Sunday, May 31, 2009

Test Results

Well, it went alright, I guess.

Omar and I arrived at the hunting club Saturday morning at 6:20am. After getting Omar out of the truck to stretch his legs and makes his bladder gladder. Then it was into the clubhouse to check in, meet the judges, and get the day started. After some instructions from the judges we headed to the field for the search portion of the test.

We were running 5th out of 10 dogs. At 7:00am there was a lot of dew on the grass and the temperature was comfortable. But by the time we ran, it was after 9:00. The dew was gone and the temp was steadily climbing. However, we got lucky. Just a couple of minutes before we started our run, clouds rolled in. Heavy clouds. I considered rolling up my truck windows before we started. And the temperature dropped a couple of degrees. After dumping a bunch of water on Omar to cool him down and giving him a good drink of water, we were off for our 20 minutes search. About 8 minutes into the search, Omar bumped a quail, it flushed with no point. DAMNIT. We continued on the search around the corner and Omar found the same quail that he flushed a minute earlier. But this time, he locked onto a beautiful point. I moved in to flush the bird. Awesome. We continued on. Omar had 2 more good points, and we made it through the field portion in good shape. At the end of the search, the judges told me to leash my dog and head back to the gallery. I call Omar, and he is not interested in coming to me, but in continuing to hunt. While I like his desire and enthusiasm, I am pissed because this will probably ding the cooperation score. More waiting while the last 5 dogs run.

The next portion is the tracking. Again, we run 5th. When it is our turn, we head across the field to the blind to wait while the judges release the pheasant to run. They bring us out of the blind and begin their explanation. "There's the feather pile, and when we set him down, the bird jumped over there," as the judges point to a milkweed about 10 feet away. I ask if I can lead my dog to where the bird landed and they responded, "I would." So I did. Showed Omar the feathers and lead him to the milkweed, and released him. He started out good for about 15 feet, then got off track and went into a search, first to the left, then way the hell out to the right. Disappeared over a hill. Comes back over the hill. Stops to crap. Starts searching again, and BAM!!! slams on point. Judges tell me go get my dog and head back. I'm thinking were screwed. But then, a glimmer of hope. When the guy taking birds from the crate out to the judges came back from taking the 7th bird out, he comes over and tells me the judges are recalling Omar to run a second track after the 10th dog has ran. Not because of anything negative, but they needed to do more evaluation. SWEET!!! I'll take the second chance. After the 10th dog ran, Omar and I go out to run our second track. As I come up the judges explain the situatition. After they discussed my run, they figured out that Omar had crossed into the track for the dog that had run before me and that was the pheasant he had pointed, so they wanted to get into an area with less scent and run another track. So I bring Omar up to the second feather pile, get him interested, and release him He tracked for probably 20 feet, then lost the line and began a more compressed search than before, and then locked on point again. "Go get your dog." I'm thinking, well, he tracked, but not very far. If I get a 2, I'll be pleased.

The final portion of the test is the water. I went into this with no worries. My turn comes, I head to the water's edge, pick up a bumper, get Omar excited and throw. Without hesitation, he moves into the water and grabs the dummy. Second throw, same result. Should be a 4 no problem.

The physical exam was fine, all teeth, no extras, good bite. coat fine, testes intact.

AND WE ARE DONE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Except for the waiting for scores.

Finally, they judges step up to begin announcements. After the formalities, they begin reading scores.

They get to Omar. Eyes: OK Bite/Teeth: OK Testes: OK Coat: Medium Dense Medium Harsh
Temperment: NORMAL Not Gun Shy

Use of Nose: 4
Search: 4
Water: 4
Pointing: 4
Tracking: 3
Desire to Work: 4
Cooperation: 4

For a total of 110 and a PRIZE 1!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I just about fell over. The only point I dropped all day was on the track. Max score in the Natural Ability test is 112. This is a PHENOMINAL score. All the hours and days of work paid off. Omar lived up to his potential and made a great impression.

Now, all he needs is his x-rays for PennHip hip dysplasia check, and he is ready to get laid.

Friday, May 29, 2009

Testing Day

Tomorrow is Testing Day.

Omar the wunderpup has his NAVHDA Natural Ability Test.

We have to be on the road by 5:15 in the morning. Hour and 15 minute drive to the Preserve. A little run time, and the test starts at 7:00am.

The test combines 4 areas, three of which count towards Omar's overall score, and one that is purely a courtesy evaluation.

First off, will be the field portion. Omar has to hunt for 20 minutes. They will be judging his desire, cooperation, and pointing. The second portion of the test is a track. Judges pull the flight feathers on one wing, and then pull some breast feathers where they put the bird down, and let it run. Once the bird has run a sufficient distance, I bring the dog up to the feathers, get him interested, and he has to track the bird. Doesn't have to catch it, retrieve it, or anything else, just simply track where the bird ran. The third and final portion is the water test. I bring the dog up to a pond, select a retrieving bumper, and using the bumper, I have to get Omar to swim twice. When he comes out of the water, the judges will do a physical exam. Check his teeth, coat, whether he is intact. And then we wait for the scores.

I know Omar is capable of doing very well. But I am nervous as hell.


I want to create some entries with the "fold" in them. But I have no freakin' clue how to edit the HTML. Can anybody help?

Leave me a note in the comments or e-mail skoal underscore 82 at yahoo dot com.


Wednesday, May 27, 2009

New Blog

I have started a second blog.

Crazy? I know.

