Giro d’Italia and Miscellaney

Random Thoughts

Woot!  The Giro d’Italia starts tomorrow!  I cannot wait!  I found out Universal Sports was offering online viewing for $19.99 and I whipped out the credit card.  Squee!!!  Bike racing ‘live’ in the livingroom!  (Hey, 3 weeks of fun for less than a stop to eat at Subway!)  For you non-bikers out there, this is the first of the Grand Tours (the other 2 are Le Tour de France in July and the Vuelta a Espana in August).  Even though this race was started in the late 1800’s this will be only the 95th edition of the race (It’s kinda tough to hold a race in the middle of a couple of  world wars.).  Three weeks, Denmark to Milan, of exciting, grueling bike racing on the flats, through the hills, and over the mountains.  Who will win? The race is wide open this year with no clear favorite.  Take a peak at this 3 minute teaser:

Also coming up on my b-day next week (May 13) is the Amgen Tour of California.  They are supposed to be streaming it for free.  I cannot wait!  Yes, I know I said that already.  I’m going to be spoiled for choice.  The Tour of Cali is  a 1 week stage race held up and down the state, finishing in L.A.  The favorite for the race, Levi Leipheimer, who has won it 3 times, was hit by a car a while back and sustained a fracture to his fibula.  He has returned to training but has been having a lot of pain, so he doesn’t look likely to participate.  Levi came in second last year to teammate Chris Horner, another rider I like and follow.  When Levi realized he couldn’t finish first he began helping Horner, who was higher on GC.  One of my favorite moments from last year was the 2 of them crossing the finishing line on Mt. Baldy with their hands clasped together over their heads.  It is a tough year for me regarding this race because Levi and Chris now ride for different teams.  Who to cheer on?  Here’s a 2 min promo for Stage 1 given by Levi and a couple of shots of him and Chris (in yellow) crossing the line last year are in the first 20 seconds:

** Subject Change**

Do you know  what I don’t like?  Lightning Bolts that zap right past your window with a “Flash, Crack, Kaboom!” all at the same time, popping you six inches straight up off the mattress and rattling the walls and windows.


This quote jumped out at me:

“Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be.”  – George Sheehan

Life at Our House

Nothing exciting to report.  Spider Bait will be working this weekend and tearing his hair out trying to get a German-class video project done.  Saver of Bugs is in the middle of finals and has been hardly heard from.  (You still alive out there, babe?)

Fur Babies and Other Friends

I have to share an exasperating way in which I have been trained by my cat.  My black cat (see photo top of page), Raven, is a big baby.  And, yes, like all my critters – spoiled.  You see how he is in the picture?  He would ride around on me all day if I let him.  He is also a wuss.  We always said if a real mouse showed up, the mouse would chase him.  His favorite ‘prey’ are feathered toys or plastic milk jug rings.  He has a special ‘meow’ he uses when he ‘hunts’ and sometimes he likes to bring you his prize in the middle of the night.  This, of course, is met with a “Knock it off” followed by a boot off the bed if needed.  I do not play with animals while trying to sleep.

Raven is also our Great Black Gnat Hunter.  He can find and hunt even the tiniest of gnats.  However, about a year or so ago (I have time issues), Raven decided to graduate to bugs.  I found this out one night when he jumped up on the bed meowing he had brought me a prize.  There was a small amount of light coming into the room and I could see he was holding his head funny while patting at the bed.  Hmm, that’s different.  So I grabbed my flashlight to see what he had.  Oh, Joy.  It was a -live- wolf spider.  I think I managed a new land-speed record getting out of the bed.  Yikes!  But I didn’t think anything further about it, ’cause how many times do wolf spiders get in the house?  Then one night he hits the bed meowing ‘Prize’ and starts chasing it around the bed.  Light doesn’t move as fast as I did that night.  This time he had one of those 2-3 inch hairy centipedes, hundred-leggers we call them.  EEEEEWWWW!!!!!  That one grossed me out.  So I am now trained to sit bolt upright in bed and start turning on lights whenever I hear ‘Prize’ coming from my cat.  (Hey, Saver of Bugs, what kind of conditioning would they call this now?  I think in my day is was Adverse Conditioning.)

The night before last I heard ‘Prize’ from Raven but he was still in the doorway, so I swung my pillow in his direction and hissed ‘NOOO’ at him.  So he hunkered down in the doorway and ate it.  My BFF says that when a cat eats a hundred- legger it sounds like they’re chewing rubber.  I guess that’s as good a description as any.

