Monday, May 24, 2010

Adventures of New Puppy

Friday was Ginger's visit to the vet, who pronounced her perfect in every way.  No kennel cough in evidence.  A weight gain of seven pounds.  Time for an adventure!

On Saturday, I took Ginger up to the barn to meet her really big brother, Ace.  She was appropriately apprehensive, unlike Dexter who thought the horses should respond to barking and play-bows by, well, playing.  Ginger had a rough and tumble time with Gayle's Aussie shepherd, Eli, even though she was on a lead.  After Ace finished his lesson, she got a chance to get a little bit closer.
Willie, a Haflinger, was less intimidating, so she got even closer.

I would call it a successful visit to the barn and she even got a lesson in walking on the leash from Gayle.

On Sunday, she had us in hysterics and reminded us of a poem we once heard Tim Curry read at the L.A. Public Library. The poem is from an anthology called Unleashed: Poems by Writers' Dogs.  This four line poem is called "Birch" and it is by Karen Shepherd.  Every dog owner I know understands this poem.

Are you going to eat that?
Are you going to eat that?
Are you going to eat that?
I'll eat that!

Our friend Lisa, subject of this display of dog cuteness, does volunteer work for a pet adoption charity, so she was not all bothered by having Ginger hover near by looking for a hand-out.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The New Addition

Is there anything as adorable as a Golden Retriever puppy? I doubt it. This cute little face belongs to Ginger, the new baby in our lives. We got her a week ago from the Southern California Golden Retriever Rescue. She was born on February 14, and she's the first puppy we've owned since we got our late, beloved Muffin as a six-week-old back in 1995.
Ginger was an owner turn-in to the organization and all I can say is, their loss, our gain. She's a bouncing bundle of energy and curiosity, is crate-trained, and already knows "sit" and "down," although "stay" is going to be a tough concept. She's a true retriever, constantly bringing sticks, leaves, and clumps of dirt into the house and stealing shoes, potholders, and pretty much anything not nailed down outside. She likes to play in her water bowl, and, given the chance, will turn it over to dump it and then carry it around. But most of all, she likes to rough-house with her new big brother, Dexter.

Dex will be five next week. We got him from SCGRR almost two years ago (in September) and since Muffin died in November of 2009 and Sheba died in our house fire last spring, he's been the only dog in our pack and he just loves to play. Muff and Sheba were 14 when we got him, so they weren't terribly interested in puppy play (although Goldens don't every really grow up), but Sheba let him know who was boss and he complied.

Now he's got a puppy to run and wrestle with, to play tug of war with, and to set a good example for. And, I think he already realizes, the girl is going to rule the roost when she's older. Even now, he lets her hoard the toys--I watched her take something away from him and then sit on it and two other toys so he couldn't have them. Thought I would die laughing.

Last night, after Dex spent some time pinning her down by sitting on her, Ginger started bouncing up onto one of the chairs and leaping into the air to land wrapped around Dexter's neck, then she'd slide off and do it all over again. I suppose I should have been concerned that she'd go flying into the 73" TV screen, but that didn't happen. The two of them go rolling across the floor in a big ball of fur and bear teeth at each other, but Dex is an amazing gentle giant and very good big brother to the little imp.

More than once, we've found them exhausted with their noses a few inches apart. It is absolutely precious. The late Chris Reeve once described something as "almost as much fun as a room full of Golden Retriever puppies." I know exactly what he meant.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Jeopardy! 2010 Tournament of Champions, Continued

I had no idea that Jeopardy! promoted the players of the Tournament of Champions this extensively. Did study the Fortune 500 list, but it didn't come up in my game. The New York Times Science tie-in did.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Jeopardy! 2010 Tournament of Champions, Continued

This ad ran in today's New York Times. I figured I might make mention in the paper when my famous spousal unit passes away. I'm happy that I won't have to wait that long--and that I got there on my own. If you've got the paper, it's page C4. Tune in to Jeopardy! tonight to watch me play against Justin and Joey. Check your local listings for time and channel.

Friday, May 7, 2010

Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions, Continued

Here is a photograph of the fifteen contestants you will see on the quarter-finals of the 2010 Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions next week. And here is a link to a promotional video that is running on the Jeopardy! web site right now. I'm the last interviewee.

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Tournaments of Champions

The Jeopardy! Tournament of Champions starts running on May 10 and carries through until may 21. The first week is the quarter final rounds where three college champions and the twelve players who won the most games (down to those who won 4 games in the regular season) since the last time there was a ToC (which shot in January 2009 and ran in March 2009.)

My quarter-final game airs on Thursday, May 13, 2010. I understand that in some parts of the country, Jeopardy! is running at a different time than usual due to the sports play-offs. So check your local time and channel to watch.

I recommend watching all 10 days, because the players are just amazing competitors.

The Jeopardy! Celebrity Invitational for charity finals are running this week. I got to watch the final rounds being taped, and I really enjoyed myself. There's much less pressure sitting in the audience.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Academic Gobbledigook

Can anyone explain what this means:

This conference aims to critically engage contemporary spatial, social, ideological, and political transformations in a transitional world. In a process-oriented world of movement, the global north and global south now simultaneously converge and diverge in a dialectic that shapes and transforms cities, suburbs , and rural areas. This conference addresses the nature and mapping of these forces and the dynamics that propel these changes. The conference also examines and defines the myriad of different spaces that make up our contemporary world, including urban, edgeurban, de-urban, micro-urban, greenfield, and off-the-grid.

I got this in my e-mail at work, and it looks pretentious. I suspect it is someone trying to impress a department chair. Someone's tuition dollar at work, or, worse, research dollars.