Wednesday, October 19, 2011

4 Days Until Las Vegas

Christina leaves today to go to Las Vegas for a conference.  I would be a little jealous as I love Vegas.  However, I will be leaving Sunday for Las Vegas.  It's funny how every time I spell Las Vegas it comes out in my head LAAASS VEEEGAAAS in a loud rumbly voice.

I was going to be attending the KU - K-State game on Saturday but the person I was going with cannot get off work.  I was going to be a little tight on cash for both trips so it's o.k. that we're not going to Lawrence.  I would love to see the Cats play while they are doing so well this year.

I will be meeting a buddy from Ohio in Vegas and got a Las Vegas advisor coupon book for our trip.  It has all kinds of 2 for 1 coupons for buffets, along with show discounts and slot play coupons.  One of the tickets I am excited about is the 2 for 1 buffet at Rio's All World Buffet.  I've been wanting to try it for a long time.  So much for my weight loss next week.  I'll have to run a lot more when I get back.

I'm going to try to hit the 5th annual Caesar's palace poker classic on Monday for a 130.00 buy in no limit holdem event.  It might be a little hard since I'm arriving late Sunday night and will want to experience Vegas right away.  Hopefully I can get to bed a few hours after I get there and arrive early to register for the tournament.  I've been wanting to get in a big live tournament for a while.  This one should have a good turnout.

The rest of the time we will be playing smaller tournaments and checking out some of the casino's that have opened since we were there several years ago.

Maybe when I get back I can sneak off to Anthony lake for a couple bank fishing trips before I call it an end to my fishing season. 

Pheasant season will be starting soon.  It looks like the pheasant population is down around here and around Mom and Dad's.  It has been so good the last few years.  The lack of water and bugs has really hurt the population this year.  I still look forward to getting out and walking a few fields with Dad.  I just want a few pheasants to smoke and fry.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Guests This Weekend

This weekend was great!  The weather was perfect, we had good company and a lot of housewarming gifts.

Mom and Dad were coming down to bring us their washer and dryer.  They decided to buy new ones and give us their old ones.  They also brought some other things, so much that they needed a trailer behind the pickup.  They brought the corn we had put up earlier this year, some ground beef from a cow they butchered at the end of last winter, a lot of jars of canned vegetables, and much more food.  They also brought about 40 pumpkins that they had gotten free.  We kept a few and the rest go to my cousin's and children and our brother and sister in law and their children.

They had invited my aunt and uncle down as well.  My aunt and uncle also brought housewarming gifts.  They gave us rugs, kites, paper plates, napkins, plastic cups, and other goodies.  I was just happy to have their company.

Christina and I worked hard to get the house ready for show Friday night.  Saturday morning we continued and everybody showed up around 2 pm on Saturday.  We spent the day talking and eating.  We had Salad, Lasagna, and Italian Bread that Mom had brought on Saturday evening.  Before supper we had went out to the soccer field to fly the kites my Aunt and Uncle had brought.  I think it was as much fun for the adults as it was for the kids.  We would fly the kites up to where we were out of string then tie on another string to get them even higher.  Leo and I had kite wars and tried to crash each others kites.

Leo pulling on the kite to make it go higher.

Gavin's kite flew high, all he needed to do was hold the string.

My Aunt and Uncle left after supper Saturday and my parents stayed the night.  They didn't sleep well due to the number of trains that go by.  They are loud and fast.  Christina and I sleep through them, but we had lived in Columbus, OH where there were Ambulances, Fire Trucks, Police sirens, as well as Helicopters and gun shots every night.  Mom and Dad live way out in the country where there are only natural lights and natural sounds.  Some people don't sleep good at their house because of the darkness, noisy crickets and coyotes.

We got up and ate Sausage, Egg and Cheese Biscuits made with sausage from the local meat locker.  Their sausage is the best I've had.  Then we went to church.  Service was a little different this week as Spoken 4 sang and spoke during the service.  It was very inspirational and the guys had great voices. 

After church we had homemade chicken and noodles over potatoes along with peas and homemade zuchini cranberry orange bread.  I ate so much that I had to lay down and take a short nap before Mom and Dad left. 

The rest of the day I took it easy in our living room/den.  It is a very relaxing room that I love to spend time in.
My awesome living room/den.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Ran Out of Town

Last night after I walked to the store for milk, I ran for the first time since we have moved into the new house.  I am excited to be on the edge of town where I can get on a gravel road right away and run with no traffic or dogs that want to chase me down. 

At first I felt a little weak from not running in a couple weeks but I got into a groove and had a good run, probably a couple miles or more.  It helps to have a MP3 player now.  The beat of the music makes me want to run longer.

It helps to see that running and eating smaller portions at meal time is paying big dividends.  I am now 22-25 pounds lighter than when I moved here.  My weight fluctuates quite a bit each day.  When I moved back I was 240, this morning I weighed myself and was 215.4.

I haven't noticed a lot of change myself, but others say they have noticed.  It will be interesting to see if Mom and Dad say anything this weekend.

I have a lot going on now with the new house, so I can't do much more than running.  Maybe down the road I can take advantage of the gym being open to the public at 6 in the morning and 6 in the evening. 

My goal of reaching 200 pounds might come quicker than I thought.  If it does, then I will have to set mileage goals, because I enjoy the feeling I get from running.  I have more energy and feel better mentally.

Christina hasn't ran with me in a while.  It's hard with the 2 boys, for us to go together.  Once Gavin can ride his bike then the boys can bike while we run.  I like having a running partner.

The gourds vines have dried up.  A sign that pheasant season is right around the corner

A look down the road as I was running back into town.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Grand Lake BFL - What I Should Have Done Different

It is still bothering me that I didn't figure the bass out at Grand Lake.  I guess I had the opportunity to catch enough to move on to the next day, but I didn't whack em' like I thought I was going to. 

This is one of the first tournaments I have thought about afterwards and still don't know what I should have done different. 

As a co-angler I shouldn't have been using what my boater was.  One of my rules is to throw something different.  If they are throwing top water throw a bait under the water that you can keep up with the boater with, if they are throwing a jig, throw a worm.  Give the bass something different to think about eating.

At the time, I was thinking it would be silly not to switch to what he was using, when he was catching so many fish on those baits.  I didn't know how to use the baits like he did and he was pulling the fish out before I got to them if they wanted to eat that bait. 

With that clear of water I should have tried tubes and senko's.  With those I could heave them far away from the boat without putting too much weight on them.  They would also have a good action to draw the fish from a ways away.  I was having a hard time trying to figure out what to use in really shallow rocky water.  The rocks were really snaggy rocks too.

I didn't try enough different baits and I didn't spend enough time with my go-to baits.

My boater had me fish different water than I'm used to.  That should have been no excuse.  I had the tackle with me to make the adjustments I needed to make. 

As far as equipment goes, I should have had lighter line.  The water was clear.  It would have made a difference to have 8 or 10 pound test. 

The good thing is I learned a lot from this tournament.  Next time I will have to keep my head in the game throughout the whole day.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Weekend of Relaxation

Leo disappeared on Saturday.  He wouldn't answer when I called his name.  I went to throw this unpacked box away and there he was.
This weekend was really relaxing.  It rained all day Saturday and most of Sunday.  We got a lot done with the house this weekend and had some time to play around on the internet and watch TV on Sunday. 

There's still a few boxes to unpack and a lot of organizing to do but we made a lot of headway this weekend.  Next weekend my parents are bringing us a washer and dryer.  My aunt and uncle from Wichita may come down to visit.  Christina is worried about having the house clean by then.  I doubt we will have it the whole way done.  Whatever we can get done will have to do.

The following weekend I will be going to the K-State game on Saturday and leave for Vegas on Sunday.  It's a good thing I had a relaxing weekend this one, because it sounds like it won't happen again for a while.

Friday, October 7, 2011

Choosing A Quality Fishing Rod for a Low Price

There's no need to re-invent the wheel so here's an excellent article I read to help me start looking for the rods I wanted or NEEDED.  Choosing The Right Rod 

Once you figure out what characteristics you want in a fishing rod there are many choices that will be similar to what you are looking for.  You may want the top of the line "insert name" brand rod, but if you would like to save a few bucks you might try looking at the other options out there. 

To start your search I would suggest to use a search engine such as google shopping and type in some key words for what you are looking for.  For a few less options but better search results try ebay.  Here are some keywords that sellers use with their poles.  Modulus, fiberglass, graphite, IM-6, IM-8, fuji guides, fast action, medium action, medium light, medium heavy, etc.

If using ebay search by buy it now, then sort by price. That will get you to the lowest cost with the description you are looking for.  Then try all items, and sort by ending soonest.  Once you have tried that you can try clicking on the box, next to - include item description, and try again.  That will search the items description,  not just the heading, for the keywords you are searching for.

Several of the rods I have gotten have came from ebay.  Others, I have bought from other fisherman I have met in my club and at fishing tournaments.  These guys are always wanting the newest and best on the market and will sell their older equipment at considerably lower prices than you could buy new.

Another good option is to go to a sporting goods store and look until you find a deal that you believe is good.  I have seen mis-priced rods, as well as some deep sales at the sporting goods stores.  The good thing about the sporting goods stores, is, the rods are new, and you can touch and feel the rods.  You can try tapping the tip on a shelf and see if the ting travels back to where your hand rests on the butt of the rod if you are looking for a sensitive rod.

This is how I have picked up some quality rods for a lower cost.  If you can think of some other ways, leave a comment so others can benefit from your advise.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Lots of Work to Do

Our house is awesome!  I have been working on unpacking the last couple nights.  We have a kitchen and bedroom now.  There is still tons and tons and tons to do.  It is so nice to have something to do when I get home.  Before I might have some cooking to do, or cleaning, but ultimately I craved having something to do for myself.

Right now its just the boys and me at home.  Christina is at a conference out of town.  The boys are loving their toys being back.  They haven't had their toys in 6 months.  We still have a lot of toys to get rid of.  They don't need as many as they have.

We will be organizing for a long time to come.  We will have a lot of things we will want or need for the new house.  Maybe I can get to selling online again to help pay for it once we get a little more organized.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Grand Lake BFL Results and Moving Into the New Place

View from my camp at Grand Lake

Grand Lake is different than I expected.  Most of the lake has rock shorelines.  At least the areas that we fished.  It forced me to go out of my comfort zone and try different styles of fishing I have wanted to try but had not yet.

I fished with jigs, creature baits, and shallow running cranks most of the day.  I couldn't use most of what I normally use.  The water was clear and shallow with rocks that would catch any hook.  You had to cast far from the boat if you wanted a bite.

The first fish I caught was 13 1/2 inches but was a chunk.  It was a 1/2 inch short of keeper size.  Shortly after that I had my keeper.  Both came from an area that I was able to use my go to baits.  I had a big bite in the same area on a rubber worm and when I set the hook my line broke.

The boater I drew was great.  He has been fishing for many years and helped me to try some different techniques.  I didn't catch any fish on them this time.  (He was picking the water clean before I got to it.)  I will use some of the techniques going forward.

Towards the middle of the day I had my biggest opportunity.  I was casting a shallow crank in a foot to foot and a half of water.  I twitched the crank and right as it stopped a fish hit it.  I set the hook and started reeling the fish in.  As it got closer to the boat I could feel it was a good size fish.  At that point the crank pulled free.  The hooks were small and the bass was big.  Not a good combination.  Next time I will not pull as hard on the fish if I have small treble hooks.

I caught some fish late in the day on a top water pop-r.  They were smaller.  I was hoping to get one big one to try to catch up to the competition.

At the end of the tournament I had only 1 bass at 2 lbs 14 oz.  I finished 51st out of 108.  There were a couple missed opportunities that could have put me in the money.  It took a little over 5 pounds to be in the money and move on to day 2.

My boater had a good day and was able to cull a couple times.  He finished the first day in 6th.  His second day he did not do quite as well and fell to 19th, still cashing a check.

I look forward to the BFL's next year, where I will be trying to make it to regionals again.

Monday night we were supposed to get into our new house.  We stopped by to set up our beds and move things around.  The couple moving out were not quite finished so we just moved a few things into the bedrooms and didn't move in.

Tuesday, I was expecting sort of the same thing, but was hoping we could stay the night.  I got home from work and loaded the truck to take some things over.  When I got there the door was locked.  My wife called the couple and they said I could come get a key to get into the house.  They told me they were done over there and we could officially move in.

The house was completely empty and I moved the rest of our belongings.  My niece helped me move boxes around and dig out the bed frames.  We ended up sleeping in our own bed last night.  The boys slept on an air mattress but will have their beds set up soon.

Leo and Gavin got to work on their toys first thing.

Our pile ready to be unpacked into the new house.
My niece helping me move boxes and dig out beds.