Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Naming & nicknames

Thought this might be fun to record in the blog. All puppies have a litter name, and then when they go to their homes they get their forever names. So Bridie was Stripe (for the little blaze up her face and down the back of her neck), Ricky was Bobby (which I changed because I didn't really want to call a dog by my Dad's name), and Ro'isin was Big Red. Which I find funny, because Bridie's littermate brother, also a very active dog, was Big Red. He was a little over the standard, from what I understand, and easily double Bridie's size.

Here's another picture of Ro'isin with her Great-Grandma, Kinsey.

Can't stop posting pictures of puppy

And I have more on my camera, of the whole litter in fact, so I need to get them off the card & on to a CD, so I can upload them more easily. THis one is of Ro'isin & Goose playing together. Goose is a 7 month old puppy, can you imagine? She's bigger than Bridie at that age. Little Bridie was 29 pounds, 15 inches at the shoulder at this age, and by the time she was a year & half or so, she was up to 39 pounds, 18 inches at the shoulder.

Guess I know what I have to look forward to, a really big puppy! Goose is a lot of fun and really enjoyed playing with Ro'isin.

Another good picture of Ro'isin

This one is with her Great-Grandma, Kinsey. I think it is cute, although I also think that Kinsey is thinking, "Lemme alone, I want to sleep!" Or, "Why do you have to put that puppy so close to me?" And Ro'isin is thinking, "Let me down, I want to run around & bite things!"

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Animal antics

I don't think I'm going to be able to post once per day this month, but at least I can use the pets in the household for an excuse. It has been busy, and I'm still figuring stuff out & still recovering from the long trip to Kansas.

Here's some information about Róisín (and that's how it is spelled... not sure how to make the mark over the o! so am cutting & pasting) : her name pronounced at this link. She's had her first tracking lesson (this is where dogs are taught to follow people & find what they've dropped), she's had a vet visit (probably the third or fourth or fifth visit in her life, but this is the first one with me) and charmed everyone. She'll be at work tomorrow (outside, not in the building) and will meet people there too.

So we've been busy this week. Next week I go back to work full-time, and I'm sorry about that. The half days have helped a lot in making adjustments. I don't think Róisín thinks my being gone at ALL is a good idea. I don't either, but it sure is a joy to have her in my life.

Animal antics abound around here. Annie-the-cat has really come a long way, and I think it is due to feeding her Wildside Salmon when Róisín is around. She still does the ugly face & yargles when Róisín insists on being too close & getting too inquisitive. The yargle is a YRRRR-GRRR-L! sound that only Annie makes. She's pretty impressive when she's getting mad. She REALLY loves it when Róisín is in the crate.

Annie decided that she wanted my plain yogurt and managed to stick her foot in it before I could dodge her. (Man, what a bunch of food grabbers around here! Róisín was very insistent on sharing my lunch one day. That's why she's in the crate when I eat, I don't have enough arms or feet to keep her off of me). Just before that, Róisín decided to tear up newspaper, attack my face, and to run madly around the house. I put her in her crate and she's sleeping quite peacefully, thank goodness! Crates are a blessing, used the right way. I'll try to get more pics up of Róisín & Annie soon.

Monday, October 13, 2008

Puppy yet to be named (but already much loved)

Newest Sweetie, and she's a charmer : photo is by Sandy Holmes. Her AKC reg name will likely be Trystyn's Butterfly Kiss. Her call name? Yet to be determined. I think the top runners so far are Natalie, Roi'sin (Roe-sheen, Gaelic for Rose), Natalie, and Myrtle.

She's fun, naughty, outgoing, sociable, and very independent. Very cute, as you can tell. And yes, I'm holding her in the picture. Probably about the only way we can get a picture of her at the moment. She's fast, sort of like a pingpong ball. And loud when she's unhappy (like when I'm out of her sight). I'm investing in ear plugs... Annie the cat is avoiding whatever room the puppy is in, and who can blame her? But she's being pretty nice about it all.

Monday, October 06, 2008

The New Gold Standard by Joseph A. Micelli

Joseph Michelli's note on my blog reminded me that I have yet to fulfill my promise to do a full length review of The New Gold Standard : 5 Leadership Principles for Creating a Legendary Customer Experience Courtesy of the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Company. The book was published by McGraw-Hill in 2008, ISBN : 9780071548335.

Throughout my career, I've been through various rethinks & reorganizations as part of the different places & management cultures I've worked. So I was interested in this book, to see whether it had anything new, something that could be used in my current workplace, or even to refresh my thinking & management skills. I was delighted by this book. It is refreshing, honest, well-written, and has a nice blend of both theory & story to illustrate the theory. I finished the book wanting to go work for Ritz-Carlton.

