The Speciality — Drafting

Our first day at the Specialty was spent enjoying the drafting. We did not, however, enjoy the weather: electrical storms, plenty of rain and SNOW! Not much snow, but I’ve never seen snow in May, so it was pretty wild for me.

Below are the thumbnails of the pictures I took during the drafting tests today. If you see someone you recognize, let me know, and I’ll credit them here.

West Virginia, Here we come!

Today found us leaving Niagara for the Specialty in Wheeling WV.

As usual, Darla found some flowers to enjoy along the way in Pennsylvania. They sure grow some weird flowers there!

Once we arrived at the hotel — another winning Days Inn complete with leaking windows… ugh! — I saw two Berners and their owner walk by, but got out the door just too late to see who it was. Later, I found out it was Lynn Balsiger and her pair of beauties, Anna and Ueli. They took great interest in Molly (like a dolt, I didn’t take any photos!), and played and sniffed in the hallway. Lynn and Darla/Me/Molly chatted in the hallway for a looooong time. Lynn has been around the breed for quite a while — where Darla and I are complete novices with Berners! — and was so very kind and helpful.

Molly found her spot to sleep in….

…and fell asleep, as did we all.

More from the Falls — Oh Canada!

This morning’s excursion was into Canada to see the falls. As you can tell from the view, we picked the worst possible day for weather!

This was as clear as we saw the Maid of the Mist….

…so we created our own!

The view got a little better later in the day, but was still not great.

Even with the horrible weather, I was still taken aback with the beauty of the coastline….

…and the roar of the Falls!

There were a few nice pictures to be had, though.

We wandered about near the Falls, and found a Hershey bar, with a little toy surprise inside.

I even got a Hershey’s Kiss!

Darla found a beautiful garden, with a nice view of the falls.

We stopped for lunch at the Hard Rock on the Canadian side. One interesting discovery — this one is franchised. That means your All Access card doesn’t work there! This one also has a Hard Rock Club — a nightclub, I presume — attached to it.

We visited the Falls tonight, too — from the American side. It is lit from the Canadian side, and is beautiful. No words can describe this wonder of the world at night!

Off to Niagara!

Molly was eager to go, and watched out for deer and other things while we drove.

On our way to Niagara Falls, we stopped along the way at a rest area in Ohio.

The weather was lovely, with a brisk breeze a cool temperatures that made the flags fly nicely.

Molly found lots to look at, and explored much of the rest area.

I found a rare flower in the garden there.

Darla even found a flower to enjoy!

We discovered that Mr. Spock lives in Buffalo.

We were terribly exhausted when we got to Niagara…

…but had to go to dinner.

I sat beneath Sir Paul, and Darla sat close to her golden halo.

The whole world sits atop their building….

…despite a slight traffic problem.

As we left the HRC, we found these words etched on the wall.

Road Trip!

Today we left for the Bernese Mountain Dog National Specialty show in Wheeling, WV…. with a little side trip to Niagara Falls before the show.

Molly is in tow, and tonight we got to Richmond, IN, and our first dog-friendly stop — the Days Inn. As with many “off the highway” hotels, this one had seen better days, but was functional, and gave me a much needed rest!

Tomorrow: On to the Falls!

What would you do with $300M?

Well, I know what I would do. Retire. Sorta.

Of course, I’m talking about the Big Game drawing tonight. $325M+ jackpot.

Many folks say it’s a waste of money — a tax on the stupid. That may be, but the folks that tout that way of thinking will never have a chance to win it. I figure I’m gonna throw that money away on some kind of entertainment, so where it goes is somewhat unimportant. And frankly, it’s really only my business.

So, Darla and I drove across the border last night, stood in line for 20 minutes or so, and collected our tickets.

The biggest change in my personal life is that I would stop working “for the man”, and begin working for me. I dunno what kind of work that would entail — building antennas, woodworking, cabinetry, raising dogs…. who knows? But, I do know I would enjoy myself more, and would probably live a lot longer.

Our families would be well taken care of — Darla and I have already talked about that. Our sibs would be happy, as would our folks.

I’ve got my tickets, and am hoping for the best.


Tonight, I had a fine dinner with Darla’s friends — it was the Vet Assistant’s birthday, and a group of us gathered at Houlihan’s to celebrate. Great food — ate too much, of course.

The Pet Groomer was part of the entourage. Now, she has been great to us in taking care of Molly and Emma, but she is good in little doses. Anyway, I discovered that she is a fan, and apparently has been for a while and is a regular at Archon. I realized, though, why I don’t really have a great deal of interest in getting back in fandom: some of the people are just plain annoying in large doses, and have a few too many stories to tell.

When I went to cons, it always seemed that there was someone with a bigger story — more important person met, bigger amount of food eaten, larger pool of vomit awakened in — and that kind of oneupsmanship never did much for me. Add to that a large portion of sexual intellectual (“f***ing know-it-all”), and there’s a recipe for annoyance. At least to me, anyway.

The Pet Groomer had large amounts of these qualities — and more — and thanks to her, I think I know why fandom doesn’t hold quite the luster for me that it once did.

can·a·peel (noun) ˈkan-ə-pēl – A meal with a lot of variety, where each participant finds and cooks their own food.