Wednesday, August 27, 2014
A few weeks back, I was on a roll. Every day I was getting out on Baby Stewie. For 3 weeks. I even managed to crash a couple times and one of them left a mark.
Right Bicep. Felt like I broke the collar bone, again.
Life was good. Then, Punkin' (who happens to live with me now) went dumpster diving and came up with this:
Meet Rumpke. NOT the newest member of the family. Note the ominous foreshadowing.
Two Fridays ago, she was getting gas and heard an odd noise from a dumpster. She went over a looked and found this Devil Dog wrapped up in a dingy towel. I took some emergency vacation and we took the dog to the vet. Given the circumstances of it's discovery, she named it Rumpke. It appears to be some kind of Rottie and Australian Cattle Dog mix and was about 4 weeks old when found. . When she found it, it weighed 2 lbs. In one week it was up to 4 lbs. Sweet dog. It really likes to hug. With its teeth. We're working on that.
So, there was a week of spending my mtb time caring and getting things set up for Rumpke. And then came these:
Queen Jane Approximately, Pyewacket, and Flaumig von Schnappibottom.
These three sweeties are half sisters of Miss Hinson. She was ever so thrilled to meet them.
If I turn up missing, you know who to blame.
I got Hinson last October when a coworker mentioned he was going to take a litter of 5 kittens and turn them loose in a farm field because he couldn't have that many cats in his house. I took the 5 kittens, made him swear to get mom cat spayed, kept Hinson, and turned 4 into the SPCA. Guess who didn't get mom cat spayed? This time, I only had 3 kittens (out of a litter of 6) to deal with. He claims to have found homes for the other 3.
I kept one.
Queen Jane Approximately.
I named her after the only song I've never heard Bobby forget the words to. I'm sure he has. I've just never witnessed it.
One of my coworkers decided her older cat needed a sibling of the same species. So she, being native of Germany ( and the poor soul I made sing the Schnappi song during the canoe portion of the Little Miami Triathlon last fall) got this one.
Flaumig von Schnappibottom. For some reason, upon getting her home, my friend renamed her Mitzi. Some people...no taste.
The third kitten was headed to the Humane Society. Or so my girlfriend thought.... Again, ominous foreshadowing. I talked my girlfriend into going with me to pick up the kitties. The third one didn't make it to the shelter. She did make to my girlfriend's shoulder....
Pyewacket. Note the glowing red eyes...
I caught an elbow to the ribs when I mentioned naming her new kitten after a witches familiar from the 1600's was appropriate. I think my girlfriend thought I was saying she was 400 years old.
Because of work schedules and vacations, I had all three kittens for a week. Here's how Count Mortimer reacted:
No, Morty, that's not a dog bed.
Here's King's reaction:
Again, if I turn up missing....
Last Saturday, Linda got Pyewacket. Yesterday, my friend from work "found" a little kitty at work (good thing she just happened to have her cat carrier with her) and got it home to her first grade and fifth grade daughters before her husband got home. So last night, it occurred to King
that Queen Jane is staying.
They both seem to be getting over it, though.
Morty and Jane.
King and Jane.
Now, if we can just get Rumpke from hugging Jane with her teeth.....
Sunday, May 04, 2014
Today, I finished the Flying Pig Skyline 3 Way Challenge. Yesterday, I did the Flying Pig 10K and 5K. Today, I did the Flying Pig Half Marathon. If I wasn't so sore, I might give King a good strangulating.
Friday night, as I was trying to get the dogs in bed, I explained what I had on tap this weekend. King did this:
"What," he asked, "Is a 10K, 5K, and half marathon?" So I explained it to him in detail. He did this:
Yes, Elvis laughed at me. So I threatened to bring home another cat.
That's right, he gave me the stink eye.
So, we went to bed. In the morning, I went downtown and walked the 10 K and the 5 K. No running. Conditioning is way down and weight is way high. If I were to try to run much, I would have leg issues and completing the challenge would be in doubt. After the 5 K, I gathered my stuff at the gear check and headed to the car and my troubles began. I parked, as I eventually figured out, in the Fountain Square parking garage. The 5 K finished down along the river. From the gear check to Fountain Square was over a mile and over 100 vertical feet. Once I got to Fountain Square, I couldn't remember which garage I parked in. It took about 20 minutes of wandering around various garages before I came across my car. OF course, when I got home, the dogs wanted to know why I was so late. I said I couldn't remember which garage my car was in and it took a while to find it. Elvis was less than sympathetic.
Again, I threatened him with another cat.
Today, I got up extra early and headed down for the half marathon. I kind of put myself on autopilot driving down, parked, headed to my Pig Pen (I swear it was in Indiana), and hit it.
