Monday, February 28, 2011

Police Mal and Soccer Ball

This reminds me of Pie and her eggplant/ lightbulb toy. 2 different toys, both Orbee, but Pie enjoys them for the same reason. They squirt out of her mouth unexpectedly and she gets to chase them down as the bounce randomly.

This Mal couldn't help chasing the soccer ball, even as he as being leashed up.

Click here.

Today class went quickly. We finished up learning about Excel and I volunteered to show the class 2 things we did not cover but I find useful. Maybe one of them will use it someday and be thankful.

Next we moved onto Access which is the MS program I know the least about. But I am finally learning something new.

I went for a run on the beach sidewalk after work. It was windy and very warm and humid. Then I ate at IHOP for dinner. Seems I missed Free Pancake Day by 1 day. It is tomorrow.

Next I went to the autopart store to buy a light bulb for my turn singal that burnt out RIGHT after I hit 100K miles. Yesterday I took everthing apart because I had bought a generic turn signal bulb but it was a conventional screw in blub and my car needs one that fits into a slot. Based on the battery replacement saga, I should have know a generic bulb wouldn't have fit in. I'll take it all back apart and replace it tomarrow when it is light outside. Accross from the autopart store was a Blockbuster so I went in and rented Max Pain because my bother and I were talking about it, and a Bruce Willis movie that I think is called Red.

My next post should be about my trip to New Orleans from last weekend.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

More "My Dogs Having Fun Without Me" Pictures

Fancy got to go for a hike yesterday. She got to ride in the front on the way there. Dottie did not get to go because she wore one tiny spot down on one toe pad and was on three legs. How do you wear only one toe pad down? She can be a princess when it comes to pain. ffluffy says she was much better the second day, but still a little limpy, so no hike for her. For some reason ffluffy has become concerned with the idea that Pie will become so injured on a hike that she will need to be carried out so she is unwilling to hike with her. Yikes. Hope that doesn't happen to me some day.

ffluffy's bro and the kiltman with Zac (kiltman's BC) Pickle and Pants.

Hunda or his dad Tempest was also there. I can't quite tell by the picture. The Superstition Mountains are very pretty. Apparently Fancy picked up some cholla (the cactus that jump on you) but was not injured. This was the Garden Valley trail in the Superstitions. Weavers Needle is in the background.

On the drive home Fancy was very sleepy!

Visit to My Favorit Sister and Favorite Niece!

That would be Claire and Laura! Last weekend we had four days off due to our compressed work week schedule and President's day. I hoped in the car early on Friday, then had all day Saturday and Sunday to spend with them, then departed early Monday.

Driving. But where I am headed? It was not raining, luckily, just very, very foggy.

A giant Hyundia plant complete with a test track (right side of pic.)

Not my destination, just another state I'm passing through.

And now we have a Kia plant. I did not see a track. The amusing thing to me was before seeing the plant I saw a sign that said KIA Rd (all caps like that) exit in 1 mile. I thought "Killed in Action?" What kind of a name is that? Then I saw the assembly plant and all was clear.

A milestone, to be sure.

This is where I was. Georgia. If someone had asked me where I thought I might be when I hit 100,000 miles I would have guessed "on the way to work" or "on my way to dog training or a dog show." Not dogless in Georgia.

And another state. My photography is disintegrating.

A tourist place called South of the Border that my dad tells me he visited as a kid.

And the pictures get even worse. I've arrived in North Carolina! 10.5 or 11 hrs after leaving Mississippi. I'm not exactly sure which. I made good time because I only stopped twice (for gas both times.)

When I arrived Laura gave me to very nice drawings. I'll put them up on my fridge when I get home.

The next morning I went for a run. I used Claire's GPS watch to know how far I went. I made it the 1.5 miles in just about 15 minutes exactly. I had to walk some because the small hills did me in. Claire and Laura and Moxie went for a walk at the same time. When we got back to the house we brought out the (really cheesy!) agility set I gave Laura for Christmas.

I think the following pictures tell a story with no captions necessary!

