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Fishin report for Lake Iwanttobethere..


Bobby Bass

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Bobby Bass

I STARTED THE Tahoe and let it idle away for awhile. Heater was set on high and the blower on low. The car companies should put on the windshields of the new cars the summer and winter mileage you can expect. That would take in account the warm-up time used up here at Lake Iwanttobethere. Granted the trucks now a days can be started and driven after a brief warm up but who wants to? This morning when I walked out to the Tahoe and started it the temp gage on the mirror said -ten and I thought to myself that it is warming up. There is something wrong when you consider minus ten to be warming up, just like when you tell someone the price of gas has gone down, to three dollars a gallon.

Yesterday afternoon after the football game Vic and I dressed up like grade schoolers and made the walk out to the shanty. Wind was up and snow was blowing across the packed trail to the ice house. Boots were pulled on and we were both wearing bibs over long underwear. I had a heavy sweater on and a jacket under my winter coat. Bomber hat with the ear flaps pulled down and a scarf over my face. Vic was dressed the same only he looked like some version of a turn of the century arctic explorer. I think it was the fur mittens he had on that covered his arms all the way to his elbows.

We might have been a tad over dressed but the older we get the longer it takes for us to make what once were short walks. Back in the day we would have just put on a jacket and ran from the Resort to the ice house and we would have been so quick we would not have had time to get cold. I think it is colder now and I know for a fact that I can't run fast. The walk out to the shanty took a few minutes, but we were moving slow and stopped a few times to enjoy the scenery. The air was crisp and you could feel it on your nose. Being bundled up the wind was not felt and I was cozy for lack of a better word. I was thinking as we were walking that all we needed was a rope between us and a couple of ice axes and we could just as well be members of a polar expedition in the arctic.

We arrived at the shack and kicked snow off our boots at the door. Skinny open the door and let us in. Cozy was not the word for the shack as we could see our breath. Hammering Hank was working on the fire in the little pot belly stove. Seems the guys had gotten the place nice and warm and fishing was slow so they took a nap. Vic and I traded places and Hammering Hank and Skinny headed back to the Resort. Hank said he would run some wood out to us after they ate. Vic and I hung coats from pegs on the wall and I tended to the fire while Vic cleared slush from around the ice holes. I soon had the fire going good again and the heat returned to the little ice house. Looking around I saw that Hank and Skinny had been working on a to do list for the shack.

It would appear that some more insulating needs to be done. The shack is not nearly as warm when it is twenty below as it is when it is thirty above. I noticed some frost along the bottom walls and added a fan to the to do list. Door could use some weather stripping to as the winds seems to have shifted and snow is coming in around the edges. Vic tuned in some music on the little radio and I lit up a cigar and blew a few smoke rings. I watched as the smoke rose and disappeared into a crack between the wall and roof and added that repair to the list. I put my coat back on and added some wood to the fire. I looked at Vic sitting on a stool looking into the cold water of the lake and he just said just loudly enough for me to hear "Just like the old days, Ice fishing on Lake Iwanttobethere" {1,526,226}

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Bobby Bass

TOWN HALL MEETING last night and we had a sparse turnout, I think it was due to the cold weather and the fact that tonight there will be the Lodge meeting and also the New Years Eve gala. Most Town Hall meeting business is usually done well before the meeting at the Dew Drop Inn over some waffles or an eight egg omelet. For those who could not attend KCUM did a live remote so people could listen in. I made the drive in from the Resort after dropping Duncan off at the cabin. The wife said she had things to do and would just listen in on the radio. On the ride into town I sure did notice that just about every chimney in town had smoke curling out from them and there was a slight haze above the lake, no doubt from fire places.

At the Lodge the big coffee urn was placed on a table near the front entrance and also the back up one held hot apple cider in it. Just as many people were sipping on the cider as the coffee. The main fireplace was crackling as Elmer had been feeding it all afternoon and the flames were high behind the spark screen. I must admit the place looked pretty good with all the Christmas lights still in place and the tree in the corner decorated. Rack of folding chairs were up against the wall but they were not needed as we had just enough chairs and stools for those who decided to attend.

Mayor stood in front of the Lodges cherry bar and spoke briefly, didn't say much as it is not an election year. Committees read their minutes and progress was reported on various winter events which mostly are held at the Lodge and will be reported on more fully at the Lodge Meeting. County reported we are right on track with the budget for snow removal, If it does not snow we will be fine as we have two gallons of diesel and one five gallon pail of sand and salt mix. Of course come Wednesday it is a new year and go ahead and bring on the snow, we have a new budget.

Fall tourism was reported to be down, no doubt due to the weather and the early heavy snowfall had put a damper on some business but was a boom to snow removal and the ski hill. Ice fishing has been iffy and Sunshine Ray was asked to give us a long range forecast but declined. Something about his models are not agreeing. Chuck and I gave each other a knowing wink as we know Sunshine Ray has been dating the Jones Twins who are part time models.

The meeting came to an end but not before Big Earl got up and announced there were plenty of free samples of Fruit Cake that he was donating and the cake could be found by the coffee. With the meeting done some people filled up their coffee cups and headed out into the night while others made their way to the bar and had a shot of something added to their coffee. Still others gathered around the TV and watched the basketball game and ordered wings since the kitchen was now open. I headed back to my office and worked on the box of paper work I had been putting off. Never ending here at Lake Iwanttobethere {1,530,397}

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Bobby Bass

WOKE UP TO an overcast sky and made my way to the deck door. I open it and let the three dogs outside to do their thing. Not a minute later and Bud was back at the door and Barney was already coming up the steps. I let them back in the cabin and waited for Duncan to appear. The cold does not seem to effect him as quick as it does for the old dogs. After a minute I was getting cold from the draft and open the storm door to yell for Duncan, another minute later he comes bounding up onto the deck, tail waving and the "You wanted me boss" look on his face. I let him in, closed the door and kicked the rug up against the bottom of it. All three dogs followed me into the kitchen and waited as I got three dog biscuits out of the box and gave them each one.

The beginning of a new year starts pretty much the same way every morning does here at Lake Iwanttobethere. For the past several weeks it has been focused around snow and cold usually it is one or the other but so far this winter the two topics have gone hand in hand. Last night at the gala New Years Eve party the number one topic was the weather or something related to it. Talk of wood piles shrinking faster then planned and the hope for this just being the one long cold snap for winter and spring to come early. No high heels at last nights dance as all the womenfolk were showing off sorrel boots and fancy wool scarfs. I have heard stories that down in the big city the ladies dress up for New Years, here at Lake Iwanttobethere they just dress warmly.

About eighteen below at midnight I heard and someone mentioned it was warmer in Alaska. Like many others I had the Tahoe started and warmed up by midnight and shortly after we welcomed in the New Year I and the wife were on our way back home. We were not the only ones as the Lodge's parking lot emptied out shortly after the balloon drop. Only a few of the hard-core members were still there. Before dawn they will be down on the ice fishing as it is there New Years tradition but they were not going to leave the warmth of the Lodge just yet. The ride home was uneventful, no deer seen in the headlights and of course not a single bird. We came around the bend and the lights of the Tahoe flashed into Chuck's pasture. There standing next to a round of hay were Chuck's two horses.

The wife called the two horse "Them poor things" and no sooner had I parked the Tahoe then she was headed for the door of the cabin. I followed her in but did not take my coat off, instead I loaded my coat pockets with some apples we were saving for pie. I made my way back outside after hitting the outside light switch. Does not take much light to reflect off the snow and show me the path to Chuck's. With my hat pulled down tight on my ears I made the walk to the pasture and all I could hear was the sound of crunching snow under my feet and my own breathing. A few minutes later I was at the fence and I made a few clucking sounds with my tongue calling Snapper over. He looked at me and was trying to decide who or what I was then finally lifted one hoof up and walked slowly over to me.

Snapper and his partner came over to the fence and I held out an apple for him. He plucked it from my hand and ate it, then nudged me looking for another. I fed the two of them the apples I had in my pocket till they were gone. I patted them on their long foreheads and brush some snow away from their eyes. With the apples all gone they both gave me a soft snort and turned and walked away. Back to the hay round where they stood close to each other and just pulled at some hay. I turned and made by way back to the cabin, the way being lit up by the outside spot lights and I thought to myself that I was not going to complain to much about the weather, not when horses out in it.

From Lake Iwanttobethere, let's have a good New Year {1,534,217}

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Bobby Bass

DON'T KNOW WHERE the day has gone but as I sit here at the desk in the den I had to turn on a light. The sun is setting fast and before I finish this it will be gone. It got a few degrees above zero here for awhile today and the sky was clear of clouds and we got some welcomed sunshine. Not warm enough to do anything but I spend some time in the living room with a chair turned facing the window and the sun felt warm on my face. I can see why the dogs kept moving on the floor to stay in the sunshine. The wife asked me if I was going to get up out of that chair and do something around the cabin. I replied I am, I am busy making vitamin D

I did after awhile get dressed and me and Duncan went down to the mail box. Some bills of course and a Bass Pro Shop catalog, the Master one rested in the mailbox with a little snow on top. I brushed the snow off and tucked the mail under by arm as I walked up the drive. I could hear clanking coming down the road and I stopped to watch as Frank the plow driver came around the bend, chains on his tires slapping the roadway. He gave me a wave as he drove on by, his blade up not pushing any snow. I waved back and turned to continue my walk up the drive. I got to thinking that we are probably the only county around that has a name for its snowplow. The locals around here call the big yellow grader Kahn. I think it has to do with the old Star Trek movie where Kahn is the villain and his name is shouted out by Captain Kirk. Kahn is shouted out a lot here at the lake when Frank comes by plowing snow into just cleared out driveways.

I walked up the drive thinking I should toss some ice melt on it but it is to cold out for it to work. Maybe tomorrow when it is supposed to get in the teens and if we are lucky maybe the sun will make another appearance. Mail goes in the cabin and I trade Duncan for Buddy and Barney who want to come out. The three of us walk around a little checking on ice dams on the cabin. No melting so they are not growing any. Got most of the snow off the roof and it now sits off to the side of the deck. The grand kids have been working on the mound of snow with the idea of making it into their own private slide. I had briefly thought about building a slide this past fall but didn't get around to it. With all the snow it would have been a good project, maybe next year.

