I was hoping to get some post done ahead for this week but I didn’t even come close to making that happen. I’m heading off to girls camp for the week. It is for girls 12 to 18 from our church congregation. I’m co-director again this year and I think we are ready but there are lots of little things that are still a bit up in the air. I’m trying to have the attitude that I’ve done what I can so now I just have to adjust to things as they present themselves.
On the family story side of things, we have asked the all the girls and leaders to be ready to share a story at camp. It can be from their own lives or their family or a distant ancestor. It is going to be interesting to see how that works out. I hope it will be a powerful thing for everyone. I’ll let you know how it goes when I get back.
Today is Banta’s fourth birthday! She has been a guide dog for over two years now. I’m sure that spunky little girl had a great day today. It is hard to imagine Banta ever really growing-up, but I suppose it is possible. I sent birthday wishes her way earlier today. Happy Birthday Banta!
Zodiac is now 3/4 of the way through his formal harness training to become a guide dog! This week’s phase report has him in phase 6 of 8 phases. The next class in Oregon starts on August 5th. It is unlikely that he will be “class ready” by then but the following class he probably will be. Then the challenge becomes finding the right partner for Zodiac. He needs just the right kind of handler, one that can appreciate his love of life and exuberance and being jumped on occasionally. I’m expecting it to take a while for him to graduate.
Zodiac has always had a zest for life. He is a fun-loving boy and loves to be out doing things, going new places and making new friends. Zodiac is sure that everyone he meets is just as happy to meet him. He is ever the optimist that something fun is just around the corner. I love the happy light that is typically in Zodiac’s eyes and his exuberance for life.
Obedience and Distraction Training
Continues as in phase 5.
Advanced Guidework Training
Dogs work in both residential area without sidewalks
and downtown urban areas with challenging environments.
Focus on working the dogs at a pace and pull that is appropriate for a client.
Instructors commonly work each others’ dogs to continue to develop and monitor consistent responses of each dog in various environments (formal, casual
and during guidework).
NEW! Sidewalkless Technique Introduction
Dogs learn how to work in areas without sidewalks or reasonable shoulder on which to walk. The travel
line is the left side of the street facing oncoming traffic. Dogs learn how to respond to intersecting streets
and parked cars along their travel line.
NEW! Platform Edge Intro and Exposure Work
Dogs learn to avoid significant drop-offs that mimic
subway and rail platform edges.
NEW! Light Rail, Subway systems
Dogs practice edge avoidance when train is absent, and boarding/riding on available trains.
Obstacle Course Progression
Continues as in phase 5.
Pre-Matches for Select Clients
Dogs are identified for applicants with special needs
or requirements in a Guide Dog.
CWTs continue to focus on kennel enrichment and
relaxing time away from guidework lessons (community run, grooming, play sessions, campus walks, dog massage, Reiki).
Leash relieving exposure on cement begins.
(from Guide Dogs for the Blind)
I started working on adding metadata to my photos today! I used Adobe Bridge which comes with any of the Creative Suite products. It was pretty slick. You have the ability to set up templates to fill in info that is the same over lots and lots of images. I put information in the template like contact info and copyright stuff. Next step was the keywords. Bridge has a hierarchical method of organizing keywords with keywords and sub-keywords. It already had keywords like people, places and events. I added dogs and things as additional keywords so far. Under dogs I put the names of all the puppies we have raised. Then I had some photos of other puppies in training, like Redding that we puppy sat a few weeks ago. I put him as a sub-keyword under Dune. I’m not sure if that is the right way to handle it but that what I’m doing for now. In Bridge you can select a whole bunch of photos that need the same keywords and add them all at the same time.
I found a really detailed article about labeling digital photos by Ken Watson. It talks all about the technical stuff and different software that helps with the metadata and metadata standards. It has very good reference information.
One thing I was disappointed about was that Windows xp doesn’t show all the metadata information that I added to my photos when you right-click on the image and pull up properties. You can add metadata in the fields that Windows provides under properties but it would be a very slow task and it doesn’t follow XMP standards (read Ken Watson’s article if you don’t know what that is). I’m pretty sure that newer operating systems do a better job on that score.
One disappointment is that Windows xp can’t see the all the metadata I added, like the keywords. But I’m happy to have gotten started on adding metadata to my photos. Tons more to do. A goal I’m making now is to add metadata as I save new photos to my machine. At least then I won’t be loosing more ground.