Hi!! My Name Is Rick And I Am A Hoarder

Hi!! My name is Rick and I am a hoarder. Not necessarily in the most traditional of ways, but a hoarder none the less. There have been times where I have procured and put away some small scraps of this and that for future use. I can never know when that special occasion might arrive, when I will need those "this and thats" to aid me in my attempts to do my best MacGyver impersonation. It is during those MacGyver attempts that the full wisdom of my saving them and the total usefulness of those "this and thats" become readily and clearly apparent to all of those who happen to be around me at that time. But this isn't the hoarding that I am really talking about. My main hoarding tendencies occur when I feel the need to save a web site into "my favorites" or bookmark it on my computer. I have so many web sites saved that it sometimes takes me forever to locate that special web site when I need it. I am sure that I could do a Google search faster than it takes to scroll up and down "my favorites" list. The Google search method might be quicker, but that would take away the need for the "my favorites" list and we all know that a true hoarder would not delete or get rid of any of those saved web sites. Besides the usual numerous financial sites, I have saved the shortcuts to weather sites for both the US and Canada, all of the major network sites for catching up on missed episodes...no Tivo here, Mega Millions web site...like I stand a chance in hell of winning anything above and beyond those slips of paper that my loser numbers are printed on, assorted fishing gear manufacturers, bunches of travel related sites and that includes all of those 3rd party sites that sell supposedly discounted airline tickets, car rental and hotel rates, computer wallpaper sites, interesting travel locations that I would love to visit one of these days, trip insurance sites to go along my travel sites, currency converter site, a shoe size converter site for converting mens shoe sizes to a womans size and vise versa..the vice versa was the real reason for saving that site..to convert Veronica shoe size into a mans shoe/boot size...and no I do not where women's shoes but thank you for asking, auto club site, tv guide site, jewelery sites, weekly ad circular sites for checking out the latest ads at our local grocery stores and many of the ads in the other 49 adjoining states and a Federal District, you tube, amazon.com, web sites that show the lyrics to some of my favorite songs, real estate property sites, my Luzianne instant coffee site...where I have to order my special Luzianne instant coffee with chicory...love the taste of that chicory, assorted photo sites, of course my frequently visited blog sites, an online rebate site, numerous sports and news sites, the Verizon web site...boy I have needed this site quite a number of times over the last 6-8 months or so...read earlier blog entries about that, an old time candy site, postal service sites, medical sites, many health sites and on and on it goes. I think you get the overall idea. I hardly ever delete one of these sites that are in "my favorites" list. Last time i had a long list of "my favorites" that was stored on my computer, that computer crashed and I lost all of those shortcuts to so many web sites that I was crushed and devastated. I had to start all over again on this computer but this time I had to make "my favorites" list twice as long as before. And because of my fear that this computer will crash someday in the future, I clicked on one of my stored "my favorites" sites...amazon.com and purchased a whole computer portable backup drive. NEVER AGAIN will I lose all of those important web sites that have been saved on "my favorites" when this computer decides to crash. All of the aforementioned web sites are important to me...maybe not right this minute but they could be tomorrow or the next day or the next day after that!!!! Yes indeed...my name is Rick and.....I am a hoarder.

The Garden Cried Out For Me

Today I did something that I have not done in quite a long time....I spent time in the front yard garden. This garden has been looking a little haggard for quite some time. Usually in the Spring, I put mulch around all of the new season growth and then I jut leave it alone until everything starts dying off, at which time I start to clean it out again for the Fall and Winter months. But this year the garden cried out for a new makeover or at least some serious tidying up. So today I spent about 5 hours giving the garden some serious attention. The main problem with this garden is that it is full of irises. Irises themselves are not problems but actually beautiful flowers. But when you start getting too many in there and they haven't been thinned and split up in a while, they tend to get diseases. Diseases such as leaf spot and bulb rot. The irises in this garden have been battling both over the last couple of years and this year has been particularly bad. I wish that I had known just a little more about irises before I had originally planted them, but like so many other flower varieties....if it looks nice it gets thrown in the garden, sometimes even when space is limited. I could have bought varieties that are more disease resistant than the ones that I picked but that would be just a little too easy and would have made way too much sense. Those are 2 things that sometimes I just shy away from....easy and sense. Today I went through and dug, sliced, snipped, clipped and plucked out all of the bulb rot I could find and weeded out the worst of the irises. I then went into the backyard where I have lots of different varieties and colors of irises and thinned out several areas back there before the diseases started on them. I must have planted 25 or so new iris clumps in the front garden. After the job was done, I looked over my handywork and came to the conclusion that I probably put in more iris clumps in that front garden than I took out. This is not a good thing because irises multiply as time goes by and they create more bulbs. This will once again lead to the over crowding and a hightened possibilty of disease amongst my iris population. Hopefully the new iris clumps will take at least a couple of years to multiply before they start crying out my name again, requesting some relief and attention. Hey...at least I should have a bunch of flowers in there over the next couple of seasons and a lot more variety in colors too.

