Wednesday, December 30, 2015

Vader's World is Now on Instagram


Well, after much coercion from my niece, her telling me that Vader's World would "...go viral on the internet if I added Vader to Instagram!"

So here you go Emma, Vader now has an Instagram account...  So where's the "explosion" of web hits Em? LOL...

Now if you are wondering why the Instagram url does not have the obvious in it (vaders_world), that's because that path was taken by someone else with a few pics of his black lab. Boo, that we could not nab the path, but it is what it is.

For now, I've populated with some of Vader's basic pics from the beginning and will start adding new things as they occur.

Any way, if you're on Instagram, here's Vader's Instagram link:
  

Feel free to like, follow, or share..."Thank you kindly."
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Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Best, Cattle Dog Resistant Chew Toy Ever

Indestructible Chew Toy for Cattle Dogs

If you have a cattle dog, there's a good chance that you have encountered their tenacity when it comes to chew toys. That tenacity includes the ability to destroy everything that is labelled indestructible.

It was quite the shock to discover how many chew toys are actually labelled as the toughest or what not, only to find that 10 to 30 minutes later it's been shredded, chomped or chewed up beyond recognition.

But last year I picked up a chew toy that was on sale in PetCo after the holidays because it was stupid cheap. What we did not realize was that of all the chew toys in the world, this one would not only last more than a few days, but it has lasted for a year and does not have a scratch on it from three cattle dogs chewing down on it.


Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Good Poop Bags At A Great Price

Team Vader recommends these poop bags at a fantastic price
 The pooping patrol...

Normally we post about some of the cute adventures of the team or what not, but today is about some practicality!!! That practicality being about 'poop bags!'

I know we can hit up any store on the planet and buy poop bags for our pups 'poop-duction' efforts. But have you looked at the prices of these things? I saw one set of poop bags in a popular pet store where you can get 60 bags for $7. Seems reasonable. But then again I've seen single rolls go for the same price.

Wow. Nice. But on occasion, I've also taken note that I'm not fond of the quality of the bags. They seem pretty thin.


Be it for me to stand up and say one thing is better than the other, but I have to say, over on Amazon, I can nab 700 poop bags for $15. And they're fantastic bags.



Thursday, November 12, 2015

Hachikō - The True Testament of Loyalty and Love and Proof That Dogs Are Not 'Just Animals.'

Hachikō - The True Testament of Loyalty

Hachikō

DISCLAIMER: Get some Kleenex's. If reading this doesn't grab you, I've added some videos that will.

There are times when we hear of stories of when animals trek surprising distances to find their owners. Or when they return to their original homes after being adopted out. This is true for dogs or cats.

Case in point: One year my grandmother's cat traveled 224 miles from Providence, RI to their summer home in Leeds, ME. Every summer the family would meet in Leeds and my grandparents would pack up the cats and head north. One year they forgot Shiner. (She had what looked like a black eye) They figured she would stick around the house in RI and neighbors would feed her.  But one summer afternoon, I was sitting on the front porch in ME watching the grass grow and here she came, bloody feet and all, after walking over 200 miles of cities, highways, deep woods, and at least two draw bridges. It was amazing. And she spent the rest of the summer recuperating on my bed and in my lap.

So not only have I read about loyalty but I've experienced it.

Then there's the story of Hachikō.

In 1924 an agricultural professor by the name of Hidesaburō Ueno, adopted a stray Akita dog and they developed a bond like no other over the next year. They even formed a habit where Hachikō would meet the professor at the end of the day at the train station when he got home from work.

Sadly, barely a year passed in their relationship when the professor suffered a cerebral hemorage at work in 1925. He was to never return home on the train to meet the pup at the train station.


