Monday, December 27, 2010
Tuesday, December 21, 2010
Saturday, December 18, 2010
Down in Mexico we have alot of friends from Minnesota, and here at mile 14 we seem to collect Minnesotans. To give them credit, as a group they're the best fisherman I've ever met and I've learned to get used to that unique Minnesota twang. But my only gripe is when I hear from a Minnesotan that "our winters are just like yours".....mmm.....well I know they got hit hard last weekend with snow knee deep to a tall Indian, but in the spirit of cocktail hour science I've done a little research. Following is a 'snapshot' of the current conditions and forecast for Mile 14 and to make it look so I didn't rig this deal I picked out the coldest and darkest of Minnesota, International Falls which I think is near the Canadian border....eh.....
Current temp: ours, -2. Theirs , 12.
Conditions: ours, clear. Theirs, light snow, mist.
Sun up: ours, 10.09 am. Theirs, 8.01 am
Sun down: ours, 3.52 pm. Theirs 4.19 pm. .....that would be a difference of 2 hours and 19 minutes of life sustaining daylight.
Dew point: ours, -6. Theirs, 8.
Wind: ours, calm. Theirs, 6mph
Current snow pack; ours, 12 inches. Theirs, 25 inches....trade ya some dark for some snow?
Coldest forecast temp for the next week; ours, -6. Theirs - 3.
So, you get the idea. AND, mind you this snapshot is a little skewed by the fact that as I type this its evening here and its the middle of the night in International Falls....mmm.....
But in my research I found that we certainly share the same moon. Its a Waxing Gibbous and ours is 94% illuminated, how about that?
I know, I know, I know Mel....you guys in Fairbanks could do the same to us.
Sunday, December 12, 2010
Bike the loop: That's to Kenai on the Spur and back to Soldotna on K-beach, about 25 miles. Didn't happen, the farthest ride I made was 14 miles.
12% body fat : For the second year in row it looks like I'm not going to make it by Christmas. I learned alot about diet this year so maybe next year. Here's a pic of me when I came home from the gym today. This year I integrated more carbs into the diet to help my energy for lifting. I thought I could offset it with more cardio. All that happened is that I gained muscle and most of the body fat stayed. I'm around 14 or 15%. The good news is that I'm stronger than ever. I set a personal best 180 pound bench press the other day. My plan was to weigh 185, I'm at 195. Bummer. Hablo Espanol : I haven't studied my Spanish at all. But I did read the account of the conquest of Mexico by Hermano Cortes and right now I'm reading a textbook on the history of Mexico. I figure I deserve a half a check point for that effort.
Write 3 songs: Man, that was a lofty goal...what was I thinking. I have a pretty cool trick lyric I've worked on and have a bit of chording. I hope to have it (one song ) done while we're in Mazatlan.
MZT $$$ : That one we get a full fledged check. The season really wasn't so bad and MP made quite a few Real Estate deals. My friends helped me have on of the busiest silver seasons ever. It was great fishing and great to be busy.
Don't kill anybody: I'm no where near the hot head I used to be. Its all part of the ageing process I guess, when you learn to be graceful. I only had one problem all season. A young guide ran his boat in an unsafe manner and scared the hell out of my fishing friends. He did it on purpose it seemed so I went to see him and a confrontation occurred. No biggy....In fact I learned a valuable lesson: You can't settle things man to man with children. So I get another check on this one.
20 lb. Corvina : You'll be reading about that one by January 15th... I'm giving myself an intuition check on that one. This is my year.
Forgive : Well, mmmmm, I'm getting better. I used to be able to hold a grudge for a decade or so and now I'm down to 5 years, so that's an improvement. But I've had a few people do malicious and hurtful things to me and my family and I just wish they were men enough to apologise, that's all it would take....grudge over and I'd get a check. One more thing about this...just that fact that I know I need to do it is an accomplishment, for me anyway.
Healthy mind / body : I guess I shouldn't have put this one right under the forgive topic. Other than not being able to completely let loose of one little thing I think I'm pretty straight in melon. I treat people the way they treat me and I love alot. The body part gives me a full 1/2 a check. We recently had blood work done and except for a little elevated cholesterol all is hunky-dory.
Add 2 weeks : No check here. MP kind of drew the line at 10 weeks in Mazatlan and for me its a no brainer. I love her more than I love Mazatlan so she wins, period.
Turn 57: Mission accomplished. I celebrated with a beer as I cleaned fish and went bed at 7:30. Jimmy Buffet says you know you're getting old when you get up at the same time you used to go to bed. That's me.
Love MP : Full check.
So how'd I do? Well out of 12 I have 4 checks. Not that good. I think I can do better next year and all I know is this.... if I really want these things I have simply got to work harder. On the other hand if I were a Seattle Mariner and had a 300 batting I'd be the star of the team, and they'd probably trade me....
Saturday, December 4, 2010
Saturday, November 27, 2010
Sunday, November 21, 2010
But I realized this is a serious situation for folks who might not be as secure in their skin as I am so I got to doing some problem solving and I think I've got it. My solution although it might sound complex really gets at the heart of several issues facing America, security, health and our desire to always be bargain hunting....So I propose that we evolve this 'body scan' machine that everybody seems to hate into a full blown C.A.T. scan machine. After all if it can tell you have a tumor it ought to be able to tell the TSA folks if you're packing a box cutter. Then when you clear the TSA station you're given a print out of your scan to use as you'd like, maybe spend a two week vacation worried about that new dark spot on your liver, who knows. Brilliant eh?...we do something for preventative medicine, take the gripe out of the system and we all fly securely. Problem solved.
