Saturday, September 13, 2014
Sparky Sparky Sparky
This has some talk of exercising so I'm claiming it as my "Once Per Month" sparky topic.
Seriously ... you should take a photo. Write the date down. Circle it in red. Because this is a rarity ... me talking Sparktacious.
Anyway, I was cleaning out some stuffs in our spare room last night and came across some run stuffs I have been keeping.
Wait, wait, wait.
Before I go on, some background info. For without background info this blog post would be ... well, it wouldn't lose anything actually. But it will make it longer. And I say, when you can't give em quality, give em quantity. That was my mantra when handing in homework assignments back in college ... so I figure it can work now too.
Anyway - back story.
I don't horde things. Or rather, I don't overly horde things. When I was little I collected comic books. Later in life I admit I had a problem giving up any books I used to own. And ok, I saved certain IPA beer bottles cause of the cool looking labels. (Though I have given up this last item ... as wifey thinks it's tacky to show off my collection of bottles. Sheesh. I tossed them out ... but when we find out they have become collectors items I will not let her forget that we could have been millionaires.)
Hmmm ... ok, so maybe I have a mini horde issue. I dunno.
Which brings us back to where I left off in this story. Cleaning room ... picking stuff up ... finding race stuff. Ok ... back on track.
The thing I found was my collection of event bibs. For some reason I keep them. Wifey keeps her Finisher and Placement medals. I keep that piece of fiber reinforced paper that shows the event I entered, and the distance it was.
As I looked thru them I realized that I had more Bibs in this 2014 year alone, than all of 2011 - 2013 combined. Though in truth I never saved all my event bibs in the years preceeding 2014.
So. Photo op of my Event Bibs.
(This is from 2011 - 2013. All are biking events except for 1 running one I did in Dec 2013.)
(This is from the beginning of 2014. I already have more this year than all other years combined. These are a mix of running, biking, and duathlons.)
Being that I have way more event bibs this year, I am thinking that I must be way more active today than ever before.
Errr ... unless it's just that I am more active at saving event bibs.
Sunday, September 07, 2014
Ok, ok, ok. For anyone remotely thinking I will have relevant and/or useful information on hydration and footwear … STOP READING NOW.
I mean, C’MON!!! This is me we’re talking about. Sparktastic topics? No. Goofy blogs? Yes.
Anyway … today was the Tour de Lab bike ride. Or as I like to call it, the Lucky Lab Ride. A 19 mile extravaganza of bike riding from pub to pub in support of pups and pups. Proceeds from the ride went to the DoveLewis Emergency Veterinarian Hospital.
As some of you may know, wifey was REALLY wanting to ride in this event this year. I’ve ridden in it a whole lot of times. Wifey had not ridden this yet and was NOT going to let anything stop her today.
However, this morning, wifey was limping a LOT. Like, LOTS LOTS.
I told her that we could just go and cheer on the other riders and have our FREE beer.
She said no. She was going to ride no matter what.
However, as I said, she was limping. And her toe was swollen. (For anyone that does not know, wifey got a nasty gash in her middle right toe several days ago. It had 9 stiches. She was NOT supposed to ride at all for a few weeks.) Still, she tried to put her riding shoe on. Nope … NOT happening. So instead, she asked if she could try on one of my shoes since it was bigger.
Really?!?!?!?! What is wrong with her? Her toe is swollen. She was told NOT to ride. She was in pain.
I gave her my shoe.
It fit. And she calls me crazy.
So we went on the ride. Nineteen miles. Three pub stops. Now normally in the past I was satisfied to get my FREE beer at the end of the ride. Wifey? Nooooo. She wanted one at EVERY pub stop.
She is my freakin HERO!
Biking. Pup Charity. Beer.
(Wifey on her bike)
(Upon closer look ... her SHOES!)
(First pub stop. We have dog ears!)
(Second pub stop. Hyrdrate!)
(End of ride photo)
(End of ride - Rehydrating.)
(Obligatory FREE Beer Event photo)
Friday, September 05, 2014
This weekend is the annual Tour de Lab ride in Portland, Oregon. I’ve ridden in this ride for several years now and greatly enjoy this ride immensely.
