Friday, January 27

D.C. commute and Smokers

The past couple of days, I’ve had to go to Howard University Hospital in Washington D.C. for work. I’m about 50 miles south of D.C., but with beltway traffic being what it is, we’re talking two and half hours to get there and the same to get back both days. That’s a five hour round commute. How do people do this on a daily basis? If you put in an eight hour work day, that’s over half the day spent at work or on the road. In order to make it to the customer site by 8 am, I’m leaving the house at 5:30 am. Ouch! I am not exactly a morning person. Like that wasn’t bad enough, I just seem to get stuck behind the jerk who doesn’t seem to understand where his lit cigarette butt is going to end up when he throws it out the window at 70 mph. Littering is bad enough. But to send a nonbiodegradable flaming object at someone else’s car at highway speeds. This is definitely my #1 pet peeve while driving. If you find cigarettes so disgusting that you have to throw it out of your car, you shouldn’t be smoking!

Wednesday, January 25

New laptop for father-in-law

Went to Best Buy Monday night to get my father-in-law a new laptop. Quite a few things broke on his current one over the past year, but when both screen hinges snapped and had to be held together with duct tape, it was time to get a new one. He mainly surfs the web and checks email, so we weren’t looking for a full-blown multimedia machine. We settled on another Toshiba. With a 15.4“ widescreen, 512 Mb RAM and DVD burner, this one should last him quite a while before it’s outdated. Since he is technically-challenged, I brought it home and proceeded to download freeware for firewall, anti-virus, and spyware. Until the hackers come around to hating Steve Jobs as much as Bill Gates and start harrassing Apple, I’m glad my wife and I both have Mac laptops. I love my Powerbook and my wife adores her cute iBook. He picked it up Tue afternoon, and I got a call after he got home that it wasn’t connecting to his wireless network. It worked on mine, and it was set to ‘automatic’, so it should pick it up. After a couple of trips back and forth to test his wireless router on my network and mine on his, it appears his wireless router is on the fritz. He will hit the Best Buy today to get a new one. Technology is beautiful when it works as expected. Trying to figure things out when it doesn’t can be a hair-pulling experience.

Tuesday, January 24

Fellow VAGA blogger Linda Dupie

Back to the Meet ‘N Greet I missed this past weekend. Linda Dupie, a fellow member of Virginia Greyhound Adoption (VAGA), took quite a few greyt pictures of the greys that were there. You can see her pics by following this link - Meet ‘N Greet. She has a ‘dog blog’ at Pawsitively Insane and has links to her others sites and blogs from there. Not sure how she does it. I have one minimal website and one blog that keep me busy enough. Maybe if I learned some HTML? :) On my ‘home office’ days, I will read to my wife from Pawsitively Insane while she is getting ready for work. Of course I am still in my PJs in bed surfing blogs and news sites on my Powerbook. Linda is a professional writer, photographer and aspiring dog trainer. Since neither my writing nor my pictures are nearly professional-grade quite yet, I won’t quit my day job :) She has three dogs, and her greyhound’s name is Dexter. He looks much like my Lucas in height and color. Just not as thick in the body, and hopefully not as thick in the head :)

Sunday, January 22

Fosters adopted

Another greyhound weekend. I managed to miss the biggest Meet ‘n Greet so far. Sounds like there were 20+ greyhounds at the Stafford Petco. Lots of people stopped by and there was lots of interest. Well, both of our fosters left us today. Even though we still have our three dogs and three cats, the house does feel a bit empty :) We still have a small zoo. Just as they were beginning to come out of their shells and getting used to our routine, they are gone. I’m sure my wife is also writing about our ex-fosters in her blog, greyt times, since her blog is all greyhounds all the time. Jo went to a nice family in Richmond. She will do well with their three kids and their dominant 11 year old beagle. Tess went to a family here in Fredericksburg. I remember seeing her at the GPA rescue kennel when I was in Orlando for work. Little did I know that she would end up in my backyard; literally :) Her new mommy was so excited to have her. She never stopped grinning ear-to-ear the entire time we were there. Reminded me of when we got Stella. Really was a life-changing moment. Not sure that Stella nor we knew at the time exactly what a big impact she would have on our lives. The recurring joke around my house is that I just wanted a greyhound, but got a lifestyle. Guess it can be called a lifestyle, but it’s more like a cult :)

Thursday, January 19

Fosters Tess & Jo

Our current fosters Tess and Jo are getting along fine. No problems with our kids. They are still a bit wary of stairs and haven’t quite figured out our routine yet. They are both very sweet girls. We are known in our rescue group for somehow ending up with brindle fosters. As you can see in the picture, both girls are brindles. Jo has the purple collar, and Tess the pink collar. In this picture, they are enjoying their new favorite activity of grazing. They were spayed at the beginning of the week, so we are keeping their activity level low to give them a chance to heal. One of girls will be adopted by a family in Richmond this weekend. The other will stay with my family as a foster. Still deciding which would be the best match for this family. Checking their pedigree, turns out that Jo and my Stella have the same daddy. How neat. I played greyhound courier today and picked up Nico, a brindle boy, in northern Virginia and brought him to his new family in Fredericksburg. He now has two new sisters and a big backyard to run in. That’s why we do it. So these guys can have a nice retirement from the track.

