Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Relatives were hosted, turkeys were roasted, dressing was consumed, libations swilled and copious amounts of wrapping paper were torn as gifts were exchanged.
The big ticket items:
To Me from Stacey-An iPhone (my conversion to the Dark Side is almost complete)
To Kate from Santa - a new Gateway tablet laptop. EVERYONE---Please email her at firstname.lastname@example.org
To Stacey from Robert - new pair of Dynastar Exclusive Carve Skis and an iPhone too!!!
To Preston - a Transformers helmet, a play toy shotgun, a Nerf sword, & a Tony Romo jersey
In Lonoke........the big shocker. Kate received a Remington model 700 SPS Youth .243 rifle with scope for deer hunting!!!!! My jaw hit the floor!!!!
We spolied each other for sure. Best of all, we were able to have a perfect 2pm Eucharist family service as it snowed to celebrate the birth of Christ.
2009 will be remembered for time with family and the Christmas Season.
Happy New Year to all!!!!
Wednesday, December 23, 2009
12-23-09 Hunt @ JN Creek
Old Joke: What's the difference between in-laws and outlaws?
A: Outlaws are WANTED!
Ok, I admit, as in-laws go, I have the best.
As evidence, I submit the Hamiltons who are absolutely great people. They define what America is all about. Very close-knit family that takes care of each other.
I say this because I just took my most recent in-law on a 24 hr hunting trip. This would be my new bro-in-law, Derek Prosser. We headed out yesterday and indulged in way way way too much drinking, eating and fortunately PLENTY of shooting. The menu included a bbq rib dinner, beers-o-plenty followed by Makers Mark brown water, massive breakfast burritos and a cornbread and grilled pork chop lunch. 39 ducks and a single Canada goose fell this morning at JN Creek. Derek fit right in and I gave him my most treasured first shotgun to use: my 1995 Remington 870 Express 12 ga magnum....the most popular pump shotgun ever. He's a great match for my sister and pretty great in-law.....even if he's an attorney and Michigan fan!
Tuesday, December 15, 2009
Thursday, December 3, 2009
The GREATEST Christmas Movie Ever
Dateline: Wednesday, December 9 @ 9:00PM Central
TNT Network - Check your local cable or satellite provider
Yes, that's right! In under a week it begins........
My family has grown tired of my affinity for this movie but it NEVER gets old to me. TNT will air the movie next Wednesday, but beginning at 5PM Dec 24 the 24 hour loop of A Christmas Story.....a tradition that started in 1998 (or earlier). Sadly some of the main characters and the author recently passed away but their careers live on each Christmas.
If you haven't watched it from start to finiash, I dare you to try making it through the entire movie without laughing out loud.......and even better, it's a great kids movie when the rugrats won't settle down on Christmas Eve.
So here's to you Ralphie Parker and your "200 shot Range Model Red Ryder Carbine Action Air Rifle with a compass in the stock and a thing that tells time".
The infamous leg lamp
Ralphie: The Pink Nighmare, The deranged Easter Bunny
A slight breach of ettiqute. "The Triple Dog Dare You"
Wednesday, December 2, 2009
Snow blankets my office window from the 49th floor of the Trammell Crow Center
By any measure of society the residents of Dallas and most of the Metroplex (excepting Ft. Worth) are.....best aptly described......well.....as DRAMA QUEENS! I can say this as I have now lived here for 15 years. It seems to me (and I am also guilty), that Dallas-ites are always whining about something....a few examples:
1. The Cowboys. This gets really old. Ok---they haven't won a Superbowl since 1996. Get over it. We all want them to win. They don't. They won't.
2. Traffic. Think we have bad traffic? See Also: Houston, NY, NJ, LA, Atlanta
3. And my favorite.....ahh, yes........ The Weather.
Yes---it will always be hot in July/August. But my favorite.......(and this is good).....are the few rare occurences LIKE TODAY when SNOW and ICE hit Dallas.
Nothing brings out the DRAMA like solid precip in Dallas. If you had just landed here from Mars and turned on the radio in Dallas today you would think Armageddon is surely upon us. Seas boiling, 7 year plague, knashing of teeth and clinching of fists, fire and brimstone, dogs and cats sleeping together........you know....The End of the World.
People drive 14 mph on the Tollway, fur coats and space heaters magically appear everywhere, schools cancel based on a 24 hr forecast, workers stay home from work and people seriously consider putting their SUV in 4WD mode when a snowflake appears.
Now, I'm not from Canada, The Yukon, Maine, Alaska, or North Dakota.....but seriously!?!? (I wonder what the Prossers of ND would think about all of this).
Reality Check please: It will probably melt this afternoon.
