Check out the other pages!

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Body English

Something kinda odd happens at these trials.  Watch this.  See if you can spot it.

You send the dog on the outrun.  He comes around and lifts nicely and starts on his fetch.

(Yes, the photographer sucks ... it's the same one that keeps whining about not having long lenses.)

He completes the fetch.

Comes around the post.

Starts the drive away ...

And he's trying to drive the sheep, but something is starting to feel a little weird....

Something feels ... a little off-kilter, but he can't quite put his finger on it.

Hey Phyl, Body English only works in horseshoes and hand grenades!


Monday, August 29, 2011

How fair is that?

Looks like I need to get caught up here a bit.

Thursday night, Mark and I went to go see Craig Morgan at the fair. If you love country music, and you ever have a chance to go see him, do. His vocals are awesome, and his show is definitely not boring. He did a couple of cover tunes, but did them justice. I'd go see him again any day of the week.

(from my phone ... I didn't bring my camera ...)

Friday night, we were back at the fair for the Cheap Trick concert.  What was I doing at a Cheap Trick concert?  I'm not sure!  Actually, I was taking a few photos for Mark.  He asked me to take photos of all of the various guitars that the bassist plays.  Since Tom Petersson's name is almost synonymous with the 12-string bass, there were sure to be plenty of photos for me to take.

Oh boy ... it's going to be a long night.  That's a lot of 12-strings.

Heck, there are probably more 12-strings in that closet than there are songs on the set list!

And here, ladies and gentlemen, is the MOST obnoxious "photographer" on the planet.  He had some pansy imitation DSLR camera, and had it pointed right in people's faces ... in the crowd!  With a long lens!  What he was taking photos like that for, I am not sure, but he got a couple of gems of me.  I'm sure he deleted them because he certainly couldn't post them publicly.  What an asshole.  And trim your eyebrows, dude.  And THAT ... coming from ME ... is pretty bad.

Moving on ...

Out comes Cheap Trick.  I'm ready.

The drummer.  He's sorta new.

And here's Captain from Captain and Tennille.  Oh no wait ... that's the lead singer, Robin Zander.

Here's Rick Nielsen on lead guitar.

Pretty cool looking guitar, eh?  Here's another shot of it.

And here's Tom.  On an 8-string.  But that's ok.  The night just started.  I can't wait to see what he pulls out.

Here's another one of Rick's guitars.

What's Tom playing?  Oh yeah, that 8-string.  Surely he'll break out the 12-string soon.

Here's Rick again with another fancy looking guitar.

And Tom ... with his 8-string.

And Rick with another one:

And even Robin brought out a couple ...

And Rick ...

... and Robin ...

And Rick....

And what's Tom up to?  C'mon Tom ... we wanna see your 12-strings!

Nope.  Still 8.  For some reason ... I thought he was going to play a 12-string, since that's what he's supposedly famous for.  I must have been mistaken.

Oh ... the crowd ... I wasn't digging it.  Those of you that know me know what that means.

Saturday morning, I was back out at the fair bright and early to help set up for the stockdog trial.  I wasn't running a dog or anything since I haven't been working dogs that much since I was basically confined to my parvo-ridden house, but I thought I'd do what I could as long as I was going to be there for other reasons anyway.  Once again, Echo decided that the fair is a social event, and didn't have her head screwed on straight.  She would work ... when she felt like it ... and would socialize when she felt that was more important.  So it was sort of like driving a car with no lug nuts on the wheels.  After a short trip around the track, and Don's help of getting things back to how they needed to be, we grazed the sheep while everyone set up ... then brought the sheep around the lake and put them in the trailer.  That was enough to convince me that I wasn't going to try to do anything important with her, but I instead ended up manning the trailer doors for exhaust.  Not terribly difficult, or at least I thought.

Pro-novice ran first.  The first set or two of sheep were a little squirrely getting them into the trailer, but no real troubles, and the rest was easier.  The handlers were grateful, and most would give me the "Thanks, Jodi!" as they pushed the sheep towards the exhaust.  Not everyone in the open class was a grateful or even possessed common courtesy, and couldn't manage to separate their shitty run from the rest of their world.  That's ok.  They're open handlers.  They're allowed to do that.

And I also need to learn a few things before I move up to open and become a snotbag.  If you have a nice run going, and you lose your sheep to the trailer with the sheep in it ... do not call your run.  If you call your run, you will end up with an RT on the scoresheet.  Instead, what you're supposed to do is work your dog on those sheep for the next six minutes with no forward progress, despite the fact that it's 90 degrees out.  That way, you will keep all of your points that you've earned, and you could win money if everyone doesn't get that far.  It's better for the dog, the sheep, and the trial.

See?  You learn something new every day!

I think instead of a stockdog trial, we need to do a Border Collie conformation show at this venue.  Or maybe doggie races.  We could do lure coursing around the track!  Yeah!


Friday, August 26, 2011

Tell Me ... on Friday

So here it is, Friday, and my big excuse for not doing this yesterday is ... I forgot. I love reading everyone else's, and then forgot to do my own. So here it is.

1. How do you teach recalls to your dogs?

When the pup is hanging out with the older dog(s), they will usually come when you call the adults. I am not nuts about a pup who hits the end of a leash all the time, so I will usually spend some time in the first few months with the pup on a long line, and will do recall work with them on the long line, killing two birds.

2. What is your favorite Restaurant or type of food? Clearly I have food on the brain much of the time.

Right now? Sushi. Hanging out with a meat and potatoes guy makes me want ... sushi!

3. What is your favorite interest outside of dogs/livestock/sports?

Other than photography? Live music with Mark. We went to the fair last night and saw Craig Morgan. Mark and I have been to see a lot of bands ... but we're going to have a hard time topping this one. Vocally, I loved him. He was a bit of a showman, like Mark said, but it's better than NOT being a showman. Fun fun fun show. If you ever get the opportunity, do it.

4. Describe your path from where you started out to where you are now! (For example, how did you get from Novice to Open? How long did it take? Train dogs? Buy dogs? I'll take answers for any sort of discipline, or even how did you go from wild dog that didn't listen to well behaved dog - interpret this however you like.) This question was suggested by Pippin.

Started out when Zip was a pup in Southern California with an AKC-type trainer. By the time Zip was three, we had already gotten many of his advanced titles in most of the titling herding organizations (AKC, AHBA, ASCA), and when I moved up here, I thought I was pretty hot shit. Then I went for a lesson with an open handler up here and basically got my ass handed to me. It was devastating when I realized I had to start all over again with a clean slate and forget all I knew, because what I knew was a waste of time. But I trudged through it, and worked with some very talented and knowledgeable people up here. I am not much into the trial aspect of this (probably because I suck as a handler, and like Katy mentioned, I take it all far too personally to have it be any fun when I inevitably screw the run up), but really enjoy training with the dogs and the relationship you build because of it. I am looking forward to getting back to training Reese, and she offers me yet another clean slate to work with, as I will need to learn how to work a more upright dog, something I haven't done yet to this point. 

5. Is there a dog that you raised that, if you knew then what you know now, you would have raised them differently?

Yes, I would have listened to the person who told me, "Find a different trainer," when I was in Southern California. (The person who told me that is now an open handler, and won't give me the time of day because I'm not, but that's beside the point.) Zip turned out to be a great dog despite the myriad of mistakes I made with him, but after getting a real education from the locals up here, I wish I would have had more solid training from the start. I learned a lot from that experience, though, so if I would have gotten the right start right from the start, would I know what I know now?

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Oh God.

Here's something I am really sick of.  And I am sure this post is not going to make any fans for me.  Guess what?  I don't care.

Why do believers feel they are better than non-believers?  Why do they feel they have the right to "feel sorry" for someone who does not believe in ghosts and the tooth fairy?  Why do people believe in "God"?  I think it's because they're afraid of death.  People can't handle the thought that when the lights go out, it's over.  Your body shuts down, and rots (unless you put some gnarly chemicals in it that will keep it "fresh" for a while), and you're done.  But no, the believers have created an "afterlife" where you basically live with "God" in the clouds, and you meet up with every dog you've ever owned, and you live in a devil-free environment and everything is wonderful.  REALLY????

I mean, seriously, people look down at me for being an atheist.  Yet they believe "God" created man miraculously ... and then created woman by pulling a rib off the man he created ... and then there's the lovely story about the forbidden apple.  And THEY are going to pray for ME????  C'mon people.

Who created "God"?

The Christian answer is ... he's just always existed.




And here's a good one.  A car full of ... "Christians" ... will drive all the way out to the country, up my driveway, ring my doorbell all the while risk the pack of dogs in front of them at my gate, all to try to shove their religion down my throat and insult me on my own friggin' property!  In the name of "God"!!!!  I asked one of them, "Can I please have your address so I can drive with a carload of my friends to your house and preach to you about atheism and how death really happens?"  She didn't give me her address.  She told me how sad my life is and how she hopes I am saved before something happens to me.  I asked her ... "Saved by who?"  Well ... "By God," of course.  "He doesn't exist."  She asks me the age-old stupid question of, "How do you know he doesn't exist?"  I replied, "How do you know he does?"  She talked about how she believes he does and until someone proves to her that he doesn't, she will continue to believe in him.  (I am not using a capital H for all the "he" and "him" and shit here.  You're lucky I've got the capital G going on.)  So I told her, "Then why is it that because I believe he does NOT exist, and will continue to believe that until someone proves to me otherwise, that you feel a need to tell me how sorry you feel for me and you will pray for me like I am some sort of leper?  That's rather insulting and you're standing on MY land telling me this." 

Guess what, people!?  I am an atheist.  It's not a disease.  It's not a mental illness.  There's nothing to feel sorry for me about.  I won't rot in a hell I don't believe in.  I won't be struck down by a devil or some god I don't subscribe to.  On Sunday morning, you can usually find me at home ... not sitting in some building with a thingie at the top of it eating little pieces of cardboard and drinking grape juice while singing about a fairy tale while holding hands with people I don't know.  I'm not angry.  I'm not unhappy.  It's just ... not my thing.  I don't seek out believers and try to belittle them for believing in whatever they need to believe in to make it through the day, or the week or the year, or their life.  Whatever.

Something I learned this year by an ex-boyfriend of mine that would preach to me and try to make me see the light.  He told me about the little passage:  "Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers."   Wow.  Christians are so weak in their faith that the church is afraid they will be drawn to the "dark side" by a lover?  Fabulous. 

Sex before marriage -- yeah, you're supposed to wait until you're married.  Right.  I'm sure the 16 year-old heroin addict is telling her supplier, "No wait, hold on ... you have to marry me first." 

Abortion -- Yeah.  Abortion is a "sin."  The 16 year-old mentioned above is, instead, supposed to have the baby -- drug-addicted or not -- and leave the baby with her parents to raise it so she can go back to living on the streets and doing more drugs.  Or in jail.   Who is going to pay for the baby?  The church that guilted the sinner into having the baby?  Oh hell no.  The right-to-lifers out there that preach their beliefs on the street corners with their kids in tow?  Oh hell no.  The politicians with their temporary agendas?  Please.

The whole religion thing is so unrealistic to me.  I can tell you this:  I do not need the fear of "God" striking me down, or the threat of going to hell, or the dreaded "purgatory" to make me carry around a decent set of morals.  I do my best to treat people the way I expect to be treated.  I am tired of seeing the hypocritical, non-sensical stuff that is coming out of religion nowadays.  Please ... if you and your Christian buddies are hell-bent on feeling sorry for someone, please look to eachother and leave me out of it.


Monday, August 22, 2011

The Brian Bateman Blend

Friday night, Mark took me out for a while ... I had cabin fever and needed to be around other humans.  We bar-hopped and I drank a few beers and had a nice relaxing evening.  There was nothing going on in the way of decent bands playing anywhere in Nampa, as was to be expected.  The Caldwell Night Rodeo is in town, and it was the first weekend of the Western Idaho Fair.  So the bars were pretty dead, and I'm sure any bar who paid for a band probably had a hard time making their money back this weekend.

Saturday we went to the Canyon County Music Festival.  Again ... a tough weekend for the reasons above.  But we did see a couple of good bands.  A simple three-piece band called Belly Up played some funky, almost reggae-ish stuff that I really enjoyed.  A few photos.

I feel kind of silly because apparently I didn't shoot a photo of the whole band at once.  Oops.  Also, I can't find a website or a facebook profile for them, probably because of their name.  If anyone knows of anything, please let me know.  Thanks!

Then the Brian Bateman Blend hit the stage.  I can't say enough good things about these guys!  I love their music and hope to see them again soon.  They have quite a bit of their music available on their facebook profile, so check it out!

Sunday afternoon, Mark and I went to Ste. Chapelle's and met up with a few good friends and watched Phyllis' husband, Craig, and his band, Come Together (<-- Check out the new website ... they are still working on it, but it's gettin' there!), play for the local winos!  This was a kick in the pants!  I know drinking wine is a "sophisticated" thing ... and it sure was fun watching people get sophisticatedly drunk!  They make much "better" drunks than us hicks, that's for sure!  LOL!  Great venue, gorgeous day, and a fun time was had by all!

