Thursday, January 27, 2011
Saturday is the last day of waterfowl season. However, with this huge snowfall of wet sloppy heavy stuff, we may not be able to get out to the goose pits in the fields. That will suck. One of the boys is heading down to the Farm this afternoon and we'll get a report.
Thursday, January 20, 2011
Goose harvest at our Delaware Waterfowl Club this Tuesday. Season is waning so we have to get out while we can. My dog Archie is not really fond of his neoprene camo vest...but it does a good job keeping him warm during a long cold day in the goose pit.
Wednesday, January 19, 2011
The Welterweight whom I manage, Ardrick Butler, is scheduled to fight this weekend at Harrah's Chester casino. Butler is facing Eric Draper from Indianapolis. Interestingly, Draper is a Federal Marshal by day. The evening features several good bouts and it should be an enjoyable night of boxing.
This is the first boxing event staged by Harrah's. If it goes well, I suspect they will make boxing a regular attraction which would be great for the sport in this region.
Tuesday, January 18, 2011
Before I post on yesterday's hunting, I have to mention my son's recent sports story. You see, back in November he was playing in a Lacrosse tournament. Unfortunately, he broke a small bone in his foot in the 3rd game of the tourney. The fracture has now healed and despite missing a good portion of the early wrestling season, he perservered. He went to every practice even though he could not take part. He is now cleared for action. He wrestled-off today and will wrestle Varsity(Middle School) tomorrow in his first match. The photo here is in the 1st period of a match last season right before he pinned his opponent. I will skate out of the office early to catch his match.
Sunday, January 16, 2011
No school for the kids tomorrow. So, I am taking my son down to the Waterfowl Club today. There will be several members and their sons in attendance. Club dinner and play-off football and perhaps a little poker. We will be up before dawn....but getting the boys out of bed at that hour can be a chore.
Since the marsh and river are mostly locked in with ice we will probably only be able to go to the field pits and goose hunt.
Dicks Sporting Goods was having a huge sale on hunting clothes so I purchased a new 1 piece insulated camo coverall for my son.... a steal at $19.99 after 50% off of the already marked down price. He is psyched to have a new rig and more psyched to have a chance to bring his .20 gauge to bear on a locked up goose dropping into our spread....now if only the old man can used his combimned skills of decoy placement, calling and flagging to make that happen...and if the birds are moving. Cross your fingers and perhaps I'll have pictures to post tomorrow night of a beaming 13 year old holding his first goose!
Friday, January 14, 2011
Filson: "Might as well have the best." That tag-line is damn accurate. Filson tin cloth is like Rhino-hide, or Kevlar. Big nasty briars are turned away like 15 years olds at a Go-Go bar. I have a Filson Field Coat that has protected me from the elements as well as prickers, briars and falling shot for years.
The hat pictured above is likewise featured on my mis-shaped melon in the field shot in the last post. I love this hat for waterfowl hunting. Too bad Filson is not making it in Wetlands Camo anymore.
I found this particular hat by accident. Two Summers ago when we were in the Adirondacks, my wife blew a tire on our Suburban. I took the rig to the Tire shop in Saranac Lake for a repair. The guys at the garage said they would have the job done in an hour. So I had some time to kill and wandered over to Blue Line Sports. This Main street shop is an all-purpose small town sporting goods store with lots of hiking and camping gear as well as hockey equipment and fly fishing possibles. As I poked around this retro emporium, I noticed a Filson display stand. Hanging on this "kiosk" were several vests and shirts...but wait..there on the top shelf was Filson "Jones" style or "wild fowl" tin cloth cap. This was an XL...and in the sought after but now apparently unavailable Wetlands Camo pattern.
I nearly careened into a display of fly rods rushing to grab this hat lest some other degenerate waterfowler notice it, buy it, and deprive me of a coveted classic. Since there were only about 6 other people in the store, 2 of them infants, my haste and worry was needless. I bought the stylish and high functioning cap on the spot for an exorbinant price....for indeed..."might as well have the best."
This style of cap has been called "Elmer Fudd-esque" by some.To those critics I say: "Piss off." This hat really is a great alternative to the ball-cap style. First, it sports a small brim so it does not knock askew against the side of blinds when turning one's head scanning low for birds, and the brim does not catch air and fly off when piloting the boat out thru the marsh. The best feature is the thick-as-Hell wool lining and the "tin cloth" exterior. It is warm and impervious to rain, snow and anything else falling from the sky. If weather really gets ugly one can unroll the hat and enjoy the additional protection of the side flaps and face guard.
I was recently in the Smyrna Sporting Goods shop in Delaware buying shells. That joint is like a crack-house for hard-core duck and goose hunters. One fellow patron actually offered to buy my treasured Filson lid...declined.
Sunday I take my son to the Club for duck and goose hunting on Monday since his school is closed for M.L.K. day. Here's hoping for locked up ducks coming into the spread and geese dropping into the field at 25 yards.
Thursday, January 13, 2011
The Ronettes were in their prime before my time. However, I was always a huge fan of "Oldies" including Motown, Doo-Wop and everything in between...from The Temptations to the Mellow Kings and from Smokey Robinson to Gene Chandler or The Del-Vikings. I think I got hooked when I saw "American Grafitti" when I was 10.
On Tuesday when we were Goose hunting we discussed throwing a "Wall of Steel" into the air when the Snow Geese flew over. This immediately brought to mind of Phil Spector and the "Wall of Sound" production technique he made famous.The Ronettes song featured here is a great example of what Spector's "Wall of Sound" production sounded like.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
When I started this Blog it was intended to catalogue the hunting and sporting exploits of my buddies and I. This Blog has now existed for just over a year and a myriad of topics have been explored and I have enjoyed scraping the rust off my non-legal writing. In my profession I write constantly but it is the argument and syllogism that offers no particular creative latitude.
I have been hunting a fair amount lately and have had only sporadic success. Yesterday things began to turn around. You see, when snotty weather is in the offing, watefowlers notice a increase in heart rate. When snow is forecast, waterfowlers can likely experience a veritable arrythmia.
Snow was predicted for Tuesday so I cleared the decks and headed to the hunting Club to pursue one of my favorite quarry: the Canada Goose. Randall, a new member, joined me and Teddy and Dave were already there,having hunted Monday. It is thus time to direct this Blog back to some posts on stuff upon which we turn our shotguns...
Tuesday morning dawned cold but clear and the snow forecast was changed to an afternoon start. We set up a mixed decoy spread of full-body, V-boards and shells and dropped into one of our goose pits to call, flag and wait. The birds were moving and I clipped the big ol' Canada shown above with one shot: 12 ga. 3 inch shell/BB's.
The action slowed and we headed in for a lunch of potato-leek soup and hot corned beef sandwiches.
When we headed back out to the field around 2:30 p.m. there were Canadas meandering around in our decoy spread....a phenomena that seems to happed all too often. I told Randall to get out of the truck, load his gun and see if he could jump shoot them. Normally, it is damn hard to sneak up on wild migratory Canadas. But when they are in a decoy spread, they sometimes stay put, and do not fly because the other geese are not taking off. They do not realize the other geese are plastic and could not "take off" absent an act of God. We are dealing with a bird that has a brain the size of a section of Clementine Orange.
Well, Randall gets within 15 yards, makes a noise to get the birds up and flying...then promptly misses both. I am glad I was still in the truck so he could not hear me laughing. After I hid the truck in the trees and got into the Pit I was far more sympathetic and understanding.
The later afternoon found us staring from the Pit as about 5 thousand Snow Geese landed in our cornfield across the farm. We hoped they would work their way over toward us and they did. As thousands of loud stupid "sky-carp" flew over we slid the roof off the pit and blasted away,each scoring a double and it made a great finish to the hunt.
We picked up our decoys spread and put them away in the dark. As my College and Law School Buddy Jonathan Mark used to say, we hunted from "Can't see to can't see" This was one of his Grandfather's expresions.( Jon is now a Common Pleas Judge in Monroe County after a stint as Mayor of Stroudsburg Pa. He is a top flight hunter and sportsman and an all around great guy.)
After Randall and I enjoyed a celebratory whiskey in the Clubhouse, the precipitation, which had been light throughout the day, now began in earnest. After departing the Club,
the drive up Delaware Route 1 to I-95 was a "white knuckle" affair and a 1 hour trip took 3. I think delaware only has about 3 plow trucks and only 1 guy who knows how to use a plow. When I crossed over to Penna. the roads were much better.
P.S. At the prompting of KSA of "To the Legions of the Lost Ones" Blog, I must mention something about consumption of the harvested game. The Canada goose was "breasted" and taken home. This morning, after a marathon snow shoveling session, I ground the breast meat and it is now simmering on the stove as chili for tonite's dinner. Technically, I call this "Gooken" and white bean chili, as I had to stretch the goose meat with a little ground chicken.
One of the Snow Geee is in the freezer awaiting a trip to the taxidermist as it is a nice specimen and I need one for the wall in my poker room. The other Snow is " a portion for foxes"..litteraly.
