I have been to Bass Pro a hundred times and there is an exit from the fishing department into Artegon, or the "anti-mall", as they refer to it. We had never ventured through this passage way, but now that we live not so far from here and after the recommendation of a friend; we decided to take a stroll.
My kids love Marvel, some DC and the uber geeky stuff like Manga and Anime, so we took a stroll through God's and Monsters. There is a lot of collectible stuff ranging from super heroes to the Walking dead, an interesting store.
There are a lot of really interesting and out of the ordinary store fronts, including an upcycle shop, a store specializing in beef jerky and an interesting play area for the kid in all of us.
She is really getting big now. This was Drew's last year of grade school, and now she has entered those magical 11 weeks of summer. My youngest will be with her big sister at the middle school next year, and she seems rather excited about it. They are also looking forward to camp and some trips to the beach and springs.
My Drew, a picture of poise and grace. We tried a new fishing spot last night and she came up with a bet, that if she caught the biggest fish I would buy her a smoothie, but if I caught the biggest fish then she owed me a 15 minute back massage. My wife and I use to bribe them with quarters and set the timer on the oven, while they would walk on our backs. They have since become privy to inflation and the negotiations can be rather difficult now. 5 minutes of walking, 5 minutes of hammer time, and 5 minutes of kneads the dough, can command a 5 dollar smoothie. But its always worth it, if for nothing else, to hear your body referred to as raw baked goods.
We both got a hit and Drew claims 4, but neither one of us was able to close the deal on these Lake Concord bass, so we started exploring the area. We found a park on the other side, and Drew reached deep into her arsenal for some serious poses. There were lanterns in the trees, the fountain lit up and looked like a camp fire in the middle of the lake, and we found a house with a front done in mosaic. It was pretty little spot, a small oasis in the city, and not at all crowded.
The moon is just a couple of days from full, and Drew found a rock wall with no rocks, but with a floor that was heavily cushioned. We didn't catch any fish, and I didn't even mind. I decided to be less serious and enjoy the evening with my daughter. As for the bet, we both went home a couple of skunks, so it will have to ride till next time. Love you Drew, but I'm going to win that massage.
My wife has never cared for roses, but she does like Betsey K's chocolate, and it has to be dark. Lily and I stopped by there on the way home from Michael's. I have come to enjoy Michael's much more through the eyes of a young fisher. She saw me looking at glass and brass beads one day at Bass Pro, and she is the crafty sort, so she mentioned that they have a better selection at Michael's, Hobby Lobby and Joann's. Now, when we go to get the materials she needs for her projects, I see the place in a new kind of light. She's right, they do have a better selection and the ones I bought today come in a handy, portable vile.
These will go along nicely with my some of my craws and creature baits. I also haven't had any luck finding a Jackson Big Tuna at the prices I had seen them for on Craigslist. I guess everyone has there tax return now and what had been watching, for the two months prior to having the money, is now all gone. Oh well, I am a parent too and I am sure there are other things my girls need, and my not having a kayak right now will only protect a portion of the bass in the lake. So instead she sent me to a Valentine's day Mecca, yes, that's right, Bass Pro Shop, and they had a deal running on pro qualifier reels. They are marked down till tomorrow from 99.99 to 49.99. I bought one in 7.1 to 1 ratio to go on a Medium power, fast tapered, Abu Veritas 2.0 and one in a 6.4 to one ratio to go on a medium power, more moderately tapered Abut Veritas 2.0 Winch.
I haven't had a crank bait rod in forever, and once I sold the kayaks it wasn't a priority, because I couldn't get to the water I would typically fish a crank bait in most lakes. There are so many man made lakes, drainage ditches, and lakes like Sand Lake where these work well though. Most of these lakes, like golf course lakes, offer great crank bait opportunities from the shore. My lake is full of snot, but I still had to take it out to see how it cast. Considering most of the bait casters I usually eye are in the 349 dollar range, this sale allowed me to outfit two rods, that will cover multiple situations for me, with two reels and some terminal gear for 350. They even have a deal running where they spool it with their line for free, but make sure you ask for this, since the guy behind the counter didn't volunteer that information. I cast it and it was very user friendly. They only had lefties left in these ratios, but I actually prefer that on frog rods, since they typically double as pitch'n rods for me. I was going to get the 7.1 in left hand anyway, because I intend to use it for some finesse jigging and worm fishing. They had some of the slower crank bait speeds, but I opted for the 6.4 to 1 because I live in Florida, it gets me to depth quickly, I tend to pause often anyway, and I have good luck at this speed. It's not the traditional crank bait ratio, but its rare that I am in any water over 8 to 10 feet, and the lakes around here are clear. Well, after my first few cast I have to say, you can't beat it for 49 dollars, and I am very happy. Thank you, Meegan.
