Tuesday, May 31, 2005
It was a win some, lose some weekend (Warning: potentially boring agility minutiae follows). We got three Qs (1 in Standard, 2 in Jumpers), which got us our first agility titles (SSA and SJ). We still lack that elusive Snooker Q, which would have earned us our Agility Dog title. We got further than we've ever gotten on a Snooker course before being whistled off for taking an off-course obstacle.
I had some real thrills unrelated to how we ended up finishing, however. For the first time in competition, Lucy showed no interest in going off to sniff things or roll in the grass (although while we were waiting at the start line she started rolling around a few times ... the dog just loves rolling around). Also, she was faster than she's ever been. Faster than I thought she could be. In fact, in one standard run in which we were faulted for missed contacts, we would have beat the first-place finisher by about 6 seconds had the run been clean, and our time was 26 seconds under the standard course time (which was 66 seconds just to give you an idea of how long we're talking). So I have a winning dog waiting for me when I finally get my act together as a handler. Which brings me to the other thrill--I finally felt like I really knew what I was doing out there. At least I did during the walk-throughs. I could look at the course and know (mostly) how I needed to approach every obstacle to stay on-course and be fast. The problem is that when it came time to actually execute those plans I was often a foot or two out of place or a second too slow to make it work correctly. Smart little Lucy saved us a few times by figuring out what I meant despite what I did. She deserves a better handler.
Well, time to go blend in with the earthlings ... thanks for stopping by.
Friday, May 27, 2005
But here's what, among other things, would send me to hell if there were such a place. I'm reading people's prayers to St. Anthony for entertainment purposes. (Matt Ryan, who never updates his blog, sent me a link to the St. Anthony site a while back.) Here are a few of today's (they change every day or two):
Lord, I thank You for all that You do for me and I thank You for Your love. Lord, I pray that You will release me from Charley. The man does nothing but tell lies and play games. Release me from him once and forall. No more thoughts, no more nothing. Just please set me free. Lord, I love You and I trust in You, in Jesus name, Amen.
St.Anthony, a Saint of hopeless cases, please help Cyril get a very good job.
Youngest daughter works with Candace( who doesn't pull her load and is hard to get along with; also is a snitch. Claims to be a Christian. I ask for prayer that all the girls get along and work as a unit. My daughter is a hard worker and wants to quit because Candace doesn't pull her load. My daughter needs her job.
I'm terrible, aren't I?
The crosses in question were about 7 feet tall and 4 feet wide and made of four 2-by-4s that were screwed flat together with grooves cut at the intersections of the beams. They were wrapped in burlap, which was held tight to the wood with a metal wire, and doused in a liquid accelerant. They were erected several miles apart in three different parts of the city. Yessirree bob, sounds like maybe it was the little punk 10-year-old who lives three doors down from me. That kid always looks like he's up to no good, and I'm sure he's clever enough to procure a large truck or van to transport, erect and ignite three heavy 7-foot-tall crosses to three different parts of the city.
Thursday, May 26, 2005
Apparently the Religious Coalition for a Nonviolent Durham is planning some vigils. That will make the nice religious non-violent people feel better but it's not exactly the kind of thing that strikes fear in the heart of the fascist nightriders. I prefer the response of NC's own Robert F. Williams (from Radio Free Dixie: Robert F. Williams & the Roots of Black Power, by Timothy Tyson):
On October 5, 1957, Catfish Cole's Ku Klux Klan held a huge rally near Monroe. After the rally, a large, heavily armed Klan motorcade roared out to Dr. Perry's place, firing their guns at the house and howling at the top of their lungs. The hooded terrorists met a hail of disciplined gunfire from Robert Williams and his men, who fired their weapons from behind sandbag fortifications and earthen entrenchments. Shooting low, they quickly turned the Klan raid into a complete rout. "[Police Chief] Mauney wouldn't stop them," B. J. Winfield said later, "and he knew they were coming, because he was in the Klan. When we started firing, they run. We
run them out and they started just crying and going on." The Klan "hauled it and never did come back," Woodrow Wilson recalled. "The Klans was low-down people what would do dirty things. But if they found out that you would do dirty things, too, then they'd let you alone," he said. "We shot it out with the Klan and repelled their attack," Williams said, "and the Klan didn't have any more stomach for this type of fight. They stopped raiding our community." The Monroe Journal blamed the Klan's "robed assemblies," calling the shootout "an uncivilized incident" that "should be sufficient grounds to outlaw such provocative assemblies in Union County." The following day, the Monroe city council held an emergency session and passed an ordinance banning Ku Klux Klan motorcades. . .
