Wednesday, December 17, 2008

I have a new niece!

Layla Dawn was born this morning at 3:45am. Coming in at 7 lbs., 14 oz., she has a chubby little angelic face.

More info soon!

D

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

more stuff...

....but I don't mean "stuff" this time, I mean what's been going on.

I got my hair colored. All the ends look like they're haloed in candy apple red. It's actually quite fitting for the season! Faith threw some short layers in there and cut off about 3 inches in the back so it's still long. You probably wouldn't even be able to tell.

Thanksgiving was good. I cooked some of the veggies so we were ready to go before the turkey was done. We had a good time and my very pregnant sister sat there and looked very pregnant. :)

Right after Thanksgiving dinner I came home and demolished the shower walls. A previous home owner cemented this laminated board stuff over the tiles in the shower area. I don't like pink either, but I don't think I would've gotten rid of it that way. So, I ripped it all off. I love demolition!!

My b-i-l ripped down the wall board behind the tile because it was regular blue board and not cement board like it should've been. He replaced it with cement board and then completely tiled the shower area in white. I can't even begin to describe how much better it looks now.

I've had a lot of stuff going on in the house. The bookcase, which has been done for a while, is now shellacked and full of books. Not surprisingly, there isn't enough room for all that I have. I now have a closet closing off the drop to the cellar stairs that is, I think, completely finished. I'm not sure if he has some sanding left to do but eventually I'll have to paint it and then I can hang stuff in there. The wainscoting is up in the bathroom and it looks really good. I have to fill in the nail holes and paint the trim, but that's pretty much done. Next week the kitchen window is being replaced and the living room threshold installed.

I'm rearranging the living room because apparently I can't just do one thing at a time. Yesterday Susan said I couldn't sit still and I thought she was crazy. I love doing nothing on the couch! Apparently she's right tho'. Dammit.

I went to Montreal for a flyball tournament last weekend. Tweak ended up having the squirts Friday night so Jo & I got 2 1/2 hours of sleep because of it. That sucked. There were a number of things wrong with the venue, like the potty area being so far away the dogs couldn't make it and ended up peeing on the floor. Twice I had to pick up Freddie and hold him like a baby to stop him from pooping. Freddie is a housebroken dog, he doesn't just poop anywhere. Suffice it to say we survived the weekend, barely and were thankful to get on the road around 5pm. I hit a snow/ice/sleet storm on the way home and my 4 hour drive ended up taking 6 1/2 hours. The weekend started out wonderfully too as I had forgotten the dogs rabies certificates and had to turn around when I was 1/2 hour away from home. Then I couldn't find them, had to have the vet fax them to me, had to figure out how to hook up the stupid printer that does faxing, etc., etc.
Freddie was 653 points away from his next title and we were 30 short so he didn't get it. There were just so many things....

I don't think I have anything going on this weekend but practice, which will be nice. I plan on catching up with Tivo the next couple of nights since it has been severly neglected the last couple of weeks. I need to make another appt. to take Tweak herding sometime when it isn't cold enough to freeze my girls off. And, as always, I have lots of cleaning to do. Lots. Tons. Ugh.

D

"stuff"

I've been re-arranging things in the office (for the business) and the living room (because I'm stupid). I got rid of one of the bookcases in the office, the other I'll use for supplies. I gave away a ton of books through Freecycle (the best way to get rid of good "stuff" ever invented) and moved everything I wanted to keep into the new bookcase in the living room.

First I should mention that I'm a piler. When I have "stuff" and I don't know what to do with it, I put it in a pile. Piles of piles everywhere. I don't know how to get out of that really crappy habit so I'm forever surrounded by piles of "stuff".

While cleaning out the bookcase, I found a couple of... wait for it... piles. I started going through the piles and made 4 piles out of them ('cuz that's what you do when you're a piler...) - recycle, throw away, put away & examine further. I dealt with the first 3 and went back to the 4th. I found 3 old address/date books. I wondered why the heck I kept them since I'm sure none of the numbers are good anymore. One of them was so old it didn't have area codes. (Remember when we didn't have to dial an area code for the same city?)

I started looking through them and remembered why I never threw them away - memories. Looking back through some of the names, I was remembering the people and wondering how they're doing. Some of them I still know and still talk to, most, however, I don't.

I found a datebook from 2000. If you asked me what I did in 2000 I'd look at you with a blank stare. How the hell would I, who has the worst memory in the world, remember anything about the year 2000? That's why I kept them.

I was dating John in the beginning of 2000 but apparently we broke up that year because I started dating Jim in August. Glen & Elissa's annual BBQ was on August 27th that year. Mario & Cathy had a BBQ on May 28th. Glen & Elissa were married on June 3rd. I saw Kiss in concert on June 13th - 2nd row center seats baby - that rocked! I saw Ichabod and Tree on September 22nd. Every week there was something written - some band I saw, a night out with the girls, even what days I worked.

I rescued and placed the following dogs: Rhythym, Blues, Petie, Zeek, Max, Freddy (not my Freddie), Regis, Roxy, Captain, Duke Nuken, Ludo, Duke, Dino, Spanky, Lady, Tramp, Rex, Shelby, Seven, Bao Bao, Joey, Willy, Dallas, Sadie, Tilly, Mr. Peabody, Rosie, Mork, Mindy, Thor, Baby, Honey, Lucky, Frasier, Buzz, Pixie, Dixie, Scotty, Gracie, Janey, Sundance, Kid, Elvis, Dudley, Lucy and Max.

I don't have a place for these things but I guess I'll have to make one. Memories are kind of cool so I guess not all "stuff" is bad.

D

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

blogging...

As I attempt to type, I have a Border Collie gently rubbing her face against mine. She's so damn sweet that my heart swells when she comes near me. I love her dearly, but she makes a far better door than a window.

I'm going to the salon tomorrow so I can get my hair done in a funky cool way. I have 5 different shades of red so we'll see what we come up with. Now I just have to figure out how to get it cut. To chop or not to chop, that is the question.

I'm working from home before and after my appointment. Typically I'm ridiculously productive while working from home. There isn't any of that wink, wink, nudge, nudge type of working from home either. I mean, it's the real deal, typically. But, I think tomorrow isn't going to be as productive as I am normally. I have a ton of stuff to do and I'm running out of time. I'm hoping to get some stuff done, like boil some of the veggies and bake an apple pie. I also have to get stuff together for the weekend, which I can do after turkey day.

For turkey day I'll be heading to my sister's house where Iyman & Keith will cook the turkey and Dad & I will make everything else. It's low key and a good time, just my kind of day. I have to remember to bring Scene It so we can play that at some point... as long as my very pregnant sister is still awake that is.

I'm exhausted and going to bed.

D

Monday, November 24, 2008

draggin' ass...

Man am I tired today. I feel like I could go to sleep, for the night, right now. That's never a good thing at 3pm.

So real quick 'cuz I'm not all chatty right now, Tweak did so much better than I was expecting at her herding lesson on Saturday. I doubt she'll ever be phenomenal at it but she's trainable and if she enjoys it, we'll do it. Sarah can speak to the details using all the right jargon about eyes and whatever else. She got to meet sheep, circle the herd a bit and eat sheep poop. In a dog's world, it doesn't get much better than that I suppose. The rest of the kids were in the car and unable to partake in the sheep poop. Oh well.

I got down to Joisey around 8:30 or so Sat night, ate dinner with Kara, Erich & Miyuki, had a couple of brewskies, walked the pups and went to bed. Thrilling stuff.

Competed on Sunday - didn't expect to walk away with anything to be honest. We came home with a 3rd place in Spot Landing, 3rd place in D/A, 2nd place in Time Trial and an overall 2nd place in Time Trial for the weekend. I thought it was pretty cool that we were faster than all of Saturday's times and took it for overall. We got a pretty medal thing for that one.

Back to work so I can blow this popsicle stand sometime tonight.

D

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

hump day...

The seasons are changing and I am anxious for a change as well. I feel restless deep down but have no idea why or what to do about it. Maybe it's because I was on the go for the entire summer and now that fall is here things are slowing down a bit. That could be it. Regardless I'm itching for change.

So, I'm going in to get my hair done next week. It will be wild and vibrant and different. I'm looking for a new hair style too so if you see any that you'd think would be good for me, send it along! I'm kind of limited since I still want it long but I think it will be considerably shorter after next week. I'm really in the mood for change. I'm hoping chopping it off and coloring it will sate the unexplainable itch - it has in the past....

