Sunday, October 19, 2014

Dottie Double Double!

We were at a local trial this weekend while most of our friends were at USDAA Nationals- called Cynosports- in Northern CA (and they all did great!)  Happily for me, Dottie did GREAT also!  It was our first perfect weekend where she qualified in both runs both days earning 2 Double Qs!  That puts us at 18 out of 20 for the MACH and 3 out of 4 for AKC Nationals.  Since I haven't been trialing much recently I'm not too focused on making AKC Nationals, but if we keep this qualifying streak up, looks like we will be going.

Dottie got a first place, a second place, a third place and a fourth place.  We collected all 4, like they say in advertising.  The first and second were in jumpers (second behind a fast BC) and the 3rd and 4th are in standard where I am making Dottie hold her contacts now.  She was missing some and I think it helps her not knock bars right after the contacts.  When our friends saw the 4th place they all couldn't believe it and had to question the scribe and trial secretary if the correct time had been written down.  I told them I was holding contacts but they still didn't believe it.  Most of them think the time was 37 but the scribe accidentally wrote down 47.   I appreciate their help, but a 4th place doesn't bother me when it is part of a QQ!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Number 5

Number One was the 2014 Honda CBF 500.  I believe faithful readers already know I sold it because I kept "dropping it" (aka tipping over while riding).  Not only was I terribly inexperienced, but it was also too tall for me.
Number 1.

Number Two was a really old street legal dirt bike I bought to learn to be a better rider and it didn't matter if I messed it up because it was messed up already.  But even though it ran fine on the test ride when I got it home I couldn't keep it running longer than a 2 house drive so I sold it.
Number 2.

Number 3 was a 2000 Suzuki GZ 250 that I bought after taking the Motorcycle Basic Rider Class. This was the same bike I rode in the class and I knew if I could get more time on it I could be a competent rider.
Number 3.

Number 4 was the beautiful blue 2003 Harley Davidson 883 Hugger 100th Anniversary Model.  A superb bike in every way.  It was heavily customized but I got it for an amazing price.  Sadly, due to a long and complicated story, I was unable to get it registered.  I contacted the seller and she took the bike back and gave me my money back.
Number 4.

Which brings me to Number 5.

Number 5 and Final!

Fancy looks good.

Before any customization.

After giving back number 4 I looked around for bikes that I liked and had low mileage  It had to be a Harley.  You know what they say....

When I couldn't find anything promising, I decided to buy a new one since I really wanted Anti-lock brakes.  It's funny, when you tell some guys, I wanted ABS on my bike, they ask you "what's that?"  The old timers don't know you can buy a bike with ABS.  I also opted for the security option which is a fob that turns the bike on when it gets close and flashes the lights (no alarm though) if you move the bike (like push it off) without the fob.

I was hoping to get a good deal since the 2015 were coming out, but what happened was there was almost no deal!  The ABS with security option was very popular and almost sold out!  Ventura Harley got my bike from a different dealer and it was only 1 of 2 left in the state!

I've already customized several things on the bike, but that will be a separate post.

The new bike is a 2014 HD Sportster XL Superlow 1200T.  The T is for "touring."  Since it comes with saddlebags (which I love, no more backpack!) and a windshield which I can't live without.  Other than that, it really isn't a touring bike.

Other features I love are the trip meter and the clock.  I'm also happy it is fuel injected so it has a low fuel light and no choke to worry about.  Everyone wants to know, "Is it more powerful than the other bike?"  On paper, yes.  It has a bigger engine.  When I first started riding it, it felt slower, but I think that was because I hadn't figured out how to shift it yet.  When I get it just right, it feels like you are sitting on one of those Wiley E Coyote TNT rockets and you just set it off.  VAROOM!  When I am shifting in traffic I am especially careful to let the clutch out slowly and apply the gas gently.  I don't want to rocket myself into a slower car in front of me.

Eventually I'd like to have someone take some pictures of me riding it, but here is what I looked like the other day leaving work.  Before I started riding I took a "selfie."  I wear the face mask if it is chilly out.  Works pretty well.