In the meantime, I'll sit in my igloo (see picture) and enjoy the drama queens of Dallas!
Tuesday, November 24, 2009
Friday, November 20, 2009
Tuesday, November 10, 2009
The future of Ducks Unlimited! RPB circa 2009 (with a mouth full of chips)
I picked up Preston from school last Friday for a much anticipated first duck hunt on the most sacred day of the year: The Opener: Nov 7, 2009. 6:28am
The Opener is an event duck hunters look foward to for 291 days each year, and this was Preston's first. I had stirred him into a frenzy for the previous nine months and now we were headed north accross the Red River into Oklahoma to JN Creek Hunting Club armed with hot dogs, smores, Capri Sun and a properly stocked cooler for Dad (read: ice cold Shiner Bock).
Stacey and Kate were also headed north....but to meet Cindy and Preston in Fayetteville and watch the Hogs thump the evil Steve Spurrier and the South Carolina Fighting Chickens.
Back to the mission at hand......
We arrived first around 3pm. It's been warm----not exactly a duck hunter's ideal setting. Many many many things are wrong with the waterfowl hunter (as Stacey will agree). For example, the nastier, colder, fiercer the weather predictions get each winter.......the more excited a true duck hunter gets. Snowing with mixed sleet blowing 35 mph from the north = euphoria to a duck hunter. Instead, it was 75F sunny with a strong south wind......ugh. We unpacked, raised the stars and stripes to half staff (Ft. Hood), let Dixie the lab run around camp, prepared the RV, hooked up water, put the bbq dinner in the oven, connected the satellite dish and got the atv out and went for a ride. Preston loves the atv. It's a 700cc Yamaha Grizzly that will go way too fast.......Preston likes fast......think Ricky Bobby in Talledaga Nights ("I wanna go fast!!!").
Scott Cummings "Smoothie" and David Daniel "Horn Dog" arrived around 5 and Greg Whitteker "Half" and his 2 sons arrived around 6. We stuffed ourselves with Rudy's bbq and polished off a few adult beverages.
Alarms were set for 3:30am. I never sleep well before an opener. I awoke at 3:00am, showered, made coffee and waited. Preston ate pancakes, we dressed and headed out----it was a sticky 65F......ick. I put on hip boots and we headed to the pond with newly arrived Ron Geels "Shiner Dog" and Matt Mumper "Probiee" to launch the boat. I jumped in a kayak, and headed to the blind. As I got out of the kayak, what should have been 2 ft deep water, was actually about 3 1/2 deep......d*mn beavers!!!! My hip boots filled with water.....not a good start. So I hunted all day in wet soggy clothing. Preston loved it. He ate all kinds of bad food, counted ducks, watched the iPod, and was overall very well behaved----both days. We got 20 birds Saturday and 16 Sunday including 7 Canada geese. I rectified the beaver dam problem, twice, only to have it rebuilt by them each night.....a futile war. I swear, Roosevelt should have scrapped the plans for the Hoover Dam and just released about 6 beavers: problem solved.
Also, while walking the woods Saturday, I came face to face with a Muy Grande whitetail buck....he was huge. All in all a great weekend but most of all a great introduction for Preston to the world of duck hunting. FYI----he fell asleep before we even got onto paved road on the way home Sunday. I think I have a second hunting buddy now.
Tuesday, November 3, 2009
Through the miracle of infared cameras I've captured these recent pics using my new game camera. Deer season opens Saturday, November 21.
Tuesday, October 27, 2009
Saturday, October 24, 2009
Burr, Saskatchewan, Canada
Robert Blackford (AKA The Colonel)
Scott Cummings (AKA Smoothie)
Greg Whitteker (AKA Half Empty)
David Daniel (AKA Horn Dog)
David Carroum (AKA Houdini) + Satchel Page (8 yr old black lab)
Ron Geels (AKA Shiner Dog) + Jake (4 yr old black lab)
Jerome is a 67 yr old widower that runs an active 100% organic farm in Burr, SK---about 1.5 hrs east of Saskatoon. Without a doubt, the most gracious and generous host and friend we've ever encountered. Jerome, father of 2 grown daughers, embodies the determination and work ethic of the Canadian prarie province farmers. A typical day involves feeding & gathering 130-150 eggs from his laying hens, baking 12-15 homemade pies with fruit grown in his 2 acre fully organic garden, working his cattle or feeding his 1,200 broiler chickens, and havesting potatoes, strawberries, saskatoon berries, onions, cabbage, garlic and carrots from his garden. Jerome bakes daily and sells his vegetables, homemade dishes, and baked goods in the Humboldt, SK farmer's market. Born on the same 160 acres (1/4 section) of land as the 3rd generation of German Catholic immagrants, Jerome's family only received electric power in 1954. If it can be baked or cooked or growth from scratch ---Jerome can do it.
