Monday, September 27, 2010

Never say 'woo' in a horse race

MP says that my obsession with the gym is plain and simple vanity. But I kind of figure that in my quest to become a really good person that a healthy self image and overall good health are a big part of my goals. Remember a great american named Mohamed Ali once said " it ain't bragging if you can do it". So I started on my high protein diet this week and I'm committed to getting my body fat to that difficult 12% athletic goal. I'm starting at an even 200 pounds and my body fat after a summer sitting in the boat all summer is about 19%. I should weigh in at 185 by Christmas.
This picture of me was taken right when we got to Mexico last December, my body fat was at 13% and I'd been working real hard. Not bad for a 57 year old guy eh? So here's my routine if you're wondering and what I've learned about achieving lean body mass....

1. Cardio. I do 25 to 45 minutes of cardio every day. I judge my routine by how much I sweat and 3 times a week I go hard at it and break one of those high school football practice sweats. The other days I do a lower intensity fat burn for a longer duration.

2. Diet. No junk. 200 to 250 grams of protein a day, this is done with supplements as you just can't eat that much lean meat. I use creatine which helps the recovery process. The diet is basically the 'Body For Life' model. A typical day is like this.....protein shake on the way to the gym @ 7:30. Three or four eggs whites and a glass of skim milk at 9:00. Then a carbmaster (like yogurt) whey protein snack at 10:30. Lunch at 12:30 is a lean piece of meat and an entire can of spinach or green beans. At 3:00 pm a protein shake and a banana. For supper at 6:30 I'll have a chicken breast some veggies and a salad with no dressing just a spray of Salad Spritzers made by WishBone. Every day I take a B Complex, a fish oil pill, a calcium tab and a small dose aspirin. If my joints began to ache I use Glucosamine and Shark cartilage. I drink 3 quarts of water a day.

3. Lifting. I've learned that lifting is important but also is the rest and recovery stage. When I first started in the gym I was over doing it and kind of spinning my wheels. So I lift every other day and exercise 2 body groups at a time. I do chest and back together, then shoulders and arms and then legs and AB's. During each session I lift to failure on every exercise just once. If you you're adding weight then you're adding muscle.

Now that's the blue print....but alot can go wrong. A few years ago I had tendinitis in my elbows so bad it almost stopped me and lately my back pain has grown into a weird psiatic nerve deal and my right knee is so loose it could just stop working...but half the game is working through the injuries and the everyday pain associated with being close to 60. My friend Charlie says that at his age if he's pain free then he's most likely dead. So wish me luck and I wish good health for all of you.

Monday, September 20, 2010


Its been as foggy here at Mile 14 as an old Dracula movie. An ocean layer moved in about 10 days ago and every day starts with pea soup dense fog, so thick you can't see the other side of the river. But lucky for me I have a few spots real close and we only run a few minutes but I still have a person setting close to me with a dry towel to clean my glasses. I guess its part of being in my fifties that I'm treating the fog with its due respect, I've gone this long without an accident on the river and we're keeping it that way.

This 1st pic of my friend Les Day will attest to the fog, its thick.
Years ago Les was selling 'Phantom Screens' at the home show and we bought one. (its the coolest product, a screen door that just pulls out of the wall, no real door) We got to talking and realized that we were friends right off the bat. As a young guy Les was diagnosed with Prostrate cancer and now he has dedicated himself to Prostate awareness and prevention. He has a lot of heart and he won't be a guy who wonders if he's done any good on his way to the hereafter. He's also pretty good at catching ol slimey.

One day last week I had the chance to get my friend Ben Ellis and our girls out fishing. Of course MP has to do things 'her own way' and Susie is just as independent and as I wasn't working I decided to just let things go and see what happens. The next series of pics is what I learned about how to net a salmon, it seems that the girls can add a flair to it that I've been lacking for years. The first trick is of course to get one on the hook, with MP's moe-joe thats a done deal. Then you let the fish splash around next to the boat for 5 minutes with your thumb locking up the line on the reel. Then I found out that you don't have to dip under the fish like I've done for years. You can also wield the net like a tennis racket and just swat at him from the top and if you miss, no worries, he's been on so long now he's quit flopping around making it soooo much easier. So once he's in the net and aboard its simple, just throw the rod down and hit him a good one with the bat and high fives all around. And thats how I learned thats there more than one way to net a fish. I've actually been thinking that we can add a new element to the excitement on my guided trips by changing things up a bit, we'll see.

I had the opportunity to meet these young guys from Hazen North Dakota. Adam Brayko and his buddies Jeff and Riley came to Kotzebue to hunt caribou and the darn things had not migrated right yet and they got skunked, as you can see that wasn't a problem for silver fishing on the Kenai river. These guys are Border guards and they are as outdoorsy as anybody I ever met. We had a great time. They stayed in a motor home they rented for a fall rate of $125.00 per day .If any of you are looking for a great deal, a quiet time of year and great fishing, its hard to beat the way these guys did it. That catch of theirs, nine silver weighed 115 pounds at the processors, not bad if you're a meat hunter.

