Last week, I…

October 2019 calendar dog confetti

… turned 40.

The calendar dog celebrated with confetti.
The dog looks like a 1 year old Chewie with Dudley’s hair colour. Chewie was a master confetti creator at that age :)

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… finished reading a book that I started reading more than 10 years ago.

It was worth it. I shouldn’t have taken that break for 9 years, 11 months.

… did a shit load of work.

It was one of my most productive weeks. Long hours + deep focus = lots of good, happy output.

… started seeing the autumn colours everywhere.

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I missed carrying a camera on my runs. But I did get a few shots in on Chewie’s evening walk yesterday.

… ran nearly every day

Missed a run on Thursday due to bad weather in the morning, and Athletics world championships in the evening.
Yep, I didn’t run because I was busy watching better runners run :)

… ran 50 km in the week

It was my first 50km week since the marathon in April

… set a new high for running mileage in a year

My total running mileage for 2019 reached 1,213 km. Previous highest was 1,202 km in 2015.

… sat for an IQ test.

I scored 133.
The score is 12 points lower than what I remember scoring in my early 20s.
Still, apparently it suggests I’m ‘gifted’. Not sure in which way.

It was a good week.

Unfaithful

Chewie is my favourite running partner. Runs with him are, on an average, 274% better than runs without him. Just watching him run—along or ahead—gives me an extra 50W of power. Chantries is our favourite running ground. We both love running up and down those trails, specially the sections through the dense trees where few people walk.

I took Chewie for a few Parkruns years ago. His competitive spirit, and my inability to run like the wind meant I had a torrid time. He used to drag me around for the first couple of Km. Then we’d run together for the next Km. And I’d have to drag his sorry, tired ass around for the final 2K. He didn’t know how to pace himself when there were other dogs to catch and beat. I didn’t know how to run at his blitzing pace.

There was also the matter of his loud howling and crying with excitement as everyone lined up for the start.

I took pity on both of us and stopped taking him along. He enjoys lazy Saturday morning cuddling up with R in bed till 10 or 11. I get to run at my own pace.

A has been asking me if we should take Dudley for a Parkrun. Dudley is lot more people friendly than Chewie, and has a more tempered approach to life (and running). It may be easier to run with him.

I’ve been strangely non-committal. The reason is that Parkrun is my time to mingle with all the other dogs—Jasper, Danny, Lizzie, Archie, and all the other lovely 4-pawed lovies. It’s the one time of the week I’m openly unfaithful to Chewie and Dudley, and give undivided attention and love to my other friends.

Taking Dudley might shift my friends’ focus from me to him. Dudley (and Chewie even more so) may not be so amenable to them meeting me as usual—Jasper jumps up and hugs me on my shoulders, then rubs his sides on me, then sits down between my legs, my hand in his mouth, and begs for belly rubs.

My dogs may not take kindly to my unfaithful actions :)

Continue reading Unfaithful

Mi chico no está bien :(

He hasn’t kept any food in since day before yesterday’s lunch. Threw up Wednesday’s dinner, and all three meals yesterday.

I gave him half his usual lunch, soaked and soft, yet it came back up.

I gave him a small amount of rice with chappy—his usual bad tummy diet—but that came up too.

Worse, he hasn’t asked for his breakfast today. He’s clearly uneasy, and not in his happy state.

Neither am I.

Continue reading Mi chico no está bien :(

Up & down

Yesterday I was happy. I ran. I had both the boys with me, and both were in a happy, loving mood. I did a lot of work. Good work. I’d finished reading my 36th book of the year, and started a new one. I saw the final episode of season two of ‘The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel‘. I went to sleep, happy.

Today is not as good.

Boy threw up in the night. Then again a few moments ago. This means there’s no running for him (today), or me (this morning).

What’s worse is that I felt a sense of relief on realising that I don’t have to run this morning. This is not a good sign. It’s a very bad sign.

The morning started bad when I drank yesterday’s leftover coffee instead of making a new one today. Then I topped up my blood caffeine levels with a tea. Both of them before 07:30.

At 08:30, I am feeling the too-much-caffeine unease and the boy is feeling post-throwing-up unease. And yet, we aren’t hugging and laying in the bed. I’m working (except for the break to write this status update), and he’s sleeping behind me on the carpet.

Hopefully the pendulum will swing again and we’ll both be on the up by the evening. Paws crossed!

