Saturday, February 26, 2011

Just want you guys to know...

That even though I'm going to be introducing a little more gun related content over the warmer months (like the CCW post from earlier in the week), I'm going to try to leave politics out of it as much as possible.  It seems too often "gun" blogs are 80-90%  politics, not enough guns.

The generic "eff you Liberal Hippies!"  and "gun control advocates are clearly insane because they can't understand our point of view" rants get really old really quickly.  (Besides, I'd describe myself as Libertarian, so I'm part Liberal Hippie.) If someone has an opinion different than mine, I'm happy to hear it.  I might debate it, but I won't tell you you're wrong.  On the whole tho, I'll be avoiding political topics as much as possible.

For a couple examples of gun blogs that don't get bogged down with politics, check out:

The Firearm Blog - The tagline is "Firearms not politics."
The Next Chapter - Zack's blog covers a little bit of everything that affects his life but the thing that originally attracted me to his blog are the couple dozen gun reviews on the left hand side ALL THE WAY down the page.  I think I spent a workday or two just checking out all the different write-ups inbetween calls.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Concealed Carry in IL?

My heart hopes yes, my head says no.

I would like it because:

  1. It takes police a few minutes (on a good day) to arrive after you call 911.
  2. I live in a large-ish city where shootings/robberies aren't uncommon.
  3. The day we moved out of our old apartment a man was shot in the face and killed in our building, followed by a shootout with police.  (This is actually why I started getting into guns and got my FOID card.)
  4. Now that I'm married, I feel the need to protect my wife and our property.

I don't think it will happen because:

  1. Governor Quinn is governor solely because he won in Chicago.  The republican candidate seriously won like every other district in the state.  Chicago is all he has to please.
  2. See number 1.
Illinois politics are all kinds of eff'd up and I won't go into the details.  There are bills in the House and Senate that would allow Concealed Carry but unless they get a certain amount of votes to overcome a veto, I'll still be dreaming. 

As I said my purpose isn't to go into the details of the politics, but rather to get your opinion.  If you live in IL, would you carry if allowed?  If you live in another state (except WI), do you carry?  If you would/do, why?  If you wouldn't/don't, why not?

Saturday, February 19, 2011

I got nothing

Went out this morning to Charter Oak North.  Totally frozen.  Still.

Drove out to Banner Marsh.  Drove every path I could find.  Found 10 yards of open water.

Only saw creeks/rivers open and since I have no idea where to start on moving water I just decided to head home.

Got ahold of a friend and tried to set up a range trip to blow up some milk jugs up and shoot some cans.  Then something came up for him.

So my day just wasn't meant to be.  Gonna just chill with the wife till we go play some cards and do some drinking with some friends tonight.

Going up to Dixon to pickup the fly rod my uncle is giving me, so expect a post with a closer look at it.

Other than that, I'm just looking forward to spring and fishing at the Hooked on Fishing park on March 12th.

Have a good one.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Doing anything on March 12th?

Well cancel your plans.

That is, if you live within driving distance of East Peoria, IL.  (I'm looking at you Wolfy and Zack.)

Why, you ask?

Well you remember that post I put up last September about my first trout on the fly?  You know, at the Hooked on Fishing park?  The one where they usually don't let anybody fish so the trout are huge, dumb, and fly hungry?

One of the smaller ones of the day.  I know there's no size reference but he was probably 14-15".  The biggest had trouble fitting into this same net lengthwise.
Well they're holding another fundraiser.

For a $25 suggest donation, you get fly fishing instruction from pros the like of Jonn from Streamstalker and five hours of fishing these fly-dumb trout.  If you've never flyfished or aren't very experienced, don't worry.  When I went last year I had probably used a fly rod less than a dozen times and Jonn had me casting and catching fish in no time.

Big goofy grin guaranteed.

The $25 goes towards the Hooked on Fishing park, which offers fishing opportunities to the elderly and people who normally wouldn't be able to have access to excellently managed fisheries.  Check out Nate's blog for more info.  It's a great cause and honestly, people go on vacations and spend thousands of dollars to get access to fish that are smaller and much harder to catch.

Even if you're not interested in showing, try to spread the word.  It's a great opportunity to get someone involved in the sport, especially those who haven't flyfished or kids.  (There was kid who was probably 6 or 7 years old who was fishing while we were eating lunch last year and he was having a blast, hooking fish all on his own, if only for a few seconds.)

For more information, check out Lunker Hunt.  Clif has a bunch of photos and some awesome footage up from last year.

Hope to see ya there!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Say hello to my KSOs.

I love being barefoot.  Like LOVE it.

Don't know what it is but all my life as soon as I got home from school or work the shoes and socks come off immediately.  I used to wear flip flops whenever possible because I thought it was the closest thing to being barefoot.

I was wrong.
Don't let the leg distract you, focus on the shoe.

