Thursday, December 10, 2009

The Snow Blower

Okay, for a fly fisherman, it’s getting close to when I have to pull out a chainsaw just to fish. You just cut a 3 foot circle in the ice and then a 25 foot long, one foot wide slot leading to the circle. Bob's your uncle, you can fly fish in the Winter in Nebraska.
But first, you have to get by the blizzards. Yes, I said the ugly word, blizzard.
For those of you that have never experienced a blizzard, go to your favorite ski slope at night. When they turn on the snow making machine, place a 50' wide fan behind it and crank it up to hurricane. Now stand there in the -10 degree weather with this in your face for 3 days. This is a blizzard. Wind chills down so low, atoms slow down. The upside, your mother-in-law will stay in West Palm Beach for Christmas instead of camping out in your spare bedroom.
Tuesday, we were scheduled to open Nebraska's Donner Party Season with a bit of wind and snow. Everyone makes a mad dash to the grocery store for toilet paper and milk. The only reason I can figure for this important combination is that folks sit around in their snow forts and make cocoa from chocolate-flavored ExLax. Just don't ask about the marshmallows. Really.. Don't.
Tuesday morning dawns and I call the snow line for work. SNOW DAY! Bonus. Let’s get the snow blower up to speed. I then remember the fun of using a snow blower in the wind. The snow comes back in your face, covering you from head to foot, you end up looking like the looser in a chainsaw ice block carving contest (I love chainsaws).
Hmm, okay, up in the man cave over the garage is a box with a cab for my snow blower. I bought it on Summer clearance sale a couple of years before. I get the thing down and install it.
It is a three-sided cab made of clear plastic with a steel tube frame that mounts on the handle bars. You put it on, step into the open back and plow away. Great. I take it out for the first test run that afternoon. Snow has covered my 120' driveway and I clear it away. Wind is at about 5 to 10 mph, snow blows back at me. Nothing, nada. Face is clear. Thing works like a charm.
Wednesday... another snow day. The difference being is that the wind has circled around from the North, the isobars tightened up and its howling. Snow's not coming down, its coming sideways. Three to five foot drifts cover my yard with two feet of blown snow over the driveway.
This is what my serious snow blowing machine was made for. Nine horse Brigs and Stratton behind a 29" throat, dual stage, six gears forward, two in reverse, power-drive, electric-start monster. Now outfitted with the ever important cab. Bwahahahaha!
I start up the driveway, wind swirls, blowing the snow 50 feet into the air. A few crystals make it past the cab, but nothing like it would be without it. I have about 3/4 of the drive done and am making passes up and down. On about the sixth pass, I turn the beast around in the street... and then... just as I pull the lever down to engage the power drive, a 50 mph gust catches the cab from behind.
The snow blower is now rocket propelled. It shoots forward, pulling me off my feet. I'm holding onto the handlebars as the monster goes mach snot down the driveway dragging me behind it. I'm now stretched out with my knees and toes making dual tracks in the snow. The Dickies insulated coveralls burst into flame, finally warming my frozen feet. I'm a snow blowing comet!
The snow chute on the machine spins like a top. Snow shooting out in all directions, flames out the back, the snow cone maker from Hell has a life of its own. I blast a chunk of snow through the neighbor's window, instantly flocking his Christmas tree. I think I’m flocked too.
More comes out the chute, not just snow, but the newspaper. It’s a frozen missile that takes out 17 tobogganers two blocks over. It’s like bowling with a shot put.
The crazed ice yacht takes the path of least resistance and whips around the house where the wind has cleared the snow. I crash through the fence, streaming wire like a Rorschach Christmas garland.
I then zip through the back yard where the dog does his business. Now the thing has become an instrument of mass destruction. Its shooting out tiny icy B.M.s.
The dog is running for its life. I'm afraid he's not going to make it. He then decides it’s a game, circles back and jumps for the snow coming out the top. Snow shoots down his throat, out the back end and writes Froehliche Weihnachten in Chinese characters on the side of the house (he's half dachshund, half Maltese).
And finally, as I'm about to crash through the garage, the cab flips over on top of the snow blower. The snow blower glides ever so calmly to a stop, I get to my feet, turn the machine into the wind, flip the cab back up before it can burst into flames from the heat of the motor, dump snow on my smoldering knees (hey, these coveralls look better in charcoal black), examine the pedicure on my toes, wonder where my boots are, and turn off the machine. The dog comes over and looks at me with that look of disappointment only a dog can muster. He pees on my leg.
I wheel the snow blower into the garage, wander into the house, and buy a ticket for the Bahamas, one-way. Never again.

Friday, October 16, 2009


The following is an excerpt of a conversation discussing the previous post. It was pulled from the USENet Newsgroup Rec.Outdoors.Fishing.Fly with the authors permission.

Wolfgang: I recall a day on a stream somewhere in central Pennsylvania, lo these many years ago. There, upon the very bridge once traversed by the three billygoats gruff, stood a clutch of erstwhile fishermen who smelled of strong drink, and the truth was not in them. Eagerly and breathlessly, OH so eagerly and breathlessly, we watched the merry Frankster, standing stolid and steely-eyed in the foam and the froth, casting ever so persistently to the presumed fish which had long ago fled the wobbling shadows of the equally steadfast (and, admittedly, somewhat bloated) forms defiling the very asphalt above.....which latter, if you've ever seen it, you know is a pretty impressive (though not at all pretty) accomplishment.....asphalt ain't all that easy to defile.
Anyway, back in those days, the magnificent "bend like an oak or break like a" Reid was already (and justifiably) famous for having repeatedly (and with malice aforethought) pissed in the very face of death.
Um.....not real bright, some doubters might suggest, but panache, spelled with a capital.....uh.....whatever that first letter is, to the aficionado. We loved it. We ate it up. We waited with 'bated breath. We giggled in anticipation and elbowed each other in the ribs. We smiled. We laughed. We stank.
And then.......

