08 December 2009

Good stuff

I was sitting around this evening, petting my dog and reading.  A warm beverage, I thought, sounds fabulous.  But, alas, even I try not to drink coffee after midnight.

Fortunately, there are non-coffee hot beverages.

First we need the World's Cheapest Kettle, and then my CNN cup.  The CNN cup is awesome because it's large enough that I can use it for expeditionary bathing.  Don't believe me?  Let me tell you about the week it took my landlord to get my hot water heater working...

Righto.  We're talking about a scrumptious chocolatey beverage.  In the foreground we have some nice raspberry hot cocoa mix.  Since I'm using a cup roughly the size of Lake Erie, we are also going to be using some el-cheapo plain mix from Wally World.

So...mildly raspberried hot cocoa...that's good.  But we're talking about a better-than-good beverage. 

And that, ladies and gentlemen, is how Abby makes good hot cocoa into a super-awesome grownup drink.  As a note, I rarely drink Bailey's, but I'm pretty sure it was invented for just this purpose.  Well, that and fortifying coffee during certain ungodly Army evolutions *cough* four-hour cultural awareness brief *cough*

06 December 2009

Disparity of progress

Jack and I have been keeping up a fairly vigorous program of exercise.  Me, because I'm waiting on a set of orders and don't want to show up fat and sleepy, and him...well, because a tired dog is a good dog.

We've been running a lot, but this morning I decided we'd take a little time, go out to an old railbed (tracks long gone), and go for a good, long, brisk trudge.  I tossed a couple five-pound weights and bottles of water into a little backpack just to make it more interesting.

We took off at a brisk, clip and, with the exception of road crossings and a certain bridge, maintained it.  For 46:00 minutes.  At which point we ran out of trail.  Actually, the good people of Columbus are turning a big section of the old tracks into a "multi-use trail," and we hit the point where the trail was torn up and there were large pieces of construction equipment.  So...we turned around.

Since this evolution was not sucking quite enough yet, I decided that we could jog a little bit to break up the brisk walking.  Ah, yes...there's that sucking sound I was looking for.

Note the surface under the happy dog.  Apparently, the vast majority of the whole rail bed is covered in rocks.  I had noticed this as we trudged out, but really noticed it when we were trotting coming back in.  I'm really not the most coordinated woman in the world, so it was very slow and careful trotting.

(Because the whole concept of me going on orders in the intermediate future would be seriously impeded if I  broke an ankle jogging through rocks with my dog.  Also, I'd have to figure out my TriCare coverage)

We made great time coming back, until, maybe half a mile from the Jeep, we encountered the Bridge Of Satan.  On the way out, I'd figured we could just walk across it.  This was stupid, and scary.  Please observe said bridge:

Yeah.  Jack and I made it not even ten feet out on it before I realized that was a very bad idea.  Of course, once you're picking your way across a rotting railroad trestle with you four-legged buddy, turning around is even more of a problem.  So we crept across.  The ties, of course, were just far enough apart that my buddy could have gone between them - it was, I repeat, a very bad idea.  Also scary.  So on the return, we opted to go under and around.

This was a much better approach.  And, because it was steep, it also meant that you-know-who got to have his leash off

After a brief time-out to play in the creek, he got hooked back up and we climbed out to the road, where it was a short jog back to the Jeep (total of 94:00 on the trail, bumper and back).

Now - to explain the post title...  We've been, as I said, doing a lot of this stuff lately.  And I'm in better shape than I was a month ago.  Problem is, Jack is in waaaaay better shape than he was a month ago, and he already had me beat.  So we run, or we trudge, and he's not wearing out anymore.  More annoying, he is not creaking around the house like I am.  Asleep in his bed - yes.  Groaning and complaining - no

Sigh.  Guess that's the advantage to being the black lab.  In my favor, I can drive and order cheeseburgers.