Troutbirder II

Troutbirder II
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Saturday, March 28, 2020

Old Man River, A Book and Me

In Old Man River, Paul Schneider tells the story of the river at the center of America’s rich history—the Mississippi. Some fifteen thousand years ago, the majestic river provided Paleolithic humans with the routes by which early man began to explore the continent’s interior. Since then, the river has been the site of historical significance, from the arrival of Spanish and French explorers in the 16th century to the Civil War. George Washington fought his first battle near the river, and Ulysses S. Grant and William T. Sherman both came to President Lincoln’s attention after their spectacular victories on the lower Mississippi.
In the 19th century, home-grown folk heroes such as Daniel Boone and the half-alligator, half-horse, Mike Fink, were creatures of the river. Mark Twain and Herman Melville led their characters down its stream in The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn and The Confidence-Man. A conduit of real-life American prowess, the Mississippi is also a river of stories and myth.

As a boy I played and fished along the Mississippi River as it wandered through St. Paul below our home on the Bluffs above the river. Later, I even took my fiancĂ©e on a date, a canoe outing near Pigs Eye downstream.  I was  bow and arrow fishing for carp (how romantic and she even married me). Later,  when we moved downstream to teach and raise a family, I still took a boat out into the backwaters. As for the nation,  the Big River has been an important thread running through Americas history and my life as well.  Needless to say, I thoroughly enjoyed this fascinating retrospective of the Mississippi and its history… Old Man River...... she keeps on rollin, she don't no song as well.:)
Addendum:  The really cool thing about the Mississippi as it winds its way between Minnesota and Wisconsin is you never know what your going to catch.  One this day,  I caught Mrs. T. who agreed to come along to read a book and work on her tan. And incidentally Minnesota's State Fish the delicious walleyed pike....:),to the far north in Minnesota is Lake Itasca and the origin of the Father of Waters, and much further to the north and east likely in Quebec, according to blogging friend AC of the Ac Is on is another MISSISSIPPI RIVER how neat!

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@Barrie Summy
Hang in there. And please be safe, healthy and germaphobic. Cheers! Barrie Barrie Summy Author,

Sunday, March 22, 2020


It seems my computer guru may have overestimated my ability to adapt to new and upgraded computer system's. He persuaded me that my Windows 7 about to be permanently abandoned by Microsoft was a disaster waiting to happen so I agreed that he should install the wondrous new Windows 10. Checking with numerous friends apparently I'm not the only one puzzled my the difficulty of learning how to operate it basically at all. What a disaster. Too many icons doing too many things that I don't understand or don't need. Now there is a new wrinkle and for some unknown reason I am unable to comment on my blogging friends posts. Therefore this announcement I am perfectly healthy both legs and knees are working fine without pain and so far I have no sign of any deadly viruses. If I'm in any danger of dying solely because of my extreme boredom sheltering in place without any books to read due to the library being closed along with much of everything else in our small town.
Be safe and take care friends. Follow the rules

Ray (Troutbider).........

Wednesday, March 18, 2020


Those were the days my friends…..
When I was growing up in St. Paul in the 1950's: A little house with three bedrooms, one bathroom and one car on the street. A mower that you had to push to make the grass look neat.

In the kitchen we only had one phone, And no need for recording things, someone was always home.

We only had a living room where we would congregate, Unless it was at mealtime in the kitchen where we ate. We had no need for family rooms or extra rooms to dine, When meeting as a family those two rooms would work out fine.

We were the last kids in our neighborhood to have a TV. We only had one set, and channels maybe two or three, But always there was one of them with something worth the view. My dad thought he got a bargain from "Mad Man" Muntz you see. It was a giant 17 inches and black and white indeed.

For snacks we had potato chips that tasted like a chip, And if you wanted flavor there was Lipton's onion dip. Store-bought snacks were rare because my mother liked to cook, And nothing can compare to snacks in Betty Crocker's book.

Weekends were for family trips or staying home to play, We all did things together -- even go to church to pray. We all loved to go camping then, here my mom and I are packing the stuff and to this very day, Mrs. T and I like still like the woods as long as we can stay.

 Sometimes we would separate to do things on our own, But we knew where the others were without our own cell phone.

Then there were the movies with your favorite movie star, And nothing can compare to watching movies in your car.

Then there were the picnics at the peak of summer season, Pack a lunch and find some trees and never need a reason. Get a baseball game together with all the friends you know, Have real action playing ball -- and no game video. Now they speak of the Boyz In The Hood. Well, here we all were then. Boys and girls together playing Robin Hood. That's me, lower right hand corner, getting ready to shoot. The game never tired for us as it always was a hoot.

Remember going to the store and shopping casually, And when you went to pay for it you used your own money? Nothing that you had to swipe or punch in some amount, Remember when the cashier person had to really count? The milkman used to go from door to door, And it was just a few cents more than going to the store. There was a time when mailed letters came right to your door, Without a lot of junk mail ads sent out by every store. The mailman knew each house by name and knew where it was sent; There were not loads of mail addressed to "present occupant." There was a time when just one glance was all that it would take, And you would know the kind of car, the model and the make. One time the music that you played whenever you would jive, Was from a vinyl, big-holed record called a forty-five. The record player had a post to keep them all in line, And then the records would drop down and play one at a time.

Oh sure, we had our problems then, just like we do today, And always we were striving, trying for a better way. Oh, the simple life we lived still seems like so much fun, How can you explain a game, just kick the can and run?

This life seemed so much easier and slower in some ways, I love the new technology but I sure miss those days. So time moves on and so do we, and nothing stays the same, But I sure love to reminisce and walk down memory lane.Those indeed were the days my friends.Our parent liked a man named Ike and revered their hero  called FDR.  States then weren't red or blue but instead  red white and blue American They  shared common beliefs  like being good honest, truthful ,  and even occasionally compromising in politics for the greater good. Lets hope and vote some of that can return again.....:) 

Monday, March 9, 2020

A Tale Of Two Ears

When my faithful hunter and companion Muffy had to be put down due to kidney failure, Mrs. T and I decided she would be our last dog. I had stepped back from upland game and duck hunting and we planned to travel a lot upon our retirements. Good plan. Maybe not. After years of having hunting dogs we missed those loyal companions. A year later we decided to take the step. After some skepticism on her part, my view for a companion/guard dog prevailed. It was to be a GSD (German Shepherd Dog). His name was Baron. It was a whole different ballgame from my hunting dogs. He proved to be very intelligent but also very willfull. I thought well he is German. Stubborn comes naturally. The fact that I spoiled him rotten didn't help either.

Having no previous experience with German Shepherds, I was a little slow on the uptake. It was several months before I realized something wasn't right. It was his ears. They drooped. Consulting the internet, I found out that six months was about the time they would standup. "Ok," I thought. Patience is a virtue.

We visited our sons family in Colorado that summer. There Baron met Hercules. They had a great time playing together. Time passed. Mrs T. thought droopy ears were "cute". I didn't think so.

Finally, at about six months, they reached what I called the half-mast stage. More months passed with no improvement. I consulted our vet. I consulted the lady who did dog training and had three German Shepherds. Desperate, I consulted the internet. There were many suggestions. Many were "hairbrained." I chose curlers. I bought a pack, some tape and maybe memory failing me some glue. His ears were going to stand up or else!!!!

And the next morning, prepared to begin his  "treatment," I let him out from his kennel into the snow for his morning romp. He ran off to do his business and upon returning sat down proudly in front of me in the snow. There it was. He had done it all on his own.

Baron. Loyal friend. Guard dog. Explorer. Hiking companion. And member of the pack.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020


A late fall scene looking across beautiful Lake Yellowstone with boiling steam rising along the shoreline in the distance. My brother & I were there for the trout fishing. It turned out to be the last of our many outdoor adventures together.
We had spent two freezing fruitless days on the Lamar River, even stopping by Castle Geyser to thaw our hands and flyrods in steamy vapor. Heading south to try spinner fishing for cutthroats on giganticLake Yellowstone seemed like a better option. It was..

The weather improved the next day.  We had the lake all to ourselves & managed to avoid conversation about his impending divorce....
Looking at family albums this Christmas 20/20 & thinking of all the good times Greg & I had together

Monday, March 2, 2020


Former U.S. Secretary of Defense, James Mattis, had this to say in his new book, Call Sign Chaos, which he wrote with Bing West and will be published next week:

“If you haven’t read hundreds of books, you are functionally illiterate, and you will be incompetent, because your personal experiences alone aren’t broad enough to sustain you...”
Now the title of this book likely to be making reference to his White House. The above quote from the book however refers to? Wait a minute, I’m sure none of my blogging friends will find that a difficult question however, for the hard-core Republicans here are a few clues