Wednesday, July 27, 2011

"I'm leaving in a Mustang" just doesn't have that "hit song" feel to it.

So, I'm ready to go tomorrow.  A couple more hours of work and then I'll change my voicemail message (always a happy moment) and then we're off.  Mary will be in charge of the house and the various animals, who will inevitably suck up to her and tell her they like her better than us, because they are all pretty much whores for treats and scritches.  ESPECIALLY the dog.  But, such is the way of pets.  They like the pettin'.

I have mixed emotions.  I'm more than ready for a vacation.  I need to do some serious vacating.  I need to clear my mind and use my muscles.  But I can't take the pets with me, and JD neither has enough vacation time nor the desire to spend a month hiking.  (A couple of hours, yes.  A month, no.)  So, no husband for talking and cuddling and general husbandly activities (I'm going to have to take out my own trash!  And cook!) and no dog to sleep on my feet.  You have no idea how big of a problem this is.  I jam my feet under that poor mutt every night and she comforts me with her presence.  And her weight. There is NO COMFORTING in the tent.  It's just me and my stinky clothes and my crinkly sleeping pad.  And my benadryl.  Because I find it hard to get to sleep without the dog.  Also, the other hikers don't like it when you jam your feet under them.

Also I am not looking forward to the drive.  JD is.  JD loves to drive.  But his driving makes me anxious and then he gets mad because I'm anxious and then we are in a car full of anger and it's bad.  It's really bad.  I have xanax to take but still, here I sit full of perturbation and unhappiness and we haven't even gotten in the car yet.

I'm thinking it's going to be a whole tablet day tomorrow.  Maybe starting tonight.

(PS JD?  If you just, say, doubled your following distance while I was in the car on long distance trips, probably there would be less clutching and more conversating.  Just sayin'.  Everything else is fine, driving-wise.)

Then of course there is Katahdin.  I'm going to see friends, which is awesome, but the mountain itself is intimidating.  On the other hand little kids and little old ladies climb it all the time, so I should be okay.  Slow, but okay.  MOM DON'T READ THIS PART.  Unless I fall off the mountain.  OKAY MOM START READING AGAIN.

The forecast for Millinocket on Sunday is currently a high of 79 and clear.  Of course, it could easily be in the 40's way up on the mountain, but clear is good.  Clear = probably not raining = probably not slick rocks.  I like not slick rocks on mountains.

CRAP!  I just realized what I forgot to pack.  I have no booze.  I'm going to have to hike sober.  Dammit.

Mary?  Mary is coming?  Does she have chewies?  Does she know I'm not allowed to take chewies outside?
Mary's coming?  I'll be under the couch.

Meh.  Don't care about stupid Mary.  I have laundry.

Meh.  Don't care about stupid Mary.  We have each other.

Oh, and btw?  This blog is going on hiatus while I hike.  Because two blogs a day is beyond my mental capabilities.  I'll be posting to my trailjournal as I get signal.  If you care to read, follow the link in the upper right hand corner, there.  No, your other right hand. (Your right hand is the one that doesn't make an "L" when you hold your thumb out. )  (Well, I guess it makes a backwards L.  Anyway, there's a link somewhere on the page.)

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

This explains all the bird droppings on the cars

Two things came up today.

1)  Inversion tables.  My naturopath pretty much demanded I get one, on account of the lousy marshmallows I have instead of disks in my spine.  So, now on the lookout for an inversion table.

2)  "What's your spiritual path?"  Atheist was apparently not the right answer.  She gave me this *look* and said that with how much I loved the outdoors, that I was more spiritual than I knew.  Because my migraines often start around 4 AM, she wanted me to start paying attention to things that were happening at 4 AM when I was outside.  What animals I saw, etc.  I mentioned that during the day I saw hawks constantly (not just out in the woods - in parking lots, crossing roads, watching me from trees at work) and she said she wanted me to go read a book wherein a guy apparently talks about the spiritual meanings of various animals.  Which, okay, interesting.  The thing is he has a lot of books.  And even multiple books about animals.

So I guess that leaves me upside down and confused about my spirituality.

I'm not averse to learning about other people's spiritual ways, but I tend to feel that whatever I'm doing is working for me.  I.e. walking around and appreciating what I'm seeing, and trying not to be evil.  That's about all I really require of myself.  I guess I'm a spiritual slacker.

Anyway, I took a shot in the dark and downloaded one of the books to my Kindle app, and I look forward to finding out why the author thinks hawks are dogging me.  So to speak.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Almost ready to go

My goodness I'm tired.  Long day.  Long day but good day.  This week is not turning out to be anywhere near as horrible (work-wise) as I had feared.  One of the horrible things is not happening at all, and another is going to happen while I'm out of town.   I can feel the tension draining out of me just thinking about it.  A third horrible thing may or may not happen, but I can handle 1 out of 3.

I went to a talk today about certifications.  I'm thinking about getting the CISSP certification.  Maybe.  The test costs $550, but work will cover it.  Test prep is anywhere from free to $2500, and would suck up a lot of my time for well over two months if done properly.  Although (she said humbly) I'm really good at standardized test taking, so that gives me an advantage.  And word has it that if you've done a lot of FISMA crap, that covers a lot of content in the test.  (This paragraph brought to you by Acronyms Int.)

So, there's that.

Also, it rained today and it cooled down a lot, and it's like some part of me needed that rain and is now happy.

This evening I got my maildrops packed up and ready to go.  I'll stop by the post office to mail them tomorrow.  That should be fun, with thirty pounds of food in them, waiting in line.  But then they'll be out the door and in theory I'll have food waiting for me in Maine.  That'll be nice.  Unfortunately my last mail drop is to a business, not a post office.  I don't really like to mail things that far in advance to a business, as they don't have a lot of room for boxes usually.  But it will only be there about two weeks, I think.  I hope it will be okay.  If not, it'll be in a town where I can get supplies to replace everything.

I posted my maildrop schedule in my 2011 AT trailjournal.  I'm not asking anybody to send me anything other than encouraging words. For one thing, I am already sending myself a lot.  And for another, I don't like to ask.  But if you think of me, you could send me a postcard (.. probably not to the private business, I'd guess).  If you do send me something, please tell me where you sent it and if it's a package or a letter so I know to ask for it.

My backpack and my daypack (because I don't generally use a suitcase when I could use a daypack) are both packed and ready to go.  I just need to get through this work week, and I am gone.  Vamoosed.  Outtahere.  I'll miss JD and the four legged ones, but I am definitely ready to put in some time on the trail.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

In which TV makes me suck

So, after about four hours of sleep (how come I can never sleep when I need to get up early?) I got up before the alarm went off at 6, and got on out the door.  This weekend's walk around the park went much better, without the tail end of an illness kicking my butt.  It was plenty hot though.  My clothes were totally soaked by the time I was done.

