Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Merry Christmas!

The kids are happy, iTunes cards have pretty much been burned through, Abercrombie will have some deliveries coming this week. It was quite the horse Christmas for E, she'll be attending riding camp the rest of the week. M's already gone to her best friends, a day and a half w/ the family is a bit much for her! :) C has lowering springs for his little Accord that should go on next week, depending on if he gets the shocks he needs. R and I might end up with the new digital camera we've been wishing for.

Spent Christmas eve at my grandfather's, same as I've done for the past 40 years. My cousins were all in town and this year the kids got to go with us and everyone had a good time. Today my mother, step-father, sister and brother-in-law came over around noon to swap gifts and visit.

Turkey was consumed and everyone is content. We're all thankful to be in good health and happy together. We wish we were with our friends Karen and Mike, but they're on our minds and in our hearts every moment of the day.

So to all out there, Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The latest Perspectives

Take time to read this. Three parts, well worth the time.

Part I - LawDog.

Part II - Ambulance Driver.

Part III - BabsRN.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

OS

Edit: Found via /. is this little blog entry about upgrading from Vista to XP... HeeHee

It's been a while since I've written about operating systems. If you've been reading for a while, you'll remember my earliest experiences with Vista. At first, not all was bad with Vista. The best thing that could be said about it as an operating system is that it's pretty. I was pretty happy with it for a while (it's installed on a Dell XPS M1210 laptop) since I was able to accomplish pretty much whatever I needed to do, just not as efficiently as I could with Win XP. Cut to the chase, I am no longer using Vista on that laptop or anywhere else for that matter. I've finally gotten sick and tired of dealing with Vista and all it's little idiosyncrasies. The final straw was when I went to uninstall Norton Internet Security and totally lost all networking ability. Yes, all networking ability. Wireless, ethernet, everything! Figured re-install drivers and I should be good to go. Nope, nothing. OK, uninstall all the wireless software, nothing. Ah, maybe it's just DHCP... Nope, static IP did nothing. I could see the network, I could see wireless AP's, but could never get the machine to get or take an IP address (oh, it had a self assigned local IP, but never anything else). I tried, a friend and colleague at work worked with it for a day. I read forums, tried published solutions, everything I could think of. Finally, I downloaded Ubuntu and booted it from the live cd. Wow, networking worked right off the bat! The machine got an IP right away! Next step was to re-boot into Vista, get all my files off the hd and install Linux. Nice, clean, easy install and almost all the drivers are installed! The only thing I have to get is the driver for the Ricoh card reader.

I'm really pissed that I had to give up on Vista, but I just don't think that an OS should take so much work.

On another note, I've re-discovered working with a Mac and I absolutely love it! I'm running Leopard and it's smooth and efficient. I can do pretty much anything I need to do with it AND run Win XP! I have Parallels Desktop installed so that I can run an instance of XP without any stress. I'm really happy that I've gone back to using Mac and plan on working with it for a long time to come!

Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Tam says it better

Of course! My barber was lamenting just how sad it was that people were losing their homes, how it was so evil that the gov would allow the mortgage companies to do such things to poor everyday Joe Blow who never had a chance. Just dammit! I've never seen anyone forced at gunpoint to sign mortgage papers, but sure enough, the Fed is now going to take my hard earned money (at gunpoint if necessary) and "subsidize" poor ole Joe Blow and his bad spending habits.

Guess what. I made some bad decisions too. My family has sacrificed and worked hard so that we haven't had to 'demand' that someone bail us out. And guess what else. I can see the light, way down yonder. And we did it w/out Fed Gov.


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Saturday, November 24, 2007

Region 4

Too tired to report much, but the past couple of days have been awesome. Had to pull Lobo yesterday since he skinned a stopper pad in prelims and I wanted it to not be too sensitive today for the Invitational. Today he did really well and took second in FCh. Everett took first yesterday and I forfeited him for breed to give the Open the points and because the ground was a bit rough yesterday. Today he took first in FCh and Breed. Ran in Best in Regional and he was beaten by a very nice Borzoi that ran in his course. I'm really proud of how both boys have done this weekend!

Weather was less than ideal with temps in the upper 30's all day, wind and rain, snow and sleet. Made it through the day just a bit wet and cold, but recovered with a nice dinner at a Mexican place across from the field. Another day tomorrow with rain and cold forecast. I'll get to head home though tomorrow after the trial. I'm ready to get home.


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Thursday, November 22, 2007

Also

When I got in and checked my email, I read that Carol Curry, a fixture in the Whippet world, has passed away. Carol has lived with cancer for the past three years, beating the odds.

Carol was a wonderful woman who worked hard for the betterment of Whippets overall. I am fortunate to have known her and will miss her.


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Texas!

After a 13 hour drive, I made it to Texas. Like I've said here (or maybe elsewhere, I'm tired and really can't remember), I feel quite comfortable in Texas. I'm not real sure why, other than I've always had pleasant experiences when I've visited here. It reminds me a lot of the Atlanta area, just much much more spread out.

I've done a good bit of traveling this year, judging in many different parts of the country. I've been to Washington State, California, and Connecticut. I was in New York last weekend and all over the Southeast. I've felt a bit displaced everywhere I've gone this year except for home. Texas is always an exception to this discomfort. Ever since the first time I came through a few years ago, I've always felt that this was a place I could belong. Not many places in the country I can say that about.

Unfortunately, I am by myself here this trip. I agreed to judge a while back with the anticipation that we'd hook up with R's brother and sister-in-law and their kids. That didn't pan out this time. Add to that the weather forecast for Forth Worth, the fact that we have a 10 week old puppy in tow and we figured our best plan for the weekend would be for me to drive out with the older Whippets and for R to stay home with Carmela and catch up on some of her orders. So here I am on Thanksgiving, by myself in a LaQuinta in Denton, TX. I did get to have Turkey and all at Cracker Barrel up the road a bit, and I got to see R for a bit this morning, so Thanksgiving isn't at all a washout.

I'm really looking forward to judging my third Regional Invitational this year on Saturday. I'll be with a pretty good group of people here, Teri and Jack, Dana and many others. I'm not looking forward to the possibility of working the trial in the cold rain that's forecast for the weekend!

Y'all have a great weekend and stay dry!


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Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Whirlwind weekend!

The weekend was quite a blur for me! Good, but a huge blur. I left ATL around 6p Friday to fly to Newburgh, NY to pick up the new puppy, returning to ATL at 9 Saturday night. It was good to visit with our good friends the Lorenzos for a few hours and much better to have someone else do the driving to pick up the pup. She's been super since she's come to live here. Not crate trained by any stretch of the imagination, but that will come in time. I have pics on my website.

Looking forward to the Region 4 Invitational this weekend. Wish that the weather forecast was a bit more favorable, but we'll make do. It'll be Carmela's first long trip in the car, wish us luck!


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Monday, November 12, 2007

Veteran's Day

Thanks to anyone and everyone who has served this country. We bitch about how rough it is, forgetting that we <b>can</b> bitch about it.


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Thursday, November 08, 2007

This makes no sense...

Tam's blog comes in at Elementary Level, but this blog getscash advance

What up with that???





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Monday, November 05, 2007

UGH

This time of the year really wipes me out. I think it's more than just the time change, it's the changing light. The angle of the sun bugs me and the shortness of the days really makes me sluggish and kind of mellow. I really don't get terribly depressed, just sort of....blah.


