Roxy training diary month 50
July 2007


Jul 30.  Back on track with my running calendar, and Roxy and I got in 4.5 miles today. 

The kitchen floor is just about installed.   You can see some of it in today's pictures.  The kitchen and living room floor are all the same, so it brings those two rooms together.

The bottom left picture shows the view from the living room.  The top left picture is taken from the double doors. 

The large picture is similar to the perspective in the "before" picture which I reposted on Jul 26.  You can see that the kitchen is much, much bigger.

The refrigerator and dishwasher are not really installed, but finishing the floor allowed us to roll them into place.  You'll notice no faucets on the sink. 

We're hoping for a plumber and electrician to come in the next couple of days.  There are still some trim elements to finish off, also.

With any luck, we'll be using the kitchen again by the end of the week.


Jul 29.  Roxy had another herding lesson this morning.  We are making good progress.  She's not perfect, by any stretch, and I have a lot to learn.

Today Shauna set up gates and we practiced running the sheep through the gates and then herding them into a pen.  We had some success with that, which are the skills we'll need to compete at the Pre-Trial (PT) level in late September.

Our entry to the ACDCA National Specialty herding trials was accepted, so now we're committed to a course of action.

Shauna needs to take some time to prepare her dogs for the Soldier Hollow Classic.  So, we are going to look around a bit and try to find other places to work Roxy.  She needs practice in a different location, so the trial will not be the first time she's gone outside of Kelley Creek Farms, and I have a couple of weeks off of school so I have some time to drive her hither and yon.

We are hopeful that the kitchen will be completed by the end of the week.  The flooring installer is supposed to return Monday.  He is about 1/4 of the way through.  We will need a plumber and electrician to help finish the hookup on the cooktop, dishwasher, disposal, and sink.  The refrigerator is ready to go as soon as the floor in its cubbyhole is done.


Jul 26.  The electrician arrived this morning after all, so we have lights, both microwave and conventional ovens, and a working hood.  Time to celebrate with some before and after pictures.  The top two "after" pictures are looking from where the dining room used to be; the large one at bottom is about the same point of view as the "before" picture.  Hard to believe.

Kitchen Before

Jul 25.  Today's herding lesson was postponed; we have been receiving some much-needed rain and torrential thunderstorms, which is nice for our drought and wildfires but not so good for herding.  Sheep poop + mud = a very slippery surface. 

My legs are much less sore, but still not ready for running.  I might try to get in a short run with Roxy Friday morning, and then I have a trail run at Sundance Saturday morning.

Today is the one month anniversary of our kitchen renovation.  Countertops were installed today, but it's too late for photos.  I hope to get some pictures up tomorrow.  The electrician (who has been promising to come for the last two weeks) is really, really supposed to come tomorrow, and the floor is to be installed Friday and Monday.  We'll see.

In the meantime, I've been meaning to mention my love affair with the Iowa Electronic Markets.  Thousands of investors put real money down on choices for political and other events.  Theorists argue this is a much better way of predicting the future (using the combined wisdom of many, many people) than any other method.  After more than five years of watching the IEM, I decided to invest a small amount this year.  I have shares in Obama, Edwards and Romney, not necessarily because I want them to win, but those are three candidates I judge to be "underpriced".  For example, today's conventional wisdom says Obama has about a 1 in 3 chance of being the Democratic nominee; Edwards, 1 in 10; Romney, 1 in 4 on the Republican side.  (Fred Thompson's "stock" has fallen since his "IPO" last month.)  You'll find the IEM price graph for the Democratic nominee and Republican nominee at the links.

Tastes Just Like a Kitchen

Jul 20-22.  The dogs were dropped off at Ruffledale on Friday, and we drove down to Bryce Canyon National Park for a half-marathon race (mine) and a 5K (Rosemary's) early Saturday morning.  I had reserved a "Jacuzzi room" at Ruby's Inn and it turned out to be a good thing, as we both needed to make use of the whirlpool.

When Ya Comin' Back, Red Ryder?

Annie Greets Her Adoring Public

Meanwhile, the guys had great fun at Ruffledale, as they usually do.  The Ruffledale staff was mum on exactly what sort of fun, but we do know Dylan was hoarse so he probably barked his fool head off.  They also got in a wrestling bout after they got home.