I guess I have a knack for noticing the small things in life, Its part of that quest I'm on...appreciation. So now that its cold and the river is starting to freeze I got to taking a good look at the ice here at Mile 14. Its beautiful, really. MP and me along with Jet-Blue the dog that's learned to stand on two legs when on the ice walked down to Fall-in-Hole yesterday. That first pic is how the ice pans and floats down the river, its kind of cool because we see many shades of the same thing. Then the next pic I took of the shore ice. Naturally theres less current next to shore so the freezing process starts at the shoreline and works out. When it gets close to the water there is a strange ribbon of these ice crystals laying on top of the river ice. I don't know what causes it but I suppose it has something to do with the open water close by and when its really cold it kind of condensates dropping the frozen ice crystals onto the sheet ice. In whatever case its everywhere and really cool. I guess it underlines what I tell people all the time when they ask if I get tired of being on the river...the river is really a living thing and its different every single day. You just have to notice.
So this last pic is me and the crew saying happy Thanksgiving to all of you. This year its going to be a bit strange here as I think its just the 3 of us. Our boys are grown up and gone, our friends Dick and Loretta who we enjoyed many a holiday with have moved to the 48 and my nephew and his wife are going to Fairbanks to be with his sister. It'll be alright, MP has a mini-turkey and we'll light one of our Mexican candles, open a bottle of good Merlot and be thankful for all of you and all that we have here on the Kenai River. Keep reading, we'll have some fishing stuff going on real soon.
Saturday, November 13, 2010
Sunday, November 7, 2010
Well, as usually happens here at Mile 14 nothing goes as planned, I'm not complaining because often the plans change for the better, but not today. The power is out, and it stays out. Mmmmmm....we keep a pretty cool temp in the house to begin with, seems for reasons we need not go into MP has a different view of the ambient temperature than me. She just seems to be warmer than me I guess. So, the temp in the house drops to 65, then to 6o, then, well on and on until finally when power is returned 5 hours later its a pretty cool 45 degrees in the house. And of course without power theres no movies so MP reads and I change oil in the snow blower and the 4-wheeler.
Wednesday, November 3, 2010
Me and MP were anchored up one fall silver fishing at Eagle Rock when this coyote came out. He was flat bold and we watched him scavenge around for almost an hour. The coyotes might be the toughest life form on the river. In the winter we find holes the ice where they scratch down a foot or so to get at an old salmon carcass.
Every year we seem to have more and more Bald Eagles. This guy is an immature one, I've been told it takes 3 years for them to get good and white, if somebody knows for sure, I'd like to know. One of my favorite things is watching them get the first salmon guts of the year after we clean our first King of the year, usually in early to mid May. As far as fish go they seem to depend on us but I have seen them take live fish and those poor Merganser ducklings don't have a chance.
Sandhill Cranes are pretty confident birds, they make no secret of their arrival. You can hear them a looooong way off. They kind of cackle. I call them Pterodactyls as they just look so different than geese or other big birds when they fly over.Those Trumpeter Swans are the last migratory bird to exit stage south every year. This bunch here I jumped right at the end of the island below my house. I would have gotten a better pic of them and maybe one of them feeding but the Jet-Dog could show no restraint and needed a closer look, fast. With all the talk I've made lately about our bears here I'm embarrassed to say that I don't have any really good pics. Just two nights ago we had a sow and two cubs outside and one was on the picnic table 15 feet from our bedroom window. MP had some sunflowers on it for the Jay Birds and the cub just had to have some....but theres just no way to get a picture with the dark and reflection of the window. I tried. I'll bet my photography major buddy Roy could have pulled it off. So that leaves me with this ultra magnified pic of a browny that we watched across the river for many days. He's having a spawned out Humpy all you can eat buffet. Sometimes around here you just have to share the fishing hole. Thats what my buddy Jacques Lizin is doing here. I'd bet he's not as calm as he looks here....would you be?
I'll close out this little camera Safari with a pic that Jacque took in Seward. Absolutely gorgeous. The porpoises are like the seals I'd say, they love to entertain....Hope you liked the tour.
Saturday, October 30, 2010
Friday, October 22, 2010
Tuesday, October 19, 2010
But while the football players were in Anchorage local athletes like this guy were competing in the 1st annual Soldotna Bike and Skate Challenge. I was impressed, I had no idea we had extreme sports guys here who can do 360's and flips just like on ESPN. Our new Mayor sponsored the event and he's doing a great job of community involvement. Years ago when I was a trustee at the Elks Lodge we had some extra gaming money to spend and after listening to many proposals we settled on the equipment for this skateboard park. For the first few years the facility was somewhat abused but as the years went by our kids rallied around it and now its a center for the young people who aren't all cut out for the traditional school sports. Its exactly what we'd all hoped for when the place was built, a great addition to our town. As you can see theres alot of graffiti that some would call vandalising, me, I figure its just a way of customising the place.
Well MP's been gone exactly a week now, yup, seven full days. She went to Montana for her mom's 85th birthday party and to see her huge family. I decided not to go but I think next year I'll be rethinking that deal.....you know how I like lists, they add a little structure to my decidedly unstructured life, so here's a short list of things I've learned since she's been gone.1. Wine glasses break really easy when you wash them.
2. I'm not Jet-Dogs only passion.
3. People say "wheres MP' ? instead of "hi Jeff".
4. Mile 14 is REALLY quiet at night.
5. If you play the guitar for 4 hours your fingers will look like this.