Posts Tagged With: ghoti62

On the Inside, Looking Out

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Embrace it, endure it, or leave. Winter doesn’t offer many choices and for the better part of this past week the best option has been to endure, hunker down and hope for the best.

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The sun shines brightly, through a lens of frigid arctic air, but the wind cuts like a razor and going out to do chores is, at best, a chore. Numbers on thermometers tell incomplete tales, unfeeling statements of fact, and over the years I have developed my own crude methodology to quantify cold. Completely unscientific and more than a bit subjective, it involves such things as the speed at which boogers freeze and the distance I can travel across the dooryard before I find myself doubled over and cussing. Based on those measurements, the cold this week qualifies as “pretty darn freakin’.”

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It’s also darn freakin’ pretty.

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After six days of hiding indoors, there’s an urge to go out, not so much to embrace the season as to defy it, so when the full moon comes up the armor goes on for a trek in the moonlight. Among popping trees and over thumping ice, coyotes howl and wind-blown snow sparkles like diamonds but after a couple of hours of that nonsense, there’s a serious urge to go in and embrace the stove.

The mixed flock of chickadees, nuthatches, and redpolls have been working the feeders through the cold. The seed they knock to the ground feeds mice and voles, which a pair of coyotes has discovered, but most other creatures in the neighborhood spent the week curled up in a hole, trying to stay warm, just like me.

Just like me, they’re also ready to get out again and this morning I saw a fox trotting down the road, looking ahead for a meal while also looking back, aware that it could just as easily become someone else’s meal. Everyone is hungry out there, after a deep snap like this, and the search for food goes on for as long as it takes. The fox risks death, taking what the coyotes consider theirs, and night creatures will work all day if that’s what it takes to survive.

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With coffee in hand, I sat in my blind (which is cleverly disguised as a house) and watched a flying squirrel this morning, a rare treat. Both shy and nocturnal, I can count the flying squirrels I’ve seen on two fingers. Continue reading

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Categories: nature, Vermont, Winter | Tags: , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments

A January Thing

Every fall I make noise about attending one of the big fly fishing shows over the winter, but by the time I feel ready to deal with a couple thousand anglers, all at once, the shows are over and done. The closest show to Fish in a Barrel Pond is in Marlborough, MA, this weekend, and quite frankly it’s just too soon. You all go ahead with your eager anticipation of the season to come, but some of us are still recovering from the last one. Opening Day will be here soon enough. In the meantime, we’ll enjoy the peace and quiet.

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Categories: +Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

Lord of My Domain

There are going to be some changes around here in 2013, even though I know as well as the next guy that change is bad.

First and foremost, if everything works as intended, your browser’s address bar should show you to now be among the pages fishinabarrelpond.com instead of the address we formerly used. In theory, the old ghoti62.wordpress.com will still get you here, but it involves something called a “redirect” and it is my understanding that this redirect is accomplished using monkeys. Monkeys being monkeys, not all devices or browsers may be able to recognize this redirect, so some of you may need/want to re-set something in order to always find your way back to fishinabarrelpond.com.

Secondly, I must apologize to anyone who visited on Sunday and found the pages kept changing. It was just Quill Gordon, pretending he knew what he was doing, trying out different layouts and themes to spiffy up the joint for the New Year. Must have tried a hundred variations but, with the exception of adding a background color, everything is pretty much the same as it always was, just the way we like it. For now.

Happy New Year to all. Make the most of 2013.

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Categories: +Uncategorized | Tags: , , , | 13 Comments

A Trout Bum’s Year, Yet Another Story Not About Fishing, and a Little Rant

While away the Old Year passes, snow has drifted, up to most people’s asses, or just above my knees, and the flakes are still falling as darkness settles in, just a tad later than it did yesterday. With a long night ahead, and nothing to do tomorrow but move more snow, this is as good a time as any to inflict upon present to you a look back at the year that was 2012, here at Fish in a Barrel Pond. I do this not because I think you’ll enjoy some misty-eyed reflection but because, if I know my readers, some of you weren’t paying attention the first time around. I also know it’s the kind of thing that bothers Mike at Troutrageous! to no end.