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Boring

It's been a boring life of later. We're getting ready for the Regional this weekend which is keeping us way busy. Both been working too much as usual. We did get a bit of down time Saturday evening when we attended our friend Jennifer's wedding. Unique and fun ceremony! Congratulations to them and here's hoping they have a wonderful, long life together!


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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Burned

A couple of years ago, I wrote about a "friend" who screwed me and how I didn't think of him as a friend anymore. This was an old blog, so don't bother looking for it. Well, we patched things up for a while. I got burned again by this person. Twice is once too many... Actually, twice is twice too many times. Never again.


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Friday, October 19, 2007

Coursing again!

Oy, what a week! It's been crazy, thus the lack of posting. I'll try and do better.

Our fall coursing season started with a bang last weekend with a long trip to Connecticut for the Region 9 Invitational which I judged. We headed out last Thursday for the trek and made it to Karen and Mikes in New York by mid day on Friday. We spent an enjoyable afternoon with our good friends, checking out some new whippet puppies and enjoyed ribs and roasted veggies for dinner. Headed out around 6:00 for the drive from their house to somewhere in Connecticut. The drive should have taken just an hour or so, but ended up taking us almost 3 hours thanks to the convoluted road system, bridges, traffic and tolls. Those folks up there are proud of their roads, charging tolls all over the place for a crappy driving surface. I mean, just damn. Spend some of that revenue on keeping the roadway smooth. I thought we were going to shake apart in places.

After a good nights sleep, we got up early and headed for the field, another 1 1/2 hours away. This was a really beautiful drive through middle Connecticut. It's a beautiful place, but there's no way I could handle the winters they have!! Anyways, back to the coursing. We got to the field, and what a beautiful place it is. It's a private farm with quite a few very nice, coursable fields. The field we were on was back off the main road set against a treeline on two sides, but that didn't matter thanks to the size of the field. It's a sloping field (rather a hill), down away from the start/finish. Dogs had to do a lot of work up and down that hill to be successful. The grass wasn't overly long, but it wasn't sheared short either. Actually, perfect running conditions. I wish I could pick that field up and move it south for our use!

There weren't many Greyhounds, Karen and Mikes, Tracy's and another couple had two there. Sweeney took BoB at the Regional and brought home a very nice trophy. The Whippets didn't place so well thanks to a really screwy judge (one I will NEVER spend money to run under again), but in my opinion ran great, especially since one hadn't run in 5 months and the other in 7 months! We had the Alley's Oh Jo with us too and she came up on the short end of the stick.

Sunday was a bit of a different story. We didn't run Sweeney (we're still working on one day a weekend) but ran all three Whippets and Nellie. Whippets did really well, with Everett taking BoB for his third 1st towards LCM 10. Lobo fell in prelims and just didn't manage to get back into it until too late. Jo did really well and finished 4th for the day. Nellie's story is a bit more of a disappointment. She collided with the dog in prelims and lost focus, decided it was time to play and ended up dismissed. We're not too happy, but life goes on. Maybe she'll have a career at LGRA or NOTRA.

This week has been busy as we're getting ready for Mike and Karen to visit us this weekend. They're coming down for the SEGC trials in Moreland and are staying with us. It'll be a lot of fun since this is their first time coming to our house.

I have to get to Moreland pretty early in the morning, help set up the field for the SEGC trial, then hustle over to the Coweta County Fairground to judge the IGCA National Specialty. Probably isn't going to be a huge trial, but it'll be a lot of fun and it's always an honor to judge, especially a specialty. Ruthanna is taking the whippets to Moreland on Sunday to run while I return to the CCF to run the lure for the AKC portion of the specialty. Going to be another busy weekend!

Unfortunately, we have canceled our plans to attend the Greyhound Specialty in Oklahoma this year. Just can't work it out, so good luck to everyone who's going!

I'll leave you with a picture...



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Monday, October 08, 2007

Torn...

That traitor Tom Glavine decides he wants to forgo the option year on his contract with the New York Mets. Rumor has it that he's willing to take a lower paycheck for a short (read 1 year) contract in order to come back and play for the Atlanta Braves. I'm a bit torn about this as I feel he could be an asset to the Braves, but at the same time I have a hard time looking past his lack of loyalty to the team that invested a lot of time in him (Braves). So, I ask, should I care? Is this just another aspect of the business that is professional baseball?


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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

This sucks

Comet's Royal Gala, LCM 20, VLCM 4
Comet's Alabaster Dodger, VFCh, LCM 10, Dodger
Numbers one and five on ASFA's Lifetime Top 20 Whippet list. We've tragically lost both of these fine hounds, two of my favorites, in the past month. My most sincere condolences to Les and Shirri, Beth and David in the loss of these two wonderful dogs. They'll be sorely missed.
Condolences also to John and Laura Parker on the loss of their Greyhound Wizz last month as well.

Gala was a beautiful, durable, fierce competitor who will hold the record for most LCM's and most dogs defeated for I'm sure a very long time. At 10 years old, she could compete with the best of the youngsters.

I have memories of Dodger from the day he went home to live with Beth and David. As a little background, Beth and David are some of the best people that I know in this world. We've known each other for over 10 years, meeting through Southeastern Greyhound Club in the early, early days. We've traveled together to trials for years. Beth and David have two of the best kids I've ever met. I could go on and on. Anyway, I have a picture of Les handing over Dodger's leash to Jen at an ACC trial down in Thomasville years ago. David has this priceless look on his face like 'What the hell have I gotten into...'. Little did he know that Dodger would become his best friend, a number one Whippet, top 20 for I don't know how many years and an absolute monster on the lure. He sired some pretty good pups, including my first Whippet, Comet's Just Run Wild Bigsky, FCh (J.R.).

We're losing too many of our best hounds. It's way too sad and they'll be missed greatly.



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Monday, October 01, 2007

Baseball thanks

Thanks to the Braves for giving us a decent season. Y'all did better than most figured you would and did it with injuries and less than stellar "stars".
Thanks to the Phillies for turning it on in September and overtaking the Mets.
Thanks to the Traitor Tom Glavine for losing the last game of the Mets 2007 season.
Thanks to the Mets for the greatest collapse in baseball history.

I'm done.


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Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Why it's hard to blog

Most of the reason I don't blog too much is quite personal. Meaning, I'm a relatively private person and I don't feel real comfortable sharing a whole lot of personal information with others. Don't know why, that's just me. So, that's kind of counter to the whole blogging thing... I'm trying to get better at what I share and write, but I still find it hard to really let it flow.

Anyway, that and time! :)


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Kevin Spacey is an ass

He was good in American Beauty. Now he's showing what an ass he is.


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Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Vacation

But what the hell am I doing online? :) Actually, we came down to a little cafe' to grab some coffee and wifi time really quick today. I swear I'm going to the beach later! We don't have a hi speed connection in the condo, and I'm not about to sit and play on dial up for long. Of course, I really don't care to be online long anyway, but every once in a while won't kill me.

Cocoa is still the beautiful, laid back place that it always has been. It's been on and off rainy since we got down here, actually started while we were crossing over on I-10. Evidently we've got a little almost tropical system sitting off the coast that keeps throwing thunderstorms and showers at us. No big deal, I can sit and read instead of getting out to the beach.