Monday, January 10, 2011
Saturday night my son and I had a busy schedule. We were going to see my daughter in her High School Play, then a quick stop for Chinese food, followed by a late night viewing of the movie "The Fighter." Since the Main Line received a bit of snow on Saturday, we elected to take my 4x4 Pick-up for the excursion. I had been duck hunting earlier in the week and as is my habit, I left my waterfowling piece locked under the back seat...I like it handy if I want to jump in the truck and head to the marsh on a whim or a good report on birds coming in.
Since we were going to the High School and park in the lot, I felt it prudent to remove the 12 ga. Remington 1187 Semi-Auto from the vehicle. So, I asked my son as we were leaving" Please grab my shotgun from under the seat and put it in the garage." He laughed and said: " Most kids around here are not asked by their Dads to grab a shotgun..."
After he completed his task, he got in the truck and said: " Ok Dad, I hid your shotgun over by the work-bench...right near the big box of illegal fireworks..."
We both laughed the whole 1 mile trip to the High school parking lot.
P.S. "The Fighter" is a tremendous movie....incredible acting on the part of Christian Bales...and an inspiring true story. It has a great blend of character development, drama, humor and action. This sportsman highly reccomends seeing this in the theater.
P.S.S. The "illegal fireworks" were left over from our New Year's Eve party.
Thursday, January 6, 2011
I love it when one of my kids forwards some photos to me that I had not seen before or had not taken myself. The pictures above are from my middle daughter.I have posted on her before and she just never fails to make me smile or impress me with her drive and energy. The horse in the picture belongs to a friend and boards at a Barn up the street from our house. My daughter takes care of the horse and really loves her. This shot of the horse "Georgia" scratching her head on my kid's hip and making her squeal with laughter is on of my favorites. A kid's laughter caught on film is a nice counter-point to the recent maudlin posts about the death of musicians...
Tuesday, January 4, 2011
We have all heard the expression: "Bad things come in threes." It sadly appears this worn out adage is hauntingly accurate again. On January 1st Jazz Great Charles Fambrough died at the age of 60. I just posted on the passing of James Moody and Sid Simmons. Now this tremendous bassist and son of Philadelphia has passed.
Remember the Righteous Brothers tune "Rock N Roll Heaven" which refers to " a helluva band?" Well, if there is a Jazz Heaven they have a top shelf new trio with the addition of Mr. Fambrough.
I hate the fact that this Blog is looking like a jazz specific Obituary column lately, but these guys were my friends as well as amazing talents.
Back when I owned Chris' Jazz Cafe, I met and became friends with Charles Fambrough, his lovely wife Delores and his kids. Charles was a great Jazz bassist. He played with Art Blakey,McCoy Tyner, the Marsalis boys and had his own bands and produced albums as a leader. Charles was a gentleman who showed up at gigs on time, played to his audience and often brought the band and the audience to a appreciative silence with his Bass solos. I always loved the Jazz Bass as an out front instrument in the vein of Stanley Clark. Charles did this as well as anyone.
Many say that the praise of peers is a good measure of one's professional success. This is what jazz Legend Pat Martino said of Charles:
"There are certain musicians that cannot be referred to as musicians because they transcend the craft," Martino said Monday. "Charles was an artist at the highest level. His resume as a sideman was exceptional. When you heard Charles play, no matter where it was, he filled the house. It was a wave that filled the room."
This is damn high praise coming from Pat.
Whenever Charles played at my joint I would sit with his wife Delores and share a cocktail and stories. After the gig, Charles would join us, drink fruit juice, and simply charm you off the stool.He knew I loved Stanley Clark and Grover Washington Jr. and would offer anecdotes and stories about their music and various recording sessions and tours.
I will miss Charles and the Bass riffs he played, the "wave that filled the room" as Pat says; I will miss the big booming laugh Charles had, and the booming Bass notes he would rip that penetrated right thru your sternum.
Monday, January 3, 2011
Christmas in Vermont was wonderful. We skiied...we ice skated on Christmas day...we snow-mobiled on the day after...we attended Christmas Eve church services at Stowe Community Church...we watched Christmas Story and Christmas in Connecticut...followed it all with a ferry ride across Lake Champlain and a rare Winter visit to the Adirondacks to see our friends on Lake Colby and have a wonderful dinner.
After a Black Tie dinner on New Year's Eve and a day watching the Mummer's strut up Broad street...it is now back to the grind. Back to work and all that entails.
On the Sporting front: My boxer is slated to fight a 6 round bout on January 22 at Harrah's Casino in Chester PA. So we are gearing up for that...and for the last 3 weeks of Waterfowl Season.The semi-hapless Eagles are in the Playoffs. Welcome to 2011 Sports Fans!