Tuesday, November 11, 2014

"He won't bite"

While I have been neglecting my blog, I have not been neglecting my running.  Running, walking.  Intervals.  I am up to: run a mile, walk a minute, run a mile, etc. for a total of 4+ miles run.  Yes, I am slow & I built up slowly & this means the neighborhood has had ample opportunity to observe my....fine physique ambling about.  Ditto I have had plenty of time to learn the routines of the dogs in the neighborhood & label the deadbeat owners.  & now I will list them, for the benefit of all of you & the Dumb Ass Dog Owners Blog Hop (hosted by Tales from the back road & Heart like a dog) I found at The poodle & dog blog.

I begin mile one all too often trailed by the long legged beagle things that live in the opposite direction up the road.  That's right, the guy whose dogs have attacked our stock, killed one of our cats, sent the other for an extended stay on the roof, & generally made a nuisance of themselves are still around.  Animal control makes almost weekly visits to this guy but there does not seem to be much that can be done unless the dogs are caught red-pawed. 

I lose these dogs once I get to a row of yards with fenced yards & dogs in them.  One has an elderly back mutt of roughly lab-size.  It was out once (someone must have left a gate open) & I ended up crossing the street because it clearly did not want me crossing its driveway, but I would not flag this as dumb-assery; anyone can forget to close a gate once in three years. 

After the old black not-quite-a-lab, there is a pair of corgis who are kind of hilarious.  Their house is off the road but down a straight drive, so I can see them clearly, barking theirs head, off running slightly faster than me, but not much.  They invariable stop ten feet before their closed gate & make sure I know this is their house & then they run home again, as fast as they can.

It stays quiet until I turn on to the dirt road & start past the larger horse farms.  Farm number two has what has to be a full blooded Cane Corso.  This thing is HUGE.  He (yes he, no question) has only barked at me once (I passed another runner & we said "morning" or some such & maybe he was just saying "morning" too but I could live a happy life not hearing that dog-voice again).  He has the gravely bark that goes with an Ancient Roman dog of war.  Mostly he does the other thing he is bred to do, he courses.  He easily keeps pace with me, inside his fence, escorting me from one end of his territory to the other.

Another turn & another largely dog-free stretch, mostly because the houses move further off the road, until I make my final turn & move past Grayson, The Slinker. His family really does call him Grayson, I call him The Slinker because he once climbed to the top of a five foot gate, crawled through the gap at the top & slunk after me.  When I turned & yelled "HEY!" he took off back into his yard.  I saw his people & told them & the very next day there were bungee cords wrapped across the gap & a few weeks later a new, much narrower-gapped gate.  Grayson lived with the most majestic Doberman I ever saw.  I don't see him anymore; I suspect he is sleeping away/has slept away his old age because...Grayson now has two Rottweiler puppies keeping him busy.  I wish they made less noise, but they stay in their (fenced) yard; some days they do just sit & watch me go by, no noise at all.

While I am on the road I might meet the guy next door who I am pretty sure has undiagnosed Asperger's walking his big male German Shepherd whom he adores & is pretty much the only way to connect with him. Also the dog is wonderful to behold, beautifully cared for & trained.  I may also meet the other German Shepherd guy who USED to walk his dog off-leash until it took of after a little girl on a bicycle (she's fine, I'm not sure she knew it even happened, but her father saw & chewed a hole through every ear he could find & actually got the sheriff to issue a ticket-no easy feat) & now clips the leash on grumbling about leash laws whenever he sees someone heading towards them, because the rest of us using public roads is a huge inconvenience to him.

Finally, I might meet K****** who walks a faux-German Shepard she found abandoned in the parking lot at K-Mart & a boxy headed lover boy who look like they could yank her arms right off her body but actually seem more interested in tripping her than anything else.  We usually talk a bit, often about those first long-legged beagle things (the owner CLAIMS they are Walker Hounds but they are the scaredest,  scrawniest, most swayed-back walkers I have ever seen) as they often trail her home, giving her the credit for not scooping up after her dogs, which she does do but if you see a lady walking two dogs & a pile of poop a minute later it is hard not to connect the two.

I never see Bishop anymore.  After that documented encounter, I saw him once or twice being walked on a leash, but it has been well over a year since the last Bishop sighting.  I pass his house twice on my 5-6 times a week run, so I am confident if he still lived there I would know.  I guess when it became clear they could not just send him out the door (they were new to the neighborhood in those days & plenty of people not from around here think all dogs roam free in the country), he had to be relocated.

