Friday, September 30, 2011

This fall fish but be careful

Keep a weather eye they say. It's true especially during the fall when winds and seas can combine to make lakes iffy at best to fish.
   A week or so ago, Lucian Gizell and a number of kayakers fished off Glen Arbor in kayaks for salmon. This is Lake Michigan water and subject to some pretty nasty waves.
   "We had one good day to fish and part of another," Gizell said. The weather took a turn and kept smart kayakers on the beach.
   And even if they weren't so smart, there isn't a heck of a lot of paddling one can do with seas coming over the sides and the bow.
   When days get like this, stream fishing or small, inland lakes may be the ticket. If you haven't got you salmon or better still want to learn to fish them in rivers contact Kip Lowrie at Woodland Rivers, You'll get professional guide service, the right flies to use and an education as to how to river fish. Good luck!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Richard P. Smith-Mean Mary with new books

   Richard P. Smith, Marquette, Michigan based outdoor writer and photographer as well as big game expert is out with a new book just in time for the fall hunting seasons.
   It's the 4th edition of "Deer Hunting," 438 pages, published by Stackpole Publishing. In it you'll find up-to-the-time news and tips about deer hunting.
   Whether you shoot cross bows, shotguns, rifles, black powder, or a compound, there is valuable and very useful information captured in this volume that should make you a better, more understanding hunter.
   When you step into the woods or that cornfield, you are entering the home of the whitetail. While you have some advantages, you actually are on the deer's ground and therefore subject to it's behavior.
   Reading "Deer Hunting," will help tilt those advantages and as they, level the playing field. By reading the book, there is no promise that you can go right out and bag a wall hanger buck. In fact there are no promises whatsoever.
   But it is definitely another tool in the arsenal of others that will help you become a better hunter. Just like the load you shoot in your shotgun, the kinds of clothing you wear on the hunt and the scents you use, "Deer Hunting, 4th Edition," is another tool in that arsenal.
   Beginning this Friday at 8p.m. and continuing throughout the fall, winter and spring, the atrium next to the Blue Note Cafe on Saginaw Street in downtown Pontiac is host for "Live From the Living Room," an acoustic showplace for local talent.
   "It's the cheapest and best entertainment and a well kept secret," long time Live host Maggie Ferguson said. For $5 you can listen for a couple of hours to some of the best talent around.
   Some of that talent comes in the form of Mean Mary who makes her home in Tennessee. Last winter she was on tour. Taking time out she put on a show at the Blue Note that left showgoers shouting and clapping for more.
   Mary James, her real name, is a one women promotional whirlwind. What with a website, radio show, live performances around the country all year long, along with writing songs and performing on the guitar, banjo, violin and other instruments she has found the time to write her first novel.
   "Sparrow Alone on the Housetop," 254 pages, by RV Publishing, the book was co-written by Mary's mom, Jean.
   It's a story about a wealthy business man who lets nothing stand in his way of making more money, not even his family.
   One daughter who is cut from similar fabric as that of her dad, works in the business. The other daughter has had an epiphany of sorts and is trying to help poor, hard working villagers in a small Mexican town who work for her father, develop skills and learn new, modern ways that will left them from the struggles and depressed poverty-driven life brought about largely at the employ of her father's company.
   While making and selling fudge seems more like it belongs in Mackinac, Michigan, Anne Sumner sees it as a  way out from under the corruption of her dad.
  With help from her pilot friend, Jim Orr, the two begin to unravel a tale of chemical use on crops that has taken the lives of several villagers.
   Once confronted, her father and sister try various means to silence what is surely to become a national incident.
   Copies of "Sparrow Alone of the Housetop," may be ordered at Mean Mary's music Cd's are found at Happy reading and listening.  