A few broken branches down and I gather them up and haul them to where the fire pit should be. Right now it is just a big mound of snow and I would need the post hole digger to find the ash pile. Dogs are waiting to get back inside the cabin so I climb up the steps and make my way to the door. Dogs are let in and I decide I have had enough fresh air so I step in and close the door behind me. With my coat dropped on the table I pick up the mail and head for the den. Bills are tossed into the in basket and the catalog is set down on the center of the desk. I pull out a yellow legal pad and a Number one pencil, a Christmas gift, a step up from a Number two I was told and I start to turn pages and make a wish list. I have to get it done as no doubt there will be another catalog in the mailbox tomorrow here at Lake Iwanttobethere {1,537,672}

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Bobby Bass

WIFE AND I both rode into town this morning together, a rare thing as she prefers to shop alone. But today we were both heading to Big Earl's General Store so we rode together. First thing the wife said as we walked over to the Tahoe was that "It was nice out" and hearing that I glanced at the Bass thermometer hanging on the siding of the cabin and I did notice the red needle was pointing at ten, above. I had already started the Tahoe and it was warm inside and we pulled down the drive I turned on my heated seat. Never thought the heated seats were that much of a big deal but I sure to like having them. Sitting back on the heated leather is nice this time of the year and they get used a lot fishing in the fall. Nice to sit on them when you are chilled and don't know it. Matter of fact I think I should start looking for a heated seat for my desk.

We parked in front of Big Earl's and went through the front door together. Earl was not at his usual spot so I asked Barb the cashier where he was. She pointed back to the Christmas toys section and I headed that way. The Toys section is a seasonal section and when I got back there all the toys were gone and I saw a banner proclaiming TAPE SALE. I found Big Earl and his son Junior unloading boxes of tape and already there were several displays filled with an assortment of tape. Might actually be the biggest assortment of tape that I have ever seen in one location. Well wait there is that tape store in the mini mall in the big city right next to the gum store but for here at Lake Iwanttobethere, this was a lot of tape.

Now I was not really to surprised to find a tape sale going on, I do have it on my calendar back at the cabin. This time of the year there is always a White Sale and the wife comes to look for sheets that we don't need. I on the other hand am always in the need for tape. The past few years has been a bonanza for finding colored duck tape in just about any color you need to fix just about anything you have. I had picked up one of them hand baskets when I was talking to Barb and now I was looking over the tape displays and dropping selections into the basket. Several three packs of clear cellophane tape and a ten pack of masking tape found their way to the basket. A ten pack of black electrical tape and also a mufti pack of colored electrical tape, Never can tell when you want to ID some house wiring.

Some black duck tape, a roll of brown some blue to match the tarps and several rolls of gray. I saw but two rolls of the yellow and black minion tape with the characters from Despicable Me and I grabbed them both. Good for fixing anything as the minions seem to match everything and the grand kids like them. Made some small talk with Earl before I went to the front and had Barb check me out. No sign of the wife so I went out to the Tahoe and waiting comfortably on my heated seat. When I got home the wife headed off with her bag of goodies and I did the same with mine. I left a three pack of cellophane tape on the desk in the den and a roll of gray duck tape in the junk drawer in the kitchen along with one roll of black electrical tape. The rest of the tape I put in a old fishing box in the basement, hidden. There is nothing worse then trying to find tape when u need it, unless you hide it here at Lake Iwanttobethere. {1,539,280}

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Bobby Bass

THE POLAR VORTEX is on schedule to arrive tonight and unlike the Polar Express it is not going to be a fun ride. To be truthful it is not going to be a real big deal here at Lake Iwanttobethere as we have dipped below thirty below several times just in the last week. But on the other side of the lake and down south this might be a surprise. Don't get me wrong I agree with my neighbor Chuck that once it gets below twenty below and the wind starts blowing it does not make any difference, it is just plain cold out.

Today was spent outside with the dogs, sunny and as warm as it is going to be for the next several days. Fire wood box is full inside the cabin along with the rack on the deck. A couple of extra loads were stacked between the railings. Grand kids will be coming over later this afternoon as they will be spending the weekend along with Monday here. Already the governor has closed all the schools statewide so the kids might as well be here instead of traveling in the cold on Monday. I think I can come up with some projects to keep them busy. Lots of nails and screws need to be sorted down in the basement and the wife has some baking that can be done.

Might watch some football tomorrow and see how many guys decide to play in short sleeves. I am sure they think that they will be proving how tuff they are and as I sit in my recliner in front of the fire I'll tip my glass to them and call them idiots. Phone has been ringing away here today as I am getting calls asking me to go ice fishing tomorrow. Thanks but no thanks, I don't see fishing in this just to say I went fishing in a Polar Vortex as anything to really brag about. Elmer says it is going to get so cold that the telephone lines are going to freeze just like they did forty years ago. I have him rubbing his head when I told him we have wireless.

Elmer is staying at his cabin, wants to be around to keep a fire going and make sure the pipes don't freeze. I think Marv is going to come over to but Vic is going to stay at the Resort. Hammering Hank and Skinny will no doubt be busy as they will get calls about frozen pipes or someone deciding that they need firewood right now. I am thinking that everyone is just going to hunker down in front of the fireplace and read a good book or get into some serious cribbage. Some of the younger guys will go ride their snowmobiles or go ice fishing just to brag that they did. Us older guys pretty much have the same answer to that. "Been There, Done That" as we to were young once.

I think the dogs know there is a weather change coming, Barney has pulled the pillows of the couch and has them over near the fireplace. Looks to me like he is building a nest and plans on being there for awhile. He is not alone as I see the wife has her knitting bag out and it is resting on the big overstuffed chair, I think she too is staking out a claim. By the time the grand kids show up I better carve me out a spot as they will find the couch and pull up the quilts. Cats will go into hiding and it will be my job to keep the fire burning and fetch hot cocoa. A middle of the winter adventure, just like the old days here at Lake Iwanttobethere {1,540,887}

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Bobby Bass

MINUS FORTY AT the Resort at eight this morning that is the report I got from Vic. He is sure it got colder then that but he didn't bother to check when he got up in the middle of the night to load the fireplace with oak fire wood. Only twenty below here at the Cabin but that was at ten this morning as I got to sleep in late. Kids stayed up late last night as they were telling stories and having a sleep over party. Sleeping bags were out and spread on the floor along with every pillow they could find. Center of the living room floor just looked like a big Eagles nest and was about the right size. Kids tangled up in blankets and sleeping bags with all three dogs mixed in and only the flickering flames from the fireplace to lite up the night.

I heard the phone ring and I rolled over trying to ignore it but the wife came in the room and tapped my shoulder with the phone. Vic was on the other end and the first thing he said was "I didn't wake ya did I?" But I could hear in his voice he was happy that he had. I rolled my eyes at the wife who was already out the bedroom door, no doubt with a smile on her face to. I exchanged small talk with Vic as I got up out of bed and put slippers on my feet and a robe on. I made my way down the hall to find kids still scattered on the living room floor and dogs watching me with eye open and the other still closed. I checked the jumping bass thermometer through the window and that is how I know it was twenty below.

A minute after I hung up with Vic and the phone rings again, I pick up and my neighbor Chuck is on the line. We chatted some as I added wood to the fire and stepped over sleeping kids who were starting to stir. The smell of bacon was in the air as the wife was making breakfast in the kitchen. No sooner did I hang up with Chuck then my daughter called checking up on her daughter, I past the phone to her mother and made my way back to the den to get a good look out the window. Thing is you can't really tell how cold it is outside by looking through the window. I sat down in my desk chair and from there I can look north through one window and south through the windows on the other side of the room. North window shows bare trees and a big snow pile, the wind chimes hanging from the eve are just barely moving so there must be a small breeze.

I turn in my chair so I can look out the South window and I have to squint some as bright sunshine is coming around the leaves of the orange trees I have there. Yes I have orange trees in the den, during the summer they are out on the deck but it being the dead of winter they now have a choice location in front of the South windows in my den. Over the past few weeks they have been ripening and as I sit at my desk I have winter to the north and summer to the south. All I can see through the South window is blue sky and the tops of my bare apple trees and of course the oranges.

Tonight is supposed to be the cold one but forty below is not so bad. Should be good for a few stories in the boat come summer. I am sure we will remembering the night it got to be forty below when we are drifting in the Puddle Humper and it will be in the mid nineties and no breeze. We will almost wish for a cool day like that but not really, Forty is way to cold to be fishing for bass here at Lake Iwanttobethere {1,543,386}

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Bobby Bass

GRAND KIDS ARE still here as the Lake Iwanttobethere school has closed for a second day in a row, unheard of! But the scuttlebutt from the teachers was that if them schools are all closed down south then they wanted a four day weekend here too. According to Sunshine Ray we are on the other side of this Polar Vortex and temperatures should be starting to rise. By the weekend it will have a chance to be in the thirties and I am sure the Fellows will be in the Lodge wearing shorts and flip flops. Speaking of the Fellows they were all down at the Lodge yesterday afternoon taking turns plowing the parking lot. When I first heard that they were plowing I was trying to figure just what they were moving. We did get a little dusting of snow overnight but nothing that you would need a plow for.

I was out running errands and I decided to swing by the Lodge and when I drove up I understood what Gus was talking about on the telephone call. The Fellows were all inside the Lodge but they had moved to the table by the window that over looks the side parking lot. They were taking turns plowing the lot with a remote controlled Jeep. One of the guys had bought it for himself for a Christmas present. I watched the 1/10 scale Jeep push an inch of snow for a few minutes before I had to shoulder my way into give it a shot. Gary held out his hand and said "One dollar" I looked at the Jeep and Gary's hand and gave him the buck, a money making idea that might actually make the Fellows some money.

After my turn was done I made my way over to the bar and checked the mail. I overheard a heated argument between Elmer and Marv over a weather forecast. We have had the TV tuned into a weather channel that if you go up on the roof and move the antenna just right we can get it in. The wind had moved the antenna a few days ago and no one wanted to go up on the roof and readjust it so we had the weather channel on 24/7 To tell the truth no one was really complaining about the channel as there is not much on TV to watch this time of year anyway. So the argument was on just exactly what is the right way to say it is -10 out. Elmer was saying the correct way is it is minus ten out and Marv was saying it is negative ten out they asked me and I just said it is ten below out and they both threw up their hands at me.

Today finds me sitting in the Den and grand kids are scattered in the living room. They have a movie on and are enjoying the end of their mini vacation. Parents will pick them all up after work this afternoon and when they are gone the cats will come out of hiding. I have had enough of this cold snap as I need to haul some firewood down here soon from the wood pile. I would much rather do it when it is thirty above then twenty below. Yesterday I found the wife just standing at the kitchen window looking at the glass, after awhile I opened the deck door and told her she should come on in.

