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Wild Rose Pass, Texas

11/30/16

Big Red

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX

Down at the Fulton Harbor park area is a very nice Christmas Tree waiting for your eyes to enjoy it. Early this morning the Teams saw it with the lights still on and in the dim morning light it was even nicer than this picture shows it.



Later in the morning the OFM took himself and a fishing rod to the Rockport Harbor area to have some fun. The wind was strong so he was trying to hide from the cold wind by snuggling up to a power pole. From there he was able to cast into the water hoping for a nice fish. It did not happen. Instead a big powerful fish grabbed the lure and the battle was on.

The fishing equipment is rated up to about a 14 pound fish. This sucker took off for parts unknown. Line was quickly stripping from the reel. The drag was set at 11 pound which is the maximum rating for this small reel. Most of our fish in this area are under three pounds so it makes a nice rod set up, normally. The fish took lots of line several times before we finally saw that it was a bull red. The OFM though it was close to 30 inches long which is a pretty good sized red. The legal size to keep is 20 to 28 inches long.

After the fish was identified the OFM knew he did not want it. It was too big. The roadbed is about 6 feet above the water. The Teams do not own a decent landing net. There was no humans in sight to help so landing this big was was not likely. By now the fight had been going on for many sessions of pulling line out and working the fish back. The OFM’s fingers were cramping. His belly was getting sore from the rod butt hitting him in the stomach.

The fish sort of tired a bit and was floating near us. The OFM decided to try for a photo and reach into his pocket for the camera. About then the fish decided to get serious. It put itself into GET THE HELL OUT OF HERE gear and pow the 20# Windtamer braid snapped and the fish quickly swam away and the OFM was tired. So he gathered himself and his gear and we headed for the Castle and some rest.

Here is a bad picture of the frayed end of the line.



As far as the OFM is concerned he hopes that he will never hook up to a fish that size again. It was the largest red drum he has ever had a fight with.

11/29/16

Team Member Moved On

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX

Some of the good news tonight is that the OFM’s new glasses were ready this morning. The Teams were very excited for the OFM. We headed right on down to Bay Optical (Jack’s business) in Aransas Pass to pick them up. Jack is a fantastic glasses builder. He is good enough that it is not uncommon to see an eye doctor of one sort or the other picking up their glasses from Jack.

As is proper when you pick up new glasses that are correct, the new glasses were immediately a significant improvement. When a prescription is right and the lenses are built right, there is no “wear them a few days and you will get used to them” garbage. When the OFM walked outside it was immediately obvious the new lenses were perfect.

The new glasses do have a failing though. They do not manage to make the OFM handsome or even marginally acceptable. He still scares kids when they see him. Here is a picture to prove it.

Mugshot

There is a funny story to go with this new glasses event. when the Teams got the OFM to the TexMex place for lunch, he chose a seat and placed his order. A couple of fellows were sitting two booths away. The OFM kept staring at the fellow facing him. Finally he realized what was so interesting. He could actually see the fellows eye lashes. WOW that is a major change in his vision.

Speaking of changes, the OFM has been trying to decide if he needs to simplify the Teams roster some more. Today the choice was made because a worthy fellow accepted the offer of free golf clubs. The golf clubs the OFM has carefully, for the last few years, put together was given away to a fellow who will use them. About a year ago the OFM played one 9 hole round of golf and nearly did not get through it because of his knees.

He had decided he might use a golf cart and still get to play. Well, even using a cart you have about two miles of walking when you play a round of golf. The OFM has been frequently walking the Rockport Beach Park. The result is that we now know that a bit over a mile on flat level ground is his maximum before his knees start to object. A golf course has a lot of up and down and unlevel that you have to navigate without a cart. Thus the decision to trim the load in the front storage bin by giving the golf clubs away. We hate to see good items go to waste sitting around not being used.