Monday, September 26, 2011

Recent surgery beginning to improve

   Sorry for being so inactive. This recent rotator cuff surgery has really kept me down and not doing much at all.
   These days life consists of going to therapy then resting most of the day. Lately I have been throwing some walking into the mix but that is it.
   Besides physical problems, I've been plagued by a variety of woes that are computer related. PC to be specific. Mine is three years old and the manufacture already says I'm out of date and need to purchase something newer.
   Enter the world of Apple. Friday I took the plunge and purchased a new Macbook and printer. You don't want to know the cost.
   But I'm told by those that have Mac's, after a brief adjustment to a different format, they are wonderful to work with. And there are no or very few problems requiring calls to tech support.
   That's one thing I'm looking forward to. Every time I turn my PC on I'm on the phone with tech support to get it resolved. Sometimes they do and other times I just put up with the way it functions.
   This isn't an ad for Mac's. If you are computer literate-I'm not-I suppose the PC is still a good thing. I need something that works when I turn it on without trying to figure out what is wrong.
   I don't play any games on the computer only write, put my photos on it and do a tiny bit of Internet-based research. Then I'm off.
   Sounds simple doesn't it? I hope it will be.

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Times flies and so do the seasons!

I'm not really sure of today's date. Ever since my surgery for a torn rotator cuff took place Aug. 31, I feel as though I've been out of the loop.
   That's because I'm so limited in what I can and cannot do. I'm learning though, not to push it. When I had both knees replaced -not at the same time-I did push the limits a bit and got through the rehab quicker.
   But it seems this injury has to take its time in order to be good at the end. And I definitely don't want to go through it again.
   In the midst of all this, my wonderful PC of about three years of age has decided to act finicky. It's been doing this off and on for some time.
   If I had the energy, I would head to the Apple store and look at the Mac's. Everyone I know that has one signs loud praises about them.
   So time spent at the computer for me is very limited. I look at and try to answer emails, write my blogs and columns, then get off for some ice and rest.
   The rest of the time I wait for the next therapy appointment to roll around hoping one of these days will be a monumental breakthrough.
   Till then, please bear with me.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

New backpacker!

   For a guy that doesn't like camping, my grandson Joshua Chekal has taken to to backpacking like Justin Verlander does to throwing a baseball.
   He's been home about a week after spending four days in the backcountry of Porcupine Mountains. Along with his mom and a friend, the three packed everything in, averaging about 5 miles each day.
   Josh says it was fun. "Really cool," he said. "A lot of hiking up with just a little going down." Besides seeing deer and squirrels, the trio was ever on the lookout for bears.
   "We were told that there were lots of bears around this time of the year," Josh said. "But we didn't see any."
   What he did see was spectacular scenery that included the famous Lake of the Clouds. They were able to camp on a high hill (mountain top?) one night that overlooked the lake.
   The last night was spent along with Lake Superior where they had a campfire and looked at the beautiful night sky that somehow seems to be blacker in this part of the world.
   For an 8th grader at Mason School in Waterford, Josh had some other nice words to describe his outing besides "cool, sweet, and awesome."
   And he's come to enjoy something he probably never thought that much about. Yes, there are other things to do besides play baseball, run cross country, wrestle and play basketball.
   We just have to give them a chance.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Stumbling along with the rotator cuff re-hab

   I know it's hardly two weeks since surgery but the pain is still pretty intense. This is all due to torn rotator cuff surgery performed August 31.
   There have been lots of changes since. Because I'm right handed and the right arm was involved I've had to learn to depend on the left side a lot.
   Add to that the near impossibility of sleeping in bed due to the pain, it's been a struggle. I'm grateful for the Lazy Boy I've been using nightly but it's hardly a good sleep.
   Physical therapy began this past Monday. That's added an entirely new dimension to all of this. Namely pain-you know the feeling by now-with some of the movement, to soreness the following day.
   Plenty of icing and rest help some. But I wish it would all go away. Sunday morning, the day before I was to begin therapy I took a hard fall.
   Fortunately, my left side caught the brunt of it. I had to lie on the kitchen floor for awhile trying to figure out if I had further damaged my already healing arm.
   So about all I could do as far as chasing salmon from the kayak this year was talk to some of the guys while they were having a great pot luck lunch at Glen Arbor, site of the Salmon Slam.
   Then, today, I was able to read some of the comments at they had posted about the event.
   And here I thought I was the only one looking forward to next year. Now, just to get this arm re-habbed and back in working order. All in time, as they say.
   Typing brings with it more pain and discomfort than I thought I would have. I've been trying to spread it out, doing it bit by bit.
   If kayaks and fishing for salmon interest you, catch the comments at and watch for my column this Sunday in the Oakland Press.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Remembering Sept. 11

