Thursday, December 26, 2013

Hats off to hard working Edison linemen

Like many others, we lost power last Saturday. Thanks to a newer, hard-working generator, we were in pretty decent shape. Most everything electrical we needed to run was humming along.
About 26 hours later the power was restored, the generator turned off and the necessary switches flipped to get us back on line.
At a party Monday afternoon we learned one of our good friends was still without power since the ice hit Saturday.
Thinking we were out of the woods so to speak, we offered the use of our generator. A couple of hours later, the generator that had been heating our home was making his comfortable.
Christmas was comfortable, everyone slept well, then it was off to grandma's for the annual family dinner.
In the meantime, at 2a.m. this morning, a pole at the rear of our home caught fire twice, then we heard a loud explosion and you can guess the rest.
The power line from pole to house in our neighbors yard is almost on the ground. Most, if not all of the street is dark.
As I was cleaning the drive I saw a an Edison truck approaching. I waved him down and told him what had happened and the low wire. He said he would take care of making a report then went on to say they couldn't work down the road as trees and limbs were lying on wires.
"We'll" need tree trimmers in here first," he said. "I think we might get this end by this evening," he added.
As he drove off he was followed for five more large Edison trucks. Sometime later with my generator returned and running, a neighbor called to inform us the lights were back on.
Hats off to linemen that have been working 16-plus hours since this all began.
You don't miss the niceties of power until you don't have it.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas

I hope it will be a good, warm one for all of you that still remain without power. Anytime the power goes out isn't good but especially this time of the year.
Hats off to all the linemen who work all day and well into the night to get things back in order. I don't understand, how in the wind and rain, not to mention trees and limbs hanging over high voltage lines, they are still able to do such a great job.
I've heard from many friends, both outdoor writer people and others that are really trying to make the best of a trying situation.
In times like these, it brings families closer. People gather around fireplaces for warmth, light the Coleman's or clamp on a visor-type flashlight, and try to carry on as best they can.
And because Christmas comes once a year, and this year's seems to be, well particularly special due to the circumstances we find ourselves in, it's important to take a least a moment to remember when the holiday is celebrated.
Many of us go to church once a year-a hold day of obligation-twice if you include Easter. This year especially would pause to give thanks for all we do have and our families that have been able to gather close. Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 20, 2013

Christmas shopping seems to be picking up

New Christmas shopping procedure. Most stored don't have much staff wandering the isles available for help. Rather clerks are stationed at checkout stations probably with the idea of expediting the paying procedure.
Most drivers seem to be in their typical holiday moods, serious looking, and not anyone in a long line as if it were the finish of a Nascar race.
However, the little that I have been out I've noticed smiling people, more "Merry Christmas's instead of "Happy Holidays," and more concern with helping hold doors open for those in wheel chairs.
You'll be able to read ho difficult it is for a disabled person to get around, especially when trying to enjoying outdoor sports.

Monday, December 16, 2013

Killer's Party

Last week you could hardly get through Keego Harbor or Sylvan Lake for all the traffic. These weren't your ordinary Christmas shoppers but people gathering at The Lodge to remember the late sports writer Tom Kowalski.
I named it Killer's Party because killer was a nickname of his. Tom passed away in August of 2011. He had been involved with some local charity work before his untimely death.
Since then, The Lodge has been headquarters for all of the people that turn out to tip one or two in his memory.
"This year they raised $29,000. Can you believe that," Oakland Press sports writer and good friend of Kowalski's said.
All money raised goes to research ftp Team Joseph for on duchenne's syndrome and the Poor Children's Fund of West Bloomfield.
Duchenne's usually appears in boys with the life expectancy being about 25. For more information visit Thanks Tom for the many children you have helped through your charitable work.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Earliest ski opener on record