I'm going away with the pups this weekend and next. This weekend I'll be in CT on Saturday for Tweak's first herding lesson. I think that will be very interesting! She herds the Min Pins around the house but usually barks like an ass when she sees a strange animal. I don't know how much herding instinct she has or if it will override her bark-at-them-and-run thing. I can't wait!! Sarah's meeting me down there too I'll be able to see what her dogs too. Oh! And I'll get to meet Tweak's sire! I totally forgot about that. Cool. :)

After we're done herding, I'm driving down to NJ. I'm staying with Kara & Erich at their place on Saturday night and will head to the Meadowlands Pet Expo in Secaucus, NJ for a disc dog competition on Sunday. Unfortunately I'll have a long ride home but ah well. It'll be fun. :)

Next Wed is hair day and Thurs is Thanksgiving. The new tradition is for me and my dad to cook everything over my sister's house while her husband and my brother fry the turkey. I'm going to try and get as much done as I can beforehand so it's not such a rush at the end. Thursday night and Friday morning I plan on demo'ing the shower so my b-i-l can replace the tile. Every piece of tile in the house is pink or maroon and I'm determined to rid myself of every single on of them. After that, I'll pack up the car with stuff and dogs and head up to Montreal for a flyball tournament. I'm looking forward to it! I think I'm going through withdrawals or something it's been so long!

D

Saturday, November 15, 2008

pictures...

The summer is such a blur to me that I don't remember what I've posted for pictures during that time. I was looking through them tonight to pull some out for a friend when I noticed a couple of cool ones and thought I'd share.



This isn't a particularly good flower picture but it looks like it is crying. I can't believe I missed this one before. Kinda neat.



Look at the color of this flower. I want my hair that color next time. Amazing.



These are my chive flowers. Pretty for an herb!



You can see how neglected my garden got this summer when I wasn't there by the plethora of green weeds in the background. But good lord, would you look at the color of this flower?! I want my hair *that* color!!!!


Early morning, a dragonfly sunning itself on the screen house. I don't know why I like these bugs but I do - enough to have a tattoo of one anyway.

I didn't take as many pictures this year as I have in the past. I'll have to rectify that next year...

D

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Having that feeling again...

...that not-quite-normal-feeling because I don't have the kid thing going on. Every once in a while it rears its ugly head and I have to talk myself out of feeling defective. I know I'm not, or at least my brain/mind knows I'm not. But times like this make me wonder. Where the fuck does this feeling come from?

I like my friend's kids. I like my nephew and soon-to-be niece. But I only like them if they behave. I'm not a fan of the out of control, won't listen to no one, do whatever they want, have no care in the world, never had a consequence in his/her life type of kids. I dislike the little assholes and I'm not afraid to say it.

Basically, I don't like them if they act like me. :p I'm just kidding. Trust me when I say I've learned what consequences are. The hard way. Each time.

I'll get over it, I always do.

And I won't give a flying that my profile pictures always have dogs in them. I'll remember that that's something to be thankful for. That I won't have a little snot back talking to me. Nor will they sneak out of the house, steal the family car, drink when they're too young or do drugs, waste their college education and not take care of me in my old age. Instead, I'll have to deal with Millie ripping apart a Bic and having blue paws or picking up the insides of stuffed animals after the poor thing gets shredded or vacuuming. Hmmm... me thinks I'm feeling better already!

I'm not defective, I'm procreatively challenged in the head and I think I'll stay that way. :)

D

Friday, November 7, 2008

It's been a while...

I blame Facebook. It's the biggest time suck you've ever seen. Ridiculous. Stupid eggs.

Just a few quick notes:

Here's a picture of my soon-to-be-puppy and his litter mates. Since there are only 2 males, either the brindle one or one of the solid black ones will be mine. I'll have to go back to that list of names I wrote since I can't remember a single one of them now.


The Dunkin Donuts on 28 closed down the ice cream portion of the store but now has coffee shakes. Oh my goddess are they freakin' yummy. Filling, but yummy.

I got the friggin' deal of the day when I stopped at the pet supply store for a ticked off spoon (Tweak had a nasty bugger on her) and noticed they had a new, unopened Kong Time on the clearance rack for $20. Sha-wing! Yup, that bad boy is mine and Millie will be in heaven once that puppy is up and running.

When there are 9 days left before Linen's & Things closes forever and everything is 50-70% off, do *not*, I repeat, do *NOT* get in any little old lady's way. She'll kick your ass with that cane without a backwards glance.

Freecycle is the best invention known to mankind (right behind the loo). You can get rid of all your good crap without an ounce of guilt. It's like rescue for stuff - you find it a good home where it lives happily ever after. It's a beautiful thing.

Tomorrow is Free Electronics Recycling day at the dump. I'm thrilled since I have a few computers and monitors to get rid of. Now I just have to find the dump. :)

When you coo over my dog and say "She's so cute, I want to give her a hug!", do not be surprised in the least if she obliges you. Quite frankly, she doesn't care that you're wearing white, she just heard you say the word "hug" and she knows what that means. Sorry about that. The husband made me laugh when I said to them "She's friendly", and he replied "So is she", as his wife squatted down to pet her.

Saturday Night Live is a re-run this week - it's the one Millie's in so make sure you set your Tivo!

I put together Skootchie's shadow box tonight. I've had it for 2 years but never got around to it. I pinned a picture of her and three of her toys in it. Now I just have to hang it up, which will take another couple of years.

I saw a button today that said "I'm smiling, that alone should scare you." I. Must. Have. It.

Tomorrow includes the visit to the dump, Facebook, a trip to get dog food, Facebook, more cleaning, more Facebook, closing the pool (I know!) and I'll probably top it off with some Facebook. Stupid eggs.

D

Monday, November 3, 2008

How to Sweep the Floor

At least, this is what it's like at my house...

1. Put all of the dogs outside in the fenced yard
2. Pick up the dog toys
3. Separate the dog toys into 3 piles - intact, skins and trash
4. Pick up the double armful of trashed toys and place them in the trash in the kitchen
5. Let one of the dogs in
6. Chase the lone dog away from the pile of toys
7. When the dog's focus changes from the intact toys to the stuffed animal skins, throw as many of the intact toys as you can in the corner
8. Try to pick up the skins as fast as possible
9. Pick up the skins that were scattered when the dog ran to the back door
10. Let the dog out
11. Continue picking up the remainder of the skins
12. Let another dog in
13. Throw the skins in the trash
14. Watch the dog make a bee line for the pile of intact toys, picking up a dropped skin along the way
15. Watch the intact toys scatter as the dog bowls into them like stacked pins
16. Chase the dog around the house trying to get the skin back
17. Inadvertently play tug of war with the skin until you remember to say "out"
18. Throw the skin in the trash
19. Wonder how the dog can fit 4 toys into its mouth
20. Pick up the intact toys one at a time and toss them in the dog toy bin
21. Laugh in a frustrated kind of way as the dog retrieves every toy you threw
22. Grab the toy in the dog's mouth and lead the dog outside
23. Try to prevent the remaining dogs from getting in the house
24. Count to 10 from your unsuccessful attempt of preventing the dogs from getting in the house
25. Grab a handful of kibble, show the dogs you have it
26. Walk outside and toss the kibble into the grass
27. Remember to bend your legs as they zoom past, .o2 seconds too late
28. Run back into the house and quickly close the door
29. Pick up all of the intact toys, again, and toss them into the dog toy bin
30. Pick up and shake off each one of the 6 dog beds, place them on the couch
31. Kick one of the marrow bones with your slippered foot
32. Curse while dancing around in pain
33. Pick up the marrow bones and gently put them in the bin
34. Run to the back door to stop the loud, out of key, 4 dog serenade
35. Bend your knees, belatedly, again
36. Bellow in pain causing all but one of the dogs to scatter
37. Grab the broom and sweep the big pieces of toy stuffing into a pile
38. Chase the not-so-smart dog away from the stuffing pile
39. Sweep the dust, dirt and hair balls towards the pile that is no longer a pile of toy stuffing
40. Chase the not-so-smart dog away from the stuffing pile that is no longer a pile
41. Remake the toy stuffing pile and the dust, dirt and hair balls pile
42. Combine both piles while shoo'ing the not-so-smart dog away at every turn
43. Move the ottoman
44. Bellow at the not-so-smart dog that just cow-a-bunga'ed into the large pile of stuffing, dirt, dust and hair balls
45. Pick up the not-so-smart dog and place him in the bathroom
46. Close the bathroom door while using your foot as a blocker
47. Sweep under the ottoman and move the small pile towards the big pile area
48. Re-re-make the big pile of toy stuffing, dust, dirt and hair balls
49. Using the dustpan and brush, make 7 trips to the trash in the kitchen (one for the pieces dropped along the way)
50. Move the ottoman back
51. Put the dog beds back into position (which got knocked off the couch at some point)
52. Realize it's 10pm and time for bed
53. Let the not-so-smart dog out of the bathroom
54. Find a small dog lying on top of the toys in the dog toy bin
55. Find a big dog squashed into a cat bed in the other room
56. Find the shy dog under the corner portion of the kitchen table bench (read 4 inch wide opening)
57. Pick up the forgotten broom to put it away
58. Roll your eyes as 3 dogs scatter and 1 not-so-smart dog dances around your legs barking at you.

