Peter Hentges (jbru) wrote,
Peter Hentges

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Storms, sleep and commuting

A bout of thunderstorms had me up a bit earlier than I'd like today. My dog gets very upset during thunderstorms and so wakes me up. She seems to think that we should all be together in the same room and if that room was the shower in the basement, she'd be even happier. She also seems to think that it is most safe under something. Now these are not unwise things for her to think, it's just that, in practice, they don't work so well. She tends to tip things over trying to get under them and is distressed if Ericka is napping in the other room while I want to watch a movie or baseball game.

So today I started trying to modify her behavior. In the past we have tried other things and have pretty much defaulted to tranquilizers at this point. I'm not happy with that solution, thus, today's attempts.

First thing was to condition myself to not be soothing to her while she's upset. This, from the dog point of view, is saying, "Your reactions are correct, please continue and amplify them." So I was stern and consistent in getting her to do what I wanted.

I got her to the bedroom between my side of the bed and the wall. There, I put her in a down/stay and then laid down beside her. With one arm draped over her and many, "No. Brandy, stay." comments as she tried to get up and go get under something, she eventually settled in. Her breathing was still fast but soon the storm passed and she settled down.

Later, as new storms developed, I put her in a down/stay near me on the couch (where I was watching the Twins game). There I just kept a couple of fingers on her harness to tug her back when she tried to wander.

Overall, I think this strategy worked. She was not harmful to herself or the environment and I was able to rest, if not sleep, for most of the time the storms were active. Since thunderstorms tend to not last too long, this may be a viable strategy. Hopefully, we'll reach the point where she'll hear thunder and come to lie down next to me (and/or Ericka, but that'll be another addition).

I slept through the middle innings of the Twins game this evening, which works out OK as most of the offense was during the first part of the game and the Twins ended up winning in the bottom of the 10th. Brad Radke, the Twins ace pitcher who was on the disabled list for about two months, pitched a very good game though I could see where he'll need to work on a couple of pitches. Still, it's like the Twins' pitching coach said, getting him and starter Mays off the disabled list is like making a mid-season trade for two excellent pitchers. They'll both be big helps as the team drives for the playoffs.

I hoped to take off to work early and get over to the MNStf room party at Diversicon today. The hotel the convention is happening in is just down the road from my work. Stopping off to say 'hi' to my friends before having to show up here would have been very nice. But the storms and my resulting sleep deprivation didn't allow that. Drat.

Had interesting commutes home last "night" and to work today. On the way home, I tried out a riding strategy I'd read a little about on the 'net. It's called "spinning" and basically involves keeping your pedaling cadence as high as possible. Shifting up later and down sooner. Using it the first time it seemed to smooth out short inclines and keep me moving generally faster throughout the ride. I'll have to give it more practice. To work today it was, of course, raining. Some thunder but only light rain for the most of my ride. This worked out well as it meant my shoes didn't get soaked and I didn't need that second pair of dry socks I'd packed. I also won't have to ride home in wet shoes.

Tomorrow is more sleep for me. Probably watch the Twins game on Tivo in the evening. I also have three DVDs from NetFlix to watch. Maybe tomorrow will be a movie day as Ericka borrowed some DVDs from the library as well. Six more hours of work, home and to sleep and then we'll see how it goes.

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