30 September 2006


Saturdays.......I love Saturdays.
It was cold and rainy this morning.
My wife didn't want me to go paddling alone - she was worried about me.:)
So I grabbed my cameras, and when for a drive.
Flowers beside the trail.

The trail.

Sand Hill Cranes.

The Grand River flowing through downtown Jackson, Mi. (Hint:You have to try very hard to keep the "urban" out of the frame.)

Fall color.

The old state prison.

17 September 2006


Paddle by your refuge.

Yeah, I set the alarm and got up early on my day off.

Yep, loaded the boat and drove an hour and a half, one way.

It was all going really well, until I showed up at the registration desk. That's when it hit me. There were about four times as many people as I had expected, and it looked like a three ring circus in the staging area and launch site. I don't do well with crowds, and I started feeling really anxious. I stepped back, and then went for a walk around the park, trying to calm down, and to let the crush at the desk let up a bit.

Big water spooks me as well, and the wind kept building.

Paddling with strangers kinda scares me too.

I know, they are all just excuses, but I freaked out anyway. I kept telling myself, that these are my kinda people, but sometimes it is easier to just hide behind the camera.

At least the pictures turned out well.

No. I didn't go paddle.

06 September 2006

Hunting Season

My dad found some old pictures, and had my brother scan them. We can only identify a few people in some of them though. My dad's uncle Charlie (my great-uncle) is the one on the left. He lived to be an old man, 91 or 92. He passed away in December of 2003.

I can remember the stories that various family members used to tell. It seems Charlie was the one who had to be the dog, when they went hunting without a dog. He would always be the one who had to slog through all of the dense cover to jump the birds out, so everyone else got to do the shooting. It would appear by this photo that he did infact get a bird once in awhile too. Dad told me that one time, when he was hunting with uncle Charlie, that they jumped a rooster pheasant, and my dad shot too quickly and missed, leaving him with an empty shotgun requiring reloading. He watched uncle Charlie take his time turning, and then carefully mount the shotgun to his shoulder, and then take careful aim and swing the correct amount of "lead", and only after my dad was sure that the rooster was too far out of range did uncle Charlie fire. Dad said it was so far away, that it took a second for the shot to cover the distance, before the pheasant was knocked end for end to the ground.

The last year of uncle Charlie's life he spent in a nursing home. It was a very nice nursing home, with no more than eight patients at the facility, the patient to staff ratio was never more than 3 to 1. Good old fashioned home cooking for meals, he said the food was his favorite part, and he even gained a few pounds while he was there. The family used to spread out our visit times, so he got a visitor almost every day. My day was Saturday mornings. We used to watch the hunting shows on cable TV, and he would ask me if I saw any pheasants or deer in the past week. Of course I always had a wildlife report for him each week.

I saw a 6-point buck running next to Fisher's cornfield along Wellsville hwy last Saturday. Not a big buck, but a "shooter".

01 September 2006

Dental Work Update

Hey, it only took eight months. I am finally done with my extensive dental work. It turns out that I was able to leave the lower wisdom teeth in. They are not causing me any problems, and removing them now may introduce new problems. All of my cavities, and old silver fillings that were deteriorating have been fixed. My upper wisdom teeth have been removed, without complications.

What you see above is my new crown, just before it was cemented in. The crown was the last item, and it still feels a little funny yet, but I am getting used to it. This tooth has been broken for several years now, and I lost a large chunk off of it about a year ago, so having a full tooth back again, is a strange sensation. My dentist referred to the root as being viable. That means that I still have a hot nerve, and that the tooth was not a total loss. What it also means is that it hurt like hell when she put the crown with cement on the post on the final time. It feels a lot better now.

Just prior to having my upper wisdom teeth pulled a month ago, I broke a decayed chunk off one of them as well, and it tore my cheek up for a couple of days, until I got tired of it and started wiggling it a bunch with my finger. I was actually out paddling in my kayak, when I had decided that I had had enough, so while sitting in my kayak, in the middle of the lake, I started pushing on that wisdom tooth with my finger again, hard enough this time to break the offending jagged piece off, further gaining me a lot of relief. I guess in retrospect, doing this on shore may have been at least a little more intelligent.

I think I am going to be a lot more diligent about seeing the dentist on a frequent and regular basis.

Live and learn.