January was nearly half over before the year’s first post appeared, in which I received a package from Sweden and shared another story not about fishing (See “A Package from Sweden and Another Story Not About Fishing“). I will post a review of the DVD in that package one of these days, but I’ll tell you now that I liked it and it was sent to me by an especially notorious character, Marc Fauvet, Master of the Limp Cobra.

(Speaking of cobras, the man in the Story Not About Fishing once tipped over backwards in his office chair, which is interesting to begin with because it means there was a chair that didn’t collapse catastrophically beneath his bulk before it had a chance to even think about tipping over. Four of us watched it happen but there was no way to stop it without someone getting crushed. Stuff fell off the walls when he hit the floor and the Styrofoam cups on his heavy wooden desk spilled their coffee all over his Important Papers. We wanted to help him, right then and there, but he bellowed at us to leave him the hell alone so we ran. He was still mad at us from the day before, when we had maneuvered him onto the platform of the big drive-on freight scale in the shipping barn. One by one we had stepped off, leaving him there by himself so we could see just how much he really weighed and we almost got away with it, too, but someone gasped when the indicator on the scale settled down, and when Robbie saw what was going on he flew into a rage. Now, it was a day later and he was on his back, stuck in a chair (the impact really wedged him in there good) between the wall and his impossibly huge mahogany desk, turning purple and screaming at us as we tripped over ourselves trying to leave. We were, after all, working for the world’s largest importer/exporter of exotic animals and knew very well that when something the size of Robbie goes down it is sometimes best to just get the heck out of there and let the situation sort itself out. We did sneak back in a few times to check on him before he finally rolled onto his belly and got to his feet, but we spent the rest of the day in shifts, one of us posted by the door, with a tranquilizer gun and a pair of heavy-duty winches. You know, just in case.)

The rest of the first month of 2012 included video of wind-whipped Snow Wraiths, litter bugs from New Jersey, a delightful poetic interlude, some interesting ice, a visit to the frostiest place I know, and I posted a piece about the pursuit of perfection on The Backcountry Journal.

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Categories: Fly Fishing, Humor, nature, Vermont | Tags: , , , , , , | 16 Comments

New Product! Political Discourse Paint by Number Kits!

Listening to the radio while painting a barn last fall, my friend, Eugene, and his pal, Purly, were inspired to create another timely product. Originally planned for release by the beginning of November but delayed by concerns about toxicity, I am pleased to announce those concerns have been addressed. Once again, against my better judgement, I present one of their ideas to the general public:

Eugene and Purly’s Political Discourse Paint by Numbers Kits

We are faced with many issues in these troubled times, and some people would have you believe that these issues are complicated, difficult to understand, and worthy of thoughtful conversation.

Poppycock!

Everyone knows it’s winner-take-all these days, so quit screwing around with careful reasoning and listening to the other side! You need bold rhetorical strokes to shut the other guy up, and you want the broadest brush possible to paint him into a corner when logic fails. Our selection of new products gives you everything you need to win any argument!

Available in a variety of sizes, our large-capacity brushes will allow you to slap it on, real good and thick. Go ahead, load ‘er up and marvel at the complete coverage!

Our 12" 'mini' brush.

Our 12″ ‘mini’ brush.

 Our 12″ mini-brush is just the right size to put a stop to those pesky “conversations” at the dinner table. Your guests will be stunned at how quickly you put them in their place, even those at the other end of the table, who will be surprised as all get out by the extra long reach of our six foot handle! Other models include proverbial ten foot poles for touchy subjects, and our extra-large, two-handed model (currently under development for internet use) will cover any subject simply, completely and thoroughly. All of our brushes are sturdy enough to be used with all the force you can muster, filling corners and gaps with ease. For especially stubborn opponents, they also work with tar!

With our new Political Discourse Paint by Number Kits, stupid stuff like “subtlety”, “nuance”, and “facts” will be things of the past. “Details”? Who needs ’em? Not you, when you’re spreading it thick with one of these babies! Those things just get in the way for some folks, but with these kits you will achieve smooth, even coverage and a flawless finish that will leave those morons speechless.

Just as “facts” and “logic” can gum up the works, many people find themselves also struggling with complications like “choices”, but we’ve got that covered too! No more messing around with green, red, blue, or any of those other confusing colors used by eggheads and dummies, because we have narrowed our selection down to the only two colors that matter these days!

