14448957_10154855219192841_2999220158641143476_nI have been thinking for awhile about splitting my YouTube channel up a bit, specifically spinning off all of the electric unicycle videos into their own all EUC all the time home.  Yesterday I started that process creating a YouTube “brand page” named EUC Army, a title I came up with for a video a few weeks ago.  I am in the process of getting the 50 + EUC videos uploaded, labeled and tagged to the channel as I type.

Although I plan to have nothing but EUC themed videos on the channel, that doesn’t mean they also will not be on my main channel that has 1.3 million views and counting.  Having a video on multiple channels is one way to help build YT revenue streams faster which is my ultimate goal.  If you would like to help me get a head start on building the channel go here and take two seconds to subscribe!

So last night I got more sleep but still not as much as I would prefer. Sadie started making noise between 4-5 AM.  Cindy was nice enough to get up and let her out but I couldn’t fall back asleep.  The congestion in my head just made it impossible.

Sadie has had a weight problem for a long time, easily weighing 20 pounds more than what would be a healthy weight.  I have noticed that recently she appears to be on a pretty noticeable upward climb in her proportions.  Of course the  same reason human beings gain weight apply to her as well, too many calories and not enough exercise.  Unfortunately ever since Sadie became a part time resident of the house she doesn’t have the same opportunities to exercise as she did before.

Of course the weight is unhealthy for her.  With the addition of the neighbors puppy Shadow and Elsa the weight results in injury as Sadie often comes up limping when she tries to sprint around wildly with all of that extra weight on her frame.  We are going to try to do whatever we can while we have her to help her drop a few pounds.  We discovered these freeze dried liver treats that dogs love but are very low calorie.  Inserting those into the equation instead of processed, traditional dog treats which are basically McDonalds for dogs, is a good step forward.

This weekend I have mostly small things to attend to around the house.  It would be nice if I got a head start on some Xmas shopping, I always feel better getting that done sooner rather than later.  Hopefully my illness does not progress further during the next two days.

Last night we finally got around to hanging decorations on our new Christmas tree which had been set up since Friday.  The tree looks sharp for sure.  We still have to get mom’s old tree set up in the great room which should complete the decorating for 2016.

Last night I had a miserable night of sleep.  I fell asleep early, tired from whatever form of illness I am dealing with. I wound up waking up suddenly about 11pm having to take a leak.  Afterward I was absolutely unable to fall back asleep, I rolled around for close to two hours before I said fck it and got out of bed. I plopped myself in front of the computer and fired up WoW.  The last time I was playing WoW at 1:30 in the morning was probably close to a decade ago.

That time of night is actually prime playing time for a lot of WoW players, there were more people online than I am used to from my normal 8-10 gaming hours.   Despite my eyes feeling like they were burning into my skull, I had some fun playing in the dead of night.  I don’t think it is sort of habit I want to be forming if I wish to maintain my sanity but I’ll try to treat the side effects of the sleepless night with extra caffeine today.

I strained something in my right elbow yesterday at the gym doing rep 7 of a planned 8 rep set.  There was a strong younger guy on the bench next to me so instead of stopping as soon as the pain hit I grimaced through rep 8 which was stupid, and surely put the icing on the cake.  Doing any sort of pushing movement with the arm is not going to be a pleasant experience until it heals up.

 

 

So yesterday morning I woke up with a sore throat, the type that often means illness is coming.  Throughout the day I just felt sort of tired with the throat soreness continuing. Sleeping last night wasn’t fun.  In addition to the sore throat I felt like I had a constant stream of drainage running down my throat making it tough to sleep.  I awoke hard at 3:30 AM and was almost ready to just get out of bed but managed to eventually fall back asleep. I got up this morning feeling pretty lousy but staying home was not an option as it is literally the busiest day of the year at work.

Last night Cindy and I got to catch Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer live on CBS.  Despite seeing the special dozens of times over the years I still laugh out loud and smile at the simplistic stop action animation and simple, wholesome storyline. It’s a refreshing contrast to the toxicity that surrounds most of the world nowadays.

 

 

15181481_1353205941359323_2370457378495481185_nSo now after having Elsa in the house for around two weeks we have both been getting more used to each other.  She is just extremely cute and seems very happy in her new home.  However neither Cindy or I have been able to figure out why she is so skittish in some situations.  We wonder if there was something about her old living situation that created this fear or if it’s just the way she is.  Anyway, we will keep just smothering her with love and hope it eases whatever worries she has.