Probably be a light week for blogging since I'm not sure how often we'll come down to grab the wifi signal.


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Sunday, September 09, 2007

Washington on Sunday

Getting ready to head out to the field in a few minutes. I'm not sure if I'm going to be able to post much, depends on wifi coverage at the airport tonight. SeaTac is supposed to have good coverage, so maybe I'll be back on later. Just wanted to say that I had a great time yesterday at the trial. It took a long while to get started since the grass on the field was much longer than anticipated and was very wet. The lure just did not want to stay on top of the grass. It finally dried up enough to run dogs around 1:00. That's why it took until 8:00 to run the dogs we had. Everyone did a great job and pulled off a really nice trial.

Saturday, September 08, 2007

Washington

Well, I'm not going to post much since it was such a long day. We hit the field around 7:15 and finally left at 8:30 pm. Oy, I'm tired!!!

Damn it's late

And I've got to get up in about 5 hours. Long flight to Seattle, but thanks to Phil I had a nice first class seat. Looking forward to seeing some nice dogs tomorrow. Kirby and Jason were talking a lot about OFC on the way up from the airport and I'm really jealous. Damn, I need to get out to do that sometime.

More tomorrow. Probably no pics since I don't have a USB cable or a card reader. I'll try to post some when I get back home Monday or Tuesday.

Friday, September 07, 2007

No, I didn't

Nope, didn't follow one of Tam's tenets on blogging. Didn't blog yesterday. Was a bit busy trying to get some of the Virtual environment set up. Had to get a haircut, go to the grocery store, fix dinner, do laundry and pack last night after work. I'm headed to Seattle tonight to judge the Northwest Sporting Greyhound Association's Greyhound Classic this weekend. I'm really looking forward to this assignment as I get to see some folks I haven't seen in about a year and I get to see some of the great NW Greyhounds we hear so much about but never get to see. I'm sure I'll be happy with what the club is doing since they're using drag (something we've not quite "mastered" here) and they're not shy about their yardage! Saturday is 1075 yards and Sunday is 905 yards. Love to see me some Greyhounds who can run some distance!


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Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Cool tech and house stuff

Sort of all over the map today. First, I've been spending a good bit of time looking for siding so that I can repair a rotted place on the house. I know I've mentioned before that our house was a foreclosure. Wasn't taken care of really well, so I still have a lot of work to do to get it up to snuff. Right now I'm painting the exterior. Along with this is repair of some rotted wood on the siding and fascia. The fascia isn't really a big deal, just 1x10 and 1x4 behind the gutters. The house has a bit of craftsmanship (not your typical ranch) and the overhangs are all angled downward away from the house and the fascia is not at a 90 degree to the ground. What happens is that I have to make some pretty complex cuts in order to make my corners.

The siding has turned into a bi of a chore since up until today I didn't really know what I should be asking for. Now I know it's reverse board and batten. Not a really good picture, but it'll do. Now I just have to find it!

Apple released details on the latest IPods today. Cool new IPod Touch and new Nano. The Video IPod is now the IPod Classic (didn't know you could be "classic" after a life of a year or so). Anyway, the IPod Touch looks really nice, based on the IPhone interface and sporting WiFi. Now you'll be able to download music anywhere you can get a WiFi signal and not have to wait until you can connect to your computer. I'm actually a bit surprised it's taken Apple this long to get to that point.

Speaking of Apple, I'm typing this on my new MacBook. Cool tool that I'm able to use for almost everything I do. What's nice is that I can play w/ Unix, Linux, Windows and Mac all from one machine. It's been years since I've played with a Mac and it's taking a bit of time to get used to the OS and the GUI, but I'm getting there.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

Tam explains blogging

Tam who writes my favorite blog (she doesn't know me from Adam, but reading her blog inspired me to read and blog more) lays down some excellent blogging guidelines...

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Sunday, September 02, 2007

All is right with the world...

College football season has started and the Good Guys won! Amazing defense with a bit of shallow offense and mix in some good special teams play and you have a recipe for a slaughter of stalwart Notre Dame.

The other team pulled off a victory too, but against who?? :)

Dark day for my friend Dan, though. Not sure how Michigan became the victim of the greatest upset in college football history, but somehow they did. Sorry Dan.

Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Just Damn

Sitting here at work, trying to figure out how to virtualize a physical server easily and without much pain (I don't think it's possible) listening to Suicidal Tendencies. I just decided to explore their music last week. Why'd I wait so long?


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Friday, August 24, 2007

Thursday, August 23, 2007

A guy's weekend


Last weekend was great down at Neil's farm. My buddy bought this place four years ago to use as a nursery for his landscaping business. It also makes an excellent place to get away from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The farm is less than a couple of hours away, so it's pretty convenient to get to. We took off Thursday evening looking to meet up with our buddy Stephen who was driving up from Bradenton, Florida. We try to get together with Stephen whenever possible and this was our chance this year. As luck would have it, Stephen was pulling through Ellaville at the same time we were. We proceeded to the farm and got unloaded and settled in before grabbing some stuff and heading to Neil's uncle's place a mile up the road. Me and Stephen were on the four wheeler and Andrew and Neil were riding in the Gator. Spent an hour or so cruising around the property, hunting for Armadillos and just generally checking things out. Neil's uncle has some 300 acres so there's a lot of room to just roam about.

Got back to the house and just hung for a bit, drinking a few beers and just shooting the shit. Good to be around a bunch of great guys. Got up Friday morning a *little* hung over but not too bad (nothing like the previous weekend!!). Uncle Bobby headed up from Americus early so we could all have a good breakfast before getting to work. Friday was spent running back and forth to Ellaville for groceries and supplies; I think we made something like 5 trips to town that day because we kept forgetting the little things we needed! We got a couple of gallons of paint so we could finish painting the pump house that we had started on last year, hinges and door latches to fix the screen door on the porch and the door on the pump house, and a lot of other little piddly stuff that just needed to get done. We worked our asses off in some of the most intense heat of the summer. We always were having fun though! Ended up the day running down to Americus so that we could use Uncle Bobby's welder and drill to mount the skeet thrower to a 2" receiver so that it could be mounted on the back of a pickup truck. This was just a great idea that worked out perfectly! The thrower worked pretty well as it was, but couldn't really be anchored to the ground very well. Mounting it on some 2" box steel took care of that problem!! Anyway, after using the welder we agreed to help Uncle Bobby move some furniture into his daughter's new home. What should have taken about 15 minutes to move a couch and a couple of armoires ended up taking over an hour!!! Dammit, but none of us were even married to the woman and we kept moving stuff around, waiting for approval that this looked good here, there, wherever. Damn!

Rain started to fall as we were pulling in to Neil's driveway coming back from Americus.
Figured it was just a little summer shower that would pass pretty quickly. Damn if it didn't just come down cats and dogs for over four hours! I think it rained close to six inches during that time. Lightning and thunder to beat the band! We lost power an hour or so into the storm but wasn't really any big deal... Just lit candles, cranked up the grill and got to cooking a bunch of fish that Andrew had caught the previous weekend in Destin. That and some Asparagus made for a damn good dinner, all grilled just perfectly. Man we ate like kings! Of course, when you get the four of us fat asses together, we're going to eat well! Didn't really do too much more except sit around and shoot the shit for a while Friday night. Neil did keep trying to get the EMC to come out and fix the power, but that didn't end up happening until seven the next morning.