I went over to the farm and explained to Pluto that I was leaving for a month.  I don't like to just leave without telling him.  You should never just leave without telling people you love.

And then I came home and got into dry clothes and debated napping vs movie watching.  Finally I headed over to the movie theater to see the early showing of Friends With Benefits.

I would love to be able to tell you it was great movie.

Unfortunately, however, the power was out when I got there.  No power, no movies.  I was so bummed.  And sleepy.  My plan had been to go to the theater and get a coke so I could stay awake to watch the movie.  No power, no coke either. I had to drive home sleepy.  I got home and was so, so, tired.  So I took a nap after all.  But it was a bad nap.

A good nap leaves you feeling all rested and happy.  This one left me tired and anxious, and my effing migraine came back.  I had disturbing dreams and woke up sweaty.  Bad nap.  No biscuit.

So, that was pretty much my day.  I should be cleaning the house up and getting boxes ready to mail but I really don't feel like it so I'm just sitting on my butt, watching True Blood, and gathering more and more malaise about me.  I like to watch things but I always feel gross after I do.  Does watching things do this to you?  It's like it turns me into an angry, unsatisfied teenager.  As if I don't already have an active, fulfilling life, and a real job which gives me the means to purchase whatever I want.  TV is kind of evil that way.

So, yeah, guess I'll go finish the episode I'm on..

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Mitten free and proud

Oh wow, what a wonderful day.

First, I got to sleep in super late.  A migraine woke me up early, but I told it to eff off and I fell asleep for several more hours.  When I finally awoke for good, I took half an imitrex and today was one of the days when it didn't make me sick.  It just made my headache go away and that was it.

I sprayed two pair of socks with permethrin again, because I've lost track of which ones are treated.  Now I'm marking treated socks, somewhere on them, with permanent marker.  It won't tell me how recently they've been treated, but at least I'll know I treated them at some point!

Mid-afternoon, JD and I drove out to Bowie to see "Harry Potter, the final chapter".  Or whatever it's called.  Honestly I didn't think it was the best one, but it was pretty good entertainment.  I laughed, I cried (embarrassingly), I had a good time.  For the first time ever, the theater sound was not insanely loud, so I actually took out my earplugs and listened to the movie at the same volume as everybody else.  That right there was worth the price of admission.  Speaking of which, when the hell did a matinee start costing nine dollars?  Am I one of those people who can't believe that gas now costs more than twenty five cents a gallon?  Because I can't believe how expensive that was.  Also, my "small" (approximately a quart) coke was $4.75.  Of which I drank six ounces.  That's seventy nine cents per consumed ounce.  That is an expensive beverage.

Favorite moments:  Mom getting her revenge on against the crazy biyatch, Neville turning out to be the man, the Hermione-can't-act scene that reminded me very much of the Willow-can't-act scene from the Evil Willow days.  Though I am still confused about the resurrection stone, or at least how it was used in the movie.

While I was looking up movie times and whatnot, I came across a trailer for "Friends With Benefits".  Many of my online friends have extolled the virtues of this movie.  I was dubious.  I don't go see romantic comedies all that often, anymore.  Mostly I watch Harry Potter and Twilight.  Because I'm still fourteen, apparently.  But the trailer was actually really good, so I'm planning to do something that I don't think I've ever done before, which is see two movies in two days.

First I need to put in a couple of hours of hiking, after which probably nobody will want to sit next to me.  Which is fine with me actually.

Oh, so anyway, the rest of our excellent day/date:  We went on over to DuClaw for dinner.  We had a fun time and I pretty much bubbled over with love (but in a sanitary way) for JD, and also the food was good.  And the beer.  Then we came home and watched the latest episode of Warehouse 13.  And then JD went to bed because he is not the one who slept in until nearly lunchtime.

I've spent the last couple of hours checking my pack to make sure nothing is missing, washing a couple of things, and just generally getting ready to be in the woods for a month.  So exciting!  I texted Little Aspen.  She's working until one in the morning, so I'll wait until tomorrow (not too early) to call her.  However she did text me that both Peacetree and Toothpick are coming to hike Katahdin with us, and how exciting!  I haven't seen Peacetree since Nantahala Outdoor Center last spring!  Only a week until I see them all.  Little Aspen said she got Saturday off too so I'm guessing they're going to spend the night in Millinocket before going out to the park in the morning.  OK I'm getting too excited and I need to stop thinking about that so I can sleep.

Okay, calm, calm.  I'm breathing.  I'm not thinking about Maine.. Okay that's a lie I totally am.

I stashed silk long underwear top and bottom in my gear, and I think now I'm comfy with my clothing.  I should be warm enough. Oh and I experimented with my pot.  I cut down the wind screen so it fit under the handle, and then I heated water to see if having the handles outside the screen helped.  Answer?  No.  In fact it seemed to direct flame around the handle.  Ah well.  BUT.  I counted one one thousand, two one thousand, and so on.  At thirty one thousand I can comfortably touch the handles.  So I'm just going to add thirty seconds to my schedule, I think.  I'm leaving my mitten home.  I know, I know, I'm so brave.  Mitten free and proud.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Shew. Hibernating until it's cooler out.

Gosh dang it's hot out.  Too hot for writing.  Have some pictures instead.

System Administrator's Day isn't until next week.  I got gifts early.  Pink noise canceling hearing protection!

And a new multitool!

And burgers with my beloved

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I need Hikers Anonymous

Is there a twelve step program for hiking?

I looked up the symptoms of addiction here:

"There are many different addictions, but similar symptoms span them all.
Some of the common symptoms of addiction are:
  • Tolerance - the need to engage in the addictive behavior more and more to get the desired effect
  • Withdrawal happens when the person does not take the substance or engage in the activity, and they experience unpleasant symptoms, which are often the opposite of the effects of the addictive behavior
  • Difficulty cutting down or controlling the addictive behavior
  • Social, occupational or recreational activities becoming more focused around the addiction, and important social and occupational roles being jeopardized
  • The person becoming preoccupied with the addiction, spending a lot of time on planning, engaging in, and recovering from the addictive behavior"
Tolerance:  check.  Weekend hikes don't really do it for me anymore.  
Withdrawal:  check.  I get all cranky and achy.
Difficulty cutting down: check.  Holy moly, was it difficult when I got off the trail last year.  And I scheme for as much time out there as I can.
Activities more focused around the addiction: check. I've jeopardized my job by taking off to hike.  I tend to try to get other people to hike with me rather than go do "regular" social stuff.  I don't really give a hoot about most non-hiking stuff.

