Tuesday, October 30, 2012


My NYC friends are safe and secure, thank heavens.  What a storm.  How many storms described as "once-in-a-lifetime" and "once-every-hundred-years" does that make, in the last five years?  Regardless, I think this was one of the biggest ever.  My heart goes out to everyone that experienced loss during Hurricane Sandy...  ....   ....

And on the other hand:
What a pleasure it was to watch the GIANTS sweep the Tigers in Detroit! 
We are the WORLD CHAMPIONS!   Who would've thought?   It's incredible!  Delightful! 
It's been at least a year since I worked a Bay Team CPE trial.  This time I volunteered to work "all-day" and ended up being a scribe for a judge from...Detroit, Michigan!  She was nice, though, and never got huffy about my Giants ballcap.  And I had fun catching up with some agility buddies I haven't seen in quite a while.
Holly and Billy

Speaking of caps.....


Pretty soon, someone will win the Presidential race.  I've got my fingers crossed.  And I hope you all remember to VOTE!   (A big plus:  no more robo-calls)! 

Riff and I will be heading out for our agility lesson soon.  Yay!  We're ready to RUN!

In the meantime, we prepare for Halloween.  (Halloween again?!  Already?!) 

I missed the pumpkin-carving party this year, but my sweet husband got over there.  He ate enough chili and corn bread for both of us, and took a photo of the first row of squash faces.  I especially like that pirate, lower left.  And the pumpkin near the middle....three lines of triangles.....makes me smile. 

San Francisco is going to hold their Welcome Home Giants Parade tomorrow morning.  Woohoo! 
We'll watch a bit of it on TV.  We'll munch on a couple of tiny Snickers bars during the day, then leave the rest of the candy in a bowl on the porch, just in case any goblins show up.  We'll be heading out for a friend's birthday dinner.   Wow.   It's amazing how quickly time passes....


Friday, October 26, 2012

Giant Dreams

It may come as no surprise (to a few of you), that I've tuned-in to almost every game of the Giants' 2012 season.  Maybe even Every Single Game - but I can't absolutely claim it, because I didn't keep close enough track of it.  There are 162 games during the regular season (either on TV or on KNBR)...plus all the games in the postseason.  Jeff and I, we are Giants' fans.  Since 2006. 

The Giants are easy to like.  Because they Do.Not.Give.Up.  We went through a few "bad" seasons (as any Giants' fan knows), but we stuck with them.  They're just too....easy to like.  Those boys love the game, and their announcers (Kruk and Kuip) love the game.  LOVE IS INFECTIOUS. 
(A good thing to remember, when training dogs...or talking to other people...)


It's been a nice few days.  My eldest son came to visit.  I found his first guitar (given to him by his dad when he was about twelve) stored in the closet of my office, and they had a nice reunion (dust, cracked body and all).  It amazed both of us that the guitar was (mostly) still in tune...and sounded half-way decent.  Will brought me flowers (!) and took us out to a shmancy restaurant for dinner.  He played one of his newer guitars for us.  Music is the most marvelous of man's inventions.  Or maybe I should say "man's interpretations."   Will plays with all of his considerable heart and soul.  His music is gorgeous. (If I do say so myself...)

My older sister, who's been waging a huge battle against recurrent breast cancer, has been doing well.  (Thanks to all the stars in heaven, and on earth....)  Her beautiful hair is growing back, and she's enjoying LIFE.   YAY!

I "graduated" from Physical Therapy (for the broken arm) this week.  My super-cool PT made it feel like a super-cool accomplishment!

This morning Riff and I had another wonderful practice session at LeapDog fields.  We made it through all 20 obstacles of the "blue" course...WOOHOO! 
Then LP and Clever came out for a visit, and we watched them have a little training session. 
Pupper-ista Clever is looking terrific!

Life is good.  

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

CellPhone Plus Backyard Plus Sky

Backyard "assemblage".... an old bronze wheel
(for what? it says "OPEN"),
and the sides from an old, original
Actors Theatre of Sonoma County seat.

Backyard "guardian",
sitting on the porch, gazing
out over the yard.
With his helper, who is reading.
Backyard view.

Clouds.  Car view.
On our way home
from seeing "Looper."

Monday, October 22, 2012


Sometimes, you just have to choose.

For instance:  Do we watch the Giants play GAME 7 of the NLCS tonight?  Well - (duh) - YES! 

Do we watch the presidential debate?  Well - (hmmm) - Ye-e-es...? 

Okay, so we'll try to do both.  Our channel-switching will depend on the weather....and on how exciting the game/debate is.  (Honestly, have you ever seen an EXCITING debate?  Me neither.  Maybe tonight, though.)  And - just in case - we'll record the debate.  That way we can watch it later, if push comes to shove.   

