Waiting For Nicholas To Pass By, Virtual Tevis, 99 and 86 Miles, 59 Days


Awareness of the outside world. The Sacramento Bee: New aerial video shows rugged terrain, Auburn landmarks, planes attacking Bridge Fire, Caraccio, September 09, 2021. This is the area of the IRL Tevis.

Hurricane/Tropical Storm/Tropical Depression Nicholas never got closer to us than Louisiana, but it made its feelings known. A week of light, constant rain. Just enough to keep the day damp and the ground squishy. If we had better footing or tougher horses, we could have ridden. We don’t, so we didn’t.

Turtle Power!

Where are we virtually?

Milestones. Milton. None for this week. His next milestone is the finish line.

Milestone. Rodney.

Map. Did not update this week. See below.

Data Dump

Tuesday, September 14 – 2.25 miles, 57 minutes
Sunday, September 19 – 1.08 mile, 30 minutes. Otherwise known as A Mile In The Mud. Horses handled themselves well. Mud protocol is paying off. [Working The Walk]
Monday, September 20 – 1.11 miles, 31 minutes

Did not update numbers. Too much work for too little gain. Add 3 rides and 4 miles to last week’s numbers. Rodney went from 81 total miles to 86 total miles in four miles b/c I round down for distance. Actual numbers, 81.79 miles as of last week + 4.44 miles this week = 86.23 miles total for Rodney.

My Links
Last week [Milton Leads Into The Home Stretch, Virtual Tevis, 95 and 81 Miles, 52 Days]
[VT Archives]

Official Links
Tevis Cup: Virtual Tevis 2021
RunSignUp: 2021 Tevis Cup – Virtual Western States Trail – 100 Miles in 100 Days
RunSignUp: VT results

No boots were sucked off in the staging of the mud photo. But it was a close thing. Puddle chosen for maximum dramatic effect. Horses do not walk through this.

Stay safe. Stay sane.

Instructor Woes


Awareness of the outside world. Reads that Norm McDonald died at the age of 61. Thinks, ‘That’s old.’ Counts on fingers. Realizes that’s self in three years. Huh.

Struck out with another possible instructor. Schedules and shipping-in did not mesh. The horse world is not set up for AOTs anymore, at least down here.

Update. AOTs – Amateur-owner trainers. People in charge of their own horses.

We are looking to set up a group lesson for both horses, both riders. We figure we are all in about the same place, although for different reasons. Milton and Milton’s rider are green. Rodney and Rodney’s rider need to reestablish their game.

We are not looking for a unicorn, or even a zebra. We don’t need FEI instruction. Given the levels we are aiming for, both riders have enough experience and way too much theory stuffed into their heads. We need eyes on the ground and someone who is not our spouse to tell us to sit up. An understanding of the inner workings of the local h/j rules would be a plus.

You wouldn’t think it would be this hard to find someone to take our money. Yet, here we are.

Stay safe. Stay sane.

Math Art


Awareness of the outside world. The plan was to use math to make art. Ended up being a deep dive down the rabbit hole. So much cool stuff out there.

Process Notes. Programmed font, the idea being having shapes to work with rather learning thru drawing all those fiddly curves. Inkscape/GIMP.


Remember Spirograph?

Digital Spirograph. Inspiral Web by Nathan Friend. Is also an app, pictured above.

Physical Spirograph. Smithsonian, National Museum of American History: Toy, Spirograph

NMAH: The Spirograph and kinematic models: Making math touchable (and pretty), Shell-Gellasch, 2014


Images. American Mathematical Society: Mathematical Imagery. A list of galleries, including, AMS: 2021 Mathematical Art Exhibition.


Book.  Crocheting Adventures with Hyperbolic Planes: Tactile Mathematics, Art and Craft for all to Explore, by Daina Taimina (2nd CRCPress, 2018). Taiminia’s blog. Hyperbolic Crochet – some fiber for thoughts about art, math, crochet, and all the various threads in our lives.


Book. The Guardian: Why the history of maths is also the history of art. Review of Mathematics and Art,: A Cultural History by Lyn Gamwell, (Princeton 2015). Publisher’s page


Search tip. math art -> kid stuff, mathematical art -> adult stuff, although not “adult” stuff. The mind reels, although it’s probably been done, everything has. (I did Google it. Mostly tutor/teacher nonsense. Has anyone noticed a lack of imagination in adult material? Especially hentai where one is only limited by what one can draw. Same tropes, offered in cartoon form. But I digress. Honest, I don’t stalk p*rn. It’s hard to read any amount of web comics without coming across hentai. But I continue to digress.)


Hex Colors. Because I’m going to want to remember what I did up there.

FF0000, 00FF00, 0000FF
000000, 888888, FFFFFF

“The first two represent red, the middle two represent green, and the last two represent blue.” Seth Flowers: RGB for Beginners. Also graphics that explain shades of black & shades of red.

I found several Hex color sliders without looking too hard. This one shows the component colors on the sides. cknuckels.com: RGB Color Slider Tool

Stay safe. Stay sane.

Email From The Moon, Tourism, Fiction

Dear Laura:

Talking about new faces last week reminded me of tourists. As in, we don’t have any.

The original habitat builders certainly expected Lunar Tourism to take off. So to speak. We have the Welcome Center that I mentioned. Other than Landing Day, it doesn’t see a lot of traffic.

Then there is that awful atrium in the lobby of the main bubble. Someone was definitely channeling Earth Corporate when that was designed. They’ve tried to make it better by sealing off the upper section so it doesn’t have to waste breathable air. It’s still way bigger than it needs to be.

Conspicuous consumption falls flat when waste is a matter of life and death. That will probably change as lunar society grows. We will export our vices along with our virtues.

But I was talking about tourists.

The training is just too long. It takes six months. That’s just for come up, look around, don’t die, go home. Anything more complicated takes correspondingly longer. Most people don’t want to spend that much time for a short pleasure cruise.

And then there is that lecture on All The Ways You Can Die on your Lunar Jaunt. They tend to show that in the first or second session of training for everyone. Scares off the indecisive. Gets the rest of us to take the training even more seriously. Those photos of explosive decompression stay with you.

If you want bragging rights that you’ve been to space, if you want to stare at planet earth and think deep thoughts about how ‘we are all one,’ there is always the orbiting space stations. There & back again in fewer days with less training.

Or, there’s all of the virtual tours and VR experiences. Aside from the change in gravity, you can see everything from the comfort of your own couch and screen. Actually, you probably see more on a virtual tour. It’s all cleaned up with the boring bits skipped. Kinda the way animal documentaries show you the exciting chase scenes without all the waiting around. Plus, far less chance of choking on your own carbon dioxide.

This has gotten morbid today. Do I spend the day worrying about turning into a colorful illustration of What Not To Do? Not really. Humans can get used to anything.

It’s on your mind. You do what you can to prevent, avoid, lessen problems, then you get on with your life. The way one would do if you lived in an earthquake zone. I liken it to the automobile era. Everyone knew they could die in a flaming wreck any time they got in a car, but they still swarmed all over the roads.

Well, I say I’m used to it, then I lie in bed and count the number of steps to the nearest airlocked emergency shelter or calculate how many layers of material are between me and vacuum. I wonder if submarine sailors felt this way when they were surrounded by crushing water pressure?

On that cheery note, I must get back to work.


~~~ curtain~~~

Replicating The Setting, Virtual New Balance 5th Avenue Mile 2021

Fit To Ride

Awareness of the outside world. Library of Congress: National Book Festival. Starts today, runs through September 26.

Virtual New Balance 5th Avenue Mile
Official – September 4 to 12, 2021
Me – September 6, 2021
Location – Jemison Park
Tracking App – Strava. Testing the join-up for a future walk

No medal but the entry was free, so why not. Gorgeous day, so I walked up and back. Second mile counted toward Mississippi project, [Biking and Walking Virtually]


Virtual Walk

My walk was a virtual companion to the IRL walk on Sept 12. “The race will take a straight line down 5th Avenue, starting near East 80th Street and finishing near East 60th Street.” New Balance 5th Avenue Mile.

That part of 5th Avenue runs along Central Park. Fancy houses on one side; civic greenery on the other.

Therefore, I chose …

IRL Walk

… Jemison Park.

Jemison Park is a linear park that runs alongside Shades Creek and Mountain Book Parkway, through the Birmingham suburb of Mountain Brook. “Mountain Brook is a particularly affluent suburb of Birmingham, and has ranked as one of the wealthiest cities in the United States.” Bham Wiki: Mountain Brook.

Fancy houses on one side; civic greenery on the other. Even the roar of traffic for increased verisimilitude.

Virtual and IRL

Once I saved the walk within the app, it immediately signaled my completion of the official walk. How did it know? Back in the dark ages, when 1984 was still in the future, we were all concerned about the arrival of Big Brother. No one predicted that we would spend hundreds of dollars for devices we would carry with us at all times and then ASK Big Sibling to keep track of where we are and who we know.

Last Year

[Strolling Along The Avenue In My Mind’s Eye, Virtual New Balance 5th Avenue Mile, September 2020]

Stay safe. Stay sane.

Clever UPCs


Awareness of the outside world. Today is World Ozone Day. This year’s theme, UN: Montreal Protocol – Keeping us, our food, and vaccines cool.

The original subject for today’s post is still under discussion. Well, not really, but I’m giving it one more day. Meanwhile, here is a cute trend I just noticed.


Nestle Toll House Chips

Down The Rabbit Hole

UPC. “Beep! On 26 June 1974, a packet of chewing gum became the first barcoded product to be scanned in store.” GS1: How We Got Here.

“SKU, in full stock keeping unit, a code number, typically used as a machine-readable bar code, assigned to a single item of inventory.” (Enyclopaedia) Britannica: SKU

“‘ISBN’ stands for ‘International Standard Book Number’. An ISBN is a number, not a bar code. One agency per country is designated to assign ISBNs for the publishers and self-publishers located in that country.” ISBN.org: About the ISBN Standard

Stay safe. Stay sane.

Bunny Hops On The Bunny Slope, XC Schooling


Awareness of the outside world. BBC: Upside-down rhino research wins Ig Nobel Prize, Amos, 10 Sept 2021. Improbable Research: Ig® Nobel Prize Winners, For achievements that first make people LAUGH then make them THINK.

While Rodney worked …

… Milton supervised.

Back to Full Circle Horse Park for more cross-country kindergarten.

Round 1. Walked next to jumps. I got on right away, see photo yesterday. No in-hand walking to settle either of us down. Progress. Rodney was fine. Looked at everything but in a curious, ‘Oh, look at that’ way rather than the-sky-is-falling. Color me dubious. I want to believe.

I settled once we got into the field. A nice walk interrupted by one of us getting a wild hair to visit the cougar’s lair, excuse me, side field.

Round 1.5. Over to show jumping ring. Walked and trotted in and out of standards on course sans poles. Trotted a few tight jumper turns that might have had the rider smiling. Milton also walked and trotted and occasionally enjoyed himself.

Round 2. Jumps! Trotted the warm-up crossrail. Trotted the warm-up log. I could feel his enthusiasm building, especially over the log. Great! However, his brain is writing checks his body can’t cash. Not yet anyway. One of us has to reel it in.

To me, his enthusiasm has an element of over-confidence. Not so much the jump height as where to put his feet and how to handle his body over jumps. I don’t think he can do what he thinks he can. Excitement would lead to taking on too much which would lead to being over-faced which would lead to being over overwhelmed and back-sliding. I don’t know if this is something horses do. I could imagine Rodney saying, ‘I got this. I got this. I got this. Nope! Nope! I don’t got this!’

Off to jump one. I was trotting the lowest-of-the-low poles on a pre-beginner, neon-green course. Unfortunately, Rodney landed between ropes of a Preliminary Championship course. It took several proto-gallop strides to wrestle him back down.

In hindsight, I should have let him keep going. He would have cantered three strides, pulled up to trot, and said, ‘That’s enough of that.’ Rodney’s convictions are deep but changeable. In the moment, he was very convincing about having turned into a fire-breathing dragon.

Walked over two more. Trotted in the field, like a gentleman.

Milton did an excellent job on escort duty. Horses can have strong opinions about being left behind by their trail mates. If Milton is trotting, he worries about catching up. If he’s walking, he’s chill. ‘I’ll get there when I get there.’ This is weird, but I’ll take it.

Headed back to trailer. Switched to …

Round 3. In-hand. I asked the barn’s driving expert to lunge Rodney over the XC jumps. Let Rodney frolic, if that’s what he wanted. He didn’t run off after, so need to examine a possible rider contribution to the excess of enthusiasm.

Rodney did take some truly awful, awkward jumps. Then he’d come around again and get better. By the third pass he was jumping sweet. Lunging gave him the chance to sort himself out, without being burdened by a rider trying to do the same.

Riding portion. Jumping ring in lower right.

Lunging portion. GPS from Map My Walk.

Rodney’s XC Links
[The Flag Question, XC Schooling]
[Achievement Unlocked, Cross-Country Schooling]

Stay safe. Stay sane.