Wednesday, January 18

From English Cockers to Greyhounds

Just got back from a roadtrip to North Carolina for work. Saw a friend in Winston-Salem while down in the area. She is just finishing up serious renovations on her house. Can’t wait until its all finished. Then the wife, kids and I will make a road trip to check it all out. Before, the house was dark and the styling was decades old. The new style is brighter and more open. She has two English Cocker Spaniels (Lily & Sandy) and two kitties (Elliott & Utsu). Her two girls were my first real experience with dogs. I remember helping train them for obedience and agility as well as attending quite a few AKC dog shows at the time. A decade later, I have 3 dogs of my own and actively involved in greyhound rescue. Not bad for having been introduced to dogs as an adult. Today I came home to find two foster greys, Treadmill Tess and Tapmar FloJo. That essentially doubled our greyhound population in the house, and neither Parker nor the cats are too delighted about it. We had our second basic obedience class tonight. Lucas is a bit nervous and still getting used to the idea of obedience class, while Stella gets just bored of it half way through and stops paying attention.

Monday, January 16

Justify the camera

I bought my Canon EOS 20D with the 17-85mm USM IS lens in March of ‘05. All my digicams have been Canons, so I probably wasn’t switching to a Nikon. So it was between the Rebel XT and the EOS20D. The regular kit lens is an 18-55mm. The upgraded kit lens is the digital specific 17-85mm f4/5.6 USM with image-stabilization. I justified it by telling my wife that it was for the greyhound pictures. My camera at the time was a Canon G2. Quite a capable camera for a consumer digicam. But, still saddled with slower focus and shutter lag compared to a dSLR. How was I supposed to take pictures of a sprinting greyhound with a pocket digicam? Quite hard to do actually. I promised I would take lots of pictures of the dogs, and also to help with pictures for our greyhound group, Virginia greyhound adoption. Since then, I have taken a few thousand pictures with the vast vast majority of them being doggie pictures. You can see some of the pictures on my webpage. It’s a fun as well as practical hobby. Since I can’t draw, paint or make things with my hands, I’ll stick with writing and photography as my creative outlets.


Since my job requires some travel, I get a lot time in the car or airports or wherever to catch up on my reading/listening. I am always well prepared for delays. I love listening to audiobooks and have a subscription to I can easily listen to an 8-10 hour audiobook in a week. I recently finished 40 hours of book one and two of the ‘Inheritance’ trilogy (Eragon & Eldest) during a long week on the road. The third book isn’t out yet. This is definitely the most ‘well-read’ I’ve ever been. I also take magazines and good ol’ fashioned paper books too. I usually carry at least one magazine, a book, and have a few audiobooks on my iPod Nano. That way I’m covered if there are delays or traffic jams. Right now, I am reading ‘Marley and Me: Life and Love with the World’s Worst Dog’ by John Grogan and listening to the ‘The Dark Tower’ series by Stephen King. It is a 7 book series at 120+ hours. I am almost finished with book five. I usually switch genres of books so that I don’t get stuck in a rut listening to the same type of books. My next selection will probably be ‘Teacher Man’ by Frank McCourt or ‘The Year of Magical Thinking’ by Joan Didion. I really enjoyed ‘Angela’s Ashes’, and his latest has gotten great reviews. My wife is currently listening to the ‘Harry Potter’ books on her pink iPod Mini. She is on book 4: Goblet of Fire. Her coworker, Aubry, is listening to the ‘Tales of the Otori’ trilogy on her green iPod Mini. My older sister is tackling the ‘Inheritance’ trilogy on her silver iPod Mini. Not sure what my little sis is listening to right now on her green iPod Mini. If you haven’t noticed, I have tried to get family and friends hooked on iPods and audiobooks. Maybe I’m trying to make up for little reading I did growing up. Both of my sisters were avid readers as kids, but I was mainly hooked on the boob tube. I do remember managing to read all the ‘Black Stallion’ books and the ‘Lord of the Rings’ trilogy before high school.

Sunday, January 15

My wife, Kris, and her coworker Aubry both started a Blogger blog the same day I did. We will see who keeps up with their blog. Starting the blog was the result of a challenge. Since I’m always talking about how I enjoy writing and taking pictures, Aubry challenged me to start a blog as part of my writing process. An “I will if you will” challenge. Along the way, I got my wife to start a blog. She was worried about not having anything to write in her blog on a frequent basis, but if you find a topic you’re truly interested in, there is always something to say about it. For her that would be greyhounds. We currently have two and the occasional foster. Our little black SPCA dog doesn’t particularly see what the big deal is about them. Neither do our three cats. Anyhoo, in response to her challenge, I challenged back with a proposal for a longer work of writing. Maybe a short story or a few chapters of a novel. Haven’t quite figured out the details yet. I added in a contest for best photo of a specific theme on a monthly basis or so. They challenged back with getting my pictures printed/published. I am great with taking lots of pictures, but I am not so good at printing and framing them. Getting them on my webpage is as far as I usually get. And I don’t send them in to any kind of publications. For example, when I look at some of the pictures sent into the ‘Celebrating Greyhounds’ magazine or calendar and comment on how my pictures are better, I am told that I should send mine in but I never do. I need to be better about that. All this started because of challenges and counterchallenges. Hopefully that will be enough for me to keep up with each of them and not give in to my procrastinating ways.

Saturday, January 14

First Blogger entry

Welcome to genji’s corner. My name is gyeong, but my user name is genji. As my blog title states, most of the entries will deal with my dogs (2 greyhounds and a little black dog), my photos (mostly of my dogs), and whatever various unfinished writing projects I might be working on at the time. Unless you personally know me, this may not be of much interest to you. But, as long as your here, hope you enjoy your visit. Please visit my webpage about my ‘kids’.