Preoccupation:  checkcheckcheckcheckcheck.  Hello, have you met my blog?

I can't even really tell you why I do it.  I just like to hike long distances.  I don't like it more than I like my my husband, my friends, my dog, my cats, or my horse.  (I do like it more than I like my job.)  And yet very often I take off hiking, and who suffers?  My husband, my friends, my dog, my cats, and my horse.  You would think that I would at least be able to say WHY it's so important to me.  I really can't, though.  It just is.  It's something I need to do.  I think if I could hike long distance and take all my loved ones with me, I would.  But horses aren't even allowed on most of the AT, and I don't see my dog being a long distance hiker, and I only have one friend who will occasionally let me drag her out on the trail.  My addiction just isn't compatible with the rest of my life.

I've cut way back at least.  Last year I took six months off to hike, and this year it's only five weeks.  So that has to count for something.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Completely nerdy. Migrating OSX users, and weird login issues.

Well, with a clue from Sweth (to whom I now owe Vampire Wine) I finally came up with a workaround for my OSX problem.  It was weirder than I thought, and I still don't know all the ins and outs.

FWIW, for that one other OSX sysadmin out there:  IF  you have set up a global password policy to expire an account due to inactivity, and IF you have X11 forwarding enabled for the ssh server, a newly created user's account will be disabled the first time they attempt to ssh in.  If they ssh in before the inactivity password policy is applied, no problem.  If you or they disable X11 forwarding (ssh -x disables it on the user end), no problem.  A .Xauthority file in their account solves the problem.  My workaround was to put an empty .Xauthority file in the skeleton directory, which on osx is in /System/Library/User\ Template.  That way new accounts are created with an .Xauthority file and everyone is happy.

You're welcome, that one other guy in the world who has X11 forwarding enabled and is using the inactivity setting.

Also?  I think I have finally figured out how to migrate accounts between OSX servers.  It isn't super straightforward, and it isn't in the docs.  Part of it is, sort of.  You use dsexport to export the user information from directory services.  Like this:

dsexport export.out  /Local/Default dsRecTypeStandard:Users

In my case I then manually edited out of export.out any users I didn't want getting copied over.

On the new machine,  use dsimport:

dsimport export.out /Local/Default I

The I says "ignore the record if there is a conflicting name, UID, or GID".  There are other options.

Okay, so that imports the users.  The next part is the key.  The passwords are stored in /var/db/shadow/hash.  Copy the hash files for the users you have imported.  You'll need to know their generated UID, which you can get by reading their plist file (in /var/db/dslocal/Default/nodes/users/) or by using the Inspector in WorkgroupManager (turned on in WM preferences).  The hash files for each user are listed by the generated UID.

So, in theory, you just copy over the hash files (and associated state files) for the users and Bob's your uncle.  I only found this out when it was time to leave today so I won't know for sure until the morning.

Of course, you also need to copy over the normal stuff, like their home directories, and their mail if you're running a mail server.  In /var/spool/imap/dovecot/mail, if you were wondering.

BTW, if you already knew all this?  Why didn't you tell me BEFORE?

Oh well, I guess it was sort of fun figuring it out.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

OSX can kiss my pasty white behind

OMG yall, I am so fed up with computers today.  This is the second day in a row that I have argued with a recalcitrant computer.  I got out the install disks, and reinstalled the OS TWICE!  With different results.  AND IT STILL HAS THE SAME PROBLEM!

I am drinking a lot of wine right now.

Internet, if you are an OSX sysadmin, please tell me that you have figured out how to make OSX 10.6.8 server let non-admin users ssh in.  Because I could seriously use a clue.  A good clue, not like the all the lame non-useful clues I have already found on the intertubes.

I spent much of my day walking up and down the stairs, two stories between my office and the data center.  Carrying my backpack.  It was fracking hot outside, and I barely had time to pee let alone go for a walk, so I got my hike training in while working.  I was surprisingly unwearied by it.  My back got a little tweaked from constantly dropping and picking up my backpack, but my legs, heart, and lungs said "enh."  They need bigger mountains.

Maybe Katahdin won't kill me after all.

I know I must have looked a little odd, chugging up and down the stairs with my backpack.  My dirty, fully loaded, obviously-not-a-bookbag backpack.  Nobody said a WORD.  The thing about NASA is that everybody there is just a little weird.  You can do, say, or wear quite a bit that wouldn't fly in the outside world, and at NASA they either don't notice (because, you know, figuring out the universe and all) or they avert their eyes.  (This is in the science directorates.  I'm sure they would have had me arrested and carried out of the management-oriented buildings.)

FYI I am also eating chocolate now.

While I was walking around the building I noticed that we now have many "Solar Physics Laboratories".  This gives me a chuckle. Like they have little suns in there, so they can do research on them more conveniently.

I have to take my fun where I can find it.


Note:  non-sparkling

Monday, July 18, 2011

I'm pretty sure my day went better than his

I spent my day completely failing to solve a problem.  This is not something I am used to.  I am used to looking at a problem, thinking about it, maybe googling, and voila!  Problem solved.  Not today.  Today I have been made to feel dumb by a computer.

I'll get my revenge, though.  I'm planning to do a fresh install on it tomorrow.  Hah!  Take that, stupid computer!

Before it got too hot out, I took a break and took my daily walk at work, wearing my backpack.  One of the guards stopped me to ask me if I were training for a trip.  He was pretty excited to hear I was going to Maine.  :)  You just never know where you are going to run into a hiking enthusiast.

That one trip around work decided me that I really do want to carry my heavier pack this year.  Two miles on flat ground was less comfortable with my light pack than six miles on (small) hills was with my heavy pack.  The experiment had to be made, but now it is over and the light pack is going back upstairs.  I'm not sure why I'm keeping it.  Maybe I'll part with it later on.

I woke up feeling all kinds of sick and grody, just like yesterday.  I chugged my (appropriately sized serving) of DayQuil and went in to work.  After a walk with my backpack, and a two-slice lunch, I felt much better.  Do you think it was the walk, or the pizza?

I have been super hungry the last two days.  My theory is that my immune system needs extra energy to fight off this bug.  It gives me the excuse to eat the second slice so I'm going with it.