Thursday, October 1, 2015

Paws in the Park Disc Dog Event Last Weekend in Pleasanton

Vader disc dog event, Paws in the Park demonstration

The other day Team Vader headed out to Pleasanton, CA to partake in another disc dog event/demonstration with Disc Dogs of the Golden Gate club at the Paws in the Park Charity Walk and Animal Festival, benefiting the Valley Humane Society of the area.  It was at Amador Valley Community Park, in Pleasanton, last Sunday, Sept 27th, 2015.

It's beautiful park and fun was had by all at the event.

Paws in the Park, Pleasanton, CA 2015 disc dog demonstration

The team had two shows and both Vader and Lark participated in the first one, while only Vader partook in the second demonstration.

But...

Tuesday, September 15, 2015

Team Vader's Fun Weekend of Obstacles and Demos


This last weekend Vader and Lark had themselves some fun with the club's Play Day and BBQ outing last Saturday (9-12-15), along with helping participate in a fund raiser for Nike Animal Rescue Foundation (NARF) ( http://www.narfrescue.org/about/ ) by performing in a demo. IN addition, Sunday was a special kind of day celebrated in the best way possible. But more on that in a bit.

IMG_7830-1
On Saturday Team Vader headed out to San Ramon for Disc Dogs of the Golden Gate's play day and BBQ.  The day involved a cool dog disc obstacle course which was troublesome for some, downright confusing to some dogs, and in the end, just plain, outright fun. No matter how the dogs did.

Friday, September 11, 2015

MOUNTAIN VIEW CA Extended Their Off-Leash Pilot Program

MOUNTAIN VIEW CA Extendeds Off-Leash Pilot Program

If you may or may not recall, back in June of 2014, we told you about how Mountain View was testing an off-leash pilot program for one year. We went to one of the parks and enjoyed the new legal liberation!

In that piece, we noted which parks, and when:

Dogs were allowed off-leash in "Designated Sections" at the following parks...

-Bubb Park,
-Cooper Park,
-Eagle Park,
-McKelvey Park,
-Whisman Park*,
-Cuesta Park* and
-Cuesta Annex!

Hours for dogs being off-leash were...

-Between the hours of 6am and 10am,
-Weekdays,
-In designated areas.


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Very Cool Adoption Video From The SPCA

Cool Adoption Video From The SPCA

Below is a very cool, lip-synced production of a music video from the 'Wake County SPCA' that is lip-synced to an ABBA song called Take a Chance on Me. The was produced by POV Productions.

The video was initially created for a private screening for a black-tie annual event called The Fur Ball, an event put on by the Wake County SPCA (WC SPCA) to show off the efforts they put into their work.

It is a super fun video designed to help get some animals adopted and to bring awareness to their need for donations to get their job done.

Oh, and that dog in the last scene, Chance, was adopted immediately!!! (And keep your eyes peeled for the Mario Lopez look-alike!



https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mpoiSD-bjP0


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Here are some cool and sad facts about the video.


Monday, September 7, 2015

Vader's Latest Deeds, Fun and Upcoming Events on Sept 12-13

THe Hugh Flying Disc Dog Vader at the Earthquakes Game Halftime Show

For most of you who are on Facebook, you already know some of the developments of our last few weeks. For those of you not over on FB, and that's understandable, we thought we would send a few updates your way.

The High Flying Disc Dog Vader at the Earthquakes Game Halftime Show

With that said, if there are any soccer fans out there who might have been at the Earthquakes/Galaxy game a few days back and you saw the halftime show, then you saw Vader out on the field with the Disc Dogs of the Golden Gate disc club doing a demo for the crowd.

Check out our Flickr Album Set from this event.


It was one of the most exciting, awesome experiences of our lives and we feel lucky to be a part of it.


Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Vader's Music Video, And Introducing Vader's YouTube Channel

Vader's World video: Vader The Bark Lord

That's right folks, you read that right, Vader has his own music video, and it is totally cool.

Before Amy and I knew what we were getting into... Vader had been left behind at a doggy daycare down in Southern California by his past/ex owner and he ended up being fostered via Ann McQuillen's Performance Rescue, AKA, Performance ResQ.

