Saturday, November 30, 2013

a good afternoon to not do that

Here we are.  Not shopping

or putting up Christmas decorations

or cooking turkey leftovers

or doing homework

but maybe we shoulda brought the bikes...

Thursday, November 28, 2013

time warp

Happy Thanksgiving!

Ours is going well so far.  Wolfgang came home Tuesday evening, and Chaco made it yesterday afternoon.  I know they are just down the road, but it still feels a bit like "having everyone home for Thanksgiving".  I guess I should cook something...

But so far, so good.  Wolfgang and I went and Turkey Trotted this morning along with about 3700 others.  Nice day for it:  sunny, about 35 degrees, little breeze.  If it was last Thursday's weather, we would've surely bagged it.

I still don't know how I did overall.  I was hoping to come in under 24:00, but the results weren't posted by the time I got tired of waiting around.  Figured I'd just check the results online.  Currently, this, according to the results site:

There are currently no results posted for this race.

Okay, no biggie.  I know I didn't win one of the prize turkeys, but I'm just curious.  And while there are not yet any results available, there's already a youtube video of the start.  I found myself (I wish) right at about the 0:57 mark

See me?  I'm wearing a stylish maroon colored Turkey Trot shirt and white knee-hi's

The first mile was a slow go as we were pretty bunched up.  The second mile opened up some, but still some jockeying for position here and there.  By the third mile, I finally felt I could move freely, so tried to open it up and make up for lost time from earlier.

Afterward, as I was walking around looking for Wolfgang and anyone else I knew while waiting for results to be posted, this woman who was sitting on a curb hailed me.

"Hey!  How old are you?!"

I looked down to see a petitie woman in a flourescent fleece headband.  "Uhm... I'm 49... How old are you?"  seemed like the appropriate reply.

"Oh, I'm 50!  I just changed age categories this year, and you went flying past me in that last mile so I was wondering if you were in my category!"

Great.  I would've rather she'd just written me off as a 30-something *cough*

So we talked turkey for a while.  She was pretty cool and had lots of energy.  Should've gotten her name, but when I left I just told here "Good jaaahb, Happy Thanksgiving"  Get ready to eat my old lady dust next year.

Okay, not that last part, but I'll look for her.


Update:  So they really did keep track!  My official time was 23:31, finished 3rd in my age group.  Though not a PR, I met my sub-24:00 goal.   And I also found my old lady friend's result.  She took first in her age category.  Way to go, Susie!

Oh, and if you watch the first seconds of the video, you'll see "The Flash" out in front.  I figured he was a rabbit, but he actually won!  Finished in like 15 minutes in that Flash suit, made it look easy.

Bon Apetit!

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

'twas the day before Thanksgiving...

"I'm with Dad at the butt scoping place"

I texted the above to Meego and Wolfgang this morning.  They were still in bed when Magnum and I left for Magnum's welcome-to-your-50s! procedure.  Boy, I am not looking forward to that.

Actually, he seems none the worse for wear.  From my vantage point, as designated driver,  I think the worst part for me will be that 24-hours of no solid food.  What?  That's Bar-BAR-ic!  Call me when you figure out another way!

But Magnum was good with it.  I would've been/will be a grump and shun social interaction.

Afterwards, the good doctor said he'd removed one polyp about 6 feet "up", and congratulated Magnum for gettin' 'er done.  Then he gave us pretty pictures he took along the way to "put on facebook or share at the Thanksgiving table".


Then I go read over at ShadowRun's.  She was doing the same designated driver thing!  The same I-can't-go-that-long-without-eating thing!

It's always fun, these little coincidences with blogfriends.  Cold weather, bicycle mishaps, pet stories, colonoscopies...


Tuesday, November 26, 2013

what would confucius say?

And then there was light!  And it was goooooood.

Sun came out today.  Halleluiah.

I think all those cloudy days affected our judgement.  Magnum, Meego and I watched Sharknado over the weekend.  It was so awful it was awful.  Really.  Don't go there.  Don't.

But one thing I am curious about... our dog.  Y'know, China?  Now she's not as young as she used to be, and she's never been the sharpest tool in the shed, but lately she's been having trouble with the stairs.

When she comes inside, there are about 5 steps to climb to get to the main floor.  Sometimes, she goes right up like nothing.  Other times, she does a spin move, but just can't seem to figure out what to do next.

