Monthly Archives: June 2011

Countdown To Tubal: Top 10 Reasons Dogs Are Better Than Kids

Woops! This blog post has moved. You can find it at its new home HERE.

Weekend Mountain Biking At Crested Butte

Because of my upcoming tubal, my boyfriend and I decided to celebrate his birthday a bit early. I got him a  400 Watt Power Dome Mini Generator from Think Geek. For the most part, he’s easy to shop for, I just buy him things that I would like. However, as the vehicle I figured would be most likely to carry it is the Pathfinder, which is the both of ours, I didn’t stop there.

I found a deal on Living Social for a 2 night stay for two at Elevation Hotel and Spa in Crested Butte, Colorado. It was a nice place, but not nearly as nice as the advert had described it. The room did come with a complimentary bottle of wine, but neither of us drink; a $30 gift certificate to the spa, which isn’t nearly enough to get anything; the kitchenette was only a mini fridge and a microwave, the “soaking tub” was really just a standard bathtub/shower; the lift tickets the room came with were good for one trip only and I had to pay to upgrade them to use all day; there was a balcony of sorts, being only big enough for one person to stand on; the hotel did serve breakfast, but for charge; and there was a pool, which was only about 15 ft long and had a maximum depth of 3 ft. Oh, well. The room was just for sleeping anyway.

My boyfriend seemed to really enjoy the drive there and back through twisting mountain roads, even if his car did seem to have some slight asthma at the highest altitude we reached. He grinned as his Pontiac GTO zipped along, making driving companions of Corvettes and Porches. We enjoyed the beautiful and changing mountain scenery as we traveled along, noting how much greener the landscape became as we crossed to the other side of the mountain ridges going from high desert to lush valley.

We entertained ourselves by chatting about amusing road signs along the way. There were of course the numerous “Falling Rocks” sings along the way as we drove , to which my BF would always sarcastically ask “What am I supposed to do about that?” a question repeated even more irritably as we passed one sign that read “Fallen Rock.” We laughed as we contemplated posting warning signs reading “Gravity in effect, next 5 miles.” Further along we saw another warning sign that read simply “Church,” which I found to be an appropriate thing to warn people about.

We spend Saturday doing something completely new to me. We were going to use our lift tickets to get up the mountain and hikearound, but decided to rent mountain bikes instead. We weren’t sure how well I’d fare with my injury to my wrist, but by the end of the day it wasn’t nearly the thing on me that hurt the most. Truth be told, I’m still quite sore now. Some of the paths were

closed down because of practices for a race and other reasons. My BF and I stuck mostly to green and blue trails, avoiding the black diamonds. It was a completely new experience for me, and I did end up scratched up, bruised, and sore, but we had a lot of fun biking through dirt, rocks, mud, trees, and fields of wildflowers on our way down the mountain. I’ve only ever used road bikes, and cheap Wal-Mart ones at that along paved bicycle paths back home, sometimes going as far as 60 miles in one day. But that was a long time ago.

I haven’t ridden any bike in years and I’ve never been on a mountain bike, especially not on an actual mountain. It was a whole different animal and the learning curve was tough. The mountain kicked my ass. Even though I ate it pretty hard a few times, and once directly below the lift so I had an audience, I’ve found that I love mountain biking and would very much like to buy my own bike just as soon as I find a decent one that costs less than half what my car did.

It was a great trip.

Countdown To Tubal: Getting A Dog

14 days left before my tubal ligation!