Monday, September 13, 2010


As we get older I guess one of the things we learn is that the best of anything is the one that you're doing now so I use that as a qualifier when I say I just finished one of the best weeks of guiding in my 29 year history. Last week found me busy everyday and in the sunshine at that. We've had gorgeous sunny fall weather, it got all the way up to 67 degrees yesterday, wow.

I spent three days with one of the funnest groups I've ever had. I met Greg Smith and his wife a couple years back and this year he brought his four brothers up for their yearly get away. These guys were raised by a single mom and their bonding and accomplishment are impressive. The five brothers are a doctor, pilot, developer, engineer and a decorated soldier. They were raised in Mississippi and are the real deal when it comes to hunting and fishing. For me it was three days of belly laughing, great guys. Here's a pic of Greg, Ron, Randy, Mike and Bob, brothers Smith.

The Smith boys had to take Thursday off to see the Mississippi State football game so I got to fish with some locals, Gary and Maureen Hobe and their friend Rick. These guys are flight traffic controllers here at the Kenai hub. One trip with Gary Hobe did more to motivate me into the gym than a whole summer of fishing, we had licorice, payday bars, 3 inch thick sandwich's and real sugar free stuff with those guys. Rick caught 3 beautiful silvers, Gary....notta.

My old friend Ben Ellis was in town so I actually got to go fishing on Saturday. And yep, I've still got it. I caught 3 silvers in an hour and Ben caught 2, we had a double on to finish out our morning. Ben is about as interesting a guy as you'll ever meet. He came to town about 15 years ago to run the Kenai River Sportfishing Association. Before we had ever met both of us had heard that the other was a musician and we've been playing music together ever sense. I told Ben the other day that he's like a snake, he can shed his skin and start fresh easier than anybody I've ever met. He's been a college professor, a reporter for the Wall Street Journal as well as the Anchorage Times, he's been the director of the Sportfish group as well as the Executive Director of Wally Hickels Institute of the North and now he's selling Real Estate in Beach Haven New Jersey. He's been in love, he's been out of love. He's had his heart broke and healed. He's married to wonderful gal named Suzie and living on a 48 footer in the harbor. I'm impressed.

So me and MP have fresh fish, what a treat. I took this picture here to show you the fruits of our labor here at Mile 14 as we enjoy and all Alaska supper. I barbied the salmon and MP made garden fresh peas and potatoes and sliced some of our own red and yellow tomatoes. The bottle of Zinfandel was just for show, we actually had a bottle of Estancia Chardonnay that Chrisco left for us last week. mmmmm man was it all good.

Right before super we get a call from our neighbor Judy Swarner. She's been clearing out her shed and has a nice roto tiller to give MP. So MP goes up on the 4-wheeler to get it and comes back about as happy as I've ever seen her. The mad mower has a new machine. I kind of see a conflict coming here next spring. I'm not sure we have enough lawn for both a tilling and mowing fascination. mmmmm, we'll see.

So its sunny and warm, we're eating fresh salmon , MP's got a new toy and football season has started. Could it get any better? Yup, my friend Nate Morton arrives to fish on Sunday with his wife Mary and grandsons Lucas and Cory. We enjoy the sun together on Saturday night and then Sunday morning finds us anchored in the same spot where Ben and I greased em the morning before. Its foggy and quiet and guess what??? no fish. Yikes. But Nates not concerned and we spend a couple hours on one of our favorite things, analysing Alaska politics. But as much as I enjoy visiting with Nate fishin is the mission afterall and mid morning I take the boat to a place I've been saving. We run out the Kwikfish lures because those guys are so deadly they ought to be illegal and walla, Lucas has a fish on. Then Cory has a fish on. Then Mary has a fish on. Then Lucas has another fish on. Then Cory has another fish on. Then Cory and Lucas have fish on at the same time. And then Nate has....NOTTA, sorry Nate I gotta tell the truth. Skunked.

Wonderful week here at Mile 14, thats all I can say.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Its Labor Day

Yesterday dawned bright and sunny, maybe the best day of the year. By noon MP had already washed all the windows and mowed the lawn and I figured if I didn't get her away from the house she might decide to repaint again...obviously she was missing the holiday intent. So I decide we'd jump in the Suby and drive Skilak Loop and get pics of the fall foliage for the blog.

Skilak loop is part of the old highway to Anchorage and used to be a mecca for road hunters like me. But because the federal government owns 90% of the state and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has a ' multi-use' policy, its now a wildlife viewing area. So we stop and get some gas and of course a couple ice cream cones, after all I'm still fishing and my fall diet and training doesn't start until fishing is done. That cone was flat good, albeit a bit messy and sticky. We're a good 5 miles into the loop and we haven't seen a single wildlife and it looks like we're a bit early for the yellow fall look of the Aspen and Birch Forrest.

We came across this clear-cut and we got to wondering just what that was all about, why would the government slash up this beautiful place? New moose browse? Fire control?....mmmmmm. Well I think its because the viewing deal wasn't going so good, just to many darn trees in the way for good wildlife viewing. Now that makes perfect sense to a guy from the Washington D.C. office and certainly we have enough trees in Alaska that executing a few for a multi-use approach to land management is a reasonable solution.

But as we drove along the real reasons for such poor wildlife viewing became apparent. How in the world are you going to sneak up on the wily moose with your car ker-bang a chang-n off all these potholes, they can hear you coming for miles. I don't know how MP knew it but I had to agree, these aren't new potholes, as she said..." they're seasoned". I guess they just should have picked a road grader over a chainsaw, simple mistake.

So now we're 10 miles into the loop and still no wildlife, I'm beginning to think that maybe we're doing something wrong when we come across this sign. What a relief, we're doing everything right. We're staying on the road-bed, we're not loud and we haven't chased a single thing. But with views like this next picture who needs wildlife eh? This is looking west towards the mountains from Skilak overview, the trees have a hint of yellow and you can see all the way across the Cook Inlet to the snow covered volcanoes a hundred miles away. Gorgeous is all I can say.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Silverado and a broken computer

I've been feeling terrible for not keeping up with my posts, you guys have all been so supportive and as I head towards the 10,000 reads milestone I want to keep up with the news from Mile 14. But I've got a good excuse, my computer got a virus or a worm or an eel and I didn't get it back from the doctor until just now. It was weird, everything worked except search and Google functions so that lead me to believe I could fix it myself. I learned alot about computers and myself. So let me pass on some advice.....don't make yourself a grande Tanqueray Martini and start pushing buttons. Its the reason my tech guy looked at it and said "wow, never seen anything like THAT before". But, we're all fixed up and ready to report on the weeks events here at Mile 14.

Those three there are Harry, Minny and Brian Emerson right from Ireland. Chick put them in the boat for me and boy was I happy for that. These guys are just as fun and lively as you'd expect from the Irish. Minny caught her two silvers on bobbers within 15 minutes of the start so she enjoyed heckling the boys the rest of the day. Although we supposedly speak the same language one or the other of us was having phonetic problems that day, depends on how you look at it I guess. Harry pronounces the word 'gate' as 'geet'. So it goes like this "wus dat year weaf ate the geet ?" to which I say "whaaaat"?

Also last week I fished my friends the doctors from Tennessee who come and do continuing education here on the river every Humpy season. A friend of mine Gary Blinn puts it all together and through the years we've become great friends. On Thursday night we have a going away party with real Mexican flank steak done by Joe Ray Del a Cruz and the venison I've ever had, it is Axis deer from Texas brought by Griff Thomas. Great time and I got to play music for the bunch. The next two pics I try to show the feel of the river as I head downstream just before sun up in the fog. The 1st pic is guideboat #003 prepped to leave and the 2nd pic is pulling into Beaver Creek to get the boys.

The next pic is of our catch that morning. The boys were dialed in . We caught these 8 silvers and a couple releasers all in an hour and a half. The big guy is my friend Chuck Sanders, a more interesting guy I've never met. He's an eye doctor and used to have a music store. He's a pilot and finger picks a guitar better than anyone I know. Kind of funny with people like me and Chuck, I'd love to play it like he does and he wishes he could amplify (sing loud eh?) a song like I do. I guess theres just no perfect package in this world, thank goodness.

Just this morning as we were walking the Jet-Dog MP and I came across this scene. Right on the side of our tier two Brown Bears built a bed and spent the night, it was darn near still warm. This year Bears have been everywhere, they take salmon into the woods and leave piles of bones. They turn over our dumpster and wake up the dog late at night. But the way we run things around here they have the right-of-way , we'll get used to em.

Now if you don't think the Kenai river is a cool place just check out this next series of pics. This place is bank fishing heaven. As we road the bikes this morning we came across these guys floating their bobbers under the bridge. Theres a perfect eddy there to collect silvers and the government has bought them that nice boardwalk to0 fish from, how civilised eh? Then we get down to Centennial Park where 20 to 30 people were fishing. Its maybe the only place in Alaska where you can still fish from your car just like they did it at the Causeway on Lake Helena when I was a kid. If its raining , no problem, just role the window up....We came across this last scene of an experts fishing equipment. As you can see he has it all. Rod holders, cutting board for bait and a big ole single jack hammer for executing the fish. I asked him if it was OK to take a pic of his gear...he said " I don't give a &**%$" then I asked if the fishing was slow....he said " its to #%&^@# to be slow" I said maybe it'll be better tomorrow....he said " I *&^%#ing doubt it"..... I decided not to ask if he needed a guide....