Saturday, 14 June 2003

O, Canada

Damn, I sure needed that trip. Canada was excellent, the fishing was great, the food was wunderbar, the weather was perfect. I caught the biggest Northern Pike, the two largest walleye, and the largest perch [insert snicker here].

and read on.

It had been seven years since I had last made the trek to Ear Falls, Ontario, the Bald Eagle Capital [of what exactly, they do not specify] for a fishin’ trip. Much was as I had remembered it. Western Ontario is desolate of civilization [we barely had reception on the only radio station – an AM station], and ergo wonderful. God’s Country ma’am. I saw moose, beaver, eagle, mink, bear, deer, loon, otter, and i should not neglect to mention the fish, northern pike, walleye, and perch.

The fishing was the best I’ve ever experienced, my uncles concurred. The Ontario conservation program has done a good job improving the fishing in Canada’s lakes, they lowered the bag limit to 3 fish and 1 trophy fish per species from its previous limit of 5 and 1 respectively. For pike, they also made a protected slot for the fish size, between 27.5 and 35.5 inches. This continuum is the prime breeding size for pike. The pike fishing wasn’t the best [although i did catch a 10 pounder that was 35 inches], but we caught many small ones [hammer-handles] which bodes well for coming years.

The walleye were enormous. In previous years we have been hard pressed to catch an 18 inch walleye, but this year, we gladly released walleye after walleye that were from 20-23 inches in length. These buggers were monsters. We found a spot where we would catch a fish almost every pass of the boat, and returned there for most of the week. 2 of my walleye were the best ones we caught, I had both a 5 pounder and a 6 pounder, filets of which I have brought home to cook for my friends. We go to Canada for the walleye, and the walleye sure as hell were there this year. [they are aliased as pickerel and sauger too].

The ride up was long but not overly so, we ate dinner in Eveleth, Minnesota [home of the US Hockey Hall of Fame] at the Sawmill, as unsophisticated as it sounds. However, it was quite a large place, and chock-full of young beautiful women. I didn’t pay much attention to my food. Next door to Eveleth is Virginia, MN, the Land of the Loon. When we crossed through International Falls to Canada, it was quite late. The border guard who let us through was quite nice for a lady in a flak jacket.

Traveling with my uncles was good, and despite their constant sending me up, i maintained my calm and shot right back at ’em. Corbin was a bit trying at times, telling me how to do everything, but that is just what happens when a Berkshire [him] clashes with another Berkshire [or half of one in my case]. Dean was quite patient and piloted the boat for most of the trip.

We used the trip [us men] I think as a way to talk about things that never get talked about otherwise, we talked about my dad a bit, and they discussed some of the things that troubled them as well. There was even some philosophizing.

While I was up there, I got some ideas for poems as well, which is good news for me.

After being on a boat for an entire day, I had fully developed my old sea-legs. The problem is, once I’m back on land, everything has a nice regular rocking motion to it. Distinctly noticeable when you close your eyes.

The police in Ontario are called the O.P.P.

i’m sure there was more but i can’t think of it now. if you wanna know something just ask.

Thursday, 5 June 2003

Gone Fishin.

I’m leaving bright and early tomorrow morning to go fishin’ in Canada. I’ll be back on the 15th, hopefully with a load of walleye and northern pike filets. This will qualify as my first vacation in about ten years. The last vacation was my last trip to Canada. I was only twelve or thirteen.

I’m going with my uncles, just the three of us, instead of typical groups of eight to ten. It should be quite laid back and relaxing. There is no better meditative exercise for me than sitting on a boat and fishing from can see to can’t see.

Tuesday, 25 March 2003

National Champions

last tuesday i left for Colorado Springs, CO to support my teammates at the NCAA fencing championships. it was quite the trip. Those who drove were 4: Steve, Mad Dog, Matty, and myself. the first 18 hours of our drive out there were fine; until we arrived in Colorado amid the aftermath of one of their worst blizzards in years. I-70 was closed 12 miles into Colorado despite the fact that there was nary a snowflake on the ground. we detoured to CO-25 which was also closed. we detoured to CO-40, closed. we ended up going all the way to Pueblo and then drove north till we arrived in Colorado Springs. 8 miles south of Colorado Springs we finally saw some snow, by the next day most of it had melted.

we beat the team out there despite leaving after they did. they’re flight was laid over at St. Louis and the next day they had a connection in Houston before finally getting into Colorado. the tournament was supposed to start on Thursday and conclude on Sunday but since none of the teams could make it out on time they rescheduled and had a combined tournament lasting all day saturday and all day sunday. tough stuff with the altitude.

that left us with two full days to kill. since the Super 8 we were staying at was literally 30 feet from the Drury Inn where the rest of the team was, most of our time was spent over there goofing around, utilizing the hot tub, etc. Janusz was glad we were out there so we didn’t have to pay for our meals for most of the trip. we went to a bar one night, saw Chicago as a team and ate and ate and ate. the night before the tournament we had a team meeting and everyone got their goals.

the first day of competition was intense. our fencers dropped a few bouts here and there, and the directing was a bit trying at times, but by the end of the day we had a nice cushion in 1st place, although we still knew it was going to be quite close. the 2nd and final day was a rollercoaster of emotion the entire day. we were only up by one bout in the final round with Penn State right on our heels. we needed any combination of 3 ND wins or 3 PSU losses to secure the victory. we won. there was pandemonium. all of those clich s about winning and being a champion…are true when you really are one.

our AD Bernard took us to Carrabba’s an ber-nice Italian place in celebration. once we got back to the hotel a few folks went on an alcohol run and a bunch of us went to the bars. i like tequila shots. we played a few games of pool, just relaxed with our team and a few people from the other midwest teams. then we went back to the hotel, partied a bit more and hit the road home. (Mad Dog drove first, he hadn’t partaken because he is on antibiotics). 20 hours later we arrived in South Bend. exhausted but victorious.

i cannot speak, my voice is shot from yelling. i shot plenty of footage to make a sweetass video and took a ton of pictures. we are champions! i am a champion! w00t!

Tuesday, 18 March 2003

Politricks and Fencing Championships

at 6 this evening i’m driving out to Colorado Springs, CO and the USAFA for the NCAA fencing championships. It is about a 19 hour drive and at the end of it i still might not be able to watch my team compete for the championship. i had to submit my social security number, driver’s license number, etc. in order to get security clearance to get on the base. at all times i must have two forms of picture ID. but once the war starts not even that will get me on the base. i’m still going out dammit.

what a stupid ultimatum from Dubya. yeah like that is EVER going to happen. might as well require the impossible so we can start bombing on schedule. anything for the war. even if the ulty did work i’d still be creeped out because the US would be able to coerce a country into essentially giving up its sovereignty. jeebus.

what the internet needs is a bestiary of mythical beasts. and a good one at that. the only ones i’ve found have been crap. maybe i could start my own if i had some time. meagan will you draw the critters and creepy crawlies?

Trogdor the Arcade Game!

I’ll be back sometime next monday unless NORAD and the USAFA get nuked by Iraqis.

Thursday, 6 February 2003

Flight to North Carolina

i’m flying to Raleigh-Durham, N.C. today for the Duke University Duals. Its just the top four from each squad that travel when we fly. the guys leave today and the girls leave tomorrow. i’m excited to be traveling. i do, however, have the sniffles. last night i put on lots of clothing turned the heat up and put on a sock-hat then got under the covers and sweated myself out. hopefully i didn’t just incubate the cold.

anyway, i get to wear my suit today. i don’t get chances to dress up often so i figure i’ll make the best of it and go all out.

no friday mp3 this week…

seeya sunday.