Friday, December 26, 2008

Merry Christmas

A few hours late, but there you go. I hope you all had a wonderful Christmas and will have a Happy New Year!

I had a very nice Christmas watching a couple of movies and working on some genealogy before the kids came home from their dad's house. We had our little Christmas and the kids seemed very happy with their minor haul. Later, my mother had us over for Christmas dinner. Days like that are what memories are made of.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

A few hundred billion here, a few hundred billion there...

Congress-critters are now asking questions about where the $700 billion bailout to the banks is being spent. Wonder if they'll get the same response the AP got when they began asking questions.
Thomas Kelly, a spokesman for JPMorgan Chase, which received $25 billion in emergency bailout money, said that while some of the money was lent, some was not, and the bank has not given any accounting of exactly how the money is being used.

“We have not disclosed that to the public. We’re declining to,” Kelly said.

The Associated Press contacted 21 banks that received at least $1 billion in government money and asked four questions: How much has been spent? What was it spent on? How much is being held in savings, and what’s the plan for the rest?

None of the banks provided specific answers.

“We’re not providing dollar-in, dollar-out tracking,” said Barry Koling, a spokesman for Atlanta-based SunTrust Banks Inc., which got $3.5 billion in taxpayer dollars.

Some banks said they simply didn’t know where the money was going.


Umm, assholes. That money came from the public that you're denying answers to. This is actually turning out worse than I thought it would.

Monday, December 22, 2008

Crazy weather!

So, Saturday was mid 70s. Today we'll be lucky to get out of the 20's. Christmas should be in the mid 60's! Needless to say my wardrobe is getting a pretty good workout.

At least we don't have the snow that some of you folks are having to deal with. You have my sympathies.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

There is only one answer...

The Atlanta Urinal and Constipation is reporting online that the jury deliberating the fate of Brian Nichols is deadlocked on his sentence.

There's only one answer here and it's the death penalty. This criminal has shown time and again that he has no remorse for killing four and leaving one guard with brain damage. This jury needs to stop wasting time and money and get on with what needs to happen.

Tuesday, December 02, 2008

If money was no object

I got tagged, thanks to Jen. The subject is six things I would do if money was no object. Here goes.

1) Make sure that me, my wife, kids ,mother, step-father, sister, grandfather, aunts and uncles, cousins and in-laws would never have to work again, no matter what they wanted to do. Not to worry about relations coming out of the woodwork, I know who's who! :) One of my goals would be to always live somewhere warm.

2) I'd start a sighthound training, rehab, boarding, eventing, everything facility.

3) I'd fund research into finding economical alternative energies.

4) Since I love music and I know that most good bands will never be heard, I'd set up a record label and make sure good music is heard.

5) I'd give like a bazillion dollars to mental health and cancer research charities. We don't need to lose people that way anymore.

6) Me and R would hit the road and ride or drive around the USA and see all the things we've always wanted to see. Then we'd head out to the rest of the world!

Now I'll tag Jessi, Dan and Sandra.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Sort of surprising, seeing that I'm still a bit overweight. But I think I'm in pretty decent condition...
34.5 miles per gallon

Created by The Car Connection



h/t Expert Witness

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Pictures of the house

Back during the summer Andrew, Neil and I spent a day repairing a pretty nasty place in my house. I promised pictures, so here they are.
Starting off, rotted studs and sill.
More of the same. Where the corrugated pipe ends is where the sill should be. The siding in this area was being held together by the paint for the most part.
The corner, another shot of the rot.
Wider view. Not pretty.
Me up on the roof doing a bit of demolition, Neil and Andrew on the ground repairing a floor joist.
We've pretty much gotten the rot ripped out at this point. 
Getting ready to sister the wall studs, floor joists have been repaired already.
Me doing more demo.
Neil again, working on the floor joists.
Siding repair is made, just waiting to be painted.
Finished the siding, just have to paint.


Monday, November 10, 2008

More on the BMW

1978 BMW R80/7 "Airhead" pictures.








So, ignore that I don't have a helmet on. I was just tooling around the driveway a bit the day I got it started. I always wear a helmet when riding (hell, even wear a helmet when riding my bicycle).
















The BMW rides GREAT! I'm having a lot of fun with it so far. Haven't gotten to ride a lot, and I am just getting comfortable on it. Got insurance and tag last week as well as my Motorcycle learners permit. I think I'm really going to have fun with this!

Fun stuff

A lot has been going on. We went out to Cartersville this weekend for the annual CHASE Veteran's day trials. For the first time since 2001, I was not FTS or FTC for a CHASE trial. I had a great time being an exhibitor and a judge!

We only ran the whippets this weekend. Carmela did well on Saturday and placed 3rd after we forfeited a 1-2-3 tie. Everett and Lobo were the only FCh Whippets on Saturday (btw, where the hell are all the Whippets????), Everett placed 1st and Lobo 2nd. We ran Lobo and Everett only on Sunday with an entry of four. Everett took 1st and BOB and Lobo finished 3rd. Great results!

Not only did we run all breed trials both Saturday and Sunday, we ran a Rhodesian Ridgeback Specialty on Saturday after the all breed trial. This was successful with an entry of 14. Even tunning the two trials, we were finished by 2:00 in the afternoon!! Sunday we finished about 1:30!!! Something to be said for having a smaller trial! Congratulations to Woody and Jennifer for doing such a great job!

My friend John is going under the knife tomorrow for a heart valve replacement and triple bypass. We wish him the best!

Karen's stuff finally arrived about a week and a half ago. The moving company that she used is a rip-off. First, they exceeded the estimate by a factor of 6, secondly they arrived five hours late to load the truck, thirdly, taking over a week to get her stuff to her and not giving her a status on where her stuff was (there was a genuine fear that her stuff had "disappeared), finally they broke a lot of her stuff. They dropped the fridge and damaged one door so badly it will have to be replaced (this is a $1700 stainless steel fridge), her toaster oven was crushed, one of her recliners is destroyed, the speedo housing on the bike is broken, and many things are just plain missing. For all her trouble, the moving company is offering her $.60 per pound of damaged goods. The nerve... I hope she is able to sue this company and recover every bit of money she has lost.

More about the bike... I have it now and it is great! Thought I was going to need to get a battery for it, but a long slow charge has brought the battery back to life for now. I got the bike running last week, got it insured and registered and even went and got my motorcycle learners permit! Went for my first ride Friday afternoon and had a blast! Didn't ride very far, really, but it was a lot of fun. Can't wait til the weather warms up!




Friday, November 07, 2008

Finally!

Brian Nichols is guilty. It took 3 years to get to this point. Maybe now his victims families can have some peace.