My dog and his human

This is how he sleeps. With five pillows.

I use one. R uses three. I’ve always been on her case for using three pillows.

The boy has learnt from her, and then left her behind.

Then there’s me.

I’m not allowed, by R, to put dishes in the dishwasher. She has her method of placing the dishes, and I apparently mess it up.

I’ve been trained to rinse the dishes and place them on the kitchen top above the dishwasher. She puts them in later.

Last night I cleared the sink after dinner and placed the dishes above the dishwasher. Took me a moment to realise that she’s been in India for a couple of days, and I am allowed to put the dishes in while she’s away. My training has been thorough.

To confuse the anthropomorphizing further, my dog learns better than me, while I’m trained better than him!

New old toy—a tiny RC drone

New toy — a tiny drone
New toy—a tiny RC quadcopter

I got this a long while ago, but Chewie made sure I never got any time with it. The first time I tried to fly it, Chewie jumped off his perch, caught the drone in mid-air and thrashed it around with his mouth trying to kill the ‘bird‘.

I tried taking it into the conservatory, while locking Chewie in the living room. Chewie created such a ruckus from other side of the glass doors that R banned me from using the drone again.

While working alone last night I got the idea to bring the drone upstairs, to play with it during my breaks when Chewie is not around. So today I did.

I have had two play sessions with it already. It helps that it has a very short battery life—about 10 mins—so I can’t waste too much time with it in one go.

It’s a hard drone to fly—dirty lint on the rotors + cheap, low quality electronics + Chewie’s thrashing amongst the many reasons for it. After two 10 min sessions, my longest continuous flight is still only about 30 secs. Getting it to just hover over a spot for a minute would be a good first target. Soft landing it would be another. Both seem far away at the moment.

Continue reading New old toy—a tiny RC drone

Missing Chewie

I’m working upstairs. He’s gone with R to her friend’s place for the afternoon.

Every time I move, or the breeze comes in, or a car takes a turn in the cul-de-sac behind me, or I imagine any sort of noise, I take a quick look at the door, half expecting him to have come upstairs.

He spends his afternoons upstairs, sleeping behind me. Even when R is at home, he ditches her after an hour on the sofa and comes upstairs to me.

He comes into my room, softly lick my hands, gets a few ear and head rubs, tries to get me to give him belly rubs, and then lays down behind me to quietly sleep.

No one’s coming upstairs today to check on me, to give me kisses, to demand rubs, and to quietly fill the room with his body smell.

I’m missing my boy.

Barna-baby

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Chewie posing, Barnaby learning

Had this handsome nutter over for half a day yesterday. His behaviour traits all remind me of Chewie when he was that age—restless, cute, ball addict (still is), bark at doorbells (still does), lay down to meet dogs, always wanting to touch some part of me…

It was fun revisiting those crazy, lovely, hyper, cute early days with Chewie, just for a brief morning.

Today

I completed two weeks of eating without screens1. It’s become much easier now. The hand doesn’t automatically go to the remote or the phone the moment I sit down to eat. The anxiety has disappeared too. I’m definitely lovin’ it.

I started on level two of wobble board balancing today. I achieved a level 1 PB of 6 mins 20 seconds on Saturday after the Parkrun. Also, balancing for a minute or two has become fairly easy now. So, decided to take it to level two today.

I found an old, barely used volleyball that R and li’l R had bought a while ago. They never used it, and it’s only lightly inflated now—perfect for bouncing off the ball while balancing on the board. A small, heavy medicine ball would’ve been ideal, but this volleyball is good enough for me.

There’s just one small (32kg black with 4 legs) hitch. Chewie gets agitated when I bounce the ball off the wall. He thinks all balls were made for him to play. Also, we often play where I bounce balls off the wall and he catches them. He protested that it was unfair that I bounce the balls from such a height at close quarters, and then catch it without giving him a chance. I have a few scratches on my waist from his attempts to topple me off the board and get at the ball!

Today is the first day in three weeks that I’m skipping the scheduled running workout. Between the hot day, and taking care of Chewie in the evening, I just ran out of energy and viable time slots to go for a run. I’m telling myself I’ll do it tomorrow. But tomorrow is just the same—late morning will be too warm to run, specially after walking Chewie, and evening will again be busy catering to him. The only viable spot is early morning, but those are my favourite work hours :(

Other stuff happened too, but nothing important or interesting enough to note.

Continue reading Today