The Farm Five K

7618943228_af7aa31dc8_m

It seems these days everywhere people are doing these 5k, 10k and obstacle races. Warrior Dashes, Gladiator Grunts, Spartan Stuff and the like. One of the kids at work (I’ll call him Spry Guy) today was describing the obstacles in the race he entered this weekend. Climbing walls, crawling under wire and through mud…and I thought, sounds like a typical day on the farm. And Spry Guy paid money for the privilege to do this! $55! Great googly moogly! That’s two bags of rabbit feed, four bales of alfalfa, a bag of chicken scratch and a salt block.

Actual money for crawling around in the mud.

And then it hit me.

I’m missing a goldmine here!

How about…

The Farm 5k?

A totally new obstacle event based on life on the farm!

Imagine this:

Instead of crawling under regular ol’ barbed wire, we’ll crawl around under the electric fence! We should probably have this event early in the morning so that grass is nice and dewy and damp. With the solar charger that gives me 6 lights on my 5 light fence tester, your tushie will stay low to the ground, I guarantee it!

What about the 500 meter calf carry?  It’s not easy to hold on to those things when they are all slimy and fresh!

Hubby is the defending champion of the 2011 calf carry!

Hubby is the defending champion of the 2011 calf carry!

And then, for the next event instead of crawling up and over a wall, we’ll have you climb the stack of hay bales. Of course, for full effect, you will be able to build the stack before you crawl on over. Or, you could shovel a wheelbarrow full of, well, stuff out of the barn and then run it up to the top of the compost pile. Extra points if you don’t spill it on your feet! (I recommend close-toed shoes, just sayin’!)

For the speed event, you can dash across the pasture. But to add a little challenge, we’ll strap a bucket of cattle cubes to you and let the bull in! No worries, he’s really a gentle soul. He’ll only squish you a little until he gets the cubes.

"Whatcha got there in 'dat bucket, missy?"

“Whatcha got there in ‘dat bucket, missy?”

And then the mud pit to crawl/run/stomp through. Let’s jest say… mud is ferh wussies! We can use…well, let’s just say it’s made fresh on the farm daily! It varies in viscosity from moment to moment, so there’s no telling exactly what awaits you! Might want to keep your mouth closed as you slog through it. And we’ll allow clothes pins for the nose if necessary.

Made fresh daily.

Made fresh daily.

Dude, I think I’m on to something.

What do you think? Do I have a goldmine or what? Have any of you ever entered one of these runs? I confess, they do look like a lot of fun and I’m a bit jealous that I’m a little too old and out of shape to do one myself. I’ll just have to live vicariously through Spry Guy and his contemporaries. Seriously, Spry Guy finished like 18th out of 1200 in his event. Impressive!

Maybe I could hire Spry Guy to be my personal trainer for the first ever farm 5k!

Er…

Maybe I could sit in the stands with a glass of wine and cheer Spry Guy on.

Yeah. That’s more my speed!

2013 TBR Pile Challenge

2013tbrpilechall

 

 

I didn’t do so hot with the 2012 challenge.  Sort of fell off the reading wagon in the early spring,  and while I still read a good bit during the year, I just never got back to my list.

So, with hopefully a little more FOCUS this year, I’ve got some old standbys from last year, and some new to me works to work on.  Because even if we aren’t reading, we still buy books, right?

Here’s my list:

Cajun Racing by Ed McNamara

Horse Breeding in the Medieval World by Charles Gladitz

The Byerly Turk by Jeremy James

Dragonsdawn by Anne McCaffrey

Fire by Kristen Cashore

A Clash of Kings by George R.R. Martin

A Storm of Swords by George R.R. Martin

A Feast for Crows by George R.R. Martin

A Dance with Dragons by George R.R. Martin

(anyone sense a theme?)

Enna Burning by Shannon Hale

Behold the Dawn by K.M. Weiland

War Horse by Lou DiMarco (not the recent fictional work, this one is non fiction)

So here’s to binging on good books.

Do any of you have any books you are itching to read?  Anything on my list pique your interest?  Give me a shout and let me know!

Random Acts of Entropy — Gopher Tuna!!

One of my friends posted this video to Facebook the other day, and I seriously nearly wet my pants when I watched it.  Ok, it wasn’t nearly.  I did wet my pants a little bit. Oh, fine.  A lot.

 

 

I’ve heard this song a million times in different movie soundtracks, etc. including that cute little movie starting the guinea pigs known as G Force, and while I always tried to guess at the lyrics, I never came up with anything quite so clever.  I mean seriously.  Octopus. Give him boots.

After I stopped laughing, I decided to take the high road and look up what the lyrics really were.  Of course, I don’t speak latin, so thanks to that ever-present font of knowledge known as Wikipedia, I found a translation, side by side:

O Fortuna velut luna statu variabilis, semper crescis aut decrescis; vita detestabilis nunc obdurat et tunc curat ludo mentis aciem, egestatem, potestatem dissolvit ut glaciem.
Sors immanis et inanis, rota tu volubilis, status malus, vana salus semper dissolubilis, obumbrata et velata michi quoque niteris; nunc per ludum dorsum nudum fero tui sceleris.
Sors salutis et virtutis michi nunc contraria, est affectus et defectus semper in angaria. Hac in hora sine mora corde pulsum tangite; quod per sortem sternit fortem, mecum omnes plangite!

