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Showing posts from July, 2017

Who's Ready For Second Summer?

Around this time each year, there is a noticeable shift in the mainstream, and everyone from Walmart to the media to sports talk radio wants you to believe summer is over. Swimsuits and lawn chairs are on the deep discount aisle, magazine ads tout the new Fall fashions and the NFL is back in training camp. But you know what? Summer isn't over, not by a long shot. Sure, it's only a couple of weeks until the kids are back in school, but is that really even the end? When I was a kid, school didn't start back until summer was over; after Labor Day. My senior year in high school was the first year our school reported back before Labor Day, and it seemed like we got cheated out of those last couple of precious summer days. So, here we are, a full 38 days from Labor Day. Are we just going to give in and slog our way toward flannel shirts and pumpkin spice lattes? Not me, brother. My Second Summer starts today! Hang Out With The Boys Of Summer Half the teams in the Nat

The Original Fidgit

Unless you've been living on an island in the far Pacific with Amelia Earhart for the past six months, you've probably happened across something called a fidget spinner. The first time I saw one was in a convenience store I frequent near the homestead. I made note of the trilobed plastic gadgets stacked at the register, but didn't really think too much about them, since that particular store has been known to sell everything from hair extensions to Carolina Panthers tiki dolls. A few days later, I saw something on the local news about therapeutic devices for dealing with anxiety and ADD. I didn't really make the connection until I saw a YouTube video touting the "healing powers" of what amounts to a rather boring toy. I'll say this for kids today, they know how to position a product. Back in my day, we never thought to promote our fad toys - knockers, whizzers, mood rings and spinners - as some sort of medical breakthrough. In fairness though, we did h

Snapshot Of A Fishing Life

At any given time, there are a half-dozen or more vintage tackle boxes for sale on EBay. The majority of these come from estate sales or from families cleaning out basements and attics, and most of them are chock-full of tackle, left as-it-was the last time the owner went fishing. In some cases, that may have been years or even decades ago. There's an entire subculture of tackle collectors who scour these listings looking for valuable vintage lures, and you can tell when they find one because the price of the auction jumps dramatically. That's all well and good, but for me the fun in these old tackle boxes isn't so much finding a rare popper I can add to my collection or sell for hundreds of dollars, it's getting a glimpse into one man's fishing life; unwrapping the mystery of how he ended up with the tackle he did, how he used it and what it meant to him. In some sense, the tackle box is like a snapshot of the fisherman. While there are certainly vintage plasti

Book Review: The Poacher's Son by Paul Doiron

If you've ever wondered what it would be like if C.J. Box novels were set in Maine, Paul Doiron is an author you need to check out. As much as I love Box's writing, there are aspects of his books --, the sweeping Western vistas, the ranch mentality -- that I sometimes have difficulty relating to. While I am certainly no more a native of Maine than I am of Wyoming, the ecosystems described in Doiron's book seem a lot more familiar to me. The Poacher's Son is the first in a series of novels featuring Maine game warden Mike Bowditch. As the story begins, Mike is a 20-something warden just barely removed from training and working in a small coastal town. He lives alone, having recently split with his girlfriend over his choice of occupation and her desire to live a more "urban" existence. Late one summer night, he gets a phone message from his estranged father. Events unfold and he finds himself defending his fugitive dad from murder charges, perhaps at the ex