Monday, August 9, 2010

#4 Practice with Sheryl/House Hunting/Joan Baez

We began promptly at 8.  I had gotten up at 6:15, poop scooped the yard, reviewed my notes and come up with suggestions for today's practice.  What we practiced I list down below.

By 10 the dogs were pooped and Sheryl seemed very much to want to show me a house she is thinking of buying nearby that has a nice back yard fully fenced and big enough for most of the agility equipment.  It would be real nice to have her nearby, so we took a ride into Broadmoor Subdivision, only 3 miles away.  The house is 1.5 blocks north of Goodwood, on Parkview near Cora, convenient to everything, yet a quiet street.

I'm guessing the house was built in the late 1950's, same era as my Windsor Cottage on Wallis Street.  Same oak parquet floors.  Same bathroom tiles.  Same carport structure, roof line, LR/DR/Kitchen wrap-around design, same aluminum windows.  Only bigger, about 1900 sq. ft., with a huge fireplace.  Nice neighborhood, nestled in old growth forrest. I liked it a lot.  The price seems right. But I don't want to influence her decision.  If the house doesn't grab her and hold on to her, it's probably not her house.  Old Hammond Hideaway was mine the minute I saw it.  I fell in love with Winsor Cottage right away.  They both were older homes and had a few problems, but like a lover, I either joyfully fixed them or easily overlooked them.

Then we came back and watched Joan Baez - How Sweet The Sound, a 2008 PBS special I was able to stream from Netflix.  We kept pressing the pause button and discussing various memories from our youth and college years -- the civil rights movement, the draft, Vietnam, Korean war, Cambodia, etc.  While Joan has lost her angelic voice this last decade or so (it's about an octave lower and kinda raspy), she still has her slim figure, same guitar picking skills, and same calm, centered demeanor.  At the end I burst into tears. It just hit me hard that if it hadn’t been for her gifted voice and fingers, Joan Baez would probably never have earned a place center stage in the civil rights or peace movements. She would have just been a regular person, like me, sympathetically watching from the sidelines, doing what little I could, mostly feeling impotent about and left outside of the great struggles of my era. She had appeared like an angel to cohere people together with her heart expanding, soul piercing soprano voice and melodic guitar picking, and now is quietly dissipating (a reminder that we are too), and no one has come along to take her place.  Certainly not Michael or Janet Jackson, Madonna, Lady GaGa or any of the other loud, outrageous musicians holding center stage right now. While Joan stands quiet and centered and sings Amazing Grace in the middle of a quiet stage, mesmerizing everyone, they scream, leap about, and gyrate defiance and amazing rage, and call it "love".  I can't figure out what my parents hated about Joan Baez.  Is it because she wore long flowing hair and went barefoot?  She never once revealed cleavage, butt crack, nor even her knees.  But she certainly threatened the establishment.  Got em good pointing out that the draft, i.e., conscription, is slavery, that war is a poor choice to peace and doesn't work, and that bombs tear people's limbs off and kill.

Just checked on the internet, and Joan has another American Masters PBS special called Sing Me Home.  I'll have to check that one out.

Sheryl ordered Joan Baez: And A Voice to Sing With: A Memoir out of the library.  She got put on a waiting list.  Must be a popular book.

Here's what we practiced:
Changing our line by changing an arm, using touch targets. It works.
Sending over a jump and to the tunnel from 10 feet back.
Same with sending over a jump then 10 feet out to 2 other jumps.
The chute, weaves, dogwalk/tunnel flip
Weave entries.

Max succeeded over and over being sent thru all 12 weaves, at speed, with me standing back, standing still, diverging away, even stepping backwards.  Will he do that at a trial?  I doubt I'll ever try it, but it's impressive and fun to practice.  I swear he looks proud of himself as he exits the last pole and runs full speed back to me, behind the first pole 22' away, for a treat!  Thrills me.

I got Lucky to drive thru the chute with her head down low, over and over, by throwing a toy on the ground at the opening before I sent her through.  Before, she was raising and shaking her head high the whole way through, tangling the chute and slowing her down.  Of course, Maxie is so small he never had that problem.
Sheryl and I both agree if we're just going to run courses at agility class, we need to work on specific skills on our own.  We both need more work with our touch targets. Charlie has trouble with reliable sit-stays, wandering off, and being hard to catch. Sheryl tried crating him for 5 minutes when he ran off, and that seemed to make an impression.  There has to be something irresistable that will keep him right with her and fully focused.

Are Max and I having class tonight?  Don't know.  It's raining here.  Called Loralie and she said it's raining at her house a bit south of me.  But is it raining at the field? She'll try calling Don's Seafood but they don't much appreciate being called about the weather situation.  We need to find someone who lives nearby that we can call, then put a notice on the forum if it's raining over there.  It's very inconvenient to drive out there and class is cancelled, or not go and find out later that class took place and you missed it.  Wonder if we could set up a seeing eye camera that feeds into somebody's computer, or a website where you can check current conditions anyplace on the map.  That would be cool!

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