Good job Laura and Moxie!

Three girls.

A girl and her dog.

Clarie shows off one of Moxie's tricks as Laura looks on.

Claire takes over for the jump and this amusing picture results.

Moxie was done, so we moved onto other things.

Such as more picture taking! My sweetie.

Laura shows me one of her seashells she keeps in the sandbox.

Playing. Which lead to a conversation about erosion, canyons, the Grand Canyon and evaporation. We looked at pictures of the Grand Canyon online. I think I know where Laura wants to take a vacation.

A nice looking dog.

Three girls again but this time I am there instead of the dog.

Laura and Moxie test out the new toy. We bought it at Petsmart. Apparently the popular thing to do in this town on Saturdays is go to the local Petsmart and adopt a dog. The place was packed! I'm happy dogs were getting adopted, but Claire reports the dogs seem to be ditched later and then the families adopt a new dog. Her neighbors have gone through 5 dogs in 4 years. :(

So cute together!

As it turns out, my Nana and Godmother (Aunt Anne) were visiting my Uncle Chris and Aunt Amy who live only 1.5 hrs away. So we motored on down there to say howdy!

But before we got there we stopped at a high school friend of Claire's to drop off a quilt she had made for the friend. The friend has 2 very nice cats that kept Laura entertained, and also a Shiba Inu named Buddy, who I went outside to meet. They told me he is stubborn and independent and I commiserated that Sheba Inus can be hard to train. They were happy to hear that it wasn't just them being bad trainers.

I think it is cool that 2 friends who went to high school together in CA both moved across the county and ended up within 1.5 hrs of each other.

After the quilt drop off we zipped over to the Mall to do some returns. Laura and I had some Mrs. Fields cookies. Yum! It is great to try to spoil Laura. So far it isn't working because she is way too sweet and good. Of course, buying one cookie for a child is hardly spoiling them. Must come up with additional ideas.

Then we arrived to the visit.

Aunt Anne.

The cousins. But they are actually my cousins, so what does that make them to my niece? 2nd cousins?

Beware when I have a camera! If you do something silly, I'll get a picture of it! One of my aunts on my other side saw this picture on FB and commented that it seems my Aunt and I are similar.

Claire did not learn a lesson from Aunt Anne's picture and was being silly also.

The whole gang. It was great to see so many relatives because, living in CA, I never get to see anyone!

Posing prettily.

I think we see where Laura gets her silliness from!

Laura and Uncle Chris have fun.

Claire declares the trip a sucess.

Laura is very well behaved in the car.

In fact, Laura was very well behaved the entire time I was there! As I said, she is sweet, cute, silly and just an all around great child. Not that I am at all surprised, I just wanted to comment on how perfect she is!

One more picture of Laura and I the morning I left. She had just gotten up and was still in her jammies. Notice the skull and cross bone pants.

And last one of Moxie. I should mention that Moxie is the only dog I know who gets excited about going outside (alone) just for the sake of being outside. My dogs and other dogs I know want to go outside to run around, play with toys and the like, but if you go inside they usually want to come in also. Moxie likes to stay outside so she can obsessively watch for critters. Claire had to take down the bird feeder because all she would do all day was stare at the birds. It didn't seem healthy. Moxie is lucky because she is living in NC, but her owner is from CA and has a different idea of where dogs should live. (Inside.)

The visit was much too short, but at least I got to see Claire and Laura for a few days- better than no days.

Thursday, February 24, 2011


Remember this recent picture?

In going through the pictures on my laptop to find the ones to include in my PowerPoint, I came across its companion:

That is Dottie's rump Fancy is making use of. Mostly because Fancy was laying there and Dottie barged in and Fancy refused to move. I wonder why Fancy wasn't on the couch with me? I'm guessing it is because Dottie was hogging the couch so Fancy went to this bed for more privacy and Dottie moved in on here there too. Sigh- little sisters can be so annoying! (Not that I would know. I AM the little sister!)

