Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Things I learned that might be important, but may or may not be important to you?

Sunday we took a boat trip with some friends out to Jewell Island. I looked it up on google and it is considered a "Party Island". Best if you don't like running into people to go on a week day or off season, but it was SO nice on Sunday and it was the day we had available. And the day everyone else had available, too. See the cove behind me - full of boaters? It was full!!! Party on Wayne!!! It was still LOVELY out there. We hiked. We swam. We ate. We laughed. We awed at the views and the scenery and how fortunate we are. The dogs had a BALL.
Roscoe found a heart of stone -

Spur is cute, this we know -

So, here is what we learned that is may be of some importance.

* - Dachshund's named Buster like to swim.

* - Jewell Island is beautiful!

* - Secure everything on the boat. Damn it, that plastic baggie got away. We are just like the other red necks in the cove. Yes, this we know. :(

* - When you find a lovely stone in the shape of a heart with two eye holes be careful. Your very good friend might say you now have a heart of stone. Geez, Laura!!!! Funny! Yeah, funny! Just so you know, Laura, funny girl.

* - Roscoe doesn't swim. OK, we already knew that, but had to remind Steve. He almost plopped him in to swim ashore like he did with the other two who swam nicely and looked adorable.

OK, now I am going to tell you the things that are of very most high extreme utmost and toppest most importance!!! -

* - Even though there are SIX outhouses on this island, just remember, behind a building or any structure perhaps one that might be a tower with an awesome view is a good place to take a shit.......... if you are STUPID!!! If you failed to realize you just passed an OUTHOUSE where smart people shit!

And I tell you this because it is of importance and because you may not know and because - my adorable, best little buddy, favorite little furry, very furry pal found this stupid ass's shit and smeared it all over his beautiful fur. Which meant, well, OH LORDIE, it mean lots of very bad words from my mouth, along with many "OH MY GOD"'s from my mouth and Steve yelling from the top of the tower asking if we were having sex? Um, NOT, those noises are different, Steve, these sounds coming from my mouth as my shit smeared, furry, very furry, stinky, gross, disgusting, very furry, best furry pal, who is now proudly marching along and causing me and Rich to nearly barf, these were NOT happy words said while having sex. These were BAD words, words of despair, disgust, dis - well, whatever, you know not happy words as we marched back to the last cove and I did my best to avoid my best furry little pal from TOUCHING ME, but then I HAD to touch him and wash off some stupid ass's shit from my best furry little pal who even growled at me as I was forcing him into the surf to wash off this oh so disgusting shit! :O

I am just telling you this so you know. Be aware. Be very aware that sometimes some stupid person might shit behind the building you come across while hiking Jewell Island even though the outhouse put there for just this purpose is yards away. It might happen. Just so you know. Important knowledge if you have a best furry little pal who OH so loves to roll in this excrement.

And one more thing of importance -

* - Be sure your boat is stocked with soap so you can properly wash your best furry pal when you return to the boat after he rolls in human exrement. We did have soap. THANK GOD!

He was very very tired on our return home trip he pushed his way into the spot Colby wanted and never moved the whole way home.At least he did smell better, but when we got home another bath was had. I think MY shower was one of the nicest showers I have ever had.

It was a lovely day. There are more photos I will load later. We did have a wonderful time, even though......there was shit.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

He has become so resilient and recovers so nicely now!

I am so proud of my little paw wringer! In a few, easy sessions we are back on track. Lost SOME speed, but I see that coming back pretty quickly. There is a very slight delay between the hits on the strike pads and the launch of the ball, however. Do you see that? With more speed that is going to be pretty noticable, I think? I don't know how important that will be.

