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Saturday, July 16, 2016

How to make 35mi feel like 65mi...

So, how do you make a short 35 mile bike ride feel like at least 65 miles?  Well take some good ol' Texas heat and humidity, add in a bright sunny day, and then don't ride your bike for half the year!

Yeah...today was the 32nd annual Tour de Paris, which is now our 'local' ride.   While it was nice to sleep in sort of, and not have to rush to get there (and be home in 15 minutes was grand!), we were not quite expecting it to take so much out of us.  It is true that neither DH nor I have ridden any distance this year due to the whole move/getting settled/unpacking/rain/heat.  However, we have not been inactive.  We have been weightlifting regularly, and have dropped fat and added some muscle.  So we figured we would ride the 20mi route, and see if we felt ok to continue for the 35mi section.

The lesson learned is that weight training is not equal to aerobic cycling endurance.  There is carryover, for short bursts of force, such as going up a hill, but for continual turnover of the legs, it sucks.  We need to ride more.  Period.

Still, the TdP is a great ride.  The whole town turns out, helps out, and it is one of the best run rides in Texas.  SAGS are well spaced, and well stocked.  They even had lots of pickle juice (Dave's favorite for cramp relief).  Volunteers are helpful, friendly and energetic.  Much of the food is homemade, like divine brownies and chocolate chip cookie bars!  And the route is well marked.  The roads are in better-than-average condition, and due to the rural nature of the ride, traffic is low.
 We thought we had a good plan, to ride the recumbent tandem to the 20mi turnaround, and evaluate.  We did this, and decided we would be fine for the extra miles to get to 35.  Boy, am I glad we did not attempt the 57mi route!  I think we would have had to SAG in...We just didn't have the miles in the legs today.

Squat camp is next week in Ft Worth, and I am staying the night before with our dog rescue friends at TIRR.  At least I know my legs are ready for squat camp!

Friday, July 1, 2016

Random 5 Friday July 1 2016

Though Nancy at A Rural Journal is taking a break again from blogging, I got the urge to do another R5F post, as any more creative thoughts have fled with my Muse.

1.  Summer has come to NTX, and with it the rains have vanished.  We are using our sprinkler system, just to water the foundation, and part of the front, for a few minutes a day.

2.  The pool has been a welcome addition ot our lives.  We have made good use of it, though it has cost us a fair bit this year, with the need to buy a new heater for it.  Still, the chance to use the spa and heater in the cold months will be SO worth it!

3.  It is nice living out here, more rurally than we used to.  WE can actually buy and shoot off fireworks!  DH grew up with his parents running a fireworks stand, as a summer side business, so this is something he has wanted to share with the kids for years.  Where we used to live it was a $2000 fine if the cops caught you in possession/shooting fireworks.

4.  I'm really excited for a chance to get some real training for weightlifting in July!  I noticed that there was an Aasgaard Co. Squat Camp in Ft Worth, and there were still openings.  DH couldn't attend as he has callout (pager) duty that week.  But I got to sign up!  Aasgaard is the company that Mark Rippetoe is part of, and I really like his training info and style.  It will mean an early morning, and long (3hr) drives both ways, but I think it will be worth it.

5.  And this week marks the first time we have fostered a dog.  The local shelter, of which we are now members, was having an event last Saturday.  We went out to drop off some small supplies, and turn in our foster app.  There was a man adopting a midsized mixbreed dog, who, as a truckdriver, wasn't going to be able to come back thru town to pick up the dog until Friday.  The shelter needed a short term foster to care for her after spaying, until the new owner could come get her.  That turned out to be us!  She's a sweet thing, very gentle and appropriately submissive to our pack, but loves to give kisses.  I'm glad we could help her out.
This little foster sure knows what the kitchen is for!

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Birthday pizza dinner

Today our Monkeyboy turned 13. Family tradition dictates the birthday person gets to choose the family dinner (within reason).  He choose home made pizza on the grill.

The Monkeys all said it was tasty!

Friday, June 24, 2016

A New Independence Day JUne 23, 2016. BREXIT!

OMG!  I was sure the LEAVE campaign was going to lose...especially after that MP was murdered in Britain, and she was a REMAIN supporter.  I've been following this movement since I first got word of it.  Never having been a fan of the EU, this movement to exit was intriguing.  And now I see word of FREXIT (France) and possibly GREXIT (Greece).

I also understand that BREXIT may lead to the actual breakup of the United Kingdom as I have always known it (England, N.Ireland, Scotland and Wales).  Perhaps that is not a bad thing in the long run.  After all, Britain survived the breakup of Empire, and there is still the Commonwealth, so perhaps things won't change as much as some folks think.

Besides, Scotland has wanted full self-government for a long time.  Perhaps now they should get their chance, though I think their wanting to stay in the EU as a separate country is not such a grand idea.  And a Reunification of Ireland?  It could happen, I suppose, if the Green outnumber the Orange in the North.

I will say I was quite impressed by PM Cameron's speech today.  He was not only gracious in defeat, he was honest about it, and accepted responsibility for the outcome (his side lost).  As such, he has opted to step down, and allow for a new government to be formed.
These changes will not all be easy for Britain.  But the people voted, and their government listened.  I wish them all the best.  Rule Britannia!

Monday, June 20, 2016

The Rare Rhodesian Dogfish!

Spotted in the water, here in North Texas, the rare Rhodesian Dogfish!  Yes, the Rhodesian Dogfish is a rare beastie, seldom seen in freshwater, preferring to be found in coastal shallows, such as at FIDO (Fiesta Island Dog Owers park).  But one such Dogfish has been seen repeatedly in my area...



It is a fearsome sight, as the huge dogfish swims ever faster trying to catch the swimmer!  Kids in the water, claws in the water, Dogfish in the water!  Watch  out!


It seems that our Ridgeback Ranger is an oddity in the world of Rhodesians.  Most Ridgies believe water is only for drinking, or perhaps drowning dogs in (their words not mine!).  As such, few deign get their paws wet, let alone fur, even on a hot Texas day.  But Ranger had to be different.  Perhaps it's because he hails from Florida (or is it Flori-duh?).  When he first saw our pool at the new house, he circled it once, and promptly jumped in!  Then he would get frantic whenever he saw us in the pool, especially the kids.  He would dive in after them, and usually run over top of them, resulting in several D.R.I.'s (Dog Related Injuries) from his big ol' claws.

For some reason though, this week, while my mom was visiting, Ranger decided to calm down some and have fun in the pool.  Though you can hear him grousing at me in the video, because I tricked him into jumping in first, then dove over him to race to the shallow end and relative safety.  Not only would he dive in when we were in the water, but he also started jumping in all on his own.  He knows where the two sets of steps are, so he can get out safely if he jumps in, unattended.  Because Ridgebacks are not waterdogs, we are considering getting him a canine life jacket, so he will not have to work quite so hard to stay afloat.

Happy first day of Summer, everybody!