing frisbee, playing guitar, and blasting music from the dorm windows!

In all honesty, the “growth without soul” broke my heart a little bit. So, I went shopping to lift myself back up…shopping at the JMU bookstore for a new JMU sweatshirt.

With me rockin’ my new sweatshirt, we drove through the old part of downtown Harrisonburg. That part of town had changed as well, but not so much as to lose its character, and that was great to see.

I think this is where the old HoJo's used to be. ??

I think this is where the old HoJo’s used to be. ??

Downtown Harrisonburg

Downtown Harrisonburg

L&S Diner!! Still going after all these years!!

L&S Diner!! Still going after all these years!!

When we left town and headed south on Rt 81, I wondered if I’d ever be back….maybe in another 30 years!

Goodbye, Harrisonburg...

Goodbye, Harrisonburg…

Beautiful sunset as we head south on Rt 81

Beautiful sunset as we head south on Rt 81

We drove until it got dark, and then spent the night at the Wytheville KOA , where we virtually had the place to ourselves.

The Day That Went To The Dogs!

Old Quebec City

Mark and Dax hike up a steep, narrow street in Old Quebec City

Day 97    September 14, 2014

Quebec City, Quebec

Canada

Lucky for us, French Canadians love dogs, and dogs are allowed on the passenger ferries that cross the river into Quebec City. So Dax and Trixie would be hangin’ with us in the big city today!

Taking the ferry to Old Quebec City

Taking the ferry to Old Quebec City

Mark and I, and Dax and Trixie spent all day wandering around Old Quebec. There was one downside to having the pups with us. It was really cold outside, and although we’d have loved to been able to sit inside and eat lunch in a nice warm bistro, we couldn’t. The French Canadians don’t love dogs that much. So we ate lunch outside in the cold. That’s what coffee’s for…to warm up. So we drank a lot of coffee.

Old Quebec City

Old Quebec City

Old Quebec City

Old Quebec City

Old Quebec City

Old Quebec City

Old Quebec City

Old Quebec City

Old Quebec City

Interesting architecture in Old Quebec City

Old Quebec City

A lot of tourists in Old Quebec City

Old Quebec City

Old Quebec City

After lunch, Dax and Trixie met a very nice Irish Wolfhound, who was touring the city with her people. Her name was Harriet. She was spectacular! The biggest Irish Wolfhound I’d ever seen!

I started thinking that maybe Harriet the Irish Wolfhound, was my mom, Harriet Cohen, reincarnated. My mom wasn’t particularly fond of dogs, so this would kind of make sense that she’d have to come back as a regal and beautiful dog…ya know, to gain a love and appreciation for dogs! At least, I think that’s how it works.

When we were thoroughly worn out from the cold and from so much walking around, we took the ferry back to the other side of the river. Dax was being Mr. Congeniality on the ferry. He was smiling at everyone, getting lots of pets, and giving lots of kisses. He was pretty much the center of attention on that ferry ride! Trixie ignored everyone, as usual, and just searched for scraps of food on the ground.

Later that evening, we drove back into the city to have dinner. We easily were able to park the Space Shuttle just a couple blocks outside of Old Quebec. And we were able to go out to dinner, without the dogs, to enjoy a little French Canadian cuisine. Or, as we dubbed it, Cuinadian!

I tried to order in French. I have no idea what actually came out of my mouth when I spoke. But the waitress appreciated my attempt, had a good laugh with us about it, and brought me what I ordered!  Cie la Vie!

I got what I ordered!

I got what I ordered!

In Dax We Trust! When Dogs Are Smarter Than People!

Sittin' on the dock of the bay, waitin' for the tide to come this way...

Sittin’ on the dock of the bay, waitin’ for the tide to come this way…

Day 95        September 12, 2014        part 1

Antigonish, Nova Scotia  to Somewhere in New Brunswick

Canada

In a reversal of our previous decision to skip it, we decided after all, to go to the Shubenacadie River, in Truro, to see the “reversing falls.” With extraordinary 40+ foot tides in the Bay of Fundy, when the tides change, the direction of the flow of the water on the Shubenacadie also changes. The term “falls” is completely misleading, but the phenomenon is still cool to witness.

Our timing was perfect (dumb luck), and we arrived at the interpretive center 20 minutes before the tide change. We were instructed to drive ten minutes up the road to Maitlin, and to watch from the pier.

Pastoral beauty on the river's edge in Maitlin

Pastoral beauty on the river’s edge in Maitlin

Mark and I and the doggies, and ten other tourists, gathered on the Maitlin pier, waiting for the tidal change  It was a friendly bunch and we had a good time talking with everyone. Dax and Trixie were extremely popular with this group as well. I guess everyone else was missing their doggies back home.

Sittin' on the dock of the bay, waitin' for the tide to come this way...

Sittin’ on the dock of the bay, waitin’ for the tide to come this way…

Yes, the riverbed IS really this red!

Yes, the riverbed IS really this red!

Coastline in Maitlin

Coastline in Maitlin

High tide was scheduled for 12:55. I know these things aren’t exact, but there we all were, just waiting for the big moment to happen. We weren’t even really sure what was gonna happen, just that we wanted to see it, whatever it was.

Surely something special was gonna happen, ‘cause otherwise all of these crazy kayakers wouldn’t be trying to drag their kayaks through the filthy red mud to get to the tiny bit of water that was currently in the river. That in itself was a hilarious sight to see!

Crazy kayaker trying to get out into the middle of the river without actually touching any of the red messy mud.