On The Mend

Veronica and I went to the doctors office yesterday. We have some sort of viral bug. The doctor told us that they don't run any tests for the Swine Flu unless you are in the hospital. I also found out that not only will they be administering the regular annual flu vaccines this year but there will be a 2 injection set given for the Swine Flu, starting in October. This is the first time that I can remember, ever getting a flu bug during the Summer like this. It should be out of our systems in a week or so. Hopefully it will be sooner than that. Today I plan on getting outside and doing some work in the garden. Hopefully I can sweat this bug out of my system.

The Sickness Lingers

Veronica and I are still sick from whatever got ahold of us while we were in Canada. Veronica is doing worse than I am at this pioint in time. I still have the lingering effects but she has it full blown. I started to get sick 2-3 days before it hit her. We are going to the doctor today to see what is going on. Veronica was supposed to go to North Carolina this week to make a presentation for work but it was cancelled due to her being sick. We will both be glad when whatever we have is behind us.

Back Home

Veronica and I finally made it back home late last night. Flying and being sick made yesterday a very long day and night. I was starting to feel better but that did not last long and now Veronica is sick too. It was definitely not one of our better vacations, that's for sure. We really did not take many pictures at all this year. As I had mentioned in an earlier post, we found out that our dear buddy and pal, Dakota, past away last November. We were shocked and saddened to hear this news. I will miss Dakota deeply. Being in camp just wasn't quite the same without her being with us.

Below is a video that I took while Darcy and I were heading out for an evening of fishing. This was on the last night of our vacation up on Eagle Lake.

Last Day of Vacation

Yesterday was Friday and it was the last day of our 2009 Canada vacation. I woke up yesterday morning finally feeling somewhat better and to a sunny day......finally!!!!! It had been a long rainy weary week up to that point. Veronica and I spent the morning fishing for walleye. We caught some nice sized fish. Several in the 22-23 inch range. We also caught enough smaller fish for our dinner. After fishing for walleye, I spent some time fishing for musky. Darcy, our guide, took us to several locations and at one spot, we were able to get a large musky to move to the boat. Based on what Darcy could see of the fish, she was about 55" if not a little more. We were able to raise several musky but none hit our lures. We returned to our cabin and had a final walleye dinner. After dinner, I went out with Darcy in one last attempt to catch my trophy musky. The lake is really peaceful as the sun starts to set and night time approaches. Although I did not catch my trophy musky that night, I knew that I was leaving having learn a lot more about the techniques needed to catch them and knowing that I had got much better at my casting and lure presentation, when retrieving my lure to the boat.
I ended the night knowing that it was not going to be "if" i caught a musky but "when" I catch one. It is going to happen, just not on this trip. Upon returning to our cabin, my friend, Ken Gauthier, was their awaiting my arrival from my evening trip. It was really great talking to Ken and catching up on each others lives and talk fishing. Unfortunately the time passed by very quickly and before we knew it, it was going on 11. Ken is one of the few people up in Canada that I really feel connected to. Thanks Ken. It was great seeing you again. Until the next time...you and your family take care.
Veronica and I woke up around 7 this morning and finished packing up all of our fishing gear and packing our suitcases for our return home. We will be driving back to International Falls today and staying the night there. Tomorrow we will be flying back home, arriving there around 11 PM.
I will post some photos and video as soon as time permits.

