Monday, January 29, 2007

Walking the dogs

Saturday was a very nice day. When R came home from dropping off the kids, she had the great idea to take the Greyhounds over to my step-father's families land. He and his brothers own quite a bit of land in Ola, just a few miles from the house. Anyway, we went over and spent about an hour with Sweeney and Nellie just wandering around. R and I had a great time, just getting out and spending some time outdoors together is a treat. The Greyhounds were happy and tired. We'll have to do this again soon.

I really want to work up to having the dogs off lead while we're out on the property. My old Whippet JR was a great dog to have off-lead as he had great recall. Sweeney will come back to R with no problem, but we've never really just walked around hundreds of acres with him off-lead. I'm not sure about Nellie either, especially since she's young and we haven't worked much with recall. Something to think about, especially if I'm ever going to take one of them out to do some OFC...

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Vista cont...

Dammit, it keeps freezing on me again. I have no idea at the moment. Nothing new except JRE 6.

EDIT: Well, it continued to freeze for about 30 minutes (the freezes last about 30 seconds and I can't tell what causes them). Anyway, after that freeze free for the rest of the day. If anyone has any ideas, send them to me!

Thursday, January 18, 2007


Vista, Microsoft's newest OS, sure is pretty. And it runs pretty fast. It's a pain to get set up though. I spent the better part of the day trying to install Vista on my desktop, a 2.6GHz Dual Core with 2 GB RAM. According to MS, my machine is a prime candidate for Vista, so I decided to take the plunge.

First off, I'm installing an MSDN version that comes with our subscription at work (this is my work machine). This is a January, 2007 release, so is probably what's going to be released to the public at the end of the month. I installed Vista on a machine that has been running XP Pro. The installation process gives you a choice of performing an upgrade on your machine and preserving programs and documents that are already installed. Of course it's a very good idea to keep a backup of everything just in case. The other option is to perform a full install of Windows Vista.

I started out by trying the upgrade. The process seemed to move along quite nicely for about 30 minutes, but after that it hung up. From this point, I tried to cancel the install but could not, everything was just locked up. So, from this point, I had no choice but to do a hard reboot of the machine. I restarted the install process and once again, got to about the same point and the install hung. At this point, I wanted to see if I could roll back the install to XP as that is an option given in the install. No luck, the machine would not boot into any OS.

At this point I figured I better just opt for the full install. This seemed to go well for about 30-45 minutes before hanging. I was getting frustrated at this point, to the point where I considered dropping back and just re-installing XP. I hadn't worked on it this long to just quit, so I tried again. This time was it! Finally, the install proceeded without a hitch. Very easy to set up once you get the OS installed. Setup wizards were very intuitive and should be easy for even the most non-tech-savvy type to handle! One thing that I have noticed is that I had problems with Vista locking occasionally for about 30 seconds. I was never able to nail down exactly what thread or process was causing this to happen as it has finally quit, but I think it had to do with my graphics card (NVIDIA GeForce 7900 GS) and the drivers. After installing the drivers for Vista and working through some of the settings, I'm not getting that lock up anymore.

Overall, I like Vista. The graphics are pretty, the OS is fast. I don't think the search function is quite as hot as MS has touted, but it's improved. Organization is a little improved over XP and other previous Windows versions, but it might take you a while to get used to it. So far all of my applications are working without a hitch. I don't recommend non-techy people installing Vista right now though. If you're uncomfortable with having to work through install issues or wiping out your OS to install something fresh, I'd wait a bit. MS is sure to have an update out sooner rather than later.

I'll keep you updated on any new developments, if there are any.

Fields and dogs

Last weekend we went back down to Moreland, GA to lay out a couple of course plans for the SEGC trials in March. For Saturday we have 1000 yards laid out, mostly sweeping turns, a little agility and plenty of terrain! I can't wait to see how the dogs do on this at the trial. We ran Sweeney once and he did great! Nellie ran a couple of times and looked really good, even on a tighter course that we put out after laying out Saturday's. Overall, it was a really good day with the dogs.

We're going to Jacksonville next weekend for our first foray into NOTRA. This is something I'm really looking forward to, especially after Sweeney's performance at the Winter Challenge. Dr. Anna Midgarden was out gathering some more data for her Borzoi study, running dogs on a straight and measuring their speed in a 50 yd trap. According to just about anyone I talk to, this is the most accurate measure of pure speed that has ever been done. Anyway, Sweeney went out and blazed down the straight at 40.23 mph.

Anyway, we're looking forward to seeing what all the dogs can do on the track. The track at Jax is a sand greyhound training track. Really nice surface, safe for running and conducive to speed.


