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Moving Day!

Nick Crouch

It is done.  We're moving to www.crooksandcrazies.blogspot.com .  I finally decided to go with "Crooks and Crazies".  I like it, it feels right.  Thanks Robin for the idea!  I'm going to leave this one up, and I may eventually export some of my favorite posts from this one, but for now I'm going to get to work on my new spot in the blogging world.  Hope you find your way over!

Your Input is Requested

Nick Crouch


So I've been thinking about switching blog engines for a while, right?  I've been farting around since yesterday, and here's what I've been fooling with: www.madspaghetti.blogspot.com/ .  I'd like to know what everyone thinks.  Seriously.  The good, the bad, the ugly.  Is it worth making the jump?  What do you guys think of the title?  Stupid?  Not?  Layout and colors?  Blah blah blah... I hate deciding things for myself.

Robin kindly found me a tool to migrate this journal over there, but it won't take the comments too.  So then the question becomes... would it just make more sense to leave this one intact as it is, and just link to it?  How confusing is this going to be for anyone following THIS blog?

Ok, so I'm looking for some genuine input.  LJ doesn't allow for the same type of freedoms and bells & whistles that blogger does, so I'm liking that.  Plus I like that blogger lets you have a big fat old picture up top.  So hit me with it!

Sometimes People Creep Me Out

June Face
CLB = Creepy Little Bastard.  There's this guy who comes up here to our office - he's a vendor of ours.  Well, first there's a backstory.  Let me explain.

We have two doors to our office, and we take up the entire second floor of our building.  We used to keep both doors unlocked, until one day someone waltzed into the office, went through my drawers, and stole my purse. We found it later in the stairs - picked through.  There wasn't much of anything in it really as I'm not much of one to carry cash.  So, the result of all of that was that we began locking the front door - with a sign on it that says quite clearly, "If the door is locked, please knock."  Clearly it says that.  Did I mention that it clearly states that?

This vendor guy - he's tall and he weirds me out.  He's got some serious pudge going on - sort of a soft and gooey pudge, not a hard pudge.  He just has that... child molester creepy lurky thing going on.  Seriously.  He's all soft and mushy, and he lurks there, and it is seriously making my alarm bells go nutso.  When he first started coming to call on us he'd lightly, gently tap on the glass (there is one of those long vertical rectangular windows in it), and then he'd just... stand there.  Lurking.  Staring.  I asked him to PLEASE not do that.  Please, do knock on the door.  It is OK to knock on the door! 

Well, today apparently he has developed a new and annoying habit.  Now he no longer taps lightly, he just stands there staring at me until I notice him.  He creeps me out.  Creeps.  Me.  Out.  If you look up CLB in the dictionary this guy's picture is going to be there. 

As I said, I've already gotten onto him once about this lurking business - I've encouraged him to KNOCK WITH PURPOSE.  I'm going to start ignoring his little CLB self until he KNOCKS ON THE DOOR.  This guy seriously makes my skin crawl - full with alarm bells and creepy-crawly-prickly-skin aversion. 

Ewww.

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New Linc Video

Linc
Here's a video of Linc's second time out yesterday.  Please forgive the fact that there is about 30 seconds of chain rattling at the beginning.  Hah!  I've had him on sheep maybe a handful of times - about once every 2-3 months. 

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I have got to get into shape.  Now that I think about it, I should have entitled this "Revenge of the Mad Spaghetti Noodle".  I should have a license to operate that thing.  Hey - maybe that would be a good idea for a new aerobics class...

Some Days...

Nick Headshot


I'm home from work, and I'm tired.  I'm tired of being unappreciated, unloved, disrespected, and... stuff.  I don't even have all of the words really, but I'm annoyed and frustrated - and a whole bunch of other things that I don't even really want to talk about.  So, lets talk about some things that make me smile.

