Tag Archives: red fish

Two golden rings: one stays celestial, the other crashes to earth


It’s interesting that my world revolved around two rings last week; one celestial, the other at ground level.

If you follow my Pick Up Your Path.com blog, you’ll have seen the photo and tale of the ‘diamond’ ring found by chance in a parking lot. The eclipse and ‘diamond,’ however, shared one fatal trait: both flamed out in a matter of minutes. And to think the dispiriting loss might have been Ellen and Reid’s gain.

Yet news about the 18K gold ring won’t go away quietly into the night; fodder for the weekly letter written today will touch on a truly bizarre find – a second ring. Tune in next week. 

As for the trip to a bridal shop, that stays between us. To borrow from Mark Twain, “reports of my marriage are greatly exaggerated.” Emphasis on ‘greatly.’


August 21, 2017

Ellen/Reid: There is total eclipse mania down here. Not too far away in South Carolina there will be darkening in its totality; here, it’ll be 98 percent or something like that. The last 100 percenter I saw was before you two were born. I remember standing out on Grand Avenue in Des Moines with a box that had a hole punched in it so as not to look at the sun directly. In a couple of minutes later today all the hoopla will be over. Sondra and Jody have invited a few of us to their lake home just over the border. It’ll really be an excuse to guzzle wine on a workday.

I hosted two sweet young women, one from California and her friend from Virginia, last night and they were up around dawn to head down to SC for the viewing. They were cheered by an improved forecast but all it would take is a random cloud to fuzzy things up. Bean counters say the whole shebang is worth a lot of tourist money to the Carolinas. At least it was for me in the Airbnb sense. The overnight visit was the latest in a string of good experiences with guests so perhaps my lodge will stay open a little while longer. The tryst still has me chuckling. What a complete sap your old man was.

You can appreciate this, Ellen, but Sondra’s daughter Chiana asked me to make comments as she toured bridal shops last Friday for a wedding dress. She’s going to be a beautiful bride and although my couture expertise and sense of style is severely limited I was able to give a ‘yes/no’ to some of the candidates. The best Jody and I could really do was fidget. At no time in my past have I ever set foot in a bridal shop. Didn’t you share of photo of yours with me? I don’t recall literally being in a shop to look at dresses.

 

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Don’t ask why nothing was written at length about my best day of fishing ever in terms of jumbo red fish; three reds over 30 inches with the big one topping out at 35 inches. It could be the kids are tired of reading my incessant whining about not catching much.

Geez, I don’t know what to think about the diamond engagement ring. Or at least I’m hoping it is real. The band is stamped with ‘18k’ so it’s hard to imagine a fake stone going atop a quality band. At least the gold would be worth something. Ellen, I’ll follow your advice and get it appraised. It’s not to late to claim it for one of the girls (or you, Ellen). Sorry it won’t work out for you either, Reid. I’m no gemologist by any means but it sure looks like 3/4 karat to me. Another point for it being a true diamond: the ring had been run over and is slightly bent but the stone remained intact. The setting looks top drawer, too. It either slipped out of a purse or some pissed off chick tossed it aside. Man, if that was the case, it must’ve been one hell of an argument. My guess is there was one boatload of remorse once someone sobered up Sunday morning. How the heck would I find the rightful owner? I’ll look around a little bit but it could be a ‘finders keepers, losers weepers’ deal. Maybe it will help to offset the cost of my walk across Spain.

You know, there are a few jitters, some nerves and admitted uncertainty about the trek at all. I’m having second thoughts, not about going necessarily, but just wondering if I’m mentally up to a solo hike. There are others who would brush that off. Maybe it’s just nonsense worrying. This week there has to be a decision about a return flight. Someone suggested EuroTrain from Portugal to Berlin to see my friends Claudia and Frank. Then a jet home from there.