Vader on the river - pre splash dogs!

Vader's foster parents, via Ann, were Leah and Shane, and we are all eternally grateful for their caring tendencies with Vader. They treated him like one of the gang, taking him boating, hiking and other things.

Friday, August 21, 2015

Vader's Upcoming Demo and Taking Up the Cause to Help To Fight Cancer


Vader's Upcoming Event is helping the American Cancer Society in their battle against this evil disease.

Cancer is an important issue in today's world and it is crazy to think that every one in three folks are impacted by this insidious disease. That and other personal reasons are why Team Vader (Now nicknamed "The Flying Disc Dog" By TACS) and pals from Disc Dogs of the Golden Gate are going to be doing a demo or two at

The American Cancer Society's "Bark For Life of San Francisco," event taking place this Saturday, August 22nd, 2015! (Yes, the page says "Vader's World flying disc dog" but this is a DD of the Golden Gate team demo!)

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Vader Happenings And Upcoming NILES Demo

Vader, the flying disc dog

It's been quiet around these parts so I thought I would toss out a quick update for you.



We've been laying low but recently helped make a TV commercial for a new kind of dog harness and that was pretty fun.

But more importantly, we will be taking part in a demo:

Niles Dog Show
At the Niles Dog Show demo taking place on Saturday July 18th.

{Niles Community Park
3rd Street & H Street
in the historic Niles District
Fremont, California 94536}

Maybe we'll see you there!!!

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Sunday, May 17, 2015

How Did The Team Do At the May 2nd DDotGG Tournament?



It's been a few weeks and we finally found a few minutes for a quick update from our May 2nd, 2015 event out in San Ramon at the Disc Dogs of the Golden Gate tournament.

This was the first event of the year and there was a great little crowd on hand.


This was also Lark's first public appearance in a competition, with Amy and Lark competing in the Novice division of Toss & Fetch.

Bruce and Vader competed in the Open Division.

Both divisions had some tough competition and Team Vader took second in both divisions. Lark took 2nd in Novice Toss and Fetch, while Vader took second in the Open division. So close, and yet so far!

But we were pretty proud of Lark and how she performed in her first time out on the field.



Monday, April 27, 2015

What We Do, And The Next Disc Dog Event? (Sat, May 2, 2015)

So you've seen the pictures and heard the hype, but we finally have some video snapped of Team Vader while we were performing our freestyle demonstration at UC Davis Picnic Days! (A big thanks to Steve Teer for the video!)



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But what's next on our agenda? That's easy...  This upcoming Saturday we will be competing at the first Disc Dogs of the Golden Gate tournament being held at Memorial Park, Bollinger Canyon Road, San Ramon, CA..

The event is scheduled with sign ins at 9am and competition starts at 10am and all competition levels are welcomed.  If you are in the area and do come out, the field it to the right of the driveway as you are pulling in. Just head up the hill or steps and we'll be at the top, just past or to the right of the far end of the dog park. You can't miss us or our banners!

I remember the first time I showed up, with nary a clue and we were welcomed with open arms and lots of guidance.  LOTS of guidance.

See ya there!

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

Vader's World Visits UC Davis Picnic Days


Last weekend Team Vader was at UC Davis for their 101st Picnic Days event and it was fun. It is always fun to play with Vader in front of a crowd, but this is the biggest crowd of the year and to be honest, the best part about it is seeing the smiles in the background... this is Team Vader having fun playing around for the crowds.


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There are more pics from the event out on Flickr, Facebook and/or Google+.

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Vader's Upcoming Davis Demonstration on 4-18


Barring any unforeseen schedule changes,

If you are in the area of U.C. Davis, and of the mind, you should come on by the Hutchison Field this Saturday, the 18th. The demonstrations are quick and you have to be on top of your game with your camera.

Our demonstration starts at 12:340pm.