At first I thought it was her arthritis, which isn't that bad really.  And she really gets around quite well, and goes up the steps in the backyard and curbs and everything on our walks.  It's just getting from the front hall to the main floor.

It's like she's not sure what to do.  Like she's forgotten the next move.  Maybe it's a coordination thing?  Sometimes she hangs out at the foot of the stairs, looking up to where she'd like to go, seemingly not sure what to do?  I give her a few minutes to reset, then I call her, and she comes on up without a problem.



Sunday, November 24, 2013

Silver Liningness Sunday

I haven't seen the sun since Wednesday.  That's not necessarily something I'm thankful for on this silver liningness day, it's just newsworthy because we get spoiled here and rarely go so many days in a row without sunshine.  If my usual sunny disposition is lacking, you've been forewarned.

AND I see it as a good thing if all I have to whine about is cloudy skies.  For starters, we won Magnum's office football pool last weekend.  That was actually our second win of the season, and since cash is committed up front, we are now guaranteed to finish in the black.  We're a whopping four bucks above break even!  Oh, it's gonna be a good Christmas this year!

Remember Meego's hair last week?  And my to-do list?  While other things have been added to the to-do's, Meego has about half the hair he had last week.  Yay!

Wolfgang and I hung out a bit on Friday.  He'd ordered a long board that was due to arrive at our house Friday afternoon.  I took him to the mall to get a helmet and he needed a couple of things for his dorm.  He stayed for dinner.  I'd forgotten how much that kid eats.  I think we got a deal on the university meal plan.

And, with this yuck weather, I want to express my thankfulness for the bus service.  I've mentioned the parking hassles at the university, in addition to my aversion to driving around town in general.  I rode the bus twice last week, and am finding it very convenient and reliable - even on the freezing-cold-traffic-mess day.  Riding the bike was out of the question as bike paths and lanes were covered in ice and road vomit on both of those days.

And oh yeah, there was my birthday last week.  Magnum's birthday is today, so I guess that whole "grow old together" is still on schedule.

Saturday, November 23, 2013


"Nobody goes there anymoreIt's too crowded."  ~ Yogi Berra

It's still bitterly cold here.  I'm ready to be done with winter already.

But NO, none of that talk.  We are outdoor people!  So today, we ventured out to The Great Outdoors (of retail).  A new Bass Pro Shop had a grand opening earlier this week.  People camped out for it.  Traffic was backed up along the interstate for it.  Once the doors opened, it was a veritable mosh pit.

So we decided to go check it out today.  Big store.

Human display

Live fish below dead mammals

Dead stuffed birdz

Toasty warm inside the arctic adventure tent

Dead bunnies... are soooo waaaaaarm....

Duck pond outside, shooting gallery and bowling alley inside, even Santa was there.  His beard was probably real.  Only real beards at Bass Pro Shop!

Disclaimer:  I think animals were harmed in the making of this blog post.


Thursday, November 21, 2013

live from the Met(ro)!

Geesh, what a difference a few hours makes.  Yesterday, I was out gallivanting around all bicycle commuter without a jacket, and today...  TODAY...

We woke to a world covered in ice.  There would be no gallivanting around all bicycle commuter for me, jacket or no.

Today was my fourth bus day for the semester.  My bus stop is about a mile from the house.  Usually a pleasant walk of about the right distance.  It's downhill all the way, so this morning, I slipped, slid, and fell all the way there.

I arrived to join three others of nondescript gender.  Really, with everyone bundled up, I didn't know the boys from the girls.  It doesn't matter, and actually, it gave me something to decipher rather than think about my frozen body parts.  I'm thankful for my years as a crossing guard, which prepared me to stand around in awful weather and just deal.

No buses came by, but we were prepared for delays as the traffic crawled passed.  At one point, one of my genderless companions left the little shelter and started heading up the sidewalk.   Another commented to me, "She thinks the buses aren't running today", which confirmed that both the deserter and the one speaking were female.

The other of us stood just outside the shelter smoking a cigarette.  I'm pretty sure she is a girl I've waited with on one of my other bus days.  She works at a restaurant and is usually pretty quiet - likes to be alone with her thoughts and her future pulmonary disease.  Having spent time as a service worker, I fully understand.

Soon enough, the deserter returned.  She wasn't deserting after all, she'd just gone up the way to get something from McD's.  She returned with a bag and a cold beverage.  I wondered about the contents of the bag.  An Egg McMuffin perhaps?  I wasn't hungry, but I would've loved to have wrapped my frozen hands around a warm Egg McMuffin.