So, after fighting with my laptop for the past couple of weeks, I finally decided to do a clean install of XP. I'm glad I did since now everything is running nice and speedy! It's a bit of a hassle having to re-install programs and copying documents back and forth, but after using this machine for gosh, it must be three years now, day after day, it was time to clean everything up. Sometimes Windows just needs to be freshened a bit! :)

I have Vista installing now on my desktop. Looking good so far. I'll update this when it's done.

Friday, January 12, 2007

Good to see

Two years ago, it was decreed in England that hunting with hounds would stop. The anti's finally had their way and a ban was passed forbidding fox and hare hunting with hounds. Here's an article revealing that the ban isn't really working...

toth to Stephen Bodio

Wednesday, January 10, 2007

If only I had Dan's photo equipment!

This was in the back yard today. I know it's hard to see, but as far as I can tell, it's a Pileated Woodpecker. Pretty!

Ipod ramblings

I finally got an IPod! I'm a huge music nut, have been forever. I have 200+ GB of music on a hard drive, all of it legal :)! So, I've been wanting an MP3 player forever (or at least since 98 when the Diamond Multimedia Rio came out). I've waited and waited, not really liking the idea of ripping all my music and not liking the UI's on the mp3 players that have been on the market. Apple hit a home run when they came out with their Ipod and I've sort of coveted one since. I still didn't relish the idea of ripping all those cd's, but finally bit the bullet and bought a large HD and got down to it. Ripping took a few full days, but the results are worth it. I still waited for an IPod, knowing that I'd get my chance sooner rather than later. Finally this past Christmas it made sense from a technology standpoint and a $$$ standpoint to make the move. I am now the proud owner of an 80 GB Video Ipod with about 50 GB of music on it. I had to re-sample a lot of the stuff I want to put on it to a lower bitrate, but the sound on the Ipod is good.

Now Apple has released the IPhone. What a beautiful piece of equipment that is! I love the concept, but I don't think I'm going to be an early adopter (I used to be, back in the heady days of early DVD and AC3). I love the package, I love the concept, but come back to me when you put a real storage system in it. The IPhone is going to be released with 4 GB storage (not shabby) with an 8GB model following soon after. This is probably based on the flash storage capability of the Ipod Nano instead of the HD capability of the Video. Flash technology is increasing at a huge rate, so don't be surprised to see the IPhone (and Nano) grow in storage size over time.

Anyway, I'm really happy with my Ipod and look forward to a long relationship with it. :)

Farmington redux

Annie sent me this image of the Farmington site. Note that one field is different from what was discussed last Fall. Thanks to Annie for providing this to me.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

This guy....

This guy is a grandfather! Congratulations to Jessi and Chris and to all the Alley clan!
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A comparison

Yesterday's post was of a new field in GA that we're probably going to use. Here's a comparison of what we use now (Old Mill Farm) and the II field for 2007 in Farminton, MN.

Monday, January 08, 2007

New Field

It's big! A group of us got together Sunday and walked a new field. This one is HUGE! It's a nice rolling field of Bermuda with a clay base. I think we're going to have a field trial there this Spring. Ya'll come!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007


The Winter Challenge for 2006/2007 has come and gone. It was another challenge just to survive! 139 dogs Saturday, 129 Sunday and 104 on Monday. There were many Top 20 hounds in attendance and overall the competition was fierce. I think the cream rose to the top for most of the breeds. Congratulations to all the winners!

We had several factors working against us all weekend including short daylight hours, the large entry and the weather. Saturday was the nice day of the weekend and we finished all 139 by dark. Sunday wasn't so nice, what with the driving rain and all. We contended with string problems a bit, but still finished at dark. Sunday started off very nice, but the temperature fell all day and we finished in the dark again with a stiff wind and temps in the low 40's.

I had fun, but I can wait for next year. The joys of running in Region 7!

Darwin Award Nominee #1 for 2007

I noticed another blogger that I read regularly lamenting the first murder in her city for 2007. I usually don't notice stories of such things in ATL, but couldn't resist this story: Celebratory shot kills 1 in Cobb.

The story, from the Atlanta Journal continues,

When the clock struck midnight, the 20 or so revelers who had gathered at a Mableton house retreated to the back yard and rang in the new year in what, police say, has become an all-too-common practice: firing guns into the air.

But early Monday morning, one of the bullets fell from the sky and hit a 52-year-old guest in the back. His death is believed to be the first fatal shooting in metro Atlanta in 2007.

Haven't these folks heard that what goes up must come down? Ah well, the thinning continues...