Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Dreams (in which I do too much of it)

Despite evidence to the contrary, once I'd made my decision take Fergus (lumpy legs and all) to 20 Mule Team 100, I felt fairly relaxed about it. I was even sleepy and dropped off to sleep quickly at around 10:45 on Friday night. Love that new memory foam mattress.

Two hours later I was wide awake with a churning stomach and a fretting head.
  • Had we done enough conditioning?
  • Was Fergus going to crash and burn the next day because of the forecasted 72°F? [hah, we froze practically all day - they didn't mention the "brisk" wind in the forecast]
  • Were his legs going to drop off?
  • Was the fact that I'd not had a chance to do a short pre-ride on Friday going to bite me?
  • Would his glue-ons stays on?
  • Would I be able to eat properly or would I get lack-of-food-stupid?
  • ...
Finally, I slept again and had an interesting and delightful dream about visiting a bat sanctuary and needing to draw pictures of the little bat tails to identify what kind of bat they were. No idea what that was about, but it was a bit of light relief from the fretting.

At 4:30 a.m. the alarm went off, and sadly, I was already awake. It seems that the worst part of doing 100 mile rides isn't the riding, it's the fretting ahead of time and resulting lack of sleep.

* * *

My commute is 600 miles a week and to stay sane I listen to audio books.

A LOT of audio books.

I can either get piles of audio CDs from the library or I can download digital audio files. The latter requires some caution to avoid bumping our internet usage over the monthly 10 GB limit and incurring a $10 overcharge, so CDs are a better option. Except that – of the three cars available to me to commute in – only one has a functioning CD player - and of course, it's the one that gets the highest gas mileage. :(

So the latest "good plan" is to buy a portable CD player that I can use in any of the cars. Yesterday I took a quick look at prices and availability. You can spend $30-$200, and judging by the reviews, it won't make a lick of difference. Most units had over a 100 reviews and half the people said "great unit! great sound! love it!", while the other half said "useless/broke after three minutes/fritzy".

My brain's way of dealing with this was to dream that I went shopping, bought 3-4 items, and when the lady rang me up, the bill was $10,456. And rather than say "uh, never mind", in the dream, I was trying to figure out if we had a bank account with that much money in it that I could use. Turns out the lady had mispositioned the decimal point and the bill was really $104.56 (lucky I'm on top of things and can do maths, right?).

Does this indicate a guilty conscience over spending $30 on a CD player?

Or was it that, in planning my purchase, I realised that I would probably go to the Republic of Walmart to get it - and in doing so might be able to pick up a new white/red-bulbed headlight to replace the one I already have that you have to bang and poke to get the light to stay on?

Big spender, me.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Cripes (in which I gag over hay prices)

For the last few months we've been buying hay from the local feed store in Garden Valley. I say "we" - actually pft has been doing it. It's just a couple of miles down the road, so he can easily nip out, fill up the hay trailer and be back home before he even notices he left.

Unfortunately, the last batch of orchard grass/alfalfa (usually a 90/10 mix) had gone bananas and the ratios were flipped. Of course, the pones thought this was most wondrous and proceeded to gobble the sweeties hay down in large quantities, adding to their already whale-like proportions.

But with Fergus being prepped for 20 Mule Team 100, eating calcium-laced alfalfa wasn't going to fly. An excellent way to develop an unhealthy dose of thumps half-way through the ride when his body tries to resupply and wonders how to do so (apparently the body gets stupid about such things if you provide large amounts of calcium from an outside source and forgets how to make its own).

So on Saturday off we went to Auburn with the truck. We weighed the empty truck, we had them half fill it with fine orchard grass (and it better be fine at $22.99 a 115 lb bale) for the working good pones (Fergus and Jackit), reweighed truck, and then had them finish the load off with "diet hay" (meadow grass at $16.99 a 115 lb bale) for the fatties. With 28 bales on the truck, this is probably the most expensive load of hay I've ever bought.