Monthly Archives: July 2015

For a son and his dad, it’s grab what we can while we can …


The Wyoming trek takes flight on United on Thursday morning at 10:30. That Reid is going is more than a bonus; how much longer will we have such opportunities? We have to grab the West now while we still can. No mail to him this week. He’ll get a hand delivery of this note at the boarding gate.

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July 13, 2015

Ellen/Reid: Ellen, you should take as good news, and at face value, the comments this morning from your dermatologist. That is pretty heartening. She wouldn’t say those things if she was pulling punches. We ought to have every confidence that the results will be good. But as you know, long clothing protects better than sun screen. My skin is much, much better for it this summer. I am perpetually covered head to toe outside during full daylight. Yeah, when on the golf course the long pants and sun sleeves and wide bribed hats probably make me look like a dork to those who aren’t in the know, but it sure as heck feels a lot better, and is somewhat cooler, too.

Well, Reid, we’re just about to rendezvous at O’Hare in Chicago. When you check in, see if there’s a seat next to me. Can we do that right now? Packing begins tonight. Hopefully the total weight, with food and fuel, will be under 30 lbs. That would sure make things easier. Your tent is splayed out on the floor and I’ll custom cut the ground cloth to fit the tent. The new stakes are in hand, as are new filters for the Katydids. REI has some other techno-filters but they’re pretty pricey and the pumps have served us well for many, many trips. I am taking the old Los Rios Anglers fly rod for Katy and her daughter to use for their maiden fly fishing lessons. I hope they catch fish, and let’s hope we catch those moments on film. I don’t mind sitting out a lot of the fishing while helping someone else have fun with it. The waters are pretty good up there and if we get off the trail a couple of hundred yards the fishing will be even better. We need to find out which lakes hold the goldens because there are some relatively close by. We won’t eat those and will stick to the pink-meated brookies. Mays Lake might be one of those. I’m not sure if Dads Lake is.

The tomatoes and basil are thriving in their new home out back along the driveway. There’s a lot of sun and heat back there. Had to create a couple of level platforms using plywood since the concrete is so sloped but it’s actually working out better than anticipated.

Necessity is the Mother of Invention. To paraphrase some wise person, I bucked the HOA and the HOA won. But it worked out for the best.

Necessity is the Mother of Invention. To paraphrase some wise person, I bucked the HOA and the HOA won. But it worked out for the best.

Too bad this approach wasn’t thought of a lot sooner but none of this dawned on me until faced with the eviction notice served to the containers on the front porch. The foraging deer were some concern to me but haven’t seen hide nor hair of them in recent weeks.

The update on dating can be summed up in fairly terse fashion: It’s not working out too well. Women don’t seem to be interested. It’s an interesting process in that Continue reading

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No dusty roads this time around, said the chief sinner …


Reid and his old man are getting cranked up to head back out West again, and still fresh in both our memories (at least in mine) is a long night of fitful sleep in his Saturn along a dusty road under a bright, moonlit sky outside Pinedale, Wyoming. That was the best we could do when we couldn’t find a room for the night in this little berg on the western slope of the Wind Rivers. We don’t want to go through that again next week. Maybe the young can tolerate sleeping on a reclined car seat, but not us oldsters.

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July 5, 2015

Ellen/Reid: Reid, I’m sorry we didn’t get a chance to talk on your 30th birthday. From the sound of it, Liz had a party for you and that must’ve been a lot of fun. If there are any pics, send ‘em. You only turn 30 once and those are the fateful ones, the b-days that end with a zero.

Hey man, in a couple weeks time we’ll be in the high country. Watch for a series of calls to make sure we’ve got the menu and the gear buttoned up. Remind me to get new filters for the pumps, and stakes for the two person tent. That would be a helluva thing for you to be making the circuit of the Cirque only to discover there would be no way to keep your tent upright. We can probably wait until Pinedale to buy flies. We need to attach some new tippet/leader to whichever fly line we’ll use since we don’t want a line failure at a critical moment, especially when dinner is on the hook. Katy, Tom and I had breakfast on Saturday to go over last minute items. We also secured a big Tahoe as transportation. Katy will pick it up on that Wednesday and she’ll ferry us from the airport to Jackson. We drive on down to Pinedale to the Baymont Inn. It’s one of those spots you and I couldn’t get into all those years ago. No way I want to sleep on a dusty road again.

