Friday, September 30, 2011

I had a really good lesson today. I feel like I'm really making quick progress after the five year hiatus, and I have a sneaking suspicion that I'm going to come out of it better than I had been. I haven't put this much thought into riding in a long time- when one gets reasonably accomplished at something, one tends to slack on expanding one's skill level. Now I'm having to think everything through again and concentrate twice as hard, and it's awesome. Fi is so much fun to ride, too; she's very honest, works hard, and is very quick to capitalize when I slip up. ("Oh, you want me to go straight? Well, you're not, so why should I?") She's a lovely mover, which helps, and looks nice under saddle- showing in the Spring should be a lot of fun. She's apparently reasonably well-behaved away from home, although while you're not actually working her she apparently stares a lot looking for a likely item to spook at. Honestly, I'm not bothered- after Cam, that should be a breeze. We'll have all winter to work on jumping basics, too, and perhaps by the end of the summer we'll be ready to do a little event. I don't think she's been evented before, so that will make a fun goal.

Interestingly, while I'm used to my back giving out after a while, today it did fine (well, fine being a relative term; it hurt, but at least I didn't feel like I'd lost an inch in height) while my left ankle mysteriously decided to give instead. I'm not sure why; they're tricksy sometimes, but I don't have any prior injuries there the way I do with my back. Weird. I'm thinking of taking up a little yoga, to try and get some flexibility back; I'm not massively stiff, but it takes more effort than I would like to be able to keep my feet in place and lay back until my head is on her rump. (And don't even ask about touching opposite toes without stirrups...)

I guess the important part is that I'm having a great time with her.

(Heh- there's my hand slipping forward again. I give forward a little more than necessary and then end up losing the contact. Something to work on...)

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I am currently leaning towards "Fiona" for the mare. She seems like a Fi. Not sure if I'm going to make it an official change or not; it's hard to change it when she's already established in the barn under her current name. We'll see.

Also, I finally got some new breeches, and a decent jacket. It's nice to ride in stuff without holes in it.

Sunday, September 25, 2011

Two-Sentence Movie Reviews


This is a very underrated and fairly unknown little film, and I'm not sure why- it has a terrific cast, a coherent and fast-paced plot, some lovely setpieces, and all the paranoia, intrigue, and violence one would expect from a 70's espionage film (as well as the obligatory 70's ending, just be forewarned). It may be because of the director; he did go on to produce crap (and a lot of it) but there's no reason to discount this film because of others that followed it.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Horse Loot!

So today in the mail I got a turnout blanket for the mare, a really spiffy fleece cooler, some peppermint bit wipes, two pairs of new breeches for me, a pair of splint boots for her, and a bag of treats. I love getting horse stuff in the mail; it's almost more fun than buying it at a store. Which is a good thing, because there aren't any tack stores left in the area anymore.

Getting packages in the mail also makes up for the half-hour I spent yesterday removing bot eggs from her legs and side. If there's something more disturbing than parasites I'm sure I don't want to know what it is. Despite being intensely careful about disposing of them (dipping the bot knife in scalding soapy water at intervals and being very careful not to touch my face while working, and washing my hands and the removal equipment several times in scalding water [with the additional killing power of sulfur in the spring that supplies the barn]) I still get crawly just thinking about it.

Monday, September 19, 2011

funny win story - Inspirational Quote of the Day
see more It Made My Day

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

So through a series of odd events we ended up judging wine at a county fair, which is why I'm sort of drunk and it's only 2:30 pm. You do have to spit out the wine you're tasting, or you would be legless by about a quarter of the way through, but still- 51 wines later, and anyone is going to be a little tipsy just from what you absorb during the tasting process. We started out the quietest judging table and ended up the loudest, which is pretty amusing. We also took the longest, but hey- 51 wines, for crying out loud.
Some of them were nice. Some of them were workmanlike. Some of them were harsh. Some of them were nondescript. And a couple tasted as though they had been distilled in an armpit. I now understand why wine professionals use overblown, flowery language to describe wine- it's really hard to quantify a complex taste without using words that are also related to taste. And some of them really do taste like those odd series of wine expert adjectives. Some of them we had to make up new descriptions for, which I'm pretty sure have never been used before in the history of wine. One memorable one tasted like licking a basement wall. Another smelled like rotting newspaper. One of them smelled like a gas-powered weedeater that had just been used on a big bank of weeds. These were dark times.
It wasn't all terrible, though; far from it. There were many perfectly drinkable ones, and the three wines that came down in contention for Best In Show were absolutely transcendent. The first was a lovely delicate Catawba that was refreshing and balanced and wonderful, the second was something called "Three Berry Chocolate" that was sweet without being cloying in any way and was better than any dessert I can ever remember eating, but the winner was an ice wine that was just so close to prefect in every way I would have paid whatever they wanted for a bottle and counted it cheap at twice the price. We (and the photographer and the paperwork steward, who joined in on tasting the last three) were just speechless at how good it was. Any one of those three were worth having to judge all the wines that tasted like they had been strained through an engine block.
We didn't spit the final contenders out, which may have something to do with my general lack of sobriety at the moment (although really, I'm not as bad as I thought I would be considering we worked clear through lunch, so the last half was done more or less on an empty stomach) They were just too good- it would have been a crime. And, speaking of, we were driven home by our friend the photographer, who had come along more or less for this purpose. Now we're drinking water and trying to salvage something of the rest of the day. It was definitely an experience, though.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Worth a repost

And this is why no one should ever read the comments on anything ever.

Friday, September 09, 2011

So, this is my new pony. She's the same mare I've been leasing, but I've decided that I want to keep her. I'm considering a new name ("Pippa" just doesn't seem to suit her) but there's time for that.

More Cracked Goodness: 5 Bits of Advice That Don't Make Sense Until It's Too Late

Thursday, September 08, 2011

Fascinating Cracked article: The Seven Creepiest Old-School Robots

Monday, September 05, 2011

My Japanese pen pal is okay!

I've been worried about her since the earthquake, and they were on the edge of the danger zone, but she and her family are fine, it's just taken this long to get everything back to normal enough to contact me. I'm so relieved!

Friday, September 02, 2011

Surgery is back up and running, with an all-new half terabyte drive. Let the games installation commence! ^_^

Another thing I have a hard time getting tired of is Devo's "Come Back Jonee" in all its infinite variations. Listen to the drums on this 1978 live version; as someone in the comments said, how does Alan keep that up for three and a half minutes? And it only gets faster as it goes along.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

Although this episode of Burn Notice has a flip of the usual plot, in that the caper Jesse and Sam are on is much more exciting than the one Michael and Fi are on, there was just a long scene of Michael fighting a Russian mob goon while oiled and clad only in a towel. So that was unexpectedly amazing.