We were up early Saturday again and Uncle Bobby came up to join us for breakfast. Luckily the EMC came out early and got the power turned back on so we could have some coffee and get awake. After breakfast and a quick shower, we headed up to Uncle Bobby's place to clear a road going into the south "40" (more like the south 100). We worked until early afternoon cutting down little trees, trimming high branches and bush hogging the road to get it passable. Amazing how much five guys can get done. Damn it was hot again, and muggy as hell thanks to the rain the previous night. We went back to Neil's for lunch with the full intention of getting back to work after lunch. As fate would have it, no one was really inclined to get back out in the heat after enjoying a great lunch, instead opting for a nap. I caught about 20 minutes and woke up ready to get back to work. Neil was just getting around to changing out the bush hog for the finishing mower, so I went down to help him and ended up doing the mowing while he did some other stuff around the house. First time bush hogging and didn't do too bad of a job! Only hit one of his tree cages and mangled it pretty bad, but nothing that couldn't be fixed!

By the time I was done, Bobby had headed back to Americus and the other three had set up to shoot some skeet. Andrew, Neil and Stephen all got a turn at a stack when I finished mowing so it was perfect timing for me to get some shots in. Damn, I love to shoot skeet! It's been a while since I've had the opportunity, but it's like riding a bike for me. First I was using Neil's auto loader and knocked out 15 for 15. Woohooo! It was a good day. I think I got a couple more turns and really only missed a couple total, not including the double that Stephen threw when I only had one shot left in his pump. Stephen liberated a watermelon from the patch behind Neil's and since I had my pistol, we laid waste to that poor fruit. There wasn't much left of it by the time we finished with it. Ended up shooting until almost dark. Dinner on Saturday was awesome again. Stephen had done a really nice venison roast, black beans and rice and asparagus again. Man, what a meal! After we finished we were all too full and too tired to do anything else, so we sat around and watched Beerfest and just crashed.

Sunday morning was pretty uneventful. We did some more little jobs around Neil's until it was time to clean up and get ready to leave. I guess Stephen took off around 11 so he could get back down to Florida. It was good as always to see him, just too short of a time. We got everything at the farm back in order and cleaned up for an hour or so before loading up and heading home.

These three guys are the best friends a guy can have. We always have a good time when we're together. It's amazing to think that we've known each other for over 25 years and we all still keep in touch and see each other every chance we get. There will be plenty more opportunities to get together for years to come and I really look forward to it!


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Thursday, August 16, 2007

Guy's weekend this weekend

Going to my friend's farm down in south Georgia for the weekend. It'll be a good time, especially since Stephen is coming up from Florida! We'll bust our asses working around the farm mostly, but there will be plenty of killed skeets and targets at the end of the weekend!!

Everyone have a good weekend and stay cool!


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My life...

This Is My Life, Rated
Life:
8.6
Mind:
7.8
Body:
8.2
Spirit:
8.8
Friends/Family:
7.5
Love:
9.1
Finance:
6.6
Take the Rate My Life Quiz

I say that's not to bad. Finances stress me a bit, but not enough to ruin my life...

Seen everywhere!!! ;)


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Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Going to Cali

I would have really liked to have blogged this live, but for some reason I can't get on the network. Not sure if it's a problem with the network here of if it's a problem w/ the POS Microsoft Vista that is installed on this machine. I'm sitting in the Atlanta Airport (fun place that it is) waiting on my flight to San Jose. I got here and tried to connect and got the splash screen to connect to a wireless provider for $7.95 per day. Wasn't ready to connect right then cause I wanted to go to Starbucks real quick and get a Frappucino. Got back to the gate and opened the laptop back up to connect and while I can see the wireless network, I can't get a connection for some reason. Shut down Norton's (that usually does it) - no good. Tried to repair, tried to release, tried to renew, no good. I've given up! And I'm a network guy! I should be able to get a connection! I really figure it's Vista. Dammit.

Got to the airport 2 hours + before my flight was supposed to leave. Went to the kiosk to check in and my flight had been canceled. Canceled! I still don't know why. Regardless, I waited in line for a human bean to talk to about alternatives. Oh, btw, the computer had re-booked me on a flight tomorrow! That's not really going to do me a lot of good since I need to be at a field trial early in the morning! Anyway, got to the human and she clicked her keys and found a flight that leaves at 8:12 pm tonight. So I've been sitting here in the airport since before 3:00 today. Bored. Can't connect to the internet. At least I have my Ipod and a book. And solitaire and Mah Jong.

Talked to my grandfather for a little while. It has been over a month since I talked to him, so it was really good to re-connect with him. Things are going well for him. At 84 years old, he's still playing golf at least 2 days every week. Even in the heat we've been having (103 yesterday, 102 today) he's still going out and playing. Good for him! I hope I can do that when I'm his age. Of course, as much as I abuse my body, I'll probably be all broken down by then!

Update at 7:11 pm. My flight leaves in an hour. I just got connected to the portal so that I can get on the web. Eh, I'll be boarding in less than an hour so there's no way I'm spending the $7.95 for a connection. Ah well, I guess I didn't miss too much. Ipod is about fully charged, laptop is topped off and my cell phone is almost there. I'm going to shut down and head to the gate.

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Cal-i-forn-i-a

I'm here in Hollister, CA at 3:54 EDT, 12:54 here. Gotta get some sleep, but I'll relate the details of the trip later.


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Friday, August 10, 2007

Damned Shame

The Discovery Channel cycling team is disbanding after this year. This is one of the most successful teams in all of sport, winning 8 of the past 9 Tours de France and is the only American team that rode in this year's Tour.

Perhaps another team will be formed, but without Johan Bruyneel and LanceArmstrong as driving forces, I don't see another dominant team coming to fruition.

Sad day for America's involvement in International sport.

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Thursday, August 09, 2007

This n' That

Ah, the kids are back in school as of last Monday. I remember not going back to school until after Labor Day, but we didn't get a week off every six weeks or so...

Damn, it's hot. Yeah, we choose to live in Georgia where yeah, it does get sorta hot and humid during the summers. It's been a while since it's been this hot for an extended duration and this is the first time it's been this hot since we moved into this house. I gotta get this for the house soon.

Yes, my Achilles is healing quite nicely, thank you very much. I started running again on Monday and ran a couple of miles this morning and have done pretty well. I'm doing quite a bit more stretching before and icing the tendon after my runs.

HD rocks! We've had a pretty nice HD ready TV for about 4 years now and had put off getting HD until the prices came down a bit. We were sort of forced into going for this option by the failure of a circuit board that takes the standard def picture and processes it to show well on the widescreen 50 inch. The choices were to shell out big bucks for a new monitor, not quite so big bucks, but not small bucks for the board replacement or even smaller bucks to take out a tree in the line of the HD satellites and bargain with DirecTV for a deal on an HD DVR setup. Duh, no brainer. Especially since I do tree work and one of my best friends was willing to come down and climb for me for very little. So now we're enjoying the beauty of Hi-Def! It's certainly worth it!


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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

My thermometer says

101 at the house. In the shade.

