Friday, August 31, 2007
Don't get me wrong, whatever faith you have, is fantastic, whether you're Buddhist, Christian, Muslim, or some flavor of "pagan" if you have a belief system, I think that's a good thing.
Just don't come knocking on my door trying to convince me that your flavor should be mine too. I have my faith, and I don't try to convince anyone else that it's the "right" one and I don't appreciate it when someone intrudes upon my home simply to rattle on about how their particular set of beliefs is the only right way.
So, step one in the scare-the-bible-thumpers-away plan (I'd heard them across the hall so I knew they were coming already) was to answer the door in my sports bra, jeans around my hips bare feet and lots of skin and my belly button piercing showing. Cracked the door, leaned one arm against the jam and said "yeah?"
Blah blah blah, here to share a Bible thought, yadda yadda, we have this book that tells you what the Bible really says (because the whole world is too stupid to find meaning in a holy text unless it's spelled out to them, and of course their interpretation is better than anyone else's because... well, just ask them!) and we'd like to leave it here for you to read....
"Yeah, sure, I'm almost out of toilet paper anyway..." (this after I've accepted the little book and am fingering the pages thoughtfully, still blocking the doorway so they can't come in.)
"Well, um... I'd like to come back and discuss this with you after you read it... er..... are you usually home on Fridays?" She was stubborn, continuing with her spiel in spite of my attempts to put her off of it.
So, I started shifting my weight and wincing, holding a hand to my latest owwie (which, in case you hadn't guessed, is in what you could call the "nono" spot) which was actually aching and making me uncomfortable.
Mildly shocked looks on their faces so I explained... sort of....
"Oh, sorry, I'm a little sore, a couple of days ago I was... playing..." insert a wicked smile here "with this big boy, thinks he's such a stud... anyway, he gave me quite a pounding and I'm still healing up..... But no, I'm not usually home on Fridays, I'm a college student, you know, things to see, people to do..."
"Erm... well... I guess I'll try when I'm out and hope I catch you?" Her voice had risen in pitch until she was squeaking a little bit, then she kind of trailed off and started to back away from the door, while the man, who had been silent the whole time, stepped in and shook my hand... while staring at my chest and telling me how nice it was to meet me.
"Yeah, fabulous... you know, she's got 'em too, why don't you go stare at hers?"
They retreated.... next time I just won't answer my door.
The name Buck is not working out for him, I tried calling him Buck yesterday, and he stopped dead in his tracks. Called him buddy boy and he was good again.
We stayed in the arena yesterday until my leg started twitching and giving him conflicting signals, and I never did get him lathered. I got him blowing a little, but I was having to hold him to a walk and do figure eights at one end of the arena, because whenever we got close to the end with the gate, he got excited. He kept wanting to speed himself up into a trot and in the interests of me being the boss, I kept him at a walk.
Everyone else went out on the trails yesterday, but the instant everyone gathered at the gate end of the arena and started going out, he started acting up. He'd been better about behaving up until then, I tried a different bit on him yesterday, an o-ring snaffle, and he seems to give to it better than the curb bits I've been using, so I'll keep using it.
Had a couple of hairy moments yesterday, he tried bucking a couple of times, but he only got one jump in at a time and it wasn't very impressive, since the instant I felt him start to jump his reins got a lot shorter. This precipitated the rein wars... he'd hold his head lower and lower until the reins got long enough (so he thought) for him to do what he wanted before I could correct him. Fortunately I've figured out the secret of two handed riding at least in the configuration I use, and can shorten my reins in a hurry now. We also tried to have a runaway a time or two, but his nose got friendly with my boot when he did that. Hard to run at all when your head is bent to the side, and hard to go anywhere but in itty bitty circles when its touching your rider's boot.
Eventually, I'll get him over needing to be plow reined (all the time neck reining, not just when he feels like it) and we'll have enough discussions over things that he'll stop needing every possible cue to turn when we're having our figure-eight sessions. Right now he's being deliberately obtuse unless I give him inside direct rein, outside neck rein, and outside leg. It's been that, or pull his head around until he doesn't have a choice but to turn.
Progress is being made. Every time he tries to back away from me when I try to mount, I simply drive him back, walking by the saddle and backing him with the reins. Every time he tries to wheel we go in a couple of itty bitty circles in the other direction, and then go away from wherever it was he wanted to go. I didn't have as much of a fight with him yesterday as I did the day before, and I won't have as much of one today as I did yesterday. It's all about consistency and patience. He won't be a perfect horse for many years, he's too young and full of energy to be the nice laid back la te dah do whatever horse, but he can, and will, behave better than he has been.
On his back feet, Marylin and the kid that does the trimming up here were discussing giving him a mild tranquilizer. I'm fine with that, we need to get those back feet trimmed or they're going to cause problems, and its going to take a while before he'll relax enough about his back feet even with hosing them down to let someone handle them long enough to get the shoes off and trim. It's the lesser of two evils, really, and better for the bay if we can get him trimmed up.
Talked a classmate into cleaning my stall for me... indefinitely... because she spent all summer cleaning stalls and she's bored with just doing one or two. The price? Keep a cooler of water stocked in my car for at the barn. I can do that. I was thinking about doing that anyway. All I need is a cooler... and I have one of those at home its just getting the time and motivation to go get it, instead of buying a new one. Oh and I need to buy the water, obviously. I'll hit Wally World today, they've usually got some pretty good deals on bottled water.
I'm tired. Most of it is working with the owwies, part of it is the constant battle with the bay, and part of it is, its the first week that we're having real barn classes and I'm not adjusted to it yet. Last week we had classes but they never went the full time, and I didn't have to argue with the bay all the time. I'll get used to it eventually.
Thursday, August 30, 2007
This is actually the least painful of my injuries, and the only one in a place that I'd post pictures of, lol. Anyway, the bruising on the latest injury looks like it may outstrip this one, which is pretty impressive, since I'm already getting the yellows and greens on this one, even though it doesn't show well on the pics.
Yes, I'm weird, I'm proud of my bruises, hehehe.
Just a note, I had to twist into some weird positions to get these, which proved to be good to stretch out the stiffness in my thigh from yesterday's kick, bonus!
Thankfully, the stabbing pain in the area that was cut has abated... I'm delaying pulling the gauze pad and tape off to re-dress it as long as I can cause I know that's not gonna be fun.
My right thigh right by the crease of my leg has some interesting colors in it, I don't believe I've had a bruise in those shades since I had to ditch dive and landed on my radio out on the road. Thankfully its in a spot where no one is going to see it to ask what the heck happened.
Really not looking forward to riding today, but it's gotta be done. I think I'm gonna go out early, like right after my Lit class, and claim one of the round pens at the back to run him in, work off some of that energy before we have twelve other horses and riders around to distract him. I'll work him till he's hot, then cool him out and let him rest a little before class.
I also need to start spraying down his back legs with the hose until he gets over the whole kicking thing, because he wouldn't let the kid that was doing the trimming handle his back feet yesterday, so he's still got shoes back there and they're still long. Got the front feet trimmed, and they look much better, though.
He's always been a little touchy about his back feet, but like so much else that's been going wrong with him lately, I think a big chunk of it is the new place, and all the activity and new people that are going on around him.
In other news, I think he harbors secret dreams of being a roping horse, they were practicing roping yesterday while we had class and he kept wanting to go over to the fence and watch.
Wednesday, August 29, 2007
Got kicked, today, a nice shot right to the crotch-ish area. Got a cut on top of my pelvic bone (the one in front, hell if I know what it's called) and some fabulous bruising coming up already in the crease of my right leg.
I forgot how long that sucker's legs are... from now on we ride in the round pen.
I want to beat my head on the desk, the wall, you know, whatever is handy. 'Cause frankly, I share the blame in everything that has happened to me.
But, I'll get through this stage, I've gotten through everything else life has thrown at me, and I'll be damned if I'm gonna give up on the one thing that I've done purely for myself in many years, just because I got a little banged up.
Determination is not sitting comfy on your couch and firmly resolving to do something... tomorrow. Determination is getting the crap kicked out of you and going on, because that's just what you do.
In the immortal words of T, I'll man up, rub some dirt on it, and go on.
I am, however, seriously considering naming the bay "Buck" short for "Sumbuck" because I can say that at the barn. Since we're not supposed to cuss, "you sonofa...." is out......
