Training Update: 22 September

I was doing well for a bit there, running slow intervals, exactly as I had been told.

Then, I went for a run right before we left for Taiwan. It was excellent. I started running and I didn’t stop. 5k later, I hopped off the treadmill, glowing red and feeling completely pleased with myself.

That satisfaction remained until the next morning, when I woke up with miserable hip pain. I was told to train gradually because when I get tired, I use the wrong muscles to balance, and my decision to enjoy my run meant I did all the things I wasn’t supposed to. My hip hurt for five days, well into the Taiwan trip.

Lesson learned? Quite possibly.

I took a break until we returned, and soon thereafter, I stumbled across a writeup about Couch to 5k. I liked the idea of a structured training plan that my adherence to wouldn’t make my physiotherapist cringe, but I couldn’t help but feel a bit disgusted by the notion that running a 5k would require nine weeks of training. The longest I had ever trained for said distance was three weeks at most. Then again, I also have had a lion’s share of running injuries, and the only reason I finished the 5k I ran earlier in the month was raw stubborness, not fitness. I printed out the plan.

Today marks the first session of week four, so I have six more weeks to go until I can officially run halfway home from my office. Week four is the point at which you actually have to jog more than walk. My tortoise-worthy achievement is above.

I think I am more couch than 5k. We’ll see in another week or two.



Oscar, our cat, has been a bit under the weather.

We first noticed that he was breathing very fast when we returned from Taiwan. After a few tests and a chest x-ray, we learned that he had a very severe chest infection.

After much improvement during the first half of his course of antibiotics , he took a turn for the worst, which prompted several trips to the vet and even more medicine.

What I hadn’t expected was to be given the AeroKat, an asthma inhaler, and a few words of encouragement.

At first glance, the AeroKat looks an awful lot like Austin Powers’ Swedish Enlarger.

Further inspection reveals that it is, in fact, Canadian.

The AeroKat comes with convenient instructions; so convenient, they’re printed right on it and seemingly don’t require words. While one could read the enclosed insert for further detail. I’m reasonably confident it doesn’t include anything about bloodshed.

(note: for our purposes, diagrams are numbered 1 through 3, going from left to right.

As I see it, this set of diagrams is sorely lacking in a few key points about using the AeroKat. It focuses on all thr wrong stuff. Removing the cap on the inhaler (picture 1) and inserting the inhaler into the AeroKat (picture 2) are the least of your worries if you actually have to use the darned thing.

That brings us to picture 3.
In this diagram, the human dispenses the inhaler into the AeroKat chamber using a single hand to discharge the inhaler, dispensing medication to a cat who willingly inserts its face into AeroKat’s comfy mask and accepts the medication into its visible set of lungs.

What the directions fail to highlight is that this is the step where it all gets violent and complicated.

The human must hold the mask area tightly on to the cat’s face, discharging the inhaler into the chamber. This cannot be done with a single hand on the inhaler, as the diagram suggests. Should the mask lose contact with the cat’s face, you get to start all over again.

Once the inhaler is discharged, the human must cling onto the cat for dear life as he takes his next five breaths and sticks his claws in your flesh and wriggles around like mad.

I have found that this task is best achieved by holding the cat against my leg. I have also found that wearing my work clothes is less preferable, but in the absence of riot gear, they’re not a bad option.

The AeroKat does not come with a supply of Band-Aids; although, it might be a nice effort if it did.

Fortunately, the cat is already back on the mend. The medication via AeroKat has helped him significantly, so perhaps I won’t be needing all that Neosporin.


As I love fish, swimming, and aquariums, my husband very thoughtfully bought me a fish tank earlier this month.

We set it up in the kitchen, in case you’ve noticed the Ben & Jerry’s ice cream bookbook hiding behind the cutting board to the right.

Two visits to the aquarium shop later, the 30L tank is full!

Introducing in order of aquisition:

  • Mimosa: Champagne & orange colored
  • Rumsfeld: The speckled one, he kept beating up on Mimosa, until Calippo and Simon joined the tank
  • Calippo: The Orange one, named for the British popsicles
  • Simon: The black one with the bulging eyes, much like my husband’s friend, Simon, who we refer to as, “the eyes”

Down Here All the Fish is Happy: Engrish Roundup

Having studied a bit of Mandarin, I actually have a bit of a clue as to just how hard it may be to effectively learn these two radically different languages.

That said, it’s still really funny to see one’s native language so misused.

Here are my remaining favorites, rediscovered while sorting the many pictures taken.

At the Aquarium:
Down here, all the fish is happy!
(look to the right for , “…us and eat us”

A subway advertisement for Biore face wash on the Taipei MRT promises a Happy Ending!

A department store advises that their products do not have testers:

Meanwhile, one may shop at
Kuda: For Curious Woman

For any emergency, please press this button:

Some just want to be Foved, at the Shilin Night market

And surely whatever snack is created when the,
“vegetable stick attaches the tartra sauce”
is worth a go…