Kelly & Rachel Abrey - Father and mother of 3 children outside Plunkett, SK, the Abrey's are 3rd generation farmers that farm 2,500 acres of canola and wheat, raise alpacas for wool and are nuts for duck and deer hunting (not to mention stark raving mad Saskatchewan Roughriders CFL fans). The Abrey's have some of the largest white tail bucks I will ever see taken right from their farm. Kelly provided unbelievable help to us when we needed permission to hunt his neighbor's farms when we founds the ducks and geese.
The six of us started the 1,780 mile drive to SK at 5am Oct 15 arriving 32 hrs later in Burr, SK......no sleep! The last 8 hrs were in sleet and ice fog. After unpacking and eating a HUGE home style cooked meal by Jerome and family, we scouted for birds. Days 1, 2, 4, 5, 6 & 7 were unbelievable. We shots mostly mallards and saw groups of ducks and geese that numbered as high as 15,000!!!!!! We saw a huge bull moose, the northern lights, bald eagles, fox, and enormous deer. Currently we are driving back thru North Dakota almost to the South Dakota state line. I am hoping to be home in Frisco by 3pm Sunday after driving all night with Scott and David Carroum in time to wish Preston a big 4th Happy Birthday. I have many many pics to share but here are the summary stats.
(Our decoy spread)
10,580 total miles driven between 2 trucks
2 diesel trucks + 2, 16' trailers completely packed
600 duck & goose decoys
8 final approach blinds
Day 1----43 birds
1 green wing teal
1 canada goose
Day 2----50 birds
2 canada geese
Day 3----14 birds
1 canada goose
Day 4------48 birds
Day 5----48 birds
Day 6-----51 birds
18 canada geese
Day 7-----56 birds
313 total birds
22 canada geese
291 ducks (198 mallards)
Monday, October 5, 2009
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
#2. 'After you retire, there's only one big event left... and I ain't ready for that.' Bobby Bowden / Florida State
#3. 'The man who complains about the way the ball bounces is likely to be the one who dropped it.' Lou Holtz / Arkansas
#4. 'When you win, nothing hurts.' Joe Namath / Alabama
#5. 'Motivation is simple. You eliminate those who are not motivated.' Lou Holtz / Arkansas
#6. 'If you want to walk the heavenly streets of gold, you gotta know the password, 'Roll, tide, roll!' Bear Bryant / Alabama
#7. 'A school without football is in danger of deteriorating into a medieval study hall.' Frank Leahy / Notre Dame
#8. 'There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you.' Woody Hayes / Ohio State
#9. 'I don't expect to win enough games to be put on NCAA probation. I just want to win enough to warrant an investigation.' Bob Devaney / Nebraska
#10. 'In Alabama , an atheist is someone who doesn't believe in Bear Bryant.' Wally Butts / Georgia
#11. 'You can learn more character on the two-yard line than anywhere else in life.' Paul Dietzel / LSU
#12. 'It's kind of hard to rally around a math class.' Bear Bryant / Alabama
#13. When asked if Fayetteville was the end of the world. 'No, but you can see it from here.' Lou Holtz / Arkansas ....
#14. 'I make my practices real hard because if a player is a quitter, I want him to quit in practice, not in a game.' Bear Bryant / Alabama
#15. 'There's one sure way to stop us from scoring-give us the ball near the goal line.' Matty Bell / SMU
#16. 'Lads, you're not to miss practice unless your parents died or you died.' Frank Leahy / Notre Dame
#17. 'I never graduated from Iowa , but I was only there for two terms - Truman's and Eisenhower's.' Alex Karras / Iowa
#18. 'My advice to defensive players: Take the shortest route to the ball and arrive in a bad humor.' Bowden Wyatt / Tennessee
#19. 'I could have been a Rhodes Scholar, except for my grades.' Duffy Daugherty / Michigan State
#20. 'Always remember... Goliath was a 40 point favorite over David.' Shug Jordan / Auburn
#21. 'They cut us up like boarding house pie. And that's real small pieces.' Darrell Royal / Texas
#22. 'Show me a good and gracious loser, and I'll show you a failure.' Knute Rockne / Notre Dame
#23. 'They whipped us like a tied up goat.' Spike Dykes / Texas Tech
#24. 'I asked Darrell Royal, the coach of the Texas Longhorns, why he didn't recruit me and he said: 'Well, Walt, we took a look at you and you weren't any good.' Walt Garrison / Oklahoma State
#25. 'Son, you've got a good engine, but your hands aren't on the steering wheel.' Bobby Bowden / Florida State
#26. 'Football is not a contact sport - it is a collision sport. Dancing is a contact sport.' Duffy Daugherty / Michigan State
#27. After USC lost 51-0 to Notre Dame, his postgame message to his team: 'All those who need showers, take them.' John McKay / USC
