Thursday, December 24, 2009

the Holidays

It's Christmas Eve and I still have a few things to do before heading to my aunt's house tonight for the extended family gathering. It used to be all the aunts, uncles and cousins but has shriveled down to just my siblings and my cousin Sue & her family. We're really not sure where all the other cousins are - they faded out of the family years ago for reasons we don't know. It's kind of sad because we used to have such fun during the holidays together. It's been so many years since any of us have seen them that we aren't even sure how to get in touch with them. How sad.

This year I'm having trouble with my holiday spirit, as in, it's missing. I didn't put up the tree or decorate at all, which is probably part of it but certainly not all. It's been a tough year and I think the fact that I'm coming up on a year of being unemployed is starting to effect me. I'm not all Bah Hum-buggy or anything, just more neutral. Usually I have a lot, especially on Xmas eve and I'm hoping I'll feel a little bit of it tonight when I'm with my family.

So, the festivities are the same as they always are - Christmas Eve at my aunt's house, Christmas morning at my cousin's house and Christmas afternoon/night at my Dad's house. The dogs will open their gifts after Sue's and before Dad's - we'll see if Ash can figure out how to open gifts this year. :)

I have a few last minute things to pick up today but am done otherwise. I only bought gifts for kids this year so I don't have a lot of wrapping to do, which I'll do today.

I suppose I should get my ass in gear so I'm not late (Ha!) and get everything done that I need to.

Whatever holiday you celebrate, I wish you the absolute best!!


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Stupid little rat with legs...

Today was a *gorgeous* day - absolutely divine! I was a good girl and did all the things I was supposed to first thing - exercised the dogs, finished and mailed out some tugs, checked the PO Box, went to the bank, went to the unemployment office, went to the supermarket and then came home. I played with the dogs while doing some stuff outside - it's time to empty the vegetable planters that are done producing so I can put everything away.

After playing frisbee with the Tweak & Ash (thankfully they've stopped crashing into each other when I play them at the same time), I figured I'd let them cool down and play in the pool. Millie & Freddie were out as well, but they were on the other side of the gate that separates the pool from the rest of the deck.

(I just have to interrupt my train of thought here and say that one of the dogs is so totally gassing me out of the freakin' room right now. )

Anyway, after playing for a while, Freddie jumped the gate to join us. This happens pretty frequently - he tries to steal the frisbee out of one of the dog's mouths when they're climbing out of the pool - and usually it's nothing to worry about. Not today.

The little shit jumped over just as I threw the frisbee in for Tweak. He scooted right past me and started walking along the rim of the pool, which is a few inches below but right next to the deck, up until a certain point. Needless to say, he was unsuccessful in walking along the rim not next to the deck and fell into the pool.

I wasn't really worried as he can swim on his own for short distances without my help. I just went over to the stairs and called him over. He was panicking tho' and couldn't hear me. Weirdly enough, he wasn't horizontal in the water, he was vertical. It's like he was walking on his hind legs in the water. Weird.

He went under once, then went under again which succeeded in freaking me out and had me jumping into the pool, shoes and all, to save the little idiot. Thankfully Tweak and Ash are good swimmers and got out like normal since I wasn't paying the least bit attention to them while this was going on.

The stupid little rat with legs was/is fine tho'. (But whichever dog is farting must have eaten something dead to have this kind of torrential gaseous eruption.)

I'm heading down to New Jersey for the 10th Annual Min Pin rescue picnic. It was 11 years ago that we started the Internet Miniature Pinscher Service. I think Millie will be kept downstairs for the picnic since there's usually like 80 dogs or so that attend. She's better with Min Pins than with any other breed, but she's getting older and doesn't put up with as much as she used to. I'll let Freddie (the family Min Pin representative), Tweak & Ash have all the fun. I imagine Tweak will start herding all of the Min Pins at some point in the day and when that happens she'll go away too.

Should be fun!


Sunday, September 20, 2009

What a cutie...

James Marsden - total freakin' yum. Wouldn't have known his name but I've been seeing him on TV a lot lately and figured I'd put a name with the drool action.

Ash & Tweak are getting their final 32nd wind out of their system by doing box turns off of every piece of furniture, and me, in the living room while playing Crocodiles and Alligators. Gotta love that energy level!!

This weekend I started helping my grandmother weed down her stuff yet again. She's moving into an assisted living facility and I/we will need to pack everything up. Again. Every time my grandmother has moved, I've helped pack her up. I'm getting pretty good at it since she's moved like 4 times in the last 10 years and it's generally just my aunt, uncle & self that do it.

I went over to Dina's house this afternoon to start working with her dog. She was going to sign up for classes and then thought, boy that's stupid. So, for the next 6 weeks I'll be heading over to help her with basic obedience. We worked on sit, heeling and come today. Frisco did fabulously - quite the quick little learner and food motivated, which works very well with clicker training. Eventually I'll get out there with Ash and do all the same stuff! I've been so lackadaisical with his training.

I started writing in my journal again, in addition to blogging. I like going back and reading what I've written. I take very large hiatuses from the hard copy version, only writing when I have something to figure out that I don't want to share with the world or when I'm feeling especially creative and want to write poetry or something. I found a couple of kick ass poems I wrote a long time ago. They make perfect sense to me but since perception is key in everything, I'm sure they'd mean totally different things to different people.

I have a store order to finish, the website to fix and a whole lot of cleaning to do this week. Tomorrow is supposed to be really nice so I'll probably swim the dogs a couple of times. I worked with Tweak on a couple of freestyle moves that I learned from the Apryl & Ron seminar. I have a few things in the works that I'll continue to work on with them. More info on that later - like if/when it's done. :p


Friday, September 18, 2009

sometimes life hands you lemons...

It's been that kind of week - Murphy's Law on a rampage like bride-to-be's on the day of the Filene's Bridal sale.

I could be all philosophical and say when life hands you lemons, you make lemonade. But I own more shares in lemonade than I care to admit and am tired of the bitter taste in my mouth.

Really what you have to do is just breathe through it. Breathe and dodge. Shit happens. Shit will always happen and really your dodgeball training as a kid will help you more than knowing how to make lemonade. Well, that and a good shower.

I think I popped about 28 new gray hairs this week with all the stress & crap. Most I won't even mention.

My friend's dog passed this week - they think he was poisoned in some way, maybe even from eating mushrooms. Peri was a therapy dog who finally got his own little boy this year. So sad.

