Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Challenged by a dog

I encounter dogs frequently on my runs-nothing unusual in that. For the most part, the dogs in my neighborhood are friendly and contained by fences; the occasional loose dog is not a threat. I am, however, careful when I see a dog I don't know. I will usually stop running and cross the street and just stay away from them, just in case. Today's encounter was unique. As I ran down a residential street, a Bassett Hound came charging down his driveway to engage me in battle. Yes, that's right-a Bassett Hound-long, floppy ears, sad sack eyes, and stumpy little legs. He charged me, doing the weirdest bark/howl the whole time. He stopped just at the edge of his driveway, bark howling and standing his ground. It stopped me in my tracks-he was so comical I had to laugh. I mean, seriously-I know I'm a slow runner, but I'm pretty sure in a race between me and a Basset Hound, I would smoke him. His legs were, oh, I don't know-maybe 2 inches long. When I stopped running he seemed satisfied that he had properly protected the family estate from peril and he calmly walked up the driveway without even a glance in my direction. What a funny, silly looking dog!

And, another funny thing today-while driving in the big city with Hubby, we saw a vanity license plate that read "RUN4UST". I was trying to puzzle out the meaning of the plate without much success when Hubby figured it out-RUN4UST=run, Forrest! It absolutely has to be a runner that would have a vanity plate like that!

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The mighty Sharps

I ran a really nice 4 miler early this morning. Conditions were perfect-extremely cool and foggy. So, why couldn't it have been like that on Saturday when I ran such a miserable half marathon?

Hubby and I went to the shooting range yesterday and I finally got to shoot my Spencer as well as my latest toy, the mighty Sharps model 1874. When I told Hubby I wanted a Sharps, he asked if I wanted a new replica or an old original. Well, duh. Of course it had to be an original and dang if Hubby didn't find one at the gun show Saturday. The Sharps is the longer gun at the top of the picture with the Spencer below it. More about the Sharps later-we shot the Spencer first and may I just say that it was highly satisfying-hardly any kick, a very pleasant bang and a big puff of smoke. I learned how to bore sight a gun, but I still couldn't shoot it with any accuracy; I figured I did ok when I hit the paper at 25 yards, never mind trying for a bulls eye.

Then we got out the Sharps. The Sharps is big, heavy, and kicks like a mule. My Sharps has a set trigger. This means there are 2 triggers-set the set trigger, and it makes an already touchy firing trigger frighteningly light. If you saw the movie "Quigley Down Under", you might remember how Tom Selleck fired the gun-he did it very gently and carefully. I now have an understanding for why he fired that way. The Hubster and I discussed at length how we were going to fire this gun in a safe way. I had to be really, really careful because "hair trigger" does not accurately describe how sensitive the trigger becomes after the set trigger is engaged. Honestly, I never squeezed the trigger-I barely touched it and the gun fired.

My Sharps has no rear sight. In order to aim accurately, I tried to center down the barrel to the front sight, all the while trying to not even breathe weird because I knew it would fire at the slightest touch-which brings us to the picture of the target. I put a nickel next to the round I shot with the Sharps. The nickel is to give you an idea of how big these rounds are-at least they seem big to me (I'm more used to my trusty 22 caliber). So, with no rear sight I managed to put a round pretty darned close to dead center. I'm proud of that shot, even though Hubby claims it was just a lucky shot. He's just jealous because I shot better than him. He's currently on the hunt for a rear sight and it should be interesting to see how accurate the Sharps is with proper sights.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Last place again-WOOT!

I just ran the Guadalupe half marathon this morning, and I'm very happy to report that I regained my title of last place runner! That's right, faithful readers, I came in dead. freakin. last. again. Don't get me wrong-I'm not complaining. There is some glory in last place. All the course volunteers are really, really happy to see you go by; it means they can go home. And I made one CHP officer's day-he blocks traffic on the one road on the course so runners can cross safely. He was schmoozing with the water stop ladies when I approached. After stopping a couple of cars for me, as I crossed the road I told him I was the last runner. A huge grin broke out on his face and I heard him tell the volunteers that he was going home.

There was one last volunteer on the course at the 2 mile mark to make sure we all turned left. I told him I was the last runner. He asked "are you sure there's no one else?" Yes, I was sure. I think I'm capable of figuring out on an out and back course that if I see no one going the other way after I make the turnaround, then I am indeed the last runner. It was a little embarrassing as I crossed the finish line; the volunteers and a lot of the runners were cheering me on as if I was breaking records at Boston. Honestly, they can skip that part. Just let me cross the finish line and let's get on with the awards ceremony. I'm thinking that next year I'm going to tell the race director not to wait for me to come in before she starts handing out awards..I'm pretty sure I'll hold on to my last place title next year.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Another day in court

I ran an easy, slow 12 miler yesterday; no running today! Next week is a half marathon race, a very small local race in which I've always placed last or almost last. Then marathon training starts!

I had yet another day in court, following up on the thieving, lying pondslime misguided soul who stole my stuff and sold it around the county. This was supposed to be the day when she gets sentenced and I'm allowed to make a comment or two; I was dreading it because speaking before a group of people is the one thing that will bring me to the point of fainting. But I steeled myself for it, prepared a short comment and decided to just do it.

So I sitting in court and I notice she's not sitting with the rest of the defendants in their customary orange jumpsuits. And then, she walks in-a free woman, allowed to mingle with those of us who follow the law and stay out of trouble. And she sits down-right next to me. She doesn't know who I am, so her choice of seats was purely random. But I certainly know her. This is what I wanted to do-I wanted to throw her to the floor, put my knee across her neck and ask her what she did with my stuff. However, being a court of law, with bailiffs and judges and such, I decided that was probably a poor choice and I got up and moved to a different seat.

And to top it all off, she got yet another court date. Nothing was settled; no sentence was handed down; and she's on the streets to continue to steal. So much for justice.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Girls gone wild

Please don't draw any conclusions from today's title, faithful readers. There will be no pictures of drunken co-eds flashing their naughty bits on this blog; my title refers to an incident that Hubby witnessed many years ago, before I became a runner.

The Hubster came home from work with a huge grin on his face and a story to tell. While driving home from work he saw a young woman in a tank top and shorts out for an evening run; and while this is not a terribly noteworthy event, what happened next is-because one of her girls escaped her tank top and popped out the arm hole! Hubby said that she stopped running just long enough to gather up her errant breast and pop it back into hiding, then continued running.

At the time, it was just a very funny story we shared at the dinner table between the salad and the entree. Now that I'm a runner, I occasionally think about that girl and I wonder why she wasn't wearing a bra? Or perhaps she was and it wasn't a proper sports bra? Was she new to running and didn't realize the importance of good undergarment support? I'll never know the answers to my questions. I just know that now that I'm a runner, my girls are encased in some seriously heavy duty lycra and spandex. Judging by the difficulty I have when I skinny out of my new sports bras after a run, my girls have no chance of escaping during a run.