Friday, November 5, 2010

are you still there?

Almost seven months since my last update. Ooops. What I really wish I had was a way to download all of the blog posts I design in my head directly to the blog, as I've written lots mentally and just don't manage to get them online!

So, what have we been doing since April?

Lots of flyball, for starters. Seven regional tournaments since April, one of which was our own tournament that we hosted in late May in Seattle. Jadzia is rapidly closing in on her FGDCh-50k title, with Phoebe right on her heels. It's entirely possible that they will title at the same tournament next spring, depending on how the point totals run over the next few events. Curzon is back racing full-time, and earned his FGDCh in late March and is already halfway to his FGDCh-40k, and is consistently running 4.5's in cleanup position with as much enthusiasm as he ever had in start. Ezri earned her FM in April and her FMX in July, just after her first anniversary of racing. She's continued to speed up, consistently running in the mid-high 3.9's in start position and pulling out a PB of 3.863 in August, followed by a 3.896 in October.

At the beginning of October, my friend Deborah and I drove to Indianapolis, IN taking my truck/trailer rig, her 5-month-old daughter, and four of our dogs (Ezri, Curzon, Epic, and Indigo) in order to attend the NAFA Can-Am Classic (aka NAFA Flyball Nationals). We ran two teams combined with Canine Mutiny, the club Deborah ran with while she interned in Boston for a year, moving the red girls over to their club to race Regular and entering a JCJ team in Open with one of their height dogs. Deborah's husband Ben flew in for the weekend to run Epic and help with the baby, and my mother drove over from Virginia to see me, see her granddogs race, and also help us out with the baby. There's a ton to talk about from this event, and even more pictures, so I'll save the rest of it for its own blog post.

August brought us the annual nerdfest known as PAX (the Penny Arcade Expo), where Chris was an Enforcer for the third year and I took part in BYOC (bring your own computer) for the third time as well. This year we split the dogs amongst our kind friends and stayed in a hotel downtown for the weekend, which made the event much easier for both of us since there was no issue with how/when to get home to care for the critters. The event was a blast, I met some awesome people from Ars, and got to play a -ton- of games all weekend long. My favorites were getting to demo Portal 2 by actually playing it, finding a fun physical-puzzle game called Pajaggle, seeing the Penny Arcade D&D game live, and seeing Wil Wheaton's panel. I also took part in the Buttoneer exchange, which really made the event personal for me and also satisfied my dragonlike "must acquire shiny things" tendency nicely - I'm definitely going to do that again!

The events leading up to Portal 2 were probably the most entertaining, as I was lucky enough to be brought along with an Omeganaut as his "plus one" to enter the Expo Hall on Saturday morning before the regular crowd. We made a beeline for the Portal 2 exhibit, and were in the second group to go in for the day (and got t-shirts, yay!). I happened to be wearing my Portal t-shirt as well, which might have influenced what happened next. As we sat down in the theater, one of the booth people came up to me and we had the following conversation:

Booth Guy: Did you play Portal?
Me: Yep!
BG: Do you know how to use an Xbox controller?
Me: Yep!
BG: Do you want to help us demo Portal 2?

So I got to play the second player during the co-op demonstration of the game! It was WAY fun, even moreso than Portal, because now there are two players with two portal guns, making all kinds of neat things possible. The game comes out around my birthday, and I know what I'll be playing that weekend!

I have also been sewing more, including taking an awesome class on how to maintain my Featherweight sewing machine(s) as well as further reorganizing my sewing room. I'm up to a total of six sewing machines now, which may alarm some people, but oddly enough they all have their uses. My fancy Janome MC6600P is my main machine, and I've been using it to work on a quilt that I'm making for Chris, partially shown in this photo. I've also picked up a Featherweight to use for going to classes, so now I really need to FIND some classes that will work with my schedule, and I used it to piece the borders on the quilt as well. I got a second one very inexpensively from Craigslist, that I will try to refurbish and if that fails I will use it for parts for the first one - they are 50-year-old machines, after all! I picked up a really pretty replica Singer with sphinx decals that I wound up taking on vacation, again inexpensive and while not as good as the Featherweights it is certainly lovely to look at. I finally refinished the cabinet and refurbished the Pfaff 130 that I picked up from Freecycle in February, and I'm trying to figure out how to make it work on some thick webbing in order to make various dog-related items. And of course, we still have the original Janome L-108 that Chris got for Christmas in 1998, as it's the only free-arm machine in the house should we need to hem or mend something!

That should be enough to get over the "oh I haven't posted in so long!" hump, so here's to another post next week! We're heading to Canada for a tournament this weekend, so no online access until late on Sunday.

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