Sunday, October 30, 2011

So long old pal

The end always comes sooner than you think, and certainly want. The decision had to be made or else we would have been selfish hoping for another day, or two. It has not been a good weekend. We did everything we could and if someone tried to prolong my life by making me suffer I would bite the shit out of them, and we are sure he was telling us it's time to go.

Our other dog Luke is a little lost, as we are. We spent today working on the in-laws fence replacing more rotted wood posts for the good metal ones.The entire family came over, and they brought all the dogs. Our nephew loved our pitt so much he has 2 of his own, and fosters up to 5 when the rescue place needs it. His female pitt came charging across the yard to where we were working, and I swear it was my boy coming to see what we were up to. Perhaps it was the light and shadows, or her light coat, but Tobie is watching over us already. I know he is playing with good company, where the toilet seat is never down and he has an endless supply of squeak toys. Too many things today reminded me of him and the oddities only he seemed to have.

So here is to the great memories. The ridiculous things our animals do and the things we do for them. The 2am need to go outside when it's 20 degrees and we are camping. The resting of snouts on heads when we are sick. The alerting us to people outside the house. The unconditional loyalty and love even when the trash can is dumped over in the kitchen. The Thursday and Sunday ride to Starbucks for pumpkin bread.

I also have a lot of hot dogs and bologna that he unfortunately never got to eat. I guess I'll pretend it's a survival food and do a review on it. Go hug your spouse, kids, pets, whatever fills your life with joy.

Friday, October 28, 2011

The quiet time alone

I'm a fan of people spending time alone, I think it make the time spent with others a little more quality. If you don't have quality individual time then you can forget how important the time together is. In a SHTF situation I might not get any alone time for a while so I take advantage of it when I need it.

It also keeps you from strangling people.

I spent some time alone lately doing what relaxes and focuses me. Running lets me focus on just running, once my mind wanders I twist an ankle so I just focus on running. I like to find spots and just stop, listen, let whatever is bothering me come to the surface and just go from my mind and body. The snow makes it a lot easier since it keeps 98% of the people away, and you can get neat scenes like these:

My time alone lately has been to try and get rid of some sadness. While the treatments our pitt has gotten has done well for a few months, nothing is working now and it's almost time to say goodbye. Not having children, my dogs are just about everything and live a fantastic life better than some people I know. The cancer is making his nodes swell up and he will eventually not be able to eat, and the doctor says he only has a week or so left until we need to make the decision to let him go so he won't starve to death and be in misery.

I figure he has about 10,000 or more miles of head out the window fun and has seen more things and been more awesome places than most people. I know I am doing the right thing but it still feels like betrayal, just like the last 3 dogs made me feel. I can't imagine my life without the company of my loyal 4 legged friends, they have enriched me more than I have them.

But living life like this, maybe they are getting the better end of the deal.
Tobie enjoying being sucked into the leather.
So while I am very sad, I know that it wont be the last time I have to say goodbye to a faithful friend, and I know another one will come into my life soon via. fate. That's how we got Tobie, Luke the foxhound and the other dogs we have loved (Mollie the shepherd, Angel and Mocha the rotties, and cinnamon the mix breed). The sadness is always outweighed by all the other times that make/made me smile and laugh.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

18 degrees!

the ground wasn't frozen yet but the road up to the top was closed. Closed roads never stopped me from getting somewhere, especially when I have 2 feet. Breaking trail in up to 18 inches of snow was awesome. My neighbor had a blast laughing at my antics, but we got out and about while most people are huddled up inside.


It's snowing, there is a lot of snow on the trails and I'm super pumped for a snow run tonight. I couldn't sleep last night knowing I would be in the snow tonight.

Might as well enjoy what you can't control, that's how I look at it. I got the fireplace up and running last night and cleaned up my office some. I also ran out about midnight and disconnected the hose from the house in case it got really cold. The house was a comfy 64 this morning and I got to break into the winter weather clothing closet.

