Monday, March 31, 2008

Smoke'n Fast Fish Tacos

In my quest to be faster, I am trying to come up with interesting meals that make me want to stay home to eat.

I don't have a picture because we ate them too fast. A very good recommendation. This recipe makes 5 tacos using 1 tablespoon of chorizo sausage and 8 ounces of cod fillet.

What you need for 5 tacos:
-white corn tortillas
-Olive oil spray
-1 table spoon olive oil
-1/2 pound cod
-1 chorizo sausage (spelling?)
-garlic (I used garlic paste)
-cilantro (I used cilantro paste)
-1 avocado
-sliced cabbage
-sliced tomato
-5 tablespoons mont jack/colby jack cheese grated

Prepare the tortillas:

Heat a fry pan really hot. Spray with olive oil spray. Hot quick fry each of the tortillas (both sides. I spray the pan between each tortilla. They should be soft, but with a little toasting.

Prepare condiments:
-slice cabbage and put a small pile on each plate (I ate two Kel ate three)
-slice lettuce and put a small pile next to the cabbage
-slice avocado and lay on top between the cabbage and the lettuce
-slice tomato and place on either side of the avocado
-put 1 tablespoon of cheese for each taco on the plate (I put on top of the lettuce

Prepare the filling:
-take 1 tablespoon of chorizo sausage (freeze the rest of the sausage for another time) and cook until crumbling (you must wash this pan before using it to cook the fish)
-cut up the cod into about 1 inch cubes put in a mixing bowl. Add
-1 tablespoon of olive oil
-garlic (I use garlic paste)
-cilantro (I use cilantro paste)
-the cooked sausage crumbled
-Mix up the cod and seasonings
-heat up a clean pan and cook on medium heat until fish is cooked (took me about 2-3 minutes)

Fill up the prepared tortillas with the filling and place on the plate.

I gotta tell you, I had fish tacos on saturday at a brewery and mine beat those by far. The cod flakes as it cooks and picks up the hint of flavor the chorizo provides. When I cooked the sausage, I then put it on a paper towel to remove the fat.

Although this recipe does call for some fat, I think this is a healthy alternative to alot that is out there. Enjoy.

Friday, March 28, 2008

Oh The Places We will Go

Ahhhh, the open road. Today my fine feathered (or rather furred) friends and I took a trip to Salinas to pratice agaility.

Since I was lazy, we risked life and limb (or rather just Tazzies life and limbs as Fin was in the crate). We are smiling as we head on down the road with the musak playing loud the new Bob Dylan Album (well really it is a CD and to be truthful it was down loaded onto a MP3 player so it really isn't a CD either...not sure what you would call it, but certainly not an album).

As Dyan is singing Rollin' and Tumbling, we come up to an intersection where we encounter this sign on the back of the truck. Now that is very clever I thought. What would that sign mean on an agility course?

  • Announcing to the Judge to stand back cause my dog is likely to take your head off as he leaps off the A frame not hitting the yellow?
  • Stand back and watch how it is done?
  • Stand clear to see the launching power of a 20 pound dog when given enough momentum?
The next sign we see gives me pause. Which way should I go. Usually in agility there are no options (unless of course you forget the course).

This would be a good sign for an agility course. Watch out, your gonna have curvy roads ahead.

I'd really like to be so fast as to be radar enforced. Today we did not get stopped by the police...oh well, today was like pushing mud uphill. No momentum and very little drive.
I'd like this sign at the end of an agility course as many times, the dogs don't realize that stop is what is required. Many run out of the ring for various reasons. Some want their toy, some want to see if they can get into trouble by staring at the next dog, some want to run out to let all the other dogs know they are the king of the hill, some, like Tazz just want their cheese.

So all in all a fun trip to Salinas to work out in Robs agility field. This is a sign on a truck coming home. Not sure what it means, but I need one that says, "We never miss the contacts!"

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

The perfect work space

I work from home.

As I look around my work space, I notice that I have begun collecting things and piling. A few weeks ago when Kel was in China, I actually cleaned my desk. I could tell you what color my fake wood grain table top resembled. Today I find that I once again have stacked myself into a corner. I could build a castle with all the diet coke cans.

I have two work spaces next to each other. One is my home computer and one computer I borrow from my client so I can access their company applications. It is a super secret connection and no one is allowed to know my passwords or use this computer. My home computer is used a little less right now due to the fact that I'm on the work computer so much. But recently I took the job as the "SMART" club secretary for an upcoming agility trial, so I'm entering entries pretty much every day. I guess that is why I need two tea cups and about 537 empty cans of diet coke.While Kel was in China, we had two electrial outages, so you can forgive me for hoarding the flashlights in my office. Although, as I think of it, I'm usually in the office during the day and not in the office at night...when I might need those flashlights. Well at least I know where they are now.

All in all I feel pretty comfortable in my space. I do understand that others may feel a little crowded, but that is all good. I really don't want "others" in my office trying to file things and take my diet coke fortress away.

Sunday, March 23, 2008

Fin Agility Training March 23

Today my husband was kind enough to help me take some video of Fins training. I'm going to try posting them here for posterity.

The first video is one jump work I'm doing to teach Fin tight turns. I work allot on this as Fin wants to jump long and hard. This is a girl I'm not going to have difficulty getting a gamble, but if I don't do enough tight work, I'll loose time with her going wide over the jumps.

This video is Fin going over jumps to my left. Just a nice video showing jumping style.

Here is Fin Bounce Jumping (YouTube). I'm teaching her to come to me here and take what is in front of her:

These next two videos are of Fin circle jumping:

Here is a YouTube video of the Bang Game discussed in an earlier blog:

We'll see how this video goes. I'll try to post more as I get more people to help me. One last one, I had to post "girls gone wild" taken by my husband after Fins training session:

Saturday, March 22, 2008

A Busy Day

  • 7:00am - at the park for an off leash walk. EVERYONE had fun. It was frosty to start, but melted by the time we were done. Four very dirty wet dogs with tongues hanging to the ground.
  • 8:45am - quick breakfast
  • 9:15am - head over to the Farmers market and Poppies seafood. Farmers market is not open today (weird) and Poppies doesn't open till 10am. Off to Safeway
  • 10:30am - home, unpack groceries and put everything away
  • 11:00am - a game of chuck-it
  • 11:30am - Asian spring roll
  • 11:45am - HP work
  • 2:00pm - start work on veggie garden. Dogs helped dig. Got entire bed free of roots, new soil and fert. Six tomatoes planted with drip system. I am officially "sore."
  • 4:30 - back to work on HP
  • 6:30 - dinner - salmon/rice/asparagus
  • 7:00 - SMART entries
  • 9:00 - doing this blog - thinking about that fine soft bed with the warm comforter.

Tomorrow off to Pegs for Easter Sunday.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008


The definition for Fin in Wikipedia:

A fin is a surface used to produce lift and thrust or to steer while traveling in water, air, or other fluid media. The first use of the word was for the limbs of fish, but has been extended to include other animal limbs and man-made devices.
The foremost use of fins is to ensure the directional stability of an object moving through a fluid such as water or air and may be seen in the use of
fletching on arrows and fins at the rear of some missiles, rockets, self-propelled torpedoes, and kinetic energy penetrators. They are typically "planar" (shaped like small wings), although grid fins are sometimes used in specialized cases.
Moving fins may be used to propel an object through lateral thrust (see

To editorialize: Fin is used to produce lift and thrust, to steer while traveling through air. Fin has been extended to include other animals (my fin). The foremost use of Fin is to ensure the directional stability moving through air.

Monday, March 17, 2008

The Cupcakes Were Not the Only Thing I Forgot

My hypothesis could not be tested this weekend due to a critical error on my part. I forgot to bring the cupcakes.

I will say that Tazz was the better athlete this weekend, so cheese at the end worked for him. All I had was a spinach salad on Saturday and an old chinese chicken salad on Sunday (but I didn't eat the chicken as it looked bad -should be filed under vici's weird food phobias). So perhaps my motivation was a little lacking.

First run on sat was a gamble run. He was amazing. Fast, happy, sure of himself. But the gamble was really tough so I forgave him.

Second run was his standard run. He had a little "judge issue." In his opinion she was too close so went around the teeter. I brought him back and he did the teeter and so I ran out of the ring and gave him cheese.

His steeplechase was BEAUTIFUL! He never missed a beat. 44 seconds! that was super for Tazz. He was .5 seconds out of qualification because the other dogs were faster, but I didn't make a mistake, and he was a really good boy.

Sunday started with his standard run. He was zooming! Got his contacts, did the teeter, got right on the table and did a down! Then the third to the last obstacle he came into me instead of taking the jump (most likely my fault) and when I tried to bring him around to take the jump, he back jumped it. That Q was flushed. I must say there is a little bit of evil in Tazz.

