31 August, 2009
21 August, 2009
Let's look at his trail of ignorance:
- Concealed permit had expired.
- Concealed permit was from another state.
- Gun wasn't registered properly.
- No holster; just tucked in his pocket - and with a round chambered.
- Carrying in a bar.
Nice work, genius. I can decide which of these is most outlandishly stupid. I'm inclined toward #4. Holsters aren't for Quick Draw McGraw old west antics. They serve a simple purpose; to keep the firearm under control in a consistent place, and to prevent accidentally hitting the trigger and discharging the gun.
Lock him up. And keep him there. And keep it in the media as an example. You own guns, you need to have the respect, intelligence, and common sense they demand.
And, let's not even get into the fact that he was wearing sweat pants in an NYC club...
20 August, 2009
For me, the SE brand represented the most innovative and stylish bikes around. And they were usually among the most durable - I broke a LOT of bikes and parts back in the day. Actually cracked one of the early CroMo (strong stuff) CyclePro BMX frames IN HALF after only six months of riding.
I only owned one SE though - a PK Ripper. Eventually, it became too small, so off it went for something larger that I can't remember. What I do remember was that it was NOT an SE Quadrangle. I wanted one of those so badly, but cost was just astronomical and I tended to buy what I could find a deal on through the bike shop I worked for. Sadly, we weren't an SE dealer.
Poking around online I find a guy in CA who's had a custom, jumbo Quad built for himself. From the looks of the few photos online
it's pretty much authentic - except that instead of being a 20" wheel BMX bike, it's a full-size 26" mountain bike style! What a cool ride! I can't imagine the cost for this frame though. A handmade straight tube bike is one thing, but this beast is a complex maze of overlapping tubes and quirky angles. Nevertheless, it's WAY cool!
Whatever you're riding, it's a great time to be out there! I'm really enjoying tearing up the trails.
19 August, 2009
The evidence of my learning has been the progression of my fly boxes. At first, bought a cheap one and stuffed everything in it. Then two things happened -- got too many flies, and figured out that waterproof fly boxes are worth the extra money.
By this time, I'd learned the difference between "dry" and "wet" flies. So started the first re-shuffling. Then I started getting more serious about steelhead, which triggered the addition of a steelhead box. After that a big bug box for streamers. Also poppers for bass on lakes, as well as some BIG flies for muskie. And, then mid-summer I discovered terrestrials -- hoppers, ants, spiders and other stuff that floats in the river and entices those mid-day summer fish to have a taste.
Did a re-org -- again -- this weekend. It's now mostly by species/location. So here's the current inventory. Standard size boxes are Scientified Anglers two-sided System X boxes, larger are Orvis or Cliff's.
- All-purpose trout box: dries on one side, nymphs (and split shot and indicators) on the other.
- Steelhead box: eggs on one side, nymphs on the reverse.
- Terrestrial box: all manner of earth-bound stuff that can fall in the river. Orvis Toon Hoppers are my current faves.
- Streamer box: big trout streamers, muskie streamers, and some mice for late-night mousin'.
- Lake box: assortment of large and small poppers for largemouth bass on lakes.
- Huron box: assortment of hex and terrestrials that are working for smallmouth on the Huron river.
- Leftover box: some salmon flies mixed in with some oddballs and other mutts.
This system seems to work pretty well for me. I can grab 1-2 boxes, throw them in my vest and be ready to go on fairly short notice. It's also easy to tell what I'm running low on.
18 August, 2009
17 August, 2009
But, they're often hard to track down. I've been chasing one on my mountain bike since the start. When I shift my weight side-to-side, there's a distinct "clunk" in the drivetrain. As a somewhat obsessive gearhead, this has been driving me bats. I've had the crank arms off, cleaned, greased and tightened them; had a look at the bottom bracket, and more. No sign of anything fitting less-than-perfectly. I put on my best super-sleuth act, but can't find anything that's less than jake. Grrrrr...
As I'm headed down the trail on a ride on Saturday it occurs to me though I tightened the pedals in the crank arms, I've never checked out the pedals themselves. BINGO! Right pedal clunks nicely when you tug on it!
So, new better quality pedals are on order. Glad it was something cheap. I was starting to look into a Profile crankset (and spindle, and sprocket, and bottom bracket .... $$$). Thirty bucks for a pair of new pedals is MUCH better!
Great ride on the yellow trail at Island Lake yesterday. At about 6 miles, it's a little shorter than the blue trail I rode a couple of weeks back. That's such a great area to ride, and close to home. But, I am SORE today!
14 August, 2009
The Huron is a great smallmouth bass river. If you have haven't had the pleasure, smallies are great fun. Some have called them "warmwater trout" which is probably pretty accurate.
Was great to fish five minutes from home. But, the crowds were out -- stopped at my original intended destination to find ten trucks parked and a river full of guys waving sticks. No thanks! So, off to a secret destination that was MUCH less crowded.
If you don't fish and haven't had the experience of a hatch coming off, it's pretty wild. Especially with a bug the size of Hexagenia limbata. It was like cricket-sized hail!
One big difference I noticed right away was the dramatic difference between the Huron and the northern MI/UP spring-fed streams. It's much warmer, but also has a lot more silt and such that almost eliminate visibility. Requires a bit more cautious wade, as you can't see obstacles.