Winter weather is a good time to look over your stuff and make sure you are as ready as you can be, in whatever situation you are in. I'm feeling good about my stuff, there are holes that can be filled in various areas but generally it's a good stockpile. I have to start on the in-laws preps, they are just about settled in the new house and we will probably hit Costco this weekend and get some stuff.

It's a great time to be alive.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Who eats better than I do?

My dog does! I'm cooking some good meals for him and then not eating much of anything myself. I'm having to get creative on the cooking, never cooked for a dog before so it needs to be good, and bland. Tonight is mac and cheese with hot dogs. I'm having some bbq chicken and... hmm nothing else.

I have lots of dog food, dry and canned, but I never planned on cooking meals for more than two so I will have to spend some money on a few more items for a SHTF scenario. Unfortunately I don't expect my pitt to last more than another month or so but he is doing great so far. His nodes are super swollen still but he has energy and he isn't going to starve to death. It's very depressing really, it's like losing part of the family but at least he can go out on good terms knowing we did everything money can buy.

Tomorrow it's bbq chicken and rice for him at dinner and hostess cupcakes for morning 'hide the pill' snacks.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Cooking for more

My pit isn't doing so well lately, those good and bad days. I'm not cooking food for him every night so he will actually eat something and not starve to death. The chemo treatment had to be changed, and now he is on antibiotics and heart medication as well. Last night he had sirloin, green beans and eggs, all jumble cooked in a frying pan. I had a couple slices of pizza, he's eating better than me!
I think it's worth it, I don't want to feel like I didn't make the effort and just let him slip away. His glands are not as swollen this morning, but I can only imagine trying to eat dry dog food must be horrible something like swallowing hard cookie crumbs when you have a sore throat. My fresh grocery bill is going to double but I get a lot of satisfaction cooking for my little guy.

Went wheeling yesterday, had 7 rigs and a bunch of friends. The people I wheel with are actually friends, strangers I can't rely on when something happens to break. We actually had one of the smaller Jeeps get stuck on a rock and completely crush the oil pan in, but not enough to cause it to leak or cause the incorrect amount of oil to get into the system. Another smaller Jeep wasn't so lucky and toasted his rear ring gear and needed some assistance in the harder spots with a tow strap. The gears broke enough to make a smooth section so he drove home in 4high, front wheel drive, without any issues. I had some horrible squeaking and discovered a bolt for my transfer case bracket was working it's way out and had stripped so I couldn't get it tight enough. .50 cal ammo can full of spare nuts and bolts saved the day as usual and it was business as normal.
Shot of the 3 big rigs after a dusty road and before 5 hour trail time.
Parking was at a premium so I found a rock to perch on for lunch
I canned some apples, the honey-crisp are finally in stock and I took advantage. Spend $100 and get $10 off coupon plus 10% off if you have a football shirt on, bonus. I stocked up on pumpkin since it was on sale and lasts a long time PLUS I managed to get out of Costco under $70 for the first time ever. I'm not panicked nor really worried, but when I find things on sale I try to get a lot while I can afford it, just in case the price for groceries triples next year. Farm produce is expensive since many states don't allow illegal labor anymore and it seems most 'Americans' don't want to do that kind of work. I think that people want jobs but hardly anyone wants to work. Same old story.

I've got some freeze dried cans I'm waiting to get shipped, but it's been delayed and now I have to call and have it delayed more so it's not sitting on the curb for a week while I'm away. Supposed to get snow and high of 30 on Wednesday, I can't wait, so tonight I'll put away the hose and I'm ready for winter.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Permanent frowny face time?

When I read and skim over the dozens of blogs, I seriously feel like I'm the only one who is having fun and enjoying myself. It's good to be prepared, it's good to stay current on events and happenings, it's good to have a plan.
I ordered Battlefield 3, gonna lay the smack down online.

