Saturday, April 30, 2011

This Little Piggie...

This little piggie went to the field to play fetch

 This little piggie ran, squeaked, squealed, didn't get a single catch

This little piggie rolled in elk poop, enough to make you retch

Then this little piggie wallowed in a bog.

That little piggie is fat as a log, smelly as a hog... a silly happy dog.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Hello iMac...Nice to Meet You

Meet my new best friend

In January my old computer finally gave up the ghost.  We went to Costco and purchased a new HP, which began crashing from the first day I had it out of the box.  After countless hours spent on the phone with a less than helpful technical support (somewhere in India) - that had me format & recover 12 times (in less than 3 months) the whole time telling me it was a software issue, I was ready to yank all my hair out.  When the stupid thing sounded like it was gargling rocks and surrounded me with a suspicious burning plastic odor we packed it up and took it back to Costco, where I hurled in through the front door, wiping out two door greeters and half of the member service desk. 

Okay, I exaggerated a bit.  We walked it up to the counter, with our receipt in hand (less than 90 days) and Costco happily gave us all our money back.  Then we marched over to Best Buy and plunked it all down on my new 27" Apple iMac. 

Immediately upon taking it out of the box, I plugged it in, and viola, everything worked!  Imagine that! It started right up, synced itself to the track pad/mouse & keyboard.  Then I plugged in my printer USB, my expansion drive and the internet....

I was feeling pretty smart.  I was now the Apple iMac set up QUEEN!  I could do anything, yes, I reigned.  

Then I clicked on the browser.  And waited.  And didnt work. 

I read my directions.  Swore.  Turned it off, turned it on.  Swore some more. 

Freaked out a bit, got huffy and just knew I did everything right

My husband, the electrician,  came in to offer help.  I swore at him and muttered  "Of course I plugged EVERYTHING IN RIGHT! I am NOT stupid!"  He wisely left me alone. 

Then decided to call Comcast (my internet service provider) technical support and give them a piece of my mind.  After waiting 30 minutes (mumbling various combinations of swear words) I finally was able to speak to a very helpful gentleman (who works IN AMERICA! YEAH!).  He ran a few diagnostic tests for me ...the conversation went like this. 

Tech Support:  "Are you having a good night?"
Me: "I was, until my internet quit working."
Tech Support: "Well, we will fix that right now."
Me: "Cool, I want to play with my new computer."
Tech Support: "We will have you online in just a second...I need you to do something for me okay?"
Me: "Sure, whatever you need."
Tech Support: "You might have to crawl under your desk, are you able to do that?"
Me: "Yes, no problem - just tell me what you want?  I already checked the connections, everything is hooked up to the computer just right.  I have checked it and double checked it."
Tech Support: "I ran the diagnostics and one thing doesnt seem to be quite right.  Can you plug the power cord for your modem into the wall?"
Me: "What?"
Tech Support: "Yes, I am showing your modem is running on battery power, which means it only will support your phone service.  When you plug the power cord into the wall everything will come back online in a few seconds."
Me: "I feel really stupid."
Tech Support: "It's okay, you are in good company."
Me: *SIGH*


Moving on...

While I am learning how to use this glorious piece of technology, now that everything is plugged in,  it might take me a few days to process pictures, so in anticipation I am going to give you a teaser. 

And let you wonder...just what is going on?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Weekend at Ronnie's

This last weekend Dianne Deal was in town again to teach lessons and hold a handling clinic at Ronnie's farm in Yelm. 

Ronnie is a elderly farmer I have written about several times before.  We met Ronnie through my dear friend Cindy.  Cindy has known Ronnie for 25+ years.  He has come to depend on her for help with vaccinating his flock and general care.  I am blessed that Cindy asked me to join her and had the opportunity to meet him. Everyone that has enjoyed time on Ronnie's farm owes it to Cindy and her long standing relationship with Ronnie. 

Ronnie is a character.  His giggle is infectious. 

I have found the way to his heart, is truly through his stomach.  After a couple years of bringing him home canned peaches, applesauce, jams & what not...I found the one thing he cannot resist.  My cinnamon rolls.  Needless to say, I will make them for him regularly.  Anything to see him smile.  It will light up your day. 

Ronnie has graciously allowed us to use one of his pastures, haul our sheep in to work and spend the weekends enjoying his amazing acreage. 

Many of us got the first sunburn of the year under blue skies and a lovely view of Mt Rainier through the trees.

Jorgen came to help with the sheep chores over the weekend during the lessons and clinic. 

Ronnie adores his dog Merckx & enjoys Jorgen's company. 

We like to give Ronnie as much help over the weekends we are there as possible, so he does not have to worry about anything and he will invite us back.

Often, throughout the weekend, we would see Jorgen sitting with a contented smile on his face, with an exhausted dog at his feet.  You have never seen such a happy team. 

Saturday evening after the clinic, I stopped by Jorgen's RV to invite him to dinner with the clinic crowd.   I found him sitting on the steps, surrounded by his tired dogs, munching on a salad with a Guinness in his hand, waiting for his steak to finish on the barbeque.  He was grabbing a quick bite to eat, then planning on doing the nightly sheep chores before turning in.  I wish I had thought to grab my camera - such was the look of contentment. 

Jorgen wrote about his time on Ronnie's farm on his blog...he says it so much better than I ever could. 

Click here to read Jorgen's blog Strider, Merckz & Ben "Sheep Chores"

 Shot of a small amount of Ronnie's sheep and lambs Friday morning

A few of my favorite snap shots from the weekend.  

Mindy & Shep - this just makes me smile. 

Erin with her new dog waiting for their turn at the post.


Too many things happened over the weekend to cover adequately without putting you to sleep.  Needless to say Dianne worked wonders for us.  I am proud to say she bestowed us with the proverbial gold star on Friday during my session with Brynn.  She was quite pleased with the progress Brynn and I have made since she was here last.  During our sessions this weekend we worked on the outrun and fetch issues, loosened up her eye driving with some exercises I need to work on with homework.  

Dianne also worked Bea a couple of times, just fun stuff, no pressure & just to keep her engaged and having fun.  Bea is happily hooked on sheep.  Bea is not so worried about being perfect, like she was before. 

Look Ma, four paws off the ground! 

Happy pup

We also found out that Bea is a magical pup.  She can levitate sheep too!

At the handlers clinic I learned a few things about myself.  The clinic was set up for us to run practice trial runs and then judge each other on our runs.  I ran Brynn in the clinic.  Our first run in the morning was dismal.  When I sent her on the outrun, I set her up for 'comeby' then when I sent her, I said "away" she ran, hesitated, almost crossed, then I yelled at her...she looked confused, ran some more and I called her back.  WTF?  So I set her up again, she ran tight and hesitant, came in too tight on the top ...then I panicked.  As usual - then telegraphed my anxiety to her through my voice, whistles and general all around demeanor. 

The afternoon run was better, but still not good.  Again, I decompensated....anxiety got the best of me and we did not do as well as I thought we should.

One thing that seems to help me - ditch my stick.  I need to poke it in the ground and put my hands in my pockets if possible - for some reason that calmed me down a bit.  Whatever helps, eh? 

Is it my ego that is allowing the anxiety to get the best of me?  I do not know for sure. 

I have severe issues with anxiety already, in my personal life.  Going to the post is a challenge for me.  I find it so difficult to concentrate on nothing but the sheep and my dog.  I am worried about what people think, if they are criticizing me, my dog or my handling.  Notwithstanding wondering if they are laughing at the size of my butt, visible panty lines or rolls of back fat?  ARGH!    I am more aware & in tune with what is going on behind me than I am of my dog & sheep on the field. 


I do not know how to shut that off.   How do you distance yourself from that?  I wish I knew how.  Till I figure it out, it will just have to be time at the post and miles on the training field. 

Friday, April 22, 2011

Afternoon at the River

The sun was shining, the temperatures warm, it was time for a walk on the river.  

"It's 'bout darn time", Ranger says.

"There is the ball, I can see it, please throw it, please throw it now, please? please? please?"

"Seriously are you gonna throw it now?"


"Back off biatch, it is my ball."

"I am the ball king!  K-I-N-G!  Oh yeah, King, king, king, king...."

"Yah, right Ranger.  Remember what we said the last time you said you were a King?"

"Ranger is Sofa King We Todd Did!"

"Nope, I am the King Fisher! (click on the photo to enlarge it and view my fish in all its tiny glory."

Weeee!  We are dogs, we like to run around like chickens with our heads chopped off!

Blowing bubbles, Bea cannot resist any opportunity to kill the water. 

Brynn has the blessed fortune of being Bea's main focus in life.
At least Brynn can out run, leap, dive, jump, and splash Bea. 

Not for long, Bea is catching up.  

Eternally focused on a singular objective, the pursuit of Brynn's butt. 

Brynn may be able to out run Bea, but there is no escaping her in the water, Bea swims like a fish.

She looks like an otter with gargantuan ears

Perhaps a slightly demented otter...

Demented otter puppy

Brynn always looks so sweet...oblivious to the lurking danger behind her.  

The demented otter puppy prepares to strike!


 My dog, where did those legs come from? 

She is growing....

Oh look, Beth in the rapids.   Dear dog in Heaven, do my eyes fail me?  Is Beth actually swimming?  

 Why does that tennis ball look bigger than her head?

 I have run out of anything else to say....amazing how that works eh?  I am out of pictures and inane drivel all at the same time.  

"'Bout time...we was tired of listening to you yammer." 

 "Shuddup and throw the ball already, okay?"

 *sigh*  life with border collies....I am doomed.