Maybe We Weren’t Supposed To Go On Vacation

Thursday night Veronica was trying to check in online with our flights and pay the baggage fees online, when she discovered that we didn’t have any tickets for our trip even though we were previously sent a complete flight itinerary.
We had booked our flights through CheapoAir and our flights were on 2 separate carriers. We had booked through CheapoAir, because like everyone else, we were trying to save a dime.
As we found out, sometimes trying to save a dime will cost you much more in money, time and aggravation.
Veronica called USAirways asking why she couldn’t check in online only to discover that with our correct itinerary, would miss a connecting flight which was on NWA. She was instructed that she needed to call CheapoAir since we had purchased our flight tickets through a 3rd party.
She called CheapoAir from our home phone and was on hold for 37 minutes while Sullivan, from CheapoAir, tried to find what the issue was.
When Sullivan never came back to the phone with Veronica, instead of hanging up Veronica used her cell phone and called CheapoAir, while keeping her original call open with Sullivan. Veronica was talking to Ashley from CheapoAir.
Now she has two folks working on trying to find the problem at the same time. ONE hour later Ashley comes back to the cell phone connection and states that she and Sullivan are still working on the issue that she should hang up the cell phone connection and remain on hold with Sullivan. Twenty minutes later Sullivan comes back and lets us know that the issue has been resolved and that new tickets have been issued for all legs on our flight.
As it turned out, CheapoAir had emailed us a complete itinerary for our trip but had not actually purchased the tickets for us from USAirways and NWA.
It took everyone about 2 hours to get everything straightened out.
We learned a valuable lesson…Do not go not get your airline tickets from CheapoAir…it might cost more but getting them from the airlines themselves will save you tons of time and heartache.
Never again will we use CheapoAir.As it turned out this was just the beginning of our problems.Friday morning at about 4:15, we head out the door in anticipation for the start of our vacation.
We figured all the bad mojo was behind us and looked forward to having a good time.We arrive at the airport and check in just fine.
We get on the plane and quickly discovered that the mojo gods weren’t quite done with us.After we taxi up the tarmac a bit, we came to an abrupt stop.
A friendly voice came over the intercom stating that we will have to return back to the gate as Philadelphia was having bad weather and was on a hold…no flight traffic in or out of the airport. We taxied back to the gate and waited for 90 minutes only to hear that friendly voice come back on the intercom and say, well folks we have a mechanical issue and we are trying to see if we can fix it.45 minutes later and after our next two connections have been missed we are taken off the plane.
We exit the aircraft and walk up the jet way only to see a sea of people lined up and one lone USAirways associate trying to handle all the missed connections and flights.We were about 15th in this line here at the head of the line was a family of 10 and they had all missed there connecting flights heading to the Bahamas.
It took this one USAirways personnel almost one hour to fix their flights. Finally after much complaining from other passengers waiting in line, another associate was sent up to help.
Now Veronica has this idea that while she is standing in line to be helped, that she would also call USAirways and see what they could do, so that we could get to International Falls by tonight. The first person Veronica made contact with ended up hanging up on her, so Veronica had to start the process all over again. Before Veronica called USAirways back, she called Northwest to see if they had any seats on missed flights, that would get us on our way. They did have empty seats but only in first class and if we got those seats, we would make it to International Falls that night but that the seats would cost us $1200.00 With this information, Veronica calls USAirways back and finally finds someone who will help her and not hang up on her. USAirways stated that they would not get us those empty seats.
USAirways finally fixed all of our missed connections out of Philly but can’t do anything to get us to Philly and we must be to the Philadelphia airport by four p.m. in order to catch all those missed fights.Finally 85 minutes later it is our turn at the gate, to be helped by an USAirways associate.
Veronica hands the guy behind the counter all her information and says …. I have got everything fixed for you….. all you need to do is to get us to Philly, at which he replies “that is the problem“. We are told that there are not any seats available for the rest of this day, out of Norfolk and flying into Philly. Finally the counter attendant says he can get us to Philly but only if we go to the Newport News Airport and catch a USAirways flight from there.
He tells us that USAirways will pay for the taxi and that we just have to hurry and get our bags and get out of Norfolk airport and get over to the Newport News airport so as not to miss that other flight.
We collect our bags and quickly head out the airport doors only to find out that we go over to another terminal to catch our cab.
We had to hurry because the flight we needed to get on was leaving in a couple of hours and if we missed that flight we would not be going anywhere, until the following day at the earliest.
We get into the cab and the driver says there is a Six mile backup at the tunnel that we need to go through.
This driver has been working this route for 15 years and knew all the back roads and shortcuts and utilized every one of them and we ended up missing about 5 ½ miles of the 6 mile backup.

We arrive at the Newport News airport and quickly went to the USAairways counter and we checked our luggage in, then quickly went through security and went to our gate.
There are only 10 gates at this airport.
We arrived at our gate with several minutes to spare so we sat down and caught our breath.I took this opportunity to open up my last can of "Bad Mojo Be Gone" and let it permeate the air surrounding both Veronica and I.
We finally felt that we had turned a corner and things were going to start going our way. As I was to find out towards the end of our vacation, my last can of "Bad Mojo Be Gone" was way past its expiration date and totally worthless. Our flight to Philly went smoothly and upon arriving there, we then put USAirways behind us and swore never again to fly with USAirways.
So less than 24 hours into our vacation, we had sworn off ever using Cheapo Air and USAirways again.We felt more comfortable and confident now that we were on NWA.We then boarded our flight bound for Minneapolis.
That flight was uneventful…. thank God….. just the way we like it.We arrive into Minneapolis and had a two hour layover.
We our departure gate and Veronica got herself some coffee at Starbucks and we waited to hear our flight be called.The flight was called and we boarded the plane.
This plane was a very small commuter plane and it was packed with passengers. This is also the very last flight of the night going into International Falls.
We are all in our seats, the flight attendent had closed the hatch and we hear yet another friendly voice coming from the flight deck…… “well folks this is the flight deck here and we are going to stay put here for a few minutes while we get more fuel put on the plane.
He continued by telling us that there were some strong storms that were forming in the International Falls area and that we might need the extra fuel in the event we have to make a detour to another airport, that we would have enough fuel to do so.
After about 30 minutes we finally take off. The first three quarters of the flight were uneventful.
But the last one quarter of that flight was like a script taken right out of a movie. What first began as a little bit of turbulence once in a while and a few far off in the distant flashes of light quickly and violently turned into one of the most harrowing events of our lives.
I have never ever seen such a nasty lightning storm in all of my days.
There was lightning flashing everywhere around us.
You could not see any lights outside of our windows from the ground below.
We knew we were either too high to see any lights at all or we were flying over a heavily wooded area…….either way it didn’t calm our nerves.We had a bunch of very nervous individuals on the plane at that time. That old saying that there is no such thing as an atheist in a fox hole…comes to mind.
Finally we could see lights below and we could feel that we were descending in altitude. We were told the airport was 15 miles away and I kept looking hard out of the window, hoping to see some sort of lights from below.
And the whole time I was looking out the window, the only thing I could see was lightning flashing all around us and the plane was bouncing up and down and sideways.
I was truly expecting that our plane would get hit by a lightning strike. This ride from hell could not end soon enough.
When we finally landed I found out that both Veronica and I had made amends with our maker.
They wouldn’t let us off the plane for some time as they had quite a lot of checked curbside luggage that they needed to get off the plane before the passengers could exit the plane. I could not wait to get off of that plane. When we finally got off the plane there was NO rain, NO thunder and the lightening was very far off in the distance.
While exiting the plane, I got a look at the pilot, who had got off the plane before us and here was what looked like a kid…maybe 28 years old or so. I could not believe it but I was very thankful that this pilot had enough experience and knowledge to safely get us all through this flight.
After getting off of the plane, we finally got our rental car and went to this Ma and Pa owned cabin rental place and finally settled in for the night.
This was at almost 1 AM….. About 21 hours after we left home this morning.Here are a few pictures of our cabin we rented for the night:

We got up early and had breakfast at the Chocolate Moose and did some quick shopping before heading over the border and onto Dryden, in Canada.
In Dryden we finished up our shopping and got into AML about 1 PM. While we were filling out our paperwork, for our fishing licenses, a cream colored lab comes running through, tail a wagging and all excited.
Kiddingly I asked Herbie, the owner of Andy Myers Lodge, if Dakota the camp dog, had fallen into a pool of bleach.
Next thing I know Herbie is telling me that Dakota is dead. She had died protecting her territory at home by chasing another dog off of their property and into the street, where she was hit by a car. I guess that this happened last November.
Both Veronica and I were quite stunned and saddened to hear this. I really enjoyed seeing Dakota each year that we came up here.
While fixing dinner tonight we both missed having Dakota here as our dinner guest, which had become a tradition, especially when I was grilling. Dakota would always spend a lot of time with us in our cabin and was always eager to help us consume our food…especially the finer meat products such as steak. Dakota had quite the sophisticated palette.The camp just doesn’t seem the same. Tessa the new cream lab puppy is a bundle of energy but just not Dakota and she hasn’t taken to us yet as Dakota did.I will miss Dakota dearly.

I am typing this in the midst of another very nasty thunder storm that just plowed over the lake and through our lodge area.

Hopefully things will be brighter in the morning, on our first day of fishing.