The 4th of July party in the garage for my golf group went over really well. If nothing else, it forced me to tidy things up for once. People had a great time and we reveled well into the night. The cowboy caviar you guys all like was a hit and the grill saw some overtime use. At the 11th hour I thought I’d better check to see if there was enough propane, and good thing. The tank was nearly empty. Wouldn’t that have been great to run out in mid-broil. We had enough food to feed a small army, and what wasn’t eaten is sitting in the fridge, even after making to-go plates for everyone to take home.

My Golf for One group are all pretty sticks, but they know how to get down, too.

My Golf for One group are all pretty good sticks, but they know how to get down, too.

The best part was blowing off a package of cheap fireworks and sparklers. A friend of mine, Paul, served as chief arsonist, and it was hilarious to watch him try to get fuses started. I re-made acquaintance with gin and tonics but no one was watching out for my best interests by shutting me off. Really, it wasn’t too bad but it was a fun night. By 1 a.m. I had everything cleaned up and ended the night sitting in the garage (Ellen, you’d be proud of me for stringing some decorative lights for low level ambiance) with a final beer while listening to Michael Burks play the blues. A good way to end the evening.

There’s been some upheaval at Caldwell. Our Session voted to end the contract of an associate pastor, and it set off some fire alarms. Ellen, you know John, and he’s been attacked unmercifully and, in my view, incredibly unfairly. He’s a good man and a great steward. I sent him a letter yesterday offering up my views of the situation and lending him my unconditional support for encouraging an environment that would draw in even the most heathen-like among us,

There's been a little upheaval in my small church, but we shall overcome.

There’s been a little upheaval in my small church, but we shall overcome.

including me. It’s become a race Continue reading

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There’s more to a party than chips and beer …


The big news is Reid passed his 30th birthday; the other news is that the countdown for the Bridger Wilderness has started in earnest. Alas, my days as a party planner are long past, in fact, they never existed. But here’s last week’s note. To paraphrase John Oliver’s Last Week Tonight on HBO, next week’s post will be on last week.

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June 29, 2015

Ellen/Reid: There must be little hatchlings in the blue bird box. Both sets of parents are flitting to the entry hole without going inside. In times past I’ve noticed little heads bobbing up and down as the new birds try to sneak a peek at their new world but my binoculars don’t detect such activity thus far. That the little birds made it through the heat is a good thing. Let’s hope they keep thriving.

Enjoyed a few BLTs from the tomato plant before it makes the journey to the back of the house per the instructions from the HOA board. There really is a difference between these vine ripened beauties and the hothouse ones you get in the store. The one down side is the size is somewhere between a golf and tennis balls. That’s still big enough to be of use to me in the kitchen. The plant will be transported sometime in the next couple of days ahead of the Fourth of July party here on Saturday night. Looks to be about 25 people signed up.

I thought the party might go up in flames due to poor planning skills, but the only thing that erupted were the fireworks on the back driveway.

I thought the party might go up in flames due to poor planning skills, but the only eruption was the fireworks on the back driveway.

Not entirely sure where they will all park but we’ll figure it out somehow. Some of the women in the group have subtly reminded me that there is more to throwing a shindig than opening the garage door, opening a few bags of chips and putting out a cooler of beer. So I’m working on the finer points of the menu as we speak. Folks do know to bring folding chairs and something to grill. That’s not a bad start. Party planning was never a real strength of mine.

I tried 72 holes of golf this weekend, almost unintentionally, and it worked out okay. The knee held up for the most part and I didn’t walk the courses. The heat was down so things were bearable. One of my rounds was with a kid who can blast the ball 300+ yards without working too hard at it. He has the total game and is a former college star. It’s amazing to watch him smash it but he has touch around the greens, too. He really has skills. Also, a friend of mine in my golf group showed me a couple of still photos of my swing and it almost made me Continue reading

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