Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Jason's 7 Interesting Things

To continue on with our stylish blogger award, below are Jason's 7 interesting facts:

1. At one time I was a very enthusiastic square dance caller, coach and participant. In my four years in college I coached, called for or danced on more than 15 sets. I have a trophy which identifies me as the top square dance caller at College Royal, which was our university competition. I've danced and called several times at one of the biggest competitions in the country (at the Royal Agricultural Winter Fair which is held at the Canadian National Exhibition grounds in downtown Toronto) each November. (Melissa here. Not many people can say this about their spouse. My husband is a national champion square dance caller. Yours?)

2. I got my first weather station when I was ten years old. It contained a max-min thermometer, a wet bulb thermometer (for calculating dewpoints of course), a hygrometer, a barometer and an anemometer (for measuring wind speed) as well as a weather vane (for plotting wind direction). I've kept detailed weather records pretty much ever since and I still have them all !

3. I have always had something of a photographic memory for roads and places. Combined with an instinctive and innate sense of direction, this has, at times, been a very useful skill. When I was a small child, my parents would ask ME for directions when they got lost. (Melissa again. Jason is being modest, he is a walking, talking GPS system. He can look at a map for a couple of minutes and have it memorized and drive around any city, be it Boston or Chicago or Atlanta, like he's lived there all his life. Without needing the map again. I usually don't even know which direction is North. I always say if you are with Jason and you are lost then you are in serious trouble!)

4. I don't remember a time in my life when I couldn't read. My parents taught me to read from some mail order kit they sent away for when I was three years old. I don't remember much about the kit or learning to read except there was a hand puppet named Archie in the kit and I was enthralled with him. I have been an avid reader since. Of the many great gifts my parents bestowed on me, a love of reading and learning must be the best !

5. Thanks to years of trying to keep ahead of auctioneers at livestock auctions, I can do simple arithmetic (addition, subtraction, multiplication and to some extent division) involving large numbers, including fractions and decimals, in my head. When I'm in practice I can usually arrive at an accurate answer ahead of someone on a calculator. (Melissa again. Thanks to Jason I have gotten mentally and physically lazy when it comes to math. I never even try to do math in my head anymore and I don't even bother to get up and find a calculator. I just ask Jason.)

6. While I keep my farm and the equipment I need to run it clean and well maintained, I don't notice disorganization inside my home AT ALL. If it wasn't for Melissa's constant war against clutter I would have serious trouble finding anything inside my house and our kitchen table would be feet deep in whatever I happened to drag in from outside that needed a place to sit. The small space on my desk to the left of my computer currently holds a tuning fork, a 4 inch grinding wheel, a half a can of cashews, a can of ether, a pencil, my phone, an oxy-acetylene pressure regulator, a 3/4 inch wrench, a hammer, a cancelled cheque and several pieces of miscellaneous paper. (OK Jason is being modest here as well. I've never - NEVER - seen a bigger slob than Jason. If he lived by himself the house would be condemned)

7. I have travelled at one time or another to 43 out of the 48 contiguous United States, which might not be remarkable except that I was a foreign national until just over a year ago. In order to bring my total to 48, I need to find a reason to visit Oklahoma, Texas, Utah, Arizona and New Mexico at some point. I've driven the Trans-Canada highway from coast to coast several times, and I've been in eight out of ten Canadian provinces. Having visited several times, I am totally besotted by the entire province of British Columbia.

As part of being a stylish blogger (I must admit I laugh at this part. All of the bloggers who have kindly given us this award are clearly unaware that we both lack any sense of style!) is to pass the award on to some other good blogs. Any of the blogs listed in my blogroll to the right are good reading and here are a few more blogs I've recently discovered and enjoyed:

Calm, Forward, Straight - a fun blog about a re-rider learning dressage with her off the track thoroughbred

Boyd & Silva Martin - Boyd Martin is an eventer who represented the United States at the World Equestrian Games and his wife Silva is a Grand Prix dressage rider and trainer

Confessions of a Struggling Dressage Rider - I would say the title is self explanatory!

The Jumping Percheron - another self explanatory blog title!

The Literary Horse - her blog posts about the famous Mr. Chips are hysterical

Saddle Fitting - The Inside Journey - great blog with self explanatory title

Sinead Halpin - another international competitor in eventing

Brays of Our Lives - written by Fenway Bartholomule


Cuffie was napping and using the fence as a headrest

Traveller was doing the same thing
Faune and Winston
Stormy, Johnny and Tiny
Rampal, Toledo and Rocky
B-Rad and Toledo


EvenSong said...

I can relate to #6, Jason, though I've been trying to thin out the clutter for a year or so now (and put things away when I'm done with them). I'm also very good at maps and math, too. My grandson is the weather nut. Can't say I've ever called a square dance, tho I think I danced one once in junior high.

Thanks for rising to the occasion, you two!

Anonymous said...

I love maps, math and reading, too. Not so good at neatness, anywhere - home or barn. Don't think I've ever been to a square dance, but looks like fun.

Fun to learn more about both of you!

(and thanks for the lovely Maise picture!)

Calm, Forward, Straight said...

You two are very interesting folks. Glad we're getting to know you a little better.

I've really enjoyed reading your blog over the last year, and meeting all of the beautiful residents of your farm.

I assume that Vals' retirement is a long way off, but when the time comes, if I can't care for him - I hope there's a spot available on your farm :)

Thanks for mentioning our blog!

Jane said...

Thank you Jason, I'm honored!
Reasons to visit Utah: Bryce Canyon National Park and Zion National Park. I'm a geology nut (read: big kid who loves rocks). Both these places will take your breath away.
Arizona: Grand Canyon. Hope this helps!

SmartAlex said...

I love square dancing! In the town I went to college, there used to be regular square dances at the grange. Grange #1 as a matter of fact, to lend it some distinction.

Nope, Melissa, I can't think of any more exceptional claim to fame for my husband. He can, however, still calculate the angles and areas of a triangle. Whereas I let almost all my highschool math learnin' leak right out.

And no one ever needs an excuse to visit Oklahoma. It's a beautiful state. One of my favorites. In fact, OKC is my second favorite city next to Lexington, KY. The Land Rush Monument is spectacular. No website or photos do it justice, but this one gives you a good idea.


Texas ain't bad either, as a whole.