The OPEN PAGE is a blog written by teens in Mariposa County, located in the Western Sierra Mountains of Central California. Please include your full name and age with your submission.

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Yale's Trip

By Phil Vigil
Last week Yale got to go to Guide Dogs for the Blind Fun Day in San Rafel. Fun Day is where guide dogs and their raisers get together and do different activities including games, seminars and training. I was not able to attend, but a guide dog leader was willing to take Yale. At Fun Day he met many other dogs and many people. He got to go in many stores and restaurants and also got to ride a ferry across San Francisco Bay. Yale was very relaxed and calm in the Rainforest Cafe and in some stores on Pier 39. He did fine on the ferry ride; he probably didn't even know he was on the water.
In the hotel room he did very well; he just played with his toys the whole time. (When he stayed with me in a hotel room once, he went behind the floor length curtains and look out the window. All you could see was a lump in the curtain with a tail sticking out.) Yale did bark for no reason a few times. This usually happens when he is awakened by a strange noise. We will just have to work this out of him by giving collar corrections. (A collar correction is when we give the dog a quick jerk on the collar.) The only thing he was really scared of on the trip was an escalator. We are not allowed to take guide dogs on them, but I guess seeing it was scary enough.
Yale is still having problems with his ears. They are still a little red, but they seem to be getting better. Our vet says it's systemic and that we should take corn out of his diet. Guide Dogs says to flush the ears and that corn is not causing the problem. We really don't know what to do, so we are trying to sort this all this out.
Photos coming soon!

Friday, July 21, 2006

Picture and Story Contest

You could win a portable TV or other great prize!!!
Do you have a favorite photo or piece of artwork? If so, enter it in the Open Page Picture and Story contest. Submit a favorite drawing, painting or photo and tell us about it in 100 words or less. You can email your picture and story to or submit it to the Mariposa County Library. Be sure to include your name, age, address and phone number. Entries will be judged on quality and originality of the picture and story. You must be a Mariposa County resident between the ages of 12 and 18 to enter. All work must be your own. Entry deadline is July 31, 2006. Grand prize is a 5" portable black and white TV with AM/FM radio. Other prizes include books from the Harry Potter series, $10 Barnes and Noble gift card, and two $5 gift cards from the Mariposa Fruit and Nut Company. Everyone who enters will receive a prize!
(Computer display in photo is not a prize.)

Thursday, July 20, 2006

Yale Update

Yale at two months old.

Last time I wrote about Yale he was having problems walking on a leash. Now he walks perfectly on a training collar around our house. He still does not walk well on sidewalks or in stores on a leash. But we will continue to work until perfection.

Yale now at nine months old.

Google the Earth

By Phil Vigil

In my search for the best free software, I came across an interesting program for Mac and Windows. Google Earth is a free program that lets you view satellite pictures of any place in the world. Some high resolution photos are even in 3D. It's fun to view interesting landmarks from above, like the Eiffel Tower, The Pentagon, the Grand Canyon, New York City and Yosemite.

Google Earth can even map out roads, addresses, and businesses. Google Earth does not work on all computers. You must have a broadband connection and a graphics card. For more information and downloads, go to I recommend downloading the beta version.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Slide Rocks County

The rock slide between Mariposa and Yosemite occurred May 25, 2006. It is currently about 11 football fields in area. Cal Trans is building a temporary bridge that will allow a small amount of traffic to pass through on Incline Road on the opposite bank of the Merced River. Bridge construction began around the beginning of July. Watch for the story next week on the impact the slide has had on teens in the area.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

Get on Track--Buy a Mac

By Phil Vigil
I have been a Windows user all my life: I never even considered using a Mac. The main reason was that Macs were never very popular and far too expensive for me. But, after using a Mac for about a month, I knew I would never buy another Windows-based PC! I like Macs better because they rarely get viruses and they run almost perfectly without crashing.

Apple Computer really started to make an impression in 1998 with the release of the iMac. The iMac was the top selling computer in the U.S. with a record of 800,000 units sold in one year. In 2001 OS X came out with cool 3D effects and a modern design that really brought Macs out into the open. By 2004, the iMac, PowerBook, and iBook had been released.

For those trying to save money, Apple has now made it quite easy with the new Mac Mini with Intel. The Mini is less than six inches wide and starts at just $599. (You must buy display, keyboard and mouse separately.)

You can also buy the new iMac with Intel. The whole computer is the size of a 17” or 20” display. If you want a desktop computer with a lot more power, you will want to buy the PowerMac G5. Like the Mac mini, you will have to purchase a display, keyboard and mouse separately.

If desktop computers are not your thing and you’re leaning toward a notebook, don’t worry–Apple has a fine selection of quality laptops. The newest addition to the Apple product line is the MacBook with Intel Core Duo. The MacBook starts with a double 1.83 processor, 512MB memory, and 60GB hard drive for only $1,099. The MacBook Pro features an aluminum case, MagSafe power adaptor, backlit keyboard, and built-in iSight.

If you’re a Windows user, you will have no problems switching to a Mac. Macs are compatible with many more types of hardware than Windows computers are, and Macs have their own version of Microsoft Office. If you have Windows programs or games that you want to run on your Mac, you can download a free version of Boot Camp Beta. Boot Camp allows you to run an entire Windows operating system on your Mac.

For more info on Apple Products go to

For more info on Mac games go to

For the best prices on Macs go to

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