Got two last night. First was easy -- after only about 20 minutes, hit hard and ran with it. Second one made me work for it. Half a dozen strikes, but wouldn't take it! Then finally a harder strike and finally FISH ON!
A great outing, all in all. And the quick drive home was nice, too!
12 August, 2009
Pay attention when you find one of these features in some piece of your gear. I find it's kind of cool when I notice them. Makes me appreciate using them (and the investment) more!
11 August, 2009
I've only been out in them twice, but so far they just disappear once I'm in the water. That seems like exactly what you want in a wader. Hoping to get out this weekend on the Huron for hex hatch.
10 August, 2009
Took a journey back in time on Friday. At the invite of friend and former radio cohort, Tom, we shared a Modern Rock Retro Rewind (say that without going all Fudd...) on WMHW 91.5. What a great experience. Moore Hall Radio is so different now -- 13,000 watts that covers most of mid-Michigan as opposed to 300 that ALMOST covered the Mt. Pleasant city limits, and no more vinyl -- but so much the same. We walked into master control with an army of computers and a new modern board to find that the floor and acoustic walls tiles were the same as when we were there over 20 years ago!
Radio presence was a little rusty after 20 years, but about halfway through we found our groove. Had a blast putting together playlist of things from back in the day -- Long Ryders, Fishbone's first EP, Members, Husker Du, and so much more. My first cut of a playlist ran 6 hours total! A great time -- with thanks to Tom for invite, Ray for running the board for the old folk, and Dr. Patty for making it all happen.
Made a stop at CMU Public Radio to see the place, catch up with old boss Ray, and other friends. Great to see everyone.
Original plan was a little camping/fishing on PM, but weather nixed that. Instead I stuck around for the Foolery re-union/takeover of it's former location. The Foolery was a bar with amazing music that was in operation 1984-1989. Saw some astounding music there, including Black Flag, Fishbone on their inaugural tour, Gatemouth Brown, and so much more. Had a blast re-connecting with former radio colleagues, enjoying some great bands, and throwing back a few cheap PBR's!
To Tom, Connie, Kris, Margi, Ray, and so many others -- thanks for a very memorable trip! Let's do it again in 20 more!
06 August, 2009
It's funny, as an outdoor type, I'm always checking weather forecasts - I keep the National Weather Service bookmarked in my browser and even use the mobile version on my phone. I find them to be the most reliable resource.
On the upside, I'll be back at my alma mater tomorrow to re-live my glory days on radio. Friend Tom invited me to share a shift with him during a reunion day on WMHW. Pulling together playlists was fun and it should be cool to see people and get back on-air. But it's looking like no outdoor play for this camper this weekend.
05 August, 2009
Going to be mid-90's here on Sunday, and yet I can't wait to be freezing my a$$ off. Too cool.
Hoping weekend thunderstorms hold off so I can get in some time camping and fishing on the Pere Marquette (at right in January). But we'll see.
04 August, 2009
This one came on my Giant OCR road bike when I bought it. I quickly replaced it with a Serfas RX, which was a gigantic improvement. So, why did I put it on my mountain bike? Good question indeed. Too bad, it's cool looking, seems to have really rugged leather, and is pretty light. But it's like sitting on a sewer grate after a few miles. Time to go.
Cheap Cabelas Fly Boxes
Bought these when I first started fly fishing -- because they were cheap ($6). On first trip to Jordan River, waded in a little too deep and everything got wet. Fun time drying it all out. Plus, you have to open them to see what's inside. Now I buy Scientific Anglers System X boxes - only. They cost more for a reason. Clear covers so you can have a peek at contents and completely waterproof.
ACS Claws Freewheel
Why does ACS even sell these? Sounds like a bucket of rocks -- when you're pedaling! I could understand a rough coasting, but pedaling? Don't waste the 20 bucks, put it toward a White Industries freewheel. It'll be the last one you ever buy. Plus, it's got about the coolest coasting click sound in the world... yeah, I know...
Orvis Silver Label XT Waders
I was pretty happy with these until the double layer over the knees started filling up with water Michelin Man style while in the river. Inconvenient and potentially dangerous. Looks like it's a design flaw with the drain vents, but I've found out this was common with these. And they weren't cheap. Now they've been back at Orvis for two months awating resolution. Simms, or the cool new Redington CPX's, from now on.
Giro All-Around Helmet
Bought this with my road bike because it was cheap. Fits OK, and even has decent ventilation, but the strap system SUCKS! Won't stay tight, something's seemingly always in the wrong place.
Oh, well -- it can't all be good stuff on the first try!
03 August, 2009
Single speed is just perfect. Hill coming? Pedal harder. No time planning shifts, considering gears, or getting crossed up. Sort of a Zen thing with a more direct link from trail to rider. Sure, I spin out on fast descents due to low gearing, but that's the price you pay.
One suprise as I'm getting to know this bike. I heard a lot of criticisms of 29ers as feeling like a "big bike". I don't get that at all. Perhaps for a shorter rider that might be true, but my bike is almost trials-like. I can dead stop, balance and maneuver around obstacles.
I will say one thing -- I am SORE today!