Saturday, July 24, 2010

Fishing or not

To leave, or not to leave, That is the question.

The motor home is packed, the lot is reserved, the fishing boat is hooked up and I'm ready to go. The storms are moving in and if I know what's good for me I'll put everything back into the garage and settle down to read a good book instead of going on my long anticipated, weekend fishing trip. 100% chance of hail and high winds, lightning and flood warnings abound, even a tornado or two have popped up the last few days. Why do I continuously watch out the window for a break in the weather? Do I think that somehow in His busy day God will change the forecast just for me? Of course I do! I'm a true fisherman. It's the optimism by which we live. Each and every time we toss that line into the water we actually believe there is a trophy lunker fish waiting just below the surface. It's only a short distance of thought to switch over to a miracle like changing the weather isn't it?

No, I won't be going this weekend after all. Not a big deal, I'll just make it another weekend instead. Where I go, the fish are always biting. I've learned long ago to be a flexible person. Flexible is the standard for survival and sanity in a state like Michigan where the weather changes constantly from one extreme to another. I would probably be out on the water already except for the lightning. Standing on the bow of a boat, out in the middle of a lake, pointing a fishing rod skyward when lightning decides to strike is not the brightest of ideas is it? Even though, in hopes of being there when that trophy fish bites, the urge still exists to battle the elements. If you fish you understand I am sure. It's all in being there.

So, I will watch the weather until the sun goes down anyway. Tomorrow I'll put all that fishing stuff away until another day. All, except one pole which I'll take to a local pond and catch what I can. Some fishermen don't fish unless it's for a particular species, bass, pike, crappie, whatever. Not me, I fish, period. As a matter of fact, if this storm continues too long, my neighbor that has an aquarium in his living room best not invite me over and leave me unattended by that aquarium. I wonder if those fighting fish really fight all that well?...................

Friday, July 23, 2010

Competing in little known sports

"Competitive Cheer Leading" has been making the headlines lately right along with "Competitive Eating." I rank those two sports right up there with competitive Poker and Chess for pure excitement. Realizing that this is simply my opinion and there may or may not be anyone else agreeing with me. As much as I enjoy car shows, chock full of customized and restored vehicles of all shapes and models representing hours and hours of labor and thousands upon thousands of dollars, I'm not sure I'd call the competition an exciting sport. Only speaking as an observer of course. I figure, if you want to do something and do it well you must do it to please yourself, not the observer. But then again, if you want to get awards and collect money for it you have to then please the observer too.

Competition can be intense in any of those activities but many times it's not as obvious to every observer. Although this cheerleading can get pretty rough and tumble and I admire the participants. It is not my intention to demean any particular competition here, you can't argue with a massive audience. However, certain elements of the competitive spirit escape me sometimes. It's sort of obvious why mini bikini beach volleyball is popular, even with the sound turned down, but poker? A bunch of players sit around a table pushing out chips and making faces at each other. Competitive eating on the other hand always holds out hope for someone overindulging and throwing up. I have a tremendous amount of admiration for anyone that can compete in the game of chess, but once again as an observer it's not my cup of tea. Golf is on the fringe here, kind of close with Cricket when it comes to my attention. At least competitive barbecuing has the added benefit of food for the judges. I have noticed that the popularity of legitimate competitive combined beer drinking and jart throwing is slowing though.

At a few campgrounds and church picnics I've found competitive horseshoes as usual but coming up in the ranks is competitive ladderball and washer throwing. I went to a couple association picnics and watched women throw rolling pins at cardboard images of their husbands. Perhaps there is no end to what we can define as competitive. Some activities that pop into my head are: sewing, carpet cleaning, varnishing, window washing, shoelace tying, remote channel changing, computer booting etc. etc. I wonder if these types of competition are becoming popular because so little competition is allowed on the school playgrounds these days and people thirst for competition in order to find out where they excel? That's just a random thought, of course. You know me and my random thoughts don't you? I can certainly compete on a professional level with random thoughts. Wonder which channel it's on?...........Joe

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Kindergarten and the blame game

Who did it? Who's responsible? I'm totally innocent! They made me do it! Sound familiar? Right out of the kindergarten hand book: When caught red handed, find someone else to blame. There is a lot of that going around lately.

I just finished reading, for the second or third time "All I really Need To Know I Learned In Kindergarten, by author Robert Fulghum. It was published about 20 years ago, and may not be in print anymore. Kind of boring reading actually but still has some informative stuff in it along with a chuckle or two. It's spattered with little bits of wisdom from the ages: Play fair, don't hit people, flush, wash your hands, share, put things back and more, all good rules to live by. But there are other, less acceptable things we learned back then too, When you do something wrong forget it immediately and blame someone else, Cry and whine when you think someone doesn't share with you, Take what you can get. Most of us lose the unacceptable rules as we get older, some of us don't.

The news is filled with such things as denial, blame, whining and crying lately. From politics to business and literally all of life people are hanging onto those silly childish, kindergarten corruptions. Big oil says it's not their fault, government officials say it's not their fault, people that drive gasoline powered vehicles say it's not their fault and right on down the line. A bill was defeated concerning the extension of unemployment benefits, one party says it was the other party's fault, the other party says it was not, people unemployed for two or more years were going to lose their benefits because no one could agree on where the money was going to come from. Another blame game. "Not me!" "Not me!"

We live in an exciting time. Not a particularly fun or easy time but exciting never-the-less. It won't be any less exciting if some of us start taking responsibility for our own actions will it? I think it will become a bit more fun and possibly easier because we won't be so busy pointing fingers. My finger is getting a little sore anyway.............Joe
Authors Blogs Literature Blogs - Blog Top Sites Literature Blogs - Blog Top  Sites