5 bikes in 6 months...please don't institutionalize me, I'm not crazy, it just took me a few tries to find the right one.

Ventura County Fair

Way back in August my friend B and I went to the County fair.  We checked out all the animals, the kids art, the gems and minerals, the collections, the photography and basically any other exhibit we could find.  Then we bought tickets and played a few games.  I couldn't pop a balloon with a dart or knock over cans with a ball, but I did win the train race by getting the highest number of points in a game of skeet ball!

I didn't actually want the prize but I couldn't get up the gumption to give it to a likely looking kid, so I left it on a likely looking car in the parking lot.  Hopefully some kid went home happy and it didn't turn out that the owner of the vehicle was paranoid and thought it was a suspicious package or something.

After the games we were going to go on a ride.  I really wanted to go on the roller coaster.  It reminded me of the Mad Mouse from White Swan.  But more rickety looking.  I thought the thrill came from the fact that it might actually collapse and you might actually die.  But B refused, preferring to live apparently.  We ended up going on a haunted house type ride.  It lasted about 20 seconds and was cheesyiness personified, except they had one real person in there who kept jumping out at you (it went in a circle.)  For some reason I was terrified of her!  It was quite silly and fun.

Sunday, October 5, 2014

2nd Kayak Trip

I went straight to the harbor from work on Friday.  This time I paddled much further.  Not quite on purpose though.  I was hoping the channels formed blocks and would let me go around the "block" and take me back to the starting point, but it turns out none of them went through and I had to turn around and go all the way back.  I saw some nice houses and some huge yachts.  We had a few small "duffy boats" (like a golf cart for the water to put around the neighborhood in) pass us and create some wake which Dottie didn't appreciate.  I seemed to somehow have pulled my right hamstring.  Not sure how that happens while paddling but I've been limping around all weekend.  While paddling I can feel my core being worked but apparently not too hard since that isn't sore at all.

I was able to get one picture.  This is my view.

I bought a waterproof cellphone case so I don't have to rely on saranwrap and a plastic baggie.  The case isn't really a case but a tough double zip lock bag on a string.  It is made for cell phones though- no need to think I'm cheap and just bought a high quality zip lock bag.

Now if I can just figure out how to get the kayak and Dottie both on the motorcycle I'll be set!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

My Favorite... Dog Pictures!

The SchH Club had a trial and I was only involved as moral support and as a volunteer.  After the trial one of the club members was taking photos and got these of Pie and Dottie.  Fancy was left at home because in her old age she does not appreciate the gun shots.

The nice black Harley shirt is a birthday present from ffluffy.  A great choice.

Dottie pretending to be a disc dog.  Nobody does it like Molly though!

Dottie heading out for the Frisbee.

Pie demonstrates she CAN heel with great attention... when she wants too.

Dog Show Number 2

This was our second show back after our self-imposed break and this time everyone got a turn!  I can't remember the last time Fancy ran agility, but she ran last weekend like an old pro!  Sadly for me she didn't Q- knocked bar in jumpers and jumped off the table right away in standard- but happily for both me and her, she had a great time and loved it.  Plus, she was really fast!

Pie had one Q- I got lazy in standard and pulled up too soon on a send causing the wrong side of a tunnel and in jumpers she did Qualify with a second place behind a BC who won AKC Nationals a few years back.  So we won't be ashamed to come in second to him!

Dottie was entered 2 days and got one Q.  Her first day was not great.  I pulled her off course in standard when she was not paying attention and at this time I can't remember what happened in jumpers.  Probably a bar.  Our second day a poorly chosen rear cross caused a bar in standard and she was clean in jumpers with a great time and a first place.  With the small amount of trialing we are doing and the lack of Qs, I do not know if we will fulfill the qualifications needed for Nationals this year in Reno.  We'll see.  My blasie attitude tells me it isn't that important for me to attend.

At the dog show...

New Adventure

In my young adulthood I saved my money.  This was great because it allowed me to be financially secure and buy my house, my van and my motorcycle. Several motorcycles  Now in my not so young adulthood I am spending money.  My latest toy is a new kayak.  New to me, at least.  It was a cheep find on Craigslist.  Thanks to the parents for some birthday money, I now own something I can put in the ocean.  It is very CA of me.

