Friday, September 20, 2013

The Last Day Of Summer

Summers in Oregon are absolutely beautiful. When you think of Oregon you think, hippies, tree huggers, and rain. Most people don't realize that Oregon rain is a very rare occurrence in July, August, and September. Summers are filled with a plethora of warm sunny days, but when Fall arrives it comes on us like black ants on a piece of discarded candy. The Almighty closes the curtain on sun and warm and opens the curtain to cold and rain. Last weekend the Weather Man decreed the last day of summer. Those of us who live in this beautiful State take advantage of any sunny day we are blessed with and especially the one day that we dreadfully call the last day of summer. Granted my plans were big and my expectations high. Today I was determined that I would carpe diem and suck the marrow out of every ounce of the last day of summer. 80 and sunny was promised by the one who proclaimed the end of summer and I planned on a amazing day with my family on the Coast. Major beach time, fishing, crabbing, and eating our body weight in taffy filled my mind with anticipation. We awoke on the last day of summer to fog, rain, and clouds. Stinking weather man! Despite the gloom I forged on hoping that the afternoon would birth forth with warmth, sunshine and Moe's clam chowder. My Unwin entourage didn't share my sunny optimism and my daughter Kaylee dropped out and traded an amazing day on the Coast for a lazy day of watching reruns in my green armchair. Michelle opted out earlier in the week because of work, so the collision of the willing was down to Noah and I. We packed my 1997 red Saturn (which we now call the Squatchmobile) for a day of sunny adventure. The coast is about an hour drive from our house, and the unforeseen rain plagued us all the way over the Coastal mountains and onto the coast. Noah and I decided to go surf fishing for ocean perch which requires sand shrimp for bait. Michelle texted the location of the only bait shop in Lincoln City. When we arrived at Eleanor's Undertow we discovered it was now a closed ice-cream parlor. Although Eleanor's looked delicious it wasn't sand shrimp. After we did much asking around we found our sand shrimp and headed for the water. With anticipation we threw our lines into the surf and with disappointment our lines answered. Nothing in the sea was interested in sand shrimp although the red dye that they are packed in seemed interested in ruining my shirt. We declared fishing a disaster and we decided to try our hand at crabbing. September is the advent of Salmon fishing in the Pacific NW and every fisherman in Oregon decided to launch their boats where we wanted to crab. It took a half four to find a parking spot, and then Noah and I walked a half mile in the rain with our crab nets and fishing gear. We were rewarded with a great place to crab from on the dock. In all of my years of crabbing I have always caught crab. Throwing a crab net off a dock in Oregon and catching crab is as a sure thing as being able to find a Waffle House in Georgia. The crab and the ocean perch decided that going to the Oregon Coast on the last day of summer was a bad of an idea as this trip was turning out to be. After an hour of crabless nets we hiked back to the squatchmobile. Oregon is experiencing a record Salmon run this year. Millions of salmon are heading east on the Columbia and fishing for them has been epic. With this in mind Noah and I decided to give it a try. We were fishing from shore and the boats that fished in front of us were killing it. 40 LBS Salmon filled the Boats of exuberant fishermen 20 yards away from us. Noah and I threw our lines into the battle with eager anticipation. On my first cast my line broke and all of my salmon gear rushed downstream and into the Pacific. Noah casts his line out with the same result. We were done. We thought about hitting the beach so that we might enjoy some sun, sand, and surf however the Oregon Coast has made a contract with the clouds so that the clouds will never leave. Noah and I left the Coast in defeat. The score Oregon Coast four, my last day of summer zero. To add insult to injury as we drove 5 miles away from the coast the sun appears and the temperature rises as the sun sets on the last day of summer. On Sunday morning we awoke to cold and rain. The weather man finally got it right. The last day of summer wasn't a total loss. I got to spend the day with my Son, we eat the family size bowl of Moe's Clam Chowder and we had an excellent sugar rush from $8.00 worth of salt water taffy and now we have a story to tell about the worst last day of summer ever.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Super Pooper

"Stevey wonders, what the poop? In my 22 years of marriage I have had the honor of owning three dogs, of which two have performed amazing acts of pooping. First there was my dog Kirby. Kirby was a legendary pooper. Kirby would start his pooping ritual in our kitchen, start running as fast as he could and poop. We would sit on our couch and Kirby would fly by followed by tumbling projectiles of stinky-ness. As much as I hated him pooping the house, I have to admit that I always got a good laugh from Kirby's display of pooping prowess. Kirby was also able to perform gravity defying poop tricks. He would often leave disgusting poop sculptures that would break all natural laws of physics. Kirby was able to stand a single poop longways straight up into the air. One was so amazing that I put a glass over it and saved it until Michelle returned from work. It was so straight and high that one could fly a flag from it. I was tempted to call friends over and show them this pooping miracle but my poor wife was disgusted by a poop preserved under glass. Our new dog Moe I'm embarrassed to say enjoys poop. You have heard it said " One man's garbage is another man's treasure." well in in our house we have a new saying "one dog's poop is another dog's dinner." Yes it is true! My dog enjoys eating a nice meal of manure. I find this both repulsive and puzzling. For one, my dog refuses to eat his own dog food, and two, eww he eats poop! Can you imagine how the dog food competitors of Moe's dog food could use this for their financial benefit? "Moe's dog food is so bad that dogs prefer their own poop. Try our dog food at least it isn't poop, or "our dog food is so tasty that dogs love it (even after it has been digested.) I wish my dogs enjoyment of poop stopped there, however Moe's fascination with poop goes from gross and disgusting to repulsive and horrifying. My dog unfortunately loves to bathe, roll, and condition his hair in poop. I typically take Moe for 3-4 walks every day. If I'm not careful Moe will find a pile, taste, then if he like the flavor Moe will jump in and roll around. The first time this happened I was unaware of this distasteful ritual. I thought to myself "isn't Moe cute. He is rolling around in the grass trying to scratch an itch." to my horror my nose was assaulted by the fruit of his enjoyment. In our household we have borrowed a slogan Mountain Dew and we call this behavior "doing the dew" or "just dew it". I also find this ritual puzzling because Moe hates to bathe in soap and water. What in the world is my dog thinking? "Wow this poop is both tasty and aromatic, perhaps I should roll around in it so that I can share its awesome properties with my owners." For those of you who visit our home please know, you may receive a friendly kiss from one loving and excited dog. Please be aware that to Moe's amusement you might be saying along with me, "what the poop."