True story.

Stay tuned for my next DIY article title "How to Make a Sandwich."

D

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Millie ate my asparagus

I came home to find the asparagus I picked up yesterday, that I was going to make for dinner tonight, all gone. Apparently Millie got bored and clearly I didn't push it back far enough on the counter. After a frantic online search to make sure asparagus wasn't bad for dogs, things are cool and I'm having peas instead.

After weeks of struggling to be productive at work with my crappy machine, I finally caved and am having our computer people re-image it. It'll take about a week until I can be at the same level of productivity pre-computer suckiness. In the meantime, I'll be working from home on my quick little desktop. I really do owe Microsoft a bit of thanks for that one. If we were on Linux, I'd never get to work from home because of computer crashes!

I bought 2 little pumpkins the other night and am planning on roasting the seeds sometime this week. I haven't done it before but I *love* pumpkin seeds so I figured I'd give it a shot. If it works out with the little ones, I'll have to get me one of those big honkin' pumpkins for even more seeds. :) I plan to cook and mash the pumpkin part of the pumpkin, which I'll then throw in the freezer for the days when the kids have upset stomachs.

I still haven't decided what I'm doing for Halloween. I can't even believe it's snuck up on me like it has. I should probably decide so I'll know whether or not to go grab candy.

I've been thinking about next year's freestyle routine. I have the song, something a little more edgy and quicker paced, something you'd hear and say, 'Oh yeah, that's fitting' without the blood and gore from the album cover. I asked my ex if he could massage it so it's not as in your face and screamy since they typically need to be "family friendly" songs. I'll have to remind him of that so I can start dreaming up all the things I'll forget on the field.

The other day I decided to forgo the shellac on the bookcase and started loading books into it. I'm a little afraid there isn't enough room but I'll go through them all before I'm done to make sure there is. Today I decided I was a blipping idiot for that and stopped at Home Depot to purchase a can of shellac. I know that I will *NEVER* unload all of those books and shellac it in the future so I'm making myself do it now. Yay me.

D

Monday, October 27, 2008

doggies and babies and ballots, oh my!

My sister's baby shower was a hit. Cara did a phenomenal job with the decorating and planning - it was gorgeous! Cal got most of the stuff that she needed and suffered through hours of opening gifts gallantly. At least it felt like hours and hours.

Baby showers are sooooo not my thing. Elissa's was cool, but that's because it wasn't typical at all. It was more of a rock star themed shower than an actual baby shower. I mean, how can you not love a shower where the gifts included a Misfits newborn T and lots of tiny clothes with skulls and crossbones on them?

I sucked it up and did the big sister thing and the writing down the gift thing. It was a really, really long day. The good part is that I have plenty of leftovers from the party and won't have to cook at all this week. That's one of the good things about being a bachelorette - everyone sends you home with food. :)

I've been looking into the propositions on the ballot this year. I like to think I'm a somewhat educated voter - at least I try to be. I found a site (ballotpedia.org) that gives a great breakdown of what the measure is, as well as what the pros are, who's for it, what the cons are and who's against it. A layman's description of the political jibberish used to write them.

Anyway, the Greyhound Protection Act, or the 3rd question puts me between a rock and a hard place... big time.

At first glance, it would appear to be a very good thing. Who wouldn't want to save dogs that appear to be mistreated. For dog lovers everywhere, it's a no-brainer. At least, it's a no-brainer if you don't think about it.

I'm actually going to vote No on this measure. Most people that know me are completely shocked by that and can not for the life of them understand why. My life revolves around my dogs - nothing on this planet is more important to me than my dogs. So let me see if I can explain my reasoning.

While keeping in mind that there are two sides to a story and each side will only highlight what they feel backs up their side, I play devil's advocate to see if I can see the real issue. The Pro-3 faction says they're confined for 20+ hours a day. Does that mean they're in a crate for 20+ hours a day? I don't think so, otherwise they would've said crated for 20+ hours a day. So, they could be in a fenced in area or in an expen or in a room or building. Please tell me what the difference is between that and what happens when dogs are boarded in a kennel. How about in a shelter, what's the difference there?

How about at my house? No matter where the the dogs are, they are confined. They're either in their crates, in the house, or in the fenced in yard. I don't let them run free and terrorize society. I don't let them poop on other people's lawns while they go about doing whatever they want. I don't let them get into a situation where they could fight with other dogs, chase small animals and cats into the street to be hit by cars. Even when we go out for a walk, they're confined by the leash. I'm not seeing a large difference.

Another argument is that they suffer serious injuries. They're right, they do suffer serious injuries, the same injuries that happen in everyday life. Millie gets a sprain once a year from running on uneven ground. Tweak will dig a hole that Millie doesn't know about and when she gets the zoomies, she's not looking for new holes, she's just racing around because she wants to. Injury is a part of life, aren't I a freakin' clumsy walking billboard for pete's sake? Do the dogs get the care required to heal them? Or are they left there, untreated and in pain?

Side note: Nobody can question why a dog is euthanized because one will never agree with the other. Being in rescue for the past 10 years I've had to euthanize dogs that I would've preferred not to. Sometimes it's a quality of life issue, sometimes a safety issue, sometimes one of a billion other reasons. So I'm not even considering this when thinking about the measure.

Moving on, another reason they use as justification is mysterious illnesses. They don't go into any more detail than that so I have no idea what's so mysterious about the illness. Pulling a situation from my own life, I'm sure kennel cough would be a mysterious illness if you didn't know what it was. How about that time of year when the flyball community goes through the kennel cough warnings and teams pull out of tournaments left and right to prevent it from becoming an epidemic? It's contagious, maybe that's mysterious. Since they give me no other information to go by, this weak argument gets a weak defense.

I feel like I'm rambling so I'll get to the point. For me, I don't want to open a door that could potentially cause any kind of timed, fast-paced dog sport to become illegal. My dogs live for flyball - I found it because Freddie needed a job, not because I needed something to do. To take it away from him because other people see very little difference between greyhound racing and flyball is just plain mean. The key here is perception, not fact. We've already been turned away from certain venues because "dog racing" wasn't allowed in that city. It didn't say Greyhound racing, it said dog racing, which is exactly the same language used in the this ballot measure.

Anything considered "dog racing" has the potential to be shut down if someone doesn't like it and can show any kind of correlation between the new law and the sport. So if you think I'm cruel to run my dogs in flyball, you can bitch, moan and complain that I'm "dog racing" and goodbye flyball in Massachusetts. If someone dislikes the height of the A frame and thinks it's dangerous, goodbye agility. Anything timed and fast could be subject to this ruling. No more herding trials, they're timed. Goodbye disc dog competitions, timed and fast. See you later flyball, agility, lure coursing, bikejoring, earthdog trials, jack racing, weight pulling, mushing, scootering, dock diving, etc., etc.

At a federal level, it could make the Iditarod a thing of the past. Seriously.

Can you imagine what would happen to high-energy dogs if they didn't have a job to do and running around of any kind was forbidden? Good lord I'd go batty (!) as would my dogs. Some dogs need a job and since I can't afford to sell my house, move up north and buy a farm so Tweak has sheep to herd, we're stuck with conventional dog sports.

So, as much as I love Greyhounds, I'm voting No on this measure. I think the potential for this ballot to open a door that shouldn't be opened is far too high to take the chance. I think perception and interpretation of the law would cause far more harm than good. "Dog racing" is far too broad and in a world where perception is key, I'm not willing to take the chance that you not liking flyball could force it to be illegal in this state.

Instead, I'd like to deal with the issue at hand. Make sure the Greyhounds that are racing have proper food, water, exercise, vet care and shelter. Punish the groups that don't provide, at the very least, the basic requirements to care for the animals - like we do with hoarders when we find out about them.

Getting ready to defend my thoughts,

D

Friday, October 24, 2008

just another day...

I found a new supplier yesterday that I'm really excited about. It will take a bit to be able to order from them but I think it will be worth it. I'm thinking of building a shelf type thing to hold supplies but since I can't cut a straight line, that might not work out so well. I have to come up with something...