This morning I went out to start the Tahoe and it would not start, Not that cold out either only about twenty below. I plugged it in and put the battery charger on and I tried again an hour later and it started right up. Am thinking the Tahoe is getting a little tired of the cold to. Heard later that Chuck my neighbor and also my son in law had trouble starting their trucks this morning, Must have been a Polar Vortex that passed over us during the night. The good thing about when it does get this cold is we usually have sunshine. This morning the sun is poring through the windows and if you sit a spell you can feel it warm you. Just got to keep reminding yourself that every day the sun is out a few minutes longer and we have one more day of winter behind us, at least here at Lake Iwanttobethere we do {1,548,836}

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Bobby Bass

STARTING TO WARM up here at Lake Iwanttobethere. Yesterday it actually made it above zero, granted it was for just a peek and you had to be looking at the thermometer when it happen. This morning the Tahoe fired right up and I let it run for a few minutes before I headed into town. Saw a few crows perched on a branch and they looked down at me more like the summer vultures do. I gave them a blast of the Tahoe horn which did nothing to scare them but it did make me few better. I decided I was going to go down to Mable's Sauna and Steam House for a steam. Even though I have a sauna at the cabin I just didn't feel like warming mine up. Besides I had a punch card good for ten visits that I got for a Christmas present from the guys at the Lodge.

I arrived at Mabel's and parked right in front, I open the door to the smell of eucalyptus oil in the air and made my way over to the counter where Mabel was sitting. No way to mistake Mabel for anyone else as she has looks the same as she did when I came in the door the first time forty years ago. Slender, wearing horn rimed glasses with dark hair rolled into a bun on top of her head with fingernails too long to be real and bright red lip stick covering her lips. Her eye lashes look like they could be Venus flytraps and she smokes her cigarettes in one of them long holders. She gave me a big hello and I passed the ticket over the counter to her. She gave me a shrug and punched the ticket and just said "You know where to go" then slapped a towel on the counter. I was going to meet up with Big Earl but I decided to just go ahead and go inside.

A few minutes later and I was roasting quite nicely in the steam room when I heard the click of the glass door opening. "Bobby, you in here" I heard Big Earl whisper and I replied "Yes, over here by the wall" I heard the click of the steam room door closing and saw a shadow part the steam before the shadow became Big Earl and he sat down next to me. "Today is our lucky day" Big Earl said. "How is that" I replied. Big Earl coughing a little in the steam said "Mabel told me we have a celebrity in the house" "Ok" is all I said. I could just make out Big Earl in the steam and he was trying to look around the steam room. "Who is this celebrity suppose to be" I asked. Big Earl said Mabel told him that the guy who plays Peter Griffin on Family Guy is in here. I just said Hmmm, I had not seen anyone else in the steam room.

After fifteen minutes in the steam room I went out and took a quick shower then headed to the dry room. This is where the eucalyptus smell was coming from and I sat down on a bench and took in the smell of the oil and felt my nose clear right up. After a few minutes in the room I went out and eyed the cold plunge pool but decided not today. Instead I took another quick shower and then went to sit down under the heat lamps. I passed the mirrors on the wall and of course I took a glance at myself. Mabel could not have been telling Big Earl that I looked like Peter Griffin, Peter does not have a beard. But wait till I get back to the cabin and tell the wife that Mabel says I have the body of a celebrity, I might be the only one here at Lake Iwanttobethere {1551,679}

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Bobby Bass

I SURE DO hope we are not in the eye of a winter hurricane. That was the topic of conversation at the Lodge last night. A pretty good night at the Lodge as there were a lot of fishermen out on the ice taking advantage of twenty above rather then twenty below weather. Several guys came into the Lodge boasting of catching fish and talking of plans on being on the ice for the rest of the week or at least until winter returns. That is where the talk of the hurricane came in. With the cold cold weather we have had for the past three weeks a week of twenties and perhaps even thirties we feel like we are in the eye of a storm. Everyone pretty much figures we will have to pay for the week of nice weather with another batch of cold stuff. Sunshine Ray is not saying anything right now, instead he is just taking the credit for the mild weather.

Fellows were gathered around the big round table, sipping on beer and working on another idea. The model jeep snow plowing business if out of business. Could not just leave it alone plowing sidewalks, they had to take it to another level. They started plowing roofs with the Jeep which worked surprisingly well till they hit some ice and everyone knows that not even four wheel drive will stop you on ice. The jeep tumbled off the roof and landed on it's roof. It hit so hard the tiny air bags went off inside. Reed the Realtor declared the vehicle totaled and offered to buy it from Gary for pennies on the dollar. Gary ended up taking two Hamms for it and Reed now has it.

Last night we also held the monthly volunteer fire department meeting here at the Lodge. Vinnie as a new member got to climb up onto the roof and turn the hand crank on the siren. As long as he was up there we had him go over to the women's bathroom and clean the snow off the skylight. It has been covered in snow since the big storm almost six weeks ago. That should have been the end of the roof visit but Denise, Bart's wife was in the bathroom at the time. She came running out yelling about a peeping Tom and before anyone could tell her any different she was out the door and gone, leaving her husband Bart behind. Vinnie came off the roof and about twenty minutes later Sheriff Tim drove up. We thought he was here for the fire department meeting but he was actually here looking for the reported peeping Tom. As soon as he said peeping Tom we all pointed to Vinnie who for some reason ran out the back door. I then told Tim about cleaning the snow from skylight and he was satisfied but was a little interested why Vinnie took off running.

This afternoon Chuck and I are headed to the Resort to install a new antenna for Vic's TV For a Christmas present we bought him one of them hi def little compact ones to replace his rabbit ears. Frank the mailman dropped the converter off we had ordered yesterday and Chuck ran down to Big Earl's to get some cable. I did some researching on the Internet and found a site that shows me that if we get the new antenna about seventy-five feet off the ground we can get signals all the way from the big city. Just so happens that Chuck still has tree climbing gear from his logging days and there is a nice big pine close enough to the Clubhouse that it just might work. Should be a pretty straight forward installation, climb the tree, screw in the antenna, hook cable up, lower cable to ground, drill hole through wall, insert cable, attach to TV, what could possibly go wrong, here at Lake Iwanttobethere {1,556,591}

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Bobby Bass

SO MUCH OF a difference some sunshine can make. Here at the Lodge at Lake Iwanttobethere the sun is out and the thermometer is reading thirty-four degrees in the shade and that my friends is above zero ! Have been in and out of my office several times since I arrived this morning. Been working on putting numbers together for tax season and have been taking breaks and going out onto the deck and using the ice chisel to scrape away packed snow. I will work on the deck for maybe ten minutes till my fingers start getting cold and clean off a section of the deck. I take the shovel and push over the side what I have chiseled up. Then head back inside to the office to crunch numbers for awhile. Of course the door is open and I have been getting some distractions from people popping their head into say HIYA.

Lady's Auxiliary is holding their Saturday morning meeting behind closed doors as usual. I have taken on the I don't bother them they don't bother me attitude. There is also a four fruit pie resting in the cooler that Gus and I have agreed to spit. Around eleven or so Gus went out and fired up the grill and now a few hours later the area around the grill is clear of snow and he is out there flipping burgers and burning sausages to just the right taste. Inside the Lodge is all cleaned up and back to its original configuration. Big dance floor is just a small dance floor and a table now sits where the Christmas tree was. All the decorations are back in boxes and down in the basement secure behind the chicken wire fenced wall.

Thirty-eight degrees out as I just came back from another trip outside. Some water dripping off the eves and I just tossed up a couple of dozen of them hockey puck sized ice melt thingies. Bid Earl donated a pail to the Lodge to help clear up our ice dam problem, kind of a test to see if they actually work or not. There really is only about a half a pail of them as I took several of them down to the hockey rink the other night. Tossed them out on the ice when the seniors were having practice and they were good for a laugh when Gus took a wrist shot with one that hit Big Earl in the goalie mask and it exploded. Well we all thought it was funny but Big Earl's ma was there and she gave us all a finger pointing lecture about how we could have took his, Big Earl's eye out, Sounded a lot like the lectures she would give us when we were teenagers, something's just don't change.

Shanty town is busy today, I can look down the hill from the Lodge and see a lot of people sitting on over turned five gallon buckets outside their houses. Some smoke curling out of stove pipes and even up here I can hear dogs barking and polka music. I am betting Elmer is in his house and has the speakers on high pointing out his windows as his neighbors. With the warm weather a lot of houses have now appeared and the launch area has been busy. Not a full blown city like in normal winters but this winter has not been normal. Skinny has promised a few more ice roads are going to be plowed out this week and the ones that are already plowed are going to be widened. Even Vicki down at the Masterbaiters Shop has expand her hours to meet what everyone is hoping to be a good week of fishing here at Lake Iwanttobethere {1,159,163}

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Bobby Bass

MESSY SILENT SUNDAY here at Lake Iwanttobethere as we are getting rain showers from time to time. Mixed feelings about the rain as it is nice that it is warm enough out to rain but I am not looking forward to the ice it is going to create when it freezes later tonight. Was already down at Big Earl's picking up an extra bag of deicer and I was going to get some sand but he is sold out. No big deal I have some bags in the green house and a lot of times the sand works better on the paths then the deicer does. Already there is a crust forming on the snow so that is going to help Ed and Eddie the squirrels when they make their raid on the bird feeders.

Vic called just a little while ago, wanted to thank me and Chuck for putting up the new antenna at the Resort. Told him it was no big deal and I am glad he was enjoying it. He said it was half-time at the San Fran football game and the picture is great. I didn't tell him that the game was being broadcasted locally and he was not really getting the game on his antenna from Charlotte North Carolina. A few more minutes of small talk and he said good-bye, his hot wings were done. Thinking of the antenna I rubbed the spot on my head where the screw gun bit had hit me. The installation of the antenna on the pine tree went pretty good I thought as I rubbed the little bump on my head.

We had everything we needed at the Resort and it was the warmest day of the year. Chuck put his tree climbing rigging on and put the small backpack over his shoulder. Up the tree he went and even though he didn't climb up seventy-five feet like the web site suggested he was still pretty high up the tree when he stopped and declared that it was the spot for the antenna. Having come prepared he tied himself off to the tree and opened up the back pack. The little all weather antenna just needed four screws to hold the adjustable mount to the tree and when Chuck reached for the screw gun the screw bit came out and tumbled to the ground. Lucky for us I was there to catch it with the top of my head. The bit bounced off my head and off into the brush, I will admit it stung some and after I got back up I yelled some encouragement to Chuck, thanking him for the heads up.

Chuck hung from the tree for awhile as I made my way up to the shop to get another screw bit. While I was gone I could hear Chuck yelling and I didn't give it to much thought as I figured he was just telling me to hurry up with the screw bit. When I got back to the tree I found Chuck hiding at the base looking upwards. I too looked upwards but didn't see anything. Chuck gasping for breath looked like he had raced down the tree trunk as there was a pretty big hole in the snow where he hit. After awhile he told me he was just leaning back in his harness enjoying the view when a snowy owl landed on the limb right next to him. I guess they were both surprised by seeing each other, the owl flex his talon in Chucks direction and that is when he decided to bail. He said the owl came off the limb and followed him down.

