April 28, 2013

Spring Turkey Season 2013

Spring turkey 2013 has come and gone. 

For the past four years, I've hunted with my buddies from my wife's family out in the area near their hunting cabin (an old schoolhouse) in the exact center of the state.  These are always fun trips, and it's great to hang out with friends, but in my time since joining only one guy has taken a bird. 

I don't know why we are jinxed.  I hear gobbles o' plenty on many of the hunting days, it just seems as though the turkeys aren't interested in buying what I'm selling.  Until this year.

Boys and girls:  I present to you the 2013 Spring Turkey Top Gun.
Top Gun

Right before he came up, I was sitting there thinking of how many bad days I had while ice fishing this past winter, and how I've yet to shoot a turkey.  "Idiot, if it weren't for the grocery store you'd starve to death."
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March 15, 2013

Urban Forestry

Tomorrow will be a white-knuckle day.

Since my good buddy Bob died, there have been a lot of changes, and here we are at the end of winter and I'm running out of firewood.  Bob and I used to lumberjack together on his land, and then it was only me.  And now the land will be cared for by new owners.

I placed an ad on Craigslist to solicit a barter of work for an allowance to cut firewood.  There were two responses, and the first of which I will endeavor to engage tomorrow.
Hotcakes and I will travel to Fond Du Lac to cut a couple huge branches from a big ol' walnut tree hanging over some fellow's garage. When we first set out I believed we had the tools and machines necessary to address the project (the guy sent me a couple photos from his mobile phone), but this will be a big, scary undertaking.  If everything goes well I might end up with a couple facecord of good firewood for my family.  If it does not go well I could fuck something up or be killed trying to take this thing down.  I'm afraid of this tree.
I'll do my best to have Hotcakes record the operation.  It could be boring, America's Funniest, or Faces of Death footage.  Tomorrow we'll find out.  I hope for the best.

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January 04, 2013

One of my two favorite seasons.

I spent the afternoon clearing snow and ice from a couple leaking church roofs.  High temp in the twenties.  There isn't much one can do to fix things with a foot of residual snow, but as a God-fearing man I will at least show effort.
I'll wake up again in about 5 hours to fish on Lake Winnebago.  Last week the ice was 4" on the bays, but we've had a good cold spell over the last week.  
After a while your blood acclimates to colder temps.  During summertime, 60 degrees is sweatshirt weather.  Now that it is winter, 30 degrees is sweatshirt weather as well.

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April 30, 2012

Spring Turkey 2012

It was a fun time swilling beer with the guys (and gals). I got skunked again this year, but at least everybody else was unsuccessful as well. Friday morning was absolutely frigid, and I was underdressed for the temp, and worse yet hunkered in a blind trying to call the birds in. The toms were gobbling and seemed all over the area I was hunting, but were uninterested in approaching my call. The gobbling ended at about 9:00, and then it just got boring. And cold... way too cold to sleep.

Saturday the temperature was a bit higher, though the toms weren't gobbling. The rain and wind quieted the birds down, and I got only one bird to respond to my call. I set about to get closer to the call (from the direction of the river to the south of my blind), but I received only one response after I moved. That was it for the day.

Here is a porcupine that I didn't shoot.
Sunday, said "screw the blind, I'm wearing camo, and it's frickin' cold out" so I set out "runnin' and gunnin'". I received responses about half an hour's hike from the trailhead, and followed him into the woods calling to maintain contact and direction. Once again the bird wasn't interested in meeting me, as he moved away whenever I'd get closer. I chased him for about two hours until he crossed the river, and taunted me with gobbles in tall grass about 150 yards away.

Good times. Next year I'm going to blast a big tom, I promise.

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April 25, 2012

Tomorrow: It Begins.

The hunt for the elusive and dangerous forest chicken.  I'll be drinking with a bunch of old dudes out at the cabin, then waking extra early to freeze my ass off in the woods.
The shotgun is clean and oiled, I have a flask of alcohol, and a copy of Skousen's 5000 Year Leap.
I hope to shoot something this year.  Or at least see something.

We shall see.

I'll try to take a couple photos if anything fun besides boozin' happens.

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April 16, 2012

Excellent Quote, Dude.

From John Venlet at the excellent blog Improved Clinch:

"In response, I’ll quote a thought of Epictetus, again, as he has recently been firing my mind.

When any person does ill by you, or speaks ill of you, remember that he acts or speaks from a supposition that it is his duty.  Now, it is not possible that he should follow what appears to be right to you, but only what appears so to himself.  Therefore, if he judges from a wrong appearance, he is the person hurt, since he, too, is the person deceived.  For if any one supposes a true proposition to be false, the proposition is not hurt, but he who is deceived about it.  Setting out, then, from these principles, you will mildly bear with one who reviles you, for you will say upon every occasion: "It seemed so to him.” (bold by ed.)