Monday, October 27, 2008

Holy.....Something

It's been a while since I've posted. Wow! Yeah, I've been way busy. Weekend in Florida for Neil's wedding (wow, what a good time). I got to spend a lot of time with old friends and new, got to hang out on the beach and swim in the ocean for the first time this year. I love my friends dearly and really value the time we get to spend together, no matter how short.

The following Tuesday, I flew to Newark then was driven to Florida, NY to help our friend K load up and move to the South. Now she's a Damn Yankee, even though things aren't going great right now. Amazingly, her stuff hasn't arrived yet (full semi of furniture and stuff). Gawd, I hope it arrives soon. Anyway, I spent that Wednesday packing a trailer with her stained glass (actually overloading the trailer ) and helping the movers with some of the larger stuff. Thursday at 1:00 we were finally able to hit the road and drag ourselves south. Pulled in to K's house @ 11:30 pm on Friday night. Saturday was spent watching Soccer and helping unload (as well as Sunday). I was a tired pup that weekend.

Last Wednesday, I drove out to Eatonton to our annual computing conference at Rock Eagle. That was a good time, as always, with lots of social events as well as good lecture sessions.

Saturday was the 3rd annual ASFA Greyhound National Specialty in Moreland, GA. We had a pretty good showing with Sweeney taking the Field Champion Stake and Nellie winning out of Singles. There was a very nice entry of 30 Greyhounds at the Specialty this year with dogs from Colorado, California and Texas. Some really nice Greyhounds in the field this year.

Sunday was the Fullerton Cup trial at the same location. We didn't run the Greyhounds but did have Lobo and Everett, our older stalwarts, entered as well as Carmela, entered for the first time. The course was a bit challenging for the dogs as it features a couple of pretty good sprints uphill. The dogs aren't in the best shape they've ever been in thanks to the long summer hiatus, but they did acquit themselves pretty well. Lobo finished 2nd in Field Champion with Everett at 3rd. Carmela, in her first trial and entered in Open, took her first 1st placement! That's exciting for a mostly race-bred little bitch. We're really looking forward to continued coursing and much racing in the future.

So, now things slow down a little. We do have another trial the second weekend of November, but after it's pretty open. We need to decide what we're doing for Thanksgiving and later on in the year, but have a few weeks to take care of that.

Until later,

Monday, October 06, 2008

Yep, recall

And now the Dow is down some 700 points (3:01 pm Monday October 6th, 2008). That bailout was supposed to do what, exactly?

Recall the bums from Washington. What the hell else is there?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Investors chill

I'm not an economist. Hell, I can barely balance my own checkbook. One thing that I do know is that the world isn't going to end. As I said in a previous post, let the free market sort out the winners and losers. Let the companies with poor buisness practices self destruct and be gone forever, but don't saddle us* with the burden of saving their asses.

Yesterday the "Bailout Plan" failed to pass a vote in the House. Thank . Investors did panic yesterday on the news, but it looks like they have regained their composure and have figured out that all this settling out might not be such a bad thing after all. The Dow has so far recovered 4/7ths of the losses from yesterday. That's huge! Good for Wall St. for not digging their heads into the sand and continuing the freakout.

Oh, and if you have some cash on hand... Now's the time to buy stocks. Actually, you might have missed your opportunity by about 8 hours!


*Us - All income tax paying citizens of the United States

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Goodbye Capitalism!

This "bailout" of the mortgage industry is another nail in the coffin for Capitalism in the United States and gives Socialism a big boost! Where does the money come from for this bailout? Well, it's coming from you and me. Oh, but the big G (Government) is going to pay us back you say? Yeah, OK. Um, the Federal Debt (BTW, fittingly, the national debt clock website (http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock) was down when I just checked it - must have melted under the new 1.4 Trillion dollars added from bailouts) stood at this writing at $9,795,500,413,374 (http://zfacts.com/p/461.html). Yeah, you're right. What's another $1,400,000,000,000. To me, that's a lot of zeros.

Consumers made poor choices when they secured loans for their homes. If this is you, I'm sorry, but it's a choice that YOU made. Mortgage companies made poor choices when they wrote loans to people who in the long run had absolutely no business getting those loans. That's their choice and the consequences should not be bailout but should be bankruptcy.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

'Bout Time

One of those things that just makes you say damn, why'd it take so long. He should have been executed by now. Back in March, 2005 Brian Nichols escaped from custody while on trial for rape. During the escape he killed a judge, a court reporter, a deputy and a federal agent who was off duty performing renovations on his house. There's not much doubt about his guilt. Let's get it over with.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

3000

I just noticed that this blog, which admittedly is quite boring compared to the others I read ever day (see the sidebar), hit 3000 visits last week. Thanks to whomever from Texas came from Sandra's blog and later wandered over to Marko's.
Thanks to everyone else who reads this. I average a measly 8 hits per day or so but enjoy occasionally posting thoughts and rants. Thanks for your time.

The Omnivore's Hundred

This looked like fun. I first saw this at Atomic Nerds but it has origins at Very Good Taste.

(I'm adding links to Wikipedia slowly, so this is still being edited)

Here are the rules:
1) Copy this list into your blog or journal, including these instructions.
2) Bold all the items you’ve eaten.
3) Cross out any items that you would never consider eating.
4) Optional extra: Post a comment here linking to your results.
The VGT Omnivore’s Hundred:
1. Venison
2. Nettle tea
3.
Huevos rancheros
4. Steak tartare
5. Crocodile
6.
Black pudding
7.
Cheese Fondue
8. Carp
9. Borscht
10. Baba ghanoush
11.
Calamari
12. Pho
13.
PB&J sandwich
14. Aloo gobi
15. Hot dog from a street cart
16. Epoisses
17. Black truffle
18.
Fruit wine made from something other than grapes (muscadine and scuppernong)
19. Steamed pork buns
20.
Pistachio ice cream
21. Heirloom tomatoes
22.
Fresh wild berries
23. Foie gras
24.
Rice and beans
25. Brawn, or head cheese
26. Raw Scotch Bonnet pepper
27.
Dulce de leche
28.
Oysters
29.
Baklava
30. Bagna cauda
31.
Wasabi peas
32. Clam chowder in a sourdough bowl
33. Salted lassi
34. Sauerkraut
35.
Root beer float
36. Cognac with a fat cigar
37. Clotted cream tea
38.
Vodka jelly/Jell-O
39.
Gumbo
40. Oxtail
41. Curried goat
42. Whole insects
43. Phaal
44. Goat’s milk
45. Malt whisky from a bottle worth £60/$120 or more
46. Fugu
47. Chicken tikka masala
48.
Eel
49.
Krispy Kreme original glazed doughnut
50. Sea urchin
51.
Prickly pear
52. Umeboshi
53.
Abalone
54. Paneer
55.
McDonald’s Big Mac Meal
56. Spaetzle
57. Dirty gin martini
58.
Beer above 8% ABV
59. Poutine
60. Carob chips
61.
S’mores
62. Sweetbreads
63. Kaolin
64. Currywurst
65. Durian
66. Frogs’ legs
67.
Beignets, churros, elephant ears or funnel cake
68. Haggis
69. Fried plantain
70.
Chitterlings, or andouillette
71. Gazpacho
72. Caviar and blini
73. Louche absinthe
74. Gjetost, or brunost
75. Roadkill
76. Baijiu
77.
Hostess Fruit Pie
78.
Snail
79. Lapsang souchong
80. Bellini
81. Tom yum
82.
Eggs Benedict
83. Pocky
84. Tasting menu at a three-Michelin-star restaurant.
85. Kobe beef
86. Hare
87.
Goulash
88.
Flowers
89. Horse
90. Criollo chocolate
91.
Spam
92. Soft shell crab
93. Rose harissa
94.
Catfish
95. Mole poblano
96. Bagel and lox
97. Lobster Thermidor
98.
Polenta
99. Jamaican Blue Mountain coffee
100. Snake