There’s a lot of reasons why I love this ride. Basically, the ride is hosted by a local brewery – The Lucky Lab Brewery. This is one of the many establishments that not only allow pups at their place of drinking and dining, but they actually encourage you to bring along your pooch. They so embrace the dog friendliness of the Portland Metro area.
The Lucky Lab has 4 breweries in the area. On the ride, you go from pub to pub. While you can have a pint at each stop, and some people do ... riding while intoxicated is sorta frowned upon. Instead, what is totally cool is that you get to pick up a doggy wear item.
Stop #1 = Dog nose
Stop #2 = Dog ears
And so on. It is a BLAST!
(After photo of the ride I did in 2011)
And of course at the end, at the final pub stop? You get to have your FREE BEER! Ohhhh yeah!
So normally at this point I’d HIGH-5 myself and count the Biking/Pup Theme/FREE BEER as a triple word score. But .... there’s one more thing. The coolest thing about the ride?
It benefits one of the local emergency veterinary clinics. The DoveLewis Animal Emergency Hospital. They do AWESOMELY AWESOME work helping animals. Proceeds from the ride help to fund this incredible organization. This is the main reason I ride this event every year.
(So really, its Biking/Pup Theme/FREE BEER/Awesome DoveLewis Charity – Quadruple word score – take THAT Mr. Scrabble Game.)
However, wifey has never ridden in this event. Every year something comes up for her. Work. Travel. Other commitments. Something.
So this year she was determined to ride it with me. She cleared her calendar MONTHS in advance. Rearranged some serious work events. Paid for the ride 3 months ago. Salivated and watched the calendar.
Then of course last week she had her toe incident. Nine stiches. OW!
No running. No swimming. And .... arrgghhh, no riding!
I mentioned to wifey that it’s okay and we can do it next year. I said that since we already paid for it, we can still show up and get our free tee-shirt and our free beer!
Nope. Stiched toe be damned. She is GOING to ride it she said.
Normally I’m the one that insists that common sense and danger are no reason to opt out of a challenge. I guess I’m rubbing off on her.
Nevertheless, I got her to scale back on the route we were planning to ride. We were initially going to do what is called the Big Dog. A 41-miler. The distance isn’t the killer on that one. It’s the long uphill slog to Portland’s Council Crest. It’s a freakin beast of a climb.
Instead we’ll do the shorter Puppy route. That’s ones flatter and shorter at 19 miles. But hey, we still get FREE BEER at the end.
Tuesday, August 26, 2014
Another blog in the ‘To Make A Short Story Long’ series. And warning, this one is rather long.
So today has been a rather unusual day. Actually, it’d be more correct to say it’s been a rather unusual day and a half really.
You see, wifey and I have been dealing with a sort of sick dog of late. For the past 2 months or so we’ve been treating our pup's left eye with various medicines. Due to several medical issues we ended up making the decision to have the eye removed.
Our pup's operation happened yesterday.
Wait, wait, wait. How rude of me. If I’m to keep talking about my pupper, shouldn’t I at least tell you his name? Shouldn’t I show you a photo of him? That’s be the proper thing to do. After all, when you talk about someone a lot you should at least acknowledge them by name. Their real name. Always use their name.
At least that is what wifey says.
Anyway, here are my three pups.
Sachi – Her name means ‘Child of Joy’. We really should have named her ‘Child of Barkiness’
Chloe – Our newest addition to our family. Like Sachi, Chloe is a rescue pup. We call her ‘Little Red Dog.’ Or, ‘Snack Bite.’ Or whatever other name we want to use for her.
Mozart – This is our poor pup that has to have his left eye removed. Poor little guy.
Mozart – The after shot. Well, not really, but C’MON … would you REALLY want to see his battered little face after the operation????
Anyway, where were we? Uhmmm … his operation right? It was yesterday.
So anyway, I picked him up at about 4pm-ish yesterday. Less one eye. But add one cone-of-shame.
He looks like he’d been though a helluva fight. But he was doing okay. He was super tired, but on pain meds. And he slept most of the evening. And that was good.
At bedtime we decided I would take Sachi to the bedroom, as she was a bit agitated with all that was going on. Wifey decided to keep Chloe and Mozart in the living room for a bit. She placed Chloe in her crate, and let Mozart sleep on the bed below her.
Wifey fell asleep.
At about 4:30am, wifey comes hobbling into the bedroom.
“I cut my foot,” she said.
Sure enough, I look down, and there’s blood dripping. Apparently wifey heard Mozart wandering around in the middle of the night, so she got up to find him. She found Chloe’s crate instead. A sharp part of Chloe’s crate. A very sharp part.
Wifey had two huge gashes in her toe.
I followed her to the living room. We left Sachi in the bedroom for a bit. Entering the living room I am thinking that a murder must have occurred. There is blood EVERYWHERE. And I mean, EVERYWHERE. On the sofa. On the rug. On the carpet. On the kitchen floor. On the WALLS!
Wifey had bled a pool of blood onto the floor, and somehow Chloe had gotten out and had tramped through it, and tracked blood everywhere.
In the meantime, Mozart starts to whine a little. He’s feeling sore and I know he needs his pain medicine.
And to top it off, Sachi somehow got loose from the room. I know she wants to eat and wants to go out to pee. But nooooo. She could not hold it, and had actually pee-ed in our bedroom. On the NEW subflooring we JUST PUT IN THIS WEEKEND.
So in short:
1) Wifey is standing in a pool of blood.
2) Pirate Pup needs his pain medications.
3) Sachi wants to eat and is barking like crazy.
4) Chloe is still prancing around signing everything in sight with her bloody paw marks.
5) And I need to clean the pee in the bedroom before it soaks into the new subflooring.
At any rate, some triage was done. All the pups got fed and medicines were given. The pee was sopped up and sprayed with sanitizer. We got wifey cleaned up. And I also managed to semi-wipe the blood up from the floors. While not totally clean at least it wasn’t trackable anymore. I did leave the rug and wall stains for later.
Wifey then states, “I don’t think I really have to go to the doctor. What do you think?”
I am thinking I want to push her back into the crate.
But if I did that, no one would believe that the first fall was an accident. So I refrain.
At about 5:30am we finally head out the door to get to the nearest Urgent Care facility. We live out in the country, so it’s about a 20 – 30 minute drive. When we arrive we find out that they are no longer an Urgent Care center.
Oh. There’s a Starbucks at the next block. Let’s go there to get some coffee and breakfast.
So we order our drinks and breakfast at the drive thru. Pull up to the window. Get our drinks and muffins. The window teller then asks if we need anything else. In a fit of brilliance, we ask her if she knows where there might be an Urgent Care center, as wifey has a nasty gash in her foot.
The Starbucks teller then gives us this look that says, “Why in the hell are you stopping for coffee if you’ve got a medical emergency?”
Well, it’s not really an emergency. Just … urgent. Hence the need for an Urgent Care center.
She looks up something on her phone and gives us directions to the nearest facility. She also mentions that the next time something happens we should go to the medical place first. Before we get coffee.
As we are driving away wifey turns to me and says, “It wasn’t just coffee. We got muffins too. That should count for something right?”
I keep driving.
We get to this other Urgent Care facility. Yahhhh!
But nooooooo. It’s closed. They open at 8:00am.
I guess something is only urgent if it occurs after 8:00am.
On a weekday.
And certainly after getting coffee and muffins.
At any rate, we go home and return at 8:00am. Wifey ends up needing 9 stitches in her middle toe on her right foot.
Wifey’s foot and toe – While mostly cleaned up, you can see some traces of blood.
As we are driving home she asks me if it would be okay for her to go to work for the rest of the day.
I’m a quick learner, so I give her the same look as the Starbucks teller gave us.
It is now near 5:00pm, and I am done running around making her comfortable and getting her pain meds. I have gotten dinner ready. I got the other pups their dinners and medications again.
Ahhh, poor Mozart and wifey. I feel so sorry for them. But …
I CANNOT WAIT to go to work tomorrow.
Monday, August 25, 2014
National Novel Writing Month.
Or NaNoWriMo to those in the know.
Or NaNo for short ... for those in the NaKnow ... hahaha, ok ... that was a bad pun.