The course was a very fast downhill, and I was happy with my time, which was a Personal Record: 1:50:22.  I was originally handed a card that said my time was 1:42:06.  That would be 78th out of 257 men, and 6th in my age group (45-49 for this race).  That result made me kind of unhappy because it was so far below what I had previously run.  I keep track of my training by progress on reaching Personal Records (PRs) and that one was likely to stand for a long time.  Plus, I had seen 1:50 on the clock as I crossed the finish line.

Today (Monday, Jul 23) the results were posted online.  Another mystery solved: someone had apparently not punched my bib number in correctly, so Paul Klemish's results (bib 336) were mixed up with mine (bib 36).  I really didn't finish the race in 1:42, and I'm just as happy that I didn't.

Rosemary got a finisher medal for her 5K, but also placed 2nd in her age group (49:33) for an additional medal.  There were 5 women in her group, so she did rather well.

I still finished in the top third of men in my age group: 116th/257 for all men, and 7th/21 men in my age group.  That's a real accomplishment, considering I've been trying to finish in the top half, and the course was the same for all of us.

On the downside, I can't walk today.  I apparently have Delayed Onset Muscle Soreness, so Tuesday's race is out.  A quote from Wikipedia: "Exercises that involve many eccentric contractions, such as downhill running, will result in the most severe DOMS."  Who knew?  I will wait until I feel better to start running again.  It may be this weekend before I'm ready to even run for training again.

Roxy had a great herding lesson on Sunday.  She had a couple of lapses, but all in all, I was extremely happy.  Today was the opening day for the herding trials at the ACDCA National Specialty in September, so we'll see whether we got in.

I also sent in her agility, obedience and rally entries.  After our May 3-5 debacle, I was a bit apprehensive, but it will be all cattle dog people and they usually have a well-developed sense of humor about such things.  We'll need to be practicing some obedience and rally moves.  I'm not so concerned about agility.  If she feels like it, she'll do it, and if she doesn't, she doesn't.

This Is Gonna Hurt Later

Epic Struggle Between Good and Evil


Jul 19.  This week, the College of Health Professions is hosting Prof. Yuanan Jiang, a specialist in Traditional Chinese Medicine from the Chinese University of Hong Kong.

On Tuesday, I got to go hear his public lecture and learned a lot about the theory behind traditional Chinese medicine.  I have to confess a boatload of ignorance on the subject, so it was good for me to learn more.

After his talk, I took him and his wife and son up to Skyline Drive above Farmington.  We even visited the FAA Radomes at the top of Francis Peak.  These are prominent landmarks, easily seen from the valley floor below.  I am asked about them by visitors all the time; this is the first time I've been close to them.

While we were up there, a summer thunderstorm arose and I took a picture of the storm over the West Valley.  You can see the Oquirrh Mountains in the background, and a bit of the Great Salt Lake at right.

When we finished our scenic drive, we repaired to the Conroy's and had a dumpling feast.  It was a group effort, and I of course had good teachers.

The electrician is supposed to come on Monday, and the countertops on Wednesday.  No word on floors or plumbing, but it's progress.

Dumpling Time


Tuesday is Pioneer Day and I am planning to run in the Deseret News 10K that morning.

This weekend, I'll be down in Bryce Canyon National Park for a half-marathon.  It's all downhill, so I'm hoping to post a good time.

Thunderstorm over the West Valley


Jul 16.  Roxy and I got to run together this morning.  I wasn't much for hills, so I took the flattest route I could find, and she and I ran 4 miles.  I have tried to keep her running at 3 miles maximum, so that was further than she had been. 

It was good to wear her out, because she had to spend the day in her crate.  The people from Anvil Cabinets came back to install the "uppers", that is, the cabinets that hang off the walls instead of resting on the floor.  Chad, master carpenter, also installed the new range hood we bought.  The knobs that Rosemary has been trying to obtain for the last month finally came today, so those got installed as well.

Now we are down to a countable number of projects in the kitchen.  The electrician needs to hook up the appliances, and install the overhead lights.  The flooring people need to put down the floor in both the kitchen and living/dining room.  The countertop needs to be installed.  The plumber needs to hook up the sink.  That's it!