Handyman Mike: Ah, yes and as I was passing over the mountain in central Pa. I came across 2 souls attempting to coax a trout or two from a small stream. I slowed down and told them there was a storm a-brewing with clap of thunder and bolts of lightning. Haven't heard anything said the souls. Then came the clap of thunder and the bolts of lightning. Climb in the back I tell these 2 souls. So they climbed into the steel flatbed body (not tin}. Wasn't real sure if we were going to get them to the Cherry Run cabin unscathed or fried..........Was a great clave that year for sure..........

Wolfgang: Hadn't thought about that day for a long time. I've had many great days on trout streams. Sharing that one on Cherry Run with Mark, catching numerous sparkling brook jewels, ranks high among them. Riding back to the cabin in the back of a truck, dodging lightning bolts, gave the whole experience a certain quotidian comico-mystical quality worthy of treatment by someone like McManus.....or maybe Traver would be a better choice. Yeah, I think so. The bear in the tent would be more in McManus's line.
The only disappointment I recall in the trip was that day on the bridge. There we were, with front row seats at a show that promised certain disaster, excruciating physical pain, blood, and general mayhem, and Frank........Frank, the chiseling bastard, did not float down the stream upside-down, Frank did not have a leg broken by a falling tree, Frank did not fracture his skull on a bridge abutment, Frank did not bleed out after perforating a major artery with one of his famous fighting craws, Frank did not disappear in a pool of quicksand. No, Frank lost his bug in a shrubbery and then walked out of the stream unscathed, saying, "next!"
I wanted my money back. :(

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Just another day

I was just asked about falling out of the boat last week. "Wasn't that on the Lower Sac?" Naw, went swimming on the White in Arkansas. On the Lower Sac, I got a hook embedded in the node of my trigeminal nerve (which got infected causing excruciating pain and Bells Palsey) on the Lower Sac. Did fall off a cliff on the Rapidan, which wasn't flowing as fast as the water on the Rapid when I slipped in went through a chute. I was savaged by the Savage where I stepped off rock and did a feeding duck routine, which was nothing compared to the flood on the Rapahannock, which rose so fast I almost didn't make it across. We really can't forget Penns, where there have been so many memorable spills, but none really can compare with getting hung by my net over the 60 foot cliff on the Severn. I think that was after the tree fell around me on the Gunpowder. I did have that white water rafting trip on the Madison, sans raft, but I've also done that on the Kern, where the combination of tequila and eggnog nearly got me arrested for chumming. There was that killer catfish and leech combo on the Sacobia River in the Philippines, or the mines on the DMZ in South Korea outside of Gosong. The butt luge down the hill to the Swiss Millstream in Germany rivaled the semi-drowning on the Platte in Colorado. So, no, I didn't fall out of the boat on the Lower Sac.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

