Aerial Pooches

 

Bernese

Julia Christe is an accomplished German photographer who has shown her works all across Europe and North America.

She lives and works in Berlin.

I recently came across a recent collection of her work that focuses on flying dogs.

Or perhaps dogs tossed into the air or dropped from heights.

Anyway, aerial dogs out of their natural element.

 

Afghan

I admire the photography even as I wonder if the pups were perhaps stressed unduly.

There’s a little too much “whale eye,” in the pics; the expression dogs get when subjected to unpleasant stimuli.

Strange forms and expressions. Some funny and some bothersome, but certainly unique.

If you’d like to see the rest of the image gallery, visit Christe’s website.

If the images disturb you, go yell at her, not me.

Here’s a photo I took of Max in the style of Julia Christe. You have to use your imagination. Pretend you don’t see the guy in the back.

Don't drop me.

Don’t drop me.

Posted in Max's Stories | 16 Comments

Flying Boats and Rolling Sweet Potatoes

I'm ready to go, Dad.

I’m ready to go, Dad.

Today, Max’s adventure took us to Pu’u Ohia, better known as Mount Tantalus.

It’s a lushly wooded, extinct volcanic cinder cone that was part of the immense Ko’olau Volcano that formed the southeastern part of our island of Oahu.

Tantalus was named in 1840 by kids from Punahou School while on a field trip.

Today's destination was close to home. We look at Mount Tantalus from our living room window.

Today’s destination was close to home. We look at Mount Tantalus from our living room window.

Even now this elite school, President Obama’s alma mater, is where the smart, and/or rich, and/or lucky, kids go.

Not content with naming a Hawaiian cinder cone after a Greek dude, the Punahou kids proceeded to name the adjacent mountains and hills “Olympus”, “Round Top” and “Sugarloaf”.

Smart/rich/lucky, yes, but these privileged spawn were not paragons of cultural sensitivity and the mountain naming trip was a grim day for Hawaiian nomenclature.

The road up the Mount Tantalus. A winding two lanes with many switchbacks.

The road up the Mount Tantalus. A winding two lanes with many switchbacks.

The mythological Tantalus was a bad boy who committed a cornucopia of crimes depending on which version of his story you read.

Cannibalism, murder, and the flagrant promotion of Internet Explorer were all on his list of misdeeds.

Of all his unforgiveable transgressions, my favorite, because it ties into this blog’s theme, is that he stole a gold dog statue that was intended as a gift for the baby Zeus.

His punishment was to stand in a pool of water beneath a fruit tree with low branches. Whenever he reached for the fruit, the branches went up. Whenever he bent down to get a drink, the water went down. Bummer.

Cruel tantalizing. The cookie is on the wrong side of the glass table.

Cruel tantalizing. The cookie is on the wrong side of the glass table.

Thus Tantalus evolved to the English verb “tantalize”, the proverbial word for temptation without satisfaction.

Sort of like passing a microbrewery on the one day it is closed for renovations.

Or seeing Kim Kardashian’s latest photo spread when you don’t have a paddle.

But I digress.

As mounts go, it’s not very tall, rising to only 2,014 feet in America and only 614 meters in the rest of the world. It has long been a popular retreat for Honolulu dwellers seeking cooler temperatures, a rain forest-like atmosphere and great views.

The Kawanishi H8K was an Imperial Japanese Navy flying boat used during World War II for maritime patrol duties. The Allies called it an "Emily".

The Kawanishi H8K was an Imperial Japanese Navy flying boat used during World War II for maritime patrol duties. The Allies called it an “Emily”.

During World War II, the US Army manned an artillery control station on Tantalus.

Not many folks know that the southern slope of the cinder cone was bombed by two Japanese Flying Boats during their failed second attack on Oahu (the first one was Pearl Harbor) on March 4, 1942.

If you never heard of this second attack, by all means click this link for a short recap of Operation K, a near text book example of what the Japanese have come to call “Murphy-san’s Law.”

There are numerous hiking trails on Mount Tantalus including a six mile loop trail that meanders through a forest of aromatic eucalyptus, guava, myrtle, shower trees, monkeypod, jacaranda and vast swaths of stag-horn ferns.

The giant 'Ape plant is related to and resembles, a taro plant on steroids.

The giant ‘Ape plant is related to and resembles, a taro plant on steroids. Malt added for scale.

The hill is also popular with death-defying skateboarders, indefatigable bicyclists and joggers seeking a personal understanding of the term “myocardial infarction.”

The first home on Tantalus was built in 1880 and due to the challenging terrain, electricity was not available until the 1920′s, some 30 years after the bulk of Honolulu had service.

