Wednesday, February 22, 2012

One Smart Kid

Imagine my surprise, when watching the latest episode of An Idiot Abroad on-demand this afternoon, there was a Discovery Channel promo for the Discovery Education/3M -- Young Scientist ChallengeIt just proves what a person might stand to actually learn while being entertained by an idiot (I love that show)! 

One of the kids profiled in the promo was 2011 winner Braeden Benedict who developed a "concussion sensor" for football helmets to help coaches and assistants gauge the severity of a hit to determine if a player may have suffered a concussion. This is really brilliant for a 14-year-old. It would mean that head injuries could possibly be detected on the field, which would mean that measures could be taken right away, hopefully preventing further impact and taking the guess-work out of whether or not a player should be allowed to continue to play that day. According to the brief bio, Braeden, who is a football player, was inspired to pursue this discovery after a friend and teammate of his had incurred a serious concussion while playing football, leaving him with some long-term, irreversible complications.

Here is a link to the entry video where he describes his creation.

As someone who is highly concerned with helmet safety and the prevention of head injuries, I was fascinated by this. Could this device also make its way into the world of riding helmet function and design? Perhaps. It would certainly be less distracting and more undetectable to a rider than a helmet cam, but with a much more valuable purpose (no offense to helmet cam wearers....I love the helmet cam videos). It looks as though it can even be placed onto an existing helmet, without any complicated methods of strapping or fastening. I am intrigued by this invention and I will be anxious to see if this development makes it to the mainstream marketplace. I'd hate to see such an innovative and potentially important discovery be overlooked or written off as a clever science fair project end right there and go no further. Regardless of the widespread potential of the sensor, good for you, Braeden, for your ingenuity and your conscientiousness regarding a topic (traumatic brain injury) that should always be taken very seriously. At least he is out there trying to find a way to do more.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

My Inner Kelsey

I love my friends. The only thing I really don't like about my friends is that almost all of them live in some other town, in some other state. Most of the time, I'm forced to catch up long distance via phone, text, or Facebook, which means that my daily life is pretty dull (and Smartphone-dependent). Because I live alone and keep mainly to myself, I tend to have a very busy inner monologue as I go through my daily routine. I've come to realize that oftentimes, I will think of something I want to tell to or share with one of my friends, and I can instantly think what her reaction or response would be....even hearing it in her own voice. Inevitably, it's something silly, so this internal conversation always makes me smile. Sometimes, the running dialogue keeps me entertained as I feed the critters, or as I ride Eddie, or as I walk the pig. Anytime I've got the chance to think to myself, I'm probably having a talk with one of my far-off friends. I guess that if I only get to see my BFF Kelsey once or twice a year, a telepathic chat session of my own creation on a regular basis will just have to suffice. At least, if anything, it certainly keeps me entertained.

Now, before you become concerned about me and question whether or not I spend a lot of time in an upstairs bedroom papered with yellow, flowered wallpaper, just know that I am perfectly sane. I simply miss my friends sometimes. For all of you out there, I guess this means that I think about you every day and I look forward to the upcoming event season when I will finally get to see you all again!

One of my frequent conversationalists, Kelsey, and her former
steeplechase OTTB, Geno, at his first show.
I think he's got that stadium jumping thing all figured out!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012


Ye olde chuck wagon.

This is what the back of my truck looks like every time I get a nice, big paycheck. 25lbs of cat food, 70lbs of dog food, 300lbs of horse food, one 40lb compressed bale of alfalfa, and 25lbs of wild bird seed. I couldn't be more happy if those were all shopping bags from the local mall full of new clothes and shoes. Nope, not for me. I'll take a truckbed full of critter vittles any day!

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Eddie is a "Pig"

I saw this article earlier today on Horse Nation and I couldn't contain my curiosity. I had to know if Eddie and I had been destined to be together all along. Are we a perfect match? Let's see....

I was born in the Year of the Ox, and Eddie was born in the Year of the Pig. According to this analysis, horses born in the Year of the Pig are " honest, frank, and gallant. They maintain an outer and inner calmness, have a strong heart, and will do anything you want once you have earned their friendship -- they are very loyal. They enjoy working through problems and puzzles. Because they are so trusting, one of the Pig-Horse's weaknesses is that they are easily taken advantage of." After reading this description, I was shocked!!! That is Eddie to a tee.

When I scrolled down the page to see the horse/rider match analysis, I was disappointed to see that an Ox/Pig partnership "needs effort." That sounds like a typical judge's comment on any of our various dressage test movements, so that seems about right. But, then I looked at some of the others and they read "hard work," "hard going," "tricky pair," "ups and downs," and "not matching!" In all reality, a result such as "superb match," "great fun," and "truly loving" would be fabulous, but where is the challenge in always having an easy time of it? I love puzzles, and apparently a horse born in the Year of the Pig loves to "work through problems and puzzles" too, so it's obvious we are the dream pair. I am loyal, Eddie is loyal; I am honest, Eddie is honest; I am calm with a strong heart, Eddie is calm with a strong heart. In my eyes, "needs effort" just means that there is satisfaction in a challenge met while traversing the bumpy road together. And, if that's truly the case, I didn't really need the Chinese zodiac to tell me that. It's clear to anyone who knows me and Eddie that we are indeed a perfect match!

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

I would much rather....

....jump one of the red concrete balls in the Target parking lot than....

.....a very bright and upright show jump vertical.

Am I the only person who sees average and run-of-the-mill objects in everyday life as potential cross-country fences? Even though it is skinny, round, and red, I just think the Target ball has a more inviting shape. I am really struggling to feel balanced down to verticals of late. Maybe I'm just out of practice, or maybe it's a perspective issue. It will get better with time this spring.

Now, to test my theoretical bravery against the Target ball. Do you dare me?