It's also really good to enjoy yourself and not have the weight of the world on your shoulders. Maybe I'm the only one who doesn't wake up wondering if the world will collapse today. The people I talk to about such things outside of the web are all just waiting for it to happen and concern themselves with just that and really nothing else. Can't anyone live this kind of lifestyle and not be worried 24/7, or am I really so far out of it that I'm more of a yuppie with some food in a storage bin.

I don't really take myself too seriously, maybe it's a fault but I still keep going at it. We did add some SHTF booze into storage yesterday. Since I don't drink it's going to last a while or get me so drunk I won't be able to do anything but vomit while the world is torn asunder by the occupy whatthefuckever crowd (occupy the barn over at Zydeco ranch! lol that was awesome). I also inventoried my get home bag before I went to Denver yesterday. I mentally had forgotten some of the stuff in it, and I need to change it over to cold weather orientation this month.

I got a call from my friend who is looking at doing a 1000 mile run next year, over 20 days, and I got an invite to run the last 50. It's sooner than I had mentally planned for a 50 miler, so I've got some work to do. At least it's winter and my running won't get in the way of doing other fun outdoor things, it's too dark and cold for much of anything else in the evenings.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Overindulgence, did you get some?

As usual the news was depressing, many of the blogs I read were doom and gloom, some vendors jacked up everything at work this weekend, the project I needed done didn't complete so my schedule is screwed up for another weekend. Instead of sitting around in misery or going to join a protest without a focus, I got up early. Hopefully everyone worked some fun in this weekend.
3 of my favorite activities:
Bright and early rock climbing lead.
 It's always exciting when you are pulling the rope, especially on granite with cold fingers.
Followed by a few hours in my little Jeep.
 I'm going to put the bikini top on, I got hit in the head with a lot of mud chunks. I met a nice couple on the trail who joined us for the day. Not only did the guy have good driving skills but he climbs and runs. Hopefully we didn't scare them off with our brand of humor, I can't find anyone who climbs on Saturday that I trust to belay me on a lead climb and/or fall.
Rounding out the evening.
I was overheating on this run but was worried it would get dark and a lot colder than it did. Being prepared is fine, sometimes I think I'm a little overboard but that's hindsight.

Big carb loading dinner and it was time for the much anticipated season 2:
I don't want to put up any spoilers but when you have your pick of vehicles, why would you drive a hunk of crap RV. Why don't you have more guns, why don't you practice a little better security, why didn't the zombie in the bathroom scene attract more zombies with all the noise, how much money did Gerber pay for that big plug, why does the guy only have 2 bolts for the crossbow.... I could go on, I'm hoping it's not like Terra Nova, I'm really tired of lame piled on top of lame. I'm glad I have books.

Saturday, October 15, 2011

Let it snow!

Spent about 6 hours working in the yard today getting the final touches done before winter. I'm in the need of a new leaf blower now, but the leaves are clinging to life and just clogging up the gutters. Each year I pay some random kid of someone I know to do the yard cleanup but I still end up doing about the same amount of work. Lazy ass teenagers, I'm doing them a favor I really don't mid the work. I will take the rain barrels down next weekend so I don't have to worry about them freezing when I'm out of town. The yard and the house plants really enjoy the rainwater, and I have a large supply of water hanging out, it's a win.

I also got my Jeep checked up and ready for a trip tomorrow, it has been sitting for a while. 5 vehicles and all in top running condition with spare parts and the knowledge to use those parts. Stockpiling stuff doesn't do anyone a bit of good if you don't know how to change an axle shaft, pull out a differential or swap a drive shaft. I think most of the spare parts for my Jeep end up being used on other vehicles I come upon in the mountains. I never charge and just hope it's good karma for when something happens to me. I never go alone and so far anything that has broken I've been able to fix on the trail. 4 bags of tools, spare parts, a bin for everything else, fluids, spare tire, nuts and bolts, etc.

