Blog .:. July 2011 4 Entries

Technology. It Bytes.

31 July 2011 Comments

I might have mentioned my computer crashed earlier this summer.

I am still computerless. Or, the one I’m using is… special. It was special when I bought it, and that was ten years ago. Now it’s even more special, and it treats every venture onto the web like it’s the Scariest Place On Earth.

You cannot, apparently, clicker-train a computer to get it over its fear of new technology.

Worse, I’ve lost all my passwords and keep forgetting which I’ve reset, which means I get to reset my passwords for everything I want to do, everywhere, every time. I could organize this and straighten this mess out, but frankly I don’t have the time or the energy. Even if my computer would allow it.

This is one reason why I am not posting much.

I’m hoping I can get a new computer by the end of August. We shall see.

Tagged: Computers & Gadgets, Interwebz

This week has been a pain in my ass

24 July 2011 Comments

It appears that, under all the padding, I may have a muscle or two in my ass after all.

I know, because Ro was startled by something crashing through the bushes today. She was already unsettled, and that unglued her—she took off bucking. This is only the second time she’s ever taken off like this, and it’s the first time I’ve ever thought I might come off her.

I got her pulled up, collected myself, and we went right back to work. However, as soon as she trotted quietly past the bushes one time, I hopped off. She was not entirely settled, but I could tell I had pulled something and I did not want to make what is hopefully a minor tweak something worse if she spooked again.

Is it wrong that my first thought on trying to walk back to the barn was that at least the injury was centered? I mean, that indicates I must have been pretty centered on her, right? It’s like a whole new form of biofeedback.

Now I’m sitting on the couch feeling sorry for myself. It’s not just the injury (although it’s starting to feel like I may have torqued things all the way up my back). It’s that this isn’t even the worst thing we’ve dealt with this week. It’s just the icing on the cake.

Mmmm. Icing. I’m supposed to be on a sugar ban, but I think this calls for breaking it. Speaking of calls, I need to go make one. The pizza places all have those cinnapie things now. I am certain one of those will make me feel better. My sugar ban can start next week.

Tagged: Horses, Horses - Ro, Injury & Illness, Riding

This is why you should pay attention in chemistry

13 July 2011 Comments

There are debates that will never be answered: McDonald’s or Burger King’s fries. The Packers of the Vikings. Cold, ice, and snow—or heat, humidity, and bugs. And fungus.

Before moving to the South, the only fungus I ever had to deal with was the occasional case of scratches, and that cleared right up with a scrub or two of Betadine.

Down here, I’ve been introduced to chronic scratches and more versions of fungus than should exist in the world. Fortunately most of this has been at a distance, but a month or so ago, Ro started getting a rub in her girth area.

I figured she was either reacting to her own sweat or that the girth was rubbing. I made some adjustments to her tack, made sure I hosed and dried her off well, and kept an eye on it.

In short order, it started flaking. And then it got stringy.

This is the point where I wondered WTF I was doing living in the South and started trying to figure out if I really hate the cold as much as I think I do, or if I maybe exaggerated my hate a bit and moving back would be… if not enjoyable… at least tolerable.

Meanwhile, I attacked the fungus the only way I knew how: Betadine.

Ro wanted to know WTF I was doing molesting her arm pits, but I managed to bribe her into disgusted compliance.

The fungus laughed in the foam of my Betadine and kept growing and spreading.

So I did what any good horse owner would do: I browsed a couple horse forums, read up on fungus, dismissed any solutions that were similar to scrubbing with Betadine, and decided to go out and buy a bottle of Vetericyn.

Vetericyn costs roughly as much as the GDP of a small country, so I checked the ingredient list to see if I recognized anything. Maybe I could find a cheaper version of it. Here’s the thing. What I remember about chemistry? Passing notes about black holes back and forth with one of the guys.

So I stared at the ingredient list on Vertericyn and concluded that it had, you know, some chemicals in it.

I go through life like this:

I am reading Elfrida right now, a really awful poem published in 1752, because I was reading Horace’s Ars Poetica and the translator’s editor put in a footnote lambasting Elfrida’s author. I was curious about how bad the text really was to make an editor break from otherwise standard cross-references to give a negative review. It may be worth noting that I was only reading the Ars Poetica because Adam Lindsay Gordon borrows from it to title his “Ex Fumo Dare Lucem,” which I was only reading because I needed another poem from the Hippodromania series for something else.

My point is, I do this stuff all the time. If I am interested in something, I will follow threads and thoughts to places no normal person would bother going. The Elfrida being one of them; if you are still trying to figure out what the Elfrida is and why you haven’t heard of it, there’s a reason it has been largely forgotten by history.

But if I am not interested, I stare blankly at things and then go on. Thus it was with the list of ingredients in Vetericyn: they were chemicals, all right. I paid an arm and a leg and bought a bottle.

I used it, and the fungus cleared up. Score.

Today, I learned just what is in Vetericyn. The main ingredients are, essentially, two types of bleach and salt. In a very dilute form.

I feel like an idiot. To be fair, the Vetericyn worked, so I can’t argue with the results. But I paid only marginally less than the budget for NASA for a bottle of it, and that is beyond even government contractor overpricing for what is essentially diluted bleach.

Now that I’ve peeled the sucker sticker off my head, there’s no way I’m paying for Vetericyn again. I can mix up some Dakin’s Solution (now I’m interested, so now I’m finding all sorts of interesting things I should have found out before), dilute it a little more, and throw some salt in. If nothing explodes or gives off noxious fumes… mmm…. ok, perhaps I’ll do a little more research and then start experimenting with chemicals. I may not remember much about my chemistry class, but I passed it. Presumably, I can figure out if I’ll blow up Houston by mixing salt and bleach.

Watch out for fireballs on the horizon.

Tagged: Adam Lindsay Gordon, Ars Poetica by Horace, Bad Decisions, Books & Reading, Elfrida by Mason, Ex Fumo Dare Lucem by Gordon, Hippodromania by Gordon, Horace, Horses, Horses - Ro, Injury & Illness, William Mason

I take my bombproofing opportunities where I can

8 July 2011 Comments

There was a goat at the barn today.

It was tied to a trailer. I assumed it had been brought along as a companion for the horse currently taking a lesson in the arena.

I mean, racehorses have goat companions, right? Seems odd for a barrel horse, but what do I know?

Thinking my time was short, I rushed off and grabbed Ro from her paddock.

Bombproofing opportunity!

It took Ro a while to notice the goat. Apparently, you must be [this tall] to register on her threat radar.

When she finally realized that the goat was not a dog, she got a little excited. And then she remembered there was grass, and we were pointed in the direction of the grass, and she’d like to go eat the grass now, kplsthnks.

I consider that a goatproofing success.

I felt marginally bad for taking advantage of somebody’s goat, but not too much. All the goat had to do was stay tied to the trailer and eat, which it was happily doing anyway. I don’t think it even looked at Ro.

As it turns out, however, the goat is staying. They are going to use him for goat tying lessons or something.

I can see where this is going.

If the goat is hanging out in the arena, Ro is going to have to learn to deal with it while we work. I don’t think that will be a problem. But I do have visions of the goat following along behind us as we ride, in a weird mismatched pas de deux. That… may get interesting.

And if that weren’t fun enough, next week is camp week. I’m looking forward to it: the kids are always gone by the time I get out to the barn, but they leave stuff behind. Bombproofing!

I hope they paint the barrels yellow this time. Ro thinks yellow barrels are scary. I think she needs to get over that.

Tagged: Dogs, Goats, Groundwork, Horses, Horses - Ro

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