So I stayed up to watch the Eagles game although I flipped it off with about six minutes left, knowing the team was going nowhere.  It was a very frustrating game to watch.  The defense appeared to have no answers for Aaron Rodgers, he picked them apart masterfully.  The Packers converted something ridiculous like 10 of 12 third down conversions.  The few times the Eagles did actually stop them they committed stupid penalties to let the Packers move the chains anyway.

The front four of the Eagles just did not get the job done.  Fletcher Cox who for some reason was deemed worthy of being awarded the highest non-QB contract in the off season has been the biggest disappointment of all.  He has 4 sacks this season, the last one coming during the loss at Detroit. Yes, that was SEVEN games ago.  You never hear his name called for making a play.  The only time I heard his name last night was when he allowed the Packers to extend another drive with a 3rd down roughing the passer call.  He is a rancid, stinking example of a player getting the big money and then laying an egg.  His play has been very disappointing.

Carson Wentz had another sub-par game.  Of course it is not entirely his fault.  The Eagles wide receiving crew, which was already poor was short handed because Agoholor (another huge bust), didn’t dress because he has hurt feelioma or something along those lines.  They could cut every WR on this team and replace them with waiver pick ups and not lose a step.  The interception Wentz threw was a bad one.  He has repeatedly exhibited a tendency to have balls “sail” on him during his rookie year.  Last night’s example landed square in the chest of a Packer defensive back. I just don’t get how a team that looked so balanced and disciplined for the first three games of the season has unraveled to what we have seen the last couple months.  At least the 2-6 record after the 3-0 start has put in focus what areas of the team are just not good enough.

During the game they flashed a stat that surprised me.  The last 17 times the Eagles have been behind entering the 4th quarter behind on the scoreboard, they have lost.  Wow talk about a lack of resiliency.

 

It felt weird on Thanksgiving morning to be getting up so “late” at 4:45 am since this was the first time in years I was attending a race as a participant and not a timer.  We left the house around 5:30 for the race scheduled to start at 7:30.  I wanted to get there early to lend a hand where needed.  Once I got there it didn’t take long for me to track down my timer buddy John who was handling the event.  I wound up spending almost all of the time pre-race talking and helping John, it just felt like the natural place for me to be.

15230672_1351500898196494_4141209517276446164_nThe atmosphere at the Gobble Gobble was so much different from what I became accustomed to at the running club Thanksgiving race. I would compare the feel of that race to a mob waiting to beat in the doors on Black Friday.  It was just chaotic as hell from start to finish. The club race has over 3000 participants, the Gobble has less than half of that.  This race breaks the event apart into a chip timed and fun run division which further helps with congestion. They had a woman doing announcements on a small stage during the entire time leading up to the race which made it very clear and easy to figure out what was going on instead of just herds of people following other herds of people, hoping they are going the right way.

Cindy and I were in the timed event which took off first, 5 minutes before the fun runners started.  Cindy has not been been able to do consistent running leading up to the race so I knew it was going to be tough for her.  Despite her saying I should just go ahead and run whatever pace I wanted , I stayed with her for the majority of the race.  She was struggling at points and I tried to give her encouragement to keep pushing ahead.

When we got to the 3.5 mile mark I told her I was going to push for the last half mile which she was fine with.  It gave me a chance to briefly indulge in my normal race mode mindset where I acquire targets ahead of me to run down and pass.  My official time of 38:30 was slower than most of my training runs but I could have cared less, it just felt good to be a participant instead of an organizer.  Cindy came across the line pushing hard about 45 seconds after I did.

15220091_1351533611526556_2255278053195717135_nThe post race scene again was far less chaotic than I was accustomed to due to less people and the simple awards structure where only the top three finishers of each gender get anything.  Instead of posting paper results John just had a couple laptops set up that runners could use to print out their individual time slips, further relieving congestion.  Cindy and I indulged in some of the post race refreshments.  I hung at the finish line with John for a little while before we called it a morning.  It was good that I got to see the race director, Matt, who I had not seen in person for a long time although I chat to him online on a regular basis.  Cindy and I left the parking lot both feeling very good about the experience, it was such a refreshing change from what I had become used to.

