Sunday, October 10, 2010

Toby's Troubles and Full Fall Days

My typical routine on my way into work for the all-night shift is to stop at McDonald's in Farmington for a large light Lemonade. It's always $1.07 and I usually have the exact change in hand for the window. I placed my order last Wednesday night and the total came to $1.70. Huh? I asked the cashier and she said that all their prices were raised since they're having their Monopoly promotion. Again; huh? I paid the extra amount and proceeded to the next window to get my drink. I looked at the advertising on the cup as I drove away and was somewhat miffed to read that 1 in 4 players wins; the other side of that coin being that 3 in 4 players lose out. I'd say that .63c is a considerable amount extra to pay for a $1.07 drink to play their silly game. Oh, and the real kicker...the peel-off game piece on my cup wasn't even there. My guess is the person who handed me my drink had a nice collection going.

Somebody please let me know when the promotion is over.

Toby gave us a scare late last Sunday night. Our pups sleep in bed with us and I woke up around 2:30 AM to find Toby sitting up with the sheets wet around him. I turned on the light and saw that the wetness was actually blood from his rectum. I woke Tammy and she got on the phone with an emergency vet clinic in Apple Valley to make arrangements to have him seen. They told us it was likely a ruptured anal gland and that we should bring him in.

And so we did.

And that's what it was.

They took him into surgery and we left for home to get some more sleep. We returned a few hours later to pay the balance of our $580 bill and bring him home. The poor guy had a few very miserable days to follow.

We brought him to our regular vet Thursday morning for follow-up and to have the sutures removed. The doctor said he looked good and impressed on us that in the future a situation such as what he had isn't considered an emergency. It may look bloody but it will heal with or without surgery. But, she also said that the vet in Apple Valley did the right thing by having us bring him in to confirm that's what it was. I don't recall the Apple Valley vet stressing that surgery wasn't necessary although he may have.

We stopped at the desk to pay on the way out and Kris told us that there was no charge. Wow...we weren't expecting that but then it's one of the main reasons we use their facility and will keep coming back; they're very reasonable.

We've been having the most unbelievable weather the past couple weeks with temps making it into the upper 80s both Friday and Saturday. I took full advantage of both days to do some serious riding and yard work.

I got away just before 10:00 Friday morning and began working my way into a 10 mph southwest wind with thoughts of riding to St Peter. It was a perfect day for a Mankato loop but I didn't think I had the daylight for it. I could realistically get 135 miles out of the day but not 150.

I was feeling good as I approached St Peter and looking forward to my headwind becoming a tailwind as I crossed over the Minnesota River into the river town sometime before 2:00 where I headed north. Little did I know of the ordeal that awaited me getting back across some 50 miles ahead.

Tammy was in the office and knew I'd be gone all day.  She asked if I'd text her occasionally to let her know how I was doing. I gave her a quick update then jumped onto highway 169 and had no sooner dialed my speed up and gotten comfortable when I passed a sign giving distances to a few different cities ahead. I stopped and backed up to grab a shot for a Facebook status update.

I was also using the ride to store the names of several cities into the data base of my Garmin Edge 305 as I passed through them. Unlike my 705 it has no map capability and the only points it stores are those I manually enter into it. Since having it refurbished a few months ago I've had to reload all my cities. This would be a good ride for adding detail southwest of home. There's a sense of accomplishment with each city added, at least for me.

The east side of 169 was closed for a stretch of maybe 5 miles and traffic was shuffled to the other side of the highway where I had much less shoulder to work with. I did my best to keep my speed as close to 30 mph in the 40 mph zone as I could to minimize the impact I was having on traffic hurrying to get home at the end of their workweek. One woman shook her fist as she passed me for causing her to have to slow slightly. Whatever.

I got off 169 just long enough to pass through Le Sueur and mark its position then made my way back to the highway with my sights set on Henderson to top off my water bottles and get some food, something other than the gels that had been sustaining me.

I left Henderson around 3:00 with 80 miles done thinking I'd have plenty of time to tweak the ride to maximize my time on the road and arrive home just before sundown. I did all that and more. Rather than taking the most direct route home through Chaska and highway 41 toward Prior Lake I stayed north of the river opting to add a few miles and get across in Shakopee. Normally this would've been a good plan but the road was still closed due to flooding and this I didn't know. Once I realized my dilemma I could've turned around and taken highway 41 across but I decided to gamble with the remaining daylight and pressed on through Eden Prairie and into Bloomington for a crossing over the river on the bike path on the south side of 494. I briefly considered mingling with rush-hour traffic and crossing at Cedar but didn't.

I figured at worst I'd be without sunlight for 15-20 minutes. I'd just have to ride more cautiously.

Working my way back over Cedar on highway 13 I was casting a long shadow with 10 miles to go and only 15 minutes before sunset. Fortunately every stoplight except for one worked in my favor and I made it home a mere 15 minutes after the sun went down.. 147 miles total. I could've done the Mankato loop after all.

I was fine with leaving my bike stabled on Saturday and used nearly the entire day to work in the yard. The next few weeks the leaves are going to own me. Still, I was able to make a big dent in the job and am ahead for now. In true geek fashion; a little before and after...


Steve Saeedi said...

Getting almost 150 miles with the shortened days like this is impressive. I typically have about 20 minutes of light left after sunset, which I find useful as a data field on my Garmin during these months.

Speaking of Garmin, I believe you can read from and populate the waypoints on the 305 (and 705) using Garmin's BaseCamp program. Since you're on a Windows PC, you can use MapSource (another Garmin app) to read and write waypoints from your 305 or 705 devices. Very handy as a backup so you don't have to go back and manually re-enter all that information.

Glad to hear Toby's fine. What would cause such a thing?

Kevin said...

I didn't realize I could add waypoints to my 305. I'll look into that but to be honest I sort of like having to earn each waypoint all over again. It gives me something to do out goals.

Not taking our pups in and having their anal glands expressed is most likely the reason for Toby's ordeal. Typically that job is done by a groomer but Tammy is their groomer. She said she's going to learn the other task as well. I'd happily jump in and do it but she's a nurse you know and I don't want to infringe on her territory, besides, I do their nails. ;)