Monday Musings: A Little of This, A Little of That

Just some random updates and thoughts today:

How is the puppy doing, you ask? (And even if you didn’t, I am going to tell you, anyway.) He is doing great! He was quite good at his Level 2 Obedience class last week. Much more focused and ready to work than the last time we tried that one. The four weeks of work with private lessons really made a difference. It wasn’t him as much as it was me, I think. When he would get over-excited or just bratty (he is in his adolescent stage, you know), I would get frustrated because I couldn’t figure out how to deal with him like that. And then he would key off that, and get confused, and we’d both end up upset and unable to do anything. Now, I know a bit more, and have some strategies and techniques for working with him a lot better.

His next big adventure was on Saturday when we took him to a chili cook off. We wanted to be able to take him with us when we go to the ones that are dog friendly, and this was a good starter since it is relatively local and we do it in one day. No hotel stay needed. And he was awesome! I brought along his crate and the fake lambskin I use at home for him to lay on. He was leashed to the tent pole behind me. He didn’t get antsy or loud at all. He did whine a little at a dog he could see out on the field, but he settled quickly. He was great with everyone who wanted to say hello. A little jumping once in a while, but everyone was very cooperative when I asked them to just walk away from him when he did that. He walked very well on his leash and didn’t pull or lunge. He would come up to me once in while and just nudge my arm, and I’d talk to him, pet him, and give him some treats, and he would go back and lie down again. He didn’t like it when I walked out of his sight, but I think that was just because it was a new place and experience, and he is getting used to looking to me for direction. But even then, he didn’t bark or try to escape and follow me. Yeah, I was very proud of my boy on Saturday!

The location for this year’s Worlds Championship Chili Cook Off in October has been announced. It’s going to be in Las Vegas again. yay. Oh, did that seem less than enthusiastic? Sorry, but I have to admit I am not jumping for joy. Don’t get me wrong, I like Vegas. The casinos are amazing, there is always a million things going on, and you can’t beat the people watching. But it’s the second part of that which makes it less than a jump for joy place to me. We’ve been to two Worlds in Vegas, and IMO, they were a bust. There is just too much going on, and the public doesn’t give a crap about one more thing. And it is the interaction with the people who come to taste the chili that is the most fun for me. I, of course, want to cook the best pot of competition chili I can every time I compete, but I am not a cook who wants to just sit there and stare at my pot all day long. I like talking to people. I like making and serving People’s Choice. Vegas is not a good place for that. I was thinking about cooking in the Last Chance competition on Friday, but now I am having second thoughts. I may just hold out my last competition until the location is better for the things I enjoy about cooking. If I do cook, we will make the minimal amount of chili to serve, because both of the last times we cooked in Vegas, we ended up throwing chili away. I will go, and I will have fun, I know that. And I won’t talk it down in any chili areas. I also do fully understand that if that is where the sponsorship money and support is, well, of course, that is where we go. Just don’t expect me at the “We’re Going to Vegas!” parties. I’d rather save my Vegas trips for times when I can just enjoy it for what it is.

The garden is growing pretty well now. The second sowing of radishes is up, the carrots are growing, I have zucchini and winter squash out there, and some tiny peppers are starting. I also have a ton of tomatoes, all of which are green. I have this sinking feeling that they are all going to ripen at the same time, and we will be buried in tomatoes! Better than none at all, though, right?

Hmm, this went on longer than I expected. How is your Monday going?