Supper tonight was really special to the OFM. He decided to do a stir fry. Into the pot went some olive oil. We like olive oil much better than canola oil. Then 1/3 of a chopped bell pepper went in. Next was a chopped carrot. Then finally was a 3“ long piece of sausage that had been sliced thinly. Then a couple of spoons of water was added along with some pepper and garlic powder. These items were steamed for 5 minutes. When the water was gone the stir fry part started.

One stalk of celery sliced thinly was added. We had purchased some onions with a bulb at the bottom about 1 1/2 inches in diameter with long gree tops. They smell wonderful in the store. One full onion was chopped up and added. The stir fry started and about 3 minutes later it was ready to eat and enjoy.



It was really great eating and will be done again in the near future.
 

11/25/16

Great Eye News

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX

The OFM has had a rough day. Early this morning we were at a fishing location and a chill wind was blowing and then a dense fog rolled in on the Team and chilled the OFM to the bone. The OFM finished his conversation with his friend Clyde and headed for the Castle to get ready for the eye doctor appointment. Clyde had three very nice large speckled trout in his carry bag.

We got to the doctor’s office with a couple of minutes to spare. We were expecting to get good results from the testing last week. The results were excellent and very accurate. The OFM has glaucoma starting in his left eye. This is actually good news sort of. The doctor did some more testing to reverify the results. We now know what path of treatment is probably needed and will be going to an ophthalmologist as soon as an appointment is available for more verification and recommendations.

The good news is that the disease is seldom caught this soon before significant irreparable damage is done to the optic nerve. The bad news is that the OFM has the disease. Glaucoma is not reversible or curable but it is easily stopped right where it is with proper treatment. WOW this really makes the OFM glad he has been diligent in seeing the eye doctor once a year to catch trouble while it is still in the infant stage. Most folks do not get the disease diagnosed until their eyesight gets pretty bad. Then they are stuck with that damage the rest of their life.

In the afternoon, the OFM went back to the harbor to fish some more. Two hours of fishing yielded two speckled trout about 12 inches each in length.



At least he caught something for a change.

An unusual event is the pod of five dolphin that have been feeding in the harbor area for a few days. They are very active feeders and really put on a show for us. Often they are jumping out of the water doing acrobatics. Lots of twisting and turning and splashing causing lots of waves and excitement for us spectators on the shore. This afternoon they put on a couple of really good shows. It was a fun afternoon.

11/24/16

Turkey Time

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX



Hey where is the turkey? We are all here waiting!



11/23/16

Ham Bone

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX

The Teams have been not doing much lately. A little fishing this morning resulted in a speckled trout that was too small to keep. About 1400 the OFM went over to the BBQ place that smoked a turkey and a ham for the campground Thanksgiving meal and picked up the meat.

Along with the ham came the ham bone. One of the campground dogs is an old lab that is not doing very well. The ham bone was especially for Butter. She latched onto it like a bear trap and limped away with a big smile.

The next few days will be rather busy but we will return as soon as we can. Have a great holiday. Enjoy the sunset.



11/20/16

NASA Rocket

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX

It has been a very busy day. It started out cold and windy and finished bright blue skies, cool and a light breeze. In between the OFM ran around like a chicken with its head cut off as the saying goes. He needs to learn to get “some time off” now and then.

Any way the morning was interesting. As he drove Sierra to a nice fishing spot for flounder, he noticed that the local ducks did not like the weather any more than he did. They were hunkered down trying to get out of the wind.



Then the OFM went to work fishing and soon had his only catch of the day. It was a 12 inch flounder with a King Kong attitude. 14" is the minimum legal size to keep. At first the OFM thought his lure was caught on some sea grass. Then the line pulled back against the rod. Next the line took out like a runaway freight train. The fight was on and the OFM had dreams of a doormat sized flounder or at worst another sting ray.

When the small flounder showed at the surface, the OFM could not believe his eyes at the small size of this big attitude flounder.

We got it landed on the beach sand to pose for this picture.



Notice that even out of the water they blend in pretty well. It was fairly easy to unhook with minimal damage. When it was placed in the water, the afterburners kicked in and the flounder took off like NASA rocket leaving sandy swirls in the water. Go fish Go.

