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March 27, 2012 / flogginwater

It’s Like a Kick in the Junk

Life is sometimes nice, sometimes it’s a bitch, and sometimes that bitch is wearing pointed toe shoes, and she loves kicking you right in the junk.

My old man was hospitalized again yesterday – taken by ambulance again. This time the doctors think there really might be something wrong. He’s coughing up blood, along with all the other same symptoms he’s had. I guess he’s coughed up blood off and on for a while – but hasn’t said much about it to me – which is odd because I hear about all of his other symptoms constantly from him.

So they say he’ll be in a minimum or 3 or 4 days, maybe more. He’s retaining a couple *gallons* of fluid – 22 lbs worth (so if water weighs 8 lbs per gallon, I guess that’s almost 3 gallons, right?). His legs were swollen pretty bad. I’m not sure how they figure he’s got 22lbs of excess water, but they’re the medical magicians, right?

He’s not getting any better, he’s getting worse, almost by the day it seems. While he hasn’t said it, and my sister (the annoying one – who he is constantly with anymore) won’t say it – but I honestly think the old man has late stage cancer. Probably lung cancer, given the blood he’s coughing up. My father in law pointed out that he had all the same symptoms when he was battling cancer before (my father in law has fought it off two times, and had a couple other scares).

Dad used to be very much into wood working. When I was a kid, all of his free time was spent in the wood shop, building this or that – everything from intricate little music boxes in the form of miniature grand pianos, to full floor to ceiling book cases, roll top desks, entertainment centers, and a boat. Dad spent a lot of time cutting and sanding and tooling wood, without wearing a face mask. He would spray on the clear coat finishes sometimes without wearing a respirator. Sometimes he’d sand those finishes without wearing one. Couple that with the fact that he smoked for half of his life (he’d quit by the time I was around, but then again, he was in his 50’s when I was born – and that adds up to a good chance at lung cancer or respiratory problems.

But then again, his blood ox levels still haven’t fallen below 90%, or at least that’s what I keep hearing. So who knows? He’s currently under the care of the cardiac care unit at the local hospital – because of all the excess fluid, and they’re also saying (again) that they think he has congestive heart failure. That’s a weird damn term anyway – because it sounds worse than it is, and it has as much to do with the lungs I guess, as it does the heart. My mom had been diagnosed with congestive heart failure for 3 years (or possibly more, I don’t quite remember exactly when she was diagnosed) before she finally passed away. I guess with that form of heart failure, fluid gets pumped into your lungs – your body basically gives itself pneumonia or something.

They were supposed to run a scope down his lungs today to see how things looked. Of course he’s already had X-rays done – but I the docs can tell more from actual color pictures than they can some weirdass greenish gray outlines of the X-ray, so more power to ’em.

I really hate to say it, but I’m afraid my old man won’t be with us come summer – unless there’s a radical change in his condition. I’ve watched him slowly getting worse ever since mom died. He had heart problems and was hospitalized himself 3 weeks before she went – spending a decade (all of his 70’s) being her primary care person took it’s toll. After she died – which was followed by the death of one of his biological sons almost a month to the day later – took a toll on him. I’ve watched him grow old in front of me.

When he was in his 60’s and 70’s – you couldn’t tell he was that old – he looked like he was in his 50’s. He was big and strong. He got shit done when shit needed done. He wasn’t an old man. Then, almost as if a turbo switch was hit – when mom was living out her last couple months – his age really caught up with him. He started loosing weight, he started getting physically weaker, bathroom trips became more frequent, he lost muscle mass…

And here in the last couple weeks, he’s taken to using a walker, and ordering an oxygen machine. He gets winded walking 10 paces. This is a man who used to regularly ride 5-10 miles a day on a bicycle for exercise. My old man was a drill instructor in the air force, a cop, and a prison guard before he retired and drove a school bus for another 20 years in retirement. That was another big blow to him – when the doctor told him he couldn’t drive – anything – for at least 6 months if his condition didn’t get better. He had to quit driving a bus mid-school year. He’s literally driven two generations of children to school – there were a number of parents whose children he drove recently, who themselves rode his bus as children. He got cards and candy and full size cakes from these folks on the holidays. That’s all over with.

It hurts to see him deteriorate like this – to regress from a strong healthy man into a frail old man almost overnight. His birthday is one month from today, on April 27th. He’ll be 83 years old. I hope he’s able to spend that day here at home at least – and not in some damn hospital bed.

I still haven’t heard a damn thing out of any of the jobs I’ve been applying for yet either – which just adds to the stress. I’ve had to put the boat my dad built up for sale – but there’s been no calls on it. I don’t want to have to put my little lake boat up for sale yet – but it might come to that too if shit doesn’t change soon.

Sometimes I really wish I could go back in time and be a kid again and not have to deal with all the crap that comes with being an adult. To fill my days with school, or playtime – to get to hang out with my old man when he was younger and strong and able and willing to go fishing. Growing older sucks.

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March 23, 2012 / flogginwater

Word Press Trial Run

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Welcome to Floggin’ Water : Word Press Edition. I’m Mark – proprietor of this little part of the internets. The WP Edition of Floggin’ Water was created when I was contemplating a change from the original Blogspot version which can be found:

 

http://waterfloggin.blogspot.com

 

You can follow us here – or better yet, follow us here AND on Blogger. Floggin Water still might wind up here at WordPress as our main home – but it might be a while. I’m still learning the WP interface and tools – and honestly, Blogger is better for Newbs (even though I’ve been blogging actively for over a year, and longer than that if you count my assorted non-fishing journals I’ve had online at one time or another)

Thanks for dropping by – and a pre-emptive thanks for following Floggin’ Water.

March 23, 2012 / flogginwater

200

This is my 200th post on Floggin’ Water. Jebezuz. The blog is a bit over a year old now – and in a way I’m kind of sad to see that there’s only 51 people out there who will admit to reading this blog – or only 51 people out there who have read it. But I guess the message is getting out regardless. And really – how many people could read the drivel that pours from my head into my keyboard and out onto the great wide intarwebz anyway?

I snuck out for an hour tonight to try a pond that just opened to fishing this week. They built the damn thing about a decade ago – but it’s always been posted no trespassing/no fishing. Then this week ODFW dumped a thousand trout in there and it officially opened for business.

I guess the parks department couldn’t bring themselves to say outright that they only intended the pond for disabled folks, old folks, and children – it’s technically open to everyone, but there was a sign stating “Fishing allowed from this sign to the steps 300′ beyond ONLY” – a sign that I didn’t see for the first 45 minutes I was there. And they didn’t bother posting any other signage indicating the open/closed areas. Ohwell.

I didn’t get anything other than an untanglable leader (one of my furled leaders, no less) after weaksaucing a cast just as a tuft of wind hit me. It blew the leader backward, hit the rod, and managed the knot from hell. First time I’ve never been able to pick out a knot from a furled leader. Ohwell, I’ll just make some more eventually….

I did take 2 rods with me though – the LSi 6 weight with the furled leader – and my Wright & McGill 2 weight. Yeah, drastically different. I was basically hoping to use the 6 to find the fish, then switch to the lighter rod to see how it would do – if the fish were cooperative anyway. They weren’t. I did break the glass bead off one of my new wirebuggers. Now it looks funny.

The 2 weight casts like a damn dream though! It did anything I could possibly ask of a rod so light – at least when using a WF3 line. I left the double taper at home, because it’s been kinda breezy today. I didn’t even notice the weight of the Pfleuger 1494 while casting. I was pumping out 35′ casts pretty easily – overhead or sidearm style. It also roll cast much, much better than I expected for such a light rod. I’m really, really, really looking forward to more serious fishing with this rod – I envision it becoming my favorite light rod to fish with. We need 65 degree air and 60 degree water now, so the bluegill will move in shallow and get their feedbag on, and start their spawn.

I also got the flies from one of the fly swaps I’ve been participating in today – some really talented tiers took part. Aside from getting one monolithic dry fly intended for fishing the mythical Stonefly Hatch on the Deschutes, I was the only one who tied a dry fly. Everyone else tied up some amazing bead head nymph patterns.

I hope Owl Jones got the flies for my swap in tact. I’m anxiously awaiting to see everyone else’s foamy creations. Bluegillin’ like a boss, I say!

In more sad news – I got another denial letter today – from one of the corrections jobs I applied for. Kind of took the air out of my sails again. Sometimes I wonder if I’m ever going to land something more than a dead end job, which, even those right now are eluding me. I applied for 4 more jobs today – including one as a “Decedent Removal Technician” – in other words, the dude who comes in and removes dead bodies from homes and takes them to funeral homes for processing. It’s kind of a weird job – but it pays $11 an hour to start. And I guess it’s a job that’s always in demand, because people are always dying.

So this is my weird 200th post. Enjoy!

March 22, 2012 / flogginwater

I need to fish – soon

Or I’m gonna explode.

Today was just shitty. I was really hoping for a good day – but it wasn’t. Woke up to very annoying family visiting my dad – for the 5th day in a row. And every door in the house standing wide open. It snowed last night. It was fucking cold this morning.

Sister really needs to go back to work. She’s been over every day, for the better part of the day. I can’t stand her. My wife can’t stand her. We can’t stand her annoying damn daughter, the daughter’s baby (who whines and cries about 10x what our boy does), or the baby’s alleged sperm donor. Have I mentioned before, that I hate 80% of my family? If you couldn’t guess, the throng that keeps coming over is part of the 80%.

As I sat down and fed my son his breakfast, my niece pops off “your batteries got knocked over and all the acid leaked out” – referring to the deep cycle battery for my trolling motor. The brand new, used one god damned time battery that, last I saw, was perfectly upright on the floor of the shop yesterday. The girl is 19, with the mentality of a 13 year old. She wouldn’t fess up to knocking it over – but someone es’plain to me how a 40lb battery winds up on it’s side, spilling battery acid out, all by itself?

I was pissed. More so, because I didn’t have the cash to replace the damn battery. My old man offered to replace it – likely because he knew the girl’s story was complete bullshit (“I just found it that way”) and because she’s his little princess, and he is always bailing her ass out. She pops off “you can always take it back and tell them it doesn’t work – I did that with my car battery”. I guess defrauding a store is OK with her. I took the now-useless battery back to the store, sure that they wouldn’t actually warranty it. I told them what happened. The manager, unsurprisingly, says “we don’t warranty batteries that are damaged negligently.” That’s cool with me, at least I’ve got the empty battery to return as a core.

Just as I was getting ready to leave – my old man decided he needed to go to the ER, saying he couldn’t breathe. Annoying sister tells him to go by ambulance (again. Third time in two weeks. Fire department and ambulance crew are getting to know the way to our house very well.) Dad can’t sleep on his back or side lately – he thinks he’s suffocating. Has to be sitting in a chair with a fan blowing on his face. Docs have told him he’s just having anxiety attacks. Typical 82 year old man, he says they’re wrong “what do I have to have anxiety over?” They have poked, prodded, taken blood, taken piss test, done X-rays, CAT scans, and just about everything else. He gets a different answer every time he goes, but the same basic thing they say is “we can’t find anything actually wrong with you, except that you’re getting older”. Last week he started using a walker. This week he thinks he needs to buy an oxygen condenser. The old man keeps swinging between demanding every heater in the house be on (4 of them) and set to 80 degrees – to having all the doors open lately because he says he can’t breathe unless he’s in cold air. This is going to be great for the power company, I’m sure. Got to do our part for Global Warming too, but hey, I’m all for global warming at this point – it’d mean the lakes warm up faster and I can actually start fishing for panfish again. It’s officially spring, it’s time for this snow BS to GTFO and let the sun shine, shine, shine.

Then I had to root through my bin-o-documents and hunt up some financial information from a few years ago, so I could complete a background packet for an employer. YAY. And of course, when I sat down to finish the background packet (which is done online) – the computer was having issues.

The baby is teething and thus cranky in his own way today.

I need to fish. Soon. I need a job. Soon. We need to move the fuck away from the annoying parts of the family, and not look back. I am really, seriously hoping that the federal job comes through and we wind up moving to Texas or Louisiana and put a couple thousand miles between us and the drama-llama whipping family, and this crappy cold weather. Bring on the sun, the warm water, and everything that goes with it.

March 20, 2012 / flogginwater

Buwangomania!

Okay, that’s not a word – until now. I invented it. Can I trademark that? I think I’m gonna trademark that. Or copyright it or something. Like Charlie Sheen and “Tiger blood” or something.

Aside from post-whoring out gear reviews and previews, and tellin ya’ll what my ultimate skeer-fest is in the woods – I’ve been trying to busy myself. This is the longest period of unemployment I’ve had since 2004. The bank account isn’t looking terribly happy. The stress of not having steady income and needing it isn’t doing me any favors at the moment. If it weren’t for the fact that my nephew was forking out the gas money to go fishing – I wouldn’t even have gone the last couple times I went.

Fly tying is a good way to get my mind off the bad things and just get into a happy zone for a while, since I don’t have a pond in my back yard to chase fish around on.

I’ve also occupied myself with a couple other small projects – like finally building up a good lake/boat fly box, banging out the gear reviews I promised long time back, and other less exciting stuff.

So have a look at my home-made boat fly box – total cost for the box, the slot foam, and the magnet sheet were $12 or so – or about $30 less than the cheapest box of it’s kind I’ve seen.

Before:

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After:

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We’ll see how it holds up – worst case scenario is I gotta glue stuff in there better.

And I worked up some new woolly bugger variants – I call ’em Wire Buggers – they forego the traditional chenille or dubbed bodies you see on most buggers, along with the wire ribbing – the body itself IS colored wire. I used a sparse, dry fly saddle for the hackle and an orange glass bead to simulate an egg for the bugger to eat.

The brown dudes got some nifty reverse antennae made from variegated live rubber.

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They should catch some big feesh.