When we got home there was no equipment to put away, no data to be massaged and no results to be uploaded.  Instead I got to just flip on the Macy’s Parade and chill.  I had not seen more than a few minutes of the parade for the past five or six years.  I got to watch almost two hours of it this year and loved every minute of it.  The rest of Thanksgiving followed the same general feel good vibe.  Cindy did most of the heavy lifting for the day, preparing a hybrid tofurkey/turkey Thanksgiving dinner that we enjoyed with Katie and Daniel.  Before dinner I actually shot over to the school with the kids to get some more EUC riding in where Katie once again showed massive improvements in her ability to ride the electric unicycle.  The meal Cindy prepared was very, very good.  We relived the meal via warm ups during the weekend and it was still delicious.

On Friday I was outside early trying to get chores down to free up the weekend since Randall was rolling in for a visit.  After I finished up we headed out for some errands.  Since it was Black Friday I didn’t expect it to be a pleasant experience.  We stopped at Sam’s Club first which was busy but not a mob scene, I saw some good deals but nothing I wanted for myself or others.  I was a bit annoyed that the 4K tv I bought at Sam’s in May was now like 400 bucks less on Black Friday.

We then headed to Lowe’s and Home Depot with a primary goal of securing a new artificial Christmas tree.  The tree I have is about 5-6 years old and works fine but I am not thrilled that the built in lights are incandescent which eat a lot of power.  I wanted a tree that used controllable LED lighting.  Getting into the Home Depot parking lot was just ridiculous.  As annoying as it was, I just reminded myself of what date on the calendar it was.  I knew what I was getting myself into.

The interior of the store was no better with mobs of people clogging the aisles.  Cindy swooped in and claimed the last box of a tree model that seemed to have the specs we wanted, a seven and a half footer with led lights that could be color, white or cycle between the two, perfect.  While we were there we picked up a few other items.  I felt relieved when we finally got out the door, the Black Friday mindset is just something that leaves me feeling unsettled.

Later in the day we actually went back out to the Bonita Home Depot, bringing Elsa along this time.  I wanted to pick up a spot light I could install on the water equipment shelter to provide night illumination for that side of the house since it is where we normally walk Elsa.   We took Elsa to Home Depot with Sadie the week before and she seemed to like it.  Well without Sadie around it was a different story.  Elsa seemed scared most of the time, I felt bad for her.  Hopefully more exposure to more people, sights, and sounds will help her not react in such a scared manner.

We did our exterior decorations on Friday.  I totally abandoned the all white exterior lights that I used to decorate the house with, replacing them exclusively with colored LED lights.  We strung lights on the front palm trees and the opposite front fence lines.  When combined with our other color/pattern changing decorations the house looks incredibly colorful.  I like it.

15178139_10155038189867841_9000791475576436372_nRandall did not arrive on Saturday until early in the afternoon giving us time to get stuff done in the morning.  One of those things was me installing the new flood light.  It was an LED model so I was a bit concerned about it’s ability to light up the yard compared to conventional lighting.  When it got dark those fears evaporated, the lights were extremely bright, it almost looked like stadium lighting. I also shaved my head Saturday morning.  When Elsa first saw me with the buzz cut she barked in fear, thinking somebody new had replaced me.  Once she heard my voice her stubby tail started wagging again.

Randall pulled up in his Prius with his road bike in the back.  Even though I wasn’t planning to ride my road bike with him I had an idea of riding my Gotway Msuper with him instead.  We hung out for a bit catching up although Randall is usually up to date with most aspects of my life via the blog.  It didn’t take long until I was ready to load up the car with PTVs to take to the school, hopefully to get Randall rolling.

I brought a Minipro along as well, thinking it would be good for him to cut his teeth on the far easier to master vehicle.  I was surprised that at first Randall was very unstable on the Segway.  When he stepped on he was lurching forward awkwardly with the frame of the bot bouncing up and down.  He soon became more accustomed to how the gyro felt, balancing for you.  Within 5 minutes he was able to roll around pretty comfortably.  I tooled around on my Msuper while he followed me for awhile.  At first I was thinking it might make sense to just stick to the Minipro on Saturday and maybe let him try the training EUC on Sunday but when I asked him if he was up to trying the unicycle he was ready to give it a go.

