Thursday, March 31, 2011

Sunset Hudson River Rowing

I was on my way home from work on a cloudy, dreary day when I spotted the Albany Rowing Club out on the Hudson River getting a workout. So I drove down to the shore and grabbed my camera:

There were multiple rowing shells with a motor boat accompanying them. Perhaps that was their coach. In this picture, you can also see Nipper, the giant RCA dog, on top of a building (the white spot on the left):

Just to the south of the rowing crew was the city of Albany's downtown area:

And just to the north was the I90 bridge over the Hudson River, the Patroon Island Bridge:

And 30 seconds of rowing. Nipper is pretty clear in the video. The large amount of road noise is from rush hour traffic all around the area. You can see the cars and trucks rushing northward on Rte 787 on the western shore of the Hudson River:

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

A Snapshot Of Two Buddies

I caught this friendly scene one morning and just had to snap a picture. Bramble and Clover are two buddies sharing a dog bed. That's a great way to start a morning:

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Snaggletooth Loses His Snaggle

Snoozey has, for most of his life, had a large tooth jutting out over his lip and I often called him Snaggletooth. Though he lost that jutting tooth a while back, he still had several visible teeth and retained the affectionate nickname:

Snoozey began to show signs that he wasn't feeling well. He would slink around from corner to corner, keeping as hidden as possible. He would curl up in hidden spots and sometimes I'd see him drooling with his mouth hanging open. I was becoming concerned that my old Snoozey had some rotten teeth which were bothering him:

His friend, Rocky, sometimes provided him the comfort of compassionate company:

But I knew I should take Snoozey to the vet for a check-up. When my income tax refund arrived, I made an appointment and stuffed the protesting Snoozey into a cat carrier. He was not happy about this:

And off we went to Drumm Veterinary Hospital during a snowstorm (it was snowing much harder than it looks in this photo):

The veterinary staff welcomed him and had an office cat perched happily on the counter:

Another office cat came over to say "Howdy" but Snoozey was pouting and not in the mood for greetings:

Into the examination room we went but Snoozey didn't want to leave his carrier. He was not interested in being poked, prodded and stuck with needles:

But a friendly vet tech knew how to win his trust and managed to get his weight and temperature:

The vet declared that Snoozey had only four teeth left anyway, and those were in very bad shape. So Snoozey went in for surgery and came out toothless. He is no longer a Snaggletooth:

I am happy to say that Snoozey's former relaxed and friendly demeanor has returned. He is content to spend a bit of snooze time near his buddy, Clover:

And all is now well with Snoozey, the cat who has survived two hernia operations, neutering, tooth extraction and being abandoned at the Shelter. He's a happy boy once again:

Monday, March 28, 2011

A Benefit Dinner At A Mexican Restaurant

It was a lovely, sunny Sunday afternoon in upstate New York. A private dog rescue organization, Peppertree, was having their annual benefit dinner down in Hudson, New York at the Mexican Radio Restaurant. I'm told the restaurant was named after a song and this is one of two Mexican Radio Restaurants, the first one located in New York City:

The small city of Hudson, New York was bustling on a Sunday afternoon. The parking places were full, the sidewalks crowded and the stores open:

I was familiar with the restaurant from last year's benefit dinner and I loved the look of it. It would have been right at home in Oaxaca, Mexico where I visited some years ago. The look was quite authentic:

I'd driven down from Albany with four women I'd known from my days of volunteering at the Animal Shelter. These women are all true heroes, and so are the volunteers of Peppertree. I became familiar with the organization by way of a couple who used to volunteer at the Shelter but now devote their energies to Peppertree. There was an information table and donation jar just inside the door:

Lots of Mexican artwork on the walls and lots of hot sauces for sale:

We climbed the stairs to the balcony where a welded steel mariachi band held an honored position on its own little balcony. Other welded steel mariachi musicians stood on the roof just outside the windows:

I walked over to the railing to snap a photo of the diners on the first floor below us:

The balcony was bustling and the waiters had to carry everything up and down those stairs. I'm sure they're tired at the end of a work shift:

My four traveling companions and fellow dog lovers, from left to right, are Eileen, Linda, Peg and Dell:

I posed with Eileen and Linda. There were at least 12 varieties of hot sauce on the table before us:

It was also Dell's birthday, so Peg brought her a cake. We all shared it (and did not use any hot sauce on it):

A good dinner, a few laughs, a good cause, a lovely sunny day and time with friends. We walked back to our car and headed for home. The topic of traveling conversation? Why, dogs of course!:

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Aack! We Got More Snow!

