Monday, November 30, 2009

One more down...many many more to go.

Tomorrow marks the end of yet another MN duck season.

Excuse me while I go weep softly in the corner.

However, while out hunting this past season, I contemplated what it will be like in the future when Daven hopefully wants to join me. I anxiously look forward to showing him how to throw out decoys without getting the line and weight wrapped up with the decoy. I look forward to showing him how to hold a shotgun safely in the blind, shoulder it smoothly while preparing to shoot, and fully following through after the shot. I look forward to teaching him to blow a duck call, and hopefully he'll learn to do the feeding call better than me and show ME what I'm doing wrong in that department.

So while the season closes this year and I'm heartbroken at not being able to spend any more cold mornings in a swamp for a while, I take comfort in the fact that we are one season closer to having my boy in the mix with me.

And I think it'll happen. A few months ago while at Fleet Farm, he desperatley wanted a kids hat off the shelf that was camoflauged and had the Ducks Unlimited logo on it. He normally didn't wear hats for more than a few seconds, but that day, he put the hat on and didn't take it off. I marched around proudly for a few more aisles, he still had it on, so I bought it for him.

Sorry Mama. It looks like you'll have at least 2 duck fanatics in your house in the coming years.

Saturday, November 28, 2009

Faith in Humanity meter moves up a notch...

I am not tolerant of people. Frequently, I find myself quick to judge people, especially out in the general public masses, based solely on their appearance and body language. I don't normally give them a chance, and usually, my first impression is spot on. People are rude, selfish, and usually only think of themselves.

Well, except you and I. We're the exceptions.

Anyway, I had to make a last minute stop at the grocery store to pick up some stuff for our dinner tonight. Daven was starting to get sleepy, and fell asleep on the way over. I pulled into the parking lot and took note that it wasn't seemingly too busy. So I parked, hauled Daven out of his car seat, and went in. Daven stayed asleep on my shoulder all throughout the quick trip. Well, it was a quick trip until we went to check out. Only 2 lanes were open along with the 3 self check out lanes. I went into the self checkout thinking it would be quicker, and it seemingly was compared to the other lanes. Then I saw this guy come into line with that impatient look in his eyes. You know the type. He was checking out what everyone else had to guage how long they would be, frusturatingly looking at the lines in all the other checkouts, and kind of pacing in place with that "I'm in a hurry" stance. I kind of just rolled my eyes, and tried not to pay attention to him or the burning starting up in my arm from the weight of the sleeping toddler on my shoulder.

A few minutes went by, and I was about 3 people back when I noticed this guy saying something in my direction. I made eye contact and realized he was indeed saying something to me.

"What was that?" I replied.

"You look like you have quite a load on your hands, and you were in line before me," he pleasantly said, "So go on ahead of me."

I'm too quick to judge people, and these little reminders that there are good people out there still are needed from time to time. It's like the old saying goes, "Don't judge a book by the cover".

Friday, November 27, 2009

Snooze button? Or new electric juicer?

I like deals. And I have gone out on "Black Friday" on two separate occassions. But both of those times involved just one store, looking for one specific thing.

I don't like crowds. I HATE stupid people. The day after Thanksgiving shopping extravaganzas seem to attract both of the above.

But today I ran up to Fleet Farm to just see if anything was left of their hunting supplies (around 11am, well after the door buster deals). And when I parked my truck in a space far far in the corner, I looked over and saw a sight: two ladies, happily chatting and laughing away, eating sandwiches. Apparently people pack lunches now so that they don't have to stop between stores.

I have fished when there were 4 foot rolling waves in a 17 foot aluminum boat. I have ice fished when it was almost 70 below zero. I have duck hunted in driving blizzards. I have skied when it was 50 below. And I have tried to go piece for piece at the all you can eat sushi bar against Elli. But you people that go out in this madness of shopping, I'm left thinking YOU are the crazy ones!

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Pass that Turkey!!!

I am thankful, today and everyday, for my friends and family.

Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Monday, November 23, 2009

Hey! Got room for one more?

Here at BDD (catchy yes? Actually, it kind of sounds like some sort of new disease), we like to help out our fellow man. Since it's still duck hunting season (for only another 8 days sadly) we will still be concentrating on that aspect.

So, you wanna try your luck at duck hunting huh? Good for you. Here's what to expect:

-You will get up early. Very early. In fact it's not uncommon for duck hunters to just skip sleep the night before the hunt. You're up so damn early in fact, that annoying squirrel that you normally hear in the morning chattering is bitching about YOU making all the noise for once.

-You will get a hernia. If any sportsmen prides themselves on the amount of gear they own, we win. There's always room for another dozen decoys, and loading all of that stuff into the truck takes a toll on you. Remember, use the legs.