In the top picture, you can see the paint I spilled when I painted the ceiling.  One good thing about painting where there is no floor, is you can spill paint and not care too much.  The color of the walls is a nice complement to the cabinets and will probably look even better when the floor and countertops are in.  The hood, while not cheap, will be a sort of central point for the kitchen so we're proud of that too.  In the middle picture, you can see where the oven and microwave (far left edge of the middle picture) and refrigerator will go.  The dishwasher will go next to the sink (under the window, in the top and bottom pictures) and the cooktop will be directly underneath the new hood in the island.

We had the window trimmed in molding with the same stain as the cabinets, which I think helps to bring the whole thing together.  You really can't see that it used to be two rooms, and now the kitchen is a reasonable size.

Photographs from Amanda's wedding are now posted in a sort of "teaser" slideshow.  If you look carefully, you'll see two pictures with me in them.  You can pause the slideshow by clicking on the control button at lower right; a pause/play button will then appear.


Jul 15.  It looks like I will miss the fireworks tonight; I have agreed to go pick up a visitor at the airport and his flight was delayed.  Normally, we have a great view from our deck, as the fireworks are being shot off just yards from our house.

Annie has a sore bum.  It was probably the main reason she threw her back out (trying to clean herself) two weekends ago.  So, Rosemary the Dedicated Mom is putting cream on it, and to keep Annie from irritating it further she has to wear an Elizabethan collar.  The inflatable e-collar is something she actually doesn't mind wearing; she uses it as a battering ram to move objects out of her way and actually seems to take pleasure in knocking things over.  She's awfully cute when she sleeps with her tongue out, and even more so when she's wearing her e-collar.



Looknig for Somenoe Who Can Splel

Jul 14.  A busy Saturday.

On the kitchen renovation front, countertops were to be installed Friday the 13th, but that didn't come off, and it's probably just as well.  We have most of the painting done but there is still plenty of stuff to do in addition to the countertops: flooring, electrical (including installing all the appliances), plumbing (ditto), knobs for the cabinets, and assembling/hanging the cabinets not at floor level.

I will post pictures of the kitchen, perhaps tomorrow.

I had a half-marathon this morning, but it wasn't a great day for me.  Somehow, I just never got my groove.  By the time we finished, it was 85° and the heat just hammered me.  Who knew there were so many hills in Farmington?  I don't think the race placements or times will be posted online, but I was 4th among males 47-53 (out of I don't know how many) with a time of 2:05:31, which is about 10 minutes off my PR pace.  I sure felt it, too.

Roxy had a herding date, and we were late because I didn't get home from the race until after 10.  So, we hustled up to Kelley Creek Farm and got in our dose of both swimming and herding.  Today was much rougher than Tuesday.  I wasn't moving very well, having gotten myself pretty sore at the race, and Roxy was unsure what I was looking for. 

Shauna assures me this will all work out.  Australian Cattle Dogs can be pretty hard-headed on the one hand, and soft to corrections on the other.  ("You yelled at me.  I hate you.  There's no point.  I give up trying to please you, you jerk.")

I went through this with Annie already, so I know how it goes.

Roxy Walks on Water

There, I Say!

I still plan to enter Roxy at the pre-trial test level in the upcoming ACDCA National Specialty

The trial is 70 days away.  That's about 20 lessons, by my count, so we should be able to make some progress by then.

At least the swimming is fun for her no matter what.  She's becoming quite the little diver.


Here I Go!

Father-Daughter Chat

Ready, Set, Go!


Jul 10.  Roxy got another herding lesson today.  It was a huge milestone, because I got to go in the pen alone with her, without our instructor inside.  So, it was my first solo herding experience. 

Sheep dung and mud make for a very slippery combination.


I'm amazed at the fantastic progress Roxy has made in her herding skills.  I would attribute this to the Sunday session Rosemary spent with her last weekend while I was out of town.

Tonight I got an email from a photographer who had taken pictures of Roxy that I had purchased back in April.  He sent me four pictures, when I had only paid for two, since they were three months late.  One of these is at right.

Roxy also got in some swimming time both before and during her lesson.  She has really taken to the water.

Tire from the Past

Swim Time


Jul 7.  Today, my friend Amanda Moore got married.

She was my student back in the fall of 2000 when I was still teaching at the University of Mississippi Medical Center.  We became good friends after she finished the class I taught. 

In 2002, when she was President of the Evers Society, we were photographed together with the Basic Science Teacher of the Year Award that the students voted on.

She graduated in 2004, and went on to a residency in Internal Medicine at the Medical College of Virginia.