It is Sunday, our first full day at AML. The weather has eased up a bit but the rain and dreary skies continue but without the harshness and verosity of the night before. Veronica and I spent this first day of fishing with our friend and guide Cal.
We started the day off doing some walleye fishing, so that we would have some fresh fish for dinner. The fishing was very slow and it was beginning to look like we would have to make other plans for dinner.
The first walleye I caught was a nice 23-24 incher. Not a bad way to start off a fishing trip. Things slowed down quite a bit after that.
The air temps were cooler along with the water temperature thus making for a tough fishing day.
Eventually we did get several fish to bite and we kept them figuring that they would make a nice meal.
After fishing for walleye and catching that nights dinner, we gave our try at musky fishing. I had 2 musky follow my lure to boatside and one seemed very interested in my lure but turned off as quickly as she had turned on. Once again…almost but not quite.
The year before last was the first and only musky that I had caught to date and it was 40”. Unfortunately the only time that I get to fish for musky, northern pike and walleyes, are when we come up to Canada.
Fishing for musky is hard enough but when you are only fishing for them 5-6 days a year, it makes the job that much harder. This year the learning curve seemed shortened and it only took me 3-4 cast to get back into the swing of things.
As the rain continued and the hours drifted by, Veronica decided that she had endured enough and wanted to come back into camp.
She is a quite the trooper when it comes to musky fishing. She does not fish for them herself but assists me as another set of eyes looking for those elusive follows to the boat, that the muskiest do here on Eagle Lake.
We took Veronica back to the camp so that she could return to the cabin. Cal and I waited for the constant rain to let up a bit but unfortunately it continued to rain but even harder than before. We ended up calling it a day and I returned to our cabin to dry off and get warm, carrying a plastic bag of walleye fillets for our dinner.
Veronica and I relaxed in our cabin for the rest of the evening and had a great dinner of panko fried walleye…a recipe that I turned Veronica on to, followed by watching a movie..Mall Cop.
The next morning I awoke to a nice surprise…the rain had cleared off and the sun was finally out.
The morning air had a crisp feel to it almost as if Fall had arrived over night. Veronica had decided that since I was going musky fishing again, that she would take the day off and relax in the cabin.
I went out fishing today with Danny, Herbie the lodge owners son. We ended up moving 3 musky and once again one of them was quite interested in my lure.
She circled around it a couple of times but never actually took the bait. Once again I was left empty handed.
As the day went on, the winds picked up and the clouds rolled in. It made fishing for me to be a very difficult and not enjoyable task. I have really poor balance and absolutely no sea legs to speak of. So by the time that we pulled into camp, I was dragging my sore right knee, sore left elbow, sore back and general sore overall body, up to our cabin for some mending and healing time.
I was scheduled to go back out the next day with Mike, who is the musky fanatical guide of the lodge.
Mike lives and breathes musky fishing and if you go out with him, you had better be ready for a full day of fishing because he will definitely put you through the paces.
After returning to the cabin today, in the state of health that I was currently in, I had some serious reservations about doing it all again tomorrow, especially with Musky Mike.
I might have made a big error in judgment about doing musky fishing 3 days in a row. The type of movements that you make when musky fishing are not ones that I make on any normal day, so I usually end up giving my body and muscles quite a workout and I am usually very sore and wiped out after just one day of doing it, not to mention 3 straight days. I am currently sitting in the cabin, at the old wooden dinner table adjacent to large windows that look out over the dock and water.
The wind is howling and there are whitecaps on the water. The winds must be blowing close to gale force.
I have been watching the boats coming back to camp screaming in with the wind is in their backs and watching other boats fighting against the wind as they are heading out again, with the waves splashing over their bows and basically getting everyone in the boat soaked with cold lake water. The rain has been coming and going off and on all afternoon.
I look at those who are on these boats, mostly those musky fishermen, who are a tough and hardy lot.
Most are lucky to live in a location to fish sometimes daily and others on a weekly basis. A whole lot more often than I get the opportunity. Some eat and breathe musky fishing. And here I am visiting their world, for a brief and temporary time each year, hoping to catch a musky large enough to actually be looked upon as a “real” musky fisherman.
The wind is really beginning to howl out there and the rain has begun to fall again. It is kind of nice sitting here in a dry comfortable cabin and watching the turmoil of the weather outside. The docks and boats secured to them, are riding the wind stoked waves, bouncing here and there as the white capped waves slam against their aluminum sides.
And here I sit in my cabin, content and at peace with my surroundings. This is absolutely better than watching TV any day.
Tonight we had pan fried steak, caramelized onions, some basmati rice and tender sweat yellow corn…boy I need to stop watching the food channel so much at home. To end the day, Veronica and I will watch the movie Nights In Rodanthe.
Tomorrows musky fishing with Mike will be arriving way to soon for these old bones.Today is Tuesday and I was supposed to go out with Musky Mike but I went out with another guide. Once again it was a dreary cool rainy day, not unlike all of the other days here so far.
Trying to keep my balance with the choppy waves has been an ongoing problem for me. It makes it very difficult for me to do my “circles” in in proper form. I also noticed that my stomach was getting nauseous as we were heading to different fishing locations.
I did not pay it much attention because it went away after about ½ day of fishing. I ended up moving 3 fish with the biggest being about 49”.
This particular fish definitely wanted to get caught and she stuck around chasing my lure for a good 20 seconds.
My guide kept yelling that she took my lure, so I tried to set the hook but got nothing. I continued to move my lure in circles and this fish continued to chase after it. According to my guide, this fish took my lure 4 times.
The last time she took my lure, I still had no idea that she was on my line. It was when I lifted up my rod that I felt this strong tug on the other end.
This fish must have realized that she had been hooked and started to take off. As my guide started to get the net, the fish got off and swam away leaving me dumbfounded with just another fish story to show for it.
I returned to the camp and cabin frustrated and not feeling quite myself. That night I began to get sick…flu…cold…not really sure. I did not sleep real well that night.
I was up off and on for most of the night. Between the sore throat, chest congestion, coughing and just feeling totally run down, I knew that my chances for my big musky might be coming to an end for this year.

