Dublin has always been an amazing Frisbee dog, and I’ve slowly been catching up as a decent thrower; he’s clearly the only athlete on the team, so it’s only his name on my jersey. Since my father’s stroke, competitions have been few and far between but I always make an effort to compete in The Quadruped. It’s a unique event founded and run by Jeff Hoot which pits teams head to head in heats that are all about the longest catch.
Dublin loves to go long and given a choice he’ll book it out to 80 or 90 yards before he’ll turn around and expect a disc coming his way. I can’t throw it that far yet, but he indulges me and catches up my 65 yard throws on the way back to deliver the disc for another round.
This year’s Quad was our best finish ever. Dublin and I bested the largest men’s heat ever and advanced to the finals for the first time. During our inaugural Quad back in 2007 when he was just a year and a half old, we were just edged out by the team that won in the round just before the finals. Every year we’ve improved our longest catch distance and this year was a nail-biting path to the finals. During the early morning seeding throw I had to throw first and was cold, rushed, and a bit distracted. I had one of the worst seeding distances and thus had to throw second in a field of more than 10 competitors in my heat.
Only the top 3 advance to the second round and later throwers know exactly what distance they have to hit to guarantee themselves a spot in the next round. Going later means you can make it into the finals in only 3 throws. Going early you can’t afford to save your dog and can throw as many as 9 times to reach the finals. This is the path we had to take as we squeaked through the first round in 3rd place, barely missed the cut again in the second round coming in 2nd, and took all three throws in the final round to come in first.
By the time of the finals the sun had shifted to the West but given the hurried pace of the day to give all 75 teams their chance, we neglected to request a change in throwing direction. The finals were brutal for some competitors as the sun darted in and out of cloud cover right at the perfect level to blind both thrower and dog. We still got one good catch in but it wasn’t enough to advance our standing past 4th.
2011: 4th – Christopher Landauer and Dublin – 59 yards [First Finals bid]
2010: 6th – Christopher Landauer and Dublin – 58 yards
2009: Didn’t attend.
2008: 13th – Christopher Landauer and Dublin – 55 yards
2007: 5th – Christopher Landauer and Dublin – 58 yards
So Dublin finally brought home some hardware, a beautiful wooden frisbee etched with our rank and the event details and I got the most coveted prize: a QUAD finals t-shirt. It can’t be bought, only won, and past finalists wear their shirts with pride at future QUAD events to psych out the competition. Of course Dublin wanted me to throw his trophy for him, but he’ll have to settle for admiring it on the mantle.
He really is the best dog ever, and one day I’ll be able to throw it as far as he deserves.
On the software front, I’ve made some improvements to the blog recently. After I broke the feed and then the entire blog, I did a fresh install from scratch. The font size for posts is larger, the color scheme is a little bit patriotic and easier on the eyes, and I’ve added some more interactive features in the side column.
The post feed link is more prominent with a rotating banner of the most recent posts. Feedburner reported 173 subscribers on August 8th, an all time high for the blog. The number jumps around a lot but the average subscriber count is now over 150.
If you’d like to get the blog in your inbox, there’s now a form right on the blog where you can enter your e-mail. Thirty five people already use this feature.
I’ve ressurected the Google Friend Connect box that was once only available on blogger but now comes in a widget that is multiplatform. Twenty three of you had joined over two years ago before blogger broke my blog and I moved to wordpress. So now if you still use the blogger platform to read blogs or you want to show your support for BorderWars publicly you can join this site via Google Friend Connect once more. The blog has grown a lot in the last two years so be my friend!
If you have a blog and link to BorderWars from your blogroll, I’ll add you to my “Incoming!” link list and also feature your most recent posts in the new “Allied Communications” box. This neat feature is actually a bundled feed of all the recent posts of the blogs that link here. You can even subscribe to it if you’re interested. I hope this will reward those of you who read the blog and post good content with cross traffic and new readers.
Recent comments are now featured prominently on the sidebar and I’ve added both CommentLuv; a graphical user interface for the comment form so you can easily add links, images hosted on other sites, and text effects; as well as an upload feature so you can attach images or PDFs to posts. This allows you to both upload and display images in comments as well as attach other files such as scientific studies to share with other readers. The blog already has over 1550 comments and I hope this will foster even more discussion.
There’s also an archive list in the sidebar as well as an Archive Page that has every post listed chronologically.
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