Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Busy summer

Man, I can't believe it's been a month since I posted last. Yikes! My schedule has been pretty packed and when it hasn't, some vital lying about has been necessary. Heh! I still need to post some scenery pictures from my Memorial Day trip and talk about that, but since I don't have those handy, I'll just update about everything that's been going on since then.

Buck and I have been stepping up his herding practice. We are entered into a competition on the 4th and 6th of July and that's coming up fast. We will be trying for his Herding Test title which is step one of the AKC trials. Here's the basics of what you and the dog have to do: sit and stay before going into the ring- put the dog in a stay once in the ring- walk close to the sheep and then release the dog and have them bring the sheep to you (called a gather)- walk in a figure 8 around two cones about 80 ft apart three times in a row without the sheep going on the inside of the cones- then you have to stop the sheep, walk away from them and call your dog to you.

We do great on everything but that last one. At first Buck wouldn't even look at me, he'd just stare at the sheep even though he was in a down-stay. Now, he'll glance at me, but when I say 'come' but then the sheep move, he runs to go get them. We've been working on pretty much nothing but that for the last two practice sessions and he's doing better, but he just comes close to me and then wants to take off to the sheep again. Sort of like, 'ok, see, I came like you told me to. Now can I go get my sheep?'

This weekend I have my fishing trip down to Homer. I'll be loading up on Dramamine and taking a cooler of energy drinks to try to kill off the drowsiness. We get to the dock at 3pm Saturday, fish til we catch our limit or it hits midnight, and then we start again and fish until we get our limit or it hits 6 am which is when we stop to go back to shore. We should get to the dock by 9am or so, get our fish cleaned and packaged, and then head home. I may be taking a nap in the truck before attempting the four hour drive back home- we'll see how much sleep I get on the boat. We're fishing for rockfish, halibut and some fish I've never heard of before.

It's to the point now that it's light out all night long. It started out being like a dark dusk- when you can see just a bit of the sun left on the horizon. But now it's like the sun has just gone past the horizon-like light enough to still play ball. Speaking of which, none of the ball diamonds here have lights. There's just no need because by April (which still isn't warm enough to play yet), it's light until 9pm.

You'd think that after a while the sunlight would stop amazing me, but that hasn't happened yet. Luckily, my bedroom is shaded and south facing, so it gets the least amount of light(since the sun travels from W-SW to West to North to East-you can watch it move along the horizon). That also keeps it cooler than the living room which has a whole wall of west facing windows. I put up this film that blocks 50% of the heat out, but it's still massively hot in there. Well, really it's probably only about 70 degrees, but when it's in the high 50s outside and that feels good and you walk inside where it's 15 degrees hotter, it feels hot. My main problem is not having any screens to put on the windows so that I can have them open. Plus, only one of the windows in the living room opens.

I bought kits to make the screens, but the hacksaw I bought to cut the frames just bent the heck out of the first one I tried to cut. So, I need to mark a couple and take them to Lowes and see if their folks can cut them better with their machines. Once I have the screens in and fans placed in front of four of my five windows, it'll stay a lot cooler in my house. I need to get that accomplished Saturday morning. I may attempt to get at least two made this week, but I've got something going on each night, so I'm not sure I'll be able to manage it.

Ok, hopefully there will be pictures of scenery and Buck herding this week and pictures of all the halibut I caught up by Sunday night.