Monday, August 19, 2013

Coffee Break


    Coffee breaks- we all take them. They are an important part of every work day. At some work places they are spelled out- there will be two breaks a day from this time to that time. At other places the time is optional depending on the situation. It's not a good idea to go on a break at a place like, say, the bank, and leave all the money unattended. I have to admit that there have been times when I pulled up to the cold storage to sell fish or get ice and be told that the crew was on a break and I would have to wait until they returned. God forbid that the foreman would have to operate the winch or press the button to start the ice auger. I don't think that's very good business to make your customer wait. However, the options for selling elsewhere or getting ice are pretty limited, so I guess they have the upper hand in that situation.
    I'm self-employed so I can take a break whenever I want... and I do. Sometimes multiple breaks. Frankly when I'm out fishing and there isn't anything biting I stay on a break. God knows how many countless gallons of coffee I've drank. No doubt the inside of my stomach resembles creosote. If I have an autopsy when I die the medical examiner may check my innards and nick name me Tar Baby. I'm surprised I haven't worn my bladder and all the connected parts out by now. Thank God our bodies are made much better than most machinery. Not many washing machines are still working after sixty or so years.  Last Saturday morning I was working at the Forest Service. For reason's I can't recall, I didn't even get to work until ten o'clock. It's not really a big deal what time I get there since I'm doing contract labor, but it's still kind of late to start the work day. Anyway, I called Jen about something and she mentioned that she was making cinnamon rolls. Hey, I like cinnamon rolls; and what better to wash down a cinnamon roll than a hot cup of coffee?  Jen was good enough to bring me out a couple of those tasty pastries and a mason jar of coffee. What a gal. The problem was, it was 10:45 and I hadn't done a damn thing yet and I was on coffee break already!  What a buffoon. If I could have fired myself on the spot I would have, but then who would I have to do the work? The flip side is, who would want to work for a grumpy old troll who won't even let you go on a coffee break? I can see that management and labor are going to have to come to some kind of an agreement concerning the all important coffee break; however, since they are one and the same, I suspect that labor will come out on top with this discussion.

Wednesday, August 14, 2013

Dundas Bay

















 I received phone calls from two different friends last week letting me know that the weather was great and the fishing was good out in Cross Sound. It was the incentive I needed to bite the bullet and get my behind out there. I've been dealing with some health issues this year and haven't felt up to spending the night on the boat, which a trip to the sound entails. It takes me six hours to get there, so it's not like you can just turn around and leave if you don't like it, at least not very easily. Anyway, on Tuesday I made the trip. I always have heart palpitations when I get close to South Inian Pass. Years ago when I was on my way through the pass with one of the boys, the placid water built up a wall of tidal disturbance that seemed to be about ten feet high. It's one of those places that you can't very well turn around and go back because the current is really smoking through there. We went through and buried the boat a couple times and came out on the other side grateful to have made it, but I get nervous whenever I have to go through there now. Anyway, I made it through and could see out into the sound and there weren't any boats fishing, which, while a little odd wasn't totally uncommon since it was near supper time and lots of boats start early so they end the day early. The next day there still weren't too many boats around, and little sign of fish or feed on the video sounder. I was starting to feel like maybe I made a mistake coming out. Then I talked to one of the guys who had called and he said the fish and the fleet had moved on... go figure. Well, I was already there so I dropped in the gear and fished- for all of two hours. I could feel my blood pressure starting to rise and made the wise decision to bag it and go back through the pass and head towards home and take my chances where I had been fishing. Fortunately the weather was good and I decided to check out North Inian Pass where Dundas Bay is located. It turned out to be a good decision for once. Just one other boat was there and pretty soon I started catching some nice coho salmon. It wasn't record breaking, but I caught enough to make it worth the while. I anchored that night in Earl Cove anticipating a great day tomorrow. When I awoke in the morning the fog was so thick you could cut it with a knife. I managed to work my way over to Dundas Point, but I couldn't even see the shoreline fifty yards away. There is a lot of current there and I was afraid that I would get washed up on the beach while I was distracted out back so I left after a few hours. As you can see I got some nice pictures though. The top two are of Dundas Bay. The third is looking at Middle Pass. I believe that the seiners used to call it the laundry because of all the tidal action there. On the left hand side of the pass is Inian Cove. I anchored there last year and sold my fish to a packer there. What a blow hole! It blew all night long with the wind screaming in the rigging and the boat swinging on the anchor. It sounded like we were experiencing hurricane Elmo in there. Has there ever been a hurricane Elmo? If not, there should be. I think they should give hurricanes last names as well. Elmo Zumwalt was the admiral  in charge of the navy when I was in. I think they should name a hurricane after him. Anyway, when you go around the corner from  the cove it can be flat calm. What is that about? Middle Pass has a sea lion rookery. Oh joy! With sea lions eating a steady diet of fish all day and not caring too much about hygiene you can imagine the stench of that place. I think they should let the boneheads that put them on the endangered species list spend a few nights camping out on the rookery and see if they still love them so much. The last picture is looking out into Cross Sound towards Cape Spencer. It seldom is so calm. I doubt that I'll be making the trip out that way again this year, but at least I have the pictures to remind me that I made the trip.

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Dum Dum's



 On my desk in the office I have a sticky note with the words- expanding toilet seats. It was an idea that Jen and I were talking about several days ago; I can't remember why. It had something to do with people who had large behinds and how a standard size seat wouldn't seem to fill the bill. I don't want to get too graphic here, but I would imagine that an exceptionally large person would have a good bit hanging off the seat- thus the need for an expanding seat. It's probably the next million dollar idea. However, the above picture doesn't look anything like a toilet seat- and for good reason. What we have here is a basket of Dum Dum pops. I don't know why they're called pops.  I always referred to them as suckers. I do, however, know why they're called Dum Dums. Back in 1924, I C Bahr, an early sales manager for the Akron Candy Company coined the name Dum Dums figuring it was a word that any child could say. I don't know how well it would go over if a new parent, waiting for his child's first words heard Dum Dum instead of the familiar DaDa. Perhaps the child has been born with an incredible degree of insight concerning his parents though, and it was no mistake. Anyway, some more facts about Dum Dums. The Akron Candy Company was purchased by the Spangler Candy Company and moved to Bryon Ohio.  There are sixteen flavors at present including a mystery flavor. I don't doubt that I've tried most of them, including some that they didn't use to have when I was a kid. The other night I put a cotton candy flavored Dum Dum in my mouth mistakenly thinking it was a root beer flavored one. Can't say I really cared for it. Fortunately Jan was with me and took it off my hands - or out of my mouth as the case may be. Then I grabbed one with a green wrapper thinking it must be lime, but it wasn't. It was cream soda instead. I happened to like that one. I think the Spangler company should make the lettering showing the flavor larger for us old fogeys who can't see worth a hoot without our glasses. I checked out the website for Dum Dums and found that they have a shelf life of thirty six months. That's longer than Kim Kardashian's relationships. I also discovered that Spangler is the maker of those round flat suckers with the cellophane wrapping and the fiber loop handle called Safe T Pops. I love those things! Amongst the other fascinating facts I discovered was that there are ten million Dum Dums produced each day. At that rate, our idea for the expanding toilet seat had better get into production soon. They will probably work well with my idea for concrete re-inforced toilets.