Saturday, November 26, 2011


This Thanksgiving happened to also coincide with my birthday.  What better gift to get on ones birthday than the gift of watching a new dog for a week.  This dog is special to me because her first name happens to be my last.  Introducing "PEPPER".

Now I know what you are thinking..  That greyhound has hair!  Well actually Pepper is a deerhound and she is also a complete sweetheart not to mention a snuggler.  

 Today we had a very nice fall day so I rounded up the boys and Pepper this afternoon and headed out to the grey play field.  Muzzles were on of course.  After I wore the pups out a bit they were just chillin by the chairs so I did some non muzzle shots so you can see what a perdy girl Peps is.

So.. that's Pepper.  I'll have more Thanksgiving stories but I wanted you all to meet Pepper (and also to show her mom and dad who are on vacation that she is happy and healthy.)  Hope everyone is having a good weekend.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

There's a new blog in town

Hi everyone.  I'd like to invite you to check out a new blog started by my personal friends Ben and Jess.  They live here in Tennessee and have been inspired in life by John Seymour's simple living approach.  They have two beautiful dogs (that they spoil hugely) as well as five chickens and a thriving garden, so they should have a lot of interesting things to talk about.   Not only do they have interesting things to talk about, wordsmithmanship  is very much a part of what they do for a living, and so they should be very articulate and amusing in the telling.

So .. with no further a due please check out For you doggy lovers, here is gratuitous dog pic of Emmy, their first pup.

Monday, November 14, 2011

To Plumb or not To Plumb

When ever I get involved with any home improvement project it always becomes a question as to whether I should do the work myself or hire in a professional.  Typically I try to do the behind the scenes work myself and leave the visible finishing work to the professionals.  At least that's the theory.  So we asked a plumber to do an estimate on how much it would be to move the drains and waterlines over about 2 feet and add in a new bar sink in in the other cabinet.  The answer was $700 for all the drain work and water line work plus an additional $400 to actually hook up the sinks to the plumbing with traps etc.  I also think that was not including materials.   I had a recent discussion with a contractor and he indicated that most executive types prefer to work their jobs and pay him 2/3 of what they make in the equal time.  My answer to that is simple.  While my time is indeed valuable, I work for a salary.  So even if I spend 4 times as long under a sink as the professionals, it is doubtful that I would have made more money during the time I would be working on the sinks on some other job.  The other factor is that the money I save doing it myself is tax free.  If I pick up another job to work to pay for the plumber  and pay him 2/3 per hour of what I make, I have to figure in taxes on what I make plus what ever impact additional income may have on my overall tax rate.  With the advent of PEX (flexible plastic pipe for the waterlines) and push fittings to connect PEX and existing copper, do it yourself plumbing is well within the average persons grasp.  That said I spent the weekend either in the crawlspace or under the sink.

Of course the other thing I consider (if left with a choice) is that by taking on a new project I am forgoing the hike or trip to see family and friends, or what ever else people who don't do home renovations themselves do with their time.  In this respect our grey play Sunday mornings have been real gifts.  The wind was so strong that it took most of our pretty leaves away, but it was still a very nice day.

New foster Hope was working her charms and stealing all our hearts.

Foster Alex is quite a cool boy as well.  I think he will go quickly.

All the dogs had a lot of fun.  Especially when we pulled out the bubble solution. Here they are somewhat bewildered at the bubbles floating down the field.

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend.

Thursday, November 10, 2011


A friend of ours snapped this shot at greyplay last Sunday.  Thanks Jennifer.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Judo Weekend

This weekend I had the pleasure of visiting the St Louis crew for their 1st Annual Gateway Invitational Judo Tournament.  Most people follow this blog because of my love of my greyhounds, but those who know me in person also know that my other reality is a love of Judo.  The group at White Dragon Judo have been regulars at our Tennessee State Judo Championships.  They have seen the tournament system that I wrote evolve over the years and were interested in using it for their tournament as well.  Truthfully, I was a little hesitant, because the stress level of running a tournament is right up there with moving, divorce, and loosing ones job not to mention that this would be the first time I had used the software for a tournament other than our own.  The president of TN Judo, Mr Michael Ostrowski, heralds from that area, and he encouraged me to give it a try.  My instructor, Terry Spencer, also said he would go up and help me with what ever needed doing.

I have to say that these are warm and generous folks who made every effort to  run a great event.  They ran three mats and had purchased three 40 inch flat screen TV's for the score board displays.  They rounded up all the computers I needed for registration, bracketing and running the tables.   They had high quality referees to judge at the mats and held a ref clinic before the event began.   The volunteer score keepers got into the groove pretty quickly and very soon things were flowing smoothly.

Barbara Raney from 1000 Smiles Photography was also there taking action shots of the matches.

So this weekend I left my boys at home in pursuit of my other passion,  but a mere 6 hour drive put me home to be greeted by their wagging tales at midnight Saturday, and in time for some grey play adventures on Sunday afternoon.

Thanks to every one for having me down and putting up with my ornery nature while scheduling the matches.  Overall I think it was a very successful weekend.