This really is a genius device!! -

Here we are back in the yard on the flat. I moved the launcher to the other side. See how his head is turned to the right, then he catches the ball in his left eye? I think placement of the launcher is kind of important, but not yet sure where is the RIGHT placement. -

Here we are in the agility yard on the full dog walk! Pretty cool, A? (I know, the quality stinks. I need to get help with my sony cam to get better quality videos and for slow mo editing!!! My flip is just crappy. Easy to use, but crappy.)-

Oh and you may notice his slight hesitation to go into the tunnel. A couple weeks ago some hornets made a nest in my tunnel. :O Poor little buggar got stung. I now check my tunnels every time before using them, but he is remembering and sometimes shows a slight hesitation, poor little guy! It is always SOMETHING, it seems! A year ago he might not have entered a tunnel for weeks, so he is showing great resiliency these days. Things can go wrong and he recovers pretty well. I am pretty proud of the little guy! He is trying with everything he has and seems to still enjoy the work, regardless of my idiocracy and the hornets and other things that just happen to happen. Like when I get STUPID, he is recovering from those times. He is figuring out that my stupidity is just a part of the deal and he'll forgive me my short comings. He is a GOOD boy! I LOVE him!! Oh wait, you knew that already?

Friday, August 27, 2010

If they gave out Phd's for being "An Idiot", I would be first in line!

So, the UPS truck arrives with my second strike plate for my ball launcher. I am SO excited!! We have been practicing in the back yard on a flat plank. I had a plan. You know, those plans that idiots make? We plan it, write it down, going step by step - not. Carefully, thinking it through - not. Implement it step by step - NOT! That kind of plan. The Idiot Phd plan.
I am SO excited I run out to make sure the splitter connection works for both plates. It does! FIL is a freak, remember!! :D I set it up and carefully, ever so carefully, like a good little idiot I am, and check the location of the ball. I do have an Idiot's Phd, remember? I want it to land in front of the contact, so he has to look forward for the ball. Perfect!! Like Miss Idiot Phd, I am SO excited! It's PERFECT! I am so thoughtful, I do have this Phd in Idiocy.

See? Ball launcher is set back, so the ball ends up landing right in front of the contact heading straight away (I know it's off to the side in this photo, but it was straight away). Oh so perfect!!

Hmmm, do I have you all on pins and needles? Do you know what happens? Can you guess what happens? Do you know what happens when I bring out my little paw wringing worry wart who melts down if a bar drops or had to work for over a year to get over the sound of the teeter, the dog who skitters away in the kitchen if a utensil falls. What does Miss Idiot Phd do? Runs the little buggar on THE WHOLE FUCKING THING, from start to finish and ......ready?.........

...........the ball..... hits him in the side. OMG!!! If a dog could melt and curl up in a ball, that's about what he did. He cowered and melted and when I tried to just tell him to suck it up (even though I really wanted to rock him like a baby in my arms and apologize for my Idiot Phd) and play ball he squinted his eyes at the ball coming at him and cowered some more. He wouldn't even play our favorite game of "catch the ball just a few feet from me". He loves that game. :(

So, I regroup, I take the Idiot Phd from my name and put my smarty pants back on. I had to go find them, though, I tossed them away who knows when.........oh yeah, when the UPS man arrived with the second strike plate!!! >:/

I move the ball launcher and work on a conditioned response. Back to square one. Sound of the ball launcher = yummy meat balls. He recovered and thought that was pretty fun. I tried the ball a few times. I tossed the ball when the ball launcher sounded. I experimented. I found what worked and got him working again. He unwrung his little paws.

Then I brought out the Pin Heads. That always excites him!! That jealousy factor!! Suddenly he remembered he really wasn't afraid of this ball launcher. We had, after all, been working with it on the flat for days now! So, with the launcher repositioned we ended the session with some full dog walks and successful ball launches and chases. He looked pretty happy! Phew, crisis averted for the moment!!! We have lost some speed, but I do think we can gain that back once he gets more comfortable. Oi!!! I really must keep my smarty pants on. Poor little Spur Man needs me well dressed and without my Idiot's Phd.

Then as I came back from putting the dogs up I found Leta out wanting to train! Have I mentioned she now works for the ball, just like Spur??? It's freakin' adorable!! She LOVES to chase it and grab it!! So, we worked on her contacts!! She doesn't have too much speed yet, but it is coming and her hits are pretty consistent. She may not be one I can use the ball launcher with. She is feral, after all. She gets kind of nervous with noises, but is getting better. She is no longer afraid of my scooter coming into the barn.See? Speed is coming!! -

Still haven't decided!

As I dug out my soggy business cards from my fanny pack yesterday I realized I really DO need to order some more. I put off this sort of thing and instead waste hours doing nothing, like reading through posts on Facebook - time suck - or watching youtube videos. I watched some fun ones, though, like a comparison between a Western Pleasure Horse and a Dressage horse. THAT was cool!! Except that the Dressage horse kept wringing it's tail. I don't understand that. Why can't they figure out how to quiet those wringing, spinning (complaining!) tails?
Yes, I didn't make sure to take my cards out of my fanny pack as I walked in the DELUGE yesterday!! Mostly golden retrievers, who really couldn't care that it was raining 3 inches/minute or so it seemed. Almost ruined the garage door opener in my pack, too, but a few minutes in the bright sun to dry and it worked again. The cards were in a zip lock baggie, but somehow the "zip" had "unzipped". They are not ruined, but they look bad. I need more, new.

This is the old photo I used and while it is fine, it isn't great. Well, OK, it's great of Spur. He is SO photogenic! My choice is between these two. Helen can lighten up Spur's face, which I think must be done. I am leaning towards the second one. It is simply the cutest one of The Spurminator!! I just LOVE those crazy, furry ears!! L. O. V. E. - LOVE them!!!
Have I mentioned lately how I think he is the cutest dog, EVER? Like there has never been a dog as cute. NEVER, ever, ever, ever.........HE IS that CUTE!!! Have I mentioned how he melts my heart? Have I ever said that before? Maybe if I say it one more time it will really sink it. Maybe you all are barfing on your keyboards?

Sorry!! I just get all stupid when it comes to The Spur Man!

HOW freakin' cute is HE????

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Fun, can cost SO much!!

September will be here soon. Which means my hiatus from agility trials is over and we will be back at it!! YAY!! Can you all stand my excitement? Can you handle the thrill of hearing about our wicked awesome "wraps" and "back crosses" and "front crosses" and start line "sling shots" and running like the wind with my hair flowing behind me!!! And how WICKED awesome Spur is. He is....wicked awesome!

Rich told me he thinks I have a favorite. HUH? ME??? Never!! I don't know. They are all different and I love them all with everything I can muster, my dogs = I love them, but Spur does make my heart turn to mush. He is very special.

Running like the wind with my hair flowing behind me and my dog happy and fast and barking and awesome, wrapping jumps and zooming through the yellow contacts. Yep, that will be us, next weekend!!

Or is that just the image in my head through my rose colored glasses?

Well, I can hope that is the image seen. And not me stumbling along forgetting the course, flailing my arms, repeating words that make no sense to my dog, tripping on a root, forgetting to tell my dog which obstacle. That image won't happen, nope, no way, ut uh, ain't gonna happen!!

We are going to RUN LIKE THE WIND and Spur is going to HIT EVERY YELLOW contact zone!! And wrap jumps like he is a boomarang, zooming out of them with zippy speed and accuracy! He is going to BARK LOUD and RUN FAST!!

Did I tell you I bought that t-shirt? I did! WICKED cool shirt! First night - I dripped chocolate from my ice cream sandwich right on my chest. Right in the middle above the words, so it is totally apparent and glaring, dark spot on the lovely butter yellow. I tried "Shout" on it. The spot dimmed. Hmmm, I am not a laundry expert so it may always have that little dim mark right there glaring at everyone. I have a spot marker I can try. It's old, I haven't used it in years. I don't usually worry much about spots. I just designate spotted, stained clothing as "dog clothes". Who will notice, anyway? Surely not my dog agility friends. They all have those dim spots on their t-shirts, too! That is if you can find those marks under the dog hair. Lots of people wear rose colored glasses in dog agility.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

They entertained us all weekend!

Spur really likes Joe. These were times I was glad I didn't bring Spur.
I think it would have been a case of "three's a crowd" and Spur would have been upset by this display. (Spur can be a real asshole some times. Sweet as pie, but not always the most social with other dogs. I seem to end up with dogs like that. At least he is sweet and social to people!)