You know what’s really creepy?  Every once in a while when I make the bed, I’ll find a spot on the bed spread covered all over with little legs…

Out in the Yard

Our header today is another columbine that is just coming on in my yard.

And I grabbed these 2 photos as well:

My geranium starting to bloom

One of my Rhododendrons

Mug of the Day

18 responses to “Giro d’Italia and Miscellaney

  1. We will be in California the 20th through the 24th. I wonder if we’ll be anywhere near your race?

    Gah, bugs and cats. I am creeped out VERY nicely, thanks. 😕

    Oh hey, the rhodies are blooming RAPIDLY around here too. In tons of colors and sizes. Nicely bright and spring-y.

    • I love my cats and I will catch and release the bugs. But I do NOT want the little suckers in my bed! So much so that that particular meow practically shoots me right off the bed! Creeped out is a good way to put it!

    • Saver of Bugs

      What’s wrong with bugs and cats? They can be so cute.

  2. Okay, just watched both clips (gawd I hate it when people start comments without getting all the facts, then I go and do it to you). Santa Rosa is NOT that far from Dan’s family! But we’ll miss most of it right, date-wise? (THAT was not in the videos. But ya know what was? A big ugly University of Oregon idiot, in full-on Green & Gold hideousness.)

    • Yeah. The race runs from May 13 – 20th. Last day ends in L.A. It is too funny you noticed that guy. I had to go back and look to see where he was ’cause I was just watching the riders!

  3. Saver of Bugs

    Hi mom. I am indeed still alive….for now. Race time sounds fun, let me know who wins. As for your training it is definitely reinforcement (operant/instrumental conditioning). The turning on the lights reaction would be considered positive reinforcement and hissing at the cat would be negative reinforcement. These designations have also been agreed upon by a fellow student 😀 I have finally mostly cleaned my room and am hoping to find out where I’m living this summer soon. You’ll need to bring the pots and pans up soon because the caf apparently closes on Thurs. :/ So I need to talk to you about that. Also I need so many more plant pots. Especially the larger ones. I maaay have bought vegetables to grow. And for my final piece of news, I am really not looking forward to working the week after finals. There are only five of us that will be there to work and sooo much work to do. The tentative schedule was sent out and here’s the schedule for one day: “10:00am to who knows? in the evening”. So yeah that will be fun. Tell everyone that I love them please. Hopefully talk to you at some point.

  4. Okay. First, I wasn’t talking about me training the cats. I was talking about how the cat has me trained to pop up when I hear a certain meow. Sheesh.

    Cafe closing? Veggies bought? Moving? Ugh. Definitely need sometime on Skype.

    • Saver of Bugs

      The training comments were specifically directed towards you being trained fyi.

      • Sorry. Beg to differ. I’m the one turning on the lights. I’m not positively reinforcing myself. I’m annoyed as all freaking get out. I turn on lights to get the bug/cat before said gets to me. And hissing at the cat is negatively reinforcing ‘him’ not me.

        • Saver of Bugs

          Yes you are. The addition of the light by which to see and remove the bug is a positive reinforcer. Stopping him from getting on your bed is a negative reinforcer.

  5. How on earth can you possibly consider stopping him from getting on the bed a negative reinforcement to me? That is a huge ‘plus’ not a ‘minus’.

    • Saver of Bugs

      Positive and negative don’t have to do with whether it’s “good” or not. Positive is the addition of something and negative is the removal of something. They don’t have the same connotation as normal day usage.

      • I think we just crossed the line between scientist and trainer.

        And you didn’t address the cat’s role -the meow, the bringing of the bugs- in the position of training.

        • Saver of Bugs

          Hey you asked my opinion. And the cat’s meow is the situation/stimulus to which you are responding. It is the cause of your response.

      • Adverse conditioning 🙂

      • Yeah. Won’t hurt me to go snooping through your books, though. Sigh. Waaay too many years since school. And I’m not sure I agree with some of the changes the ‘scientific community’ has come up with. And you already know I don’t agree with a bunch of the current training ‘trends’. 🙂

        • Saver of Bugs

          Yeah some of the trends are ridiculous. And I will definitely be keeping my books so there will be plenty of time for you to read them. 😀

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