There, she met James Miller, a resident one year ahead of her, and they fell in love.

Now, their residencies finished, they've gotten married.  They will be going to Knoxville, Tennesee, to become hospitalists there.  That's why the groom's cake has a huge orange "T" on it.

I was surprised to see an old friend at the wedding.  I was permitted to go back and visit Amanda as she got dressed prior to the ceremony.  There, I was surprised to see Christina, who used to manage Cups, a local coffeeshop in Jackson.  She is now a photographer with her own business.

When I arrived Friday afternoon, my luggage did not arrive with me.  No matter, I thought, it will come later this evening.  It didn't. 

I kept checking with the hotel desk until about 2 am, when I gave up on it.  Finally, at 6:30 am, there was a knock on my door; the night clerk was there with my luggage.

By then, it was too late for my planned Saturday morning run.  No matter, because there were thunderstorms with torrential rain in the area, so I probably couldn't have gone out anyway.

I was relieved that I would have a suit to wear to the wedding, instead of a day-old golf shirt and khakis.

On my marathon training calendar I had planned a 12 mile run, which had to be postponed until Sunday morning.  I was prepared for heat and humidity, which is why I started at sunup.  I figured that it would be pretty flat, and that there would be lots of oxygen around compared to where I usually run at 5000 ft above sea level.  I was right about all that. 

What I had not anticipated was the sloshing noise I kept hearing as I finished the last few miles back to the hotel.  I thought my water bottles were sloshing. 

When I got to my room and took off my shoes, I found that the sloshing noise was the water that had accumulated there.  It was as though I had been running in a lake — so much sweat had drained down my legs that my shoes were filled with it.

Photos by Christina

Boogie Shoes

Groom's Cake

James and Amanda


Jul 4.  Today began with a 5K run.  It was a tough one, with about a mile of uphill at the beginning and then a fairly fast finish.  I didn't do as well as I would have liked, and I'm still not able to break 25 minutes. 

Throw Me Sumthin', Mister Fireman

A Patriotic Bigfoot?

I finished in exactly 26 minutes, which put me 6th in my age/gender group out of 12 total (79th overall).  So I was happy to break the top half of my group, which I have been trying to do.  There were 350 entries, so it was a big race.

After the 5K, Rosemary and I joined Chris and Rick at the 75th annual North Ogden Cherry Days Parade.  There are no more cherry orchards in North Ogden, but they still have the 4th of July parade.  One of the nice features is that everyone throws candy for the kids.  We sit in front of Mrs. Cavanaugh's Chocolates, because Chris knows Mrs. Cavanaugh.  It's right across from Kirt's Drive-In, where Annie goes for ice cream (see Jun 9).

You can see Kirt's distinctive roof in the background of the Patriotic Bigfoot sighting at left.

Annie has something she would like to say.

I want to lodge a complaint.  They're not doing it right. 

First, they start moving furniture around and I can't go into the kitchen like I want to.  It's my right to go in the kitchen. 

Then, they left me locked in the basement at 6 am without any breakfast.  I didn't like that. 

Luckily, before I could starve to death, I found a cold box sitting on the floor.  There was some food stored in it, and the door opened easily.  So I ate three sticks of butter and opened a jug of milk.  The milk leaked out into the carpet, so I dug a hole in the carpet trying to drink it up.  Then I got an upset stomach and had to go, but there was no one home to let me out.  So I went on the carpet anyway.  Twice.

I destroyed the box the butter was in, and the plastic milk jug, just to make sure I didn't miss anything.  The cold box in the basement is much more convenient than the old one in the kitchen.  I couldn't open that one.

I painted the kitchen, living room, and entry hall ceilings tonight.   Rosemary sanded the mud work in the same areas, and we primed the new plaster.  The walls will be ready to paint tomorrow.  They are also supposed to come and "template" the countertops tomorrow.


Jul 3.  The phone is working again, thanks to Rosemary.  It's a new one, so I need to reload my ringtones and photos.

Annie seems to be feeling much better.  Thanks to all those who have inquired after her health.  She is getting Rimadyl again, so we should avoid any more early morning visits to the ER.  She had been feeling so poorly that she could not attend to her personal hygeine needs, and so it was strangely good to see her taking care of herself again.

Roxy is on Clavamox for her urinary tract infection.  The urine sample I collected from her showed increased nitrites, so we're pretty sure that is what was bothering her.