The OFM says he is worn and is going to bed early tonight. Sweet dreams everyone.

11/17/16

No Crying Here

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX

My friend Scott has punched the OFM’s hitch itch button again. Scott published a report on his latest trip at Lake Amistad going up the spectacular Devils River. When you see the second photograph which is of their first campsite that trip, please remember it.Their adventure is viewable at this link.

The OFM has stood at the same campsite in Rough Canyon campground several times over the last 40+ years. He has dreamed of going up the river for all that time. Recall the wisdom at the top of our blog. Don’t wait. Do it now. It is too late for the OFM to make the whole trip now. He is not physically fit enough and cannot get that way. We really appreciate Scott reporting on the trip and furnishing all the wonderful pictures too. At least the OFM now has a good idea of what is upstream to enjoy.

The OFM is not crying over not doing the trip as he should have years ago. The OFM has done MANY great adventures in his life. So as any adventurer/meanderthall knows, when the body starts to have less resilience we have to chose our adventures more carefully. BUT NEVER STOP ADVENTURING. Thank you Scott.

11/16/16

The Dark Gray Area

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX

The eye exam started early and went to late morning. When it was all done the OFM came away with a new prescription for new lenses. He also came away with appointments for more testing for glaucoma. It seems that he is at the top of the gray area of when you may have glaucoma and the optometrist is wanting to be extra careful since damage from glaucoma is not reversible.

So the effort is to determine if preventive treatment is a wise next step or not. The optometrist, of course, did not make the choice. He provided the facts and opinions and the OFM chose to have the next step of tests. Friday is the day of the tests. After that a meeting is scheduled with the optometrist to discuss the findings of the test. At that time we plan to have a clear path to hike toward many more years of good eyesight.

11/15/16

Escaped

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX

Sierra finally made it out of the truck hospital late this afternoon or early evening. It had two new horns, one new main fuse box, a new wiring harness and some minor do hickey we do not recall. Apparently the rat managed to nearly cause a fire in the gnawed wiring to the horns. When it was all said and done the final bill was only $168.50.

When the OFM went under the hood to inspect the work, the OFM got aggravated with what he saw. He was ready to have a big gripe session and there was nothing about the workmanship to complain about. We were afraid he was going to bust a blood vessel since he had nothing to complain about.

So tomorrow we get to go to the OFM eye doctor for a complete exam. The list of things we needed to take care of here in Rockport is getting very small finally.

Comfort Castle is finished with its maintenance and repairs.

Sierra is finished with its maintenance and repairs.

The OFM has gotten a good start on his repairs and maintenance.

Even Christmas shopping has gotten off to a good start.

Now all we have to do is find some fish to catch and beaches to comb.

11/14/16

RATZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZZ

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX

The truck hospital called very late this evening with the news that Sierra has a trouble. The service writer asked if the OFM had cut the horn wires. After talking a bit we agreed that it must have been that RAT in New Mexico that chewed the wires apart. Now it is an out of the Teams pocket repair, not a warranty repair. What a wonderful present that rat gave us!

They have a tech ready to get busy on it first thing in the morning. A recall reprogramming of one of the computers is also to be done. It is expected that the repair and reprogramming will be done before lunch. With a little luck this will be the last repair on Sierra for a long time.

11/12/16

Early Mount

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX

It was a major surprise when the new ball mount for the trailer hitch came in today. It was due next Wednesday. The OFM even ordered the right part and the right part got shipped. Seems like things are going too well. When is the grenade going to explode on us?

The part was unpacked and change over to the new part for towing was started. Here is the two ball mounts together.

 


 The hitch ball was a bit tough to remove. A large wrench was applied to the nut and the OFM and all his excessive weight was applied to the end of the wrench. Nothing happened. So the OFM jumped up and down on the wrench handle and that caused the nut to turn. After that it was a simple matter of unscrewing the nut and moving the hitch ball over to the new ball mount.

