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January 28 2018

The Cat's Eye Boyz Tell All


Actually, Thompson, Diego-san and Theo don’t tell all, but they do tell enough to get your attention.


Funny Farmer Felines: Please introduce yourselves.


Theo: Hi! My name is Thelonious, Theo for short! I’m happy you are all interested in me and my brothers. The food guy says I’m such a friendly and playful cat! He says I love to do three things! Eat, play and eat!


Diego-san: Hey doofus, they aren’t interested in you. Obviously the article is about me. I’m in charge here. I’m suave, sophisticated and mysterious just like the Mexican painter I’m named after…


Thompson: All I want is a peaceful and quiet house.


Theo: Thompson is missing a leg! But he’s such a cool brother to have!



Funny Farmer Felines: If you have any furry siblings, please introduce them too.


Theo: No other furry siblings other than my brothers although the food guy often tells me we should get a puppy to wear me out!


Diego-san: We’d need a monkey to do that.


Funny Farmer Felines: How did you all come to live together?


Thompson: I’ll take this one. Diego-san and I were living in a foster home when our current food guy came to visit us. At first I wasn’t too sure what to make of him but Diego went right over and ended up in his arms. I have to say the food guy looked a little sad and later he told us of the cat that used to live in our house before us, Mr. Max. He said when Max died he was so sad that he didn’t think he could live with another cat again. But then someone pointed out there were so many of us who needed good homes, that he clearly could provide one, so he was shirking his duties.  This led him to looking at bringing home two cats.


Diego and I ended up in the same foster home after I lost my leg in an animal trap. We bonded so the shelter people really wanted us adopted together. The food guy visited us at a showing at Petco where Diego was getting all the attention. He visited us one more time at our foster home and then brought us to our new home. I was the brave one as Diego hid in the basement the first few days as I explored all the rooms and bonded with the food guy.


Diego-san: I wasn’t afraid. I was being nice to allow you to bond. Also, I had to make sure the basement was secure and not full of monsters.


Theo: Hey! Where do I fit in!


Thompson: After the food guy had the upper wing of the house finished, he decided there was room for another cat and he brought you home.


Diego-san: %^&*$@!


Funny Farmer Felines: Tell us a little about the area where you live.


Theo: We live in a place the food guy calls Mini Soda! I’ve never had a soda but if I did I think I’d like a Maxi Soda! The food guy says we live in the same area where this musical purple guy used to live.


Funny Farmer Felines: Do you have any nicknames?


Theo: Sometimes the food guy calls me his little fella although I now weigh more than my brothers!


Diego-san: Just “D”. I wouldn’t allow anything else.



Theo: The food guy says when Diego was brought in to have that special surgery, he was named Lucy! Then they found out he was a boy!


Diego-san: $%^&*@!


Thompson: He calls me Thompers sometimes. The people at the hospital called me “Tumbles” when I was trying to learn how to walk again. That wasn’t very nice.


Funny Farmer Felines: What kind of mischief do you like to get into, either separately or together?


Theo: I love to chase Diego all around the house! Up and down stairs!


Diego-san: @#$%&*!


Thompson: I used to chew up boxes but I don’t do that so much anymore.


Theo: I love inspecting boxes and grocery bags!



Funny Farmer Felines: What made you open a blog?


Thompson: The food guy says he started our blog just to have a place to store our photos and to write something on a daily basis. He never thought anyone would ever read our blog although how could they not? We’re quite blogworthy in my humble opinion. We’ve posted nearly every day since 2006.


Funny Farmer Felines: What is your greatest love and your biggest fear?


Theo: My greatest love is being around others! I love to socialize! My biggest fear is we are going to run out of food! We still have food don’t we?!


Diego-san: I love to snuggle. My biggest fear is the food guy will play that blasted guitar thingy again.


Thompson: I love both my brothers. I don’t like it much when a human other than the food guy stops in our house.


Funny Farmer Felines: How would you describe yourself?


Theo: I’m an introvert! But a really friendly one!


Diego-san: I’m the snoopervisor around here. I like to watch everything that goes on in this house.


Thompson: They say I’m the talker and I do like to express my thoughts so everyone can hear. The food guy says the saddest thing was once when I lost my voice and I would try talking and there was no sound. Thankfully that only lasted for a few days.



