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Training Log Archive: jjcote

In the 7 days ending Dec 2, 2007:

activity # timemileskm+m
  Orienteering1 2:19:46 8.57(16:18) 13.8(10:08)19 /23c82%
  Running in terrain1 24:15
  Shoveling1 10:00
  Pull-ups1 15
  Total3 2:54:16 8.57 13.819 /23c82%

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Sunday Dec 2, 2007 #

Orienteering race 2:19:46 [3] *** 13.8 km (10:08 / km)
spiked:19/23c shoes: VJ Falcons #1

Blue Hills Traverse. Fairly cold out (mid 20s), wheezing some (though not too badly) for the first half of the race, but it got better later on. The usual lousy Blue Hills rocky footing covered with leaves, but the climb was pretty modest, and the sections of woods we went through were quite nice and open. No big mistakes, though I had a few minor ones, losing a couple of minutes here and there. My 15th Traverse, it appears, and my time was pretty typical for these things. 19th place or so, I think, which is my lowest placing since 1988!

Saturday Dec 1, 2007 #

Pull-ups 15 [5]

Okay, after a month off, it's time to get back to this and see how much ground I've lost. Cold out in the garage, and wearing reasonably heavy clothes, I managed to grind out 15, and the idea of going up for another seemed pretty preposterous. Maybe I lose it as fast as I gain it (one per month), which seems reasonable.

Running in terrain 24:15 [3]

In The Dark, using some mysterious unspecified (because I can't trust everybody) headlamp. Double-pronged out-and-back on trails across the street. I expected it to be ass-biting cold (it's about 15F out), but I was dressed warmly enough that it wasn't too bad — nippy on my chin going down, but warm enough on the way back up when I was working a little. Wheezing a bit now that I'm back in the house, which is a bit of a concern for the Traverse tomorrow, but it will be 15 degrees warmer then.

Wednesday Nov 28, 2007 #

Shoveling (dirt) 10:00 [2]

Digging another hole, different town, same objective. Fortunately, Nancy's tank is not very deep at all, and the 10 minute estimate may be high. I definitely spent more time untangling the string that I used to measure off the distance to the tank location than I actually spent digging.

Tuesday Nov 27, 2007 #


Looking down the chimney with a flashlight revealed no sign of Mr. Squirrel, so I concluded that he must have escaped, although later investigation suggests that there could be places where he might have gone into hiding. But I went ahead and sealed up the crack in the chimney liner with Mach 2 tape, so nobody else should be able to get in (and if he's still in there somewhere, it will be even harder for him to get out).

Meanwhile, I also trapped mousie #16 out in the garage (not counting the one that I got about three weeks ago). How many do you need before it's officially considered to be an infestation? Somebody did apparently find the pile of mouse cadavers out in the woods, because they all vanished.

I should do some actual training instead of just rambling on about my amateur exterminator adventures.


He's still in there (sigh). Checked just now, and he was back down in the fireplace. Earlier I realized that there's a cleanout door in the back of the chimney that opens to the outside, but I poked around in there with a stick, and it doesn't seem to go through — must have been blocked off in some earlier renovation. So I tried the lasso stick, but he scooted up the chimney again. I opened the damper lid so that maybe the exit is more obvious to him, and I have hopes that he'll find the way out.

Monday Nov 26, 2007 #


AOWN crisis in progress: live squirrel in the fireplace! More details later.


Okay, details. I woke up this morning and heard noises coming from down the hall. My first thought was that a mouse had gotten trapped by a leg or tail, and was trying to get away with the trap attached. So I headed for the kitchen to look under the sink, but the sound was coming from the living room. From the fireplace, specifically. And it was a squirrel, who was behind the fireplace screen and looking pretty agitated. My first thought was that I was about to star in the remake of Squirrel Cop, which I wanted to avoid. So I started out by putting a heavy box in from of the screen to make sure that he didn't burst out into the house and wreak havoc. Since he was spending a lot of time clinging to the inside of the screen, I came up with a plan to slide an old bedsheet down behind the screen and trap the squirrel in front of it, which would essentially put him inside of a bag that I could then drag outside. But by the time I came up with this plan, he had become so skittish that he was staying against the back wall of the fireplace. Sliding a yardstick under the screen to vex him just made him more determined to stay back there. And as I had a meeting at work, I just left, and we'll see what kind of mood he's in when I get home.

The damper in the fireplace apparently broke years ago, and the previous owners installed an alternative damper that's a hinged lid on top of the chimney. But there's a chip in the ceramic chimney liner that leaves a gap that's (apparently) large enough to accommodate a squirrel. Sealing up that hole should solve the problem in the future, but...

My current plan is to get a piece of pipe and some cord, and make myself a lasso stick. If I can slip it under the screen and get one of his body parts through the loop, I should be able to pull it tight and drag him out of there. It's my understanding that this is the technique that professionals use to handle raccoons. Any other suggestions would be welcome.


Came home to find the squirrel still cowering in the fireplace. Found a piece of tubing and some cord in the garage, and built a lasso stick, which I slid under the screen and tried to get around some body part. After about 20 seconds of this, the squirrel got agitated enough to bounce off the walls, and in the process found the wire that controls the chimney lid, which he proceeded to scamper up, at least far enough to take him out of sight. Maybe he was able to get to the top and escape. Am I going to pull the screen aside and look up the chimney? No, I am not. When the rain stops, I will go up on the roof and look down it with a flashlight.

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