The weather seemed pretty much OK on Monday morning, March 21st. It was the first full day of spring and we'd been having reasonably nice weather for a week or so. But about 7:30 AM it began to snow - slowly at first but then harder and harder. I felt sad but the dogs, of course, were overjoyed. I went out with them to watch them enjoy it. Daphne and Clover ran back and forth:

Clover saw me with the camera and hoped it might be food:

No food? Well then, I'll just go back to playing:

Seamus stopped romping for a picture while the two Papillon puppies, Daphne and Clover, played near the fence. Hey, wait a minute! Daphne is pooping back there:

Fergus led the puppies on a search for contraband:

Daffodils were doing so well in their new, transplanted location. Well, I'm sure they'll just consider this an early spring watering:

Fergus and Seamus stayed together while Wally trotted along the fence behind them:

OK, I've had enough. Let's go back indoors now:

Friday, March 25, 2011

The Empire State Plaza

This is the final installment of the posts of my Sunday morning breakfast and walking tour. I'd begun the day intending merely to have breakfast at the Miss Albany Diner but found them closed. So instead I began a walking photography tour of downtown Albany. That became a driving tour when I got tired and became even longer when I noticed the Albany Pedestrian Bridge and walked that also while I snapped photos. I finally made it to the Miss Albany Diner which was by then open and had my breakfast - and from there to the Unitarian Universalist Society for the morning service. It had been a busy morning and I was on my way home when I just had to stop and get a better picture of the State Education Building with its massive and numerous columns:

And by shifting my camera just a bit I could include not only the Education Building but also the State Capital and the Albany City Hall:

Well, I should have gone straight home then but instead I turned the corner and headed toward the Empire State Plaza. That tower is part of it and that church is the Cathedral Of The Immaculate Conception:

I'd pulled off the road to snap the above photo and then realized that I was parked almost next to "The Egg," another part of the Empire State Plaza. It's got several theaters inside and is used for performance events, conventions etc:

The New York State Museum used to be one of my favorite places but it's now been many years since I've been inside. Perhaps another walking tour is in order soon:

I parked and walked up onto the elevated part of the Empire State Plaza where the office towers, The Egg and the State Capitol were all in view. The reflecting pool and fountains were still shut down for the winter. I should come back in the summertime when its all green and lovely. Perhaps the construction on the Capitol will be finished by then also:

Everything is stone, marble, steel and glass. It looks a bit like a 1950s vision of the future:

More of the Empire State Plaza:

And as I drove away intending only to go home and tend to my animals, I noticed that the State Capital had no construction in evidence on this side. So I stopped for one final photo:

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The Miss Albany Diner - This Time It Was Open

It had only been a bit more than an hour since I'd first arrived at the historic Miss Albany Diner and found it not yet open. I'd taken a walking tour of downtown Albany which then became a driving tour. It all seemed to have taken a very long time but was really only about an hour. So here I was back at the diner just after 9:00. They were open and I wanted breakfast, so in I went:

I entered the diner and found myself transported back in time. Two attractive waitresses took care of 6 booths and 16 counter stools. A middle-aged guy named Bill did the cooking in the kitchen:

The diner was full of memorabilia from well known persons who'd eaten there, cookie tins shaped like 1950s Art Deco diners and children's artwork. Surprisingly, there weren't yet too many customers:

I turned off the flash on my camera so as not to cause a disturbance and sheepishly began snapping pictures:

I set the self-timer feature and tried to snap my own picture, but every attempt failed. So I simply held my tiny camera at arm's length and pushed the button:

I wasn't in the mood to make any difficult decisions, so I just ordered the "Mad Eggs" which I'd read on the internet were really good. I got two eggs, each on an English muffin and covered with curried Hollandaise sauce and snipped scallions with a side of home fries. It indeed was very good:

Bill, the cook, had initially lost my order and it took me longer than usual to get served. I kept snapping occasional photos while I ate and more customers kept coming in:

By the time I'd finished my breakfast, the diner was getting pretty full. Most of the customers, it seemed to me, were young families:

I'd intended to have my breakfast and then attend the Unitarian Universalist Church in Albany which began at 10:00. With all the snafus involved with getting breakfast, I never thought I'd make it. But I drove to the church and arrived just as the service began. The Unitarian church is a popular spot with quite a large and active membership. As for me, I'd grown up in fundamentalist churches but had come to despise their reactionary, hate filled rhetoric and politics. Yet I missed the fellowship and spirituality so I'm giving the Unitarian church a try. So far so good. It's a prospering entity, growing by leaps and bounds and keeps adding on to their building. Everything you see in this photo is part of the church facility, including the modern brick and glass structure on the left. They just keep adding to it as they grow. So I made it in time: