Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Fun day at the trial!

What a fun day we had at the trial yesterday!

It was a small trial just south of us about an hour away. We got up early and headed out before daylight.

Got there about 8 AM and had our first run at about 8:30 or so. This is the first time we've been to this location and well over a few years since we ran a trial outdoors (my favorite are in those pawsome horse arenas on dirt).

It was cool when we ran our first run, but heated up throughout the day. Mum and I were entered in STD, GP and Snooker.

My first run wasn't too bad and good enough for a second place and Q. Yep! I remember how to run USDAA Standard. (No video from the day, a few vid camera malfunctions :) Our GP run wasn't too bad either ended up in fourth place but had a bobble, so no Q.

No Super Q for us yesterday. The weird thing is that no dogs in the 16" or the 12" height class Q'd in Snooker, it was just so spread out with double obstacles for points 5, 6 and 7 (and 6 & 7 had weaves too) that it was difficult to rack up enough points unless you were super speedy, which I wasn't by the end of the day. There were only four Q's in 22 and one in 26, so it was a tough Masters Snooker day for a lot of folks.

But Mum remembered all our planned Snooker course, which was good, good for you Mum, sure wish we could have completed it :).

One of the other neat things about yesterday is that we got to see some great friends from Indiana and spend some of the day catching up with them!!! Was really great to see them. Our friends have shelties, so it was like sheltie heaven around us, BOL!

And, another one of the best parts of the day is that our buddy Cosmo, the Havanese and his Mum were there. Oh Mum and Cossie's Mum talked it up all day, while Cossie and I sniffed butts, wrestled a little and drove Gracie crazy!

We hiked a little around the property, hung out near the car while they talked to cool off some in the shade. Cosmo had some nice runs yesterday and got a Q and second place in Snooker, I think. He did great!

After all of our runs were done, we took a longer hike around the property. They had a cool little lake and lots of dogs were having fun jumping in and fetching their water toys. Gracie and I got sooo excited watching them that I jumped in not knowing it was a drop off that was over my head! I went under, but came up quickly doing the dog paddle and made it back up on shore. Even though I was leashed up, Mum let me do it all by myself, proud I am!

Then Gracie got so motivated she did the same thing! Mum was ready with the vid camera this time. Look at Gracie...this is her first time being in water over her head too :).She deserves a nice beaded necklace for that one! Mum didn't know she accidentally pushed a button so it came out in slow mo, but looks pretty cool that way anyway, Mum.

So here we all three are after Gracie and I had our dip - Cosmo, Gracie and me, the Jo-ster.

What a super fun day with super fun friends!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

First signs of Fall and last of the veggies!

We can see that Fall is just around the corner here on the Mountain! From the corner of the cabin...

We can see the leaves on the trees are just starting to turn....

We expect this will be the last of the tomatoes...

And the last of the jalapenos...

But the good thing is it's gonna get cooler; great hiking weather, we expect!

Monday, September 19, 2011

Ahoy! and good mornin' to ya maties! 

Happy International Talk Like A Pirate Day!

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Wiggy gets a gecko!

Hello Wiggy!

Wolfie and Wiggy have really been enjoying their time on the porch (well, they call it a Catio, BOL!) every evening; getting some good fresh Mountain air and watching the wildlife on the edge of the forest.

Here's Wiggers as we see him every evening through the screened in porch, while we run around outside on the deck. Hi Wiggy!

The other day, we were out in the back of the cabin and heard a ruckus on the front porch. Mum's eyes got wide and we all ran around the deck to see what all the fuss was about. Hey Wiggy, what's going on?

We saw Wiggy sitting near the porch door, with something in his mouth! OMD! It was a baby gecko! Wiggy caught a gecko on the porch; and he wasn't about to let anyone have it, no way! We sure needed some long hdmi cables to watch that on the big screen!

Of course Wiggy tortured the poor little thing for hours...until, well you know...

Next morning we found the little guy belly up, bad kitty!!!

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

The Duel - It's a showdown at Blue Ridge!

You may remember my other post playing around with playing dead!

Well, friends asked us to do a duel. That's right Gracie and I duel it out at Blue Ridge! After this ordeal I am surely gonna deserve roaching around in some nice 5 star sheets from Sferra, oh yeah!

Hope you enjoy :)

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Just a little walk in the park!

Sunday was a laid back kinda day....Mum's got some weirdness going on with her nose and head - she's moaning a lot, BOL!

And Gracie has some weirdness going on with her nose too. So we took it easy on the anniversary of 9/11.

We were running out of human food though. And since it takes 20 minutes for Mum to get to the nearest human grocery, she decided since it was cooler and later in the day she would take us with her, check out the local park and see if there was a flat level area for us to walk (we just didn't think Gracie and Mum could take any more 1000 foot elevation changes for a little while till they get well :)

So we checked out Harold Hefner River Park. The park, runs along the Coosawattee River and has a nice fitness walking trail, about a mile long with fitness stations along the way to work on your upper body.

The Coosawattee River has quite an interesting history. Here's what GeorgiaRiverFishing.com says about it:

"The Coosawattee River is formed at the junction of the Ellijay and Cartecay Rivers just north of Ellijay, GA. Prior to the creation of Carter's Lake, the Coosawattee offered whitewater enthusiasts one of the more thrilling rides in the southeastern US. These rapids, forever buried beneath Carter's Lake, nearly proved too dangerous for a novice canoeist named James Dickey, who was inspired by the incident to write the book (and later movie) Deliverance."

Whoa, Deliverance...Mum remembers that movie, creepy! Wait! Is that a banjo? BOL! Just kidding...

Along the trail, there is a Veterans Memorial Bridge, so we checked it out...

Yep, there's the river...

So we walked a little further and saw this, very cool! At the Veterans Memorial they had all these bricks honoring folks who have served; and they also included some of the Veterans Search & Rescue Dogs; very fitting for us to find, and sit and remember all those affected by the events of 9-11.

Here's a close up view...

We walked a little further and got near the end where Gracie decided to work on stretching her calf muscles...silly pup! Next thing you know she'll be trying a fishnet bodysuit, BOL!

It was a nice little afternoon walking a couple of miles with the Mum and helping her sweat out whatever is messing up her head and nose. Hope you had a great weekend!

Monday, September 12, 2011

How we turned our 22" weaves into 24" weaves quickly and easily!

We've had our weave poles from Affordable Agility for over six years now. Still great weaves, but with one problem...they are 22" weave poles.

Now that many of the venues are moving to 24" weave poles (which is pawsome, btw), Mum wanted us to get a little more practice on them at home - even though neither Gracie or I have had any issues moving from our 22" poles to 24" poles in competition.

She started looking around the Internets for an inexpensive way to create 24" poles from our 22" poles and we found a great solution! We ordered these very cool 12 Weave Pole Spikes Kit with Placer and Tape on Ebay, and we got them in the mail not too long ago; they got to us in just three days!

We took the poles out of our set from Affordable Agility, attached the spikes to the bottom of the PVC poles, lined up the included tape and used a rubber mallet to pound the stakes with poles into the ground. Voila! 24" weave poles for only an additional $29.99!

The spikes are furniture grade for 3/4 PVC, although you can get other sizes, The tape we specified at 24" spacing when we ordered them. You could even just get some PVC from your local hardware store and order these spikes if you really wanted an inexpensive solution for an entire set of new poles.

As you can see, Gracie and I are loving our new poles and we can easily switch out with our other size poles if we need a refresher on 22".

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Now we can watch our YouTube agility videos in slow motion!

We just found this out the other day, very cool!

If you have vids on YouTube, you can set it up to watch your videos in slo-mo. We really like watching our agility videos in slow motion, it's a great way to check on that jumping style, make sure you're really getting into that contact zone and more.

So here's how you can do it too!
  • First you need to make sure you are using an updated browser that HTML5. The include: Firefox 4, Google Chrome, Apple Safari, Internet Explorer 9, or Internet Explorer 6, 7, or 8 with Google Chrome Frame installed.
  • HTML5 is currently offered as opt-in trial. So you need to join the trial first. Go to http://www.youtube.com/html5 and at the bottom of the page you would find the ‘Join the HTML5 Trial’ link. Click on it to join.
  • Then go to YouTube and do a search for your video(s). On the search results page, click filter, then click Webm. Or you can just add 'webm=1' to your search terms. 
  • Click on the video you want to watch and at the bottom of the player, you'll see a button that says ‘Normal’. Click on it to control the speed of the video playback. Pretty cool! 
Go try it out. Oh and you can do this with any video on YouTube too!

We hear that HTML5 player may become the default YouTube player and you'll be able to control the speed of all videos eventually.


Personalized dog stuff, pretty cool!

We came across this site the other day that has some pretty cool personalized dog stuff!

Personalized is what they specialize in and they have a pretty fun selection of dog gear from bowls, to ornaments, to custom t-shirts, to coffee mugs and more! Click on that link and then do a search for dog to see all the dog related items they have.

I really liked the photo door mat, 'cause now I could potentially walk all over Gracie, literally! BOL!

Wednesday, September 07, 2011

Hiking to Blue Ridge Lake on my Gotcha Day!

September 4th, last Sunday, was my Gotcha Day!!! The anniversary of the day I got got :).

So, what did we do to celebrate? Yep, we went on a long, long, long hike up and down the Green Mountain Trail to Lake Blue Ridge!

We ended up hiking a total of seven miles with over 1000 foot elevation change, up and down and up and down the mountain. This has to be a personal best for both Mum, Gracie and I; we've never hiked this far on such a steep incline. Even though we were tired, we really didn't feel too many effects of the lengthy, strenuous hike.

Our hike last week was on this same trail, but we had left too late last time to make it to the lake and only got in two miles in and two miles back. We left early on Sunday so that we would be sure to not only get as far as we wanted, but also miss the rain from TS Lee which was predicted that late afternoon.

The trail, a hiking and biking trail, is rated extreme by many; mainly because of the ascents/descents. We had experienced these on our first hike, so we were prepared.

We started on the trail and were very excited when we passed the point we had reached before. More fun to explore. At one point on the trail it ran behind and in front of some cabins that overlooked Blue Ridge Lake; so it felt like we were hiking in folks back and front yards.

Unlike last week, we actually encountered people on our hike this time, which was much more fun and comforting. We met a couple of bikers, a family of campers, a hiker and a nice lady walking her rattie.

There were a lot of downed logs on the trail, makinge it fun hopping up and down, while Mum squeezed under.

After 3.5 miles we made it to the Lake. It has been a dry Summer, so the lake was down, leaving a nice sandy beech, but also leaving a lot of mud. Gracie enjoyed getting muddy...

We waded some, but weren't all that interested, we were ready to hike on the trail again!. But Mum wanted us all to take a break before we headed back, so we indulged her..

The obligatory lake pose. Let's get going Mum, I see some bikers over there!

Wait, what was that? A bird, I know I see a bird!

Gracie's obligatory profile shot...Mum loves her profile :)

The only blooming thing we saw on the entire hike...

We made it back at about 2 PM...took a drive into town (Blue Ridge), filled up on gas and a few snacks...then enjoyed a little time in town. We were pretty tired, so we headed home for a nice Sunday afternoon nap.

That night, TS Lee started and it rained for well over 24 hours. Our power got knocked out at about Midnight Monday, and we finally got it back at about noon yesterday. Have to tell ya, Mum didn't like the power going out at all! No water, no phone, no cell, no Internet, no air conditioning, no light, no nothing.

We're just glad we got our power back pretty quickly...many in Alabama are going to be out of power for a week! Not fun!
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