Sunday, May 6, 2018

The Last Cast Remembered

Have you ever actually caught a fish on what you said would be your very last cast at any fishing spot? It certainly does not happen very often. What is more likely to happen is you decide to cast a few more times and make them your last casts, then do it again and again until you give up in frustration. Getting you away from that spot is akin to pulling hen's teeth, or to catching  a world record, but sooner or later you call it quits.

My son once begged me for five more casts, and that was only after having already cast his last five casts before the five new last casts for which he asked that final time. I was getting antsy wanting to get on the road because we had a long drive ahead of us. So, when his pole bent, and he leaned back so it bent to just about the breaking point, I swore he was caught on a rock. The pole was not bouncing up and down at all like if there was a fish on the other end of the line and I was convinced but he insisted he had a fish. I took the pole from him expecting to have to break the line and telling him he was stuck on a rock. I was ready to break the line and lose the lure but he again swore it was a fish as he was handing the rod to me. Suddenly, the reel screamed as line ran out just after I had grabbed hold of the rod and given it a little tug. Damn, it was a fish and on his last cast!

I was amazed and I handed him back the pole quickly. A few minutes later - after a fierce but determined battle - not only did he have the fish, a nice sized brown trout, he also had a big smile on his face and he was standing tall and proud. The trout went right back into the water and swam away looking okay. At first Brendan seemed dismayed to be letting it go but as I told him then - we were letting it go so we or someone else could catch it again another day. He agreed that was exactly what we should do and that day a true a sportsman was born. I wonder to this day if someone else ever had the same thrill of catching that very same trout. Maybe someday, Brendan and his son will catch a lunker there.

Thank goodness I had remembered I had a Kodak disposable camera (no camera phones then) in my pocket before we let that nice brown trout go, especially since it was his first. I wish I had taken some shots of him wading out into that cold water. When I had asked where he learned to fish like that, he said from watching fishing shows on television. Brendan was about 10 or 11 as best I can recall although it could have been a bit earlier in his years than that. 

Many years before that day, my uncle took me there and introduced me to that secret fishing hole, a pool under a waterfall in upstate NY. He told me we would catch a big brown trout there with a certain spinner - a Panther Martin yellow spinner with red spots it was. Sadly he no longer remembers doing so but such is the cost of living into your 80s.

Anyway, it probably was back when I was 15 or so that he took me there but me and my uncle never caught anything there. Over all the years in-between me being about 15 through 46 or so, I never fished there by myself and I never had much luck with that kind of lure either. Somehow though, the memory of that special fishing hole kept its place in the depths of my psyche as did my habit of buying that same lure over and over again despite not catching much with it. Somehow too, the dream of catching a nice trout at that exact fishing hole with that exact lure never faded away either.

Sometime along the way the Fates must have smiled upon us and reserved that day for us - me and my son. They also evidently reserved that fish for Brendan and his smile for me so I could feel the joy Brendan was feeling at that precise moment. And yes, we used a new lure but it was the exact same kind as it had been so many years before. Wish my uncle had been there with us then but damn I was lucky to be with my son.

Brendan has moved out of state and while we still fish together, it is not often but just now and then when we get a chance. When I was down in Arkansas visiting Brendan in March of this year, we canoed and fished the Caddo river together with two of his buddies. Once again, only one of us (us meaning me & Brendan) caught a fish, a single smallmouth bass. Yep, it was on the very same kind of lure and this time it was me who caught it. It too went right back in the water.

Life does not get much better unless of course you are both catching fish but isn't that why they call it fishing instead of catching. Brendan will be up this way in June and I am hoping he will spare the time for us to go out on the ocean on a party boat to fish for whatever is running at the time. That would be excellent whether or not we catch anything but I hope to see that smile on his face again when he reels in a big one.

All the best,
Glenn B

All You Media Types - Think About It

All the best,
Glenn B

Wear Your Rain Coat In 7-Eleven - Possible Golden Showers Today

7-Eleven microwaves are not pee warmers, at least they were never meant to be used to heat up urine. Regardless, a young lady from Denver reportedly visited the 7-Eleven in Aurora, CO and proceeded to place her urine into one of the store's microwave ovens to warm it. It exploded and I imagine caused quite the mess at least inside the oven as well as on the floor after she allegedly wiped it out onto the floor. She supposedly had been on her way to a urine screening for potential employment but wound up being issued a summons, by police, a short while later. More at the source.

All the best,
Glenn B

Shopping Amazon & Amazon Prime

I won a $20 Amazon gift card last Wednesday. I immediately decided I would buy something I needed and knew right away that my purchase would be Southern Bloomer Shotgun cleaning patches. Yesterday, I went to Amazon an they had them in stock and ready to ship by Amazon instead of a third party vendor. I thought great. Then I saw the price and I thought EXCELLENT since they were only $12.06 per bag of 500 patches. They usually sell for around $23 to $27 per bag. The thing was, there was no icon to add them to my cart. Then I saw it said they were an exclusive offer for Amazon Prime members; nice way to sucker someone into joining Prime. What the heck, I got suckered and I joined under a "free" 30 day trial. I was so happy with the price that I ordered two bags; I go through them quickly and use them to clean all of my guns (I cut them to size as needed). They came with free shipping and are supposed to arrive tomorrow. Wow, thought I, ordered them on a Saturday and should receive them on Monday. I have an Amazon rewards credit card. Amazon gave me the option of using points along with the gift card for my purchase. I had on a handful of points since I used most of them recently but figured what the heck. I think I paid .57 cents out of pocket for the patches.

Today, I decided to look for some items I have been needing and or wanting. Along the way, while searching firearms related items, I virtually stumbled across The Gun Digest Book of Rimfire Rifles Assembly/Disassembly: Step-by-Step Photos for 74 Models & 228 Variables by Kevin Muramat. I was thinking of ordering it but it sure looked familiar an sure enough I have one on my bookshelf. Could not recall if I had kept that or given it to Brendan. Anyway, Amazon notified me I had already ordered one back in 2016 - nice touch. I have not done much shopping on Amazon in the past, just a bit of gun stuff now and then like the Standard Catalog of Firearms Values and some items for Brendan and I mostly used points for those purchases. Before moving on to look for other items though, I noticed one thing about that Gun Digest Rimfire Assembly/Disassembly book - the price. Man oh man, it certainly seemed expensive, they were asking $35.99. So I checked my order from back in 2016 (another nice touch that prior order info apparently goes back at least a few years). On my order, the total with shipping was $20.28, it came from an outside vendor who advertised on Amazon. The thing I noticed about Amazon's current offering of this book was that they clearly sated on their site that it had recently gone up in price. They said it this way:

"We updated this item to the best offer currently available at Amazon. The price increased by $19.70."

Then they included this under cover of a link:

"We found a new seller for this item because it’s no longer available from the selected seller. Price increased by $19.70 (from $16.29 to $35.99)."

That is a stupendous price increase in a mere two years from the price at which I bought it, which was the same price as their most recent previous price. By the way, that is for the 3rd edition, the latest edition is the 4th edition. You can get the 4th edition from the Gun Digest Store here for $22.99 with $9.46 added for 2nd day shipping @ total of $32.45 as compared to the Amazon price of $35.99 for the same. Hmm, Amazon may not be the greatest thing since the first profession as most folks seem to think. As usual, you have to shop around to get the best price. While a $3.54 cents savings may not seem like much, such savings add up over several purchases. For example, if I saved that much each time on 10 orders, I would have saved $35.40 or enough for a bottle of Kirshwasser - damned fine spirits.

Now something like that is not going to deter me from using Amazon when they have the best price or very close to it with free 2 day shipping, for instance like the purchase I made of the cleaning patches under my free 30 day Amazon prime membership. The thing about that is, I will have to try to figure out if continuing that membership will be worth the $99 Amazon charges for it annually. I tend to think it would be worth it just for the free shipping but would definitely have to order more often from them than I have since 2014 when I placed my first order with them. In the time since then, I've only placed a total of  11 orders for a total of 18 items. Right now though, if they have what I need and want, I am going to use Amazon Prime to my advantage over the next 29 days and only then decide to either cancel or keep it, I have a few things in my cart right now. I may even watch a movie or three and listen to some tunes since they include all that in the membership.

All the best,
Glenn B