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Monday, September 01, 2008

Want to keep up with Gustav?

Go here: http://gustavbloggers.com/ . First hand accounts of the storm from NOLA.

Powered by ScribeFire.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Tagged!

I was tagged by Jen for 6 things you may not know about me. Hmmmm, here goes.

1) I don't have much of a memory of my childhood.
Not sure what's up with this, but I just don't have a lot of memories from when I was a kid or a teenager. Every once in a while something will pop into my head, but overall, I have a hard time remembering things that most people have an easy time remembering. Friends and family sometimes ask me, "You remember...." and I just have to shake my head and say no.

2) I'm a Historian (by education).
I love history so finally figured out that I just needed to get a degree in something I really love instead of struggling with something that I really couldn't be happy with. I started in college studying Engineering, changed to business, thought about advertising before finally setting my sights on getting my history degree. I didn't really want to teach after graduating and was already in a pretty good job in the tech sector so I work with computers and networks now.

I loved studying history and am very happy that's what I followed through with. I've gained an ability to look at most any concept critically, trying to consider every approach without making assumptions.

The period in history that I'm most interested in has to be the exploration and settlement of the American Southwest. I'm not sure what drives that interest, but if my wildest dreams were realized, I'd probably be in New Mexico teaching, studying and exploring. While visiting Hollister a couple of weeks ago, we had dinner in San Juan Bautista and I was able to wander around the mission for a little while. I loved seeing the mission church, thinking of all the feet that had worn down the floor tiles, all the events that the timbers have seen. It's an amazing site that just awes me.

3) I can fix most anything.
Maybe not a nuclear reactor, but I'd give it a shot! :)
This started pretty early for me, taking stuff apart just to be able to put it back together. I think the only thing I haven't been able to get back together was an old SLR camera that belonged to my father. I've rebuilt several different engines, from Fords to Chryslers. I've fixed lawnmowers, washing machines, computers, most kitchen appliances, and much more. I have done a lot of repair and remodeling work to our house myself. I'd just rather do it myself than have to pay someone else.

4) I am fascinated by tornadoes.
I don't know, they're just kind of cool. Fascinated and terrified all at the same time when they're close. Awesome power.

5) I was a competitive swimmer from the age of 5 until I turned 18.
I had the potential to swim competitively into college, but lacked the maturity and drive that it took to push myself. I got started swimming at a young age because we had a very nice community pool in the neighborhood where I grew up. From a young age until I turned 16 and started working, I spent every summer day at the pool and in the water. I always did well in DASL summer league swimming, excelling in backstroke. When I was in high school, I only got to swim a couple of years since we didn't have a team every year.

If I had the discipline, I would have tried out for Dynamo swimming, a club in N. Atlanta. They were competitive and had great coaches.

6) I like to cook
Call it survival or whatever, but I love to cook. I really don't get into fancy stuff, but I love home cooking and comfort type food. I especially like to grill (well, what man doesn't) and will try anything from steak to seafood, chicken, pork and vegetables. I want to grill a pizza one day.

Now I'll tag Dan and how about Sandra. Have fun.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Olympics

Just finished watching Phelps get his 7th gold in amazing fashion. It didn't look like he was going to get it, but he out-touched the silver medalist by 1/100th of a second! He's an amazing swimmer.

Friday, August 08, 2008

Saga of the house

Sitting here in the Dallas-Fort Worth airport waiting for my connecting flight to San Jose and I find myself with a little bit of time to finally put together a blog post. Yeah, I have been extremely busy this week helping my group finalize networking for our new dorms. Now it is time for a little R&R in California! My good friend Christie Beetz arranged for me to come out and judge for her clubs this weekend. Last year I was fortunate to come out and judge for the same two clubs, and what an experience that was!!

Anyway, I promised a post with pictures of the house. I'll get to that next time and regale you with another story of the continuing adventures of owning a repo house. This time, I want to tell you about what the idiot former owner did to the trees in the yard.

According to my neighbor (as well as all the IRS notices and industry mailings we still get to our address) the previous owner had a business grading and installing drainage for developments. Naturally he owned heavy equipment that he would use in his job. From what I gather, he also enjoyed himself by bringing a backhoe/loader to the house and driving around aimlessly moving dirt. The neighbor (who has been here for a few years longer than me) passed on the story of how he liked to hop on the equipment supplied with a stock of wine miniatures and red plastic cups. His delight was to push dirt around while drinking himself into a stupor, draining bottle after bottle of wine into the little red cups. This wouldn't be much of a problem if the yard didn't have a bunch of trees! Suffice it to say that in his stupors, he'd have problems avoiding the trees that darted here and there throughout the yard. Many still show the scars of his handiwork to this day. Some are beyond help and have died or are dying as we speak. One has developed a nice little rotten spot near the base and has rotted out almost all the way through. This specimen will have to come down later this year since it has developed a crack on the opposite side of the rot that expands and contracts when the wind blows. As our 11 year old said, it looks like the tree is breathing when the wind blows!

One of the other nice side effects of having a drunk as the previous owner is that the dogs periodically find little wine bottles under layers of leaves or half buried in the yard. They'll dig up the bottles and proudly bring them to us when we're out on the deck. Everett has a special love for these bottles and will run around the back yard with the neck in his mouth looking like quite the lush. Of course, you really need to know Everett to understand how absolutely hilarious this is!