Although it is only 3 miles from downtown Honolulu, this misty and rugged area has no public water or sewer connection.

The Malt at a roadside stop overlooking Manoa Valley, home of the University of Hawaii.

The Malt at a roadside stop overlooking Manoa Valley, home of the University of Hawaii.

Instead, they rely on catchment systems to collect nightly rainfall and septic tanks or cesspools for waste disposal.

There are now about 150 private homes on the mountain and they will set you back from about $900,000 for a hovel to about $1,500,000 for a mere fixer-upper. To get a nice, move-in ready place will add another $1 – $2 million. Oh well, the lots are big by Hawaii standards.

The AJF and the Malt prowl along Makiki Stream.

The AJF and the Malt prowl along Makiki Stream.

There is a small State Park about halfway up Round Top Drive named Pu’u Ualaka’a.

It’s a wonderful spot to view the city of Honolulu and most all of the south shore of the island.

According to the local tale, Pu’u Ualaka’a means “hill of the rolling sweet potatoes.”

The short walk at Pu'u Ualaka'a ends at this little pavilion overlooking Honolulu.

The short walk at Pu’u Ualaka’a ends at this little pavilion overlooking Honolulu.

It was named by Kamehameha I who ordered sweet potatoes to be planted on the slopes. When they were dug up, they rolled down the hill.

Kamehameha I was a literal kind of guy when it came to place names.

He pretty much sucked at farming, too.

Dogs are not permitted at Pu’u Ualaka’a.

However, keeping with the spirit of Tantalus, we went rogue and simply ignored the signs, broke the law and thereby risked a future of standing in duplicitous water under malevolent fruit trees just so the Malt might experience the sights.

A hazy day die to "Vog" which is produced by the Kilauea volcano.

View from Pu’u Ualaka’a lookout. A hazy day due to “Vog” which is produced by the Kilauea volcano.

The road to the top of Mount Tantalus connects to the adjacent hill called Round Top so most folks make the drive into a loop.

There are numerous spots to stop along the road and a night drive to admire the city lights is a popular activity.

Younger folk will stop at the turn-outs for long periods of time to watch the nightly offshore submarine races, an activity which curiously fogs car windows.

Earpod tree

There’s a little park in the Ualaka’a area that has an enormous Earpod Tree. Max lifted a leg, I merely posed.

On the lower slopes of Tantalus is the neighborhood of Papakolea, home to the largest concentration of Native Hawaiians in urban Honolulu.

In Papakolea, eighty-five percent of residents are full or part-Hawaiian.

To complete our loop we drove past a mini-park that has a giant earpod tree and we let the Malt get out and stretch his short legs.

All too soon we were home with Max sitting by the condo window, gazing up at the site of his most recent adventure and dreaming of the smell of rolling sweet potatoes in the morning.

When can we go exploring again?

When can we go exploring again?

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Maltese Morning Coming Down

"I woke up Sunday morning with no way to hold my head it didn't hurt."

“I woke up Sunday morning with no way to hold my head it didn’t hurt. And the beer I had for breakfast wasn’t bad, so I had one more for dessert.”

The day started out rough for the Malt.

He had stayed up late savaging his toy hedgehog “Hedgie” and playing chase me – chase you.

He should have known that after a wild night comes a morning of remorse and bad photographs.

Looking bad, Max. Feeling bad, Dad.

 

Ready to face his many fans and dodge paparazzi.

Ready to face his many fans and dodge paparazzi.

However, a full day was planned so there was no time for coddling.

Perhaps sunglasses, the preferred disguise of the stars, would work equally well for the Pupperoni.

Time to hit the K Streets, perform the morning constitutional and head out in pursuit of the the strange and amazing.

It didn’t take long to find something strange. Well, it seems strange to me but maybe you folks can figure out Korean videos.

Does anyone in this poster look remotely like he or she was in love? You could sell hemorrhoid cream with these expressions.

Does anyone in this poster look remotely like he or she is in love? You could sell hemorrhoid cream with these expressions. I guess love needs more discovery.

For example, look at this movie poster for a TV series called “Discovery of Love” and see if you can discover anything happy or loving in it.

The description doesn’t help much:

“Han Yeo-Reum (Jung Yu-Mi) is in love with her boyfriend, but her ex-boyfriend, Kang Tae-Ha (Eric), who realizes his faults appears in front of her.”

Thanks for nothing.

I’d peg it as a collection of very unhappy Korean youth but maybe their reaction to love is an odd cultural thing like on Futa Futa Island where if someone gives you an ice cream cone you are expected to scream filthy imprecations at them. OK, I made up that last part.