I've looked at the White from both sides now

Okay, I'm down to Mountain Home, Arkansas for the FFF Southern Council Conclave. This event is close to, if not exceeding the national convention. I had some classes (i.e. spey casting in case steelhead start running up the Platte River at some time in the near future) and seminars. One thing that was cool, I was videotaped tying my Frank's Fighting Craw. The guy who did it is going to edit it and put it up on UTube in a month or so.
Yeh, yeh. Blah, blah, blah.... Come Saturday and after enduring all the camaraderie BS, I needed to go fishing, so it’s off to the North Fork of the White River in Southern Mo. This water looks a lot like Penns. About the same size and flow. Unfortunately, no fish. Nice diversion. On the way back from Missouri, I did see two signs side-by-side. Both had arrows pointing off to the side road. The first one was for a cemetery, the second… a taxidermist. At least they give you options.
Okay, Sunday, "bored" meeting in the a.m. and then time to go fishing again. Mark Borserine from Kansas says he wants to go out. Mark is an FFF Certified Casting Instructor and a hell of a fisherman (some guys can cast but not fish).
We meet up with Joe, our guide. Joe has an Arkansas jon boat. These are about 18’ long and only about 4’ wide. Really nice and stable. We tool on down the main course of the White River, primarily chuckin’ and duckin’ with a big, pink San Juan worm. This fishing is extremely productive but not really fly fishing IMHO. However, it’s a lot of fun, so we keep at it till the guide wants to go home. He doesn’t like being on the water after dark. Something about unseen logs and alligators. We did catch a bunch of fish in the 14” to 19” range.
On Monday, Mark and I have an all-day trip with a fairly famous White River guide on the White. We’ll call him “Eastwood” to protect the innocent. Yes, he is one of the finest guides on the White River, but we don’t want the following to be associated with him.
Early on, Eastwood commits two cardinal sins. One, he says that the weather and water conditions are perfect for catching big trout and lots of them. Its overcast and they are running 4 generators at the dam. Secondarily, after we had to duck under a stream-side limb, he mentioned that he’d been guiding for over 11 years and had never lost a client out of the boat.
Bwahahahahahahahahaha! He don’t know me very well, do he? I calmly replied “until today.” (cue suspenseful music in the background)
We head out and find out that since we’re “good casters,” Eastwood will eschew chuckin’ and duckin’. We will “cast like men!” Okay, here it is Thursday, that was Monday. That being said, casting 8 wt rods with sinking fly lines and weighted flies will stretch out joints that have not been stretched since high school and I am still sore.
One of the things that Eastwood boat has is a drag chain. This is a length of rope ending in a heavy chain that drags along the bottom, slowing the drift down river. Well, between a really nice stable platform in the Arkansas jon boat, the drag chain keeping us at the right speed, and finally, some booming 75 foot double hauls with a high speed strip of big fly, I’m finally fishing.
And then, then…the quietude was destroyed. I was standing in the front of the boat, minding my own business, as we drifted downriver. Since the chain was attached to the front of the boat, we were going downstream motor first. The running line was a bit stiff and it had tangled a bit in the bottom of the boat, so I was working to clear the tangle.
The boat decided to spin a bit, so was out of line with the current about 45 degrees when the drag chain caught on a log and the boat snapped back in line. Basic physics kicked in. See, I was standing above one point on the Earth. Physics says that unless I do something to change that, I will remain at that point, even if the object I’m standing on decides to abandon ship and move to another point in this space/time continuum. One thing that did act upon me was the gunnel, hitting me in the back of the knees.
Okay, now I’m airborne, doing a 180 degree spin from the vertical. I then hit the water, the first temp check is done with the back of my neck. Hmm, 52 degrees. Chill. I go under, do a divers turn, think “this will make a great story,” say hi to the 41lb 8 oz trout that was cruising under our boat, and come back up.
As I break the surface, I see the side of the boat and an oar handle reaching out to me. I grab at the oar, but it’s too far away. The next thing I know, I’m floating down the river with the oar beside me. Okay, now time for an inventory. I’ve still got the guide’s rod and reel in my hand. The fly has snagged on the gunnel so the line is now screaming like I got a tuna. I reach out and grab the oar. Can’t hurt. I even still have my hat on.
Inventory over, its action time. I remember my white water rescue training and put the oar under my left arm, streamward, switch the rod to my right, turn and put my feet together and float downstream, feet up. In this way, I can use the oar as a keel and my feet will bounce off anything that wants to pull me under. Using my arm as a fulcrum, I paddle myself over to shore.
Meanwhile, back at the boat, the quick snap had thrown Mark into Eastwood, tangling the two up. Eastwood pushes Mark away and he then tries to reach me with the oar, finally throwing it at me. Mark and Eastwood then try to turn the boat and come after me. Oopsy, the drag chain is still locked on the log. They get free and then head down to get me.
I’m about 50 to 75 yards downstream. The water was running at about 15,000 cfs, so I moved fairly quickly. I hand Mark the fly rod, Eastwood is relieved. It’s about 1200 bucks worth of equipment and its his. Oh, granted, he’s happy that I’m safe, but that’s a really nice rod. I can totally understand this.
They pick me up, but unfortunately, I’ve no spare clothes. They’re all 15 miles away at the campground. Mark loans me a pair of pants and a shirt. Mark and I are not the same size, so I look like some back country bum with a rope belt.
We fish the rest of the day without much luck. Yes, we catch fish, but more on the size that we got with the chuckin’ and duckin’. None of those 7 to 10 pounders we were looking for.
Oh well, I was fishing and not working.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

HatEyes are Evil

These are the industrial strength magnifiers that clip to your hat brim. Just flip them down, bobs your uncle, instant magnifiers to tie on that fly. Not cheap crap, but optically ground plastic with a steel frame.
The evil downside. I've got a hat from a Pennsylvania flyshop (will be named in the personal injury lawsuit). The hat brim comes pre-curved so it will never work as semi-formal "gansta" wear (i.e. pool table flat brim, hat cocked 45 degrees to starboard or port). Due to this severe curve, the HatEyes will not slide up under the brim of this hat when I'm done tying on fly number 63. No big deal.
Okay, scene setter, I'm on a lake, middle of August, bright sunshine, 2 p.m., fish is directly ahead of me to the West, I inch back the fly, twitch, burn, HOLEY CRAP! MY UPPER LIP IS ON FIRE!!! WHAT THE HELL IS THIS? MY NOSE HAIRS BURST INTO FLAME!!! CRAP!! BAD WORD, BAD WORD, BAD WORD!!! ITS THE HATEYES!!! THEY'VE TURNED INTO MAGNIFYING GLASSES AND MY UPPER LIP IS THE ANT NEST!!!
I swear to God. I now have two blisters on my upper lip. Each about the size of a pencil eraser and slightly square. Think its time to grow a mustache before Monday or I'm gonna take SO much crap at work.
Frank Reid
(maybe I just say I went to the dermatologist and had a couple of suspicious spots burned off)

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Facebook Questionaires

If you're on Facebook, you've probably seen these friggen questionaires. People want to know more about you. Well... now they know a bit too much, so, I might have to....

If I’ve recently tagged you, please identify yourself the 10 digit number you’ll find on the tag below your dorsal fin.

1. Elaborate on your default picture?
Came with the frame.

2. What's your current state of being?
Semi-solid, but can be quite gaseous

3. Ever have a near-death experience?
Hey, it was only an “attempted murder charge,” or, as they called it in the Philippines, “frustrated homicide.”

4. Name an obvious quality you have?
Extreme good luck (otherwise, I’d be very, very dead)

5. What's the name of the song that's stuck in your head right now?
The Crawdad Song as sung by Burl Ives

6. Name a celebrity you would marry?
HAL 9000

7. Who will cut and paste this first?
Me! I’m already doing that.... Duh!

8. Has anyone ever said you look like a celebrity?
Yes, see question 3.

9. Do you wear a watch?
The watch isn’t the issue. It’s what the watch band is made of.

10. Do you have anything pierced?
Other people. See question 3.

11. Do you like pain?
No, but IV Morphine and Valium kick butt!

12. Do you like to shop?
Only in West Yellowstone, MT. Five fly shops centered on a microbrewery with great Carolina BBQ. I did have to pay for the damages and police barriers.

13. What was the last thing you paid for with cash?
Concealed carry permit.

14. What is your favorite lamp that you own?
Lamp, favorite friggen lamp!!!!???? Slowly I turned, step by step... See question 3.

15. How many TVs are in your house?
Uh uh. You’ve not Mirandized me so you’re not getting an answer to that.1

6. What is on your desktop background?
Black plastic.

17. What is the background on your cell phone?
Well, it was originally manufactured in a sweatshop in China using convicts as labor. These convicts were waiting to be organ donors for rich Europeans who didn’t want to wait on their national lists, but that’s neither here nor there. After that, it was shrink wrapped and put in a container ship that was owned by a front company for....

18. What was the last movie you watched in theaters?
Theaters are for theater, sides, I’ve not been allowed back in a theater since the Papillion incident back in ’73.

19. What was the last book you read?
ASN.1 Complete by Larmouth

20. Do you talk in your sleep?
Can’t, per National Security Directive.

21. Ocean or pool?
Ocean. To easy to spot the bodies at the bottom of the pool

22. Did you ever host a party that was busted by the cops?
Okay, back to question 3.

23. Current Crush?

24. Favorite Color?

25. Window seat or aisle seat?
Window with emergency exit. When crashing, I want to climb out on the wing and jump off five feet from the ground. Then I’ll live ‘cause I know I can survive a five foot jump.

26. Ever met anyone famous?
I’ve told you before, it was a misunderstanding and the restraining order is only valid in California.

27. Do you feel that you've had a truly successful life?
You would have to decide on which life you’re referring to.

28. Do you twirl your spaghetti or cut it?
I prefer to stand it on end.

29. Ricki Lake or Oprah Winfrey?
Hmm, I work for a living, so, with millions of others, I can say... Who?

30. Baseball or Football?
And what do you have against naked curling?

31. How long do your showers last?
Fairly quick, though the thundershowers with the big piece of sheet metal for the noise and pelting myself with ice cubes tend to last a bit longer.

32. Do you know how to drive a stick?
Sticks have neither motors nor legs. You’re on crack.

33. Cake or ice cream?
Mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, mine, .... see question 3.

34. Are you self-conscious?
More on the level of self aware.

35. Have you ever given money to a homeless person?
I pay taxes, don’t I?

36. Have you been in love?
See question 26.

37. What is your favorite part of the Day/Night?
I prefer dawn or dusk when the guards’ eyes are adjusting to the light.

38. Have you ever ridden in an ambulance?
Yeh, and they get really pissed when you drive off with one.

39. Can you tango?
Actually, yes I can.

40. Last gift you received?
I prefer to give gifts. Hmm, if you tell a German that his meal is a “gift aus Frank,” he’ll run screaming into the night.

41. Last sport you played?
See item 30.

42. What would you like to spend a lot of time doing?
Don’t you mean “who?”

43. Last wedding attended?
My daughter’s.

44. Favorite fast food restaurant?
Bill’s House of Greyhounds. Talk about your fast food.

45. Most hated food?
Spaghetti. Due to my eating habits (see item 28), it’s become a diet food for me.

46. Can you sing?
I didn’t tell ‘em nutin. Nutin, I say!

47. Last person that called you?

48. What's your least favorite chore?
Paris Hilton. Oh, you said chore. Then, Paris Hilton fits.

49. Favorite Drinks?
Well, there’s one tall drink of water...

50. Have you been on a cruise?
How ‘bout, “Have you paid for a cruise?”

51. Are you a vegetarian?
No, I’ve got reinforced fenders and a scoop shovel.

52. Do you believe in Heaven?
Who’s version?

53. Favorite show?
With or without the telescope?

54. What jewelry do you wear?
Do these electronic bracelets count?

55. Are you eating?
No, digesting, maybe summarizing.

56. Do you eat the stems of broccoli?
I feed them to my dog so he gets broccoli farts. Scares the crap out of himself.

57. Do you make commitments?
No, but I’ve been committed.

58. Can you dance?
Okay, I see your plan. You’re trying to trip me up after question 39. It’s not going to work. Keep it up, and I’ll see that you’re assembling cell phones in China.

59. Would you ever have plastic surgery?
Used to. Now I just eliminate the witnesses.

60. What do you wear to bed?
You’re gonna tell that guy from item 49, aren’t you?

61. Have you ever done anything illegal?
Charges dropped due to lack of evidence and witnesses.

62. Can you roll your tongue?
No, but I can yours. Old fashion, cast iron curling irons work best.

64. What is your hair color?
Uh, platinum blond. Yeah, that’s it.

65. Future child's name?
Oh Crap!

66. Do you snore?
I was accused of snoring once. See item 3.

67. If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
Let me check the extradition laws and get back to you.

68. Do you sleep with stuffed animals?
Just a deer mount.

69. If you won the lottery, what would you do first?

70. Gold or silver?
Silver swords and golden axes cannot rend this helm of mine, but going to take your castle, with its wenches so divine.

71. City, beach or country?
See item 67.

72. What was the last thing you touched?
No fingerprints or DNA, see item 15.

73. Where did you eat out last?
See item 42.

74. What do you want to be when you grow up?
Grow up. What, you got some Entwash? You think I’m short, is that it?

75. How many siblings do you have?
My mom married and buried 3 husbands. I have no idea anymore.

76. Do you like your hometown?
Now that they’ve closed the prison, its just not that homey any more.

78. Speak any languages?
A kurve anya pichebe.

79. Play any instruments?
I just fiddle around... or a square, may haps a decahedron.

80. Do you miss your past?
The witness protection folks say to forget about it.

81. Do you miss anyone?
Yes, very, very much.

82. Do you like the snow?
Arrrghhh!!! Hydrogen Hydroxide, DiHydrogen Monoxide, dihydrogenated oxygen, DHMO.... that’s some nasty crap man...