Choose one:

#1- BLACK

#1- BLACK

#2- WHITE

#2- WHITE

Our own special proprietary formulas ensure that these two colors absolutely will not, under any circumstances, mix together, enabling you to make your case with no shades of gray! They actually repel each other, and are also permanent, so no one (not even you) will ever be able to change your mind!

Our Political Discourse Paint by Numbers Kits will allow you to cover any issue you can think of simply and easily. Everyone else seems to have one, shouldn’t you?

Stop thinking and order yours today!

(Specify color, brush size. May not be available in all areas.)

Other products by Eugene and Purly include Vermont Hand Crafted Tenkara Rods, Vermont Hand Crafted Tenkara Flies and Mouse Pie.

Categories: Humor, politics | Tags: , , , | 10 Comments

Game Camera Resolution

There is a bewildering variety of game cameras, or trail cameras as they’re sometimes known, available on the market today, and some of the most common questions from consumers regard the camera’s resolution. I would like to take a few minutes today and go over with you some of the more confusing aspects of pixels, mega pixels, etc.

I’d like to, but I’m not going to.

The resolution I am referring to is one I am making for 2013, and it is to use my game camera more.

One of the least expensive models at the time of purchase, it is very basic, but the first night I set it out it captured a few shots of a fisher snooping around not far from the chicken coop.

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Since then, it has recorded the perpetrators of unauthorized construction activities …

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even under cover of darkness.

Beaver After Dark

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Categories: Humor, nature, Rural Life, Vermont | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 13 Comments

The Power of Calm

The calm days stand out around here, if for no other reason than the profound silence that descends. Straining to hear the pulse of the water, like listening for a heartbeat late at night, not even a gentle ripple laps the shore.

Shadows creep northward and the lowering sun angles through the first icy haze of the season, creating sun dogs, which are kind of like rainbows but much, much colder.

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Categories: nature, Vermont | Tags: , , , , , , , | 17 Comments

Bacon Grease and Rainbows

Seemingly endless months of partisan bickering, accusations and denials, half-truths, gossip, innuendo, and lies have finally come to an end. The mud that was slung has barely dried to dust, and some are already hatching schemes for the next time around. Some are angry, some are too stunned to speak, and others would like a chance to catch their breath and clear their head before tackling the hard work ahead. A few small voices have even been heard crying out for a time of healing.

That’s right, folks, another season at Fish in a Barrel Pond is in the past. (Surely you didn’t expect political commentary from Quill Gordon, did you?)

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A fly fishing magazine left behind in one of the camps this summer had a section titled “Fly Fishing Dream Jobs” or somesuch nonsense. Since I hear so often how dreamy my job must be, I flipped through the pages in search of myself. At first, I thought there must be some mistake but a second perusal convinced me there was no mistake about it. Nothing but a deliberate editorial decision could explain the absense of Fishing Camp Caretaker from that dream job list and for a while I was a tad more than miffed.

I like to imagine there is more than one Fishing Camp Caretaker in the world and I believe he, she, or they would have been miffed, too, but then I gave it some thought and not only understood the omission, but was also glad for it. I am sure my imaginary comrades would agree, it would just jerk our tears from their little ducts, against their will, to see the looks on the faces of some people who think it sounds like an easy gig, after they’ve done it a few days. Continue reading

Categories: +The Neverwas Nonesuch Angling Society, Fly Fishing, Humor, Rural Life | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 21 Comments

Vermont Foliage: Taking My Own Advice, Part II

The fog and rain cleared out at the end of the second day as dry, chilly air moved in, and the hillsides lit up in the gloaming. Continue reading

Categories: nature | Tags: , , , , , , | 10 Comments

Vermont Foliage: Taking My Own Advice, Part I

Some people could use a good knock-knock-knock on the forehead to get them to stop for a few minutes, take a good look around, and see what happens when nothing happens. They get so wrapped up in themselves and the things they consider important that they forget where they are and why they are there, missing the good stuff — those small, quiet moments of near-perfection and beauty that pass quickly, often un-noticed.

I nearly knocked myself silly, this past week, before finally picking up a camera and stepping out to enjoy my favorite time of year. Now, to tie myself to a chair and force myself to post some of the pictures I took …

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Categories: nature, Vermont | Tags: , , , , , , , , , | 19 Comments

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