It's raining right now in San Francisco, and the game may be delayed.  I sure hope not.  I'm ready for some baseball!

Sweet Riff has the "choosing" thing all figured out.  He says "why choose?"  Just grab everything you can and run for it!!

Does this mean he'd vote for Romney, if he could vote? (argh!)

Keeper has a different opinion.  She'd much rather practice generosity and tolerance than slobber and drool over toys.  This approach gives her a very dignified look.  Bemused, even.  (Or is she annoyed?)

Be that as it may, I'm pretty sure she would vote for Obama.  She's a "for the greater good" sort of girl. 

Actually.....both dogs are smarter than to worry about politics at this time. 
It's too close to dinner for that sort of folderol. 
Let's eat first....THEN decide!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

More Riffle

Riff, practicing. (Photos by Jeff)

Take off

Jumping into a 180

Just running

Riff on the teeter:

Sunday, October 14, 2012

He Jumps Bigger

Wow.  This fellow practiced for years, skydiving and BASE jumping.  He became famous jumping off of bridges and tall buildings...and the statue of Christ, in Rio de Janero.

Today, after years of preparation (with the sponsorship of Red Bull and the interest of NASA), he jumped out of a small capsule about 24 miles above the earth.  The capsule was carried into space by a giant helium balloon.

Standing on the edge of his jump, he said "Sometimes you have to go up really high to see how small you are."   Then he jumped.  Cameras and microphones recorded his progress.  

The full video of the jump is pretty amazing.  You've probably seen it by now.  It shows a little white dot of a man, spinning around in space - arms and legs akimbo.  Free-falling for more than four minutes.  Somewhere during that time, somehow, he regained control of his body and straightened out into the typical formation of a skydiver - arms and legs out, facing the direction of his fall.  He talked to his "mission control" about his visor fogging up.  When the time came, he calmly pulled the cord on his chute, and gently floated the rest of the way to earth.    
Jubilant upon landing.  Felix Baumgartner, kudos to you!!  Amazing!!
He couldn't stop talking about his support team.  He had a lot of help, and he put his success on them.  I love how that entire group - skydivers, astonauts, world-record holders, scientists, fund-raisers - how they all worked together to help this man realize his dream.  United we stand! 
He jumped further than any man has ever jumped.  He broke the sound barrier.  (He was recorded traveling at well over 700 miles-per-hour.)  And he lived to tell the tale. 
(His plans for the future?  To relax with his family and his girlfriend, and fly a helicopter on rescue missions in mountains, and during fires.  Any skydiving?  Probably not.  He says he's DONE.)

Friday, October 12, 2012

He Jumps Big

It's great when my husband brings his pro camera out to the practice field.  The pictures show how Riff is moving - which never ceases to amaze me.  Bubula pupster!

Below are six pictures of Riff going through a serp.  This is the end of a sequence of several obstacles.  In the first photo, I'd 'sent' him to the red jump.  I'm hustling to get into position for the serp (at the orange jump), so you can't see me.  But you can see how Riff jumps.  I've always known that he's a long-striding runner, and a big jumper.   
But I'm repeatedly surprised by just how big he jumps. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary during our practice today.  No bars down, no "ticks," no rubs, no approaches that looked scary to me.   It was all business as usual.  And yet....when I look at some of these photos, I think "How can he possibly make that jump from that far back?"
And I understand, better, why it's taken me a while to get in sync with him.  He needs his cue to the next obstacle at the point he commits to the current obstacle...and...well, you can see how early I have to be with my cues.  Although - if I'm too early, he pulls off the jump.  His reactions are pretty darn fast.  Then...I'm late.  Argh!   It's a fine line, but we're finding it.  (Yay!!)

Preparing to turn

Turning back to "serp"

Two strides to next jump and take-off...

Landing...nice and tight to the stanchion
(then he took the next jump handily)

Here are a couple of other "take off" photos from today:

Running a long, fast line that included a tire. 
Riff likes SPEED...
He looks pretty happy...


He also has a nice extended trot

Today was one of those days I think "maybe we should enter a trial."  He made everything look easy, and fun.

However, my competitive fire has been burning at "ember" stage.  It's just a tiny flicker, now and then.  What will it take for me to compete at trials again?  I wish I knew. 

In the meantime, we enjoy just practicing agility. 

Tomorrow we head down to Novato for some nose-work training at the old Hamilton AFB. 

Although...honestly....a part of me wishes we were going to the agility trial in Dixon, instead.... 

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