Just another amusing chapter in the story of our home. In case you're not familiar, I bought the house back in 2001 out of foreclosure after the previous owner mortgaged the property to the hilt and built his "dream home". After his "dream home" was complete, he and his family picked up and just abandoned our fine home. It's a shame, really, since the house has such great "bones". It's a fine home in a beautiful style (even if it was built in 1979). We think we'll keep it.

Monday, August 04, 2008

Posts

I've got some rolling around in my head, but just haven't gotten the chance to get them in writing. Look for:

1) Still have to get pictures of the house repairs
2) Let me tell you a story about my trees
3) Health/Weight update
4) I have a trip to Hollister, CA this weekend, I know it'll be blog-fodder-ific!

Friday, August 01, 2008

Busy

Our University has built the first on campus housing in it's history and we're busy getting the networking all in place for students to start moving in on the 14th. It's going to be a crazy couple of weeks just like this week has. I'll get some content published soon!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Twitter

I posted the link to Twitter a couple of days ago. Twitter is pretty cool if you get into the whole social networking side of the inter-tubez. I'm probably not going to share my deepest, darkest secrets, but it still is neat to post little blurbs about what is going on. But if no one follows, then what's the fun? So, I have this little add-on for Firefox that signals that someone I'm following posts a Twitter update. I hadn't gotten an update all day and usually a couple come through from EricVon (one of the three Regular Guys). I checked out my Twitter page and all the people I was following and all my followers (what, a couple) were gone. I've had to go back in and add those that I was following.

In other words, if you're using Twitter, check out your settings and make sure your following and followers weren't cleared out.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Interesting - Happy Flu

From Tam







Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Lazy, hazy days of summer?

Actually, a lot has been going on! For one, the past few weeks, I've been working to finish a pretty major repair to the house that Andrew, Neil and I did. Due to a couple of factors, one of my exterior walls pretty much had rotted to nothing. July 4th I decided to do some excavation and see if the damage was more extensive than just siding. Um, yeah, just a little bit! We ended up having to demolish about a four foot wide by 10 foot high section of exterior wall down to the interior sheetrock. We had to replace structure from bottom to top. Luckily the sill plate was still intact on the foundation and the floor joists had not completely rotted away. We were able to sister 2x10's to the existing joists without having to jack up the structure. That was a pretty big "whew" moment there! Next we had to replace the actual sill and sub-floor construction along about a 5 foot section, allowing us to replace three wall studs to a height of about 10 feet. We actually got the insulation and sheathing on in one complete day! All that was left for me to do by myself was to install the siding and replace the trim, caulk and paint. I finished painting the wall and just have the trim to left to paint.

What caused this? You know how they say that water is your house's biggest enemy? Well, they're right. First, the flashing was installed incorrectly on the foyer addition. The flashing along the roof-wall join ended about 2 inches above the gutter. This caused water that flowed down this area to seep between the roof eaves on the front of the house and the foyer wall. Secondly, the idiot who lived in the house before me neglected the shit out of the house. According to my neighbor, he can't remember the previous owner ever cleaning the gutters! I guess you never know what you're going to get when you buy a foreclosure!

I have pictures of the process that I'll post as soon as I get them off the camera.

Also! Take a look at the link underneath my picture over there -> . Occasionally I'll update what I'm doing on Twitter. I think it's a pretty cool little application! Why don't you try it out?

Monday, July 21, 2008

slacker

I've been quite the blogging slacker for the past week. Work has been keeping me way busy and I've been playing with my iPhone on the little bit of downtime that I've had. I should have a bit more of a post together tomorrow.

Monday, July 14, 2008

iPhone 3G so far...

I am thrilled! Before I get into what I really like, let me get the bad out of the way really quickly. I only have a couple of gripes about the iPhone 3G, the keyboard and the battery life. Neither are deal breakers by any stretch of the imagination, more inconvenient if anything. The keys are a little close together for us with larger digits!! With more use, I'm getting more and more used to where I need to tap to get each letter. Like I said, not really a big deal. Battery life is inconvenient, but again not a deal breaker. I'll be getting a car charger though, just in case. With heavy data use, especially on the 3G network, the battery tends to drain pretty fast. I think I could pretty easily make it through the day without having to charge the phone, especially after some of the new has worn off it! *G*

Starting off, the iPhone is a phone. Yeah, it does a bunch of other really cool stuff, but if the phone doesn't work, what's the use? Well, the phone works and works well. Reception is as good as I ever got with my Nokia and better than I ever got with the Motorola V3xx.

I love the UI. The Apple UI runs circles around everything else. I find the OS works and works well. No crashes and hardly any slow-downs. The home screen is easy to understand and use, a qwerty keyboard is a breeze to use, and multi-touch rocks! I have used most of the applications and downloaded a few free apps from the App Store and am pleased with how well they work. Maps uses the GPS and WiFi to show a Google map with your location. Use Google to search for anything and pins will drop to show you where to find whatever you're looking for. Tap a pin and you can get directions. Drive and you see your progress on the map. So far, we don't have turn by turn spoken directions, but Tom-Tom is reportedly working on an App already. I have Email set up to work with my Exchange account at work and it's awesome! My favorite App so far has to be Remote. As long as my laptop and my iPhone 3G are on the same wifi network, I can control my iTunes on my laptop from the iPhone. Sounds trivial? I thought so at first as well, but if I combine this with an Airport Extreme, I can broadcast my iTunes to any stereo or other wifi device in the house, controling it all with my iPhone. The possibilities are awesome!

This is a really concise review, but I hope it conveys how truly happy I am with the purchase.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Happy happy joy joy

Got the iPhone today and have put it through a little bit of its paces. So far, I'm loving it! Unfortunately, Apple's going to take a bit of flack for their server problem during activation, deservedly so if you ask me. But, that aside, the iPhone looks like it'll live up to my expectations. I'll post more of a review after a bit more use.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Neat questionaire

1. Where is your cell phone? Desk
2. Your significant other? Everything
3. Your hair? Changing
4. Your mother? Denial
5. Your father? Brilliant
6. Your favorite time of day? Any
7. Your dream last night? None
8. Your favorite drink? Beer
9. Your dream goal? Security
10. The room you're in? Office
11. Your ex? Friend
12. Your fear? Loss
13. Where do you want to be in 6 years? Same
14. What you are not? Patient
15. Your Favorite meal? Steak
16. One of your wish list items? Land
17. The last thing you did? Yawned
18. Where you grew up? Atlanta
19. What are you wearing? Flip-Flops
20. Your TV is? Big
21. Your pets? Dogs
22. Your computer? Rocks
23. Your life? Crazy
24. Your mood? Mellow
25. Missing someone? Nah
26. Your car? Topless
27. Something you're not wearing? Jeans
28. Favorite store? Gadget
29. Your summer? Work
30. Your favorite color? Green
31. When is the last time you laughed? Today
32. When is the last time you cried? Unsure
33. Your health? Better
34. Your children? Good
35. Your future? Unwritten
36. Your beliefs? Steady
37. Young or old? Young
38. Your image? Easy-going
39. Your appearance? All-American
40. Would you live your life over again knowing what you know? Absolutely