Anyway, NaNoWriMo, for those that have not heard of it, is an exercise in writing that occurs during the month of November. All around the world, aspiring authors (as well as a few successful authors) attempt to write a 50,000 word novel.
In the span of 30 days.
For some it’s a seemingly easy effort.
For others, myself included, it’s an arduous ordeal. All extracurricular activity beyond writing is suspended. Your spouse and all family members recede into the background. Food no longer becomes an enjoyable meal, and instead, the stuffing of candy and soda into your body is only due to the need for sustenance and survival. Time is valuable – REM sleep, potty breaks, and assuring you turned the oven burners off are just time wasted, when instead you could have gotten a few more sentences clicked off the keyboard.
Thirty days filled with 30 sleepless nights.
Thirty days filled with nodding off at your real job because of the 30 sleepless nights.
But I’m getting ahead of myself here.
Why blog about NaNoWriMo here in August? NaNo is months away. Why not write about NaNo during the month of Nano? Wouldn’t that make more sense you ask?
To which I reply:
Well, so as not to sound too rude, I’ll explain. You see, I’m once again trying to determine if I want to participate in NaNoWriMo. I joined in on the fun in Nov. 2011 and 2012. I sort of wimped out in Nov of 2013, with the weak excuse of being too busy or being injured or something. (Spark pal Amanda got me addicted to NaNo.)
Now, if I do decide to do NaNo this year, then I really wouldn’t be able to write about NaNo DURING NaNo ...as I’d be too busy writing my masterpiece.
So I decided to write about it today instead. While I have the time.
And because I couldn’t figure out what else to write about.
Anyway ... I also want to disclose right up front – the two novels that I have written, well, they aren’t exactly published novels. In fact, they haven’t been quite edited yet. Uhm ... err ... and I guess to edit them they’d need to be reviewed first? OKAY, OKAY ... so I’ve not even run spell check on the freakin documents.
Which brings up something else you should know about NaNo. The purpose of this exercise is to write. And by “write”, I mean just that. Not edit. Not researching facts or interviewing people. No debate on whether your sentence structure is great, good, or even passable. In fact, usage of the backspace key is highly discouraged.
In short, the purpose of NaNo is NOT to write a great novel, but to write A novel. A crappy novel after all, is still a novel.
But for most people, just the act of writing is what its all about. The only way to get better at writing is to write. And write. Then write some more.
I would guess that for the majority of those completing their novels, at least 50% of their work is pure dribble. Being an overachiever, I’m guessing I’m at 95% dribble. Nevertheless, the remaining portion of the written work can have magic in them. You’d be amazed at the cool ideas that pop out of free-form writing, or when someone shouts out, “Write for 5 minutes about your pet iguana’s craving for bacon.”
So I’ve been wondering of late ... do I write in NaNo this year? Do I plunge into the abyss of my keyboard? NaNo is a mere 2-3 months away. In the past I’ve had early ideas of what I had wanted to write about. To date I have no subject at hand. If I do decide to move forward with this effort I suspect I’ll have to approach this novel differently from those in the past.
Still, I feel that my success as a non-published, unedited, reviewless, and spell-check-challenged writer gives me the expertise and credibility to be experimental.
I’m thinking of writing a novel and having it branch off in several different directions, with the reader choosing which direction they want to go. Depending on what is chosen, a different ending to the story would occur. Maybe 3 or 4 different branches to the story. I’m also thinking that once they choose a branch point, they would not be able to go back and read the other storylines. In essence, I’d be writing this as an ebook(s). Once a path is chosen, the other paths are locked off. My evil genius becomes clear when you realize that if you want to read all the various stories you’d have to buy every version of the book! Muaahahahahahaha.
(Actually, to be taken as a 'serious' writer, I probably should say something more like, "I'm not in it for the money, writing for writing's sake give me pure joy." But then I'd have to give the 'ol, *wink, wink* thingy.)
Of course I’d have to figure out if this ebook-lock-em-out stuff was even doable. Electronic and techy stuffs aren’t really my thing.
Then there’s also that story thing I have to come up with ... plot, characters, and all that other nonsense. But as I write, something should come right? After all, its NaNoWriMo.
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