I looked around for the owl, has been a few years since I had last seen one and I admit I had never had the close up experience that Chuck had. It took awhile but finally Chuck went back up the tree and the antenna was mounted and cable secured. Like I said before what could possible go wrong with a simple antenna installation here at Lake Iwanttobethere {1,160,862}

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Bobby Bass

BRING IT ON the snow that is. Installed the two replacement belts on the snow thrower this morning. Sunshine Ray was forecasting some snow for today but no sooner did I install the new belts then Sunshine Ray changed his forecast. The snow is now supposed to fall on the other side of the lake. If I had not changed the belts then for sure it would be snowing right now. Thermometer says eighteen out but the wind chimes are banging away and it feels much colder. Dogs came out side but didn't hang around to watch me work, they quickly did their thing and headed back to the deck door. Duncan jumped up and rang the door bell and the wife let them back inside the cabin.

Getting to be that time of winter when I should start an inside project. Need something to do other then looking over the seed catalogs that have been coming in along with the fishing catalogs. Watched a little football over the weekend but I don't have a horse in the race so I really don't care who wins or loses. Yesterday I was at my number two granddaughter's school, I was grandpa for the day. Not an award or anything I was just the token grandparent for the day and I spent my time helping out a few teachers. I also felt like I was my granddaughters show and tell item. My only complaint was I had to spend most of the day on my feet as I can't sit down in them little kid chairs. I mean I can sit down on them I just can't get back up out of them.

Since I was at school I brought the granddaughter back home and she didn't have to ride the bus with Bigfoot. Bigfoot is the name the kids have given to the bus driver and I will admit then when we walked by the bus I checked out his feet, I don't know why they call him Bigfoot and the granddaughter didn't know either, I asked. With the granddaughter in her car seat we headed to her house and talked along the way. She is seven going on about twenty-seven I think. When did kids get so smart? She always makes me chuckle and as we drove home we talked about a lot of things, including a fishing trip. She told me she needs to practice on her casting as she is not very good at that but makes up for it by being a good catcher. I told her I know a lot of guys who are good casters but not very good catchers and I thought being a catcher is better.

This fishing trip she has been putting some thought into it. She has not decided yet what part of Lake Iwanttobethere she wants to fish but thinks when the day comes we will know by the weather. We will bring the cooler and have bologna sandwiches with the crust cut off. One side will be white bread and the other side brown bread. We will have Ritz crackers with creamy peanut butter and them Twinkies that I like. We also need a bag of Cheetoes to snack on and to feed the bluegills with. Of course we need bottles of Lake Iwanttobethere Root Beer and she has already talked to Mindy and Mandy who told her they are going to make a special batch just for us. I asked her what day this trip was going to be and she told me "When the day comes we will feel it" now she is starting to sound like her grandmother, here at Lake Iwanttobethere {1,566,450}

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TAX SEASON IS upon us at least it is for me here. I actually like doing taxes and I do the kids and a few of their friends along of course with the Lodges taxes with the help of the accountant. Today I got one of the daughters all done and played some with my own. Pretty simple now that I am retired but always looking for ways to squeeze something out of the government. For decades I always made to much to get in on any of the programs now I am researching for anything that will save me a dime. Still trying to find away to get paid to go fishing though.

Yesterday afternoon I did spend some time down at the Masterbaiters shop. Vicki needed the afternoon off and from time to time I will fill in for her. Weather has cooled off some and we are a bit more normal temperature wise. That now means that fishermen are out on the ice and the afternoon went quickly. I hardly got much time to check out new lures when I would be interrupted by a paying customer. Sold some minnows and waxies and a new short pole to a guy who didn't want to tell his wife he dropped one of his down the hole. Of course I think bait shops are the original what you say here stays here place. I may be wrong when I think about that as I sure have heard a lot of rumors that might have started at a bait shop. Matter of fact I think the bait shop is as bad as Burt's and Bart's Barber Shop when it comes to keeping secrets.

Our own Bait Room at the Resort is slowing expanding, matter of fact in just a few short months I will have to get together my order for Spring. After being open for one fishing season we have a pretty good handle on what we need to keep hanging on the peg board. So I did notice a few things when I had time to walk around the shop. The price for hard body baits have taken yet another price jump. The jointed lures are at least a couple of bucks more than last season. That is bad for me as I was looking to fill a few empty spots in one of the tackle boxes with some smaller lures to chase smallmouth with this season. Always have to buy two of everything just in case you lose a hot lure or you want to sell it to your fishing buddy at of course a small markup.

When I got back to the cabin last night I found out that Frank the plow driver had left me a surprise. Even though it had not snowed at all he was out plowing and he managed to find some snow somewhere to cover the end of my drive. I think he somehow found out I had replaced the belts on the snow thrower and was just doing his part in making sure I got to try them out. I drove through the pile and parked by the shop. I took the thrower out and ran it down the drive and as long as I had it out I cut into the bank and expanded the drive some. The old snow thrower was really flinging stuff back into the woods, guess I had forgotten how it was supposed to run. A few passes at the end of the drive and it was clear again. Did manage to fling a few rocks off the mailbox and I suppose I should have closed the lid before I filled it up with snow. Actually it worked so good I made a pass over at Chucks and his mailbox was open too, just doing some snow removal here at Lake Iwanttobethere {1,568,630}

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WIND IS SWIRLING here at Lake Iwanttobethere but then from what I have heard on the radio it is blowing pretty much everywhere. Never have been much of a fan of the wind maybe because I am not a sailor or do I hang glide. Of course back when I was a kid hang gliding was still just someone's dream not something one would really do. I have in the past took a few runs on an iceboat here at Lake Iwanttobethere, Snow free ice is needed and you glide across the ice with the wind filling your sail and the sound of the runners on the ice beneath you. It has been several years since I have done that and no one is running their iceboats on the ice this winter, not with two feet of snow cover.

I am sitting in the den watching the wind blow snow up against the window glass. We have had a couple of inches of light powered fall overnight, not really enough to shovel. The wind is doing its best to move the light snow everywhere but where I would want it. A drift is forming across the drive and another one is blocking the shop door. Wind chimes are banging away and the two bird feeders I can see are out of seed and swaying. I don't know if birds emptied them or Ed and Eddie the squirrels. Daughter called earlier telling me her husband, my son in law is back home from North Dakota two days early. Storm brewing out that way and they shut down early with some bad luck the storm has followed him back to the lake.

Grand kids are coming over tomorrow looking to spend another long weekend. I do not remember having so much time off from school when I was young. Already the daughter told me that the granddaughter is making a list of "Projects" for us to do. The list is being written in crayon which is of course appropriate for her age. Forecast is calling for it to be in the twenties over the weekend before heading back to zero to stay the rest of the week. I was thinking of taking the snow thrower to the big garden and blowing all the snow into a big pile in the center. The snow there has been undisturbed for the whole winter and I was thinking maybe the kids could dig out an ice shelter from the pile. At the very least it would keep them busy for an afternoon. I have not mentioned the plan to the wife who I am sure will come out with several reasons for not doing it.

Spent some time on the phone with my neighbor Chuck, we covered a lot of topics. One of them was him and the new wife are thinking hard about selling the horses. In their place they are talking of bring in some beef and if I would be interested in throwing in with them on a couple of head. The idea of some fresh T-bones on the grill is a no brainer and I told him to go for it. They are still in the talking stage but maybe by spring we will have some dinner walking around in the pasture over there. A gust of wind just rattled the windows here a tad and made me look out at the lake which I can't really see with the blowing snow. Getting dark out and there will be no star gazing tonight. I know Marv and Elmer are spending the night on the ice, fishing, Elmer says the night before a storm is always a good night to fish. Chuck suggested that maybe after dark we should head down to the shanty and give it a few good shakes and play with the old guys some. Last year we tied a rope to it and pulled the shanty off their holes while they were sleeping. I still don't think they know we were the ones that did it. Never boring here at Lake Iwanttobethere {1,570,301}

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YESTERDAY WAS HOCKEY day, so we went bowling! Of course it was not really that simple we did watch some hockey as there were games on the TV all day and not till the grand kid's bedtime did I get a chance to actually sit down and watch a period from beginning to end. Grand kids are here over a five day break from school and the wife is enjoying herself. Cooking for a group, washing clothes, bundling kids in hats and gloves and scarfs tied so tight around necks that kids eyes start to bulge out some. As long as the kids are all here so are the dogs and Buster and Mia have joined Buddy, Barney and Duncan, add the four kids and there is not a square foot of snow on the property that does not have a track in the snow.

Friday the kids were split up as the girls spent time over at Elmer's cabin where he put them to work. The girls like going over there because he has so many little knickknacks all over the cabin and they get to pick them up and look them over as long as they have a dust cloth in their hands. The boys headed over to Chucks to help out in the chicken coop and check up on Lucky the duck. Hauling hay to the horses and searching for eggs which this time of the year are few and far between. Why they were away I sat in the kitchen and listen to the wife talk about having all the kids around is just like the good old days. We seem to have different memories of the "Good old days" as my tend to be about fishing and bird hunting and adventures with Chuck.

Yesterday after breakfast the kids did a list of chores, yes they get chores when they are here. Mostly things that I have been meaning to do and have not got around to. As I looked over the completed list I noticed that a lot of the things on the list were stuff that is better done by little hands or things that needed to be done close to the floor. A lot of dusting was done as burning a fire in the fireplace may be all quaint and rustic but it is still very dirty. As a reward for the cleaning we all went bowling in the afternoon. Packed the kids all up in the Tahoe and the wife was left behind with all the dogs. As soon as we got to the bottom of the drive I told the kids they could take their scarfs off. We drove to town and parked in the half full parking lot of the Three Strikes Bowling Alley. Most people figure it is called the Three Strikes because when you get three strikes you call it a turkey and in the summer you win a pass for a free bowling game. Actually the name comes from the Lounge in the bowling ally. Where if you bother the waitress they give you a warning and toss you out after three strikes.

I was last through the door into the bowling alley and I must admit it is one place that never seems to change. I am greeted with a sign taped across the door that simply says "No Shoes, No Shirt, No Service and in smaller letters No Gum Allowed" My grand kids were already out of sight as I was not the only grand parent with the same idea of going bowling. I walked pass the pinball machines up against the wall past the bill changer and the automatic ball washing machine. No such thing as walking as groups of kids ran around me heading away from where they just came. Smell of pizza in the air and a faint touch of stale beer from the bowling leagues. I followed the trail in the heavy worn carpet to the counter where Benny the owner was spraying shoes with deodorizer. We exchanged some HIYA's and I was put on a short waiting list for lane number one which has bumpers in place. I ordered a coke from the teenage girl who was working the food counter and waited for my name to be called.