I woke up this morning, wed, feeling worse that the night before.
I decided that I would give it a try for the musky fishing today. I had a real good guide who had been catching lots of muskiest lately.
So I dragged myself down to the dock, met with my guide for the day and we headed out. For a change, the weather was clear and there was little chop to the water. Unfortunately I did not get much of a change to enjoy the weather not the musky fishing. After about 2 house, I had enough and I did not have the strength to continue.
I told the guide that I was finished and we headed back to the camp. Another lost shot at my big musky. I went back up to my cabin and spent about 6 hours in bed.
I woke up feeling just a tad bit better but still no where near my usual self. They are supposed to have a fish fry up at the lodge tonight…a Wed tradition here at AML. Not sure if I can make it and I am also concerned about passing whatever bug I have onto others.
I did here that Steve, the owner of AML, his son and another fisherman had also been sick.
The guide that took me back to the camp told me that if I felt up to it, that he might be going out musky fishing that night and I could go with him.
Not sure how I will feel later on. I am supposed to go musky fishing again tomorrow but I think that I will have to change that. Walleye fishing is less demanding and I can sit a relax a bit. If I don’t go out with the guide tonight, my attempts at my big musky will be over with for this year. I can’t remember the last time that I got sick on vacation but it kind of fits in with the way this years vacation has played out.
Today is Thursday and I woke up not feeling any better but I really wanted to do some fishing with Veronica. I mean who comes all the way to Canada to lay around in bed being sick? Once again it was raining outside and I knew that if I went fishing, I would probably feel worse than I do now but I was thinking about going for it. As we were sitting at the table, Steve (owner of AML) came up to the cabin door stating that it was going to rain all day and that it was alright with him if I wanted to take a day off from fishing with a guide.
After giving it some thought I decided that I should go ahead and take the day off of fishing and just go back to bed. Tomorrow will be my last day of fishing for the year, so I am hoping that after resting today, I will be able to give it my all and catch that musky on my last day.
I know Veronica will be going with me tomorrow and she will be fishing off of the other side of the boat for walleye, or our dinner.
She has always had the luck when fishing for walleye. Guess it comes with her growing up on this lake.With only one day left here, it feels like the whole week has been a blur so far. Maybe it is because
I am not feeling well. This is the one week out of the year that I get to go fishing and it feels that I have fished very little.
More to come and also photos

Now This Really Pisses Me Off

I just stumbled upon this story and I could not help myself from sharing it with you before I sign off for vacation. Here is the first part of the story Why Do Young Boys Abuse Animals? and here is a followup story RCMP Can't Confirm Moose Calf Was Chased And Beaten Sounds like the witnesses have changed their minds to cover up these juveniles actions.

Snakes And Sex Experiment Results

On 7/31, I posted an entry about an experiment that I was going to conduct. This experiment was going to compare how many people come to my blog looking to view my "Worlds Largest Snake Found Dead" blog entry versus my blog entry titled " Is KKK the new C Cup? I Sure Hope Not!!!". After 2 weeks of this experiment, I must admit that I am somewhat perplexed at the outcome. It seems that there has been more than twice the interest in snakes, than there was for size KKK breast. Snakes....and dead ones to boot, beating out breast. Who would have thought that!!! Good thing that I am not a gambling man. I would have lost the farm on this one.
Well, I have finished up some last minute jobs that I needed to complete and now I just have to wait for tomorrow to arrive. We head to the airport bright and early. Tomorrow will be a long day but by the time 5 o'clock comes, Veronica and I will be eating at our favorite restaurant in International Falls....The Chocolate Moose. With a little luck, I will have some great photos and some tall tales, of a fishy nature, to share with you. See you on the flip side.

