fishing for words

(and tossing out random thoughts)


instant gratification without imagination

The capacity to form new ideas, concepts, stories or poetry, music and new methods of dealing with problems, and outwardly doing so out of nothing. That’s imagination.

Growing up, when I wasn’t bothering my siblings, running around outside or collecting newspapers for recycling, imagination was a constant in my life. So much that I was a hair’s breadth away from becoming a poor copy of Walter Mitty.

Daydreams fueled by science fiction centered on excitement and being more than the person I was: if not a hero, at least important to the make-believe mission. Sure, I consumed the usual television shows: The Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies cartoons, Tom & Jerry, the obligatory Sesame Street and Mr. Rodgers’ Neighborhood, The Jetsons, Johnny Quest, the craziness of Sid & Marty Krofft (H.R. Pufnstuf, Lidsville, The Banana Splits, Land of the Lost, Sigmund and the Sea Monsters), and nearly any other late 1960s or early ’70s shows that you might recall.

But sandwiched into my television viewing was Thunderbirds, one of my favorite shows and likely the root of my partiality for science fiction. (This would later lead to mass consumption of shows such as Space: 1999, The Six Million Dollar Man, the original Battlestar Galactica, reruns of the original Star Trek, The Prisoner, Logan’s Run.)

Despite this list of shows, I wasn’t always stuck in front of the boob tube. (American slang during the 1970s and ‘80s for the television, not something scandalous.)

A lot of my time was spent with a briefcase full of Legos. The original Legos. The ones that were rectangular or square of varying thickness. No curves. Then one year Lego launched bricks with a slope to one side. It was amazing.

The new Lego Beetle.

The new Lego Beetle. I won’t turn down a gift of it.

A small niche of the interwebs went a bit crazy yesterday with the launch of the Lego Creator 10252 Volkswagen Beetle. Don’t get me wrong, I really like it. I owned a 1971 Standard VW Beetle.

But it worries me. Beyond the basic definition of imagination is the ability to see something that’s not quite there.

The real Thunderbird 2.

The real Thunderbird 2.

My Lego version of Thunderbird 2 was cubist by nature of the materials at hand. But I imagined it into being the Thunderbird 2 through which I lived out many adventures.

I can’t help but wonder if the Lego Creator 10252 kit and others like it go too far in removing the need for that aspect of imagination.

Beetle Classic

Something a bit like my original 1971 Standard Beetle (“Classic”). Right color, wrong wheels. Great college car.



watch not, do (or what do you expect from fly fishing media?)

Maybe it’s just jealousy that [name redacted] earns money (or at least gets a tax write off) fly fishing, but I was bit more than puzzled after running across a new-to-me fly fishing show. The show is nationally distributed, so it must attract enough of an audience, but I just can’t figure it out. Perhaps it’s because it highlights waters in another part of the country, and I’m generally unfamiliar with the fishing opportunities outside the West.

The show is decidedly destination focused, with very little instruction. The host and show do enthusiastically support various charitable organizations and events, which is a great.

After a few episodes, however, I can’t decide if this show is one big advertisement for pay-to-play fisheries or a true reflection of the fly fishing experience in other locales. I’m used to stepping away from civilization for most of my fishing, but half the scenes in this show include a nice-looking cabin or lodge in the background, with parking only a few steps away from the water. Most of the time, this show is like fly fishing porn; easy fishing and big fish, always with plenty of casting room.

But if I can’t be out on the water, and whether tying flies or just vegetating in front of the TV, I expect most fly fishing shows to — directly or indirectly — teach me something beyond where to go.

Perhaps I ask a little too much of fly fishing media?


rooting for the little guy fly

There’s something so very American about rooting for the little guy who’s dreaming big.

Kirk Werner, aka Unaccomplished Angler and children’s book author, certainly seems to be one of those guys. [Insert joke about height here.] Ignoring what he might think of me, I consider him to be a shade more than a passing acquaintance, definitely a friend in the fly fishing fraternity, and now role model when it comes to unbridled ambition.

Olive the Woolly Bugger Hollywood Star

Maybe some day, Olive...

Kirk’s launched a campaign he hopes will lead to one or all of his books based on the character Olive the Woolly Bugger (also a little guy fly) being made into an animated movie. He might just have a shot. Just not for the obvious reasons.

It’s right there in his chosen moniker: Unaccomplished Angler.

Reading Kirk’s blog you’ll see that he’s certainly endured enough heartache at the fins of taunting trout. Though he doesn’t appear to display overt signs of depression, he’s suffered for his work like many a better-known author; possibly putting him in the company of F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway, Samuel Clemens, Virginia Woolf, Robert Louis Stevenson and, fittingly for a children’s book author, Hans Christian Andersen.

And, in my humble opinion, the Olive books — to use industry buzzwords — offer nice pacing; quirky, likeable characters and interesting plot twists.

So, being sucked into Kirk’s delusion of grandeur, I’m not only dropping a little image into the side bar supporting Kirk’s efforts in the hope, but offering public words of encouragement.

It never entered my mind that there may be a commission if this all pans out.

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cruel and unusually funny

Just like the next person, I get a perverse guilty pleasure out of watching “COPS.” Now I have a off-season replacement, “Police Women of Broward County.”

“Police Women of Broward County” follows four female deputies — Deputies Shelunda Cooper, Ana Murillo, Andrea Penoyer and Detective Julie Bower — on and sometimes off duty, but since they’re dealing with your typical and everyday perps who seemingly haven’t learned a thing from the 20-plus years of “COPS” episodes, the reality in this show tends toward comedy.  (And yes, there’s no doubt that the camera is played to.)