This is just some of the sweetness that met me at lunch today:

Nick



Linc:


 

How can I not smile at least a little at those faces?  It's so seldom that I get shots that I like as much as I do these two shots, and man does it give me some serious camera envy!  Regardless of all that, man do I ever feel better when I get some wiggles from these two guys. 

I worked Nick at Julie's last night - and he's responding to my whistles well.   When I blow the right ones consistently.  Poor patient Noodlehead.  I think I'm going back to our old walk up whistle - he's not popping up with it like he was, and it's easily distinguishable.  Sorry Nick.

Now, on to other matters.  For Julie P, some pics of Nick modeling his possible new coat.  This was bought for one of Julie's senior dogs, and it's huge on her, so Noodlehead is trying it out.  What do we think??



 



And I think this might be a superman impression or something:



Is it just me or does he look rather... put out?  Swallowed?  Non impressed?  The coat is purdy though.

And, for my pea-in-the-pod friend, Paula...



I stood up on a metal chair to get this for you (view from my back yard).  And...



Lastly, what Carson Crazy post would be complete without a gratuitous Ginger shot?  My, how old she looks in this one.  She's in almost full coat here:



Suddenly I feel a little better about things.  Oh, and to add to the things that make me mad... the time changes this weekend, and that'll put an end to my ability to get my dogs worked after work.  Darnit. 

 

Tomorrow will be a better day.  I'm going to put a sign on my desk that says, "If you can't say please, go away".  Ooooo, or maybe, "Phrasing something as "we" when there's no "we" to it makes you sound stupid".  Those are the polite versions.  How'm I doing?

Ok, see?  There, now I'm back to annoyed again.  I think I'll go feed the dogs.

Lunacy

Laura Headshot


This has got to be one of the funniest things I've ever seen.  That's saying something, too, because I'm easily amused.  Click here to check it out:

www.antimonkeybutt.com

I saw this stuff at Tractor Supply this weekend, and I just HAD to have it.  For my Dad.  For Christmas.  Ok, so the truth comes out - I'm easily entertained, and about five years old about most things.  I stood there at the checkout (obviously holding up everyone behind us) laughing like a lunatic, and both the cashier and CR stared at me like I'd lost my mind.

Seriously.  How funny IS that?  My Dad has a big ole motorcycle that he and his wife take on long frequent rides, and he persists in regaling me with stories about how his hiney fairs on these long rides... particularly the hot ones.  Now, aside from being absolutely hysterical, how appropriate IS this?  Really!

The weekend was slow and I didn't do much other than hurt my back changing my sheets.  Yep.  That'll teach me to insist on clean sheets, hunh?  It's not as bad as when I hurt it the first time, but it's not a happy back by any stretch of the imagination.  It is significantly better this morning, and I hope to be back at 100% in a few days.  The poor dogs didn't get to do ANYTHING fun this weekend.  Shoot - I can't put the top level dogs up in the van at the moment... nor can I lift much of anything.  Thankfully CR came over and carried all of my heavy stuff around yesterday.

That's all!

Fun in the sun

Nick Stand
I'm sporting a few extra dogs this weekend (Raven and Willow) so yesterday I added a few crates into the CrazyMobile and off we went for an afternoon at Chuck's.  I worked Nick, Linc, June, and Raven yesterday afternoon, and we also took some lovely walks.  It was quite brisque outside, but the sun was nice and warm.  

It's off to the Races!  This also happens to be the creek we've fetched across a couple of times...



I chasies you



Toldya... it was a beautiful day.



See how green it is up front?



And what do the new calves think about it?




What's almost as cute as lambie races?  Calf Zoomies I say.


It just occurred to me that I said nothing about the dog working!  Well, Raven worked really nicely for me.  Raven is a littermate of Nick's, staying with Julie for a few months getting some training on her.  I've tried to work her a few times in the past and she's been hesitant, but yesterday she was very fast, and very keen - perhaps more confident than she's been with me.  She was slicing in around 10:00 and 2:00 so I opened that up just a tad (don't want to PUSH her out so to speak, not with the tendency for wideness in these dogs) and she started flanking just beautifully.  We did some driving (mostly I walked with her) and when I first asked her up she was hesitant to leave me, but in very short order she was pushing the sheep along nicely.