It fits in the van and due to the lip around the part where the person sits, it is very secure in the van and doesn't slide around.  After posing for pictures with it a few days ago

I took it out for the first time today. 

However, the first stop was eating Toppers Pizza which is right next to the dock I planned to use.  Yumm.  Turns out the dock is a dingy dock.  It was well suited for my purpose.  It is in a well protected harbor with lots of "streets" made out of water (canals?  but bigger?) to paddle down.

Dottie was the lucky kayak dog.  Fancy could probably take turns, but Pie is too big and I'm sure Muffin isn't interested.

Our first kayaking adventure was mostly a success. It was a success because Dottie was well behaved and we did it tip over or fall out. Only mostly a success because apparently going in the direction you want is harder than it looks. I kept drifting sideways and going in circles. I didn't want to stay in the middle of the channel because I was worried about being in the way of any real boats that might come along, and I didn't want to get too close to the sides because I was concerned about running into some of the huge yachts anchored next to the beach houses.   I couldn't get to pictures while kayaking.  I had the phone with me warped in multiple layers of saran wrap and then put in a ziplock bag then secured in a mesh bag attached to the boat in case we tipped over.  Not surprisingly, it wouldn't work with all of those layers of protection. Since I didn't get any action photos out on the water, here is one of Dottie playing on the dock afterwards.

I have a friend who said she'd go out with me and offer pointers on how to go in the correct direction.  That will be helpful, for sure.

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Fez. Fezez? Fezes?

I've recently started playing Words with Friends. Mostly I loose which is disappointing. Occassionally I win. Currenly I a loosing every game I am playing. Except 2. So I guess it isn't all terrible. Today, against one of my regular oponents, I got to play "fez" (the Doctor would be proud!) AND the J was on a triple letter to boot! Sweet!  59 points.  I'll take it.


I've lived here in my new house since February, and I am just now getting around to putting some things up on the walls. I can't find my organizer with all my wall hanging nails, but since I did find my tacks I started with dog ribbons. This time since I have so much wall space I decided to orgainze them by dog. These are only their Championship ribbons and other significant achievemtns, and not their everyday placements.

Fancy is first: High in Trial obedience TT Nationals, 4 MACHS, High Scoring Masters Club Member, PACH and PAX, 2 Agility Invitational Finalists, 8th Place 20 inch Invitational, 2 4th Placez at AKC Nationals and 2 AKC Finalist ribbons plus her 2nd Place AKC Nationals Finalist Ribbon. Phew! A truly unlikely champion. That's my Fancy Pants!

Next we have Pie: 3 MACHs and a ribbon from the Parade of Titleholders at the Specialty.

And finally Dottie: I'd really like to get a MACH ribbon up there but for now we have her TDX ribbon, SW Reginal Grand Prix Final first place and her byes for semi finals at Cynosports in GP and SC. The green ribbon is from AKC Nationals T2B and is special because it was a third place finish but they only gave out a ribbon for first. It is interesting to me that the most physically talented of my dogs has the least ribbons. An exceptional dog needs an exceptional handler and when the handler isn't quite good enough the ribbon wall suffers. But that's okay because we had fun anyway and Dottie doesn't know the difference.

Mom N Daughter Togetherness

Before Mom had to go back to school (as a teacher for those who don't know) she came out to beautiful Ventura County to enjoy the local beach scene.  Actually, no, we aren't really into the beach.  Instead we went mini golfing and had lots of fun!  Mom won, perhaps because she is a better golfer or perhaps because I let her.  We may never know. :)  After golfing we were parched and hungry and headed out to a tasty lunch.  I won't reveal where because I don't want anyone to get too jealous.  Of course I visit my parents "lots" (in quotes because maybe not as much as I used to) but it always feels extra special when they have the time to come out and visit me.

You know those commercials where they talk about "reversing the aging process"?  Yeah, I'm pretty my mother is their source.  The only question is why isn't she sharing with me?  Also, I think she got a hole in one on the gingerbread house.