The best part of all is that these Broward County Sheriff Deputies get away with cruel and unusual punishment. Sure, perps are tackled, thrown to the ground, and revealed as mental midgets, but the icing on the cake is the ride to jail in a goober mobile.

Alright, so it’s pimped out with the police lights, police sirens, police radios and other police accoutrements, but it’s still a minivan.

Now, if they can only put the perp alongside the goober viewing hole.

(Didn’t click on the link above to find out why “goober mobile?”  Go here and click on the play button.)

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how things have changed…

From a recent Dirty Jobs episode titled “Goose Down Plucker,” at the The Tulegoose Pillow Co. (aka The Mallard Goose and Duck Processing Plant)…a conversation between Trudy, her 22-year-old grandson Justin and host Mike Rowe:

Mike: “So, how long back here, with grandma, doing this?”
Justin: “As long as I can remember.”
Grandma Trudy: “Three.”
Mike: “Since he was three?”
Justin: “Yeah.”
Grandma Trudy: “Huh uh.”
Mike: “Just like, ah, Toby?”
Justin: “Yeah.”
Mike: “Everybody’s starts here like when they’re three years old?”
Justin: “Yeah.”
Grandma Trudy: “Well, until the government changed it.”
Mike: “What’d the government do?”
Grandma Trudy: “It passed a law that you had to be fourteen.”
Justin: “More child-labor laws.” (Laughs)
Mike: “That’s the problem with our government. They’re not letting three-year-olds pull their weight!”
Grandma Trudy: “And then the government changed it that you couldn’t hit them with a dead duck and discipline them.”
Mike (to Justin): “You’ve been struck with a dead duck by…”
Justin: “Yes I have. Many times.”
Grandma Trudy: “I’ve hit him with dead ducks many times.”
Mike (to Justin): “What’s it like to be struck? Is it just a…”
Justin: “It’s all-around wrong.”

File it under “stuff you just can’t write…”

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where on the road is AB?

Guess that all this time shifting with our mondo-cool Series 3 HD TiVo ain’t always a good thing. With the capacity to store up to 300 hours of television shows, easily allows me to let hours and hours — more like half hours and half hours — of “Good Eats” to pile up on the hard drive. (I tend to save them for the off season.)

In doing so, it seems that I missed the boat on “Feasting on Asphalt 2.” Apparently, AB (that’s Mr. Alton Brown to non-foodies) hit the road last month and will still be riding along this month to finish filming six episodes of “Feasting on Asphalt2,” a self-apparent follow up to the first “Feasting on Asphalt.” (There’s also a mysterious title “A Taste of Tarmac” floating around on AB’s Web site…a possible subtitle?)

According to his blog, AB last was in Mississippi…but that was back on April 25. Digging around, perhaps I found the reason for the sudden stop to his blogging about his escapades…

Like the country song says, “I got a long way to go and a short time to get there.” Turns out it’s not too safe to write while riding my bike, so the whole Feasting on Asphalt 2 adventures will post once we finish shooting. Remind me to tell you about the wasp that got inside my helmet…

A wise decision I would say, and I am sure he doens’t want a repeat of last year’s nasty turn of events.  In the meantime, mark your calendar or set the alarm in Outlook or on your Palm for August 4, when “Feasting on Asphalt 2” will premiere.  (This means you Tom, Luci, Nicholas and Nathan!)

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when I grow up…

Now that I’m closing in on 43 years old, I can proclaim that when I grow up I want to be Alton Brown (aka A.B.).  He is my hero.  When not creating and playing with “Good Eats,” A.B. had the time and resources to tool around our great nation last spring on a 2005 BMW 1200 LT (motorcycle) in an often hilarious month-long search of food found off the beaten path on a show called “Feasting on Asphalt” (F.O.A.).

F.O.A. offers an enthusiastic and skewed look at the burger joints, diners, drive-throughs, pizza parlors, pharmacies — yepharmacies — and sandwich shops that fueled American’s travels during the ‘30s, ‘40s, ‘50s and ‘60s.  The rules are simple for Mr. Brown and his four companions: (1) there will be no travel on major interstates, (2) there will be no eating at major chain restaurants, (3) if they can’t locate food or lodging, they will fend for themselves via camping, and most importantly, (4) there will be no whining.

His F.O.A. compañeros include Tom Munroe (Producer, Security, Omnivore; 2001 BMW 1150GS), Jean Claude Dhien (Photographer, Motorcyclist Extraordinaire, Role Model; 2006 Triumph Speed Triple), and Michael Clark (Motorcycle Maintenance, Recon, Intelligence, 2001 BMW 1150GS).  They are all culled from the staff of Be Square Productions, the team that I think that A.B. might agree elevates “Good Eats” in every measure.  They are supported by a truck manned by Mike Clark (Sound Recordist, Mixer, Navigator), Ramon Engle (Cameraman, Protocol, Dairy Enthusiast), and Lamar Owen (Cameraman, Lighting, Wheel Man).  One of the most unique, although fleeting, aspects of this show is a sharing of the latitude and longitude of the group’s various stops, ostensibly for us GPS fiends.  Very cool.  Very A.B.

After all, how can one not like a guy who calls MacGyver his patron saint and gets “…very uptight paying more than $100 for a meal — and that’s two people — because I expect so much of it that it makes me uptight.”  Another A.B. witticism: “There are only two kinds of food: good and bad. Also, all of life’s big problems include the words ‘indictment’ or ‘inoperable.’ Everything else is small stuff.”

Almost cool.  Somewhat nerdy.  My hero.