fishing for words

(and tossing out random thoughts)


I got nothing, ‘cept wishes for a happy and healthy 2012

There are still some sentences to edit and words to change, but I’ve nicely crammed nearly five days worth of work into this abbreviated three-day work week sandwiched between the Christmas and New Year holidays. It’s been grueling.

Not complaining, just explaining why I got nothing this Friday and not much to add to the overworked end-of-the-year rehash of 2011 done so much better elsewhere.

It’s been so busy that there’s not been time to ponder the meaning of what’s shaping up to be a very dry winter. While not good for the big picture, it may mean more fishing for me earlier in the coming year; and it’s a sure thing that after this year’s lack of it, mo’ fishing will be at the top of my list for 2012.

At any rate, we’ll wind down a bit this long weekend, finish reading “Dracula,” celebrate the start of a New Year, perhaps lament the underutilization of the past year, and make sure that lentil soup is the fist meal of 2012.

Early wishes to all for a happy and healthy New Year!


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what we saw last week… (2011-12-28)

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last-minute gift suggestions for the fly fisher in your life

Despite the late hour, there are a few things that might be procured in time for Christmas Day for that fly fisherman in your life.

Truthfully, fly fishermen typically don’t need many new things and most of what we might want can’t be bought: more time to fish, landing that extra-large fish one’s been chasing for a life time, or hitting “the hatch” just right.

In most cases, anything that can be bought is probably already in their possession, often without the spouse having a clue. Sometimes it’s a matter of simply being unable to wait to get the latest and greatest thing, other times it grows out of the search for that one thing that will make them look good regardless of the catching, or it was a shiny object necessary item that caught their eye at a fly shop visited during their travels.

Some of the stuff may never get used; the same fly fisherman who will cast to the same stretch of river time after time won’t necessarily have the patience to tie flies. The more practical among us will be content with what they have and will be content with only a dozen or so rods and reels. Consumable such as dry fly floatant, leader and tippet will always be appreciated, and used. Flies, however, can be tricky; many a fly fisherman will spend too much time sorting through choices, looking for that perfect fly. (The same one, broken and misshapen after fooling a few fish, won’t look like much of anything…but will still dupe the fish.)

If that person in your life is a steelhead fisherman, they’ll understand a joke gift of magnets. However, if the recipient does try to use this gift during fishing, seek professional help. There’s also the The Hungover Cookbook. Do you really thing that fly fishermen and their buddies only fish on longer, overnight outings?

Topping my list is an ever-present Sense of Humor, for those days when it’d be easier to say one was skunked instead of admitting to landing fish that were all less than 10 inches. Also very handy when skunked; it takes the sting out of the later realization that one was outsmarted by fish with brains the size of a pea. If you find it on, let my wife know.

My personal wish is that your holiday and the coming year are filled with the joy that comes from the many other gifts that can’t be purchased.

Merry Christmas!

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what we saw last week… (2011-12-21)

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resistance is (inevitably) futile

When it comes to tech, it’s slowly come to our attention that we’re probably somewhere between an “early adopter” and the “early majority.” And we’re certainly not an “innovator.”

After conducting an honest comparison of my tech inventory with that of my wife, it’s clear that, despite an apparent knowledge of technology, I lag behind in the willingness necessary to throw my lot in with unproven new tech. Maybe because, after years of trying to stay at the forefront of computers, I had admitted defeat underneath a pile of outdates video cards and RAM.

History tells the tale. It was only a few years after that iPod thing came out that I finally thought it’d be worth a look. Then I rolled my eyes when my wife had — just had — to get one of the first iPhone 3s. She loved it. I really wasn’t even envious. I didn’t need one. (Some folks get the latest and greatest stuff, typically when its the most expensive. And if you haven’t noticed, it’s the übergeeks who become the guinea pigs beta testers, left to discover, deal with and help sort out any early bugs.)

But she upgraded, and being smart enough to recognize free as a very good price, I soon began to learn that a smart phone could, indeed, be pretty handy. I’ve since moved on to the iPhone 4, but only because I was eligible for discounted upgrade price.

resistance was futile

That same eye rolling greeted my wife’s wish for a Kindle. She got one. She loved it. Loved it so much that my sleeping pattern began to suffer most every night.

Then, inevitably, she suggested I read an ebook she enjoyed. I did, and discovered that this new fangled digital book stuff was pretty neat. In a device lighter than a small paperback one could carry a library shelf’s worth of books. But not neat enough to replace the free books one could pick up from the library. (That’s not to say I’ve been reading much lately, what with work, the gym, making dinner, and the normal busyness of life.)

Then libraries got into the act, lending ebooks. Amazon launched the free Kindle Owners’ Lending Library.

And a Kindle, the standard version without whistles and bells (and perhaps better fitting my grudging adoption of tech), arrived last month as a late birthday gift. I’ve since read three books and have begun to read the original “Dracula,” one of many books that was always on my reading list. Another upside to the Kindle: my dad can no longer crow about his library system’s mailing of books to patrons. A few clicks and 60 seconds later is all it takes to download my next book.

It doesn’t bother me that I took so long for me to jump on the bandwagon. Guess when it comes to tech, I’m just too cheap smart to jump in first thing.

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a stunning December day on Alcatraz Island

For Karen’s birthday, we played tourist and visited Alcatraz Island. I’d visited years ago, but this was Karen’s first trip, and we couldn’t have had better weather. I’ll let the pictures tell the story…