Tomorrow is my sister's baby shower. She's my sister, and I love her very much, but I don't want to go. There's very little joy in me seeing baby outfit after baby outfit come out of little boxes. I'll love the kid, watch the kid, protect the kid and teach the kid, as well as spoil the kid as a good aunt should. I'll help my sister in every single way possible and support her in every decision she makes. But I still don't want to go.

My job tomorrow is to write down who gave what so there's a listing of what Cal needs to thank them for. At least I'll have something to do. I've also promised to provide lots of sarcastic remarks to my sister during the process since there really isn't much more that she hates in life than opening gifts in front of a lot of people.

I'm waiting to hear back about a herding lesson with Tweak's sire's owner. I don't know if she has what it takes - that instinct or whatever - but we'll see. It should be fun regardless since Sarah will be there.

Sunday I have to close the pool. I know, I just haven't been here! So it's not as crystal clear as it should be but I can deal with that when I open it.

Really I just can't wait to get the business up and running. The last part is the website and I'm s-l-o-w-l-y getting there. Every spare moment is spent staring at the computer so it'll be done soon, hopefully.

Halloween - I have to figure out what I'm doing!

D

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

How to Catch a Border Collie on a Tug

Thank you to Dave Strauss (http://www.waltzking.org/) who took these photos of Michelle running my Tweak while I was at a wedding that night.

This is a good photo depiction of what it's like catching a dog on a tug during a flyball tournament. I've always wanted to write a picture book!

The Steps

After you release the dog, run up to the line, scream the dog's name as loud as possible and start running away. Remember, don't run backwards but instead run forwards while looking back. Someone said it causes less pain this way. Very important: Hold the tug away from your body!


As the dog runs towards you (don't worry, you'll hear the little pitter patter of feet steam rolling towards you), brace yourself for impact. The dog will propel itself at the tug and with one final leap, take it in its mouth. Remember what I said about holding the tug away from your body? Yes, don't make the crucial mistake of pulling the tug close to your body like Michelle demonstrates here. Those teeth are going to grab on to something and the dog probably has its eyes closed in a final Hail Mary kind of attempt. Trust me when I say the dog does not care if it missed and got your leg/hand/boob/etc. instead. (Hence why Michelle wears hockey gloves in the ring.)


Once you feel the dog on the tug, quickly throw out your other arm in a panicked attempt to save yourself from momentum. It doesn't really work, but it's worth a try. Swing the dog around while still on the tug to try and redirect the motion in a useless attempt to change it enough so that if you do fall, you land on your butt instead of your face.



Once the dog is almost on the other side of you, you can resume breathing. Chances are, if the dog does take you down, the both of you might've slowed down just enough that you won't break anything but instead will just look foolish.


Once all 4 of the dog's paws hit the ground, the chances of serious injury decline. Play with the dog and the tug as a reward for not killing you this time. Do not let your guard down, however, as one quick head shake could quite possibly dislocate your shoulder. Remember to hold on to that tug like your life depends on it because...well, because it does.

Want to see it again?

Slow Motion Replay

Here Michelle is catching Tweak on the tug. She has good form - her arm out to balance the force pulling her forward and the swing of deterring death has already begun.


Sometimes the dog falls off the tug, kind of like when you were a kid and you jumped off the swing while it was up in the air. We're not sure if they do this on purpose or if the propulsion used to launch for the tug pulls them off of it. Watch what the dog does, more times than not, the dog will surprise you.


Here Tweak demonstrates her gymnastic ability by landing in a full hand stand after releasing the tug. Michelle is probably screaming "oh my god" at this point thinking she just broke my dog. Never fear! Those disc freestyle moves come in handy at times - this was one of them. Reposition the tug so when the dog does land it can immediately launch itself at it again. Very Important: Do not hold the tug in front of you as demonstrated. Your asking for your stomach to get a nifty new scar that way. The dog will oblige you immediately and forcefully.



Once the dog lands and launches itself back on to the tug, breathe and continue playing tug like normal. Now is also a good time to pray. Remember, it's not over until you set up for the next heat, which means any number of very bad things could still happen.



I hope you've enjoyed this presentation of "How to Catch a Border Collie on a Tug." Stay tuned for my next presentation titled "How to Wrap the Injury Caused by Not Moving the Tug Away From a Body Part."

D

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

it's dark out...

...and I'm up. Weird.

It's been too long, I've been too busy, I know.

The disc dog seminar this past weekend went well. It looks like I'll be heading down again in the next month or so to give a seminar to the local Search and Rescue groups. They don't really understand drive as well as they perhaps should and since they build it for their working dogs, it's kind of important that it's done right.

Today will be spent in CT, I'll let you know how that goes.

D

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

weird things

Yesterday I was getting out of my car, just about to shut the door when I felt a rustling at my back. I turned to see what it was, closing the door as I turned. I couldn't see anything but when I looked back at the car, I saw feathers sticking out of the car door. A bird had flown in behind me and gotten stuck *in* the door when I shut it! I immediately opened it and the poor thing, thankfully not dead, hopped away, shook it's head and flew off. WTF!

Tonight I stopped at the supermarket on the way home. I haven't done that in about a month or so and I figured it was about time. I brought in my reusable bags (yay me!) and gave them to the bagger explaining that there were more but they were under the food and I'd pass them down when I got them. Apparently he didn't hear me, nor did the cashier as when I did pass them down they both smiled and the bagger said, "I was wondering how we were going to fit all of this in 2 bags." Right. Einsteins at Market Basket tonight... free show! Anyway, no sooner had I thought that when I clocked myself in the eye with the box of kitty litter. Karma is such a bitch sometimes.

With it being cooler out, I was in the mood for some comfort food - food that says stay inside and have a hearty meal since it's nice and warm in here and you don't want to be out there. So there's a meatloaf in the oven baking away while I type. I can just start to smell it through the house and my mouth is watering. I love meatloaf. :) Add mashed potatoes, corn & gravy and you've got my favorite meal in the whole world right there. It's the simple things.

I had to run to Barnes & Noble again today, even tho' I spent enough money there yesterday, because I forgot the one thing that I actually needed to get versus wanted to get, a computer book. I walked around their bargain book section and found a book on container planting. Mine! Next year I'm going to attempt to have a garden completely in containers. I've been thinking about it for a while and it just sounds sooo appealing - growing your own vegetables. I'm hoping my black thumb doesn't hit them like it's hit the poor seedlings I attempt year after year. I never do well with them so I'm forgoing the seedling thing and instead will just buy ready-to-grow plants. The book even has design plans for making your own self watering containers, which I'll attempt as well.

I know, the chances of me actually *doing* that are slim but I've got my fingers crossed!

D

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

slowing down?

I successfully pulled off the weekend without having a stress attack; although I cut it pretty darn close.

This past weekend we hosted a flyball tournament at Greenfield. One of our teams went FEO due to an injury. :( The other team took 1st place I think. It's all such a blur I'm not sure I even remember to be honest.

In the middle of it, I had to leave so I could attend Jill & Pete's wedding in Charlton, MA. What a drive that is! It would've been worse had I not been 1/2 way there already. That was a fun time although I couldn't stay as late as I would've liked. Jo was watching all of my dogs while I was gone, on top of all of hers, so I didn't want to push her over the edge.

The ceremony was great! It was far from typical as they threw in personalized vows like "Do you promise to stop and ask for directions if you're lost?" and "Do you promise to share the ice cream?" and "Do you promise to obey every single request that comes to you, regardless if you know you're right or not because you and I both know even if you're right, you're still wrong?" When it came to the "love, honor, cherish & obey" part, the groomsman handed him Sharpies. Pete took them, did a little crossing out and asked her to read it aloud again. When it was Jill's turn, I couldn't help but add my two cents and let her know I had a pen for her. I've never been to a wedding where audience participation was encouraged! lol

Anyway, it was a fun time and I got to chat with Glen & Elissa for hours, which I haven't had much of a chance to do lately so it was good. They went off to Adam & Paul's Oktoberfest party and I jealously drove back to the tourney. It's hard when there are soooo many good things going on at the same time and I can't do all of them - really hard!

I'm finally done etching too. I metal etched 1st, 2nd and 3rd place on to dog water pails for the placements and glass etched the titles on to glasses for the title awards. I think they came out pretty good, but I have to call the company and see if there's a way to seal in the etching on stainless steel. They didn't stay as black as they should've when I washed away the chemicals. Not too shabby tho' for a first timer.