I was just finishing up my second coke when my name was called out over the noise of screaming kids and the sound of bowling balls being dropped onto the wood of the lanes. A few seconds later the crashing of tumbling pins and the occasional whoop and screams of a happy bowlers. I met up with the grand kids on lane number one, they had their balls and were ready to bowl. They wanted me to bowl to and against my better judgment I agreed. To make it fair I had to bounce the ball at least once off the bumpers before I could hit a pin and all four of them kicked my butt. It cost me a round of pop and a pizza, but I had planned on buying that anyway. We made the ride back home and I stopped at the bottom of the drive, where the kids all put their scarfs back on. Today it is thirty-six out and dead calm, my sons the grand kid's fathers have taken all the kids ice fishing so for awhile it is quiet around here. I was going to go to but I am a little sore from bowling and there is some football on I want to watch here at Lake Iwanttobethere {1,582,377}

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TAKING A BREAK here, my grand daughter is a slave driver. Seems she had a pretty good project list of things for us. I think her grandmother had some suggestions for the granddaughter to write down. Oldest granddaughter is over at Chuck's hanging out with his wife, they are doing some art project for school. Boys are in the kitchen baking with the wife and I am hiding out from the number two granddaughter and her list. This morning the first thing on the granddaughter's list was to make pancakes. Not just pancakes but figure pancakes, this is where you take a small plastic squeeze bottle with a tapered tip and you draw out shapes on the griddle. You then let them cook for about thirty seconds then fill in the empty spaces with batter. When you flip the pancake the drawn batter is darker then the rest of the pancake and you have a face. This morning I made pancakes in the shape of a whale. I then covered them with Lake Iwanttobethere Maple Syrup and sprinkled on some blue berries making it, yup you guessed it, a Blueberry Whale.

Last night it warmed up and we dug out the fire grate and using broken branches we had ourselves a small bon fire. Kids roasted marshmallows and we did a few hot dogs. Today it is a lot cooler and the sun was out for awhile but is now back behind the clouds and the kids want to stay inside and help the wife make cookies, which of course they will have to sample. Bud and Barney are in the kitchen under the table, Buster is under my desk and Mia and Duncan the two young dogs are just outside running. They just keep running around the cabin in a circle chasing each other. Then they stop for a few minutes and for no reason that I can see they start running again. It is kind of like watching a nascar race with a lot of yellow caution flags.

I did order some tobacco seeds for what may be my newest hobby. I am going to try and grow tobacco here so I can roll my own cigars. Been doing a lot of reading and watching video on the Internet and it looks like it is something that should work. I may take me a while to get the cigar making down but I figured I can at least smoke the mistakes in my pipe. Not that far away from when I will have to start planting stuff in the house and clean the greenhouse. Going to also try growing celery which is another long growing plant. With the garden up at the Resort we have room now to try and grow a few other things and experiment some. We are still eating the home grown spuds and every time we eat French fries someone makes a comment on how it was such a good idea to grow tatters at the Resort. As a matter of fact I think the last of the fall apples are going to be used this afternoon to make pies.

Sunshine Ray has come out with his extended weather forecast and in a word it is going to be cold. Not as cold as a few weeks ago but the wood pile is going to get depleted some. The best part is when we get out of this next cold snap we should be into February. Will be time for going to boat shows and maybe a little warmer fishing weather on the ice. Sun will be higher in the sky and staying out longer. With February in sight March is that much closer and then maybe we will see some melting of snow banks. Plant's trays will be green and before you know it April will be here and the greenhouse will be up and running. Chuck will be busy getting ready for Maple syrup season and our second spring at the Resort will be here. It is already feeling warmer here at Lake Iwanttobethere {1,587,134}

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DONG, BONG, DING dong the wind chimes just outside the window of my den are softly banging away and I can hear them inside the cabin. Looking out the window I can see the top of the big pine swaying back and forth and clouds in the sky look to be in a hurry to be somewhere else. As I sit at the desk I can feel the sunshine coming through the window warming up my beard. Might explain why Smokie the cat is trying to lie on my keyboard that too is in the sunshine. I shoo him away but he moves but a few feet to sprawl in the sunshine next to the dwarf orange tree. Carpet of the den is littered with play toys, not kids but Duncan's. He lays at my feet taking up as much room as he can. One eye opens occasionally to watch me and I pretend to ignore him but I nuzzle him from time to time with a stocking toe.

No one but me, the dogs and the cats home this morning. Grand kids are all gone and the wife is out shopping. I sit at the desk with sun shinning on my face and a cigar burning in the ash tray. A steady stream of white cigar smoke rises from the tip and I watch it. When it reaches where the sun shines it curls and takes on a little life of its own. I reach for it and take a few puffs and watch lazy smoke rings form above my head as I lean back in the chair and practice some. This morning has been a lazy one so far, I figure I deserve it after having kids here for the long weekend.

After awhile I get up with cigar in hand and make my way over to the window. The bass thermometer's red needle is pointing at five or six below, can't really tell from my angle. Duncan watches me with one eye making sure I am not really leaving the room. It looks cold outside, the snow looks hard and not really white anymore. It has the look of old snow as nothing new has fallen for over a week. No birds that I can see and the only thing moving other then the wind chimes and the tree branches is a speck of a jet high in the blue sky. I briefly wonder what they are seeing way up there looking down at me. I doubt if the cabin is even a speck they can see.

Buddy walks slowly into the den, sniffs Duncan on the floor and then ignores him. He presses up against my leg and I reach down and rub the old dog behind his ear. I walk back over to the desk and sit down, cigar back to the ash tray. I swivel in my chair and reach for Bud who followed me over and I now give him a serious rubbing with both hands behind his ears and he closes his eyes. I stop and pull my hands away but he leans forward and dips his head back under my hands, he is not done being rubbed yet and so I do, keep rubbing. After another minute of rubbing and tugging he pulls his head back and flaps his ears a few times. Bumps my knee with his nose as if to say "That hit the spot" and turns to find a sun warmed spot on the floor. He walks over makes two complete turns and flops down onto the rug. I watch and wonder like I always do why dogs have to wind themselves before lying down.

I sit back in the chair and with my cigar I blow a few more rings in the air. I tap the cigar on the side of the ashtray and a small ring of ash falls off. I hold the cigar in my hand and raise it up and measure it with my eyes. I figure I got about thirty more minutes of cigar left and then I will have to get some work done. But right now it is just a lazy morning here at Lake Iwanttobethere {1,590,367}

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BANG, CLANG, BONG no subtle ringing of wind chimes this afternoon. Strong wind has been blowing since early morning and the wind chimes are slamming up against the siding of the cabin. What little snow that has been resting on top of the crusted snow is being blown by the strong winds into a white out. It is one below out and I have been spending time this morning trying to find a link to a cam somewhere showing a white sandy beach with sunshine and deep blue calm water. Maybe a coconut tree or two and a young gal with a deep dark tan leaving footprints in the warm sand heading in my direction. She would be carrying a tray with a tall cool drink with an umbrella stuck in it and a big smile, I have not found it as of yet.

Not going to get any better either, Sunshine Ray has come out with his forecast and he is calling for Friday to be in the twenties and then we are going into the deep freeze for a week to ten days. Going to take us right through the rest of the month and into February. I wrote awhile back about being in the eye of a winter hurricane, I think we are now on the other side of the storm. Friday I will have to haul wood down to the cabin and make sure that not only the wood box and rack is filled but will have to stack wood between the railings on the deck. I am pretty sure that I will not want to be getting wood from the big pile later in the week. Elmer likes to call this time of the year "The dead of winter," but that is usually meant to describe when we are just cold and buried in snow. Today's wind is anything but quiet as you can hear the howling inside the cabin.

The cabin is not quiet either, the wife made a comment yesterday that the cabin seems to be talking more. Having wood floors and it being dry the floor's creek and groan and occasional there is a pop that can't be explained. Dogs raise their heads and cock ears but they don't get up to investigate and soon they lay their heads back down on the floor. Good time to bake breads and make dinner in the crock pot. I am sure a turkey and a ham will be on the menu for supper this week, any excuse to let the oven warm the kitchen. Wife will spend time knitting scarfs as the grand kids seem to lose them all the time. I'll fire up the sauna and sit a spell, more than likely Chuck and Elmer will come over and we will trade a few stories and sip a few beers. Cribbage board will come out and Elmer will play the winner. While Chuck and I play Elmer will be in the kitchen sweet talking the wife out of some pie.

Time will be spent just looking out the window and rubbing dogs behind the ears. As I sit here and write this I am already planning a list in my head of things that need to be done. If I put the list down on paper then the wife will point things out to me that I should be doing instead of sitting here writing about them. Thing is I don't have much of a problem sitting back in my chair and looking out the big window here. A cigar burning with in reach and a glass with some melting ice cubes in it. I can put up my feet and watch the big blue spruce tree sway in the wind. The big maple at the edge of the lot twists back and forth in the strong wind and now that I am looking at it the snow from the first winter storm has finally been blown off all the branches. The last apple hanging from the old tree catches my eye, even in the winds of January it refuses to fall off the branch, here at Lake Iwanttobethere {1,593,000}

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I GOT TO stop talking about the weather as it just seems to keep getting colder out when I do. Was cold enough this morning that when I went out and started the Tahoe I swear the engine when it was turning over was saying Nooooooo Noooooo but it did start. I let it warm up a lot longer then was needed but the older I get the more I like having a warm truck to climb into. I drove into town on what felt like square tires till after a few miles they seemed to round out and the ride got a little smoother. Road was clear of snow and that is a good as in the daylight you can spot the potholes. I try and remember where the bigger ones are for when the sun sets but I am always surprised when I hit one and bounce my head off the roof. I am sure I will be grimacing and feeling bad for the truck till summer.

Have not been to town for a few days so I had a few errands to run around town. Amy's Bakery for some bread and conversation then over to Big Earl's. I was going to buy a few more rolls of tape but when I got to the General Store and made my way to the Big Tape sale, the sale was over. In its place was a mountain of Valentine candy in an assortment of bright red boxes. As I walked on by I was thinking to myself February is almost on us. I did notice that Big Earl had a few Christmas fruit cakes hidden with the chocolates, he will do anything to try and move them things. I had a short list of items that I needed for a few small projects around the cabin and grabbing a hand basket I made quick work of checking off things on the list. Barb checked me out and I was on my way before the Tahoe had a chance too cool.

Next stop was Ma and Pa's Grocery and I made sure to park where the sunshine could keep the Tahoe warm. I open the door to the familiar sound of the bell jingling over the door. Ma was sitting behind the counter watching her soaps on a new flat screen color TV which surprised me. I asked her what happen to the black and white and she told me that Pa has it back by the meat counter. The new flat screen was from their granddaughter, a late Christmas present. I made my way to the back of the store and Pa came from around the counter with a sliver of bologna in his hand. He looked behind me and then asked "Where is Duncan" I told Pa that Duncan had stayed home, to cold. Pa just said "Smart dog" and popped the piece of bologna in his mouth He then turned and said "I'll get your turkey" I made some small talk and then paid for my turkey, Pa handed me a small white wrapped package and just said "For the dogs" I nodded my thanks and made my way out the door, the bell jingling overhead.