The Weather Channel begs to differ.... :)

A while...

It's been a while since I posted anything. I've been more than a little busy at work, working a weekend job, painting the house and running around with kids and such. I'll get back to blogging more regularly soon.

I spent yesterday first off doing the brakes on the van. What should have taken a couple of hours max ended up taking the better part of six. One of the biggest time wasters was having to run back and forth to the parts store to get the correct size Torx wrench to remove the calipers. Sheesh, I thought I had a nice complete set of tools, but not so much. Anyway, I finally got done and cleaned up and started painting again. I've got most of the siding painting, only have the east side of the house left to finish. We still need to paint the trim, but the house is looking so much better already.

It's damn hot. Sunday was one of the hottest days I can remember. I was out cutting trees in Va-Hi and it had to be almost 100. Yesterday hit at least 98 here, probably going to be hotter today. I guess the next project after painting will be to replace the heating and air in the house. Good thing I'm working the extra weekends.

I'm headed to Hollister California this weekend for a judging assignment. I'm really looking forward to it, it's been a while since we've been coursing. Not taking any dogs, but it should be a good time. From what I hear, they really do it up right out there and focus on having fun. Can't wait!

I'll be back blogging next week. Try to stay cool!


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Thursday, August 02, 2007

Bah, China!

First, it was dog food, then toothpaste, now it's lead paint on toys. China's not quite ready to play on the world trading stage. Is this due to a rush to get product to market, so much so that the products are dangerous? Is it lax oversight by US officials?


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Thursday, July 26, 2007

All the cheaters...

Are nothing more than asshats.

Sport is chaos without rules. Everyone knows that, it doesn't need elaboration. If you're going to be a professional athlete, you'd better be prepared to submit to the rules of your team and whatever sanctioning body enforces rules.

It seems that all professional sports have their cheaters. Pro baseball has steroid abusers. Technically for years, steroids were not verboten in baseball, but should those who have been implicated in steroid scandals be included in record books? For decades, the holder for most home runs was Babe Ruth. This man did it all not only without drugs, but half drunk and obese as hell. His feat was remarkable. Hank Aaron overtook Ruth with hard work and sacrifice. Now we have an implicated steroid abuser about to take over the all time home run record. Bonds has not used his natural talents to achieve this feat and should not be recognized.

Michael Vick is an exceptional athlete but he's proving that he's not so smart. Today he's being arraigned on dog fighting charges. As far as I'm concerned, this is associated with the thug culture that is ruining much of American professional sports. Many athletes think they need to prove how 'cool' or 'tough' they are off the field or court and have adopted this thug culture to achieve their goal.

Professional golf isn't even immune to accusations of steroid abuse. Seve Ballesteros, a leading golfer from the 1970's to the 1990's, has accused top contenders in the PGA tour of using steroids in order to compete at the highest level.

Now to cycling, one of my favorite sports. July is the month for the pinnacle event in pro cycling, The Tour de France. Cycling has had a history of doping cyclists since the late 1970's. Sanctioning bodies, teams and individual cyclists have fought to clean up the sport for years. The Tour has led and continues to lead the fight against doping and drug abuse. This year should have been the year for a drug free Tour. Riders are subject to the most stringent drug testing in all of sport. The fear of getting caught should be enough to dissuade riders from doping or drugging up. Not everyone is so smart...

Alexandre Vinokourov was found to have doped his blood. How stupid is that? Put someone else's blood, packed with oxygen carrying cells in your body and expect to get away with it. You're not going to.

Michael Rasmussen was dismissed not for failing a drug test, but for lying about his where-abouts a few weeks before the Tour. This falls into the area of just following the rules. I'm not convinced so much that he's doping or using performance enhancing drugs, but what should we believe when he lies about his whereabouts weeks before the Tour. Supposedly in Mexico visiting his wife's family, Rasmussen was seen in the mountains of Italy and unavailable for testing. Blame isn't on the sanctioning body for the strictness of the tests, but on the rider who makes himself unavailable and lies about the reason.

My faith hasn't been shaken in cycling. I agree with Phil Ligget, commentator on the US cable channel Versus, with his assessment that this should not be the darkest days for the Tour, rather the brightest. I'm encouraged that a team has no problem at all removing a cheater who was wearing Yellow. I'm encouraged that the Tour has no problem removing one of the biggest names and pre-race favorites (and his team) from the race. I'm encouraged that cyclists right and left are speaking out as well as silently protesting the drug abuse that is dominating the news of the Tour. I have faith that the sport of cycling can clean itself up. I'm still a fan and will continue to be. Eventually, riders will learn that there is no way they can dope and get away with it. The punishments will be too great for them to push the system.


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Wednesday, July 25, 2007

No freaking way

I'm a fan of cycling. I'm a big fan of the Tour de France. Typically, France, eh, you can keep it. But when it comes to the Tour, I'm all over that. I Tivo every stage so that I can come home and watch the highlights after work. To me it is 3 weeks of bliss. Cyclists are amazing athletes who endure more just sitting on a saddle for 5+ hours a day than most athletes endure in a season.

What the hell is going on with cycling though. Doping suspicions are going to wreck the beloved sport. Lance Armstrong was the most tested man in sport when he was winning the Tour. He passed every test with flying colors. Last year's winner is still under a cloud of suspicion (and not recognized by the Tour as the winner, btw) after having high levels of Testosterone in his blood sample. Just yesterday, a test of Alexandre Vinokourov's blood shows that he was doping so he and his team dropped out of the race. Today I open up the 'puter and see that the leader, two time winner of King of the Mountains Michael Rasmussen has been removed from the race by his team for violation of internal rules. The rule is that he must report his whereabouts 24/7/365 and be available for drug testing at any time. According to the stories I saw last week, this all comes about because he missed a couple of flights flying to and from Mexico to visit his in-laws.

I don't know what to make of this news now. Is this to be like baseball? I was able to hold on to the innocence of sport and competition for a long time watching baseball, until steroids and strikes became de riguer. Am I not allowed to believe in sport and pure human competition anymore?

I just don't know what to make of this

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Injury?

I was running yesterday at lunch and started to have this pain in my Achilles tendon like needles. I figured I would run through it and it would just feel better. Nah. Still painful today so I'm headed to the trainer to see what he can do for me. I hope It heals quickly since I'm enjoying running so much.

Edit: It's a strain, the trainer says. So he hooked me up to a muscle stimulator and let it work me for a while. The tendon felt much better when I left. Now I've got it iced for the night and I'm going back after work tomorrow.

Monday, July 23, 2007

Are you a Best Buy customer

Or do you use the Geek Squad to service your computer? Do you think your information is private when you have a Geek Squad member working on your machine? Think again!


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Thursday, July 19, 2007

Everett again

And here he is grown up. He can be a bane for lure operators...


Photo by Dan @ Shot On Site

A dog pic

It's kind of slow in my world today, so I wanted to share a picture...
The little guy in the bucket is Everett.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

The next...

Reader will be #1000! It's really picked up in the past few months. I really appreciate anyone who takes time to read this little blog. I know that the content is all over the map, but if you know me, you know I am all over the map.

Thanks everyone!!!!

Monday, July 16, 2007

Ethanol

I've had a little interest in alternative fuels for years, ever since I used to travel with my father to the South Georgia corn fields and the many back woods distilleries stills that were producing "ethanol" back in the '70's. I barely remember, but he had contacts with farmers who would produce corn mash for, ummm, medicinal purposes...yeah, that's it... He'd get a bit of this to take back to Tech so they could work on figuring out an alternative to gasoline.

Ethanol has promise, but we're beginning to figure out that the costs with production might prohibit the wide-spread adoption of ethanol as "the answer" to our fuel woes. Using corn to produce ethanol is already causing issues with animal feed prices, leading to higher grocery prices in general. Here's a nice alternative to using corn to produce ethanol.


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Friday, July 13, 2007

Our pets

Tomorrow morning I have to go and say goodbye to a greyhound that I've known since 1998. Robin and I got Kookie back in September of 1998. He came to us strictly as a re-hab case, we were to help him mend and then he'd be placed back in his previous home. After seeing his condition and helping him regain his help, there was no question that Kookie was going to stay. He coursed for just a little while in 1999 and 2000. Kookie won Open stake at the 1999 II in Virginia, but we forfeited breed because he tore a shoulder muscle. After re-habbing this injury, Kookie tried again, only to break a toe. His coursing career ended with 89 points towards his FCh.

Robin and Kookie have been fortunate to have each other through the years. He has always been a fabulous pet and a very personable dog.

Kookie has not been feeling well for a while, not eating well, having to get up in the middle of the night, back legs not working well. Robin took him in yesterday and had x-rays done. The vet found a large mass in his abdomen. We are staunch believers that animals should never have to go through hell so that they might live for us just a few weeks or months. With that in mind, Robin has made the decision that we'll have to let Kookie go tomorrow.

Godspeed, Kookie.

Edit: Got a call this afternoon from Robin. Kookie was much worse today than yesterday. She went ahead and took him in. He's with his brothers and sister now.


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Our pets

Tomorrow morning I have to go and say goodbye to a greyhound that I've known since 1998. Robin and I got Kookie back in September of 1998. He came to us strictly as a re-hab case, we were to help him mend and then he'd be placed back in his previous home. After seeing his condition and helping him regain his help, there was no question that Kookie was going to stay. He coursed for just a little while in 1999 and 2000. Kookie won Open stake at the 1999 II in Virginia, but we forfeited breed because he tore a shoulder muscle. After re-habbing this injury, Kookie tried again, only to break a toe. His coursing career ended with 89 points towards his FCh.

Robin and Kookie have been fortunate to have each other through the years. He has always been a fabulous pet and a very personable dog.

Kookie has not been feeling well for a while, not eating well, having to get up in the middle of the night, back legs not working well. Robin took him in yesterday and had x-rays done. The vet found a large mass in his abdomen. We are staunch believers that animals should never have to go through hell so that they might live for us just a few weeks or months. With that in mind, Robin has made the decision that we'll have to let Kookie go tomorrow.

Godspeed, Kookie.


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Thursday, July 12, 2007

Good news for all pet owners

Even if you don't live in California, the spay/neuter bill could have had an impact on all pet owners. Good news came out today, the bill died in the CA senate.


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Foreclosures are down.

Following up on a post from a couple of days ago, according to this article, foreclosures dropped a whopping 7% in June. Don't get too excited though, foreclosure rates are still up 87% over June 2006.


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Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Moving day

I'm going to try to move the blog to my website where I can make sure that the content will always be with me. We might experience some hiccups, but hopefully it'll go smoothly.

Edit: It's not going well at all. Well, it did until I tried to post. Then I was like, wtf? Where the hell is the post??? Can't have that, now can we?

Edit #2: Meh. Not a happy camper am I. The reason I wanted to move the blog over to my website was to make it easier to upload photos. That's a goal of mine is to begin to record more of our life in pics. Anyways, no love. So far. I'm going to keep digging to see what I can uncover. Anyone know if Blogger even lets you house your blog content on a website now? I know they used to.

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Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Did you sign up for a subprime loan?

Subprime Meltdown: Doomsday Coming in October For The Subprime Mortgage Industry - Consumerist

My grandfather was a director for Delta Community Credit Union (formally Delta Employee Credit Union) for some 50 years. We were just talking about this subject the other day. I've been seeing signs of problems due to subprime loans for a while. According to Realtytrac.com, Georgia has the highest rate of foreclosures as of early 2007. Henry County is pushing 1 foreclosure for every 154 households. That's just amazing!

When I was a kid I never heard of a foreclosure. It just wasn't part of the world. Now it's so pervasive that in my neighborhood of $200k-$1+million homes, we're having repeated foreclosures, and a lot of them.

This could be a good turn around though. From what I can tell, the people being foreclosed upon are those who are a little less than desirable when looking at property values. Perhaps some of these homes will be bought up by responsible owners.


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Monday, July 09, 2007

Tools of the trade

Y'all remember back when I talked about using Google Reader to consolidate all the blog feeds into one easy interface? I'm still using it and loving it as much as ever. Sure makes it easy to hit all my favorite blogs as quickly as possible.

I was checking out the latest add-ons for Firefox this morning and ran across ScribeFire. It's a nice editor that is tied in to Firefox so that I can make notes while I'm reading or copy and paste without really changing windows. So far I'm finding that I like it, but I'm not ready to totally endorse it. I tried a MS product a while back and did abandon it almost immediately. I'll report back.

Thanks to Babs for the link to Feedburner. I don't get near the traffic that she and some other blogs get, but I appreciate seeing who read the blog!


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QOTD #2

"We seem to be in the middle of the ADHD Age, and our tools and toys reflect that." - the munchkin wrangler


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Saturday, July 07, 2007

Thursday, July 05, 2007

My holiday

I've lived in my house now for almost six years. R and the kids have been here for a little over four years. In that time, we've totally repainted the interior of the house. When you come into a foreclosure that hasn't been updated since it was built in 1979, you have to get rid of the crappy beige and taupe paint that covers everything. Unfortunately, I didn't do before and afters of the interior of the house, but rest assured, it's a lot more livable thanks to a woman's touch! Now it's past time to repair and paint the exterior of the house. We've pretty much settled on colors for the house, trim, doors and windows and deck, so I'm getting started. Here's the deck, after pressure washing but before painting...
And after starting to paint...



The deck is about the same square footage as the house, close to 2,000, so it's going to take a bit more paint and time!

Friday, June 29, 2007

This n' that

Sweeney has broken his tail. It actually happened last Tuesday, but I've gotten lazy and haven't blogged much. We have no idea how it happened, R sat on the couch with him Tuesday night, he was on his back, 4 in the air and his tail just waving like a flag. He's not in any pain, never has even shown any discomfort. R is working hard to get it to heal straight.

A guy died here on campus the other day, in the testing center directly across the hall from my office. Very surreal. I'm working on getting our department a group rate at The Red Cross for CPR/First Aid certification. I had to honestly admit that I was afraid to perform CPR on the gentleman for fear that I would hurt him. It's literally been 21 years since I had CPR training. Evidently it didn't matter, but I really do not want to be in that position again.
Just read Matt's blog entry over here. I'm ordering Merle's Door and I'll report.