Joe and Shilo. Not upset!
This performance was adorable and entertaining!! You can't see it, but they basically were in a circle of our chairs, the "fighting dogs" in the middle. We cheered them on! We placed bets. Shilo was a winning favorite, but Joe held his own, especially when the humping started, bets were on Joe - but the humping was stopped by the "refs". He finally got the zoomies, shot off like a crazy dude, Shilo soon after. She snapped her collar right off!! :O We had to find a spare collar for her. She was "Stony" for the rest of the weekend.
Being a pit bull has it's disadvantages. You simply can not let your guard down, so she was tied except for on her walks. Mom has cats. Shilo's life is different than another dog's, but she sure has a nice life. She is adored by my nephew, well monitored and not allowed to get into trouble. He knows the rules and he sticks to it with her. It's part of the deal. I made sure he understood that she is held to a higher standard than any other being on earth. One false move and she could be in a lot of trouble. He understands. She's a good dog.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Still recovering from a week of family!!!

A few of the fun dog photos -

My nephew, Eric and his pit bull Shilo! How cute is she? He's cute, too, but she's cuter!!! :DShe played well with my Mom's Joe. He's a total Heinz 57 dog. GREAT little dog!!! Just the nicest boy! Shilo did very well making sure she didn't over-power him, which when you compare sizes is NOT easy. LOL!!! She is one big, muscled, rugged pit bull!! He's a short, crooked legged little dog.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

When it says "Wildflower mix", what they really mean are vegetables and some flowers

Each spring I take an annual flower packet and sprinkle it around my perenials. Often I use the California Poppies because they are so cute, spread nicely, have the prettiest little orange flowers that bloom all year. They didn't have those this year at the store and I grabbed a mix. A "Wildflower mix". I figured on batchelor buttons, baby's breath, some sunflowers and cosmos, but what appeared?.............Squash? And Tomatos?
There is actually a tomato plant inside the squash plant with many green tomatoes. We have picked 8 squash already and there are many more coming!!! This was the only one I allowed to mature. They were all through my gardens! These "wildflowers"!!!!

I just have to be sure to wash them well, because you never know who might have "fertilized" them. :O

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Hmmm, just hmmmmm

So, I need to eliminate the head turn. -

"Eliminate the head turn". She says.

On our morning dog walk Rich mentioned how he was at the dentist's the other day and he and the assistant got chatting about sailing. Dentist friend (a dog person) says....."Geez, is this what it's like when we dog people talk dogs endlessly?"......"I have nothing to add to this sailing discussion." To which Rich gently nods and smirks. That's how it is, we either talk dogs endlessly or we don't talk. Kind of the way it is. Dog people = dog talk. And sometimes we forget there are other people in the world. Sailors, skiers, bikers, joggers, people who like cats/cat people. It is probably a little insensitive to be among the others and never talk anything but dog-talk.

I don't think cat people say things like "eliminate the head turn"?? Or do they? I am a cat person and I say that. But it has nothing to do with my cats.

The ball launcher needs some tweaking. I ordered another touch pad and probably won't try using it on the dog walk until I get that. The single pad is just 12x12" and that's a really small area he needs to hit. Once I get that and get the unit working on the dog walk I think I will have to mess around with the location of the launcher. Sylvia Trkman says she wants the dog looking ahead for the reward. The would mean I need to eliminate the head turn. Probably just a simple placement of reinforcement or move the launcher so he is looking ahead for the ball.

Do cat people say that? Placement of reinforcement? They should! If they want to train their cats!!

I'll have to look for the videos of the guy in Europe's launcher. I don't remember his dogs looking back. But, his launcher does launch the balls a LOT farther.

Capt. Roscoe

You ask him. What is more fun? Hiking miles of woods chasing chippies and leaping over rocks and through thickets and exploring trails? Or being Capt. Roscoe?I don't think there is any contest!

The wind in his hair, the fresh air, the alone time with ma. The interesting things to see and smell. It's good, ALL GOOD!
He even brings a smile to our guests. A rare event. Our guests smiling in the presence of Roscoe.And then there are the treats. We always have food on the boat. And eating may be Roscoe's all time favorite thing to do. Get on the boat or have a bag of chips? Do I need to even ask?
It's funny, he's funny. Roscoe + boat = one happy bad dog. He LOVES it!
In fact, he loves it so much that after the first trip each summer any time we head out in the afternoon/evening he thinks it MUST be boating time! He gets SO bummed out left at home. Mornings? He's fine when I leave him. Must be grocery shopping or running some other errand or off to work. Afternoon on a sunny, hot day? Must be boating!!!
The other dogs enjoy the boat, too, but we often take just The Capt. It's his special time. And it's a time when he is on his best behavior. Happy Dog = Happy Dog. His bad dog side gets put away on the boat and he brings out his Happy Dog.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Back to hot and dry. Ugh........