It was hard not to run. I specifically wore cargo shorts over my running shorts to remind myself I was walking. IF I ran early, I would be boned later. I didn't have any extra matches to be burning early just because everybody else was dancing and running. Finishing was the most important thing.
Somewhere around mile 4, the huge blisters on the bottom of my heels started screaming. I got these things towards the end of the 10 K. I was kind of concerned about how they would affect the half. They stayed quiet until sometime after mile 4.
Mile 6, if I remember right, marked the start of the climb up to Eden Park. At this point, I was somewhere around 15 minutes per mile. This was good. I was looking at crossing mile 10 in the neighborhood of 2 hours 36 minutes. That would get me in with a chip time of 3 hours, 20 minutes, or so. Given the amount of climbing coming up, I knew those numbers wouldn't hold, but didn't expect too much slippage from them. Things were looking good for a respectable time and, most importantly, getting to the finishing straight before the beer hand up people ran out.
Until around mile 8, I was in my own little world. 15 minutes before the start, I put in my headphones and turned on the only appropriate play list for a Cincinnati race: my Raisins, psychodots, and Bears playlist. Saturday, I got through psychodots "Terminal Man" cd, Rob Fetters "Musician" cd, and all of my Bears. Today, I started off with the Raisins "Everything and More" and then "The Raisins". I was in heaven, completely oblivious to the world around me.
Just before mile 8, my sister jumped out of the crowd and gave me a hug. She had dropped my niece off at a fluid stop on the full marathon course and came back to look for me. I think it was last weekend she did a half marathon in Nashville with our older sister. Earlier this year, our older sister broke her knee cap. It wasn't healed yet, but she did the half marathon anyhow. Remember my mamby pamby blisters. If The Ancient One did a half with a broken kneecap, I had no excuse to do anything but finish. My sister followed the course and talked with me until the finishing straight. She caught up with me at the finish and we found a nice grassy area to plop down and hang out. It was sometime after she left to find her car and go pick up my niece, that I remembered where I parked.
Yep, over one mile away and over 100 vertical feet up. I think it took longer to get to the car than it did to do the half. When I got home and hobbled through the door, Elvis greeted me with compassion.
And again, I threatened him with yet another cat.
When I got out of the shower, I found these thieves in the house:
That's Morty on the right. Sometimes, you just can't win...
Monday, April 28, 2014
For some time, I've been looking for a sibling of the same species for King. Elvis just doesn't get to hang out with other dogs nearly enough. So, after much internet searching (whenever I stress at work, I pull up Petfinder on my computer and look at dogs), I found a 5 year old black Lab mix with one of the local rescue groups. Saturday, King and I went to check out the pooch. His name is Count Mortimer and he's probably closer to 3 than to 5 years old. King and I adopted him on the spot.
Here's the first picture of him.
This is the second picture of him. As you can see, he's extremely high energy.
He just bounces off the walls.
One thing I have discovered is that trying to get Morty and Elvis to act in unison is a bit like herding cats. Scratch that. Herding cats is easier. On GOBA in 2004 I was given the task of getting 4 preteens to the severe weather shelter in Wooster, Ohio, when a nasty storm hit the campground. THAT was easier than trying to get King and Morty to do what I need them to do.
It's been quite some time since I took 2 large dogs for a walk. Granted, at only 59 lbs, Count Mortimer is a purse dog by my standards, but he knows how to use his weight and he is all muscle. King, at 79 lbs, is actually long and lean. Mort is compact. When we go out for a stroll, if the coonhound wants to stop and smell something stinky and the Count wants to keep going, I get the Braveheart treatment. Irresistible force meets the immovable object and my arms get ripped out of their sockets. Such fun.
When King and I adopted Morty, we got a free bag of some fancy pants dog food. Apparently, it is much richer than what Mort is used to. We spent most of Sunday out in the front yard. The mutts were on tie outs and I was using a pick ax, shovel, rake, and wheel barrow to even out a large, ugly hump in the yard.
King and Morty Eyeing the Neighbor's Cat
Last year, I had to have my sewer line dug up and replaced. I was advised to give it a year to settle before leveling it out. While I was doing this, Sir Poops a Lot discovered that his lead allowed him to wander into my neighbor's yard. While in said neighbor's yard, and before I could get to him, he pooped. A lot. I used to have a Great Dane that clocked in at 120 lbs. HE couldn't poop this much. In fact, I don't think a Clydesdale draft horse could do this much. 3 waste bags it took to clean this up and there was still a fair amount I couldn't get. I ended up singing a Nanci Griffith song under my breath as I was trying to scoop it up. It starts off, "Oh, I wish it would rain". Rain? I'm hoping for a fricking monsoon.
