Thursday, April 30, 2009

Fitness for Agility

Just the facts mam. 1.2 pounds.

So since I rebooted my fitness program, I'm down 11.2 pounds. Not a bad thing...a good thing. Do I want to loose 5 pounds a week. Yep. But quite frankly, I'm thrilled that I am now 30 days no fast food.

I am stunned that I have been able stay away from fast food. I drove home last night from agility class and did not even think about McDonalds until I was already home. And that thought was, "Wow, I didn't even think about it!"

Fitness. Check. Worked out hard this week.

Next week: More of the same. Hopefully the scale will reward me, but I'm not getting discouraged. I'm getting more determined.

Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Missing Blogs

  • Nope, the blogs have not gone missing. I've been remiss. Very busy.

    SMART (salinas monterey racing team) had it's annual spring trial last weekend. I act as the secretary. This involves:
  • Working on a database and entering all competitors entry information. Changing that entry information for multiple people and their dogs multiple times.
  • Sending out lots of emails to ensure that everything is alright.
  • Once all info is in, I then post the info out on the share drive, and change a bunch of stuff when people find mistakes.

At some point, I've got to stop making changes. This includes all the people that want to enter late. The only thing I hate about this job is that people will try to enter after the deadline. I've had individuals that try to enter a day before the trial. It is very hard for me to say no.

Once I say, "this is it, you've got to do the running orders," the fun begins. I have the enviable task of pairing up all the dogs for the pairs classes. For me, another stressful but fun job. I want everyone to be happy, but not everyone will be. Once the pairs are up, I print out all the running orders, check to make sure people who are running multiple dogs are far apart, and post everything up to our website.

Then I make changes as people call and say that they are not in the correct class (this should have been caught on the first posting...but what are ya going to do?).

It is now two days before the trial.

  • All docs need to be printed
  • The score sheets have to be created (1 label per score sheet 6-9 runs per dog per weekend, 230 dogs = 1000-2000 labels need to be put on small squares of paper).
  • Once all the labels are stuck, they are organized by level and class and placed in their proper folder in ring boxes.
  • A bunch of other stuff also has to go into the ring boxes including official score sheets from the USDAA, ERB documents, workers schedules, running orders, etc.
  • Day of the show: just a little stress. Is get everyone entered correctly? Will the score sheets be in the proper order. Do the rings have what they need?

Was there a few problems. Yep. Always will be. But goodness it was easy this year. After the first two hours on Saturday, I actually started to relax. A good feeling. Yep, I made a couple mistakes, and of course, competitors had made a few mistakes. But overall, this was the smoothest the paperwork has gone.

Today I run the numbers and deliver checks to our treasurer on Thurs.

Tomorrow all paperwork is shipped to USDAA (I've posted the results and competitors have a couple days to check their results to make sure everything was recorded correctly).

A HUGE thanks to Laura who, despite having to deal with a dog requiring surgery last week, is the "Label Master" and helped a great deal this week.

Whew...another one bites the dust....oh, how'd you do you ask? Well...

Fin got her AD title this year (my one goal for her this trial)...not alot of other Q's, but fun runs. Tazzie had a great time...no Q's, but it is nice to see him happy and running around enjoying himself. His fav thing? Leaping of the dog walk one toenail shy of the yellow zone (@#$%$). Oh well.


Taking a break with my buddy Rob.

Friday, April 24, 2009

SMART

Salinas Monterey Racing Team (SMART). My first agility club. Two USDAA shows a year. This one I secretary. April...time for watching the mail box, organizing entries, accepting checks, worrying over details, and basically hoping for the best.

A few tips when you are entering dog shows.
  • Don't send the trial secretary a black entry with a check and ask them to pick a couple classes for you. She will call you and tell you that you must decide.
  • Don't ask the trial secretary 2 weeks after the closing and the day before the big show whether you can enter, she might flip out on you.

So tomorrow is the true test of whether I did it all right. Fortunately for me, we have the "SUPER" secretary and all around good citizen at this trial "Karey." who is bringing her computer and printer...just in case. With me...there is always the possibility that I screwed something up...I'm always surprised when the trial goes smoothly.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Fitness for Agility

This week was a good week. I wrote everything down. Worked out 6 of the 7 days. Today kicked a$$ in my workout. Lost .4 pounds.

Ok, body. What are you trying to tell me. 28 days no fast food? Maybe you want a burger?

My fitness guy thinks I'm not eating enough. I'm thinking I need to go back to 4 weeks ago and look at what I ate and eat that.