O Fortune, just like the moon thou art variable, always dost thou wax and wane. Detestable life, first dost thou mistreat us, and then, whimsically, thou heedest our desires. As the sun melts the ice, so dost thou dissolve both poverty and power.
Monstrous and empty fate, thou, turning wheel, art mean, voiding good health at thy will. Veiled in obscurity, thou dost attack me also. To thy cruel pleasure I bare my back.
Thou dost withdraw my health and virtue; thou dost threaten my emotion and weakness with torture. At this hour, therefore, let us pluck the strings without delay. Let us mourn together, for fate crushes the brave.[3]

It turns out the lyrics to this bad boy is from a medieval gothic poem, and was set to music by German composer Carl Orff in the mid 1930’s.

Does anyone but me think the translation sounds way too much like being a writer addressing the muse?!

If you need to clean your brain after the animated version, here you go:

http://youtu.be/GD3VsesSBsw

A lovely classical rendition.

But I dare  you:  Listen to this song ever again without hearing Gopher Tuna and thinking of an Octopus in Boots heading to North Korea.

And if you can successfully go through the next 48 hours without this song playing on your mental loop:

Please!  For the love of God, leave a comment in the comment section and tell me how you did it!  It won’t go away!  Help me!

Gopher Tuna!  Suck Juice from Moose!

Row 80 Round 2 Goals

The last round wasn’t so good for me, but I’ve learned that life has ebb and flow, so I’m just putting the last round down to an ebb tide, right?  ( I think that’s the right phrase, being landlocked in Kansas I don’t get much ocean exposure!)

I’m going to keep it simple this time and focus on a three-pronged approach to my goals, and focus on me as a writer a little bit more.

I found a copy of Julia Cameron’s The Artist’s Way at Bookaholic the other day, and since I’ve been feeling blocked creatively for the last, oh say, 30 plus years, it seemed worth a shot.  The book is a twelve week program for getting un-blocked and tapping into your creativity, and a Row 80 is about 12 weeks, so seemed pretty coinkydinky to me!

1.  I will work through the lessons one week at a time, and do all the homeworks involved with it.

I am also going to get serious about some diet and excercise this round.  I did the Body for  Life program several years ago and had excellent results.  I got lazy and distracted and let some things go (my middle, butt and thighs!) but it’s time, for reasons I won’t get into here, to get serious about taking care of myself.  And a Body for Life challenge lasts 12 weeks, so I’m surrounded by coinkydinks!

2.  I will commit to my clean eating and exercise plan for the entire twelve weeks.

And the writing?  It’s time to put up or shut up, and get busy writing an ugly, messy, imperfect little draft of my idea that sits and chews on my brain stem all day long.  First drafts are supposed to be ugly, messy and imperfect so I’m giving myself permission to make puke stains on the page.

3.  I will write a rough draft of my novel.  This draft will be more like a very long synopsis, but at least it will be words on the page.

So how many of you are Rocking the Row this go-round?  Chime in and lets hang out together!

Magical March book review– Game of Thrones

Well.

I’m rather at a loss for how to sum up this book.  I finished it in a sleep deprived binge Friday into Saturday morning, and as soon as I have an opportunity to, I’m going to re-read it.

Game of Thrones is a book you don’t simply read.  It is a book you experience.  From the opening prologue through the stunning conclusion, you get sucked in and dragged along for a ride you aren’t sure you really want to be on, but you can’t manage to get off of.  You find yourself seeing things coming, and trying to shout a warning to the characters to JUST FREAKING STOP RIGHT THERE! But they can’t hear you.  Or don’t want to listen.

Martin does a brilliant job of creating complex, believable characters with strong motivations who are usually their own worst enemy, as we all are in real life.  And, as many of you well know, he isn’t afraid to treat them badly.  Very badly.  And because you come to see yourself mirrored in them, it hurts when things go wrong for them or when they do stupid, stupid things.  Just like life.  A happily ever after is not a given.

SPOILER ALERT

 

 

 

 

 

Because of my stupendous ability to be a spoiler magnet, and HBO’s ability to give me free service at exactly the wrong time, I knew Eddard Stark would meet an untimely end.  What I didn’t realize until reading the book was that his demise was a direct result of his own failings, his own ability to completely underestimate Cersi Lannister.  And dude, she warned him!  Multiple times.  I tried to also, but apparently he couldn’t hear me either.

I have a friend who is a major Martin junkie, and she told me that a lot of people who watched the HBO series were outraged when ol’ Ned got done in.  Apparently they hadn’t read the books.  But I think part of the problem was that they mistook Ned for the protagonist, which he is not.  In a story as complex with as many story lines as this one, it’s hard to pull out just one main protag, but at least in this first book, it’s definitely Cersi.  The protagonist drives the story, and Cersi is definitely the driving force here.

