Sunday, July 19, 2020

VBreyerFest Loot pix, round one

I believe that praise is an effective management tool, much more so than scolding or emphasizing what went wrong.  It is in praise of Breyer, then, that I post this; not, (I hope) in the spirit of showing off my conspicuous consumption, which alas I am all too prone to.  My own husband has shown, time and again, that praise works much better than blaming.  Thank you, Breyer:  You take my breath away.

Look what they sent me!  And this is only the first round.  With what heart I can muster, I am amazed, astonished, surprised and pleased.  When the days of decontam finally counted down and when I finally felt able to open packages (believe it or not, these are separate things), I was exalted to find my very own race number bib for the 5K!!  It's not a model horse, but for very personal reasons, this meant as much to me as anything I've ever gotten from BreyerFest.
This is only Round One, of I don't know how many rounds.  Herewith my Ballynoe, still in his box (I have not decided whether to keep him; I have two others of this mold).  A second softsided package arrived within a day or two of him, which I deduced had to contain my race t-shirt.  For those who don't know, BreyerFest's 5K is normally a charity event.  When they couldn't hold it as usual and were suddenly saddled with unexpected costs, race entrants were given a chance to purchase their t-shirts separately.  I am so glad I did!  The t-shirt is thick and soft, not as thin as past 5K t-shirts, well made and certainly a beautiful color.  The finisher's neck sash, with its cute medal, was shipped automatically to all race entrants: an act of faith on Breyer's part.
The photo does not show it, but that red kilt in the center of the medal can rotate a little, twisting back and forth.  It's movable!  It's mounted on a pin in the center.  Way to go, kilter!!

Oh by the way::  My race results were officially accepted, and I placed third in my age group!!!
This is the first time I've placed, (or should I say, 'shown' :), in any race.
Thank you, Breyer.

I am including two other horses in this round because they were my earliest purchases for this year's BreyerFest.  The Stablemate came first.  He was discovered in the early weeks of the Not Going To BreyerFest Clarion FaceBook group, April and May.  (I collect palomino SMs.)  I already had a palomino QH Stallion, but that was a much later release; this one was an original issue of the Maureen Love SMs (1975-1988).  He was expensive (says I who thinks anything over $10 for a SM is expensive).  After I committed to buying him, thus trying out a virtual version of what had always taken place in the rooms before, I felt stung a little, and retreated.  I think now I retreated too far.  I was low on funds for various reasons, but I should have had faith.
The foal, Chico from Mamacita, was one I'd wanted for years.  I didn't have the mold.  I struggled to choose between this golden dun/baby bay and his darker red-bay issue.  I thought he'd make a perfect foal for my racing Akhal Tekes (he will be Altynai's/Talisman's son).  Glory be, I found him in the Clarion too.  The slow process of bargaining and buying him introduced me, as it should, to a younger generation and a new way of communicating.  Info and learning went both ways.  I learned tracking numbers could be scanned & sent on FB Messenger and she learned what p + h stood for.   Thank you Zoey:  I love him!

I'll say here that scrounging through those Albums under Photos, deep in the FB group, was my closest approach to hall-crawling and room sales.  When I finally figured out how to search effectively (the secret was to search twice, once to bring up "No Results Found" and once to choose between Sales Posts and All Posts [CHOOSE ALL POSTS!!], which could not be reached otherwise!), I had a blast.  Much of my BreyerFest time went to this.
It has been a very slow-motion BreyerFest for me.  It has been much reduced in scale.  I find myself returning to profound gratefulness and deepened meaning for the few items I have been able to bring home.  This concept, possibly quarantine-enhanced, was the norm during my hobby mail-order years (1976-1997).  It is a familiar place for me, and that familiarity is wonderful in a world changing all too swiftly.

There are more horses coming.  I was successful in my VBreyerFest shopping, largely because I didn't want anything from their Store!  I experienced the unfortunately-classic Deny-Refresh trial with my Tent Ticket on Friday afternoon; but the situation resolved within 3 hours and I bought my Boudicca.  She will be, incidentally, the mother of this foal. 

There are other horses coming besides her.  Trading is alive and well.  I have a dealer for a local friend, surely a bonus and yet another thing to be grateful for.  BFest may have been slow this year but it concluded with a rush!  Last and best, I'm back to making tack again.  But you'll have to wait for Sneak Peeks of that.  Rome wasn't built in a day, etc...  :)

One last sunlit shot (that's my shadow), and a pun from the punner in my house.  I showed him the 5K neck sash.  He hefted the medal, surprised at its weight, and said,
"Heavy metal band!!"

Sunday, July 12, 2020

My BreyerFest 5k: Remote, Asynchronous, Fun!

I have run in every BreyerFest 5k.  Why stop now?   I had a willing partner to document my times and perform as shag wagon (he literally sat on the tailgate).  I had a course:  four times around the neighborhood loop is exactly 5.1 kilometers.  To be sure, the course has a lot of uphill and some downhill compared to the Kentucky one, but I've been running/jogging every other day (except for canoeing) all this year.
The manhole cover is in a perfect place, right at our driveway.
Testing camera before start

I had the costume.  Some of my friends have elaborate fantasy play costumes.  Mine is real:  it's what I actually run in, day in day out.  My running goal for the past several years has been between 3 and 5k every other day, except when canoeing (a canoeing day counts as a running day).  This goal had a serious setback when I hurt my foot on April 21.  But it healed enough so I could run.

