Milton Leads Into The Home Stretch, Virtual Tevis, 95 and 81 Miles, 52 Days


Awareness of the outside world. Whatever: An Actual Party of Death, Now, Sept 10, 2021. Whatever: How Bad Should We Feel When the Willfully Unvaccinated Die?, August 9 2021. Tomorrow, I promise to recognize some other current crisis.

Getting ready to ride at Full Circle Horse Park.

Milton is almost done with his 100 miles. It’s not really going to do him any good. He will still accompany Rodney’s miles, as Rodney did last year while Milton finished.

We could have “waited” with Milton, counting only the miles we do together. I figured that with life one never knows. With horses, one never knows squared.

Turtle power!

Where are we virtually?

Milestones. Milton.

Milestones. Rodney.

Map. 81& 95 miles in. Graphic from Tevis Cup: About the Trail, shading mine.

Tevis Cup: Trail Sections & Historic Notes

Data Dump

Tuesday, September 7 – Milton 2 miles, 50 minutes, Rodney 0 miles. Milton solo mileage estimated from ride time & work. [How Not To Start A Three-Day Weekend]
Wednesday, September 8 – 1.76 miles, 44 minutes. Getting out of the 50-whatever minute rut.
Thursday, September 9 – 1.96 miles, 53 minutes
Friday, September 10 – 2.21 miles, 1 hour
Saturday, September 11 – 2.27 miles, 1 hour 10 minutes. FCHP
Sunday, September 12 – 1.54 miles, 45 minutes. Had thought to go longer. Everyone so relaxed and mellow we ended early.
Monday, September 13 – 1.27 miles, 39 minutes

Distance this week – Milton 13 miles, Rodney 11 miles
Time this week – Milton 6 hours, Rodney 5 hours
Rides this week – Milton 7 days, Rodney 6 days

Total distance – Milton 95 miles, Rodney 81 miles
Total time – Milton 42 hours, Rodney 37 hours.
Total rides – Milton 45 days, Rodney 40 days
Total calendar – 52 days

Pace, time to go one mile – Milton 26:32 m/m, Rodney 27:09 m/m, per VT results page

Numbers rounded off for ease of reporting. May not add up as given.

My Links
Last week [At Dawn We Ride, Virtual Tevis, 82 & 70 Miles, 45 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

Stay safe. Stay sane.

Shoeing Schedule


Awareness of the outside world. Remarks by President Biden on Fighting the COVID-⁠19 Pandemic. 9 September 2021.

The shoeing schedule around here has entered the realm of the absurd.

Rodney pulled a shoe. Got reshod. [Shoeing Dilemma]

Since it was only three weeks in, Milton was nowhere near ready to be reshod. Blacksmith would have to come back to do one horse. Annoying but unavoidable.

Milton has always been shod on Rodney’s schedule, since Rodney comes due earlier. Now we could wait and do Milton when he was ready.

Scheduled for five weeks. Done.

Now the two schedules are completely out of sync. Different starting dates for the current shoes. Different durations until the next set. Rodney is getting done every four weeks; Milton, every five weeks.

Then, there was the surprise visit to tack on the sprung shoe. [How Not To Start A Three-Day Weekend, Horse Shoe Edition]

In September/October the blacksmith is scheduled to come out here three times in five weeks. Sprung shoe, above. Return in two weeks for Rodney’s regular appointment. Return in two weeks to shoe Milton.

I have unilaterally added a hassle fee to my farrier bill.

Stay safe. Stay sane.

Email from the Moon, VorpalCon, Fiction

Awareness of the outside world. In light of Covid and the the 20th anniversary of 9/11, I had originally planned to say something profound about how news effects us. Nevermind. Enough people will be/are pontificating today. Have a cupcake. [Speaking Out]

Dear Laura:

VorpalCon is coming up.

Remember the year we cosplayed fallen angels and had to spend the weekend taking the stairs because our wings didn’t fit in the elevators? Note to self, make costumes transport friendly.

Back to this year. I bought a virtual pass. Obviously, I can’t be there IRL. I doubt I will have any time for VR participation either. We have pretty nice immersion suites up here but they tend to be used for professional obligations or important family functions. We don’t spend a lot of time with VR movies.

We don’t spend a lot of time with leisure activities in general. There’s just no time. Well, obviously, there’s time. In the non-relativistic sections of the universe, we all have the same number of minutes in a day. It’s just that we all want to maximize what we can accomplish while we are up here.

Come to think of it, even at relativist speeds, your personal experience does not change. It’s the rest of the universe that goes haywire. But I digress.

Doing non-lunar activities would be like sitting in a hotel room while on vacation. Not that this is a vacation. You know what I mean. Why read a book now that will be there when I get home? Why take the time to watch VorpalCon panels that will be in the streaming library?

Free time? Schedule another experiment. There’s is always another one you want to do. Or if your equipment is full up and you are waiting for it to go ping, go help the person in the next lab who’s in a crunch. Wash their beakers while they are measuring, or weighing, or whatever they need to do. In return, someone comes to help you when you are crunched.

Or stop by the observatory section. They always have more astronomical measurements that need to be taken.

Yes, we have art and music and dance. Even there the artists and musicians and dancers want to do and write and move as much as they can while they are here. Inspiration is different. Music sounds different in different spaces. Movement is definitely different in 1/6th G.

Basically, everyone is trying to get as much Moon as possible before they have to leave.