The ribs... I think I did bruise one rib, its pretty tender... the other side, where the scrape is, has a nice surface bruise and is a little tender but not more than you would expect from the visible stuff.
No visible bruising on the side that I think I bruised the rib on, which means it's not cracked, which I already knew because it didn't hurt bad enough to be cracked, but I wouldn't be surprised if I came up with some lovely bruising on it in a couple of days.
In the mean time, till the sore goes away, its gonna be fun cleaning stalls... maybe I can bribe a classmate into doing it for me.....
And I can't even whine about it cause I basically did it to myself.... go me! :P
Tuesday, August 28, 2007
Yeah. I got my ass canned. I was only good enough to pick where I fell.
Got a nice abrasion where my right side impacted the saddle horn, soreness in my chest on both sides, possibly a bruised rib, and a nice abrasion and bruise on my left knee that I have no idea where it came from.
Tomorrow, I'm going out early and working his butt out in the round pen before I get on him... run some of the fresh off of him, so that he's not so worried about where everyone else is.
I got a feeling I'm gonna be one sore puppy tomorrow.... the aches are just starting to settle in and get friendly......
Serves me right.....
Monday, August 27, 2007
Had some of the HTM students test riding the EBM horses today. Red's turn came up, and he let them saddle him, played nice nice... till the kid swung a leg over the saddle.
Then he started stripping the boy. No really.
Little shit started bucking as soon as the kid's butt hit the saddle.
Hat went... belt buckle went.... shirt came untucked and unbuttoned, hooked on the horn and ripped. The belt buckle was found lying in the dirt of the arena....
I owe that kid either a new shirt or a twelve pack, his choice.
And Red? He's going home. The instructor sat there staring, slack jawed, for a minute, then looked at me and said "I can't put any of these kids on him!"
Once I stopped laughing at the little sucker's sneak attack, I agreed with her. So, Red will be going home tomorrow evening at the latest, and I get to ride the attitude out of him all by my lonesome, when I have time.
*Hangs head* I swear, he's never been that bad with me!
(Author's note: If the horse had to strip down one of the kids doing the test riding... at least he picked a good one.)
Sunday, August 26, 2007
In order to clean the stalls, I had to bring the boys out, and since there were several other people with their horses out and in the round pens and the small arena, I decided to just tie them at the hitch rail and let them look around for a while.
I pulled Red out first, and since all I have here is one eight foot lead and one twenty foot lunge, I had him on the lunge line. Twenty feet is not a good length to tie a horse with, when you're looking to tie him short so he doesn't wander around and get in the way, so I had an awkward knot. Yeah, that won't happen again.
I went back in to get the bay, got him haltered and halfway out, looked up out the door and saw Red go trotting by, trailing twenty feet of lunge line, head up, tail flagged, proud as can be that he got loose.
Luckily, he'd pulled loose to go say hello to two horses a girl was leading by, not to go exploring, and he walked right up to her, said "hi howareya you can pay attention to me now" and she grabbed his lead.
Once I got the bay out there and tied beside him, he could have cared less who was around.
Tomorrow evening, someone else will have the task of cleaning his stall, so I'll be able to put my lunge up and use it just for lunging, like its supposed to be.
That, and having the two buckets per horse that I'm supposed to have, will be nice.
Riding tomorrow, YAY!
Red is settling in better than the bay, he just wants attention. The bay however... well he's being stubborn. He stood at the back of his stall for a while and I brushed him all down one side, got rid of most of the dust and got him fairly shiny, until he started dropping his head and relaxing into it. Then I went to turn him around and do the other side... no dice. So, he's now got one shiny side, and one dusty side. Oy.
I'll take him out tonight when I clean their stalls and brush him down all over, get the rest of the travel dust off of him and get him looking pretty. The big baby.
Saturday, August 25, 2007
It just occurred to me that some of my readers might not understand these phrases, so I decided to explain them. If you knew them already, well, I hope you get a kick out of it anyway.
Testosterone Poisoning: 1. That condition in which a male does stupid things, simply because he is a male.
Some examples of this kind of testosterone poisoning include: Dumb bar fights, dumb shooting competitions, any contest or activity which begins with the phrase "hold my beer," and any activity, the idea for which originated somewhere in the bottom half of a bottle.
2. That condition in which a female is surrounded by males, smothered in testosterone, and then a) does something stupid herself, or b) gets fed up with all of them and goes to seek the company of women.
Estrogen Poisoning: 1. The condition of a male when he is acting somewhat "girly." This includes, but is not limited to, writing sappy poetry, crying during chick flicks, and giving his significant other nicknames such as "pooky," "schnookums," or "snuggle boo."
2. The technical description for the state of mind of a "tomboy" when she is fed up with being eyeball deep in the bull pucky of her own sex. This condition can cause her to use phrases such as: "Good God! Grow a set and get over it!" "What the hell is this? Fashion hour?!?" "Boo freaking hoo, you broke a nail, stop gluing big fake ones on and man up, you little pansy woman!"
So now you know.
Friday, August 24, 2007
Unfortunately, she thinks I need to be "hooked up" and she always picks the absolute worst person.
For example... the first guy she tried to hook me up with... well, he was in love with her. No really, the guy loved her... and he and I turned into good friends, I took him to the one prom that I attended, and shook my head as he mooned over her and she was oblivious.
Second guy... same deal, except that he showed up after two months of nada, never even called to say hi howareya, knocking on the door at two am... wanting to get all friendly with me. Ugh.
So yeah, she has a bad track record for picking men for me... she's not allowed to hook me up anymore, and she knows this... she just ignores it a lot of the time.
Today, she asked me when I was gonna give it up and just go out with T.
I laughed until I hurt.
When I told T about it tonight, he said "People just don't get us, do they?"
I love T to death, and he's a little (little, ha, he's a giant, but he'll always be little to me) hottie, but as far as a sexual thing? Nahhhhhh, its just not there, for either of us.
I'm lucky enough to have a few "best" friends. R, and T's big sister are two of them... we've stuck together most of our lives, in spite of being separated in recent years by much distance. T is another.
T is a very special person, he's one of the best men I know, even if I do call him a guy or a boy most of the time, that's just because he'll always be that slightly chunky little smartass that I knew all those years ago, in my mind.
But as far as he and I having a relationship?
The world would implode. No really, the combined force of that much snark having sexual relations would cause a quantum reaction that would end life as we know it. The entirety of the universe would wink out and be replaced either with a big Don't Panic button or a big artistic rendering of the middle finger being given. It would all depend on which one of us was having more evil thoughts at the end.
I can't believe people really want that, and yet, they keep encouraging us to get together... I just don't know why they can't seem to get it?
And whooo-eeee this internet is fast. It makes me happy.
I do need a longer phone cord, though, since for some gawdawful reason my phone has to be plugged into the back of my modem.. I don't know, don't really care. Just gotta get a phone line long enough to run to like the side table instead of having the phone base on the floor by the desk.
But I have TV!!! No more insanity!
Ok, so no more than usual.
Still don't have a feed crew list, but oh well, we'll figure it out.
If too many people don't get their horses in Saturday and insist on spreading themselves out (jeez, people, we're gonna fill the barn up anyway, might as well let 'em get used to having neighbors) I'll stall the two boys next to each other. Double checked with the instructor and she's for stalling buddies together, so that's good. Some trainers want buddied-up horses stalled separately, they say it helps them get over having to be around each other *all* the time. So I wanted to double check.
So that's the plan, Stan, since I know Farmdad will be reading this at some point today, and if I don't get ahold of Farmmom while she's going to lunch then he'll be able to tell her. And if I get a call not to bring Red I'll call right after.
(Kinda nice, being able to just leave a note here.... :P )
Of course, that also means that by nine thirty, ten o'clock at night, I'm ready to pass out. So, the nightlife isn't much, but then, I haven't had much of a nightlife, other than a rare outing with T for quite a while, so I'm used to it.
In exchange, I get these peaceful mornings. I can hear my neighbors' kids, and the rat dogs* they keep as pets, until ten thirty, eleven at night, but from six am to around eight, its quiet, its peaceful. There's a gentle glow of sunlight coming in my windows and the only sounds I hear are the few people who leave for work around this time.
I can think, in these still moments, about all of the things that are usually running around in the back of my brain trying to figure themselves out.
I can think about my friends, and how much I miss them, and I can plot on how I'm going to take over the world and make whining about something you did to yourself a punishable offense.
