Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Cute Boy signs up for Ragnar Relay

One of the guys on my relay team had to bail out, due to a bum knee.   Sucks for him (and of course we hope he recovers quickly), but that means that my very own Cute Boy can now come on board! 
I'm really pleased with that for 2 reasons, one official reason and the other one is unofficial - as in secret - so don't tell the boy.

Reason #1:  This will give us another thing to do together, which will be fun. And, it will be our first race together, with a bunch of our other buddies, which will be way fun too.

Reason #2: Running will totally wreck his biking.   Muuwahhahhaha.  He's gotten way too fast on the bike lately, and all he can think about is bike bike bike.  I have to work entirely way too hard to keep up with him, and there is no end in sight, the rat bastard keeps on getting faster. 

If this works well, I will have to find him a marathon and sign him up for it.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Cat wars

I'm not sure what to do now. iBite (cat #1) is used to be an only cat and for most of the time thinks he's at least half dog. Then OC Herman (cat #2) started hanging around and little by little elevated himself from "stray" status to "pet" status.

Herman is sweet and loving and wants to be petted all the time.  The "touchy-feely" type.
iBite is a little ornery and accepts petting in small doses, on his terms.  The "strong & silent" type.

Both love to play, so I thought once they got to know each other, they'd be perfect playmates and could hang out doing their cat things all day long.
I was wrong. They don't want to play. They want to kill.  Every time they see each other, they make scary noises, ears peel back and fangs are bared. Both of them are strong and healthy so I worry that if they make contact I'll have 2 dead cats on my hands.
Quite frankly I'm not ready for that, having just invested 250 of my hard earned dollars getting OC Herman compliant with city codes (comes with him aquiring pet status, up until then it was just going to be a cheap neuter).

So, I need advice from all you cat experts out there. How do I introduce the two of them without having to vacuum fur for a week or have to sell my car for vet expenses?
I've heard anything from "throw the pair in the bathroom for a day and let them fight it out" to "supervised visits spaced out over 3 months" to "it will never happen, you'll just have to buy another house for cat #2".

Help!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Oh Sara Palin, now you've done it!!!!

I'm no fan of Sarah Palin, the woman grates on my nerves. And now she's gone and gravely insulted the entire Icelandic nation, including Icelanders living abroad.
Palin is at the moment in New York to meet up with foreign leaders. I guess that is to serve as a crash course in Foreign Politics (FP 101?), which we all know is another one of Palin's strong suits (after all, she can see Russia from her house). During an interview with Charles Gibson of ABC News, she mentioned that she had yet to meet a leader of another nation.

Oh really Sara, oh really? Not true, you wench. Not true at all.

But, then again, maybe it wasn't memorable to you, because you and the Icelandic President, Ólafur Ragnar Grímsson, talked about use geothermal energy and earth-friendly ways.
Since the topic didn't involve hunting, war, drilling for oil or hockey, I guess you just couldn't muster up enough interest to really pay attention. So you forgot.

Hrrmmmpppfff.

Open windows!!!

Fall IS here!  Last night I met with my buddies that I'm doing the Ragnar Relay with.  I got maps of the legs I'll be running and Michelle, the team captain, had done up a spreadsheet showing when each runner will be on the course, based on prediced times.  My first run is around 3 in the afternoon (6+ miles), then again at 4 AM (3.4 miles) and the last one at 10:30 AM (3.7 miles).   This will be a 24 hr suckage, give or take a few minutes.  But, oddly enough I'm really looking forward to it!  I'm completely undertrained but I'm sure I can squeeze out the miles needed.

When I got home, the evening air was just amazing - I turned off the AC and opened the windows, and then proceeded to sleep like a baby.  Cute Boy has been reading a book that promises to make him a faster cyclist, and that book says that your body recovers better when it's cold/cool than when it's hot/warm.   Maybe there is something to that!

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Be still, my beating heart. Or at least stay in zone 3-5!

