Category Archives: Life Journal

Lessons Learned from Agility Trials

Maverick with his title ribbon

A few months ago, Maverick started his agility journey. With Abbey handling him, he had two qualifying runs in his first two trial weekends. Things were going great. It felt like the sky was the limit for Maverick.

Then Abbey went back to school. I took over handling duties. It was up to me to keep the momentum going.

Well, it took almost three months and five trial weekends, but we did it. Maverick finally got his third qualifying run in Novice Jumpers With Weaves (JWW). With the third qualifying run, he got his first agility title.

Doing agility trials with Maverick the last few months has been quite the journey. I’ve learned a lot about doing agility and working with animals. Here’s a few of the lessons I’ve learned.

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Is the Metaverse the Future?

Read science fiction books, which I do a lot of, or watch science fiction movies, and the metaverse is the future. Ready Player One, both the book and the movie, certainly make it feel like it will be an incredible experience.



The way it’s portrayed in science fiction, the metaverse appears to be a foregone conclusion. The movies certainly make it look interesting and pretty cool. I get the attraction. It’s a digital playground where you get to be anything you want and do anything you want (for a price). As a software developer, the metaverse would be so much to fun to build. It would be a great project to be a part of.

Well, regardless of how cool it looks or how much fun it would be to build, if the metaverse is the future, then count me out. I don’t want to join it nor do I want to engage in it.

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Unplugged

plug removed from outlet

I recently spent a day off the internet. It wasn’t part of some digital detox or planned in any way. An electrical outage in the area broke some equipment that took longer than expected to repair.

From start to finish, I was off the grid for about 30 hours. After getting over the initial shock of being unable to check email every 5 minutes, I did some reflection around my dependency on the internet and my online habits.

Here’s what I learned.

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Too Many Choices

question marks

Too many choices. Is there such a thing?

The short answer is yes, and how we deal with it matters. A lot.

I may not address the issue of too many choices as eloquently as Seth Godin recently did. As one of my favorite bloggers, he has a gift for using very few words to boil things down to their essence. However, I can’t resist riffing off his post. Making choices is one of my fundamental beliefs to living a good life. With his post, Seth brought up a great point of how to deal with the dilemma of too many choices.

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Inside the Ropes

Marker for Hole 13 at the LPGA Mediheal Championship

Earlier this year, I signed up to volunteer at the 2023 US Open golf tournament, which is being held at the Los Angeles Country Club. I decided to do it so I could attend the event, which is not far from home, and to see the tournament from a different vantage point – inside the ropes.

Having never volunteered at a professional golf tournament, let alone a major, there was more than a little uncertainty about what I should expect. So when the LPGA posted notices for volunteers at the Mediheal Championship being held at The Saticoy Club just minutes from my house, I jumped at the opportunity. I figured it would be a great chance to get some experience at a lower key event so I would be prepared for my assignment next June.

Overall, it was a great experience that was not without its share of an interesting story or two, which seems to have become a regular occurrence for me lately.

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Water, gravity, and taking time off

Seth Godin’s blog is one of my favorite daily reads. Every day he offers up pearls of wisdom around marketing, business, and personal help. The posts are brief, yet powerful and inspirational. I found one of his recent posts about “The wisdom of the water tower” to be especially interesting. While the metaphor can be applied to many areas, I found it particularly applicable to caring for one’s self.

What could a water tower possibly teach us about caring for our self? Well, as it turns out, it can teach us a lot.

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On comparisons

How many times have you went out to eat at a new restaurant, and the conversation has went something like this:

“The food is good, but it’s not as good as the food at <insert favorite restaurant name(s) here>”

“I love the ambiance here. It’s the best I’ve ever experienced at a restaurant.”

“The drink selection isn’t as good as the one they have across town.”

In my case, it happens a lot. I enjoy discovering great restaurants, so my natural inclination is to invoke comparisons with other places I like and experiences I’ve had. While comparisons are not all bad and necessary to make better decisions in the future, they do have a downside.

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Book review: Mindfulness

Book cover for Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World by Mark Williams and Dr. Danny Penman

I started meditating on a regular basis three years ago. Wait, let me rephrase that, I started meditating three years ago. Up until that time, I didn’t understand meditation nor did I understand the potential benefits. After a few fits and starts, I came to realize that meditation isn’t an exercise where you look for meaning or embark on a journey to a destination. Like exercising to stay physically fit or watching your diet to care for your body, meditation is a regular practice that you do to care for your mind.

Given that meditation is a regular practice, it can be easy to fall into and get stuck in ruts. Think about staying physically fit. You need to do different activities and exercises to continually challenge your body. With your diet, you need to mix foods for variety and to get the diverse set of nutrients your body requires. Likewise, with meditation, it’s good to learn about different tools and techniques that you can use to better develop and care for your mind. It’s what led me to reading Mindfulness: An Eight Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World by Mark Williams and Dr. Danny Penman.

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Children are not ours

Brad and Courtney Borodaty sitting in their car prepared to leave

I experienced a circle of life moment earlier this summer when Brad and Courtney relocated to Michigan. It stirred up memories of when I left my parents’ home to move to Southern California. At the time, I figured it was a temporary move. I thought I would spend a few years on the west coast and then move back closer to Pennsylvania.

Well, I’ve been in Southern California for over 30 years. So unless your definition of temporary is different than mine, I’d say my move was permanent. And while they will always be welcomed back, something tells me Brad’s relocation will be permanent, too.

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And so it begins, Maverick’s agility journey

Maverick waiting his turn at an agility trial

I remember it like it was yesterday. The pet store clerk looked me dead in the eyes and matter-of-factly stated, “You had better find that dog a job.”

Maverick was barely 6 months old at the time and dragging me around the pet store. In other words, he was being his typical energetic self. I told her that he was a Labrador Retriever – Queensland Heeler mix. I kind of laughed off the suggestion, but little did I know at the time how valuable the advice would be.

It took another year and a half, November 2020, before Abbey and I started taking him to agility class. He was a quick study and appeared to enjoy negotiating all the obstacles (well, almost all the obstacles – we’ll talk about the weave poles and the A-frame mishap some other time). More importantly, he was exhausted both physically and mentally after class. That’s when we knew we were on to something. We had found Maverick’s calling, his occupation, his job.

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