I can think about the great times I've had in the past and the better ones that are coming in the future, because I said so and I'm too stubborn to be wrong.
I can think about the difficulties that are coming, too, and depending on the state of my emotions that day I can worry about them, or scoff at how paltry they are.
I can think about my dreams, and most days, I think I'm gonna make it there. Just because I took one tiny step forward, going back to school, everything looks like its closer to falling into line.
Heck, if I'm lucky, I've even got a ginormous mare already knocked up, to possibly start down the path to my extremely long term and just for fun goal of breeding up a strain of horses similar to the medieval war horses, to sell to the folks who are in the Society for Creative Anachronism.
Besides, come on, who wouldn't want a huge freakin horse smart enough to learn plenty of cues and make it look like they're mean and nasty, and yet gentle enough that you can take them home and put your two year old on their back and never worry? (Thats my ultimate goal, dual purpose war horses :P )
But, thats way down the line in the future. This summer I'll probably be picking up horses cheap at the sale, prettying them up and slapping some manners on them, and taking them back to sell for more money, just because they look nice and have an impressive set of turns on them. And after next year, who knows? Maybe I'll continue that, and maybe I'll get an excellent internship and they'll love me and keep me around. Maybe.
But these quiet moments, the stillness before the day starts, while I have my coffee, is when I can think about these things, turn them over in my mind like a worry stone in my fingers and figure out the ones that need figured out, smile at the ones that need smiling at, and breathe a sigh that lets all of it go, and prepares me for the day.
* Rat dogs= Chihuahuas. Some days I swear they've got at least four of them in there, some days I think it's just one. I'm swiftly coming to the conclusion that these crazy people who have oversized bug-eyed rats running around their home and call them dogs have playdates for the little yappers.
Thursday, August 23, 2007
After that, I'm free till Farmmom brings the horses up Sunday morning.
Get the boys settled in and hopefully stalled next to each other, and then start riding Monday. Woot! We'll also find out Monday what the feed crews are, because J is a procrastinator.
I have no inspiration today, so this is all ya'll get. Sorry.
Wednesday, August 22, 2007
Oh yes, we'd just left for the festival.
Well, the drive up was fine, we talked and joked and listened to the radio and generally just had a good time.
About the time we were pulling into the ranch D tells me he had to do some work before we could go do the fun things. The ranch owner, who considered the ranch his hobby (jeez I wish I had that much money!) had decided to bring his secretary and her mother down to go horseback riding.
These women had never been on a horse in their lives.
So D saddled up his trusty old pony Sonny, explained the basics, and gave the-- rather large-- mother a leg up into the saddle. She walked around a bit and seemed to be managing things ok, and the Boss wanted to talk to D about some things, so they headed toward the house, while I stood around near the gate watching.
Good thing, too, cause Mother dearest managed to kick ol' Sonny up into a trot, against the horse's better judgment, and bounced herself right out of the saddle. Thud.
Not only did she fall off, but she managed, somehow, to fall and roll underneath the horse, so Sonny, being the well mannered horse that he was, tried his best not to step on her, and gave a little jump.
It wasn't his fault that she picked her head up just as his back feet were going over her.
Sonny freaked, the mother was unconscious, I hollered out and brought everybody running.
Of course, me being me, I took off running too... but I was trying to intercept Sonny before he ran through the fence.
What? I didn't have a clue what to do for the woman, and I did know what to do with the horse.
Well, I didn't catch Sonny before he hit the fence, he cut his nose and chest a little, nothing major but in spots that bleed pretty good, so he had some dripping going on. Especially from the nose cut.
I grabbed his reins and braced myself for him to pull back, a typical reaction when a horse is freaked out and someone runs up to him, so I wasn't prepared for Sonny to shove his whole head in my chest. Hard. Like, the only reason I didn't fall was because I grabbed his mane hard. Poor horse just knew he was in trouble.
Now, I was wearing a pair of Rockies jeans, very nice western women's jeans, make even the flattest butts look good... but anyway, one of their signature styles is vertical stripes, and I was wearing those.. Blue and white, vertical stripes... bleeding horse....
So at this point I had spots of horse blood down one leg of my jeans, and I was trying to calm him down enough to get him back over to where the lady was, to see if there was anything I could do there, and he wouldn't lead. He kept hiding his face in my chest, and at one point, while I was turning him in a circle to try and get him moving, he stuck his head over my shoulder and nuzzled my cheek, looking for reassurance.
So, quite logically (to me,) I threw a leg over him and rode him back over. He was fine with it, once I was in the saddle.
When I got there I got a couple of funny looks from people, the lady was still out like a light, and someone had called 911. This being out in the middle of nowhere, we had to meet the ambulance at the start of the ranch road and lead them in, and D and I got volunteered for that.
But first, I had to take care of the horse. I unsaddled him and left the saddle sitting on a trailer, since I didn't know where it was supposed to go, put him in the pen and took off his bridle, and then raced him to the gate, since he was still feeling insecure and had latched on to me as his security blanket.
Sitting on the bed of D's truck while waiting for the ambulance to arrive, I managed to give D a bit of a shock.
"You've got blood on you."
I looked down at my jeans and sighed.
"Yeah, I know. It's from the cut on Sonny's nose. Hopefully it will come out."
"No, I mean you've got blood on you."
"Your face," D pointed to my cheek, and I reached up and touched it, coming away with blood on my fingers.
"Oh, that's Sonny's too..."
"You're the strangest girl I've ever met, you know that? Most girls would be freaking out about all of this, and here you are, smeared with horse blood, acting like it's no big deal."
"Well it's not, I wash just fine, I don't shrink or anything!"
D just shook his head.
We got the Mother to the ER, hung around long enough to make sure she was ok (I think she just had a mild concussion and a broken nose from the fall and Sonny's foot) and went to get some lunch. I wanted Pizza Hut, so that's where we went.
'Course, I got funny looks when we ordered, because by this time I had forgotten all about the blood smeared on me, until D busted out laughing after the waitress left and asked me if I was gonna clean it off or not.
Went to the bathroom, looked in the mirror, and I had a streak about three inches wide from my cheekbone to my collarbone. No wonder she was looking at me funny!
After lunch it was off to the local park there to kill time before the dance. We'd missed most of the during-the-day activities, because of the trip to the ER, so we were just waiting for the dance to start, and decided to feed our leftover breadsticks to the ducks that live in and around the pond there.
Poor D, the one big gray goose that was there decided that D was the greatest thing since sliced bread, that is, until we ran out of breadsticks.
Then the thing attacked him. And he squealed like a girl. No, really. I thought I was gonna hurt myself laughing so hard.
The rest of the evening went pretty well, aside from explaining the reddish-brown smears and spots on my pants, and me delaying leaving to go home until the very last possible second.
D was terrified we'd find Farmdad up waiting for us, and drove like a crazy person to get me home on time. Of course, I knew that Farmdad would already be in bed, and I was right.
Fed D a cup of coffee and off he went to drive back up there, poor guy.
D and I never went on another date, but we did become good friends. When he was dating the woman he's now married to, he told me "You have to meet her! She's just like you, only better!"
Gee, thanks D.
The blood did come out of the jeans, thanks to Farmmom, even though I did get a lecture the next morning about not saying things like "its blood, the guy at the ER said to use this brand of cleaner on it..." when Farmmom asked me what the stain was....
* Author's note; Since I pounded the first version of this out in between classes, (because AD called me a tease) it was fairly rough. Edits have been made to improve the reading experience.
This is The Best Worst First Date Story Ever.
It was a few years back and I'd been hanging out at my brother's house with a bunch of his friends, just having fun and generally staying out of trouble, when I got to talking with D, one of the guys that I'd known for a while. We joked around and laughed for a bit and he invited me to come take a ride in his new truck, which was pretty spiffy.
On the way out of my brother's house another one of his friends asked D where the hell we were going, and D just smiled at him, threw his arm around my shoulders and said, "We're going to christen my new truck!"
My brother was somewhat notorious for being overprotective... at times... so this got people a little worried about whether D would be in one piece at the end of the night or not.
It didn't help matters that as we were walking out I asked D if he had condoms, and we started an argument about who was supposed to buy the condoms, the guy or the girl. This argument actually lasted for years, and was a source of great amusement for all.
So, D and I go riding around, and he's telling me about the ranch that he's managing, and this festival that a town near there is having, and how he wants to go but doesn't really have anyone to go with him. (Subtle, wasn't he?)
