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My mother's maiden name is Inglis - pronounced "ing-GLS" not "ing-GLIS". It's an old family, from the Campbellville area, and since 1952, the family has had a picnic each year. It used to be later in the summer, but it's been on Father's day for some time. This year was the lowest turnout ever - just 18 people - and from the demographics* this year might have been the last picnic. We're going to try some things to re-engage the "youth" (I find it hilarious to be considered a "youth" at 37 years of age). The gravestone is my great grandparents - my mother's father's parents.
In any case, we had a great time - good potluck lunch, lots of laughter, sack races (I won), balloon toss (mom and I came second), shoe toss (I won that too), and more. It was a good day.
This is the schoolhouse where we were this year:
Walter was a real hit with the ladies.
He wanted to join us for lunch...
...but he was relegated to the doorway.
*1 @ 6 years, 1 @ 12 years, 4 @ 30-60 years, 12 @ 60+.
He looks VERY pathetic, but trust me - he loves his new haircut.
The lady what shorn him at A Touch of Love.
See, I told you he was happy!
Wally so dashing in his bandana - Hannah so focused on the toy - Walter so focused on Hannah
I am among the few who can claim a bright, warm office with a hot blonde secretary with a nice tail and a strong desire to lick my face and fetch for me.
My cousin Julie just completed her MBA. This is her dog, Amadeus, and her. Congratulations, Julie!
Wally is a bit hairy and smelly - he keeps rolling in stench. He also knows that it's the Boo that makes the clothes, not the other way around.
Unlike the first gloat, this is not my secretary, she does not want to lick my face, and I will make no comments whatsoever about her tail. I will put her picture up here in the hopes that it will stave off the next round of "Where's my pics-of-Wally fix?"
If cleanliness is next to godliness, Walter keeps falling from Grace. Well, falling may not be the right term. It's more that he actively seeks out stenches - to be sprayed by (skunk last Friday), or to roll in (horse manure today). I see a movie title for this story: "Walter - The Fallen" or perhaps "Wally Him Fally"*
Definitely a boy.
Today is the coldest day of the spring I think (2C). Today, I had the pleasure of scrubbing down Wally in the back yard. Did I mention that we took him to Metro Hound on Sunday and spent well over an hour bathing him? Didn't even last 48 hours. *sigh*
Now Himself is Re-de-stink-omated, which involved a lot of pathetic yelping, much charging around the backyard, and the careful use of a hose. No, not to beat him with, but I was thinking it too.
And, finally, for those of you who despair because there just isn't enough Hannah on my blog:
* Sorry. SPIKE TV had the Jar Jar movies on, and putrescent though it is, his speech pattern is very memorable.
I got back from a week away (at the IFL for a serious - and superb - course), and was greeted by Fran with the words, "Smell your son."
"When did he get hit?" I asked.
"This morning, right up the street."
Apparently, he bolted out of Kath's hands, and into the butt of a skunk, again. It's only been a few months since the last incident. I hoped he might have learned his lesson, but nooooooooooooooooooo. Not Derwaller.
Kath did an excellent job giving him a stinkectomy, and there's barely an odor.
Derwaller is certainly a challenging dog.
In an attempt to avoid overly effusive language: Kath got back on Wednesday night. Twenty-odd hours of travel does a bit of a number on her tummy, so she was a bit of a mess on Thursday and Friday.
This morning she woke up, took the dogs for a romp, and SHE IS BACK!
The house feels like a home again.
It's not done, but I am. The plants have a place to grow now that the carpet of oak leaves is gone, and the winter of poop is scooped with the leaves. The house has numbers - finally! - and the little front patio I made last year is warm in the afternoon sun.
After our three hour walk this morning, I came home and started to Spring Clean. That wasn't my plan for the weekend, but I have been so overwhelmed with work that I decided to do something that has nothing to do with BMO or IIBA. Hannah will be back later today.
I started with the windows - pulled all the screens from upstairs, climbed out on the roof, and started in with the squeegee. The bathroom window is the worst - difficult to disengage from the mechanism, and hard to reach from inside - but I got it. I hit noon part way through the downstairs windows, so I cooked up some chicken thighs with Tika Masala sauce, and ate it over rice. Gods, I'm making food. What the hell happened?! :)
To set the scene, I'm sitting out front on the little patio I built last year in my green deck chair, with a glass of red wine, and I can see my breath. The weather channel says it's 9C. Walter is on a long leash, beside me, enjoying the sun. I tied him to the stairs, with a length of line that will get him to the sidewalk, but not the street. The sun is warm - warm enough that I am wearing from bottom to top, my white shorts (from Florida), a t-shirt under a sweatshirt, and a Trinidad and Tobago bandana. I kicked off my new blue
ducks crocs a few minutes ago. A red SUV with five women in it pauses to turn up Vic Park. The vehicle is tired: a green tongue - a jacket-belt - pants out of the door frame as they drive.
