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Tuesday, April 10, 2018

Book Review: "The Fabric of the Cosmos" by Brian Green

I want to know more about the universe and how it works.  This was a good book to choose for someone who knows so little about physics and space.

It was all about time--and what it is--and how we determined it.  I like how it gave me all the historical background of how we learned about the physics of our universe.  I understood much, but not all of it--but I was fascinated by every bit.  I never had a clue of what Quantum Physics and String Theory.  Now I at least have a clue. 

I look at the universe in a new way--and that is a very satisfying feeling.

Book Review: "The Last Man" by Mary Shelley - 1826

I didn't like the writing style, but I really liked the plot.  The first half of the book is completely different from the second half.  In the beginning, it is more of a love story and a story of friendship.  Then, people start dying and dying and dying.  Not a very upbeat novel, but supposedly, it is representative of Shelley's life-where her husband and children died, and how she felt about it.
The world is affected by a devastating plague.  It is depressing and fascinating at the same time.

Though the story is supposed to take place in the future, very little of it seemed like it.  They still used horses for transportation and technology seems nonexistent. 

Wednesday, April 4, 2018

Happy Cat: The Movie

I downloaded "Happy Cat: The Movie" from the library's website, Hoopla.  With my library card, I have access to hundreds of free movies, TV shows and music.  It is pretty neat.  Anyway, I never expected that Thunder would be all that interested.  Unlike Ellen's cat, he has never showed any interest in TV.
 It is all visuals and sounds that the producers think that cats would like.  He saw ducks and mice and birds and fish.  He was entranced by all.
 It may have been the noises that most interested him.  They had cat noises and bird noises and even whale noises.  He liked the whales.
 He particularly liked this bird.
 Maggie liked the duck noises, but she didn't get as close to the computer.
 Thunder is always a careful cat.  He is gently touching the screen.
 Once the peacock noises started, he seemed to get nervous, so I shut it off.
 Instead, I put on a less stimulating show on National Geographic.  "Cats: Caressing the Tiger."  He watched the whole thing, but he watched it quietly.

 The black blob is Maggie joining in. They ended up watching it together.  Oh, I watched it with them.

Tuesday, April 3, 2018

"Trail Training for the Horse and Rider"

My book, "Trail Training for the Horse and Rider" is officially out of print! I got the last 2 cartons from the publisher, so you can still buy it new from me. If you are interested in buying my book, let me know. It is $19.95 plus shipping. We could work out those details when I find out how you would like me to ship it.

Third Time is a Charm?

Third Time is a Charm?

Bella, the beautiful, high-energy National Show Horse, had a bad spooking incident with Shari a few weeks ago.  They parted ways and both of them got hurt enough that they took a few weeks off from trail riding.  We weren't there when it happened.  In fact, I haven't ridden with them all year.  Circumstances and the weather just didn't cooperate.

That changed Easter weekend.  Shari and I had our first ride of the year on Saturday.  The river was too high to cross, so we were stuck on the hill--but that actually can be helpful on the first ride, because we can work on demoralization.

Demoralization is what we call doing the hill multiple times.  If they are in a hurry to get home--we just do the hill, again.

For our first ride together, we decided that staying at a walk was the best choice.  Generally, I feel that we shouldn't trot until they walk well and shouldn't canter until they trot well.

Walking well was a challenge.  We spent much time standing until she relaxed.  We then would walk some more.  Gradually, she settled down and listened to Shari.  After 4 trips on the hill, things seemed hopeful.

Our next ride was the next day, Easter Sunday.  We thought we would be stuck on the hill, again, but the river surprised us.  We were able to cross!!!

We knew we would only be walking, but it was a pretty morning for a walk in the park.  Bella didn't have a crazy look on her face.  She walked fast and insisted on being in the lead.  She did try rushing towards home, but Shari was always able to talk her down.  Though she showed some nervousness, there was improvement from the day before.  Things were looking up.  We figured one more day of consecutive riding would be all she needed.

The following evening, Shari and I met for a ride.  The river was now in great shape for crossing.  Kevin and Starry were already out on their ride.  As we went down the hill, we could see them on the other side of the river; coming home.  Cole crossed first, and I was talking to Kevin as Bella crossed.  I wasn't watching, but apparently she turned into a crazy horse--trying to run across the river.  She charged up the bank.  Maybe it was because she saw Starry, but she isn't near as attached to him and Starry is to her.  She passed him up with barely a glance.  She wanted to go!

Starry went home, and we went on our ride.  We trotted short stretches--each time going a little longer.  The trotting went fairly well.  Bella wanted to go fast, but Shari kept her at a moderate speed.  Though Bella was a bit spooky and nervous, she wasn't that bad.  Our problems showed up on the way home.  She was rushing and anxious to get back.  All she wanted to do was trot.  Shari was constantly correcting her.  And then the spooking!  Everything bothered her.  She spooked at a falling leaf--that was the kind of mood she was in.  Poor Shari.  It was an exhausting ride for her.  The third ride wasn't a charm.  It was the worst ride of the three.

Cole, on the other hand, just walked along behind her--just as he had the whole weekend.  He didn't bat an eye at any of Bella's antics.  He seems to know that he has to stay quiet and give her space.  It's a good thing, too.  We don't need him to add fuel to Bella's fire.  I don't know if he helps quiet her down, any, but he doesn't make anything worse.

We made it up the hill and dismounted with a sigh of relief.  The early rides of spring can be tough, and we just had one of those rides.  The good news is that they get better.  Bella was a good horse, before, and she will be a good horse, again.

Monday, April 2, 2018

It's Spring! Time to Eat My Winter Squash

I have admired my squash all winter.  Time to put them to use.  I hate to see them go, but I can't keep them forever.  Soon, I will be planting more squash.

I have started some tomatillo, ground cherries and peppers in the house.  I have planted my sugar peas out on the patio, and I have all my seeds for the garden.  I can't wait.  I sure do miss gardening...