Made a big batch of spaghetti sauce for the weekend and just pulled some more bread out of the oven. It's pumpkin season so I'm going to get a pie or 2 made tomorrow night. I need to hit Penzy's spices and use my gift card so I can get some holiday spices I will run low on soon. I did manage to score some deals at Albertsons this afternoon, they are having a sale on cereal, paper towels and toilet paper.

Friday, October 14, 2011


Friday, overload at work day, vendors jacking all kinds of stuff up. I'm going to put in some time tomorrow to get a few things resolved, after my neighbor and I hit the trails in the morning.

I got all the travel stuff for Rome finally. I'm glad it's going to be in the 60's/40's there, $75 for a 2nd checked bag just won't work for me. I'm going to have to carry on my running clothes. I'm getting super excited, but I digress.

For all my years of running my body hasn't been able to deal with the lactic acid my poor legs produced, causing massive muscle fatigue and many hundreds of sleepless nights. No matter what I did, I just couldn't get over the issue and just dealt with it as best I could, lumbering along in serious discomfort.
 My legs felt like they weighed 150 pounds each and were very sore even before I'm done running an hour. It's a big reason why I'm a lot slower than most runners, my legs just didn't seem to be able to do anything after a while besides a zombie shuffle.
I tried a supplement called sport legs and I am happy to find out that whatever the hell it does, it works great and it's really a calcium/magnesium and lactate mix.. that's all. Now I'm only sore from the actual activity of running 2+ hours a night, no more burning or heavy feeling and no more elevating my legs after a run in hopes I would be able to sleep later. I've gotten several run in after taking this and the results were the same, I'm wicked pleased.

I'm going to tear the trails up. I've already knocked 5 minutes off some of my record times on a couple of different trails, and I didn't even fuel up correctly for the attempt. A breakthrough, and just in time for me to start pulling my sled with 40-80 pounds of sand in it, pain and suffering at it's best.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Paqlites and peaches!

On my camping trip I had the opportunity to try out the paqlites I picked up last month for more than just hanging on a chair in the dining room or stuffed into my get home bag:
I have a medium and a large. They never need batteries and just need a few minutes of light to "recharge". You can't read a book but you can find your way around a house, tent, or campsite once your eyes adjust to the dark. I used the smaller one under the canopy so people wouldn't run into the stuff at night, and the large one was in the tent providing light there. It ended up being brighter than I liked at around 3am (good light 6 hours later), so I had to put it under the sleeping bag. They won't light up a room for a game of cards, but for the price and near zero weight I think it was a good investment, something I would recommend to a friend. I would suggest rounding the corners of the plastic, it's a little pokey otherwise. If you want chem-light brightness, these won't work for you.

I try and use the storage food I purchase, rotating it in and replacing it. I don't want to find stuff I can't stand/stomach in case I have to rely on it alone. So I broke into some freeze dried peach slices (good vitamin c and fiber as a bonus) before this trip and took a large amount with me for driving snacks:
I've had this #10 can open for almost a month now and it's still about 30% full. The texture wasn't too 'styrofoam' (didn't give me goosebumps when I bit into them) and they were not so dry I had to drink water with each mouthful. 42 servings in the can @ 1/4 cup equals about 25 peaches, 25 year shelf life, 1 year opened shelf life. Cost is around $28 and you can rehydrate them. There are many vendors out there for freeze dried fruit, I get mine from Shelf Reliance, they are available in smaller container sizes.

I would recommend to a friend who wants fruit for long term storage. Not so long term I would use home canned or home dehydrated as it's much more cost effective but with an obviously short shelf life (comparably).


I was sort of hungry, and then I went for another 2 hour run on another new route that was pretty hard. My legs were tired and sore, but the only way to learn to just accept the pain and suffering is to keep at it and your body will adjust. This is true for most things in life, the more you do it the more you get comfortable with it even if it's not comfortable for your body.
I got an invitation to go back home for the holidays, and I was amazed the airfare was so cheap. I have a huge project at work so I might not be able to go, but I will attempt to swing it. The time off isn't a big deal, it's being away from home for another week doing something that's not really that exciting. Only 1 person in the family tries to stay in touch, even with social media and email making it ultra easy.

