Wednesday, April 29, 2015

spring is here and summer is coming

This is going to be brief because, as the title suggests, spring has set and summer is close. That means long evenings on the back porch and long rides on the motorcycle. And apparently lots of travel.

The cool guys over at Cigars City sent me a few a sticks to try out including the 2014 cigar of the year, Melanio, which I can't recommend enough. Click that link, buy a ton of them, and thank me later. I hadn't had one and didn't realize how good they really are. It instantly went into my top 5 list. I won't pretend to be a reviewer, but I know what I like and what I don't. And the Melanio.. oh I like very much!

And hey.. it's been a LONG time since I last rode. Well, it had been. Not since October 22. But I've been throwing down some miles again including a nice 100+ mile day on the Scrambler. Man, I've missed 2 wheels.

What looks like a barn in the background is actually a covered bridge. So fun to ride through.

In the past moth I've been to St. Augustine, DC (again, and not picture because I've been there way too many times in the past year), and Montreal. Saturday, we're off to Seattle. Have I ever mentioned how much I love Seattle?

Mary, Queen of the World Cathedral. Most badass name ever? Possibly.

Monday, March 9, 2015

saying goodbye is hard

It was a tough Sunday. On Saturday, our pup was his happy, normal self. We even stopped at the store and grabbed a handful of his favorite treats (a rawhide bone) that we recently discovered. I shot a quick video of him chewing on one when I needed to test something on my GoPro real quick. I wish I would have shot video for hours...

That night, we woke to the sound of him howling and crying. Just an awful sound. I jumped out of bed to help him and his body was locked up, he was drooling everywhere. He finally tried to get up and was able to walk to the other room where he fell over and made that awful crying noise again. We knew he needed to go to the vet but my girlfriend couldn't really carry him down the stairs, and my ankle is still healing, making carrying him down a sketchy task. My girlfriend slept with him the rest of the night while trying to find an emergency vet who makes house calls. Meanwhile, he had a few more of those episodes whenever he would try to get up to move. He would just fall over, howling.

When we couldn't find a vet to make house calls, it finally came time to man up and get him to one. We wrapped him in a blanket, and I helped my girlfriend get under him and pick him up. She started to go down the stairs but was getting to shaky so I grabbed him from her and went the rest of the way down, out the door, down the porch stairs and got him into the back of my car, where I had his bed. He laid there, mostly calm, and we were able to do all that without triggering another one of those episodes. We drove all the way there and he was as calm and quite as I've ever seen him. Every time I looked back at him, he was staring at me.

When we got to the vet, they pulled a gurney out and I was able to pick him up and set him on it. "Don't move, don't move. You're OK, buddy."

The diagnosis was immediately bad. After some tests, it turns out his immune system was attacking his platelets. He had 2000 when a healthy dog should have 175000 (I believe that was the number). At best, they could give him a steroid injection which doubles the amount of platelets and it wouldn't have been until later into the night to know if it was working. Then, they would have to keep giving him those injections until they got to 30 - 40000 platelets. At which point, they could start to do some CT scans and other tests they would normally do on a dog in better condition. The vet believes his brain was bleeding and wouldn't clot, causing neurological damage. His recommendation was that we would have to put him down.

I knew going into it, that it was most likely his last trip, but it wasn't until he said that, that it really hit me.

Once the decision was made, we went into a more private room, signed some papers and waited to see our pup. They finally wheeled him in, high on Valium, he was calm, breathing was slow, eyes glossed over.  We spent the next 30 minutes petting him, loving him. Every once in a while his head would tilt back. I'm not sure if that was another episode or if he was just moving. Once he started to occasionally gasp for air, we hit the button, afraid the Valium was wearing off. The doctor came in with the injections, very obviously doing the part of his job that he didn't like. And just like that, our boy was gone. The doctor gave us a few more minutes and came back in. Even he was choked up. We thanked him for his help and walked out.

Goodbye, buddy. We're really going to miss you.

Saturday, November 15, 2014

i took a spill on the tiger the other day...

and here's the result.

my new hardware

still not totally sure how it happened. some think it might have been oil on the road, some think cold tires as i was only a mile or so from my house on a cold morning. either way, same result. i went into a turn and was setting up for the stoplight ahead but before i could do anything, i was sliding on the road. a sidewalk stopped my slide and just about took my foot off. i wish i had xrays from before surgery, but i don't. you can see some of the pics on my flickr but i'll let you click into that if you want.

Some of the damage my skin would have taken. This is why you wear leather.

i had all my gear on and my jacket definitely saved my skin, but i will be investing in a pair of taller riding boots before i get back on. if you ride, wear your gear. it can happen at any time.

Sunday, September 21, 2014

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

butternut triumph!

i've been traveling a ton for work, so i've been pretty swamped. but i couldn't resist adding this special edition triumph tiger to my collection. she is an absolute blast!

and i couldn't resist this photo op.