Legal Disclaimer

The opinions stated here in this ‘blog or elsewhere on my web site are my own. Any or all facts (real or imagined) are typically presented from my personal point of view. Furthermore these facts and opinions do not necessarily represent or even agree with those of my family, my employer, the US Government, any other organization, or entity (real or imagined). Any similarity (real or imagined) to other individuals, animals, places, items or concepts is purely coincidental.


Keep Our Elephants at the LA Zoo! 

Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa --

    I grew up visiting the LA Zoo on a regular basis and always loved seeing the
elephants.  Seeing large mammals, like the elephants, in the flesh are critical for the area's youngest citizens to develop an understanding of real animals. Seeing elephants on TV or in the movies isn't enough. They have to be seen, heard and and even smelled. 

    While the
LA Zoo's elephants and keepers have faced some very serious challenges in the recent past, I believe that the City should support GLAZA in making any necessary changes at the LA Zoo so that our elephants can lead long, healthy, happy and productive lives educating the future citizens of Los Angeles for generations to come.

Thank you,

    Tom Sayles


100th Post 

Blogger says that this is the 100th post to TomS Words of Wisdom.

Mom started Blogging! 

I'm not sure if my mom is really a geek or if blogging has really gone mainstream. Either way she's started a blog called "I've Noticed" all on her own. When I pointed out that she had used the same tools, aka Blogger, that I had tried to get her to use to manage a few pages called "Carol's Contemplations & Conversations" on my Dad's hosting account, she went wild and is posting stuff faster then I've had time to read.

I guess my mom found her online voice.

Love and hugs to her.


Having fun at Nationals 

So far all is well at nationals. I've been having fun catching up with many friends in the vaulting community including several coaches and vaulters from Region IX (the East Coast). More info is on the Cascade Vaulters web site.


Trip to Nationals 

Hauling with Tammy is always an adventure.

After a delay of three days we finally got on the road Thursday morning about 10:00 AM. Unfortunately we didn't have any vaulters that were able to make the trip with us. In addition to Tammy and I in the truck, back in the trailer were Money, Lady, Cali, Logan and Days loaded in a combination of stock and shoot styles. We were transporting Money to Denver for Ded Dyer (one of the coaches / trainers I knew from my days on the east coast) Lady and Cali are the two vaulting horses that we're using in competition at Nationals. Logan and Days are both curlies from Tammy's breading program that we were bring to new owners in Colorado.

Cali was a bit restless and didn't seem to be pleased about the prospect of a long trip and about being stuffed with four other horses in the trailer. So she kicked a bit as we started out. Everyone seemed to be fine when we made a quick stop at the top of Snoqualmie Pass. But when we stopped for fuel in Cle Elum, we found that Cali had been beating on the back door and that she had bent the hinges on the door by three inchs or more. Worse yet I noticed that she had also kicked poor Logan several times and that he was bleeding. After a brief discussion with a local person we found an empty parking lot where we could unload the horses and rearrange the partitions so that Cali couldn't kick the door or other horses. This operation required removing all the horses from the trailer. We also took time to clean up Logan's wounds as best we could, none of which looked life threatening. We also knew that there was an equine vet next door to our horse hotel in Deer Lodge, MT so we made plans to have Logan checked out the next morning.

The new partition configuration seemed to work out and all the horses seemed to settle down for the rest of drive to Deer Lodge. We stopped several times to check on the horses and made sure that they had all the water they were willing to drink.

As we got into Montana we discovered that a section of I-90 between exit 33 [SR-135] and Missoula was closed due to a forest fire. This meant that we had to follow a detour around the fire that added about an hour to our travel time. We also lost an hour to the time zone change from pacific Time to mountain Time. We pulled into the Mountian View Arena about 1:30 Friday morning. It took us a little over an hour to get the stalls set up and the horses unloaded, fed. etc. It took us about another forty minutes to again clean up Logan's wounds and to walk him to helpreduce the swelling. We were relieved to find that despite his injuries Logan seemed to be walking well. We finally made it to the Motel 8 and got bedded down by 3:00 AM.

We slept for about six hours before checking out and returning to the barn. We found out that the Vet was waiting for us before heading out on his rounds, so our first task was to walk Logan around to the back door of Valley Veterinary Clinic. The vet reaffirmed our initial assessment of the injures and recommended a couple of additional treatments to help reduce the swelling and manage the pain. He also gave Logan a tetanus booster and sold Tammy some supplies, including those we needed to treat Logan, at very good prices.

After the vet visit we walked Logan some more and finally got some breakfast (at about noon). We returned to the barn, worked the vaulting horses a little and again walked Logan, this time on a lunge line. During this session he was obviously feeling better and he even volunteered some trot. We then loaded up the gear and horses, getting back on the interstate about 2:30 PM.

On our way to Sheridan, WY, we made only a few quick stops, but were slowed down by some rough roads. It was 11:30 PM when we pulled into the B&B that also serves as a horse hotel. We ended up putting in nearly an hour of stall preparations before we could unload all the horses, and another hour to treat Logan's injuries and get a the horses fed for the night. So it was nearly 1:30 AM Saturday by the time we got to sleep.

We got up and had breakfast about 8:30 AM. After breakfast we treated Login's injuries and I walked him as Tammy loaded the various buckets and hay bags back in the trailer. We got back on the road about 10:00 AM. Due to some construction we missed the turn off to I-25 and ended up going through Gillette before turning south. This added an hour to out drive time so we opted to eat lunch on the go rather than stop for any longer then it took to refuel and check on the horses. We pulled into Jodi's place, Atlantis Farm, in Ft. Lupton CO about 7:30 PM interrupting the Mile High Vaulters practice.


Watch the Cascade Vaulters Website 

I'll be making posts both here and on the Cascade Vaulters website while I'm on the road and at Nationals. So you'll want to watch both sites for the latest info.


Nationals Departure Update 

The latest on Tamea's truck is that the parts arrived mid-day today [Teus.] and the work should be finished mid-day tomorrow [Wed.]. However we still have to get the truck from Sumner to Lakebay and load gear, hay and horses; and then drive truck and trailer back to Buckley to load more gear and Cali. Trying to do all this on Wednesday afternoon would get us on the road too late to make Dear Lodge, MT Wednesday night. So the plan is to leave Thursday morning, hauling out of Lakebay about 8:00 AM and out of Buckley as soon there after as bridge traffic and loading time permits. [About 9:30 or 10 AM?]

Also Bonnie's farrier John was able to put Cali's thrown shoe back on. So she should be good until we get back from nationals, when she'll need to be checked again.


Nationals Departure Update 

The latest from Tamea is that the parts for the truck should arrive late afternoon / early evening on Tuesday, and the truck should be ready Wednesday evening. Which means that we'll be hauling out no earlier then Thursday morning. Thus arriving in Colorado Saturday evening.

As if the truck problems weren't enough, Cali also threw a shoe. Tamea and Bonnie are working to get this fixed ASAP. Cali went just fine this morning for two rounds of team style compulsories, four individual freestyles and a standing contest in only three shoes. [Danielle stood at canter for over 100 strides and Sandy stood for over 75 canter strides.]