We used the same game plan as what seemed to work well for Katie and Daniel, setting up the wheel next to the fenced in bike corral, giving Randall ample hand support as needed.  Slowly he was able to go further in between touches and had a number of step offs as he lost balance.  Within maybe 20 minutes of trying and falling he was doing better.  Randall left the safety of the fence and headed down the sidewalk.  He wore his helmet at the start of the EUC training but removed it later, stating he felt like it affected his balance, despite my encouragement to wear it.  Randall gave me a verbal waiver of liability, claiming that his mountain biking experience has taught him how to fall.  He got to put that experience to the test.

I felt nervous as I trailed Randall around the parking lot.  He would have moments of extreme shakiness, sometimes he recovered, sometimes he didn’t.  Most of the time he was able to jump off the wheel and let it roll to a tumbling stop.  A few times he was the one that went tumbling, hitting the ground hard.  To Randall’s credit, the spills didn’t slow him down, he got right back on every time.  By the time we left the school some two hours later Randall was still shaky but able to ride around, turn, mount and dismount at a decent level.  He said he now understood why I found riding PTVs so much fun.

On Saturday night we enjoyed more Thanksgiving warm ups while watching the latest Netflix rental, Purge, Election Year.  I had already seen the first two Purge installments so I sort of knew what to expect.  Randall had not seen any of them but knew the general premise.  The movie was not bad by Purge standards and in some ways made me think about the 2016 election which is a bit disturbing.  If you don’t deal well with movie violence, steer clear.  I’d give it a B as is.

Sunday morning I was up early to run, despite logging four miles on Thanksgiving.  I let Randall sleep as he isn’t doing much running nowadays.  He had indicated he might get up and ride to Ave Maria and then meet me on the way back on my unicycle to head to DD.  The air was nice and cool which felt refreshing as I circled the track 16 times.  I wound up averaging an 8:55 pace, almost 45 seconds better than Thursday.

When I got back I saw Randall’s bike was still in the garage so I figured he scrapped the Ave Maria ride idea.  We instead shoved off for Dunkin Donuts with Randall on two wheels and me on one.  At first my intention was to handle the ride like I did the first time I tried it, almost exclusively on sidewalk.  I started off that way but found it annoying to have to slow down at the crosswalks as Randall would be able to keep cruising along in the bike lane.  About a mile and a half in I swung into the bike lane and just stayed there, riding within a few feet of Randall, taking advantage of his wind breaking.

I told Randall that if he could keep his speed around 18 mph I should be ok, well within the 25mph+ top speed of the wheel.  I had never cruised this fast for this long.  The wheel felt very stable at speed although I was obviously a bit nervous having nothing between me and vehicles other than a painted line.  Randall said he was surprised how easily I was able to keep up.  At one point his bike computer was showing we were over 20 mph and I was still right there.

After enjoying a large coffee at DD we headed the opposite direction and it was much more challenging.  A strong head wind which was more like a cross wind made Randall ineffective as a wind blocker.  There were periods of time where I was struggling big time to stay in place as the wind was pushing me towards the curb.  I was worried that the additional wind pressure could gobble up battery life to the point where I may have an issue.  The Msuper chugged along, I still had about 30% battery life when we pulled back into the driveway.  The video of the ride is pretty interesting.  It looks like we are going VERY fast at times.

Late morning Katie and Daniel showed up for us to go for our Sunday ride.  Despite logging 20 hard miles a couple hours earlier I was happy to go back out.  I had just enough vehicles to cover all of us although we are running into an electric unicycle issue.  Both Katie and Daniel have advanced enough that the training wheel is just not enough machine for them.  At first she rode the black MiniPro with Cindy who was on the white one.  I was on my Msuper with Daniel on the Ninebot One, while Randall continued his learning curve on the training wheel.  Randall was already feeling beat up from his day one of training.  After a pretty bad spill he said his back was really bothering him.  We switched things up and had Katie get on the training wheel while Randall got on the less physically demanding MiniPro.  Once again Katie did fantastic, she was able to actually navigate the boardwalk at North Collier Park on one wheel. After the ride we all headed to Panera for a nice late lunch. It was quite busy but fun first half of the day with me logging four plus miles by foot and another 25 miles or so by wheel.

Late in the afternoon Randall, Cindy and I headed to the Miromar Outlets, a sort of holiday tradition when Randall visits.  He wanted to primarily check out the Oakley outlet but we ducked into a few other stores.  It was crowded but not a madhouse so my skin wasn’t crawling to leave immediately.  We picked up a few heavily discounted items before calling it a day.

