Monday, December 29, 2008

Wrapping up 2008

Another year is almost behind us. It was a busy year. Lots happened. Of course, it was a big year in politics. I didn't vote for Barack O'bama, but am 100% behind his presidency. Hopefully, he will earn my respect. He's got a tough job ahead of him on both the domestic and international fronts. I don't dislike him, so much as the crowd that is following him to Washington. I can't stand to watch the news these days. I have no dislike for George W. Bush. I consider him to have been a good president who stuck to his guns.

The Washington Redskins ended the regular season 8-8. Redskin fans shouldn't be disappointed. At this point, the Redskins are a middle-of-the-road team and finishing at 500 is probably all they were capable of. Unfortunately, they built our hopes up early in the season when they went 6-2. It was a difficult slide to watch. I hope Jim Zorn gets to stick around another year. Through the playoffs, I'll be rooting for my favorite AFC team, the Pittsburgh Steelers. At least, the Cowboys didn't make the playoffs.

My alma mater Virginia Tech won the ACC again and will play the Cincinnati Bearcats in the Orange Bowl on New Year's day. The Washington Wizards have one of the worst records in the NBA. The Celtics, Cavaliers, Magic, and Lakers all have outstanding records. The Baltimore Orioles still suck. I don't even know who won the World Series this year. My dad and I have vowed to go to more Hagerstown Suns (minor league baseball) games in 2009.

My dad and I went to a University of Maryland mens basketball game recently. The Terps won easily, by more than 20 points, but it was a sloppy win. They beat the Bryant Bulldogs, a no name team in its first year of Division 1 basketball. We didn't even know where Bryant University is? Three of the starters hail from Rhode Island, so that was a good guess.

The Terps have only one star caliber player, Junior guard Greivis Vasquez from Venezuela, who was second team All-ACC last year. He's currently averaging 17 points per game. Maryland can shoot from the outside, but lack an inside game. They start three guards. Bryant equalled Maryland in rebounds. My dad and I figure the Terps are going to be eaten alive once they start playing ACC games. They need to recruit some big men.

During the Thanksgiving weekend, my cat Max broke his leg. I suspect he got hit by a car. This was his second broken leg. When he was less than a year old, he broke his first leg (he's about 6 now). He has pins in the leg, but cannot bend it; it is stiff. Consequently, the surgery to repair the second broken leg was more extensive and expensive. In addition to the leg being pinned back together, there is a metal fixture on the outside of Max's leg. It is secured in three places with pins. The fixture will be removed after eight weeks, which will be sometime around the beginning of February.

Max with the metal fixture on his legMax is doing fine. He didn't eat much or use the litter his first week, but now he does both well. He can stand and move himself around, but it is still painful to try to walk. Who know how this will all turn out for him. He's definitely an inside cat now. Previously, I had let him spend his days outside. Now, the only time he'll be able to go outside is with supervision. Once a cat has been outside, it's hard to keep them inside all the time. They don't seem happy. They seem to know what they're missing.

Zak gained 12 pounds in the last year. He is the fattest dog I've ever had. I'm going to put him on a diet, though he doesn't eat much -- but I think exercise is the key. What is it that they say? If your dog's fat, you're not getting enough exercise. Even my doctor told me to lose some weight. I'm going to start scanning the classifieds for a used treadmill.

The newest addition to the farm and family is Boone, another Great Pyrenees. I got Boone when he was about 8 weeks old. He's from a farm in Ohio. I bought him at the Katahdin Hair Sheep International Expo that I hosted in September. Boone's name is derived from Boonsboro, the location of the meeting. This was appropriate since my other Great Pyrenees, McComb, takes his name from McComb, Mississippi, the location of the KHSI meeting where I got him.

BooneBoone is very different from McComb. He's got a little bit of color. His hair doesn't seem to be as long. Unfortunately, he's got an overbite. Boone goes where he wants. He doesn't stay where I put him, though he can't get out of the fencing. He craves attention more than McComb did (does). He seems to be bonding well with the sheep.

I'm not sure how many ewes I'll have to lamb this year, since I've still got 14 (bred) ewe lambs left to sell. Unfortunately, one of the rams went through the fence during a power outage. I'm expecting early lambs (mid-January) from two ewes. The rest are due to start lambing the middle of March. The lambs were bred 21 days later.

Lincoln is my new stud ram. He's from a Katahdin breeder in Illinois, the Land of Lincoln (hence his name). He's white with lots of black speckles on his head and legs. He's a fiesty boy. He was beating the "snot" out of my goat (another new addition to the farm), so I had to separate them.

The goat's name is Harry, named for President Harry S. Truman. My pet sheep is named George W. so I wanted to name the goat after a Democrat. I had to go back to Truman to find one that I liked. Harry is a Boer wether that my niece showed at her county fair. He will have several jobs: eat some of the browse on the farm, share a pen with George during the winter, and serve as a mascot for a educational web site on goats.

No comments: