Team Captain, Roberta with Co-Captain Karen

Friday, September 24, 2010



I've got a week to reach my fundraising goal, and it's gonna be a challenge. So I'm raffling off 5 great prizes. $5 buys you a chance. $50 buys you 20 chances. Heer's how it werks. For each $5 you donate, you'll git one raffle tikket. When the raffle closes, I'll pick five entries at random. The first name drawn gets first pick of the prizes, the second one gets second pick, etc. If you donate $50, you'll get double the number of raffle tickets, for a total of 20 chances. There is no limit to the number of prizes an individual can win.
To donate, CLICK HERE.

ENTRY DEDLINE: SEP 30 at 11:59 pm Heer are the items we're raffling off:  

1) Konica Minolta A-200 Camera Very gently used by the Food Lady.
  • 8-megapixel sensor
  • Konica Minolta 7X optical zoom GT lens combines with a 2x digital zoom and 4x interpolated digital zoom
  • Anti-shake feature for smooth photographic close-ups; flip-out, tilting 1.8-inch LCD
  • Store images on type I or II Compact Flash memory cards or Microdrive; connects to PC via USB 2.0
  • Powered by 1 NP-800 Lithium-ion battery
  • NOTE: NOT a DSLR. This is a great second camera if you have a DSLR, to use when you want something lighter. Or, a perfect choice if you're upgrading from a standard point-n-shooter.
Retail Value: between $300 - $400  

2) Gorgeous jewelry set from artist Susan Faye. This necklace and earring set features a whimsical cat design. It's a boxed pendant/earring set made from glass tiles and includes a 24" silvertone ball chain. The pendant is 1" square. Retail value: $32.  

3) Fleecy Cat Blankie #1, donated by Trish and her Mom. Reversible.

Retail value: Can you really attach a value to your cat's comfort?  

4) Fleecy Cat Blankie #2, donated by Trish and her Mom. Reversible.
Retail value: Can you really attach a value to your cat's comfort?  

5) Laurel Burch handbag (brand spankin' new)

Heavy-duty navy cloth with quilted panel in front. Convenient pockets on front and sides. Cats depicted in hues of aubergine, teal, rust, persimmon.

Retail Value: $45

6) Wooden multi-color cat pin: This multicolored cat pin is made of wood and features a safety clasp. This jewelry piece shines with a highly polished finish Retail Value: $15  

7) Indigo Cats Laurel Burch Handbag
  • Carry your arts and crafts in this Laurel Burch travel bag
  • Indigo Cats bag embellishments feature hand-painted cats and butterflies
  • Artful tote offers both style and functionality
  • Large enough to be an overnight bag
  • Reinforced flat bottom
  • Sturdy zipper
  • Fabric handles
  • Water-resistant
  • Plastic feet on bottom of bag for extra protection
  • Perfect for the beach
  • Dimensions: 21 in. x 9 in. x 14 in.
Retail Value: $32

7) Black/Multi Cat Laurel Burch Handbag
  • Carry your arts and crafts in this Laurel Burch travel bag
  • Feline Family Portrait tote embellishments feature hand-painted cats
  • Artful tote offers both style and functionality
  • Bright vivid colors define the signature artwork of artist Laurel Burch
  • Carry it to the store or take your craft project on a journey
  • Tote features a zipper top
  • Dimensions:15 in. x 5 in. x 10 in.
Retail Value: $22

To donate, CLICK HERE.


Monday, July 19, 2010

Enforced Training Break

Had a little medical issue come up this week which necessitated suspending training for a short time. A temporary setback, but not one I'm worried about.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Giveaway: Skeezix's Feline Fashionista Package

  • A "I Know I'm Fabulous" t-shirt
  • A hot pink boner blankie
  • A hot pink fether boa 
  • Skeezy shades with hot pink lenses
  • A Hello Kitty handbag 
  • Skeezix boxer shorts (with or without eau de Skeezix)
CLICK HERE for details on how to enter. A $5 donation buys you a chance at this fabulous prize.

CONCATS to Rosie and Cheeto, winners of this great prize!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

JULY 9: 6 miles

I took the plunge and cut out an area of my pink NBs to accomodate my bunion:

Alas, although the MTP joint is pain-free, I experienced the old pain running up the big toe today. So I reeeeally hope the custom orthotic will help. 

Poison Oak is turning red all over the park: 

It's quite pretty. Look but don't touch!

One thing that really pisses me off is the trend of dog owners in the park going to the trouble of bagging Rover's waste, but then leaving the bag on the trail. WTF?

I saw one vishus deer, and a pretty moth who was a very accomodating model:

Today's ascent: 1922 ft.
Today's descent: 1875 ft.

I'm going to try a long walk tomorrow, maybe a 10-miler.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

8 JULY: Cross Training: Weights/Cardio 90 mins

I thought Coach Tasty Face wouldn't be doing a workout this afternoon cuz he swam this morning and has a meet Sunday (I get to be his cheerleader!), but turns out he wanted to do weights, so I went to the gym with him. It was a good choice, because the blister could use a day of rest.

We do 3 flavors of weight workouts: light weights/high reps, med weight/med reps, and the heavy weights/low reps. Today was heavy weight, low reps. I was a little preturbed at a few women there who seemed to think it was okay to park their heinies on the equipment and talk on the phone while we were waiting for them to finish. Maybe they were just hypnotized by the brilliant blue-white glare from Coach TF's very shiny white legs.

It was a brutal workout. I gave it my all and am sitting here now bemoaning the fact that we do not have a jacuzzi. And an in-house masseuse named Sven.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Back in the Saddle Again: 5 miles

I took my new foot out for a spin this evening and threw everything I could at it, taking the trail that goes straight up bigass hill. The foot emerged unscathed and pain free. YAY! Hopefully, the combination of the cortizone shot and a custom orthotic will do the trick. I don't care if my foot completely collapses on October 4th, as long as I get thru the walk.

One thing that did not work out as well tonight was my shoes. Because of my deformed foot, I found an antique pair of Nikes and got out the X-acto knife and cut a hole where the joint is, so my foot can stick out. Here's what it looks like:

The concept is great -- I'm working up the courage to do surgery on either my Merrells or my NBs -- but the rubber in that old pair o' shoes has oxidized so much that there's no cushioning left, and my good foot ended up with a blister. So I had an excuse to slap on one of Band-Aid's new blister bandages (WHICH ARE AMAZING). I might end up euthanizing the Nikes which grievously pains the hoarder within me.

Love the oak trees on this trail:

My gnew enemy: gnats!!!! There were swarms of them.
Posting photos tmrw.

Distance: 5 miles
Time: 1 hr, 25 mins
Climb: +2,237ft / -2,201ft

The top of bigass hill is now all browned up:

Monday, July 5, 2010



Due to some contributors having problems submitting the online forms on the Susan G Komen site, the deadline has been extended to noon on Monday, July 5th.

For a sneek peek at the next fabulous giveaway (which begins July 5th at noon PDT), click here.

I suck at fund razing. I have a goal of raising $3000 for my breast cancer walk, but so far, I'm almost $2500 behind.

So I had an idea.

As a special thank-you-for-donating gift, each cat or person who makes a $5 donation this week will be entered in a drawing for a fabulous prize.

That's right. Between now and Monday (7/5), I'm offering my readers and friends the exclusive opportunity to win a custom pet portrait (examples above) created by me. It can be a cat portrait or a dog portrait and yeah, I can probably do ferrets, buns and rodentia as well. (I've had many good opportunities lately to study rodentia, thanks to Tripper.)


Size: 6-in. X 6 in. X 1-1/2-in.
Substrate: 10-oz natural cotton duck stretched canvas on heavy duty frame.
Profile: Gallery profile (wrapped and painted sides)
Medium: Mixed media. Acrylic base (Golden acrylics) adorned with beads and ephemera as appropriate.
Finish: Winner's choice of satin or gloss finish.
Description: Mixed media portrait that combines classic portraiture with collage and other mixed media. One pet per portrait.
Upgrade: After you win, if you'd like to donate an additional $25, you can upgrade to a 8" X 8" portrait featuring up to two pets.

Here's how you can enter for your chance to win:
  • Go to the my Susan G Komen donation page, and donate $5 or more. More is better, but $5 is great. For each $5 you donate, you'll get an entry in the prize drawing. For every $25 you donate, you get an extra entry (6 instead of 5) as a bonus.
  • Entry deadline: noon PDT on Monday 5 JULY.
  • Winners will be announced Monday afternoon, along with a new giveaway.
  • Having trouble donating online? Click here for a form you can mail in. (Then email me [karen **AT** catster **DOT** com] with your donation amount so I can get you entered in the drawing.)

Your donation goes directly to Susan G Komen, and is eligible for a tax deduction.

Money's tight? You can spread your payments out over four months.

The winner will also get
their very own Flat Skeezix,
with a pawtograph on the back!

So what are you waiting for? Hock up $5 like a hairball for your chance to win!

Thank you.

Sunday, July 4, 2010

JULY 4th: Sick Day

Had a bad reaction to a new medication, which hit about 10am and sent me to bed for the rest of the day. No fireworks, no fun, no nuthin. Skeezix was a very good nurse, and slept on my neck.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

JULY 3rd: Rest Day

Sore enough from Coach TF's bootcamp weights workout that I needed to take a rest day.

So instead, I researched kyoot owtfits our team could wear on the walk (see above).

Friday, July 2, 2010

JULY 2: 90-min bootcamp (weights and cardio) with Coach Tasty Face

I wasn't going to work out today, but Jeff shamed me into it (thanks, honey!)

The gym won't let you work out in flip flops (the only thing I can wear that doesn't kill my foot), so I took a decrepit antique pair of Nikes and cut out a hole where the MTP joint is. I look like an okie, but it works pretty well.

The abscess does not seem to be growing much as I first expected it would, so I might be able to avoid ER this weekend. Which is good, because when I was admitted to the hospital a few years ago with my butt boil, they took WAAAY too many Polaroids of it, all of which, I'm pretty sure, were posted to a butt boil fetishist website. I don't mind so much if the photos were posted online, I just would like a cut of the action.

JUN 30, JUL 1: Nada

In addition to the foot pain and knee pain, I now have an abscess on my inner thigh (email me if you want to see photos), which hurts like hell when I rub my legs together. I do have a podiatrist appt. on Tuesday, to figure out the game plan for my foot. Hoping I won't have to go to ER over the holiday weekend for the boil. Also hoping the foot doctor will be able to shoot me up with prednisone or something that does not involve surgery.

This does not mean that completing the walk is in jeopardy. I know I can make it even with the foot pain; I'm just making sure that doing so won't cause irreparable damage.

It sucks getting old and having parts wear out and fall off. I need to hire someone to walk around behind me with a dustpan and a bottle of Scotch.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

29 JUNE: Rest Day

Had to go into SF for a Dr appt, which ended up being an all-day event. Because I'd had insomnia pretty bad the previous night, I passed on the workout today.

Monday, June 28, 2010

28 JUNE: 75 Minutes Hard Cardio with Coach Tasty Face

Coach TF is evil. Just evil.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

27 JUNE: 90 min weight workout + cardio

Back to Coach Tasty Face's Bootcamp. Did a good hard workout.

Friday, June 25, 2010

25 and 26 JUNE: Rest Days

Friday was an unexpected rest day, due to unforeseen MIL duties. And I was really depressed over Whitey Ford.

Saturday we had to go to the opera, and it was an all-day affair.

I have a doc appt on Tuesday, and I'll get a podiatrist referral then. Hoping he'll shoot my foot full of prednizone or something to kill the pain.



We have a Pet Cam winner! Click here to find out if you're the lucky one!

The New Giveaway was announced this afternoon!

