Wednesday, May 30, 2007


Cash was supposed to lose his jewels at the vet tomorrow, but we had a little change to the master plan. Cash brought pretty much every parasite you can think of with him when he came to our house. Ticks, fleas, and worms! Have I mentioned the fact that I hate parasites!

Unfortunately, he brought the wrong kind of worms. Our new-found friend is still going to the vet early tomorrow morning but instead of the "snip-snip", he's going to have a bunch of toxins shot into his lower lumbar region in an effort to kill the heartworms he's been carrying for an undetermined amount of time.

Send him your get well message by clicking here!

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Great Memorial Day Weekend

This was a pretty chill weekend here in Raleigh. Months ago our neighbors decided to have a Memorial Day party. Check out Jer’s flyer here. Memorial Day is my favorite among the holiday weekends because it is typically right on top of my birthday. People are always having parties on my birthday and it’s great! Jer smoked four pork shoulders and they all turned out magnificently. We actually had to borrow Charlie’s smoker (not the hotrod, but the angry fiery fellow below) so we’d have enough space to smoke all of them at one time.

Last year, Jer had two shoulders cooking most of the day and as soon as they were done they were gone so we figured we’d smoke 2 for the party and split the other shoulders. This year was no different, the crowd was looking restless…. We managed to save one shoulder to split.

The rest of the food was awesome too, in part because we used the right butter!

Guess which one we used!
This one?

Or this one?

Did you realize they sold this stuff in stores?
Click on the picture to see them!
It's just her knees taped in from the backside of the package. Get your mind out of gutter!

Jer, thanks for creating the art and showing it off at the party! I must have lived a sheltered life--I'd never seen this trick with the the butter package.

Monday, May 28, 2007

The Man in Black

In the early evening on Friday, we were enjoying the late summer on our next door neighbors’ deck. A dappled view of our lawn is visible through some airy brush between the yards and it is from that perch that Selina noticed a black dog. Jon and I jumped up and instinctively (if cautiously) took high and low approaching positions. We drew nearer and the dog didn’t run. It stood underneath the bird feeder munching on fallen seed casings. As we got closer, we saw a big black labrador-type male dog with a red collar on his neck. Closer still and we realized that the collar was inches too tight and that a plastic coated frayed cable hung from the collar. Seeing the dirty coat, abrasions, stark ribs poking through thin skin, panting tongue, dilated eyes, and the bloody fly-chewed ears silently convinced us that wherever he came from, he had no need to return.

We went into emergency mode—food, water, get the collar off—this pup looked very ill. We contemplated taking him to the emergency vet, but after getting some food and water into him realized that his situation was suddenly less dire. Jon went off to the Raleigh Criterium and I stayed home with our catch. He stunk. I heated a large pot of water and he stood quietly while I gave him a warm bath with lavender dish soap. That’s better. I toweled him off and when I was done, he nudged me for more.

Late that night, his eyes were still dilated. He definitely had some vision, because we hadn’t noticed any sight impairment right away. We put him to bed on an old comforter in the mudroom and hoped that some rest and relaxation might improve his eyesight. We named him “Cash”, short for Cassius Clay and also a nod to Johnny Cash, the mysterious man in black.

Early Saturday morning, Jon took Cash to the vet for a health check. He weighed 69 pounds, is about a year old, had fleas and ticks, and was severely malnourished. The vet said his retinas looked great and agreed that he had some sight, but she couldn’t explain why his eyes were still dilated. She suggested perhaps he ate some fertilizer or other chemical or that it may be due to malnutrition. She couldn’t say if it would resolve. Given the abrasions on his legs and the stiffness in his hind end, the vet did feel that he had been hit by a car, but no permanent damage was suffered. He was sent home with flea and tick shampoo and medicated wound cleaner.

That afternoon he stood still for another bath and then some flea and tick medicine. I certainly hope he doesn’t expect the spa treatment every day!

Cash’s origins are still mysterious but we do know some things about him. His tail wags furiously when he is eating. He is terribly sweet and rather confident for a partially-sighted street dog. He is a joy on a leash because he calmly walks alongside you. He has had three accident-free nights in the house. He enjoys air conditioning, snuggling, and likes to give kisses.

We do have some concerns about Cash. He and Tucker have had a few altercations, but I think in all cases it was when food is around. The fact that Tucker is very protective of food and that Cash was starved certainly complicates that dynamic. We had Cash tied up in the covered patio and our friend’s puppy ran full force into him. Have you heard the saying, “the best defense is offense”? We saw it in action. Given that his eyesight is poor, his aim is not very good and no harm was done. I think that the combination of having been tied up, coupled with not seeing very well yield an animal bent on self-preservation. Fair enough, but hopefully he will mellow out once he is neutered and grows more comfortable.

On the right, the collar Cash arrived with. On the left, his new, properly sized collar.