When it comes to dinner, I prefer to cook instead of eat out. It was a special night so I bit the bullet.
The plan was to have a ton of sushi, but we both got some dinners and these rolls, who can pass up chicken and rice. I'm sure it was a lot cheaper that way and I know what it costs to make food. Lot's of crab and avocado with some spicy tuna and such. Yum. I barely made it home, my stomach was so full I had to waddle to the car.

Tonight some friends are taking me to dinner and a movie, but there isn't anything playing I want to see so it will end up being dinner. They refuse to not get me a birthday gift, and I already guessed what it's going to be. It's going to be a nice dress shirt that costs around $180.... I choke when I spend $50 on a nice shirt so maybe I'll just frame this one.

Tomorrow I will cook my own dinner, pork loin with salad and rice. Cheap and good!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

WTF qoute of the day.

"By prohibiting the open carry of guns, we can now take our families to the park or out to eat without the worry of getting shot by some untrained, unscreened, self-appointed vigilante," Dallas Stout, president of the California chapters of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, said in a statement.

Link to article on Yahoo

No one has ever been shot by anyone who had a concealed weapon.... right...


16 years!

What's that old saying... time flies? Not sure about that, but it does pass easily when you are enjoying yourself. It's nice to be able to share your life with someone who likes dogs, guns, running, off roading, prepping and being a smart ass. I am trying to think of someplace to go for dinner, but I have a nice pork loin in the fridge that is begging to be cooked. Perhaps some flowers or maybe a new leaf blower (hey, I'm practical and it's that time of year).

I'm sore today. The map I picked up of the running trails that I have been thinking about was a big help. It helped kick my butt for a few hours last night. The run was going to be longer but I didn't have my headlamp as it was an experimental terrain intel evening. 1 mile up, 800 foot elevation gain; 1.5 miles down 1200 foot elevation loss; 2.2 miles up, 2100 foot elevation gain; 3 mile down 1400 foot elevation loss. I actually assumed the 2.2 up would be fairly level but it was gnarly, steep, very cliff edge and since it was following a large stream it was cold and iced over.. this made my shirt really cold since it was wet.

I've got some stuff arriving today for storage so I was working on making some space last night but I didn't really make any progress and instead added another 30 days worth of water.

I need to make a costume for work, $100 prize money is worth the effort, that's another month or more of food storage!

I can't wait to do it again; the run and celebrating another anniversary. Where is my Motrin.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

Sugar. Really?

This morning I was out in a flash and had a really horrible run in the snow and cold. I overdressed and once the sun peaked I had to take everything off and carry it/wear it like a cape. I didn't stretch and was just on a mission to pump out some miles... see getting older doesn't mean wiser apparently!

I'm not a buy 10 cases of .223 kind of guy. It's not that I don't have guns and ammo but you can't eat the stuff and it's expensive. I like food, I went to school to be a chef, and I like having a lot of food in storage. I'm seriously close to 3 years worth and could get by with only getting perishables at the grocery store for the most part. I'm once again out of room and will have to purchase another rack in the next few weeks or else I might start to overload the ones I have. I'll keep storing stuff and using it, rotating the stock and trying to plan ahead as grocery prices keep going up.

Today I was on the hunt for sugar, I have plenty but it was on sale so it was time to get some more.. it's baking season after all! Normally it's cheaper at Costco, but today I could save some money and not drive across town. Apparently there was a run on Sugar, the shelf was actually bare minus 1 small bag with a hole in it. I didn't have my phone or else I would post up the silly ass picture of 3 shelves void of sugar. Perhaps I should read the news more, I don't know what happened and the people at the store don't either. The truck will arrive tonight for a restock, and if that truck never showed up I would manage with what I have, but it still seems odd to me.

Everything else was in stock at the store (well I couldn't find any brisket actually but they might not carry it anymore along with sirloin) and I still spent $150 on things (it was more like $200 but I had a couple of coupons and it was NFL day so 10% off for wearing a team jersey and apparently my red shirt looked like a falcons jersey).

Where has all the sugar gone! Anyone?

Saturday, October 8, 2011

No place like home!

I love taking time off for various things and I really love getting home after it's all done. Back to the normal, back to things I have control over. It's my Birthday so I was all pumped up to do a 3 hour run this morning only to back out of it since it was a downpour. Instead to celebrate living another year, I have the heat on and the snow is falling.
Beautiful! I try to remain positive even if my plans are ruined, there is always stuff to get done especially after being gone over a week. I have a lot to be negative about starting with my pitbull has swollen glands so his lymphoma is out of remission, but I just refuse. I'm going to let everyone else be negative, I'm alive and doing great.

Las Vegas was fun for 2 days, the 3rd I couldn't wait to leave. I more than tripled my money on some slot machines and got a couple of runs in. Running was nice on the first evening, it was "cold" and it was raining but I ground out some seriously awesome times for a mile, 5k and 10k. I refueled the next day and went at it again this time without the rain and with some sunshine... this meant the sidewalks were covered with people and not just any people, but people who walk 8 abreast, smoke, don't pay attention, and in this particular situation they were occupying Ls Vegas. Christ I can't get away from  negative sometimes, so I turned around and ran up into old Vegas and broke my record for 10k time and then just enjoyed a relaxing run under all the old lights.

Now I'm home, getting together with friends for dinner, have more money in the bank and it's back to normal for a few weeks. I have to catch up on all my blog reading and go grocery shopping since the fridge is looking a little empty. Next up, a week in Rome!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

The road less traveled

What an amazing trip, more than I could have hoped for and I think it goes down as my best vacation ever. We ended up with 3 vehicles and 4 people and really took our time checking everything out and having a good time with no real objective. I was really reinvigorated by this trip, even had a killer 8 mile run when I got home this evening. Heading to Vegas in the morning, hopefully I won't be drained when I get back.

We rolled into camp #1 at midnight and were set and asleep by 12:30. It was totally random and we had no idea what was around us, but we were tired. We ended up picking the only flat spot around, for miles, and at midnight it seemed perfect no matter what. We rolled out the next morning about 8am, amazing weather as you can see from the departing picture.
We landed at camp #2 about 4pm on Saturday and got everything ready for dinner and the night ahead. This is one of my favorite spots, the views are amazing and there is a spot to swim. The weather during the day was in the 50's but quickly changed and got down to 28 when we put the fire out for the night. The water was 48 degrees, the air temp was 45 before wind chill but who am I to complain.
It was all I could do to keep my heart from stopping and keep breathing. Nothing like an ice bath before we kicked the fire up.
The next morning everything was covered in frost so we had to wait for the sun to crest the mountains before we packed everything up. Elevation here was 11,250 feet and it took a while for the ice to thaw on our gear but pack up began in earnest.
Camp 3 was another spot, 20 feet from a small river with tall trees all over to keep the frost off at night. A lot of rain on the way here and it only got down to 32 and the sun never hit camp by the time we rolled out.
My tent is a 3 season with screen sides under the rain fly. It was toasty warm without a tent heater, and as usual I was over prepared with all the stuff I brought. I would rather it be that way vs. freezing and/or being wet.
We headed up another trail and into some fresh snow. I had a blast and ran up the tallest peak I could easily get to. Running in baggy jeans and a jacket didn't work out so well, but I made it. My friend from sea level walked up and I thought he was going to die, but he is a champ! I made a snow angel!
Here are some foliage and scenic shots. I have another 1200 to sort over and figure out what I like and then I'll post some more.