So I pipe up and say I'll go, I just have to make sure that it's ok with my parents. Since I wasn't eighteen yet, and I'd be gone all day and a good chunk of the night, I knew it was something I needed to clear with them.
We trundled back to the party and I popped back to mom and dad's house to tell them about the plan and get the ok on it.
Of course, Farmdad had his Daddy hat on and decided that D needed to come and ask him for permission.
I'm gonna take a moment here to tell ya'll about D. D is a cowboy. Not a rodeo cowboy but an honest to god go out and move cattle, rope a calf and drag it to the branding fire cowboy. He's about 5'5, and wiry, and oh yeah, he's a twin. Good lookin little shits, D and his brother A, and I'll admit I had a few happy little moments thinking about both of them, but I digress.
I went and informed D of Farmdad's insistence that he do the old fashioned thing, and my brother, helpful soul that he is, grabbed his favorite long, sharp, shiny object and demonstrated to D what "the old man" would do if he actually had the audacity to show up at the house and ask to take me somewhere, explaining it all in a slightly drunken slur (the party had continued without us and everyone was feeling pretty good at that point.)
Well, D trundled over to the house and made his request in the slight stutter he tended to develop when he was really excited... or scared. The whole time he was rolling his poor abused stetson into a little tube, and Farmdad was milking this for all the entertainment value he could get out of it.
"And what time would you have my daughter home?"
"THAT IS NOT ACCEPTABLE!"
"NO! There's a dance at that festival, it's a two hour drive, and you won't have any time to have fun if you're home by eleven. Have her home by one."
D was flabbergasted at this point, and didn't know what to think. Farmdad had kept up the stern dad thing all the way through, so I can't blame him for being confused.
"Stop abusing that poor hat, what did it ever do to you?"
So, at eight the next morning, D picked me up to go see the ranch where he was working, and go to the festival.
Thats when things really got entertaining....
Whoops! Time to get ready for class... To Be Continued...
Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Now, here I feel the need to mention that my Lit book prides itself on being "contemporary" enough to include the latest in the "Literary Canon" which is defined for us lowly students as "a group of works that are generally agreed upon by writers, teachers, and critics to be worth reading and studying."
Some of it, to be completely honest, just strikes me as weird. It makes me wonder if some of these authors just sat down one day and said "hey, I'm gonna write a 'story' (snort, chuckle) composed entirely of song titles." Or some such.
Don't get me wrong, the author picked out good song titles for her subject, and it *does* lead you through the path of the "story" but come on, that's not a short story, not even a short-short. Maybe an odd kind of poetry, but not a story.
Even the story that is five sentences in its entirety makes more sense to be called a story than the list of song titles.
I know, I know, its supposed to challenge us, make us think beyond the classic view of literature, blah blah blah... but dangit, how in the heck am I supposed to write a comparison/contrast paper that's longer than the story itself? And you know, doesn't have artist information in parenthesis.
I'll figure it out. I've got a day or so to choose my subject or subjects, so I can re read them a few times and try to make sense of it all.
On the bright side, our prompt papers were returned to us, and mine had a little note on the end of it: "Good Writing."
*On an edited note, I wonder if my instructor would allow me to write my comparison/contrast paper sprinkled liberally with internet acronyms? Could be fun....
On another note, massive "props" (hey, I sit between two citified guys in my business class, don't kill me for not being able to think of a country-fried way of saying "Good job, dude!") to MattG for hitting 50,000 site visits on his sitemeter!
Matt, I'm jealous. Maybe I should try AD's suggestion of toilet humor and google-riffic phrases?
Lets give it a shot, see how my stats do today after this;
Britney Spears, Jessica Simpson, Angelina Jolie. *
Nudity, farting, poop, anal. **
*These are women that I think should be banned from appearing on the cover of cheesy supermarket tabloids. Give someone else a chance to get slandered, will ya?
** These are all things that were discussed in my Horse Production class today. Yes, really. Gotta love it when you're discussing taking a rectal temperature on a sick horse and someone mutters "yeah, but that thermometer isn't big enough to really enjoy the anal action." Oh yeah, and I now know how to bribe my Horse Production/Riding instructor. She likes Jaegermeister.
To stay at home, or to get an apartment.
Which elective classes to take, i.e. should I take the ones that I really want to take that have nothing to do with my degree, or should I take the ones that look mildly interesting but have a bearing on my degree?
To get a student loan, or not to get a student loan.
Which horse should I bring?
Should I open my mouth now, or keep it shut and play nice?
Should I wait for the time I was *supposed* to bring my horse up, or go ahead and bring him, since they told me I could if I really wanted to? (Plus side on bringing him early was getting to go ahead and start riding. Minus side was the feed crews aren't organized yet, so I'd have to feed myself. Also, they asked me to wait to bring him, so the waiting side won out.)
Today, first class of the day, opening my mouth won out. One of the girls that was sitting in the same row as I was, was complaining about being up since four am.
Since she was complaining loudly, I figured she was talking to anyone within earshot, and offered my two cents.
Which was along the lines of "oh stop freaking whining, you have no idea how cushy you have it."
The discussion continued and it turns out she had a valid reason for being upset, a problem with her roommate, but then proceeded to whine about not being able to get ahold of the Dorm Manager (or whatever they call him, he's not the RA) to try and get a new roommate.
After five minutes of me offering suggestions (she was complaining about it, with the attitude of "oh what do I do?" so I figured she could use some suggestions, like leave a note and have him call her, or call him and ask him when she'd be able to sit down and talk with him,) and her coming up with reasons why none of them would work, ("But he's never there") she gave me a half-joking "When I want your advice, I'll ask for it."
Fantastic, and when I want to hear you complaining about stupid things while I'm trying to do a quick review of the things I read last night in between cleaning my apartment, doing my dishes, going to the grocery store, and doing homework for two other classes, I'll ask you.
What I said was more along the lines of "Keep complaining loud enough for everyone in the room to hear, and I'll keep offering advice."
I was pleasant, I didn't get snide, I started out actually trying to help this girl figure out ways to resolve the problems that she has, and degenerated into really wanting to tell her to suck it up and act like the adult she keeps wanting everyone to treat her as, but I stayed polite.
Mostly, I just wanted to get sarcastic.
Did mommy's widdle babykins not sleep? Poor baby, let's get you a pillow, and then we'll rock you to sleep and sing you a lullaby, and tomorrow you can go home and be mommy's widdle girl again and you won't have to do that nasty college thing anymore.
But then again, maybe I'm just a cranky old lady. Lord knows some of these kids make me wonder if I was ever that young....
Monday, August 20, 2007
One of the second year Horse Training students was talking with the head honcho about a colt that had come back for the second year. Seems that the kid had had the horse for green breaking, and wanted to take him on through cutting.
"Can I, JJ? I really liked that little colt."
"Is it the same colt? I don't think it's the same colt."
"No, it is, I seen him when they brought him in!"
"Are you sure?"
"Yes! I'm sure! Can I have him again?"
"Well I still don't think it's the same colt. I think he's here for green breaking. Why don't you grab a halter and go down there and throw a leg over him bareback, you could do that with that other colt last year."
And off they went in the little golf cart... A little while later, the kid comes back, walking like something might be a bit sore.
"Yeah, it's the same colt. I don't think he's been ridden all summer though, he gave me a little trouble."
At this point the instructor that went with the kid started choking and snorting in a manner that made me wonder if there wasn't a bit more than "a little trouble" down there at the pens, especially with the kid walking funny.
Alas, our instructors are honest-to-goodness gentlemen, and won't share the good jokes with us girl types, so I can't confirm it, but I think the kid racked himself on the horse's spine.
But, my point is, where else could you be in a "structured learning environment" and have one of your teachers tell you to "run on down there and throw a leg over him"?
I love my school!
Considering that includes cleaning up all the construction debris, digging a couple of trenches to put in water lines, setting up stalls, pens, and building fence, I don't know if it's all gonna get done.
But, the instructors do have a whole herd of strong backs to do it all, so it may get done after all.
Just a note to the guys: When you're in a group with a whole passel of female types, and they're all working manure forks picking up wood and straw and such, and you're standing against the building in the shade... ya look bad. Sorry, ya do.
Apparently they're having some problems finding enough horses for the EBM students that didn't bring their own, so I volunteered my little sorrel, if he's needed. The surprise on JJ's (JJ is one of my instructors) face when I said I had another one to bring was well worth the price of admission, let me tell you.
