Monday, October 17, 2011

Hank the Cowdog :: This Week in Words

Every week Barbara hosts This Week in Words over at Stray Thoughts. This is a meme which allows people to share quotes from things that they've read. I keep thinking it's a neat meme but it would be a bit overkill for me because I save my quotes for my reviews. However, this week I'm doing something a little different.

I'm listening to an audio book. Oh you think that's shocking do you!?!? What if I told you I was listening to an audio book while I was running?!

You don't believe me, do you?

I barely believe myself.

For one thing, the only reason I'm listening to an audio book is because I only have a tape recorder (the "old fashioned" sort) to listen to while running. The only book I have on tape is Hank the Cowdog. I already said I wanted to re-read Hank the Cowdog this fall. This way I can run and listen to a book at the same time. Hank is funny which helps me when I'm running because running is distinctly not funny at all. I find the ability to laugh while running helpful. If I could laugh outloud, that is. Mostly I'm just heaving in as much air as possible to make sure I don't accidentally faint and fall off the treadmill. But it's something.

So anyway, I'm listening to Hank on audio and having my mind tickled. I thought I would then go and looked up particular passages to share with you so that you could be equally amused and maybe start to think that you and Hank have a future reading destiny together. If you believe that, then you must only pick up one of his books (or, now, the CD of John R. Erickson's recordings of his books - hilarious) and give him a try. Because Hank really is worth a try. Running? Well, I'm not too sure about that...

Hank, if you are unfamiliar with him, is a cowdog who believes himself to be hot stuff. He takes himself all together too seriously and you groan, you laugh, you cry, you feel bad for him and you generally find yourself snickering at his antics.

"It's me again, Hank the Cowdog. I just got some terrible news. There's been a murder on the ranch.
I know I shouldn't blame myself. I mean, a dog is only a dog. He can't be everywhere at once. When I took this job as head of ranch security, I knew that I was only flesh and blood, four legs, a tail, a couple of ears, a pretty nice kind of nose that the women really go for, two bushels of hair and another half-bushel of Mexican sandburs.
You add that all up and you don't get Superman, just me, good old easy-going Hank who works hard, tries to do his job, and gets very little cooperation from anyone else around here." (Chapter 1, Bloody Murder, page 1.)
After a trip into town with cowhands Slim and Loper, Hank summarizes the feeling of returning to the farm after a day away:

"When we crossed the cattleguard that put us back on the ranch, I felt a change come over me.
In town I had been just another happy-go-lucky dog without a care in the world. But back on the ranch, I felt that same crushing sense of responsibility that's known to people in high places, such as presidents, prime ministers, emperors and such. Being head of ranch security is a great honor but also a dreadful burden." (Chapter 5, Another Bloody Murder, page 29)

I really do prefer to read books instead of listen to them. Looking up the quotes and enjoying the illustrations made me rather long to read ahead of the tape. I won't let myself get ahead though because Hank is the best distraction to the idea of running that I've found thus far! I'm not an audio learner and I tune things out fairly easily. When running though I've discovered this enormous desire to focus on anything - anything! - but running and so my senses are fine tuned to Hank. A fact I'm most certain he would appreciate.

Really, if you haven't yet introduced yourself to Hank, you should make the time. The audio books are fabulous, as far as audio books go as they are all read/performed by the author himself who uses different voices and really brings his unique ranch characters to life. Absolutely entertaining and come with a high recommendation from this corner of the book blog-o-sphere.

More quotes to come soon, I'd imagine, for there is more running to be done.


And on that note, if you're curious about why I'm running, it's because my friend "made" me by starting to work out C25K herself. She started in on the glories of running and got me all inspired. She talked about how she felt like her spirit was soaring when she ran and how accomplished she felt after doing it. Then another friend started the C25K and she said, and I quote (because we are quoting things for This Week in Words, after all, "I feel alive when I run." Well, I don't know what they are talking about. I'm on week two and I can truthfully say I hate every single second of running. I have no passion for it at all. Found this C25K version for the treadmill and I do that while listening to Hank, as mentioned. While I have noticed a distinctly positive physical change as a result of running, I would rather find a magic pill that I could take that would put me at post baby weight instantly and would require absolutely no self-sacrifice or discipline in achieving said goal. Alas, I meet with my humanity and I discover the need to sweat it out. My spirit does not soar. I do feel alive but only barely. Mostly I feel the keen need to stay alive and maybe finish the run.


Annette W. said...

:) First, I do have Hank on our list.

More about the running and couch to 5k program. YOU and I are so alike. It does not feel good to run or jog. Ever. I can't breathe; I can barely move my legs. But maybe someday I will. Shortly after he began his job, some guys Derek works with began to train for a 5k during the lunch hour. Eventually they started biking, too (it's humid here and torture to run during the summer). So then they started training for triathlons. Seriously. It's been a few years (5?) since he did a triathlon for lack of a pool, but he still runs/bikes most days during his lunch hour.

Me. I like the couch or an evening stroll with the family.

Annette W. said...

PS. When we got our elliptical machine (mostly for me, though it's not used much...)It had to be put in front of the computer so I could watch something while exercising. Totally get the need for the audio. Hmm...Maybe if I started exercising I could get some sort of a mp3 player to listen to books on as a reward. Doubtful though.

Shonya said...

Oh, you make me giggle! I see absolutely no reason to run. Pretty sure there's not a big and scary enough thing created that would induce me to run!! :)

And we also love the Hank audio around here. My 15yod and 14yos still get a kick out of him (which makes hubby and I feel marginally better as we were unsure if we were listening to them for ourselves or for our kiddos about 10 years ago--guess it's ok for adults and teens to enjoy Hank! smile).

