My dear readers came up with some good questions, so here they are:
1) Sidetracked asked: How and why did you get into riding?
I've been into horses as long as I can remember. I can't remember why I loved them so much, they were just part of me. Neither of my parents are naturally horsey, but they cope as well as they can. I pestered my parents as a toddler. They said I started drawing horses before I had ever seen one in real life. So by age 3, they took me to my first riding lessons which were basically pony rides. By 5, they bought me my Ben. The rest is history.
2) DP: Tell us about your dogs!
While not phrased as a question, I always enjoy obliging The Penguin. :) I have four dogs. I got my mini Dachy as a good college dog because I lived in apartments. She turned 12 on Halloween this year. She is definitely a trick, not a treat. I have a Basenji/Lab cross from the shelter. He has some serious issues and was 4 days away from being put down (he had stayed 86 days without any interest). I got him for the bargain price of $20. I've had him for 6 years and we think he's 8. I have a Border Collie/Lab mix, again from the shelter. She's the cutest and best trained dog, but she also has abandonment issues. She's 5/6. I also have my one vanity dog: a Pharaoh Hound. She's a very cool dog, and I love her, but you really need to be into sight hounds to appreciate her. She can't go off leash and she'll chase anything into the next county. All four dogs are indoor dogs and they are on the "natural raw" diet. They are a lot of fun.
Wars. No contest.
4) Leah: What is your software expertise?
I write web applications using the J2EE stack, mostly. All the way from databases to front end, like flex, Struts 2 etc. I love me some Spring and Hibernate. Also a big fan of Maven. I've taken on more of an architectural role and I need to decide my future. With near 10 years of experience, I either need to make the leap into architecture or find something else to do. I am pretty maxed at my current position and I've written the same web app three times now (three different companies). I need something new.
5) Laura: Have you done a lot of traveling?
Aside from my short time in England, I have not done much traveling. While there, I took advantage of my proximity to Europe and took a 20 day driving tour through Ireland, France, Spain, Portugal, Italy and Switzerland. Also, while playing ice hockey for Oxford, we traveled to games in Belgium and Germany. I really enjoyed my time abroad and I hoped my experience at Oxford would spring board me into other opportunities outside the US, but so far it hasn't happened. I interviewed with a company in London recently, but it was not a good fit. I would love to go down under and to New Zealand, and of course, back to the UK. I love it there and I miss it often.
6) Heila: What are your favorite books? Fiction/Non?
Fiction would have to be Lord of the Rings. Yea, I am a nerd. I read the trilogy at least once a year and listen to the books on cd on my commute. I am the reigning champion of Lord of the Rings trivial pursuit. But I digress. Non-fiction... Most of what I read is non fiction and I tend to find a topic and devour it. On my bookshelf are tons of books about horses, farming, reef aquariums, philosophy, some trendy Malcolm Gladwell... I guess my favorite would be anything by Lynn R. Miller. He is the editor of Small Farmer's Journal and writes about farming with horses and started me down the path to buying a Percheron.
Bonus) Sylvia: Are you married, significant other, want kids of the two legged nature, and have you lost weight?
First of all, Sylvia, you are my new best friend for saying that you think I've lost weight. I love you. Seriously.
I am married and have been for 5 years. My partner and I were married in Canada in 2003. We've been together about 9 years now. No kids. No plans to have kids. I love kids, but they don't really fit into the life plan and it's extra hard to acquire them when you're in this kind of relationship. As for the weight, I have gotten more fit and healthy, but still have a way to go in the weight department. I thank you for noticing though!!