-Drink and eat what you want. Some use coffee, others slug down Mountain Dew. Either way, you're duck hunting, which is the green light for poor food habits. Breakfast? A bag of jerky, a tin of vienna sausage, or a twin pack of twinkies washed down with your caffeinated drink of choice and you're good to go. If you can get it off the shelf of gas mart at 4 in the morning, it's fair game friend.

-You will be cold. Not only are you out before the sun is up, consistently when the day is the coldest, but if you are out on a good duck day, then it is snowing. Or trying to snow, which means slursh/frozen rain. And windy. If there's no wind, go home. Once the chill sets in, it never goes away. Your only hope is the shooting is good so that you are temporarily distracted from time to time.

-You will get wet. It's either from the rain, your waders have an unexpected tear or hole, or the marsh bottom suddenly yields a different foot hold and you tumble on down. Whatever the reason, if you didn't get wet, you did something wrong.

Sounds fun huh? Let me know when you want me to pick you up.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Appliance upgrade...Taylor style!

I consider buying and installing a new appliance home improvement. So when Elli and I decided a few days ago it was time for a new dryer I kind of cringed (a quick side note, we decided our old dryer was no good anymore because no matter how we propped the chair against the door to make it stay shut and running, it was still shutting itself off. And also it was making a high pitched whining noise). Anyhow, my wife did the research and found a good dryer at a reasonable price. The decision was made, and today we went to the appliance store. We bought it, gave them our old one for disposal, loaded the new one and brought it home. Hooked up the dryer hose, plugged it in, runs like a charm. No problem whasoever. Smooth as silk.

That's how I wanted it to go. But this was a Taylor project, which guarantees (no matter how small or straight forward the task) it was going to not go as planned. And cursing was going to be involved.

First problem: Getting the old one out of the basement. To begin, I needed to disconnect the dryer hose from the dryer. Simple right? Except when I got the old one off, I realized that about 4 years of lint and water vapor had accumulated into the damn thing, thus making it weigh about 40lbs. I know I know. With the correct size hose it's not supposed to collect all of that crap. But our hose was about 10 feet too long so it had twists and turns in it, thus matter collected within. "No problem" I thought out loud, "I'll just put this end in the sink for the washer, and pick up the hose from the other end and 'walk' the hose to the end in the sink, thus emptying the contents quickly and efficiently into the drain." Nope, that didn't work. I would get about 2 feet into it and the end in the sink would come flying out due to the excess weight. After about 20 tries, I figured that wasn't gonna work. So the next idea was just to drag the whole damn thing out from the corner, up the steps, through the kitchen, and out the front door and empty it out in the lawn.

Anyone know what a typical dryer hose is made of? Lightweight, flimsy, very tearable aluminum. In fact, I think they just use chicken wire and left over aluminum foil from the company picnic for constructing those thing. Needless to say, I collected both ends of the hose, all the matter (remember, about 40lbs worth) rushed to the center of the hose, slowed the dragging down, I pulled harder, and the hose promptly ripped in 2, providing all 40lbs of matter to have a conveniant exit point into the middle of our downstair floor. Once again, cursing ensued. I immediaetly went into contingency mode, which involved racing upstairs and getting my hands on ever single towel we own. I got it all mostly cleaned up.

Elli came home from a lunch gathering excursion, and immediaetly sensed things were not going smoothly. Perhaps I tipped my hand when I said something along the lines of "I just made a huge fucking mess downstairs!" and angrily went passed her to throw some of the gathered matter away.

After all the towels were used, and the downstairs was upgraded in condition from "boggy" to "damp", it was time to heave the old relic up the stairs. Now, our house was built in the early 1930's, so the 2 stair cases are steep and narrow. But I measured using the proven male method (eyeing it) and decided there was plenty of room and no need to modify the dryer or the stair case for removal purposes. We got about 3 stairs up before the cord caught. Ok, back down the stairs, angrily remove the power cord, and try again. By the way, more cursing ensued during that. With new found roominess, we set off up the stair again, this time making it about 2 steps away before we hit the edge of the door. After trying to use the male technique of finesse (push/pull harder), and taking gashes of wood out of the door, we successfully manage to wedge it air tight within the door space. More cursing and possibly a few angry tears of frusturation ensue.

After angrily marching into the garage to retrieve a hammer and screw driver, I march back into the house, making a point to say something along the lines of "just once, ONCE, I want a home improvement project to go smoothly", I remove the door hinge pins, take the door off, and we push and pull and manage to wrestle the beast free of the doorway shackles it was onced snared in. The carrying and loading into the truck actually went well. As did the drive, purchase, and return with the new appliance.

After getting the new dryer off the truck bed and unwrapped from the box (and taking a moment to drink in the newness and shineness of the new product), we drug the thing inside and back into the previous problem door jam. The other one went through, so this one should be just fine right. Wrong. The new appliance had a protective cover on the back thus making it about 4 feet too wide. Ok, really only half an inch or so too wide, but at that point I was blowing everything soundly out of proportion. So, the only thing left to do (besides setting fire to the whole house as I wanted to), was to remove the molding around the door frame. So, another angry march ensued to the garage to retrieve the trusty crowbar. Once back inside, uttering the same plea about smoothness and projects as above, the molding was removed and the dryer slid smoothly through. A few grunts and groans later and it was in the basement. Elli and I agreed that it was going to be someone else's problem getting it out, even if we move out within 2 years or so.

It seems to work fine. It's drying all those damn towels as I type.

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

I swear I thought it was a deer up in that blaze orange...sipping coffee...

Accidents happen. I realize this. And yet, some are just so incredibly stupid and down right idiotic that they are inexcusable.

In my mind, gun accidents fall into this category. Specifically, gun accidents out in the field. While hunting.

Excuse me while I dust off my soap box podium.

First of all, I realize not every situation that involves someone getting shot in the woods is complete carelessness. Since I hunt primarily public land, I know a thing or two about having someone come across your little stake of the woods from time to time. Because of this, when you get a grouping of a few dozen people trolling around the same few acreages of hunting ground with guns that can hit something hundreds of yards away, it's a good likelyhood that an accident or two is gonna happen. But when you think about it, should that even happen? One of the things you learn when you are taking gun safety, and one of the things they emphasize strongly, is to know what lies beyond your target. You are taught to not only take into account what happens when you hit your traget, but also what happens when that bullet leaves your target. With that in mind, theoretically, you shouldn't ever shoot at something with a wide open space beyond it right? But bullets do richochette (sp?) and wandering around in the woods in the scenario played out above involves risk. Those of us who do go out in these situations accept it, and do whatever we can to avoid it.

Of all the accidents that happen, the one above about getting plunked by a stray bullet fired 300 yards away is one that I can kind of let go. Chalk it up to just being in the wrong place at the wrong time. It probably should never happen sure, but it's not as careless and downright dumb as the scenario that inspires this post. And that is shooting at noise. Or shooting at "something". I'm sure many of you heard about the jackass that shot his little boy last season while turkey hunting. We'll ignore the fact that he had beer and pot in his system for now. He claims he mistook his boy for a turkey. Really. Have any of you seen a turkey before? And how about a little boy? Do YOU think they look alike? Regardless of that, the absolute #1 rule when it comes to hunting is know what you are shooting at. Not have an educated guess. Not kind of have an idea. KNOW, 100%, as in you see the target and know for sure it's what it is. Stories like this should never happen. If you can't see clearly, don't shoot. If you just saw a flash of it, don't shoot.

As a responsible hunter, I'm sick and tired of the dumbasses giving us that know what we are doing a bad rap. It's simple: know what you are shooting at. Never have the gun loaded until you are settled in. If you are stalking or hunting upland, always always ALWAYS know where your muzzle is pointed. It's not hard, it just takes a little bit of awareness and common sense. I'll step off the box now.

MN's rifle deer season wraps up (for the most part) this weekend. Be safe out there. We want to hear about the hunt from you, and if we do read about it in the paper, we want it to be because the deer was that big.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Seriously Jake! You sold out way too late...

I'm blogging.

Later than everyone else.

In fact I think the great blog hype has been done for about 2 years now.

So be it.

I am not a great writer. I'm not even a good writer. I'm all right. Sort of. Anyhow, I like telling stories, and I thought what the hell. I need something to do with some down time (what little exists now-a-days). So I thought I'd give this a try.

What to expect? I honestly don't know what to tell ya. This may be the only post I ever put up. Well, maybe not. You can probably tell what's gonna be written about just by looking at the title of this thing. "Boats" deals with the fact that I like to spend time in them and throw out a lure every now and then (a good friend of mine will tell you I don't go out nearly enough, to which I reply I would if I were invited into his boat more often). "Diapers" deal with the fact that I have a toddler son running around about 27 hours of the day. He shall provide many good stories for your enjoyment. And finally, "Decoys" deal with the fact I am a marginally successful duck hunter, and any chance I get with MN's very limited season, you can bet I am out in some marsh watching ducks fly where I should've set up in the first place. And when it's not the duck season, than I fantasize about duck hunting and flip through all my catalogs lying about the house. In fact, I demand immediate notification whenever my Ducks Unlimited magazine shows up. My wife rolls her eyes at all of this, but she just doesn't understand. Which leads me to the last bit you can get from reading the title. That is my wife, whom is of Norwegian heritage and has the temperment to go with it. But she has so far stuck with me for over 10 years now, so a story or two with her in it cannot be avoided. But aside from all of that, I have a mostly negative view of the general public, and am not slow to make it known that I think there are plenty of morons that walk among us. This attitude will translate into many gryping sessions. Again, my wife rolls her eyes when I go off on many of my rants and tells me to get off of my soap box and sit down.

So there you have it. Check back every so often and see what I got. It's not much, but I promise it will be mildly amusing some times. Thanks for stopping by.
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