Tuesday, December 30, 2014

The Numbers Are In... Sorta (and an Update on Princess)

As the year draws to a close, I thought I'd tally up some some mileage numbers for y'all. Since there's about a foot of snow on the ground and the high today was 1 degree above zero Fahrenheit (-17C) it seems unlikely that I'll be doing any more bike riding before the year ends.

A few years back CatMan bought me a little computer for my bike. It's a nifty little contraption that lets you track your speed & mileage - along with some other crap.

CatMan LOVES this sort of thing. The man even has a spreadsheet where he records every bike ride - it includes information about the mileage, the weather, what he wore, was he too hot or too cold... yadda yadda yadda...

Yuk, yuk! :-)
I try... honestly I do, but I'm just not very good at this kind of record keeping.

Recording my miles should have been fairly simple because the little bike computer has an odometer which can be reset at the beginning of the year... but... well... um... that would have involved reading the instructions...

For you non-geeks out there, "RTFM" means
Read The F-ing Manual!!!
So instead I opted for the chicken scratchings method of writing down my miles on a scrap of paper after each ride.... well after most rides - I'm sure I forgot a few times.

But forgetting to write a few trips down is a bit of a moot point now, because I somehow lost the scrap of paper that had the mileage for the first half of the year. Oy Vay!

To make matters worse, the little computer has this "feature" ("trap" might be a more accurate term) that allows you to program in different wheel sizes, so you can get really compulsive if you want to and use the thing on different bikes... and somehow I accidentally pushed the wrong button somewhere along the line and got it set on the wrong wheel size.

So none of my per-trip mileage totals were completely accurate to begin with. AAARRRRGGGHHH!

Honestly, I just don't understand how people get good at using these sorts of devices. I mean, how can a normal person possibly remember what all of those stupid buttons do?

And it's not like it's just one button to do one thing... you have to remember a crazy sequence of buttons - you push the orange one once, then the yellow one twice, then stand on your left foot, you do the hokey pokey and you turn yourself around....

Seriously, I just seem to be genetically incapable of operating this sort of contraption.

ANYHOW - that's my long-winded introduction to saying that I think I rode around 2900 miles (ish) this year. That number was pieced together using the scant information that my chicken scratchings provided, along with an extrapolation from CatMan's spreadsheet and a few distances derived from Google Earth.

Any way you slice it... I think it's not too shabby - especially for someone as lazy as me! (BTW- I did force myself to haul out the manual, fix the wheel size thing, and reset the odometer for next year.)

To put that number into perspective, I have only driven a total of 698 miles this year - and assuming I don't go anywhere tomorrow (which I don't plan to) that will be it for 2014. That one is easy to track - just push the little button once at the beginning of the year and voila... no more buttons to push! Why can't everything be so easy?

Anyway, roughly speaking, for every mile I drove, I rode 4 or more on my bike - not a bad average!

Of course those numbers are a tad bit misleading since the vast majority of those bike miles were for recreation not transportation, but still...

It had been looking like I'd finish the year under 600 miles in the car, but then Princess got sick and the multiple trips to the vet and various pet food stores & pharmacies added up...

Which brings me to the Princess update.

Soooo... in case you missed it, I took Princess in to have her teeth done, and the pre-surgery bloodwork revealed that she's suffering from fairly advanced kidney disease. Her creatinine was at 4.9 and her BUN at 77. (Normal would be creatinine under 1.6 and BUN under 30.) After 3 days of IV fluids (8 hours per day) the creatinine dropped to 4.3 and the BUN was down to about 45 - which is an improvement, but still not great.

Anyhow, at this point we're doing daily subcutaneous fluids (oh, the joy) and I've actually switched her off of the raw diet and am trying to see if I can interest her in some prescription cat food. I still have mixed feelings about the diet, but my primary reason for switching her now is that she's lost so much weight. She was down to 6.6 pounds from her normal 8.2.

With the switch of food and the fluids she's gained back nearly a pound of weight, and is eating like a horse. Our next step will be trying something called Azodyl, which is a probiotic compound that's supposed to help bind some of the toxins in her blood & digestive tract and lighten the load on her kidneys a bit. We'll see how it goes.

But at the moment she seems to be happy and doin' well, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Snoozin' on her Heating Pad

So that's about all the news from the funny farm! Hope you all have a happy & safe New Year's Eve!


  1. I'm very impressed with you bike mileage for the year whether it was for business or recreation. And I'm glad also that Princess is doing better. I've done the subcutaneous fluids on a couple of my cats, and while they helped, they did not provide the dramatic results you are seeing. I hope you continue to see progress.

    1. Well... if nothing else, the fluids certainly seem to be perking her up - and my technique is improving. Funny how it's different with different cats. Anyhow, she's due for another round of bloodwork at the end of January so I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

  2. I hope Princess continues to improve. And that's an impressive estimate of miles that you biked! Me, I'm more into stats like making sure my weight and blood pressure stay in a healthy range. The rest of the details are all just "stuff".

    I LOVE the "helping grandma with the controller" picture. Honestly, there are eight kazillion buttons on so many things that I never use ... including the remote and the microwave.

    1. Ha! You know, I've had my current microwave for well over 10 years now, and just yesterday I discovered a whole panel of buttons that I didn't realize were there. They're in plain sight - I just couldn't be bothered to actually read them before!

  3. Super impressive mileage! You are not alone in your struggle to operate electronic devices . . I have trouble with timers and watches too.

    I'm happy to hear Princess is doing better! She looks adorable :)

    1. Thanks Amanda - glad I'm not the only one born with out the electronic buttons gene!

  4. I can understand your inability to focus on mileage. People ask me all of the time what distance I swim and I just don't know or care -- I don't keep track and I don't want to! I turn on my waterproof shuffle and swim for six songs and then doggy paddle for one more.

    I have been told I'll have a better sense of accomplishment if I track my miles but that will just mean my swim will be annoying.

    I believe you should just go the Zen route and enjoy the miles without tallying them. You need your mind free to keep thinking up those creative captions!

    1. I'm totally with you in terms of the Zen thing... though I must admit that tracking miles on a bike can come in handy for knowing when you really ought to turn around. I tend to want to just keep riding further & further until CatMan has to insist that we turn around... which is generally a really good thing because half way home I'll start whining about how tired I am! If left to my own devices I'd probably end up somewhere in Kansas at midnight with no way home! :-)


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