Speaking of leaving, daily exercise takes up a chunk of time. I know everyone everywhere should be exercising. However, it’s easy to miss a day when the penalty may be 5 or 10 or 20 years down the road. It’s a lot easier to stay on the treadmill when the alternative is returning home and spending 6 weeks flat out in a hospital bed. Exercise or die. It’s quite motivating. Of course, the people who are not leaving aren’t as worried about their bodies adapting.

For all of us, there are life support chores. Do I want to watch a costume contest, or do I want to check the PH on the water reclaimer? Or rinse out the tubes on the air filter system. There’s always something to do.

Yes, there are big systems that the techs oversee. In addition, each space has smaller subsystems that need to be monitored. You are only as safe as the nearest doorseal.

Yes, again, people do come by to check. But you can have a blow out, or bad air, or some other crisis between visits. Besides, this is your life support system under discussion. It’s hard not to take an interest.

Maybe some day there will be enough people living here that life support duties will be farmed out. Today is not that day. I think it will take a while for people to become blase about pressure checks. It’s one thing to trust someone else to wash your plate. It’s quite a different thing to trust a stranger with the air you breathe.


Speaking of enough people, that’s something I miss. Crowds. Or, I should say, crowds of strangers. We are plenty crowded up here. When every cubic inch costs money, you tend to be stingy with space. I have been know to yell at the screen when astronauts in a movie are floating through huge corridors that do nothing but lead from point A to point B. Really? Really?!? All that oxygen with no plants? No storage? No people living or working? I don’t think so.

So, while we are crowded, there are few strangers. Sit down next to someone for a meal? They work in a different branch of your company, or oversee your company, or live in your section, or sleep with someone in your section. Or slept with you on a previous occasion. I gets a bit Peyton Place up here from time to time.

Seven degrees of separation? If I am more that two degrees removed from anyone up here, I’d be surprised.

In a crowd of strangers, particularly a crowd of like-minded strangers such as a con, there is the chance of meeting someone new and interesting. For example, the person next to you in line is an actress and explains what the previous panelist was warbling on about. Or you can over hear something new & interesting. For example, when one half of a couple is explaining to a third party that the other half of the couple only sleeps with people approved by the party of the first part.

Gotta love con-goers.

One thing I will definitely check in on is the Moon Rat drawing session. Have you ever done one of those? As you know, the Moon Rats comic is famously collaborative. They never give personal credit. The workshops are an extension of that philosophy. They are advertised as an exercise in collective comic-making. Several panels are put online in various stages of completion. You can watch for free, or, for a fee, you can contribute. Look who I’m telling. You’re an artist. You are probably all up in that. Anyway, I will be watching, let me know if any of the parts are yours.

Having spent way too much time telling you that I don’t have any time, I must get back to work.

With love from a fan whose fan cred is slipping,

~~~ curtain~~~

Mini Mushrooms


Awareness of the outside world. Mycophilia by Eugenia Bone (Rodale, 2013). I admit to starting but not finished the book. Yet. Tsundoku.

Pardon the poop.

Delicate little mushrooms growing in the pasture.

Over-exposed dime for scale.

Photos made early in the morning. When I went out in the afternoon to get better pictures, the shroomlets had disappeared. ?!? Anyone know anything about mushroom life cycles? Internet not helpful, too much information rather than too little.

Screenshot from jewish space laser@goulcher·

Stay safe. Stay sane.

Pet Peeve, Open Gates


Awareness of the outside world. “But the Republicans’ move right was always a political gamble. The fact that politics is getting so frantic suggests it is a gamble they are afraid they are losingThe anti-government anti-mask movement also probably seemed like a better idea before the Delta variant hit … But mask mandates are widely popular, and … popular opinion is turning against anti-maskers.” Heather Cox Richardson from Letters from an American: September 7, 2021. I wonder if they are riding yesterday’s horse, i.e. adhering to a formula that worked in the past rather evaluating current conditions.

Close. The. Gate.

It’s not hard. If you open it, close it.

Every time I walk in this particular park, I go around closing gates. It’s a small piece of land, completely surrounded by a fence. You’d think people would get the idea of a enclosed perimeter. But, no.

Secondary pet peeve. The latches too small for the posts.

I’ve always been a bit obsessive about gates. Working at the zoo put that habit over the top. Our barn operates on the theory of horizontal pass-thrus, i.e. step between the rails of the fence. Otherwise, I would spend my life checking and rechecking gates.

All park gates were left in the shut position.

Non-horse folks, do open gates give you the screaming heebee-jeebies, or is it a livestock thing?

Stay safe. Stay sane.

Let There Be Water!


Awareness of the outside world. Perseverating about Covid. After 2,996 people died on 9/11, we retooled air travel and created a new government department. Now, that many people are dying every TWO days, see yesterday, and yet the sense I keep getting is of society collectively shrugging its shoulders. Not the over-crowded hospitals, obviously, and not individuals, but TV commercials, and politicians, and entertainment activities, and so on. Where is the outrage? Where are the Public Service messages thanking people for getting vaccinated and encouraging more people to do so? Why aren’t we furious at this turn of events and at the people fueling the fire? Why aren’t we amplifying positive voices to counter the screamy misinformation? … pauses … wanders off to find a dandelion patch to lie in.

On a happier note.

The barn now has piped-in water! No more carrying buckets! Kermit dance!!!

Stay safe. Stay sane.