Went for a jog again with my new Garmin Forerunner. This time I even remembered my heart rate monitor (HRM), and jogged off. I was pretty proud of myself for being out there pounding the pavement, as I had just won a mighty victory in the ongoing battle with the couch monster.
Anyway, so I set out for the 2 mile sort-of-tempo-run (just sort of, because I'm not really ready for a whole lot of running yet, starting slow). I happily bound off, trying to remember all my Chi running tricks and am feeling good. Fluid, smooth, I think there were a couple of minutes where I actually looked like a runner.
Glance down at the monitor, 148 - sweet. Keep going, there is a slight uphill, going getting a little harder, now about 8 minutes into it. Glance down. 238. HOLY CRAP. Come to a screeching halt, hold my breath (I don't know why) and watch the heart rate drop to 140 almost instantly. Phweff.
Jog off again slowly, life is good, I'm feeling awesome, pick it up a little, glance down. 259. Jesus H. Christ in a Chicken Basket. I consider stopping to call myself an ambulance, but instead just turn it on and thunder home. I believe I hit an 8 minute mile momentarily which I'm going to claim as a PR for this route. Heart rate on door step: 0. Great. Now I'm dead.

Once I got inside, I noticed a brown stain on my shirt. I rip it off and notice a big brown stain on my chest! Turns out that my Garmin heart rate strap doesn't have an o-ring sealing around the battery!! Florida running is nothing if not sweaty, so I have flat out gone and flooded the insides of the HRM with my very own brand of saline solution. Nice. No wonder the HRM is going insane. Guess I'll be calling Garmin tomorrow to discuss a replacement strap. I hope they will be nice!

Saturday, September 20, 2008

60 miler!

Cute Boy, Mikey and I rolled out shortly after 8 to meet Pam and Cindi for a long ride. The initial plan was for a 40 miler or so, but when we arrived at the DZ Cindi suggested that we would make it 60. Which at the time, sounded like a great idea, so we all said "yeah, lets do it!".
It turned out to be a great ride, even if we got rained on (several times) - scenery was beautiful and the weather near perfect.
This was my first ride on my brand new Reynolds wheels and fancy Dura Ace cassette, a little weird at first but I soon learned to love both!

Tomorrow I will be tired.

Friday, September 19, 2008

The deed is done

At last, OC Hermann is free of his pesky balls.  After several failed attempts at coordinating the schedules of the Vet and the Pet, we finally managed to get both in the same spot at the same time. Herman has been getting to know the insides of the house and is finally pretty comfortable with hanging out and taking his breakfast/dinner inside, so he was lured in with a tempting dish of cat food.
Much to his displeasure, as soon as he was in, the food was whisked away and a sedative injection served instead.  Within minutes he was off to la-la-land and then Dr. Cheryl dressed him in a very nice blue outfit with a matching hat.  The cat restraining device is designed to keep the cat arsenal (teeth and claws) in check during procedures.
A few short moments later, Herman had been relieved of his burden (and Cheryl confirmed that he did indeed have very big kitty-balls) and then got shots and vaccines as needed.  Hermie is now resting and recouperating, too drugged up to really hold much of a grudge.
We'll see how it goes tomorrow.

Ode to Facebook

Oh Facebook.  Let me  count the ways I love thee.  
You let me keep in touch with friends and family from far away.  You reconnect me with school mates, scout mates, work mates and all kinds of random people from the past.
You let me brag about my accomplishments and share experiences,  probably in more detail than anyone ever cared to know.  You let me peacefully ignore bad TV whilst I focus on your soft blue pages. 
I adore thee so much that I even made peace with your new look. It did make you pretty but a little hard to understand.  In an Eastern European way, if you know what I mean.

Thanks, Facebook.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

"Sorry Ike, my alarm didn't go off"

I have been trying to visit the CNN website on a regular basis, in my attempt to try to keep up with whats going on in the world. I figured CNN to be relatively reliable, but some of their hurricane coverage recently has me questioning that.
Today they have on their front (online) page a story about a couple in Texas that didn't manage to evacuate for hurricane Ike in time because they overslept. Yep, you read that right. Overslept.