In a couple of minutes, the bus that isn't mine arrived and all three of my companions got on it, leaving me alone with my thoughts and hopefully no future pulmonary disease.  I waited and continued to freeze and waited a little more.

At long last, my bus arrived.  Just twenty bone chilling minutes behind schedule.  For most of the ride, the roads looked like parking lots, and there were accidents ga-LORE.  But those bus drivers get 'er done, and soon I was deposited onto the university campus, having thawed somewhat during the ride.

I went to my class after a little more thaw time in the library.  My teaching partner arrived about 15 minutes late to class, having spent two hours driving there through a maze of traffic snarls and crashes and ice fields.

And this was my google screen today.  So happens, today's my birthday.  Mother Nature tried to give the gift of hypothermia, but failed.  But google knows everything...


Wednesday, November 20, 2013

what else I got to do?

I was sitting in the basement of our rental house with the dog pee odor forever in the carpeting.  Chaco and Wolfgang were off at elementary school doing 3rd and 4th grade stuff.  Meego was hanging out with me and Bob the Builder on VHS.

We had just moved here and were still getting settled.  I didn't really know anyone yet.  I think I'd met the school secretary and Chaco's and Wolfgang's teachers, but that didn't really count as "knowing".

But I had the internet.

I went online to search information about a certain store and was led to a blog entry some guy had written about going to that store later.  "Gosh, how boring", I thought.  And then, "I can be boring, I should start a blog".

So I did.

And I started reading other blogs at the host site of mine.  Some were fun, entertaining, popular.  Mine was... there too.  I kept at it, posting one or two times a week, but mostly reading others.  Then it happened.

I got a comment.

My first blog friend!  Whats-her-name!  Really, she's one that I've lost track of.  But others followed and I'm glad to say that I've remained internet friends with the majority of blog friends I've made over the years, even the ones who no longer blog.

Even though they know my for real life name, they still call me "Abby" and that's just fine.

And this was my profile pic for a while - the one where I'm pointing at something really interesting that no one is interested in...

Story of my life.

(a.k.a. my Blog)

From the NaBloPoMo prompt variant:  "Tell us about your first day blogging"


Tuesday, November 19, 2013

nice package?

I nearly Rock Chefed yesterday.  But I really don't want to put it in those terms, as much as I like making verbs of people's names...

I'm referring to the stream of bad luck that our friend RC had last week.  Yesterday morning, I gathered my stuff and headed out to class.  About a mile and a half away from home, I noticed some strange handling from Tessa.  I pulled over and reached down to feel squishy what should've been firm.  Not good, right ladies?  Yep, my tire was deflating.

In Tessa's defense, I was aware of this problem.  My front tire has had a slow leak for a couple of weeks now.  But it was a slow leak as in, it needed topping off every couple of days or so.  Then it went to daily topping offs.  Somewhere,  it had become needing another hit every 15 minutes or so.

I had been thinking that I should change out the tube or repatch it, but I'm cheap environmentally efficient, and wanted to get all the life out of that tube that I could.  I guess I did.

So I walked home, Tessa limping along beside me.  I swapped her out for big girl Bella, and the day was saved.  So really, compared to RC's, my plight was quite mild.  I gave Tessa a shiny fresh tube from my stash of shiny fresh tubes, and everyone's happy now.

Earlier, I'd received a "Great Gifts for Dad!" e-mail.  Curious, I opened it to find it was for a saddle bag and cycling socks package sale.

  Great gifts for Dad?  I'm pretty sure my dad would not be interested.  I do know some moms that might like this though.  As well as some men who have not fathered any children.

The advert says the bag is "ideal for MTB sized for two spare tube, tyre levers and repair kit."

Maybe they're thinking that girls don't care for socks and don't get flat tires.

I wish.


Sunday, November 17, 2013

Silver Liningness Sunday

I just got back from grocery shopping.  I usually try to avoid it on the weekends because of the crowdedness, but figured if I got there before noon on a Sunday it wouldn't be too bad.  But then again, I hear the Broncos have a big game later today.  Everybody and their grandma was getting groceries this morning.  Everybody and their grandma wearing a Bronco jersey.  I'm grateful I made it out of there.

This was another good week.  I'm realizing that this back-to-school business isn't so bad, and I've settled into the whole routine of it.  That's not to say I'm not anxious to be finished, but it's doable.  I like my classmates, many of whom are also *COUGH* older and on second (or third...) careers.