   Sept. 11, 2011 was a warm, sunny day with a blue bird sky. Lake Sty. Clair near Nine Mile Road was as flat as a pool table. And we had found some perch.
   I was fishing with Tom Fury and his brother, Joe. We had been driving the boat around a certain portion of the lake where we had caught fish in the past.
   We finally located them; nice ones too. Although we didn't limit out, we each had a respectable bag of fish by the time we pulled the lines and headed to the dock. All three of us had to be at work later that day.
   It seemed strange that for the beautiful fall day we had, there weren' many boats on the water. If memory serves me correctly, ours was the only one.
 Even those blue bird skies seemed to asking, "where are all the planes?" We had seen little or no aircraft in quite sometime and then when we did it was military.
   Passing it off as some sort of exercise out of Selfridge A.N.G. Base in Mt. Clemons we didn't think too much of it.
   A short run later and we were dockside cleaning the boat up, loading rods and other equipment in our cars and then saying goodbyes before heading out.
   The first I knew anything was wrong I heard leaving the parking lot. Instead of getting my regular DJ on WOMC, I had the voice of one of the national news anchors talking about a plane that had struck the World Trade Center.
   What seemed to be a short time later and this reporter was saying a second plane had hit another tower. Now I am on Jefferson driving in a sort of fog. Like I was in another body or life.
   I listened all the way north on I-75 heading toward Davisburg. My main thought was that the country was under attack and I needed to get home and protect me wife.
   Like the Kennedy assignation or going further back in time, the events of Pearl Harbor, those of us that can will remember this day forever.
   It's one of those historical memories that we wish hadn't occurred.

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Sept. 11

   It seems almost every generation has their own 9-11. There were both the world wars, Pearl Harbor, Korea, Viet Nam and so forth.
   For us, not only is the date important; one we treat with reverence and remember each year for all of the sacrifices and deaths that occurred that day and the days following, but also for how the world has changed so drastically since.
   Now we take our shoes off at the airport and go through long lines of security checks. In some parts of the country we can no longer fish or hunt in certain places. Think around the Ambassador Bridge and other areas that are security risks.
   In Grayling, we used to drive through the National Guard base and out the backside to get to a cabin called Chimney Burn on the Manistee River. Today, there is the ever present metal, chain link fencing to keep unauthorized folks out.
   As the date approaches, we learn more and more about what happened that day that changed history. As each year goes by, newer, behind-the-scenes-stories emerge.
   This is good in that it keeps the date and event right out in front of us, always a constant reminder of what happened on a fall day ten years ago.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Rotator cuff surgery, successul? That depends.

   My shoulder surgery went well, insofar as the surgeon is concerned. As for me all was fine until late Wednesday evening when the pain bloc, applied prior to surgery and designed to last a few days, somehow pulled out of my neck.
   This bloc slowly administers pain medicine into the nerve that controls the shoulder, arm, hand, etc. Once it came out, the pain started to show it's face.
   Reached by phone, my surgeon, Shivajee Nallamothu, D.O. told me what oral medicine to use and that he would see me in his office. "I'm back in at 6 in the morning," the cheerful doc said.
   Since then, the pain has gotten more intense requiring a trip to the ER for a shot then home for sleep. I see Nallamothu tomorrow in his office.
   Prior to this procedure I had been told by others how painful these tend to be. Further, you are in a sling for about a month then rehab for four months, give or take.
   I can attest to the pain. It's right there lingering 24-7. My hope, my plan is to dedicate these next many weeks to making this as successful an outcome as possible. I'm hoping through re-hab, the arm will come back stronger and healthier than it was in the first place.
   Besides, I need to get ready for kayak fishing, fly fishing, small game hunting, and on and on. Stay healthy!