83. Do you believe ex-s can be friends?
That’s what I asked the judge. See item 26.

84. Have you ever fired a gun?

85. Have you felt sad in the past week?
The pits of despair.

86. Have you ever been back stabbed by a friend?
And he didn’t know about the cuirass I wear under the polo shirt.

87. Have you ever flunked a test?

88. Have you ever gotten a detention?
Detention? Didn’t you read about item 18?

89. What are you going to do after this survey?
Hit this ankle bracelet with a taser.

90. Last person you texted?
Old school texting (pen and paper) to the appeals court.

91. Name the people you have been friends with the longest?
Didn’t you read item 80?

92. How did you get one of your biggest scars?
Yah know, you really can “bust a gut” laughing.

93. Last person you said "I love you" to?
My bride

94. What makes you feel better when you are upset?
Either booze or exercise. But never, NEVER combine a 5th of scotch with a Bowflex machine unless you have an unlimited supply of ceiling tiles.

95. Where is your favorite vacation spot?
Watching the moving rocks in Death Valley.

96. Do you have a dog?
Will at about noon, see item 44.

97. Chocolate or regular milk?
Now, is this two nouns, one with an adjective? A choice of two adjectives for one noun? You're trying to trip me up again, aren't you. Yah know, that kinda pisses me off.

98. If you could die any way?
In my sleep like my grandfather, not screaming and wailing like the folks in the bus he was driving.

99. Who is your literary Role Model?

100. Are you ready for the future?
I’m ready for anything once I get off this floor. You know how much a taser on the ankle hurts?

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

Death of a Quilt Hero

No, it’s not the slow death of cancer or the quick one of using that fat quarter of imported brown batik to clean up after changing the oil in the car (hey, it looked like an oily rag). No, this was “death by Alex Anderson.”
Let’s roll back a couple of days. The blushing bride is going out of town, to, surprise, surprise, a quilt show. One of her requests of me was to take some of the 30 plus hours of Simply Quilts reruns that she’s recorded on the Digital Video Recorder (DVR) and transfer them to the DVD Recorder so she can save them to DVD.
No problemo, I’m a computer geek. I’ll download them from one system and upload them on another. Whoops, the cable company’s DVR won’t let that happen. The USB port is disabled.
Okay, do it the old fashion way. “What’s that Dear? You don’t want the commercials? But, but that means…”
“You can’t possibly mean…”
“Yes I can.”
So, I start recording them, one at a time. Without commercials, I’m cutting a half hour show down to between 19 and a half and 23 minutes.
Hour two, this isn’t so bad. She’s got a big smile.
Hour three, I’ve almost got her commercial breaks timed.
Hour four, hey, that technique to hand dye silk is pretty cool.
Hour six, oh for Pete’s sake. Will you look at the points on that guest’s quilt? They’ve got to be a quarter inch off each and every one! What was she thinking fussy cutting that stripe fabric on the bias?
Hour eight, DON”T LET NANCY KIRK IN FRONT OF A SEWING MACHINE!!! She’s a quilt historian, not a quilter.
Hour twelve, Okay Alex, stop smiling and stop talking to me like I’m an idiot. I know the how to use a roller cutter.
Hour fifteen….. Getting sucked in… Must stop.. but that technique on the Nigerian quilts is so cool..
Hour seventeen and a half… Alex, look at that hair style. What were you thinking?
Hour twenty two.. CRASH!! The door gets kicked in. Five male friends rush into the room and grab me. “It’s an intervention, Frank. It was either you or Brittany Spears and you look better with your head shaved.” “But,,, they’re going to demonstrate Origami quilting!!! Let me goooooo!!!”
Now, I’m writing from the drag strip. We’re waiting for the races to start. This being the first week of March in Nebraska, we’ve got a long wait. I said they were friends, didn’t say they were smart.
Hmm, I wonder if I can do a cigar silk type quilt out of these wrist bands.

Stories of the Full Reid gets rave reviews

The now internationally famous blog "Stories of the Full Reid" gained more accolades today. Writing from Facebook, a site with apparently billions of readers (billions, is that right? Have the staff research that.), internationally famous country star and fly guy, Clark Reid was quoted as saying: Clark Reid at 7:48am July 7 excellent

More breaking news as it occurs, if we hear it, and we're not asleep.

What Clark said!

Breaking News - Blogger Beats Everyone to the Scoop!

Clark Reid BLOGGING Never before have so many people with so little to say said so much to so few.

You heard it here first! Or, kinda first. Well, second, but no one reads the source, even though its got like a billion users...

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

The Electric Fence (stolen from the web)

This one came to me via a USENet newsgroup. Author unknown.