Before Randall left I asked him if he was interested in my Phantom drone.  I plan to get a new Mavic Pro drone once they become available again and I knew in the past he had expressed interest in drones.  Randall was surprised by and accepted my offer.  I was happy to let him have it as opposed to selling it.  I have been through a lot with the drone that Cindy so generously surprised me with years ago.  It last saw consistent use when we went out west last year, capturing the footage that resulted in my prosecution by the national park service which was one of the more aggravating experiences of my life.  In some ways I am sad to see it go but glad to give it to Randall instead of selling it to a stranger.  I put the drone up in the air once last time Saturday morning just to make sure it was in good working order.

We thanked Randall for his visit.  Elsa had up and down moments with Randall, mostly erring on the side of caution when he was around.  He still had fun interacting with her.

So this weekend had two noticeable deaths on far opposite sides of the popularity spectrum, Florence Henderson and Fidel Castro.  I was a big Brady Bunch fan and always thought Florence was the blueprint for the perfect mother.  She remained somewhat relevant late into life which I thought was cool.  Fidel, who was rumored to have died several times over the last decade finally kicked the bucket for real which has been celebrated wildly in south Florida which has a large Cuban population.  The guy was a piece of shit without a doubt.

The Eagles play the Packers tonight.  I have no idea which team will show up, the one that dismantled the Steelers or the team that looked so overmatched against the Seahawks.

 

 

 

 

15134600_1350134178333166_1180302084294928777_nSo Cindy and I officially transitioned from fostering to adopting Elsa, even though that was pretty much determined from day one.  The girl that runs the rescue was at our house when I got home verifying Elsa was in a good situation which did not take long to do.  We had a good day from a housebreaking perspective with no accidents in the house all day yesterday.  Elsa made up for it this morning.

So as soon as we wake up Cindy takes her outside.  Elsa immediately pee’d and came immediately back inside. The routine we have gotten into is after Elsa eats breakfast Cindy takes her back out for a number two.  Well as I was on my computer catching up on email while eating my breakfast I heard a scratching noise in the dining room.  I look over and see that Elsa had just finished up taking a dump in front of the two unicycles that charge there.  I immediately yelled and Cindy came scrambling up in disbelief since she hadn’t even fed Elsa breakfast yet.

So it was disappointing that we still do not seem to be able to make her understand this is not acceptable behavior.  Well as I was putting on my shoes to leave for work I saw Elsa put an exclamation point on the problem.  There was a big puddle of urine right near the area rug in the great room.  Wow.  I was under the impression that she was more or less house broken already.  It looks like we have to start the process all over again.

I mentioned the other day how much different my Thanksgiving holiday is this year, not having to worry about timing a 3,000 plus participant holiday race.  That feeling has continued to grow as we get closer to the big day.  In the past the day before Thanksgiving meant me leaving work early in the afternoon to go to packet pickup where I started to work on the reams of paper entries I had to get into the system.  The work would extend well into the night where I also had to get the truck fully loaded with equipment so we could pull out of the driveway at something crazy like 4AM.  When I would try to fall asleep the night before I would struggle as multiple mental checklists were floating around in my head that I couldn’t turn off.

The morning of the race was always one big blur where the scene goes from quiet to a mob scene in the span of 20 minutes.  The ever present sense of chaos was always just under the surface, only loosely controlled at best.  Of course a good chunk of this sense of chaos and disorganization came from areas that I did not have responsibility for or control of which added frustration into the whirling tub of emotions.  When the race was finally over the sigh of relief was prolonged but was quickly followed by the dread of knowing I would be repeating the process, on a smaller scale, over the next few months.

To say I am relieved this scenario is no longer the case would be a severe understatement.  I look back at that hamster wheel I was on and wonder how I did it for so long.  I guess the answer lies in my people pleasing personality and my sense of responsibility to the runners that participated in the races.  I took executing my part of their race experience seriously, always trying to act as I would want someone else to if I was the one running the race.  It feels great to now be able to look out over the horizon and not see the dark clouds of future races always hanging low in the skies.

