Thursday, February 26, 2009

Junk in the Trunk

One of the things I learned from creative writing workshops is that you can never go wrong with a list. (I also learned that adverbs are frowned upon, but that’s a different story.) Anyhow, here is a partial list of things that I recently took out of my Civic’s trunk:

- 1 takoyaki pan

- 1 plastic cat food bowl

- 1 porcelain cat food bowl

- 1 25’ screw-in-the-ground dog lead (which is pretty useless since my dog doesn't really range more than 25 feet in any given day)

- 1 sweatshirt (covered in dog hair)

- 1 pair of jeans (don’t fit)

- 1 parka (covered in dog hair)

- March 15, 2008 Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (containing "Levetiracetam as an adjunct to phenobarbital treatment in cats with epilepsy")

- February 1, 2008 Journal of the American Veterinary Medical Association (containing "Effects of erythromycin and flunixin meglumine on postoperative abomasal emptying rate in dairy cows with LDA")

- 1 unopened pay stub from current job

- 1 tiny Tupperware container (washed, thankfully)

- 3” spiral notebook containing scribbles such as “Rat w/ pneumonia, consider using terbutaline, doxy, enro, fluids, O2” and “Candida glabrada -> very resistant”

- Another 3” spiral notebook with words of wisdom such as “sharks are hyperosmolar” and “Pb toxicity: Amazons and Eclectus -> hematuria”

- 1 box and manual for my horrible cell phone (Only 18 more months and I get another one!)

- 1 bike carrier (which hasn’t been used in at least five years, but you never know when you might need it...)

And that's just the stuff I took out...

Anyone like to admit to anything stranger?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

... Not Just a River in Egypt

So, this morning, as I was rushing around to get to work (yes, on a Sunday, but the horses take up time during the week so I was short a few hours), I thought “Wow, that part of the bedroom floor looks really shiny.” And then I went on with my day.

I was only after stepping in very cold water this evening while changing my clothes that it dawned on me that the roof had leaked and there was water all over the floor.

I mean, it’s not like the roof has leaked over that part of the bedroom almost every time we have a hard rain for the past seven years. Oh wait… yes it has.

The problem is that when the AC/heating unit was installed on the roof (before I bought the house), the frame it was installed on causes the water to back up, and if we get enough rain in a short span of time, it drips into my bedroom.

I’m taking the repair guy’s word for this since I, personally, have never seen the roof. A couple of different attempts have been made to fix the problem, with partial success, but since we have a really hard rain about once or maybe twice a year, it’s hard to tell if it worked until the next year.

Anyhow, now there is a clean spot on the bedroom floor. If only I could figure out how to get the magic zip-ties to solve this problem…

Thursday, February 19, 2009

All Tied Up

The topic of the day is the most important home maintenance device: namely, the zip-tie.
Sure, some people might claim that duct tape is more useful, and it certainly does lend itself well to jokes about the Force, but I have a 3-pack of duct tape that’s almost completely unused, while I’m on my third package of zip-ties.

Say, for instance, you have a hand-held shower head that leaks and sprays water in every direction but down.

Let us further hypothesize that you are unable to unscrew it from the pipe coming out of the wall without seriously compromising your 1958 plumbing and having to call the plumbers who have previously backed away from a minor project because they realized that it would rapidly become a major project.

Now, while you may not be able to change the entire shower kit, the hose and shower head can be replaced. The only hitch is that the holder for the shower head is part of the old (undetachable) piece, and the shape of the shower head has changed in the last twenty years.

You have two options. One, you could always hold the shower head in the air while showering.

Or, two, you could do this:

And the close up:

Duct tape just wouldn’t help you here, now, would it?

Sunday, February 15, 2009

More Randomness and Some Updates

Today, in an attempt to get the horses out of a flood, we temporarily moved them to the barn across the street, whereupon Beau (aka, Idiot Boy) promptly kicked in the side of the stall and destroyed a feeder. I rest my case.


My new polo boots fit, and I can bend my knees in them. Yay!


Valentine’s Day has come and gone, and once again I resisted the urge to loot and pillage. Go team!


How many handicapped people are there? Judging by the number of license plate stickers on the freeway during my commute, this state is running at about 15%. At some point the differently abled aren’t abled any differently than everyone else. And one more thing: if you are able to climb in order to get into your huge truck, I’m not giving up a parking space to you. Deal with it.


Anyone want a young English Bulldog? I know of one that is looking for a home. If you are interested, please send an email with the approximate amount you intend to spend on dermatologists and air conditioning bills for this dog in the next year. The person who guesses closest wins (hah!) the dog. (But seriously, if you know someone who likes bulldogs, this guy apparently has a great personality.)


