The Frankenstein ThingOctober 4th, 2014 at 10:34:55 am
To explain a post,
The Frankenstein Thing
How I Learned to Quit Worrying and Love the Bomb Torch
Maybe because of the Frankenstein movie where the villagers have a bunch of torches as they search for Dr. Frankenstein and his monster, or some other forgotten reason, always wanted to make a torch. Never had much real reason to do so, though.
Well, I was notified by way of a painful sting that I had a yellow jacket nest in my yard; a steady stream of the insects in and out of a 4 inch wide oval hole in the ground had been approached too closely to suit.
Well, I read up on it and was able to get products for wasps seemingly similar to what was recommended. After dark [this is when it started to feel Frankenstein-ish] I shot a whole can into the hole; next morning at first light dusted the hole with insect dust, all as recommended. Well, it didn't get rid of all the activity, some was still nearby, different area slightly. So, after dark again I tried to find what must have been some other alternate hole but could only identify a general area. I was a little miffed that any were still alive anyway, but the stuff recommended was supposed to be heavier than air, and I had been able only to get something with different ingredients.
Knowing the 'country' way of getting rid of these things, it was on. Kerosene dumped all over the general area after dark, then set aflame. And I wanted that flame to get going quick by tossing something burning into it. A rolled up newspaper dunked in kerosene works, but now was my chance to make that torch! I also had a bunch of wood ready and built a bonfire and kept feeding the fire for nearly 24 hours.
The damn sting spot never raised a lump, but kept itching. The pain soon came in the form of bruise-like pain. After that finally left, on and off itching continued for a total of about 10 days after the initial sting. Live and let live was out of the question.
BTW, if you ever use flammables for any similar reason, you should always use kerosene, not gasoline. Not only is gasoline way too explosive, it also is unsatisfactory for starting fires in that it may use itself up too quickly. Kerosene at normal temperatures does not give off an explosive vapor; you'll sometimes notice it is reluctant to catch fire using a match. But it burns steadily once it starts, lasting a good long while and will get even somewhat wet wood burning. Yet it is also true that both substances come with warnings not to use them for making fires. That is reasonable since there is one circumstance that makes kerosene potentially disastrous, besides the obviously risky business of splashing it around a fire that is already going. Know what this other thing is? If you don't, you are at risk using it.
never pour kerosene on hot coals, as this does make it exposive. People have blown up their stoves doing this
HealingJuly 9th, 2014 at 6:09:10 am
My range of motion with my right arm is returning slowly. It's still painful to lift it into certain positions, but there is no spot that absolutely can't be reached without too much pain to continue, as was the case a week ago. I hid this completely from my wife; once I had to say I 'slept on it wrong' to explain away a grimace. Fortunately it was nearly normal for carrying bags etc right from the get-go.
I returned to fishing with a spinning reel. That had a few moments but went pretty well. I love to just get into the river if nothing else; but caught some pumkinseeds and a small smallmouth.
For my TombstoneJune 27th, 2014 at 10:23:09 am
Just carve on there, "the slippery stick finally got him"
Because I think that's what will get me one day.
Yesterday, I was exploring a route to a new fishing hole on my "private" stretch of river. I was quite please to find a section with somewhat of a gradual grade to it rather than the cliff that the half mile or so generally presents. Well, there is one section that is a little steeper, I had a rope with me to make it quite safe to scoot down [and get back up] but didn't deploy it because it was the first time I had explored the spot and didn't know if I would need it further down. On the way back up, I was missing having it set up, tied to a tree, pretty bad, the terrain was wet and slippery. But just as I was about to declare myself safe, I stepped on my old nemesis. It was a worst-case scenario, the wet and slippery stick was pointed down the hill. My foot slid down the stick about 4 feet, and next I was scrambling desperately to avoid tumbling down the grade. Somehow I recovered successfully, but my right arm that I landed on was hurting like hell. Thought I might have broken it even, I was nauseous and everything. Figuring later that I would be in more pain than I was actually in if it was broken, I decided to just see what develops. I took an excess of aspirin and did sleep OK, a good sign; today I am better too, except I am still unable to lift my arm over my head without a lot of pain. I'm not sure what condition that would describe, but I am quite sure nobody can do anything for me, and I can sleep.
This puts an end to fly fishing for a while for sure, or probably any rope-assisted descents to fishing holes [in case you were wondering, this is one important ingredient for a 'private' fishing hole in a public river]. Generally, my experience with these sorts of injuries is that they take forever to get over. Well, if still alive don't complain I guess.
I'd say I've slipped on such sticks nearly a dozen times as an outdoorsman. In steep places I keep telling myself to watch where I put each step; easier said than done. I have successfully avoided mossy stones etc pretty well, something that has gotten other guys I know for sure. Sometimes the sticks are under leaves, this one probably was. It's bad enough if they just roll on you!
Anyway, you can get my tombstone ready.
First Foray Fly FishingJune 20th, 2014 at 5:22:36 pm
First Foray Fly Fishing
Like that alliteration?
Finally took the plunge today for really fly fishing; up till now it was just practice casting in the yard. First time with my own fly rod; I had previously fooled around with my brother's rod, enough to know I sucked at it.
Some things to learn, things that the experienced person doesn't even think to mention to the newbie. The whole business of having the fly and line flying around overhead, and in front of you and in back of you ... the degree that you have to be sure you are totally free of vegetation, front and back and overhead, cannot be over-emphasized. There is something about the little fly and hook and the whole get-up that is extremely eager to get fouled up into anything it can. The tininess of it all seems to make it worse; any weed whatsoever is perfect for the tiny hook to just dig in and hang on for all it's worth.
Not to mention the difficulty of just dealing with the tininess period. The leader line is something like 4# test and we are practically getting microscopic here. Threading the line into the eye of the hook is much harder than threading a needle. In fact I thought a needle might come in handy to clear out the eye, but the normal sized one I grabbed was too big. The eye is that small; if any needle could fit, it'd be the smallest they make. I thought about cheating and using 8# test line, but that line is also too big to go in the eye! Tying on a fly took me about 15 minutes and after doing it twice now I'd say I'd expect it to take 5-10 minutes next time. I guess I better enjoy it while I can; once the vision gets worse with age, forget it.
The casting was outright embarrassing in more ways than one, but the fishing went well. They stock trout upstream and I keep thinking this is the way to catch one and surely they come down this way. No success with that, though. It does seem to be the way to catch fish in rapids, where a lot hang out. I caught about 12 over a few hours, none particularly big as usual here. Sunfish [yep some are pumpkinseeds I think], smallies, rock bass, all thrown back.
Pretty good way to fish and travel light I think.
It just occurred to me I don't know where I put the flies, gotta go look [g]
Uncracked Fish MysteryJune 14th, 2014 at 4:57:15 am
Was back at my favorite "private" fishing hole yesterday; good for the soul. I was in a mood for hook, line, sinker, cork and worm fishing and got my fill!
First cast caught a smallie; almost every cast got some action. But I was pondering one thing: the typical pattern for me [if the fishing is good] seems to be this:
*catch the first 2 or so right away like it was nothing
*after that, the action might be good but the fish keep "outsmarting" you. Expert bait thieves that get your bait but don't get hooked. Next, clever acrobats that get off the hook somehow. Then some kind of devil that hooks hard, seems big, and somehow dives into a rock ledge and gets the hook stuck in the rocks! I marvel at this last sometimes. Finally, you catch a few more fish, which reassures me I didn't forget how to do it or something.
All this adds to the fun, really, but what is the explanation? Face?