The ball was attached to the new mount and the nut tightened pretty tight. Then the wrench was positioned so the OFM could jump up and down on the end of the wrench handle enough to get the nut tightened to the required 250 ft-lbs of torque. When a 220 pound blob hits the end of a 16“ long wrench things get tight. Now the ball mount can tow the Castle to new places for adventure. In this picture you can see that the ball mount sticks out a noticeable amount more than the previous ball mount.





 

11/6/16

Pier Scene

Adventure Location: Fulton, Texas

It was a nice morning for walking and taking pictures. Then some storms rolled in and not much else happened.

11/5/16

Shrimp Boat Captain

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX

There was a nice young man at the harbor pier this morning. He caught some nice fish before the OFM got there. He was nice enough to let the OFM take a picture of his flounder, speckled trout and mangrove snappers.



The OFM put in a lot of time exercise walking this morning down at the Fulton Harbor. At one spot he found the captain of a shrimp boat who was doing nothing. we had some nice conversation to pass the time.



Then as the Teams made their way around the Paws and Taws Center we spied the treasure left by some other folks.



A fresh new fish hook, a brand new 1 oz sinker, an unopened can of Bud Light and a dirty old knife was in the dirt waiting for us. Since the OFM does not drink alcohol, the beer was left for another lucky person. the rest of the treasure came home with the Teams. It was cleaned up and will soon be put to use.

It was a surprise to us that the OFM got in about three miles of walking today. It was at a slow comfortable pace (2 MPH) but at least his knees only pained him a little bit. Maybe there is hope for the Teams on this issue after all.

11/3/16

Plans and Changes

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX


Things are happening in the life of the OFM Teams. Changes are coming as the OFM analyzes what he can do and cannot do safely. The two months of August and September gave us the opportunity to examine the extent of the OFM’s decline in abilities. Most importantly it allowed us to learn what can be worked around and/or what can be modified to continue the adventures.
 
 Most things needed have been ordered. Some have been received and are being tested. All will be revealed when the final decisions are made and the OFM is confident our decisions are really safe. We are not planning on letting him sit around on his fat backside and quit meandering. He says we need to stay out of his way or get run down.

Meanwhile today was a lot of fishing. We caught three slightly too short to keep them trout. Three different lures did the work. Three different techniques caught the fish. Three different locations furnished the fish. Here are the fish in the order caught.



The really important part of this is that these are the first predator fish the OFM has caught in nearly two weeks. It appears that it is time for the fall fish catching and we are ready.
 
 
The really important part of this is that these are the first predator fish the OFM has caught in nearly two weeks. It appears that it is time for the fall fish catching and we are ready.

11/2/16

SSA Gone

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX

Boy that was an unpleasant night, but along about 0400 the fever broke and the OFM got to sleep until almost 0800. He had to get up and take Sierra to the truck doctors for repairs.

We made it there on time and Sierra was taken right on back for diagnostics. The good news is a damaged fuse panel was found. The less good news is that a new panel is ordered and will be installed soon. After that more testing is planned. We have Sierra home and Sierra is running just fine but without any horn available. They will be checking for why the battery was run down when the horn quit out in New Mexico.



We got that note in the rent statement yesterday. The SSA is getting a .3% raise this year. Medicare is going up more than SSA and the rent is an 11.1% raise. Looks like us SSA folks are going to be watching our quarters more closely next year. Time for watching pennies and dimes came and went long ago.

Today was a pretty good day after the OFM got in his first nap of the day. Tonight he feels like he may be back in full strength tomorrow. At least while hanging loose waiting to heal he has been spending some time making a list of possible blog topics. Be prepared because he can get wild in his imagination.

11/1/16

Time Out

Adventure Location: Rockport, TX

After a few days of feeling yuk the OFM took his temperature this afternoon and it was 101 deg F. Maybe he has a bug of some sort and maybe he is just cranky. No matter what tonight is a no blog night. Fun will return.