Friday, January 26, 2007

Bigger Pic

Apparently the first pic I put out there is difficult for some folks to interpret... here is the higher resolution image. Make sure you click on it to enlarge it... you can't miss the (literally) thousands of fish that are in this picture! The second image in this post shows a contrast adjustment made by one of the Carp Anglers Group members (thanks!).

Thursday, January 25, 2007


Check this out. Too bad they wouldn't touch any offering of any sort. Completely turned off. The cool thing was - I figured as much before I even started trying... so I just settled in and practiced casting - watched them for an hour or so... chuckled now and then and reveled in the feeling that comes with being totally stifled by cyprinids. I could have snagged fish all day... but I was doing all that I could to avoid snags. You can tell by looking at these pics - a person could snag a fish on every cast. Also - I had no clue how I would have landed any of these fish if I'd fair-hooked one: the slope was ice and snow and I'd have had to risk a lot to get to the river. Birds-eye view (even better with my polarized glasses) of the biggest carp colony in the world... wow. I love 'em.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Culinary Delights:
Made first batch of venision jerky some time ago... very good it was. I am marinating another bigger batch in the fridge right now - set to dry tonight. It's a big hit with any and all company.

On the other hand - we sucked at making rosettes and krumkake. We tried and tried but we obliterated every attempt into little crumbs of dripping-with-oil fritos.
Long overdue for some Jimmy pics.. So here they are:

First are a couple of holiday shots. We (mostly EW) made many, many cookies this year - all varieties and types... very cool. JD had a great time with the cookie cutters. JD senior had a great time eating cookie dough.

Second - JD pretending to be Santa by way of a sudsy beard.

Third - we like to call this "back-scratch feva" - he absolutely loves it. He'll even come up to me and ask "back scratch fever please?" I get a good tricep work out too.

Finally, JD holding court with his little brother... he does that approx once per day.

Global Warming: not just a warm feeling...

Climate change effects aren't limited to increases in ambient air temps... check out this graph. It's something I am pulling together for work... but the larger body of research on this has been compiled by USGS and others. Stream flows are increasing in the midwest. The big debate is how much of the increase can be attributed to climate (precip increases)... and how much to land use changes (it's some of both). As a society though, we in the midwest are doing a great job of covering both bases - converting more and more land to corn, and also pumping more and more CO2 into the atmosphere. Good job everyone!

Monday, January 22, 2007

NAG's "Kid in Hat" - a masterpiece.

Check it out here:

It's an old pic... from this summer.

In the morning when JD wakes, he stands up in his crib and calls out repeatedly to the closed bedroom door "Mommy, Mommy, Mommy..." Or "Daddy, Daddy..." [usually Mommy]. This AM was a treat though - he added a declarative sentence/phrase: "Daaaaaaaddy, Daaaaaaaddy, Daddy... here I am!" That really got me!

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

"Rivers are the true highways of life. They transport the ancient tears of disappeared races, they propel the foams that will impregnate the millennium. In flood or in sullen repose, the river’s power cannot be overestimated, and only men modernized to the point of moronity will be surprised when rivers eventually take their revenge on those who dam and defile them. River gods, some muddy, others transparent, ride those highways, singing the world’s inexhaustible song."

Tom Robbins, The Day the Earth Spit Warthogs, Esquire, 1985

[quote was forwarded by a friend a couple days ago]

Monday, January 15, 2007

Here is a pic of another "muddler carp" that I caught back in November. I never bothered to post this image... the fish was smaller than the one I landed yesterday. If anyone knows anything about this sub-specie, please post here.

The scale pattern is different - it looks like a cross between a mirror and common... ??

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Fair-hooked carp in January - ain't no lie...

