Saturday, March 28, 2009

Sweet Redemption

Last year, at the National Convention for my company, the reviews of my presentation we're mixed. So imagine my joy to receive 5 out of 5 ratings for a local presentation to the IABC (Communications Council) in Omaha. I have 3 presentations on schedule for this year's convention in April, so needed this morale boost. A February 2009 presentation to the local ASTD chapter netted $100, and they didn't throw me out of the room, so I'm ready to jump back in the game, presenting to business owners in April. My topics: Best Practices in Training; R&D and Strategic Planning. Wish me luck.

Oh, Sparticus!

It's no easy task to photograph a black dog, but for those of you curious to see what a Boxer Doodle looks like when full grown, here are some shots.

We call him "Sparky" and he's a mix between a boxer and a standard Poodle. It was all a mistake really, at the Labradoodle puppy mill, when a stray boxer broke rank, and we got Sparks!

Sparky has adapted very quickly to his new parents, our purebred, but barren Scottish Terriers who had been hoping for their own puppy and lovingly accepted Sparky into the family. Missy turned 9 and we couldn't afford in-vitro.

His fur is as soft as baby-hair, he snuggles like a 9-month old child and his gait is more like that of a large cat (i.e. Panther) than a dog, unless he's chasing after geese, and then he's all legs and gangly. At well over 60-lbs, he's a bit difficult to see over as we watch American Idol and he's sitting in our lap. He seems to delight in standing up and staring right into our eyes when we get excited about a performance.

At 18-months, it's a bit early to tell who is top-dog, but I think I heard Sparky BARK at Toby (12) the other day, and Toby backed away from the bone, so we think Sparky will take over top-dog status in our home shortly. Brian and I work hard to let him know who is boss. How Brian does this is by pushing Sparky off his pillow. I, on the otherhand refuse to get up and use the restroom in the middle of the night, for risk of losing my spot.

One little annoyance is that I'm now forced to vaccum twice weekly. Did you hear that mom? I use the vaccum. It's either that or be lost in the soft fluffy tumble-weed fur balls that have begun to take over our home, just as this dog has taken over our hearts.

Is It Just Me?

It's too cold to garden today and I've been up since 6 a.m. so decided to update my social networks and write my 2009 family newsletter. I've accepted Plaxo invitations, Linked In connections and peered into a friend's Facebook account. I got caught up on ASTD, ISPI, PINOT and other industry-related sites and took time to read some of my favorite blogs like eClippings and Indexed. Then I paid bills online and responded to personal emails. Frankly, I'm having a hard time keeping track of all these passwords and social networks. The thought of subscribing to anyone's Twitter Tweets just seems stupid.

Nonetheless, my cell phone is on, my Ipod connected and my batteries recharging. Half the day is gone and yet I still haven't downloaded the last set of photos and music, updated my Netflix queue, nor checked on my Paypal balance. After dropping my cell phone in water (think pedicure: "Oops! was that my phone that just fell into the bubbles?"), I did enjoy switching to a keyboard style phone that allows me to text without translating numbers and button pushes to letters 1=abc, etc. So is it me, or are we all just a bit overdoing it with personal technology?