Which might leave you wondering where is the Dumb Ass Dog Owner?  After all, there is only one continuing problem & I don't go into any detail.  Well, there is a new dog in town, a short timer, as I am pretty sure it belongs to a contractor working on a sizeable addition on one of the houses on my route.  Every time I pass, this dog goes nuts.  Most of the time, it is sitting on the seat or in the bed of a pick-up & seems happy just to bark its face off but this week-end things were different.  I started this same stretch & I could hear the dog, as I often can.  I realized the sound was getting closer & looked up.  A smallish (30-40lbs, maybe), scruffy cute dog was bearing down.  I stopped.  Then I heard a guy saying "He won't bite".  The dog was still running towards me, barking.  It cleared the end of the driveway.  I shouted "HEY" for the dog really, but the guy seemed to think I was trying to get his attention & said something along the lines of "He's just being friendly.  He won't bite".  I started looking around for a rock or stick or something.  When I came up with a chunk of cinderblock, the guy decided it was time to maybe bring his dog to heal (in all fairness the dog was now less than three feet from me & had made no attempt to bite, but it was barking & lunging & barking & lunging & looked ready to settle in for a long game of bark & lunge).  We had a brief chat in which DADO made it clear that I was being completely unreasonable & I offered to smash his dog's skull in there on the public street & then we could wait for a sheriff to sort out who was in the wrong.

I meet a DADO fairly regularly (usually the same one, yep the guy with the free-range mongrel hounds), but I am often impressed by how many I DON'T meet.  There are many red-flag dog breeds on my route (& in my house:  a German Shephard, a pit-looking mix, two mini-dachshunds -the bitingest breed of all & a cocker spaniel, another breed no stranger to nips), but mostly people who get "dangerous" dogs know it & take care.  It is the people who think their little angels would never hurt a fly that are the real problem. 

Sunday, November 2, 2014

2014 so far

I keep starting posts & not finishing them in a timely way,  & then they go past their due date (like my Blogger's Quilt Festival post complete with pictures.  Linky closed on Friday.  WHOOPS!).   Also, I don't exactly hate but am less interested in other peoples' posts about why they haven't been posting.  So I thought instead I would just catch up, the big & the small, & maybe get back into the swing of things now that the days are getting shorter & there is just as much as there ever was to fill them.  So here it is, in no particular order:

I met my Goodreads reading quota for 2014 just last week.  Yes, It's a small thing but I am still pleased.  & I am of course aware that some of the books on the list are barely worthy of counting (but I LIKE picture books).  A few highlights- I am almost up to date on Tana French's Dublin Murder Squad series.  I will say Broken Harbor was not a favorite but Faithful Place was so good that I plan to continue.  Jonathan Tropper continues to make it work, as far as I'm concerned & I discovered Leanne Shapton (Important Artifacts is my big book recommendation of the year.  Turns out no one who has asked for a book recommendation from me has not gotten this title at the top of the list; even people who asked months ago have received revised lists putting this on at the top.  It is a thing of beauty).  On the other hand Lauren Hillenbrand's Unbroken was just kind of meh for me.  I know there are people who thought it was fan-f*cking-tastic, but I am not one of them.

I have become a baby quilt making machine  There will be AT LEAST three births in one 4 month period (that ends in FEB 2015, unless it doesn't) & that is just the tail end, unless it isn't.  In days gone by I tended to make quilts in pairs or triples.  The baby quilt I prefer (Modern Quilt Studio's Once Upon a Time from their book The Modern Quilt Workshop) which lends itself to this as you can make lots & lots of connecting blocks & be 1/2-way done with one when you are done-done with the other.  Trust me, it makes sense & it does NOT make two of the same quilt.  Generally I make a set of girls quilts, a set of boys quilts &/or a set of gender neutral quilts (that's right, pink, blue & green-sue me).  I try to mix up the sets so I use up the little I-SPY images & avoid duplicate looking quilts.  But so far, for more than two years it has been ALL GIRLS.  & the next one is ALSO a girl.  I have a closet full of blue & green (& yellow & purple) baby quilts & parents who are decorating in pink-stravaganza.  Yes, at some point someone is going to have a surprise baby boy & I am going to look like a genius but until then I am swimming in pink.

Cowgirl had a baby.  Cowgirl had a baby GIRL!!!  No quilt for her, but I am pleased nonetheless. Because Hattie (Hathor, Hattie for short) arrived just a couple weeks before the cold weather we are leaving mama & baby be for longer than usual & plan to start a milking schedule by the end of this month.

My bathroom is still is not working properly. I don't want to talk about it. 

The banana trees went ballistic this year. We cut two more blooms down yesterday (cold snap last light) & they are ripening on the kitchen counter. 

I am up to (down to) a 15 minute mile, which I can maintain for.....two miles. Hey, it's no Paul Ryan speed but still I am pleased.  On Friday I started covering four miles total (run a mile, walk a minute, run a mile, like that) & I hope to keep it up even in the cold weather.  If it seems like I took an absurd amount of time to get here, you are right.  In late 2013 I had a bone density blip & it was suggested that any impact anything would not be a good idea.  For a while.  & I only started trying to run again this past August.  In the meantime, I have been BollyBlasting my way to...nowhere actually.  Still fun, though. 

Yes, I'm sure there has been more, but this is all I can remember.  Or all I care about.  More likely this is all that overlaps in a Venn diagram of things I can remember & things I care about.