We'll be doing more Five Buck Friday Giveaways, so if you didn't win this time, stick around: $5 will buy you a chance on the next great gift: a custom pet portrait!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

24 JUNE: Rest Day

I took a well-deserved rest day today, but it worked out well cuz Coach Tasty Face's bootcamp was closed for the day. I was feeling very ugh and low energy, probably a side effect of the lactic acid overload yesterday.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

23 JUNE: 45 min Grizzly Sprint Cardio with Coach Tasty Face

I'm still staying off the foot more or less. Today, Coach Tasty Face had me work on the recumbent bike for 45 mins doing Grizzly Sprints. You pedal at a vigorous normalish pace for 3 minutes, then push the resistance to the highest setting and go balls out (boobs out?) for 45 secs to 1 min - whatever you can do short of having a heart attack. Then you drop the resistance down and pedal normally for 3 mins. It's a brutal workout, but I'm a little sad that I won't get to enjoy Coach Tasty Face's daily boot camp when he is able to go back to master's swimming every morning. They don't allow photos in the gym, so no photos; sorry.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

22 JUNE: Weights + Cardio (100 days to go!!!)

I did a weight workout with Coach Tasty Face. He's a drill sergeant. Followed up with some cardio. 1-1/2 hrs total. I probably lifted about a gazillion pounds.

100 DAYS TO GO!!!!!

21 JUNE: 50 mins intense cardio

Staying in the gym this week to keep off my foot, and it's helped a lot. Today, Coach Tasty Face and I did a monster cardio workout.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Another Brutal Weight Workout: 1.25 hrs

Still giving my foot a rest, so I hit the weights hard today under the tutelage of Coach Tasty Face. Being off my foot (and not wearing shoes) has helped a LOT!

Friday, June 18, 2010

1 Hr, 20 Mins. X-Training - Weights + Spinning

Trying to keep pressure off of my foot until the podiatrist weighs in on what the problem is. Not walking or jogging on it has decreased the pain significantly. Today I did a monster weight regimen + some spinning with my personal trainer Thor (aka Mr Tasty Face).

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Screeching to a Halt.....

Can you say "first metatarsal interphalangeal joint pain"?

It's crippling me. So I've tried staying off it and it feels better (as long as I don't wear shoes), so I need to see a podiatrist and maybe get a shot of cortizone or something.

Funny, when I was jogging on it every day the pain was manageable, but when I switched to walking, it was torture.

In the meantime, I'm doing weights and yoga. Or maybe I'll see if walking in Crocs is better.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

DAY 39: 7.8 Miles

No pics yet, sorry. Did a new trail that heads north away from the lake. It was hella hot in CV and I was concerned about the availability of water (there's none on this trail), so I took 3 20-oz containers. I needed it -- it was close to 90. Much of this track is shaded, and I liked that it's a nice wide trail, not rutted very badly at all.

I am feeling the effects of yesterday's weight workout. Owww!

Altitude Gain/Loss: +3,087ft / -3,120ft

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Day 38: Crosstraining - 1.5 hrs Weights and Elliptical

It was so bloody hot, that I thought I might melt if I attempted a walk, so I went to the gym with Mr TF for a weights and Elliptical workout. Photography is not permitted in the gym, so I can't show you what Mr TF looks like when he's pumpin iron.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Day 37: 6 miles - 1 hr, 2 mins.

Did the Bigass Hill. It was hot as blazes, but I made it through without passing out.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Day 36: Rest Day

Giving my poor foot a rest today, and since getting into the City for a mammogram took most of the afternoon, I was short of time anyway.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

DAY 35: 1 hr 40 mins

No photos or mileage. I got nuthin. Phone wasn't charged. But I did a big uphill charge in sub-optimal weather conditions. Having trouble with pain in my foot, will probably see a podiatrist. Did about 5-1/2 miles.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

DAY 34: 0 miles

Had to get an ultrasound in SF which left me no training time. Thursday will B the same.