Chocolate worked for me.
The girls found our Clan tent, and we met some very nice people there. My grandmother started taking us to the games when we very small, and she found a woman to make us kilts, but after I heard the laughter of young boys I lost heart and would have no part of it. It's a shame because a true Scot would know that it is only the opinion of God that matters, and kilts are cool.
I found a few of our Clan Tartans, and if I get a kilt I think I would prefer the Mackintosh hunting pattern. I like the ancient hunting the most, and it fits my outdoors life. Imagine a day at Crane's Roost fishing for bass in your lucky kilt. I can't think of anything that says, " I know what I'm doing," more than that.
I use to love going to the different vendors as a kid, and this year Drew brought a friend to share the experience with her. I suppose I was a bit of a nerd growing up, and while I loved the meat pies, bridies and fish, I could sit for hours and listen to the pipes. There is no instrument for me in this world that invokes as much emotion. The girls were more interested in the ice cream and normal carnival type entertainment. Our guest had a sausage breakfast sandwich for fear of trying something new. I had to down some meat pies with the H&P sauce. They are not my typical spicy fare, but they are pure wholesome goodness, laced with many memories of childhood.
There was more than a few people here this year, and it was difficult to get in close to some of the activities. The sheep herding gave the girls quite a laugh, as the sheep were not very cooperative in the beginning. They ended up mingling with the crowd a couple of times and then finally came out onto the field for the border collies.
These are Black Faced Highland Sheep, and according to the shepherdess, there are not many herds in the State of Florida. She also mentioned that the both male and females carry horns.
Very nice day!
More on the games later; I think I hear a fish calling me.
Work was busy, but you spend so much time there that the guys become an extended family. When I got home the girls were riding the zike and Ripstick they got for Christmas. I:m not sure where Drew gets that balance for that; it is not something I have for myself. There were four wheels on my skate board as a kid and she can best me with just two.
Any video thats more than a few seconds, seems to take forever to load on YOutube, and though I could not get the two longer ones up, this one finally finished after about 25 minutes. This is from Lily:s band real recital at the home of the Spartans.
My best bass for the year. Lily made this folk art large mouth for me, and was able to keep it on the down low until I got home today. I love it! Well, its been a great year, and I thank God for all my adventures, my lovely family and the friendships I could never have imagined. Merry Christmas to Gloria, Frank, Paula, Adele, mom, dad, Ruth, Gerry and all the fisherfolk. Happy New Year, and hope you enjoy the videos.
From the land of Ginseng, rolling hills, mountains and streams of clear water, came a man I met in Florida. Howard Robinson once told me that he came from the second largest state in the union, and so I pulled out an atlas and told him that West Virginia was not nearly so big as Texas. He said, "if you flattened it out, it would be bigger than Texas." He has always worked outside, and at 70 years, when most men are trying to find a place to stay warm, he is trying to plan a hunt for this fall. He always likes to tinker and has an eye for what something might be. The cane he has in the picture was a root he found in the ground while working. Howard doesn't need a cane, but he likes to make things from scratch. He brought the root home and told his wife, "look, a seahorse." She couldn't see it at first even though she is good artist in her own right. Howard took the root and helped the seahorse come out. It is his favorite cane, but he is an old horse trader at heart, so he won't put a price on it, but he'd know the right price if he heard it.
My wife asked Howard and Gerry if she could sell some of their art work on the site, and they consented, but my pictures did not turn out so good. My wife is threatening to fire me and hire a new photographer. I will have to find a better way to picture product.
Here are some pictures of pieces that combine Gerry's drawing and Howard's work with raw materials.
I hope you enjoyed a sample look at some mountain art; there will be more in the months following.
Forty years old and still in awe of the outdoors.