Anonymous said...

We heart Hank! That book series turned my then-9-year-old-son into a daily reader. I have the fondest memories of hearing him at night in his room cracking up - just him and Hank and Drover and the hilarious cast of characters. I need to pick them up and read them as well. I'll leave the running to you. :)

xoxo michele

Barbara H. said...

Had to smile at your last paragraph. I can't physically run now -- the neuro-muscular connections for it just don't work since TM -- can't hop (without holding on to something), skip, or jump, either. But even when I could run, I never felt "soaring" about it -- it was always rather miserable. Walking on the treadmill is much the same and very boring. It's hard to listen to something because the treadmill itself is so loud. My son tells me listening with headphones would help.

Hank sounds like a lot of fun!

I thought I would be including more quotes from books for TWIW, but I do tend to post those with the book review unless there are multitudes of them. But I do still tend to find thought-provoking quotes in various places.

Lisa notes... said...

Good for in both running and listening to an audio book. :-) Two birds with one stone.

I don't think I've ever read Hank. I should add it to my list. I could always do with more laughs.

I did the couch to 5K last year and ran in a 5K a year ago. It's really a great program. My knee pain wouldn't let me keep it up though, but you're much younger than me, so good luck!

Amy K said...

Haha!! Hang in there--it wasn't until week three that I really felt a high after my walk/runs. I still feel that there are times when it s painfully and challenging during the process but it's afterwards that is so rewarding. I'm only jus starting Week 4 this week cuz I got so sick. So you're not far behind me. Keep it up!

Diary of an Autodidact said...

Good for you, running anyway. I took up running about 6 months ago to train for the Volkslauf. (I really wanted to do it with Amanda, and she would have done it without me otherwise.)

Although I am a regular soccer player, I hated running at first as well. I had horrid shin splints even after a mere 2 miles. I had to completely rebuild my stride so I stopped damaging things.

However, I can say that it does eventually start to feel better, as long as you do it 3x per week.

Stephanie Kay said...

In my imaginary life I am a spectacular run who loves the feeling. In my real life, not so much. I'm finding it difficult to get rid of these last 10 pounds. I keep losing the same 3 pounds over and over. Discipline to workout with Jillian everyday is also lacking. sigh.

Alison said...

Finally! Someone else who hates running like me. I have several friends who have done that program and enjoyed it, but not me. Elliptical and Jillian any day. :) On that happy note, I got the go ahead to start exercise again today. Time to get some self discipline.

bekahcubed said...

I'm so glad you joined in at the Week in Words at last! And what a fun way in which to do it!

It's been a while since I read Hank the Cowdog (since I had siblings that age, maybe ten years ago?)--but these quotes are bringing it all back.

Good luck running. I won't be joining in anytime soon.

Taia said...

I hate running. And I hated it even when I did it for miles each day, when I was younger and playing soccer or bored after work in rural Kentucky. Now, we shall see if I motivate myself to exercise on the treadmill. Windsprints (running and walking) would be very good for me and I have no excuse for the year since I weaned Elliott.

Amy @ Hope Is the Word said...

Oh, Carrie, you inspire me! I have a mostly secret desire to be a runner! In fact, I was doing C25k until life got overwhelmingly busy and I fell off the wagon (er, treadmill). I shall try again! I shall!

I'm not an auditory learner primarily, either, but Hank's stories are great ones to listen to, especially because of the songs!

Mama Bear's Musings said...

Well, frankly, I would hate running, too, if I was running absolutely no where on a treadmill!!!

It's okay, Carrie, if you don't enjoy running like I do. I'm just enormously proud of you for sticking with it thus far. I agree with the others who said that you'll feel better as you get farther into the program. You may not begin to like it any better, but you'll FEEL better at least!

I LOVED your quote about focusing on ANYTHING but running and that's why listening to the audio book works for you :) I have a few other audio books you can borrow if you'd like, although, they're MP3's.

Proud of you, Friend!! Keep it up :)

Unknown said...

It's been a goal of mine to give running a try. Hmmmmm. Of course I LOVE audiobooks.

You need an ipod, my friend. So easy. And there are awesome podcasts and sermons that you can download too.

I'm sort of cracking up imagining you running around with a cassette walkman actually!!

Krista said...

Heh. I did ALL my running in high school thank-you-very-much. I now do swimming as my form of exercise... when I have enough energy to drag myself out of the house! I would actually like to join the Masters team... if they didn't meet at 5-o-dark-thirty in the morning! Sheesh!
And what's this about a "real job"? Are you referring to yourself or Jonothan? Did you get a job beyond the already large one of mother? ;)

Carrie said...

@Jennifer @Snapshot - LOL! Yes. Well, Jonathan set up the iPod tonight and I ran listening to music instead. It did make it easier.

And I'm at the end of week 2 of the C25K now and I confess to all that my feelings about running are changing. I ENJOYED it tonight!

Also, I have to be careful for my knees. Trying to be smart about it and not run every day but keep it up regularly so as to see change. So far, so good!

Cassandra said...

Carrie, I'm way behind on my RSS reading so just read this post. Are you still working on C25K? I used that program when I started running and I thought it was the worst thing ever. I wanted to die. It was so hard to run for even several minutes at a time. But once I stuck it out and got toward the end of the program, I started loving it. I've run several 5ks now and can't wait to run my next. So it does work! It's just miserable at first. ;)

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