My Thanksgiving is actually still going to involve a race but as a participant, not a timer.  Ironically Cindy and I will be running in the holiday race that the running club broke away from four years ago, The Gobble Gobble.  That split, which involved some Iraq WMD level deception was the turning point in my time with the club.  It was definitely where things started to go downhill, accelerating on the way down.  It will be nice to get face to face again with some of the local running crowd, most of which I have not seen at all since my exit from the club race scene at the end of January.

I am looking forward to a fun four day weekend.

It’s hard to imagine a dog being much cuter than Elsa has been since we began “fostering” her.  Although she still can be timid in certain situations she is becoming more trusting of us all the time.  Yesterday Cindy had her out with the chickens without the leash, using dog treats as a supplemental leash.  Food trumps all in Elsa’s mind.  The chickens seem to tolerate Elsa’s presence as well with only minimal fussing.  Hopefully we can continue to build that mutual disinterest.

15094905_1349230735090177_8032713615701781282_nShe is hilarious in bed, she just gets so comfortable.  Last night she decided she wanted to snuggle up to me and rest her head in my armpit.  We managed to avoid any housebreaking incidents yesterday although Cindy and I are in a constant mild paranoia.  We try to make sure Elsa is in our line of sight at all times.  She also started a new thing last night where she kept going under my desk to hang out.  I assume the box like dimensions remind her of a crate.

 

 

 

 

20151126_071801-x31So at this point I have sold or given away almost all of my race timing equipment.  It feels good to clear up the space in the house the equipment used to occupy.  I have a handful of other things to get rid of but the vast majority of it is out of there.  It’s funny when I think about how this day in the calendar used to be for me for the previous six or seven years.  I had a mountain of responsibility with the behemoth Thanksgiving race I was timing every year.  Fittingly, last year was the biggest quagmire event yet where I was still entering participants 45 minutes after the race had started.  It was awful.  To have no such burden on my shoulders this year feels odd yet fantastic.

 

15094290_10155018788932841_6558027601994686520_nThe weather this weekend was great with cool, crisp air most of the time.   It was good weather for dogs to play. On Friday Sadie, Elsa, and the neighbor’s puppy Shadow had a rigorous play session.  The end result of it was Sadie walking around with a severe limp Friday night.  She gets excited and tries to run around like she weighs 20 pounds less than she does, which usually results in her hurting herself.  Luckily Saturday morning the limp was less severe but we tried to limit her running the rest of the weekend with some limited success.

It felt weird that as I was completing chores outside Saturday morning that the final race I was contracted to time was going on.  My timer buddy John had offered to time the race for me in a barter arrangement which was fine with me.  With the completion of the event my plate is officially cleared of Green Machine Timing business.  I have15079037_10154337470978089_5112068902732179854_n sold almost all of the equipment already and feel no regret in doing so.  The motivation I had for starting GMT was fueled by a lot of “f u” energy that has faded over time.  With that change along with the lack of financial pressure to supplement my income, it just feels good to let it all go.

Saturday afternoon we took the dogs on their first tandem road trip, hitting up Rural King and Home Depot.  It was weird that we just randomly met Elsa unexpectedly a week prior at Rural King and a week later she was living in our home.  Both dogs behaved well as we walked around the stores.

I was hoping to get out on my electric unicycle early in the afternoon since I hardly had any ride time during the week due to lack of daylight and other time commitments.  However I wound up getting sidetracked for over two hours working on a computer problem.  For some reason Windows file explorer kept crashing whenever I did anything that required browsing the file system.  There had been no major changes recently so I had no idea why the behavior would start all of a sudden.  I looked the problem up online and saw three possible remedies, I tried them all and none of them worked.  I even went so far as to do a system restore from Wednesday, still no dice.

I then logged on as a different user and saw explorer was working just fine so at least it meant my problem was profile specific and not system wide.  I decided to back up my documents and data and blow away my profile to start a new one.  Doing so fixed my problem but then required me to do a lot of tweaking to get things in the new profile working correctly.  I was quite frustrated by the entire process.

I finally got out on my wheel around 4PM.  I drove to the Target shopping center and parked there.  I then rode the 10K big loop that surrounds the North Collier Regional Park.  I entered the park as part of the ride and tooled around for awhile.  During the ride I rambled on about a bunch of various topics you may or may not find interesting.