More about the event:

This upcoming weekend is the 101st annual UC Davis Picnic Day. They have "Animal Events," "Special Events," "Exhibits," and the "SOF," or Student Organization Fair.

Under Animal Events, the flyer says

"Animal Events has over 40 events involving various animals including dogs, cats, birds, horses, goats, cows, rats and more! Come learn about horse anatomy at our painted horse event at the Cole Facility, meet an adoptable Great Pyrenees at Hutchison Field, or watch the races at Doxie Derby in the Pavilion"

Amongst the fun there will be a Doxie Derby, Cockroach Races, Police K9 Show, Various rescue organizations looking to find a home for some of their animals in need, and the like. We will be sharing our part of the field with:

  • American Brittany Rescue,
  • Canine Companions for Independence - Volunteer and Program Information,
  • Meet the Birds and Volunteers of Mickaboo Companion Bird Rescue,
  • New Foundland Dog Info,
  • NorCal Sheltie Rescue,
  • Northern California Weimaraner Rescue,
  • PAWS,
  • Yolo Canine Academy and Rotts of Friends,
  • Golden Gate Basset Rescue,
  • Kiss-A-Bull Pit Bull Education and Kissing Booth,
  • Labs 2 Love Rescue,
  • NorCal Boxer Rescue,
  • Palomacy Pigeon & Dove Adoptions,
  • Yolo County Animal Shelter ,
  • Performance Dogs in Action (10:30AM-1:30PM),
  • Canine Medicine Club Frisbee Dog Contest (11:00AM-2:00PM).
  • Disc Dogs of the Golden Gate Demonstration, starting at 12:30PM.

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The schedule with a few more details is on page 9 of the PDF file linked below. If I am not mistaken, the Performance Dogs in Action will be, like last year, sheep herding, and dang, IS THAT IMPRESSIVE to watch. No, Vader does not herd sheep all that well. He ends up with wool floss after trying.

But the Frisbee Dog Contest that runs from 11am to 2pm, is a toss and fetch contest for any who are interested, BUT YOU HAD TO PRE-REGISTER, so all you can do is watch if you haven't signed up yet.

It is still fun to watch folks compete in the toss and fetch.


So if you come on out, our tent setup will be inside the performers field, just yell for us, Bruce, Vader or "Hey Vader's World" and we'll come on over and say hi!  Unless we're frazzled corralling the rest of Team Vader or helping out with the event in some way. BUT I DO TRY TO COME OVER and say hi!

-Bruce


Picnic_Day_pdf

http://picnicday.ucdavis.edu/

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Disc Dog: Practicing Disc Throwing For Your Dog


The other day I put up a piece on some discs I tested for Hero Disc USA and in that piece I was talking about a few ideas about practicing or competing. Since these tidbits were buried in the meat of the piece, I thought I'd focus on a premise or two I came up with while testing.

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My Practice Premises


The premises I hit upon came about because I noticed that the different models of discs had a bit of a difference in weight between them. This weight impacted the performance I was expecting while testing.

As expected, the heavier discs tended to travel farther on average than the lighter discs.

The heavier discs handled crosswinds a little better than the lighter discs, meaning the heavier discs drifted less when hit by one of those rude, errant breezes we disc doggers tend to encounter out in the field.

Don't get me wrong, they still drifted, and if you found yourself getting hit by a 30mph crosswind, your entire arsenal would end up in the same cornfield, regardless of weight.

I probably threw these discs about five hundred times between the 12 of them and I was starting to spot some personality traits out of the different beasts.

Different weighted discs do different things. And after talking to a plastic molding expert, I learned and noticed that even different colors can introduce their own variability. Which I did not expect.

My observations during the test tended to cement a sort of OCD thing of mine, and that is to use the same brand, model and color discs when competing or performing. This way, the only variables you have to deal with is yourself and wind. Plus it looks good.

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Vader the Disc Dog says: Be aware, Be The Wind.

