Tuesday, September 22, 2015


We had an awesome agility weekend and both Keltic and Beckett proved that they are excellent Snooker dogs.

On Saturday, Keltic was in three runs, the first was Advanced Snooker.  It was a very small trial and they were using two rings, alternating between rings to keep things flowing smoothly. Too smoothly, I was videoing the first event for some friends and still had their cameras in my hands when they called for the Advanced Snooker briefing. I just had time to go get my course map and head over to the other ring. I had looked at the course map and had planned a very ambitious course but with only the seven minute walk through before the event started just decided "what the hay" that I would stick with that plan. I didn't think we would get very far, I wasn't even going to get anyone to video but a friend said bring your camera back so I did.(A big thanks to Lisa.)

Advanced Snooker

I think the course I planned was about as long as I could have possibly made it. We did all four red jumps (the single jumps marked with a 1), the 5 obstacle (two jumps and a tunnel) and the 7 obstacle (another two jump tunnel combination) three times in the opening and then started the closing.  Keltic ran well, he snuck in behind me once doing the tunnel for obstacle 7 and in the close, he curled in towards me after obstacle 5 but the rest of the run was beauty. I thought when he curled in after 5 that it might have been considered a refusal and the judge would blow the whistle. We had already gotten enough points by then to qualify and I was getting really tired. The whistle didn't happen so we did the teeter (obstacle 6) and finished obstacle 7 for the fourth time.  Keltic finished with 57 points (a perfect Snooker is 59 points, doing obstacle 7 four times in the opening and finishing the close) in a time of 54.93 seconds; in Advanced he has 60 seconds so we were well under time.

Keltic also got an Advanced Jumpers Q, his third but he doesn't get to move up to Masters as I was sure we had already qualified under two judges; unfortunately all of Keltic's Q's are with only one judge. So thanks to his Mum not checking, he will have to get one more Advanced Jumpers Q. He also got another Advanced main gamble where he was again over time but that tells me he can do them so it will only be a matter of time before he gets those Q's We will make sure that we have those Q's with at least two judges.

On Sunday it was Beckett's turn. He was entered in 4 events, two Masters Snooker, a Masters Standard and a Steeplechase. In the first Snooker, things were going well but then I did a front cross which for some reason he didn't read and he took a jump behind and away from me, really odd. In the Masters Standard, we had a funny refusal. We were heading to the dog walk but some unused tunnels (mouth down) had been placed by the fence and Beckett headed straight for them passing the plane of the dog walk.  Next up was the second Masters Snooker, I really wanted to get this one as it would be Beckett's Expert Bronze Snooker title for 10 qualifying scores at the Masters level. We get over to the briefing and find out that I hadn't read the notes correctly and obstacle 7 was not multi-directional. You had to do the tunnels in order, A,B, C although each tunnel was bi-directional so either tunnel mouth was acceptable. I had to quickly revise my plan, making up a variation of what another competitor said she was doing. We did red jump, 7 A, B, and C, red jump, then 3B, 3A, then red jump and 7 A, B and C again before starting the close with the middle tunnel which was also obstacle 2.  We nearly got a refusal on obstacle 3 when Beckett turned into me after the tunnel. I had nearly forgotten to cross for obstacle 2 and so was not in position to beat him to the end of the tunnel. 

Masters Snooker

We got all the way through the close giving Beckett not only the Expert Snooker Dog title but also his 100th qualifying score; a personal goal I set this year. Beckett also got a Q in the Steeplechase. It was his 30th Q in Steeplechase, we need 50 for his Silver Expert title in that event, who knows maybe next year.

Beckett -  Expert Bronze Snooker Dog of Canada

All in all a great weekend, the weather was great and in addition to the Q's, three of our runs were Best Runs so we also came home with cooling towel for me and a Frisbee and treats for Beckett and Keltic. And we were all SNOOKERED and went to bed fairly early.