But for those of you who know me, I am a big guy and am going to change that. I have set myself upon a path to lose about 220 pounds. The new blog is a place for me to chronicle the journey from fat to healthy.

I warn you, some of the stories and pictures may be disturbing to some, but I do this for myself and need a place to hold myself accountable.

I am not looking for others to join a challenge or anything of the sort, this is a personal journey, not a contest with anyone else.

However, if you care to stop by over there and read, I would appreciate the moral support.

So here it is, The Incredible Shrinking Petey.

Monday, May 25, 2009

Great Music Monday-For My Country

This is a day we all must pause and remember.

Originally called Decoration Day, Memorial Day is a set aside on the last Monday of May to remember all those who have, as Abraham Lincoln put it in the Gettysburg Address while dedicating a National Cemetery, given "the last full measure of devotion."

And on this day, I believe it is proper to once again say THANK YOU to all the veterans who were willing to give that measure, but were able to come home. We owe everything we have to the American Heroes. It is by there grace and sacrifice we are able to live in this great country.

To honor all those who have stepped up, "For My Country."

Friday, May 22, 2009

For my trucker friends

Your result for The How Well Do You Know Trucking Test...

True Trucker!

91% Pure!

You scored 91% pure. You definitely know something about trucking. I probably don't need to teach you a thing.

Take The How Well Do You Know Trucking Test
at HelloQuizzy

The only thing they didn't ask is was my IQ below 50.

I kid, I kid.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Great Music Monday-Are You Lonesome To-night

83 years ago, Lou Handman and Roy Turk wrote one of the most quintesential songs of love and loss ever. The most famous recording of this song was done in 1960, when the King, Elvis Presley laid it down.

The story is of a man to his former love. Simply asking the question, "Are you lonesome to-night?"

Thursday, May 14, 2009

One Word

It's almost hard to believe that one word can say SSSOOOOOOO much.

What is the word?


What is it?
Communists and Socialists and Marxists of America unite! We finally have a real president who holds our values dear. We support Obama because he wants to nationalize health care, take money from hard-working Americans to give to the poor, and make one class of people. Hooray for communism! Hooray for Obama! Hooray for Obamunism! (That whole democracy thing just wasn't working out anyway.)

If I wasn't freaking broke, I would own at least one of these shirts.

Monday, May 11, 2009

Great Music Monday-New Old Songs

For this week's Great Music Monday, I am doing something a little bit different.

Many times I have used videos from Bard of Cornwall, Jesse Ferguson.

Well, he went and released and album, New Old Songs.

So this week, I am going to do a short review.

The album cover is simple but conveys so much. At the top, Jesse's name. Bottom right, the album title. and a white background with a picture of Jesse, in kilt, with his guitar raised to the rock gods. The back cover is an interesting picture of Jesse, again in kilt, in a fine hurdler's form, along with the usual information.

The inside cover has some basic biographical information about Jesse and about the album. The most glaring piece of information that should be taken note of, is that all vocals, instrumentals, recording, mastering, and design was done by Jesse.

Now the music. To start the album Jesse leads in with a fine version of Star of the County Down. The music is a mix guitar, mandolin, and bodhran, coupled with the rich tone of the vocals.

Track 2 is a great piece written by former Silly Wizard frontman, Andy Stewart, Ramblin' Rover. The beat is set with the bodhran and the vocals lead you through this new classic celtic folk song.

Tracks 3 (Jock Stewart), 4 (The Beggarman), and 5 (Balland of St. Anne's Reel) do a great job of showing off the plethora of Ferguson's musical talents. You'll hear guitar, mandolin, bodhran, fiddle, and whistle all wrapping the vocals in a nest of toe-tapping goodness.

Track 6 (Birks of Invermay) is a beautiful melody that slows down the pace set in the previous 3 tracks. The great finger-picked guitar carries you with the one you love through the birks.

Finally, track 7 (Sonny's Dream) shares the story of "Sonny" who works the family plot, and his mother is asking him not to leave, for she is home all along since Sonny's dad is a sailor. But Sonny longs to experience the world away. As Jesse sings, you can feel yourself standing in his shoes, and looking out at the big world and wanting more.

And that is what I am doing. Wanting more. The only complaint I have on this great album, is that it ends after only seven tracks.

Jesse has a great voice, rich and smooth, with an accent that I have never been able to identify, but appreciate how it gives a great celtic feel, while still being very understandable.

All in all, this is a great album that any Celtic music lover would be proud to have in their collection. I highly recommend all of you buy it, HERE.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

How would she know

Clinton impressed by Pakistan military action

I saw this headline and all I could think was, "Did they invite them over for tea and crumpits?"

What the hell would Hillary Clinton know about a decent military action?

She thought she was dodging sniper fire when there wasn't even any shooting going on.

Maybe they played a game of Fistycuffs.

Monday, May 4, 2009

Great Music Monday-Cat's in the Cradle

This week's Great Music is a classic piece of 1970's Folk Rock.

I first heard this song on a recording by Ed Kilbourne in the mid-90's. But it is actually written by Harry and Sandy Chapin. The lyrics written originally as a poem by Sandy Chapin about her father and brother, Harry put the words to music and created a timeless piece on the father-son relationship.

"Cat's in the Cradle" is the story of a son asking his father to join him the childhood activies, but the father responds that he doesn't have the time. And every time the son walks away saying he is going to be just like his dad. Then irony sets in as the father retires and now want to spend time with his son, but like his father before him, the son doesn't have time to spend with his father.