Today’s Post and its Original Title: Happy New Year!

Happy New Year!  I bet not many other bloggers managed to come up with such an original title today.  Well, maybe some.

Whether you wanted 2012 to linger a little longer or get out of town fast, makes no difference – it’s 2013 now and there is no going back, except for when you date checks, letters and other documents for the next couple of months.

I notice that my last post was on December 6, and despite my promises and best intentions to post more often, that was a long time ago, but I do have an explanation.  Some of that time was spent on our annual Christmas visit to Oroville to spend some time with our daughter, her husband and our two grandkids who can now get the wrapping paper off a gift faster than Edward Scissorhands.

It was a fairly long road trip at 565 miles each way, but a good visit that like the rest of 2012 is now but a memory.

With 365 days of 2013 looming before us, I’ve avoided resolutions, but have been thinking about a few things:

Politics – I awoke this morning not knowing whether the nation had fallen off a fiscal cliff, a curb or 11th hour maneuvering had somehow averted our tumble.  By the time I brushed my teeth and got off the toilet, I remembered that I don’t give a shit anymore, because I long ago realized that in the long run – we are simply doomed.  Regardless of your party or sub-party affiliation, they pretty much suck don’t they?

Aztecs – For the last couple of weeks my San Diego State Aztecs have been “committed” to membership in the Big East Conference which they joined for football along with Boise State.  In the meantime, the Big East has dissolved like an Alka-Seltzer in a tall glass giving just about everyone a headache.  As a result, Boise State has taken back its engagement ring and there are reports that San Diego State is angling to break off the romance as well. 

The NCAA long ago lost control of college athletics when it got in bed with the BCS, an ill-advised affair that has broken up families (conferences) across the country as it created a greater chasm between the haves and the havenots in college athletics, and left the wannabes like SDSU in a state of disarray and search for a conference affiliation that promised more money.  Aside from the promise of a bigger payoff and the fact the campus is in east San Diego, how else can you explain why the Aztecs would become a member of the Big East?

As with government at pretty much all levels, the politics of college sports pretty much suck, and maybe they are doomed as well.

Getting Licensed – The date on the calendar reminds me that it is time to get a new fishing license.  Plus, the DMV has notified me that it is time to renew my driver’s license which I’d better do soon to avoid having to take that damned test again.  That is what happened the last time I dallied, and the results were not good.  I consider myself an excellent driver, but that last experience was humiliating.  I handed my test to a clerk at at window who quickly graded it and gave me a look of utter disgust.  “You missed seven questions Mr. Brown and that is one too many.  You have had a California Motor Vehicle Operators License for over 40 years and I see that in that time you have had no tickets and no chargeable accidents.  I am confident you can drive safely, so I am going to allow you to rethink and change one of your answers.  The next time you are required to take this test, I suggest you take it more seriously to avoid wasting both yours and our time.”

He was right of course, so I think I will turn the paperwork in on time so that I don’t have to take the test again or suffer another well deserved tongue lashing at the hands of a DMV clerk.

The Ducks Aren’t Flying, But Maybe the Trout Are Biting – For a reason I can’t explain, not many ducks are visiting our duck club near the Salton Sea or the general area..  That is particularly perplexing since last season was one of our best and this is shaping up as one of our worst.  That is not to say that a trip to our duck club when there are no ducks is not enjoyable.  The geese at the refuge can still be seen and heard the evening before, a steak on the grill will be as good as ever and a glass or two or three of Black Velvet while sitting around the campfire will be just dandy.  The photos that hang on the walls inside our cabin will still tell some of the history of our club and now that winter has finally arrived in the desert, the stovepipe on our wood stove will glow after the lanterns have been turned off.  Even if the ducks continue to stay away in droves, I’m sure I’ll make a few more trips down to or club, but my mind right now is wandering toward winter trout fishing and maybe some quail hunting before the shotguns are put away at the end of the month.  I have access to some good spots for both valley and Gambel’s quail, but with snow in the local mountains I’m thinking of trying to find some mountain quail.  I’ve not hunted them in many years and they are always a lot tougher to find, but a trip in the next week or two might be in order.

Maybe Some Reading Today – Considering that I’ve decided not to go down to the club today, don’t like parades and have no interest in any of the New Year’s Day bowl games, my attention is turning toward some things I need to do, like putting away Christmas decorations, and something I want to do, such as reading a memoir by my old friend John Bowman. 

Ask Central Casting to send over a character and you are likely to get John in return – which is not a bad deal – because he is indeed a charming character.  For over 40 years, John was a local high school English teacher, which in his case is particularly fitting because he truly loves the language and far more of its intricacies than I have managed to understand.

Combine that mastery with what I know has been a particularly eventful and interesting life, a passion for students, dogs fishing and hunting, and I’m guessing that Don’t Play on the Trestle is a book that I am going to relish.

Happy New Year!



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