Monday, June 28, 2010

Just a Note

I survived the day, and so did everyone else.

The hard part is over, now.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

I Am Not Actually Inexhaustable

Despite what rumors might say.

I'm swiftly approaching the point at which I will do one of these things:

1. Curl up in a ball and rock back and forth humming tunelessly to myself.

2. Begin throwing random items at people, walls, vehicles, whatever happens to be near me at the time.

3. Be arrested for:
  • A: Public intoxication, after which it will be discovered that my BAC is actually .000
  • B: Assault on one of two females who seem to be hell bent on making Every. Damn. Thing. About. Them.
  • C: Desecration of a grave site/unlawful discharge of a firearm. (I still say he'd think that rolling a keg into his grave and shooting it before they put him in the hole was awesome.)
  • D: Any combination of the above.
4. Commit any of the acts described in 3 and manage not to get arrested for them. Far less likely.

Yes, it's rough. No, I'm not really ok. I actually don't really want to talk about my feelings because I can't adequately put them into words. Anyone who has been through it knows, and anyone who hasn't just doesn't have the reference. It doesn't make them bad people or mean that they can't sympathize, just that they won't really understand no matter how much you explain. Kind of like child birth.

I've almost got everything taken care of for his parents, I'm almost to the point where I can stop being efficient and just let go... but when I get to that point it means it's time to say goodbye and I am definitely not ready for that. But then, no one is ever ready to say goodbye to a baby brother, but we aren't given much choice.

So, I'll put on the shirt bearing his number and nickname in the morning, and I'll put on makeup that I'm just going to cry off (hey, he's wearing makeup, the least I can do is wear it with him) and I'll make sure that everything is right, and ready. Then I'll sit with my other family and we'll cry on each other as we realize that we really have to let go.

No matter how much we don't want to.

(I think R is running the betting pool, so if you want in on that you're gonna have to find her.)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

For My Little Brother, May He Rest In Peace


Blood never bound us, our DNA will never match, but you were my brother all the same. Your sister started it, my friendship with her started it, but it didn’t take long to include you, and your whole family, and count you all as mine.

We teased and taunted each other as kids, were yelled at by your mom, mostly encouraged to learn the hard way by your dad. I guess he figured those lessons stick better, and he might be right.

It’s not fair, that you were taken from those who love you. Not fair that your life was cut so short, that you’ll never see your daughter’s first date, or see her graduate high school, college. They say life isn’t fair, I know, but sometimes it seems to leave a hole in my chest. An emptiness that I didn’t realize was filled with the knowledge that I would see you again, until it was gone.

I can’t bring you back, no matter how many tears I cry or how much I rail at fate or accident or even God. I know you won’t come back, but it doesn’t stop me from wishing you would.

I wish I could tell you how proud of you I am for the way you’ve raised your daughter. I wish I could tell you that you’re a good man, that I admire your work ethic, that you should be proud of yourself. I wish I could tell you so many, many things, but most importantly, I wish I could tell you how much I love you, and how much you mean to me.

That’s one thing we never really talked about. We never said I love you. Instead we shoved playfully at each other, smiled and traded insults. I never told you how important you were to me, how much I cared, because I considered it unnecessary. It would just have embarrassed us both, I know, but I wish I’d said it.

Now, it’s too late for you to be embarrassed. I won’t see you shift your weight and duck your head, or look at me like I’m crazy. I can say it now. I love you. You will, forever and always, be my little brother, and I will miss you.

Safe journey, little brother, to wherever we go when this life is finished. Safe journey, and I hope that we’ll see each other again someday.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Busy Busy Busy

Things have been hectic, thus the lack of active bloggery.

The filly is going home today, and Wednesday I'll be getting in two eight year old Paso Finos to ride. (Can you guess what the topic of the next Breed All About It will be?) They're already broke, just need ridden and gentled down some, which will simplify things in some ways and complicate them in others.

The puppies are growing like weeds, as I'm sure you can guess, and in lieu of further actual content here are some adorable pictures, taken with my cell phone so I apologize for the quality:

They've recently been introduced to the joys of the chewy rawhide stick. They love them.


Yum Yum.

Hey, whatcha doin?

They're doing well, starting on a little puppy kibble in addition to the soft food, and full of all the puppy exuberance that makes having pups around so much fun. They've also learned the joys of being outside without their exercise pen, and will cry every time the other dogs get to go out and they don't.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Poor Momma Dog

Well, Momma Dog came up with eclampsia two weeks ago. In animals, it's also known as "milk fever."

The long and short of it is that she was producing so much milk that it was stealing calcium from her body that she needed to function.

This resulted in a very sick Momma Dog, a flying run to the vet in the next town north because our local vet was away, and a few tense days as we tried to find the balance between her getting sucked enough to prevent mastitis, and getting sucked little enough to start shutting down the production, and not suck the calcium out of her again.

As a result, her owners have decided to go ahead and retire her as a breeding bitch. It's sad, because she is an excellent momma, and produces fantastic pups, as evidenced by Fuzzy Pup:

But, once a bitch has this problem, she's more prone to it, and it can kill the bitch, not to mention putting stress on the pups. Luckily, this litter was old enough at the time to start eating soft puppy food and drinking (sort of) milk replacer from a dish. They're growing like crazy and doing just fine.

Momma Dog will be spayed, and become a pet for someone, where she can indulge in her two favorite activities, being petted, and this:

It shouldn't be too hard to find her a new home, she's a total sweetheart, a complete love.

I mean, come on, who can resist that face?

If any of my readers nearby-ish are interested in her, drop me an email, I'll hook you up with her owners. She's registered purebred, loves attention, cuddling, and does well with other pets.