Last stop was the Lodge and I was only there long enough to check my mail and carry in a piece of firewood. Gus had the sign up by the door for when you come in to bring a stick of firewood with ya and so I did. The wood I tossed in the wood box and I grabbed the poker and gave the fire a couple of prods. Drapes were all pulled back and sunshine was streaming in. At least the one good thing about cold weather this time of the year is we usually get ample sunshine. I walked by the wall panel for Windy the Windmill and saw all the lights were green and she was charging away. I would imagine after the brisk winds of the past few days the batteries are all at full charge and we sold some power back to the co-op. Close enough to lunch that I made myself a Coney, but just one and I ate it as I headed back out to the Tahoe. I drove back to the cabin and was day dreaming about some summer fishing when I hit a pothole and bounced my head off the roof. Going to have to try and remember that one, here at Lake Iwanttobethere {1,594,363}

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Bobby Bass

THIS TIME OF year it is nice to have a full beard. When it gets cold out I tend to let the beard grow out and then trim it back come summer. I do notice a change in the way the ladies treat me though when I have my beard nice and full and bushy. Not the way you are thinking, but it seems when I wear the full beard ladies seem to ask me more questions. I was at the Lodge this morning and the Fellows were all sitting at the big round table drinking coffee. A couple of the guys have full beards while the others are clean shaven. For this conversation mustaches did not count as everyone here at Lake Iwanttobethere seems to have a mustache, even a few ladies in the Ladies Auxiliary. We didn't say that out too loud as they were holding a meeting in the small room as we sat at the round table.

OK so the beards, I notice when I am on the street tourists seem to come up to me and ask questions or directions. The Fellows were talking about this as it has happen to them to. Just yesterday I was standing next to Hammering Hank who does not have a beard and a lady asked where she could buy some firewood. The lady asked me the question not Hank who was standing alongside of me wearing his carhart coat with a patch in the shape of a log right over his heart that said "Lake Iwanttobethere Firewood Company". I looked at the lady and pointed a thumb at Hank and the lady thanked me and then asked Hank about some firewood. One of the Fellows while sipping on his coffee said he read a story where they have proven that guys with beards are looked on as "Manly Men" and women just pick the guys with the beards out of a crowd when they needed manly things done.

Heads nodded around the table and I was starting to agree with the Fellows, normally that is not a good thing. Of course the story about the beards was only referring to things the ladies wanted done, like chopping wood, fixing plumbing or working on cars. Greg said "Case in point, Bob Vila, he has a beard" and I found myself once again nodding my head in agreement. Al Borland from Home Improvement, he had a beard and I found myself deep in thought stroking my own beard. "Big Earl has a beard and look how many ladies come to him for advice" said Tiny. " But he owns the General Store, ladies are going to come to him and ask questions" I said "So why does no one ask Junior anything, anyone notice he does not have a beard?" Steve asked. I found myself again stoking my beard again, deep in thought. Gus listening to the conversation from behind the bar said "I just got one name for ya" and we all turned in our chairs and looked at him. Gus just said "Chuck Norris" and we all nodded our heads in agreement.

This beard thing has me thinking now, I do seem to get asked a lot of questions about things. I was thinking it is because I am getting older and there is a good chance that I might actually know the answers so that is why people ask me questions. But as I was thinking I starting thinking about politicians, they never seem to have an answer for anything but then again how many politicians have you seen wearing beards. Just then Marv and Elmer came into the Lodge, they came over to the round table and we filled them in on the conversation. Neither one of them have beards and I asked why not. Elmer just said "The day I shaved my beard the x wife stopped asking me questions, it worked for me so I have not grown it back" Marv nodded his approval and just said "Same thing happen to me" Now I am wondering if I shave my beard off will the wife stop asking me to do stuff around the cabin, here at Lake Iwanttobethere {1,598,746}

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I FEEL THE warm breeze in my face and as I look out at the water the rain looks like it has pretty much stopped. Just a few small drops are falling hitting the surface of the lake making small dimples before being absorbed by the water I pull the hood back off my head and slip my arms out of the sleeves of the rain jacket. I shake it a little before tossing it back on the driver's seat. I will leave it there so it can dry out some and so that it will be handy if I need it again. I pick up my rod and launch a lazy cast out towards the green of the shore. The little lure slips quiet like into the water and the splash is not much bigger then one of the last random rain drops that drip off the overhanging tree.

The prop of the trolling motor is barely turning over and the Puddle Humper is hardly moving down the shore but it is moving. No wake behind me but if I stare at a reed alongside the boat it does slip behind me. I reel the little lure in and as I do I am already looking ahead for the next spot to cast to. With an easy motion I go through the well practice act of lifting the rod and casting the rod. I watch the line flow through the guides being pulled out by the lure to land softly just a tad to the left of where I was aiming. I reel slowly and I let my eyes wander. I am just coming up on a dock and I move the trolling motor just a nudge so I will clear it. I see a couple of goats, pets I am guessing working on the grass around the brown cabin. They take turns watching me float by but they never stop chewing. I have a passing thought that maybe a couple of goats is what I need back at home. Mowing the lawn has never been high on my list of things I want to be doing in the summer.

Come to think of it that might be one of the better reason to have snow, if you have snow you have no grass to mow. No one says anything if you let your snow pile up two feet in your yard but if you were to let the grass grow two feet there would be a notice on the door and the town council would have you on the docket for the next meeting. Goats, Hmm I'll have to think some more about that. I glide pass the dock and I turn the trolling motor off, I come to a stop and holding the lure just out of the water I look down. I can see some bluegills, small ones just under the dock and they are just holding their position. Fins moving but not going anywhere. The water is calm and I can see the reflection of my rod in the water and the side of the Puddle Humper. A couple of water bugs come out from under the dock. They always remind me of little trucks with tire's way too big. Matter of fact when I see little trucks all jacked up with tires too big they remind me of water bugs.

I watch for awhile, the water bugs that is. I make a wager with myself that the bluegills will dash out from under the dock and chase down the water bugs but nothing happens. Maybe the gills see me as a big water bug and don't want anything to do with me. Maybe the water bugs know this and have come out from cover knowing they are safe, for now. I sit back in my chair and turn the trolling motor back on, I aim it for the reed point and sit back and enjoy the ride. Going to take me a few minutes to get there but I am in no hurry. I open the bail on the reel and let a few yards of line out. The little lure sinks beneath the surface and now I am trolling. I feel the warm breeze on my face and I raise a hand to tug at my beard. I open my eyes and see snow outside my window and find myself sitting in the recliner, the space heater at my feet blowing in my face. For a little while there I was fishing, here at Lake Iwanttobethere {1,602,120}

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EVER NOTICE YOU only have furnace problems in the dead of winter, and the oven seems to stop working when you have a big chunk of prime rib on the counter. Yesterday I got kind of lazy and let the fire die and the furnace had to come on. Trouble is it didn't want to stay on and I had to go down in the basement and do some trouble shooting. Got the furnace running and a fire started and we were back being cozy in no time. This morning I was up early and the furnace was running fine and I had a fire going, decided to sit back on the couch and watch the weather channel and see how everyone was making out down south. Must have dozed off as I was woke up by the wife shaking my shoulder. She was telling me that the furnace if off again and what part of it does she hit to make it work.

Back to the basement and I got it running again but I made sure she didn't see what I was doing. I am now waiting on a return call from Jeff the furnace guy to schedule a cleaning and maybe a replacement of the fan control. So I come up to the kitchen and sit back, half listening to the wife and half waiting for the furnace to go through a cycle when the phone rings. My neighbor Chuck is on the line and he tells me about his problem right after I tell him mine. Seems they were going to put a prime rib in the oven yesterday and the oven went out on him. Long story short he to is waiting on Jeff to give him a call. So we figure that Jeff can't call us if we are both talking to each other and decide to end our call. I did offer to let Chuck use my oven to cook his prime rib and he said he would bring it over if he does not hear from Jeff.

Another cold one here at Lake Iwanttobethere and I wish I was talking about beer. When I got up this morning it was south of twenty below out and once it gets that cold I don't much care to check anymore. Dogs go outside and barely make it off the deck to do their thing. Quickly they are back at the door and if they don't see me standing there they will bark a few times to get my attention. I'll let them in the cabin and before I can get the door closed and the rug pushed up against the bottom of it all three of them will be on the couch taking my warm spot. I have to wedge myself between two of them in order to get any space to sit. Using them as arm rests we soon are comfortable and I must admit they are warm as soon as their hair gets back up to room temperature after being outside.

I guess we are breaking a bunch of records for being so cold and so much snow on the ground. Fuel prices are going through the ceiling and a lot of people are saying it is even too cold to get cabin fever in these parts. I have gotten in the habit of plugging the Tahoe in all the time. Lucky for me I have a switch inside the cabin that lets me turn the power on and off to the cord. This way I can flick the switch on and at least start to warm up the engine for an easier start. I use to have a remote car starter, actually several of them but they all moved out and have their own cars now. As I was talking to Chuck I told him I had a dream the other night. I went on vacation and he asked me where. I told him my dream was to just drive south till no one knew what the plug hanging from under my hood was for. Seems like everyone here has one at Lake Iwanttobethere {1,609,007}

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JUST A FEW days away from Duncan's third birthday. Hard to believe that he has been around already three years. Seems that it was only a few months ago that he was just a pup running around the cabin carrying shoes and boots and dragging pillows onto the floor to sleep on. Come to think of it just yesterday he was carrying shoes and boots and dragging pillows onto the floor to sleep on. Of course he has grown a lot but Duncan is still Duncan. I was sitting on the couch this morning watching some TV and Duncan jumped up on the couch next to me. The wife was not home so I didn't make a deal about telling him to get off. He put his head on my shoulder and stared at me with one eye while the other I imagine was looking at the TV. As labs tends to do he lifted his head back off my shoulder and gave me a big quiet yawn like he was bored.

It was a commercial so I turned to him and asked him what he wanted. Like most if not all dog owners I have conversations with my dogs. There is nothing wrong with that just as long as I don't expect them to talk back to me. That does not mean that Duncan does not try. After I asked the question I got another big yawn but this one had some noise to go along with it. I figured it was the "I want to go outside yawn" and so I got up and let him out the deck door. First off I can tell it is warming up some as the storm door is not so hard to push open. The door closer was not froze like it has been the past few days.