... Or the response by the Lumbee indians of Robeson County, NC, when faced with a Klan provocation (also from Radio Free Dixie); this incident was the inspiration for Malvina Reynold's song "The Battle of Maxton Field"):
The climax of the Klan's Robeson County campaign was to be a heavily armed rally on January 18, 1958, near the small town of Maxton, at which, Cole predicted, 5,000 Klansmen would remind Indians of "their place" in the racial order. "He said that, did he?" asked Simeon Oxendine, who had flown more than thirty missions against the Germans in World War II and now headed the Lumbee chapter of the Veterans of Foreign Wars. "Well, we'll just wait and see."
Cole's references to Lumbee women were particularly galling. Robeson County sheriff Malcolm McLeod visited the grand wizard at his South Carolina home and "told him that his life would be in danger if he came to Maxton and made the same speech he'd been making." That Friday night, as a few dozen Klansmen gathered in a roadside field in darkness lit only by a single hanging bulb powered by a portable generator, more than five hundred Lumbee men assembled across the road with rifles and shotguns. The Lumbees fanned out across the highway to encircle the Klansmen. When Cole began to speak, a Lumbee dashed up and smashed the light with his rifle barrel. Hundreds of Indians let out a thunderous whoop and fired their weapons repeatedly into the air. Only four people were injured, none seriously; all but one were apparently hit by falling bullets. The Klansmen dropped their guns and scrambled for their cars, abandoning the unlit cross, their public address system, and an array of KKK paraphernalia. Magnanimous in victory, the Lumbees allowed the white supremacists to escape. The war party even helped push Cole's Cadillac out of the ditch where his wife, Carolyn, had driven in her panic. The grand wizard himself had abandoned "white womanhood" and fled on foot into the swamps. Laughing, the Lumbees set fire to the cross, hanged Catfish Cole in effigy, and had a rollicking victory bash. Draped in captured Klan regalia, they celebrated into the night. "If the Negroes had done something like this a long time ago, we wouldn't be bothered with then KKK," Oxendine said in a remark that kept his Lumbee troops clearly on a side of the color line different from that of African Americans.
Wednesday, May 25, 2005
Coming soon: video!
KATAMARI DAMACY CAKE!!!!
Originally uploaded by Rakka.
Rakka has made me want to make a cool cake. Her Katamari Damacy cake is so cool, it's made me wonder if making crazy cakes is as much fun as it looks ... plus Mr. Pants has a birthday coming up, and maybe he'd like a cake ...
Yesterday I checked out some books from the library on cake decorating. Two are by this Collette person, and it's sort of scared me off the idea because she is obviously extremely anal retentive and I'm not. Plus, I discovered that fondant, the smooth covering that you see on some of the coolest "art" cakes, is not vegetarian because it contains gelatin. I really wanted to make a fondant-covered cake. Anyone know of a vegetarian fondant recipe?
Tuesday, May 24, 2005
Monday, May 23, 2005
And thanks to Rakka for bringing the whole thing to my attention to begin with.
Lisa wanted strawberries to make jam with, and I just wanted strawberries because I like them ... I didn't really have anything in mind. So when I got home I realized that I needed to actually come up with a purpose for some of them because 5 quarts is a lot more berries than I can eat before they get not-so-fresh. So I adapted a recipe that I usually make with blueberries and vanilla wafers to use strawberries and ladyfingers (just because they happened to have ladyfingers at Harris Teeter). Here's the synopsis: Let a tub of Cool-Whip and a package of cream cheese sit on the counter and soften for a little while. Slice the strawberries (however many looks right .. I didn't measure) and put them in a bowl with some sugar (you don't need a lot--maybe 6 teaspoons, unless you like things really sweet in which case use as much as you want). Open a beer and go outside to enjoy the nice day for a little while the juices seep out of the strawberries and mix with the sugar. When you feel like it, arrange the ladyfingers (or whatever cake- or cookie-like substance you've procured) to cover the bottom of a pan. (I used a 9 x 13 shallow glass dish.) Spoon the strawberries (and their juice) over the ladyfingers to cover. With a hand mixer, whip together the cream cheese and Cool-Whip and spread it evenly over the strawberries. Chill for a while (open a new beer if needed).
I still had a lot of strawberries left, but they are slowly dwindling ... blueberry season is coming!
Friday, May 20, 2005
And now I'm cranky, so I'm taking it out on Dalat. Don't eat there. It smells funny, too: it's a plastic-tablecloth-wiped-with-a-stale-disgrag smell. Not only that, but it took forever to get my food. Grrr. Now I'm afraid I'm going to sit here and think about food for the rest of the day.
Thanks for stopping by!
UPDATE: I just rummaged through the desk drawers and found a packet of instant oatmeal. Hunger crisis averted.