I was so-so on fishing today, in part because I didn't have much time, and also because it's so damn cold out there right now. I don't fear the pain of the cold, but frozen guides are maddening at times like this... I decided to give it a go. I knew flow would be down from last week (yes - we had a January rain event here in MN)... and around 1:45 PM today I confirmed that it was down enough at my carp hole to make for decent fishing opps. I still wasn't sure if I'd be able to get the fish to take a fly though - some people have suggested that at certain temps carp will not eat. In November/December I got one fair-hooked carp I think - I watched him take the fly... it was cold then, but it was very cold today. In fact, air temp never got above +18 F. When I was out there, it was rising from ~15.5 to 17 F, and then at 3 PM just as I was leaving it began to plummet and snow started to fall. Even with flow being agreeable, I still had ice to deal with - this spot has steep slopes down to the River, and in winter they are usually covered with ice... making it impossible to get to the bank to land a fish. It's hard to explain, but let's just say I've already been stranded on the bank once as night fell, because ice had caged me in... it was a scary deal, so I was extra careful today. I was about to give up - even thinking I could try to hook a carp, play him to the high bank and then break him off (bad idea)... when I saw a single, solitary, ice-free path down to the river!! It was a sign for sure... I scrambled down and within five minutes landed my first carp of 2007 on a girdle bug - hooked perfectly inside the mouth. I think the firsh was around 6-7 pounds... no big runs or dramatic battle - took a while, but came in pretty easily due to cold. I proceeded to foul hook three more before heading out (only had an hour to fish). I don't know how cold the water was (the discharge from the dam is mid-column from the reservoir), but my estimate is DAMN COLD - near freezing. For sure single digit Celsius. It was a pretty great little outing... I do have to admit that by the end of the hour, my feet were getting pretty numb. I did see carp swimming around, and rolling like they do on occasion. I also tried out some flies that I tied in response to the mini-swap I did with J. Montana and Zonker from CAG (see pic). I will say this - that fly looks so damn good in the water... it is modeled after a fly that Zonker tied. It sinks with all its rubber legs waving up in the air... "eat me, eat me."

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

A short but meaningful conversation:

[JW is heating up his lunch on a plate; there is a woman in the office "kitchen" peeling an orange, and dropping the peelings into the garbage]

JW: [after a thoughtful look and pause] "Ma'am, did you know that that bucket right there is for compost?" [in fact, there is a compost bucket just six inches from the garbage, faithfully maintained by a coworker of JW]

Woman: "I know. I don't even bother."

[So spoken, approx 12:05 today]

Friday, January 05, 2007

A Couple Basketball Notes

(1) Tonight my brother's team - the Bug-O-Nay-Ge-Shig Silver Eagles - travels to Remer for what should be an interesting game. I am sporting my brand new Silver Eagles long-sleeve t-shirt to show my support. Good luck JDW and team. I couldn't find any internet action re the team, but here is the school:

(2) I have to rant about the Wolves a bit... Not about the team, but about MN fans' percpetion of the team, and their insistent complaining and griping.

First of all - PLEASE STOP - particularly Mark Rosen, KFAN folks, etc. - PLEASE STOP suggesting that we "need" or "should get" or "need to get" another "superstar" player. We have KG - that is all we get in the way of superstars... unless we want to give him up. By definition, a team gets 0-1 "superstar" player(s). Suggesting that a team is somehow entitled to two such players means that you believe that ~40% of starters should be superstars. If you are lucky, you get a star player, surrounded by solid role players.

Second - PLEASE STOP ripping on Mark Blount, Ricky Davis, and Mike James. These guys are exactly the type of role players that are needed to comprise a good team. Blount is 7 feet tall, 250 pounds, and solid muscle... he is an easy 15 pts, 6-8 rbs and 50%+ from the floor... but he is constantly ripped on by fans and radio... why? Davis may be a jerk in some respects, but he is a good player, who has for his entire career put up good numbers. He can create his own shots, which is more than I can say for Wally S. Mike James is a nice player to have too - puts up good numbers, and is a better-than-serviceable NBA PG. Throw in a nice draft of Craig Smith and Randy Foye, and you've got a good collection of players to surround KG.

My question has always been - when I hear these guys on the radio criticizing the Wolves - WHAT WILL EVER BE GOOD ENOUGH FOR YOU? You constantly complain, no matter what players we bring in. You say we need a guy who can shoot in the fourth quarter - we bring in Davis and Foye - you still whine. You say we need big bodies - we bring in Blount and Smith - you're still not satisfied. This is how it is! You get a star if you're lucky, and a bunch of role players, and you try to meld them into a team. I feel like you'll only be happy if we can get a top three player at each position (which, by the way, would not guarantee a good team).

So Barreiro, Hartman, Rosen - stop ripping this team, and get behind them. They hear and read what the media say... They have the potential to be good, and if we talk positively about them, it can only help.

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

My kind of Christmas Carol: When God Made Me, by Neil Young


Was he thinking about my country,
or the colour of my skin?
Was he thinking about my religion,
and the way I worshipped him?
Did he create just me in his image,
or every living thing?

When God made me.
When God made me.

Was he planning only for believers,
or for those who just had faith?
Did he envision all wars
that were fought in his name?
Did he say there was only one way
to be close to him?

When God made me
.When God made me.
Did he give me the gift of love
to say who I could choose?

When God made me.
When God made me.
When God made me.

Did he give me the gift of voice
so some could silence me?
Did he give me the gift of vision
not knowing what I might see?
Did he give me the gift of compassion
to help my fellow man?

When God made me.
When God made me.
When God made me.