Monday, June 7, 2010

DAY 33: BUNNYrific!!! 5 Miles, hard uphill

Today's track was a merciless climb, but it rewarded me with sightings of TEN baby bunnies and seven quail. One baby was so tiny, it's cotton tail was more like a Qtip.

In the photo below, you can barely make out one of the bunns in front of the green bush that's beginning to spread onto the trail:

And here's a beautful sight: The Summit

AVE PACE: 3.55

Sunday, June 6, 2010

DAY 32: 2 miles

Just did a shorty around the hood.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Day 31: 7 miles / 2 h, 1 min

Hot today, so I waited until it cooled off to start the walk. My tracking software "finished" the run midway through, and I didn't know until I'd gotten to the bottom of bigass hill. Altitude gain was about 3100 ft. for the entire walk.

This gives you a sense of the climb from lake-level - I was at lake-level about 25 mins earlier.

This illusion is interesting. This trail is an extremely steep straight-uphill track, but in the photo it looks flat. Or maybe it's just in my imagination it looks flat:

Highlights: Saw 3 coveys of quail and 3 bunnies. And on the very last leg, got a stunning view of Venus with Pollux and Castor forming a triangle above her. Also, a good view of Mars just a hair's breadth away from Regulus, the brightest star of the constellation Leo.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Day 28 - 30: Goose egg

Swamped with stuff from dawn to midnight, so could not squeeze in a run.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Day 26: 10.5 miles (3 hrs 35 mins)

Today I walked the entire perimeter of Lake Chabot. Lots of ups and downs. Elevation gain: 5,177 ft; Elevation lost: 5,147 ft. It was a bear. When I got through, I really wondered if I could do the 60 mile walk.

Highlight: Possible bald eagle sighting.
No bunnies seen today.

Ave speed: 3.40 mph

Lowlight: Getting my first blister.

I. am. so. sore.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Day 23: 5.5 mi

Climbed bigass hill today. At the top, I'm rewarded with the nice vista shown above.

Highlight of the walk: a pair of baby bunnies!

Avg moving speed: 3.78mph
total ascent : 1883 ft
Cumulative total ascent: 1893 ft

Duration: 1 hr, 18 mins

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Day 20-22: Rained out!

No walking -- did indoor cross-training instead. Rain, rain, go away!

Day 25: 5.5 miles (1 hr 56 mins)

Another bigass hill hike which takes me thru a campground (above). Amazing that Castro Valley is a tourist destination --- people come here ON PURPOSE and stay.

Highlight: Spotting a pair of bunnies!

Ave speed: 3.03 mph
Max speed: 7.72 mph
Altitude lost: 2768 ft
Altitude gain: 2785 ft

Monday, May 24, 2010

Day 19: 6.3 Miles

Did the bigass hill walk today. About a mile into it, you take a mountain goat trail straight uphill, and it's super-steep for the next mile. Then it smooths out into rolling hills, and then steep again, and then you're on top of a ridge with magnificent views. The first third is killer, the second third is downhill, and the last third is another upward climb. It's a good workout: 2,746ft worth of ascent over the course. Ave speed was 3.1 mph, which is pretty good considering the really steep parts.

Highlight was seeing a wild turkey couple, with the male in full display:

Click here to view the track and results.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Day 18: 0 Miles

Sunday has been decreed as my official rest day cuz between church 'n' chores, I usually don't have time to squeeze in exercise.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Day 17: 5 Miles

Didn't walk yesterday --- rain, again. So was eager to get to it.

Went to the Training Meeting today. It was held across from the San Jose Rose Garden which was in full bloom. After learning stuff like what blowdrying facilities are available in camp (none), and how far you have to walk before you can jump on the sweep van (none), I took a walk through the rose garden. DKM, they weren't your dad's roses, but they were pretty darned great:

Got home and walked 5 miles with Jeff.

It was a tough walk to start, with fierce, freezing winds, but we made it through.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Day 15: 6 miles

My first official training "walk" today. New shoes felt great. When down to the lake, but extended the length of my usual course by crossing the bridge and running up the Northern end of the lake. The best part??? FINDING A BIRD NEST. I collect 'em (this one looks like a bushtit nest).

