24 November, 2008

Winter's Coming

While I seem to have really increased my enjoyment of summer in recent years, I'm still a winter animal.

Been out fishing for steelhead on flies a few times lately at the Flat Rock dam on the Huron River. No results yet, but I'm still figuring it out. Two hooks means twice as much opportunity to snag stuff. But being outside in the cold, crisp air along the river sure feels good. Drives an energy that really doesn't come from anywhere else.

Finished up final bootfitting with Rob of Sun & Snow just in time for snow arriving and Michigan ski areas opening up. I'd always thought that ski boots had to be a little uncomfortable -- being rigid plastic boxes and all. After Rob pushed, pulled, tugged, twisted, and deformed them I was 110% wrong. Wow. Difference is ASTOUNDING.

And really enjoying the onset of cold and snow with the Mustang out of my life. While it may look like a toaster, the Element is so much better suited to my lifestyle and interests.


20 November, 2008

Changing Times

First and foremost -- I'm very excited about the prospect of change in the White House. I think President-elect Obama will bring a fresh perspective. I'm thoroughly fed-up with the results of the past eight years. And I think Mr. McCain would have been more than likely much the same.


I joined the NRA the next day. And that's odd because I've had my issues with them in the past. But a friend asked after the election, "Are you concerned he'll take away your guns?" My reply, "No, that'll never happen." But then I got thinking about it -- why won't it? Well because of the power of groups in Washington that will prevent it. And then I realized that one of those key groups -- the NRA.

Don't get me wrong -- I have some strong issues with allowing things like assault rifles, as well as the loose regulation of gun shows, and even a belief that ALL guns should be as closely regulated as handguns. I think it would be just fine to require proof of legal registration at public shooting ranges. And I've shot an AR-15 and can completely see why they should be restricted to the military and law enforcement.

But, someone needs to stand up for regular folks like me and my friends who safely use and store their firearms who own responsible and reasonable guns that are suited to the activities they participate in. Does the NRA defend a lot of whackos? Yup. But they're also the only group that defends the regular guy, too.

Oh, and while we're on the topic -- instead of punishing those who legally own and use guns, how about expending that same level of effort on getting the illegal ones off the street? A much greater return on effort, in my humble opinion.


10 November, 2008

First Flakes

Well, it's here. First snow that stuck fell last night. It's cold (and dark) in the mornings. Stopped in at ski shop over the weekend. Now comes that LONG few weeks until skiing gets rolling. The anticipation is palpable - and contagious. All of my skiing friends seem to have it - newbies and old schoolers like me. We know it's coming, we just don't know when.

Heard this morning that areas around Traverse City got 6" of snow. Only a matter of time now. In the meantime, I'll get boot fit tuned up, get skis waxed, double- and triple-check all my gear. And watch the weather forecast every day.

In the meantime, I learned that there's a decent steelhead run in the lower reaches of the Huron River. An hour from home is MUCH better than 3-4 hours. May need to run down this weekend and check out that action!