Posted by John Venlet  on  04/16  at  01:50 PM"

Improved Clinch... now linked in the sidebar.

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February 26, 2012

Battle on 'Bago

This weekend was the annual "Battle on 'Bago" fishing tournament.  I did not participate, due to other obligations... namely the final push on the Verify effort.  Lil' botnet and I stopped by Menominee Park to see how many people were fishing, and were surprised to see that people had driven vehicles onto the ice.  We had walked this area last weekend to check out the pressure crack, and at that point the only people traversing the area using motorized vehicled were ATV riders (and we thought THEY were crazy).  The ice has been shit all year, and over the past week we were lucky to see freezing temps even during the night hours. 

Crack VehiclesWhile it's entirely stupid to drive a vehicle on ice you aren't familiar with, it's doubly-stupid to park a vehicle on 8-inch ice.  If you wish to be even stupider... park right next to another vehicle.  Click the photo to embiggen.

We've been on the ice all year, and it was surprising to see vehicles on the bays two weeks ago on 10-inch ice.  Still too thin, and temperatures in the 40's sure doesn't make the ice any better.

OuchI feel bad for the people whose vehicles fell through (two were pulled out of this spot before Lil' bot and I arrived), but for heaven's sake the ice has been terrible all year.  Don't drive it unless you've tested it.  Click to embiggenify the photo.

Best regards to all, and I look forward to the Verify project wrapping up soon.  TGFSW!

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January 09, 2012

The Dead Sea

Rockaway Bay 01-07-2012

Over the weekend I had the good fortune of a bit of time to spend on Lake Winnebago (a.k.a.:  "The Dead Sea").  During the summer, work and home obligations keep me away from "Winnebagie",  but I'm cool with that, since I have a particular fondness for hard water fishing.  A frozen Lake Winnebago is awesome, and days in which I can poke a couple holes in her are fine indeed, though I never catch a damned thing.

Here's some speculation about the Dead Sea from Wikipedia, and some background from a reputable source HERE.

The early part of every winter after "first ice" is dedicated to hunting perch (probably the best tasting fish in the world) in the bays.  Later, when the cold lingers and the ice grows thick enough to support vehicles and "permanent" shacks, Winnebagie bustles with ad-hoc fishing villages as people chase walleye.  Thousands and thousands of people hang out to fish or ride around on the lake when we have good ice, and the sight of thousands of shacks in temporary villages is something to behold, especially since nobody ever catches a damned thing.  I've never actually tasted the fish from this lake, but I love it here, and our climate and home is a blessing.  Thank G-d.

Perch on IceI hooked up with my buddy "the Prison Guard" at sunrise this past Saturday to hit the North part of Stony Beach.  Sat for a while before we heard from our friend "the Tavern Owner" who was pretending to be on the perch up at Rockaway Bay.  We joined him for a couple hours on four-inch-ice under overcast skies with a chill 25 mile wind.  I caught a few small imaginary perch on my jigging rig while "Prison Guard" caught nothing.  I won a buck for the first, and a buck for the biggest fish as we nipped Jack from my flask.  Around noon we broke for lunch and chores, then later I set out to the same place for the afternoon to join back up with "The Tavern Owner".  We, along with a couple other locals each pulled a couple make-believe fish out of the Dead Sea by the end of the day (photoshopped above, and click to embiggenify).  It was a fine time, although nobody caught a damned thing.

lil' botnetSunday, Mrs. botnet gave the O.K. for lil' botnet to join for her first ice fishing of the year.  It's tough to keep the little ones focused and patient for something so slow and sedentary as ice fishing, but snacks, music, and pretending to see a fish once in a while go a long way toward making trips fun for the young'uns.  We had a number of ghost shad and phantom white bass swim right past our bait, but the excitement of pretending to catch some hungry perch when an enormous school didn't come by made it worth the while.

Most importantly, lil' botnet said later that the time was enjoyable, and in our climate anything you can do to get out of the house during the winter is time well spent.  Much better than playing "Barbie" where it's warm and you can take your soaking boots and mittens off.

She'll be a good fisherman, and I look forward to many more trips on the ice with her, though we'll not catch a damned thing.


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January 02, 2012

First Ice Fishing Winnebago: Damn Global Warming™

Today I hit Lake Winnebago for the first time this winter.

It's difficult to recall a year in which the lake (which we locals refer to as "The Dead Sea") hadn't frozen by January, though I guess that's because I like to drink whiskey and Milwaukee Best.  I guess if I concentrate I can remember 1998, but thinking is such work.

This year I used my fantasy football winnings (I'm Number One!) to buy a used two-seater flipover so lil' botnet can join when I hit the ice.  ShackHere's what it looks like.  Flipovers make good sense for people like me who like to hit the ice early (and late) in the season.  The light weight is good for thin or poor ice, and their portability alleviates the worry of some asshole stealing your gear out of a permanent shack.  I'm pretty excited.