Funny Farmer Felines: If we were to ask your human what he loves best about you, what do you think he would say?


Theo: I love to sit in his lap when he eats breakfast! He calls it our special time together!


Diego-san: He loves it when I let him take a nap with me. He also loves it when I sit on his lap while he’s reading a book. I spoil him sometimes.


Thompson: I don’t join the three when they are in the basement watching that picture tube thing, but the food guy has said he loves the rare times when I do come down and rest my head on his arm. He also has said that he loves how close my head can get to his chest on the side where my leg is missing.


Funny Farmer Felines: You can visit the Cat’s Eye Boyz to learn more about Thompson, Diego-san and Theo.


The post The Cat’s Eye Boyz Tell All appeared first on Mousebreath Magazine.

The Cat's Eye Boyz Tell All


Actually, Thompson, Diego-san and Theo don’t tell all, but they do tell enough to get your attention.


Funny Farmer Felines: Please introduce yourselves.


Theo: Hi! My name is Thelonious, Theo for short! I’m happy you are all interested in me and my brothers. The food guy says I’m such a friendly and playful cat! He says I love to do three things! Eat, play and eat!


Diego-san: Hey doofus, they aren’t interested in you. Obviously the article is about me. I’m in charge here. I’m suave, sophisticated and mysterious just like the Mexican painter I’m named after…


Thompson: All I want is a peaceful and quiet house.


Theo: Thompson is missing a leg! But he’s such a cool brother to have!



Funny Farmer Felines: If you have any furry siblings, please introduce them too.


Theo: No other furry siblings other than my brothers although the food guy often tells me we should get a puppy to wear me out!


Diego-san: We’d need a monkey to do that.


Funny Farmer Felines: How did you all come to live together?


Thompson: I’ll take this one. Diego-san and I were living in a foster home when our current food guy came to visit us. At first I wasn’t too sure what to make of him but Diego went right over and ended up in his arms. I have to say the food guy looked a little sad and later he told us of the cat that used to live in our house before us, Mr. Max. He said when Max died he was so sad that he didn’t think he could live with another cat again. But then someone pointed out there were so many of us who needed good homes, that he clearly could provide one, so he was shirking his duties.  This led him to looking at bringing home two cats.


Diego and I ended up in the same foster home after I lost my leg in an animal trap. We bonded so the shelter people really wanted us adopted together. The food guy visited us at a showing at Petco where Diego was getting all the attention. He visited us one more time at our foster home and then brought us to our new home. I was the brave one as Diego hid in the basement the first few days as I explored all the rooms and bonded with the food guy.


Diego-san: I wasn’t afraid. I was being nice to allow you to bond. Also, I had to make sure the basement was secure and not full of monsters.


Theo: Hey! Where do I fit in!


Thompson: After the food guy had the upper wing of the house finished, he decided there was room for another cat and he brought you home.


Diego-san: %^&*$@!


Funny Farmer Felines: Tell us a little about the area where you live.


Theo: We live in a place the food guy calls Mini Soda! I’ve never had a soda but if I did I think I’d like a Maxi Soda! The food guy says we live in the same area where this musical purple guy used to live.


Funny Farmer Felines: Do you have any nicknames?


Theo: Sometimes the food guy calls me his little fella although I now weigh more than my brothers!


Diego-san: Just “D”. I wouldn’t allow anything else.



Theo: The food guy says when Diego was brought in to have that special surgery, he was named Lucy! Then they found out he was a boy!


Diego-san: $%^&*@!


Thompson: He calls me Thompers sometimes. The people at the hospital called me “Tumbles” when I was trying to learn how to walk again. That wasn’t very nice.


Funny Farmer Felines: What kind of mischief do you like to get into, either separately or together?


Theo: I love to chase Diego all around the house! Up and down stairs!


Diego-san: @#$%&*!


Thompson: I used to chew up boxes but I don’t do that so much anymore.


Theo: I love inspecting boxes and grocery bags!



Funny Farmer Felines: What made you open a blog?


Thompson: The food guy says he started our blog just to have a place to store our photos and to write something on a daily basis. He never thought anyone would ever read our blog although how could they not? We’re quite blogworthy in my humble opinion. We’ve posted nearly every day since 2006.


Funny Farmer Felines: What is your greatest love and your biggest fear?


Theo: My greatest love is being around others! I love to socialize! My biggest fear is we are going to run out of food! We still have food don’t we?!