Monday, September 7, 2015

The New Addition

 No I didn't get another puppy... but I would like to; I had an addition built on the house. For years now, I've been thinking about putting a sun room on the back of the house. I've had quotes done for kit installations where the panels are prefabricated off-site and installed at your location.  I had thought that this would be less expensive; boy was I surprised at the cost. At the time, I didn't have enough saved to even do the kit installation so I waited a couple years and very nearly signed a contract but I made it conditional on determining if the city would let us build on the existing deck. They wouldn't so I backed out, but I kept on thinking about having a nice sun room. Last spring when my mortgage came due and I still had that sun room on my mind, I borrowed the money since interest rates were very low to do the sun room.  I began the search for a contractor, I had wanted it built last fall but didn't sign a contract in time to have it done so it was scheduled for this spring.

Technoposts and beams
The contractor parked his trailer in my driveway on 8 June for what was to be a five to 8 week job depending on delays. The first delay was that it rained most of the first week and my contractor and his partner got stomach flu so nothing happened in week one. In week 2, the old deck was removed and  my contractor and the technopost installer decided on a different layout for the foundation posts. This meant we needed new engineering drawings and the city needed to approve the revised drawings. The new drawings took nearly a week and the city took 12 working days to approve the drawings. The city tries to get revisions done in five days but technically they have 15 days. But while we waited for the drawings and approval, nothing could be done but the beams and joists, the floor could not be closed in.

Floor Joists

Once we had the approval work on the framing moved along quickly. It was neat to see what had been done each time I came home. When I left to go to Calgary for my niece's wedding and some vacation time with my sister, the tile floor was being installed. I had hoped that the sun room would be nearly complete when I got back.  Nothing much else was done when I got home, it was somewhat disappointing but the windows hadn't yet arrived.


Roof beam and rafters

Roofing and exterior OSB

Insulation and skylights

Tongue in groove pine ceiling

Tile floor
I was home for a few days before going camping, the day before I  left the window installers arrived. Funny thing, the team leader was a sheltie owner that I knew from agility. They started the job and completed it while I was away camping. The siding company was supposed to be in early the next week. I got home from camping on Sunday evening, no one showed up on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday. I e-mailed my contractor who told me that my job was the next one but they wouldn't be able to get to it until the next week, but on Friday they showed up at 7:45 am while I was still in bed.

Windows and exterior siding

Interior siding

Siding all installed
With the siding done all that had to be completed before I could use the room was the electrical. The electricians were confirmed but the morning they were to arrive no one showed up until 11 am and then when he did, he couldn't compete the job as he didn't have the necessary tools and screws. He asked if they could come back the next day and told me that they would be there at 7:45 am. Again no one showed up until nearly 11 am; I had called my contractor at 9 am to see if something had happened. It was different electrician who showed up and I guess there was some miscommunication about what time he was to do my job. He finished the job which was a good thing as I had already asked my sister and brother-in-law if they could help me move the patio furniture in that evening.

Section sofa set in the garage

The construction had taken so long that I had purchased a new sectional set when all the stores started to have their summer clearance sales. Thinking the sun room would be close to done when I got back from Calgary, I had the set delivered and had stored it in the garage.

With help from my family, we got the sun room set up on Thursday, 3 Sep, almost two months exactly from the time construction started. There still are some small jobs to do, eaves-troughs and some flashing on the roof line and the final inspections still need to be done as well.  I didn't get to use the sun room on Friday or Saturday as we were heading off to an agility trial but I did get to use it yesterday and if it's not too hot I'll use it today. Hopefully we'll have a nice fall and I'll get a lot of use of it during that time before the weather turns really cold as I won't be able to use it to sit out in then either.
Ceiling Fan

New sectional
Finally relaxing in the sun room

Evening star
So while the project took longer than expected and I didn't get to use it much while I was on vacation (I go back to work tomorrow), I'm very happy with the end result. I'm looking forward to using it next spring and also happy that this winter I won't need to shovel that deck. I use the snow blower on the lower deck so that's not too hard to do.

This was my first really big project and I guess as construction projects go, it went rather well. My only real regret is that I took so long to actually make the decision to build the sun room as I'm sure I'm going to enjoy it immensely, stay-cations are looking better and better, maybe a hot tub will get installed next year.