Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Random Ramblings

Currently Reading: The Three Stigmata of Palmer Eldritch by Philip K. Dick

I'm going to miss the Olympics when it's over.  For two solid weeks now I've had something to turn on in the background while I did other things.  Yes, I could always just turn the TV on to some other station and let it run but when I've got the Olympics on, I can always stop and watch for a little while.  The same cannot be said of any random TV station.  There aren't any, even with satellite, that show something I'd watch 24 hours a day.

I followed the Olympics quite a bit during the first week but, as usual, once it moves to the second week, I tend to miss bits and pieces more often.  It's not that the events during the second week are boring or anything like that.  You've got the finals in hockey, there's bobsledding, lots of good stuff.  I just lose interest after a while.

So yes, even though I'm losing interest, I will miss having the Olympics.

On the plus side, we'll be heading into spring pretty soon and that means the end of hockey season.  The playoffs are always fun to watch.  Plus basketball will start their playoffs too.  And let's not forget, with spring comes Spring Training for baseball and then baseball season will start.  Yes, I know, most of you don't like baseball and find it boring but I still enjoy watching it.

I must say, I don't really have much to blog about at the moment.  I've been working at the two clinics and it's been keeping me busy.  I had 5 dogs today and three of them were energetic.  I don't mind doing dogs like that but it does take longer and it can really try your patience.  For the most part, you just have to let them settle down and be persistent in what you're trying to do.  If you're shaving feet and the dog keeps pulling away, you just keep at it.  Sooner or later the dog will realize that the shaving doesn't hurt and it'll stop pulling away.  The trick is keeping your cool until then :-)

And speaking of cool, it's starting to get cool again.  What's up with that?  We had two really nice days when it was in the 60's.  We actually opened up the windows and aired things out.  Now it's cold again.  Going to be back in the 30's for the high tomorrow and they're talking about snow flurries.  Thank goodness it won't be accumulating.  I'd hate for things to shut down AGAIN.  

Where did the month go?  It's already the end of February.  We've been in Nashville 2 months already.  It seems like a long time and yet it's still just 2 months.  8 weeks.  That's all the time we've been here.  I guess it's relative.  Sometimes a day goes by like an hour.  Sometimes a week goes by so fast I can barely keep up with it.

Yes, I'm rambling again.  Just opening up the doors and letting things flow out through the fingers.

I'm on twitter now.  Not that it matters all that much.  There are only a few people following me and at least 2 of them are spam.  It's nice to read the tweets from other people though, at least famous people.  Not everyone does it mind you, but some actors, writers, directors, etc. have accounts and they send out little messages now and then.  It's more interesting when they're in the middle of filming.   You get a bit of behind-the-scenes notes; a little glimpse of what it's like to be filming.

CC has a pretty cool little program that lets her update her Facebook status, blog and twitter account all from her cell phone. She just types in a message and it sends the message everwhere.  I was thinking maybe I'd get that but I haven't decided.  I mean, would anyone really be that interested in me yammering about a barky shih tzu that I'm shaving?

I was reading the news online and I though, "wow, it's pretty boring out there."  I'm not sure if this is a good thing or a bad thing.  Slow is good.  It's nice and peaceful.  But a part of me wonders what's lurking in the shadows behind that peace.  Is something really weird about to happen?  This is especially bothersome with the government.  Those idiots are never more dangerous than when they're quiet.  It means they're up to something.

I think that's about it.  Head seems pretty empty now.  I'm going to get some reading in.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

Have Shears Will Travel

Currently Reading: Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane

After several slow weeks at the clinic, it became pretty apparent that it's going to take longer than we hoped to build up a steady stream of grooming clients. Originally we'd all hoped that after a month or so, after word got out that the clinic was offering grooming now and after the coldest part of winter that more customers would be coming in. That just didn't happen.

There are several reasons why it didn't quite come together as planned. First off was the rather unusual snowfall we've had up here. In fact, I read an article in the paper this morning that students in the area haven't had a full week of school since January. We've had iced roads, cold temperatures, canceled school and work. Naturally that's going to trickle down to my little corner of the universe. And let's not forget the big giant-killer: the economy. Much as I'd LIKE to believe all the happy numbers coming out of Washington, there are still too many people who are out of work and cutting back on their spending. Let's face it, I provide a mostly luxury service.