Diego-san: I love to snuggle. My biggest fear is the food guy will play that blasted guitar thingy again.


Thompson: I love both my brothers. I don’t like it much when a human other than the food guy stops in our house.


Funny Farmer Felines: How would you describe yourself?


Theo: I’m an introvert! But a really friendly one!


Diego-san: I’m the snoopervisor around here. I like to watch everything that goes on in this house.


Thompson: They say I’m the talker and I do like to express my thoughts so everyone can hear. The food guy says the saddest thing was once when I lost my voice and I would try talking and there was no sound. Thankfully that only lasted for a few days.



Funny Farmer Felines: If we were to ask your human what he loves best about you, what do you think he would say?


Theo: I love to sit in his lap when he eats breakfast! He calls it our special time together!


Diego-san: He loves it when I let him take a nap with me. He also loves it when I sit on his lap while he’s reading a book. I spoil him sometimes.


Thompson: I don’t join the three when they are in the basement watching that picture tube thing, but the food guy has said he loves the rare times when I do come down and rest my head on his arm. He also has said that he loves how close my head can get to his chest on the side where my leg is missing.


Funny Farmer Felines: You can visit the Cat’s Eye Boyz to learn more about Thompson, Diego-san and Theo.


The post The Cat’s Eye Boyz Tell All appeared first on Mousebreath Magazine.

January 07 2018

Caturday Extras

somali cat with chewed on bag of treats


I have some photos that went unused on the blog for various reasons that I thought you might like to see! Actually, the one above is a little bit of a cheat because I just used it on my post for the Secret Paws 2017 blog. What can I say? This is what happens when you leave a treat bag unattended around here.


somali cat with face covered in treat dust


This actually happened with both humans in the room. They just weren’t paying attention and next thing they knew, the treat bag was stuck on my head! The reason that this photo didn’t wind up on the blog is because my human’s boyfriend took it, and the file was a little too small. But I know you guys want to see it anyway - it’s not like it’s that much smaller than the other photos.


somali cat wearing elf hat by Christmas tree


This photo was part of a test my human was doing for my 2019 calendar! Yes, we are starting early. She wanted me in the hat, not looking at the camera, and the tree to be out of focus. It’s a nice photo, but she wants to tweak things a little bit. This is the main reason the tree is still up.


somali cat licking her nose


Unlike the rest of the U.S., we are having rather mild winter here in southern California. So I’ve been having some outside time. It’s still cool enough for me to wear a sweater (at least my human thinks so!). This photo is just a touch out of focus - mainly a motion blur.


somali cat in sweater looking off into the distance


And here is a portrait from the same session. I hope you enjoyed today’s extras!


* * *



See all of Summer’s merch at her Designercat Shop, available on Zazzle.



December 31 2017

December 17 2017

Incredible: Man City players sang new song about Man United after Spurs win

Manchester City stuff Tottenham 4-1


There now seems little doubt that Manchester City will win the Premier League this season.


And, we are only in December.


It has been another incredible week for Manchester City with hugely impressive wins over Manchester United, Swansea and Tottenham.


There were suggestions that Spurs could provide the test no other side in the Premier League could.


Yet, Mauricio Pochettino’s side were brushed aside with ease in the end. Spurs, were in fact, lucky they didn’t lose by more than four and have Dele Alli and Harry Kane sent off.


Ilkay Gundogan, Kevin De Bruyne and Raheem Sterling (2) scored for Manchester City. Christian Eriksen pulled one back for Spurs.


Manchester City celebrate Spurs win in dressing room


As is standard after a big Premier League win, there were dressing room celebratory photos posted on Instagram by many of the Manchester City squad.


Today’s victory over Spurs was dedicated to David Silva who missed the win due to “personal reasons”.


Fofana Diacko on Instagram Stories


Video has since emerged of the Manchester City celebrations and it comes from Fofana Diacko, a close friend of Benjamin Mendy.


Diacko was at The Etihad and accompanied Mendy, who has been injured for much of the season, after joining from Monaco last season.


The former Nice defender posted a number of clips on Instagram Stories alongside Mendy, celebrating Manchester City goals against Spurs.


There are also clips of the Manchester City players celebrating and we get to hear them sing “Park the bus, park the bus Man United.”


This song came to the fore last week when Manchester City won at Old Trafford…




Related: Man City dedicate Tottenham win to David Silva.


Kevin De Bruyne’s celebration: For David Silva, Man United or Spurs?


Picture of Man City celebrations after Spurs win






The full lyrics of Park the bus


Park the bus park the bus man united

Park the bus park the bus man united I pray

Park the bus park the bus man united

Playing football the Mourinho way

December 03 2017

Good News Tewsday: Missing Squishy Cat Found 80 Miles Away

Squishy the Cat is back in his Lathrop, CA home after being found 80 miles away in San Francisco a month after he’d gone missing.


San Francisco SPCA volunteers doing some TNR of local ferals discovered Squishy, who impressed them as being unusually friendly. When scanned for a chip, they discovered he was 80 miles from his home in Lathrop. His owner, Savannah was thrilled to get the call that he’d been found, dropped everything and drove straight to SF to pick him up.


We asked Squishy how he ended up in San Francisco:


“Lathrop is SO BORING you hafta go to Manteeka if you wanna have fun, and Manteeka suks. I wunted to vizit Max the Feline Life Coach and watch a Dr Hoo marathon, but they liv 77 miles away, and thare’s no direkt buss serviss frum Lathrop to his howse. Then I herd abowt a place called Sanfransisko and I wuz sold. FINELY! Sum kulture and fun stuff to do! Good berritos, stylish man-peeple singing show toonz, and thoze Fisherman’s Worf dumpsters! I must say, tho, that the avakado toast that everywun heer eats is overrated. It’s like snot on a shingle.”


If your cat isn’t microchipped, you couldn’t give him a better Christmas present than the shot between the shoulder blades that will ensure that no matter how far he wanders or how long he’s gone, if he’s scanned you will be reunited. A chip, a bell, and a tag provide the belt-and-suspenders solution to finding a lost cat and bringing him home.


The post Good News Tewsday: Missing Squishy Cat Found 80 Miles Away appeared first on Mousebreath Magazine.

November 26 2017

Can Rafa Benitez Help Continue Newcastle's Recent Resurgence?

Rafa Benitez has been responsible for turning the fortunes of Newcastle United around, adding another promotion to his glittering CV in the process, but can the Spaniard continue moving the club in the right direction, and is there any possibility he could add further silverware to the St. James’ Park trophy cabinet? At the end […]

November 19 2017

Video: Bearded Chelsea boss Antonio Conte previews West Brom game

Chelsea return to Premier League action after the international break with an away game at West Bromwich Albion tomorrow afternoon. Ahead of the trip…



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Zlatan Ibrahimovic confirms he's not human after Newcastle (Official video)

Zlatan Ibrahimovic & Man United


Man United picked up three Premier League points on Saturday beating Newcastle 4-1.


Dwight Gayle gave Newcastle the lead, but the Man United hit back with goals from Anthony Martial, Chris Smalling, Paul Pogba and Romelu Lukaku.


Away from the scoreline, the match was memorable as Zlatan Ibrahimovic made his long awaited return.


Out for seven months with an ACL injury, the Swede has defied the odds making his return so quickly.


Ibrahimovic confirms he’s not human


After the game, Ibrahimovic and Pogba spoken to BT Sports.


Zlatan was asked about his recovery, and he made a quip which was classic Ibra:


Lions, they don’t recover like humans.


When it came to speaking about his injury in more depth, Zlatan opened up about the tough time he had sitting on the sidelines.






Also see: Everyone goes nuts for Paul Pogba, Man United fans still find a criticism.


How Romelu Lukaku reacted to Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s return v Newcastle.

Video and Photos: Chelsea warm up at West Brom

Champions Chelsea are back in Premier League action after the international break against West Bromwich Albion this afternoon. You can see Antonio…



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November 12 2017

Columbia Montrail Mountain Masochist IV Review

The Columbia Montrail Mountain Masochist has been filling an important place as an ‘all-arounder’ trail shoe for many runners since 2009, and thankfully for most of us, it hasn’t undergone any tremendous changes in the fit or ride since then. This spring, the Columbia Montrail Mountain Masochist IV ($115) will be released and though the changes are again relatively subtle, I am appreciating them. The fourth iteration comes in a bit lighter at 8.7 ounces (women’s) and 10.2 ounces (men’s), retains the 8mm drop introduced in the Mountain Masochist III, and costs slightly more. Overall, this very durable shoe is easy to choose when my runs consist of hard-packed dirt roads, softer singletrack, or even rocky terrain. It’s a shoe that can go any distance while keeping your feet and legs well-cushioned and protected out there on the trail.