This year's north ski resorts kicked off skiing on November 15, the same date hunters were hitting the woods for the annual firearms deer opener.
Cold temperatures made for ideal snow making conditions. But Mother Nature had the last say when temperatures warmed a week or so later putting a temporary halt to skiing. But that didn't last.
"They're skiing right now," Treetops general manager Barry Owens said. "I've never seen a ski season open this early."
And it's been a busy opener too. Erin Ernst, Boyne communications director agreed. 'We've been really busy just like it's the middle of winter."
Cross Country's number one promoter, Bob Frye, owner of Cross Country Ski Headquarters in Roscommon took a break from talking to customers to comment on how well the season has gone so far.
"You worry every year if the weather is going to cooperate," Frye said. "It sure did this year. Frye has the only snowmaking equipment for cross country skiing in the state. He's been making snow on the hills and trails around his business.
Lessons have been on the uptake and sales of new skis and clothing for this next year have been doing well.
For those new to cross country skiing, several family events have been planned offering "Learn to Ski" sessions.
A Winter Trails Day Priority Health family day of skiing is being offered at Cross Country Ski Headquarters.
First time cross country skiers will receive free use of equipment, lessons, trail pass and hot cocoa and hot dog lunch at Trappers Cabin. Call (800)832-2663 to p
re-register. The event takes place Jan. 11-12.

Monday, December 9, 2013

First ice-beware

Experienced talk about first and last ice. Hearing them explain the catches they get, one would think if you fish the first and last part of the year, the fish are in the freezer. That's not quite right.
Where are those fish in between those times? Hibernating, laying low for warmer weather, looking for mates?
None of the above. They are still there somewhere in the lake you're fishing. You just have to find them.
A quick aside. I used to fish first ice with Al Demming of Bayport. We would take small pieces of plywood and toss them out of the ice to hold us up much like cement finishers do to even out their weight over fresh cement so they don't leave an impression.
Yes, for some reason the feed bay is on during this time but to what danger? It doesn't take much and through you go.
As I am getting a little longer in the tooth now, i don't fish those two times. In fact, this year i may add a life vest to my gear just for a little more safety.
Once you fall through the ice, it's a little late to reach for a pfd. Be safe on the ice. I've it a chance to thicken up even though we've had some cold weather causing skim ice. It's said no ice is safe ice. This is particularly true at the moment.

Friday, December 6, 2013

Lessons learned deer huntingm

Probably the most important and common lesson is that deer are never where you expect them. If you see them during the day feeding at one location, don't count on them being there later that day.That said, deer have been taken from the same spot several times over many years. Go figure.
That nice big eight point isn't going to walk out of the woods right up to your blind and give you a clear shot.
However, that same deer may walk out in the open as if to say where's everyone at, presenting a great shot.
Expect the unexpected. While you are making noise getting settled, setting your chair up, figuring where you will lay your gun, digging out a couple of snacks and the book you intend to read to help you better sit still, a whitetail may just walk in when you least expect it.
Last week I went hunting. That is to say I found a place to pull off in the Mason Tract near Roscommon, got my stuff and headed into the woods.
There was no sign any deer had been in the area in a long time. Still, the excitement built. I continued walking, looking for sign while at the same time trying to find a place to use as a blind. Once settled, I didn't even load my 20 gauge, rather left it on my lap and enjoyed the sounds of the nature and the scenery.
Give it a try sometime. It's a great way to relax and successful doesn't always mean shooting something.

Monday, December 2, 2013

Reader prefers gamey venison

In response to Sunday's column about Michigan Venison Company headquartered out of Traverse City, Don Sargent wrote that he preferred venison taken from the northern regions of the state due to it's taste.
"Contrary to "not gamey at all", I still crave that piny taste of "up-north venison".
I suspect that the gamey taste of venison comes from a deer being hung up in deer camp for too long in weather that is too warm.
I have killed many downstate deer and even when processed in a timely manner, they do not taste as good to me as those good old "up-north deer". Soy beans, corn and other crops do not make venison taste good to me at all.
Of course that is just my opinion, but if you want to enjoy venison, you have to take it from an area where the deer's diet  makes it taste good to you.
I have been reading your column in the Royal Oak Daily Tribune from the very beginning. You tend to tell it like it is and that is very refreshing to me.
Thanks for reading and taking the time to write, Don. I've found when the topic of eating wild game comes up, many people shun venison because of what they describe as a gamey taste.
You may have hit on something. The deer I have taken in the north that have fed on corn, beans and the like have been tough and didn't have the same flavor as those taken closer to home. Diet could very well be the answer.