The funniest part of the walk was this out-of-order chemical toilet. How the hell does a chemical toilet with NO MOVING PARTS get declared out of order? Maybe a coon crawled in and drowned in the pool of blue poop n pee. I think I'm better off not knowing what happened.

Here's the bridge I cross to get to the Northern end of the lake:

Here I am, tall, skinny and sideways:

This is where I am, at the northern end of the lake:

And here's the view of it from the southern shore trail, where I am about 20 mins later:

Had a little problem getting a good GPS sig, so part of the walk was not recorded.

Here's the track, you can see for yourself.

So far, training is going really well. Fundraising, not so much.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Day 12 - 14: 0 Miles

Rain. Rain. Rain. So no walking, just yoga.

Monday was a washout anyway, cuz we were up most of the night. Jeff had a bad reaction to some meds, and we thought we'd end up at ER. Fortunately, it passed, but I slept several hours after I got home. With the rain, I don't feel guilty for not walking.

I did buy some new snazzy PINK New Balance shoes. They have wide sizes, and I'm hopeful that the extra width will help with my sore right paw (which doesn't generally hurt when I'm wearing sandals, just shoes.) Even if my paw still hurts, at least I'll by stylishly pink. Might even buy a second pair.

KYOOT, no???

And just a quick plug for Zappos: free shipping that was upgraded to overnight for free -- so they were on my feet less than 24 hrs after I ordered them. I love love love Zappos.

$2109 to go!

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Day 11: 472,440.945 inches

I ran 12K today, the equivalent of 7.42 miles. Piece of cake, except for the waking up early part. In my age group, I was 750th of 1836, solidly in the middle of the pack.

The last time I got up this early to do physical exercise was circa 1984 or so -- the last time I ran the B2B -- good practice for the 60-mile.

We also walked a lot after the race, for a total of 12 miles.

Most of you know I have Rice Krispies knees (they go snap crackle and pop and hurt a lot), and you're probably wondering how I do it. This is the answer: kinesiology tape. In my favorite color. I apply it, then do an elastic bandage on top of that. Makes a huge diff.

This is the Rocktape brand. It seems to adhere better/longer than other brands. Comes in many colors.

Friday, May 14, 2010

Day 9-10: 0 Miles

With the Bay to Breakers on Sunday, I've entered the workout taper phase. Not that it matters; the Kenyans will probably cross the finish line before I've crossed the starting line. But after the Wednesday night all-nighter in ER with Jeff, I've been zonked, and am just trying to get to the point where I feel rested and hydrated before the race. The hardest part of the race will be getting up before the 8 am start time. OUCH!

Although we'll be wandering SF tomorrow, Jeff's toe problem will probably preclude walking any distance, so I won't log much mileage before Sunday.

If it matters, I spent several hours gardening and working on the patio bricks this afternoon so they'll be as clean and sparkling as Jeter's.

I got a donation from the fabulous Susan Faye. If you haven't seen her artwork, take a look -- it's just lovely -- very "happy" stuff, reminiscent of Laurel Burch's upbeat, decorative designs. I can highly recommend commissioning something from her as a gift to someone special. And she's got some new products including pawsome kitty corsage pins and quilt blocks.

Thanks, Susan!!!!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Day 8: 5 miles

It's hard to make them out in the brush, but here are three goslings (Manny, Moe and Jack) that I saw tonight:

Good run tonight, despite my painful pinkie toe. Weather was cool; pace was fairly brisk (for me). I probably won't run again before Sunday, since I've spent most all of tonight in ER. Switching to the 3-day walk schedule on Monday.

These little orange blooms exploded on the hills between yesterday and today:

See the Track map here.

Only $2259 to go!

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Day 7: 5 Miles

I took it easy today, mostly because I removed half of the toenail on my little toe this morning, and was VERY uncomfortable for the first couple of miles, And it was hot (I usually run in the eve. but couldn't today), so I wanted to be careful not to overheat.

Still only $2259 to go!