I think many of us have had the experience of being told that we needed to fully invest in the company culture, or learn the company culture. But in this case, Ritz-Carlton has shown both how they want people to invest in their company and how they invest in the people who work for them.

Loved the five leadership principles, which are positively stated. It is not that the negative aspects or mistakes aren't mentioned in this book, because they are. But the positives are what are most focused on & the fact that the Ritz-Carlton is willing to make mistakes & let their people make mistakes, without undue punishment. I do think that in many businesses making a mistake is so horrible that it becomes hard to have new ideas because the fear of failure is too great. We hobble ourselves by this sort of thinking. I found the mention of empowering through trust helpful and have been able to do that at work already. It may not be the way I would do it, but it is quite possibly just as legitimate and possibly just as efficient a way to do it. Since I don't want to be a micromanager (but am in a job which lends itself to micromanagement) this was a very useful reminder.

I really do recommend this book highly, not just for business people but for others who may be starting a new business, may be starting a new career, or possibly even a new relationship. I think it works on all sorts of levels. I plan to give the book to the local library, in hopes that it will reach more people. Well worth reading.

Friday, October 03, 2008

Busy Friday with a little books in there

And I have already missed a day of blogging! Will try to do better for the rest of October. Today I did a lot of yard work & used weed killer on the stray weed trees, poison ivy, trumpet vines in my backyard. I got tagged with the poison ivy when my family's dogs were over & apparently they brushed into the poison ivy & then leaned on me, which was sufficient to make my legs look yucky. I've had worse poison ivy, but I really want to use the weedkiller before puppy comes, so that I can lessen its exposure to the weedkiller. Believe me, if I had a choice, I wouldn't use the weedkiller, but my last several exposures to this stuff have proven to me I can't handle the poison ivy in any way, shape & form without paying for it with several rounds of prednisone. Who wants to take steroids? Not I.

Grass seed is down too. And I think the Deadly Nightshade is mostly pulled up also, plus the mushrooms seem to be gone. Read recently about a local 11 week old Golden Retriever puppy who died after simply carrying around a mushroom in its mouth. Poor baby. Gives me more things to look at & and watch out for in that oh-so-dangerous backyard. I don't want that to happen to the new pup.

Have read several books, Macomber, Debbie / Twenty wishes , Harris, Charlaine / From dead to worse and Child, Lee / Nothing to lose : a Jack Reacher novel. All are gems. I like Macomber's Blossom Street novels very much. They read a little more like regular novels. She also writes romances, but I prefer the knitting novels & the Blossom Street novels. I think I like these for the same reason I like Maeve Binchy's books. They are not grief-free novels, but the characters in them seem like people I would know. They have issues, they're not always 100% loveable, but they are realistic & at the end, there's usually some improvement.

Charlaine Harris writes several series & so far I've liked them all. This particular one is the vampire series & the vampire side of it doesn't interest me too much, but the main character, Sookie Stackhouse does interest me a lot. Harris writes about the problems of telepathy in a way that is unlike the way anyone else has written about it. Very nice job & great fantasy/SF novel. Out of the various characters in the books, I think I'd like to be a shapeshifter.

Lee Child's books all have Jack Reacher in them. For some reason, I really like the man-against-the-world novels. The moral man, with flaws, but also the man who stands up for good & for making things right. What's also appealing about Jack Reacher is that the guy has literally nothing. He has independent means, but doesn't have a house, possessions, etc. and doesn't want them. He's not a man entirely without ties, however.

Next time I need to write about a new book we just got, Alone: The Journey of the Boy Sims, From the original blog "a historical novel for children and young adults, author Alan K. Garinger imaginatively retells the story of the boy known in the survey crew's official journal only as "the boy Sims."" I really liked this book. So well written, set out (in its historical times), and well portrayed. I haven't read all of it yet, but a fair amount of it. I think it looks like something that could be read aloud to 4th graders, but probably very much a middle-school novel.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Write More Blog Entries Month

Apparently this is write more blogs month, as in write a blog entry a day. Good goal, so here goes. This is also National Vegetarian Month, so a good time to try out some new vegetables you've never had before or some new dishes, right? I will freely confess that I don't think I will ever try making eggplant dishes at home. So far, none of mine have turned out & I think I'd just rather have a restaurant do it for me. Much more fun that way.

Also wanted to mention Mayapple Press. For those of you interested in poetry or in supporting regional writing efforts, Mayapple Press is well worth checking out. Judith Kerman is the editor & owner of the press, I believe. The books are beautifully produced and edited, a real work of art. Check it out.