Thursday, September 29, 2011

Nervous Energy

"Sleeping Elephant"

“If you get to Sleeping Elephant you’ve gone too far, but if you don’t get to the Kinnikinic Store you’re not quite there”. Advice I received from the easily excited shop employee, as he restocked a dwindling supply of streamer hooks. This type of advice is given in such a manner that both heightens your sense of curiosity, but also makes you intriguingly suspicious. So like any fly fisherman worth his or her salt, the plan was made, and the run up the canyon was set.

I hadn’t been fishing particularly well as of late, but with some friends coming into town this weekend, I felt the need to go scout some water before their arrival. And seeking redemption from my last “guiding” experience, the pressure of putting others on fish has slowly been building over the past week or so. So as surely as these exploits will be written about, I do not want to be the one who has their invite “lost in the mail” for future outings.

The changing season could be felt as the soft autumn wind brushed the tops of the knee high grass.  And taking notice of the leaves that had started to change from green to gold, I walked in harmony with both wind and magic. The meadow opened up before me, embracing me, guiding me to a river I thought I knew. So, like a college freshman returning home for Thanksgiving, I walked through its doors. Expecting things to be the same, but wary of the time away.

The size 10 Dave’s Hopper hung up in the grass on the far bank for a split second before it fell with a subtle splash inches from the water’s edge.  The momentary pause of the faux bug was the last look I got before an angry swirl engulfed the fly.

Laughing…I set the hook.

Friday, September 23, 2011

High Hopes

There has been the unmistakable sound of crickets reverberating off the canyon walls of “Up the Poudre” lately. This has been in large part due to the combination of Wine Fest last weekend, and a peculiar ride on a little black critter with a white stripe running down its back.  Not that I don’t mind writing about a good skunking now and again, but sometimes it’s easier to put the pen down and check out for a little bit. So as I try to gain some perspective on my failings as a fisherman, the weekend has me anxious to get this funny smell off my back. 

It’s never hard to have delusions of grandeur before a trip. And driving along the banks of the river, both strategy and excitement take hold. It will be a great day, I know it. My casts will be perfect. The fish will play along, and the wildlife will be dancing and frolicking in the meadows cheering me on. 

The car ride home however, is the more important benchmark. Success or failure, fish or no fish, it’s the true reality of the day just spent. On certain days the smile says it all. And on others, the drive home is the walk of shame you (I) had hoped to avoid. It must have been the flies.

So as the weekend is a long 6 hours away, I have hopes of big things to come. And no matter what the outcome, there is a bottle of wine awaiting my return.


Sunday, September 11, 2011

Early May

I wanted to write something about today, but words somehow fell short as they often do when faced with something much bigger than oneself. So on a subject that is much heavier than this blog, I will let the words of my cousin Doug do the talking.


As news of Osama bin Laden's death began rippling its way through various news pipes late last night, many were surprised to learn that the ever-elusive terrorist leader had been holed up not in a far-flung, desolate cave, but in a nice house in a well-to-do suburb outside of Islamabad.

I'd been asleep when the news broke last night but my wife woke me up early this morning as she was getting ready for work, saying, "They killed bin Laden." She said it with relatively little inflection, as was appropriate. (More on See photos of bin Laden's family album)

When your last name begins with two A's you have a tendency to turn up towards the top of many an alphabetical list, and my family has the cheerless honor of claiming the top spot on the list of September 11th victims.

Osama bin Laden killed my cousin, Gordy.

So my wife said bin Laden was dead, matter of fact-ly, because she knows that I don't like watching, hearing or reading news about this subject. I especially can't stand when 9/11 rolls around every year and all the news outlets run faux-patriotic remembrances, showing footage of the plane hitting the second tower directly where I always imagine my cousin was standing as his soul left his body.

I knew I'd be expected to tie some sort of technology angle into the story today and as I've never actually written about 9/11 or bin Laden in a professional capacity, I spent most of the morning devising ways to avoid covering the subject entirely. "This has nothing to do with technology," I've been telling myself. And it doesn't, really, but news is news and I have to drag big news into my wheelhouse when possible, whether it affects me or not.

I've always loved technology. It's been an interest, a hobby and a career—the career part is still surreal to me. Technology's always been somewhat of a crutch, too. If I want to relax, I'll read about technology. If I want to blow off some steam, I'll play video games. If I want to create something, have fun, find a solution to a problem, look up an old friend—I use technology. And just like an old friend, it's always been there for me. (More on See the top 10 defining moments of the post 9/11 era)

So in an odd way, it's fitting to me that bin Laden's last moments may have been brought about by his decision to distance himself from something I love so much. He stopped using satellite phones years ago, and even his reliance on video messages eventually became audio-only affairs.

Then as TIME reported early this morning, intelligence officials were tipped to bin Laden's suburban mansion hideout "after noting the compound had few electronic links to the outside world." And in a world submerged in technology—some of which is only affordable to people who live in suburban mansions—that had to be a big, bright red flag.

I take no joy in bin Laden's death. It is what it is. The world may be a safer place because of it or it may not. If it is, that's good. My aunt says this brings finality and closure, too, which is important since she and her immediate family are most directly affected by all this. And I apologize for making myself a part of the story—that's generally a big no-no—but I took the liberty of hiding it under a dull headline half-hoping people would skip over it as I'd skip over it myself, albeit for different reasons entirely.

Here is a link to the article you just read:

*Doug is a contributing writer to Time Online and writes primarily for their "Techland" Page. He would probably cringe at how I am describing what he does, but I know he loves it, so you should check it out. He's incredibly talented, I promise you that.

Friday, September 9, 2011

Blue and Orange...New Colors

As the 2011 NFL draft came to a close, I was not prepared for the feeling of sadness I felt for my then favorite team the Minnesota Vikings. Not just because I felt they had let a few things slip through the cracks on draft night, but rather, that I had been disappointed long enough by the same team. It was shortly after the draft, that I had reached out to the blogging community and asked for some help. I was in search of a new team.

You may have noticed that the poll question that had adorned the right side of the page for last 130 days is now gone. The poll question was, “Which NFL team should Sanders become a Superfan of?” So with much excitement, the verdict is in.  Out of the 52 votes; 14 went to the Denver Broncos, there were 5 votes to remain a loyalist to the Minnesota Vikings, and 5 votes for the Philadelphia Eagles. The rest of the votes were spread thin over the rest of the league.The fans have spoken.

So as the 2011 NFL season kicked off last night, I am proud to say, “Go Broncos!” 

Does anyone know where I can get an Eric Decker jersey?

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

A Fall Poem

In the change a quiet song plays
Washing water blankets early autumn notes
A colorful display played through these hills
The wind it cools new life old
In a minute the song plays out
As the colors fall from their lofty perch
A reflection into unwritten things
Takes me home, brings me peace