Thought y'all should read this in case you're thinking of installing an electric fence!
We have the standard 6ft. fence in the backyard, and a few months ago, I heard about burglaries increasing dramatically in the entire city. To make sure this never happened to me, I got an electric fence and ran a single wire along the top of the fence. Actually, I got the biggest cattle charger Tractor Supply had, made for 26 miles of fence. I then used an 8 ft. long ground rod, drove 7.5 feet into the ground. The ground rod is the key, with the more you have in the ground, the better the fence works.
One day I'm mowing the back yard with my cheapo Wal-Mart 6hp Big Wheel push mower. The hot wire is broken and laying out in the yard. I knew for a fact that I unplugged the charger. I pushed the mower around the wire and reached down to grab it, to throw it out of the way. It seems as though I hadn't remembered to unplug it after all.
Now I'm standing there, I've got the running lawnmower in my right hand and the 1.7 gigavolt fence wire in the other hand. Keep in mind the charger is about the size of a marine battery and has a picture of an upside down cow on fire on the cover.
Time stood still.
The first thing I notice is my balls trying to climb up the front side of my body. My ears curled downwards and I could feel the lawnmower ignition firing in the backside of my brain. Every time that Briggs & Stratton rolled over, I could feel the spark in my head. I was literally at one with the engine. It seems as though the fence charger and the lawnmower were fighting over who would control my electrical impulses. Science says you cannot crap and pee at the same time. I beg to differ. Not only did I do both at once, but my bowels emptied 3 different times in less than half of a second. It was a Matrix kind of bowel movement, where time is creeping along and you're all leaned back and "BAM, BAM, BAM" you just crap your pants 3 times; It seemed like there were minutes in between, but in reality it was so close together it was like exhaust pulses from a big block Chevy turning 8 grand. At this point I'm about 30 minutes (maybe 2 seconds) into holding onto the fence wire. My hand is wrapped around the wire palm down so I can't let go. I grew up on a farm so I know all about electric fences... but Dad always had those "piece of crap" chargers made by International or whoever that were like 9 volts and just 'kinda tickled. This I could not let go of.
The 8 foot long ground rod is now accepting signals from me through the permadamp Ark-La-Tex river bottom soil. At this point I'm thinking I'm going to have to just man up and take, until lawnmower runs out of gas. Damn!, I think, as I remember I just filled the tank! Now the lawnmower is starting to run rough. It has settled into a loping run pattern as if it had some kind of big lawnmower race cam in it.
Covered in poop and pee and with my balls on my chest, I think 'Oh God please let me die... pleeeeze let me die'. But nooooo, it settles into the rough lumpy cam idle nicely and remains there, like a big bore roller cam EFI motor waiting for the go command from its owner's right foot.
So here I am in the middle of July, 104 degrees, 80% humidity, standing in my own backyard, begging God to kill me. God did not take me that day... he left me there covered in my own fluids to writhing the misery my own stupidity had created.
I honestly don't know how I got loose from the wire... I woke up laying on the ground hours later. The lawnmower was beside me, out of gas. It was later on in the day and I was sunburned. There were two large dead grass spots where I had been standing, and then another long skinny dead spot were the wire had laid while I was on the ground still holding on to it. I assume finally had a seizure and in the resulting thrashing had somehow let go of the wire.
Upon waking from my electrically induced sleep I realized a few things.
1- Three of my teeth seem to have melted.
2- I now have cramps in the bottoms of my feet and my right butt cheek (not the left, just the right).
3- Poop and pee when all mixed together, do not smell as bad as you might think.
4- My left eye will not open.
5- My right eye will not close.
6- The lawnmower runs like a sumbitch now. Seriously! I think our little session cleared out some carbon fouling or something, because it was better than new after that.
7- My balls are still smaller than average yet they are almost a foot long.
8- I can turn on the TV in the Game Room by farting while thinking of the number 4 (still don't understand this!)
That day changed my life. I now have a new found respect for things. I appreciate the little things more, and now I always triple check to make sure the fence is unplugged before I mow.
The good news, is that if a burglar does try to come over the fence, I can clearly visualize what my security system will do to him, and THAT gives me a warm and fuzzy feeling all over, which also reminds me to triple check before I mow.

The Squirrel (stolen from the web)

I will repost here a couple of stories I didn't write, but have been told are in my style.

Neighborhood Hazard (or: Why the Cops Won't Patrol Brice Street Anymore)
Author: Daniel Meyer
I never dreamed slowly cruising on my motorcycle through a residential neighborhood could be so incredibly dangerous! Little did I suspect ... I was on Brice Street - a very nice neighborhood with perfect lawns and slow traffic. As I passed an oncoming car, a brown furry missile shot out from under it and tumbled to a stop immediately in front of me. It was a squirrel, and must have been trying to run across the road when it encountered the car. I really was not going very fast, but there was no time to brake or avoid it - it was that close. I hate to run over animals, and I really hate it on a motorcycle, but a squirrel should pose no danger to me. I barely had time to brace for the impact. Animal lovers, never fear. Squirrels, I discovered, can take care of themselves!
Inches before impact, the squirrel flipped to his feet. He was standing on his hind legs and facing my oncoming Valkyrie with steadfast resolve in his little beady eyes. His mouth opened, and at the last possible second, he screamed and leapt! I am pretty sure the scream was squirrel for, "Bonzai!" or maybe, "Die you gravy-sucking, heathen scum!" The leap was nothing short of spectacular ... as he shot straight up, flew over my windshield, and impacted me squarely in the chest.
Instantly, he set upon me. If I did not know better, I would have sworn he brought 20 of his little buddies along for the attack. Snarling, hissing, and tearing at my clothes, he was a frenzy of activity. As I was dressed only in a light T-shirt, summer riding gloves, and jeans this was a bit of a cause for concern. This furry little tornado was doing some damage! Picture a large man on a huge black and chrome cruiser, dressed in jeans, a T-shirt, and leather gloves, puttering at maybe 25 mph down a quiet residential street, and in the fight of his life with a squirrel. And losing...
I grabbed for him with my left hand. After a few misses, I finally managed to snag his tail. With all my strength, I flung the evil rodent off to the left of the bike, almost running into the right curb as I recoiled from the throw. That should have done it. The matter should have ended right there. It really should have. The squirrel could have sailed into one of the pristinely kept yards and gone on about his business, and I could have headed home. No one would have been the wiser.
But this was no ordinary squirrel. This was not even an ordinary pissed-off squirrel. This was an EVIL MUTANT ATTACK SQUIRREL OF DEATH! Somehow he caught my gloved finger with one of his little hands and, with the force of the throw, swung around and with a resounding thump and an amazing impact, he landed squarely on my back and resumed his rather antisocial and extremely distracting activities. He also managed to take my left glove with him! The situation was not improved. Not improved at all. His attacks were continuing, and now I could not reach him.
I was startled to say the least. The combination of the force of the throw, only having one hand (the throttle hand) on the handlebars, and my jerking back unfortunately put a healthy twist through my right hand and into the throttle. A healthy twist on the throttle of a Valkyrie can only have one result. Torque. This is what the Valkyrie is made for, and she is very, very good at it. The engine roared and the front wheel left the pavement. The squirrel screamed in anger. The Valkyrie screamed in ecstasy. I screamed in ... well ... I just plain screamed.
Now picture a large man on a huge black and chrome cruiser, dressed in jeans, a slightly squirrel-torn-t-shirt, wearing only one leather glove, and roaring at maybe 50 mph and rapidly accelerating down a quiet residential street on one wheel and with a demonic squirrel on his back. The man and the squirrel are both screaming bloody murder. With the sudden acceleration I was forced to put my other hand back on the handlebars and try to get control of the bike. This was leaving the mutant squirrel to his own devices, but I really did not want to crash into somebody's tree, house, or parked car. Also, I had not yet figured out how to release the throttle ... my brain was just simply overloaded.
I did manage to mash the back brake, but it had little effect against the massive power of the big cruiser. About this time the squirrel decided that I was not paying sufficient attention to this very serious battle (maybe he is an evil mutant NAZI attack squirrel of death), and he came around my neck and got INSIDE my full-face helmet with me. As the faceplate closed partway, he began hissing in my face. I am quite sure my screaming changed intensity. It had little effect on the squirrel, however.
The RPMs on The Dragon maxed out (since I was not bothering with shifting at the moment) so her front end started to drop. Now picture a large man on a huge black and chrome cruiser, dressed in jeans, a very raggedly-torn T-shirt, wearing only one leather glove, roaring at probably 80 mph, still on one wheel, with a large puffy squirrel's tail sticking out of the mostly closed full-face helmet.
By now the screams are probably getting a little hoarse. Finally I got the upper hand ... I managed to grab his tail again, pulled him out of my helmet, and slung him to the left as hard as I could. This time it worked ... sort-of. Spectacularly sort-of ... so to speak. Picture a new scene. You are a cop. You and your partner have pulled off on a quiet residential street and parked with your windows down to do some paperwork. Suddenly a large man on a huge black and chrome cruiser, dressed in jeans, a torn T-shirt flapping in the breeze, and wearing only one leather glove, moving at probably 80 mph on one wheel, and screaming bloody murder roars by and with all his strength throws a live squirrel grenade directly into your police car.
I heard screams. They weren't mine... I managed to get the big motorcycle under control and dropped the front wheel to the ground. I then used maximum braking and skidded to a stop in a cloud of tire smoke at the stop sign of a busy cross street. I would have returned to fess up (and to get my glove back). I really would have. Really. Except for two things. First, the cops did not seem interested or the slightest bit concerned about me at the moment. When I looked back, the doors on both sides of the patrol car were flung wide open. The cop from the passenger side was on his back, doing a crab walk into somebody's front yard, quickly moving away from the car. The cop who had been in the driver's seat was standing in the street and was aiming a riot shotgun at his own police car.
So the cops were not interested in me. They often insist to "let the professionals handle it" anyway. That was one thing. The other? Well, I could clearly see shredded and flying pieces of foam and upholstery from the back seat. But I could also swear I saw the squirrel in the back window, shaking his little fist at me, shooting me the finger ... That is one dangerous squirrel. And now he has a patrol car. A somewhat shredded patrol car ... but it was all his.
I took a deep breath, turned on my turn-signal, made a gentle right turn off of Brice Street, and sedately left the neighborhood. I decided it was best to just buy myself a new pair of gloves. And some Band-Aids.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Fathers Day Dreams (stolen from the web)

Found a new tool that every man needs for his tool box. Come on Fathers Day!!!!!!!

New Nail Gun, made by DeWALT. It can drive a 16-D nail through a 2 X 4 at 200 yards. This makes construction a breeze, you can sit in your lawn chair and build a fence. Just get your wife to hold the fence boards in place while you sit back, relax with a cold drink and when she has the board in the right place, just fire away. With the hundred round magazine, you can build the fence with a minimum of reloading. After a day of fence building with the new DeWalt Rapid fire nail gun, the wife will not ask you build or fix anything else again.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Quitting Smoking

A couple of years ago I quit smoking. Relapsed, and today, 4 Mar 2009, is my quit day. Thought I would reprise what it was like the last time I did this:

April 12th – Quit smoking. It’s a Monday, got my 21 mg patch, life is good. A few craves. Not really that bad.

April 13th – Craves are really cranking up. Ripped my shirt pocket getting my cigarettes out. Turned out to be my Palm Pilot so I lit my stylus and all was cool. People around me seem to be crankier than usual.

April 14th – Cat walked across my face last night while I was sleeping. Now I’ve got to replace that damned skylight. Got in the car and snorted my upholstery. Smelled like smoke. Pulled a few threads out and put them in the lighter. Ahh, just what I needed. No cigs though.