We did get another Snooker Q, but didn't get the "super Q" we need, The last obstacle was an impossible weave entry and I forgot to front cross so we had a refusal. It was a fun course and I think I did a really good plan for Tazz so I consider it a success.

So, I had a last run of the trial. Master Jumpers. I had to wait until two classes were finished. Should I go or should I stay? I decided to stay. I worked, played with Fin, played with Tazz, ate my nasty chicken salad without the chicken, drank water, drank diet coke, wished I had my cupcakes, watched a bunch of agility. Then finally it was our turn.

I forgot the course.

Tazz was good. Zooming around the course and having a great time. I on the other hand really needed those cupcakes. I lost my concentration and sent him the wrong way. He didn't know it, nor did he care. He just wanted his cheese.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Essential Agility Food

I have to thank my agility buddy for introducing me to food that will make me fast. There are some rules that she recently communicated to me, too bad she didn't give me the rules in the beginning as now I may need an intervention and rehab.
  1. Eat only ONE pack for a snack during a day. (well there are six packs in a box, who would have thought you should only eat one.)
  2. Don't eat them everyday. (Ok so if you notice in the lower right corner, the packaging puts pressure on me to eat these quickly "eat by March 26." March 26 is right around the corner.)
  3. Eat them slowly. Rather than poping them in your mouth like grapes, take 3-4 bites each. (Seriously!)

I must say these are tasty little snacks.

I'm packing for a weekend dog show. I have a spinage salad, a chicken and greens salad and "TWO" packages of cupcakes! Oh yeah, I also am bringing carrots, celery, and greenbeans. But the only thing I'm really excited about is the CUPCAKES!

When I run Tazzy, I have cheese that I leave at the end of the run. He always gets cheese (as long as he stays with me - he isn't allowed to "cut and run" during the course to get cheese). So I'm thinking I'm going to put one of these cupcakes at the end of the run for me! Why should he get all the treats. I'm doing more than half the work, I deserve something too.

I'll let you know on Monday if my runs were faster knowing that I got a cupcake at the end waiting for me :)

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

Fin Training

I realized that I haven't given an agility training update in a while. Sure I've talked about the perfect wife I am, I took some fab pictures of flowers, and did a little soul searching. But that's all procrastination for what this blog is really about.


So today we talk about the teeter. Teaching the teeter must be broken up into basic steps. For Fin, she has trouble with the sound the teeter makes when it hits the ground AND she wants to do everything fast. If she is on a wobble board, she makes it bang but jumps off of it fast. She is a little fearful of what might happen when she stays on. So for Fin, I'm starting the teeter with a game I like to call "The Bang Game.'

Stuff you need:

Cheese: This is an important element. It really doesn't need to be cheese, but if you use cheese it must be "Precious" cheese. I've also used chicken, hotdogs, kibble...whatever rocks your dogs boat (or yours if you get hungry during the training session).

Teeter: I like to start with the teeter at the lowest setting, AND I prop up the end of the teeter so that it is only about 6-8" off the ground (this can be adjusted for the size of dog you have).

A dog: hopefully a dog that has already been clicker trained so they catch on with what you want quickly.
Optional Style points for creative clothing:

In setting up for this game, it is important to know where to place your reinforcement. Food placement is critical to proper training. Puppy should get fed with head down on the teeter so I actually place the food on the teeter and don't feed from my hand. The first couple of times you can actually "bait" the teeter with the food but then wait for the behavior before placing the reward on the teeter (otherwise you get into lure). I also will often ask for a friend to help. They can place the food faster than I. Placement of the reward both for the behavior AND the release is critical. Once you are getting the jumping up on the teeter behavior, you will only feed for "four feet on looking down and forward." Anything else gets a good dog and try again.
I start with a clicker and I click for close approximation to what my end goal is (dog with four feet on the teeter facing the end getting cookie from tip) - I'm not training a 2o2off teeter, I eventually will teach a run to the end as fast as you can, wait for me to say K, then run faster.
Once Fin had the general idea, I placed a bit of cheese at the end, held her by the collar, said my "ready steady" and wolaaaa! she jumped into position and got her cheese. The first time, I actually held the teeter so it was only 2 inches off the ground. I gradually raised to to 8" once she figured out what to do. The teeter went from 2" to 8"in a 60 second training session.

notice all four feet, she is looking down not at me.

I end with my release word and if she moves toss a cookie (or her toy) out in front. Look how she is focused down and ahead. It is the curse of death if your dog stares at you. You want for a focused forward looking dog, a dog looking to see what is next on the course, not a dog that is looking at you to see what you have.
Finny is gonna do the bang game every other day (or 3-4 times a week for one or two sessions each - not alot), During this time I'll gradually increase the height of the teeter so she has to leap up in the air to get on. When I finish, I hope she isn't afraid of the bang anymore.
Then I'll stop the bang game and start her running as fast as she can to the end and stopping (on a teeter that doesn't move. Then gradually increase movement until she is running as fast as she can, stopping till I say "K", then running fast again.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Dog Speak

I be Tazz. I am moms favorite (edited by vici "in his own mind"). This is my bed, this is my lawn, this is my deck. It is all mine. Mommy is mine. Mommy is "she who provides all things." Mommy is mine. Stay away from Mommy! I will do agility only if I get cheese. Cheese is wonderful, give it to me. Nobody gets cheese but me.

I like water! It is MY water. I will not let anyone get the water.

I HATE the car. You can have the car.

I be Rocky. I am a lover. You can call me Rocks, Rocky, Rockos, Rocky Roo. I have alot to put up with. I like my chest scratched please. I LOVE frisbeeeeee! I LOVE chuck it!!! When mommy is scratching me I want Tazz to go away, he is always there trying to get Mommy to pet him when I'm getting loving. Tazz is a baaaad dog. He doesn't listen. He doesn't share. He always wants my frisbee, I'm faster and bigger (even with my crooked leg).

I am patient. I am happy to do anything for Mommy except grooming. I HATE when she touches my feet. I run and hide.

I bark at the other dogs in the neighborhood. They can't come live here. Tooo many dogs already.

Wanna play? I Fin. Chuck-it!!!!! yeah. want me here? I'll go there! How about this? I like EVERYONE! I love you! Wait whats that? I'll be back. You want to play? Heres a toy. Tug!!!!!

Tunnel YEAH!!!! I like to bite feet!

I am Maddie. Mommy says I'm her sweety. I chase squirrels. They are bad. I chase trucks, very nasty trucks. I love hugs. Groom me! I get cookies yippeee! I love cookies. More cookies please. Finny is fun, I like to chase her. Tazz I can wrestle, he is silly. Rocky lets me tackle him, he is a good dog. I need a nap.

Friday, March 7, 2008

And Will the Real Wife Please Stand Up

Many times in my life, I wonder how a wife is supposed to act. Being a wife, I'm often confused as to what I'm supposed to be doing. Coming on 20 years you'd think I'd be an expert. Unfortunately, this whole wife thing seems to be an on-going learning experience (sorta like a doctorate program - seemed like a good idea, but you never are able to get past the data collection).
Take house cleaning for example. When I think of the ideal of a wife I'm sorta stuck in the 50's. I think of someone taking care of her husband, just finishing up dusting with a smile on her face and dinner on the table; this simply is not me. I am the worlds worst housekeeper. Let's face it, I'm a slob.
Don't get me wrong, I like clean just like anyone else; that's why I stay in hotels so much. However, I have trouble with the whole pick up after myself process. My husband is less of a slob than me. I can out slob him any day of the week. Part of my problem is a complicated emotional issue that I don't want to be my husbands keeper...OK that's a lie, I'm just plain lazy.

My husband is coming home tomorrow after a 2 week business trip in China. For the last 2 weeks, he has had someone picking up after him, cooking his meals, doing his laundry, and has been living in a clean space. I on the other hand, have been living with...well, me. I sure hope he isn't expecting to come home to a space like his hotel room. Sure I'm planning to do the dishes, vacuum the dog hair, heck, I may go so far as to pick up my bra and socks that are lying on the coffee table. Part of me feels that I should just leave the house the way it is so that he feels at home when he gets here, but the other part feels a little guilty for letting the mess build up over the last two weeks. So, clean I will.
Perhaps a real wife keeps her husband guessing. If that's the case, I should really clean this house. He will wonder what the heck is up with me if he walks in and the place is immaculate. When he asks me, I'll just tell him that a real wife is full of surprises and is spontaneous....and oh, by the way I have a dog show the day after he arrives home, do you think he'll be surprised about that?

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

How many shoes are needed to change a light bulb

I have to take a moment to discuss shoes. I sorta have an addiction. There is this place I go to look at shoes. There is no nosy sales person, just shoes. I can take my time looking and deciding. This place is
For FREE! shipping, I can have a new pair of shoes TOMORROW! without ever leaving my office. I find this intoxicating. Who needs cocaine? I have Zappos.

Who cares that my feet don't fit into most shoes on the site, I can dream can't I?

Let's take these two for example. How could I just get the purple one? This blue pair has the pretty blue pattern! I could wear one to the movies and the other to home depot! How can I choose between these two?

Then of course there are the "sport" shoes. How many of these shoes does one need, but I have trouble selecting just one. The cute brown and blue with the "kanga" are too cute for words, then there are the grey and the grey with poka...both have their place. THe green ones just say"FAST" all over (lord knows I need all the fast I can get!)
I guess as addictions go, shoes is not necessarily a bad one to have, but the truth is that no matter how many pairs I get, I often wear the same ones day in and day out. My old slippers, my teva sandals, my brooks work out, and one muddy pair I save for agility. The rest I adore, but don't wear much.
Gotta stop. Can't. It's that simple.

Tuesday, March 4, 2008

How NOT to Install a Keyboard Tray

  1. One woman with tennis elbow
  2. An out of town husband
  3. Four helpful shelties
  4. 2 pound Ridgid drill (feels like 10)
  5. 1 pound Ridgid screwdriver (feels like 4)
  6. 10 pound under mount (feels like 50)
  7. a desk not intended to have an under mount keyboard tray attached
  8. about 37 separate parts
  9. One irritable woman
  10. A bottle of Aleve (or something stronger if you happen to have it)
You can imagine the rest. I did, however, successfully install the keyboard tray as evidenced by the photo. I also got a lot of frustration out with verbal communication of the "bleeped" variety.

Although my arm hurt worse after my excursion into home handicraft, I must say that now a few days later, I am better. Not a scientific study perhaps, but definitely anecdotal data that working in an inappropriate sitting position will create discomfort.

Monday, March 3, 2008

a spring day

After an emotional day today, I wanted to share some of our spring garden. This has brightened my day, I hope it brightens yours.

Double Wammy

I find myself mystified at the news that I have received. A kind gentle soul has left the earth and I can't believe that he is gone.

I have a number of people in my life that I consider friends. Not every one of them do I speak to everyday or even every month. I still consider them friends. These are the people I don't see often, but when I do see them or speak with them, fall into a familiar comfort. We have history together, common interests, and enjoy each others company.

One of the group of people that I spend time with I consider my "dog show" friends. I only see these folks at dog shows and the only thing we have in common is our love of the sport. Kevin was one of those people. We met at a dog show in 2003. We were standing in line to get our dogs measured. I couldn't help notice the dog behind me. Kevins dog looked just like my dog. He and I started talking, and what we found out was that our dogs were brothers. Sam and Rocky were the basis of our friendship.

Kevin was a private person, he didn’t talk much about home, but what he did talk about was his dogs. Whenever I saw him he always had something nice to say. He was a joyous person, enthusiastic about the sport, and LOVED his dogs. Katie was his oldest and she left him just 2 weeks ago at 15 years old. Sam was next, he is 10 and Cooper is the youngest at 6 months. Kevin could be counted on to brighten the day with his latest stories about the dogs. Whether it was Sam’s latest agility accomplishments, Coopers funny antics, or Katie’s grace, he spoke with a full heart when he talked about his pups.

Kevin will be missed by me. Maybe I didn’t know him well. I certainly wouldn’t consider him a close friend. However, I am saddened by this loss.

I can’t help but think about my life and what I might do differently getting this news on top of the news of my friend yesterday. I think the bottom line is enjoy life, exercise, and eat the foods that you enjoy in moderation. One doesn’t know what the day, week, month, or year may bring. But bring it those days will.

Sunday, March 2, 2008


Today I found out that a dear friend is being treated for lung cancer. It has also spread to her spine. This is the pitts. I can not express my deepest sorry at this tradegy.

Linda is a kind person with a beautiful voice. A detailed person with only good things to say. I love working with her and was sad when she decided to retire and move. We haven't kept in touch (mostly my fault for not making the effort), but when I see Linda it is like we haven't been apart at all.

Say a prayer for my friend. She needs our thoughts and healing powers to get through the battle that she is faced with.