Scooby has gone quiet so it doesn't look like anything's happening there. I'll be in NJ next weekend but doubt I'll see him. Another one bites the dust.

Next week will be better, life can't suck for all that long!

So to raise my spirits and mood, I'm heading to G&E's tonight for Great Chow and cigars. :) I love sitting in front of the firepit, there's something so zen about watching flames with people you love to be with. Beer helps.

In good news, just picked up Tweak's Tugs. :) A rush order was sent to them this week for their booth at the NADAC Championships. I guess I need to start learning what all this agility stuff means :) So if you're there, talk up the tugs!!


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

got a lot of crap done...

I have been pro-duc-tive. I did actually re-arrange the bedroom on Sunday. Yay for me. :) I'm actually really digging the set up too - no idea why I didn't think of it before!

I FAILED on Sunday tho' when I totally forgot to head down to G&E's to babysit that night. I need reminders for that sort of stuff, like call me a couple of hours before and remind me it's Sunday and I should be driving to your house. I have no concept of days or time anymore, sadly. It's no excuse, I should've had a brain. Thankfully our friend Sarah wasn't doing anything and was able to head over. Also thankfully, she lives closer.

Monday was spent getting orders and samples completed for the mail today. I also cut all the mats and bathed my male cat - that was a ton of fun. Not. I've been catching up on the laundry situation, doing pretty well too, believe it or not. All the dog laundry from the whole freakin' summer is done. I only have 4 or 5 loads of my stuff left.

Speaking of which, I have too many items of clothing and once all the laundry is done, I'm going through everything. Good Will is going to get a few bags of stuff from me. After that I'm going to put all that's left away in drawers like normal people instead of living out of laundry baskets.

Today I went to the post office, did a few errands, stopped by my grandmother's and sliced about 40 yards of fabric for tugs. I have a store re-order I have to get done this week and another potential order coming in from an online agility site that would need to be ready in 10 days or so. Hopefully they'll be able to figure out what they want rather quickly so I'll have some time to make them.

Just for the record, if it's too cold out for me to go swimming, it should be too freakin' cold out for mosquitos to fly around and bite people. Just sayin'...


Saturday, September 5, 2009

sucker punched by a movie

I've been working on the website today - something happened and all of the changes I made months ago are no longer showing up. So I'm trying to remember what I had where, re-writing the description and explanations and basically bring it back into the world of making sense.

The TV was on in the background - I wasn't paying attention to what was on until some silly dialogue made me look up. I spent the next 2 hours seesawing between crying my eyes out or laughing at clever quips. I just got sucker punched by a movie! P.S. I love you is a movie about a woman who loses her husband to a brain tumor at the age of 35. Before he dies, he sets up a series of letters to be delivered after he's gone - they all end with P.S. I love you.

I wouldn't have watched it on purpose unless I was in the mood for a good cry, hence the sucker punch comment. It wasn't until I was further into it that I started to pick up what it was about and by that time I was hooked. And crying. A lot.

A good line from it was during a breakdown the wife was having, crying on her mother's shoulder, "God. I didn't come here for you to give me some bullshit honest answer. Why can't you just lie to me just once?" It was quite difficult trying to laugh while sobbing my freakin' face off but I managed it somehow.

Last night Dina & I went to G&E's for steak and cake. As always I (we) had a great time laughing and chatting. I think it's mandatory that E & I now end all of our sentences with "We're awesome." I'm not sure how that came about, I mean it's true and all, but y'know, I don't like to brag. lol

Today I swam the dogs, did some dishes, got a bunch of supplies ready for the next Tweak's Tug order, went food shopping, swam the dogs and myself, again and then made dinner. Talk about freakin' yummy! I made a lemon pepper chicken with onions, garlic and this wicked yummy lemony sauce. I also made myself a caprese salad using tomatoes that were perfectly ripe from my garden. De-lish.

Tomorrow is a big cleaning day - I plan on re-arranging the bedroom and hopefully reining in the out of control laundry situation. I probably won't be all that successful but here's to hoping!


Monday, August 31, 2009

lawn equipment

Lawn equipment and I do NOT get along. At all, in the least, *ever*. The battery died so I went to jump it and stuff started boiling out of it. I took that as a bad sign. I have to figure out how to get it back to the store (bought it this spring) without burning my skin off.

I've been in tug making world for quite a while now. Finishing that big store order, getting things together for the next store order, making online orders that come in. All good things.

My cousin came by to help me get the accounting software set up correctly so I'm not screwed royally come tax time. Can I tell you just how much I dislike that accounting crap? I have no idea in the world how people can try to figure that crap out all the time. Yikes.

Yesterday I went out to breakfast with Sue & Cameron, then went to Elissa's so we could go shopping at iKea. I need to make some mugs for the next disc competition and didn't have enough in stock.

Next weekend is the Ron & Apryl seminar in VT and a disc competition the next day. I'm not sure if I'll stay overnight for the disc comp or not. Still deciding. :)

Short and sweet because I still have like 20 tugs to make!


Thursday, August 27, 2009

the sound an elephant makes... called trumpeting. I do what I can to share the useless information banging around in this head of mine. :)

Soooo, last time I was in NJ I met somebody. We've been talking but I'm kind of hesitant to say anything more than that because if you've been reading my blog for any length of time at all, you know I pick men about as well as I pick lottery numbers. Since I'm not independently wealthy....yeah. I'll just say we'll see what happens and leave it at that. In the meantime, we'll call him Scooby. :)

Facebook is a pretty amazing tool when utilized properly. For example, I'm in the market for a cartoonist for a small project I have. I asked if anyone could recommend someone in my status and I got 5 people to check out. Pretty darn cool.

I have a couple of big orders to get out the door in the next couple of weeks. One of them I've very excited about and once it's done, I'll tell you all about it. Scooby has some great ideas on business which I'll be trying out after I get these off of my plate. He owned his own business for 20 years and learned a lot in that time, which saves me from making some of the stupid mistakes I'd be probably make. Hopefully, anyway.

Tweak and Ash have been swimming 2 or 3 times a day. Tweak is very cautious, very meticulous when getting in the water. There's a right way to do it (the way I shaped her into the water) and that's the only way she's going to do it. Period.

Ash, on the other hand, is a freakin' maniac. He may not ever win at it but he will certainly be my dock diving dog. He doesn't care, doesn't have a fear in the world when it comes to the pool. He'll dive off any part of the deck for any reason at all. Thankfully both of them are very well trained on the proper way to get out of the pool so I don't have to worry about my liner anymore.

The way Ash learned how to swim? I was in the pool vacuuming it one afternoon and the dogs were in the yard. I was close to the edge near the yard and said hello to him. Next thing I knew, he jumped 4+ feet in the air, landed on the edge of the pool and jumped over to me not knowing it was water. They say dogs don't have that many facial expressions (as humans know them) but I'll tell you that his expression while in mid-jump into the water was so priceless it's burnt into my memory forever! After that, I started training him on the ways in and out of the pool in case he decided to do it again.

Now, if I open the gate to the pool area (which doesn't keep him out anyway since he just jumps over the damn thing), he's at the edge of the deck in a down/stay waiting for me to throw the frisbee for him. I'll have to get some video of him at some point.

My hands are sore from tug making but that's a pretty common thing these days. A friend of a friend runs an agility site and asked about carrying Tweak's Tugs on their site. Sweet! I just got another re-order from one of the other stores that carries them locally so I'm pretty optimistic about how the business is going.

Tug making time...


Monday, August 24, 2009

4 months...

It's been quite a while since I last posted. I guess I was just going through a phase of not wanting to write. But, I miss it and so I'm back (not sure how consistently, we'll see).

The weekend before last I was in Canada for a flyball tourney. I love catching up with friends that I don't often get to see. The teams Tweak and Freddie were on both got 1st place in their divisions, which was cool.

Last weekend I was in New Jersey giving a couple of disc dog demos for a huge 4H fair they have. Tweak and Ash both did very, very well playing with the kids too. I'm not surprised, they both have very nice temperaments, unlike their mother. LOL

The dogs are all doing very well. Millie is really starting to show her age, which is kinda sad. My once super obedient dog now gives me the furry FU pretty regularly. I'm not sure if it's because she's losing her hearing or she just doesn't give a crap. She has to go back on drugs to stop her leaking or else she'll have to start wearing diapers. I'll also have to get some senior dog pee pads for her if I'm out of the house for more than 4 or 5 hours. Sigh. I hate it when they get older. :(

Freddie is starting to get a little more gray in the muzzle but he's not slowing down really. He's such a trooper. :) Tweak and Ash, being the youngest, are doing the best. They swim a couple of times a day now that Tweak isn't afraid of the pool any more. :) They're both trained to use the stairs so my liner is safe. I have a few videos and will post them at some point.

Back to tug making. :)


Tuesday, April 28, 2009

another good thing

This happened last week but forgot to blog about it. Shoot me.

So I went to visit the manufacturer of the hockey balls I use, Mylec, so I could become a customer and purchase directly from them. It's so much easier when you have a consistent supplier for things.

I brought some rope tugs with the hockey ball on it to show them what I was doing. They liked them a lot and are going to offer them on their website, which is really very, very cool. I found out they have a glow in the dark hockey ball available as well and picked up a case of them. If I could get the tug to flouresce, that would be awesome!

I found out today that one of the sheltered workshops I've been meeting with had a successful trial on making the tugs. Woohoo! I officially have help! I've only met with a dozen so far - I guess 13 IS a lucky number! So now I'm cutting tubing and rope for 30 tugs so I can drop them off tomorrow.

I've done a lot of planting - way more than I should, because I know I'll eventually and unintentionally kill most of them. With my luck I won't and I'll have more beans, peas & veggies than I can handle. I potted 25 strawberry plants, think that's enough? lol

I can hear Tweak snap, snap, snapping out on the deck. That means she's playing tag with one of the carpenter bees. Thankfully the males can't sting her and the females are too freakin' busy drilling holes into my house. Fuckers. Once I find out where their nest is, Dave the exterminator is coming for a visit.

Ok, I have to get these tugs together today so I have the afternoon to play in the pool. Temps are supposed to get up to 95 and you can bet your ass I'll be in pool regardless of how cold the water is!


Monday, April 20, 2009

lots of stuff

I've been thinking lately how fear is a bigger motivator as you grow older... at least for me it is. Now there are so many things I have going on in my life that I want to continue, where as before, I didn't really understand what I'd be losing if something happened. I'm not as fearless as I once was and that's a good thing. 

The other thing that happens as you grow older (and have more experience) is that your not so quick to react in an emergency type way. 10 years ago if Millie came in the house limping or had a bump on her, we'd be at the vet within an hour. Now, I rest her up, ice her down and wait to see if it's something simple like a sprain or something that needs vet care.

Before, I'd be at the doctor for any weird pain. Now, eh. I'll head to the doctor if it doesn't clear up in a few weeks or so - sometimes months. I just think it's funny how things change over time.

I've been slowly getting things done at the homefront. This weekend was phase one of my planting. I planted in containers:

25 strawberry plants, 1 blueberry plant, 2 pepper plants, 1 oregano plant, 2 tomato plants and 1 flat leaf parsely plant.

I have seedlings started for canteloupe, big beef & cherry tomatoes, broccoli, spinach, romaine, eggplant, lettuce, more parsely, rosemary, basil & sage.

I'm doing everything in containers and will pick up 2 large kiddie pools once they come out for the may plantings of corn, squash, cucumbers & whatever else I bought seeds for that I can't remember.

Oh, I also have to plant the raspberry and blackberry bushes. Unfortunately those can't be in containers and I don't have any really good places to put them where the dogs can't get at them. It looks like they're going to have to be planted along the fence in the dog yard. Oh well, I just won't pick from the bottom. ;)

I'm sure someone, somewhere is taking wages on how much stuff I'll unintentionally kill. Better get in now!

Sunday we headed up to Jo's house for an outdoor flyball practice. The great outdoors changes everything for the pups when they're completely used to running indoors. But, they all held it together wonderfully - especially with a loose chicken in the area. I thought for sure a few of them would be tugging for a drumstick.

We did some power jumping in teams so they were racing against each other while power jumping with the dogs that currently race. Then we worked with Fury over some jumps and Ash on the flat. 

Ash decided he does, in fact, like tugging now. I had his attention the whole time and he was on the tug when it was out. Good boy! 

I threw some videos up on youtube of all of the team kids. Unfortunately the videos for Tweak & Jigger didn't come out. Doesn't it just figure!

I've got a rope order coming today, I have a hundred title awards to make, a couple of suppliers to call and job searching to do. Busy day.


Friday, April 3, 2009

It's flyball time!

We're in Downington, PA for Revolution's tourney - Bare Naked Flyball. I'll leave the name alone but let your head go where it will.

Pacie & Millie are staying at Aunty Susan's house while Freddie, Tweak, Ash & I are racing. Ash isn't really racing, he's just along for the ride to get used to the environment. I've been thinking of leaving him with A.S. too as she'd take him and do some training with him. :p I probably won't tho'.


The economy sucks but this is probably your best bet at an affordable vacation - AND you can bring your dog!

If there aren't enough registrations by April 15th, camp won't be happening this year. You really don't want to see me cry, do you?!


Thursday, April 2, 2009

It's spring in New Jersey...

And I'm beyond freaked out! Now, I'm not sure if we have these things up north or not but I know I've never seen them near my house. There's probably a name for them too, other than Donna referring to them as stink bugs, but holy crap are they fugly!

They look prehistoric, like they were around in the monolithic era - hard shell with ridges along the side - they're kinda shaped like a spade or an arrow tip. According to Donna you can't smush them because they'll stink up the house. Ugh!

There's one that's been flying around my head all morning, causing me to dance around and shriek. I hope her neighbors aren't home. It just fell into a vase in the sink and I feel bad that it's probably going to drown but at the same time, a dead bug is a good bug in my book. Correction, it has drowned. Now I feel bad. Sigh.

Today I need to do some laundry and some shopping. Donna & I are heading out tonight to do the shopping part and I'm schlepping my laundry over to Susan's this morning.

Wait! It's moving again! I'm almost tempted to pluck it out of the water because it hasn't done anything to deserve to die, like touch me or anything. But, that would involve me touching it, which ain't happening. Poor thing.... it's just gonna die.

Anyway, once laundry is done we'll head out to lunch and talk about the new product licensing so we can get that up and running. I'm so excited about this thing, it's not even funny!

A nice, relaxing day hanging out with friends before the craziness of a flyball weekend!


Sunday, March 29, 2009


Seriously, what the F*%# is wrong with people?!

I logged in to check email and this news article is on the first page -

And people wonder why I like my dogs better than people most of the time?!?

It just eludes me.


Friday, March 27, 2009

I'd like to Introduce....

Tweak's Tugs!

I'm done! It's done! Good lord am I freakin' tired. :p

If I wasn't so tired right now I'd probably have a feeling of relief, excitement and maybe even a little bit proud. Tomorrow I'll feel that way instead of the profound and all encompassing exhaustion I have now. ;)

I'm relying on all of you - every single one of you - to go take a look, poke around and let me know what you think. I've been looking at it non-stop for weeks and weeks so I can't really tell the difference between one thing and the other. :p There are a few quirky things that are on the list of things to fix, like the zip code coming before the state but I could always use your help to find more.

As if the website being live wasn't enough excitement, there are a few pet supply stores, local to me, that are considering carrying my tugs and one store that has already agreed! Dodge Grain in Salem, NH is the first store to agree to carry my products! Yay! After speaking with the owner earlier this week, I came away with an order for 6 tugs. I went by there today to drop off his order and drop off a pricing sheet and by the time I left I had another order for 14 tugs. I was jumping up and down earlier when I had some energy. ;)

Right now, I just need to get the word out. I have a list of sites I'm going to request a link to but if you can think of any others, send them along. Other than that, tell your friends! If you have a friend that has a dog, please pass the site along to them. If you have a website, add a link to the site. If you have small pet supply stores in your area, send me their name and address so I can visit them.

I know I'm asking a lot, especially if you don't know me personally but I can't put into words just how much I would appreciate any help! Word of mouth is the *best* way to advertise it so really, I just need you to talk about it. :)

I need to go pass out now. I'll blog tomorrow about some other really cool things that have happened or will happen with the site.

Don't forget - ;)


Saturday, March 21, 2009

months of updates...

Ok, not months because I just don't have the memory capacity for that but it's still an update.

I am soooooo close to getting the site live it's not even funny. Expect to see a Woohoo!! post within the next week. I can't even begin to explain what a pain in the ass this process has been but I'll summarize.

I hired a couple of consultants to help me figure out some weird stuff. The first consultant helped identify a corrupt install of the CMS & shopping cart. I thought that was all set and was ready to customize it to how I wanted. Some of the things I wanted I didn't have the programming skills to do myself. I don't write PHP so I hired another consultant to help with that. I got scammed - hard. After a day and a half of getting it the way I wanted, the consultant deleted *everything* off of my server claiming I needed yet *another* re-install.

ARGH!!! Not only did he delete all of the store stuff, he deleted my mail, my databases, my private files - everything. I could barely log in and called my hosting company, literally, in tears. *Thankfully* they had a backup that was just 2 hours old and put everything back where it was. Whew!

Nothing in life is perfect, however, and I ended up needing to re-install the CMS & shopping cart *again* - of course losing ALL of the customizations I had just paid the consultant to do. Fucker.

I seriously considered tossing my hat in and calling it a day with the website at this point. Thankfully my stubbornness turned into a boon and I started from scratch, again, determined to get it up and running come hell or high water - both things I have experience with and have overcome. ;)

No consultants this time, just me. I re-installed everything and got it all up and running, cleanly, not corrupted and customized!

Right now there's a blank page hiding the real deal. As soon as the photographer takes pictures of the remaining examples I gave her yesterday, the site will be live. I'm sure you can imagine the kind of happy dance I'll be doing once that happens!!

I have a list of sites I need to contact to see if they'll link to me, I have a bunch of places to visit to see if they'll sell my product. I have a few other designs in the works that need to be dog tested (any takers?) I have more supplies to order, customizations to make to the notification emails (because they're butt ugly), but all of that can be done after the site goes live.

Can you see what's been taking up my time lately? Hopefully it'll be worth it. :)

I plan on sending emails to every person I know - word of mouth advertising is everything. Even if you don't plan on using them, spread the word!

There will be a big sigh of relief when I can actually do other stuff (besides looking for a job - I've been doing that the whole time too).

Of course I'll launch the site live and will cry my eyes out when I don't get an order that first day. :p

Enough of that - I'll look forward to as much feedback as you care to give - both good and bad - when it goes live so *please* don't be shy and leave comments!