The tractor sucks the water from the slimy pond -That is not pretty little water lilies, that is icky algae slime! But, there IS water to be had and that's a good thing for the corn!! You don't want to walk by the corn field when it's being watered. ICK! It even smells. BUT - it makes the corn plump and sweet!!! YUM!!!!
I wish I could find a way to water the blackberries!

I picked about a quart the other day, but I am afraid without much rain they may whither on the vine. :O I'm going picking again today after I do some fence work. On vacation this week and today is fence repair day. Tomorrow is garden repair day. Thursday is lesson with Lo day. The weekend is family reunion. Wouldn't it be nice if I could get enough blackberries to make a blackberry pie? Trouble is we keep eating them!!! **Had six orders for a ball launcher after posting it to facebook! :D Hahahahahaha, Nils needs to streamline his manufacturing and get going!! I told him all my friends would want one!!!

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Dogapult!

Do you remember the video I posted of the ball launcher some guy in Europe made for teaching running contacts? An electronic hit it pad that covers the contact zone when hit launches a ball. I sent it to my FIL, a retired engineer. Well, he made me one that can hook up to my hit-it board!!!

NO KIDDING!! It arrived last night. This morning I started our training. With paw wringing Spur I know I am going to have to go slow and break things down. It's a little loud, when the arm hits to launch the ball, so I am starting with easy launches and launching treats. You know, the ole "conditioned emotional response" work!!

Heehee, looks pretty comfortable with it!! Videos to follow, but for now we are pretty excited, unsure how it will pan out for us, but regardless it is FREAKIN' COOL!!
He told me he could now right a book......"The Retired Guy's Guide to CT Junk Yards". He searched far and wide to find the right system to release the launch arm. Finally settled on an electronic trunk latch and had to go find one he could take from an old trunk. It is battery operated and when hooked up to the hit-it board wiring system, the ball will launch!!!
**Update -
Spur really isn't that worried about the thing, so here is our first attempt!! Still going to have to figure out exactly how to train this on the dog walk, but for now he is kind of figuring it out!!! :D

Sunday, August 15, 2010

It's family time!

You may not see me much here. Rich's family first, then mine. We both have big families. :O

I am on vacation this week, thank goodness, I need it with all the company here! I have reserved a couple days for myself, though, mid-week. Phew! Gotta get my fence work done, ride Jewel, do some much needed garden clean up. Read my books. Me time. Glad to have it.

Today? Another awesome hike this morning for off. Trails are dry and bug free right now! Then out on the boat with Brian and Bill. Of course, Captn. Roscoe gets to go. He LOVES the boat. We took him out Friday for happy hour for Rich's birthday with some of Rich's friends. Guys who know not to pat him. He was a humping fool! :O Oh my that dog is a piece of work! He just gets over-stimulated on the boat. He loves it!! All the things to see, the food, the sounds, I don't know, but it is one of his favorite things to do. I asked Rich yesterday as we were hiking in the morning and watching Colby and Spur RACE through the woods after chippies if he thought Roscoe likes hiking more or boating? I think he would rather be boating. Colby and Spur? Hands down, hiking. No contest. Roscoe - on the boat, man!! That's his place! He LOVES it! He marches down the docks like he owns the place!

I got photos, but my battery died, so it may be a while before I load any. Company arrives around 11:00 today, so from then on my days are full with visitors for a bit. August = family events.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Jewel and Buzz! She is SUCH a good horse!

She is funny, she looks like she might be saying........"HUH? The DOG is going to lead me?? Seriously??"........

"OK, got it, the dog is leading me, but he better move out! My legs are a LITTLE longer than his!" -
"Good dog, that's more like it!" -

I have more, but I can't find them. Have I told you I hate picassa as my photo program? Not sure why, but I seem to be totally computer dense when it comes to some things. Just totally dense and it makes me nuts!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Trying to decide

I need to order more business cards. I don't really like the photo that much that is currently on my cards, so Helen Peppe came this spring and took a bunch more.