Fourth Week Coming to a Close

Does that mean I'm 1/2 done? Not quite, according to my math. The first course had 2 weeks (plus driving 1/2 a week, but I suppose that doesn't count.) Then the third week was 1/2 a week off followed by 1/2 a week of class, now I'm in the fourth week. But February is a really short month and I still have one in day Feb after the weekend, then March has 5 weeks! So no, not 1/2 way done yet.

If I hadn't driven here, my desire to hop in my car and head for Home would be more of a day dream than a real possibility. I even plugged "Home" into my GPS, but have no fear, that was just my way of containing the urge. Because if I wanted to keep my job I'd just have to come back.

We tested again today. My "perfect score" was ruined. I missed one for a 97%. Too bad.

The next section is all about Office programs. I'm really good at all of them. Access is my weakest- I've only used it once. And while I'm good at Excel, I don't know the full potential of the formulas and usually have to go to "help" to remind myself exactly how to do them. So I suppose I should say I'm really good at Word, PowerPoint and Outlook, proficient in Excel and familiar with Access.

We are preparing a PowerPoint to show to the class to demo our skills. Good thing I know how to use it because the instructor is having us work on it before he teaches us how to use it. However, I believe that is a valid instruction method in dealing with software because I taught myself how to use all the software I know how to use just by "messing around" with it.

My presentation is titled, "My Dogs- Who They Are and What They Do" I tell the breed, age at adoption and current age of each dog, full name with titles, what their temperament is like, if they like to play with other dogs, and a random fact about each one. Fancy- favorite thing is fetching the ball. Pie- hmmm, what did I say about Pie? Dottie- undersized for a Malinois and has a permanent bend in her tail from a break that did not heal correctly, possibly in the womb.

I also have one slide devoted to "Past Dogs." (Bloom and Blossom only and explain how much I like old dogs.)

After introducing the dogs I explain (very simply) the following activities and inform the viewers which dogs participate and if they have titles or when they are first going to enter: agility, obedience, and Shutzhund. I have a final slide on Miscellaneous Activities which covers herding (we don't participate because my dogs are no good,) tracking (technically part of SchH but covered it again) carting and dock diving. Phew.

The minimum slide number was 7 (including title page.) I'm up to either 12 or 14. I'm afraid to ask about a maximum. Even though it is a lot of slides, I will be able to cover it quickly and hopefully not get booed off before I finish. Someone might get out the old shepherd's crook and pull me away from the Smart Board. Right now the thing I can see frustrating me is we are supposed to show off our skills so the instructor wants a variety of themes applied to the slides. Yuck. I prefer my presentations to have a uniform look. It is distracting to constantly change backgrounds and bullet shapes. I don't think anything should distract from the glory that is My Dogs- Who They Are and What They Do. (Reminds me of Kindergarten Cop- "Who is my Daddy, and what does he do?"

Now I need to start emailing myself a bunch of pictures to use in the slide. I've already taken notes and answered all the review questions for this block (it is mostly practical so the actual test is very short) and I can use the first hour of class to saturate my PowerPoint with dog pictures. I'm going to try to get a video or two in there also! We get so much time to study in class that I think the entire thing could be compressed into a month. In my previous career field we had NO time to study in class.

Final thought: I finished "The Lost Symbol" by Dan Brown. It held my interest but it wasn't all that great. I'm kind of used to the plot elements by now. Also, I figured out an important plot element before it was reveled so one of the big "revelations" wasn't all that amazing. I must be reading too many books if I'm actually able to start figuring these things out on my own now.

Who is this dog? Is it an old Bloom picture, standing next to Fancy? Nope, its Bacon! Adopted in honor of Bloom, and so I (ahem- my Mom actually did it!) found him the perfect home with an older Lady in my mom's neighborhood.

Amazing what a nice bath and haircut will do for a shelter dog:

Sadly, Bacon and other foster dogs do not get a slide in the PowerPoint because that might be a little excessive.

This photo is called "Bob Tastes Bacon" and is too cute to pass up. Although looking closer I see it might be "Bacon Tastes Bob" but that doesn't have quite the same ring to it.