Late this afternoon I was hungry (again) and realized I hadn't packed an afternoon snack.  So, I dug out some quarters and headed in the direction of the vending machine.  My building is really long, with hallways running the length of the building.  From my office, all the way at the end, I can't clearly see what's going on at the other end.  As I walked down, I saw a bunch of people standing around (typical) and equipment blocking the hallway (annoying.)  I grumbled to myself about how people feel like they can just block the way for everybody.  Fortunately, I didn't say anything to anyone else.  As I got closer and I could see more, I realized it wasn't an experiment.  It was a stretcher.  And there were EMTs milling about.  Apparently somebody collapsed.

I took the opportunity to sneak by when they wheeled the stretcher into the room to put him up on it.  On my way back I glanced behind me and saw that it appeared to be a male.  Not in a body bag.  So I guess he was alive.  All his labmates looked pretty darned glum though.  As I would be, if Marc or Joe had to be hauled out on a stretcher.  The little I heard was that he was just sitting at his bench, seemed to have trouble breathing, and fell over.  Damn, things just happen don't they?  Life seems interminable when you are dealing with a stubborn problem, but it sure seems short when you realize you could stroke out in a couple of minutes..

Sunday, July 17, 2011


Today was supposed to involve baking brownies, riding a horse, and going to a party.  Instead, I finished (except for my Power Gels, which I still need to get) packing my maildrops for my trip.  And I rested.  And was cranky.

Fortunately for JD, he was off having autocross adventures, so he got to miss out on all the fun.  Although he turned out to have a flat tire, and ended up A) having to race on his street tires, and B) lugging all of his street tires and jack and whatnot a quarter of a mile, over several trips.  So I guess his day could have gone better.

Last night, for a lark, I packed my old Gossamer Gear pack with all my junk.  I'll probably carry it for a day or two at work to see how it feels.  Knowing that I'll save two pounds right off the bat makes me feel more friendly toward it.  It doesn't really do load transfer so well, but when your pack is under 25 lb?  Doesn't matter so much.  Carrying the pack at work for a few hours on my daily walks should tell me how I really feel about it.  Right now, loaded with 5 days of food, 2 liters of water, and ~16 oz of denatured alcohol, it's at 27.6 lb.  And I'm staring at it, wondering what else I can afford to take out.  Like, I've lived without a camp chair for most of my wanderings, do I really need one now?  My back may win that argument, as it really does like lumbar support when I sit.

Unrelated, my back has been a little stabbity recently.  Not "ow, that is kinda sore" like it's been for the last several months, but "OW, THAT FREAKING HURTS".  The pain has been much closer to my spine.  Based on my experience with carpal tunnel, where I had pain closer to my neck right before it got better again, I'm gonna say this is a good thing.  Fortunately, a solid night's sleep fixes me up.  And I keep relearning an important lesson, which is that I can't sit on the floor to do stuff.  One of these days, that lesson is going to stick.  So far, though, I keep forgetting.  All I think is "Look at all the room on the floor!  What a perfect place to sit and organize this ton of crap."  And then several hours later STABBITY.

I'm going to bed early tonight (no stabbity today, though) in the hopes that I'll wake up refreshed and un-cranky in the morning.  Probably I shouldn't have lugged my backpack around the park yesterday.  The part of me that is smart enough to back off and give myself time to heal injury or illness wants to bitch-slap the part of me that is too gung-ho and stupid to listen to that wise advice.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Maine AT 2011 Gear List

A friend asked me to post a gear list.  This will also help me make sure I have everything in the pack (I thought it was loaded properly this morning, and two miles in I realized my sleeping pad wasn't in it.)

So, non-hikers, you probably want to skip this post.

Carrying stuff:
Gregory Jade 50 women's backpack
Lightheart safety orange pack cover
trash compactor bag pack liner
formerly-waterproof Sea to Summit food bag
50' cheap nylon rope
really beat up stuffsack/rock throwing bag
really beat up poles of some kind with Hello Kitty tape wrapped on

Shelter and sleeping:
Lightheart Awning tent
trimmed down polycryo ground sheet
8 stakes over varying sizes and weights
maybe the awning pole - definitely by Monson
NeoAir Regular (medium is a better fit but they didn't have one)
Montbell U.L. SuperStretch Down Hugger #3 (30 degree, really 40)
stuff sacks for tent and sleeping bag
8 cuphooks in case of tent platform

Camp kitchen and water treatment:
MSR Titan Kettle plus cozy, stuff sack
AntiGravity Gear alcohol stove, primer cup, windscreen, heavy foil to put stove on
small bottle for denatured alcohol
two small lighters
tiny dropper bottle of soap
tiny piece of scrubber
long handled titanium spoon
cut down woolen mitten for pot grabber
2 liter Platypus hoser bag
1 liter Gatorade bottle
Steripen Adventurer Opti
two small towels - one to filter out junk, one to dry off steripen
spare set of batteries for steripen
plastic cup from the mid 80's
2 liter AntiGravity gear water bag
1 oz sit pad

Adidas trail runners - worn
Convertible pants - worn
Long sleeved shirt UV/bug repellent shirt - worn
Dirty Girl gaiters - worn
Wright CoolMesh double layer socks - 3 pair (2 pair didn't make it well enough between washings last year, they got loose)
Moving Comfort DayLight bra -worn
Lightweight hat -worn
Bandana - worn
Rockdancer hat
Capilene 1 long sleeved shirt
Dollar General men's pajama bottoms
Wool socks - 1 pair
Powerstretch top
Powerstretch gloves
Wind shirt (maybe - 3 oz)
Marmot raincoat
ULA rain wrap (rain skirt)
Crocs for camp / town shoes - no holes on sides
sarong for in town - in Monson mail drop
Stuff sack for clothes

iphone 4 verizon + headphones
3 (count 'em 3) 3g juice external batteries (1 goes home at Monson)
2 wall warts to Monson mail drop
1 phone cable and 1 other charging gadget to Monson mail drop
Nada chair Slouch!Buster (maybe - 8 oz)

Medical/Personal Care:
eye drops
ear plugs
toothbrush, toothpaste, floss
two handwarmer packets
several wet ones packets
Picaridin-based bug spray
SPF 30 sunscreen
Sea to summit mesh headnet
tiny baggies of benadryl, flexeril, ibuprofen, acid reducer, charcoal capsules, d-ribose, bile, imodium, imodium
small unbreakable mirror
lip balm
Prep H
Arnica cream
sports tape
gauze squares
Diva cup
two knee straps
antibiotic ointment
daily vitamins & supplements
nighttime bite guard
toilet paper
fixodent due to my crown that likes to pop out

Petzl Zipka headlamp
several spare ziplocks - pint, quart, and 4x6"
ID, money, credit card
guidebook pages
sewing/repair kit
backup iodine
cheap sunglasses
reading glasses
tiny compass
small knife with scissors
spare pinch light
spare string
fannypack to hold daily snacks, etc
weightlifting gloves to save my hands on rocks, I hope


Plus, you know, whatever I've forgotten.

