Monday, February 23, 2009

Calendar Dogs

I just heard today that Spencer and Scout will be in this 2010 calendar. A friend of a friend does stock photos of dogs. Every spring she invites several folks with dogs to bring them to scenic location for a photo shoot. She gives us all free photos in exchange for the rights to the pictures.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Back home again

Haven't posted much since we returned from NY. I brought something home with me that I really didn't want - a nasty cough and cold that I'm pretty sure came from the kid I sat next to on the plane to NY. On the shuttle van on the return home, I realized I had the beginnings of a sore throat and by the weekend I was completely wiped out. I even stayed home from work on Monday - and I'm usually the one who goes in and spreads the germs around when I have the sniffles.

Scout has been getting used to being a house dog again after her little adventure. Spencer is also back to his old self now that sister is home - he had gotten pretty bored with me while she was gone and was often Mr Grumpy McGrump.

But - just when things seem to settling back into a normal routine, things go all topsy turvy. Mom had been settling in well at her new home in an assisted living situation since right after Christmas, but on Friday morning she suffered several seizures, and was airlifted to a hospital here. I was on my way Friday morning to pick her up to take her for a routine doctor visit, and little did I know that as I was driving north, she was on a helicopter headed south.

Yesterday was a scary day, but today we think that she survived the experience fairly well. As of tonight she is out the ICU and is resting comfortably in a room. She appears to have more left side weakness than she did before, and we may be starting back another stay at the rehab hospital.

So, if you believe in such things, send happy healing thoughts her way.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Dining in New York

How we spent our food money:

Lindy's - home of the $20 patty melt, exploding margarita glasses**, and the best onion rings EVUH! Lindy's claims to be the originator of the New York style cheesecake, but the 2009 version was just ok in my opinion. (**Almost forgot about the glass - I accidentally hit my margarita glass - just a brushing glance really - and it literally exploded. Craziest thing I have ever seen.)

Nathan's - late night hotdog run. Ok, but not as good as . . . .

Madison Square Garden Concession Stand - hotdog with kraut about 4:00 Monday afternoon. Best hotdog ever, but I was possibly swayed by being so hungry.

Blarney Stone Pub - bar food Monday night after manning the bench all day. Meeh.

Cafe Mo Mo (or something like that) - Tuesday brunch. Nice little deli and grill around the corner from Hotel Penn. I had a great BLT and a black and white cookie. Laura had a good looking omelet. Folks who sat near us had some very tasty-looking burgers.

And then - quite possibly the high point of the trip - we had dinner Tuesday evening at Perilla, the restaurant owned by Top Chef Season One winner Harold Dieterle. It is a small place in Greenwich Village, only about 2 miles from the Garden.

We had checked out the menu ahead of time, and decided to do our own tasting menu of appetizers and sides. Our waiter was charming and helpful, finding a wine that Laura really liked and arranging our menu into courses.

First course was a Lady Apple & Red Romaine Salad with maytag blue cheese & a spiced walnut vinaigrette and Seared Diver Sea Scallops with parsnip puree, pumpkin seed pralines & orange-hearts of palm salad.

Next we had Spicy Duck Meatballs with mint cavatelli, water spinach, and a quail egg, Farro Risotto with artichoke confit, parmesan & chili-grape salad, and Sauteed Spaghetti Squash with garlic chives & marcona almonds.

For dessert, we had the recommended Vanilla Scented Doughnuts with maple custard & chocolate chantilly and my favorite, Sticky Toffee Pudding with pomegranates & vanilla ice cream, and a wonderful cup of coffee that reminded me of the freshly roasted coffee I buy when we go to central Mexico.

Every part of the dinner was wonderful. The food, the ambience, excellent service - I hope I get to back there next year!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Last Pics from Westminster

Back home again - we had a noneventful (the best kind) trip today. Good to be home.

As soon as we got home, my first task was to crank up the DVR and see Scout's national television debut, because, I didn't admit this before - I missed it on Monday night when it aired. Cheryl called up from her room all excited and told us about it. So today I queued it up and took a picture:

Here's the scene outside the Hotel Pennsylvania Sunday afternoon. Madison Square Garden is just across Seventh Avenue.

