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24 May 2014 – Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

It had been a long time since Cindy or I had been out to the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry and Ember had never been there.  We had a bit of free time and we enjoy good scenery, so we decided to head out and have a good time together :)

24 May 2014 - Antelope!

24 May 2014 – Antelope!

24 May 2014 - Antelope!

24 May 2014 – Antelope!

As I said, there’s a lot of incredible scenery around this part of Utah.  There’s also a great abundance of animals if you keep your head up and your eyes out :wink:

This antelope (pronounced an-tell-uh-pee for the sake of humor) was right by the road and wasn’t spooked by us, but another car did spook him before I could get the camera up to take a shot.  I think these two still turned out pretty decent :cool:

24 May 2014 - Desert wildflowers at the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

24 May 2014 – Desert wildflowers at the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

It is spring out here in the desert, so we’ve been getting some pretty wildflowers :)

24 May 2014 - Preserved dig site at the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

24 May 2014 – Preserved dig site at the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

24 May 2014 - Preserved dig site at the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

24 May 2014 – Preserved dig site at the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

A whole lot of dinosaurs that have come out of this place over the years.  This dig site has been preserved as a way for visitors to see how it’s done.  Yes, all that you see in the two pics above is real :thumb:

24 May 2014 - Our usual view of Ember is from behind as she takes off

24 May 2014 – Our usual view of Ember is from behind as she takes off

24 May 2014 - She seems to be wondering what's taking us so long

24 May 2014 – She seems to be wondering what’s taking us so long

24 May 2014 - Ember running away just before an epic face plant!  Don't worry - She's fine :)

24 May 2014 – Ember running away just before an epic face plant! Don’t worry – She’s fine :)

I couldn’t help but include a few pics including Ember :D  She did really good, but she was scared by a large group of loud kids and by some of the fossils.  I can’t blame her a bit with how little she still is.  I think she had a good time overall :)

24 May 2014 - "Al" the allosaurus at the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

24 May 2014 – “Al” the allosaurus at the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

24 May 2014 - "Al" the allosaurus at the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

24 May 2014 – “Al” the allosaurus at the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

24 May 2014 - "Al" the allosaurus at the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

24 May 2014 – “Al” the allosaurus at the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

Don’t ask me how I got these pics as sharp as I did.  They were hand held with indirect light and no flash.  OK, I cheated on the last one and used a railing as a camera rest :wink:

24 May 2014 - Panorama - View from the visitor's center at the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

24 May 2014 – Panorama – View from the visitor’s center at the Cleveland-Lloyd Dinosaur Quarry

Last, but not least is this panorama stitched from a few pics I took at the back door of the visitor’s center.  If you’re ever in the area, I recommend stopping by.  It’s well worth the drive even if only for the scenery :)

Have a great day, everyone :mrgreen:

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Job Hunting – Again

Well, today was supposed to be a day off.  I was going to play with Ember, fix her breakfast and maybe we could meet up with Cindy for lunch.  Maybe do… Something.

Sadly, it was not to be.  I will not share details here (not many if I wanted to), but suffice it to say that I’m back on the job hunt again and it was not my choice nor was it expected in the least.

Ember is at daycare.  I’m meeting Cindy and her mom for lunch.

And I’m trying not to throw up.

Wish me luck with trying to keep things semi-steady while attempting to reinstate some sort of an income.

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May 2014 – My First Fly Fishing Outfit!

So, I’ve been out at the fishing pond a few times when it was getting late.  The wind had died down to nothing, but the water’s glassy smooth surface was being frequently disturbed from below.  All sorts of trout were coming to the surface to slurp up bugs and a few even jumped quite a ways out of the water!

The fish were rising :cool:

Now, I’ve had a few tools in my tackle for a while that would allow me to target these fish, but I felt I wanted something more…  I’ve seen people up at the Fairgrounds Pond with their fly rods and it just seemed like an interesting and good time.  You’d have to concentrate and push pretty much everything out of your mind for a while to do it right…  Kind of like shooting and motorcycle riding only a lot less expensive :)

Trouble is I’m between jobs and I don’t have much money…

20 May 2014 - My new fly fishing outfit still in the box

20 May 2014 – My new fly fishing outfit still in the box

A thought occurred to me while I was fishing though – I did have some resources.  I thought it over and finally took one of my .22 rifles and some .22LR ammo down to the local pawn shop.  I’m not going to even get into dollar amounts (so don’t ask :wink: ), but I only had to use part of the proceeds from those items to procure this fly rod and reel :)  The list price was $39.95, but I got it for a few dollars less by going through Walmart’s website and doing an in store pickup :thumb:

The listing on Walmart’s website shows a slightly different item than what I got, but the UPC matched.  Click here to see the listing.  The only things it didn’t come with were a spool of tippet material and some flies.  I already have a few flies and tippet material is cheap, so I was good to go :)

24 May 2014 - Markings on my fly rod

24 May 2014 – Markings on my fly rod

Good fishing rods should have some stats printed on them and this one was no exception.  What you see above indicates that this rod is eight feet, six inches long, it’s made for five or six weight fly line, and it comes apart into three pieces.

24 May 2014 - Left side of my fly reel

24 May 2014 – Left side of my fly reel

24 May 2014 - Right side of my fly reel

24 May 2014 – Right side of my fly reel

The reel on a fly rod is usually generally a place to store line you’re not using is is usually pretty simple.  I really don’t get people spending hundreds if not thousands of dollars on a fly reel, but it’s a (mostly) free country.  This reel isn’t close to the best (nor does it need to be), but it should do the trick.  The drag is a click drag and goes both ways.  I could switch from left to right side retrieve, but I think I’m going to leave it alone.  Aside from the time it would take to switch sides, I think I’ll like having my right hand dedicated to casting :)

24 May 2014 - This should give you an idea of how long this rod is :)

24 May 2014 – This should give you an idea of how long this rod is :)

One thing that was kind of unexpected was just how LONG this thing is  :wtf2:  I mean yes, it tells you that it’s eight feet six inches long, but that’s just an abstract thought.  You get to realize this when you assemble the rod.  Then you pick it up and with the butt about four feet (give or take a little) off the ground, that tip is nearly thirteen feet in the air  :shock:

I finally got it assembled and out into the front yard for some casting practice.  I did make a few mistakes and had a few tangles, but overall I think it went as good as or better than can be expected :)  One thing I did was follow the advice I’ve seen all over online regarding flies while practicing.  Most places say use a piece of yarn in place of a fly when practicing so you don’t accidentally hook yourself.  I didn’t have any yarn, so I used a bit of outer sheathing from a piece of blaze orange paracord :cool:  I think I’ll be just fine when I finally get to fish with it :D

Well, that’s all for now, but I’ll be back soon :wink:  Have a great day :mrgreen:

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New Spectacles

In April, I had an eye exam at the VA Sepulveda ACC in the San Fernando Valley.

The ones I had from three years ago are wearing a bit.

These arrived in today’s mail. Titanium Frames……………………………………

new specs

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13 May 2014 – Stress, Tragedy, and Fishing

Folks, I apologize.  I had planned to get this written a while back, but it got set aside and forgotten for a while.  I figured I could fix that and get it published now :wink:

So, back a couple of weeks ago I managed to get a few hours of fishing in and got a few pics to share.

13 May 2014 - Cool old tractor!

13 May 2014 – Cool old tractor!

I love old tractors for some unknown reason and I love seeing them in use.  This one just happened to be crossing the road on my way home from fishing :)

13 May 2014 - Yes, I broke the tip off of one of my fishing rods

13 May 2014 – Yes, I broke the tip off of one of my fishing rods

That stress and tragedy in the title?  Here’s the reason.  I had the windows down a bit and didn’t realize my rod tip had gotten in the way when I rolled them up.  It’s since been repaired and works fine, but I was sad when it happened :wink:

13 May 2014 - Keepers

13 May 2014 – Keepers

Here are the two keepers for that day.  Not too bad :D

13 May 2014 - Filleting in progress

13 May 2014 – Filleting in progress

I personally think I’m getting quite a bit better with my fillet knife lately!  Practice and a good technique found online help :thumb:

That’s all for this post, but have a great day and I’ll see you all later :mrgreen:

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10 May 2014 – Keepers!

10 May 2014 - Keepers!

10 May 2014 – Keepers!

Ya know, things have just been busy and cruddy here.  Between losing my job, job hunting, cutting daycare back to two days a week due to costs, and a whole bunch of nasty stuff going on behind the scenes, I’m about to lose what part of my mind I had left.

Today was the first day in a while that I’d gotten to go fishing.  It was windy at times, but it was good :)  I even caught a couple of decent size fish!  They’re now fillets in my fridge and I look forward to cooking them up tomorrow :thumb:  Both were females and I have quite a bit of eggs from one of them, so I’ll look up some recipes for trout roe :wink:

That’s all I can really say for now, but I’ll be back soon!  Have a great day, everyone :mrgreen:

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3 May 2014 – Finally Fishing Again

3 May 2014 - Keepers

3 May 2014 – Keepers

So, I finally got to go fishing again this evening. The last time I got to go was Friday, April 25. Part of the problem has been weather related (winds gusting to 45 MPH or so) and the other problem has been that things are BUSY with job hunting and other stuff happening behind the scenes.

I’ve got all the fly fishing stuff ready to go (fly & bubble pole, redneck Tenkara rod which is a 10′ telescopic panfish pole), but I got out late today, so I just stuck with the Zebco 33 and some neon yellow garlic Power Eggs.

These were the two I kept and which are now fillets in my refrigerator :wink:  It was GOOD to be out fishing again :cool:  !!!

Have a great day, everyone :mrgreen:

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Fishing – Adding Flies to the Equipment and Skills Inventory

So, I talked in my last post about the frustration of watching a bunch of fish eat off the surface of the water and not having anything useful to target them.  I had plenty of normal lures and jigs and bait and whatnot, but it was only to fish under the surface.  I figured out that I need something for on the surface.

This is what's known as a casting bubble

This is what’s known as a casting bubble

I used this same pic in my last post.  Casting bubbles are useful for many different things in fishing.  The thing I like about them is that they add weight for assistance casting while adding virtually no weight once the line is in the water.  After all, it’s a light bit of plastic with water providing the weight outside of the water.  Get it in the water and all you’re left with is plastic with water inside and out.

So far, I’ve used a bubble like this for help casting with my Dock Demon.  I love that little rod and reel for a bunch of reasons, but it’s never going to be the greatest for casting because the rod is only 30″ from butt to tip.  I’ve used a bubble completely full of water to help cast the line out and then it can lay on the bottom with a couple of split shot sinkers that keep the line on the bottom with floating bait a ways above it.  When a fish bites the biat and runs, it’s is only really pulling on the split shot where weight is concerned :wink:

Casting bubble instructions

Casting bubble instructions

Bubbles like this are pretty simple to use.  There are other cheaper ones that don’t have the rubber that you twist and you just have to use a bobber stop and a bead.  I like these better for the convenience factor :)

The reason I got two bubbles though is for fishing normal flies with bubbles on traditional non-fly fishing gear :)  The video above gives a pretty good idea of how this works.  I figured I’ve got 4 pound line on both my Zebco 11 and my Dock Demon and I could easily add a light weight leader to the 10 pound line on my Zebco 33 if I want to use that.

My first fishing flies!

My first fishing flies!

And here are my first real fishing flies!  I got an assortment of 25 flies by South Bend fishing for under $5 :D  They’re probably not the world’s most awesome flies, but I think they’ll do for now :wink:

Will I ever get into “normal” fly fishing?  Maybe.  We’ll see.  I know it’s not that expensive, but I want to try this out first :thumb:  I’ll be sure to post when I get a chance to try these out :)

That’s all for right now, but I’ll be back before long with more stuff :cool:

Have a great night, everyone :mrgreen:

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Fishing – Thursday Night’s Keeper and Some New Gear

So, it’s been a few days since I’ve posted.  Things happen, I don’t get to do much, don’t get to go fishing… You know the drill :)  Well, I managed to do a bit of fishing last night after work (it’s a 10 minute drive to the fairgrounds pond) and not only did I bring some meat home, but I learned something too :wink:

25 April 2014 - Thursday night's keeper trout

25 April 2014 – Thursday night’s keeper trout

Remember how I said I brought home some meat?  Here he is :)  I caught quite a few others, but they were a bit too small, so they got released to go get bigger.

The other thing that happened is that I found out my terminal tackle selection is seriously lacking.  I have pretty much NOTHING when it comes to fishing flies etc.  The fish started ignoring my garlic Power Eggs.  No, they were more interested in the flies and gnats just above the water.

Now, picture yourself watching fish jump to get insects and only having bait and lures for underwater and deep under.  Yes, it sucked.

25 April 2014 - Joe's Flies - Trout Special

25 April 2014 – Joe’s Flies – Trout Special

With that experience fresh in my mind, I went to look through the fishing stuff at Walmart.  I came across these things and they weren’t hugely expensive :D

25 April 2014 - Joe's Flies - Joe's Favorite

25 April 2014 – Joe’s Flies – Joe’s Favorite

They’re from a company called Joe’s Flies (joesflies.com) and they’re not really flies in the traditional sense of flies.

25 April 2014 - Joe's Flies - Out of the packaging

25 April 2014 – Joe’s Flies – Out of the packaging

They’re more of a super ultralight spinner lure as you can see above.  That said, that front spinner part is made to be a quick detach setup so you can swap the fly part of the rig quickly and easily.  If you just took the spinner off, you’d have a fly with a trailing treble hook.  If you took the treble hook off, you’d have a normal fly.

25 April 2014 - Joe's Flies - Instructions

25 April 2014 – Joe’s Flies – Instructions

Here are the instructions for using these.  As you can see, they’re made to be fished with a normal rod and reel which is nice :)  I’ve got normal 4 pound monofilament on my Dock Demon and my Zebco 11 combo, but it’s pretty easy to add a lighter leader to the Zebco 33 (it’s got 10 pound line) to have three rods and reels to use with these :cool:

Joe’s Flies look like a good way to keep something handy for times when the fish only want to eat off the top, so I’ll keep one with me :)

25 April 2014 - Another casting bubble

25 April 2014 – Another casting bubble

Now, there are times when Joe’s Flies may not be quite what I’m looking for.  That’s where a casting bubble comes in handy.  The one above is my second one (they’re really not that expensive) so I can have a couple of rods set up for something a bit different :thumb:  More on that later :wink:

That’s all for now, but I’ll be back soon!  Have fun, everyone :mrgreen:

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From my Day on USS Ronald Reagan CVN-76 on 9 April

I got the invite from blog bud Christopher Goodrich and his daughter, The WSO, to participate in The Family and Friends Day on the USS Ronald Reagan CVN-76. Needless to say, I jumped at the opportunity.

This was a really good day!

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