That's about 25-28 lb with 5 days of food and a liter of water, depending on if I use my Gossamer Gear Mariposa or my Gregory Jade 50.

Friday, July 15, 2011

When did we get old?

JD and I both feel old tonight.  Our backs hurt, we're tired.  What the heck?  It's Friday night!  I didn't even want to go next door to hang out with Shirley.  Now that's tired.

I came home and started fooling with my pack.  I took five pounds of food out.  Now I have about 7 - enough to get me to White House Landing with a stop at Abol Bridge for snacks, and some freeze dried meats for the second half of the trip, because meat is heavy.

I ran out of gumption before I got it repacked.  I finally decided on a fleece shirt (vs the slightly lighter down jacket) because if I need warmth while hiking, the down jacket won't do.  I'll sweat through it.  So, fleece it is.  I went upstairs to weigh various fleece shirts, and once again decided on my old, utilitarian grey and black one.  The same one I always take.  Sooner or later the poor thing will wear out,  and then where will I be?

So I guess I'll be running around in the morning getting packed again, because I intend to lug the load around Greenbelt Park.  I'm not feeling particularly enthused, at the moment.  Perhaps after a good night's sleep.

I will say, though, that we had a really excellent dinner.  Turkey bacon, a rustic country bread, leaf lettuce and insanely good tomatoes from the farmer's market.  I put a little greek yogurt on mine in place of mayo, of which I am not a fan.  The whole thing was so juicy that I needed a catch plate.  I'm pretty sure it's the best BLT I've had in my life.  I'm pretty sure we have all the makings to do it again tomorrow, too.  :)

I guess if I were a really good Harry Potter fan I would be at a theatre right now, but I'm not that good of a fan.  I'll try to gather up some girlfriends next weekend, when it's maybe less crowded.  For now I'm going to curl up in the living room with a cat and some True Blood.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

The definition of insanity

Trying to calculate ahead of time where you will be on any given day on the trail is difficult. Maybe impossible. If you regularly go for, say, a two mile walk, you might be misled. You might think "I could totally do that ten times in a day! And it would only take me eight hours, tops!"

The problem is that although the first two miles is easy, as are the second and third, by about the fourth you've gone beyond the limits of what the body thinks of as easy, if it's accustomed to just those two miles. And these miles probably involve more hills. And more awkward steps. And a heavier backpack. And potty breaks. 

And probably the maps aren't incredibly representative of the actual terrain. Of the difficulty of traversing that terrain. 

So I'm looking at maps, trying to plan my trip to Maine, and I ALREADY KNOW its a pointless exercise. I wouldn't bother at all, except I need to plan maildrops. And I kind of need to know when I'll be there to pick up each box. 

About all I can do is plan for shorter days than I think I can do, and hope for the best. Worst case scenario, I have to give extra food away to some hungry northbounder. 

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Real or zombie, I'm up and moving about

Hello!  I'm alive.  Thanks mostly to JD who did my chores last night so I could go to bed around dinnertime and sleep until my back started to hurt.  I really wanted to sleep more but my back said "Nope, get out of bed."  So I started telecommuting well before seven, and did you know the day goes really fast when you do that?

I was still pretty puny this morning, even with Dayquil.  This evening I'm feeling much more human.  2 day illnesses worry me a bit, as in my case they seem to lead to Lyme 2 weeks later.  So I'm going to up the andrographis for a while.  Love me some andrographis.  It's death to spirochetes.

Seeing as how I was done working in the middle of the afternoon, and also I was home, I moseyed on over to the couch and watched some True Blood.  I have seasons 1-3 at home.  I have watched part of season 1, all of season 3 (just recently), and now I'm starting on season 2.  Possibly I might end up confused about the timeline.

I can't believe that I've spent only two days not going for a midday walk, and my back is this pissed off.  It *really* doesn't like me being slack.  I'm a little annoyed that I have to be active all the dang time.  Sometimes it's nice to just stay in the house and veg.  But apparently that is not an option now.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Worst Anniversary Gift EVER.

Hello, and welcome to today's episode of Did You See That? Your usual blogger has decided to take a sick day (because she is), so management has arranged for a guest blogger today. This guy's a hack. He doesn't even have a wizard hat. We apologize in advance.

Today's Amy's anniversary, and to celebrate three years of wedded bliss, she went to the office, and came down with the flu (no correlation or causality intended). Normally, "skipped the gym" would not also have been in that category, but she actually likes the gym. Yes, crazy, but that's OK, 'cause if she wasn't crazy, she probably wouldn't've married me. And so I consider it a virtue.

To add to the mediocrity that is this day, today's the day my mom headed back to Florida. We were enjoying her company. The dog was very disappointed to find Mom had left this morning during the post-breakfast nap, because usually Beauty only gets to spend  all day outside on weekends, but Mom spent almost the entire two weeks on the porch, which means Beauty did as well. (Can't say as I blame her. It's a nice porch. The designer did good.)

Mind, that's not to say that getting back to normal's not a good thing. Well, it should be a good thing, but maybe it isn't. Neither of us were paying as much attention to our diets as we should have while Mom was here (Well, we just had to go out for sushi, and have a crab feast, and convince mom to make her yummy chicken salad, and smoke up some ribs, and go out for thai...), so that's also a negative for the ol' return to normalcy.

On the other hand, that's a good reason why Mom has to go home sometime. We're both a few pounds north of where we want to be, and we stand zero chance of getting there if we're always having fun (which usually involves eating) with family around. (On the other hand, it's usually a fun trip, even if it does lead to Rotundopolis.)

It'll probably be an early to bed evening for both of us (and no, not like that)-- for Amy to try to beat down whatever virus she's decided to harbor, and for me because the alarm went off at 0430. If she's feeling better, we'll implement our extra super-special anniversary plans tomorrow. These involve a healthy dinner of chicken with squash and onions followed by an evening in front of the TV with the new episodes of Eureka and Warehouse 13.

Because we so know how to live it up. But I digress.

Getting back to the matter at hand, this is Amy's blog, and so, if you're reading this, you want to know about what's going on in Amy's world. Problem is, I was at the office today. And she was at the office today. And they're not the same office. So I can't really tell you.

On the other hand, I do have insider information. I know things you're not supposed to know yet. I've got all the dirt on what you'll read here before the end of the year. I have spoilers.