I really want to see her go to a loving home, she's a great dog, and I'd keep her myself if I could.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Oil Spill

Well I haven't talked about this before, mostly because there is plenty of drama surrounding it already, but the stupid has become entirely too thick for me to ignore.

Randy Prescott, a representative of BP, made the comment “Louisiana isn’t the only place that has shrimp.”

WTF over?

Stupid on these levels shouldn't be ignored, tolerated, or tacitly approved. Since Mr. Prescott's company email and office phone number are now public knowledge, I'm going to post them here. Call, email, tell him he's an idiot and/or a dick, or whatever you'd like to say to a person in his position who displays that much dumb.

Randy Prescott
Phone: (719) 323-4093

And, when you see a BP station... drive on by. Perhaps big oil is all corrupt and all about the money in their pockets, but not all companies are displaying this level of contempt for the consequences of their own screw ups at this particular moment.

And yes, I'm aware that most BP stations in the US are independently operated. They are affiliated with the company, however, and BP makes a profit from them. Short of saddling up and going back to hayburners, there just isn't a whole lot else we can do to financially impact the company, so if you have any other ideas, feel free to share them.

Thursday, June 3, 2010


Farmmom was more than willing to take come pictures for me, since it meant she got to hang around and giggle at the fight.

So here's a brief photographic look at what we did yesterday:

First, we got saddled and worked the round pen, just to wake her up and get her listening.

Then, we started on ground driving. She wasn't really fond of the lead going around her butt to start with but she got over it and walked nicely, as you can see.

After that, it's a brief reminder on rein cues coming from a person in the immediate vicinity instead of on the end of a long lead.

Followed by stepping into the stirrup... just a note, I've been pulling on the saddle and leaning on her and hopping around beside her ever since I got her saddled the first time, just so that this would go smoothly. It did, she backed up a few steps to try and get me by her head so she could give me the "what the hell?" look that I'm growing so familiar with, but when I stayed right where I was she gave that up.

We did this several times, moving around the pen, making sure she was, if not totally kosher with it, then at least resigned.

For those of you who aren't all that interested in the horse training aspect, look at it this way, at least it gives you plenty of pictures of my butt....

And then we were on, and walking!

All in all it was a very successful day, we only bobbled and wanted to buck when I asked for a trot. The rest of the time, it was like this:

Farmmom was highly amused at her version of bucking, which his basically "hop hop hop stop" and her giggles and snorts were hard to ignore, but somehow I managed it.

This evening, we'll trot, whether she likes it or not. I did get about a half circuit of the pen at a trot out of her, without interruptions, she just has this idea in her head that if she doesn't like what's going on, she can refuse (in this case, stop and stand and try to graze) and it will stop. It doesn't work that way but she'll get it figured out, along with leg cues and that it's so much easier to just give to the bit instead of leaning on it. Leg cues aren't something you can start teaching before you actually get on, so that's just gonna take time, and she'll figure out leaning on the bit on her own as long as I'm consistent.

She's a smart cookie, and she's doing very well. Some trainers would say that I'm rushing her, but she's retaining what we're working on and her personality is such that if I give her a chance to get bored, she's going to take the opportunity to think up her own entertainments, which I can promise I wouldn't enjoy.

From here on out it's just getting the basics down, and then a lot of saddle time.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

In Other News

While I know people* love their Kindles, I'm intrigued by B&N's Nook. The Nook and the Kindle both have the same kind of display, display size, adjustable text size, etc.

What Nook has that Kindle doesn't is what makes me want a Nook instead of a Kindle (not that I'll get either any time soon because I just can't afford it)... Nook has Wi-fi, including free Wi-fi in B&N stores. It also has a new beta software pack to allow some web surfing.

Nook has a microSD slot, too, for more memory. B&N offers more ebooks in Nook's format than Amazon does in Kindle's, more than a million titles, so the memory expansion might actually be needed. Five hundred thousand of those titles are free, and you can read any ebook free while sitting in a B&N store... Up to an hour of reading time without buying the book per day.

Nook also offers the ability to lend your ebooks without lending your device, sharing the book between blackberries, pc's, and Apple devices. I think there's an imposed time limit, two weeks, IIRC, but still.

Hardware wise, Nook has a color touch screen below the reading screen for browsing your books, and you can browse your library by cover art through this screen. It also has a replaceable battery, which I like.

If I had a spare three hundred bucks laying around I'd buy the Nook. Unfortunately, I don't, so I'll just sit here and sigh at it, unless some generous reader wants to show their appreciation......

Anyone? Anyone? ....... Yeah, I didn't think so, but it was worth a shot.

*I'm looking at you, Alan and yes this post is mostly to make fun of you. Deal with it.

A Couple Things...

First off, for those of you who loved Monster Hunter International and are waiting eagerly for the next installment of Owen Pitt greatness (but have somehow been living under a rock and not seen this on Larry's blog) Monster Hunter Vendetta is available as an Electronic Advanced Reader Copy (E-ARC is, I believe, the proper acronym) for fifteen dollars. Sure, it's more than the paperback or the later ebook will be, but you get to read it NOW instead of waiting until September.

Believe me, you're gonna love it.

Also, things are going well with the filly, she's learning quickly. This afternoon we're going to start ground driving, and if she grasps that as quickly as she's been grasping everything else, I may go ahead and get the first ride in while she's kind of wore out from the other work. That way she won't have quite so much enthusiasm when she's trying to get me off her back.

In any case, it'll be today or tomorrow. She's dealt well with the steps up to this point so I don't see any major issues with ground driving... she may get a little excited but she seems to have settled quite a bit since I sacked her out the other day. It's amazing how much can be accomplished with an hour and a plastic sack.

May have pictures for ya'll if Farmmom feels obliging.... little girl looks pretty good under saddle, even when shes got her annoyed face on.