My investment in letters – now, postage has gone up yet again – is paltry over the years compared to other recent household expenditures. Someone else’s cash register is singing as of late.


Feb. 24, 2014

Ellen/Reid: Don’t ask me why, perhaps it has to do with the impending nesting season, but the blue birds seem bluer than usual. They’ve also been noshing at the suet feeder which I’ve not seen before. There have been quite a few different species belly up to the table (which is really hung just outside the window nearest my dining room table and just a few feet from where I sit for breakfast). I get a great bird’s eye (no pun intended) view of the diners. Even the mockingbirds and flickers (basically a woodpecker on steroids) have been stopping in for a treat.

I joined the local Sierra Club chapter today. They seem to be doing good things and my walkabouts to clean up the neighborhood would be an extension of their group. Given how back-asswards North Carolina is on a lot of environmental issues, it seems like a logical time to step up and be counted. I don’t know how active I’ll be on the weekends when they do most of their good deeds, but I’ll do what I can when I can. That’s about all I can promise.

Took another step toward ocean fishing for redfish and sea trout with a pre-golf side trip on Saturday to Bass Pro Shops. I kind of shudder in going there since the prerequisite garb is some shade of camo (even for the women) which I’m not in tune with. I spent some time with a guy who sounded like he knew what he was doing (7 foot, 10 weight rod and saltwater reel, size 2 hooks, lead head jigs and some rubbery scented bait call a Grub in copper or bright hues). Those are good starting points for me. Their kayaks were all cheap-o and didn’t have any of the same features/amenities as the other pricier versions I’ve been looking at. Now that the weather has mostly turned the corner for keeps, I’ll accelerate the kayak purchase program. I guess I need to go to a lake and flip the thing over to see if I can get it back upright (I’ll be wearing a life vest for sure). There’s so much I have to learn (like how to get the 80 pound thing atop the car and so much I have to spend money on) but you have to start somewhere and for about $300 on a rod and tackle I can gain entry to the fishing market. Lets hope I catch something besides a sunburn.

$100+ bucks to keep the fireplace pumping out heat in this weather? That's a done deal.

$100+ bucks to keep the fireplace pumping out heat in this weather? That’s a done deal.

On that count, money-is-no-object seems to be a painfully recurring theme this week. I spent $125 this morning on an electric fireplace guy who spent maybe 5 minutes this morning cleaning my gas ignition system with what he said was an ‘ignition cleaner’ but looked like a toothbrush to me. At any rate, he had it working in a matter of minutes. The pilot light wouldn’t stay on, and now it does. That’s what $125 gets you. The second was buying a brand new $139 tire to replace a flat that literally blew out yesterday while I was on the way to the golf course after church at Caldwell. Of course, I had to change the thing in church clothes along a busy thoroughfare with cars whizzing by not too many feet from my rear end as it jutted out into the lane of traffic. At the tire store this morning, I watched as a the tire guy pulled out one of the blades from scissors that had gone completely through the tire. I’d hoped it could be patched but he laughed and said “No way, bro.” Cha-ching. Money. Easy come, easy go. Mostly ‘go.’

Played about as well as I can play on the golf course yesterday. My on course anxieties seem in remission – there is never a total cure – but I’ll accept that for right now. It’ll be colder here – highs in the 50’s later in the week – but after the winter we’ve suffered, that’s almost shirt sleeve weather.


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