- There will be hiking. Indeed, there will be a big hike. My sources say Maine, but there's an outside chance there will be some New Hampshire involved. Very outside.
- There will be shorter hikes as well, most likely with DeLee. One of these may be planned by DeLee. It'll turn out DeLee knows more about planning a hike than she realizes.
- There will even be even shorter hikes around Greenbelt Park. My inside sources are sketchy about a return to the Billy Goat trail, though.
- There will be a trip to visit Amy's folks. It will be much too short. So will Amy's blog posts while she's in Arizona.
- There will be a visit to the Goddard homebrew society's annual crab feast.
- There will be a drunk blog post. 
- Beauty will get a mostly clean bill of health from the doc. She'll still have to stick with the reduced ingredient diet, but the doc will be pleased with her progress. And then she'll have to go in for her dental cleaning and the shots we've had to put off while her system had other stuff in it.
- Facebook will get its panties in a wad and not let Amy link in her blog post. Possibly repeatedly.
- Pluto's going to wig out over something innocuous. You heard it here first.

That's right, folks. Since you're the loyal followers, you've got the inside scoop on what to expect before January. Stick around, 'cause you just can't get drama like this on TV.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

In which I spend my day not relaxing

Woof.  Long, busy day.  But I got a ton accomplished.

I didn't fall asleep until 1 this morning, which is fairly common on nights when JD is away.  Then I zonked zombie-style until nearly 9, when the dog started insisting that she really did have to go out.  I grumbled but got up.

I washed and folded and stowed laundry.  I trimmed a new polycryo (i.e. lightweight) groundsheet.  I set up the tent and added some seam sealer to a couple of problem areas near the peak.  I added silicone caulk to my cook pot and ran a test.  No matter what, the handle is too hot to touch immediately after the flame burns out.  But, very quickly after that, I can touch the handle with the caulk on it, but not the bare pot.  So I guess that's good.  I still need my wool mitten to handle it when the flame is on.  (I think this is a downside to the alcohol stove design, at least when it comes to the miniscule size of pot I use.)

The ugliest cookpot caulking job your are ever likely to see.  Also, the prettiest.

I have my backpack mostly packed and a list of missing items to check off as I stash them.  I put more food in.  I may take it back out and figure out a maildrop, or plan on purchasing more food at White House Landing than I plan on right now.  But at the moment, if I haven't forgotten something really heavy, it's looking like my pack will be in the 32 pound area.  And that's doable.  Especially given the terrain the first few miles south of Katahdin.

I have boxes made up to go to Monson, Caratunk, and Stratton.  I don't really need the Stratton box, but I had purchased so much food that it didn't really make sense not to use it.  I've picked things up a few at a time, here and there, and I didn't realize just how much I had.  I still have a lot left over!  DeLee and I will have to go camping some more when I get home.  :)

Oh and I wormed Pluto and also determined that he doesn't care for watermelon.  At least not the first time.  I may try it again someday.  Sometimes he changes his mind on food items after a few tries.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Got my butt out on the trail today

JD set his alarm for 6 this morning so he could go running.  I set my alarm for 6 so I could get up and see if it were rainy or not, so I could go hiking.  And it's a good thing I did, because JD *actually* set his alarm for 6 pm.  I was pretty surprised to see him still there when my alarm went off, because he's usually up before me these days.  I bet he was surprised too.

The weather looked fantastic, so I got dressed in my hiking gear and toddled downstairs.  I ate, without much thought, a minimal breakfast: not what you want when you're about to be super physical.  Duh.  And then DeLee showed  up and off we went.

First we drove to the Old Angler's Inn, but the parking lot had just filled up.  I had originally planned to go up to the Tavern but had changed my mind at the last minute, so I shrugged and continued to the Tavern after all.  Or tried to.  First, there were bikers all over NOT sharing the road, and also ignoring stop signs.  Then when we finally got to the road leading to the Tavern, there was a line of cars.  Just standing there.  After a while I leaned my head out the window and hollered to the next guy up.  He said there was a tree down across the road and somebody was cutting it up with a chainsaw.


I rolled down the windows, turned off the car, and DeLee and I passed  the time chatting.  It was quite pleasant, but I was well aware that with every passing minute it was getting hotter out.  I had hoped to be there and walking by 7:30.  Instead it was 8:30 by the time we got parked and out on the canal trail.

Ah, well.  You can't control everything and it's best not to try or you will be a frustrated person.  Or at least that's my experience.

The trail had been somewhat rerouted since my last time through.  They are trying to save their "precious rare natural resources" (according to the sign) by routing everybody onto the rocks immediately.  I have no idea what rare and precious thing is nesting on the slim strip of green between the canal and the river.  Whatever, it was a little aggravating.  I mean, I did go there specifically for the rocks, but I didn't need that many of them.

Anyway, we trundled along.  I was a little wobbly on the rocks at first, especially on the whale shaped ones.  I had a brief thought that maybe I was an idiot to be out there in trail runners, wearing my backpack.  But then my legs remembered how to handle rocks and it was fine.  Fun, even.  I didn't like getting bonked in the head by my backpack every time I leaned down (there was a lot of leaning down) but I did like the climbing.  I'm not sure when I started liking the climbing.  Also?  The trail runners were fine.  I wore two different insoles today, to see if one was preferable.  They're both okay so once again I'm up in the air.  (Green vs Berry Superfeet, in case you're wondering.)

Unfortunately my legs are still the same length they were the last time, which meant I still sat on the edge of rocks to get down a lot.  And I used other alternate methods of getting from here to there.  I was super pleased to be able to push myself up with my arms at one point.  Possibly all the time I spent at the gym earlier this year, doing pushups and whatnot, has had an effect.

Sitting on the edge of rocks is more wear and tear on the pants-seat.  I've had these pants for a while, and they're starting to get a little thin.  I've already restitched the butt seam twice, and I noticed this morning that the thread in the thigh seams has mostly disappeared.  All of which is a moot point, because one of the times I sat on a rock and slid, a little point caught my pants.  That little point of rock ripped a 1-2" slit in my pants.  Under which I was not wearing underwear (because it chafes.)  I admit the breeze was nice, but I was not thrilled to be mooning everybody.  And because we were on a super popular trail, there were plenty of people to moon.  Young people.  Old people.  Little Korean ladies.  Tons of kids.  Hi!  This is my butt.

So, for the next couple of hours I hiked on, climbing over big old rocks, butt cheek peeking out.  I am now certain that I don't wish to hike naked, as the one exposed chunk of cheek was NOT happy when I slid down further rock faces.  And when the rock got hot in the sun?  NOT GOOD.  My hands were also not happy.  I'm pretty sure the last time I was there I swore I would wear gloves the next time.  I really wish I had actually remembered that oath, because once again my palms got totally beat up, and they felt kind of burny on the hot rocks.