ReptiCon Denver was fun.  It's usually good to get out of our own backyard and partake of these things, even if we're not looking to bring anything  home.  In addition to the creepy crawlies, there were plenty of fun people watching opportunities.

On Friday afternoon, I was all caught up after a busy week and plopped onto the futon for some potato time with my current novel, ready to settle into the weekend.  Next thing, Chaco popped in to pick up some provi$ion$.  We got to just talking and catching up on general things:  school, his roommates, cooking, our teachers, bicycles, bronies...  He ended up missing a class and stayed for dinner.  He said his class instructor puts all the lectures online anyway, plus he had a good excuse, he was visiting his mom.

He also covertly asked, "When are you going to cut Meego's hair??", to which I could reply, "It's on our list of things to do... see?

It might just happen later today!  Crossing my fingers.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

going hairless

Magnum, Meego, and I took a little day trip today.  Shoved off in the morning and stopped off along to way to load everyone up with a cholesterol-gluten combo platter and a healthy side of caffeine.  Then we were ready for some serious Reptilin'!

Denver ReptiCon weekend!

My goal was to not bring anything home, and I barely met it.  This lovely Sand Boa was giving me serious Take-Me-Home eyes.  It was so friendly, and smooth, and light, and.... NO!

A lot of pretty pythons and cute geckos and other assorted scaly things.  Nice show.

King Reese's "Dad" was there, with another good batch of King Snakes.  We bought Reese from him at the Reptile Expo a year ago in August.  We chatted with him about Reese's habits since he's recently gone into a brunation - a sort of semi-hibernation that reptiles do.  He tells us that means that Reese is a good breeder.  

Maybe we should get him a wife?  


Thursday, November 14, 2013

be healed!

Well, first of all...

Actual customer - not a dramatization

This stuff is THE  BALM!  Shout out to Burt's Bees!  I'd seen the products at the healthy store, among all the other similiar items, and it seemed to have quite a following, but I never had a real reason to try any of them out.  Until now.  Until it was concluded that my face issues - well, the ones having to do with irritated skin anyway - were the result of bicycling in abrasive weather conditions (thank you Terri).

The label touts, "No more weather-weary hair and skin during your outdoor adventures!..."

Plus, there was that cute canister.

I just wanted something I could easily keep in my backpack, so I got me some Burt's Bees Miracle Salve, and it's awesome!  The English Patient ointment made a marked improvement, but this stuff is even a step above.  No more itchy or puffy, plus I look like a 20-year-old!  Okay, two out of three isn't bad...

Speaking of bicycling, sort of, Tessa came along yesterday as my middle school partner and I did a lesson with an unruly group of 8th graders.  We talked circumferences, gear ratios, speed control, etc. while Tessa strutted her stuff.  I think she rather enjoyed the limelight.

Afterwards, our instructor (who observes these rookie attempts) told us he really liked our lesson design and that we should publish it for the archives.  He told me, "You obviously have a passion for this stuff and that's engaging for the students".

Geez, it's math, engineering, and bicycling.  I told him if Johnny Depp were somehow thrown in there, we'd be off the chain.

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

how are we feeling?

Ugh.  I feel awful.  I'm going to the doctor's in about an hour.

Thing is, I feel awful BECAUSE I'm going to the doctor's.  I'm overdue for a physical, and really, it's Magnum's work health incentives that got me to make an appointment.

So I've got my barely legible form for the good doctor to fill out, my appointment, and my body in fast mode.  Not the good fast as in speedy, but the bad fast as in I'm Hungry But Can't Eat Anything!  I guess doctor's offices don't want to waste time with people who feel well, so if you schedule a "well-check", they take steps to make you feel yucky.

I don't remember when my last doctor visit was.  My doctor has since been replaced, so I'll meet the new one today.  I rather liked my previous doctor.  She was very down-to-earth and told it like it was without a bunch of medical Jargon.  I remember going to see her with this thing that had become unbearable, and her professional opinion was, "JESUS, doesn't that HURT?!"

So maybe while I'm up, I'll ask about the eye-skin thing.  But I do think it's just related to recent weather beatings my face has taken.  I got some of this stuff yesterday at the healthy store.

I've heard good things about it.  But I just like the cute little canister it comes in.