This week:
  • Upping my veggie and fruit intake (if you see me at the trial, hand me an orange!)
  • Eat more often during the day (smaller meals more often)
  • Make sure to hit my points (I'll admit it. Yesterday I looked at my week and there were a couple days I did not eat all my points)
  • Work out (at the trial, I need to do longer periods of cardio)

These four things will hopefully get me past this slump the last two weeks.

The good news is that physically I've never felt better! I am fitting into cloths that have sat in my closet forever. I have more energy and when I run Fin have confidence that I'm able to get where I need to be to direct her around the course. But I will admit that I am relying on that scale a little and would like to see greater improvement in that area to balance off the hard work.

In other news around the world, the SMART secretary stuff is slowly getting done. All entries have been posted and I'm working on setting up the ring boxes. I always enjoy the SMART trials. We have such a great group of people that help make our trials run smoothly.

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Exceptionally Worthy News



Hillarious. Simple. I love these guys.

Is It April?

107.

A fine number.

Yet, perhaps not a number I'd expect to see as a temperature in April. Yet, this week, 107 on Monday.

Today is supposed to cool off. Friday, totally cool. Saturday (the day of our SMART trial), rain. Some of you might find this humorous. Some might not like that it will rain at our trial. I, well I welcome the rain. Rain is normal for April. 107...not normal.

Last night I drove down to Hollister for some fun agility. 94 at 5:45pm. Hmmm. I'm thinking. Do I really want to do this? Yes of course. By 6:30 it was cooling. By 7:15 it was refreshing. By 8:00pm we were all thinking about sweatshirts.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Email down

Well, it has happened again. My email account is down. Unfortunate.

Timing couldn't be better with the SMART trial next week and people trying to send me move ups and all. If you are reading this and need to send me trial info, call me...you know the number.

Linkline says email will be working later tonight. Who knows how much email I've missed.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

New Looks on an Old Subject

Last night I attended a weave pole seminar. Moe Strenfel does a series of weave seminars and this one was the third. I attended the first, forgot to attend the second (I'm an idiot), remembered the third.

Fun times.

One confusing thing that I found when learning to run a fast dog was the use of the word Shaping. In my mind shaping is associated with clicker training. The handler does not give cues and the dog trys behaviors while the handler marks the behavior. It is a fun way to train and I find the dog learns incredibly fast and is eager to learn.

However, in weave pole training, handlers use the word shaping to also mean "to shape an entrance." In this case, the word is used to describe a handler forcing the dog (by standing in a particular position) to an entrance of the weaves that is easier for the dog (they've seen the direct on approach, so shape that approach). In shaping entrance the dog relies on the handler to get to the spot needed and is not independent of the trainer.

Last night much of the night was working on teaching independent entrances. Moe uses two poles to start and shapes (using clicker training) by not allowing the dogs to make a mistake and rewarding successes.

There were about 12 handler/dog teams and it was fun walking around watching the dogs work. I really think I sometimes learn more from auditing than working in a class.

I recommend this seminar series even if you have great poles. Moe provides a ton of insight into the dogs perspective of weave pole training.

Friday, April 17, 2009

How has stuff changed?

I wanted a topic for writing. I guess my life isn't full enough (it needs to be more eventful like teamsmalldog). On a whim, I walked to my closet (aka: storage bookshelves where cloths should hang but books and extra crap is piled) and grabbed a Clean Run Magazine near but not quite at the bottom.

Jan. 2002. I open it up to a random page and the topic is: "Functional Fitness for Handling" The focus is on Deceleration Strength. Totally appropriate for me.

It is interesting. The entire issue is B/W except for the cover and back page. Alot more text than in more recent issues, but the topics are absolutely appropriate 7 years after the publication date.
  • Nancy Gyes talks about start line stays
  • Strategies for handling agility courses
  • Reviews of National competitions
  • Nested Courses
  • K-9 health
  • Plans for building agility stuff
  • Speeding up contacts
  • Tips for handling a dog that is faster than you
  • Strategies for handling stress in dogs

Here this issue of Clean Run has sat in my closet for probably 6-7 years. Sure, handling has come along way. Yes courses have changed over the years, but there is still a ton of good information in these old clean runs. Pull one out and see what it has to say, you might learn something.

Me, I'm going to go learn about exercises that will help me get fit for my future handling needs.

PS: It even has an American Staffordshire Terrier on the cover.

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Fitness for Agility

Lost weight this week. A pound. One small pound. A tiny thing. Hunk of Salmon. Slab of cheese. Meat for 4. Box of Mac and Cheese. Two cubes of butter off each butt. A pound. I like loosing 3 pounds...but one will do. It is a pound and it is going in the right direction. I did wear a pair of pants I haven't worn in a LONG while. That felt nice.

Twenty one days and no fast food. I hate to say it, but I feel better. I did hear that McDonald's is threatening bankruptcy, but I can't let the economy sway me. I am changing my behavior for the better and my long term goals are more important than short term tummy full of fat food.

Today is the first day of my new week. My goal is to hit the gym EVERY day. Five days I'll do one or more hours. Two days I'll do a little less. Let's see if that doesn't kick it into gear. I'll continue to write down everything I eat and count my points. It is all good.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Glazed Ham and Egg Salad?

I'm reading hungry girl today and find out that today is both Tax Day and National Glazed Ham Day. (Glazed Ham day?). If that isn't enough, it is National Egg Salad Week.

Why are are celebrating Egg Salad? Someone has too much time on their hands!

This is a busy week. I thought it would be a slow one...but it is flying by so fast it is making my head spin. I've got to find time to celebrate egg salad!

Monday, April 13, 2009

For your viewing pleasure....

Grand Prix.

video

Jumpers

video

Snooker

video

Lost Communication, fitness for agility, and a four day dog show

What happens when you aren't able to blog for a week? There is alot to say. Here it is in a nutshell:
  • Thurs morning, get up, remember I have Space Monkey. Take all pups outside.
  • Take socks out of Space Monkeys mouth. Take Kels pen out of Space Monkeys mouth, Take important tax papers out of Space Monkeys Mouth....etc.
  • No internet. Did I pay the bill?
  • Off to work out. Did my last chance workout. Felt I didn't loose anything, but felt good that I stuck to it this week. Weighed in, lost 3.6! Woo hoo! Yippiee Hi Ho! Learned in the meeting that the ww program is seven days a week. Hmm.. before I always thought it was six. Don't you get to eat anything you want after you weigh in? Maybe that has been my downfall. Renewed energy. Stay with it 7 days a week.
  • Came home, no internet, no home phone, no cell phone. Nada. Did I not pay any bills? What is next?
  • Kel listens to the radio (at least I paid the PG&E), somehow an important communication cable was cut. Thank goodness, I knew I paid those bills!
  • Pack up Van and off to Dog Show. Arrive for a fun 3 nights in Laura's camper. She won with Brazen! Always good to hang out with a winner. Ate healthy soup in the trailer and went to bed.
  • Friday - First day dog show. Fun, Fun, Fun, Q, Q, Q, then a couple NQ thrown in so my head doesn't get to big. (dinner healthy yummy lamb chops with veggies...OMG what a nice reward for sticking to program all day and not eatting one of those burritos people were walking around holding with reverence).
  • Sat - Q, Q, Q. First day EVER Q'd in everything! Whooppie. Dinner with friends. Food not so memorable, friends totally rock!
  • Sun - NQ, Q, Q. Had a fun pairs run with the super wonderful Gustavo! Black dogs rock! Home around 5:30. Usually I stop and get a hamburgar and fries for the ride home...maybe even a cookie or two. Drove home eatting grapes and diet coke. I'm very proud of myself.

Videos are available on you tube. I'll post a few here today for my sister who can't see youtube :)

A fun few days. Fitness - on track. Internet - on track, dog show - totally rockn!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

A little rain must fall

Got up and after a busy morning drove up to agility class. Got there. No one there.

hummm....is someone trying to tell me sumptin?

Called home and Kel looked up on the website and "No class do to impending rain."

Ok, I'm here. The rain is not. What do I do. I think I'll work the dogs! :)

I figured, it is better to ask for forgiveness...so I pull Tazz out and start working him. Fin gets a turn. Tazz gets a turn...and here comes Jim... "Someone didn't check the message boards..." Yup..that would be me. I let him know I'll rent the field and he's like, fogetaboutit! I'll work on one end, you work on the other. Nice.

After working the dogs, head down the hill. Ah Ha...here comes the rain.

I don't know how this weekend will go, Fin's weaves are not the best...but her contacts are "fintastic!" Tazzies weaves are pretty darn good...his contacts are not there.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Dixon Eats Canopies For Lunch

Was at Dixon on Sat for AKC fun.

I personally saw three well built canopies fall to the wind gods. Honestly I didn't think it was that windy. Seemed worse two weeks ago. But gotta love Dixon and it's canopy eatting ways.

I just worked out of the car...brick houses and all.

Fin was her fabulous self.

First run of the day was at 9:15. Jumpers. A nice flowing course with a couple challenges that Fin ignored. Jumped beautifully, weaved beautifully. Miss read one rear cross (I wasn't where I wanted to be so my fault) and Q'd in first place.

Next run was followed by 5 hours of waiting. We walked the course at 3:05. Fin ran at 3:45. I read Carl Hiaasen, volunteered to work, walked Fin, ran arond with Fin, talked to people, watched Fin sleep, played with Fin in the water, pulled out the chuck-it, ate my packed lunch, walked some more ...you get the picture.

Standard was a fun course. Fin worked really hard and one small refusal (my fault) Fin Q'd with second place.

HiMark's Holy Mackerel! NA, NAJ

So cool. She's got letters! Next...the stick. We want the stick!

Note for fitness for agility: No fast food for 12 days and counting :)

Thursday, April 2, 2009

A little peek at bark night.

I know you people over in Watsonville have dirt night, but we on this side have ourselves some bark night. Listen to the video and you'll hear why bark night is double the bark!

video

First video is part of a run with Fin. Starts out with a super duper weave pole AND excellent reward from me...ok maybe I should have thrown the toy earlier, but truthfully I wanted to make sure she exited correctly. Then a nice dog walk...with some Simpsons references ending with a wide turn to the tunnel.

Second video is pure joy. Laura running Wynn. Such a super team. Poetry in motion...except for that one knocked bar (pick up your feet Wynnie!). Laura is styling with that hat.

video

All in all a GREAT fun night. Some evil laughing from Rob made us feel extra special.

Fitness for Agility is Back!!!

Went to work out this morning then off to weight watchers. Meeting was about eating right for spring holidays.

Not too hard for me to eat right at parties. Not going for fast food is my problem!

So I weigh in, and as expected, I got a GREAT number. Moving in the right direction. I even think my double chin is looking a little smaller day by day!

Goals this week. Have a daily workout plan. Abstain from all fast foods (even if that means giving myself a little treat at home). Write everything in my plan and don't go over points.

There were moments this week that were really difficult. One day, I started to drive for fast food, made a U turn and headed home, made another U turn headed back to the fast food...then made myself turn around and go home. I was really happy once I was inside the house. Why, oh why did I do that? THREE U turns! Think about the green house gasses I'm causing with my wishy washy ways.

The good news is that I made it. I also did not rush out to McDonalds after the weigh in to celebrate my weight loss. Usually my thang.

I'm the queen of excuses. But here's the deal. I've got eight months before the USDAA Nationals...even if I could loose 50 more pounds by then, I would be thrilled! Of course old whats her name on biggest looser lost 89 pounds in 3 months at home, came back to campus and gain 5...but for me 2 pounds a week will be a good thing (with an extra pound here or there to help out).

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Lessons Learned



I learned today that much of my family and friends believe me to be nuts, wacko, crazy, and a little touched. Perhaps it is this exciting life I lead. Perhaps they are very busy and have stresses in their lives that they forgot this was April Fools day. Whatever, it brings joy to me that I am in the fast lane for achieving my goal to be a nutter by the time I'm 70.

I'm not going to name names...however, below is the email I sent out:

"Well, I now am the owner of a flock of chickens. I’m fixing up the old duck pen in the back and hopefully will have eggs soon.

I was driving down in Hollister and this big flock was in the middle of the road. One of the chickens was dead and all the others were milling around. I stopped and pulled out a dog crate and got all the chickens to go inside (5). I drove up the closest driveway and asked about ownership of the chickens, but the people there didn’t know who owned them, but were really impressed I got 5 chickens in a dog crate.

I didn’t know what to do. Fin was in the other crate and DID NOT like the chickens at all. She lay down staring suspiciously at the chickens as far on the other side of the crate as she could.

The chickens were pretty loud on the way home. They are now safely in the duck pen for the night (getting them out there was an adventure). Do you think I’ll have eggs in the morning?

Kel doesn’t know about the chickens yet. He is at rehearsals late tonight and I’ll probably go to bed before he gets home.

Ahh the joys of country living.

Vici

PS: can chickens have eggs without a rooster? As far as I know I don’t have a rooster in the bunch…just a group of white chickens. Now that would be a sad state of affairs if I have 5 roosters…I don’t even want to think about it."

I must give credit where credit is due. My mother and older sister figured it out immediately (ok maybe they thought for a few minutes), but I got an email asking if it was april fools from each of them. I believe they figured it out so quickly because they are devious and were trying to think of something good themselves.

No one else figured it out.

I received many emails and 2 phone calls. A couple people emailed with chicken raising advice. Some thought I should get rid of the chickens and one wanted me to take them to the vet. One said, "Do you realize you've stolen someones chickens!" Two emails explained what the specifications should be for a chicken coop. One friend was stressed over how we would keep the dogs away from the chickens. And my favorite was a friend who thought this was my plot to get chickens so I could do clicker training with chickens.

All in all a GREAT april fools...so far no one has got me and I got alot of laughs.