The kids are doing well. Millie gets more and more creaky every day so I've ordered some supplements that will be good for her and the other kids. The puppy is growing big! He's such a sweetheart and is a lot of fun to play with, until his distracted mind notices the wall or something. He'll get it - I hear it takes a little longer with the mixes.

Freddie has gone up in the flyball Miniature Pinscher ratings and is the 3rd Min Pin in the sport, for now. I say for now because monthly tourney season is about to hit and I'm sure the younger dogs will soon whup his ass in points. I take every victory I can get with my 10 yo man.

I had to take a picture of Tweak for her animal actor portfolio and it came out *awesome*! I guess there's a very specific shot they use and I was pretty darn close to it. A dog food company is looking for a pair of Border Collies for a commercial next month and she's one of the dogs being submitted for the job. Fingers crossed she gets it because the household could use the extra money!

Let's see - we're heading to a flyball tourney in PA the 1st weekend in April, Millie, Tweak and I will be returning as the Tricks demo for the Mass School of Law's Animal Rights day in April. I'm working with Tweak on some new moves for freestyle and hope to be able to go for some private training in April as well. I also hope to get her herding again very soon.

The boys (Freddie & Pacie) had another photo shoot with Pet Edge for their catalog this month. Can't wait to see what comes out of that.

I know I've mentioned this service before but I just have to rave about it again - Freecycle! My bread machine died and I was able to pick up another one from someone who doesn't ever use it. Today I'm meeting with some people to grab a crib/toddler mattress that they no longer need. Millie needs the extra support for those creaky bones! I went to one of those baby stores and couldn't believe the mattresses were like $60-$80! A lot for a dog bed. But, we're getting one for free today and, most importantly, keeping it out of a landfill for a while longer.

Since the site stuff has slowed down, I'm spending the weekend getting my house in order - dishes done, floors swept and washed, shit put away, pictures hung, etc. I guess my spring cleaning has started. I *hate* cleaning but like how everything looks when it's done. I'm even aiming to be able to see the kitchen table today!


Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Millie on SNL..

I was trying to find this video and couldn't. I could've sworn I added it here! I'm probably too tired or too stupid to find it. Anyway, here's Millie on SNL last year.

Millie's 1.5 seconds of fame on Saturday Night Live 9/29/2008

I'm going to bed. Will *try* to write more frequently. :)


Tuesday, February 24, 2009

presidential address to congress

I'm watching Obama's presidential address to congress. I don't know if I'll have any thoughts or questions but if I do, I'll type them out as I have them.

Boy I hope they'll stop clapping so he can speak.

Lord I wish I could stop coughing - I'm blocking him out more than the applause is.

I'm not sure American workers are the hardest working people on earth. I know we like to think we are, but I'm not really sure that's the case since there are people that work 14+ hours in a day, every day, for less than $1 a day. Just sayin'.

I'm not sure laying broadband is equal to alternative energy sources but I'm also not against it being the online junky that I am.

Did I just see McCain in the audience? - a website the public can use to track recovery spending.

I like that interest rates are lower but how can someone who's been laid off take advantage of that?

Buy fancy drapes? Is there a CEO-buying-fancy-drapes epidemic that I haven't heard about?

I bet his approval rating goes up every time he speaks publicly.

Please stop standing up and clapping, half of the audience can't take the increase in exercise and might injure themselves.

Energy, health care and education - that's a good start.

Who was Biden pointing to?

Clean coal? Isn't that an oxymoron?

Who was the injured military man sitting next to Mrs. Biden? How was he injured?

Why do I notice and wonder about things like that?

Wow. I can't believe he spoke about a cure for cancer - that's a freakin' huge goal.

If people don't stand up while applauding does that mean they don't agree or that they just don't want to stand?

Did I just hear boo's when he said Senator Edward Kennedy?

I thought Millie was growling at the puppy but it turns out she was snoring. :p

What programs do we lose if we cut 2 trillion from the budget?

I think I just saw a congressman chewing gum - isn't that inappropriate?

The checks are on the way he says. I haven't got mine, have you?

I think it's kinda gutsy for him to include the cost of the war in the money total.

If we honor our military men and women, does that mean we'll take care of the veterans that have brought us here today?

Obama just said we would. One can hope.

Quantanamo bay is being closed and we'll no longer torture terrorists. Not that I'm for it but I wonder how much information we'll lose.

"In our hands lies the ability to shape our world..." Yup.

Mentioning Greensburg - makes me think he's serious about alternative fuels and energy.

If it's not an "official" State of the Union, is he going to give an "official" one at some point?

How come I don't see any secret service personnel? Do they just blend that well?

Nevermind, I see them now.

I wish I could get one of the programs they handed out. That would be pretty damn cool.

Overall I think his speech was hopeful yet still realistic. I hope he can accomplish all that he hopes to. I also hope there can be true bipartisan cooperation in getting this country back on its feet.

Since I've been sick I've been going through the West Wing seasons like they're cough drops so I like to think I have a tiny bit of a clue on what some of the negotiations are potentially like. :p

Ok, back to the West Wing.


Friday, February 13, 2009


This weekend I get to play flyball and I couldn't be more excited. :) Friends from Canada have come down and friends from the PA area have come up. It'll be hectic and tiring but oh so worth it!

I hired a consultant to help me figure out what I was doing wrong with the business site. As it turns out, it wasn't me at all! I had been doing everything right but my CMS install was corrupted so it wasn't parsing the information correctly. I'm bummed that I had to hire a consultant for that but pretty stoked that it wasn't something I was doing wrong. I have another session with him next week. Fingers crossed that it will *finally* be up and running next week.

I'm fighting off a cold, which sucks. Good that I'm still fighting it, sucky that I'll probably succumb to it after I push myself to the limit this weekend. Bleh.

Ok, I have to potty the dogs and hit the hay so I can get plenty of sleep yet still get up early.


Wednesday, February 4, 2009

just to shut Sarah up

I don't have a ton of time, I need to get on the road but we can't have a cranky Sarah so here's a little something-something to tide you over. I'll *try* to remember to post via cell phone while gone.

I'm off to New Jersey to work on a few things and hang out. We'll be doing a lot of camp planning and of course a lot of dog stuff. I was planning on getting down there on Monday but I had water coming in from my ceiling fan and had to get that fixed. Then I ran out of hot water and it wasn't coming back so I had to get that fixed. The guys are finishing up as I type. They had to replace some stupid part. Whatever, I just want to shower because I can't quite put into words just how much it's needed right now.

