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Sunday, June 27, 2010

No fish?

Went flounder fishing at a place called fox hill down in the tidewater area of Virgina, and I have to admit it was very slow. How slow was it well we did not even get a bite!!! Now there was some cobia fishing going an in fact they had a Cobia tourny and bbq that afternoon, try as I might I did not get bbq!!! This place calls it self the Cobia capitol of the world and everything I saw was geared toward cobia. Just getting out to the fishing grounds is a little sketchy, there are markers now but prior to they had PVC poles shoved in the mud. Had a great if not short trip fishing hopefully we will hit it when the bite is on.

Friday, June 25, 2010

60 foot road and Rt 50 claims another one

I just got a call that a good friend of mine was killed today at Rt 50 and 60 foot road. When I was a kid I was involved in a car crash at Walston Switch and Rt. 50, and today another friend is killed just up the highway. He was a fair guy always smiling and was the kind of man who never forgot where he came from. That was the way he was raised, and his momma will be crushed as all mothers would be to hear of such news. In a bit his name will be released and we will all be shocked and rumors will fly, everyone will have an opinion. To me he will always be my Demolay brother, a friend to my wife and I, and someone I am glad I never faced professionally but always as friends, .

Sunday, June 20, 2010

I went to the RC Airshow last weekend and it was hotter than heck but man was it worth it! I saw some killer biplanes and a jet with a real jet engine that was the best. I also got to see a Helicopter crash and burn, which made the trip worth wile for me but not the pilot. Heck if i was not so attention deficit I would attempt to build one of these things! Of course I could not build a basic trainer oh hell no a four engine airplane like the Enola Gay with opening bomb bay doors and heck some fighter escort. See what I mean !!!

Now this is a hunting shack!

This shack is known as an ARK and they were very popular around the turn of the century. Hunters and fishermen would haul these out to where they were fishing and bring them into shallow water or up in the marsh and stay in them during the run. They usually had a couple of bunks, a table and coal stove. Very basic. Sometimes they would raft a half dozen together and make a little shanty town. In the winter hunters would go to them and spend a few days shooting waterfowl and reflecting. I can see where this would be an excellent opportunity to spend a few days out of the house in some relative comfort.

Old boats and hunting rigs

There is not a duck hunter among us that has not dreamed of hunting out of an old rig like these two shown here. A cold winter morning spitting a snow with a thick low cloud cover. The air thick and your breath hanging like a fog, with a dozen hand carved blocks out. And regulations and seasons you could understand. A simpler time to be sure.

Where Chesapeake Retrievers come from

You know that I am always talking about my Chesapeake Bay retriever and today I went over to Saint Michaels for the antique boat show. While walking around my wife found a statue of this dog a Newfounland which is the foundation breed for the Chesapeake, retriever. Two Newfoundland puppies were rescued from a sinking ship, by George Law who rescued the two puppies that he named Sailor and Canton. They were bred to the local dogs that showed a desire to retrieve. Most of the hunting dogs of the day hunted upland game and not waterfowl, meaning they were small in stature and not breed to retrieve in the harsh environment of waterfowl.  Anyone who knows dogs knows that the Chesapeake retriever has no equal as to devotion to their master and the family. Notice the front legs and the feathering of the forelocks and the thick hairy tail, this is the retriever that your grandfather hunted with. Today the aggressive nature and hairy thick double coat has been bred out of the dog and many resemble chocolate labs. As for me and mine I will take the old hard head, just don't get out of your car when you come to my ranch!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

GOLF?

Okay WTF I have never played golf in my life but a friend of mine just gave me a bad ass set of clubs, and I have a friend who wants to take me so i might give it a try. Now I have had both shoulders repaired so I  am a little leary. First I might like it and give up hunting, NOT, or just totally suck that I have no choice but give it up!

Sunday, June 13, 2010

RC Air show

It is hot as the first forty yards of hell today yesterday being hot as at the gates of hell, but I am going to the RC airshow out on Saint Lukes road. This is a great show and you get to see some really great model aircraft flying around. I have always liked airplanes real ones and models having built them as a kid and getting 30 some hours of instruction in a Cessna 150 back in the day, so I am still fascinated by them. Some of these aircraft have large motors and can carry some payload. One thing about RC aircraft is that they always appear to be over powered, jumping from the grass strip fast, flying way to snappy and just appearing fake, then you get to see them up close and personal you realize that the flying part is really secondary. The construction on these models is just awesome and the attention to details is beyond reproach. I will have some pictures of the show later on today so come back for those maybe I can figure out how to post a video or two.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Let's go Hoggin!

Soybeans are up and just the right height to sight groundhogs in. A couple of weeks and it will be hard to see em but right now is perfect. Look for piles of sand in a growing field, usually they eat a circle around the hole, and stay close to that hole. Now hogs are not stupid even if they are roly poly fat, and lumbering so you have to be a little sneaky, not fox hunting  sneaky but sneaky at least. If you can approach with the sun at your back and find a spot where they are actively feeding. get settled in and wait they will pop out of the hole and take a look around, it is important not to move at this time just be still. After he sees it is okay then he will lumber out and 9 times out of 10 will stand up with that classic ground hog silhouette. If you are fast you have a 5 second window to pop em. If you are shooting a 243 a 223 or something like a 204, then you must really be aware of your backstop, shooting from an elevated position and down toward the earth at an angle. Heck even shooting the .17 or a 22 you should follow the above rules anytime anyhow. Now if you are like me I see these fat devils right alongside of the road where they know they are safe. Anyhow shoot safe, be aware of your backstop, and like Mel said in the "Patriot" aim small miss small.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Oil Spill?

If you live under a rock then you are not aware of the massive oil spill going on now in the gulf. But as bad as it would appear it is not the worst. Two other spills have gone on longer one in the bay of Capesche  (sp)  down in Mexico and another in Australia. But this one is on our shores and affecting our citizens. Burning the oil releases toxic fumes, capping so far has been unsuccessful and to make matters worse the majority of the stock holders live in the U.K.! What is the solution? Well first an emergency plan would have been in place as I am sure there was, but somewhere it broke down along the way. Deep sea submarines with very strong mechanical arms that the Russians have would have been another resource to exploit. Every 5 days it is another Exxon Valdez disaster and thousands of people are being affected. Some have asked why the government hasn't stepped in and done something, but my question done what with what? They do not have the expertise to perform such task, they do not own the equipment and it is not the governments problem. Don't buy BP products, how will they ever be able to clean it all up, it is a catch 22 all around. Some are calling this Obamas Katrina, but personally G.W. Bush did not order a hurricane and Obama did not wake up and dedcide to blow an oil well shit just happens. And the real offender is us we the people, in the early 70's we saw it coming and solar took off, people were making alcohol fuel with solar panels and flying air craft with alternative fuels, Then somewhere along the way we lost the path to independence from fossil fuels. Nuclear power plants were no longer constructed alternative fuels went by the wayside, and we became a society of being provided for instead of providing for ourselves. So here we are again in the grip of oil this time on our own shores. Maybe this time we will make the grade.

the THING

here is my VW THING the ultimate in four wheeler action. Of course she is hard to hide being bright yellow but she is a fun car to drive and hunt from. I am wanting a Polaris side by side for the wife and I to drive around in the snow and such and one I can hunt form. I was going to sell her but I am undecided at this point. I have some new seats and original exhaust for her, new tires and fuel pump installed, naturally a tune up and brake job comming on then through the inspection lane for the summer! I am still undecided on what action I am going to take with her but she is very unique and everyone, even those driving Porsches and Lamborghini want to be driving it when they see her.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Local Fishing

Some of my friends are telling me of flounder being in Tangier Sound, but there seems to be few keepers. Of course the ever popular hard head is out there now and shrimp soaked in shedder oil seems to be the ticket. I like to use a squid strip that I have soaked in salt water for a few hours, that turns them super white and makes em tough too. The gulp baits work real well and the artificial bloodworm "fish bites" seem to be the ticket sometimes. Nice thing about them is that they do not require any ice! Now we all know that fishing is best at night or right on the edge of dark. The last 30 mins of the sun on the water  is the ticket to big fish. Big fish come out in low light conditions and begin to search for easy prey. I love fishing the outside portion of the outer wall out of LEWES DE.and have taken many large Rock fish from there. Croker also love to come out at night and salad shrimp will take Horse croker in the evening hours. Of course we all know you don't have to catch fish to enjoy fishing but damn it helps!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

finished and delivered

She is done and delivered! this is the class that built her, my JR's and it was done in about 6 weeks!
These guys worked very hard on this project, and on Friday they will get their reward for their efforts. Notice that they have all of the construction debris cleaned up and squared away. I am very proud of the boys and the quality of work they put forth. I teach more than welding in my class, the students learn how to work also!