As usual, I was not the fastest creature on the trail.  For once DeLee took the lead, probably because she was quite certain I was not going to be coming up behind her with rapidity.  With my full pack and my 5" legs, I was slow.  SLOW.  Happy, though.  My back felt happier clambering over boulders than it did sitting in a chair yesterday, and my natural inclination to be out on a trail meant that despite my stubs and my peek-a-boo pants I was perfectly happy to be right where I was.  The gorge that the Potomac goes through right there is shockingly beautiful.  It is hard to believe that you are barely 10 miles outside of the city while you are climbing and sweating and watching hawks and generally being bombarded by all that is wonderful about nature.

Not quite soon enough (because our legs were tired) we were back at the canal and headed back to the car.  I fielded a few questions from people who wanted to know why I was carrying a backpack.  I explained that I was training, and the rocks were the closest thing to Maine mountain terrain I could find in the area.  They all nodded wisely.  Not sure if they'd ever been to Maine - Maine has a lot more UP to it than Maryland.  But, the rocks are rocks.

Back at the Tavern I hoped but didn't believe that the snack bar would be open.  The snack bar is NEVER open when I go places.  But, it was!  A hot dog, an icy cold purple Gatorade, and a Grape Crush later, I was content.  Still breezy in the buttocks area, and a little headachy from the heat, but content.

So, now I'm home, doing laundry, and wreaking havoc.  Trying to pack my food for the 100 mile wilderness, the Caratunk maildrop, and the Monson maildrop has pretty much destroyed any semblance of cleanliness or organization that my house might have displayed.  Not that we are that big on cleanliness and organization here, but yesterday you could actually see the dining room table and the kitchen countertops.

This weekend I still need to worm my horse, seam seal my tent, permethrin my clothes, package my vitamins, and finish packing my food.  Tomorrow could be busy.

Friday, July 8, 2011

All's quiet on the spinal front

So I went for my neurological consultation today.  The PA was very nice and helpful.  She was pleased with my pain level compared to my MRI.  She told me a number of useful things, like:  "Your MRI never gets better."  I.e. damage that happened years ago and doesn't hurt anymore, still looks bad on the scan.  She told me that losing as much weight as I could would be one of the best things I could do for my back.  (Yes, well, I've tried losing weight for *lots* of reasons and I'm not terribly successful.  She suggested trying a nutritionist for help.)  She told me that smoking is terrible for back pain, which I did not know.. but which doesn't really affect me.  I'm not even around much second hand smoke.

Backpacking?  Not a problem.  Also, walk as much as I want.  Yoga, good.  Weightlifting, fine if I keep good posture and avoid things that put my back in a wacky position.  She suggested swimming and water aerobics as low impact activities.  I can swim just fine but I don't enjoy it that much.  However I might look into it.

She said that basically I needed to chose between trail running and horseback riding.  I love them both, but I love riding a lot more.  Once again she said to be sure to use good posture, and to try to avoid impact to the spine.  And to be mindful of my pain and call it a day early if I start hurting more.  So I can ride!  I mean, not cross country jumping, but I didn't do that anyway.  I privately decided that sitting trot is just out, period.  But I might be able to do posting if I came down very lightly.  We will see.  I'll start back with riding at the walk.  Last time I tried it, it hurt after 20 minutes.  So, maybe 20 minutes will be my limit for a while.  It's better than nothing.

She also said that cortisone injections were a possibility for pain, but I don't think I'm at a level that warrants needles in my spine yet, and she agreed.

I asked for a referral for a physiatrist, which she happily gave.  She was surprised and happy not to have to explain what a physiatrist is.  Unfortunately, the one recommended turns out to be not in-network for me, so I'm not sure what to do at this point.  I may call back next week and see if they work with any others.  If not, I may just spin the dial and pick one locally, and get my GP to write a referral.  Or just wait on the physiatry.  My back has been feeling a bit better recently, continuing to recover from whatever started hurting in April.

Anyway, the upshot is that the neuro pro thinks I'm mostly doing the right stuff, and I can continue my lifestyle pretty much as I want to, with a tearful goodbye to trail running.  The neuro liked that I am already very active and we both want to keep me that way for a long, long time.

Anyway, I'm moving on from spine anxiety to excitement about my upcoming hike.  I saw a picture of the AT in the Maine woods today and it gave me a thrill down my (stupid) spine.  Yay!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Nazca is a giant unathletic dork

As of right now, I'm just under three weeks from leaving here for Maine.  Also a little less than twelve hours from my neurological appointment, where I hope they don't try to tell me not to go to Maine.  Because that is not going to fly well with me.

Saturday I'm going to have another go at the Billy Goat Trail.  Not that I tried it and failed last time.  My air conditioning failed.  And it poured.  And then I slept in and also got sick.  So, more of an attempt to actually leave the house this time.

Tomorrow after work I'll get all my gear ready so all I have to do is head out the door in the morning.  I need to load up the backpack some, and I guess wash some clothing.. what with the heat in the house for the last week, I've been holding off on doing anything that would make it warmer in here.

Also I will be hoping that this doesn't get infected:

Nazca tried to jump up on my lap this morning.  He is not the cleverest or most agile of kitties.  I have much smaller punctures in my thigh, where he realized he hadn't.. quite.. gotten all of himself up onto my lap.  Had I known he was incoming I would have helped, but I was quite surprised.  Instead, I shrieked as he slowly slid backwards off my lap, trying to use his hind legs on my calf to push himself back up.  Unfortunately for both of us, my skin doesn't have the holding power of, say, upholstery.

My day didn't really start well.  Wish me better luck for tomorrow.  I only have so much skin left.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Maggot juice and Freon

Gracious, but it's nice to feel good.  It was a sweaty (in a non-romantic way) night, but I woke up feeling all healthy and happy.  Although my hale and joyous feelings were interrupted when I got maggot juice on me.  There is not enough purell in the world to make me feel clean after that.

I waited anxiously all day to get the call from the company coming to service our air conditioner.  They finally called mid afternoon, and I went home.  And waited.  Somehow, dispatch had gotten our address wrong.  I am confused, because the zipcode should have clued them in.  The poor guy drove all the way out to the other side of Clinton, to Dangerfield Road.  And then he discovered the mistake when there was no ailing air conditioner there, and finally got the right address and drove here.

He conferred with JD and what we thought might be the problem (bad capacitor) was in fact the problem. I was astounded at how much a new capacitor cost until JD showed me just how big it was. I am a computer nerd.  I'm used to fairly small capacitors.  Larger electric equipment, of course, needs larger capacitors.  Which cost more.

