Monday, November 24, 2014

Dear Governor....

I'm kind of an idea guy. In fact just a few minutes ago as I was getting dressed I told MP that when you buy socks they should give you an extra one knowing that you're going to lose one. You know instead of a pack of 3 pairs or six socks why not seven ? And I'll bet there's guys all over the world that would like to see refrigerators made that magnets wouldn't stick I got a few suggestions for our new Governor.
I was shocked this weekend to see the reporting on the Governors transition team.  For a candidate that ran on change I just don't get it. Appointed to his Fisheries team was the same old same old same old faces. Incredible, easily half of the members were on Tony Knowles transition team which I served on in 1994....I think. These are the same entrenched fisherman and bureaucrats representing the same views for their same self serving agendas. One of the commercial fishermen appointed from Cook Inlet here is a guy who spews venom when it comes to sport fishing. This is a guy who if he had his way everyone like me would go away, and stay away. So how's this situation change governor ? How's this progress ? One guy was quoted in the paper as saying he'd served on 4 transition ya suppose we've heard enough from that guy ?

So you're wondering why I'm bitching. Well it's this. I think we need fresh faces , fresh insights and new ways of doing business to tackle the fisheries challenges we have and will have in the future. It's gotten to where the same faces in the Cook Inlet Fisheries allocation struggle don't really even represent their groups...what they represent is the fight. What they want is the status quo or even better yet to be transported back to the 70's.

So here's the deal. Here's the straight poop for those commercial  and sport guys that get appointed to
EVERYTHING.....Our area is an economic success. People want to live here , the gas / oil industry's future is bright. We are attracting service professionals in all kinds of fields, medicine, logistics and enjoying a retail boom. So, one day our area is going to be one big city and the hard working people who live and move here are not going to tolerate commercial dominance of the fisheries resource by gill netters or guided sport anglers....You see I feel we have more in common than we have differences. And the solutions to the challenges are simple. Both groups are going to need a smaller foot print and develop a cleaner  leaner industry. We need to do more with less.  Now that might sound like pie in the sky stuff to everybody but how do we move forward with the same old - same old- same old- same old.

Let me give you an example of this one guys way of thinking. In the Sept. 7 Clarion season end report.  The Board of Fisheries made changes to way the drift fleet was managed to try and get more silvers to the North for sport people. Everybody acknowledges that the silvers have been in severe decline so changes were made......Here's the quote... ' In 2013, drifters caught 163,193 silvers in the central district through August 12. Through August 11 of this year the fleet caught 65,678 silvers in the same area".  And oh, silver fishing in the Mat Valley was exceptional for sportsmen . So rather than say hey the changes worked or maybe it worked or even we hope it worked this guy says "  All that did was increase or fuel cost, made us less economic".

So what are we doing listening to people who won't even consider new things, new ways ? Lets get rid of him right now and how about the area Commercial Biologist who said this about the stunning reversal of silvers to the north..." At first glance , one could conclude that the new plans must have made a difference because coho salmon harvest was substantially less. While there may be some merit to that conclusion, there are also other factors that effect coho salmon harvest "....lets get rid of that guy too. Adios, hit the road, we don't need you if you can't see that if you REALLY do want to maximize sockeye harvest and minimize coho harvest that plans like this just might be the future. Or maybe both of you really don't want you ?  You want em all.

WHEW...I got it off  my chest. We're jumping the jet soon and the next post you read will gut chuckle ya. In the mean time if any of you have influence or know the new Governor give him my blog address. Mile 14.

Monday, November 17, 2014

November ?

While the 48 is being hammered by the cold weather that everybody correctly predicted us guys here in Alaska are basking in 40 degrees. It's crazy, I guess there's just not enough cold air in the world to go around. And not only has it been warm but it's been so clear that the alpenglow off the mountains and the sunrises and sunsets have been absolutely spectacular to a sunrise / sunset expert like me. The other morning I snapped these pics at sun's about the way it reflects off the river ??
But there's no getting around the fact that it's getting pretty darn dark around here. Today we lose 4:34 in minutes of light. I had MP take this pic of me to give you an idea, we were starting onto the boardwalk at Soldotna Creek for our Sunday morning walk and it was 9:20 . Yikes.
Well it's been two weeks now without the Jet in our lives and I guess we're both feeling better. I do notice that we don't go to the river as often and I miss that. Sometimes walking her down there seemed like duty to me and now I see it this way...she was helping me along on this quest I'm on. But I have the feeling besides the memorial I plan to build at the boat launch for her we'll have plenty of reminders of her as we move forward. As she got older she would pace instead of go to the river or into the woods like she did her entire this too will take a while to heal.
For all you Team X'ers out there I want you to know ....' I go the stuff '. As always I'm kind of the mule but this year my load is over the top. The rubber swim fish that we use...and lose...I have about 20 pounds of. One year I took 1000 fish hooks for the swimfish plastic Jigs, this year I have well over 1000 of the lures themselves. Tell me we ain't serious about tis surf fishing deal. So  Sunday morning the 30th of November all you Team X'ers can find know where....heaving a 2 1/2 ounce you know what hoping to catch the guyo on my first day. Wouldn't that be something.