Found here

Wednesday, July 02, 2008

Thursday, June 26, 2008

Across the pond

Here's the airline I plan on flying across the pond, if ever... Make mine business class, please!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Friday, June 20, 2008

Slippery slope

PETA is well known as a ruthless organization with the express goal of removing any human-animal interaction. It scares me that the CEO of Churchill Downs fails to see PETA as they are and actually grant them an audience. To the CEO, remember you saw it here first - If you give in to their seemingly benign "requests", they'll be back next year with even more radical ideas.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Somthing is wrong with this picture



Don't get me wrong, I love me some scattered, smothered, covered and chunked just as much as the next guy, but for the Waffle House to be named the official restaurant of a road race, that's just silly!

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Mmmmmmm....

Tasty!!! I've been waiting for the 3G iPhone since the iPhone first came out last year. I knew that the price was way too high and the performance way too low for me to jump to the first generation of iPhone. Jobs & Co. have done the iPhone up right, though, in it's 2.0 version. Sporting 3G speed (actually 3.5G if you check out the specs), GPS, MS Exchange support and 3rd party app support, Apple has raised the bar on smartphones to a level that won't be surpassed in a long, long time.

My only slight disappointment is that the camera on the phone is still 2 megapixels. Apple could have put a slightly higher quality camera in, but probably couldn't have kept the price down in doing so. Oh, the price? You say you won't spend $600 for any phone? How about $199? Yeah, the price will be $199 for the 8 GB model and $299 for the 16 GB. Extremely reasonable for the features the device sports.

I'll be in line on July 11th, count on it! :)

Saturday, June 07, 2008

My (short) Mike rememberance

Today is the memorial service for my good friend Mike. I want to share with you what I wrote to be included in the scrapbook that Ruthanna put together.

Mike.

Mike Lorenzo was a good friend. His passing has helped me to realize to not take for granted the time I have with the people I love. I always figured I’d have forever to sit around and shoot the bull with Mike about dogs, beer, motorcycles, his business, politics and life in general. I’ll miss those conversations.

I got to know Mike and Karen about 10 years ago. I was new to the sport of lure coursing with my adopted Greyhounds and they were the Yankees with the awesome running dogs. I met Karen first at a field trial in south Georgia, she lived up to the reputation as the brassy, loud Yankee that I had heard about. It didn’t take long though for me to realize that she was one of the special people in the sport. I met Mike soon after and realized what a wonderful couple these two were. It turned out that even though they were quite competitive, they were humble when victorious and gracious in defeat. I remember quite vividly the II in Virginia in 1999 when Kookie won from Open but tore a muscle during his final run. We forfeited him to their dog (I think it was Red) who ended up winning the breed. Karen and Mike were ecstatic and were effusive in their praise of us for what we did.

I became friends with Mike over the years as they would make the trip from New York down to Cartersville to go up against the competition we had. I was a relatively new lure operator and learned much from not only Mike’s advice but also just watching how he handled the situations when he was running the lure. We were of a like mind in how to handle the dogs that we were responsible for on the field. I always enjoyed our time after the trials when we could sit around with a beer and remember the runs and what we did right and wrong. I probably took away from that more than I’ll ever realize.

There was an II in Colorado, I believe it was 2003, when Ruthanna and I drove out with Cindy Owens. It was an extremely grueling trip, driving straight through from Atlanta to Colorado Springs in a little more than 24 hours. Luckily I got to spend a lot of time with Mike that weekend. The two of us watched the Best in II runs from the top of the motorhome, critiquing the runs. Once again it was a great opportunity to share and learn.

The next year Ruthanna and I drove to Iowa for the II and stayed with Mike and Karen in the motorhome. That was a great time since we were able to spend a lot of time relaxing and socializing in the evenings.

2005 was the apex for us with Mike and Karen at the II. That’s the year that Sweeney, Mike and Karen’s wedding gift to Ruthanna and I won Best in II. I remember the run like it was yesterday and how amazed I was at the run he put in. Even knowing how Sweeney ran that day, I was floored when it was announced that Sweeney had won Best in International Invitational! We were so lucky to have been able to share that wonderful moment with our friends. Ruthanna and I will be forever indebted to Mike and Karen for that special gift! I don’t think that any of us, Mike, Karen, Ruthanna or I, have ever come down from that high!

Amazingly, though we had been close friends for so many years, we had never had the opportunity to visit each others homes. Finally in 2007, I was asked to judge a trial in Connecticut. On the way up, Ruthanna and I arranged to stop by their home and have dinner before continuing up to the hotel. We had an awesome time and a great dinner with them that evening.

The following weekend we were able to return the hospitality (at least I hope we did) and have Mike and Karen stay with us while she was judging the SEGC trial in Moreland, GA. We all had a great time even though we were quite exhausted! Mike was a godsend that weekend for SEGC as I was judging the IG Nationals close by and was not able to help with the SEGC trial. Mike was Johnny on the spot and did yeoman’s work to keep the trial moving.

That was just the kind of guy that Mike was. He always came to trials prepared to lend a hand or a machine, was always working to be innovative with equipment. He was always willing to take time to teach up and coming lure operators. He always took the time to just hang out and shoot the bull.

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

Zippy little critter!

We spent much of Sunday at John Parker's place over in Newnan, GA practicing the dogs on a 200 yd straight. We ran Lobo, Nellie and Carmela a couple of times each (We had forgotten our accouterments for taking care of Sweeney's and Everett's feet so they didn't get to run). Everyone had a great time and we got to see some pretty fast runs. I was really impressed with Carmela the most. She's a speedy thing, running completely like a grown up dog. Actually, she's really never run like a puppy, always running with her head down and reaching well with her front legs. She seems to always be in control of her body. I was also impressed with Nellie's runs. I slipped her so all I could see was her ass as it quickly faded into the distance, but what I could see was something I've recently learned from reading Gazehounds and Coursing by Dutch Salmon. Nellie tracks very well when she runs. It looks like she's running a rail and her feet occupy a width of about 4 inches on the ground beneath her. Very pretty to watch!

I don't think the dogs will be running much for the next few months since it's going to be so hot. I'm really looking forward to the fall racing season so we can get Carmela out and see how she does!!