More Upcoming Travel Events

Yesterday I received news from Veronica that we are going to Vegas in October. Last night we also made a decision on where we wanted to go next year. After tossing around options, we decided that we would return to Alaska. Because we had such an excursion heavy itinerary on our last cruise to Alaska, that we wanted to return so that we could spend more time in the actual cities/towns that we docked at. We decided to get an oceanview balcony cabin this time. Unfortunately all of the aft oceanview balcony cabins were taken so we ended up with a oveanview balcony cabin near the aft but on the starboard side and on the 10th deck. Once again we will be on the NCL Pearl....a beautiful ship. This cruise will start on may 1st, in Vancouver, BC and end in Seattle, WA after 8 nights of cruising. We will most likely stay in Seattle before the cruise and then get some type of car service to take us to Vancouver, which is not that far away from Seattle. Today I spent the part of the day researching travel insurance for our cruise purchasing our tickets for the Cirque du Soleil show . This show is held at the MGM Grand. We ended up with fantastic seats....6 rows from the stage and just a hair to the right of center stage. Tomorrow is our last day here for a week. We leave early Friday morning to head up to International Falls, MN and then on Saturday morning, we are Canada bound. By Saturday afternoon, we should be settled into our favorite cabin, which is #8, right on the water over seeing the dock and boats and I will be busy getting all of our gear ready to start fishing on Sunday morning. I have been watching the projected weather and temperature reports on a daily basis. It looks like it will be rather cool up there...most days 62-74 degrees. I was worried that Veronica would be miserable with the heat and would have to opt out of fishing on some of the really hot days but it looks like that won't be happening. I would much rather have Veronica take a day off of fishing because she wants to take a break and read a book and relax compared to her having to take a day off because it is so hot and humid and she is miserable. Hopefully the weather predictions stay accurate. Hopefully I will have some great photos to share...going to be working on my trophy...over 50 inch musky.

Traveling Surprise!!!!

I got a phone call today from Veronica, who was at work at the time. She told me that because of an important project that she and about 100 other workers had done, that her company was sending her to Vegas for a special training seminar in October. I thought to myself that she deserved it because she had been working so hard for the last several months. Later on I got another call from her, telling me that I was going to be able to go to Vegas with her. We will be staying at the Venetian . Since Veronica and I have never been to Vegas, we decided to spend an extra night there, so we will be there from Wed and returning Sunday. Veronica's employer is also paying for her ticket to a Cirque du Soleil show of her choice. She looked on line at the different shows that Cirque du Soleil has ongoing in Vegas. She has decided that she would like to see by Cirque du Soleil This works out really nicely. All we have to pay for is my food, airline ticket and the one extra night that we are there. I should be able to get some really nice photos in Vegas and who knows....I might even run into Elvis there or should I say numerous Elvises.

I Was Born A Traveling Man

As long as I can remember, I have always loved to travel. As I get older, the traveling bug has grown more intense and frequent. This upcoming Friday, Veronica and I will be catching a flight and heading towards Canada for our annual migration to Eagle Lake and our favorite fishing grounds. Combine...friends....fish...scenery and wildlife. It doesn't get any better than that. Our bags are packed and now we sit here watching the clock or at least that is what I usually do. Not so much this time. Why? you ask. Because I am already researching new adventures and locations for our future travels. There are so many places that we would each like to see and then quite a number that we both want to see and share. River cruises, regular cruises, cruise tours, land tours, escorted tours, self drive tours...on and on the options go and we haven't even figured in all of the possible locations for these new adventures. The research and planning for these adventures are all part of the excitement and fun. Then there is the packing and preparations involved. It all builds up like a musical crescendo until the magic moment that you actually leave. That old saying really rings true...the journey is as meaningful and exciting as the destination or at least the saying goes something like that. But for me the journey and the destination take a back seat to my traveling companion. Without sharing everything that is seen and done on these travels with Veronica, for me, there would be no sense in going. The destinations would just be "places"...nothing special...just another dot on a map. It is Veronica that makes these places so special for me. I could not pick a better traveling partner to share these special times and places with. So with that in mind, it is back to my research and find something new and exciting that we can share between us.