Here's Craig:

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tell Me Thursday

Well, I have to say, I am really enjoying the Tell Me Thursday thing.  I'm learning a lot about the people whose blogs I've been reading for quite some time ... but these specific questions are really enlightening!  Thanks, Laura, for keeping this going!  When I posted those questions a couple of weeks ago, I didn't think about having to answer them.  But ... here goes ...

1. Who is your newest dog? Where is he/she from, and why did you choose this particular dog/breeding?

Kopper (photo in the header). She's one of the Zip x Echo puppies. I didn't choose her. In fact, I made the decision to sell my choice pup because of Reese coming down with parvo, and all of the implications that go with that. But Kopper was returned and I was offered an opportunity I couldn't refuse because I have awesome friends! So, Kopper will be coming here in the middle of September. And I think the only reason I keep ending up with red dogs is because ... I am not nuts about red dogs. Go figure.

2. What traits drew you to this dog or breeding?

Well ... Zip and Echo. I have been looking for years for a nice female to breed Zip to. Zip has quite a bit of eye, but is as biddable as all get-out, is very kind to his sheep, and has the patience of a saint. Echo has a different type of eye, bends off me very nicely, is very responsive, tolerates my stupidity, and is much more of a no-nonsense type of dog and can move anything I put in front of her.

3. What's on your feet right now?

Nada. I love bare feet on hardwood floors!

4. What are you reading right now?

The story of TERRY CAFFEY, a then 38 year-old man who was shot 5 times and who lost his wife and two young sons in a massacre orchestrated by his then 16 year-old daughter. The murders occurred March 1, 2008. The whole story is so very sad.

(Sorry to be a downer...)

5. What upcoming trials are you looking forward to? If you don't trial dogs I'll take whatever activity that you're looking forward to.

I am not trialing right now. I am looking forward to getting Reese back out to my trainer's who has much larger fields than my little blips of weeds. But for now, I'm also looking forward to a string of upcoming summer concerts Mark and I have been doing for several years now (different concerts ... usually same venues).


Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Remember the garden I planted way back when?  Well, my friend Reta just asked me how my garden is doing, so I went out and took some photos -- something I realize I haven't done since I planted it a while back.  I am finally getting some stuff off it ... a few green bell peppers, a few jalapenos (ok, a lot of jalapenos), tons of green tomatoes (not one is turning red yet), and 14,000 pounds of squash.  I have one huge yellow squash plant that is producing giants, one green zucchini plant that is doing very well, one spaghetti squash plant that's going well, and several others, including one GIANT one that has taken over my garden, and I am not sure what kind of squash it is yet.  It must have been a single seed I dropped.  Here are some photos.

My tomatoes are under there somewhere....

The mystery squash....

The yellow squash plant ...

Spaghetti squash...

Bell peppers...


The makings for fried green tomatoes...

So far ... with all of the squash I've gotten ... I've made two loaves of killer zucchini bread, zucchini oven chips (these were awesome!), breaded-fried-zucchini (I liked the baked ones better), and tonight ... I just made Cheesy Summer Squash Casserole.  It's cooling on my stove now, and I wish I had smell-o-vision so you guys could smell this thing!  Yummy!  Here it is:

Here was my other main event today.  My driveway is a ridiculous mud pit in the wintertime, and last year, I promised myself I wouldn't do that this year.  So ... I finally had someone bring in a couple of truckloads of 3/4" gravel.  Please ignore the weeds up against the house.  I really need to mow that area.  Always a million projects...

Here's some advertising for ya, boys!

This worked out really well.  The only glitch was that the tailgate on the truck wasn't cooperating, so some of the gravel got laid very thick in some places, and didn't get spread at all in one spot.  Considering all I have to spread this out is a gravel rake, I was not looking forward to the work ahead of me.  And just then ... before my very eyes ... appeared the greatest guy ever!  (Notice the very lumpy gravel ... I had a hellofatime driving up or down it.)

As you can see, he does not find my photography habit nearly as entertaining as I do!

By the way, I just snuck a bit of that squash casserole.  Oh man ... that is soooo good!

Anyway, off to work Dean and I went spreading the gravel as best we could.  Then Dean had an awesome idea and rode home and got his homemade dragging thing.  He came back and had the gravel spread in about 15 minutes flat.  I am not sure yet what I want to do with that one pile, so we left it right where it was.  It's out of the way, so I'm not worried about it.

So this should tamp down a bit with some driving on it.  And will tamp down a little more when it gets wet.  I'm sure some of it will shift and slide, but that's not such a big deal.  It's a heck of a lot easier to deal with than the mud and ruts the tires on my truck create.  And I won't be tracking the mud in the house.

Off to have some dinner.  See ya!