Sunday, March 28, 2010

Lawn care

Planted fireweed in the lawn this year and it seems to be taking off pretty well.

Mowing is going to be exciting this summer. I’ll have to wear my asbestos shorts.

Friday, March 19, 2010

The Giving Away Tree has a special this week on electric ranges

A gas leak blew the knobs off the last propane stove I had in my kitchen. The mini explosion also lifted the rings off the burners and caused ringing in my ears. Too bad, since it was an ultra-cool appliance from the 50’s. I hated to take it to the scrap pile in the sky but blowing up is a feature I decided just wasn’t worth it.

So I’ve been using a free stove I loaded up from some stranger’s driveway. It wasn’t pretty, but worked. Now I have a pretty one again. New. Snazzy. And the free stove is going back into the universe from whence it came. Thanks, free stove, for your service. You heated water and baked things with the best of them. Now you can continue to roam the earth, preparing meals for other people. Godspeed.

So I’ve plopped the old one under the spruce tree at the end of my driveway. The giving tree, I’ll call it from now on. Or the giving away tree, I guess. Swing by and load the thing up. The price is firm and no matter how hard you haggle with me, I will not budge from free. Because, frankly, I don’t want to help load it up. You’re on your own there. Please, no need to come to the house. Free is free. Enjoy it, whoever you are.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Portrait of me with an underwater person

And here we have photographic proof that I am the finest fisherman in all the world.

I caught this one with my hands and got all Mr. Miyagi because normal fishing tactics make me yawn. That flyrod in the background was left lying on the bank by some random dude. I don’t know what his deal was.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Even I Can Catch Fish. Sometimes.

Pursuing steelhead really isn’t my bag. I don’t care for being cold and have a short attention span. Also I’m not a very good fisherman. So. There’s that.

However. Yesterday on the Wallowa River these things didn’t matter. The sun came up, I couldn’t help but catch fish and it was an everlovin’ blast.

Caught six. Two males and four wild females. Broke two more off. Lost track of how many whitefish I caught. A bonanza.

Didn’t start out that way. Note the ice buildup on the guides of my fly rod. And you can’t see it in the photo, but my feet were not working at the time, having iced over from wading in thirty-six degree water.

Gearboat Chronicles has a few more shots and details about riding the fish train. Met a state senator on board and also a guy who runs a blog for Field & Stream. More on that later.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Don’t make me buy this boat. I’ll do it. I swear.

I’m getting a full-blown boatyard. First the sweet Star Craft I grew up being towed behind, water funneled into my nose trying to get up on water skis. Then I got custody of dad’s old cataraft, which was traded for a 26-foot sailboat…in perhaps the sweetest deal to ever grace a bill of sale.

And now I’m presented with this little number. The mermaid does not come with it. Nor the pile of sand. But it’s a cute rapscallion of a watercraft and belongs to a friend who wants it to belong to someone else. I think that someone else might be me.

I will have the first boatyard in landlocked northeast Oregon, or go broke trying.

Updates: subject of this week’s Chieftain column is Chuck Fraser’s tie from the Thrift Store Formal. Read all about it by depressing the mouse feature above that link to your right.

Further update: I am drinking water in the photo to be found at this week’s Gearboat Chronicles. Not beer, as has been suggested. I was on driving duty. That’s tap water. And I normally wouldn’t put a picture of myself on there like that, were it not for that jacket. Sakes alive, I’m proud of that coat and cannot deny the world a look at it too.