Great News From The Dermatologist

This morning I went to see a dermatologist. This is the first time that I had ever seen one so I was a little apprehensive about going. Because I am a sun hog, I needed to get a load of spots checked out on my body. The doctor looked me over carefully and inspected every spot possible. He found absolutely nothing except for a small "tumor" where he said it looked like a bug bit me and it turned into a tumor. It is very small...the size of the lead in a #2 pencil. He said it was nothing to concern myself with. The only thing that he found that he thought was pre-cancerous was a red section on my ear. He pulled out a canister of liquid nitrogen and sprayed the area for several seconds. He said that it would be completely healed in 7-10 days. I got a clean bill of health from him and he told me that nothing that I had on my body right now, could turn into anything cancerous, even if I was out in the sun. Being the sun lover that I am, I was doing the snoopy happy dance on my way out of the doctors office and into the elevator. Today has been a good day!!!! Veronica and I spent part of last night packing up clothes and gear for our upcoming trip to Eagle Lake in Canada. We leave early Friday morning, 8/14. Of course I will have our trusty camera close by to get photos of any trophy fish that either of us catch along with any other great photo ops that come our way. My foot is doing a little better today after getting that shot from the doctor. I won't be trying to go for any wals until I return from Canada. That will give my foot a couple of weeks to heal up. I also have to go back to the podiatrist the day after we return home. He will decide whether I need another shot at that time. If I do, it will be another week or so until I can go for my long walks again. It will be nice to go walking without having the pain.

The Podiatrist Speaks

I went to my new foot doctor this morning. He took a couple of weight bearing x-rays which turned up nothing unusual. Based on the x-rays and the information that I provided to him, he came up with a diagnosis of bursitis. He gave me an injection in the foot, in the hopes that the inflammation will go down. I was told that I might need another injection in a couple of weeks. I have got to the point where I really dislike needles but unfortunately it is necessary. I need to quit my walking for a couple of weeks. I will go back to the podiatrist after we get back from our Canada fishing trip. Next on my list is a visit to my new dermatologist. That will be happening tomorrow morning. I will be getting a thorough inspection looking for anything that looks like it might lead to skin cancer. I believe that I have a couple of spots that resemble basil cell carcinoma. So tomorrows visit will be interesting.

Birthday Eats

Veronica and I just got back from Veronica's birthday dinner. We went to a local place calleed Yukon Steak House. We both had the same chicken dish and it was great, especially compared to what we had at Joes Crap Shack
...oooppps...I meant Joes Crab Shack. Nothing like full birthday bellies.

Happy Birthday Veronica!!!!

Today is Veronica's birthday. If you get the chance, please feel free to give her your Birthday greetings on her blog... Art By Veronica I am sure that she would appreciate them. Happy Birthday honey!!!!!

Another Day Another Life Change

I have always been an outdoors person....shirt off and soaking up the rays. I have always been a sun worshiper and have always had a dark skin tone. I have always been around warmer climates, beaches and sun. I have always not worried about skin cancer because I tan extremely easily and never really burn...maybe once or twice in my lifetime. As time has gone by, I have been noticing some small darker marks on my skin. In my mind, nothing drastic nor anything to get excited about. They are on my legs and arms. Just a few here and there. I poo-pooed it off as age spots.....nothing to concern myself with because they were only about 1/8" in diameter. Yesterday was a cloudy day, so I did not go outside...not even for my usual walk. I spent some time on this computer doing my usual traveling through the internet. I decided to do some research just for the heck of it. I typed in skin cancer photos. What an eye opener that was. While looking through the photos I found one that looked almost identical to a few of those spots that I had mentioned. It is called Basil Cell Carcinoma and based on what I have read, it is the most common forms of skin cancer. Now granted, I am not a doctor but based on comparing the picture to what I saw on my leg, I would put money down on it...BCC. After looking at the picture ( Basil Cell Carcinoma ), information about BCC and how to get rid of it, I went shopping for a dermatologist. I found one that I was comfortable with, at least by reading his credentials and background. I will call tomorrow and make an appointment to have him check my whole body out to determine which spots are or are not BCC. Then form a game plan to get rid of them before they decide they want to grow up and get bigger. After deciding on a dermatologist, I then gathered up all of my tanning lotions and oils and threw them all in the trash. I did a little research on SPFs and sunblocking lotions. I looked up which were considered best according to Consumer Reports...my go to guide when buying stuff. I found a couple of brands that were considered excellent and were at the top of the list. Veronica went to Walgreens for me....there is one right near her store. I ended up with 4 or 5 bottles of sunblock which had SPF factors of 50 and then some had 70. The real change for me will be the outdoors aspect of my life. No more running around with my shirt off and anytime I go out for any length of time, I am going to start slathering on the sunblock. I will still work outside and go for my walks but I won't be laying out specifically to catch any rays. I have noticed that as I get older, I have concerned myself more with my health and doing what I can to stay healthy. I stopped smoking around the end of June of last year and have been smoke free ever since...no desire at all to light one up. So as of today, I will be swapping my tanning lotion with high SPF Sunblocking lotion. I might not end up as dark as I currently am but at least I will be healthier. Like I said....Another Day, Another Life Change.
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