"JJ, if you need another one, I can bring another little gelding up. He's not real well behaved and he looks like a freaking pony but he's got four legs and a back."
"But... you're bringing your own, aren't you?"
"Yeah, but I can bring another one, if you need it. Just let me know before Sunday, thats when mine's coming up."
"Yeah! That's great! I'll let you know by the end of the week!"
Always good to have the head honcho of your program grateful to you.
Sunday, August 19, 2007
They had had one of the kind she wanted at the Wal Mart here so I was gonna pick it up for her and take it home with me.
Just one itty bitty problem with this plan. They didn't have it anymore. Ok whatever, you can get it online and ship it to the store without having to pay the shipping fees.
But wait! We'll call the next Wal Mart down the line and see if they have one, cause Farmmom is wanting to get it and use it like.. now.
So, Farmmom made the call, gave the "associate" the model number, everything, asked if they had one.
"Yep, sure thing, we got two of 'em."
So, off we go, Farmmom and I, to drive 90 miles to get the durned thing.
Turn up at the store, find the proper aisle after a bit of searching (freaking remodeling, they just got done with the store here,) and head confidently to the section for the deep cleaners.
Only to stand around with puzzled looks on our faces as we slowly realize, they don't have the one she wanted. They do have two of the same brand, but they're like... two steps down from the one she wants.
So, we found an "associate" who first went looking for someone who worked in that area, then came back telling us he couldn't find anyone, stood there staring at the offending carpet cleaners, and proceeded to tell us how it was our fault because we didn't check with management.
Erm. Excuse me? I don't freakin well think so, you snotty little pissant. I didn't drive ninety miles to be insulted by a sanctimonious, overweight stockboy with a bad combover who's probably looking at the dark side of 35, and works in a position so low they don't even give him a shirt with the Wal Mart logo on it.
After it became clear that we weren't going to admit our fault in the matter, apologize profusely for interrupting what was probably a fascinating fantasy about Angelina Jolie, three hundred gallons of sour cream, and an inflatable swimming pool, he trundled off to call for a manager.
Over the PA. Which wouldn't have been so bad except he did it once. And requested that the manager call the extension he was on. And then came back when he didn't get a reply in five seconds.
So we sent Skippy the Sales Droid back to find a manager again, and he repeated his call over the PA to have a manager call the extension he was at. Several times. Good Skippy, gooood sales droid.
He managed to snag someone who actually worked in the department and she came over to see if she could help us out, figured out what the problem was, found a phone, and requested over the PA the manager come to us for "customer courtesy."
Gee whiz, they've got that here?
Get the manager there and he makes sure he knows what's going on, leads us over to electronics to check the website and get the exact model number of what we want, and we find out... They don't even have them in the stores! You have to order them online.
Fine, whatever, but can we just pay for it here?
"Why certainly ma'am, just get a gift card and enter the information just like you would at home."
So, we did, while Manager Man went and got us a $25 gift card for the expense of the gas to drive up there and back.
Should be in in about a week, pick it up at the store here and it's all good to go.
Farmmom gave me the card to get some new pants, I found some, and off we went.
Skippy the Sales Droid: Can the attitude, buddy, or next time you sneer at someone for expecting you people to, oh, I don't know, do your jobs, they might decide to pop one of them nifty shock collars that were on the next aisle over out of the box and field-test it.
Sales Lady: Hey! An effective, helpful, pleasant salesperson with a sincere apology for the inconvenience caused by the incompetence of your co-worker! What a novelty! Judging by the quickness with which you dredged up a name to jog Farmmom's memory with, this isn't the first example of this person's ship-shod attention to detail you've witnessed.
Manager Man: You were up front, helpful, and provided us with compensation for our troubles. Thank you. But please, post a sign somewhere that says "You must say that you are angry about something that is our fault at least four times before we try to make it up to you." It'll save everyone a lot of trouble.
Saturday, August 18, 2007
Weird thing though? I like playing around with the self-timer on my digital camera. So, since I got one today out of sheer boredom that wasn't too bad, kinda showed my personality a little, and still pretty much protected my sooper secret identity... *snicker*.... (Hey, if I can't laugh at myself, then who can I laugh at?) I thought I'd go ahead a share with ya'll.
Let the twig jokes begin!
Have I mentioned that I'm a big fan of pajama pants and "wifebeaters" or "a-shirts" for at-home comfort?
No? Well, now you know.
P.S. Part of the reason this picture is so good at hiding the sooper secret Farmgirl identity is that you will almost never catch me with my hair down, especially outside. Ponytail or cheater bun (pull the hair up in a pony tail and then use the last wrap of the elastic band to create a "bun") is pretty much the order of the... well... always.
Galaxy Zoo is a massive project, utilizing the fantabulousness of the internet to assist researchers in classifying over a million galaxies from the Sloan Digital Sky Survey. They show you how to identify the different types of galaxies, common optical illusions created by stars, satellite reflections, and what to look for if two galaxies are merging.
It's contributing to science, people!
Plus... the pictures are so pretty!
Admittedly, some of them aren't so pretty and it's hard to tell through the blur what you're looking at, but some of them... well... they're gorgeous....
This one I stole from the tutorial page, but you run across some of them yourself, too.
Go check it out, contribute a bit, and see some pretty shiny things way off in space!
*Edit: I fixed the link, folks. Many apologies for the bad link, if you tried it before... well, it works better now. My bad...
Racism in the United States, while not as rampant as in the past, has not vanished, no matter how much certain elements in our society would like us to think that it had.
Witness little miss racist, and her unapologetic apology. Frankly, the girl makes me want to beat her with a stick. But, she is a valid proof that racism is still here.
I noticed when I read the comments on that post that very few people addressed the racism issue, now, whether ya'll were ignoring it as she probably deserves to be ignored, I dunno. But, it seems to me that its a mirror of our society, so many people working so hard to believe that we're magically past all that crap that they refuse to see that it's still out there. Of course, the reverse is true as well, so many people so rabidly anti-racist that they attack anyone who doesn't precisely toe the PC line.
Hell, after my post of that forward Farmmom sent me, someone insinuated on their blog that I'm a member of the KKK. I ignored it because I didn't figure it was worth trying to explain to someone who has pre-formed an opinion of me that if they actually had thoughts of their own they'd realize that the post was anti-racism in and of itself, its just against all racism, and not just that towards minorities.
Yes, there are those in our country who are racist in the "traditional" way, who join the KKK or the Aryan Brotherhood, and turn "white pride" into something to be ashamed of, in the eyes of the rest of the country.
But, what about the people, members of minority races, who spend most of their free time talking about how bad white people are? Come on people, that is racism too. Just because they've got a coalition or a bunch of lobbyists doesn't mean its not racism. I'm not saying that all people of an off-white or brown skin color do this, so no one jump me in a dark alley or anything, but I have personally witnessed it.
Why is it that our society can't wake up to the fact that racism is racism, regardless of the color of the bigot and the target? Why is it that when I say I'm proud of the heritage that gives me a ghost-like paleness anywhere that I don't regularly get sun, I'm accused of being a racist myself, in spite of the fact that I'm just as proud of that small portion of my heritage that allows me to shrug off sunburns like they're nothing? (Which, by the way, I believe comes from the Native American portion of my heritage... small, but enough.)
Until the day that everyone, not just white people, stop looking at skin color to judge a person's worth, we still have racism in our society.
If white people got together and formed a fraternity that excluded blacks, hispanics, asians, and anyone else who can't put "caucasian" on the "diversity" papers of the school, that thing would be disbanded so fast you'd hear a sonic boom. But fraternities just for blacks are ok? Colleges just for blacks are ok?
And yes, I'm using the word "black" so sue me. Its a descriptor, not a slur. I refuse to use words like "African American" "Asian American" etcetera. Why? Because you're either American or you're not. The only PC title that is even remotely deserved is that of Native American, and thats not even entirely true, because even they immigrated here! They just did it before the Europeans got here.
Stop separating and labeling people. If their skin color is that of a good dark chocolate, and you need to describe that, "black" is the term for it. A white person calling someone an African American doesn't change the fact that when he or she gets home, they're gonna look at their boyfriend/girlfriend/husband/wife/parents/roommate and call themselves black.