The Columbia Montrail Mountain Masochist IV. All photos: iRunFar/Bryon Powell


Columbia Montrail Mountain Masochist IV Upper


The Mountain Masochist IV upper is made from a more breathable abrasion-resistant mesh that snugs up to the foot very comfortably and with less potential hot spots thanks to the new 3D-printed overlays which are much less obtrusive and restrictive around the shoe. These have been slimmed down significantly from the previous models’ webbing overlays yet still integrate with the lace routers to provide an excellent, accommodating fit through the midfoot. I feel like this change has improved the breathability and moisture management of the shoe overall, and it certainly eliminated a potential blister point for me at my medial great toe.


The traditional laces have been replaced with new, smooth-gliding speed laces that have worked flawlessly for me despite significant dust and dirt accumulation from various runs over the past few months. I appreciate the ease of a one-pull cinch to snug up the shoes and haven’t had any issues using gloved hands in chillier temperatures. The laces are a bit thicker than the ones used in other speed-lace or speed-dial set-ups, and it eliminates the pressure lines the thinner ones can create which my feet definitely appreciate.


Near the end of the padded, gusseted tongue, a lace pass-through has been attached to the reinforcement that now runs along the middle aspect of the tongue. The reinforcement protects the foot from the plastic speed-lace mechanism while the pass-through gives the long end of the speed laces a place to go without creating a pressure point like lace 'garages’ sometimes do. Once the lace is threaded through this spot, there’s no reason to remove it; all the lace adjusting can be done with it in place which is a nice fuss-saving aspect if you’re changing socks or shoes mid-race.


The rest of the upper seems relatively unchanged from the Mountain Masochist III. The stiff heel counter provides ample support on uneven terrain and the trim padded ankle collar and Achilles notch remain comfortable but not overly squishy. The toe bumper provides adequate protection for most trail incursions via a thin and somewhat flexible rand with support from the outsole wrapping up through the center. All in all, the upper works better for me than all previous iterations.


The Columbia Montrail Mountain Masochist IV lateral upper.


Columbia Montrail Mountain Masochist IV Midsole


The Mountain Masochist IV is built on the familiar slightly curved Integrafit last with the FluidFrame midsole. This midsole utilizes Columbia Montrail’s same FluidFoam and FluidGuide technology as before to combine lightweight but effective cushioning with a bit of extra support medially for later miles when running form tends to begin revealing the accumulated fatigue. I have a rigid, neutral foot and appreciate every bit of the firm but responsive cushioning. I do not notice the 'guide’ aspect of the midsole at all except that at the end of a long run, my feet and legs still feel well-supported by the shoes.


One slightly strange thing I’ve noticed each time I’ve put these shoes on-and it’s kind of hard to describe-is that the heel cushioning is very noticeable. It’s almost as if there’s a 'pod’ of cushioning that is ensconced within the heel. The first few times I ran in the shoes, it almost made the heel-to-toe transition a bit clunky. The ride has since smoothed out, but the sensation of significant heel cushioning has remained. This is not a 'bad’ thing, but is different from the other Columbia Montrail trail shoes I’ve worn.


The 16mm stack height of the heel and 8mm stack height in the forefoot keep the overall feel of the shoe relatively low to the ground thus eliminating any tendency toward ankle tilts or rolls when the shoe is accommodating various terrain features. Currently, I have over 200 miles in the shoes and still do not notice any significant loss of cushioning or comfort. I can easily see these shoes as 50k and 50-mile shoes, and if I ran 100s, I’d slot them in my list of top shoe choices as well.


The Columbia Montrail Mountain Masochist IV medial upper.


Columbia Montrail Mountain Masochist IV Outsole


I was pleased to see there were no significant changes made to the outsole of the Mountain Masochist IV. The full-length Gryptonite sticky rubber outsole has the multi-directional lugs and shock absorbing rectangles arranged in the same tread pattern as the Mountain Masochist III. Similar cut-outs are present revealing the full-length TrailShield which I find to provide excellent rock and root protection here in Colorado. After 200-plus miles, I have barely smoothed the little tiny dots off the lugs and see no significant wear anywhere-not bad for a solid heel striker.