Anyway, the man fixed us up and I am very happy with the service. The company, FYI, was Cropp-Metcalfe.  They differ from our previous company, United Air Temp, in a couple of important ways.  1)  The man they sent out was the man who would be fixing the problem.  (UAT would send out somebody to assess the situation, THEN sent somebody who could maybe fix it.. not that they generally gave them the details on what was wrong.  I have had it take three visits to get a person who could actually fix a problem before.)  2)  They didn't treat JD or I as if we were mentally debilitated.  The guy actually asked JD if he knew what the problem was.  I *hate* it when service professionals ignore my input.  I may not understand if they get super technical, and that's fine.  But do not treat me as if I am too dumb to have any knowledge about my own house.

Technically, I guess I don't know if he would have ignored me if JD weren't here, but I got a pretty good feeling about the man.

So, address issues aside, I am quite happy with the new company.  And United Air Temp is not welcome to ever set foot in my house or on my property again.

That got a little ranty, didn't it?  Well, those crocksuckers deserve some ranting.

Tonight, I look forward to being a little chilly.  Despite two months of hiding from JD's fan at night, and burrowing under my blankets, after four days and nights of sweating, I do believe I will enjoy a few goosepimples.  Tomorrow I'll go back to complaining about how cold it is in here.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

In which our old house doesn't have modern conveniences

Gracious, but it's hot in here.

Our air conditioning is still kaput.  I talked to a scheduler at an AC place today, and somebody will be by tomorrow to take a look at it.  I expect that after that they'll have to order some parts, and then come back to install it, and it could be a while before the house is cool.  And that is assuming we can still get parts for a system that uses the older R22 coolant.  If not, we may have to upgrade our air handler as well.  Fun times!  At least it's supposed to cool down a little this weekend.

For now, though, I am marinating in my own sweat.  At this point it's a slightly beery marinade.

I've been experimenting a little with drinks.  (Not beer.  Beer has already been perfected.)  I would like to have flavored drinks, but I want them to be unsweetened.  So far I've tried a bag of mint tea added to cold water (excellent), ginger powder added to cold water (pretty good), and ginger powder combined with lemon powder added to cold water. (I couldn't taste the lemon.)  Both ginger and mint seem like good options.  Between those and my lemon, lime, and orange packets, I can have a nice selection of flavored waters.  And all the flavorings should travel well.  Plus I expect they will all make nice hot drinks, should I ever be cold again.  Which at the moment doesn't seem likely.

PS Mom?  I was oogy yesterday.  But I'm fine now.  I had to sleep a lot over the course of two days, but I'm fine.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

I didn't even almost get something done

I slept terribly, but not because of the heat. Around ten I got an upset stomach. Nothing came out of me but I wished it would. I drifted around the house, trying to find somewhere I could be comfortable. Finally I went back to bed, and around one fell into a nightmare filled sleep. My plan of getting up before five to hike was looking unlikely. Then at four the dog woke me to let me know it was storming. For a mercy it was coming down straight and I could leave the windows open. I turned off my alarm. Less than four hours of sleep and slippery wet rocks added up to "not happening this time."

At eight I got up, dragging. I loafed around the house, still nauseated. Eventually I let Liza know we weren't coming over and then went back to bed. But first I shut the house up tight, hoping to hold the cool night air inside as long as possible. It worked tolerably well. The dang cats are well on their way to ruining all the screens though. They were highly excited to have all the windows open all night.

After a day in which I did almost entirely nothing, I'm about to hit the sack again. I'm sincerely glad today was not a work day. Tomorrow will be another AC free day, and probably a couple after that until we get a service person out. But this old house seems to be handling it okay.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Baby it's hot inside

The start of a holiday weekend.  Mom visiting, crab feast planned.  I went out to hold Pluto for the farrier, where he was actually pretty good.  I stopped at the Safeway on the way home to buy potato chips for the feast, and found out that the Safeway is closing on the ninth.  Planning a return trip to stock up on cheap dry goods.

The feast went off well.  The whole bushel of crabs got eaten.  I'm feeling somewhat whale-like.

The house was pretty warm when I was in there doing the dishes after the feast, so I asked JD to check the AC unit outside.  It was buzzing but the fan was not running.  We gave it a couple of push starts and it started running, but it is obviously ailing.  I had sent a request to a local company to get an annual maintenance appointment, and their scheduler will be calling me on Monday.  Is it irony that it is trying to die now?  Whatever it is, it's annoying.  Possibly understandable, as it did not get maintenance last year, and the year before the guy from our old company just kind of poked at it and as far as I can tell he did not do anything.

(I kind of hate those guys.  They suck so bad.  I have told them that they are not allowed back in our house and to stop calling us, and they WON'T STOP.  They keep giving me crap about the warranty.  And you know what?  I would rather buy an entire new system then allow them to touch mine again.  That's how much I hate them.)

Anyway it looks to be an interesting weekend.  In the curse "May you have an interesting life" sense.

Friday, July 1, 2011

The Dubarry Drunks ride drunkenly, again

Ah, the weekend.  It is within my grasp.  Or perhaps it is grasping me.  Somebody is getting felt up, is what I'm saying.

We started our weekend in our classic way, with a meeting of the Dubarry Drunks.  Crackers and cheese and wine and chatting.  I realize that it is trite, but I really like it.  There isn't anything I would rather do but sit with my family and neighbors and watch the world go by.

Tomorrow I'll go get Pluto his pedicure, which he won't appreciate, and then we will pick up a bushel of crabs and a whole lot of hush puppies, and we will party Maryland style.  (The beer is already cooling.)  And then after that?  A whole lot of slack.  If I don't get a nap this weekend, I will be extremely disappointed.  And unrested.

The only active thing I plan to do is strap on my backpack and hike the Billygoat Trail in my trail shoes.  I figure that this will tell me both how my back is doing and how well suited my trail runners are to hiking on rocks.  The Billygoat Trail has rocks'a'plenty.   Generally it also has too many families who should probably be on an easier trail, but I'm hoping if I get out there right around dawn, I should pretty much have the trail to myself.  Or to myself and DeLee, if she is feeling up to an early morning clamber.

Oh, and I made an appointment with a neurosurgeon's physician's assistant.  Wish me luck that she knows something about backpacking.  Or horseback riding.  Sedentary people do not have the first clue about what bodies can or should do, under normal or abnormal conditions.  I went to see a podiatrist years ago who normally treated eighty year olds, and honestly he could not have been less suited to treat somebody who actually walked.

Anyway, I'm hoping for the best.  Cheers!