June was pretty good.  She started out hesitant - and I wasn't sure why.  Turned out that the heiffer calves I'd had Nick push off into the woods had comingled with the sheep I'd seperated out for June while I was off getting June and Raven.  Once we managed to extricate her sheep from the calves we were A-OK.  She was stopping decent, and had some gorgeous outruns.  Driving we drove in ovals basically - and she was feeling rather confident driving yesterday.

Linc was better yesterday.  It was revenge of the Mad Spaghetti Noodle, and with smaller turns and pushing him out just a little at 10 and 2  (recurring theme??) he was coming on nicely.  He was really VERY keen yesterday (Katie bar the door!), but I was actually able to get him to stop and come to me (as opposed to stepping on his line and turning him a flip).  There were some really nice moments yesterday, and by not allowing him so far up the sides and by taking smaller turns there wasn't much grabbing going on.  I've got to get on more level terrain next time though - the bumps and hills were tough on me.  I really enjoyed him yesterday.

It's interesting to me just how much I've come to depend on Nick.  Yesterday when I was trying to get the sheep away from the calves (and June was hiding behind my leg) what I was really thinking was that I wished I had Nick down there.  Just the other day I was working Zeke around a little and the sheep wound up in the woods.  Chuck had Nick with him, and I hollared out "Will you let Nick go, please?" and he came in to undo the mess we'd made.  Some days I feel that partnership more than others, but it's very real and very there.  He worked nicely yesterday - sorted off three different groups so I could work the other dogs, moved the heiffer calves, and then I did a little whistle work with him. 

Ok, now I'm done for today.  What have I done today?  Almost nothing.  I watched football in my PJ's, and thought about vacuuming my floors.  But, I sort of tweaked my back yesterday, and that vacuum cleaner weighs almost as much as I do.  Well, it feels like it anyway.

I Can't Help Myself

Nick Crouch
Because I can't help myself... beautiful day part 2:








All stretched out and nowhere to go



Sometimes, though, there is a train wreck.  I don't have any idea how I managed to catch this moment like this.  Really.



And then, sometimes at the end of a nice long walk with dogs... there's a good man waiting for you at the top of the hill.  He's the white dot.  That's Raven and Linc in front of me.  Would you look at the pretty clouds?




That is all.

Nick says thank you for looking.





No, I cannot take your dog.

Nick Headshot
Please.  Someone save me from the explosion I can feel lurking right behind my eyeballs.  I'm sure that I'm not the only "border collie person" or "dog person" that experiences this, but at the moment my eyeballs are about to explode, and orange fire is about to come shooting out of my ears.  Seriously.  It's not pretty when that happens, so save yourself now.  Run.

I have had five calls in the last few weeks from folks asking me to take this dog, that dog, this border collie, that border collie.  The call always starts out with "I know you have border collies...." or "I know you have dogs...." and ends with me saying, "I'm sorry, but my inn is very full right now".  People are looking for an easy out, and absolution for their negilgence.  Well, they're not going to get it from me.  And didn't we learn our lesson with the kittenz?  Oh yes, yes we did.  We learned it well. 

Wanna know what really gets my panties in a bunch?  One family member contacted me about a neighbor trying to rehome their border collie.  I went to the trouble of emailing this guy back, with a lot of info, suggestions, and some questions - trying to help him.  Does he bother to even dignify that with so much as a thank you or even a go to hell?  No.  Punk.

So just a few minutes ago my sister (previous owner of the kittenz) calls up to say that a BC showed up tied to their door this morning (she works at a vet clinic) and do I want him.  He's cute, apparently.  And stubby legged.  I suggested they contact CBCR, but no, they want to neuter him and adopt him out on their own.  Why are they calling me?  Because I have border collies, and surely I would want another one.  This would, in fact, be the fourth dog this month she's called me about.  I, apparently, am the crazy dog lady who has 50 dogs squirreled away and hidden in her walls, house reeking of urine, fried chicken, and ferretts. 