#28. 'If lessons are learned in defeat, our team is getting a great education.' Murray Warmath / Minnesota
#29. 'The only qualifications for a lineman are to be big and dumb. To be a back, you only have to be dumb..' Knute Rockne / Notre Dame
#30. 'Oh, we played about like three tons of buzzard puke this afternoon.' Spike Dykes / Texas Tech
#31. 'It isn't necessary to see a good tackle. You can hear it.' Knute Rockne / Notre Dame
#32. 'We live one day at a time and scratch where it itches.' Darrell Royal / Texas
#33. 'We didn't tackle well today but we made up for it by not blocking.' Wilson Matthews / Little Rock Central High School
#34. 'Three things can happen when you throw the ball, and two of them are bad. Darrell Royal / University of Texas
#35. 'I've found that prayers work best when you have big players.' Knute Rockne / Notre Dame
#36. 'Gentlemen, it is better to have died a small boy than to fumble this football.' John Heisman
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Look ahead about an hour and imagine a small boy up in his room trying to take a nap. I hear some crying, which is normal when he doesn't want to take a nap, but I appease him and go check any way. When I walk into his room he is saying, "I'm sorry Mommy that I put the money in my mouth!" Of course I start frantically running my hands all around his bed and under his pillows looking for the dime he was playing with earlier, but it is nowhere to be found. I reluctantly ask Preston if he swallowed the dime and he says in a whimper, "yes." Oh Lord, what to do now!
Expecting the worst we head off to the dr. to have pictures taken of the dime. It had already passed through his stomach and was in his intestines. So now we are on the lookout for that stinkin' dime (no pun intended).
Please see the lovely picture below of my crazy boys insides and the shiny dime just sitting there. ONLY BOYS! Kate would never have done this!
Monday, August 17, 2009
Wednesday, July 29, 2009
The Big Red Machine
Friday, July 17, 2009
(Aunt Mary and Preston playing in the surf)
(Kiddos at Jensen's)
Thursday - I actually got Stacey to go fishing with me! This never happens. Dad, Stacey and I left Jensen's at 7am and ran north 6 miles in the Intercoatal Waterway and I got to prove I really can't throw a castnet......which is alot harder than it looks. But truthfully, I threw it well enough to catch 30+ big pinfish and we headed to Redfish Pass to fish the outgoing tide for snook.
(castnetting is an artform)
Apparently the snook were'nt hungry. But Stacey did catch a mangrove snapper and a catfish.
So we ran to the beach and picked up the kids to watch dolphins which will let you idle right up to them. The kids love watching flipper.
(flipper & son)
I decided since it was very very calm, we would all (Me, Stacey, Kate & Preston) go offshore. We went to a close reef called Pace's Place and anchored. Immediately Kate hooked up something HUGE. My big Star trolling rod almost doubled over as something BIG ran with the bait. I was so proud of her for not dropping the rod....then snap! whatever she hooked must have had teeth because the line broke! Within 15 minutes Stacey caught her first ever Jack Crevalle-----and had a HUGE SMILE!!!
(Jack Crevalle? I think I went to high school with Jack Crevalle!!??)
AND THEN about 2 minutes after Stacey caught her jack, I hooked up on another nice kingfish......THIS TRIP HAS BEEN UNBELIEVABLE AS FAR AS FINDING AND CATCHING OUR OWN FISH!!!!!.
The kids loved riding in the boat all week. We went back to the beach and all played before heading back, swimming in the pool and cooking a big dinner. Dad, Stacey, Mary, Mom & I all stayed up late polishing off Corona's and laughing about a million stories growing up----some I remember----some I don't!!!!
(The perfect boat for the week)
Friday - Not looking forward to leaving, Dad and I made bait again with the castnet and fished Helen's sunken barges by Boca Grande. We caught some nice gag grouper, spanish mackrel, red grouper, and broke off a few fish we never saw. We bagged a nice legal red grouper and headed to the beach. After playing in the sand witht the kids, we regretfully took the boat back to Jensen's and cleaned it thoroughly. Here are a few pics of this great week.....a week we'll all remember for years to come.
(Friday night dinner -Red Grouper)
11 months and we get to come back.....this time with Scott, Deborah, Hunter & Nathan Cummings....our good friends from Frisco, TX.
Happy Birthday again to Mom & Dad......we 3 kids may give you a hard time, but you've earned many great vacations (including this one) for raising us.