Still working on the website. I realized I don't have a few pictures I need so I'll have to make the products and get pictures taken quickly. If it's ready to go up before I have the pictures done, oh well, it's still going. One of the reasons I'm heading down to NJ is to finalize the addition of some other products I'm licensing the rights for. This official business stuff sucks, I'm just saying.

I'm only going to be in NJ until Sunday. I have a disc dog meeting so I'm hitting that on the way home. Why did I say I'd do this? Sigh.

Anyway, the most important thing is Camp. We'll be working on what new classes to teach, who's teaching what, etc. etc. For all of my local friends, I want to see some New England people representing this year!! There's a couple that come down from VT and have a freakin' ball so save up your pennies and come and have fun with me this year!!

Tweak ran a few races this weekend and I think she did pretty well! It's so freakin' hard watching your own dog while you're trying to run her. We didn't have extra people so there was no one to see how the pups were doing. The photographer got a few pictures of Tweak on the box and I'm thrilled to report that it looked like she was holding it together. Scott said she was chucking up at the box so she could set herself up properly. I think experience will help her with that. Fingers crossed anyway.

I watched the news last night and was quickly reminded as to why I don't watch the news anymore. What inane drivel. I had to shut if off after a few minutes. I really don't think that a drug to make your eyelashes grow should be national news. I mean seriously. wtf?

Ok, the guys are done and I'm off to shower - finally!


Tuesday, January 27, 2009

night owl

I'm naturally a night owl. If I don't have a schedule to follow, I'll stay up late and wake up late. Guess who's going back into her night owl ways? :)

The dogs are a little off schedule with that as their morning routine is later than normal. They don't seem to mind all that much, which is good.

The bad part about being home all the time is that I can hear just how many times the heat goes on during the day. Yikes!! Trust me when I say you don't want to know how often it is on these really cold days. I'm not even turning the heat up either, just letting the programmable thermostat take care of it like it normally would. I do have a blanket in the office tho' to keep me warm as I waste time on FaceBook. Damn site.

It's 12:36am and I'm watching Paranormal State. I probably shouldn't watch ghost stories before bed but they aren't scary at all. I love the gay medium, he's the absolute best!

I saw a commercial for the movie Taken today. I want to watch it but I'm afraid there might be some startling moments and I need someone with me to grab on to if I get scared. I can't stand scary movies by myself... my imagination really is that good. :p

The funny part is I used to *love* to get scared. I used to watch scary movies in the dark. My father would come up behind me and startle me during a really intense moment. I would, of course, scream and then start laughing - I loved it! Now, not so much. I have no idea why it changed.

The business website is coming along pretty nicely. Most of the products are loaded in. I have to create the navigation and test the credit card integration. I am not storing any credit card numbers, I'm sending them all through PayPal. I don't have the knowledge or experience to safely keep that stuff so I'm leaving it to the experts.

I'm not sure how I worked a full-time job with all the appointments and stuff I have going on. Sheesh! Today I went to the eye doctor, tomorrow I have that outplacement thing-a-majig, Wednesday is something I can't remember. Ugh.

I'm off to go read a bit before bed.


Friday, January 23, 2009

house stuff

I rearranged my desk and tossed everything that was on it on the love seat. What? The desk is still clean! Anyway, I started going through the piles of piles (because I'm quite the piler) and I found a bunch of post its stuck together that I haven't seen in a while. Ok, fine, they were lost in one of the piles, happy?

I wrote down a list of all the things I wanted to do to the house right after I bought it. Actually, I think I started the list when I was walking around with the house inspector. Regardless, I've been adding to it and crossing things out over the years.

House list

tile bathroom floor
replace toilet
replace bathroom sink
add garbage disposal
rip up living room rug
install flashing
install gutters
insulate attic
replace floor registers
replace wall intake cover
replace broken toilet paper holder
replace sections of deck
install pool
remove wallpaper in bedroom
replace screens
install Atrium screen
replace back door
replace pipes under kitchen sink
replace stove
replace kitchen floor
replace rotted wood in Atrium door
add door to office
get gate for deck
get 1/2 door for cellar - NO
dryloc cellar - NO
replace locks
replace ripped screen (cellar)
replace ripped screen (front door)
install programmable thermostat
add fencing section
plant trees
extend sump pump hoses
rewire house
replace bathroom switch
replace kitchen and office ceiling fans
add closet doors
fix under deck (yeah right!)
fix fence near wall
add fence blocking driveway
new baseboard
paint bedrrom
add baseboard
install fireplace
rip off bathroom tile
rip off kitchen tile
replace motion lights
add wainscoting to bathroom
replace soffit
add heat/ice melter on roof
paint kitchen
refinish LR baseboard
clean cellar
replace hinge on big kitchen door
add threshold in living room
build bookcase in living room
install attic ladder
replace kitchen window
build closet
add cellar door
add motion light for the back door
add outlet in attic
replace cracked vinyl siding
install hot tub

All in all I think I've done pretty good over the last 4 years. Just giving myself a pat on the back.


Thursday, January 22, 2009


I have an appointment in my phone for 12:30pm tomorrow. Lunch @ Bamboo. I have no freakin' clue in the world who it's with. I hate my phone calendar. If it's with you, please let me know.

I did pick up a planner to keep on my desk tho'. I knew there was something else I was supposed to get but couldn't remember what it is - until I got home, of course. Yup, the good old wall calendar. One could ask why I feel the need to have two planning devices. The reason is simple. I'm a freakin' moron. Or did you not figure that out from the 1st paragraph?

Ash has been doing really well on his training. I swear, there's no way better to bond with a dog than training him or her. I love him, but I'm starting to love him even more now. Training rocks. Since I have the time, I'll try to capture more of his training on video and post it online.

I'm still struggling with the stupid website. I can't get the cart to connect to Joomla properly. Looks like tomorrow will be spent combing through the forums on each of the software sites trying to find a solution. So much for it being online by the end of the week. :p Damn thing. I think I'm getting closer though.

I have no plans for the weekend and I'm going to try and keep it that way. Instead, I think I'm going to try and clean this dump. The living room is the only room partially under control. I rearranged my desk yesterday and I feel so much better about this little area. Now I just have to do something with everything I took off the desk. :p I think the shredder is going to get a huge workout. I have to get this place under control because even *I* can't stand to be here. Plus, I don't have work to escape to anymore. :p

I have some web stuff in the works, some sites that have been started and will soon be finished. Just in time to add them to my portfolio before looking for another job. If you know of anyone looking to have web work done, send them my way.