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Toss and Fetch

In Toss and Fetch and other distance efforts, you are chucking your disc down the field, making the execution and dealing with the wind.  Sure, you may have had a practice round to warm up earlier, but wind can be a fickle mistress.

As an example, at my practice field the wind can hit me from two or three distinctly different angles during my hour of practice.  I can start out with a tail wind, then find myself facing a head wind. And during that time, still be hit by a cross wind that does not match up to either.


Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Disc Dog Product Test Of Hero Disc USA's SUPER AERO's


The other day I was given the opportunity to product test a few discs from Hero Disc USA. In particular, these were discs designed to be used in dog sports, called the Super Aero. I received six discs in all and I added four of my own discs to round out my testing and comparisons.

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Disclaimer: I am no expert. But I have resources and experience. I have resources in scientists explaining the colored plastic mold processes and how it (the different colors) can affect things like disc flight. And I have time under my belt, having practiced disc throwing, without my dog around, for an hour a day, four to five days a week for the last few years. This does not count the time spent with my dog.

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When I received these test discs I did not expect to discover any huge differences and yet, while handling the discs, I was sensitive to variations in the how the discs felt in the open-air where I had light to moderate breezes impacting my field of practice.

The test discs I received from Hero Disc USA included

SPRAERO-STRLTE-Yellow    Hero Super Aero ~ Starlite-Yellow
SPRAERO-STRLTE-Orange    Hero Super Aero ~ Starlite-Orange
SPRAERO-STRLTE-Red    Hero Super Aero ~ Starlite-Red

SPRAERO-K9CDY-Orange    Hero Super Aero ~ K9 Candy-Orange
SPRAERO-K9CDY-Yellow    Hero Super Aero ~ K9 Candy-Yellow
SPRAERO-K9CDY-Red    Hero Super Aero ~ K9 Candy-Red

The discs I added to the tests included two Club Discs (Disc Dogs of the Golden Gate) that came from Discover The World (DTW) (Fastback like) and two Air 235s from Hero Disc USA.

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In case you are wondering about the new names of these discs, Starlite and K9 Candy, these are their newest production run models from this year, 2015, superseding all previous model names and references, AKA, "first generation (K9)," and "second generation (Starlite)" discs.

As it was explained to me when I asked,

"We only changed the name.

1st generation is related to the K9 Candy (referring to the fact that these are the same material as the Super Hero but in lighter [and much loved] Super Aero [model])

2nd Generation Starlite (referring to the fact that these are the same material as the Super Star but in lighter Super Aero plastic)"

The Starlites are a solid color while the K9 Candy discs are a bit thinner, flexible and end up being a wee bit lighter. More on the weight differences later.

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First Round Of Tests

The first thing I did was get out there and start throwing my familiar distance shots. In all fairness, they mostly performed the same, but there was a tendency for more distance from the K9 Candy model on this day. But that can be accredited to how I am used to the lighter models and getting them out there between the 40-60 yard range of so. (A yard is three feet). I was also working down-wind.

Then I started my simulated freestyle routines and that's when I noticed that the Starlites seemed to handle better in the wind than my other discs.

What I mean by "handling better" is that as I was trying different releases or maneuvers with the discs, I noticed winds were pulling the Candy discs away from my expected trajectory path while the Starlites resisted the wind effects a bit more than the Candy models. The Starlites were still impacted by higher winds, but did not drift as far as the K9s, making it easier to effect a stretching recovery grip/catch.

After that experience, I decided to weigh them and here's what I came up with:


Air 235s:       99, 100      kg.
Club Discs:  102, 103      kg.
K9 Candys:  101, 105, 107 kg.
Starlites:      121, 121, 123 kg.

Hence you can see why the Starlites handle better in the wind while for me, the Candys are my go-to discs. The reason the Candys are my go-to discs is because Vader will destroy an Air 235 in a day. The same with the club discs that are effectively similar in construction.  He (Vader) also prefers the Candy to the Starlites because they are lighter.