I love dogs. I always have, no matter what breed. I remember my first dog. He was a cocker spaniel named Punky who was a bit older that me. I was too young to walk him, and my only memories of him were in his final years. He died when I was in kindergarten. I’ve had a few rescue dogs since then, all of them rescues. We had a boxer-lab just under a year old shortly after Punky passed. She was young, energetic, untrained, big, and growing. Walking her always resulted in me being dragged across the sidewalk and coming home bloody. This dog, Jazz, had a tendency of running back to the pound. We’d usually get her back eventually, all but the last time. Our next dog was taken from a friend of my mom’s. Her name was Mattie and she was an adult cocker and dachshund mix. We believe that she was abused in her old home (and know she was abused in hers by our monster of a babysitter) as she tended to bite. One day she bit a cop who she thought was a threat to my little sister who was walking her. Mattie got taken away after that and probably put down. After I moved out, mom adopted a chihuahua yorkie mix and named him Chewie (as in Chewbacca) who is just a cute little drama queen.

My boyfriend is a dog-liver too. He talks about the golden retriever he had as a kid the way most people talk about a first love, even though she’s been gone for years. When we visited my family for Christmas, my little brother and his wife brought along their young golden retriever mix, whom my bf quickly befriended, even giving her a bath. (Chewie wasn’t happy about this guest and threw a fit whenever he wasn’t the center of attention.) He’d play with Molly and say “I miss having a dog.” So do I.

I would very much like to have a dog someday, but I have to acknowledge the lessons of my past experiences. I was too young to train the dogs that my family had. My parents were rarely home and didn’t seem to know how to train dogs anyway. It’s a real shame too, because I know we could have avoided a lot of the problems we had with our animals if someone had only been able to train them properly. I love dogs, but what’s the point of rescuing/adopting them if you can’t give them a good home and structured behavior?

I’ve decided that I will only adopt a dog if I would be able to train it properly. Recently, I’ve been looking into clicker training and even considering studying with Animal Behavioral College and getting certified. So far I’ve found the idea so appealing I’m even considering making dog training into a career. I’d never be rich, but I think I’d be happy.

My boyfriend and I sometimes like to scratch the other’s scalp in a show of affection. One day, this was followed by a pause and finally the words “I need a dog,” giving us both a good laugh. Neither of us can walk down the street without smiling at any dogs we see. “Look at that one. Isn’t he cute?” My boyfriend and I talk about dogs all the time. We talk about getting a dog after moving in together and it’s affected the way we search for a place. We will need a yard, after all. We talk about what breeds we’d want. He wants a malamute, but those require a large yard. I would love to have a German shepard or a golden. We talk about dog training. Basic obedience is a must, but there are a few behaviors that need to be strongly reinforced as we intend to spend a lot of time outdoors. We talk about all the fun things we’ll do and places we’ll go with our dog. Hiking, camping, biking, we want to bring our dog with us on our adventures. And most of all, we talk about how much we love dogs. We can’t imagine being without dogs forever.

The other day, it occurred to me that other people, especially couples, may often have similar conversations.The difference is, they’re not talking about dogs, but kids. I brought up this thought to my boyfriend over dinner in a restaurant that felt more crowded than it actually was because of a screaming baby at another table. “I’d rather have a dog,” he said, mirroring my opinion exactly. Amusing ourselves as we waited for food, we listed reasons dogs are better than kids. But that’s a topic for another post.

Countdown To Tubal: What Childfree Means To Me

Woops! This blog post has moved. You can find it at its new home HERE.

Countdown Is Back!

Earlier this year, I was devastated when I learned that MSNBC’s Countdown with Keith Olbermann was canceled. I’ve been a big fan of Olbermann’s commentary ever since I first watched his show while deployed in Iraq, and I really missed his show when it was suddenly yanked from the air. However, I was excited when I learned that the show would return on a different network, Current TV. Finally, it’s back on.

I don’t have cable TV. When Countdown was on MSNBC, I downloaded the podcasts, along with Rachel Maddow’s show. Now that the show is on Current TV, I can only download clips and not entire episodes. I have discovered that I can watch the show for free on Ready-Tv.com, without downloading a thing, but I can only do so at times that the show is on the air.

In any case, I’m glad to have Keith back on my screen.

Keith, you can be my new best girlfriend any time.

And now, the top 10 reasons to watch the new Countdown with Keith Olbermann.

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