On Saturday night we stayed in and watched Concussion, the movie Will Smith felt he deserved an Oscar nomination for.  It was an interesting movie that dealt with just how horrible the side effects of repetitive head trauma can be.  There were a number of players named in the film that died/killed themselves as a result.  The only two I was aware of before the movie were Mike Webster and Junior Seau.  I was shocked and amazed that I didn’t know the infamous Eagles safety from the Buddy Ryan years, Andre Waters, was another player that took his own life after battles with mental illness.  The film, although slow at times, does make me look at the only professional sport that I actively root for differently. B+

15037224_1347799841899933_8332032468019576567_nSo overall, Elsa has been pretty easy to merge into our daily routine except for one thing, house breaking.  A handful of times she has done number one and two in the house which I guess is expected, however the way it has been happening is a bit maddening.  Twice she has taken a dump in the dining room literally minutes after we just had her outside to go to the bathroom.  Last night Cindy was walking her around out front for a good 10 minutes to avoid this exact scenario.  She did nothing outdoors and promptly shit in the exact same spot in the dining room a few minutes after coming back inside.  Obviously this behavior needs to be corrected but other than that, she has been an ideal addition.

Sunday morning I got out for another 4+ mile run.  The temperature actually dropped 5 degrees between me arriving at the track and leaving.  Some cool air was blowing into town.  The run was challenging as the incoming cool air meant that half of every lap I was running into a pretty stiff headwind.

Katie and her boyfriend were unable to join is for our Sunday morning PTV ride because they had to run their dog to the vet.  Cindy and I wound up riding around the Barron Collier high school area for maybe 5 miles or so.  Riding in the cool air required a sweatshirt but it still felt great.

After the ride we stopped at Bed, Bath, and Beyond.  Their ad had a cool Christmas LED projector that I wanted to enhance our 2016 X-mas display.  The projector literally blankets the front of your house with clear laser red and green images that cycle and move.  We tried it out last night, it is coooool.

Katie and Daniel must really enjoy our Sunday rides, they asked if we could still go out Sunday afternoon, after they got back from the vet.  The Eagles didn’t play until 4:30 so I was fine with it.  We went back to the middle school I run at since they had closed in basketball courts that would be good for unicycle training.  At this point Daniel had the basics mastered, Katie was now the one trying to get up and rolling on one wheel.

She had very early success, being able to ride from one side of the basketball court to the other.  Within 15 minutes of that it had “clicked” for her.  She was rolling along impressively, turning, starting, and stopping at a level that took me several weeks to achieve.  It was another testament to the power of youth.  She quickly got to the point where she was maxxing out the speed of the training wheel which was tilting her back hard.  We had her get on the Ninebot One which she again quickly adapted to.  It was amazing.  She did have a wipe out that ended her riding session.  I didn’t see the whole fall but I think she ran off the edge of the asphalt momentarily.  Luckily she was wearing the new safety equipment we had bought for her so she escaped without any serious injuries.    I was very impressed with her progress.  Both her and Daniel picked up the skill much faster than I ever would have expected.

So that Eagles game was pretty brutal to watch, the Seahawks really did a good job of putting a spotlight on the Eagles weaknesses like their corner backs and wide receivers whom are both below average, at best.   Carson Wentz had his worst game of the season.  His numbers look better than they really were from junk yards at the end once the Seahawks went into prevent.  To add injury to insult, the top two Eagles running backs, Ryan Matthew and Darren Sproles left the game with injuries.  It was just a depressing game to watch and was a reality check for the team.  Although the Eagles are better than expected this year, they have several key problems that will prevent them from becoming a contender.

 

10629769_1345145578832026_3382491076093548527_nSo on my way home from work last night I picked up Sadie.  It was a big night as it would be her first time meeting Elsa.  I had Cindy take Elsa outside before we got there.  I figured it would be better if they met outside instead of inside the house Sadie has called home for so long.

We had a very brief moment of concern when Elsa backed up and growled menacingly at Sadie at first.  Sadie sort of ignored her and was more interested in smelling the grass.  I unloaded the truck and went inside briefly.  By the time I went back out in the backyard the tension seemed to have evaporated and they were running around together. It was the first time I had seen Elsa running free.  Despite her rather small dimensions, she is fast, really fast.  She could literally run circles around Sadie.  It brought a big smile to my face to see the two of them playing together.

The rest of the night was very entertaining between watching them play and establish some ground rules.  Elsa is not good at being patient when it comes to handed out treats.  Her environment she grew up in having to contest for food with double digit dogs makes her aggressive when food is around.  She tried to steal a treat Cindy was handing to Sadie.  I would think that over time this behavior would relax as she realizes she doesn’t need to fight for food.