Still, my pack is packed and weighs in at 13.6 lbs. before a water bottle is added. I feel pretty good about that but am not sure how much, if any, weight can be shaved. In fact, it might go up a few ounces at the last minute with overlooked gear. I’ve enlisted some friends to make a 10 mile test hike with me this Friday. I’ll be in full regalia, including the loaded pack. The Salomon boots have not been worn other than the floor of the store up in Pinedale. Gotta see if they they, and me, can pass the test. Physically I should be okay. It’s the mental fortitude equation that is still in the balance.

Love, Dad

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Oh, for a beer to go with oysters – a by-product of generosity and a delicacy on the grill …


Salt water fishing is a recurring theme in my letters. 

I like it so much I wonder why it took so long – eight years – to cast my first line in the inshore waters south of Charleston. The total investment is upwards of $4,000 in a kayak and associated gear – not to mention the travel and early morning departures to pursue red fish and black drum and speckled sea trout. It’s some of the best money I’ve ever spent.

I wouldn’t have it any other way. And that means Ellen and Reid often – too often? – read about the all-too-frequent and goofy/poor skills fishing mistakes as well as the triumphs. 

But that’s why I write weekly letters – so they can know what I’m up to and why – even if it reveals my obsession with the Salt Life.


November 28, 2016

Ellen/Reid: Reid, thanks for the invitation to join you and Liz for Christmas at Marco Island. Sounds like fun, and I’ll be there for sure. That sounds like about the right length of time for a visit without overstaying my welcome. Keep me posted on the fishing charter. That will make a bit of difference when I arrive. Miss Emma will drive down with me. I may stick around in another part of Florida or head up to Louisiana to try the red fish up that way. Tim keeps saying how good it is and that might be the time to give it a go since we’ll be in the general vicinity.

Really have done well the last couple of weeks of fishing. Lots of reds (for a change) and big black drum. When not anchored at the barge I still have trouble catching anything in waters that are still a bit tricky to me. It seems you have to fish when the tide is headed out or by oyster beds. What seems to bite the most in the channels are the speckled trout which are, by the way, a truly delicious fish. The tactic to use is a popping cork, a rig with a sliding bobber about two feet above the hook. There are some plastic beads that make noise when the bobber slides back and forth, ostensibly attracting fish to the noise. Caught a nice flounder by surprise on it for the first time last week.

Came upon a trove of fresh oysters on Thanksgiving Day as a result of some dual generosity. I’ve gotten to know an older oysterman, Richard, and gave him a spare redfish a couple of weeks ago, for which he was most appreciative. While the reds were really biting last week – even for this hapless fisherman – he was across the salt creek working hard at an oyster bed and I gave him a yell to see if he wanted a red.

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Here’s my take home pay the week after Thanksgiving; a trifecta of black drum, red fish and speckled sea trout. On T-Day, two red fish didn’t make the trip home with Miss Emma and me; they stayed behind with the oystermen.

He nodded ‘yes’ and when his local harvest was done, he and his crew mate came over to retrieve the 19” drum. When the fish was transferred to his flat boat, the boat hand surprised me by dumping a bushel of oysters, maybe 40-50 pounds worth, in the back of Miss Emma, nearly pushing our stern underwater. That gesture was worth another fish so now they each had a nice drum in their boat and I had big, juicy oysters. The three of us sat there for awhile as Richard pried open a bunch of the shellfish for our de facto Thanksgiving meal. ‘Oh, for a beer,’ I said and we all laughed. After the fishing was done and the boat was loaded atop the car, I poured the oysters into one of the rugged, untearable 35 gallon plastic sacks Richard uses to deliver oysters to a few top-end restaurants in downtown Charleston as well as the diner right there are the Bowens Island put in point. The oysters were covered in mud so when I got home in early evening I dumped the contents of the bag onto the driveway and washed them down as best I could and put them on ice in the cooler than held slot fish: two red drum, three black drum, and one trout and flounder each.

We roasted the bi-valves on the grill over the weekend, and holy cow, what a feast. They were just incredible.

