Thursday, February 28, 2008

Dazed & Confused

I thought my body was handling the Vicodyn o.k. but once the feeling came back to my foot and I could feel the pain and thus increased the dosage (per the doctor/nurse) my body finally rebelled. Tuesday afternoon & evening were a bit rough, the drugs weren’t working all that well as far as numbing the pain though they did a great job of knocking me out. I woke up at 4 am Weds. in pain and got up to get more drugs and nearly toppled over. Severe dizziness, nausea, all the things I usually get on these types of drugs and there was no way my body was going to take any more so I gave up and moved onto Ibuprofin. I woke up a few hours later with the fog clearing, less pain in my foot and my stomach finally more or less settled. I decided that the pain was at a low enough level that I’d rather deal with it than go back into that terrible Vicodyn haze. Today is even better, hardly any pain to speak of though I’m still a bit dizzy and keep falling asleep without warning so there must be some remnants of something but it feels like the fog has finally lifted and I may be able to read later today and perhaps make it through an entire DVD.

Things not to do while on Vicodyn:

  1. Handle hot liquids, or any liquids for that matter
  2. Change your blog’s colors/fonts/settings
  3. Read anything but especially dog training articles.
  4. Watch agility competitions on t.v. (It took me a while to realize that I was suffering from double vision and that there really only was one dog on the screen at a time and that the whole DVD of the World Champs. wasn’t some Dartfish comparison).
  5. Attempt to train the dogs. Anything.
  6. Try to carry on a coherent conversation with innocent bystanders. The Fed Ex lady was smart and took off before I could get to the door. The poor dog walker was not so lucky.
  7. Watch home improvement shows. I was better about it this time around but last time I was convinced I could make a cool looking coffee table out of copper plumbing if only Jonny would let me have a blowtorch. Needless to say he knew way better than that but there was much arguing and rolling of eyes before I finally gave up on the idea and it was only because I lost interest once I started feeling better.
  8. Try to remember when you took your last Vicodyn.
  9. Play around with your camera, esp. the delete button
  10. Watch the ‘Dog Whisperer’, esp. if you are like me and rant at the t.v. at the mere sight of him on a good day.

Now comes the hard part, keeping me quiet now that I’m feeling better. Triathletes don’t take to crate rest any better than border collies. I go to the doctor a week from today to have the bandages and stitches removed. I can’t get my foot wet until then so no swimming. I have my first P.T. appointment a week from Monday and I’ll probably go to the pool the day after that. The doctor sez the more I swim, the less P.T. I’ll need so I’m going to try to go nearly every day. I’m thinking of aiming for the Horsetooth Open Water Swim race held in August up in Fort Collins, about an hour from here. There are many distances to choose from unless you want to swim in a wetsuit in which case your only choice is 2.4 miles. This seems a good distance to shoot for and there’s no way I’m swimming in Horsetooth Reservoir without a wetsuit. I’m not into hypothermia. I’ve always wanted to try this race but a race with only swimming sounds so boring and there are always so many things to choose from at that time of year. But this year there will be no biking or running races for me so this is about all I can hope to do. I’m also curious to see just how good I can get at swimming if I swim nearly every day. Plus it will be a while before I can hope to keep up at masters since I can’t push off the wall with my foot so having a race to aim for will help motivate me to go to the pool on my own. I hate swimming by myself and it’s so easy to decide not to go. Pre-surgery I was swimming around 1:50-1:53 min. per 100 yards which is pretty slow even for me. For tri’s I usually swim around 2:00-2:07 because I’m saving myself for the rest of the race and because it’s harder to negotiate a straight line in open water than in a pool. A reasonable goal to shoot for would be 1:40’s but my double secret goal is to finish under an hour which would mean 1:25’s. This is pretty unrealistic but would be cool if I could do it. Oh yeah, one more thing to add to the ‘do not do on Vicodyn’ list-pick races and set goals.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008

My Eyes, My Eyes

This is all written under the influence of Vicodyn. Crappy grammar and convoluted sentence structures may be worse than normal. Oh and post may be incoherent plus my vision’s a bit blurry so spelling may be iffy.

Surgery went really well according to the surgeon. He didn’t encounter anything he wasn’t expecting and he’s optimistic that I’ll have a good outcome if I follow my rehab carefully. But then again what’s he going to say, ‘oops, I blew it, you are so screwed’?

I woke up expecting to be in the same drug induced euphoria that I experienced after knee surgery. I was sky as kite and so happy well into the evening. This time I woke up groggy and my eyes hurt. At first it felt like maybe they were just dry but blinking only made things worse. Then I realized it felt more like a pressure on the top of my eyes. It hurt to blink so every time I tried I had to keep them closed for a bit before opening them. I mentioned this to 2 nurses, the anesthesiologist, and the surgeon and they all said, ‘Nope, never heard that one before but don’t worry about it’. Great, I’ve got some freaky side effect that no one’s ever heard of before and they’re all dismissing it like it’s nothing. I gave Jonny strict instructions to call House if my eyeballs started bleeding.

When we got home Jonny had to close all the blinds because the light hurt my eyes even worse. Couldn’t even really watch t.v. so I spent most of the day and night drifting in and out of weird Vicodyn dreams. I’ve never been able to tolerate any of the heavy narcotic type drugs before but the doctor prescribed an anti-nausea drug this time and it’s been working great. I’m not nauseous at all and not nearly as dizzy.

Thankfully I woke up this a.m. and my eyes were fine again. Probably just a poor reaction to the sedatives though last time I had no problem. They gave me a local anesthetic on my foot then heavy sedation to knock me out during the surgery so it’s not like I was under a general or anything. Who knows.

The feeling is starting to come back in my foot and it hurts in my arch of all places. I’m supposed to take more Vicodyn as the feeling comes back so I’ll probably spend the rest of the day melted in a gorped out pile on the couch. I upped my Netflix account to 4 videos at a time so I should have plenty of entertainment to fall asleep to once they come. I ordered a bunch of British comedy stuff-‘French & Saunders’, ‘Absolutely Fabulous’ and an ‘Eddie Izzard’ stand-up show. Now if only I could get Strummer to stop barking at every last living thing that walks past the living room window. On the other hand it's time for more Vicodyn, I won't hear a thing.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Pimp My Crutches

The rubber arm pads on my crutches are worn and cracking and last time I used them I ended up with sores on my arm so I went looking for a new pair of simple grey rubber replacement pads on the internet. But thanks to capitalism it appears I have many more interesting and fashionable choices at my disposal. Yes, I know, these products are way overpriced and the companies are preying on the fact that I feel pretty crappy about being on crutches but hey by the time I pay postage on a pair of boring grey rubber hoodingies ($15 all told) I could buy a pair of stylin', comfy fleece crutch pad covers ($18.95) from here: The only dilemma is do I go for 'Groovy Daisy':

Or 'Paisley'?

Now the ones I really want are here:

The leopard is the best:

But the zebra is pretty cool too:

These are more expensive at $27.90 with shipping but you get the arm grip cover as well as the arm pad cover for extra grooviness.

Or I could go all out and go this route:

But these are $40 without shipping and don't solve my arm pad problem. Plus that carry bag is not terribly useful. Like I'm gonna put my walllet in there. Oh please come rob the gimpy person who can't possibly catch you. Though I suppose I could always whack potential thieves with my crutches. If I remember correctly that worked great with screeching obnoxious children running wild and about to charge into me in the grocery store.

Ah, decisions, decisions.

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Wild Thang

I've been horribly cranky for the past week because of the impeding loss of my mobility so I've been avoiding this place. Do you really want to hear me bitching and whining and getting all 'woe is me'? No? Good me neither (or is it 'either'? stupid grammar, I hated English class). Why won't someone kick me in the ass, tell me to step away from the chocolate and stop being such a whiny idiot? Just because I didn't have enough to worry about my just turned 89 (or maybe 90, I'm not sure, I'm not sure if anyone in the family is sure) grandmother got really sick last week and nobody told me. I called her on Sunday and she sounded awful, could barely talk, but worse she sounded scared and I don't think I've ever heard her sound scared. So for a couple of days I was in a panic over her health and also wondering if I would be able to go through with surgery next Monday because I'm pretty sure air travel to Chicago is not on my list of encouraged post op activities. Thankfully though she now seems stable enough that I'm going to go ahead with it. Heck, if my aunt the nurse who has a good grasp of what is going on medically is going through with her trip to Hawaii I'm guessing that my grandmother is in decent enough shape and going to be o.k.