I haven't been blogging much lately not so much because I'm lazy (see above), but because I've just been busy. We're consolidating a bunch of physical servers here. I'm working on that, but we're missing some key software. We'll have to wait til next FY before we can get that. E (9 yr old step-daughter) is taking riding lessons and has been at riding day camp all week. Running back and forth to these lessons is time consuming. Worth it, but time consuming. We've also been going to the pool as often as possible in the afternoon.

For some reason, R and I have decided that this is the summer for home repair/improvement, even though the bank account is as empty as ever! As background, I bought the house we're in as a foreclosure in 2001. It had been empty for a little over a year. It was in pretty good condition, but beginning to show its age as well as the signs of a years neglect. A couple of years ago I replaced the fascia on the back of the house because the gutters had leaked, allowing the wood to rot. Now I need to replace more fascia on the kitchen side and along the front of the garage. The deck is in need of a couple of coats of paint too. So why not go ahead and tackle painting the house while we're at it!! I spent four hours almost finishing pressure washing the deck last night, contrary to our local water restrictions. I'll make sure to take some pictures of the process of painting the house. It really does need a color update! Hell, it needs a roof and HVAC too, but that's really not in the budget right now!

The dogs are doing well, Sweeney's tail not withstanding. It's too damned hot right now to run them, but they'll be ready come fall.

Finally, I have to post about my friends the Alleys. I love the folks like they're my family. David and Beth, Jennifer, Daniel, Jessi and Christian are about some of the best folks you'll ever, ever meet. They've been through a lot and could really use your thoughts, prayers, whatever. Jenn had a multiple organ transplant a couple of years ago and has just passed an annual physical with flying colors! Congratulations to her. Beth had to have a grapefruit size brain tumor removed late last year and is recovering, but is having a hard time with the surgery site healing. Jenn's doctor in Pittsburgh put Beth in touch with a couple of doctors who are working with her to get this rectified. Unfortunately, for the time being, Beth and David are going to have to stay in Pittsburgh. Please take time to read their story here.

I'll try to do better about posting. If I don't, I hope everyone has a great Fourth of July!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Maybe I'll start buying fuel at Exxon

The silly dictator Chavez down in Venezuela is at it again, demanding that oil companies doing business with pulling the oil out for his "government" submit to being "junior partners". There are a couple of companies willing to stand up for their shareholders and principle.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

The joys of driving a Jeep

I've posted a couple of times now about either getting wet or narrowly being missed by showers while driving the Jeep. I left the house this morning knowing that there was a good (60% or 90%, depending on who you listened to) chance that I'd get rained on. Here's what the radar looked like when I left work:

The point of the arrow is where work is. The cross is close to home. See the little clear area? I was able to pretty much thread that and stay dry for the drive home. Didn't get wet until I turned onto our road and only a little bit at that! Lucky lucky!

Monday, June 18, 2007

My first MeMe or to Dan, meme... (edited)

It looks like fun... I saw this on Tam's, Babs, RN among others...


WERE YOU NAMED AFTER ANYONE?
Yeah...Well, my middle name anyway. There was this bootlegger way back in the day that my Great-Grandfather thought a lot of. So, my Grandfather, my Father and I got his last name as our middle names. It ends with me.

WHEN WAS THE LAST TIME YOU CRIED? A few weeks ago I was telling my step-daughter how proud of her I was.

DO YOU LIKE YOUR HANDWRITING? Not really. I'm told it's not legible, but I don't have any problem

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE LUNCH MEAT? Roast Beef

DO YOU HAVE KIDS? Three "steps". They're great!

IF YOU WERE ANOTHER PERSON WOULD YOU BE FRIENDS WITH YOU? Probably not. I can be quite the asshole. Actually, maybe... I'm more just straightforward than an asshole. Some people just can't handle that.

DO YOU USE SARCASM A LOT? Not much.

DO YOU STILL HAVE YOUR TONSILS? Yeah.

WOULD YOU BUNGEE JUMP? Nah. A lot better ways to get from here to down there.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE CEREAL? I didn't eat cereal for years, til I got remarried. Now, with the kids eating cereal a lot, I've started to again. Pretty much anything w/ Honey in the name. -Bunches of O's, -Nut Cheerios, -Nut Chex.

DO YOU UNTIE YOUR SHOES WHEN YOU TAKE THEM OFF? Depends. Most of the time I wear slip-on somethings, boots, sandals, whatever.

DO YOU THINK YOU ARE STRONG? Compared to a lot of 40 year olds, yeah, I guess. I cut trees as a side job and you sort of have to be.

WHAT IS YOUR FAVORITE ICE CREAM? Ben and Jerry's Chunky Monkey

WHAT IS THE FIRST THING YOU NOTICE ABOUT PEOPLE? Attitude. Just be yourself and not some blow-hard.

RED OR PINK? Nope. Earth tones

WHAT IS THE LEAST FAVORITE THING ABOUT YOURSELF? I love being fit, but damn it's hard to have the self control.

WHO DO YOU MISS THE MOST? My Grandmother and my Father. I didn't get to know my Father well enough. My Grandmother was my best friend for many, many years.

WHAT COLOR PANTS AND SHOES ARE YOU WEARING? Khaki cargo shorts and white New Balance.

WHAT WAS THE LAST THING YOU ATE? Mmmmm. Slim Fast.

WHAT ARE YOU LISTENING TO RIGHT NOW? White Stripes "Icky Thump".

IF YOU WHERE A CRAYON, WHAT COLOR WOULD YOU BE? Something green, I guess.

FAVORITE SMELLS? Cut grass, pine trees, a cool North Georgia trout stream early in the morning in the Spring, Greyhound feet.

WHO WAS THE LAST PERSON YOU TALKED TO ON THE PHONE? My step-daughter. She asked for her mom... :)

FAVORITE SPORTS TO WATCH? College Football, and I have to agree w/ Tam... Baseball, but it's a game, not a sport.

HAIR COLOR[S]? Brown, with a small streak of white and some smatterings of gray.

EYE COLOR? Brown

DO YOU WEAR CONTACTS? No contacts, no glasses.

FAVORITE FOOD? A nice New York Strip, seared and rare.

SCARY MOVIES OR HAPPY ENDINGS? Not a big fan of pure horror, but suspense works for me. I like almost any kind of movie.

LAST MOVIE YOU WATCHED? Pirates of the Caribbean, At World's End.

WHAT COLOR SHIRT ARE YOU WEARING? Yellow/Navy striped golf shirt.

SUMMER OR WINTER? Summer. I'm getting tired of being cold in the Winter. And it doesn't get that cold where we are.

HUGS OR KISSES? Yes, please.

FAVORITE DESSERT? Cheesecake w/ good strong, black coffee.

MOST LIKELY TO RESPOND? No one. Well, Dan might.

LEAST LIKELY TO RESPOND?
Anyone.

WHAT BOOK ARE YOU READING NOW? Tom Clancy's The Sum of all Fears.

WHAT IS ON YOUR MOUSE PAD? Optical mouse don't need no steenkin mouse pad.

WHAT DID YOU WATCH ON T.V. LAST NIGHT? The Riches.

FAVORITE SOUND[S]? The sound of my wife's voice.

ROLLING STONES OR BEATLES? Rolling Stones.