Crazy kayaker trying to get out into the middle of the river without actually touching any of the red messy mud.

Misery loves company.

Misery loves company.

This guy's gonna do it standing up!

This guy’s gonna do it standing up!

Once in a while, we’d have a false alarm. Someone would think they heard something or saw the water rising. But no, nothing was happening.

It’d been twenty minutes since the tide was supposed to change, when suddenly, Dax stands up, faces down river, and starts barking like crazy. Well damn! Wouldn’t ya know it, as we all looked up to see what he was barking at, we could see the water heading towards us, up the river in the reverse direction!

And that is how we discovered Dax’s hidden talent! Apparently, he has an uncanny ability to predict tidal changes! The crowd on the peer hooted, hollered, laughed, and applauded Dax! For just those few moments in time, he was a Superhero!!

The reversing falls was pretty fun to see. Suddenly, the almost completely dry river bed turned into a very wet river flowing in the opposite direction, and the water level was rising so fast you could see it. And the kayakers then had little rapids to run!

We hustled back to the interpretive center, where there was a platform viewing area high above the river’s edge. This was an even more dramatic view where we were able to watch the river rise 40’ in 15 minutes. That’s a lot of agua!!

Finally, some water in the middle of the river

Finally, some water in the middle of the river

Low water

Low water

Same view. Higher water.

Same view. Higher water.

Still some dry spots in the middle

Still some dry spots in the middle

No more dry spots in the middle

No more dry spots in the middle

Tourists in motorized rafts ride the rapids!

Tourists in motorized rafts ride the rapids!

So much water rushing in!

So much water rushing in!

So yes, it was worth the detour to Truro. We got to witness the power of nature that day. But even better, we got to discover the Superhero that is Dax!

Another Day, Another Brewery? Maybe, Maybe Not!

Following Mark and Dax on the hike up to Signal Hill

Following Mark and Dax on the hike up to Signal Hill

Day 88     September 5, 2014

St. John’s, Newfoundland

Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada

Since arriving in St. John’s the day before, we’d already sampled some local Quidi Vidi beers. However, we hadn’t yet actually visited the nearby village of Quidi Vidi, or the Quidi Vidi Brewing Company. That was Priority #1.

Had we been warned, we’d have parked outside of the little village and walked the rest of the way. But, we hadn’t been warned, and we drove right into the village. Not so smart. The streets were super narrow, winding, and hilly. A test of our driving skills and of our patience. We almost got stuck at the end of a street with almost no way to turn around….almost.

Quidi Vidi

Quidi Vidi

Quidi Vidi

Quidi Vidi

Quidi Vidi

Quidi Vidi

We checked out the Quidi Vidi brewery, hoping to get a tour and have lunch. Unfortunately though, they don’t serve food. Even though it’d mean missing the brewery tour, we were way too hungry to stick around, so we moved on.

We found lunch and beers at the Inn of Olde. And by “lunch,” I mean, soup, ‘cause that’s all they served. Not one of our finer meals, but you couldn’t beat the atmosphere. This place was kind of a trippy pub with all kinds of crazy crap and memorabilia hanging  on every square inch of the ceiling and walls.

Inn of Olde

Inn of Olde

Inn of Olde

Front door to Inn of Olde

Mark & his beer @ Inn of Olde

Mark  @ Inn of Olde

Inn of Olde

Inn of Olde

Inn of Olde

Inn of Olde

Old church that's now a private residence. Quidi Vidi

Old church that’s now a private residence. Quidi Vidi

After a good walk-a-bout the village, and satisfied that we’d “done” Quidi Vidi, we left and drove to the Johnson Geo Centre. The Geo Centre was a cool place. It’s basically a museum built underground, dedicated to geology. Hard to believe, since I almost failed geology 101 in college, but, I loved this place! There were movies, and interactive exhibits, and, just fun shit!

Johnson Geo Centre

Johnson Geo Centre

When the centre closed for the day, we retrieved the pups from the space shuttle, and went for a little walk across the street. But first we had to pose the pups in front of the big dog statues in front of the Geo Centre. One of the statues was a Newfoundland dog, and the other statue was a Labrador Retriever. We hadn’t thought about this before, but this far away Province had two namesake dogs! Impressive!

The Newfie, the Lab, the Trixie, and the Dax

The Newfie, the Lab, the Trixie, and the Dax

What started out as a short dog walk, turned into an epic hike. We had inadvertently found ourselves on this cool hiking path that wound around a little village by the harbor, around the sometimes precarious hillside, and all the way up the backside and up to Signal Hill. It was magnificent!!

Beginning of our epic hike

Beginning of our epic hike

On the hike up to Signal Hill

On the hike up to Signal Hill

On the hike up to Signal Hill

On the hike up to Signal Hill

On the hike up to Signal Hill

On the hike up to Signal Hill

On the hike up to Signal Hill

On the hike up to Signal Hill

Following Mark and Dax on the hike up to Signal Hill

Following Mark and Dax on the hike up to Signal Hill

Looking back at the path we'd hiked up on.

Looking back at the path we’d hiked up on.

We finished off the day with dinner at Tavola, on Water Street. Sweet potato soup, salad, ravioli, and some sissy pink lemonade spritzers that were oh so delicious! Great end to a great day!

Raviolis @ Tavola

Ravioli @ Tavola

Pink Lemonade Spritzers. Not just for sissies!

Pink Lemonade Spritzers. Not just for sissies!