I’ve worn this same outsole on previous iterations of the shoe in a variety of climates from the wet and muddy Pacific Northwest to wintery rock-strewn trails in Ohio and then on the prickly, sandy, desert trails in Arizona. It’s simply a well-performing outsole in any of these areas. Of course, there are always times when larger, deeper lugs and more specific tread patterns can be helpful for extreme conditions, but for a generalist trail shoe, Columbia Montrail has it dialed in.


The Columbia Montrail Mountain Masochist IV outsole.


Columbia Montrail Mountain Masochist IV Overall Impressions


As I’ve mentioned before, I’ve been a Columbia Montrail fan since the beginning of my trail and ultra days back when Montrail was one of the few companies making trail running shoes (RIP, dear Vitesse) in 1997. I love that the feel of the Mountain Masochist IV isn’t that far off from what I remember of the first Mountain Masochist I wore in 2009. Technology has come a very long way since then, but the fit, comfort, and overall feel of the shoe links past trail memories with current adventures, and I love that. The Columbia Montrail Mountain Masochist IV is an excellent all-around trail shoe that can cover most any distance with relative comfort and protection.


Call for Comments (from Meghan)



  • Are you a Mountain Masochist wearer?

  • What aspects of the shoe do you most appreciate?


[Editor’s Note: If you're affiliated (i.e., an employee, ambassador, etc.) with a shoe brand, please share your relation in each of your comments on this article. Thanks!]


The Columbia Montrail Mountain Masochist IV viewed from the top.





Football Star online slot game – Facts, figures and bonuses

Over the years, developers of casino games have produced all kinds of sports-themed online slot games, many of which are themed around football, the…



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Running Into The Sunrise

[Author’s Note: Canyon de Chelly is pronounced as “canyon de SHAY.”]


“The Indian, he says maybe the white man makes the woman go through the door first because he doesn’t know what’s on the other side.”


So said Allen Martin, Navajo elder, mid-way through a pre-race prayer in the sand at the mouth of Canyon de Chelly, Arizona on October 14. In the final moments before the morning sun crested the horizon of the Chuska mountains–thereby beginning the race the Canyon de Chelly Ultra– all runners, spectators, and volunteers clustered around a bonfire built in a small depression in the sand. We left a gap in the circle facing east, as a way of welcoming the sun and saying thank you to the coming of a new day. Allen went through a litany of motions, words, and songs, largely in Navajo but masterfully peppered with English to keep us attentive, all of it meant to say thank you to the various life-giving forces and to ask for strength in the day ahead.


The duality of “male” and “female” is a central component in the Navajo belief system. To this end, Allen recruited two volunteers, one male and one female, from the group of runners to represent all of us. Using a fan made of eagle feathers (“my grandpa gave me this when I was given tribal responsibility,” he said. “It is very important to me”), he waved it in the smoke rising from the fire and wafted it over himself. The smoke drifted clearly in the cold morning air, making distinctive swirls. He then did the same with his volunteers, beginning somewhat randomly–per the joke above–with the woman. He asked them to repeat after him a brief prayer in the Navajo language, which, given the vast linguistic distance between English and Navajo, elicited further laughs from the crowd. Allen laughed too. Despite the formality and gravity of the proceedings, he was clearly enjoying himself.


Just as the sun crested the horizon, Allen’s son Shaun Martin rallied all the runners to the start line and sent them off yelling. Shaun is the race director of the Canyon de Chelly Ultra and has become somewhat of a celebrity among native runners. Expertise and accomplishment attract attention anywhere, and his work with various running groups on the Navajo reservation has been rewarded with success that seems massive in a place not known for big achievements in the American sense of the term. In a land riddled with poverty, obesity, alcoholism, and depression, Shaun has guided young native runners to impressive victories on the national and world levels. He does this, he says, because he fosters relationships with his runners. “Anyone can look up a 10k training plan on the internet,” he told me when I asked about his coaching. “The training is no secret. The trick to coaching is connecting with your runners.”