Whatever you do, don't turn around and walk away because then you're not surrounded anymore.

Whatever you do, don’t turn around and walk away because then you’re not surrounded anymore.

Or how about this poster  for a K-Flick called “You Are All Surrounded.”

Now, how can these people surround anything if they are all clumped together as if in an invisible elevator?

I mean, really, you could escape these twenty-something crime fighters simply by walking in any direction other than straight ahead.

I suppose the girl with the bullhorn would yell at you. “Stop, Gangnam style!” But I digress.

Nanako-san accepts the deposit of a Malt with an irritated disposition. That's OK, Max, just wait until she expresses your glands, you'll love that.

Nanako-san accepts the deposit of a Malt with an irritated disposition. That’s OK, Max, just wait until she expresses your glands, you’ll love that.

Max had an appointment scheduled at The Beauty Salon for Doggies so we couldn’t linger at the Korean video store whose catchy name is Jip Hyun Jon.

Jip Hyun Jon. Say that 3x fast while eating peanut butter and saltines. Worse than Beteljuice.

Anyway, I’ve mentioned the lovely Miss Nanako, proprietress of the salon, in previous posts.

She is Max’s wonderful groomer and an all around delightful person. That probably accounts for her mutt salon getting five star ratings from Yelp and everyone else.

OK, Max, you are up next.

OK, Max, you are up next.

I never posted a snapshot before because she is notoriously camera-shy, even in her lair.

This time I was determined to get photos of her and her canine clean-up emporium.

Inside the Beauty Salon for Doggies. Nanko-san's assistants were hard at work on demanding customers.

Inside the Beauty Salon for Doggies. Nanako-san’s assistants were hard at work on demanding customers.

Nanako-san delivers the completed Malt.

Nanako-san delivers the completed Malt.

Max loves Nanako-san but he hates the grooming process. He is literally shaking by the time we hand him over for his ordeal.

It was a busy day at the shop. Shown here are a couple of well behaved customers, a smiling Shih-Tzu and a small pretty poodle.

The staff of three are always busy and appointments must be schedule three weeks in advance, longer at holiday times.

His official haircut portrait. Ripped and ready for the holiday season.

His official haircut portrait by Miss Nanako. Ripped and ready for the holiday season.

While Max was getting trimmed the AJF and I attended to numerous errands.

We left him there for about 2 hours, just long enough for him to work up a major head of steam and fury.

By the end of that time, he had been spiffed up, had his oil changed, tires rotated and was prepped for our Thanksgiving Holiday, coming up in a few weeks.

Looking good, Max. Feeling mean, Dad.

Miss Nanako always takes a post-haircut photo for her clients.

She can get Max to look at the camera which is not easy to do as he is a master of evasion.

Max had, as usual, developed a massive case of bad attitude and therefore spent most of the afternoon sulking behind my chair.

I call it the “Maltese Look of Death”.

You know what I like about all this? Nothing at all.

Q: You know what I like about all this?
A: Nothing at all.

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Dogs at McDonalds

The video link in the re-blog I posted earlier just refused to co-operate so I deleted the post and, instead, linked the video directly from YouTube.

It’s such a funny little scene of two dogs enjoying a vanilla cone at McDonalds. Max loves Mickey D cones, so much so that we have a term – “Cone Face” – to describe his look when he munches that tasty, crispy ice cream handling device called a cone.

Anyway, sorry for the multiple re-blogs but this one made me laugh out loud and I hope you enjoy it.

(Aside to Kyla, I’m sorry I lost your comment when I edited this but the blank video screen was driving me crazy.)

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A Dogs’ Worst Nightmare

Originally posted on LolOlDay:

dogs worst nightmare

2 of dogs enemies at once. poor thing :(

View original

Posted in Max's Stories | 12 Comments

Kiku-chan & The Latvian Connection

"My first birthday and I already feel like I'm 7 years old."

“My first birthday and I already feel like I’m 7 years old.”

Quick update on our favorite little Yorkie, Miss Kiku.

You’ll remember from our last post that Kiku-chan had just embarked on her professional career in the cut throat world of dog shows. The Octagon. Thunderdome.

It takes 15 points to achieve champion status and as of this writing, the little furball has captured 10 points putting her 66.666666% of the way to her goal.

This is the time when the going gets tough because other competitive breeders bring out the long knives and connive ways to game the system by limiting the head to head competitions and showings needed to get those elusive last few points. Good luck, Kiku!

How can you resist that face?

How can you resist that face?

