Sunday, January 11, 2009

Winter Fun

Michele and I went for a snowshoe hike in the Fells today. It snowed about 6 inches overnight, so it seemed like a good opportunity. The snow was really powdery and soft and it was nice to get out in the fresh air for a while. We hiked for about two hours.

For some reason we kept going around in circles. It was a little frustrating because although I generally have a good sense of direction, it was hard to read the landmarks with everything covered in snow. We started out following a trail of snowshoe and xc tracks, but it led into a dead end and then we had to decide whether to retrace our steps or to backcountry up a hill and over some giant boulders. We decided to bushwack, and that was quite fun. Oddly enough, we then found ourselves on the trail from which we originally started (the one that dead-ended), but after continuing on it for about thirty minutes we came back to where set off the first time.

It was pretty funny, because we kept passing the same pile of dog poop over and over again. By the third time we were wondering if there was some mystery dog that was walking just ahead of us and leaving poop for us to find, but the sad truth was that we just kept going past the same pile again and again.

Nonetheless, it was still quite fun and so wonderful to be out in the woods. It would have been more interesting to have gone on several different trails, but our circles gave us a safety net - we knew that we would eventually end up back where we started and not get lost.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Kitty Update

Yesterday the Watertown Animal Control Officer called me back about Kitty. She said that there were no calls about a lost cat/kitten matching his description. She asked me if she could help in any way with Kitty, and so I told her that we were planning to adopt him since we haven't been able to find the owner. She said that there have been quite a few found cats and kittens over the holidays, which is very sad.

She described to me a little female kitten that was just recently found - scrawny, starving and scared, but very well socialized with people. It broke my heart, but we can't take them all. Lister and Rimmer are only just getting used to Kitty (and Kitty isn't sure how he feels about them either).

It's such a shame that people adopt animals that they later find they can't keep. She speculated that it might be college students who adopt an animal for their off-campus apartment, and then give kitty/doggy the boot when they have to go back home to mom and dad. Or perhaps someone's pet got pregnant and they couldn't handle all the babies. I don't understand why people don't get their pets neutered. There are organizations that will help defray the cost of that if money is an issue.

Domestic animals deserve a good home where they will be treated as a well-loved family member. Would you kick out your grandmother just because she didn't poop in the toilet, or would you put your teenage daughter's baby out on the street because you 'couldn't deal with it'?

Caring for a pet is a grave responsibility. You are in charge of another being's life, and they depend on you for shelter, sustenance, protection, and companionship.

I hope the little female kitten ends up with a good home. Anyone looking to adopt a kitten? I know where to find one...

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Happy New Year

I wish everyone a very Happy New Year. I believe that 2009 offers hope to the residents of this country and also for everyone in the world. I'm excited to see what changes our new president brings and I'll admit that I have high expectations. Change is long overdue and I can't wait to see what happens. For the first time in eight years, I am hopeful for the future of our country, and it's a really nice feeling.

On a personal level, I do have some plans for the next year. However, I do not make "resolutions" every year. I guess I may be cynical, but I see no point in that.

I consider myself an athlete, and what that means is that I go to the gym regularly, even during the cycling season. Every January I see surges in gym membership and attendance to the point where I have to wait in a queue for the barbells and universal machines, or get shut out of a spin class because I waited until 10am to reserve my spot instead of calling at 7:30am. It's annoying and frustrating.

It's annoying because I can't use the equipment freely, and it's frustrating because I know that by the middle of February 90% of these folks will have stopped coming to the gym. I don't know why they even bother. They have such good intentions, and then somewhere along the line they just stop. Maybe they burn themselves out, or maybe they forget, or maybe they let other things take priority in their lives. Or perhaps they just fall back into their old patterns or never really intended to change in the first place. Whatever it is, it sometimes feels to me like these people just try to make their resolutions to inconvenience me.

But maybe that's not fair. While I don't make New Year's resolutions per se, there are things that I would like to change about myself, and I have started making steps toward that end. I hope that I am more successful with my life changes than the hapless gym-goer resolutionists.

Time will tell. In the spirit of hope for 2009, I herby offer myself the hope to achieve my objectives and if nothing else, enjoy the process, experience the growth opportunities, and become a better version of myself without giving up any of my core beliefs.

Here's to a hope-filled and wondrous 2009!