This is actress Julie White (who, as Judy Witwicky in Transformers, uttered these classic words: "You hurt my dog, I'll kick your ass!"). She had watched the cardi judging, and the first thing she said to me was along the lines of "that judge really doesn't like red dogs, does he?" She is a fan of the breed and said that she hopes to own one someday. She talked a bit about filming the Transformers sequel and said there is a scene where she has to run out of the house holding the chihuahua and the pug, and that the pug was so heavy that it wore her out having to shoot the scene over and over again.

The Empire State Building is lit up in Westminster purple and gold during the show. When you walk out of the Garden, this is the first thing you see. I was really pleased that the moon was in the perfect place for the shot.
Just a shot of my pretty girl in the ring:

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Greetings from the nosebleed section

We're watching the Sporting Group from the rafters of the Garden. Laura and I just had a fabulous dinner at Perilla, the restaurant owned by Harold Dieterle, the winner of Top Chef Season 1. More on the meal later.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Sunday, February 8, 2009

A $20 Patty Melt & a PETA encounter

We are staying at Dog Central - the Hotel Pennsylvania, which is just across the street from Madison Square Garden. About 2:30, Laura and I were hungry and decided to grab a quick bite and a cocktail at historic Lindy's Deli, which is in the hotel lobby. We were a bit taken aback at the prices, but it was a darn good burger.

Afterwards we shopped some of the vendors set up in the hotel lobby for the duration of the show. About the time we finished, Cheryl called and said she had just pulled up and was ready to unload.

We had heard that PETA planned to make their usual fuss over the plight of the poor showdogs. I was snapping a few photos of all the comings and goings while we waited for Cheryl's turn. I noticed there was a scruffy guy with some pretty expensive camera equipment making pictures too. However, it was soon evident that his intentions were not the same as mine. He kept skulking around and his shots seemed limited to dogs in crates.

As soon as Scout and Cheryl's other dogs were loaded on a dolly he moved in to get pictures. I stepped in front of him and said "No pictures of these dogs" he shot back that it was a public sidewalk and he could take pictures of whatever he wanted. I turned my back to him and blocked his view and told him he could just take pictures of my fat ass. (Yes, I really did.)

Laura got in on too, and blocked his view of another dog. He wandered off a bit after that and later we saw him in the lower lobby of the hotel where they have the doggie spa and indoor pottying area. (BTW - we cheered when the very picky potty girl decided that it was ok to relieve herself!)

More updates later!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Westminster Trivia

I watched the CNBC show on Westminster last night and learned a few things. Here's a trivia test for you - what do Westminster and the Peabody Ducks have in common?

If you figure it out, I'll bring you back a souvenir from the Garden.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Set your DVR

From :

CNBC TV's American Originals The Westminster Kennel Club will be the title subject on CNBC TV's AMERICAN ORIGINALS airing on Thursday, February 5th at 9 p.m. and 1 a.m. ET. Crews spent considerable time following 2008 Best In Show winner Uno around the country for his engagements, and also interviewed many people who make Westminster the wonderful success that it is. Tune in!

Sunday, February 1, 2009

A Good Day

First of all - BEST SUPERBOWL HALF TIME SHOW EVER! Or maybe I'm just biased because I could sing along with 3 of the 4 songs performed, and will be able to sing the 4th soon because I just ordered the new album from Amazon.

But that's not what I came to post about. I came to brag on my girl Scout, who is finally looking like a real show dog. She showed in Atlanta this weekend, and as usual, she was up against the #1 Cardigan yet again, and as usual, #1 won Saturday and Sunday. (Friday was a complete aberration that I won't go into here, but it was one of those days that really make me disappointed in the whole dog show biz. But again, I digress.)

What was different about this weekend, and what pleased me so much, is that Scout made #1 work for it. She showed so well, and seemed to really enjoy it. Both days, the judges pulled Scout and #1 out to go head to head. And while neither day went our way, I count them as small victories.

I even bought a whole cd of pics to remember it by - here are some of my favorites (Photos by Pet Action Shots):

They also got some pics of Spence on the sidelines. Spencer tested every nerve I had this weekend and I think this pretty much captures him: