Sunday, March 08, 2009

Whew! Busy weekend!

What a crazy weekend - I felt like I was flat-out all weekend! I had server work on Friday night (technically Saturday AM) which went through 3am. As a general rule I don't go to bed before my midnight work - it's harder for me to get a couple of hours of sleep and then wake up and focus than it is for me to stay up straight through and crash later. For me less sleep is easier for me than more sleep with interrupts. Which is probably why my oncall shifts totally wipe me out - lots of interrupted sleep and when it's not interrupted I'm doing the paranoid waking up every so often to check the pager that's not beeping. Anyhow, my paranoia is not really part of this post {{grin}}.

I was up at the crack of dawn on Saturday for week six of my CGC class - then I had to drive an hour south for a GMGRC meeting south of Middlebury - then we trained down at Peg's for a couple of hours. Another hour plus to get back home again. The whole way down I was fascinated with barns - old barns. It's a rural part of Vermont and while I've always admired old barns and have always been annoyed at property owners who let these great old barns just fall apart under the weight of snow and age, I'm more sensitive to it. I think the burning of the old Hardscrabble barn really hit me...not just from a sentimental standpoint - just a twinge of how easy it is to lose things that can never be rebuilt. Corny? Yes a little.

When I got home I finished prepping for my judge's assignment at the match - couldn't find my timer so I had to run to radio shack for a new one...I just love the radio shack stop watches BTW - they're easy to use and have nice features...

The spring ahead into DST really threw me for a loop this morning when I had to get up at 5:30 (which was really 4:30) and drive up to Hyde Park - in fog so thick it took me well over an hour to get there - though it did get considerably lighter as we went onward. I hit a dead skunk on a blind corner on my way up this morning. My truck STILL smells like skunk. I was too tired to get it washed on the way home from the match so I'll have to do it tomorrow - when we're supposed to get more snow. I was really enjoying the 50 degree days this weekend - most of the snow is gone now and I was able to break out some jumps and do a little bit in the front yard this evening. Imagine that! Maybe spring is here after all!

My first sanctioned match judging assignment went well. I had awesome stewards which helped - and there weren't a lot of entries - I think there was a total of 3 hours of judging with lots of time for people to walk. I also setup courses that were pretty challenging and for the most part took over 2 minutes to run through. I was surprised at how many handlers cost themselves 10 points in one exercise or another. Lots and lots of footwork mistakes - particularly on the forward 1-2-3 and the call front back 1-2-3. I drill people in my rally classes about their footwork - there's just no good reason to lose 10 points like that. I also saw a lot of tight leashes in novice - way more than in the past - or I was more sensitive to it - either is possible.

Teller's open run was after I finished in the rally ring. I wasn't sure that was going to be possible, but low and behold my rally ring finished in plenty of time for me to get Teller out to potty and have a drink and then watch the heeling pattern. The building was really hot and stuffy - which makes it hard for dogs to really focus. You've got to love commercial/industrial buildings in Vermont...they're on programmable thermostats that can't be modified by room occupants. Then they don't change their settings based on outside temperature - so 50sunny degrees outside meant 80 degrees in the building...all the folks with big hairy working breeds (newfs and leos) were clustered outside keeping their dogs cool.

Woo's heeling was fine - actually not forging - which is nice. His figure eight was a little sloppy the first time through and improved considerably the second time through. His drop was fine, his retrieve on the flat was fine, he goofed on his retrieve over high - partly because of my throw - so we've got to work on that this week a little. He's not one to go around the high jump - so I've got to figure out what I did - I think I may have set him up too close? I don't know. Some experimentation is in order between now and next week. Teller's broad jump was fine - even though the dog in the next ring was having massive diarrhea just on the other side of the gate. Teller jumped then as he was coming around to front sort of spun and looked at his bum like "is that me?". Dogs are weird.

Murphy got to come in and have my hot dog. The he spent some time sitting in the bleachers with me (yes, Murph and I were sitting on the top row of bleachers) and had a little girl come over and cuddle with him. Murphy thought this was way more fun than showing ever was. Murph too was really hot in there.

So all in all it was a really good weekend - and I am thoroughly tuckered out. Even the boys are sacked out - Teller is resisting Q's attempts to get him into trouble. That's always a sign of exhaustion. An early night for me - though it's still going to feel an hour early when the alarm goes off tomorrow.

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