Monday, June 7, 2010

Welding project is done!


The smoker is done with the welding part of its construction and now we are turning it over to the owner who will paint it, wire it and finish it out basically for smoking meats. He has some new tires for it and the ones you see here are the ones we had for sand blasting and moving it in and out of the shop. Hopefully the boys learned a lot about fabricating and welding which will help them in the future. We will post some pics after she has been painted and some pig miles on her!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

college for everyone?

Another group of students have graduated and now they to will enter the world of work. In my line of work I have seen two things, all kids will grow up to be adults, and all will go to work. But there are some misconceptions that I think people are buying into on the college work transition. For starters there is some basic information I would like to share, keep in mind these are my own observations first hand and not a skewed government  poll.  Out of 100 High School students when asked who wants to go to college the response is generally 100 %. When asked how much they expect college to cost, they generally have no ideal. when asked how they will  pay for this it is gen a 50 50 split of Mom and Dad or loans.  Out of those 100 students 10% are actually able to enter into a four year college the rest will have to attend remediation classes to get into a community college. The reality of this is that out of the 100 students only 10 are able to enter into a four year course of study, and in reality only 30% or 30 out of 100 will actually make it on to any form of post secondary education (2 or 4 year). Now keep in mind that only 15 of these students will actually graduate from a two or four year course of study. So out of 100 only 15 will actually graduate. Now they have debt, lost wages and added to the tax payer weight by having grant money never to be repaid. But like I said earlier ALL will go to work. So why are we not encouraging our students to go to trade schools, why are we not encouraging our kids to enter into apprenticeships and learn a skill? Is it because we all want our kids to be Doctors or man eating lawyers and not have to work everyday like we do? Lets take a look at some basic wages. A plumber on a house call to fix you leaking faucet or unplug you toilet, maybe install some new fixtures....$60.00 per hour plus a mark up on your parts. Need that piece welded down at the local fab shop, cool $60.00 per hour also. How about putting up that ceiling fan okay $80 each to install. Got to repair that oil field rig and need a saturation diver they are making $800.00 a day  plus extra for saturation work. Point to make here is that we as a society are losing our skilled work force with this ideal that everyone is going to sit in AC everyday and go out for lunch with the crew. We look down on those people who choose to do physical labor everyday as being less educated or worldly, not so. In my lifetime I have worked around the world with the trade, My wife and I both have traveled the entire width and length of the country, seeing our nation and earning some incredible wages as well. Both of us were educated in the public school system, me to weld and she to learn drafting. She was one of the smart kids in school who was discouraged from taking drafting classes in high school, but she did it on her own during study halls, getting employment during the Carter years drawing houses. By the time she graduated high school she had been working two years as a draftsman, was gainfully employed and off the Guidance radar as a college student since she chose to go and learn on her own so to speak. She attended Del Tech and got a degree in Archit. drafting while I was in the military doing my time to learn about welding. When we got married we bought our own home, and entered into the world of work working in Nuclear construction.
Now today I have taken my training and have trained hundreds of people in the welding trade, yes I returned to college when I was 30 something after having becoming a journeyman welder and yes my wife did attend college to learn a trade. We need tradesmen today and I am pleased to say that I have personally directed many students who may have been part of the statistics I referred earlier into skilled craftsmen. Inspectors, Divers, Welders, Nuclear construction, Pipe fitters all of em could have fallen into a world of debt and disappointment if they had chosen another path. I think it is time we started to place some of these graduating students into the trades, like an article I read some time ago, Europe trains their people to go to work we train ours for MacDonalds.