I had lunch today with a co-worker that I wasn't able to hook up with before leaving. We didn't talk about work *at all*, which was really nice. Instead we talked about her husband being on TV, how her kids are doing, how the business and the dogs are doing, etc., etc. It was good and I hope we stay in touch.

Now that I have some time off, I'm trying to figure out when I can get the time to go on a few small trips. I definitely plan on spending some time in NJ, that's a given. But I'm also trying to schedule a trip to MI to spend some quality disc time with Ron & April. It's a really long drive so I don't want to just go for a weekend but a little longer. With flyball tourneys every other weekend in Feb, I think it'll be tougher than I thought to find the time. Maybe my new planner can help me figure it out. :)

My brother is leaving for Florida tomorrow. I stopped by his new place tonight to pick up a key so I can feed her. I'm not sure I knew he had a cat before this trip. Apparently he picked her up from the shelter over a year ago. Her name is Abigail. I don't know if my not knowing about her shows how bad a communicator my brother is or how bad a sister I am for not asking. Probably both.


Tuesday, January 20, 2009

it's the wish, not the word

I don't belong to a mainstream religion. I also don't sneer when someone says "God Bless You" to me.

I don't get offended when someone wishes me a Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Easter or any other religious holiday saying.

It's not the words that are important, it's the well wishing that are behind them. Who cares what specific words are used? I don't.

That was my conclusion after watching the inauguration of President-elect, now President, Barack Obama. It was a weird kind of segue, one that I'm not sure I can even explain.

I thoroughly enjoy listening to him speak. He captivates me with his unique style and concise pronunciation. He could be reading a menu and I'd be hooked. He had a lot of really good sound bites too- phrases that will be repeated, hopefully, for years to come.

If he can accomplish even a 10th of what he'd like, I'll be impressed and thrilled that we're on the path to fixing all things broke.

Some observations of today's event:

- George Bush didn't look pleased at all. I wonder what he was thinking through all of that?

- Bill Clinton is really wearing his age and not in a good way.

- I don't give a rat's ass about Aretha Franklin's hat. Jeez people! We just made history!

- I thought the respect shown to the Bushes by walking them out to the helicopter was extremely admirable. I was impressed that a) it was done and b) that it was one of his first actions as president. Regardless of what you feel about either of them, you have to admit that that was a cool thing to do.

- Apparently I can't listen to the national anthem without tearing up. (Should that be capitalized?)

- I knew who Yo Yo Ma was because he was in a West Wing episode. (I'm not sure if he was *actually* in the episode but he was supposed to play for the president in it.)

- I've never seen so much fur in an audience before. Are only rich people invited to sit in that top area?

Today was officially Day One of unemployment. Yesterday was a holiday and I would've had it off anyway so I'm not really counting that. I worked on the website, got frustrated, uninstalled everything, reinstalled everything, got frustrated some more and then gave up for the night. Productive? Hardly.

I've decided that I actually need to leave the house tomorrow, unfortunately. I haven't been out of the house since the last snow storm since some bastard stole my shovel and I couldn't dig out. Not that I really wanted to go anywhere anyway. But I have a dr's appointment that I can't miss and I need a wall calendar and a small planner. I can't keep track of everything I have to do and the calendar on my phone blows. I'll have to see if there's an app I can grab for it but since I lost my outlook calendar too, I need to have something in front of me telling me what to do. It's amazing that I have so much to do now that I have nothing to do!


Thursday, January 15, 2009

One more day...

Tomorrow is my last day at work. All in all I think I'm handling this pretty darn well - almost like a grown up or something. Yesterday and today were a little tough tho', having people come in to say good bye. It's the hugs that get me every freakin' time and leave me a little teary eyed - especially when the people come in with those telltale shiny eyes. Ugh. That's when it's tough.

I sent out my email to a select group and hope they (and I) keep in touch. We'll see... you know how people lose track of each other over time.

I have a meeting at 10:30am, then will go over my package with HR and then that's it for me. I'll come home, play with the puppy, screw around on the computer for a bit before heading to the Irish bar to meet whomever wants to have a few drinks.

Since I have the time, I'll be heading to lunch with a few people next week that I didn't get a chance to hang out with before leaving. I'm waiting for Susan to get back from vacation before deciding when to go hang out down there for a week. If I push it out far enough, we might be able to squeeze in a few classes or something, which certainly wouldn't hurt. :)

For those of you not on FB, here are a couple of pics from a photo session with Furry Moments Pet Photography. I'm rebuilding her site next week so it'll be better then. :p

Signing off...


Tuesday, January 13, 2009

ooops - almost forgot...

The latest tattoo...


Laid off

Friday is my last day at *****. I can't say I'll miss being there because I really, really won't!

I don't think I'm a "government" kind of person. I like to think outside the box and actually get shit done instead of just writing about how I want to get shit done. To me there's a big difference. My boss can certainly talk the talk but after a year he still has nothing to show for it. Well, except for laying me off that is.

I was there for 8 years (look at me already speaking in past tense). I went through a lot of stuff there and in general since I first started. After leaving Lotus/IBM, I didn't want to work for another big company. My Dad talked me into it. :p When I could work and actually get stuff done, I was happy and had no desire to leave. About a year and a half ago, that changed and I've progressively grown unhappier with every passing day. This is the perfect ticket out for me - I get a little bit of severance to tide me over while I look for a new job - one in a smaller company where people say Hi to you in the morning and you got out to lunch together once in a while and you aren't debating between slitting your wrists or getting ready for work. I think I could even work at McDonald's and be happier than I was there. Which very well may be the case with the economy tanking the way it is. :p

But, I have some stuff lined up to do. I have 4 websites to build, I have some dog sitting and private dog training to do and of course, first and foremost, I have to get the business up and running. I'm sooooo close! I'm picking up the CD of images this week and will have alllll of next week to work on it. I'm hoping against all hope that it goes even half as smoothly as I think it will. Of course I just cursed myself with that but ah well. :)

I think the part I'll miss the most is not being able to go to school. I'll have to see if Baker has any scholarships for out of work people. :p

I started bringing shit home from work so I wouldn't have to do it all on Friday. It's amazing how much shit you can accumulate in 8 years. Sheesh. I don't even know what I'm going to do with it all, which means that while I'm not looking for another job, I'm be freecycling, recycling and tossing shit out.