The biggest draw to the Candy (AKA old "generation 1" discs) for my team is that while I could order 10 Air 235s or Club Discs, Vader destroys the 10 discs within the month due to his harsh bite.   Right now I have been using the same eight 1st generation discs with Vader for a year now. Money saved!

There is also something of note about the 1st gen discs.  After using mine for a year in practice, they get worn down and weaken a tiny bit. Meaning in a good gust of wind, they'll react to being pulled out of shape. To me that is not a bad thing because it made me be more aware of the wind while throwing my practice discs.  Then as I deploy my reserved set of performance discs, I am all the more keenly aware of the wind but they aren't quite as affected by the wind as my practice discs.

That does not mean they compensate for a stiff tail wind. But my worn out discs keep my on my toes while I can still consistently chuck them between 30 and 50 yards.

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Test Session #2:

Today (the first test was a few weeks prior) I was testing 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50+ yard distance throws with the discs and several different releases again.

First was series of throws testing how well I could place the 12 discs I was testing.

At 10 and 20 yard tests they all performed admirably and consistently. At 30 yards, the heavier discs showed off their stability, but otherwise did not shine too much above the others. In the wind they handled slightly better, as noted in my first test.

All the discs performed well in air bounce tests with the lighter discs staying up or floating in the air longer and getting more height than the heavier discs. Most notably the first generations (K9s) loved the wind in this test.

One fascinating test I did, which was kind of useless but entertaining were the rollers.

I would toss the disc out with the intent of hitting the ground at about the 25 foot mark, and then seeing how well they rolled after that.

All but the Starlites rolled straight for about 10 feet then arced or rolled off with the direction of the wind, ending up about 60 feet right of the targeted throw line.

The Starlites fought the wind, hitting the ground, rolling what felt like a tad slower, but not going more than 20 or so feet off the center line with the wind before flopping down.

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All distance test throws were in a stationary position and into a 5 or 6 mph wind. After throwing, I walked the discs into a line, parallel to where they originally landed:



Thursday, February 19, 2015

A Photo Day with the Gang on a Warm February Day

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Did you hear the one about the chicken that crossed the road?

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Crossed? He was running for his life!  LOL!!!

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We were just out having some fun this day and there were some great photo ops with the sun, green grass and just all around great day!

If you didn't catch it earlier, here are more pics from this great day...


On Facebook or Flickr.
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Monday, January 19, 2015

The Very Latest (And Last?) Addition to Team Vader

As you know, back in October of 2014, we announced Lark as the newest team member to join (adopted from a rescue shelter) Team Vader.

Lark is coming along just fine, albeit slowly. We don't have quite the time we truly need to work on her skills until it starts staying light longer.  But alas, I am skipping out on the reason we are chatting.

Most recently in early January we've added one more member to the ranks of Team Vader's disc dog team. Or at least, that is a hopeful disc dog member. Either way, we do love her.

She was originally known in the San Martin shelter as Wendy, but we've decided to rename this one and call her Rue. Rue is about eight months old and on her paperwork it says she is an ACD / Chihuahua mix.

Say hi to Rue:

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Right now she's more Chihuahua than she is ACD... loves laps and naps though on occasion she does get bursts of energy and keeps up with the gang during practice ...

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And there you have it, the latest and last pup to join Team Vader, Rue.

So the team consists of Vader, Lark and Rue.

In fact, here's Rue and Lark watching while Liam the cat is training Bruce and Vader...

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Saturday, January 3, 2015

Welcome to A Dog's New Year

Hi everyone. Welcome to 2015 where Vader and his partner, Lark, are going to have themselves some fun in it.

The gang has been practicing morning and night. Mostly for the fun though. We've recently put up a few shots from our practice session on our Facebook and Flickr pages.

Some of you may have seen these latest pics but just in case you haven't, we have included a few preview pics for you!