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

Keep your dirty steekin hands of my internet!!!!

This via /. .

Washington just can't keep their hands out of the cookie jar, can they?

Watch where you wi-fi

This story is a good reminder to be careful about how you decide to access the internet. I've heard of people getting busted for piggy-backing on their neighbors wi-fi, but never heard this about free internet. Maybe he should have bought a cup of coffee!

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

Ethanol is The Answer?

You hear a lot about alternative energies these days. Hybrid cars, Hydrogen fuel cells, bio-diesel and ethanol are all darlings of the media and politicians. John Stossel debunks some of the myths about ethanol.

h/t to Boortz

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

California trying to impose Mandatory Spay/Neuter

Sounds good? Another infringement on your rights! Please oppose this crappy bill, especially if you're in California.

This short video was put together by George Bell. Thanks to Dan Gauss for the heads up.

What we're breathing

The wildfires in S. Georgia/N. Florida are 90% contained. I think 100% of the smoke is blowing into the Atlanta area...
That ^ was taken at about 7:00 am edt. Below were taken @ 10:20 am edt.


Camille. Andrew. Katrina. We all know how bad these storms were. The names will go down in history and will never be used again. What happens when both your first and last names are used back-to-back in the same year to name hurricanes? What are the odds of this happening?

I've known Karen and Mike for quite a few years. When I met them, Karen was the perfect storm, red-headed, full of bluster and a whirlwind of activity. Her kennel name is Winds. She's always been in the center of controversy since she has bred some of the finest lure coursing and amateur racing Greyhounds in the United States. Now she's being honored... (thanks Wanda Mae!)

Presenting the 2007 Atlantic Hurricane Season:

Monday, May 21, 2007

Dealing with trouble

Along this vein, this story will cheer those of you who have lost faith in parental units everywhere!

h/t to Boortz!


Last year, I lost quite a few days of vacation since I maxed out what I could roll over. So last Friday I took the day off work, intending to do nothing more than run errands for R, read and generally just lay around. Instead, I called my grandfather up and we got together in the early afternoon at Spivey for a round of golf. For those of you who don't know, my grandfather is a better than par golfer. At 86 years old. At least twice a week. He plays from the front tees now instead of the backs, but still... He can out drive me by a long shot. He hits straight and long, and most importantly, accurate. Every time. Not bad for a man who didn't take up the game until he was in his 40's, and then only so that my father couldn't have a sport in which he could beat him.

It's a pleasure to be schooled on the golf course by my grandfather. I don't spend enough time with him, what with kids, dogs, jobs, etc. I'm doing better than I have in the recent past though and try to do as much with him as possible.

It's more than just being out on the golf course, a worthy destination in itself. Being with a man who has so much experience in life, and so much still to teach. Not just golf, but life. Makes me think of the quote by George Bernard Shaw, "Youth is wasted on the young." I wish as a younger man I had the wisdom to really listen to what he said. I gleaned a lot, but I also have to admit that I resented his attempts to step in as a fatherly figure in my life.

My grandfather is a great man. He's one of the Greatest Generation. He lived through the depression in very rural Alabama, getting out during World War II and spending the war in India. The Army Air Corps gave him training in repairing avionics and instruments. After the war, he came home and gathered up my Grandmother and Father and moved to Atlanta to work for Delta Air Lines for 40 years. After being there for a few years, he was asked to serve on the Delta Employee Credit Union board, a position he held for over 50 years, representing both his department and later retirees.

He raised two kids and helped raise me and my sister after my father died back in 1985. Soon after my father's death, we moved to Lake Jodeco, just a few houses down from my Grandmother and Grandfather. They were gracious enough to keep an eye on us while my mother was flying for Eastern Air Lines in the late '80's. While I'm on the subject, my Grandmother was probably my best friend for many years. Needless to say, my Grandparents were very important in my life. Thankfully my Grandfather still is.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

I don't care who you are,

That's funny!

Where the Braves play

The Atlanta Braves have a new owner in Liberty Media Corp. Personally, I don't think that AOHell/TimeWarner did the Braves any real justice until this year when they were looking to sell so they loosened the purse strings a bit. The new owner at least acknowledges that a sports franchise should be run by a sports person... Here's hoping the Braves will be given the tools to succeed for many seasons to come!

Wednesday, May 16, 2007


Well, it turned out that a BIOS update I tried to install was probably the cause of my problems on Friday. The HD showed up on schedule Monday and I started the install process. Started getting the same ol' BSOD at the same point I was on Friday when trying to install XP. Strange... So, I do some deeper Googling, and find that not only could that error be the HD, but it could be the RAID drivers. Hmmmm.... So, I go into the BIOS and change the RAID settings, do the install and BAM!, no problem. I'm now the proud owner of XP...again...