There is something that scares me about the Count. He is not afraid of his own farts. To me, that means he is used to tooting. King rarely does. He has spoiled me. The Count, however.....
In the morning, I'm taking Mortimer to the vet for a checkout. While there, I think I'll have to buy him a bed. I can't get him to sleep in the bed with King and me. Right now, he is snoozing on the floor.
Yes, that is one of my pillows under his head. If he won't come to the bed, then the bed will go to him.
Saturday, April 12, 2014
I've been walking a lot lately. Over 2013, I did very little, my weight sky rocketed, and my fitness plummeted. So, when the weather started to moderate, it was time to walk. You don't go from curled up in a little ball, hiding from the world for nearly a year to running a 5 K, 10 K, or a half marathon overnight. At least, not without injury.
After a few small expeditions, King and I took a 4 mile walk on a Sunday. I couldn't put my finger on it during the walk, but something seemed off. Monday morning, when I got out of bed and felt the beginnings of shin splints, it occurred to me my shoes were a tad on the worn out side. Crap! I had a 10 K scheduled for the next Saturday. I got some new shoes, rested as much as possible over the week, and woke up race day with the last remains of shin pain. No race for me.
I know scheduling a 10 K when you've been following the Jabba the Hut fitness plan for the better part of a year is...how can I put this delicately... moronic. My thought in doing so was that it would spur me to get off my butt and start training. It did. Just not soon enough. Still, I got out, got new shoes, and by the Monday after the aborted race Elvis and I were walking a mile at a time with no pain. The last week, when it has not been raining, we've walked 3 to 5 miles a day. We'll do a mile when I get home from work, 2.5 to 3 miles when we get up, and a mile before I go to work.
All this dog walking has led me to 2 discoveries. First, I'm faster alone than with Poopatroid. This was made clear at the Emerald Miles 5 K in late March. With the hound, I rarely break the 21 minute mile mark. At the Emerald Miles, I finished right around a 14 and a half minute per mile pace with a fastest mile of 13:50. Plus, I did negative splits in a race for the first time ever. My second discovery is that King has a serious case of the Ooooh, Stinkies.
The cat has A.D.D. BIG time. Her's take s the form of the Ooooh, Shinies. No matter what she is doing, if she sees something shiny, she's chasing it. I have seen her get distracted from chasing down a shiny that had distracted her from chasing another shiny which had distracted her from chasing down the shiny that just distracted her. It makes my head hurt.
King also has big time A.D.D. His, however, takes the form of the Ooooh, Stinkies! We'll be walking along and he smells something stinky and on his way to check that out he smells something even stinkier and heads to check that out and gets distracted by yet another stinky. Sheesh Louise, am I the only one in this house that doesn't get distracted by the least little thing? Man....
Another discovery I've made is that Elvis is a faker. Today, we're walking along on a three miler and the dog is walking kind of quick, bouncing, and showing signs of energy. At our turn around is a garbage can. I tossed the 2 very full poop bags in and turned for home. Suddenly, Mr. Energy was tired and could barely lift a paw. The poor puppy...then, he "did his business" for a third time. I filled up the third bag, and turned to go back to the garbage can. Guess who found his second wind? As soon as the bag was deposited and we turned back towards home, the poor tired mutt could barely move once again. About the time I was going to pick him up and carry his 80 lbs carcass home, a jogger with a pretty little white sled dog looking critter went running by. Once again, Elvis was full of energy and straining at the leash. I felt like a couple Iditarod teams were dragging me down the sidewalk. Faker.
Friday, March 14, 2014
I am now officially a homeowner, again. The last week in February, after months of dealing with mortgage companies and lawyers and tax consultants, I was able to close on my late father's house.
I've lived here since April. In that time the water heater let go, the sewer line clogged and had to be dug up, and my fuel oil furnace crapped out on a day of sub zero temps. My landlords paid for it. By landlords, I mean my sisters. I had hoped that would be the extent of maintenance issues for a while. The house had other ideas.
About a week after closing, the electrical system started acting like the house was on an ancient Indian burial ground. The lights would go out when I turned on the garbage disposal. The garage door opened and closed on it's own a couple times. The thermostat picked temps like they were numbered balls in a lotto machine...stuff like that.
The ancient Indian burial ground theory was not really that far out to lunch. The word I always heard when I was a kid was that the subdivision was built near or on the site of an old Native American village. We used to find arrowheads in the creek behind our house. This was a definite possibility.
While I was in the process of researching local exorcists, I also called an electrician. The electrician checked things out and discovered a broken electrical line coming into the house. The exorcist was not needed. The local power company sent a guy out and in 20 minutes things were back to normal.
Just in case, though, exorcists are still being researched and a large supply of Holy water is being sought. Can't be too careful, you know....
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