The bay I fished today had about 4 to 5 inches of ice, which is actually pretty good considering the lake is open for miles and miles just beyond the breakwater (100 yards from where I fished).  In a typical year, we have sufficient ice to enable those inclined to drive a vehicle from Oshkosh to Stockbridge over the lake, but this year you'd need Chitty-Chitty-Bang-Bang.    Winnebago Ice 2012-01-02

If you look closely in the holes (click to embiggen) , you can see what I estimate to be about 5 inches of ice.  I'd not drive a four-wheeler on this, let alone a vehicle, though some do.  I'm not that crazy, and I love my family.  Please bear in mind that about 100 yards from here is open water.  Today was cold and windy, and it can be a bit spooky as the ice moans and cracks due to temperature and wind force.  Good times.

Sure, the ice is confined to the bays and is still thin, but we've hit a patch of cold weather and it's "makin' ice".  There are a lot of people who want to get out on the main part of the lake, and if the cold continues we'll have good ice in a week or so.  Or else Global Warming™ has finally kicked in and I should have bought a boat instead of an ice shack.

The wifey made me promise not to bring lil' botnet out this weekend because of the fear of poor ice, and I was probably more disappointed than the lil' one since we upgraded our fishin' shack just this past week.  I'm looking forward to next weekend and hoping that our recent cold spell continues.  I've got the hard-water itch, friends.  I hope the winter lasts a long time.

And as for the fish?  Saw a ton of uninterested white bass on the camera, and had a nice perch spit out my hook.  I never catch shit, but thankfully the time you spend fishing doesn't count against your age.

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December 05, 2011

Wine Label

I have named and created a label for my 2011 plum wine.

Here is the label design: (Click to embiggen)

Hobo Bait

I look forward to sharing the fruity goodness with friends and family.  If they don't like it, they may set it on the porch and wait for vagabonds.  I'm sure our hobo friends can smell that shit from a mile away. 

Perhaps if I gift the hooch for Christmas I'll include a can of baked beans with every bottle.

Happy Hunting!

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September 06, 2011

Aggie Throws the Gauntlet.

LC Aggie Sith has issued a challenge.

I think she called you a chicken.

You aren't a chicken, are you?  Chicken?

Bawk!  Bawk!

More below the fold...
more...

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October 27, 2010

Everything hangs on Tuesday!

Remember kids, vote Democrat or the polar bears will die or some shit.

Also, we need cap'n trade or nobody will ever get a job again... EVER.  This election is about that three letter word, j-o-b-s.  Jobs.  We need cap'n trade or we won't be a global leader in the new "Green" economy.  We want to emulate, er, I dunno, Communist fucking China?  Yes, we do.

After all, Ronald Reagan hated children, so a vote for the children is a vote against Ronald Reagan, as well as jelly beans (which he liked).  A vote for Democrats is a vote to ban jellybeans, and protect most live-born children who survive their abortion.  Mostly.

And always remember after Clinton we had a surplus, (and Evil Bush, Darth Cheney, Halliburton, blood for oil, and poor poor Saddam Hussein).  That Saddam was a big-time environmentalist, by the way (and why do you have your finger up your ass?).  Gross.  That's why Darth Cheney shot Saddam in the face.  With a dead Iraqi baby.


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October 19, 2010

Dear Gaia. I love you!

Our love is like Joanie and Chachi, Gaia.

-O Chachi, Chachi, wherefore art thou Chachi?-the botnet (pretending to be Joanie pretending to be the botnet asking about Gaia using the pseudonym "Chachi")

Anyhoo... Gaia, remember our visit to "Mount" Everest last winter? 

Mount Everest

Brrr.

I love you, Gaia.  And I love the gentle Polar Bear

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October 25, 2009

We Must Be More Hysterical

botnet, are you satisfied with the level of hysterics regarding Global Warming™?

No, botnet, botnet is not satisfied. As a matter of fact, botnet is afraid that we are taking our eyes off the ball.  more...

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October 24, 2009

Jim Doyle is Awesome... Awesomely Awesome.

As a nominal observer or well-wisher or earth-sharer of Governor Doyle's Advisory Commission on Global Warming, botnet can only tell you the danger is here.   more...

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Golbal Warming is Racist.

botnet is worried that president Obama isn't working hard enough.  We need to stop global warming, and this health care bill does next to nothing to deal with the most important issue of our time, global warming.  If we do not pass this health care bill, insurance CEO's will continue to stand in the schoolhouse door and prevent our children from improving the economy. 
We can't afford to continue to let businesses run our economy.  We tried that.  If there is anything to be learned from the failed policies of the last eight years, then we should all work together to end global warming.

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Support the IAM Union in Fond Du Lac

botnet supports the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers Lodge 1947 in Fond Du Lac because they are willing to take a stand.  The United States produces more greenhouse gasses than anybody, and finally there is a group of people willing to make a difference.
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