I found out about Five Fingers about a year ago and after saving up some spare money I bought a pair last fall.  They're not for everybody and they get alot of weird looks/comments in public and I get alot of crap about them from the guys but I'm hooked.  It's honestly like being barefoot all day.  The only real drawback I've found is they aren't good in the snow for more than about five minutes.  They make special neoprene ones for that but I just don't have the cash to get another pair anytime soon.

Anyway, my point here isn't to rave about them.  Either you love them or you hate them (most hate them) and any amount of my fanaticism won't change that.   My reason for bringing them up is that I've been searching for people who have waded in them.  Results were sparse, only turning up this post on Packs and Tracks Outdoors.  Basically, his verdict is they seem to work but to be careful.  (Side note, check out his blog, looks pretty sweet, got alot of fly fishing stuff up.)

So, not to steal Packs and Tracks' thunder but I decided that I'm going to try them out this year and post my findings.  I know there have to be other five fingers owners wanting to know specifics on wading or people who may be interested in buying a pair if they work better than an old pair of sneakers.

Sorry bout the crappy background/shadows.  I started taking pictures in the bathroom but the wife was asking too many questions.
I've worn them on gravel and while you can feel the rocks, it takes out the sting; so that's not really a concern.  The KSO namesake stands for "Keep Stuff Out" so I'm not worried about stuff getting in.
Not the best traction tho.

My only concerns are the fact that there is no ankle support and there have been a few times when they've been slick.  (Usually with an inch or less of snow freshly on the ground.)  I'll be sure to try them out in super shallow water a few times before venturing into a rushing creek.   We'll have to see how they perform.  In the meantime, check out Packs and Tracks review if you're interested.

I do know now that they're very comfortable in a gun range setting.  Back before all this damn snow, I wore them for a (about 4 hour) shooting session.  Even when on my feet the whole time in them, stepping on brass and having hot brass land them, totally comfortable and singe-free.

One thing you should know if you're considering purchasing a pair is that if you don't spend alot of time barefoot already, you'll be very uncomfortable at the beginning.  There are muscles from the bottom of your feet all the way up your legs that modern shoes allow to atrophy.  If you go straight into wearing minimalist shoes, these muscles will hurt like hell, just like if you go from never working out to jumping straight into a heavy workout.  Even with me being barefoot alot before getting the Vibrams, my calves would burn quite the first few days.

However, eventually you'll find that you have less aches in your joints after awhile.  The human body has evolved to walk upright barefoot and your feet are designed to be shock absorbers.  I've always had knee pain due to being a big, tall guy and it has diminished greatly since my purchase of the KSOs.  I can't say for sure it's not a coincidence but I've heard similar reports by other users.

Whether you dig them or hate them, be on the lookout for some reports this spring/summer as to how they hold up in a fishing environment.

Disclaimer:  I have no association with Vibrams whatsoever. I'm always open to one though, if anyones reading ;)  I paid full price for my pair of KSOs and my thoughts on them are my own, developed by wearing them as often as my wife will allow me into public with them on.

Oh, by the way.  I'm taking down the Amazon widget.  I feel like a sellout with it up there and people keep spamming me just trying to promote their blog.  Noone clicks the damn thing anyway.

Hope you all have a good day one.  I get to try to drive my wife to work tomorrow and then try to not get into an accident/stranded on my 20 mile commute.  


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Who would I want to hang with?

OBN's latest writing prompt is to list a few fellow OBN bloggers you'd like to meet.  I would enjoy meeting just about any of y'all but there are a few who stand out.  Since the question was who you'd like to "meet", I disqualified any blogger who I've already met in person, which excludes... Clif.  Here are the couple that stood out:

Jay from The Naturalist's Angle.  It seems that since Jay found my blog, he has always had good advice, from choosing a flyrod to tips on fishing grubs on spinning tackle.  Plus, it seems like he prefers to chase warmwater fish on the fly, exactly what I'm hoping to be chasing this year.  I think we would have a good time and I would learn a bunch.

Dallas from Fishin the Ridge.  He and I have gone back and forth a little on our frustration over the reluctance of wader manufacturers to offer waders in big guy sizes.  It seems like although he might be more experienced than me in the areas of bass fishing and hunting, he's also a self-professed "fly fishing noob", just like myself.  His is the first blog other than my own that I'd found when the person was just getting into flyfishing.  I'm looking forward to reading about him learning as I'm learning some of the same things.

Ken G from Waterdog Journal/Four Season's Anglers Network.  I just stumbled across Ken's blog a little while ago, don't even think I've commented on any posts yet but I enjoy reading his posts, which seem to focus less on details and more on the experience of the day.  Pretty cool, check it out if you haven't yet.  I read he might be doing some guiding this year, maybe I'll have to schedule an outing.

So there you have it, just a few of the bloggers I'd like to meet.  Unfortunately I won't be able to make it to the OBN meet up this year so I'll probably have to wait awhile to meet most, but maybe someday.

Hope you all are staying warm, I'm currently in the midst of enjoying some snow-related time off. :)  Have a good one.