Anyway, gotta go.  Then there's a sammich with my name on it.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Silver Liningness Sunday

I haven't blogged since Tuesday?  Wow, it's like an alien abduction or something.  But no, I don't think so. Here's a shot of the toads during a rare break in sexual activity for no other purpose than to include a photo of the week:

I do appreciate the suggestions and sympathies in regards to my eye-skin dizeeez.  I've tried different things, and it's certainly manageable.  I think Doctor [Terri] is onto something when she suggested it was the colder drier weather having an adverse effect.

My bicycle commute does expose my fragile face to the harsh elements, moreso than being out walking school kids across the street.  Even with my Secret Squirrel glasses, I think the ailment is more of a windburn thing since it's mainly irritating my skin while my eyeballs and mucus membranes are fine.

With that diagnosis, before heading out this morning for a bike ride, I lubed my face up but good with some petrolatum-based healing and preventative ointment.   I'd gotten the stuff for Chaco a while back when he'd gotten sunburned at a pool party and was dubbed "The English Patient" for about a week.

I looked like a prizefighter, but, by gum, it made a big difference!

In other silver liningness, this was an election week.  Everything I voted in favor of won, and the corollary:  everything I voted against lost!  One of the issues up for vote was whether Colorado should tax retail sales of marijuana.  Well... YEAH.  Wasn't that the whole reason for legalizing the stuff in the first place?  All that untapped revenue?  The potheads aren't particularly happy.

I haven't mentioned good movies in a while mainly because I haven't seen any - but not from a lack of trying.

I finally stopped the downward spiral.  Magnum and I watched "Dead Man Down" and we both liked it.  It's not really for everyone since it does involve thugs and violence, but it's really a love story cleverly disguised as a shoot-em-up.  Strong character portrayals and interractions, plus I thought Colin Farrell and Noomi Rapace especially pulled off nicely believable chemistry.  Plus... well... Colin Farrell...


Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Napolion and eye

First of all, this one

was me.  1980.  And just to clarify - I know that was the decade of big hair, but that was a wig.

Right now, it doesn't feel like it was all that long ago nor all that much of an alter ego.  Presently, I've got something going on with the skin around my eyes.  It ITCHES, and it's annoying!  I consulted a specialist (google), and the results are inconclusive, but it seems I just need to ride it out.

In the meantime, I'm following my specialist's advice with the regular application of warm compresses followed by an application of moisturizer and, oh, "IT BURNS, IT BURNS!" I wail in my Regan-from-The-Exorcist voice.

[Why you do this to me, Dimmy?]

The skin seems to look a little reddish and irritated and a bit swollen, and my eyes have a more Asian than usual look.  But it seems I'm the only one that thinks so.  Ya think?

Anyways, I think it's [blepharitis], a mild case.   The warm compresses are helping.  Anyone have any other magic recipes?

In other family health news, Napolion got his boosters today, so he's all caught up on the vaccinations and ready for takeoff to the great outdoors.  He is our first cat that wasn't from the feral wilds, and seems only mildly curious about going out.  I also don't think he's too street savvy when it comes to protecting himself out there, so he's going to need a chaperone.

Sounds like a job for Meego.  Go walk the cat.

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Silver Liningness Sunday

Happy first day back to standard time!  I'm not a fan of that whole daylight savings switch we do in the spring, so it's nice to be back.

This was Halloween week.  I found this newspaper clip photo from high school.  Our Science Club used to have a haunted house fundraiser during Halloween season.  Find scary teenage Abby?  Guess the year??

Halloween around here was mostly cute and fun.  Most of the trick-or-treaters were little kids (the way it should be) - very cute and fun and thankful.

I got this free tech tee from LiveWellColorado this week.  A couple of months or so ago, they had this "Get Movin'" challenge through the MapMy[activity] app.

I don't remember the challenge specifics, but there were prizes for random completers.  So I got this e-mail when the thing was done "You won!  Give us your address and shirt size!"  Oh goody!

A few weeks later, I got another e-mail "We mailed your shirt!".  Oh goody!  By then, I'd practically forgot about the thing.  It arrived this week.  It's nice.  It's free.  I like it.

It's been a busy but productive week.  Yesterday, I was grocery shopping with Meego.  He noticed something on the shelf and commented, "Who would name their product 'SPAM'?"  Us old schoolers know - that's where it all began!

I'm looking forward to visiting some blogs I want to catch up on and getting more things done today.  I like having 25 hours in a day.