Anyway, we can only dip into savings for so long so the need to bring in a little more bacon was getting more and more obvious. I tried to wait it out but that just wasn't going to happen soon enough SO I contacted some of the other clinics again, clinics that were interested the first time I was looking for work, and I managed to land a second grooming job. So now I'm working 3 days at one clinic, 2 at another.

This works out rather well in fact. Right now, neither clinic has enough work for a full-time groomer. However, if I put the two together, plenty of work. I've even let both clinics know that if there are clients who wish to come in on a day I'm scheduled to work at the other clinic, they're to call me and let me know because the two are close enough together that I can drive from the one to the other and do dogs at both locations. In fact, due to a scheduling problem on Wednesday, I did just that. 3 dogs at one clinic, 4 at the other. It's good to be busy like that.

Of course, the real trick is going to be balancing these jobs once things pick up. Both clinics are staffed with very nice people and they like the work I do. I'd like to keep working for them both but that might not be possible. We'll have to wait and see.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Wing Nuts

Currently Reading: Shutter Island by Dennis Lehane

Yeah, I think all this global warming is starting to drive the wings on both sides a little nuts. Seriously, they're losing it. Maybe it's because they've been trapped inside for so long or perhaps if not trapped inside, all they can see is snow, snow and more SNOW. Not that TV is helping them. What's the big news on TV? Winter Olympics baby! More snow indeed.

Just a few examples that have me wondering about the sanity of these people. Let's start off with the global warming crowd. Now, as you're all fully aware, the east coast is getting HAMMERED by snow storms. Two have hit already and many records were set for both temperature and inches of snow. Further, down south they're ALSO getting hammered by snow. No joke. I saw a forecast that was calling for snow down in Atlanta, parts of Alabama, Mississippi, etc. Texas got hit too. Saw some pictures from Dallas just this morning. Rare snow events to be sure, but not so rare that we need to change every aspect of our lives here. It's snow. There's a lot of it. It's cold. Very cold. It happens. Remember back in '76 they had that big blizzard in New York? They even made a board game out of it it was so bad. All I'm saying is that it's cyclical. Some years are warm, some not so warm. We had no hurricanes hit the east coast this summer. Mexico got a BUNCH. And all of this, according to folks on the left, global warming. Yes, that's right, the ONE degree increase in temperatures are now causing record cold all over the US. I've sat through several explanations on how that's supposed to work but I've never been convinced. It just defies logic doesn't it? Plus, there's that whole big "lack of proof" thing.

Then there's Sarah Palin. Say what you want about her, crazy or not, she's the target of yet another liberal rant. Actually there are some right wing nuts on her case too this time. You see, she had the nerve, the gall to jot notes down on her hand before speaking at the tea party convention in Nashville. Seriously, folks are going wild over this. I've seen several articles about it already, none of them flattering, and even the White House spokesman (not a brilliant man by any measure) joined in the mocking by jotting down fake notes on his own hand. Petty. Stupid and petty stuff this is. So she wrote the notes on her hand instead of an index card. So what? She needed some reminders. Again, so what? Hell Obama practically falls apart if he's not able to use his beloved teleprompter. Take that man off book and who knows what craziness will come out of his mouth. And he's the President for crying out loud. She doesn't even hold public office anymore. Never really understood the sort of reaction she prompts from either side. The guys on the right drool, the ones of the left fly into a rage. So much anger and hatred over someone they don't even know. I was thinking about that the other day. Is there anyone out there I hate THAT much? Nope. No one comes to mind.

And finally, a man some of you would call a right wing nut repeat offender, I'm talking about Glenn Beck. I listen to the guy's radio show a few days a week and I'll admit, he can really go of on a wild tangent now and then. Usually though he's got facts to back up whatever theory he's espousing. Even if it's something totally off the wall he'll present some facts, lay out his logic and you can at least follow his reasoning even if you don't agree on the conclusions. So I'm listening on Tuesday and he starts off on a rant about Captain America #402. He latches on to one scene in particular about a rally that Cap and the Falcon come across. It's a pretty standard scene of protesters carrying signs, all the usual slogans you've seen on TV at the tea party rallies and other anti-tax gatherings. Nothing new there. In the story, an evil Cap clone is fomenting dissent out in the heartland and raising an army to "take America back!" Again, this is nothing new. It's the sort of thing White Supremacists tried to do for years. Probably that's where this story will lead. Crazy groups taking advantage of the current environment and Cap will come in and set them all straight. So why are the right wing nuts going crazy over this? How many times has this sort of thing happened to Chuck Norris in one of his movies or on TV? Happens all the time right? Jack Bauer is no stranger to the home-grown terrorist either. But now, since Cap's author is no fan of Sarah Palin and her group, the right wing nuts are freaking out?