The old HD was corrupted still, so the machine wouldn't boot from it. Even when I installed it as a second HD I couldn't see the file structure. Found a program that promised to allow me to view the file structure and retrieve the files off the corrupted HD (I know, I could have booted to Knoppix, but didn't feel like it). TestDisk has a DOS interface that allows you to browse, scan and copy directories and files. It worked for me! I was able to retrieve all the files that I needed off the old HD. Now, if I could figure out a way to convince Dell to let me keep the HD, I'd be pushing 1 TB built in and 300 GB removable USB storage! But then again, what would I ever need that much space for... :)

The best news is that I'm sitting here working on this XPS M1210 now. I've been using my old laptop for quite a few years and it was getting a bit worn out. The OS wasn't quite as stable as it was in it's younger days, and the batteries were showing their age; One had shorted out on my trip to Phoenix a few weeks ago. So, it was time to update and the latest compact, powerful machine from Dell is now mine. I opted for Vista as the OS on this, here's hoping that I don't have the same issues with a native install that I did with the upgrade I did on my desktop. So far, it's working well. I do notice that boot time is extremely long. I'll have to do some research and see if I can figure out what's going on there.

Friday, May 11, 2007

Poor excuse for a day

Showed up to work at 7 this am to find a nice frozen screen on my desktop. Aw hell, Vista is such a piece of crap! Froze up again I figure. Do a hard re-boot and it goes into the endless loop of post, safe mode choice, re-boot, etc, etc. Can't blame this one on MS or Vista. Seems the HD is the piece of crap this time.... At least it's under warranty, I'll have a replacement on Monday. Now to see if I can get all the files off the old HD...

To add to my misery, I have to be here tomorrow for the graduation broadcast. Actually, I could pull off my part from home (more than likely), but as soon as I do, I'll need to be here to push some damn button...

There is one bit of good news. This should be arriving in my office early next week!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

Happy news for a Star Wars fan

Cool from
"And here's a little news: Lucas tells me he will make two more live-action films based in the "Star Wars" era.
'But they won't have members of the Skywalker family as characters," he said. "They will be other people of that milieu.'
The two extra films will also be made for TV and probably be an hour long each. But, like "Clone Wars," Lucas doesn't know where on TV they will land.
Hello, HBO and Showtime. It may be time to pony up."

Hat tip to /.

And a dog brag...Simply...

We went to SEGC on Sunday in Cartersville. The dogs did very well, Sweeney finished his LCM, Everett took BoB and Lobo took 2nd. A good day.

No dog brag time

It's time that I finally brag on something that R and I have been doing since the first of the year. I had just about reached maximum density, and R wasn't real happy with where her body was headed. We decided that we both would work together and try to become not just lighter but healthier. Four and a half months later, we've both made huge strides towards our goals. Actually, R has reached and passed hers already. I've reached and passed my short-term goal of losing 25 lbs while lifting weights. So, I've lost a couple of inches in my waist (damn, I wish I had taken some measurements other than weight at the beginning). I've worn 38" waist pants for many years and haven't seen the south side of 36's since, oh, the late 80's. Now, my jeans and shorts are literally falling off (walking through the Mart of Wals) and my shirts are pretty baggy. Everything has gotten leaner, from my neck all the way to my legs. I've gone from a personal high of 250 down to 220 lbs! This is very close to my post-divorce-diet weight!

I haven't been under 200 since I put on the Freshman forty in 1985/86. My long-term goal is to get below 200 lbs for at least a little while and then hold around 205'ish. I figure if I can do that, I'll have restored at least a few days on to my life expectancy!

I've been on a pretty serious exercise regimen as well. I hit the gym for weight lifting at least 3 days a week, usually four. I'm not quite benching my all-time high, but I'm getting there. I'm doing cardio usually three times a week, right now I'm up to running between 17 and 21 minutes.

The hardest part about losing weight has been changing my eating habits. I love to eat, love good, rich food. I never really thought I ate too much, I didn't snack all the time or eat huge portions. R went on-line and signed up for Weight Watchers. She did a damn good job keeping up with the points while I rode her coattails. We figured out what we needed to cut out (mostly anything white) and what we needed to keep/increase (!). We've pretty much gone whole grain when we have to go "grain" at all, we've increased our veggie/fruit portions and we're maintaining a healthy balance of proteins (fish, chicken, some pork and some beef). The hardest part for me is limiting beer. I love me some good beer, but good beer packs on the lbs. So, I try hard to keep the consumption of said treat to a minimum. Mostly I succeed, but with Summer around the corner, it'll get harder and harder to resist!

Where does the next six months lead? Hopefully fulfilling my goal of getting below 200 lbs. I know that I'm going to keep up with my running since I feel so damn good when I finish (although it's hard as hell to get going). I plan on running the Peachtree Road Race again in 2008 (last time was 26 years ago). I better work on getting some side jobs so that I can buy a new wardrobe.

What I'm really looking forward to is having people not recognize me! Oh, and hopefully you won't ask if I'm sick!

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Playing (race) cards

Hopefully, you won't need a login for this, but Jesse Jackson is in the news today, lamenting the fact that The Atlanta Braves aren't doing enough to promote black players. So, the Braves made the concession to actually meet with Rainbow Coalition members. Now that they've made that gesture, can we get on with playing ball?

Oh, aren't there other colors than black in a "rainbow"?