More fun is the news that Kiku just celebrated her first birthday on October 28th. Her many friends nearly crashed Facebook with photo postings of the day.

These photos were taken by Kiku-chan’s Mom at our condo.

The red jeweled bow in her hair came from Latvia just like Mikhail Barishnikov.

Now for your mandatory dose of culture. Today’s lessons, kids, are about the tiny nation of Latvia.

Fancy bows for a  pretty lady Fluff. Mom spares no expense.

Fancy bows for a pretty lady Fluff. Mom spares no expense.

Latvia is called “the singing nation”. It is unusual to find a Latvian who has not sung in a choir or some other group at some point in their life.

When dining in Latvia, napkins should be left on the table and not put in your lap.

Latvians are slow to pay compliments and may become suspicious of compliments offered too readily and without sufficient reason.

Had enough? OK.

One last item: aside from jeweled dog ornaments, Latvia is also known for its Annual Grass Mowing Contest. You think I’m joking, right? Go ahead and give it a click:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ns2Hbbw3RQE

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Max Visits Valhalla on Halloween

Max dressed for Halloween.

Max, aka Ragnar the Malt.

The dogs of the Viking Age were both working animals and beloved companions.

That’s quite unlike your common or garden variety Maltese who has never done a lick of work in his life.

We know Viking dogs were considered devoted friends because they were frequently buried along side their masters.

Ancient runestones show Viking warriors entering Valhalla and being greeted by a Valkyrie with a horn full of mead while the warrior’s faithful hound waits patiently nearby, no doubt hoping for a chunk of wild boar jerky.

The Norse afterlife was not complete without the pooch.

Frigga, Odin's main squeeze with her dog chariot.

Frigga, Odin’s main squeeze with her dog chariot.

Frigga, wife of Odin and goddess of marriage and fidelity, was believed to travel in a chariot drawn by a pack of dogs, perfect symbols of fidelity and faithfulness.

Yes, with a wife named Frigga, the jokes just write themselves. Behave yourselves.

Dogs did not play a big role in The Vikings, the 1958 “Norse Opera” that was a big box office hit starring Kirk Douglas, Janet Leigh, and Tony Curtis . If you haven’t seen the flick, follow Kirk Douglas’ advice and keep an eye out for it.

They had really, really small boats back then.

They had really, really small boats back then.

Despite a paucity of canines, the movie taught us much about Viking feasting and bad table manners fueled by copious quantities of mead and an occasional monster-sized turkey leg.

Viking Feast

Good times and pass the mead.

Who could forget Ernest Borgnine as the fearsome Ragnar?

Well, I forgot, but here’s a little factoid you probably don’t know: Ernest Borgnine played Ragnar, the father of Einar, played by Kirk Douglas but in real life Borgnine was born almost two months after Douglas.

Other famous Vikings include those that hail from Minnesota. They include a group of Valkyries known for their, um, pom poms. Yeah, that’s it.

Famous Vikings from the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

Famous Vikings from the Land of 10,000 Lakes.

The movie also made the Viking funeral a familiar meme, replete with flaming arrows that set the longship on fire as friends and neighbors cry out “Odin!”

I requested this kind of funeral in my Last Will and Testament.

If you hear of a flaming ship off Waikiki and a bunch of guys kicking back in the sand and quaffing mead, you’ll know I have passed to Valhalla and I’m probably already scamming on my Valkyrie.

There is absolutely no justification for putting a Viking helmet on our long suffering Malt. One daughter begged us not to embarrass Max with a costume so of course we lied to put her at ease. Sorry, hon, it was a random act of dog abuse.

Max did not want to cooperate so we had a discussion. I kid - I'm not really choking his lights pout.

Max did not want to cooperate so we had a discussion. I kid – I’m not really choking his lights out.

As to choice of costumes, well, we are not the most imaginative of couples. I mean, we named the pupster “Max” which is the most common dog name in America. I guess that is better the second choice “Tofu” but it’s not imaginative.

The AJF mocked my hat but then was spotted wearing it.

The AJF mocked my hat but then was spotted wearing it.

So when it came to Halloween we opted for the lowest common denominator of dog outfits – the Viking hat.

See, he survived with damage only to his pride.

See, he survived with damage only to his pride.

The AJF calls this a case of father-son silliness. She doesn’t realize Max and I fully intend to go out in public like this and try to cadge some free candy.

After stressful photo shoot, the Malt plays in Valhalla. Actually Hawaii Kai but close enough.

After stressful photo shoot, the Malt plays in Valhalla. Actually Hawaii Kai but close enough.

 

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