The two main goals I have besides the business is to clean off the kitchen table and my desk. It would be amazing to be able to see both of those surfaces at some point in the next 3 months.

Some of the benefits: the dogs are going to love, Love, LOVE having me home during the day, I'll save money on gas, I'll have time to clean the house, I'll be able to get my laundry under control once again, the puppy will be properly house broken in weeks, I can come up with a freestyle routine and actually train Tweak to do it properly (still need a song dammit) and I can go for long walks/hikes with the active ones! Not to mention that I won't have to get up at any certain time, deal with people I seriously dislike or put up with my boss's bullshit anymore.

The downside: money. I have to make sure I'm not spending needlessly until I get another job. Thank dog I ordered and paid for that flyball box months ago. :p Priorities y'know...


Tuesday, January 6, 2009

I'm in love...

...and I'm not even talking about my dogs. :p

I am in love with Arizona's Pomegranate Green Tea Iced Tea mix. I think I've gone through 3 containers of it in the past week and a half. I swear I drink about a gallon of it a day. If you try it and get addicted, don't blame me. I warned ya.

So I was actually kind of productive today. I got one of the sink bowl full of dishes done, which is huge for me. I also got the Xmas tree un-ornamented and taken down. It hasn't made it downstairs yet and probably won't until tomorrow but that's still pretty good.

I have a Border Collie laying across my shoulders and neck like a stole right now. Gods I love that dog!!

I've been trying new toys with the puppy, trying to find the one he prefers for tuggin'. The little bugger won't make up his mind so I have 8 kinds if tugs in every room of the house. I pray that he makes up his mind soon although it probably won't happen until he gets his big boy teeth in.

It's funny how it seems like I just got Tweak a short time ago and it feels like I've had Ash for forever. I wonder why that is. Is that a bad thing?

Tomorrow I'll put the Xmas tree away and work on being able to see the top of the kitchen table. At this point the pile o' crap on top of it is close to a foot tall. Yeah, it's time for some kind of organizational system for stuff coming in the house. Or, I could just not bring anything in the house. I like that idea.



Monday, January 5, 2009


So my new puppy makes the craziest damn sounds you've ever heard.

One of the first days I had him I swore someone had him in a noose and way. Apparently that's called chortling. I call it scary and have vowed never to be 5 minutes late for his meal ever again.

Somehow I have to clean this pit of a house by Thursday. Sue & Mary are coming over to play with the puppy, get some product-in-use shots for the business and get take some pics of the puppy. How that is going to happen, I haven't the foggiest idea since I couldn't even manage to get some of the dishes done tonight.

I did, however, manage to play with the puppy lots! I think Ash has learned that biting my face isn't nearly as much fun as biting the tug toy. Probably not but one can hope.

The toy I got Zeke for Xmas freakin' rocked! Who's the best Auntie John in the world? I am! People say you can't buy love... clearly they haven't had the opportunity to give gifts to kids because you most certainly can with the most rockin' of toys! The Roboraptor was one of the coolest things I've seen in a long time and I have no idea how I'm going to top that for his birthday. I'll figure it out. Going back to the toy, it was so cool I'm even thinking of getting a few for myself!

I'm thinking of the robopet or dawg and/or the robo/femisapien. I probably won't but it would be cute for a bit - until it became Millie's chew toy.

Saturday I'm planning my birthday dinner/drinkfest. There's a potential for some drunk tattooing too, but I have to check in with Ken and see what he has for plans.

Sunday I'm heading to the World of Wheels with Glen & Elissa. I was supposed to go to Monster Jam with them in Feb but can't because of a flyball tournament. :( I love flyball but I love Monster Jam too. I hate that they're on the same weekend.

It's time to go read, I'm bored with writing.


Sunday, January 4, 2009

This one's for Sarah

Because god forbid she should be bored at work and have nothing at all to read. :p

I guess I've been going through one of my don't-feel-like-writing spurts. Well, that and I'm chasing after a 10 week old puppy and exercising my 2 year old Border Collie so it's been a little busy. Add in the holidays... you get the picture.

I'm not even sure I can remember everything that's happened over the past month or two - there's been so much!

Yesterday we went to a one-day flyball tournament in Manchester, NH. Freddie did very well all day and earned his 9th flyball title - ONYX. I'm so proud of my little man and he was beyond thrilled with the plain double cheeseburger he got as a reward! I'd like to get one more title on him but we'll see what happens. He is 10 and the next title is 10k points away. Fingers crossed!

I picked up my new puppy the day after my niece was born. Short of winning the lottery, there really wasn't any chance that week could get any better! I'm still deciding on a kennel (long) name but his call (everyday) name is Acheron or Ash for short. It's based on a character in a series I read and fits in with the whole phoenix tattoo theme.

I posted about my niece, she's a cutie! There really isn't a whole bunch you can do with them at this age since all they do is eat, shit and sleep but wait until she gets older! I'll be dragging her to flyball and monster jam shows in no time. Korn will also be one of her favorite bands. :p

A couple of weeks ago I was told there was a 90% chance I would be laid off in January. I was upset about it at first, now I'm seriously looking forward to it. There are a number of things I have/want to do and that would certainly allow me to do them while looking for another job. I wrote that I was itching for change and bam! here it is! I'm actually quite excited about it now!

Tweak & I went to a toss & fetch competition on New Years Day. We ran in the Pro division for the first time and did A-ok. We were tied for 3rd place but didn't get it as the other person had one more successful throw than I. Ah well. At least I didn't get spanked across the field.

Speaking of the other half of my heart, I have to start working on this year's freestyle routine with her. I wish I was better at it - she would rock hard with someone who knew what the hell they were doing! Step one, pick a damn song! Suggestions are welcome. :)

Today I'm heading to Glen & Elissa's to hand off some annoying Xmas presents that I'm sure the kids will be thrilled with. Probably not so much for Glen & Elissa. Ah well. That's just the kind of "Auntie John" that I am. :)

The business stuff is taking far longer than I thought it would. I was hoping to have everything up mid-November but considering I just got the product picture options over the holidays, I blew by that date. Now I'm hoping for end of January but think sometime in Feb is more feasible unfortunately. Of course, getting laid off would help get that up and running much more quickly!!

Was that long enough for ya Sarah? :p