Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Off Topic: Six Things About Me - Answered

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.

Mini Dachy

Basenji/Lab mix on the drive up from Texas

Border Collie/Lab mix

The Pharaoh Hound - Doing what she does best: Running

3) Serena asked: Trek or Wars?
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!!


dp said...

I don't question, woman! I demand! Thanks for the answers (all of them) and for the pictures of your dogs. I would love to get a whippet one day, but I think that four dogs is the max at any given time.

Didn't understand a word of your technobabble, but "Maven" popped out because I've heard some programmer friends talk about it. Regardless, I hope that you are able to make something new for yourself if that's what you need.

David and I are planning to spend next year in New Zealand (a logistic nightmare when you have horses and goats and dogs and cats) -- will send lots of picture of the LOTR circuit if you don't get there first.

And yay for Canada!

sylvia said...

loved reading your answers.

"and it's extra hard to acquire them when you're in this kind of relationship"

^^move to vermont!!^^

i love the pics of your pups. i'm a sucker for dogs! love em all! my golden retriever is the love of my life. my yorkie is getting there. she just doesn't have as much history with our family yet. my friend jokes that i would actually give away one of my children over my bailey boy! LOL! (ask me on the right day, it may be true!)

very cool about the traveling you got to do. my husband traveled all over europe as a youngster. he was in the ARMY. also, he is from belgium he got to go over and see his relatives on a regular basis.(he promises me one day, he will drag me around too!) we have a pipe dream (that eric is looking into, so maybe not so pipe?) that we're going to pack up the kids and dogs and move to adelaide, SA. he has contacted a recruiter...we shall see.

and i don't care what you look freaking fabulous, dah-ling. the workouts you're doing with brego are great for your bod!

sylvia said...

oh, and can your basenji/lab mix bark?

Beckz said...

Yea visit NZ is a very special place! Very interesting things.

EvenSong said...

I'm thinking the red dog looks more like a red-heeler cross, than border collie?

I have a HS greyhound cross, who also is hard to keep grounded--sight hounds are interesting--Sandy'll cue in on something out of place two miles away across the prairie!

Glad you and your herd are settling into New England. I left up-state Penn several decades ago. Don't know that I could handle the winters there now. Even considering central Washington too frigid these days. [DP, if you cancel the rain, I'll house-sit for you whilst you're away!]

Andrea said...

Three things:

1) Who's your partner!
2) TOTALLY go to NZ; I studied abroad there and it's pretty much the most amazing place you could ever go
3) I too have a sighthound - a rescued retired greyhound who does NOT chase anything that moves and instead spends 23 hours a day sleeping, with about 30 seconds of running in there somewhere, along with eating and playing with me for about, well, maybe 2 minutes before she passes back out again.

EvenSong said...

When we first got Sandy, we did some research, and the best description of greyhound I ever found was "45-mile-per-hour couch potato"!

She does love to play, with both us humans and with "her" kitty, who holds her own against the mutt.

dp said...

Your BC X Lab looks almost exactly like the one that David's parents have (of known parentage). A few months ago our rescue decided only to take crosses that appear to be high-content BCs because people were trying to pawn all sorts of dogs off on us and they would be with us for months because most people contact us looking for purebreds. Gawd. The dog situation in North America is just as bad as the horse situation.

Katie said...

that was very interesting! Your dogs are very cute!

New Zealand yay! I'd love to meet you someday

wolfandterriers said...

Ok, awesome that someone else uses the raw food diet! My vet put my animals on it because I couldn't keep weight on my two big ones--I literally could not get them to eat enough kibble. Argh. But 1-2 lbs of chicken a day does it! And my bratty terriers keep their condition on it as well. I think I just spotted a trend here--high octane dogs, horse, self, husband...Like really does attract like! (Man, I need some more coffee!)

Melissa said...

What Lynn R. Miller books have you read, and have you read any Steve Bowers books? If you haven't I highly recommend them, if you liked the Lynn R. Miller books, you will probably like Steve Bowers books as well. I use his training methods when I train my percheron teams to drive and I've really found them helpful.

Your answers were very interesting to read, by the way.

Wiola said...

Question 7: When are you coming to the UK???? ;)

Funder said...

I'm finally catching up here!

Yay for feeding your dogs raw! I've fed my dogs raw for 8 years now. It's definitely more expensive (unless you're a better planner than me) but it's absolutely worth it.

You have a SIGHTHOUND. That's pretty cool. Have you taken her lure coursing? I have internet-friends with Afghans and Ibizans and they make coursing sound like so much fun for the dogs. I kinda want a Rhodesian Ridgeback at some point in the future, when we get a house and some land.

We have similar bizarre taste in books. I like science writing too.

Maybe Mae said...

I am finally catching up on blogs and I loved reading this one! Great answers. And I am totally with you on the whole "kids don't really fit into the life plan." My SO and I don't plan on kids, but maybe we'll end up adopting one day. That's the great thing about adoption -- you can do it at any age! Or not. :)

Maybe Mae said...

Oh, also, I second dp's "yay canada!" Canada is clearly the best. I know it's been all the rage during the Bush administration for liberals to threaten moving to Canada, but I have always wanted to move there no matter what is going on in this country. I just love Canada. :) My SO and I always said that if hopefully one of us can get a job in Canada, we'd get married so we could both move there.

But then we found out Canada is so cool and progressive that you can move there together as domestic partners and don't even have to be married. Gah. Freaking beautiful country.

dp said...

Canada's not as progressive as many of us would like these days with the conservative party holding a minority government. But, as Jon Steward put it, Canada's conservative party is the US equivalent of "The gay Nader supporters for peace party" so I guess we can't complain. At least we don't put questions of individual rights and freedoms to the popular vote. Why *I* should have any say in whether or not *you* can get married is beyond me.

For that past eight years I have a breathed a huge sigh of relief every time I get back to Canada after being in the US. Can't tell you how many times I have been fingerprinted now. I'm white, so I have to assume that it's because I'm a scary scientist. If it's that much of a hassle for me I can't imagine what it's like for foreign nationals of colour. I'm hoping it's going to get better with the Hawaiian Shark God in power.

Anonymous said...

dp I echo your sentiments about Canada. Your comments prompted me to follow the link to your blog. I will enjoy catching up. Hopeful that things will soon change in Canadian politics.

I am also always profiled at the border and so I asked why. They said that I 'looked comfortable travelling'..and they are forced to stop an equal number of people of each racial next time, don't take off your shoes, don't take out your get the idea. Pretend it is your first time flying.

Maybe Mae...there are thousands of jobs in Alberta. Highest per capita horse population in the world...

Daun, I enjoyed this post a lot including the comments from readers..

dp said...

Too funny. I practically grew up on airplanes, so I'm not sure how uncomfortable I can look traveling. I'll give it a try!

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Sorry for offtopic