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Toss South Carolina oysters on the grill for 8 – 9 minutes, open a cold one and some cocktail sauce – now that’s some fine eating. It’s no tough task to open the bi-valves. Their shells wedge open during the roasting, putting the salty, succulent meat within easy reach.

The first night I overcooked them a bit – their shells tend to pop when really hot – but the second time they came out just perfect. Not bad with a beer and some horse radish. Since the fishing should still be good, Miss Emma and I will head to the barge one day this week and my salt water license also covers the collection of oysters. I’ll use a brick to jar them from the pillars near the barge and other open oyster beds. That will double the fun.

Here are a couple of fragrant eucalyptus leaves from a tree along my daily route. In the early darkness on Saturday and Sunday I’ll pluck a sweet smelling leaf from the tree and crush the aromatic foliage in my fingers just for the heck of it. Adds a little zest to the walk. Emma should like that fragrance. Thanks, Ellen, for Face Timing the girls with me. Love it.

Okay, over and out. Don’t be too late to get me your Christmas lists. ASAP. Stat. Pronto. As for me, it should be the usual – nothing. Really, there’s nothing I want or need. Other than a house sale but no way you can assist on that front.

Love, Dad

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Georgia, Reid in Raleigh, and a Big Red …


Family news is still dominated by Georgia’s grand entrance, but there are other things going on, too, i.e. Reid’s headed down this way, the garden is in, and a Big Red finally shows up in my boat.

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April 20, 2015

Ellen/Reid: So now there are two granddaughters. Welcome, Georgia. Wow. That little peanut is a little beauty. What a great photo that is, Ellen, of the two of you moments after she was born. Whew, and I’ll bet you’re glad that is over. Sort of funny to hear she’s a little night owl although that’s easy for me to say 1,200 miles away. At least your mom, then Nancy P. , will be there to help you the first few weeks.

Ellen beams moments after  Georgia made her debut. A couple of real cuties.

Ellen beams as Georgia announces her arrival. A couple of real cuties.

To look at Georgia’s long fingers might be a tip off that she’ll be tall. Maybe 5’ 7” – 5’ 9”, something on that order. Emma seems a little reticent around her new sis but that’s only natural, one would think. She’s been the top fiddle for three years but she’ll be a good big sister in short order. To be a fly on the wall to hear those two bumpkins talk once Georgia is old enough. You and Tim will have your hands full.

I’ve no real clue about what to get her. Some suggestions would be good and it would be fine to wait until I’m up there next month before any shopping is done. Did you keep a lot of Emma’s baby clothing? For some reason it rings a bell that you gave some of it away. That’s okay. So just toss some ideas out there.

Reid, even though your weekend in Raleigh for the wedding should be packed, I’m looking forward to however much time you and Liz can spare. So just let me know what works for you. How’s an early Saturday morning breakfast sound? I could be up there around 8:30 or 9:00. If the weather permits the Road King will make it’s highway debut since it’s seen no road time with me. How was Berkeley? Can’t wait to hear about it. If Liz could get entrance to Cal, that would be a great thing, and you can do worse than live in the Bay area although it’s probably pretty pricey.

Alas, the blue birds are gone. Continue reading

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A triumvirate of good things …


I don’t know if the kids are bored yet (a rhetorical question that does not demand an answer) with yet another story about ‘fishing.’ But at least this tale was about ‘catching,’ a wholesale change from prior fish-less excursions.

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December 1, 2014

Ellen/Reid: As weeks go, this past one was pretty good; it was holiday shortened, the Thanksgiving meal was passable (grade B), and red fish were caught aplenty. That’s a fair triumvirate of good things in the stretch of a few days.

The meal for seven was fine. Amazing what following directions can do for

It's amazing what some sugar will do for the taste of pumpkin pies - as Ellen and Reid have discovered the hard way with their dad's baking.

