Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Life without Cable

In the last post, I left off one of my resolutions, mostly because I was pretty sure I couldn't stick to it, so I figured there was no reason to put it out there, but I went through with it today, so here we go: I got rid of cable.

It was turned off at 8:00 this morning, so I spent the day trying to figure out how people live without television.

First, we walked about two miles.  We've been doing a lot of that lately, so hopefully we don't fail at our walking resolution at the end of February.  Hopefully we can keep this up once classes start next week!

After our walk, I did some cleaning and planning for next week.  I'm just starting to realize just how much work (and fun) teaching American Lit to 1865 is going to be.  So, not having cable is going to be extra helpful (how is it that my super brand new classes always come in the spring semester when I only have a couple weeks to prepare instead of in the fall when I have all summer??).

I also had more quality time to train my dog.  We started class last night, and even though she was really really really good, there were still a few things we needed to improve before next Monday.  Mostly, we needed to work on focus and control.

To work on the teeter-totter in class, our trainer puts Bil-Jac on the end of the teeter to get the dogs to go across it without worrying about the movement.  Bil-Jac is doggy crack.  Barley is obsessed with it.  Before our first agility class, I'd never heard of it. Now, I know Barley will do ANYTHING for Bil-Jac.  She's not actually even afraid of the teeter--she's done it full height and fallen off many times and she's not worried about it at all.  She's not really afraid of anything, except thunder, fireworks, and gun shots, so Bil-Jac isn't really necessary, but she enjoys it just the same.  Even though she isn't afraid of the teeter, she isn't exactly graceful going across it, so we spent some time wobble board to work on that.  As you can see, grace is not her middle name.

Another tiny issue we had in class was patience.  Even though she was well behaved, she didn't like having to wait for her turn and I was afraid I'd lose my arm trying to keep her from running over to the dog walk or jump on the teeter to steal someone else's Bil-Jac.  When we first started training, we learned the your choice game, which builds up to balancing treats on the front paws and builds patience and focus. We had gotten up to 10+ treats per paw when we were working on this game daily, but since we've taken a little break, we started small.  By the end of the evening, we worked up to 8.  I didn't want to push her more than that because my brother says you can see her thinking so hard you know her brain is going to explode and I didn't feel like dealing with another pet mess ;)
4 treats per paw!
I also actually cooked a real dinner (coconut chicken nuggets--why is it that 95% of the time I cook with coconut I always am sad that there's not more coconut in it?) AND did the dishes while it cooked instead of letting them pile up for days.

After dinner, Barley began her nightly Soth-chasing, so I decided if she had energy to chase she had energy to jump and we worked on jumping a little.  By the end of practice, she finally got worn out a little (but some how has still had energy to chase Soth every time I get settled down on the couch to do more work).

So, day one with no cable has been a success.  Maybe by the end of the year, I'll have an organized apartment, an even better trained dog, and fewer unread books on my bookshelf.  But for now, I've got the best dog in the world regardless of whether she's balanced and patient or not.


  1. OMG that jump workout looked intense. My life is not any more organized from not having cable....but good luck! Don't get instant Netflix too soon ;-)

    1. You know that dog needs an intense workout! And I'm going to try to make it until at least Feb. 1 before I get my instant back!