An older native man stops to ask me if I'm working on my tan. We talk for minutes about India and travel and dogs.
John stops by on his way home from the club (he practices karate just up the road and we have a nice chat. Wally is feeling protective - he leaps down the stairs with a growl to meet John, and later, he has a run at a German Sheppard. Mostly he's getting used to the mass of people wandering by.
Teenagers are completely different and totally the same as when I was one of them. One walks by with a scowl, hoodie, and cello in a backpack. A herd* of teens graze** by, wearing all manner of interesting hair and clothes, including one effeminate boy in a Batman t-shirt with matching bat-belt-buckle. Impressive.
Okay, it's time for me to get back to work. My wine is done (a glass to sip while I watch the world go by and listen to podcasts and type) and I need to finish up before mom and dad and Joy get here.
*The collective noun for teens of mixed sex. Girls are a 'gaggle' and boys are a 'bluster'.
**"Meander" seems a bit too lah-de-dah for teens.
There is an annual spring sprint on the Beach, starting at the end of the boardwalk (Trillium Trail, Station 10). The sun is shining, the air is crisp, and Wally is being *very* good. We're hanging out at the start/finish line, which has a lot of action - dogs and people. I'm chillin' wit Derwaller, watching the action. Hannah's over at Karen's at the moment - I asked her to take the girl Friday night.
Signing off to play now. :)
I'm sitting at my desk, working away. Walter is about to spend his first night at home without Hannah.
He's searched the house twice - once for Kath, once for Hannah. He's been quite whimpery and demanding, and won't settle down for his evening nap.
He did VERY well on his Walk With Judy, however.
"I'm cold, and there are wolves after me."
- Grandpa Simpson
Hannah bannannah is staying over with Karen tonight - Judy will be coming over at 4 today, and 6:45am tomorrow, to walk me and Wally* so the bitch** gets to spend a nice night with her favorite Auntie.
I swear, it's something about Monday that makes our dogs insane. Hannah was no angel - she was absolutely ruled by her nose, and was very anxious about other dogs. There were lots of them on the beach, busy romping in the cold, wet weather, and many of them were very interested in Hannah's toy. Just as I got her to look at me, Walter bolted after a squirrel. I missed the starting gun, even though I knew he was going to go after something: he was vibrating like a bridge cable in the moments before snappage. I didn't catch any change in his focus, alertness, etc. before he erupted. I understood how Kath felt when he did this to her - but hoped to never experience it. It's shocking to have the leash torn from your grasp.
It took some real effort to get them under any sort of control, but I did have some success with the techniques Judy has taught us. Back to basics - sit and hold, and loose leash walking. It took an hour to get to 2/3 of the way to the boardwalk and back, but we made it. Yes, I still love them.
The chicken turned out great, and I miss Kath lot and lots and lots and lots and lots. I will be able to make one kind of dinner for us now, which is nice.
*Yes, I did mean to phrase it that way.
**Yes, I meant to use that word too. Keep reading.
Yeah, that may not sound like much - but I've never even thought of roasting a chicken before. I read several recipes, and then went for the common denominators: 2 hours at 350-375, on the vertical roaster (the lah-dee-dah beercan) with parsnips and potatoes and spices and beer in the pan.
I really miss Kath.
*Days 1-4 are a haze of miserable loneliness, so you don't get to hear about them.
Ok, ok, I really miss her, but I'm not quite THAT pathetic.
I never got around to describing the adventure I had -
*Toronto International Airport call sign, Terminal 3.
I started with Hannah who had no interest in me for the whole walk: she wanted to be with Kath. When she eventually changed hands she wanted to pull, pull, pull.
Walter started by pulling, and then ran out into the road, to chase an SUV. By the end of the walk we were exhausted, but they were starting to behave.
Back to basics.
This video describes a proof of concept from Microsoft. The main page, http://research.microsoft.com/users/baudisch/projects/lucidtouch/ gives more details about the device and the potential for the device.
We practiced 'sit' and leash training, and had a huge romp in the leash-free over by Kew Gardens - about a dozen dogs with half as many owners. Walter took a jump at a random girl walking by - no clue what the trigger was, or the warning sign.
Tuesday night, I took the down to the water to play, and did some hard work with holding a sit; they did reasonably well. Walter will hold until Hannah moves (usually). Hannah will hold until the toy moves.
Kath woke me up at 5:30, but I didn't make it on the walk. I can justify - or rationalize - my slug-osity: she needs time with the dogs to show she is top dog. When we all walk together, they (mostly) listen to me. But, really, that is a rationalization. I felt crappy at 05:30 and didn't want to go and Kath let me get away with it and I'm a terrible owner.
Well, not that bad, but still.
This post is satirical in nature, and should not be taken literally at all.*
The first day of March. I walk, just past somnambulant, with Hannah's leash in hand.
"Dog training could be the end of us, you know," Kath said, being dragged by Walter. Her tone evokes the feeling I get in my belly when a glass shatters between my bare feet: movement of any kind is likely to result in pain, mess, and quite possibly a limp. A gland somewhere deep in my white-matter squeezes. I'm no more awake, but suddenly, terribly, terribly, alert.
Gingerly, I attempt to place a toe on a bit of floor with no splinters of laceration. I say nothing, carefully.
"If we had children our parenting styles would be very different."
Toe bleeding. Pull back and try new tactic. Perhaps I can leap over the danger...?
"You think that it is a natural right for a dog to run free," I said. "I think that running free is a reward a dog gets for good behaviour."
Why is it, no matter where you are, as soon as there is a chase scene two guys in overalls appear carrying a huge sheet of glass?
The difficult circular reality is that we never have the kind of walk we enjoy if we have that kind of walk now. Training walks have to be tightly controlled, to establish focus and concentration for all parties. Once we have them attending to us - that is, the dogs paying attention to the humans - we can change the parameters of the control, give them much more freedom, and be much more relaxed on our walks.
Special thanks to the father of Dawson and and Grace. We met this gentleman at the corner by Pet Value, with his Golden Retrievers. We stopped to say hello, and to let Walter and Hannah say hello. He talked about how much his dogs enjoyed their training, and that the consistent repetition paid off for many years. By the time we parted ways, Kath was feeling much better about being
trained in a training program with our dogs.
*...Unless you were there to hear the dialogue, in which case it's completely true in all respects.
Walter and Hannah are strong willed, and don't really enjoy the whole 'training' thing - at least, not the way we've started. I think we need to focus on making it more fun for them. I'll ask our trainer for advice.
I'm going back to bed.
I just had a fascinating lunch with some of the BAs I met last night
when I spoke at the IIBA South Florida Chapter event. Good
conversation and a good lunch.
The restaurant is a 10 minute walk from my hotel, and also a ten minute drive.
Yep. Between the lights and the U-turn and the traffic, I was able, on
foot, to cover the distance from the restaurant to the hotel in the
same time it took someone to drive me from the hotel to the
I had was afraid that I might have to fight them off - they looked
like they might try to force me into a car - but ever fleet of foot, I
eluded them and made my way back.
And now, back down to the pool.
Who knew I would see such exhalted company?
I'll post pics after the event (right back atcha, Glenn!) But for now,
time to schmooze.
I'm not, as many of you* know, a morning person. It's 9am. Kath has been up for four hours, walked the dogs, cleaned half the house, built a fusion reactor, bridged the divide between quantum mechanics and general relativity, and fixed up the disgruntlements in the Middle East. I made coffee.**
I find myself moving through mornings like a tourist lost in the wrong part of an unstable region: nervous, confused, and hoping to get out alive. Kath is one of the good residents - not one of the fanatical evangelists who blows up and blames the evil night people for our inability to appreciate her time.***
No wonder I love her.
*Okay, both of you.
**Mostly I made the coffee. I ground the beans and put the water in the machine, almost forgot the filter paper - saved that one - then got distracted by Walter and Hannah and forgot to pour the black life-giver. Kath poured it for me. I should add that to the list.
***When's the last time you heard a night person lambaste a morning person for 'wasting the best part of the day'?
This test was well constructed, and I enjoyed taking it. Seems to have reasonable descriptive power (though the FB version is quite scant on the dysfunctional parts of the profile).
The source site - http://personaldna.com/ - looks like fun too. You can display your profile in a DNA bar or a block (which I prefer).
Check it out.