Monday, October 22, 2007

Dumb Animals--I Don't Think SO!

Saturday, my wife and I drove down through an area that was full of hunters looking for that elusive deer. It seemed like every little side road had a truck sitting on it, and the specks of orange out on the hillside came from more than the leaves turning with the fall weather. In the area we were driving there is also a mining operation which has posted areas where you cannot hunt. As we approached the top of this area, we noticed vehicles on the road ahead of us quickly slowing down, and then pulling away again. When we got there we saw why. Lying, standing, feeding and walking around were about 20 deer, including 4 rather large bucks. Now these deer were right out in the open--no trees or brush hiding them. They knew they were safe where they were at. It was almost as if they were laughing and making fun of the hunters, and the frustration they were feeling at having these animals so close, but beyond their reach.

Take Care. Good Hunting. Stick.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Top Tips to know if you should fire your Realtor

5. Your house has been on the market at $60,000 under its suggested price, and still
hasn’t sold.

4. You call your realtor, and can never get hold of them.

3. You call to ask your realtor to turn the furnace on in the house, and the sprinklers off in the yard, since winter is coming on, and they do neither.

2. Your Realtor’s boss calls you to tell you a room of your house has flooded from your sprinklers, and your realtor didn’t know because it has been so long since they were in the house.

And the #1 tip:

1. The realtor moves, and doesn’t bother to tell you.

Take them. Use them. They all happened to us. Take care. Stick

The Hunter or the Hunted?

I wanted to share an incident that happened to an associate recently. He is an avid hunter, and prefers to even the playing field for the animal by hunting with a bow. Over the last weekend, he and his son and a third friend were out on an Elk hunt. The three of them were quite spread out, and he had set himself up at the top of a draw. He could hear some elk moving towards him, so prepared to make a shot. Soon, two bulls and several cows came into view. It seemed like something had spooked them a little bit, so he thought that one of the other hunters must be coming up behind them. His best shot was at the smaller of the two bulls, so that is the one he shot at. No sooner had he hit it, and it dropped to the ground, than a large Mountain Lion ran up to his just downed Elk! The elk and the lion were only 30-40 yards away. He said the lion walked up to the elk and licked its face, then kind of walked around it surveying the scene. The third hunter of the three was a Game Warden friend, and they were in radio contact. This associate of mine called on the radio to ask what he should do. Could he legally shoot the lion too, or would he have to give up the elk. The Game warden said, just try to scare it away—throw things at it, or try shooting into a tree nearby, you can’t shoot it unless it charges you. He had a gun which most hunters carry for protection, and fired into the tree near the lion—nothing, not even a flinch. So picking up branches and rocks from the ground around him, he began to throw things at the lion, and finally it began to slowly walk away. He said the most frustrating part of the entire incident, was that his camera would not work. The cold temperatures had drained the charge from the batteries, and even though he tried warming them in his hands, he could not get a picture before the lion left. He said it is an experience that he will never forget. His son is an art teacher, and paints and sketches from real life, so with his son’s camera, they took a picture of the elk and the surrounding area before they moved anything, and he has asked his son to paint the picture as it was—with the lion near the head of the elk.

My only comment was, who was hunting who?

Take care. Stick.

Monday, October 8, 2007

The Radon Test (And we didn't even study)

We are going through the steps to purchase a home here. We have done the pre-qualify thing. We’ve got a realtor. We have a contract. The bank is going to do an appraisal. However, we also needed to have the home checked for Radon gas.

I have been surprised to discover how many people have never even heard of this. It is a gas which can seep into the basement of your home, which if breathed over time can cause lung cancer. Now this gas is present in many basements, but does not always build up to toxic levels, and in fact is harmless at lower levels of concentration. It cost $100 to have the gentleman come in to do the test, and it takes 48 hours to complete it.

So, what do you get for your money? The guy comes in with a little metal box with what looks like a microphone on the side. It is battery operated. He sits it down, turns it on, and leaves for two days, after which he comes back, looks at the meter on the side, and tells you how much Radon concentration you have in your home. Ours was very good, so we don’t need to worry about it, and we do get a written report telling us the same thing for our records. All for $100 and two minutes work plus the initial cost of the meter. I think I’m in the wrong business. I guess the peace of mind that we now have knowing we aren’t going to get lung cancer (at least not from Radon) should be worth the cost, but somehow I want more. Maybe they could give you a sticker that says, “RADON FREE HOME”, or even a nice T-shirt saying, “NO LUNG CANCER FOR ME—WE’RE RADON FREE!” That might even be worth an extra $10, but at the going rate for the rest of the test, it would probably be more like $50.

Take care, breathe free, and have a great day. Stick.

Friday, October 5, 2007

Concessions aren't Just in the Ballpark

I finally have to concede that I am getting older. I know that some of you are shaking your heads and saying, “No! Say it isn’t so!” Unfortunately it is. I have now entered the ranks of the bi-focal wearing generation. My hair seems to gray before my feeble eyes, and my body does not want to do the things it so willingly did twenty years ago. I can no longer run up a mountainside with my eighty pound backpack. I can’t work all day carting loads that would balk a mule, and then go out that evening and dance the night away. My only hope is that nature has somehow compensated me for the loss of these hitherto accepted attributes. I like to think that I am wiser than I was then, so I choose to carry more efficient gear, that weighs less, and that is why my pack is not as heavy. Now I take my time as I climb those mountains, the better to enjoy nature and breathe the fresh air. My years have brought to me more responsibility, so that I don’t have the leisure to waste away my evening with frolicking around after a hard days work. As for the bifocals and gray hair, these are just reminders of the hours spent in study and contemplation spent in gaining the wisdom which I have now acquired.

At least that is what I tell myself.

I wish I was twenty again. Take care. Stick