Tuesday, November 04, 2008

Random Thoughts from Scottsdale Trip

SUMMARY: All kinds of experiences, thoughts, and rumors.

  • Videos: I got absolutely no videos of any of my dogs' runs. Forgot to take the camera out of the car, or forgot to take it ringside, or forgot to ask someone to videotape... I blame it on my head being stuffed to the gills with fluid which flowed constantly out of my nose and eyes. One friend videotaped at least a couple of our runs on her camera, so maybe I'll get something eventually.
  • More on the tire blow-out: The back side of my right front tire blew out. I don't know why. Dogg thinks we hit something, because something made a really loud odd flapping then ricocheting noise under the car, which I think might have been the first piece of the tire coming apart, but which could also possibly have been whatever caused it to come apart. We pulled over at the very convenient next exit to examine the tires, found nothing, and 2 miles down the freeway the tire really blew out. It was not at all difficult to handle the car and get over to the side. Normally I'd have changed it myself, but we were too close to traffic for me to be comfortable without a large truck between it and me. It took less than half an hour for the Tire Guy to show up, and not long at all to replace the tire. Just a small nuisance, really; we were very lucky there. Here are the very odd things about this experience:
  • Coincidence? Karma? For about the previous 15 minutes, we had been talking about flat tire experiences.
  • While we were waiting, I noticed that the tie-downs for the four-foot-long table on my car-top carrier had come loose, and if we had driven much longer, it would have probably flown off onto the highway behind us, causing maybe a major disaster.
  • We passed some friends on the freeway just before this, who kind of waved and we waved back but eventually we separated. They told us later that they were trying to tell us that our table was coming loose, but we didn't get that message. They apparently also had a blowout an hour or so later.
  • Where I spent an hour Wednesday morning:
  • Sudden losses: At the PNS finals, they had an official moment of silence in memory of Wishy the Writer's husband's dog Mesa, who had earned a bye into that final round. So hard to lose a dog; particularly hard when it's sudden and unexpected; even more so on your way to the national championships where you have a good chance of winning. Hug your dogs. Appreciate them.
  • Walking: For Thursday through Sunday, my pedometer measured 40.25 miles. And it was attached to me the whole time. So presumably it measured what I walked. That's a huge site!
  • Crating error: When I got to Westworld, I discovered that, instead of packing Tika's and Boost's crates, I had packed Boost's and Jake's. (I remember thinking how well they seemed to fit into the car--but I was packing things differently because there were two of us and I wasn't taking a lot of things that I usually take.) Thank goodness for agility friends who pack extra stuff; one of my dogs would've been very cramped otherwise.
  • Long legs: If you calculated the average height of the Steeplechase finalist humans, would it be wayyy above the average height of Americans? Above the average height of agility competitors at Scottsdale? Above the average agility competitor in general? Think Ashley Deacon, Stacy Peardot-Goudy, Terry Smorch, Sandy Rogers, Robert Yi, Channon Fosty, and so many others--
  • Crating with friends and walking and talking: We reserved 25 crating spaces in a row for Bay Teamers. I think that was only about two-thirds of the club members who actually attended; the others presumably crated out of their RVs. It was very nice to leave one's dogs and belongings surrounded by familiar people; as Dogg noted, even if everyone wasn't there all the time, usually there was someone there most of the time. Also, four of us shared the same channel on our walkie talkies so we could keep in touch about what we were doing, who needed what, and when we'd be meeting up again. It was fun.
  • My USDAA news posts: I wrote up course analyses for three of the courses for posting on the USDAA news site, which USDAA's Brenna Fender jam packed with stories, results, and course maps. Now that was a full-time job! My articles:
  • European Standard
  • Team Snooker
  • Team Gamblers
  • Tired? Sick? Recovering? Man, I was way wiped out yesterday! Mostly unloaded the car, tried to catch up with all my email and photos but failed to get through half of each before crawling into bed and sleeping for about 10 hours. I've been up for 2 hours now and am mostly through my email and newspapers and snail mail, still trying to load all the photos onto the computer, and I'm drooping and about ready to go back to bed to sleep as long as my body wants.
  • Future nationals: Oh, what fun are rumors if you don't spread them and cause some angst? Ken said at Wednesday night's dinner that they're evaluating other sites and would love to hold it elsewhere if they can find an appropriate location. Later in the weekend, I spoke to someone who said they had spoken to someone who said they had spoken to Ken who said that the event would be at Westworld for the next 3 years. This seems silly to me, since there's a huge contingent of competitors who are being left out, but on the other hand(s), (a) someone from Westworld (?) got the microphone during one of the final rounds and said something about looking forward to having this event there in the future (could be just wishful thinking?) and (b) the finals were filled with people from around the country, so the top competitiors seem to get there no matter what. But it sure would be nice for some of them to have shorter trips and not have to fly their dogs, and for me not to be tempted into spending more than a week of vacation every year on the Cynosports event.
  • The Smoothies, as before, were wonderful tasty fruity treats in the heat. You could get peach (mix), mango (mix), strawberry (mix), or banana (fresh), and they were all wonderful, especially if you mixed two flavors. Mmm! Even my dogs loved the tastes they got.
  • I took another 800ish photos. Still haven't finished Montreal's photos! I'm thinking that a lot of this weekend's will be junk, though, as I shot a lot of photos of people and dogs while they were moving around.
  • RV onsite: Having the trailer onsite was very handy for Dogg and her dog, who got plenty of air conditioned rest between runs. With two dogs in different rings, I didn't have time to go alllll the way out to the far lot between runs. But it was very nice to have it so close when getting up early for walkthroughs and at the end of the day if we wanted a change of clothes or anything else. Nice to have a refrigerator onsite. Funky small shower, and you're really living in close proximity to someone else so that getting up in the night to visit the Little Agility Handler's Room is a notable disturbance, but I'd be willing to do it again. Just really missed the onsite web connection. Home away from home:
  • Who's your daddy?

6 comments:

  1. Thanks for the kind words about my work at the Games. I am literally still sore from typing. Isn't that insane?

    Thanks for the great articles! You did awesome work!!

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  2. Thanks! I can get sore from a heavy day of unaccustomed mousing on the computer, so I'm not surprised that you're sore. One must suffer for one's art! ;-)

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  3. Glad you survived another Nationals. Too bad about the allergies, that can't have been fun.

    I love all the rumors that fly about after Nationals about where the next one will be. Of course I'm not going no matter where they are so I can find humor in the chaos but it must be frustrating for those wanting to go. Those tournament classes are not cheap, esp. if you have to travel to get that Team leg and location is a deal maker/breaker for many people.

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  4. Read your reports on the USDAA site. So fun to get your viewpoint, and think to myself; I know this person! LOL! You did great.

    I think 'someone' was definitely watching over you on your way to Scottsdale. Gives you the chills sometimes, doesn't it?

    Glad you are home, but totally understand the bit of 'burn out' phase. You've done a lot in the last few months. You just need some rest...and you'll be back at it.

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  5. Found there is a petition up to move the Games.

    http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/usdaa-world-cynosports-games---new-site

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  6. Thanks for the compliment. I tried to think about what I'd want to know if I were reading about the courses.

    It is intriguing how lucky we were on all counts on that tire and table thing on the road. I believe that people generally make their own luck, but I did have the tires checked before we left and I certainly had no control over where the tire went out--but I do take some credit for being open to looking around the scene to take pictures and such to account for having noticed that the table had come loose.

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