In 2013 he started the Canyon de Chelly Ultra as a way to simultaneously celebrate his Navajo running heritage and to raise money for young runners on the reservation. The race sold out in two days the first year, and the pace has only quickened since, to the point that UltraSignup is now hounding him to create a lottery so that people don’t crash the website trying to sign up for the race. Shaun reserves 10 spots for locals from Chinle, Arizona (the town at the mouth of Canyon de Chelly), and there were native runners from other parts of the reservation as well. But the overwhelming majority of runners were white people from around the country (and, in several cases, the world.) This, I think, reflects the general demographics of our sport. But beyond ethnicity, the race seems to represent the deeper values that set trail running apart from other strictly competitive sports.


The Navajo are a “Dené,” or Athabaskan, people who migrated to the American Southwest over many generations from northern Canada. The Navajo language is mutually intelligible with several First Nations and Native Alaskan languages from tribes who live thousands of miles to the north. But for almost as long as anyone can remember, their homeland has been the rocky, labyrinthine canyon country of what is now the Four Corners region. And among this landscape, their heartland is Canyon de Chelly.


Canyon de Chelly is a conglomerate of three main canyons and countless smaller ones that begins as minor depressions high in the Chuska Mountains and quickly grows into snaking canyons of vertical rock walls hundreds of feet high that wind down to the valley bottom at Chinle (which is a Navajo word meaning something like “where the water comes out.”) The canyons are checkered with the detritus of past civilizations who left ruins and drawings that inspire a nervous awe in both Navajos and visitors. When explaining the need to respect archaeological sites to the assembled runners at the pre-race meeting, Shaun’s father-in-law William Yazzie told us of the Ancestral Puebloans (whom he called “Anasazi”): “They left a long time ago, maybe for a good reason, maybe for a bad reason. But we don’t touch any of that stuff. We don’t want that on us.” His next comment was only half-joking: “If you touch that stuff, you might have a ghost following you around, and you can only get that off with a ceremony with a Navajo medicine man. It’s a pain. So just don’t touch it.”


These stories and the perspective from which they are told lend a historical significance to the canyon that is further amplified by the farms and hogans (tradition Navajo homes) that exist within its red walls. Histories of Native American/White relations all over the U.S. follow similar lines: after a (sometimes prolonged) period of resistance, most natives were forced to live on reservations, at which point white opportunists arrived and exploited loopholes and ignorance to take away huge portions of what was often the best land on the reservations.


The Navajo fought fiercely against Western intrusion–first Spanish, then Mexican, and later American–into their land until finally being subdued by the mountain man Kit Carson. His troops spent several months between 1863 and 1864 traveling through Navajo country burning crops, killing animals, and fouling water sources. The scorched-earth tactics had the desired effect, and in 1864 nearly all Navajos were forced to walk hundreds of miles to the southeast, to a place called Bosque Redondo. There, Navajo families withered away for five long years in dense concentration, watching their crops fail, their elders die, and their dignity evaporate.


They were finally allowed to return to what is now the Navajo Reservation in 1868. With this in mind, I asked Shaun what the Navajos thought of Canyon de Chelly being designated a national monument in 1931, which put it at least partly under federal jurisdiction. He didn’t seem fussed about it. “You know,” he said. “When the Navajo came back from the Bosque in 1868, the white man kept drawing lines in the sand and telling them not to cross. This was just another line in the sand.”


But this line was different, because as far as the Navajos were concerned, nothing changed. Canyon de Chelly is a “living monument,” which means that people still live within its boundaries. So this was–and remains–the other way around: no non-Navajo is allowed to enter Canyon de Chelly without a guide and a permit. The only exception came in 2013, when Shaun started the Canyon de Chelly Ultra in close cooperation with the Navajo Nation and the National Park Service. That race is the one day a year when 150 people of all nationalities are allowed to run through the canyon twice–once from bottom to top, and again from top to bottom. The only discerning factor is how fast can you sign up. The total distance is 34 miles, which means that runners get to see 17 miles of sand, rock, orchard, petroglyph, and cottonwood, twice. When this is combined with Navajo histories and songs at the pre-race meeting, group prayers at the beginning and end of the race, and local art and jewelry as the prizes, you can’t help but feel a certain gravity of place as you run through the canyon. The race and its attendant ceremonies provide a context to Canyon de Chelly that relegates the competitive part of the race to a subordinate position, below values like respect, family, and history. When you go into the canyon, you imagine–or maybe not–that you can hear voices from the past just out of earshot.