A few minutes later and the back door bell rings as Duncan was ready to come back in the cabin. He jumps up and hits the button with his paw and then waits till I come and open the door. No sooner do I close the door and Duncan is sitting behind me and gives me another yawn and a little whining and a little bark. I figure he was looking for water and I checked the bowl in the kitchen, it was full. While I am looking at the bowl Duncan is over where we keep the dog biscuits and another short series of howls and whines make me think he wants a bone. I open the box make him shake my hand and then reward him with the bone. He leaves, no doubt heading for the den where he will eat it on the rug in the sunshine.

I make my way back to the couch only to find Bud and Barney laying on the cushions and taking up the entire couch. I am beginning to sense that Duncan was sent to distract me while the older dogs got comfortable. I return to the den where I sit down and Duncan now done with his bone is going through a routine of standing and stretching. Leaning forward and then back he stretches out and goes through a complete set of vocals for me. Not even thinking I find myself stretching my arms over my head and joining him. Has me wondering a little who is in charge here. Done stretching I swivel in my chair and face the computer and as I move the keyboard Duncan jumps up and rests his paws on the desk top and puts his head on my shoulder. We look at each other eye to eye from about three inches away and we talk. Well at least I do, I tell him nothings and he looks at me and is in total agreement. I give him a hug and he hugs back, something I have been training him to do.

With our hug over with he gets off the edge of the desk and walks around me to the sunny spot on the den floor. He lays down on the rug and rolls on his side so he can watch me and gives me one more quiet yawn. Sure would be interesting to be able to speak dog, even for just one day. Maybe then I would know what is going on around here at Lake Iwanttobethere {1,613,083}

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I SURE DO hate it when I have to pay someone to do something for me. Today Jeff the furnace guy was out to the cabin and as I suspected the limit switch on my furnace had gone bad. I mean geeze it was only twenty-five years old. You would think it would have been good for at least another year or so. Kidding aside Jeff is a good guy and he replaced the switch and cleaned the furnace at the same time. Took him a couple of hours at least as that is what he billed me for and as I sat at the desk and wrote the check I was thinking there goes gas money for a few fishing trips this spring. Not much I can do about it and the wife patted me on the shoulder and gave me that wifely advice on how we needed it done and at least we won't have to worry about the furnace now. I was thinking something different, more along the lines that I won't hear her down in the basement pounding on the furnace trying to get it going and the check was written out of my fishing fund.

Spent the rest of the afternoon doing little odd jobs but I kept finding myself listening for the sound of the fan on the furnace. You know how that goes, you get something fixed or replaced and then you focus on that for awhile, just to make sure it is really fixed. The wife took pity on me and made peanut butter cookies to try and get my mind off the furnace. I told her that apple pie would really make me forget but she told me I was pushing my luck. On a good note the clouds did clear up and it got warmer then forecasted. Nice to see the sun getting up high enough that it can melt some snow on the sidewalk.

Chuck has not fixed his oven, told me he was going to wait till after we come back from our little ice fishing trip we have planned in just a over a week. If he has some money left then he will fix the oven, if not the wife will just have to wait till he gets around to it. Chuck has not been married long, he has a few things to learn yet. I am going to out on a limb here and I am forecasting by the time Valentines Day gets here we are going to get a break in the weather. Not going to be spring like but I am forecasting we will finally be done with these minus twenty below nights. Matter of fact Sunshine Ray is calling for it to hit eighteen below tonight and my kids tell me my grand kids are going to go to school, no matter what tomorrow.

Heading down to the Lodge tonight, hockey game on TV and I could use some time drinking a few mugs of Hamms and munching on some popcorn. Been spending way to much time here at the cabin and me and Duncan need to get out. Besides I am thinking that a few beers might be bought for Duncan to celebrate his coming birthday and he is too young to drink so someone has to drink for him. Don't worry about us getting back to the cabin, if I have had a few to many I am sure Duncan will take the keys from me. I just hope no one sneaks him any beers so he will still be OK to drive, here at Lake Iwanttobethere {1,618,083}

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SLOPPY HOCKEY GAME last night at least the first two periods were but then the game got interesting with some late period scoring. For a moment there we thought the home team was making a come back but it fell short. With no win to celebrate we looked for an excuse to hoist just one more beer and we found one. Elmer looking over the top of his mug brought up that tomorrow, which is today is the Chinese New Year. Well that sounded like a good enough thing to toast to since last night then became the Chinese New Years Eve. With the game over a few guys left and all but the regulars and the Fellows were still hanging around. The Fellows were all gathered around the big round table but the yellow think pad sat undisturbed in the center of the table. No one had any ideas and they were not working on anything, the Fellows were bored.

Looking out the deck window of the Lodge Lake Iwanttobethere was there for as far as the eye could see. A cold crystal clear night and the stars filled the night sky. A few shanties on the ice held fishermen, you could tell by trucks parked alongside them. Of course the small windows of light shining in the night is also a good give away that someone was home. I made my way over to the popcorn popper and made one last batch for the night. The seasoned oil went into the hopper followed by a measuring cup of popcorn. I closed the lid and waited for the first kernel to pop. A minute or so later and the popping started and the popcorn popped till it lifted the lid and started to tumble out over the side of the hopper. With a few last pops I reached in and hit the release and dropped the hopper onto its side where the rest of the popcorn fell to form a small roasted white mountain.

I had already lined a few wicker baskets with napkins and I made quick work scooping the hot popcorn into the baskets. I turned to walk away with one of the baskets and Greg was standing there with his hands open. I handed him the basket and went back to make another one. No sooner did I get that one filled them Elmer was looking over my shoulder and I could hear his nose sniffing away like Buddy does when the wife is baking cookies. I didn't even bother to turn around I just held out the basket to my side and Elmer took it and was gone. Hardly enough popcorn for a decent basket so I added oil and seed and made another batch. Making popcorn is kind of like working at the hardware store and making the mistake of getting caught at the key machine.

I used to work part time at the hardware store, just helping out and working for the discount. One of the old guys taught me how to make keys with the old cutter and a few tricks of the trade in how to make keys from broken or worn out ones. He warned me about the sound of a key being made to a guy is like the sound of a can opener to a cat. I would cut a key or two for someone and I would turn around to find a line with guys who suddenly were reminded that they needed a key cut or ten. As I watched the popcorn pop I reached into my pocket and pulled out my truck keys. I sorted through them till I found the double cut ford truck key, it was the first key I had learned how to cut and even though the truck is long gone I still have the key and the old memory of the truck.

A couple of more batches of popcorn later and I finally had a basket to myself of hot steaming popcorn. I went to the kitchen and put a couple of pats of butter in a bowl and put the butter into the microwave. A few seconds later and I poured the butter on the popcorn and went out the double doors to the kitchen and back to the main room. Everyone was looking at me and noses were twitching, no doubt at the smell of butter popcorn that their wives do not let them have. I quickly made my way to my office and closed the door. Duncan sleeping on the couch looked up at me and his nose started twitching, I was safe no where with my popcorn here at Lake Iwanttobethere {1,621,537}

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HAD SOME SHOPPING to do in the big city today so most of the afternoon was spent trying to find a place to park. I have seen junkyards with better parking then how people park in the big city mall parking lot. Of course it might help if the guys who plowed the parking lot would actually put the blade down low enough so that it made contact with the asphalt. The parking reminded me a lot of a hot crappie bite back here at Lake Iwanttobethere with no two cars pointed in the same direction. Of course on the lake there are no yellow lines showing you where to park and on a good winter there is no need for marked roads. On the lake you can just go where ever your truck can take you, it is after all a lake. I saw cars parked three deep leaving no where for the middle cars to get out. I saw cars who just stopped in the middle of a driving lane like it was a good spot and the drivers just got out and walked away.

Got to the point that I would just let the daughter out and drive around trying not to get bottled in by other shoppers looking for places to park. The daughter was shopping for shoes and you know that by itself can be frustrating but after the third shop she found a pair and we were done. We did stop at a sit-down place to eat because the daughter didn't want any fast food. Nice enough place, we had to wait to be seated and I jokingly kidded the daughter about getting a seat before senior hour started. No sooner then we sat down then a line of seniors appeared pushing walkers or leaning on each other. I was pretty comfortable as I fit right in with the crowd and I got a few smiles from a few older ladies and a few looks from their partners.

Had me a pretty decent clubhouse sandwich and a glass of milk, would have been a decent enough meal if I didn't have a server coming to check on me every two minutes or so. Asking if I wanted my water refilled or coffee topped off. Thing is I had a full glass of water and I was not drinking coffee. No one asked if I wanted my glass of milk topped off even though they charged me two dollars for the little glass. Server checked on me three more times and tried to get me to buy a dessert, don't him after the milk I didn't have any money left except for his tip and then he left me alone.

Daughters treat so she paid the bill and I went out to find a car parked behind the Tahoe blocking me in. Was a little car so I was thinking about just putting the Tahoe in four wheel drive and just backing the Tahoe out and pushing the little car out of the way. Before I could follow through a young guy jumped in the car and backed out of the way. He pulled off to the side and as I started to back out he tried to cut in front of me and take my parking space. I kept backing up and before I was clear he had his little car parked and was out the door. Didn't even give me a look or a wave and as I sat the daughter just said "Dad" in the same way the wife does when she knows I am thinking of doing something that I shouldn't. I must admit on the way back home I was turning over a few ideas in my head. I did have a gallon of water in the back of the Tahoe that would have been perfect for icing the little car's tires onto the asphalt of the parking lot or I could have put a few blocks of wood behind the tires on the passenger side. Might have been fun just to watch him try to get the little car unstuck.

But I didn't do any of that, I just drove home chatting with the daughter and watching the sunset as we drove. After five and the sun was still in the sky, traffic was light and the road was dry and before you knew it we were making the turn to Lake Iwanttobethere. Of course as I drove through town I didn't see anyone double parked, no one does that around here. Of course there was a time when some people might have tried it, once. But when you come out and find your car picked up and placed sideways back in a parking space or find all four of your tires jacked up off the snow and resting on blocks you tend to park right. At least that is how I hear they take care of bad and inconsiderate parkers here at Lake Iwanttobethere {1,624,482}

Happy Birthday Duncan 36 months old!

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SO THAT RODENT out East saw his shadow and we are in for six more weeks of winter. Now that is a surprise! Heads up everybody this is winter in the northland, does anyone really think it is going to be warm out come mid February Of course we are going to have six more weeks of winter, geeze I will go out on a limb here and predict we will have seven, no make that eight more weeks of winter. Now what exactly is winter, is it below zero weather or just snow on the ground. Does snow falling on the ground count or is it still winter if you have a hard starting truck. If I remember right we might have had snow on the ground here last May so I feel pretty safe saying winter is going to be around longer then the six weeks that the rodent forecasted.

Super bowl Sunday and I don't have the TV on. Not really interested in the four hour pre game show. I will be heading to the Resort to watch the game as we are having a little get together there. Vic has been planning a super bowl party and the guys will all be there and Marv is cooking in the kitchen. Lots of finger food has been promised along with some really cold beer. Of course I will be bring along a few things as the wife as I write this is baking a double batch of peanut butter cookies. I think the wife is having her own super bowl party here but I am sure the TV will not be on, instead she and her friends will just sit in the living room with some box wine and do girl talk.

Yesterday was Duncan's birthday and we spent time at the Lodge in the evening. Somehow I got the bill for a round of drinks and Duncan received several boxes of dog biscuits for presents. I had to take the biscuits and hide them high up on a shelf in my office just like I would do with the kids Halloween candy. Duncan made the rounds going from table to table getting ears rubbed and pats on the back. Like a proud papa I watched my boy make his rounds and got a few pats on the back myself. Also some comments from fellow Lodge members about how well Duncan has turned out even after having an owner like me. Or like good thing Duncan does not have the same shape as his master. Well that part is true, he sure is ripped and it is not from getting exercise with me.

Killing time here at the cabin as I wait for the long pre game show to get over with. I sat back at the desk and did what I always do when I have time to kill, I started to clean the desk. Seems to be a never ending task as when I say desk I am talking about a serious size desk. The base is an old lawyer's desk that must be close to a hundred years old by now and I have a four by eight sheet of oak plywood on top of it. After you put the computer and monitor on it and of course the printer and a set of speakers along with a modem and a router it starts to get a little full. Add on a desk calculator and a telephone and a desk size calendar and you are starting to run out of space. Since it is tax season there are folders stacked along side the CPU and one of them plastic dividers to hold bills in. A stack of seed catalogs and fishing catalogs some loose stamps and my eye glass case. A small color TV rests in one corner partially blocked by coffee cups filled with pencils and pens and the odd screwdriver and scissors. Box of tissue paper some small parts in a cardboard box and an ashtray with the stub of a cigar in it. Also a few boxed fishing lures that I just picked up and my truck keys.

As I write this you see I have a lot of stuff on my desk and I still have more. A water bottle a stack of tape, a set of headphones and remote controls for the TV, stereo and disk changer. A can of compress air and a stack of paper for the printer. Some expired auto parts coupons and a stack of receipts. Not one but two little battery chargers for double a batteries. Pair of binoculars some chapstick my cameras and the humidor for my cigar's. A pack of golf balls some treble hooks in a plastic box, a flashlight and remote reader for the outside thermometer in the green house. Yup I need to clean the desk, but I am already tired just listing all the stuff on the desk, besides it must be all on the desk for a reason. At least that is what I tell the wife every time she tells me I should clean my desk, here at Lake Iwanttobethere {1,627,258}

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BEEN WORKING ON my calendar this morning, drawing lines through events that have already happen. Super bowl is done, not that it was really that super but it does mark the end of football season. January is now behind us and we should be seeing temperatures start to rise in a few more weeks. Boat show will be here soon and down at the Lodge Arlo will be starting his steelhead classes. Duncan has had his birthday and Bud and Barney birthdays will be here in just a couple of months. Sun seems to be higher and staying out longer every day which is good. I can now sit in front of the den window and work on making some vitamin D. Bright enough today that the sunshine is shinning on my keyboard and screen making it hard to type. I could just move but the sun feels good on my face.

Way to much snow on the ground and even though it has not really snowed any over the past month we are still buried in snow from the very first storm of the season. I noticed this morning when I drove into to town that just about every roof still has snow on it. Not just a dusting either but a foot or more is common. I had to wait for a few deer to cross my path just down from Elmer's driveway. I have noticed that we are seeing deer mid day out searching for food and yesterday I also spotted a couple of rabbits and Edd and Eddie. The bird feeder is empty and now that I write that I am reminded I was supposed to pick up some more seed. Wood shed has a pretty good dent in it but I am still good for a few more cold months. Sunshine Ray on his radio program announced that this has been the coldest winter in twenty years. On a positive note when all of this snow melts there will be water to fill the lake and at least a decent runoff for the steelhead fishing.

Should be a good skeeter season to as the swamps will have water and with the promise of gypsy moths it is going to be a buggy summer. This morning I got distracted at Big Earls General Store when I spotted a sale of mini greenhouses for indoor planting. I bought three of them and a bag of potting soil. The potting soil was in the warehouse and the bag looked like a frozen beaver tail. I now have it sitting in the sunshine trying to thaw out. Will have to leave it there for a few days so it can warm up before I fill the little greenhouses with dirt and plant this year's garden experiment, tobacco. The seed starting is on my calendar but with sunshine on my face I am getting a little antsy to start. The wife left me a couple of picture frames with some updated grand kid's pictures that she wants me to hang in the hall. But as soon as she walked out of the room the pictures and hammer found their way to the desk top. I was not going to put them up till I first checked my calendar.

We are so deep into this winter that when it is ten above out like it is now it feels almost right. I guess going outside in minus twenty degree weather makes ten above feel warm. No wonder when we hit a few days of forties in March we will be in tee shirts going down to get the mail. Like most people I live here because I like the changing of the seasons. Would be nice if the season were really like the calendar says. Three months of summer is too short and three months of winter would be just right if it really was just three months. Sitting back in my chair I am now thinking just what the perfect length for the seasons should be. Three months of winter works for me with one month of spring and four months of summer. That would leave four months of fall which for me is my favorite time of the year. That would be just about enough time to get in some fishing, bird hunting, deer season and football could still be played outside with no threat of snow. A little golf could be played and everything in the garden would finally be ripe at harvest time. Maybe I will just move the dates around on my calendar and see if it catches on here at Lake Iwanttobethere {1,634,653}

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Bobby Bass

SUN IS HAVING to work some to get through the cloud cover here at Lake Iwanttobethere today. Been in and out of the cabin this morning running errands and getting a few jobs checked off the never ending to do list. I just came back in from an attempt at moving snow away from in front of the solar collector. With all this sunshine of the past few days I thought I would shovel some of the snow away from the front of the collector so more of the collector would get sunshine. Easier said then done as the snow is so compacted that the shovel just bounced off. After a few attempts I decided that I would just let the sun work on melting it at its own pace.

My gear bag is packed and resting in the corner of the den, still a green light for going on a little two day fishing trip this weekend. Chuck and I have been invited up to a lake north of here with a deer camp buddy. Matter of fact several of the guys from deer camp are going to try and make the trip. A big old ice house has been rented with all of the bells and whistles and we are going to go up and rough it. I just have to bring clothes and some small gear everything else is supposed to be provided so we shall see. Weather looks pretty good and we both have been given the green light by our spouses to go. Matter of fact we were just talking, Chuck and I that the lades almost are a little too nice wanting to get us out of the cabins. In the past when the wife urges me to go on a trip she is planning on doing something to the cabin.

A few years ago I left for an overnight trip and I came back to find the furniture moved around in the cabin and I just don't mean a chair in a different corner. I found out the hard way as I tripped over an ottoman that we never owned before and landed on end table that didn't quite meet my weight requirements. The smashed table did burn nicely in the fire pit as it was beyond repair. A few days later I bought a mess of night lights and plugged them around the cabin. I told the wife they were for the grand kids to find there way around but really they are for me so I don't find any more surprises. I don't know if anyone else has the problems with furniture like I do but the wife rearranges the furniture in the rooms every time the seasons change. The only room that does not get "rearranged" is the den, but that is mostly because I have screwed everything down.

Kitchen cupboards is another thing she changes. Nothing worse than reaching in a cabinet to get a glass in the middle of the night and come up with a bag of beans. Seems when she cleanses cupboards she can't just put things back in the same place, she has to move them. In that regards she does not take after her mother at all. Last winter the mother in law wanted me to come over and fix a shelf in one of her kitchen cabinets. I arrived to find a shelf with a bow in it like the back of an old mule. Seems she has had her "Good" china on the same shelf for like thirty years. Never flipped the shelf or moved the china, as it was the good china. Matter of fact I think the good china is so good it has never been used. I went home and saw that our "Good China" shelf was starting to get a bow in it so I started eating Coney's off the plates. "Good China" is now in storage someplace and the wife has another shelf she can rearrange and hide water glasses here at Lake Iwanttobethere {1,638,843}

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  • Your Responses - Share & Have Fun :)

    • Raven77
      West end this afternoon:     Richie Bay 48     Black Bay  55  
    • Raven77
      Bill, you can follow me around for walleyes if I can follow you around for crappies 
    • imhatz
    • MikeG3Boat
      Anyone heading to the WFC for the opener this weekend?  I am planning on heading up on Friday morning and hope to find some Crappie on Friday before trying to some Walleye on Saturday.  Last time on the water the temps were only low to mid 40's.  Anyone have any updates on the water temps?  I will be fishing in a Red G3 boat with a Black Talon and Yamaha kicker.  Stop and say hi if you see me, I might be fishing solo this weekend.  I will publish something about my trip Sunday or Monday.  Good Luck Everyone!  Stay safe and Tight Lines!
    • mbeyer
      Tripp   Always good to see this tread bumped and revived for the spring. Maybe, I run in to you this year on the lake......
    • gimruis
      I've seen over 40 boats parked on a small flat on Mille Lacs before.  You can whisper to the boat fishing next to you as long as you aren't running an old loud 2-stroke motor.  Pool 4 in the spring can also be bumper boats and that's even more interesting because there's current.   I'm sure others can comment about how close people come when ice fishing.  The only written law I'm aware of is that you cannot legally fish within 10 feet of another fish house.  If someone is within casting distance of me, that is too close.  That includes recreational boats too.
    • Rick
      A weekly list of news briefs about fish, wildlife, and habitat management. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
      Mother Nature gave Minnesotans extra ice-free days this spring on many of the state’s water bodies, but relatively cool weather since then—including overnight lows in the 30s—means the water temperature may be lower than people expect. As anglers prepare to hit the water for Saturday’s fishing opener, it’s vital they keep this in mind and put their safety first. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • Rick
      Mother Nature gave Minnesotans extra ice-free days this spring on many of the state’s water bodies, but relatively cool weather since then—including overnight lows in the 30s—means the water temperature may be lower than people expect. As anglers prepare to hit the water for Saturday’s fishing opener, it’s vital they keep this in mind and put their safety first. Discuss below - to view set the hook here.
    • PSU
      I realize this is the longest of long shots, but has anyone seen some coolers (one larger blue soft-sided, another smaller gray/blue) floating around Smart's Bay or Northern Hinsdale Saturday morning or perhaps at Timbuktu Marina?   We either left them at Timbuktu Marine, or they flew out of the boat going there in Smarts Bay or Northern Hinsdale.   Thanks  
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