Speaking of Carmela and racing, I'm going to need to get her box trained. I'd like to build a simple one hole contraption that I can use to get her accustomed to going in and out. I'm thinking of using corrugated plastic board and making something simple. If anyone has any ideas, I'd love to hear them.

Thursday, May 29, 2008

Wrong observation

Regarding the iPhone, in an article in the NY Times today:
"Both Mr. Jobs and Randall L. Stephenson, the chief executive of
Apple’s partner AT&T, have promised a new iPhone model this year
that would run on a high-speed wireless data network. AT&T is
building such a network, which uses technology known as 3G and is
intended to support a range of new applications, including mobile
digital video. The company said last week that the network would be
largely finished by the end of June.

But analysts say faster downloads may not be enough to touch off a new wave of consumer interest in the iPhone.

Subscribers don’t care what the radio interface of their cellular phone is,” Mr. Snyder said."

Emphasis mine.

I know quite a few people, including me, who have been waiting for a 3G version of the iPhone before purchasing one. Duh.

Arrangements for Mike Lorenzo

Here are the arrangements for the service for Mike:

On June 7, 2008 from 12p to 5p there will be a luncheon and cash bar at the American Legion Post 488:
532 Lakes Rd
Monroe, NY 10950
845-783-3965

http://legionpost488.org/content.php?id=15

I won't be there, but Ruthanna will. We'll be putting together a memorial book of stories and pictures to present to the family. Anyone who might want to contribute can contact Ruthanna at bii2005*at*bellsouth.net.

Instead of flowers, please consider a donation to one of the following (I suggest the Take the Lead Foundation):

(1) A memorial contribution for the I.I. Greyhound Best of Breed
trophy that has been established in honor of Mike and his memory.
Contributions may be made via PayPal (the e-mail address to be used
is MikesTrophyFund@aol.com) or by way of check payable to the
Southeastern Greyhound Club and sent to 364 Country Club Rd., Newnan,
GA 30263.

(2) A contribution to help defray outstanding medical and other
expenses. Checks payable to the Mike Lorenzo Medical Expense Fund may
be sent to 49 Sunrise Ridge, Florida, NY 10921.

(3) A contribution to the Take the Lead Foundation, which helps dog
people with expenses related to life-threatening or terminal
illnesses, and helped Karen and Mike during their time of need.
Contributions may be made on the Foundation's Web site at
http://www.takethelead.org/contribute.htm

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

On Mike

I’ve been trying to put words together, but there is much more to Mike than I can ever put in to an email or blog post. Mike was a great friend first of all, an excellent lure operator and knowledgeable mentor. I’m lucky to have known and learned a great deal from Mike.

I miss my friend.



Edit: That's Mike and Nellie, one of the two wonderful Greyhounds that we're blessed to have from Mike and Karen.

Friday, May 23, 2008

Mike Lorenzo

I know many of you have been following what's been going on with our great friend Mike Lorenzo and his struggle with a brain tumor. About 9:30 this evening Mike passed away peacefully. Karen, Karen's mother, Noreen and Barbara were with him.

I don't have much to say right now. I will post an update when arrangements have been made. Please keep Karen and the family in your prayers.

A bachelor party

Of sorts, anyway... My friend Neil is getting married in October, so Andrew, Stephen and I decided to do something for him as a kind of bachelor party (really an excuse to get together, drink beer, eat and fish). So last Thursday evening, Andrew and I showed up at Neil's to pick him up (he thought he was going off for the weekend with his fiance). Surprise!!! We loaded up and about 7 hours later pulled in at Stephen's father-in-law's ranch near Bradenton, FL.

We spent Friday there, working on the fence line, fishing and running around the property. Saturday morning we got up and cleaned the place up and headed in to Bradenton. After securing fishing licenses, beer and food, we were off on the water. Stephen has a 23 foot center console that we took out to the bay and fished the flats and mangroves. We spent the rest of the day out on the boat, not catching much but having fun anyway! Sunday we got up pretty early and spent the morning out fishing again, not having much luck this time either. I think we brought home one trout, but again, it really wasn't about catching the fish...

We were able to relax a good bit of Sunday afternoon as the water was a bit choppy for us to get back out. So we hung out, played with Stephen's kids and napped. Instead of grilling out or cooking, we decided to head out to the coast for dinner. I had some really great Grouper at the Rod and Reel Pier out on Anna Maria Island. Everyone was happy with their meals and happy with the day.

Since we were leaving Monday, we got up and hit the water early. Actually, Andrew literally hit the water early. As I was throwing the anchor in so that we could net some bait, I threw the anchor with my right hand and held the rope w/ my left. Imagine my shock as I threw the anchor and the rope didn't go with it!!! Seems the captain (*cough* Stephen *cough*) had not checked the equipment and the clevis had come loose! So here we are, in the middle of Tampa Bay with a loose anchor on the bottom! Luckily, we were really in only about 3 feet of water or so and Neil was able to spot the anchor. In Andrew went, shirt pants and all! He did get the anchor, luckily, $150 saved for Stephen!

We had better luck on Monday morning, catching 6 trout a couple of snook and getting in to some jacks. The rain started moving in on us about 10 am so we decided to head in and get on the road.

I'm lucky with these friends of mine. I've known these guys for at least 27 years. Neil and Andrew live within a couple of miles of each other on the other side of town from me. We get together usually a couple of times a month. We try to see Stephen as often as possible, but with him in Bradenton it usually works out to once or twice a year.

Wilco

Thursday, May 22, 2008

Family


First, four generations of Birchfields. Left to right: Jerry Linward Birchfield, Todd Linward Birchfield, Guy Linward Birchfield, John Brewster Birchfield. I'm not sure when that was taken, but it would have to be somewhere 1973-1975.





That's my mother and Father, 1964. Ellen Groover Birchfield (now Bledsoe) and Jerry Linward Birchfield.


Thanks to my Aunt, Jackie Houze, for getting me these.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Concealed Carry in Georgia

Governor Perdue signed HB 89 into law yesterday expanding where citizens can legally carry concealed weapons. According to the AJC (link), "With Perdue's signature, restaurant patrons will be permitted to carry a firearm, but would be barred from drinking while doing so. Violations would be a misdemeanor. Concealed weapons will now be allowed in state — and by extension — local parks. Firearms in purses or under jackets will also be permitted on public transportation."

Also according to the same article, "Union drivers had said they would demand bulletproof shields on MARTA buses if the governor signed the bill." Please. Who are bus drivers (and anyone in the general public, for that matter) more in danger of? Criminals carrying concealed without a permit, with no regard for life or property or properly licensed individuals who go to the trouble of being fingerprinted, submitting to a background investigation and paying a pretty good fee for the privilege to carry concealed?