"GALVESTON, Texas (CNN) -- Paul and Kathi Norton overslept as Hurricane Ike closed in on their coastal Texas home, so they decided to tough it out because their evacuation route was already flooded."


I'm glad that they made it out ok and of course hope clean up efforts go well. As soon as practical, I would suggest that both of them report to one of those sleeping clinics for a checkup, because those sleeping habits should be studied.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Cookies and flippin cream!


Home alone since Cute Boy is out of town for work, came up unexpected. I had planned a nice Tilapia dinner with yummy fruit salsa but since it was just me, I got lazy and just did the fish. Pretty much immediately after dinner I was hit with this massive "get me something sweet NOW or bad things will happen" urge.
I had nothing. I'm trying to not keep sugary stuff around in a weak attempt to lean up and stay healthy. This was not good. For some reason I ripped open the freezer door, thinking I might raid one of those breakfast Eggo's that Cute Boy likes - and that's when I saw that the Häagen-Dazs fairy had come for a visit and left me my very own pint of delicous Cookies & Cream!!
Miracle. It's the only explanation. I don't buy ice cream (for reasons outlined above) and the only frozen treats Cute Boy gets are Mango things. Yucky, slimy mango sorbets, I won't go near them. Thanks again Häagen-Dazs fairy, and feel free to stop by every now and then. Just don't make a habit out of it.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

My own island!


Always wanted to have my own island.
Figured I'd start small and begin with a kitchen island to make up for lack of counter space. I wanted one with butcher block on top since I have big plans for chopping. Turns out new ones run approximately an arm and a leg, so I have been keeping an eye out for a "pre-owned" one on Craigslist for the past couple of months. Hit the jackpot this weekend, negotiated price and pickup, and then sent Cute Boy and Ron Burgundy (his truck) to fetch it. Simon would have been too small.
It's completely precious, exactly like the one in the picture.

"Le Gourmand Butcher Block table on brass rollers. Butcher block top is 2-1/4" thick. Table has these accessories: 7 slot knife block, stainless steel bowl with butcher block cover, wire basket, single drawer, removable lower shelf, brass lockable casters. This movable kitchen island is perfect for kitchens that need additional counter and storage space or for kitchens where two chefs want to work together."

Two chefs cooking together..... now that fits very nicely into my ideas of island lifestyle. Especially the kitchen island one. They are probably sold separately though - at least I didn't see them anywhere in or on my island.

Next on the list is a pot rack. On on.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Forerunner 305: mine mine mine!


Weekend over!
Cute Boy and I spent the weekend working on the house and the yard. Trimming, cutting, pruning, planting - lots of hard work, but the backyard jungle is now finally getting under control. We have started to ease into the fall, even if both spring and fall are somewhat lacking in seasonless Florida. Still about a month left of the oppressive heat, but I can already feel the promises of coolness in the morning air, just begging for an early morning run.
I'm a little excited about running again, mostly because this morning I threw caution to the wind and ordered myself a little running buddy from Amazon.com. A Garmin Forerunner 305, with a GPS to map out my distance & pace both running and on the bike and even has a virtual training buddy to keep me on track. It also has a heart rate monitor, although that function will likely scare the crap out of me when I see the numbers shoot up.
The best thing is that it speaks Mac fluently, so I can download/upload workouts and workout programs on my little Apple.

Now I just wait with baited breath for the little buddy to arrive, until then I'll have to figure out something else for running motivation :)

Friday, September 5, 2008

Whistleblowers

There has been a serious security breach here in the little house by the Blue Lake. OC Herman, who was set to be de-balled this morning, did not show up for his early morning breakfast (aka capture). He's normally meowing away and demanding to be fed as I get ready to leave for work. I even fed him a very small dinner last night, to make sure he'd be by early in the morning.

How could this happen one must ask. How??!