For as long as I have been trail running, I have been drawn to its community. This sentiment has been repeated to me by countless other runners, all of whom extol the sense of inclusiveness and approachability of the people in our sport who just want to spend a lot of time running in beautiful places with good friends. Competition is fun, but it has always felt secondary to the experience and the challenge. At Canyon de Chelly, this sentiment was both supported and given a new element. The Navajo culture provided a context and therefore a reason to think outside ourselves even while practicing an individual sport. Shaun and his family use the race as a way to suggest to us a way to use personal achievement as a means to create good for other people. We can raise money for good causes, but there’s more to it. We can run into the sunrise yelling as a way to be grateful for a new day, and to celebrate the essential tension between positive and negative, and to appreciate the many life-giving forces all around us. This way of thinking gave us a sense of purpose that was characterized by the clear directions of the race markers. Rarely has the way forward felt so clear, and it was this way because we were asked to look for a way forward for many, not just for one. If for only one day, they gave us a reason to run and a place in the fabric of human cultures that meant something. This is an end that can be accomplished with the rituals of many cultures, and in this respect the Navajo way of life is but one way forward of many. But it’s a pretty good one.


Allen Martin performed the post-race prayer as well. The sun had set behind behind the pale canyons to the west, and the wind picked up. The 20 or so people left at the finish line stood shivering in running clothes while Allen spoke in Navajo and wafted more smoke around with another eagle-feather fan and passed around a cup of water blessed by the ceremonies for everyone to drink from. He told us that in this way we all honored each other as people, and as members of our community. It was an important thing to do, he said, with the implication that this was better than nothing. “Normally, this ceremony lasts all night long,” he said, laughing again. “You get sore butts.”


Call for Comments (from Meghan)



  • Have you run the Canyon de Chelly Ultra? Can you share a few thoughts about your experience with it?

  • Have you participated in another race or group event that possessed such a strong cultural significance?





Spurs trio expected to start for England vs Germany tonights

Tottenham Hotspur are expected to have three representatives in the England team to face Germany at Wembley this evening. It was confirmed yesterday…



Click the headline to read the full story.



November 05 2017

Cesc Fabregas looks ahead to Chelsea vs Man Utd

Chelsea midfielder Cesc Fabregas has taken to social media to remind his followers that the Blues face Manchester United tomorrow. The Spain…



Click the headline to read the full story.



Colorful Cat Folk Art by Heather Galler Now 50% OFF!


I’m a color person. My favorite part of house painting is collecting paint chips (then convincing hubby to paint the walls something other than white).



So I fell in love with Heather Galler’s art on Etsy. Her folk art style is rich with saturated jewel tones, similar to the color palettes used by the late, great Laurel Burch. , Thedesigns make bold statements, andare available on a wide array of products, including ceramic tiles, pillows, jewelryeven shower curtains!









She even does custom cat portraits.


Visit her Etsy store and follow her on Facebook, where you’ll see her vast body of work.


The post Colorful Cat Folk Art by Heather Galler Now 50% OFF! appeared first on Mousebreath Magazine.

Chelsea legend & Aston Villa's John Terry confirms awful injury news

Aston Villa & John Terry


It’s going to be a long time before Aston Villa see John Terry back on the pitch.


On Saturday night the Chelsea legend has taken to Instagram to report his bad injury news.


Sheffield Wednesday picked up a huge win on Saturday in the Championship beatingAston Villa2-1.


The result was a shock, asSheffield Wednesday became the first team to win at Villa Park in the league this season.


For the second match in a row, Wednesday’s Adam Reach and Jordan Rhodes found the target in the away win.




Chris Samba scored a late consolation for Villa.


However, aside from the defeat, the result was bitter for Villa asJohn Terry and Robert Snodgrass both went off in the first half with injuries.


Chelsea hero breaks his 5th metatarsal


Now 36, Chelsea legendJohn Terryis of course approaching the end of his career.


Could that be sooner that expected?


Terry, an ever-present for Villa this season, exited the match after 20 minutes.


He’s now confirmed he’s broken hisfifthmetatarsal on social media, writing:


Devastated is an understatement to how I’m feeling tonight, after my CT scan I have just had news that I have broken my 5th metatarsal.


I will be doing everything I can to get back fit as soon as possible.


It’s unclear how long Terry will be sidelined for, but it’s likely to be several months.





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