April 15th – It’s my birthday. Fascinated by the candles on the cake. Burning.. nice… Friggen’ drivers in this state are damned idiots. Now I understand road rage. They were in their first week on not smoking. Amazing how easy it is to run an 18-wheeler off the road. Asshole. I flashed him so he could change lanes and he didn’t even bother with a courtesy flash back at me. The team’s secretary quit. Said she wouldn’t put up with my attitude. Family is still supportive but they put the dog in a kennel.

April 16th – Wife bought me a carton of cigs today. What’s up with that? I stuffed them in her bra. Told her I was a non-smoker. She packed up the kids and went to her Mom’s on the left coast. Hell, if she won’t support me, good riddance. Man, almost through the week.

April 17th – Rained last night. Water came pouring in the skylight onto the bed. Nail gun and that nasty looking avant garde poster the wife bought sure cured that shit. Police showed up. Hey, if a guy wants to stand on his roof in his BVDs and scream at the heavens while shooting nails at passing cars, it’s his God given right. Got out in time to get to work. Found out that they have non-smoking cells at the sheriffs’ department.

April 18th – I think the “flatulence phase” is all bullshit. Had nachos and beer last night topped off with some leftover deviled eggs. Doc says I should clean my system out so I had a couple of glasses of Metamucil. No problems that I noticed. Boss finally realized my brilliance and moved me to a private office and out of the cube farm. Very supportive office mates helped me move.

April 19th – Kinda jittery. Getting healthy. Guy at the gym told me I was supposed to take off the patches and replace them, not just put on another one. I super glued his sneakers to the Nordic Trac, set it on high then busted off the stop/start button. Friggen, self-righteous, no-neck health nuts. Had time to go to the gym ‘cause I lost my job. I wouldn’t have thrown that damn printer through the window if some inconsiderate asshole would have refilled it with paper when it ran out. Shame to loose the job. New secretary was really hot (in a septuagenarian kinda way). Full Week Done!!! Woo Woo!

April 20th – Arm’s in a sling. Gonna sue the grocery store. All’s I did was try to light a damn cinnamon stick and you’d thought I was a mass murderer. Took seven of the bastards to take me down and there’s one bag boy whose gonna walk funny for a while. Asshole lawyer of mine handed back his retainer. Told me I needed help. Screw him. He’s never smoked. Doesn’t know what its like.

April 21st – Man, 10 days. Look at my quit meter. I feel so much better now. I’ve learned to ignore the distractions like the banging on my door and the sirens. You know, if you inhale right, tear gas can give you a rush just like a cigarette. I feel like I have superhuman strength…

Entered into evidence on this day April 22, 2004 in the case of Maryland against Reid.

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Put a head on it

Hydration whilst fishing is important. When you hydrate, you can fish longer. This is not only important in warm weather, but even in cold weather. That's how we get to today's story.
Camelback backpack bladders are a wonderful invention. They are used extensively by the military to keep our soldiers and airmen going with plenty of liquid. I also use one to keep me going on the stream, but I learned a very valuable lesson from a "friend."
This person, who shall remain nameless, gently poured a four bottles of fine microbrew beer in his Camelback before heading a stream. The beer got a bit shook up as he walked, rod in hand. The bladder pack started to swell under the pressure. This "someone" noticed that the straps to the bladder pack had gotten tighter and tighter, and, by the time he realized that he had to do something about it, the bladder was so swollen he couldn't get it off. He started flailing around, trying to get to his knife to cut off the straps, but the straps were pulling his shoulders back so far he couldn't reach anything. Then again, he couldn't have held his knife even if he could reach it 'cause he had lost the circulation in his arms. His hands started to blow up as big as the pack and turn a loverly shade of puce. I'm told he looked like cross between a camel and a tyrannosaurus, big hump and useless arms with a really nasty look on his face, bulging eyes and all.
Relief finally came when the tap from the drinking tube blew off, striking him in the throat and then the now free tube flipped around like a fire hose with no one holding the end. Now the hose is beating him about the face, spraying 64 oz of beer into his eyes and one good shot directly up the left nostril.
The pressure released and, after a few minutes to return the circulation to his arms, this "someone" ripped off the Camelback, stabbed the crap out of it with his knife (to ensure no one else could be injured by such a vile device), and buried it in the woods. He then walked back to his truck, drank the other two beers and decided that he'd go back to carrying bottles of Gatorade in the back of his vest.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

The Weekend

Spent the weekend taking down Xmas decorations. Figured out it was easier using a chainsaw on a 10' Xmas tree to get it out the door as it was netted coming in the door. It's alright, it was an electric chainsaw. Waited till the bride and daughter had left the house for a "tea party" and plugged that sucker in. Soon found out that chainsaws and drywall don't get along.

For the handymen in the crowd, why do they put wiring and plumbing in the walls right behind the best place to set a Christmas tree? Reminder, circuit breakers will pop when you step in water that is running over a cut wire. Also blew up the shop vac and my belt buckle flew off and impaled itself in the wiff's new curio cabinet. Now I've got to cut some glass for the cabinet and glue that little hummel guy back together.
Got the water stopped with a wine cork after turning it off downstairs. Put a wire nut on both ends of the wire. Guess the upstairs will just be a storage room now with no power. Put the wiff's quilt rack in front of the wall. The hole and bulge only shows a little bit at the top. Drywall kinda slumped when the wall filled with water.
Used the crockpot to brace the nice tile on the wall in the kitchen on the other side. Wiff never uses that so she'll not notice. Wiff came home and never saw it.
Crap, she wants to start to make pot roast in the crockpot in the morning. I left the house and the new architectural interest point at 0430 for work.