Wow, this whole plan of drinking margaritas until I came up with a blog entry worked great!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

The Princess and the Village Idiot

“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” -- Shakespeare

“This horse by any other name would still be an idiot.” -- Me


Well, we have officially moved two horses from Oakdale to the East Bay so that we can ride during the week. As a result, it has rained pretty much every day for the last ten days. The arena has been closed because of this, and the horses are out on pasture so they currently look like two gigantic balls of mud with ears. We go out and try to knock off most of the mud in the evenings, which gives us plenty of time to talk about new names for these horses.

(Pretend that there are pictures here – I forgot to get my camera out until it was completely dark, and I’m not sure what the flash would do…)

From her name Princessa should be a dainty little horse who looks elsewhere for protection. In reality, she is pretty butch, was a professional polo pony, and rules the pasture herd. She’s more like the princess of a biker gang.

Beau, whose registered name is “Dances on Air”, is a four year old gelding who can’t seem to figure out where his feet are going to go when he puts them down. Or maybe he’s actually trying to step on me. That’s possible, too. For a four year old horse he’s pretty good, but he’s still a four year old horse, and thus is somewhat like a teenager. A big, goofy teenager who wants to be next to his protector (Princessa) at all times. His common name is “Idiot Boy” and it fits.

In any case, “Princessa” and “Beau” are the names on the boarding agreement, so we’re probably stuck with them, but I suspect we’ll have lots of time to come up with alternate names while we’re waiting for blue skies…

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sex and The City Ain't Got Nothin' On Me!

It seems like all I do these days is change my shoes.

Just to show you all what a girlie girl I am, I have photographed my shoe collection. Yeah, sure, I've got no Manolo Blahblahs, but my shoes are pretty stylish.

Exhibit A: (The Eccos just for work -- ie, the ones that don't smell like horse poop)

Exhibit B: (The Eccos just for gardening and stable stuff -- yep, they smell like horse poop)
(They used to be work shoes, but in a closed office with iffy air circulation, it starts to smell like a barn.)

Exhibit C: (the deep mud/necropsy floor/chasing cows in a dark pasture boots)

Exhibit D: (the name brand but might as well be generic running shoes which I have never run in, but can be worn in the house if needed)

And finally, exhibit E: (ah, it's the end of the day and I have cold hardwood floors slippers)

Not pictured: the polo boots which finally arrived and fit the width of my freakishly large calves, but were too long and zipped over my knees, making it hard to get on a horse. The cobbler should be done modifying them soon. Again, I blame this genetic deformity on Mom and/or Dad.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

There Really Is No Excuse

Despite (or possibly causing) the current economy, the large corporation that pays my bills has quite a lot of overhead, including a staff of workout coaches. Every morning while I’m sitting in my chair eating chips, I read the email from Head Coach Dork in which he exhorts the workers to eat right and get in shape in the company gym.

These emails serve a few purposes. First, they serve as a daily reminder that my building isn’t important enough to have a gym and its attending coach. But more importantly, they give me something to make fun of every single day.

Coach Dork starts out every email with a subject line that must contain the phrase “NO EXCUSES!!!” Then there are some “inspirational” quotations, followed by an E-Z medical article copied off the internet, and finally a bunch of congratulatory messages to various people around the country that ran marathons and the like.

Today’s email quoted Christopher Reeve. “We can either watch life from the sidelines, or actively participate...Either we let self-doubt and feelings of inadequacy prevent us from realizing our potential, or embrace the fact that when we turn our attention away from ourselves, our potential is limitless.”

Now, lest you think me even more cold-hearted and cruel, I just want to say that I honestly admired Christopher Reeve for his attitude and sheer willpower. By all accounts he was a great guy. But…really? You’re going to encourage people to get more active by quoting someone who’s famous for breaking his neck while being active?

Scrawny Mike then took it over the top by suggesting that the Reeve quotation was used because the one from Hawking was too long…

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Ironies of the Weekend

- While parts of the country are mobilizing the national guard to help restore power to people cut off by winter storms, I spent the weekend carefully applying sunscreen so I didn’t sunburn while riding under the bright, sunny skies.

- My recently purchased sunscreen, which is one of the more expensive brands and has an SPF rating that should guarantee protection from a nuclear explosion, is supposed to be hypoallergenic and soothing to the skin, and is the only product I’ve ever used that has caused a reaction. It’s mild, but still…

- I realized this weekend that while I know (or used to know) all the different places horses are likely to twist their intestines, I have no idea how to get rid of bot fly eggs on their hair. (Practical knowledge, what’s that?)

- The dog spends most of her time in the kitchen trying to get into the cat food, while the cats are turning up their noses at the latest brand of dry food and have elected to steal kibble from the dog’s dish instead.

- I get many more comments about my comments on other people’s blogs than I do on my own blog. (Okay, this is not really ironic, more an example of bad advertising.)