I'm sure this matter will end up in courts. Hell, I'd bet some Brady type group has already filed suit somewhere in the state. If you're interested in efforts to secure your right to arm yourself, here a good site on the subject:

GeorgiaCarry.org

A few blogs that have good information on concealed carry:
View From the Porch
ColtCCO
The Munchkin Wrangler

Monday, May 12, 2008

Huh?


Makes no sense to me... I average 3-4 hits per day to this little blog, and that's ok w/ me. I know most of my readers, I'm not trying to persuade, I just like to share a little sometimes. So, imagine my surprise when I see my hits jump to 21 in one day!! What the heck? The only thing I can think of is that maybe I was a 'next site' link or something for the day...

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Around the house


One of our planting islands that surrounds the house. The yard is a bit of a mess in this picture, thanks to the pine logs in the background.


White Rose


Can you identify this? I used to know...

Some more pictures

Sorry it's been so long since I last posted. Life is...well, life is busy these days. We're working on a rather large VM proposal right now that will take up a lot of my time if we can pull it off. We're in the planning stage and I'm pushing to get a bunch of hardware ordered before the end of the month. Besides that, the kids and dogs keep us busy busy as always.

We were at Old Mill Farm last weekend for the SEGC Old Mill Stakes. Here are a few pictures.


Carmela practicing


You'd think that at almost 5, Sweeney would quit coming in on his head!!!


Carmela goes for the grab!!


MINE!!!!

Thursday, May 01, 2008

Not so quick

The simplest answer might <b>not</b> be the right answer after all. I cut the grass today and the drive gave up the ghost after just a few minutes. I'm now thinking that the problem might lie in the belt being worn out. We'll see soon... Cross fingers, please! <G>

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Over There ---------->

One blog added and a bunch removed. Check out Sandra's blog; she can tell quite a story!!!

Sunday, April 27, 2008

The simplest solution...

Is usually the correct one. I'm pretty mechanically inclined, so fixing stuff comes pretty naturally. My problem sometimes is that I can over-think things. Take the lawnmower. We have a rear drive Honda walk behind mower that is awesome. Discovered last season that the drive wasn't working very well, but still pulled. This season, the drive hasn't worked at all. The first thing I decided to do was to try to take the cover off the drive box and check the gears and shafts to make sure something wasn't broken. I wanted to do this without removing the entire rear axle assembly, but this proved more difficult than expected thanks to the design of the box. While I was fiddling with the box, I tested the action of the levers to see if the wheels engaged at all. I noticed that if I let the engaging lever on the box slack just a little bit, the wheels would rotate freely and the drive would not pull. Hmmm, maybe if I pull this cable from the operators position a little tighter.... Whoooops! That's it!

Of course! The simplest answer!!!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Sighthounds, Gazehounds

Just a little update about what I've been up to. In case you haven't seen it, I started a new email list focusing on the performance sighthound recently. The list is, in fact, called Sighthound Performance, you can follow the link to the group home. If you'd like to join, shoot me an email and I'll be glad to add you. So far there's been some really good discussion on type and function among other things.

This sort of leads me to what I'm reading. Gazehounds & Coursing by Dutch Salmon is an excellent read for anyone interested in performance sighthounds, purebred and otherwise. You can get the book here if you're interested. Thanks to Dan for talking this book up so much over the years.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Nicely said...

This entry, in a blog I've recently begun reading, says 'Leave me the hell alone' so well... Heh...

Monday, April 14, 2008

Just got back

From Seattle a few minutes ago. Spent a very enjoyable weekend with my good friend Phil, judging for WWWA on their field in Roy, WA. What a beautiful place! Super people and nice dogs made it a wonderful weekend. I'm pretty tired and jet lagged, but it was worth it. Saw a few really nice runs, one super Ibizan Hound that could have won BIF on Saturday and did win BIF on Sunday. All in all it was a really good time. It was nice to see (and talk to) Jenny, an ex-pat from Mississippi now living in WA. Nice to hear a bit of home in a voice in the PNW! Met a lot of really nice folks and got to renew quite a few good friendships. Thanks again for having me out!

Friday, April 04, 2008

A blog about blogs

Not mine, but others that I read.

I found myself making a big circle in the blogs that I read today. One of the first that I picked up a little over a year ago was Tam's. Not sure how I found it, but I think I was looking for information on concealed carry or some such. Anyway, I really enjoyed her writing since she occasionally wrote about my hometown, Atlanta and environs, I felt a bit of familiarization even though I've never met her. Not too long ago, Tam removed herself from Knoxville, TN and headed to somewhere in Indiana (why someone would move north, I have no idea!). She is now rooming with Roberta X whose blog I now read as well.

One of my good friends that I've made through coursing, Dan Gauss of Shot on Site Photography, is lucky enough to be able to chase his passion. He and Margaret travel the country in their motorhome with their hounds, photographing events and coursing and hunting when it's season. Dan meets many interesting people in his travels, including Stephen Bodio. The Querencia is a wonderful place with tales of hunting, archeology, falconry, and a million other subjects. One of the contributors to the Querencia is Matt Mullenix, a gentleman that I've had the pleasure of getting to know through email conversations. Matt has a Whippet out of a litter that I've coveted for a long time, from one of my favorite people in Whippets, Deb Baum. I've also been fortunate to have met Matt's parents on the coursing field after they acquired a Borzoi from another longtime friend of mine.

So, through Dan, I read the Querencia and other linked blogs. One that is linked today is to Southern Rockies Nature Blog. From this blog, there is a link to an entry at Roberta X's blog...

This isn't the first connection I've made, just the first time I've actually spent time connecting the dots. Is the blogosphere small enough that we keep running into the same people, or do our diverse interests all have some kind of common bond?

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Photos

Here are some photos from the last three months, since we've gotten the new camera.

That's Co, he's the oldest.

That's Meg, she's the middle child. She is a cheerleader and runs track. Oh, and she's really not the least bit shy.

Ruthanna and Em at the track meet. Cute, aren't they?

Me and Ruthanna.


Ruthanna and her kids. Handsome group!



My Mom. She's probably lecturing me or my sister about something...

Sweeney this past weekend.

Seriously??

Chelsea Clinton replied "Wow, you're the first person
actually that's ever asked me that question in the, I don't know maybe,
70 college campuses I've now been to, and I do not think that is any of
your business" when asked about criticism on how her mother handled the whole Monica Lewinsky scandal. Really? You mean, none of your friends, no media, no critics have ever asked you about your father and Monica Lewinsky? I call BS on that. Another example of how this family tries to weave and dodge, avoiding issues and avoiding history.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Barely a mention

Maybe one of the most important cases to come before the Supreme court *ever* was heard yesterday and here's the story in the local rag. This really indicates to me how the liberal press (and no, I'm not talking some huge conspiratorial entity, but an actual liberal newspaper) holds the second amendment in low regard.