I move into a new office on Thursday.

And, most exciting of all, the cabinets came today.  They still need to do what is called "templating" and cut the countertops to size, and the cabinets that don't have countertops are not installed yet.  The drywall guys came back, so we can start painting tomorrow.  You can begin to see the layout of the new kitchen now.  The cabinet at left will hold the microwave and oven as well as the refrigerator; the island in the far center will have a cooktop, and the dishwasher hole is just visible at right.  The sink will be next to the dishwasher, off the right side of the picture.  It's going to be nice.

Apparently, James and Amanda are not the only people planning to get married on 7/7/07.

Today's Kitchen


Jul 2.  Trouble always comes in bunches.

Rosemary and I were awakened about a half hour after going to sleep last night by Annie, who was obviously in severe discomfort.  She was panting heavily and would not settle or relax.  After some hand-wringing and mid-night decision making, we finally decided to take her to the Animal ER.

Luckily, the vet working this morning was Dr. Curry, who had seen Annie several times before.  Most of our earlier visits were when Rosemary was still in Jackson, so it had been a while since we had visited the Animal Emergency Center.

After a thorough physical exam, we all decided that it was a flareup of Annie's arthritis in her lower spine.  She was obviously in a lot of pain.  So, we got a shot of Robaxin and that seemed to do the trick.  By the time we got home, after 4 am, she was feeling much better. 

Meanwhile, when we did get up this morning, we had to take a urine sample from Roxy, who has been straining to pee, going out a lot, and licking herself.  As I write this, Rosemary and Roxy are at the "regular" vet.

Roxy and I did take a 5 mile hike yesterday evening after it cooled off.  I was taking pictures of her for the RoxyLog on my previously really cool eNV phone when it froze up.  It looks like the operating system has crashed.  So, if you have my number, don't try to call me for the time being.  I called tech support and they told me to bring the phone in to a Verizon center.  I think it's fried.

I've been fielding emails from angry students, both the online and real-life kind, about the department web page being down.  We have very few people working during the summer, and I don't have responsibility for the server, so all I can do is ask for help.  The students have assignments due and are starting to get snarky with me.  I'm getting snarky back at them.


Return of the UFO

Rosemary and Roxy

Jul 1.  Another morning spent at the herding trial. 

This time, the judge that we were scribing for was much more communicative, so we got a lot of insight into what a "good" herding run looks like and what can go wrong.  It was an educational experience.

When I compete, I like to have an idealized image of what our man-dog partnership should look like.  So, it's helpful to have that in mind while training.

Roxy may have a urinary tract infection.  She's been going a lot, and appears to be straining.  We are going to try and get a sample from her Monday morning.  Getting a urine sample from our dogs is always an adventure.

Even with that, and the dry heat we're currently having, Roxy needs her exercise.  I will take her running with me tomorrow morning.  In the meantime, we locked up the older dogs and let Roxy have a go at her egg.

As always, hilarity ensued.

All this work at the herding trial has inspired me to get back to lessons.  Shauna will spend this week cleaning up the place after the weekend trial, and I'll be heading out this weekend for Amanda and James' wedding.  I am chomping at the bit to get some more herding in.



Previous RoxyLogs
2003 2004 2005   
The Pre-RoxyLog Days RoxyLog January 2005 (month 20)
RoxyLog February 2005 (month 21)
RoxyLog March 2005 (month 22)
RoxyLog April 2005 (month 23)
RoxyLog May 2005 (month 24)
RoxyLog June 2005 (month 25)
RoxyLog July 2005 (month 26)
RoxyLog August 2005 (month 27)
RoxyLog September 2005 (month 28)
RoxyLog October 2005 (month 29)
RoxyLog November 2005 (month 30)
RoxyLog December 2005 (month 31)
2006 2007 2008    
RoxyLog January 2006 (month 32) RoxyLog January 2007 (month 44) January    
RoxyLog February 2006 (month 33)
RoxyLog March 2006 (month 34)
RoxyLog April 2006 (month 35)
RoxyLog May 2006 (month 36)
RoxyLog June 2006 (month 37)
RoxyLog July 2006 (month 38)
RoxyLog August 2006 (month 39)
RoxyLog September 2006 (month 40)
RoxyLog October 2006 (month 41)
RoxyLog November 2006 (month 42)
RoxyLog December 2006 (month 43)