I took all the dogs out to the agility field on Sunday but had to do it in shifts because Strummer gets a million times more wound up about agility when the other dogs are there and yeah that's way too wound up and no good for anybody. Luckily it's only an 11-12 minute drive. I started the day with Strummer then took Cody & Lola. I like to work those 2 together, they get wound up in a good way and are begging and pleading for their turn.

I set up a little Snooker type exercise with weaves, teeter, jumps & A-frame from Clean Run's Exercise Book for Cody & Lola. It was called the 'Ugly Exercise' but I didn't think it was too bad. It was cold & cloudy so the dogs were going nuts. Cody was so excited he was doing 4 legged jumps in the air and 'dancing' on the way to the start line. He's such a goofus. Both dogs did well, hitting contacts & weave entrances about 90% of the time. We had more problems with refusals as I cued the turns & wraps too early. Will I never get my timing right with these poor dogs? I tried the exercise different ways to see what worked best. Wish we could have some practice runs like that at a trial then you get your real run where you show off how clever you are.

I didn't put them through too many reps. because those particular obstacles are the most strenuous for them so they had plenty of beans left at the end of the session. I decided to let them play a bit to burn off some steam and Cody went completely off his head, tearing around the field with his ears pinned back in complete yahoo mode. I decided to wind him up some more by chasing him & teasing him with 'I'm gonna getcha!!!'. He loves that game and went flying around the field, taking obstacles here & there. I've been puzzling over how to emulate the trial atmosphere in practice so we can work on proofing those contacts and though it's not what I had in mind this turned out to be a happy accident. He went through a tunnel then tearing over the dogwalk and yup blew right through the contact. Tried it again, went right through again. So I calmed both of us down a bit then did it again and finally he stopped. So I guess I can practice this at the field. I'll have to start him out with being a little wild then work him up to crazy wild over however many sessions it takes. There are some other good suggestions for this kind of proofing in the comments section on the 'More DOCNA' post below.

As for Strum I've started working him on the teeter and it turns out he loves it. One of the first times he saw a full height teeter Mr. Superfreak jumped up onto the high side of the teeter and ran down it backwards as it started to descend then landed with a huge thud. He laid there for a minute looking like he was trying to decide if he should freak out or not so I clapped my hands and squealed gleefully, 'Oh what fun, was that big fun or what?' and he got up wagging his tail ready for another go. It all happened so fast I could barely process what had happened. After that I kept him well away from the full height teeter or put the teeter onto it's side.

For now we're working on an adjustable teeter and I've got it up to above my knee in just a few sessions. I want him to tip the board then run to the bottom and stop all four feet on. Yes, I know, it's not the superfast sexy way that most people teach these days where the dog runs full speed to the end and rides it down but nope sir I just don't like that method for my big dogs. If I had a wee dog that would be another story. Cody & Lola both have fast enough teeters that I'm pleased with and we have very few problems with flyoffs or missed contacts. My method is almost idiot proof, put teeter down to lowest height, put treats on end of board, release dog to treats. Repeat until dog is running with speed & confidence. Move teeter up one chain link and repeat ad nauseum. Note I said 'almost' idiot proof. I need to get some spray cheese in a can or even better some spray liver that the Kong people make. Using pieces of treats isn't so great once the teeter gets even a little bit high because they go flying everywhere and the dog gets rewarded all out of position. I put a curved tunnel at the end of the teeter so I had somewhere to release him to and so he had a fun exciting way to get back to the start. He'd probably do a full height teeter straight away but I want him doing it fast & confidently so we'll take our time and work our way up one link at a time. The other contact obstacles are going to take way longer to train anyway.

I worked him a bit on the lowered dogwalk, just working on his lay down at the end behavior. I'm not sure I'm happy with this and I think I'm going to transition him to a more standy up position. I was shooting for the crouchy, lying down position to save his shoulders but I think it may be too hard for him to do that on the A-frame and it seems excessive and time wasting to make him lay all the way down on the dogwalk. I tried him a bit on a lowered A-frame and it seemed so much easier for him to stay a little more upright. I'll start working that on an angled board at home. His weaves were o.k. but not great. The thundering herd of stampeding horses in the field next door wasn't helping his concentration. I need to work him with the channels opened a bit in this new setting since most of his weave training has been done in my backyard (yeah, duh, I know). He's doing great on the 6 weaves at home. I think I'll try a full set of 12 this weekend. I'll start with the channels at 4" wide and see how that goes.

Training a baby dog is so much fun. I'm hoping I'll be able to keep up with his training somewhat while I'm rehabbing. Baby dog stuff doesn't require so much running around. I've got one person who's agreed to run my dogs out at the practice field while I'm injured and I'm sure I can find a few more. It'll be hard for me to get out there for the first month or so so Cody & Lola might be getting yet another extended break. O.k., I know, I promised no more whining so I'll stop for now.

Thursday, February 14, 2008


Sunday went a little better in that I had a plan for dealing with the contact leaping. DOCNA allows and encourages training in the ring and you can repeat an obstacle up to 3 times during your run. There was that same stupid dogwalk/jump/finish line setup at the end of the second round of Standard so I asked the judge if I could bring my dog back to repeat the obstacle even if he'd already crossed the finish jump. The judge not only said yes but told me he'd meant to tell me that yesterday but I'd left the ring too quickly. What nice judge, but more on that later. Sure enough Cody leapt right over the contact at the end of his run but rather than let him leave the ring to get his goodies I made him come back and repeat the dogwalk. Again he leapt of the dogwalk so I made it easier the second time by sending him over the opposite way so he was running away from the finish line. That time he stopped no problem so I ran him out of the ring for his rewards and a big party. The only trouble with all this is that I imagine it will take a lot of reps. to get him to solidly stop on the way out. But when it came time for his 'North American Challenge' run (DOCNA's version of USDAA's Grand Prix) where the path over the dogwalk was away from the finish line he stopped beautifully again so it helped to some extent. I'd had him in a NADAC trial last spring to practice this exact thing but he couldn't stop himself at all on the slatless equipment so I had nothing to reward and gave up that lark. I took him out to the agility field last night, put a bowl of goodies at the end of the dogwalk, sent him over the dogwalk and ran past the end of the ramp to beat him to the goodies and he stopped perfectly and waited to be released. Did it several more times, perfect each time. Cue sound of head banging against wall.

Both dogs had nice jumpers runs with Q's (first places too but we were the only ones in each class). Cody was maybe fourth of the 16"-20" heights if you combined the levels and I'd done a terrible job of handling, he could have been even faster if I hadn't been so late with my cues. He saved me butt though and did a nice job. Jumpers is his favorite.

Both dogs also qualified for Nationals on the North American Challenge course. They need a new name for that, what a mouthful. You're allowed up to 12 faults and Cody had 10, Lola 5 so they weren't the nicest of runs but the course was really fun. I'll post it so those unfamiliar with DOCNA can see what it's like. You can qualify for all the events at Nationals with that one run and it's very tempting to go but it's in AZ in Oct. which I imagine will be super hot and it's also the weekend of a localish (2 hours away) USDAA trial so it's hard to justify driving 12 1/2 hours when there's another trial so much closer. Still it would probably be fun.

In general the DOCNA courses were really fun. Some nice handling challenges as well as places where the dogs could stretch out and run. It was like old school NADAC before the rules got loopy, the courses got dumbed down and the equipment started to disappear. I didn't sign up for all the games because I felt 3-4 runs per day was plenty for my crew but next trial I want to try the Time Gamble, that one looked fun. The atmoshpere at the trial was relaxed and fun and I had a great time despite my crappy handling and training issues. The dogs seemed more relaxed on Sunday which was more fun as well.

Judge Darryl Warren was great, what a nice guy. He even helped out the handlers with novice dogs that were having trouble on the teeter and encouraged everyone to take advantage of training in the ring. I think he's a USDAA judge too and the club members seemed really happy with him so maybe we'll get him again for another trial.

DOCNA sure has a lot of amenities over USDAA. My old dogs actually get to run at a lower jump height in a real live veterans class, what a concept. No vets class is a huge peeve of mine with USDAA at the moment, can you tell? And the jump height cutoffs are way more reasonable to begin with. No fault limits either and in fact you're encouraged to stay in the ring and train if you have an issue. Wow, I get to have some time in the ring in exchange for my entry fees, again, what a concept. There was no table or chute which was nice for Lola. The courses were fun but challenging, not boring straightforward loops around the arena like NADAC now has. Overall a great venue and a fun trial, hopefully we'll see some more pop up.

Saturday, February 09, 2008

New Venue, Old Issues

I was really looking forward to my first DOCNA trial this weekend, especially since it will be my last trial for 4 months or so. I went into the thing so full of heady optimism and enthusiasm to try something new. Ah, how quickly a pair of high maintenance, sensitive dogs can put those notions to bed. 9 millions refusals, 3 blown contacts, 2 missed weave pole entries, 1 off course and a partridge in a pear tree. I'll confess to being a bit worried about Lola. She ran off after 3 obstacles during the first run of the day (Traditional Gamblers) to sniff. She very, very rarely does this and it's hard to say if it's stress related or she's sore/injured again. She was running nicely Monday night at this same venue and she hasn't done any agility or anything else strenuous that I know of between than and today so I'm leaning towards stress. She also took an off course dogwalk in standard and again I think she was stressed. She stopped on top of the A-frame on her second standard run even though the judge was miles away and that's also one of her stress behaviors so hopefully she's not injured. Still, why she was so worried in such a laid back atmosphere and with me in such a relaxed, happy mood is a mystery and points more towards injury.

It wasn't all bad though, both dogs picked up Q's, titles and first places in Specialist (DOCNA's term for 'Masters') Gamblers. The gamble was easy peasy and though both dogs got it I wished it had been prettier. Lola balked at a send to a tunnel but eventually went in and Cody had a wide wide turn but still got to the last jump under time. We had been practicing similar but much more difficult gambles for the past few weeks so this one should have been a piece of cake. Cody had a nice opening, held his dogwalk contact beautifully but went flying off the A-frame. He got the contact but without the stop at the bottom, argh. Aside from running off at first Lola had a nice opening too and I had to make the whole thing up on the fly since she had run off and come back to me in an unexpected place. Somehow I managed to be in decent position for the gamble when the horn blew. Cody's run was time almost perfectly, whee, I love Gamblers when it all goes right.

One of my least favorite course designs is the one where the dogwalk is the second to last obstacle. We've lost at least 10 NADAC and 1 USDAA standard Q's because of the this setup. Cody has only ever held that contact once that I can think of, all other times he doesn't just bail, he goes flying off. I'm sure it's because he knows he's done and he's excited to get his treats. And he always gets them because I have to reward him for the rest of the run. Even if I didn't give him his end of run reward I doubt he'd realize the reason. For some reason this setup is very common in NADAC and I wasn't too happy to see it yet again today. And yes gentle readers both dogs did their flying through the air with the greatest of ease routines right over the yellow to blow an otherwise clean run in standard. Sigh. Is it too late to take up golf? I'm up for suggestions is anyone has any ideas for a slightly less aggravating hobby.

Just to add insult to injury, here's some video of our 2 standard runs. Jonny surprised us and showed up in time to film our standard runs. This is merely a public service, you can watch these and feel better about whatever you did this weekend. Watch as I get lost on the easiest of courses. Marvel at Lola's sassiness as she admonishes me after her runs. Yes, I can run faster than that. Why didn't I? Duh, I dunno.

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Power, Corruption and Lies

Or ice, chaos and mobs and mobs of people as I decided to go to the Democratic caucus on Super Tuesday. I didn't/don't have strong feelings for either Hillary or Obama so I wasn't sure it was worth my time but in the end my curiosity got the better of me and I decided to go so I could see how it all worked.

I knew there would be crowds and lines but what I encountered was way beyond what I was expecting and obviously beyond what the organizers were expecting as well. The Democratic caucus usually draws 15,000 people statewide and 120,000 people showed up on Tuesday. My precinct was supposed to meet in a classroom designed for maybe 30-40 people and 191 people turned up. And the school where we met had something like 6-7 precincts combined so there were probably 1200-1400 people crammed into the school all trying to find parking and then make their way through the impossible lines to register. I had to fight traffic first from the school 3 blocks from my house then again when I got to the school were I needed to go. I found a spot on a side street blocks away which normally wouldn't have been a problem but it was painfully cold, the streets were solid ice and there are no sidewalks or streetlights so I had to try not to break my neck on the skating rink street and avoid getting hit by all the other cars looking for parking in the pitch black. At least we were able to wait in line inside but the lines were so out of hand that they were running down different hallways then converging into one big impossible line. I waited for over 1/2 an hour and still never go to register. The organizers eventually gave up and shuttled us into the cafeteria that was meant to handle the overflow but ended up being overflowed itself. I'm not a big fan of crushing crowds so I was a bit on edge but I sucked it up and got on with it.

Once in the cafeteria we had to strain to hear the organizer speaking into a megaphone (no P.A. system). He explained we would break off into our individual precincts and elect a precinct captain to conduct the straw poll. Then we would need to choose our delegates who would cast the final vote at the convention in March. The straw poll was not binding which I found interesting. What's the point of dragging us all out there to vote if the delegate can ultimately vote for whatever he wants? I searched the crowd for my neighbor Mary who is all into politics and could explain it all and who I was sure must be somewhere. But other groups were meeting in the auditorium and gym so she could be anywhere. My biggest problem was that I had no idea what precinct I was in which was a huge problem because I had no idea what room to go to to vote. Mary would know this as well but alas she was nowhere to be seen. The meeting dragged on with more explanations on procedure. Then representatives of the candidates were allowed a 2 minute speech to give a little plug. Hillary's rep spoke to her experience and electability. Obama's rep amazingly didn't go on about 'time for a change' but did use plenty of buzzwords-global warming, blah blah blah, health care, yadda yadda yadda. Nothing substantive of course. There were other people running for other things too and my favorite speech was for some guy I'd never heard of for some office I'd never heard of. Noone was there in any official capacity to speak for him so a former roomate took the floor and said, 'Yeah, you should vote for Mo because he's a great guy. I lived with him for 3 years and he was a great roomate. Mo rocks.' And that was about it. His speech got the most applause out of anybody else's.

Final the general meeting ended and I fought my way through the crowd to the registration tables to see if they could help me figure out my precinct. While we were standing in line to register earlier we were given registration cards to fill out and when you actually got through the line to register they were supposed to fill in your precinct on your card and give you a registration number. Without this number your vote doesn't count. (But it doesn't count anyway but that's another issue). I was lucky to get a card, not everybody did and those that didn't had to fill out yet another form. Finally I wormed my way to the table and they were able to give me all my relevant numbers and told me to go to the auditorium. Yay! Sounds better than the gym or cafeteria. At least I'll get a seat.

Or so I thought. The auditorium was mobbed as they'd had to combine precincts to fit everyone into the bigger rooms. All of the precincts had such large turnouts that they had to abandon the classrooms and double up in the larger gym, cafeteria, etc. Lots of people were standing but I spotted one lonely seat and nabbed it. My back still wasn't 100% and I couldn't bear the thought of standing. Luckily it was on the correct side of the auditorium for my precinct. And wouldn't you know it but there's my neighbor Mary up on the stage. Phew, finally some sense that I was in the right place in the wake of all the chaos. Mary ends up being elected our precinct captain. Actually Mary is the only one who volunteers to be the precinct captain and that was on the condition that some other guy she knew also agreed to be captain (you're allowed 2) to help her out. Turns out she's done the job many times before. The other precinct in the room had 4 crazies keen on the job so they had to vote.

Next it came time for the straw poll for the presidential candidates. I knew Obama would win and by a lot but wow I couldn't believe how much support he had. While we were waiting in line there were loads of people passing out Obama stickers and loads of people wearing them. I saw only one person in the entire mob wearing a Hillary button and noone from Hillary's camp was there passing out stickers or campaigning for her. The depth of his support was almost creepy. In the end Hillary got something like 38 votes out of 191 for my precinct. Not much but enough to take 1 of our 7 delegates. That was the one good thing, it wasn't winner take all so Hillary supporters weren't 'wasting' their vote. Delegates were assigned based on a percentage of the vote. Obama took a whopping 80% of the vote.

I went into the caucus leaning ever so slightly towards Obama, mainly because I preferred his proposed health care program over Hillary's and of course because he spoke out against the war. Hillary on the other hand does have the experience. And she sprung my cousin from a Russian prison back when Bill was in office but I supposed that was a stupid reason to vote for someone. I wonder if my cousin voted for her? You cast your vote by raising your registration card in the air and someone went around counting them all. It all seemed so quaint and old timey. You could vote for 'uncommitted' but I wasn't sure what that practically meant so I didn't. In the end 'uncommitted' didn't get 15% of the vote so they couldn't have a delegate and those who voted that way were allowed to recast their vote for Obama or Hillary. At the first go around Hillary just barely squeeked by with 28 votes or so then many of the uncommited's changed their vote for her. I ended up voting for Obama in the end. I just wish I felt better about it. Anybody remember that old Bloom County cartoon where Opus the penguin is in the voting booth debating over 2 equally unsavory candidates? He finally makes up his mind, pulls the lever and gets smacked in the face with a pie. Yup, that's exactly what it felt like.

After the straw poll we could leave or hang around if we wanted to be involved in electing the delegates. It was 8:15 and I'd had enough by that point so I skedadled. I figured I could get the scoop on the rest of it from Mary the next time I saw her. She swims in my lane at masters and I see her out on the trails in the morning every so often so I'm sure I'll run into her. In the end I'm glad I went but man what a screwy system. And so unfair to those who have to work in the evening or who can't commit that kind of time/patience to the process.

My final bit of advice to anyone heading out to the caucuses:

1. Know your precinct number before you get there
2. Bring a pen
3. Get there super early if you want to be able to park and/or grab a seat
4. Be prepared for a night of crowds, chaos, and weird ass political processes

Monday, February 04, 2008

Strum v Watering Can

A few more photos of Strummer and his watering can just for the hey of it. He loves that stupid thing, tears around the yard like an idiot with it, tosses it up in the air then pounces on it. Way more entertaining than t.v.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Guaranteed Personality

I'm all lost in the supermarket
I can no longer shop happily
I came here for a special offer
Guaranteed personality

-The Clash

One of the fun things about having a rescue is that you get to make up your own fancy kennel name that goes on your title certificates. Strummer is named after Joe Strummer from The Clash of course and you would think with all the zillions of great Clash lyrics that thinking up a name would be a piece of cake. However it turned out to be tougher to find something that fit Strummer than I thought it would. 'Train in Vain' is the most obvious except that it doesn't fit at all, Strummy's easy & fun to train. I liked 'Stay Free Strummer' but it reminds me too much of maxi pads. 'Know Your Rights (And Lefts)' is good too but too wordy and I'm not teaching rights & lefts anyway. 'Black & White Riot' is too obvious. 'Turning Rebellion Into...???' The only thing I could come up with that sort of kind of rhymed with 'money' was 'jumping' and, well, meh. After 2 years of puzzling I finally came up with 'Guaranteed Personality' and emailed Jonny during my lunch hour to see what he thought. He emailed me back and said he'd come up with the exact same name that morning even though we hadn't been discussing names that day. So 'Guaranteed Personality Strummer' it is. Except for DOCNA. I registered him when I registered the other dogs and put 'Pressure Drop Strummer' (yes, yes I know it's a cover) because I needed something right away. And I do reserve the right to change my mind before I register him with USDAA which won't be for a while.

Strummer reached another milestone today by weaving his first set of 6 weave poles with the channels totally shut. Hopefully by next week he'll be doing it confidently enough that I can start working him up to 12 poles. He's also getting very close with his board work. I may start him out on the contacts in the next week or so just to see what issues he may have then it's back to the board to work on whatever issues we can while I'm rehabbing my foot.