The stars at night are big and bright...

The stars at night are big and bright...
The stars at night are big and bright...

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

You reckon I got permission to land?

This guy is just too cool. He even sounds like he's channeling Matthew McConaughey. NSFW language.

The Great Trout Trip Recap

Someone forgot they turned the camera on standby and let the battery run down. But at least I managed to get this.

Well, we survived. I got at least 100 bites... all mosquito. If I start walking like an Egyptian it must be the West Nile.

Let me just say that Colorado is some of the most beautiful country I've seen and they do a great job getting you access to it. All the fishing we did was from State Wildlife Areas that were well planned and maintained... kind of. The one we kept going back to had a fairly steep incline down to the river but there were crossties embedded for steps. From there a wooden walkway took you down to the water. There were a couple spots I was a bit concerned about supporting my weight, but they did just fine with a creak or two just to add some drama.

We found an old abandoned bridge and some amazing water. Here's an aerial view. We parked at the spot to the far right. You can make out the wooden walkway. I wish we could have made it farther downstream but the brush was too thick and there is a property line you have to stay behind.:

I took a pair of waders and got waist deep in the very cold Blue River. I learned quickly that wading in the river is risky business. The current will wear you out just trying to stand still on the slick rocky bottom. When you do move around taking a step without losing your balance is hard work. Toss in a dash of mild hypothermia and you've got yourself an outdoorsy experience. I managed to not take a dunk, but it was close a couple of times. I was formulating a plan to dry out my Mercedes key with lure desiccant if I went under.

Sunday we went to Vail but the water there was way beyond our skill level. When we watched white water rafters going past us at 30mph we decided to head back to Green Mountain Reservoir. Speaking of GMR, it's home to a little old lady that owns and operates Master Bait & Tackle. I'm not making that up.

Try as we may, the fish refused to hit on anything we cast and we tried everything we had. Brother Inlaw did get a couple under sized ones that he released (16 inch limit) and I had one nibble, but that was it. Meanwhile, the fish were literally jumping out of the water in a feeding frenzy 5 feet away from me. I started to take my net and just grab them midair.

Even though the Trout won this skirmish, I vow my revenge will come. I shall return! I just won't be so cheap and will break down and hire a guide from Cutthroat Anglers next time...

A couple travel notes. Do NOT take US287 to Denver, take US87/64 through Raton, NM instead. Much better road, higher speed limit and less traffic. Also there is major construction on I-70 in both directions near Idaho Springs. After mocking everyone sitting in traffic going West, it took us almost 2 hours to drive 10 miles going East. Karma.

Those are some huge forest fires in SW Colorado. We were still seeing and smelling heavy smoke in NE New Mexico. We also ran across some National Guard soldiers on the way to the fires to help relieve the local authorities with things like traffic control so the locals could be freed up for evacuations.

Here's a view from the Space Station.

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

So Much For That Sopranos Movie

James Gandolfini -- who famously played Tony Soprano on "The Sopranos" -- died earlier today in Italy ... TMZ has learned.

Gandolfini is believed to have suffered a heart attack. He was 51.

Gandolfini was in Italy to attend the 59th Taormina Film Festival in Sicily -- and he was scheduled to participate in a festival event this weekend with Italian director Gabriele Muccino.

Gandolfini is survived by his wife Deborah Lin, who gave birth to the couple's daughter in October 2012. He also has a teenage son from a previous marriage.

Read more:

Tuesday, June 18, 2013


Blatantly stolen from one of my favorite bloggers. Mild NSFW warning.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Johnny Fed Up?

Apparently life is not a bowl of cherries for Johnny Football:
He quickly deleted the tweet (not before it had been seen by approx 360,000 followers) and put this up:
I'm sure that instant celebrity status is hard to deal with, especially as a 20 year old college athlete at a program like A&M. They have rules about rules concerning rules that you have to put up with (all while they're making Millions off you). Just because you are suddenly a big shot doesn't mean you don't have to adhere to those rules and restrictions.

Perhaps he could use some guidance from a few players that have walked in his shoes and come out smiling. RG3 and LaDanian Tomlinson are a couple recent Texas athletes that come to mind. Both were under heavy NCAA and media scrutiny, yet you never heard anything bad and they went on to big money NFL contracts.

One thing strikes me odd about this. Look at the timestamp of the tweets. The deleted message is marked 45 minutes before the "walk a mile in my shoes" tweet that came after. Only thing I can think of is they were taken in different time zones which would make them 15 minutes apart.

Friday, June 14, 2013

I think he's serious this time...

I caught this over at Bag Of Nothing and I have to agree with Keith's assessment. I'd follow this man into Hell and back. He's addressing a sex scandal that was just discovered in his ranks. Would be nice to see our leadership be as upfront and in charge as Lt. Gen. David Morrison.

The man never blinks... not once. I think he means what he says.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

The Great Trout Trip of 2013 is GO!

Well the plans have been finalized and a buttload of money dropped at Cabella's. Colorado here we come. I'm really looking forward to this trip, but it's going to be shorter than I would like. Personally, I'd like to spend a week or more but the people going with me have work commitments and I completely understand. A weekend in the mountains is better than not going at all.

I originally wanted to stay in a fishing camp/cabin but the prices were outrageous. Sorry, but I'm not paying 5 Star hotel prices for a 2 Star cabin. A hotel room would have been more economical, but I've been told I snore like a Peterbilt riding the Jake Brake down Monarch Pass so 2 bedrooms was a necessity. I also wanted a kitchen so we can cook our catch. Both of those ruled out a hotel so I searched Trip Advisor for vacation rentals and found a condo that fit the bill for $90 a night. Not a bad price, IMHO. It has everything we need and then some. Plus, it's centrally located to multiple fishing spots so we have options instead of being locked into one place to fish.

I went to the Fly Shop at Cabella's and took advantage of their Father's Day sale, picking up a pair of fly fishing rod & reel combos for $39 each. I lucked out and a guy that just got back from the part of Colorado we're heading to was there shopping and gave me some very good tips on what type of gear/flies we would need. I soon learned the rod & reel were the least of my expenses. After adding all the flies, leaders, and assorted accessories it quickly went from cheap to not cheap at all. We will still need to buy more stuff when we get there depending on what the fish are hitting.

Hopefully, I will use all this stuff more than once. This is a learning expedition after all. I'd like to spend a whole summer camping up there after I trade my RV for a trailer.

Speaking of the RV, the buyer that came unannounced wasn't impressed and passed after I turned down a low ball offer. To be honest, I really didn't want to show it to them because I had done zero preparation. It was dirty and nothing was working because the batteries were dead. But I did and now I'm sure they've told everyone locally what a hunk of junk it is. It's really not, but they caught it on it's worst day and that's my fault. I should have paid more attention to it while it was parked and refused to show it before it was ready. I still haven't listed it for sale yet.

Monday, June 10, 2013

Just Plane Awesome!

Talk about cool, this just about tops the list.

A 4 engine RC B-17 with a 19 foot wingspan and weighs 187 lbs. As complicated and time consuming as it was to build, I can't imagine taking the controls and risking all that work becoming a very expensive lawn dart. Multi engine flying is a completely different kind of flying... altogether! Doing it remote controlled is just crazy.

But kudos to the pilot, he did a fantastic job even after losing an engine in flight and makes a perfect landing. I wish I spoke German so I could understand what they are saying, but I pretty much got the gist of it. Kind of odd, Austrians building a B-17. What's next, a Japanese RC B-29?

Thursday, June 6, 2013

Got Verizon?

Verizon is giving the feds phone records for all of its US customers

Of course if you have nothing to hide, you've got nothing to worry about. Right?

The National Security Agency is gathering telephone records of all Verizon customers — who number in the tens of millions — in the U.S., a bombshell report revealed Wednesday.
The top-secret court order, obtained by the Guardian newspaper, requires the carrier to hand over information regarding phone calls — which does not include actual conversations — on an “ongoing, daily basis” to the FBI.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Joe Duty's days may be numbered

Chicago Sun Times Fires All Its Photographers To Replace Them With iPhones

In a shocking sign of things to come one of the nation's major newspapers has fired its entire photojournalism department and replaced them with reporter's iPhones.

An internal memo reads:
The Chicago Sun-Times is training its journalists in iPhone camera work to replace its staff photographers, who were all laid off last week.

The training commences on Friday and will include “iPhone photography basics”, as well as capturing and editing video on iOS, and uploading it to the appropriate social sites, according to a staff memo leaked by Sun-Times stalwart Robert Feder:

In the coming days and weeks, we’ll be working with all editorial employees to train and outfit you as much as possible to produce the content we need.

These sessions will be mandatory and will concentrate on several areas:

iPhone photography basics
Video and basic editing
Transmission and social media

… Suggestions on topics, in particular, are definitely worthwhile.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

I decided not to fight the law because they would win.

I got it on very good authority that, believe this or not, almost every DOT officer in the state of Texas will be in Wise County Roadcheck 2013 takes place on June 4, 5 & 6th. They will be doing an intensive sweep inspecting 18 wheelers, dually pickups and ANY vehicle pulling a trailer.

That means if you are Jimmy Joe Bob Nobody driving down the road in your dually to get a burger at Chico Mart, you are subject to being stopped for absofreakinglutely no reason other than the private vehicle you are driving has extra wheels. If you're driving a car pulling any kind of trailer, expect the same. If you happen to have a CDL you get the whole DOT enchilada with extra sauce even if it's your private vehicle.

(Guess who's not driving the F350 next week!)

This "fund raiser" has prompted many companies (all of the ones I contract with) to plan on shutting down during their 3 day sweep. Of course there will be plenty of out of state truckers to feed the Kitty off of, but the lack of local trucking participation will increase the odds of smaller vehicles pulled over. [cough]But there's no ticket quota.[/cough]

Trust me, if they pull you over you will get a ticket. I once had a Texas DOT Trooper tell me he could write at least a dozen citations on a brand new truck or he wasn't looking close enough.

UPDATE: You probably noticed the edit above. My source was a wee bit off on the facts. It wasn't a sweep on Wise County, it was a nationwide sweep.