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January 8, 2013: While Pete’s Away. . .

Pete’s been in Juneau the past few days. He goes there to hob nob with his fellow union cronies, and to do some lobbying on behalf of the academic union. It’s both an instance of him engaging in work and play.

Pete always takes a tie with him. I don’t know if he wears it, but he puts it in his suitcase – his backpack. I don’t know if he even knows how to tie a tie. (It does look complicated, but it probably isn’t – three quarters of the men in America wear ties. Maybe their wives knot it for them.)

As hard as he tries – and he tries hard – Pete will end up looking like the Pete I know – slightly disheveled. Inevitably, his collar will be turned under, a shirt will have a loose thread, or his glasses will be slightly askew. For some time I was the clothes police, but have since thrown my hands up in the air. The pay was low and the price was high. Pete just does not obsess about dress or externals related to dress, and why should he? He has better things to do with his time.

The most amazing thing of all is that important people never take notice. This is probably because Pete is not out to impress anyone. Or if they do notice they see it as inconsequential. I suspect that what they see is Pete’s big smile. (Some would call it a magnanimous grin.) He has charisma.

However, be forewarned – don’t, if you are a supposedly important person, like say, a state legislator – cross Pete. Those who have, have discovered that he’s a man who will verbally back his convictions. Like these people, I seldom win arguments on the merits of my tenacity. Logic must prevail.

I can, when Pete’s away, run this place just fine. However, it’s just not as much fun as it is with him here. Squalor Holler is a two-person venture. It could easily have been a one-person venture, but we both carved out niches here, niches which repeatedly intersect and diverge, and intersect, again, and again, and again. My niche is the animal kingdom. (My job is to keep it peaceable. I’m a cross between St. Francis of Assisi and Mother Theresa.) Pete’s job is to take care of everything else. The intersection part centers around helping one another out. However, we often diverse, gravitating to our own areas of expertise.

I’ll be glad to have him home, not because the dishes are piling up in the sink, but because I have done the dishes in the sink. Doing my part, it also makes me feel good.

Trip Conditioning Log:

Today I got all four ponies out. I first rode Tinni and ponied Siggi. This, I knew beforehand, was an iffy combination. And yes, together (while at the hitching post) they conspired and agreed that if at all possible, they’d engage in some horsey subterfuge and not go anywhere. They decided to do this by doing what they did -- working the system (I’m the system). I got them to the driveway’s edge, and got on Tinni. Of course, one and then the other would not move. It was a ca ca cha cha. Rather than get mad, I got even. I hopped off Tinni and walked the pair up around the corner. Then I got back on Tinni. The two knew that they’d lost out this time, and graciously accepted defeat. We continued on around the loop, with both horses acting like all along, this was their idea. And maybe it was.

I next rode Tinni and ponied Signy. This worked out really, really well. Both moved out nicely, and the entire ride remained in unison. Heck, the two made me feel like I knew what I was doing.

Then I rode Signy and ponied Raudi. Raudi is now as good a pony horse as Signy is. We took off at a fast walk, picked up a trot, and maintained it for about four miles. Raudi was so good that I didn’t have to pay her a bit of attention. (This is the way Signy is). There was no rushing ahead, or falling behind. Raudi seems very happy these days. I am thinking that her inability to trot is related to saddle fit. I hope that when I get this matter straightened out, that she will again be an exemplary riding horse.

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