I was joyously reunited with Tweak this weekend too! Yay! I finally got my dog back! I didn't go and see her as soon as I got there because I knew if I did, I wouldn't want to do any of the work that needed to be done for single dog racing. So I waited until it was her turn to race and then met her out in the lanes. She jumped up once for a "Hi Mom!" and then went to line up in her lane. I thought she'd be a little more excited to see me but ah well - flyball is way more fun. She made up for it that night by sleeping right next to my head and giving me kisses every hour or so.

This week is filled with cleaning my dump of a house before leaving for New Jersey on Friday. I have an intro to disc dog seminar to teach and then we're heading into NY for the Capital Steps show. It should be *hilarious* with as much fodder as they have these days. The only thing that could possibly make it better was if Tina Fey showed up to do Palin for the show. That would completely rock.

After that, I think things are slowing down a bit for me. My sister's baby shower is coming up in a few weeks but that's really all I have planned at the moment until we head to Montreal in November. Woohoo! I get to relax!

D

Thursday, October 2, 2008

it's fall...

I'm a summer person - I love the heat, I love the sun, I love the hours and hours of daylight, I love the flowers growing, I love it all. There's a part of me, deep inside, that smiles and sighs when I get to relax in the sun. Of course, summer is my busiest season so there isn't a whole hell of a lot of relaxing getting done but occasionally I can sneak it in there.

So I'm a little sad that fall has arrived. I enjoy fall, I just like summer better. There are nice things about fall, I like being able to sit in front of the fire pit at night in the fall. I like how the air has a crispness to it that can't be found at any other time. I like how colorful things get here in the northeast during this season. But I'm still sad that summer is over.

The thing that tells me that fall is here is that I don't need the air conditioner on at night anymore. A fan in the window blows in cool enough air - that's my switch of seasons.

So, it's time to change my thinking again - fall isn't a bad thing. There are good things about it and I have to focus on that and not think at all about the fact that I won't be able to swim in my pool or wear sleeveless shirts. I really like sleeveless shirts.

I, instead, need to think about going apple picking. I need to look forward to Halloween since it is my favorite holiday. I need to be thankful that I won't have to mow the lawn anymore this year. I'll think about how it's still warm enough to go out and do things with the dogs versus when winter comes and I hibernate as much as possible.

Compared to winter, fall is a good thing. I guess.

On a totally different note, I have something to bitch about. I was out doing errands during my lunch break today and I stopped at Burger King to get a bite to eat. I got a burger and asked for a small side of onion rings and a diet coke (regular coke is sweet and puts a coat of crap on my teeth). The kid comes back and says they don't have a small size, the smallest size they have is medium. I think to myself, how can you possibly have a medium size if you don't have a smaller size to compare it to? Medium usually sits in the middle - I haven't looked it up but that's probably how the word was created for pete's sake. There has to be a middle in order for there to be a medium! Rather than get into a debate about it with the poor BK kid that really just wants to drive to the 2nd window, I kept my mouth shut and pondered it some more.

I did, however, look at the menu after I thanked him to see what sizes were listed: medium, large and extra large. Let me get this straight - BK offers 3 sizes of onion rings but rather than call them small, medium and large, they're instead calling them medium, large and extra large. Ok, that makes sense. Not.

Look, I'm all about artistic freedom and thinking outside the box. I'm not so far gone that I'm saying there isn't a spoon (can you name the movie?) but c'mon now. Can't we all just agree that there needs to be a small before there can be a medium? I mean, is that so hard?

So, Burger King, you're on my shit list for not applying the most basic tenets of sizing logic to your side orders. I will miss that zesty onion ring sauce but I like not being treated like an idiot more than your delicious sauce.

D

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

almost done...

I'm almost done with the awards for this weekend. *Finally*

I finished the placement awards yesterday so now I only have the title awards left. I'm hoping to get them done tomorrow night since I'm pretty much out of time after that. Changing how I was doing it in the middle certainly didn't help, but they are going much faster now that I have. Maybe I'll try and sell the ones I did earlier since they, now, don't match.

Only two more days 'til the Tweakster comes home!! Man, I just can't wait. I'm sure Freddie will hate it as he's loved her being gone. He's back to his obnoxious, pushy self without her herding him around. I'll have to make sure I manage that better once she comes back.

I finally have a step-by-step list of things to do to get the business off the ground. Supposedly my lawyer is going to call me tomorrow so we can go over the terms of the license agreement that I was supposed to have made up oh, I don't know, about 6 months ago or so now. Susan will be happy since that means she can get rid of all the crap that's on her porch. :)

Tomorrow I have to go see the building inspector so I can get the zoning on my property changed. I'm not going to have a storefront but apparently I have to do it anyway. Whatever. I'll do what it takes so I can get this thing off the ground. Soon now, very soon.

I still have to find a dress to wear to Jill's wedding on Saturday. I'm hoping I'll have some time during lunch tomorrow to run to the mall. Otherwise, all I have are summer dresses and that probably isn't going to cut it. I think I might be a little on the chilly side.

I'm branching out at work, looking for other growth opportunities within the company. I had an excellent opportunity to soft shell to a different department but my boss said no and ultimately it's up to him. So, now I'm looking for something a little more permanent somewhere else. I spoke with a few people today so we'll see what happens. I'm still kinda pissed about that soft shell job not working out - I really, really wanted to work with that group in a very bad way.

Other than that, life has been pretty normal - organized chaos. Maybe that will be my next tattoo. Apparently I can't function without it. :p

D

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

East coast time

I'm failing miserably at getting back into EDT, as can be seen by the time stamp for this.

Ugh. It took me 4 days to get used to PDT and I'm hoping it will be the same with EDT. I need to get into work before 10am!

Other than that, things are slowly getting back into the swing of things - well, as much as they can be without Tweakerbelle around. This house is sooo quiet it's unnerving. But, I'll have my baby back on Friday! Woohoo!!

She had fun at Auntie Michelle's, or so I hear. She stopped being an asshole about a week in and accepted her place in the pack. I'm going to be all over her like white on rice to get rid of any residual repetitive challenging once she gets home. It's a good thing the new pup will be a boy. :)

I got 1/3rd of the placement prizes done tonight. The rest of the week will be finishing the other 2/3rds, finishing the title prizes (changing designs midway is never a good idea) and seeing if I can get a dress for Jill & Pete's wedding Saturday night. I should find that invitation so I know where the hell I'm going.

I'm looking forward to some down time again - *after* the tourney & wedding this weekend, and *after* the disc dog clinic in NJ next weekend and *after* the trips to CT mid-week the following week - then I might have some time off. Perhaps.

Not surprisingly, the pool is green. Again. I don't think my brother did anything to it at all when he was checking on the cats. Apparently I just need to start paying someone to come and stay here so everything can get done at least some of the time. Sigh.

I'd like to find a little time to clean at some point. That would be nice. Maybe do some laundry, some dishes, find the kitchen table again. Y'know, the normal stuff.

I'm following politics more now than I have in the past. I've always had an opinion and I've always done my research but now I'm actually reading articles and watching ridiculous videos of people-who-shall-not-be-named getting blessed against witchcraft in church. I'm not even going to say anything else about it. The same things probably went through everyone else's minds as well so there's no point in repeating it all.

Off to *try* and fall asleep. Again.

D

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

a few things...

So, apparently people in California follow the walk signals consistently. If you want to get from here to there and you need to cross the street, watch the walk light. Good to know if you plan to visit.

I went to a restaurant/brewery that was recommended to me by Mario & Cathy. It was pretty good, I'm glad I went anyway.

I've met a lot of people from other countries during my stay here. All of them have been at the conference - from Brazil, South Africa, Norway, England and Australia. There are far, far more, but that's who I've met.

The sessions have been pretty good - the best ones being a troubleshooting from the client session & a HCM vision road map. Honestly tho', there's really only so much 'geek' I can take in a day so I'm done by the time the day is over. I need a balance between my geekdom and the rest of my life. I did manage to find and pet 4 dogs today, which made me pretty happy. :)

I'm not sure if this is normal or not, but there's been a couple of instances where I was walking down the street and the people in front of me were clearly and openly toking it up. Must be that laid back California attitude. :p

I think I've finally settled into the time difference thing too. I'm not tired right now, even tho' it's 1:30am edt right now. I've still been waking up between 2:30-3:30am pdt so maybe not.

A weird thing that I've noticed? I've seen so many people that look like people from back home. I've seen at least 10 people that look like George, 5 that look like some co-workers, a couple that look like family, etc., etc. There was one guy that soooo looked like Juhan from work that I actually caught up to him and started to say something along the lines of "You didn't tell me you would be here!" Embarrassing.

All in all, it's been a good trip but I'm still looking forward to coming home to the pups. :)

D

Monday, September 22, 2008

I have a problem...

I'm addicted to my dogs.

I'm going through a homesickness kind of thing, but it really has nothing to do with where I am, just that I don't have any of my dogs with me. I'm going through some serious withdrawal here. I ran across a street today to pet some guys dog, who I'm sure thought I was freakin' crazy seeing the ferocity that I started talking and petting to said dog. Thankfully the dog was people friendly and didn't bite my head off for almost hugging the poor thing.

San Francisco is very city - at least where I am. I saw some grass and almost fell to the ground to smell it. Considering I'm allergic to it, that wouldn't have worked. It's busy - always busy - and noisy. Lots of sounds - the trilling of the hotel guys trying to get a cab for customers, the sounds of buses (do they seriously run all night?), the chatter of hundreds of people walking up and down the street, the sound of car brakes squeaking as they come to a stop - it seems like it never ends. It doesn't bother me too much, it's just weird.

But the worst part is missing my dogs. As Susan would say, I need to dig deep and bra up, which I'll do, but gods do I miss them. Only 4 more days and I can see at least some of them. I keep watching Millie's clip on SNL so I can see her. I never knew such a thing as dogsickness existed but I'm living proof!

I'm meeting up with Laura (a friend that moved down here a few years ago) and her boyfriend on Wednesday - that'll be nice.

The conference is interesting. I've actually learned a few things, which is kind of unexpected. They had some gathering tonight but I've really had enough geek for a day and couldn't bear the thought of going to it. I will go to the big concert thing they have planned later this week but that's probably about it.

Not surprisingly, I met up with one of my developers today in a session. We have a lot of classes in common and I'm sure I'll see him plenty this week. As long as I don't have to talk to his boss, I'll be a happy camper since he's a huge ass.

It's only 8pm (CA time) and I'm ready for bed - there's something seriously wrong with that...

D

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Millie's 1.5 seconds of fame

If you watch until the end, and don't blink, you'll see Millie's 1.5 seconds of TV fame by running after the "bad" guy (handled by Susan's nephew Paul). I'm such a proud Momma!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Tweakless in San Francisco

Not just Tweakless, but completely dogless, actually. The first day is always the hardest for me. Thankfully all these Californians are laid back so when I mugged them on the street to pet their dog today, they were cool with it.

I've been up for 20+ hours at this point and I'm not sure I can come up with the words to describe how freakin' tired I am. So, some highlights instead of paragraphs:

I saw 15 deer on the way to the airport at stupid o'clock this morning.

I wasn't quite awake and apparently dropped my ticket in the ladies room and didn't even know it until some sweetheart of a woman found me and gave it back to me.

I took the cable car/trolley down to Fisherman's warf and did the touristy thing. I did a lot of window shopping, hit Ripley's Believe it or Not and the wax museum, which I wouldn't recommend. Ripley's was cool, save your cash on the wax museum - there were very few that were actually pretty good, the rest were so off the mark you couldn't even guess who they were supposed to be.

I got a call from Susan, I guess Millie's skit is 4 after the news skit. I was able to use the online scheduling thing for Tivo to record it.

I'm passing out as I type.

D

only with verizon...

...can you have phone service at 30,000 feet in the air. I want to see *that* in a commercial.

I've landed - the flight was good even tho' I wasn'T able to sleep.

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Sent from my Verizon Wireless LGVX9900 device.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Millie on SNL

Watch snl this weekend and hopefully her skit won't get cut at the last minute.

Even my 11 year old girl deserves her .02 seconds of fame! Let me know if you see her as I'll probably be passed out! Don't worry, I'm Tivo'ing it. :)

I'm off to bed so I can get up at 2:30am to make my flight - shoot me now!

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Sent from my Verizon Wireless LGVX9900 device.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Tweakless in New Jersey

Not having her around is a transition, let me tell you! I'm even having bizarro dreams where she can suddenly speak English and is asking me why I gave her away. Guilt is fabulous that way.

Her transition into Michelle's house is going ok, but not as smoothly as I was hoping for. Apparently my puppy is a dominant bitch and is testing all of her dogs. Michelle's on top of it, but I'm afraid she'll need to get her ass handed to her before she knocks it off. Sigh.

I'm off to New Jersey for a decompression day before my flight to San Francisco on Saturday. I was going to leave last night, but there was just too much shit to do and I wouldn't have arrived until around 2am - if I stayed awake that long. As it was I was up until 1am or so figuring out what needed to be done and when.

I also got a call late last night from Susan, asking how much Millie weighed, etc. Huh? SNL is looking for a hound dog for a skit this weekend (which I won't be around for) and she wanted pictures of Millie to submit for the job. Who knows if she'll be accepted or not, but I'm meeting her at NBC this afternoon on the way to her house. We'll see.

Now I have to go finish packing so I can hit the road. I'll have wifi at the hotel so I won't be out of touch. Just remember the 3 hour difference and don't call me on your way to work. I really won't like that. :p

New York, New Jersey, San Francisco, ready or not, here I come...

D

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Tweakless

I am Tweakless right now and I do not like it. No sirree Bob, not in the least. She'll be well cared for at Auntie Michelle's and we have a lot of the same house rules so she'll fit in pretty well but I want her here!

You're probably going to hear that for the next 3 weeks. I'm apologizing in advance.

PetRock actually went far, far better than I (or anyone else for that matter) was expecting. The rain stopped around 11am and the grass dried out enough for us to practice the puppies and do a couple of demos for the crowd. Freddie, not being used to running on grass that much, was the humor for the day since he ran around the jumps, instead of over them, 8 times out of 10. We also took him out at the end after everyone oooohh'ed and aaaaahh'ed over the Border Collies. It was a good way to end the demo - must remember that for next time. :p

After the last 2 days I am freakin' wiped out!! I'm going to go watch TV for an hour and then pass out.

D

Saturday, September 13, 2008

VT seminar

Let me just say - You know you're in the boonies when you stop at a Mobil for gas and have an assortment of cigars, humidors and tackle bait to choose from. Interesting, those northerners.

I took a disc seminar with Ron & Apryl today up in Vermont. My god did that rock my freakin' socks off! I learned soooo much that my head was spinning when I left 9 hours later. Holy crap.

I strongly recommend getting some time with them if you're into disc doggin'. Not only are they one of the coolest couples I've ever met but they explain things in such a way that you're actually able to *do* it before you leave.

Man am I beat tho'.

Tomorrow is PetRock day in Worcester. Please do the anti-rain dance!

D

Thursday, September 11, 2008

It's that day again...

Americans are somewhat foolish in that we don't learn from our own history. Again and again we repeat past mistakes thinking we'll get a different outcome this time. I believe that's one of the ways they judge insanity but I could be wrong.

It's not nice of me to say we're foolish on a day of remembrance. But it's still true. I could go into countless examples but really, do I need to put a spotlight on the big pink elephant in the room? I think you're smarter than that.

We are complacent. We forget easily. And if it doesn't directly affect us, we disregard it.

The country came together in a way I haven't seen before or since, when the tragedies at the World Trade Centers, Pentagon & a field in Pennsylvania happened. We had moments of extreme ugliness at the same time, attacking people with different customs out on the open streets. It's amazing to me that humans are capable of such compassion and in an instant can turn to utter brutality.

I won't attend a memorial for today, although I'm sure work will have a moment of silence. I won't gather with people and talk about where I was or what happened near me to make myself a part of it. It affected me, sure. But not like the people that were there and I'm not going to pump myself up to others to make it seem like that.

People want to be accepted; they want to be part of a group, liked and respected. They want to know they're not alone in this world; that other people have the same feelings and thoughts as they do. It's just sad that it usually has to take something severe to get people to reach out.

I feel like I've been rambling without a clear direction. So, today, just remember what happened. Remember and respect your neighbors. Don't ever forget because the second we do, we're bound to repeat it.

Or you can be all hippy like and love thy neighbor, run around wearing tie-died shirts and peace symbols with a bandanna around your head. Stage a love in like John & Yoko. Now that sounds like fun!

D

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

it's done - yeah, right...

I have my friend Donna to thank for this one - she's so clever sometimes. Strike that, all the time.

Rocket Relay's And Your Little Dog Too - call name Wicked


Then Susan came up with:

Rocket Relay's Defying Gravity - call name Wicked or Elphie

So the choices, so far, are:

Rocket Relay's Wickedly Misunderstood - call name Elphaba (Elf, Elphie)
Rocket Relay's What the Hell was I Thinking - call name Limit
Rocket Relay's Someone's Jealous - call name Envy
Rocket Relay's And Your Little Dog Too - call name Wicked
Rocket Relay's Defying Gravity - call name Wicked or Elphie
Rocket Relay's Son of a Witch - call name Liir (leer)

Since I have, oh I don't know, 3 1/2 months to figure this out, I'm just going to put up a poll and let you guys vote.

