Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Question: How big are your balls?
Answer: Not as big as this guy's.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

She considered that she had created this man out of whole cloth, had thought him up, and she was sure that she could do a better job if she had it to do again. Only once or twice in her life had she ever understood all of him, but the part of him which she knew, she knew intricately and well. No little appetite or pain, no carelessness or meanness in him escaped her; no thought or dream or longing in him ever reached her. And yet several times in her life she had seen the stars.

From The Moon is Down, by John Steinbeck

I love this passage, and this book in fact was overall quite good despite something of a letdown in the ending. It was written about the German occupation of Norway in WWII, and the book was finished well before the war was over so Steinbeck was uninformed about how things would eventually shake out. This no doubt contributed to the ending's cryptic morality statement. Nevertheless, the characterization was magnificent. That last line is the sort of thing I wish I could come up with for my books. It could mean a hundred different things, or it could mean nothing at all. I love it.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Arkansas Trip 2009 Part 3: Fly Fishing!

I had no idea I'd love fly fishing as much as I did. I loved it so much, in fact, that I'm already making plans to take a trip to NY later this summer just for that alone. It's considerably more complex and involved than bait fishing and a lot more fun I thought. The first day we went out it was chilly (see the multiple layers and gloves) and we had to face some wind and rain, but the guide (whose name was Doug) did a good job of getting us in over the fish in the right spots and being patient with me being a total noob at it. Despite my inexperience, my father and I did catch about a dozen fish between us. The picture below shows their approximate size and quality with a few slightly larger and smaller. Rainbow and Brook trout were biting, the Browns and Cuttthroats not so much. Coincidentally, the guide who had taken our family fishing (whose name was Paul) EIGHTEEN YEARS AGO was there and we got to say hello. He recognized my father distantly, but not me because I was twelve the last time we were there

The second day out we waded in, which was calmer and more fun in a different way. It was warmer and a lot easier to cast from a boat that wasn't moving into air with no wind. We didn't catch anything, but it was still a blast.

Arkansas trip 2009 Part II: Easter Egg Hunt and the National Fish Hatchery

Mommy and Grandma organized a full-scale Easter-egg hunt with something like 40+ eggs to find. John had a blast.

Grandpa and Uncle Bob were helping...

John gives us his "Brad Pitt" stare.

Grandma even furnished an awesome easter bag to carry all of his goodies.

Salesville, AK is home to the National Trout Hatchery, in which millions of Brown, Rainbow, Brook, and Cutthroat trout are spawned and raised to stock rivers all over the country. This facility was more impressive than the pictures do justice. The info said that just the cradles (or locks or whatever they call them) have over 20,000 gallons of water moving through them per minute.

Arkansas trip 2009 Part I: The Drive and Branson

John proved how big a boy he's getting to be by entertaining himself over the long drive. Of course, several new toys including a magnadoodle helped...

The Gateway arch in St. Louis, MO.

John shows off his new baseball chops for grandma and grandpa.

A funny little shot I got of John with my cellphone while he sat in the bow of this little rowboat in a mall playground in the Branson, MO mall. He looked just like a Winslow Homer painting. He only sat there for a split second and by some miracle I caught it.

John claps for a pretty decent Willie Nelson look-alike along the streets of Branson.

John rides the mechanical horse (they cost $0.75 now, oddly) outside of Dick's old-time five and dime.

John rides his favorite big red dog, Clifford.

The dancing water fountain in the Branson Landing mall.

Yep, more mechanical rides. This time it was an ice cream truck that sort of freaked him out a little. The first two rides he got off instantly and looked at it as if it were about to explode. The third time he decided to stick with it.

Grandma, Grandpa, and great-uncle Bob.

The Wolf House, the oldest public structure in Arkansas dating back to before the Civil War.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Songs named after girls

This is my other favorite family guy moment, though sadly the sound isn't synched right.