It’s amazing what some sugar will do for the taste of pumpkin pies – as Ellen and Reid have discovered the hard way with their dad’s baking.

pumpkin pies (yes, I did add sugar this time). Most of the prep work (pies and stuffing) was wrapped up on Wednesday. That removed some of, but not all, the angst on Thursday morning. The only near-snag was I was hell bent to post my early morning walk on my trash blog and lost complete track of time about how long it would take to make bread. It was to be a three rise affair and I cut a couple of corners in order to get the loaves finished and the bird in the oven about noon. Things worked out okay but I nearly screwed the pooch right there. Reid, I recalled a photo of you slathering the turkey with butter a few years ago at Hilton Head and I repeated that performance. My friends got here about 3:45 – 4 p.m. and wine was liberally served so they might overlook any food faux pas. Everything turned out just fine and on time. The gravy was a bit thick and lumpy but that might be because the cook tipped back his share of wine. It still tasted good. We sat around retelling the old stories, eating pie and creme brulee and it was a lot of fun.

On Friday I hatched a plan to head back to Folly Beach for some fishing since only three of us were to play Saturday golf. I pulled the plug on that, which freed up the day. The beach forecast was favorable (60s) and the drive doable (a shade over 3 hours door to dock). The loading of the kayak atop the car and stowage of gear is becoming somewhat simpler.

The Ocean Kayak Trident 13 may have looked rigged and ready, but self-induced fouled lines cost me an hour of fishing. I was pissed.

The Ocean Kayak Trident 13 may have looked rigged and ready, but self-induced fouled lines cost me an hour of fishing. I was pissed.

I took bagful of frozen shrimp from the freezer and let it thaw on the counter. I woke up about 3 a.m., made sufficient coffee for a carafe and headed down the highway a shade after 4:00. It’s a pleasant enough ride down I-77 through Columbia to I-26 and on down to Charleston, which you skirt to the West and then finagle your way along Rte. 171 to an off the beaten path little road. I arrived in the parking lot (the bed of which is oyster shells), paid $2 to use put-in spot, and shoved off. But your dad makes so many, many stupid mistakes. I mis-handled the line on a reel and spent the next hour trying to undo the thing, cursing the whole time. It just cost so much precious time that could be better spent fishing. With no bites at the first stop (the pilings of a pier) I paddled a half mile away to another pier only to ram my kayak into the posts because I was unable to navigate through the strong tide. The mishap bent the eye guides on one rod and nearly broke the other rod. Two other fishermen watching me and must’ve thought ‘That guy is an idiot’ and they wouldn’t be far from right. The only catch there was a very, very small sea bass of some kind, so it was on to a sunken barge about 400 yards away. There was a pleasure boat anchored in the prime spot and they were catching all kinds of fish when I pulled up. But the bite for them stopped as soon as I anchored about 50 yards away and they left after an hour of catching nothing. I hopped over to their spot and all hell broke loose on my Harris Teeter shrimp.

This beauty was 23 inches - well inside the slot. But it was a day to catch and release.

This beauty was 23 inches – well inside the slot. But it was a day to catch and release.

I caught 17 -18 red fish in the space of 90 minutes and lost a few more. The smallest was 14 inches and the biggest 23 inches. If I hadn’t made some other poor mistakes (bad knots, fouled line, etc.) no doubt the total would’ve been more. It was so exciting. I was yelling and laughing at the same time. All those other frustrating trips were old news. Ellen, tell Tim his advice on the guide was the best money I’ve spent on this. Tim’s comments that it’s ‘bad karma’ to keep a fish came to mind, so I let all the beautiful beasts swim away and free. Reid, you’ve got to get your sorry carcass down here because we can rent a kayak and rods. It’s time you and I headed to The Barge. Let’s do this – soon.

Love, Dad

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A Guinness at my expense – gladly …


Now that I finally ended months of frustration and caught real fish, maybe it’s time Ellen and Reid saw their dad move on to some other sort of adventure.

Nah.