More photos below. If anyone is willing to make a donation for Cash's neuter and vaccinations, we would be grateful. If anyone out there would like to adopt Cash or knows or a possible home for him, please contact us. For more information on the joyful and successful lives that can be led by special needs animals, visit Rolling Dog Ranch.

Sunday, May 27, 2007

New Niece

Jon and I have a new a niece! More importantly, I suppose, is that my brother and sister-in-law have added a daughter to their brood, and their son Alec has a new baby sister. Chris and Deb have been prepping Alec for the birth of baby sister for some time now. When Grandpa Ed was putting Alec to bed Wednesday night, he told Alec that Mommy wouldn't be tucking him in because she was at work. Two year old Alec looked at Grandpa Ed and retorted, "Mommy isn't at work. She is at the hospital picking up baby sister!" There you have it--can't even fool at two year old.

Keira Skye Kerr Martin
May 23, 2007
6:09 pm

Click here for more photos.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Nice Friday Night

This evening I rode just under 10 minutes to get to Fayetteville Street in downtown Raleigh to see a cycling criterium. The 2007 Raleigh Downtown Criterium is a great event for the city. The 6:30pm start time made it an evening race for the professional women. The pro men got to run a twilight crit, as they started at 8:00pm. I couldn't believe how fast these guys were riding the first five laps--it was truly amazing. The riders look like blurry apparitions in the photo below.

Take a look at the crit course. The speed and all those turns in the main part of downtown were wicked. Just what I need, another riding hobby! I would have to be in much better shape. I can barely hang onto a 35 mile ride averaging 23 mph and this race was projected to be 50 miles at an average of nearly 28 mph.

The only pro cyclist I've ever ridden with was hanging in the main pack of the crit without a problem while other guys were dropping like flies. I really need to start riding a bit more.

Saturday, May 19, 2007


The other day I started to run my mouth (okay, it was more like running my fingers on the blog) about conservation, today the thought occurred to me, "I'm a hypocrite." I drive a very large vehicle, a 4x4 Chevy Suburban, so I thought I could act instead of talk. Don’t get overly outraged, it is very well cared for and runs like a champ. The gas mileage is equivalent to the new Dodge Ram I drove for awhile. I don’t drive to many places during the week. If you counted them you’d find that there are some days that my truck never leaves the drive. I think driving somewhere to meet up for a bike ride is the majority of my driving. Sad isn’t it? I often choose to ride from my house rather than load the bike on the truck. It hit me as I stumbled upon this. It’s a no brainer! I can get 50mpg getting to my bike-rides if I apdapt my mode of transportation! This is my prototype, v5.

Primarily constructed with aluminum, it’s strong, rigid, and light. We’ll see how it holds up over the next couple of weeks. It took awhile to get to this stage and I’m sure there will be one more fabrication session at a minimum.

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Two Pros in Two Days.... Come On!!!!

How long has it been since you’ve been schooled? I don’t mean the kind of educational experience that you seek out to enhance your intelligence. Nope, I don’t mean that type of schooling. I mean the raw, nasty, get worn out, broke down, beat up, life education kind of schooling. I meant to go for a hard road bike ride on Tuesday and a nice jaunt on the mountain bike last night with some friends. I got to the parking lot a bit early as usual and waited for the crowd to gather. My buddy Tom pulled a few minutes before 5pm and a couple of minutes later these 3 guys come swooping out of the woods, looking quite fresh I might say. We were off without much conversation and within minutes I knew I hadn’t showed up for a ride, my gut sank as the realization came over me like a dense fog takes over an early morning valley. I had to concentrate on the ride and try my best not to get dropped. The realization of my impending bonk came at about 14 miles into our ride, it was coming and it wasn’t going to be pretty. After the keeping up with the 23mph smoke-fest I endured Tuesday night, this was going be my Wednesday night fate. Then it happened… pssssssssssssssssss Tom flatted. It couldn’t have happened at a better time because my tilt light was getting ready to shine brightly. It was a great time for a flat: I had a hole in my spare tube, both rubber cement tubes were dry, after catching the speedsters to get another tube and getting back to Tom we found the stem had fallen out of that tube also! Tom started walking, I sprinted back to the truck so he wouldn’t have to walk to as far.
Tuesday night’s smoking fast pace was thanks to a pro rider named Chris…Thanks
The Wednesday ride-athon was compliments of the super duo of Will and Don, following closely behind was me, Tom, and then Dave. Thanks for showing me 2 Raleigh trails I didn’t know existed, I’ll definitely be back!

Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Thank You

It's not very often that we get to thank our politicians, so when I get a chance I like to actually do it. Last week I sent an email to our mayor and our city council rep to commend them for trying to pass year-round water restrictions. Today it passed, read about it here.

Send your mayor and your local reps the link via email. Every city should try to conserve water.


We worked for hours in this bed prior to mulching this spring. Looks like the weeds got away from us for a bit doesn't it? I think I got it back under control today.

Spray Paintin' Hoodlums, Dancing Chickens, and Flaming Droids

The holiday weekend passed without much energy input from us. We did our normal weekend type stuff plus a few phone calls to moms. I did a little mountain biking on Friday with Adam. Saturday was a chill day here at the house. Sunday things started to get interesting, you see as people were driving up to get a flier out of the “For Sale” sign box they could see the four of us hanging out in the next drive doing something that looked a little shady. One dude spray painting, and three spectators. The stress free holiday was nice, I hope everyone was able to enjoy the same.

You can take the kid out of Fayetteville, but can you ever really take the Fayetteville out of this kid?

Here is the finished product.

Monday I took care of our normal chores like cleaning, cooking, and grocery shopping. I made chicken and dumplings for dinner (but we ate it over rice instead of having dumplings). I think we’ll do the dumplings tonight as we eat the leftover sauce. I do have to get back to the grocery store this week because I ended up with some four year old sour grape juice. It seems as thought I picked up a bad bottle of 2003 Waterbrook Merlot. Glad I bought our favorite backup, Le Grand Noir. Pick up a bottle of the black sheep and you won’t be disappointed.

We headed next door to check out the dancing (or beer-butt) chicken while we enjoyed evening drinks on their deck. Much fun and a happy Mothers Day's weekend!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

A Little Help From Mother Nature

We don't like to use chemicals on the lawn or gardens but we sure love the sight of these guys! Nature has no fury like a hungry Ladybug!

Friday, May 11, 2007


Have you ever been picked as an "alternate" for something? Until I went to the mailbox today it had never happened to me. It's an interesting feeling. Today I found out that I am #10 on the "alternate list" for the BSU Nursing program. Most of you remember the saga of my application, read about it here if you haven't seen or don't remember the deal. Last year the cutoff for entry into the program was 194, the staff thought it would be 196 this year. My 202 didn't cut it and being #10 on the waiting list tells me that the cutoff this year must have been 203. Yikes, I knew this was a competitive process but sheesh... give a student a break! There was a touch of great news today, we got an offer on the house. We'll have to do some negotiating and see what happens.
Check out the letter from BSU here.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

The Third Stage

It's a Ladybug!

Wednesday, May 09, 2007

We Should All Be Proactive

Our local news is a buzz with water, the current hot topic. I doubt there has been a week go by that most of us haven't checked our inbox to find some chain letter about saving gas, not buying gas, or boycotting some gas station or another. Some of us saw things like this too.

Gas might be a thorn in our side at the moment, but it won't be for long. If gas prices go up, we'll pour moneny into research and development of alternative fuels. Remember the late 70s? Gas prices went through the roof, we had the shortage, then the government made all the promises of money for research. Well it didn’t happen, gas prices went down and we as a population decided it was easier just to fill our tanks with gas rather than invest in our future.
How about water? If you think living with the high price of gas is tough, try living without a clean water supply. You'd make it a couple of days before you die. A little more than an inconvience wouldn't you say? We can all do our part, and it's easier than not buying gas. Just take the time to aim the sprinklers, don't overwater, live like the Fockers "If it's yellow, let it mellow. If it's brown, flush it down."
Our city is trying to get ahead of our impending water problems. I sure hope Raleigh is more successful than America was during the 70s and 80s. What is your city council doing?

Bug Quiz

Here's the clue.

Tuesday, May 08, 2007

Does This Quiz Bug You?

What is it?
Don't give the anwser away to everyone.
Email me the answer if you know it.

Next clue: 5/9/07

Saturday, May 05, 2007

Another Famous Dog

Click here to see him again!

Friday, May 04, 2007

Thursday, May 03, 2007

It's Been a Big Week in Raleigh

This has been a busy week so far with the end of the spring 2007 semester, a visit from Marty, our local Utah hookup, and finally getting our house on the market and on the MLS.

It's a bitter-sweet thing, all this adult type stuff. I miss being a kid when everything was easy and/or somebody else's fault, and when money grew on trees. Kate and I have poured our hearts into this place along with our blood, sweat, and tears (not to mention much of our savings). The bitter part of this whole deal is the fact that we may actually sell the house and have to leave Raleigh to begin our next adventure. The sweet part is knowing that we've accomplished something that every homeowner strives to do, we've created more than a house, we created a home. If the house sells, I'm quite sure that it will quickly become more than a new house for the new owners. Nearly everything associated with the house and yard has been touched, and retouched, in the past 3 years. If for some reason the house doesn't sell we'll enjoy a nice summer because there aren't any projects that have been neglected over the winter.

Our friends are going to be the hardest thing to leave. Our friends are the extended family we've come to rely upon. Good times and hard times, our circle is always right where you need them.... They're close. I take comfort in the fact that our friends, no matter where they are geographically, are always close. I’ll miss the house, but more than anything I’ll miss our friends. The house was considerably easier to cultivate than the friendships we’ve built. I’m glad the friends we have here in Raleigh aren’t a temporary fixture like our home, our friends and friendships are that which we know we’ll have forever.