Imagine the Dog is a TriColor Aussie Mix

And instead of being bald the man has hair and a mustache.

I love her self satisfied smirk at the end.  Bad dog.

You may have to click on it to make it bigger.

Cute Dog Pictures

Really, with my dogs, are there any other kind?!?

After their haircuts.  Nice and short and cute!

After her hair cut Fancy felt very insecure and had to be all curled up all the time

Hiding on the bed.

Needed: a bigger couch or less dogs.

Pie asleep with her all in her mouth.  Very silly Pie.


A while back (it was a while back since I am behind on blogging) I was riding my bike home from work and after I made the turn off the freeway and when I was about a mile from my house at a stoplight, I noticed my bike seemed extra low to the ground.  I mean, I know they call it a "hugger" because you hug the ground you are so low, but it felt even lower, maybe more like a "flat on your stomach."  The light turned green and I attempted to go, but the bike had gotten stuck in wet cement.  Or something.  I knew either the engine had fallen off or I had a flat.  I managed to finish the turn then pull over with only one person honking at me.  Geeze, I'm having a mechanical emergency, give me a break.

Upon exiting (demounting?  dismounting?) the bike I discovered the front tire was flat.  None of the tow companies I called answered so I called the Harley Dealer which is not to far away, and caught them before "the driver" went home.  They sent a really neat trailer that cranks down to be flat on the ground.  "The driver" took me home and carted my bike off.

Since he (the bike is a he) already had an appointment next week for his 5000 mile check up, they kept him until then and then fixed the tire and did all of his routine maintenance.  I think they gave me a free tow, which was nice because everything else was so expensive.  But I guess that is what you get when you own a HD.  He's worth it.

(Wha wha whaa.. sad trombone sound)

Towed away.

The Importance of Obedience Training

The importance of Obedience training- when the glass lamp is mysteriously broken (who knew it was glass?) not only can you send the dogs away but they can also hold a down while you clean up and then take a picture. This is especially useful if the Malinois attempted to eat some of the broken glass before being sent away. Note, the visiting Dalmatian is not actually trained she just happened to be laying on the bed before the breakage happened.  I'm actually not sure where Muffin is.  He isn't trained either.  He probably ran off when he lamp broke.  He doesn't tend to get in the way like the Mals.

Sunday, August 17, 2014

Trip to PA

Back a few weeks ago I traveled to PA for my Grandfather's 80th birthday.  This was the first time the entire family was together since 2000.  Our first stop was D.C to visit older younger brother and his girlfriend J.  They both have very important jobs with the government.   Youngest brother has been living with them during his internship.

Me and the brothers outside his house.

My dogs on their own vacation.

At the Washington Monument.
View from the edge of the reflecting pool.

A beautiful couple in a beautiful location.
Riding one of the bike share bikes.  Fun.
WWII Memorial with Lincoln in background.
Korean Monument.

At the docks at Mt. Vernon on the Potomac River.

Youngest bro in same location.
Hanging with G at Mt Vernon.
The tomb of Martha and George Washington.
Outside of the Smithsonian Air and Space Annex.
My favorite aircraft, the SR-71 Blackbird.

The Enola Gay.  I got chills.
So many great aircraft.

Neat view of the Blackbird and the orbiter Discovery.

Mom and the Discovery.  So cool that it has been in space!


K and J on the river cruise on the Potomac.
The Watergate Hotel and Conference Center.

Hello again.

Older younger bro made a delicious dinner for us.  So good!

Next we headed to PA for the birthday celebrations!

This is me at my Grandparent's house by the largest tamarac tree in PA.

My fav niece and Godchild.

Aunt A took me to see Cats at the Civic Light Oprah.

Grandpap and cousin Mark have the same birthday.

Siblings plus L.

Deer and turkeys in my Grandparent's neighborhood.

Family plus J.

Out of order... but this is me in Maryland, the state of my birth.

This is the crew who went to Go Ape, a tree top and zip lining adventure.  Fun, but I hurt my ankle.

A good trip, just long enough I'd say.