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November 17, 2014

Ellen/Reid: Well, all it took was one day to atone for my lack of fish from a kayak. We killed them yesterday morning in Folly Beach, South Carolina. All it took was a guide and some live and cut bait. Tim was right; I’d learn more in a half-day with a guide than I learned in all those disappointing fishless trips by myself. I reeled in five red fish and a dozen or so speckled trout. My friend Jody and his girlfriend Sondra from my golf group came along with me (she wisely stayed indoors) and Jody won both the first fish and largest fish bets (a Guinness at my expense). He caught a black drum about 6 pounds.

All it took for my friend Jody and me to finally catch fish on a raw day was some good guidance from Cap'n Tripp.

All it took for my friend Jody and me to finally catch fish on a raw day was some good guidance from Cap’n Tripp.

We persevered through a tough day of temps in the 40s and cold wind and steady rain the first three hours before sunshine broke out. We only kayaked about 1/2 mile and fished the ‘structure’ that Cap’n Tripp (of a fun group called Charleston Outdoor Adventures) pointed out; dock pilings and a sunken barge. He also espoused letting the bait sit. It was pretty much the opposite of what I’d been doing which was to slowly reel in the plastic bait along the grassy shorelines. We also let the reds set themselves on the hook since they ingest the bait and crush it in their throats. The speckled trout nibble and then you can set the hook. My biggest red was a couple pounds and the biggest trout was in that range, too. Jody and I kept several for a hoped-for feast later. The toughest part was filleting the catch once I got home. I muddled through it, wasting I don’t know how much precious meat and slicing a finger, but at last the fish are in the freezer until we can sauté it. I can’t wait to go again. Reid, we need to do this since I’ve got a somewhat better feel about what to do. We really need to get on the water. It’s so much fun.

The cold, wintry weather persists this morning. It’s raining now and feels just completely raw. The week looks bleary but in view of the white stuff you’ve had in the last few days, perhaps your old man shouldn’t bitch and moan so much. It’s all relative.

My diet went to hell in the space of a week. Why that is is beyond me. A bit of ice cream, a bag of chips, a steak, overeating and other food felonies played havoc with me this morning at the Y. The workout was just a slog, there’s no way to sugarcoat it. I don’t like falling off the wagon. They say the mind is strong but the flesh is weak. That certainly applies here.

The will is set to be notarized and signed tomorrow. It really is a relief to have it finished since it has been on the front burner for a while. Your uncle has reminded me of it from time to time. He didn’t want me to use an online service like legalzoom.com. He thought those didn’t offer all the options a neophyte like me would never know about. It turns out he was right. You’ll get copies soon.

Elle, I haven’t told many people about your and Tim’s good fortune. I’ll keep it under my hat for a while longer until it can be broadcast a little wider. Hope you’re feeling better. Hard for men to identify with what you’re going through.

Reid, I wouldn’t mind getting up to Chicago soon. Just toss out a few Friday – Sunday dates that fit for you and Liz. I promise to be good guest.

Consider this another plea to send ole’ Santa your Christmas lists. Emma and Tim’s, too. I can’t be trusted to buy stuff you’ll want without your guidance.

My guest list for Thanksgiving has grown to 9. I’m excited about it. The 13 lb. bird is in the freezer and most of the other trimmings have been bought. I arranged a couple of morning tee times so they could all play golf before coming over, weather permitting of course. But if it’s a day like the one we have right now, there won’t be much golf involved.

Love, Dad

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A standoff with Emma…


If you ever go to Minnesota, time your visit to coincide with the state fair. An extravaganza of people watching, food (and then some) – it was a wonderland for little Emma, although she has her ‘moments’, too.

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September 2, 2014

Ellen/Reid: Wow, what a weekend. I don’t know how you could squeeze much more into not very many hours – state fair (impressive), a nice meal with Kristin and Jeff, stand up paddle boarding, etc.

Tim and Ellen traipse through the Minnesota State Fair. Time for themselves, even among the crowds.

Tim and Ellen traipse through the Minnesota State Fair. Time for themselves, even among the crowds.

I have instituted a new rule of thumb on post-trip recovery as of this moment: I get four hours of down time for every one hour spent doing things with you. So that means I’ve got 100+ hours of R&R ahead of me. That’ll work.

It is amazing to see Emma’s progress language-wise, behavior and just growing into her little person-hood. She’s just blossoming. And, she’s just a little pistol. Ellen, I hope you and Tim didn’t mind me standing firm during our Mexican standoff about her over throwing her shoes and sun hat out of the wagon in her fit of pique. Man, she’s got some resolve. In a lot of ways, that sort of independence is a good thing. I’m no discipline guru (case in point: look at the two of you) but she just needs to know where the boundaries are.

Emma rides the plastic ponies with the steadying hand of her dad.

Emma rides the plastic ponies with the steadying hand of her dad.

But she is just such a good little girl in all respects. She’s smart, perceptive and responsive. You guys have done a good job with her. It’s nice that she doesn’t get a lot of TV. It lets her little mind concentrate on other things.

Reid, thanks for letting Tim and I crash the party Sunday night. Donna and Tom do things right from start to finish. A couple of the people pulled me aside to say how impressed they were with you. That’s good for a dad to hear, and I’ve already told your mom about it. She’s glad to hear it, too.

I’ll tell you, if there’s a better fly caster than Tim, I’d like to see him or her. It’s just hard to imagine when you see how effortless he makes it.

I've seen lots of folks throw flies in my time - but there's no one better than Tim. The guy can bring it - and bring it softly.

I’ve seen lots of folks throw flies in my time – but there’s no one better than Tim. The guy can bring it – and bring it softly.

I mean, every single cast is just artful and perfect. I’d be out there slashing the water to a froth and he just lolls his way through it. I think he felt bad about not having a second rod but I was perfectly content watching his artistry. He put the fly right where the fish were and they responded as you would expect them to. If only I could transfer his skills to the salt water. I’m gonna head back to the ocean, at Charleston mostly probably, on Saturday, Sept. 13 to try my luck. Sounds like a good move, as suggested by Tim, to get a guide.

The fruit of Tim's labors: a nice 10 inch brown trout.

The fruit of Tim’s labors: a nice 10 inch brown trout.

This time I won’t go down and back on the same day but probably spend Friday night at some roadside inn so I can get up uber early, or however early it is the guide will tolerate. I could also go with him on a Saturday, then try it by my lonesome on Sunday.

It’s broiling down here today. Mid 90s. It is oppressive no matter how you slice it. It was that way the few days I was up in Minnesota so the plants are looking sickly and stressed. Some neighbors kept water on the vegetation on the front porch so things came through the heat in pretty good order. The paper ran a story while I was gone about planting a fall crop of lettuce and the like but I’m gonna wait a couple of weeks or so until the daytime heat really dies down. Man, those raspberries in your back garden are sure good. No wonder almost none of them ever make it into the kitchen. If I were Emma, I’d stand outside and eat them, too. She just loves those.

Among the unwelcome pieces of mail over the weekend were my property taxes. Ouch. All I can say is, living in SouthPark better damn well be worth it because it’s a helluva lot cheaper to live in South Carolina although it’s probably an idle threat on my part to move down there. Reid, I went online today to see the prices for renting my unit out to strangers and you’re guess of $150-$175 a night was pretty spot on. To judge from some of the fancy photos, I’ve really got to take care to get the right shots. I still think it’s about location-location-location and this spot would seem to be a fairly attractive one. But we shall see. I haven’t been snooping around about rentals up in your neck of the woods but will also get around to that this week. I appreciated your guy’s insights into this. Now I’ve got something to think about other than feeling guilty about playing hardball with Emma for not putting her shoes back on. She’ll get over it sooner than me.

Love, Dad

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Cha-ching…


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.

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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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