So here's my advice to the nuts on each wing: medicate. I don't care what you use, but you folks need to seriously chill out. Both sides, hit the pubs or on the left, grab some weed or something. On the right, I dunno, go meditate in church about it all. Just chill out for a bit and stop freaking out so much. If you've got enough time and energy to freak out over this stuff, I'll have to put you all to work shoveling snow. Don't make me come out there!

Friday, February 05, 2010

The Other Guys

Currently Reading: The Civil War by Julius Caesar

Did you know there was another team playing in the Super Bowl on Sunday night? No, really it's true. I looked it up and apparently the New Orleans Saints are playing a team from the mid-west. Yeah, they're called the Indianapolis Colts. I'm not making this up guys. I'm being 100% serious. There's more to this Super Bowl thing than just another party in Miami and New Orleans.

Not that you'd know it by watching the national media. Yes, the Colts get mentioned on the big sports networks but on the non-sports stations you'd think this was all bout the Saints and the parties in Miami. Now, I won't lie to you, I've never been a fan of the Saints. I couldn't really say WHY. Maybe it's the black and gold uniform. Maybe it's the general FRENCH nature of their logo. Or perhaps it's something about the atrocious grammar of "Who dat?" I do know for certain that I don't like the fringed umbrella Tom Benson uses when he does his Benson Boogie. For that matter I don't like the Benson Boogie.

This dislike for the Saints goes back before this season. They've had some very disappointing games where the snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. They've had plenty of over-hyped seasons where everyone SWORE they were the next best thing. Then they pulled a Tony Romo and just choked and fell apart.

This may happen again you know. A lot of non-sports people will say that experience doesn't count for all that much, or at least it shouldn't. It's just another football game and they're a good team. Maybe. But anyone who's done live performances of ANY kind can tell you there's big difference between the comfort of your home stadium and the less familiar road stadium. And like it or not, the closer you get to the final game, the more pressure there is to perform. These guys have had two weeks living in a pressure cooker. That's where the experience comes into play. The guys who have been through this before know what it's like and can help the other guys stay focused on what's important (no, not the commercials, the game).

About the only thing I've really heard about the Colts leading up to the Super Bowl are things that are related to the Saints. Take Peyton Manning. Of all the things to write about him what's the one thing they keep drilling over and over? That his dad played for the Saints. Yeah. Years and years ago. So long ago that a large portion of fans never even saw him suit up. And yet, there it is, in article after article.

As for the Saints, well there isn't much information about the team and players themselves (unless you count Reggie Bush and his Kardashian girlfriend). What you hear about is how this team overcame adversity, though when it comes time to elaborate, the story always talks about hurricane Katrina (seriously, enough already!) and how they spent half of one season playing on a different home field while their stadium was being rebuilt. You get stories about how New Orleans, the city, is rebuilding after all the flooding. Sometimes there's a mention of the quarterback but mostly it's all about the city.

Just for the record, for those of you who may have forgotten, the New Orleans Saints is a football team that plays in the city of New Orleans. That's it. Their playing in the Super Bowl or even winning it has nothing to do with the city itself. Two separate stories and quite frankly, I'm getting tired of them both.

It's easy to see why the Colts don't get as much press though. Think back, as many years as you can. What's the big story coming out of Indianapolis? Yeah, off the top of my head I can't think of anything either except that THEY won the Super Bowl a few years back. So here's a little history about the team playing the Saints on Sunday:

  • 1946 (12/28) Bankrupt Miami Seahawks franchise of All-America Football Conference moved to Baltimore. Bob Rodenberg headed purchasing group and the team was renamed "Colts" via a fan contest.
  • 1947 (2/10) Cecil Isbell named head coach. (9/7) Colts won inaugural AAFC game, defeating Brooklyn Dodgers, 16-7, before 27,418 fans at Baltimore Stadium. (9/28) New York Yankees defeated Colts, 21-7, before a then-record Baltimore crowd of 51,583. Colts placed fourth in Eastern Division with 2-11-1 record, while drawing 199,661 fans.
  • 1949 (12/9) The National Football League and the AAFC reached a "peace" agreement and the Colts were assigned to the NFL for the 1950 season.
  • 1958 (10/26) Rookie DB-Lenny Lyles had 101t KOR vs. Washington to become first player ever with two 100t+ KOR in same season (other was 103t vs. Chicago 10/4). (11/2) Colts recorded first shutout, 56-0 over Green Bay, marking their sixth straight win and setting the club record for largest margin of victory. (11/30) Colts clinched first Western Division title, 35-27, over San Francisco before second straight record crowd of 57,577. QB-John Unitas tossed a scoring pass in a 23rd straight game to set a new NFL record (QB-Cecil Isbell, 22 games, Green Bay 1941- 42). (12/28) Colts defeated the New York Giants, 23-17, at Yankee Stadium in "sudden death" game for World Championship. Weeb Ewbank and 12 players from "The Greatest Game Ever Played" eventually became NFL Hall of Famers.
  • 1969 (1/12) Colts dropped Super Bowl III to New York Jets, 16-7, at Orange Bowl. (5/17) Colts, Pittsburgh and Cleveland joined AFL teams to form American Football Conference as the NFL realigned for the 1970 season.
  • 1971 (1/3) Colts captured the AFC Championship by topping Oakland, 27-17. (1/17) Colts won the first AFC-NFC Super Bowl, 16-13 over Dallas in the Orange Bowl on K- Jim O'Brien's 32-yard field goal with :05 remaining. Don McCafferty became the first rookie head coach to win a Super Bowl (later matched by San Francisco's George Seifert in Super Bowl XXXIV)
  • 1984 (3/28) Colts in Indianapolis. (4/18) Season tickets offered for sale and overwhelming response yielded 143,000 requests in two weeks.
  • 2006 (9/10) The Colts posted a 26-21 win at the New York Giants in the first NFL contest pitting brothers as starting quarterbacks, Peyton and Eli Manning. (1/21) Erasing an 18-point deficit with a 32-point second-half flurry, the Colts captured the AFC Championship with a 38-34 victory over New England. Manning (27-47-349, 1 TD/int.) scored on a 1t rush and guided the club to 17 fourth-quarter points. Indianapolis had second-half scoring drives of 76, 76, 67, 59 and 80 yards. The final drive concluded with a 3t rush by Addai with 1:00 remaining as the club produced the largest championship game comeback in NFL Super Bowl-era history. Indianapolis knotted the contest at 21-21, 28-28 and 31-31 before the final gamewinning drive. The club's berth in Super Bowl XLI followed those earned by the franchise in Super Bowl III and V. (2/4) The Colts earned a fourth World Championship in besting the Chicago Bears in Super Bowl XLI at Dolphin Stadium in Miami Gardens, Fla. In a contest played in steady rain and 67-degree temperatures, the Colts overcame a 14-6 second- quarter deficit. Led by Manning (25-38-247, 1 TD/int.), a rushing attack that produced 191 yards behind Rhodes (21-113, 1 TD) and Addai (19-77) and a defense that surrendered only eleven first downs and 265 net yards while helping produce five turnovers, the Colts out-scored the Bears 23-3 over the game's final 41 minutes. Manning teamed with Wayne (2-61, 1 TD; 53t) for the club's first score. Rhodes tallied on a 1t rush midway through the second quarter, and Indianapolis would not relinquish the lead. Vinatieri added field goals of 29, 24 and 20 yards to boost the club's lead to 22-17 late in the third quarter, then DB-Kelvin Hayden's 56t interception return early in the fourth quarter provided the final points. Manning became the first Colts Super Bowl MVP. Addai (10-66) set a Super Bowl reception mark for a running back. The victory marked the club's first title in 36 years, the last coming in Super Bowl V against Dallas, 16-13 on January 17, 1971. The franchise won NFL titles following the 1958 and 1959 seasons.

So there ya go. A little history about the OTHER guys playing this weekend's game. They're a good team. They're a solid team. And you know, they just may have the answer to that question: Who dat say day can beat dem Saints? Day be da Colts my friends :-)