Now I told King Louie that if I hit my goal of 185 pounds I'd publish another picture of Guide # 003 with a Speedo on. out because I'm headed that way. My success has been stunning and I can't believe how good I feel. I'm finally smart with the weight lifting, my feet and joints are tolerating all the cardio exercise and my diet has been actually pretty easy on me AND I haven't had to give up my ace in the hole to lose weight...I'm still having a cocktail or two and a glass of wine. This morning I hit the scale at 188 pounds. So, I have lost 15 pounds in the last 8 weeks.
Right now I weigh the least I have in 25 years. I don't have the definition that I had when I was lifting , and hurting myself with heavy weights. I feel absolutely great both physically and mentally. I guess that's what comes from setting difficult goals and then finally achieving them. For me it's all part of the quest, I want to be a good guy and fish and love and play music with passion....and I think I'm getting there.

I hope you all keep coming back to Mile 14 and I thank you for that as we close in on 80,000's fixing to get chuckly as we migrate to Maz real soon.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

It's a 'Polar Vortex' and it's headed your way

Every now and then something happens here in Alaska that makes me feel connected to the lower 48. I felt that way when Sarah Palin hit the campaign trail and I feel that way  again today as we prepare to send my lower 48 readers the remains of Typhoon Nuri. As you can see that baby's epi-center is about 300 miles due south of Mile 14 and is headed your way. It's supposed to drop the temps in Great Falls Montana down to single digits and as it's bigger than super Storm Sandy was it will effect weather all the way to Texas...bad deal.

But for Alaskan's it's just another day. I got a kick out of the Alaska Dispatch News report that people on the island community of Adak were ' driving differently to keep the car doors from being blown off '. And I wouldn't be a bit surprised to see footage of the 50 foot waves someday on the Deadliest Catch.... I mean what a great opportunity for those yeh who's on the Time Bandit. As a young guy I remember well my sister calling when we'd have the usual volcano explosion or the -40 spell or the wind forced power outages that were so common. And to this day I still use her advice when the s*#* hits the fan....fill up the bath tub. I guess that could help in a lot of ways. Of course you could get clean, you could drink it or you could drown yourself in it if it all gets toooooo bad.

So with Typhoon Nuri having just left the neighborhood today's We Alaskan's section had a few Nuggets of whats different between us and the 48.

On the longest night Anchorage gets 5.5 hours of light.  In Barrow the darkness is called " civil twilight" what the hell does that mean ?

Jan 21st 1971 at Prospect Creek the coldest U.S. Temp ever recorded was - 80 ( coldest ever Oscar goes to our neighbors in the Yukon at -81) ....coldest ever USA was from my home state of Montana, -70 at Rogers Pass (coincidently that's where they caught the Uni Bomber) .
And how about snow? Valdez is Alaska's snowiest city averaging 326 inches a year ( that's 27 feet). Years ago I talked with a guy who lived there and owned two snow blowers. One he had in his garage to do the drive way like I do and one that was kept on the roof...and that's no kiddin. Anchorages single biggest day of snowfall was 22 inches on March 17 2002
So you've read this far and you're wondering  what the point is. Tell me something I don't know kinda deal I suppose. mmmmmm......well just naming the storms kind of amuses me. Last October me and MPeasy drove through ' Winter Storm Ajax'  in southern North Dakota and I have to admit, even this toughened Alaskan was impressed, it was obvious to me that if they give the storm a name, it's serious. So to all my friends in the 48, batten down the hatches, fill up the bath tub, get candles out and don't forget to go to the store. Which reminds me of the 2 week stint we did years ago when a huge avalanche closed the road to Anchorage. Of course all our supplies come down by road and the town starting to get a little testy when things became in short supply. The first thing we ran out of ? You guessed it.......Bud Light.  So hey, it's coming your way, I'm just trying to help.