WHAT IS THE FARTHEST YOU HAVE BEEN FROM HOME? Tropic Star Lodge, Pinas Bay, Panama

DO YOU HAVE A SPECIAL TALENT? I can take stuff apart, fix it, and put it back together. I learned 2/3 of that from my dad and developed the last part myself!!! :)

WHERE WERE YOU BORN? Georgia Baptist Hospital. But I think I was switched at birth.

WHOSE ANSWERS ARE YOU LOOKING FORWARD TO GETTING BACK? Yeah, anyone.

Friday, June 15, 2007

This is cool

Yeah, geeky, but cool. It's been since the 1880's since the standard for the kilogram was last set. Now scientists are going to get a little more precise in the standard. Thanks to /..

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Say it ain't so

I've never been a big boxing fan. Sure, I'd be happy to get together with the guys and toss back a few while watching the big heavyweight fights back in the day, but that was more socializing than fandom. My uncle, however, has always been a boxing fan. I remember as a teenager going to my cousins and listening to his analysis of the latest fights. One of his favorites, thus one fighter that I was exposed to and semi followed some of his career was Hector "Macho" Camacho. Seems he got himself in a bit of a pickle. Too bad. He was a hell of a fighter once.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Justice...

Genarlow Wilson freed.

I don't get what was so hard about this case.

[Edit: 8:10 pm EDT]
What in the hell is my state guvment thinking? Now they're going to spend the taxpayers hard earned money to fight the judges decision to free Wilson? Must be why Sonny vetoed the property tax "rebate" earlier this year.

Friday, June 08, 2007

AB1643 - California Health Pets Act

SayUncle and Squeaky Wheel Seeks Grease have both picked up on the fact that AB1634 passed the California General Assembly last week. Both blogs are focusing on the fact that if you are a breeder of pure-breds, you are exempt from this bill. Truth is, in order to be exempt you have to be licensed breeder, subjecting yourself to the whims of local and state legislation and regulation. Ok, so you're saying 'So what?'. What if you're a hobby breeder, raising show dogs or as we do, raise performance hounds in order to preserve function? In Sacramento, an intact dog or cat will cost you $150 for a license. Most of these hobby breeders aren't making any money, just doing it to try to preserve and hone function. The vast majority come off the hip for vaccinations, feed, exams, to the tune of thousands. We're supposed to shell out more money for an already losing proposition?

So, just to be fair, this isn't class warfare. It's not pure-bred v. mutt. What it comes down to is we all need to stick together to fight more government intrusion in our lives!

Dept of I shouldn't, but I just can't help it

Spotted in today's AJC:



I just couldn't resist!

Thursday, June 07, 2007

Look

Over there.

I've updated the blogroll and links section to include blogs I'm now reading.

Tuesday, June 05, 2007

Cool weather gizmo




I've used weather.com for years, like most people I'm sure. I switched for a while to using weather underground and still use it occasionally. The Weather Channel now uses MS Virtual Earth satellite photos for their mapping. You can see down to street level what the weather is doing (or not). BTW, the rain didn't reach the ground and the Jeep is dry so far! :)

Pass this around

I got the link to this here. I've seen eBay auctions and heard plenty of tales of empty boxes being "mis-represented" as actual merchandise (ie "Apple Ipod-30G-box"), but I never imagined that a brick and mortar could get away with it. Luckily, I don't have to boycott CompUSA since they've closed them all in our area.

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Saturday, June 02, 2007

Other than that

Last night, we went to see Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End. It was a great movie, full of spectacular effects, but a little confusing at times. I was pretty much able to keep track of what was going on, but the crossing, double-crossing, triple-crossing and even quadruple-crossing got a little convoluted. Overall, it was a fun movie, not quite as fun as the original, better than the second I think.

This morning I got to sleep until about 8:00. Quite a difference from the past three nights when dogs and kids have gotten us up and kept us from getting a real good nights sleep. After getting up, I had a cup of coffee, caught up on a few e-mails and read some blog stuff. I found a link from some post to Windows Live Writer Beta which I'm trying out for blogging. So far, I kind of like it.

Went running this morning too for the first time in about a week and a half. The last time I ran I got this sharp pain in my hip. I went out a couple of days later to give it a shot but the pain was making me alter my stride so that I was actually pulling my back. So, I've rested for a few days and was able to make the full run this morning. The hip feels better so I guess I'll get back on a regular schedule.

Not at the II

I'm sitting at home on Saturday morning, the first day of the II. I can't believe that we're missing our second II in a row. Last year was all about kids and injury. Sweeney was coming off his ligament repair surgery and wasn't ready for 2 days of competition and the kids get out of school right before the II weekend. This year, it's money money money and kids :) . Once again, kids got out of school Friday, so it makes it hard to get away. Gas prices being upwards of $3.00/gallon would make the driving portion almost $350! I drove a motorhome from Cartersville to Taos, New Mexico then up to Colorado Springs and back for around $400 a few years ago. That's the impact of gas prices!

Another factor in not making the trip is the fields. The fields are small. We would not have run our fast Greyhound on that field at all. Whippets might have done well, but there are visual barriers all the way around the field. We just didn't think that we'd get optimum performance out of our Whippets.

Hopefully we'll get a good location, during a good part of the year. I doubt we'll miss another II. The dogs are getting older and next year will be on the east coast. There's a group in Region 8 who have secured what I hear is a very nice field in Leesburg, Virginia for  the 2008 II. The sticking point now is the date since the field is available not only on the first weekend of June, but also during cooler parts of the year.  Although I'm not too bothered/worried about it since my dogs are acclimated and run well in the heat, Virginia can be quite hot in June. So, I guess we'll have to wait a bit to find out where the 2008 II is.

Good luck to everyone in Minnesota this weekend. Wish I was up there with you!!

Maybe Dan will post another update tonight.

Thursday, May 31, 2007

A dog post

Most of you dear readers (all three or four of you) are dog people and read this because you know us through coursing. I've got some interesting information that I want to get out and get some feedback on. According to a well placed source, the ASFA BOD is considering a proposal from some Region 8 clubs to host the 2008 International Invitational in Leesburg, Virginia. They propose to host this on the normal first weekend in June. The alternative at this time is for the ASFA BOD to step in and run the II for 2008.

Unknown and unconsidered to most of the fancy, sources say that the field that Region 8 is proposing to use is available at other times during the year, specifically cooler parts of the year. Now, I personally did not have a problem running the dogs we have at both Leesburg in 1999 or in Remington in 2005. The weather was hot and humid, but not unbearably so. I do think that if the opportunity exists to run in cooler weather, I would much prefer to do so. If not for reservations about the field and gas prices, we'd be at the II in Minnesota this weekend. I am confident that the weather will be ideal for running dogs.

So the question comes down to this. If an alternate, possibly (probably?) cooler weekend were available, would you rather ASFA keep the II on the first weekend in June, or would you like to see it in a cooler part of the year? Comment here or email me at todd at toddbirchfield dot com and let me know!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Who Gives a F***!? - or, What's wrong with mainstream media

A prostitute lists out the "Sexiest Athletes". This makes the front page of the Atlanta Urinal and Constipation dot com.

What about immigration? What about sanctions on the Sudan? Nope. We get a list by a whore.

Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day

Remember what the day is about. Remember those who have fought and died for the freedoms we cherish.

A little over a week ago, I posted about my Grandfather. Here's a link about the China Burma India Theater. I need to sit down and interview him.

Thursday, May 24, 2007