Unlike the Kentucky version, I could start earlier than 9:00.  No parking troubles, no changing clothes in a public restroom stall.  Alas, one large omission was my failure to print out a bib number.  I believe Breyer sent me the opportunity, but I was just too busy to track this down.

First lap:  11 minutes

I'm sure it never occurred to Breyer that, having sent me my Ballynoe and race medallion and t-shirt, I wouldn't even open their package.  I am so honored and pleased they would get these trophies to us before BreyerFest even started.  But the truth is my horse business shipping address is 4 miles away, and with the pandemic, my trips there have shrunk to less than once a week.  Even when I do make that drive and bring stuff home, it has to go through house decontam procedures, which take several days.

Second lap:  12 minutes
I have t-shirts, bibs and medallions from all the BreyerFest 5ks, except the first (2016) when there was no medallion.  Worse, through an act of monumental stupidity, I somehow lost my bib from that year (I stuck it in a book somewhere to keep it flat, and now I can't find it).  My only real evidence for that year is the t-shirt I am wearing here.
Third lap from behind.

I'm sure BreyerFest never thought an entrant would not use their smartphone to clock in their race times.  What an elaborate app they put out for this race!!!  Believe me I would have used it if I could.  But I don't use a smartphone.  At least not yet.  To do them justice, Breyer and 3WayRacing allows submissions without it.   Maybe this year's BreyerFest (maybe this pandemic) will finally convince a dinosaur like me to invest in yet another electronic device (as if several computers and a Chromebook were not enough).
Third lap:  12 minutes

My first race, in 2016, I was wearing long pants, a long-sleeved shirt, a broad brim hat, and carrying binoculars and a backpack!!!  I sure have learned a lot since then.  That first BreyerFest 5k turned in a time of around an hour.  It is a wonder I kept running.

In 2017 I turned in a 45 minute run (45:01) and we still have the phone answering-machine message I left, total squeal excitement.  :)  In 2018 I did it in 42:31.  In 2019 I made 41:11*.  Again alas, this year I don't have the tech (or didn't bother) to time the seconds.  I'm basing those 20 seonds on what I glimpsed of my watch.
Finish!  46 minutes total.
*[Editor's Note.  This used to say 44:11.  Turns out my written evidence on the bib is ambiguous, so I dug into the 2019 Notebook for more evidence, and fortunately found it.  It was 41:11.]

I ran past a few dog walkers and one old man walking.  No hat, no sunglasses, no sun lotion, no water (!) and no gloves.   I don't do that much thinking while running, although I do identify with the great running breeds:  Thoroughbreds, Akhal Tekes.  Wolves.

In the end it isn't how fast you are.  It's that you finished, sound (without injury).  I miss the crowds, my friends, the authentic timing, the roar of the audience, even the snacks.  I don't know when I'll run in a full-scale real-life race again.  But I'll try to keep in shape.

Earlier times:
Photo by 3Way, 2019

Kim Wandry, Donna Chaney, SBY in 2018

She comes with me every race.  She's the CollectA Akhal Teke mare in buckskin.  I asked my husband for a name that meant "very fast."  Without even scratching his head he pops out "Tachyon."
Gotta love being married to a professor!!

Thursday, July 9, 2020

And the Winner is...

And the winner of our 42nd-Anniversary and Virtual BreyerFest Tack Giveaway is:
number 34  Carrie Sloan Meyer!!

We had 49 entrants.  I am blown away.  This beats any of the TSII tack Lotteries I used to hold.  Thank you all so, so much for bearing with me.  I am well and truly impressed.
Thanks to my husband who did the random draw on his computer.
It has been a crazy and fun BreyeFest, and it's only just begun.

I have been pleased, overall, with this method of choosing a tack customer.  It has the element of random drawing but is much less fuss than the old Lotteries.

Forgive me using just one horse here.  He seems appropriate.
If I ever do this again, there will be a change in the rules:  People must provide a name, or at least a handle (a stage nickname).  We had a number of Anonymouses and Unknowns.
I plan to contact the winner privately and we'll work out colors and times.

To anyone who was watching closely enough, you may have detected another winner.  She read the fine print and then went through with it (in a way I hadn't thought anybody would).  I felt the only way to deal with this was to make a second set.
I am now committed to making two sets when I anticipated only one, and that is why these collars cannot be just 'ordered.'  If and when I feel like making more of them after these two sets (which I anticipate taking well into the fall), you will hear about them here.  Until then, dear tack collectors, go forth and support your artist of choice--- !
Remember there are more than 450 TSII saddles in existence, over a hundred harnesses, and uncounted pieces of headgear.

We are still in a golden age of model tack production in the hobby.  Enjoy your collection!