Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Another Win for the Duna Man

Well here I am again sending a big congratulations to Christine and John Vermes again. Duna won for the third day in a row. He looked fantastic out there with his handler. What a striking picture they make. Duna now stands at 13 points, two shy of his championship. It is a shame there aren't more shows in the very near future. You hate to stop the momentum. Anyways, this little guy will be finished in no time. Then it is time to let do what he does best, be that wonderful companion animal.

Below are a few pictures from the day.
Grady (front) and Duna (back) in the ring competing.
Christine and Duna celebrating the win.
Duna in Mom's lap. Jean (his handler) giving Duna that thumbs up look.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Red Dawn Duna What a Good Boy Am I Wins for the Second Day in a Row

Duna is a gentle little soul who is packaged in an almost Champion body. Today was another great day for him and his owners, Christine and John Vermes. Not only did he win Winner's Dog and Best of Winners but he also took Best Opposite Sex over a finished champion giving him another 2 points towards his championship. Now he is at 11 and counting. Four more to go my little peanut. Woo Hoo!!

A Good Day-Beginning To End

First off, I need to give credit to Ann for taking the vast majority of the pictures in the photoshow. You will see that the photos are mostly a day in the life of our dogs, with a couple of us humans and how we get to be a part of their simple little world. Hopefully, it will give you the sense of just how easy they are to please. Maybe we can learn a little from them. I know that I always feel a little freer and a little more at peace during the times I am out with them.

Okay, now for the tale of the day. It started out great with Red Dawn Duna What a Good Boy Am I winning another point towards his championship. We are all very excited about that and look forward to a celebration when he is done. After the dog show, we all headed for the beach where we could give the little guy the best present we could think of, a romp with all his extended doggy family. The tide was high but we found a nice secluded spot that provided us with enough room to walk without getting overtaken. Of course, the dogs don't worry about those sorts of silly things. We spent a couple of hours there and really got the pups tired out, which was a good things since there was more fun ahead for the humans. After the long day at the show and then the beach, it was off to Kate and Jeff's for a fabulous evening of good food shared with good friends. What more could we want in life?

Friday, December 26, 2008

Tough Times...Living at the Beach (Seriously)

Today I took the pups back to Fort Funston. We arrived at 7 am. It was just us today. The purpose for this post is not to talk about the beach walk (although it was truly lovely) but to remind me how lucky I am to have a home, job and nourishment. When we were on our walk yesterday, we came upon a fir tree that was decorated with obviously hand-made ornaments. About 50 feet away was an encampment with a tent and fire pit. I remember thinking that the sight of this tree and the tent was somewhat bittersweet. I had intended to mention it on my blog entry yesterday but got caught up in my own life's minutia and didn't. So today, while we were on our walk, I was reminded of this again because there was a fire going which I presume was to keep these folks warm. I had heard that the tent was where a family was staying. Well, obviously the parents wanted to give the kids a somewhat normal Christmas by decorating a tree for them. I was touched by that as well as somewhat saddened. I can't imagine how hard it must be to be a parent, have your family be homeless and still try to make Christmas "normal". I sure wish there was a way that everyone could have what they needed. Naive...I know.

Thursday, December 25, 2008

Christmas Day-Brrrr (By California Standards)

When I arrived at Ft Funston for the walk, I sky was full of clouds, the wind was gusting at above 50mph and the rain was coming down. Oh, and it felt about 30 degrees. I may have backed out had I not driven an hour and had 5 very active dogs in need of some exercise. I was there a good hour before the others were to arrive so when the rain and wind subsided a bit, I headed out with the dogs for a pre-walk. Well, thankfully, the rain and wind stopped and the sun actually came out. The dogs and I walk about 45 minutes then headed back to meet up with the others. Wouldn't you know it, the wind and rain kicked up again. Man, was it a biting cold wind. And me without any gloves. None-the-less, we were all up for the challenge (or ready to tired out the dogs) and walked anyway. Fortunately, I know the area like the back of my hand and we walked on a trail that sheltered us from the wind. After about 15 minutes, the rain stopped and the sun came back out. We walked for another hour and a half without another storm. It was a great walk with great people and sweet canines. What a life.

Saturday, December 20, 2008

I Can't Get Enough of the Beach

So my sister is visiting and we decided to meet Christine at the beach. When we left Antioch, it was 38 degrees so we bundle up expecting it to be even colder at the ocean. As you can see from the picture, it was a gorgeous day. I was amazed. By the time we were finished with our walk, it was 63 degrees. Perfect beach walking weather. These are the times I really appreciate living in California.

Friday, December 19, 2008

Flat Pam Visits Meets Her Co-workers Face-to-Face

Well Flat Pam finally had an opportunity to not only be in St Louis Missouri but also mean her co-workers who, until this point, had only been voices on a phone. Whoo Hoo to that. The following are some of the photos taken on the trip.
The above picture is Staci who has been Flat Pam's Hostess for sometime now. She is proudly showing Flat Pam her 5 year anniversary award. Cudos to you Staci!
Looks like Staci has another award, right along side the Dilbert cartoons. Excellent! Apparently, they also have artwork in St Louis. This made my flat self very happy. I love artwork and love Van Gough.
Here, Flat Pam is being framed by the famous Arch. Why is it here...never understood that. None-the-less, very cool. One more famous American tourist sight I can check off my list to see.
Here I am back in the office. Someone's office over looks the Mississippi River. Not a bad view at all.
Flat Pam was exploring and almost got lost in all the vegetation in Staci's office. Thank goodness for survival skills.
It seems that my 2d self just can't stay out of the Christmas trees. What's up with that?

Ah...two of the famed team, Linda and Cheryl. Hmmmm...that stocking Flat Pam is in fits great...AS a sleeping bag. I guess that is a good thing. Looks like it is cold in St Louis.
Back to Staci's office....She has a lot of manuals...Flat Pam better take in as much as she can. She will need to transfer that information to me.

Here my 2d self is with Dave and Cheryl. There is the old Courthouse in the background. Another nice view from the offices.
Jana and Linda are holding me up. Thanks guys...Flat Pam is exhausted after the whirlwind day in the office.
It was a day filled with new adventures and people. I am sure Staci was exhausted too. Thankfully her sister Shelley drove us back to Waterloo.

Thanks a bunch for the great adventure. It is nice to put faces to the voices.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

With All the Bad News...Thank Goodness For Pups and Parks

There has been a lot of bad news lately and I just learned that many of my friends from a previous company have been laid off. A horrible time of the year to lose a job normally but particularly hard given what is going on in the economy. I felt a bit bummed out and realized how grateful I am to have good friends, wonderful sisters, loving pups and parks to walk in. Going on a hike always picks up my spirits a bit so I am glad to have the dogs because it forces me to get out there everyday. Even days like this where it is drizzling, foggy and cold. There is a beauty in this weather as well. Below is a picture of the hills covered in clouds. If it was clear you would be able to see the snow that had fallen.
Here is a picture of Dixy waiting patiently (not!) for me to throw the tennis ball. Her joy in the simplest things makes me envy her.More cloud covered hills.

The dogs running up the side of the hill, hoping to catch the birds that were constantly taunting them. No such luck (for the dogs at least. The birds were very lucky)

I hope that I can maintain a positive attitude through this mess of an economy. I hope that I can be a positive support to my friends who need it. I hope I can continue to be grateful for all that I have and not worry about what may be on the horizon.

Monday, December 15, 2008

More Flat Pam Adventures

I have been wondering way I haven't been around the blog for awhile. Now I know. I have been in the St Louis area (in my 2d self). Staci and her family were kind enough to show me some mid-west hospitality and allowed me to participate in their holiday revelry. Apparently I got a little out of hand in the beginning and climbed up their Christmas tree. I wanted them to feel what it was like to have a cat in the house I guess. Actually, I wanted my picture taken next to the Rd Sox ornament. Go Sox!
Staci was able to coax me down from the tree by offering me a nice cup of hot chocolate. As you can see, there were a lot of marshmallows.

It's no wonder that when I went to climb back up the tree, I could only get as far as the nativity scene. I was praying to not be so stuffed and then to be able to breath again.

Once I was able to move again, I got into more trouble and attempted to knock down the Mark McGuire baseballs. But I was nabbed before I could complete the task.Joshua was good enough to entertain me by reading Flat Stanley to me. As you can see from my face, I enjoyed it very much.

Finally, I met up with someone my size. We passed the time until he melted. It was toasty in the house.
Thanks Staci and family for a wonderful visit during the holidays. I love Christmas decorated houses.
P.S. Love the orange pants. :-)

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Oh No I didn't...

Oh yes I did.
Grady is wondering what the heck Dixy has on her head. It's an elf hat and ears my dear boy. Little does he know...It won't be long until he has his own head ornament.
Here he is with with his reindeer ears. Heck, between the two of them, we have the start of the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer cast. Dixy would play Herbie the elf wanna be dentist and Grady as Rudolph.
As you can see by the above picture, Dixy is none to happy with this situation. Shortly after the photo was taken, she hid under the table. That is until....

Colvin had her turn as a Christmas Carol extra.

Oh, the holidays. :-)

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Another East Bay Regional Park Hike-Briones

Briones Regional Park is another in the East Bay Regional Park system. The land in this park is from what use to be a Ranch, a 13,316 acre ranch. I am not sure how many miles of trails there are in this particular park but suffice it to say there are enough for the dogs and me to get our exercise and then some. This ranch has a little different landscape than Black Diamond and Morgan Territory. It is much more full of knotted oak trees. It is much cooler here than the others because of the shade. Beautiful none the less. As usual, the dogs had all kinds of fun. They love going to a new place. They take such pleasure in the simplest things like new smells. I don't know how they do it. Wish I could be a little more like them. Our walk was relatively short as it gets dark so early now. I walked about 3 miles. Of course, because the dogs were excited by the new place, they probably doubled my distance. They have been fed and are now all cozy in their doggy sleeping bags.

Monday, December 8, 2008

What I know...

Facebook can be very time-consuming.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Early Morning Beach Walk

Today has been a very busy day. Went to the beach early in the morning. Started the walk at 7am. The tide levels were just perfect. The tide was going out so we had a lot of beach to walk on. We walk south today. Because there was so much beach, we were able to walk for miles. I love walkingin that direction. At a certain point the beach is almost pristine. No one ever walks there. It is very peaceful. I was not going to put up these pictures because it seems I am always putting tbeach pictures up. However, I think they are different enough because it is in a different area. I hope that you all can see what I mean by pristine. After the beach walk, I went to the Vizsla Club of Northern California's holiday party. It was a lot of fun too. Now I am tired and full.

Friday, December 5, 2008

News That Makes Me Pause...

Then just irked me.
-Okay please need to get over the fact that Barack Obama won the election. There are several suits that have been filed arguing that Obama is not a natural born citizen (he was born in the US) and therefore can't be sworn in as president. Can I just say to all you folks out there trying to argue this point...."He won the election fair and square! Get over it and get on with your lives"!
-Here's a CNN headline for you, "Seductive mom gets son's juror to 'fess up ". Seems this mother went to extraordinary lengths to save her son from prison even though he was convicted of ordering the killing of a 19 year old boy. She gave herself an extreme makeover and hit on one of the jurors for a number of months until she was able to get the desired information from him. Too bad she didn't put that much energy into keeping her son out of gangs.
-And another CNN headline reads "Commentary: Pregnant woman asks for help, gets ticket". Apparently there was a major traffic jam on the road the pregnant woman took to get to the hospital. Her contractions were three minutes apart so they drove on the breakdown lane until they met up with a state trooper who they asked for help. Instead of helping them he humiliated the woman by questioning if she was really pregnant and them made her proved it. On top of that, he gave them a ticket and didn't help them get to the hospital. In order to keep my language clean let me just say this, What an Idiot!
And my last bit of disturbing news for the day...
-"Craigslist baby sitter used tot in porn film". I am not even going to go into the story. The headline is disturbing enough.
Sometimes I have to wonder...what is wrong with us?!

Looking Forward to Seeing "Milk"

Tonight I will be seeing the movie "Milk" with Suzy & Stephan. I have been looking forward to this movie for a long time. Harvey Milk and George Moscone being murdered by Dan White was a tragedy. I saw the documentary "The Life and Times of Harvey Milk" many years ago. I hope the movie does his life justice. I will give my review once I have seen it.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Another Great Day at the Beach

Another great day at the beach. Here it is November 29th and it is clear, sunny and 65 degrees. Beautiful day! Above is a picture of Dixy intently watching the geese fly by.
Sara surveying the beach.

A random guy with his dogs, wakeboarding.

I have enjoyed my vacation immensely. Unfortunately it is over and I am back to work tomorrow. Oh well, more time off at Christmas time.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Black Diamond Hike-The Day After Turkey Day

Nothing like hiking (I mean really hiking) a couple days in a row. Today Susan, Eddie, and I took the dogs for a hike in Black Diamond. It was great hiking weather again. There was a lot of fog for most of the hike but it wasn't too cold. I know I have put pictures of this park out before but these pictures were taken on a different hike than the previous areas. Our hike was about 6.25 miles of up and down landscape. It was the first time Eddie and Susan had been on these trails and they were quite impressed. I am fortunate to live 10 minutes away so am here often. It is nice to take new people here to see their excitement at the views. It helps me to not take my good fortune for granted.

As with yesterday's hike, I am pleasantly tired and will sleep well again tonight. The doggies are also tired and are resting in their doggy sleeping bags. I could do this everyday and not get tired of it.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Thanksgiving Day-2008

Well, another Thanksgiving has been spent enjoying a hike and meal with friends. I can't think of a nicer way to spend it. Today Christine, John, Suzy, Stephan and I took the dogs to Morgan Territory Regional Park for a nice hike. We all arrived at about 9:30 to complete an approximately 6 mile hike. As you will be able to tell from the little photo show, there was quite a bit of clouds at the start of the hike. This is wonderful because it helps to keep all the hikers and dogs cool. It certainly did that for the dogs. They ran non-stop. We are really lucky to have places like this to hike with the dogs. They are much happier creatures with the right amount of exercise. Although the hike was long, the company was wonderful. Conversation flowed about numerous subjects. I had a great time. We had planned on having our Thanksgiving meal at the park after the hike. Once we got to the vehicles, we pulled out the food-cornish hens, potato salad, green salad, and a wonderful carrot/leek soup. There is nothing more satisfying after a long hike than a hearty meal. Boy, did we have that...hmmm. Christine was gracious enough to make a wonderful vegan pumpkin dessert. Very tasty!!

So now that the hike and meal is over, the blog entry is complete, I can go and take a little nap. What a satisfying day.


Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Flashes of Childhood-Gumby

I was at the store picking up dog food and what do I see...a Gumby figure. I couldn't really imagine this as a dog toy. Actually I thought it was a pretty silly idea for a dog toy. But I loved Gumby. Not the show but the figures. I had them as I was growing up. Gumby and Pokey...how funny. So I bought him. When I was bike-riding competitively, many of the cyclist had Gumby figures as riding companions. I don't know that today's kids would like them but they brought me back to a simpler time. Now I just need to figure out where to put him.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

More Random Thoughts

Well, it certainly has been awhile since the last post. Seems I've been busy but not with anything particularly interesting or funny. But...leave it to our American ingenuity to provide me with a topic to talk about. For those of you who have seen Wall-E the movie, you may know where I am coming from. A big premise of the movie was that the human race had gotten so into technology that over time, we became blobs floating along on electronic lounge chairs. Well, we may be moving closer and closer to that reality. Listening to radio news station, I heard a story that Domino's is working with TIVO to enable folks to place orders through the TIVO box. We won't even have to get up to get the phone. All I can say is...GET UP AND MOVE. If we don't use those muscles we will lose them. Seriously, isn't this a little bit scary?
This next item is more of an annoyance. I was watching a commercial where a young man was proposing to his girlfriend. Of course, they showed him on bent knee with the open ring box. As I was watching, I couldn't help but look at his hands. His fingernails were dirty. How did the ad agency not notice that. I realize that in real life that may happen BUT companies spend a lot of money on ads. Shouldn't the agency have caught that?

Monday, November 17, 2008

Random Observations

Not too much to say today with the exception of a few random observations and thoughts. So without further adieu, here goes:
-Listening to the radio today I heard an ad for a company selling giant teddy bears, stuffed rabbits, you named it. You can even have a personalized t-shirt made. The final question the ad asks, "wouldn't you love a teddy bear taller than an NBA basketball player?". Ummm...no I would not.
-Also heard on the radio that the polar bears are so hungry they are eating each other. Thankfully though, Sarah Palin informed us there really is not any man made problems with the environment. I guess they have always eaten themselves.
-Looking out at the park outside my office window, I noticed a woman practicing her line dancing steps. The question my friend Staci asked..."is it really line dancing when it's a line of one.". Excellent question Staci.
-While taking a lunch time walk, I notice a commotion. There were five or six men holding down another man while they waited for the police. The held down man was screaming bloody murder. Apparently, he had just robbed some tourists. It was quite reminiscent of the show "Cops". Just goes to show, big cities don't just have high profile crimes.
-Can someone please tell how "Forbes" magazine can publish an article the "Hollywood's Most Influential Infants"? How in the world are these infants influential? And if they are...Shame on us!
Okay, before I get on to things that really peeve me, I will end this post. Whoo...feel a Little better now.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Grady and Colvin

Grady seems to have really become attached to Colvin. He always wants to be near her. The really sweet thing is that Colvin is perfectly fine with him in her space. Normally, this is Colvin's chair. Grady jumped up into it with her and it didn't seem to bother her a bit. She is a wonderful old girl.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Sasa-The Tree Climbing Vizsla Part 2

Continuing to show her tree climbing prowess, Sara shows us how easy it is. Then she proceeds to walk down the narrowest part of the tree. This picture was taken right before she slipped off. As you can see, her brothers are very interested and amazed at what she is doing.

Hard to Believe It Is November 15th

Well we were off to the beach again today. Not that unusual I know but it was 80 degrees at the beach today. That's unheard of for this time of the year. Of course it was beautiful but I can't help but think there truly are some greenhouse gas issues going on. Oh well, I enjoy the day and continue to try and reduce my carbon footprint. Anyways, below are a series of pictures showing the dogs stalking and chasing the seabirds. Funny thing is, I think the birds enjoy taunting them. They know there is no way the dogs will catch them.

I do love watching these guys run. I love their energy and athleticism. Wish I could get some. :-)

Friday, November 14, 2008

Red Dawn Mr Fritz-Super Showing at Nationals

Another Sara puppy struts his stuff. Red Dawn Mr Fritz had quite a showing at the Vizsla Nationals in Tucson AZ. There were a total 164 entries and he last to the final cut of twelve or 13 dogs. Pretty amazing for a dog under three years old. He was more than ably handled by Cheryl Krajcar.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Grady-Truly the King of the Pride

I always think Grady is the bottom of the totem pole in the household but I think he is smarter than I give him credit for. In this picture, he is letting Colvin clean him. It reminds me of Lions in a pride. It was sweet.