Time warp nearly over...Monday, October 22, 2012

When was I last at a race track? Two or three months ago? Last year? That's what it seems like, but I think these two weekends off only seem like a such a gigantic gap because of how non-stop we were going for so long. When you finish a marathon like that and then stop running altogether, it seems oddly more oddly odd. Also weird. I rarely go through time warps, but this is usually how they feel.

But, I awoke this morning (always a good thing) and the first bit of work I tackled was to write my preview story for the Las Vegas race, which is (believe it or not) this weekend. As cooked as we all were by the time Reading came to its inglorious conclusion, I think we're all eager to get out to The Strip and make some noise. Hopefully noise that signifies we're running very fast and extraordinarily quickly. Good noise, in other words.

I did take a look at the weather forecast for Sin City, and after carefully covering my eyes and then slowly spreading my fingers apart so as not to be overwhelmed by anything potentially depressing, I'm happy to say that as of now they are calling for perfectly sublime sunny skies and a zero percent chance of rain, with highs around 70 each day. Don't you love it when they call for a zero percent chance of rain? That's when you pack a rain coat...

The weather forecast here, in beautiful Liberty Lake, is not so optimistic. You see, here on this date (October 22, 2012) I can state for a true fact that we can see snow for the first time this season. Yes, Mount Spokane is covered in white. Mount Spokane is about 5,800 feet high, so the drizzle we got last night came down in frozen crystalline form up at the top, but the forecast for this evening has Liberty Lake, at 2,000 feet of elevation, in line for some rain/snow mixture. So here we go...

With our next racing experience still days away, but with me and many of you expecting some sort of wordsmith-type stuff here, I'll plow along as I always do, in Seinfeld fashion, writing about nothing...

Just two days ago, I took Barb on a ride I've mapped out where you basically drive around Legacy Ridge to the west and then circle south and back east again, making a big circle around a few large hills (mini-mountains?) on some remote and slightly dangerous roads, before looping to the north to arrive back home. The roads are low-speed, and pretty winding in places, but what makes you pay attention is the fact they are narrow and mostly have no guard rails, and even though there are no spots where you'd really go crashing down far, there are many spots where getting your two right side tires off the pavement would be severely unwise, and would most likely total your car.

The best part of the little loop is the fact that you're probably never more than six or seven miles away from home, as the crow flies, but you'd think you're out in the wilds of Idaho or Montana. You're basically "just on the other side of the hills" but it feels like you're a million miles from any city, suburb, or subdivision. It's also a pretty drive, especially with some of the trees changing colors, so I took Barb on that drive to say goodbye to autumn. Glad we did that when we could.

Speaking of my hard-working wife, by the time Barb got home from Minnesota, last week, she was in the midst of being slammed by a head and chest thing that was really bad. Between that awful illness, and its accompanying cough and congestion, and the medicines she was taking to fight it, she felt like doing almost nothing for days on end. She's back at work today, and starting to feel better, but it's one of those deals where the chest congestion lingers the longest. Poor thing...

As for me, my "Year of the Continuous Maladies" seems to never end. When you start the year with surprise knee surgery, then have serious ankle problems before then having an issue with your other knee, it's not going well. When a slightly stiff neck turns into a pinched nerve (we think) and then the left shoulder feels so sore you'd think the rotator cuff was torn, but you know it's not, the hits just keep on comin' in ways you'd prefer they would not.

The pinch has been coming and going since Indy, and the shoulder has hurt since then too. I did get that one steroid shot, right in the shoulder joint, before one of those races in the marathon (I've lost track - St. Louis I think...) but that wore off and my home run and RBI production is now back to pre-steroid levels. Seriously, though, I've got an appointment early tomorrow morning to see what we can figure out.

Looking back, I think I was actually feeling pretty good between February and July. I should've enjoyed it more while it lasted. This getting old thing... It's really getting old.

What else...?

Boofus and Buster are good, although the Big Fella (Buster) had to go see the doctor last Thursday. As you may recall, Buster is the anxious one of the two, and when certain things trigger his anxiety he calms himself by furiously licking his belly until large patches of fur disappear. You want to stop him and help him, but it's not something he's doing to be bad, it's just something he instinctively does in response to whatever is making him anxious.

He's been on a variety of things for this, and some have worked better than others over the years, but since we moved here we let him just be, and recently that started to not go well as the licking and biting became obsessive again. His new doctor out here is a real cat person, and she's willing to try a variety of things, ranging from natural solutions to prescriptions, and she did give him a steroid shot to help him in the short term (insert your own joke about his home run production here...) She also gave us some Omega B oil that is "supposed" to taste good when you pour it on their food, and it is great for the skin and fur. According to Buster, it certainly did not taste good. Not even on his favorite treats. Nicely, the new doctor took it back and refunded that money.

He's been doing a lot better the last few days, so hopefully we'll find a way to make him happy, peaceful, and playful, without the feline version of OCD taking over his life. Boofus, on the other hand, continues to fly through life without a care and without a clue. He is one funny little cat...

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Snow on Mount Spokane. On October 22. And so it begins...
While I was at the doctor with Buster, though, we went over their files and it struck me that they're now five years old. How can that be? They're still kittens, right? Sheesh...

If you're an ESPN watcher, you're probably familiar with the long-running series of in-house commercials they produce, to promote Sports Center, that feature famous athletes and mascots, fully dressed in uniform or costume, acting like they work at ESPN.

I promise you this. You can't find too many better ways to waste 13 minutes of your life than watching this recap of some of the all-time best ones from over the years. Truly genius stuff:


(Five minutes later...) My actor buddy Buck Hujabre just called, to catch up on things and map out our plan for him to spend Saturday with us. Then, on Monday, I've booked my flight for late in the afternoon so that I can go over to their new home in Las Vegas and see Mary, Gibson, and Hudson. Looking forward to that!

Anyway, enjoy that ESPN commercial video while we count down the days to Vegas... The time warp is almost over!

Wilber, out!