Please, please, please tell me I've not ever done that to anyone.  It's frustrating.  Plus I feel bad that I have to say no, but my inn REALLY is full.  Not to mention, if it wasn't full it would only have room for another working dog.  So there.

While I'm griping, let me also send a shout-out to Mr. Lincoln McDinkerton.  Dear Linc, if you insist on making urpy noises half the night again tonight, but then refuse to urp, I might have to beat you with my shoe.  Seriously.

I love my sister.  I love my family.  Really, I do.  I can't say that I blame her really... she just got married and her husband is in the army.  She's lonely.  Maybe I should call her and see if she wants to come over when all us girls watch the SATC movie.  While there we'll tie her to a chair and threaten her with a bikini wax if she doesn't agree to stop calling me about dogs they have there.  Only thing is, who's gonna follow through with THAT threat?  Not me man.

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Whistling Dixie

June Face

Noodlhead would like everyone to know he's got his whistles at about 80% now.  He's still a tad shaky on his away whistle, but he's got his come bye pretty much down.  Then again, since I couldn't make up my mind on his away I've left that one alone until now, but I've been using his come bye off and on, so it  makes sense he'd have that one already.  I tried to get two sessions in each day over the weekend, and he's been working very nicely for me.  I have been just going on and using his whistles with a shush when he takes it to indicate he is right, and occasionally tossing a voice command in there if he was uncertain.  He's taking his whistles flawlessly where it makes sense, and needing just a little help where it doesn't.

We went up to Becca's for a while on Saturday and had the opportunity to work on her woolies - and had several groups of very nice sheep to work on.  We worked on whistles out in a fenced pasture, and then we traded outruns with Becca and Ted out in the unfenced pasture, which presented some neat challenges.  I have to say that Becca and Ted have just come along leaps and bounds recently, and I was really proud of them both.  Nick really likes wool sheep - and they definately act and respond differently from hair sheep. 

I briefly worked Linc while we were there.  He is really not ready to start training yet, but he had a few moments where he settled in and was actually thinking back there.  Then, poof, it was gone.  Hah!  He's certainly plenty keen, and I learned on Saturday that he's certainly willing to use his teeth.  I'm definately going to have to have help knowing how to handle him as he comes along.  I don't want to inadvertantly squash something that we're going to need, or allow things I shouldn't in the process of not squashing things.  Uh, if that makes sense.  It's almost like having dogs on two ends of the spectrum - going from Nick to Linc.  Anyway, I may pull him out again at the end of this month just to see what's what.

We then took a walk down to the pond and I took a chance and allowed Ginger to walk down with us off leash.  She was, to my surprise, VERY good.  She actually hung out with us at the pond - and almost looked like she wanted to go in.  Although I took Zippy down on leash, I let him off once we got there, and he also had a ball.  The border collies all had a nice swim - and I have to say my favorite part was watching Julie's Lark do her thing.  No matter where she is, when Julie says, "Go Larky Go" she bunches herself up and launches herself into the water (even if she's already IN the water).  She cracks me up, this cutest dog ever.

Anyhow, so that was our weekend - lots of short sessions working, interspersed with some lovely walks.  I don't think the weather could have been any nicer, and it was a great weekend spent with some of my favorite people.

I spent yesterday afternoon mowing, weedeating, doing laundry and watching SATC episodes.  I finally got to see the one about speed stick and rogaine, and I laughed until I almost peed myself.  Funny stuff.  Tonight is more weed eating, more laundry, and probably some vacuuming.  And more SATC. Big surprise, right?

One last thing - I got to see a newborn calf yesterday.  I kept wishing I had my camera out there - I'd like to get pictures of not only her, but also the really majestic looking long horns next door!  Maybe Weds...