15036424_1345204972159420_7646667929636813082_nThe other unknown was how bedtime would go.  Sadie normally at least starts the night in the bed with us although she normally will head into the walk in closet later.  Thankfully this seemed to be a non-issue, both of them were content to share the bed and Sadie eventually jumped down and into the closet again.  Once again last night Elsa was quiet and still, not causing any noticeable sleep disruptions although I once again woke up without an alarm somewhere around 5:30.

Before I left this morning Cindy had them out in the yard again.  They were sprinting around wildly and having so much fun. It was awesome.  When they came back inside they were still wound up.  Elsa skidded across the tile before changing directions and vaulting herself on the couch.  I would say she is pretty happy with her new living arrangements.

Today will be the first time Cindy has to run out while leaving Elsa at home which will be interesting.  Supposedly Elsa is crate trained but I have not seen anything so far that makes me think she likes going in a crate.  Of course our goal would be to be able to eventually be able to trust her enough to not be crated when we are gone but that will take some time.

I have a feeling this weekend will be very dog-centric although chores and PTV riding will be on the agenda as well.

15055835_1343926418953942_5784585106060496180_nSo Cindy made the drive up to Punta Gorda to pick up Elsa yesterday.  The trip went well except for the part where some tire shrapnel from a tractor trailer hit the Prius.  Elsa slept most of the way.  I got reports and pictures during the day of how she was doing.  Cindy said Elsa was very nervous when she first got in the house which is not surprising, everything is brand new.

Of course I was anxious to get home and see the new addition.  She greeted me cautiously, you could tell she was timid.  Despite her apprehension she spent most of the night mostly following Cindy around.  You can tell that she is used to having to contend for food since the shelter she was at had 17 other dogs in the mix.  Everytime either of us were doing things in the kitchen Elsa was right there hoping it meant food for her.

Cindy had her out in the yard on a leash to see how she would do with the chickens.  She seemed a bit scared of the birds and the chickens didn’t seem to really care about her.  Elsa also got to play with the neighbors new puppy Shadow.  It seems like they will  really have fun being play buddies.  Cindy said they had a blast.

Katie stopped over to meet Elsa last night as well.  There are some definite similarities to one of her dogs, Tank.  She thought Elsa was adorable as well.  As the night went on I could tell Elsa was feeling a bit more at ease.  It was almost like she couldn’t believe that all this stuff was hers.  Of course Cindy was all smiles.  Having a 9 month old dog in the house will certainly make her days more interesting and fun.

15095071_1344392158907368_3334586922219941441_nSo when it came time for bed Cindy had planned to have Elsa sleep in the crate that she bought in the bedroom.  She was told at the shelter Elsa was used to being crated.  I was in bed first, feeling exhausted (more on that later).  When Elsa came into the bedroom and saw me in bed she wasted little time before she vaulted herself over me and staked out her own spot in the middle.  She looked so cute and content that Cindy quickly scrapped the plan to put her in the crate.

Cindy’s biggest issue with a dog in the bed is it causing her to wake up.  When Sadie is in the bed she is quite disruptive with her heavy breathing and moving around.  Well Elsa was the opposite.  I hardly noticed she was in bed, she just laid there quietly.  This morning Cindy reported the same thing, she really had no disruptions from the dog all night which is cool. Tonight things get more interesting since I am picking up Sadie to stay through the weekend.  I think they will get along well but Sadie does insist on being number one in the attention scale, something I am sure she will let Elsa know in short order.

Anyway, for the first day I think Elsa did great and I don’t see any glaring red flags so far that would be big issues down the road.  She is a little sweetheart.

So I have yet another annoying sleep issue going on.  For close to two weeks I have been automatically waking up between 5 and 6 am without an alarm.  It doesn’t matter how late I am up the night before or how exhausted I am, something in my head is firing off during that 60 minute window.  It feels like it is contributing to my overall sense of being worn down.  Yesterday at the gym I basically tapped out in the middle of my workout, I just felt like shit.

Just like most things nowadays, I attribute most of it to just another wonderful side effect of growing older.  I recall quite clearly the issues my mom had with sleep and assume I will be battling some of those same challenges as I progress further into old fartdom.  It’s no fun getting old.