D

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Deer on the highway...

I've seen sooo many deer on the highway this summer. Probably because I was looking for them but still. I saw a doe and her teenager (I think) on the side peeking out of the trees on the ride home. That was pretty cool. :)

Tweak met a full size horse yesterday. We took small, cautious steps in to meet the horse and handler. Of course she started barking at it when we were like 40 feet away. But, a little heeling, a little attention work and before she knew it we were right in front of this beautiful creature! I thought Tweak was gonna have a kitten when the horse bent down to sniff her little head. We were just sitting there and Shazam! horse head! She reacted pretty well tho' - she waited until after the horse was done sniffing to pull me off my feet like a freakin' cartoon to get away from it. They say dogs don't have facial expressions. After that meet & greet, I'm going to respectfully disagree. Good lord was her expression funny!

So I'm already on the name game. With Tweak it was easy, the first one I came up with was the first one I kept. I'd like to come up with a few choices with the new one. I have 3 1/2 months but being obsessive about my dogs, I like to be prepared. :)

So far I have a couple:

Rocket Relay's Wickedly Misunderstood - call name Elphaba (Elf, Elphie)
Rocket Relay's What the Hell was I Thinking - call name Limit
Rocket Relay's Someone's Jealous - call name Envy

I'll keep thinking...

Saturday I'm heading up to Vermont to take a disc seminar given by Ron & Apryl. I think I'll get a *lot* out of that! The ride will blow chunks but there's nothing I can do about that. If I can walk out of there not crashing my dog on vaults, I'll be one happy camper. Safety first!

Sunday we're doing a flyball demo at PetRock. I can't believe how quickly time flies! I will be Tweakless afterwards, which is going to freakin' kill me. I'll probably bawl like a newborn the entire ride home. 3 weeks without my puppy. Man that is going to suck ass! With 3 dogs in the house, I'm going to be so lonely!!!

D

Man am I stupid...

Dictionary.com has the following definitions:
in·sane [in-seyn] –adjective
1.not sane; not of sound mind; mentally deranged.
2.of, pertaining to, or characteristic of a person who is mentally deranged: insane actions; an insane asylum.
3.utterly senseless: an insane plan.

stu·pid [stoo-pid, styoo‑] -er, -est, noun –adjective
1.lacking ordinary quickness and keenness of mind; dull.
2.characterized by or proceeding from mental dullness; foolish; senseless: a stupid question.
3.tediously dull, esp. due to lack of meaning or sense; inane; pointless: a stupid party.
4.annoying or irritating; troublesome: Turn off that stupid radio.
5.in a state of stupor; stupefied: stupid from fatigue.
6.Slang. excellent; terrific.
–noun
7.Informal. a stupid person.
Put the two together and what do you get? A foolish, mentally deranged person. That would be me.

I put myself on the list for a Border/Staffie this morning. I've wanted one since I saw Whisper, Scott's B/S, and it just kind of fell into place. 5 dogs. Wow. It looks like I'll be heading up to Canada mid-December to pick up a puppy. She'll be a mid-winter gift to myself!

Foolish, mentally deranged person. :p

D

Monday, September 8, 2008

long, but good, day

Tweak and I had fun at the Disc Dogathon. Tweak because she likes anything to do with discs, me because I like anything to do with my dog. :p

Sarah & Cheryl were there (see! you made the 2nd paragraph!) and between the three of us, the sarcasm was never ending which translated into a lot of laughing. Apparently you shouldn't ask Sarah questions first thing in the morning - she's less of a morning person than I and will, in fact, bite your head off. I didn't actually see it in action unfortunately. Maybe next time.

And, don't even think about talking to a member of the opposite sex (a nice looking one, I might add) without expecting her to loudly mention to the entire area that it's not a good thing to use your dog to meet men. I didn't necessarily agree since it was working. :p I should've got his number.

We all came away with a number of ribbons and medals from the day. Tweak got 3rd in Women's Distance/Accuracy, 2nd in team Fly Disc (which I really, really like!) and 1st in the non-existent Women's Novice class. I say non-existent because it was just Novice, Women's & Men's divisions but they had extra ribbons or something so they split up Women's into Women's Novice and Women's Pro.

My arm hurts today. I haven't thrown the disc like that for a while. I'm thinking about going to the seminar that Angelo's putting on with Apryl & Ron. Are any of you going? Not like I need another thing to do but I have to learn how to make her land properly from a vault. She landed poorly on two vaults and I'm not thrilled with that. I dunno, we'll see.

D

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Disc day

I'm off to CT for a day of fun with my dog!

Stop by and say hi if you're around - http://www.ctwagapalooza.com

D

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Learning new things...

This morning, Tweak learned that the cellar wasn't the big bad place she thought it was. She actually had fun sniffing around and following Millie to see what she did.

Of course, in order to get her past the big bad cellar, I had to carry her down there. As a side note, instead of getting branded by a hot iron with some meaningless design, I recommend carrying a Border Collie down some stairs or into a pool. That'll get you branded right quick enough. And then you'll have a cute claw pattern permanently indented in your skin. Much less painful I would think.

So now she's panting like a maniac all stressed out. She'll get over it. We have flyball practice later so she has an outlet for that stress.

The demo was canceled today so I have some time to do some stuff around here. I need to get a good batch of tugs ready for the flyball demo next weekend. I bought the fleece and rope I needed yesterday for that. My laundry was starting to talk to me so I tossed that in the washer, much to it's bellowed chagrin, I might add.

The dishes are next since they're taunting me from the sink. I don't know where they picked up *that* kind of language but whatever, they'll get theirs. (Who am I kidding, they got it from me.)

I have a few key things going on that I have to get organized for. First is the flyball demo on the 14th, then my trip to San Francisco, then our tourney & Jill's wedding the 1st weekend in October. Too much to do and not enough time to do it in. 

Speaking of San Fran, I'm bummed that I'm the only one going. Anyone want to go with? I'm looking forward to it, have a whole list of places I need to visit while there and am excited to see my friend Laura who moved there from Boston like 5 years ago. It'll be interesting, to say the least, to see how my go-go-go attitude adjusts to the more sedate pace. Maybe it'll be like a vacation! Or course my vacations don't typically involve OpenWorld (I'm such a geek) and frequently involve dogs (of which I'll have *none* Yikes!) but whatever. I'm adaptable. I can go with the flow. (Insert eye roll here.) I'll probably be crying over my beer because I'll miss my dogs.

But first I have to be a tug making machine. Then I have to do the awards for our tourney. I'm not telling you what they are but they're pretty darn cool if I do say so myself. Useful, memorable and certainly not something that will be given away. It's a surprise!

I also have to find a dress to wear to Jill's wedding. I'm leaving the tourney on Saturday in the afternoon and will be back as soon as I can. I wish I could clone myself so I could hang out with my friends at the wedding all night *and* still be at the tourney to race my dogs and sit in front of the fire pit after racing. Dag nab it.

Oh well. I'm off to cut fleece and prepare to do battle with the dishes. I'm wearing gloves.

D

Thursday, September 4, 2008

another silent killer...

Women, be aware.

Who knew?

I didn't.

http://komonews.s3.amazonaws.com/ibc/komo_ibc.wmv

D

flower pictures

I haven't posted pictures of the garden flowers in quite a while. Unfortunately I wasn't able to take as many pictures as I usually do since I wasn't around much this year. I'd go away for a long weekend and when I came back flowers would be in bloom - I just didn't grab the camera right away so they'd be dead a few days later. I'll try harder next year. :)










Wednesday, September 3, 2008

the buzz..

Yesterday's buzz was about politics. The Republican VP nominee's 17 year old daughter is pregnant. And that affects her job how? Whether or not she's qualified is debatable and something to be scrutinized and nothing else.

This kind of stuff is the reason I stay out of politics. I vote, but short of that I'm not a die hard in any way, shape or form. I honestly don't have time to worry about that kind of stuff. I don't know the woman nor do I know the daughter. And I don't think that the daughter being pregnant sets a precedent for anything. That business should stay where it belongs - between the mother, father, father-to-be and his parents. That's who it affects. Not us.

I was a little bit angry when I heard Obama left the church he's attended for years because of a comment the preacher made. Guess what! People can have differing opinions and it's really Ok! Obama can use the sense he has to listen to the preacher and reject what he doesn't like or agree with. Really, he can. I mean, seriously. He's one of two people nominated to be in charge of the freakin' nation and we don't trust him to use his own common sense when it comes to going to church? Really?