I think this one makes Spur look too goofy -

This one is nice, but Spur's face is so shadowed. She said she can lighten any in photoshop. -

Another nice one, OK -

I kind of like this one. Relaxed smiles on both of us -

Kind of like the kissing one! But it doesn't show how freakin' adorable he is -
This one has a goofy smile on em and Spur's face would have to be lightened, I think - There are some more with me, Jewel and all the dogs, but remember a business card is tiny, so the ones with me and all the animals will look really tiny, so I am thinking a close up of me and Spur.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I know how to stay warm

I have that figured out. I have a whole closet of nice clothes and gear to keep me warm. It's just not an issue for me, bring on the cold and I can handle it. The dogs? MY dogs? The Pin Heads? They get cold. I can help them get warm with the woodstove or heater, though, and they are pretty content.

Staying cool? I haven't figured that one out, yet. We do have A/C upstairs in the office, but Rich rarely uses it. Renae doesn't like using it, always saying she's fine, it's not that bad. HUH? It's like 95 degrees up there, how the heck can she be "fine"????

I sometimes turn it on and just hibernate up there with a book or watching TV. I just can't DEAL with this heat. I hate it, it makes me grumpy and slow, sweaty and unproductive. I was in much better shape last year. Yes, it rained endlessly at times, but I could still get stuff done. I could still clean my house, wash windows, tidy up, do my computer stuff and scheduling and bills and promotion. I could go jogging, work the dogs between rain showers, I could still DEAL with life and I got things done and was in great shape.

This weather, I simply can not deal.......... with anything.......... I can't do chores, I can't work the dogs, I can't jog, I can barely sit here and do computer stuff with a fan on me. I just "melt".........into a pile of gross, sweaty, sunscreen, dog/cat/horse hair, dust, dirt, bug spray blob. It makes me feel like crap. And just in case you didn't totally understand me....


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Dry is sometimes OK

It means the mosquitoes are not as plentiful, the deer flies are not as active and the woods are AWESOME for hiking!! We had another long woods hike this morning. Found some new trails the mountain bikers have made. Saw only three people. One single man heading out. A chick sitting on a rock reading. And a lady with a doodle heading in as we left. We like it that way. Actually, even better would be NO body else, but those days are over. We used to have those trails to ourselves, but then the "Green Belt" arrived. Oi! I should be glad, but now they are used often my mountain bikers and other dog walkers and they are no longer "our woods".
Oh well, that's the way it goes. We had a BALL, though, this morning. Cool and fresh, dry and bug-free for the most part!! Ended up heading onto Jay Cox's place and snuck some water for the dogs from the spicket. We know Jay, he and Rich have done work together, so we felt we could do that. It is private land, though, so no one else should be heading over there. Until this winter when he finally opens the trees for sale!! His farm name? Something like "Ye Ole Christmas Farm" or something corny like that. Big new barn that will have gifts and cider and wreaths. The trees look LOVELY and Rich picked one out for us. Hahahaha.

Colby came home and you might think she would be tired and rest. I mean, we haven't done THAT many long hikes lately because of the heat. But, NO, she had to go back to work in the garden. She found this fellow.......

GOOD GRIEF, this was SOME FAT TOAD!!! I took him to the woods. He came back. I took him farther. He'll probably be back. Or is it a she? Does anyone know?

Found this photo I took last week of the babies and one Mamma snoozing!!
They were enjoying the warm ground and out FLAT! Very cute!!!! The babies are now allowed in the big field and they are SO happy!!!

Friday, August 6, 2010

It is SO dry! There is this gun!!

It is powered by the tractor sucking water out of the farm pond.
And it waters the corn! YUM!

I know I took a photo of the pond water, which right now is slimy and gross looking, but I can't find that photo. Just so you know, even if it is 90 degrees, DO NOT let that water spray you!! ICK!!! It stinks!! But, it waters the corn, which is looking LOVELY right now!

See the grass? It is DRY! Colby is waiting for the big, grey grasshoppers to emerge. We have seen a few, but I don't think she has caught one, yet.
I worry a little about the blackberries. They are JUST getting going and are SO yummy! I see some out and about on my walks that are drying up. :O These are in my back pasture and they still look good. We got a TINY bit of rain yesterday, so maybe they will keep going. There are a TON and they are SO good! I see them everywhere on my walks around town. It seems to be a blackberry year!!!