Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Toby is 15 and Too Much of a Good Thing

I'm sitting out on the deck with the pups, listening to Augustana while a hummingbird chirps its dissatisfaction at my presence. The cool evening air feels nice. If I never see another 90ยบ day again in my life that's fine with me.

Our city, Lakeville, has contracted with a company to get its residents a discounted price on the preventative treatment of our ash trees for the Emerald Ash Borer. It's a daunting little bug that will destroy any ash trees in its path if the trees aren't treated with a chemical. We had 2 of our 3 ash trees treated last week at a cost of around $120 each for a 2-year application. Because it stands on the boulevard, the remaining tree will hopefully be treated by the city next spring, or so they say.

I'm a little late to the party but I finally signed up for Nextdoor, the neighborhood social media site where people can post about events in their neighborhood; lost animals; items for sale; reckless drivers, and whatnot. I'm not sure how much I'll use it but in less than an hour after signing up I was able to find a new owner for a fertilizer spreader I no longer needed. I was surprised to see how many of my neighbors had already signed up; I would estimate around half. 

Toby turned 15 a few days ago but he didn't feel much like celebrating. We'd had him in to see the vet a couple days earlier and he's still not fully recovered. This is such a difficult phase in his life and I feel so bad for him. He can only hear loud clapping noises, and his vision is limited due to cataracts. He shows little interest in walks anymore, and up until a few months ago, he used to love them. I was able to get him out for a little less than half a mile yesterday and he surprised me by sprinting home from a few houses away. He still has that in him. Hopefully, he'll be up for walking more when the weather turns cooler.

I couldn't be more pleased with the external power pack I bought from Garmin to power my Edge 820 on longer rides. Without it, my 820 is only good for maybe 9 hours at the most, and that's not enough especially when I'm in unfamiliar places and I'm in map mode where power is drained more rapidly. There are less expensive ways to attach an external power source but I like the way these two pieces work together.

I got up early Sunday for a longish ride and was on the road a few minutes before sunrise. There's something about a Sunday morning that no other day of the week can compare to because of the lack of traffic -- especially the route I took to the south into a light wind. It's not a stretch for me to say that it's somewhat of a spiritual thing for me out there with so little to distract me from my thoughts.

I'm taking a few days off my bike to let my body more fully recover from all of the riding I've been doing. I'm over-trained. I like seeing how many miles I can ride in a week but there's a price to be paid and walking around sleepy all the time is part of that price, as is being more prone to illness. I like that I'm itching to ride because that means I'm not burnt out. That's never a good place to be. I look forward to riding the trails at Murphy again on Thursday.

I'm hitting the links tomorrow morning with some fellow retirees. Willingers Golf Club in Northfield is now part of the PCC membership that many of us belong to and we're going to check it out. It's been at least 25 years since I've played there, and of all the courses I used to play in my younger years, it was one of my favorites. I would guess it's in the top-ten of courses in the metro area.

That's all I've got.

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