This kind of shit pisses me off. If you're going to judge someone, don't do it by another person's actions. Listen to what that person says and look at what that person does - that's what matters. Not whether or not Palin's daughter is pregnant. It's none of our business and it shouldn't be news.

D

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Labor Day weekend

I think I was supposed to have a cookout this weekend but with all the other events and tourneys on the calendar I totally missed planning it! I wasn't actually here to have it so I guess it didn't really matter. :p

Saturday was the great 3.9 day, which I'm still pretty happy about! Sunday was another good day, just not for Tweak. :p Freddie pooped in the ring one heat, so that sucked but otherwise it was a good weekend! So many good things happened - half of which we didn't know about until afterwards. Chili (Tweak's littermate) pulled out a 3.8(!!!), Grit got his FDCh-S title, Yikes got his FGDCh (30k) title, Chili got her FDX title, Tweak ran a 3.9, Gotcha got floor time and did well in warmups, Brink did her job like a trooper and everyone helped out for each puppy. It was really great.

I'm not sure what happened to my puppy on Sunday, she just kinda left her mind in the crate I think. :p She did well in most of the warmups but lost it when she was racing another, faster dog. She spit the ball and ran around the jumps to get back to me. Apparently she doesn't like losing and will take any shortcut available to her when she is behind. All of this stuff is normal, green (or new) dog behavior. I'm still uber proud that I she did as well as she did and am glad I got to see what she can potentially do.

Sunday I spent the day on the Vineyard relaxing with Susan and her parents. We drove around, made a few stops, had lunch, had ice cream, went snorkling for sea clams (wow they're big!) and went out on the boat for a bit. I didn't have my suit with me so I had to stay in the boat during the snorkling - oh darn. :p

It was the perfect way to spend a day off - beautiful weather, good people, good food, lots of sun, good conversation and most importantly, relaxation! The sun was setting when I crossed the Bourne bridge and what a site that was - absolutely amazing. I wish I had my camera and could've stopped to take a picture. I looked to the right and it was nighttime picturesque; I looked to the left and it was sunset picturesque. Ohhhhh... I could've used my landscape setting and got both sides in one really long picture. Darn.

The pool is starting to look a little cloudy from my time away so today is pool and dishes day when I get home from work. That and dog day because they all need baths and nail trims. I might need a spearate night for just that tho', we'll see.

Today I need to book my flight for San Francisco. I'm off to a conference later this month and will be gone for almost a week. Aunty Michelle is going to take Tweak and work her while I'm gone and Aunty Susan is taking the rest of the kids. Susan was also going to take Tweak but she needs some fine tuning and Michelle and Dan have offered to take her. I need more hands to work her here and I just don't have them.

All in all, an excellent weekend!

D

Saturday, August 30, 2008

My baby did it!!!

I can't even begin to explain how proud I am of my little girl!! She ran her first 3.9 and I couldn't be more freakin' thrilled if I tried. :)

Freddie is a *great* flyball dog. I love him to death and think he's the coolest dog. That won't change, either, because the two dogs are just so different. He ran great today, never spitting the ball and going over the jumps with the exception of one race when it bobbled into the other lane. He kinda tripped over the first jump and dropped the ball in another race but that was just a fluke. Otherwise he was great - solid, decent times and more importantly, clean.

Tweak was doing well in warm ups, she was driving out harder, her box looked good (from what people told me) and she wasn't stopping to see if the dog in the other lane was racing or not. So we tossed her in for a race, racing against another Border Collie, and she did it. She ran a 3.981. I've never had a dog run that fast (that was mine) so I'm uber thrilled that she accomplished it. :)

I actually didn't even know (bad mom!) that she ran it until Jo yelled to me and I saw the time. I was psyched and played with her that much more vigorously. She's so good. :) I'll love her to pieces no matter how fast she runs, but I will admit it's not killing me to see that she can do that!

And now we're off to sleep so we can do it all over again tomorrow.

D

Friday, August 29, 2008

busy week...

I had a vendor in on Monday and Tuesday to demonstrate his software product to my internal customer. That went pretty well and I'm hoping we can make a decision and get the ball rolling within the next couple of weeks. I'm hopeful that this project won't have me tearing all of my hair out. It's doubtful, but I'm still kinda hopeful.

I got some cleaning done around here. See? Miracles do happen. The rest of the time was spent playing with an open source software a friend recommended. I'm having a ton of fun with it and am planning on using it for a few projects. I just have to wrap my head around the infrastructure.

I ran into my cousin Diana today, which was such a cool surprise! She came by with her youngest son a few hours afterwards - we hung out by the pool and caught up on family goings on. I have to say I was just so pleased! I haven't seen her in a couple of years and we used to hang around a lot when we were younger and had less going on in our lives. Hopefully we'll be able to keep in touch more frequently now that we're live close again.

I have a flyball tournament this weekend in Foxboro. We have exactly 4 people going, which is pretty short handed. This tourney is all about puppy practice! Working with the puppies and being as successful as we can with them. It's all about getting them up and running, giving them some good real-life practice and building up their stamina.

I have a headache tonight for some unknown reason. I actually laid down earlier and ended up taking a 2 hour nap because of it. Even with the nap, I'm still tired and am going to bed very soon. I'm wondering if it's a lack of caffeine headache since I didn't have coffee this morning. I would've thought I would've had it this morning, but whatever. I have to get up early anyway. :)

D

Sunday, August 24, 2008

A weekend of my own...

My weekend consisted of only one dog thing - practice on Saturday. Of course there was 6 hours of driving for said practice, but for dog stuff, that was it! Aunty Michelle might be taking Tweak for a few weeks to tighten up the things I can't do on my own. If I had one or two people here to help it would be a different story but alas, I do not.

While driving from the Bershires to home, I saw things that made me long for my childhood when things weren't as complicated. I saw kids walking home from the local watering hole with tubes over their shoulders. No shoes, no grownups, just kids doing kid things on a beautiful summer afternoon. I saw families at a small ice cream stand at the side of the road. I saw rolling rivers and country living. I saw farms and animals on said farms. It was idyllic and calming and not a bad way to spend a Saturday afternoon, let me tell you.

Of course, before that I saw a bear crossing sign and after that was a moose crossing sign - two animals I really don't want to meet in person, thanks anyway. :p

I found out my mother was in town on Saturday and stopped to chat with her and her friends at Kowloons. I thought I would see her today, as I invited her up, but apparently there wasn't enough time. I really don't know why I let her bother me at times since she'll never change and I can either take it or leave it. Let me tell you how close that decision is made by a coin sometimes.

Today I went out to breakfast with Sue & Neely. I taught him lots of useful things, like playing En Guarde! with spoons and making towers out of empty creamer cups. It's good being the aunt. :p We did a bit of shopping afterwards and then parted ways.

After that I poked around the house a bit, did a couple of dishes, vacuumed the pool, threw the frisbee for Tweak, played a couple of games and did some web stuff. It was a lazy day, a good day. I have a ton of cleaning to do and I might even get to it sometime this week (doubtful) or something but I was able to push it all aside to keep my zen state of mind.

Right now I'm nice and relaxed and ready for bed. I'm gonna slide into the soft sheets, read a chapter or two and cuddle with my girls before falling asleep. It just doesn't get much better than that. :)

D

Thursday, August 21, 2008

healing and time...


I was driving to my aunt's house last night when I thought of Skootchie. She's been on my mind lately because Tweak will occasionally do something to remind me of her. Also, I've messed up and called her Skootchie a few times. While thinking of her last night, I started crying. I miss her so much even though it's going on 2 years that she's been gone.

Does your heart really ever heal? Does time really heal old wounds or just make them pop up less frequently?

I wish everyone in the world had the chance to meet her. She was a zany little thing with a bright personality. She wasn't perfect but then again, that's what real love is, right? Loving someone or something despite their imperfections and quirks. I'd give my right leg to have her back, even if it was just to drive me up the wall.

People come and go in our lives. Sometimes it's sad, sometimes it's just losing touch over time, sometimes it's over something stupid, and sometimes it's a really, really good thing. I know that dogs will come and go too, darn that shorter life span. But I wasn't ready for her to go. I still had years I wanted to spend with her, things I wanted to teach her, places I wanted to take her. I think she would've liked going to Canada and camping. I know she would've liked doing all the tricks demos for kids, she was a pro. I wasn't done having her in my life and I'm still sad that she's not.

I don't think time heals all wounds. I think some wounds are too deep to be healed. I also think any parent that lost a child would agree with me there. I think life just keeps going and forces you to think of other things. I can see why, I'd hate to walk around crying all the time because she's not with me. But I definitely wouldn't say I'm healed.

D