I'm calling for an end to the double standard, for as much good as it will do. Our society needs to stop placating people in minorities in order to appear broad minded. It's not broad minded when you treat certain people with respect, civility, and honor, but pretend that other people aren't being insulted in the same way that you were protecting the first group against.
So what say we stop worrying about what PC label is appropriate this week, and start collectively punishing all bigots in the time-honored traditions of society?
Shun them, chastise them, make it clear that as a society we will not tolerate bigotry in any form, from any person.
If they cannot get along in the "mainstream" of society, they will seek out others who agree with them, of course. But at least they won't be slapping us in the face with their offensive behavior.
Friday, August 17, 2007
More than I expected, honestly. I'm glad ya'll are enjoying!
I noticed the "who's on" section, not for the first time, but I hadn't looked at it until now... Fascinating. I can see who's looking at my site right this minute!
Hey, Painesville, Ohio! I'm guessing by the number of page views and the time you've spent on here that you're new. I'll tell ya, the best stuff is further back, IMO. I haven't written a funny in a while. But anyway, welcome! Enjoy your stay, and don't forget to try the veal.
So anyway, we're standing there bsing and one of the girls that I haven't formed a complete opinion on yet is sitting in her truck, with another girl in the passenger seat. They're near where we're gathered, so they're included in the conversations, somewhat.
When the talk died down a bit, one of the girls in the truck looked at me and said "do you want to see my bat?"
She pulled an aluminum bat from behind her seat, and informed me that this was her protection.
I blinked a couple of times and said "ok then."
She proceeds to inform me that if someone is following her to her truck, she has the bat there waiting for her.
Having assessed her attitude and her Billie-Jo Badass impersonation, I didn't explain to her that if she was in danger, the worst place in the world for her chosen form of protection to be would be in the truck behind the seat.
I simply snorted in a very ladylike manner, and told her "That would be why I have a gun."
I don't know what was more amusing, the fact that girl #1's eyes immediately dropped to my hip to look for my gun, or the fact that her "friend" felt it was necessary to take the bat from her and start brandishing it inside the truck.
And girl #2 proceeded to proclaim that she wanted to find some "niggers" and "beat the crap out of them."
Then she looks at me and says "Sorry, I'm racist."
My brain was saying "well at least you know you need to apologize for it."
But, my mouth continued in the conflict avoidance plan that I had formed before classes started, and just said "fantastic," in a flat tone and I turned back to the rest of the people I'd been talking to.
I have no doubt that conflict won't manage to be avoided forever, but I don't want to start a fight. Especially not at the barn.
That girl did, however, win herself a place on my list of people that I just don't deal with unless I have to. She's in my classes, I can't avoid it entirely, but she won't be one of the people that I hang out with.
I'm sure that just breaks her heart, too, but the conflict avoidance plan prevents me from smacking her upside the head and telling her that she needs a cranio-rectal extraction.
Thursday, August 16, 2007
2 strips bacon
2 Pillsbury frozen biscuits
Set out to make biscuits and sausage gravy, using approximately 1/4 pound sausage in an attempt to conserve resources. Cook sausage, drain. Cook bacon.
Pour sausage grease back into pan. Add too danged much flour.
Poke at the mess in the bottom of the pan. Look around in vain for something to fix this so you can have your gravy. Give up and set aside pan.
Dig out another pan, scramble two eggs in bowl. Pour eggs into pan. Eye cooked sausage. Dump sausage in pan with eggs.
Cook, plate, add two strips of bacon and two buttered biscuits.
It's not what I wanted, but it was actually pretty danged tasty.
One of the prompts was "what is the last non-fiction work you read? Expand."
Since the prompt was worded "work" and not "book"or "essay" I had to put AD for that one. So, AD, you're going to be gaining fame in my Lit class, I'm sure.
The last part of the prompts (we were supposed to write on all of them) was "What do you expect from this class? (Including grade?)"
"I expect to get the grade I earn, so hopefully high. I also expect to learn new and interesting ways to prove that I'm a book geek."
On a side note.. It has been too long since I've written out anything of any length. For one thing, my handwriting has always sucked, and with the spiffyness of keyboards and printers, I haven't had to hand write anything in a while.
Man, I hope she keeps the in-class responses short, or I'm gonna have permanent writer's cramp!
Wednesday, August 15, 2007
I won, I am the queen of dumb games! Woohoo!
I've got a gripe, though....
Instructor J said that the prize for winning the game was a case of beer, and all I got was a lousy t-shirt!
Then I got drawn for a door prize, as well, so I got a water bottle, a t-shirt, and free food out of the deal.
I still want my beer though!
"Women must wear appropriated undergarments for support."
Really now, what is that supposed to mean?
I just wonder if it was an honest typo, or if some work-study student slipped it in on them.
But, not all of us are that way.
This morning, 8:00am class. Forty four students who should be there.
Forty showed up early.
One was late.
Three didn't even show up.
Its the *first day* people, how do you not show up to your first class on your first day?
I overheard a couple of girls in conversation about how hard it was to be out in the real world. After all, they had to walk all the way down to the cafeteria to get meals, and if the cafeteria wasn't open, all the way across campus to the bookstore, if *that* was even open!
No joke. These girls were whining because they had to leave their room to get a snack.
First off, as happy as I am to be back in school, I just can't see college as the "real world." Not the way a lot of these kids are doing it, living in the dorms, only having to worry about spending money, all that jazz.
Honey, your housing is paid for, your food is paid for, the most strenuous thing you're asked to do all day unless you're in one of the ag programs (and these girls weren't, one said she was a business major and the other was "taking art classes") is sit in a classroom and listen.
Please, stop complaining about how hard it is to get up in time for an 8:00 class, when you're at an 11:00 class still in your pajamas. You gals, and as far as I know anyone who isn't in one of the horse-related programs, get Friday, Saturday, and Sunday free. No classes. While I'll be getting up on Saturday and Sunday in time to be at a 7:30 class, that is, if I don't have feed crew at six in the morning and five at night.
That's not too much to ask, right? Just don't whine, 'cause some day, all of you are really going to be in the "real world" and you're going to realize just how cushy you had it.
These are the things that I wanted to say, but didn't.
Be proud of me, Farmmom... I can keep my mouth shut, sometimes.
Second off, I just had the shortest class in history, I think. It was one of the "lab" classes I'm taking, which is actually a "barn" class. Elementary Western Equitation. We got there, bsed with the instructor for a while, she took attendance, asked who had horses here already that wanted to ride this afternoon, and dismissed the rest of us. Total time from the "official" start of class to dismissal? Fifteen minutes.
Tomorrow we may be helping put together stalls and pens, though, so I think I'll run to Big R before the HTM/EBM mixer at the park, and get a new pair of gloves. Metal + 100* or more temps + bare hands = not fun.
And we can't wear tank tops at the barn, either.
Third off, I think I like the "surprise" EBM instructor. She's got a sense of humor and seems fairly relaxed about teaching a wide range of students all in the same class.
I'm collecting syllabuses (syllabi?) like mad, though. Gotta get some folders.
Oh, and this is not the "nice blog entry" that I was pondering, this is just thinking in type, so to speak. Still working on that other one.
Got homework halfway done for one class and none of it is even due until next Wednesday, didn't have homework in the other class.
I think someone may have screwed up my schedule and slapped me in the wrong Lab class for my degree program, or they may have switched the class time on me. We'll see in about an hour.
I'll be going home this weekend to pick up my tack and bring it for Monday.
I love my college. While standing in the hall waiting for the previous class to be done with the room that my business class is held in, I overheard this conversation:
"What do you do?"
"I'm a team roper, a heeler."
"What? I'm a team roper and I've never seen you at practice..."
"Huh? No, I don't rodeo for the *school* I do it on my own..."
Follow this by the Rodeo *team* member looking down his nose at the other guy and saying, "Oh, so you're just an amateur."
It was so hard not to just bust out laughing. Partly because at nearly any other college it would be basketball or football or some such. Partly because the little snot that was being so self-righteous didn't see one of the other rodeo team members behind him rolling their eyes.
Tuesday, August 14, 2007
Turns out, the computer system screwed up, so I had to completely re-order everything. Which means, thanks to "company policy" and "high demand" I can't get crap done till next Tuesday morning... except I have class Tuesday morning, so it will have to be Friday afternoon. Ugh.
There is no way there are enough people in the local service area getting new installations this week that I have to wait until next week. Its all a bunch of crap designed to keep their installers from having to actually work.
And then the dude had to patronize me about only wanting the basic free installation rather than the thirty dollar "we do it all for you" version on the internet.
No. Freaking. Way. After this crap I am getting you people in and out of my apartment as fast as I can, and ya'll just give me my service, don't screw it up, and send me the bill. I'll send you the money, and it'll be all good.
There's a reason they're the cheapest place in town.....
Monday, August 13, 2007
Tomorrow morning first thing, I'm running down to the college to the head of the Ag program's office, and seeing if I can't snag the work study position there. I've dealt with the head of the Ag program, I like the guy, and I know for a fact that he'll understand my weirdo schedule (he helped me put it together, after all.) So, I'll see if I can't get that.
Tomorrow afternoon, the cable/internet/phone guy had BETTER have his jumpsuited (I don't know if this company actually makes them wear jumpsuits but after Cable Guy thats my mental image of, well, a cable guy) butt here, and ready to hook up all my stuff, or I am going to be one unhappy little Farmgirl.
I will dance a dance of joy when I have real tv. My apartment is clean, I've vacuumed every day this week, the dishes are done and the counters wiped down, and I'm bored out of my freaking mind. I've watched every DVD I have here at least twice, and let them play as background noise at least that much. If I have to go one more day without distraction, I will go insane and start tracking the chihuahua down the hall with a paring knife, I swear.
On a slight side note, I discovered today that I can reach every carpeted part of my apartment to vacuum using the plug-in by the door. I've been unplugging it and moving it from the living room to the bedroom, on the assumption that it wouldn't reach, but I proved myself wrong.
Still not sure if that's a nifty labor saving fact or very, very sad. So far I'm leaning towards the first.
Farmmom has the same soft spot, though, so she only made me promise to find homes for whatever balls of fur I brought home. Sometimes, it caused her to bring me the fuzzy ones.
I have a certain talent for nursing critters, I guess. Anyway, I've had a fairly good success rate with kittens, injured dogs, and the occasional sparrow. That, combined with my notorious soft spot, has caused other people to bring me critters to save, too. Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn't.
When they were cleaning up the area around the ethanol plant near my hometown, they flushed a raccoon from her nest. When they looked closer, they discovered that she had a litter, and several of the workers decided to split the litter amongst themselves. One of the workers knew me, and brought the tiny little bandit to me.
This little guy was so new, his eyes weren't open yet. He was tiny and fragile, and fit in the palm of my hand. Nevertheless, he made plenty of noises as I took him from the bowl lined with a towel that they had used to transport him. His little nose sniffed the air and he chuckled to himself as I talked to him and cradled him against my body to warm him up, while I set up a heating pad under a towel, and an old stuffed animal, in one of our cat carriers.
He cuddled with the stuffed lady bug on the heating pad while I dug out the bottle, and the rodent nipple that I'd never used before, mixed up some condensed milk with a little honey, my standard first meal for quick energy, and warmed it up.
I was concerned about his body temp, but he was a little warmer when I got him out, and he drank a little bit out of the bottle, so I was optimistic.
I cuddled him and talked to him a little bit, to help teach him my scent and my voice, and then put him back in his warm cage while I did some research on the 'net.
See, I'd never tried to save a baby raccoon before. I'd never read anything about it, or seen any shows that concerned it, or anything. So I was in a bad place... I didn't know anything.
Two hours later, I was ready to take a break and give him another feeding, and I knew a little more.
Like the fact that those well-intentioned workers had done the worst thing possible for those little guys by splitting them up. I tried to contact some of them, and arrange for them to be taken care of for a couple of weeks at least, in groups of two or three, but I couldn't get a hold of anyone.
See, baby 'coons don't generate enough body heat for themselves. They survive their first weeks by staying in a big pile with the rest of the litter, with their mother helping keep them warm most of the time. There also seems to be a psychological connection with the litter, since individual 'coons rarely survive, even if they're kept warm. Behaviorists think that the babies only feel secure when they have their families around them, and its possible that the stress of being alone kills them.
So, the lady bug and the heat pad stayed.
Throughout that night, I got up every couple of hours to warm up the bottle and get tiny amounts down him. I cuddled him and talked to him, and he talked back with that chittering chuckle that I've only heard from him.
I fell in love with that little guy in that short space of time. He was tiny and cute, but already he had an attitude. If I pulled the nipple from him before he was finished with his tiny meal, he'd scold me. If he was napping when it was time to eat, he'd tell me about it.
Its hard to rescue anything without falling in love with it. How do you put the effort in to get up every two or three hours to bottle feed something, anything, without loving it a little? If it's not about love, then the effort just isn't worth it.
The next morning, I woke up to his chuckling, and looked at the clock. He still had an hour to go before he needed another feeding, so I left him in his warm bed, and had a cup of coffee.
When I went back to get him and feed him, he was dead. Maybe the behaviorists are right and he was too stressed to live, but I'll never know. None of the rest of the litter lived, either, even the two that went to the same home.
Sometimes, you just can't save them, no matter how hard you try.
This is the Colorado state statute regarding unlawful possession of a weapon on school grounds. And this is the statute concerning restrictions on a Colorado Concealed Weapons Permit, or CCW.
Please notice that the first statute says "NO! Unless its a handgun, and you have a permit."
The second statute restricts this again, stating that a permit holder may not carry on the real property of a public elementary, junior high, or high school, unless they are a peace officer, participating in an extracurricular activity, or employed by a school district in a position that requires the use of deadly force.
Colleges aren't mentioned there, are they?
Thats right folks, its legal for me to carry my handgun on my college campus. There is nothing in the student handbook, either, that restricts me from doing this.
Now that I've got the legalities out of the way, lets look at the question.
How do I feel about gun-free zones on campuses, in light of the Virginia Tech shootings? Well, since we've already cleared it up that my campus is not a gun-free zone, lets look at the Virginia Tech shootings, shall we?
I admit, my knowledge of the Virginia Tech shootings is limited to what I saw on the news, and thanks to the media's obsession with it, I probably missed some things, after I reached the point where I was just tired of hearing about that psycho, and started tuning it out. So, if there is something that I have missed, or something that I am misinformed about, please, feel free to correct me.
So. Here we have one student, already having had therapy, the mental kind, who goes out and buys a couple of guns. From what I understand, the student is somewhat anti-social, spends a lot of time in his room, etc.
And this student decides to drop a package in the mail to a news network, and then kill a couple of people.
But wait! He's not done yet, he walks (or drives, I don't know) across campus, and starts killing *more* people!
People who, according to their state laws and school student handbooks, are not carrying weapons. This makes it a very bad day for them.
However, I'd like to address something here, something that's bothered me since I started hearing about the whole shebang.
How is it that this nut-job managed to kill himself??
A building full of college students, presumed to be adults, and professors, who really should be adults, and the most resistance that was mounted was barring the door against him.
Granted, if unarmed and faced with an armed attacker, I wouldn't jump up and run at him, but most of the people in that building just laid down to die.
How did our society get to the point where this was possible? Not one person attempted to disarm him. Not one person attacked him directly, which considering what I know of his mental malfunctions, only fed into his "I'm invincible and better than all of you, so you deserve to die, because you can't stop me" mindset.
Not one big football player tackled him while he was reloading. Not one art major threw paint brushes at him. Hell, they didn't even throw their Lit books at him.
Armed or not, no one should simply allow themselves, or those around them, to be shot at, and possibly killed, in that situation. No one.
Would guns being allowed on that campus have changed anything? I doubt it. Its possible that the people who blocked the doors, if they had been armed and trained, might have taken the little worm out. Maybe. But, I can't see it. Those people had a survivor's attitude, and thats fantastic, don't get me wrong. I just don't know if they had the mindset and the capability to shoot another human being, if they had had training with a firearm and if firearms had been allowed on campus.
The way I see it, the entirety of the problem, and yes, I do believe that it is a problem, is not the gun/weapon safe zones on college campuses. A good chunk of it is the mindset of entirely too many of our nation's young people.
"It's the cops' job to protect me."
"It's Security's job to protect me."
Might as well be saying the tooth fairy will protect me. Don't get me wrong, I admire and respect the people who go into professions that are all about protecting other people and enforcing the law, and that includes the military.
But they can't be everywhere. Police officers are not clairvoyant, they are not Super Man, and they simply cannot guarantee every single person's safety at all times. Anyone who expects them to needs a swift kick to bring them back to reality, and in some cases, a cranio-rectal extraction.
