Dogs in a Ute

Dogs and pickup trucks go together like cheese and crackers.  There’s something so right about bombing around in an old truck with one’s pal on the seat next to you.  But leave it to the Aussies to create an event around it.  They call pickups “utes,”  ute = short for utility vehicle.  Periodically they go for a world record in collecting as many dogs in pickups in one place as they can.  Sounds like fun.

Lining up to get into the festival. (Simon Brown)

And they call it “Dog in a Ute.”

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Drinkin’ & Smokin’

I must have been dehydrated last night ’cause I was parched, and poking around the ‘fridge I found a tall, alluring bottle labeled “Samuel Adams Boston Lager” left behind by Jack and Angie. I don’t buy alcohol, never developed the taste (making me a pariah in college).  Still, I was so thirsty I thought maybe I’d give beer one more go.

And I rediscovered that I’ll never be a drinker. It was gross. Still, to give it a fair shake I finished the tiny bottle (so much packaging!) and when I was done, my mouth tasted like someone dumped plaster in it. I was more thirsty than when I’d started. An old friend of mine used to call this “clacky-mouth” – prevalent with soda, unavoidable with beer. Nope, I’ll never see the appeal.  On the extremely rare occasions I’d drink, since it certainly wasn’t for the taste, it was strictly to set the world to mildly rolling, usually in hopes of sleep.

That’s drinking.  And smoking?  I haven’t smoked a cigar in over two years.  It too is a vile habit that makes one’s mouth taste so gross I cannot imagine doing it frequently. But at least smoking enables all the posing and posturing deemed so cool when we were growing up. Pop a cigar in your mouth and all of a sudden you’re a big shot even if only to a lazy campfire and the hoots of owls. I smoked cigars and pipes sometimes missing months or years, other times as often as every other weekend. Steve originally brought me into the fold while in grad school studying exercise science, (oh the irony!). On my own I occasionally smoked because it helped me relax around a campfire.

It always amazes me when I see women’s online profile posed with a drink in hand. I supposed these images are to convey relaxed, bon vivant appeal. But they always make me think, “You couldn’t put the drink down long enough to take a profile photo?” I’m being unreasonable of course but keep in mind, at the next Tribal Lodge gathering, if you’re passing out the booze and smokes, maybe I’ll have a cigar just so you can see how cool I really am. Those whiskey bottles?  You can drink ‘em yourself… see you in the mornin’ when I’ll be fryin’ up the pork sausages.

Got a Splinter?

Lori was telling me she got a splinter from doing yard work the other day.  “Too bad I don’t have a huge knife with a needle point to take it out.  That’s my problem,” she said.  She was referring to the time I used MT- 151, MTech’s Trail Master knockoff to remove a splinter.  I had been regaling her with stories of how sharp the point was despite it’s quarter inch blade thickness.  Here’s the photo I took while removing the splinter and wearing a headlamp.

Keep Fightin’ & Smilin’

It’s been a tough week.  Without belaboring, until it’s resolved I’ve got a bit of a medical scare from this week’s annual physical, mom and Ty continue to battle challenges of the elderly with Ty peeing and puking on the carpet almost daily.  He won’t eat his food now unless I crush the kibble with a dumbbell bar and mix it with canned mackerel so he can take his pain meds and antibiotic (for his mouth) on a full stomach.  The worst part is after wrenching my shoulder somehow while sleeping, for the last two days, I’m unable to raise my arm in any direction so back on the ibuprofen and no training.  Sucks.  But my friend Ron who has suffered many of his own setbacks says, “I won’t let life get me down.  I can take anything it throws at me and still find a good time.”  Bravo, Ron.  I’ll keep that in mind and follow your lead.

Peppermint Girl

It’s been three years, but here’s another smooth, harmonious melody about my ex.

She’s shooting arrows through my heart
Builds me up then tears me apart
She looks hot but she’s so cool
She’s not my girl but I’m a fool, don’t you know
It’s really stupid but I love her so
I’m only hoping that she wants to know

So cool, so neat and so sweet, she’s
My peppermint girl

She put my heart into a spin
She wants out but I want it
She looks hot but she’s so cool
She’s not my girl but I’m a fool, don’t you know
It’s really stupid but I love her so
I’m only hoping that she wants to know

So cool, so neat and so sweet, she’s my peppermint girl

Cardio Nuts & Bolts

Pete and I recently had a discussion about performance parameters of cardio training. He’s got decent equipment with computers that register calories burned, mileage, wattage, etc. He can download the data and compare with others online. Great stuff. And he’s a real capable athlete.

I was making a case that for me, the parameter that maters most is average heart rate sustained over time. So a workout of a 153 beats per minute for 25 minutes wouldn’t be as intense as one of 160 for 30 minutes. He pointed out that conditioning level plays a big part. The 153 for 25 might in fact encompass much great power output in watts, more mileage, whatever. He was right of course, the more conditioned an athlete is, the lower their heart rate for a specific workload.

The catch is most of my cardio equipment, well, all of it aside from the boxing stuff, is hand-me-down stuff from the town’s take-it-or-leave it pile. On my stuff the data “computers” have long since stopped working. And since my heart rate monitor is a simple Polar from ten years ago, the only thing it calculates is heart rate, average heart rate and peak heart rate. So that’s the data I have access to. Assuming a fairly stable level of conditioning once I’m in shape, I can then compare performances in terms of effort rather than actual work performed – comparisons applied only to myself.

I’m not in shape, as I’ve just resumed more consistent training. So my heart rate is higher for a given work load than it normally would be. Today it took a full minute after stopping for my heart rate to drop below 160. Once I’m in shape, it’ll drop much quicker. Still, today’s effort clocked in at a mean heart rate of 162 for 37:37. These numbers at fifty years of age.  It took more than an hour for the capillary flush in my face to subside. Like all good cardio sessions, it was intense enough for me to feel metabolic aftermath for the rest of the day.



The Pulse Plan

At the vet’s this past morning Ty looked 3-4 years younger, bouncing around, wanting to meet and greet, wagging, smelling everything.  He even wanted to meet other dogs… (sigh) I guess he is getting old!  Doc thought it conservative to put him on antibiotics for his mouth to see if that helps – rather than surgery.  He called it a “pulse,” that is a couple weeks on, and two to four off, with Cephalexin being the antibiotic of choice.

I’ve also found Tropiclean fresh breath plaque remover water additive..33.8 oz. for $13.47 that Casand2 suggested in a past comment.  (Thanks!)

But since writing the post that I’d consider oral surgery even at a risk, Ty has show considerably greater discomfort/pain while walking.  Stairs have become a problem for him and I can almost feel his ache as he ambles along.  Doc put him on Tramadol for that.

I gave the first doses around noon but twelve hours later, he looked pretty rough, far worse than during the day.  Then tonight he didn’t feel like eating until I doused his food with the liquid in a sardine can.  I’ll see how he does over the next week…