Saturday, December 31, 2011

Last Post of 2011

A rare photo of all 3 hooligans.  Lola hoarding all the toys of course and Strummer looking sad about it.

SO glad the holidays are over.  I'll spare you my ranting but in general, not my favorite time of year and because the retailers and my grandmother started in on the season extra early (she started hassling me the first week of October) I had my first holiday induced breakdown before Thanksgiving and usually I can make it until the first week of December.  We had friends over to our house for X-mas and that was fun but otherwise kind of a rough holiday season.  And aside from my grandmother I don't even exchange gifts anymore.  But it's finally, finally, mercifully over and my brain can relax and heave a sigh of relief. 

I suppose I should go over the year's stats for agility and triathlon and post a wrap up for the year as well as list of goals for the future but, meh, I don't feel like it and I've already posted next year's goals back at the beginning of October.  In short as a recap, USDAA Nationals and Xterra Nationals.  Short and sweet.  And if one or both of those fall through, DOCNA Champs.  We've already qualified for that though so it's not so much of a goal as a safety school. 

I'm also teaching myself to speed read.  I've always thought I was a painfully slow reader but it turns out I'm average.  So far after a few days I'm about 50% faster but still not reading super fast.  Supposedly should take a month or so of practice to shift my brain to read without sub-vocalizing.  In the meantime I've got a ridiculous amount of books checked out from the library.  At least I had the sense to read the speed reading ones first.

The agility field is finally free of snow.  Too windy to go today, strap your chihauhaus down windy, so no agility today but starting tomorrow I've got a bunch of exercises lined up to work on our weaknesses and some that simply look fun.  My training partner is out with a broken elbow so I'll be flying solo for a while but Joy is back teaching lessons and I've got a seminar with Mary Ellen Barry and Jennifer Crank in February  so I'm not completely on my own.

The first USDAA trial of the year is in 2 weeks and the entry was so big that they changed it from 1 ring to 2.  I didn't think USDAA Nationals would be that much of a draw for the AKC-only crowd but boy was I wrong about that.  At first I was twitchy at the thought of such a busy, cramped trial.  I'm not a fan of crowds and the arena area is tight for 2 rings .  But on the other hand it will be great practice for Strummer and me for the chaotic atmosphere of USDAA Nationals and there will be snow fencing between the rings so he should be fine.  Plus they'll have crating in another building so he won't have to listen dogs doing agility all day and hopefully will be able to relax a bit more than if he was crated in the arena.

Our first USDAA trial with a Team event is in March and I've got a good team lined up for that so I'm looking forward to it.  Everybody on the team wants to go to Nationals and if we qualify we'll stay together as a team.  Of course September is a long way off but it's nice to have a plan lined up so soon.  The best part though is that we're all on the same page of it's supposed to be fun and nobody is going to get bent out of shape if we don't qualify.

Triathlon training is chugging along as well.  Swimming and running are going well but I've been slacking on the bike due to all the snow.  I finally went out on the road bike after swim practice yesterday and I won't sugar coat it, it wasn't pretty.  An average speed of 12 mph or something for only a 14 mile ride.  All I can hope for is that my cyclometer was on the fritz.  Or maybe I was overly tired from swim practice and a hike with the dogs in the morning.  The trails should be dry by next week and predicted warm temps. of 50's-60's and sunny so I'll get back to the bike.

I'm also working on a little movie with the dogs that requires training some simple little tricks.  At least I thought they were simple.  Turns out I had my casting all wrong as they each learned each other's tricks more easily than their own.  It's coming along slowly though since it's a for fun thing with little point to it and on the back burner to everything else.  Plus I need to buy some props to progress any further.

Hope everyone has a Happy New Year!


  1. Happy new year to you guys! A movie? With tricks and props and everything? Cool, looking forward to that.

    All the best in 2012!

  2. It sounds like you have lots of wonderful things planned. Happy new year!!

  3. Just a short little movie for fun. We'll see if I ever get it done, definitely a low priority, rainy day project.