Sunday, November 2, 2008

Busy Weekend

Friday: Did nothing for Halloween. Packed the truck for the weekend.

Saturday morning: Up and around early, leaving the house by 7:00 to hit the road. Drove to the kennel where I got Omar. Got there between 9:30 and 10. After a short discussion with the kennel owner and a run for Omar, I was on back on the road. From the kennel I had to get to a 12:00 Masonic Lodge meeting in Milton, WI. I arrived about 11:15 and proceeded to get changed into 18th century dress. The lodge meeting is for a regularly constituted plural membership traveling Masonic Lodge. The meeting lasted about a hour and a half. At least I dodged a train during the meeting. When it came time to begin the election of new officers (one of the primary reasons for having this meeting), the current Worshipful Master suggested that he wouldn't mind staying in the East for another year, as he is trying to organize having a Lodge meeting in Wyoming next July. No one complained so I get to stay in the South for another year.

Saturday afternoon: After the meeting, I headed back down the road to Janesville to get checked into the hotel. As I was hauling my stuff up to the room, I see two good looking women waving from the pool. Not something that normally happens to me. I look again and it is Red and Ktreva. So after dropping off my stuff I head into the pool area where Wil and Contagion are sitting at the hot tub drinking beer. Of course they offered me a beer and I couldn't turn it down. After a couple hours at the pool, it was time to get ready for the Ball. Literally.

Saturday Night: Wil, Red, Contagion, Ktreva, and I headed to the Women's Club Building for one of the coolest events of the year. The Ball started with Hors d'ourves and social time. At 6:00, we had a fine meal of Pork and vegetables, followed by a fine cake. I had prepared ahead of time and had a different wine for each course of the night. First, was a Leacock's 3-year old Rainwater Madeira as an aperitif. For the main course, I had a fine bottle of Williamsburg Winery Two Schilling Red-a semi-sweet red that was a perfect compliment to the pork. For dessert, I had a Leacock's 5-year old Malmsey Madeira. Following dinner, it was getting rather warm inside so I headed outside, along with several others. Within 10-minutes there were about a dozen folks standing outside and cigars were being passed. I was offered an Acid Wafe cigar. it was a good short smoke, in a really strange shape. Very fine. Finally, it was time to start the music. Everyone headed upstairs where the band was ready. The evening started with the Grand March and then there would be a couple of period dances followed by a couple songs by the band, The Stonering. This was the third year I have attended the Ball, but the first time I actually danced at it. The biggest lesson I learned. Hobnails on granite floor=VERY BAD. More than once I damn near ended up in the splits as a foot tried to slip out from underneath me. Note to self. Next year, put non-slip pads on the the bottom of the buckle shoes. The Ball finished with the three traditions. "Goddamn Dutch" (the song that got me flipped off in a bar one night), "A Toast to the Company" (as most of the people attending were members of the ONW Company), and a final Waltz. After the band finished, a drunken Wil kept requesting that I sing "Parting Glass. After a couple minutes of me trying to explain that this was not my show, Wes ( of Bodhran Roll, Please) started into the song dragging me along with him. So we sang it, and were joined on the chorus by several others and the Host of the evening singing the whole song with us. It really sounded good. After we got back to the Hotel, we gathered in Wil and Red's room for after Ball social hour. Buffalo Summer Sausage, Kitchen Cooked brand Cheesy Poofs, cookies and beer.

Sunday morning: Wil, Red, Contagion, Ktreva, and I went to breakfast and then it was back on the road. Time to go back and pick up Omar. When I arrived, he was running in the big run with his Grandpa T-Bird, Grandma Deia (and Italian Immigrant), and Tubby. I talked to the breeder and he said Omar was a very good boy. Also said he looked good, and he was impressed by how well responded to the commands and could tell that Omar has been very well socialized. He also commented that he was big (58 pounds Wednesday when we went to the vet to get a supply of Heartguard). Finally, he said that his color looks a lot like his old dog, Guido, and said that if Omar turns out half as good a hunter as Guido, he'll be a great dog (Guido had some really good prizes in the North American Versatile Hunting Dog Association). Before we left, the breeder planted a couple of pigeons in launchers out behind the kennel and we took Omar out for some live bird work. It was beautiful. He was out working in the field and you could see when he caught wind of the bird. A couple of seconds later he had the bird located and locked on point. I should have taken a picture. Some dogs point only about 2' in front of there face, but Omar was between 5 and 10 feet back. A nice distance and one time I came up in front to flush the bird and the other the breeder moved up and Omar remained steady as we moved up and to the flush. Right after the flush he broke point and went to the launcher. It was absolutely amazing. Next weekend, we will be in the field hunting pheasant or quail or chuckar. We also grabbed a couple of frozen birds and used them get Omar interested in retrieving. He actually retrieved the birds basically to hand with a slight bit of coaxing. I was thrilled. It is really getting exciting.

Finally, we headed home, listening to the Bears game.

A good weekend.

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