Farewell to The Wire

One of the best shows ever to be on television, The Wire, concluded last Sunday. If you've lived under a rock for the past few years, The Wire was a show about Baltimore. There were human characters, but the show was about the city. The final season was a doozie, never failing to disappoint. I'll miss McNulty, Bubbs, Kima, and all the rest. Get 'em on DVD and enjoy!

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Fuel price fall-out

This story from the AJC shows the tenuous state of airlines. Months after emerging from bankruptcy Delta is having to cut a huge amount of jobs. Looks like fuel prices are hitting the airlines hard and they just can't figure out a way to raise ticket prices to compensate. It also looks as if the merger with Northwest is off. Too bad.

I hate that Delta is in this situation. I'm a fan of the airline since my Grandfather and Uncle retired from there (my grandfather with 40 years) and I have very good friends who work for the airline. I'm rooting for Delta!

Monday, March 17, 2008

Chasing Rabbit

On (human) foot. Typically, the readers would recognize chasing rabbits as coursing with hounds. Here's a video from ESPN on an area in the Everglades where high school football players chase rabbits as part of their training. Good to see that they use the meat too! <G>

h/t to Matt Mullenix

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Music

Dan, you can stop reading now...

Chris and Rich Robinson, brothers who have brought us the Black Crowes, set aside their differences and got together last year to record a few live tunes. Brothers of a Feather brings out the best in these two, and shows just why they should continue making music together. I've actually just gotten around to getting the album and giving it a listen, wish I had done so earlier.

I've been a Crowes fan for years, going back to the early Atlanta days when they were known as Mr. Crowes Garden and played little venues around town, especially L5P. Their 2001 album hit at a time in my life when I was once again exploring various sounds and artists. It's good, Blues based rock and roll, with a little Southern twang (hence, Dan, you're probably not interested... <G>). I'm happy to see that they're back and putting out another studio album in a couple of months.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

2,000


It's taken a while, understandably so since I don't post all the time, but the blog has gotten 2,000 visits! Welcome to the reader in Little Rock AR and thanks for your time. Wish I had a prize, but I guess I'll just shake your hand if we meet.

SEGC

R and I are once again members in good standing with SEGC. I found out yesterday that it's been 3 years (!) since we've been members. Doh! I was one of the 6 or 7 at the first SEGC meetings back 12 years or so ago. R was the first foster chair for SEGA when it started up. It's nice to be back in the fold!

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Puppies Run!!!


Last weekend was the annual CHASE Valentines day trials held at Old Mill Farm. We were blessed with great weather and lot's of really nice running dogs. Seemed like a great time was had by all.

While the trial was a blast, what I really enjoyed was getting the new puppy into "Field Trial Mode". This is the first opportunity we've had to get Carmela out to experience the whole enchilada, from loading up, the trip and the field. After losing her breakfast (whoops, we forgot she hadn't really ever traveled in a crate in the car, especially for more than 15 minutes), and drooling a bit, she travels like an old pro! She gets in her crate, lies down and just rests for the trip. No whining, crying or panting!! She's going to be a great traveling companion.

Carmela is only 5 1/2 months right now, but she knows what goes on when we get to the field! She was attentive to the bunnies from the beginning, but really became a monster after watching for a while and getting some practice runs in. Now, when the lure is moving, she's all business! Our plan next (I think) is to get her box trained and see how she'll handle racing. That'll be fun since we've never really done any racing with the Whippets. Can't wait!!

CHASE had a puppy run on Sunday, drawing Carmela, John and Laura Parker's Guiness, Kirby Overcash's litter-mates to Guiness, Pauli and Foster, and the Alley's Smokey. Everyone had really nice runs and I think everyone had a lot of fun. Just for the record, Carmela was judged the winner!! <G>

Here are a few pictures I took of the event.


Monday, February 11, 2008

More about the weekend

I shouldn't forget to mention that Mike is scheduled to come home Wednesday after spending about the last 2 1/2 months in the hospital. Karen has his room all set up and ready for his return. Mike says he's especially ready to come home so he can see the dogs as he's not been able to visit with them nor them with him during his incarceration hospitalization. I know that Karen is ready for him to get home so she can dote on him a bit while at the same time she pushes him to work hard to regain full function. I believe that he'll get there, he's got the will and she has the determination.

In case you don't know about it already, R set up a little blog for Karen and Mike. Go check it out.


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Sunday, February 10, 2008

Cold as a welldigger's....something, but happy as a clam

I'm in NY visiting with our dear friends Karen, Mike and Sue. It's damn 19 degrees here right now with wind gusts up to 35 mph. Damn, I'm not designed to endure this crap!!!

It might be cold, but I'm happy to be here. I'm here with friends John Parker from Atlanta and Phil Allen from Seattle. We got to spend some time with Mike at the hospital the last three days. Got to meet all the family, Noreen, Mike Jr., Lloyd and Nicole. Add those to Mike, Karen, Sue, Me, Phil and John, we had quite the party at the hospital! Mike is doing so well that instead of arriving as expected in a wheelchair, he came strutting in with the assistance of a walker! He's made huge strides in the last couple of weeks, so much so that he is able to use his right side (the tumor is on the left side of the brain), walk, carry on coherent conversations, joke and laugh! With the exception of heavy use of "the word of the day", his conversations are completely normal. It seems that since his last spell, (I really don't know what else to call it. It's the result of the screw up with his meds brought on by too many Dr's having their hands in the mix) the word his brain defaults to is "well". So, you'll be talking about a lure coursing motor and it's "that lure well", or the hospital cafeteria is "the well". Hell, anything is "the well"!! It's really amusing once you get used to it. If he's talking about someone, it's "Richie Well". It's not that he can't think of the name, it's more like that just replaces some of the words. I'll have to do some research and see if I can figure out what it's called.

It's been an absolute joy to be here and spend time with my friend. I hate to say it, but when he was first diagnosed, I thought I wouldn't be spending time like this with him again. As luck has it, I might just get another chance to get up here in the near future. The plan now is for R to be able to come up again in a couple of weeks. She might not know it, but she is!! :)

I love these people and wish them all the best. Please keep them in your thoughts and prayers. If you know them, please feel free to drop them a letter, an email or a phone call and let them know that you're thinking of them. You should see Mike's face light up when he hears from an old friend or family member. Both he and Karen can use all the support they can get right now.

I'm heading home in the morning. I won't soon forget this wonderful weekend.