Monday, September 7, 2009

Striping Done! Fishin' With Old Guys!

It was warmer today, but we finally got the striping on the Mirage finished.

The little Siamese, "Pretty", can finally come out of her post-op cage since her spaying and run a round a little bit. Her stitches look good, she had a good appetite, but she sure does get under foot. I changed the name of "Mime", the tortoiseshell cat with half her face orange and half black, to "Prime". She is the most laid back, quietest, unassuming, undemanding, nicest cat to have around, that I have come across in a long time. If I were younger, I would keep her. She is prime, as far as I am concerned.

I came across this article in RVLife, and thought it was funny, and appropriate for Labor Day:
Fishing With Old Guys.
""Most of my life I’ve been pretty helpless. I’ve been able to make a living with my ability to speak and write but have no real world skills. With barely enough coordination and hand-eye skills to tie my shoes, and no mechanical talents, I find myself asking buddies for all kinds of help. In an effort to pay them back, I’ve had a big boat for years and love to get my old friends together for a bit of fishing. At first that was no big deal, but over the years the old crew became more difficult to assemble. True enough, most are retired now and have more time to play. But now I have to gather a boatful with an eye toward that old manufacturing principle that Emile Durkheim and Adam Smith defined, the “division of labor.” As we age, some of us have shaky hands and can’t thread the bait; others lose the ability to raise the anchor, and some are too slow to swing the net!
This last weekend—our last chance to chase sturgeon—a day of fishing was lost because we couldn’t line up a guy to pull up the anchor. One of us was recovering from shoulder surgery, I had back surgery a few months ago, and my buddy Bill was going under the knife the next week. Jim, our only healthy back, had other plans so we had to postpone the adventure.
Finally on Sunday we signed on all the necessary crew. I ran the boat, Jim handled the anchor, Milford was doing the bait work, and James brought some food! We actually got out and anchored at a decent hour and before long were getting some action.
We landed a couple of little guys with no problem and were enjoying the flat water and sunshine when Milford’s rod pulled down hard. Stumbling back to the transom, Milford set the hook and held on for dear life. It was a pretty good battle, a tough old man and a lumpy, crusty gray slab. It was nip and tuck for about ten minutes, and then Milford’s shoulder got wimpy. No longer able to hold the weight, he passed the rod to James with the admonition, “Don’t you dare lose my fish!”.
James was really set up for failure now. We were all yelling instructions to him. Milford was pleading pitifully, pointing out that at his age this might be his last chance at a big fish! As the fish slowly emerged from the depths we could see that this was one we actually might be able to take home. Most seasons that was no problem, but this was only the second keeper we’d had near the boat and our season was ending. The battle was determined, but finally the fish succumbed to nearly a century and a half of angler experience! I slid the net under the big diamond sides and we stretched out the tape. From the inside of the tail to the tip of his prehistoric nose, he went a bit over 46 inches, a nice fish by anyone’s standards. Stringing the fish through the gills, James yelled at me to take Milford’s picture.
These days there is no excuse not to get photographic proof of any angling success. While bringing a camera to the boat always portends bad luck, we all had cell phones that were more than capable of recording the catch. These days if you see a creature from Mars or catch a lunker fish, you have no excuse for not documenting the event. We all had cell phones stuffed in our pockets. But remember, we were a bunch of old guys. Lots of cell phones but nobody ever actually used the photo feature! Our grandkids take and send them out hourly with their text messages, but we didn’t have a clue. Since I had done a little shooting with mine, I got elected. As you can see from the picture that comes with the column, it wasn’t the best of efforts. For one thing, someone should invent a cell phone surface that doesn’t reflect blinding light. I couldn’t see a thing till I got under the canopy. Even then I couldn’t get the whole fish framed. While the photo didn’t set the world on fire, it looked just as clear as the one we saw at the dock where someone had tried to get a shot of a 10-foot-plus monster. All you could see was a smiling angler, the side of the boat, and a hole big enough to eat a basketball!
We split up Milford’s fillets and all vowed to practice with our phones before the next trip. After all, we might run into a bunch of aliens getting off their flying saucer and that shot would be worth money! ""
Bob Ellsberg’s column, Fishin’, appears monthly in RV Life and at

I hope no one got sunburned today.

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