Each and every person should be capable of protecting themselves, or at least fighting back in some way against an attacker. Not everyone is mentally "built" to carry a gun, that's just a fact of life. But, our society, as influenced by the anti-gun side of things, has "evolved" to the point where a lot of people don't even realize that such things could happen to them.
It's an extension of the teenage immortality thing, I think.
It can happen to you. If you don't think so, well, neither did those kids at Virginia Tech.
The mindset you need is that it not only can happen, but that it most likely will happen, and that you'd better be prepared for it when it does. Simply having a little training in crisis management, through any of a dozen high-pressure classes like CPR, firearms training, etc., might have saved lives at Virginia Tech. I mean the kind of classes that help teach you to shove that little screaming voice to the back of your head and think clearly about the situation.
If someone had been thinking clearly, they might have jumped him in the hall while he was reloading.
If someone had been thinking clearly he might not have been able to line them up on their knees.
If someone had been thinking clearly, he might have been stopped sooner than he was, and he might have gotten his day in court, and gone to jail, instead of eating his own gun.
Sure, you might say that he's dead now and better for the world, blah blah blah... but obviously being incarcerated was the last thing that he wanted. He killed himself rather than sit in a cell for the rest of his natural life, or face that strap-down table and the needle. So, what better punishment?
Anyway, Pop I hope that answers your question.
This is totally off-topic, but having read your blog I am aware that you have a CHL, as do I. Now that you're starting school, I was wondering what you're thoughts are on gun-free zones at schools, etc. in the light of Virginia Tech, and how you will handle that at your school.
Pop: Due to the sheer amount of relevant information in the Colorado State Statutes (and I do so want to include the legalities) I'm going to postpone posting this one until I have caffeine, and time enough to do it justice. Probably this afternoon after I get all my running around done. So stay tuned!
Sunday, August 12, 2007
Maybe I should just name him Skippy.
He seems to be learning, we had a discussion about my laptop screen and how, if you land on it, I am going to do my best to smush you, and he hasn't landed on it again. Same with the tv.
He has, however, developed the habit of attempting to dive bomb behind my glasses and into my eyeballs, or buzzing my ears.
This fly, no joke, is probably the size of a horse fly. When it comes diving towards your face it looks as big as a buzzard, and it sounds a small prop-plane going by your ear.
I think Skippy just likes to see me jump.
I have $308.54 worth of books. Thank goodness for financial aid.
And two of them are going to be excellent references even after I graduate, so bonus there.
I also got my student ID fixed, since they didn't have a line halfway down the hall for the registration process, I just popped in, explained to them what the problem was, and they fixed it right up for me.
They seemed surprised that I wasn't more upset about it, and that I hadn't run right back in and demanded that they fix it yesterday. I got grateful smiles all around when I thanked them and told everyone to have a nice day on my way out.
Makes me wonder what kind of spoiled brats they've been dealing with. I guess I'll find out tomorrow.
Saturday, August 11, 2007
Having neighbors as close as I do now is a new and interesting experience for me. I don’t mind people being in my near vicinity, I don’t even mind that a couple of the people down the hall look a little shady.
I do mind that the pleasant Hispanic/Mexican couple across the hall have relatives in on what appears to be at least a bi-weekly basis.
Now, mind, I only mention their heritage because it bears on the story, they’re very pleasant people from what I’ve seen of them and their baby is just cute as a button.
However. Once in a while baby’s Abuelita comes to visit. I’m not even sure which one of the couple she’s related to, but when she comes to visit, it’s a riot of kids in and out of the apartment, stomping up and down the stairs, and *every* time the door opens, it sounds like the Spanish-Language network version of Jerry Springer on Location over there.
Abuelita apparently doesn’t approve of a lot of things across the hall.
Seeing as how my Spanish is limited, I don’t understand all of it, but the tone is pretty clear.
Things just aren’t up to her standards, over there. And she’s letting them know about it.
(Edit: I just realized that they got my name wrong on my student ID. If they're not extremely busy tomorrow when I go in for my books, I'll get it fixed. If they are, I'll worry about it when they slow down.)
I also got my book list. I thought I'd be smart and look the books up on Amazon, see what kind of prices I could get. One problem, apparently my school uses esoteric textbooks. So, I'll hit the bookstore tomorrow (10:00am-2:00pm) and pick up my books. Thats what the financial aid is for, after all. I just thought I could be cheap on it.
I also have to hit the bank Monday and set up a checking account for my work-study earnings to go into. Payment is by direct deposit only. Blah. So, I'll get all the paperwork filled out and have it ready as soon as I have an account number.
I'm getting kind of amused at the sheer amount of paperwork that the Department of Defense is getting on me.
Or maybe you don't know about that.
A lot of jobs nowadays require a Department of Defense form to be filled out. You have to have copies of your driver's license, social security card, and fill out the form so that they know you're you and that you aren't a terrorist about to blow up the highway/school/whatever is handy.
The last three jobs I've held, Combined (insurance, I have no freaking idea why I had to do it on this one) the job on the road (I had to do it when I renewed my flagging certification) and now the work study job, which basically is me being employed by the college, have required the same DOD form.
Not that I've got anything to hide, as the background checks for the insurance job and my concealed carry permit show. I just amuses me a bit that the Department of Defense probably has a file with my name on it somewhere, accumulating these forms.
Its possible, although highly unlikely, that when this newest one crosses someone's desk they'll say "oh! she got a new job.. at a college?"
What? So I'm easily amused, so what?
One small problem. For some reason, the folks at Lexmark didn't think it was necessary to include the USB cable with the printer. So, I'll have to pick one of those up. I also need a USB hub, because, well, I have a lot of USB stuff. My wireless mouse, the power source for my external speakers, my external hard drive, and now my printer. And only two USB ports on my laptop. Yeesh, I need a desktop machine.
What ever happened to the box including everything you needed, though?? I mean really. Used to be when you bought a piece of computer equipment, inside the box was everything, cables, all of it. In the case of printers, there would be one of each type of ink, if it used more than one.
I don't know about ya'll but I'm not keen on using only a color ink cartridge. That gets a bit expensive.
So, here in a bit I'll get motivated, get dressed in something other than pajamas, and go to Wal-Mart.
I want to print out some more pictures for my walls, anyway. That is, if the Kodak Photo Printer has *paper* in it today....
Classes are just around the corner. My nerves are starting to run amock, but I'm getting settled in in the apartment, so at least that's good.
My horse comes up the weekend of the twenty sixth... which kind of makes me sad, I wanted to start riding right away.
My alternate academic advisor, (Read: The head of the Ag program, I love my small college) advised me not to get all of my books right away, but to see what use each instructor plans to make of the books, and see if I even really need one.
Seems weird to me, going to school without books. But, I guess if I don't really need them, it'll save money for other things.
First thing Monday I go and get my student ID, and my parking permit. First thing Wednesday, I have class.
Folks, I gotta tell you, there have been times that I never thought this day would come. I'm finally continuing my education.
... I get to LEARN! From BOOKS! Books that don't have the words "Lane Closure," "Warning Signs," "Emergency Flares," or "Cone Disposition" in them.
I'm downright giddy about that.
Friday, August 10, 2007
See, to me, being a geek means you're into something, be it Role Playing Games, computers, console games, comic books, books in general, sports, sport statistics, or whatever. I've run across geeks of every imaginable interest, either in my "flesh" life or online.
Being a Geek, with the capitol letter, means that not only are you into something, you're very very good at it.
I'm a book geek. I read constantly, and although my selections are rarely the classics: Jane Eyre, Emma, any of Orson Wells's books, I do try to read a few, or re-read my favorites, every year.
Like so many others around the world, years ago I was caught up by the Harry Potter craze. I'd heard a lot about it, but hadn't picked up an actual Harry Potter book until after the second one came out. I finally decided to check it out of the school library, and see what all the fuss was about.
I was hooked. And shortly, so was Farmmom.
We've kept up with the books and movies ever since.
Tonight, we're going to see Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix. It'll be the first Harry Potter movie we've watched in a theater. We've always waited until they came out on DVD so that we could own them and watch them a couple of times in a row, once to see the movie, and once to point out all the flaws and missing pieces from the book.
And of course, if Daniel Radcliffe's run of Equus is ever filmed and released in the US on DVD, we'll probably own that too.
What can I say... he looks yummy in the publicity photos.