Thursday, May 19, 2005
Fortunately I've got new tuneage to listen to because I picked up several cds for review from my WXDU mailbox last night. There's a new one from Puerto Rican "alternative" rock/pop group Circo (my snap judgement--it's better than their last one); one from Javier Garcia (a Cuban/Irish guy who grew up in Spain and does fusiony latin pop, or poppy latin fusion. Not bad.); and a double live cd from Café Tacuba. I'm in a quandary over that one ... on the one hand I love Café Tacuba, but on the other hand, I hate live cds. The mix is always wrong, and I don't really care to hear the audience singing along. The audience sucks. But Café Tacuba rocks. What the double live cd has done is make me want to listen to a bunch of Café Tacuba that doesn't feature a singing audience ...
OK, gotta go. Don't forget, people: Wash your hands after petting the Nigerian dwarf goats. Or better yet, skip the goats and go get a deep-fried candy bar.
Tuesday, May 17, 2005
She seemed fine Monday morning, but when I got home from work she was in a panic to get outside and then when I called her in for dinner, she trembled and gave me a “no, don’t make me go in there” look. That behavior seems to mean one of two things: she’s in pain, or there is a wasp in the house. I was quite relieved to see that there was indeed a wasp in the house (I killed the bastard), and that Lucy was acting happy and peppy and not at all in pain when I came outside with her (she would get all subdued--and refuse to accompany me--when I went inside). She’s kind of a weird little dog, with mood swings and what seems like a lot of little aches and pains. In fact, she’s very much like me. I think I spend half my life in a crappy mood because my back hurts, my knee hurts, my sinuses are bothering me, I have a migraine or whatever. Some days I certainly wouldn’t feel like running back and forth over hurdles to get a stupid tennis ball. So I’d probably slow down if I were feeling a little creaky. So why should Lucy be any different? I’m still planning to have her checked out by a different vet and keep a close eye on her, but I’m not confident that they are going to definitively find what may be causing her pain. Maybe she has the doggie equivalent of fybromyalgia. Do dogs get migraines?
But other than the dog issues, I enjoyed myself. Even when I found myself at the restaurant with onion rings as the only vegetarian option. (Here’s the long story).
Friday, May 13, 2005
Thursday, May 12, 2005
Lucy and I have a flyball tournament this weekend in Florence SC, but my energy level is a bit low so I'm not really excited about it. Not to mention that Lucy is a lot better at agility than flyball, so I don't get as excited about flyball as I used to. Plus my mom will be meeting me at the tournament and staying over with me, so I'm afraid I will feel like I need to keep her entertained. Maybe I'll see if she wants to be what we call a "ball shagger" (a term that is very entertaining to our counterparts in the UK.) We use that term to describe the person who stands at the end of the racing lane and picks up the tennis balls as the dogs spit them out so that nobody breaks a leg (it's happened--to the humans, not the dogs).
But I wanted to say a word or two about the book I just finished (and thanks to Alicia for bringing it to my attention): All In My Head: An Epic Quest to Cure an Unrelenting, Totally Unreasonable, and Only Slightly Enlightening Headache by Paula Kamen. I was drawn to the book because I'm a migraine girl--although they've tapered off a bit over the past 5 years, I can still usually expect one or two a month. I used to get several weekly, and for years when I'd mention them to my doctor, he or she would just change the subject or tell me I needed to work on lowering my stress levels (at that time the most stressful thing in my life was the constant nagging fear that I was going to get a migraine). Anyway, when I finally found a doctor who suggested I try medication it was like getting a new life, where I didn't live in fear of my headaches. (I take Midrin, which Kamen didn't like because the sedative knocked her out. It did the trick for me, though--I didn't find the sedative effect overpowering at all. It's rather pleasant, although paradoxically it gives me insomnia.)
Anyway, about the book: It's more than just a personal memoir of Kamen's headache journey--she's a journalist, so she's also done research and interviews on the subject. I think it's a good overview on the history and current state of chronic pain treatment. I probably don't have to recommend this to anyone who gets headaches because you're probably ordering it right now (or placing a hold on it at your local library like I did). But I definitely think that anyone who has family friends or coworkers who suffer from chronic pain (or fibromyalgia/chronic fatigue--she discusses those, too) should read it, because it may give you a better understanding of a situation that's hard to fathom if you haven't experienced it.
OK, bedtime. If I stay up too late I risk getting a headache ...
Friday, May 06, 2005
Mama Fu's is pan-Asian semi-fast food--you go in and order from the counter, but then you sit down and the food is brought to you. I can't say exactly what's on the menu, because I stopped reading as soon as I saw the "Noodle Bowl" section: it was my turn! Places where you order at a counter expect to you be ready to spit out what you want as soon as it's your turn ... even if you just walked in and you've never been there before and you have no idea what you want. I hate that ... it causes too much anxiety for me. Fortunately, a noodle bowl was exactly what I wanted. At Mama Fu's, you can order your noodle dishes with your choice of meat or tofu, so I picked the Vietnamese crunchy noodles with tofu. My total with tax came to $7.01, which seems to be a resonable price for lunch these days, but it's only because I drank water--add a couple of bucks for a soda, more if you want beer or wine.