The other great thing about Martin’s writing , for writers, is that he presents a clinic on story tension with every paragraph of this book.   Every word serves to create micro tension, and as much craft as there is in every paragraph, I can see why it takes him so long to write the next damn book.  He also does a brilliant job of writing in different POV, and yet giving you enough that you realize what the POV character doesn’t.  Example:  Sansa.  All I’m going to say about her is that her choices led her to where she is and I really can’t feel sorry for her.  And plucky little Arya.  I’m afraid to get too attached to her, but it’s tough.

Anyway,  Game of Thrones is definitely not casual reading, but it’s great reading.  Experience it for yourself.  But…

I warn you…

Photo courtesy of Better Book Titles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I will read all the rest of the books, and as long as it takes me I may be caught up by the next time he releases a book, say in five years or so.

* Bummer.  Apparently I didn’t get this posted in time for it to count for the Magical March challenge.  I didn’t remember seeing a deadline, but oh, well.  My bad.  So I won’t get my sorceress button.  Maybe next year.

Magical March Challenge book review — A Gift of Magic by Lynn Kurland

Magical March Challenge

Magical March!

I read this book at the beginning of the month, but my schedule has been so eratic this month, I just now am getting around to posting about it.  Sorry!

Gift of Magic by Lynn Kurland is the third book in the second trilogy in the Nine Kingdoms series.  Yes, that’s a lot of math and yes, that will be the last math I’ll subject you to.

Gift of Magic

Gift of Magic is a sweet romance, and the characters are definitely enjoyable. I think the plot was not quite as strong as the first trilogy, there didn’t seem to be quite as much conflict.  But hey, it didn’t promise to be Game of Thrones, did it now? ;o)

Honestly though, I did enjoy the book.  It was a great light read.  Kurland has created a detailed fantasy world, with complex backstory and several systems of magic.  Her story bible for the Nine Kingdoms must weigh a ton!  Hardcore fantasy fans will likely be disappointed because she doesn’t go into as much depgh with the magic as a true fantasy, but romance fans will enjoy emensely. I recommend it for a great, light romantic read, but you should definietly check out the first series too!

Have a great day, everyone!

Full Metal Jousting Pt. 2 — Back in Black!

So, anyone who tuned in last week will fondly remember what will always be known as “The Testicle Episode”.

Two guys got carted off in ambulances with injuries to…well, down there, ya know, that spot guys are a little overprotective of.

But, I guess a little blood reminds us that this is for real, and not for show.  And they should both still be able to pass on their genes.

Anyway, last week I shared a couple of picks for the red team, and today, I want to give some love to the black team.

The black team has had it’s share of drama, two weeks ago a comptetitor got sent home for committing the unpardonable sin of punching a horse. For stepping on his foot.  No, really. Pay attention.  You can see your feet, the horse can’t.

(I thought he was a little too pretty anyway)

Anyway, my faves for the black team:

Hopefully nice guys finish first...or don't get broken bones.

Rope Meyers.

Rope is a former world champion steer wrestler.  Now, for those of you who aren’t familiar with steer wrestling, a bit about that sport:  Picture yourself diving headfirst off of a perfectly good horse running at about 35 miles an hour, onto the back of a 500 lb steer (with horns for an added challenge), grabbing it about the head and neck, planting your feet in the dirt, flipping the steer over and giving it a good noogie, and leaving both you and the steer able to walk away.  Not for wussies.  I personally prefer to stay aboard my galloping horses thank you very much.  Dirt is not tasty.

Rope is just one of those genuinely nice cowboys, who had the good fortune to be born in that era when cowboy moms and dads named their kids evocative western names like Rope, Quirt, Colt and Hoof.  He probably takes his hat off every time he enters a room, goes to church every Sunday and says Yes Ma’am and No Ma’am.  More importantly, his kids probably say Yes Ma’am and No Ma’am.  The affection and respect the other jousters have for him is obvious.

Yep, I’m crushing on ol’ Rope a bit.

Whadaya mean, I'm over the top?!

Josh Knowles.

Talk about larger than life, on several levels.  This guy is big, and has a bigger personality.  Another professional theatrical jouster, you just can’t wait to see what he does next.  Complete opposite of Rope.  But too much fun to watch.

The Rules

Jousting, believe it or not, is a bit more sophisticated than just a couple of guys bashing each other with 2X4’s.

There is a scoring system, and a very specific set of rules.  You get 1 point for striking your opponent, 5 points for breaking your lance on your opponent, and 10 points for knocking your opponent off his horse.

The catch?  You have to strike your opponent in the Grand Guard, which is a metal plate not much larger than a liscence plate.  Nothing else counts, and if you hit your oponent in the head or too far below the Grand Guard, you lose 5 points.

You also get deductions for not dropping the reins when you are about to hit (this protects the horses mouth from being jerked on should you lose your seat) or failing to control the horse. Yes, this is challenging when you have to drop the reins.

At then end of eight passes, the competitor with the most points wins.  Unless one of you can’t get up, and then it’s last man standing.

So, did any of you check out “the testicle episode”?  Do you have a fave for the black team?

Next week starts the final round of jousts, so check back then, and as a bonus, we’ll talk a bit about the history of jousting!

Charge on!