I can't share all the details as the suspect is still on the loose. Our detectives have some good leads, and it saddens me to say that circumstancial evidence has led us to believe that this was an inside job. Herman got the word. The warning. And he listened.
Somehow, this cat (who doesn't even own a watch), knew there was a 5 hr snipping window, from 7-12. To be on the safe side, he didn't show up until friggin 2 o'clock.
Interestingly enough, it was Cute Boy who "discovered" that Herman was back. Observant readers will note that Cute Boy still has his balls and no plans to change that configuration. If anything, he's more pro-balls than Sarah Palin is pro-life, and that's taking it pretty far. I'll leave you to come to your on conclusions on this one.

Anyway Hermie, this ballsy stunt bought you one last week of fertility. I hope you make the most of it. Because next Friday, or sooner, them dingle-dangles are coming off.
Snip snip!!

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Snip snip, goes the vet

It's time. Friday is the hour. OC Herman has hopefully sowed all the wild oats he ever wanted to because the wild-oat-makers are about to be lopped off. He has a hot date with Cheryl the Vet to be serviced like a car at a dealership; feline leukemia, feline aids, the ever popular rabies and then a few more abbrevations that I have forgotten what stand for.
After the tune-up, I'd like to keep Herman inside for a little bit to make sure he's ok and doesn't get into any brawls with other cats. He's been for a visit a few times and is still a little skittish. They usually last half an hour or so before Hermie insists on going outside again, but we have gradually been working on extending the time.
During those visits our other cat (iBite) goes to cat-jail in the bedrom, as he has proven to be a little bastard and anything but a gracious host.
I'm excited about getting to witness the operation and just hope that Herman isn't going to hate me for the rest of his life. Cute Boy wants nothing to do with any of it, probably fearing he'll suffer the same fate. But I wouldn't do that....

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Hannah, Ike, Josephine and other pesky pests

According to weather.com we are nearing the peak of the Atlantic tropical season. Peak or no peak, wouldn't you say that three named storms (Hannah, Ike and Josephine), holding hands spanning from Africa to America is a bit much?? I think so.
My yard thinks so too, I'm fighting a losing battle with weeds in the lawn, scale on the Sago palms and algae in the pool. This weekend I am declaring a war on the above mentioned pests. The weeds will follow in the footsteps of French royalty and be beheaded by Cute Boy and the lawnmower.
The Sago palms have signed up for experimental Flea and Tick treatment, rumored to be very effective in removing the pesky little scale insects. There are other ways, but evidently this one is particularly gratifying as you can see the little bastards curl up and die right before your very eyes. It's really only fair, as they are doing their very best to make my precious Sagos curl up and die too.
The pool.... now that will be a big one. Cute Boy and I need to take the filter apart and clean it. It's a dirty job but it will make it so much easier to keep the pool sparkly and fresh. After filter has been cleaned, I'm off to the pool store to get supplies for the chemical-algae-warfare that will take begin Saturday afternoon and continue well into the night.
This is naturally all assuming that Hannah will either retire in Haiti or Cuba or at least downgrade herself into a very little mini-storm. Failing that, I might just have to curl up on the couch (but not die), watch movies and read books!

Monday, September 1, 2008

Home in time for hurricanes


Cute Boy (under the white parachute in the picture) and I returned from Colorado after being gone for a week or so. Doesn't seem like we missed much here in FL, just another few days of rain from Hurricane Gustavo. Hurricane Hannah is another one that might come for a visit in the next few days although right now it looks like she is headed more towards Georgia/South Carolina. No matter where she goes, we will get more RAIN - torrential downpour style rain. If this keeps up, Floridians will start growing gills!

Colorado was awesome as always. I would really really really like to live out that way one day and get back into hiking and maybe skiing or snowboarding! Cute Boy isn't a big fan of the idea because his allergies act up out there, but he hasn't completely ruled against it :)
It's great to be back home though and this time I get to stay for more than a few days. The past few weeks have been hectic. I need badly to get back into some sort of a workout routine, and start training for the upcoming running relay and some bike races that I'd like to do. Looking at the forecast, I think I'll be doing some inside workouts until the roads dry out again....