The dish was quite tasty, but overly salty. The noodles were pleasingly crunchy and the tofu was heavenly: satisfyingly meaty little strips in a barbecue-esqe sauce. The sauce itself was the weak link. It tasted like it was poured out of a jar, was probably sweetened with hugh-fructose corn syrup and was the source of the over-saltiness. There was no subtlety about it, and subtle, delicate flavors are the main reason I like Vietnamese food.
I'll probably end up back at Mama Fu's again someday, but I don't think I'll go out of my way to get there, and when I do I'll order something different.
Wednesday, May 04, 2005
IT Consultants, Graphic Artists, and Web Masters, lend me your ears, :)
I have come to move data, not to delete it. The files that get purged live after them. So let it be with Netware... :)
Good times ...
Monday, May 02, 2005
All I wanted was another stupid pair of ... well I don’t know what you call them. They’re not really “sweat pants”; I suppose one could call them “running pants” except that I don’t run and calling them that would give people a false impression about me. I could call them “agility pants” because that’s what I wear them for (although they work really well for flyball as well as curling up on the sofa with a good book). I’ll call them “sporty pants.” They’re comfy and stretchy and they have little racing stripes down the side. I got a pair from Target a couple of months ago and I’ve decided they are wonderful.
Which brings me to one of the things that drives me nuts about Target. In their quest to “target” people who are, or want to be, too hip for Wal-Mart but don’t have the wallet or are too frugal for higher-end stores, they turn over their clothing line at lightening speeds. So while the squares who go to Wal-Mart or K-mart know they will always be able to find their favorite Lee flat-front khaki pants (ah, but the thrill of the hunt is in finding a size 8), Target shoppers can count on never being able to find the same thing twice. I suppose if I were a fashionable person it would thrill me to be able to find cool Issac Mizrahi and Mossimo stuff at such affordable prices, but as I’m not fashionable, I just want clothing that covers my bits in a relatively comfortable and not too unattractive manner. So I guess the idea is that Target wants you to buy several of whatever you find that works for you ... but I have to wear something a few times before I know if it works of not. Nothing’s worse than buying several pairs of sporty pants that ride up your ass or sag disconcertingly in the crotch. So I had to road-test my agility pants before I got another pair. They turned out to be just the thing.
So I went to Target and headed straight for the place I figured I’d find my little sporty pants, and there was a rack full of them, in all colors and sizes and ... they were, every one of them, about 1 foot shorter than my actual legs. Hear ye, hear ye, by Target’s decree everyone shall have their sporty pants in a capri-length style this season! I could have just acquiesced to their fashion dictates, bought the sporty capris and saved my blog readers a poinless rant. But dammit, as a ’merican, I have a constitutional right to the sporty pants of my choice!! Yeah OK, I know there is no constitutional right to pants of any type, but curiously, neither is there a constitutional right to pantslessness. The US constitution is seriously deficient on the topic of pants. At any rate, the problem I have with capris is that unless one has a body like Mary Tyler Moore circa The Dick van Dyke Show, capri pants make one look dumpy. In fact, after seeing women everywhere in capri pants for the last several years, I will not even try on a pair. They look so crappy on everyone else that I know they couldn’t possibly look good on me. So no capri sporty pants for me.
There were some regular-length sporty pants of a slightly different style that I could have tried: $29.99 lo-rise Mossimo clingy thingies--very chic. They looked perfect for Dick van Dyke Show-era Mary Tyler Moore. I headed over to the clearance racks to see if they had any leftover sporty pants from days gone by. Yes indeed, in girly pink, baby blue and lime sherbet green, in sizes medium, large, X-large, XX-large, and XXX-large. No size small. Oh yeah, through the magic of size inflation, I am a size small in the target world, even though in real life I’m more of a medium-sized person (albeit a short one). I’m also not a wearer of girly pink or baby blue, so I contemplated the idea of buying a pair of size medium lime-sherbet green pants and just rolling the waist to make them sort of fit, but I decided I should go ahead and try them on first. Fortunately for me the fitting rooms were full, so I was left to peruse the rack of fitting room discards-stuff people had tried on but rejected. And lo unto me appeared one size small navy blue pair of the desired sporty pants, price reduced for clearance. I grabbed them, and in the course of my journey to the checkout, witnessed a child of about 5 years having an ear-splitting screaming tantrum because her mother wouldn’t buy her a certain toy. How on earth does a child get to the point where she can even imagine it’s acceptable to behave that way? Sigh, so many rants, so little time ...