30 fellas from a Michigan Tech Fraternity came down to the Ford Campus Saturday and moved 30 cords of firewood from outside piles into nice stacks inside the maintenance center, which heats on wood and uses 25 cords a winter. They accomplished this in 3 hours. Kudos to the lads, Lonnie says. Photos show what 30 cords looks like, for those who don’t use that much from home. All this comes out of the managed Michigan Tech forests, which has the straightest maple in the state. Over.
DAY 170, October 28, 2014, ALBERTA — Tomorrow will be six months. The new wood art is all glued, needs only to be sprayed. Supposed to have snow sprinkles the next couple of days, but we shall see. Here are some photos from past deer seasons with my DNR pals. It’s almost time again for November Madness. Over.
DAY 176, Saturday, October 25, 2014, ALBERTA, MI — Today was Tech’s volunteer day and students poured onto the Ford Campus and moved 30 full cords of heating wood from the campus grounds into the central shop area. Amazing what teamwork and a willing attitude can accomplish. Meanwhile I keep moving ahead with Buckular Dystrophy, now at somewhere between 70,000 and 90,000 words. Don’t know precisely because 30,00o words are typed and the rest is all handwritten so I have to guess. Won’t really know until I type it all in, which I’ll probably do in one big bolus rather than a chapter at a time, but we shall see. Point is, I’m deep into Act 3 of 5 and the story is rolling. I read new pages to Lon every morning over coffee. I’m up and writing 0400ish. She gets up around 7. I read and then I go back to writing, or to bed, depending on my energy. Working in the workshop with Dave as well and now have about half my stones glued into a huge chunk of 1 3/4 inch black walnut. Pure natural beauty, agates and and other stones and wood. Pictures of work in progress follow this, plus pic from our recent ramblings. Writing in morning, ramblings in the late morning, into afternoon. The schedule is loose, yet defined and it works nicely to be able to do all the things we want to do. Tomorrow will be little writing, a day of exploration on a four-wheeler into the hills, scouting for book locations and photos and hoping to bump a wolf, or moose, or bear along the way. We’ll be in some extremely prime country for such wild things, places few people have ever seen, or even know exist, the kinds of places that Grady Service and Limpy Allerdyce know inside and out. Should be a lot of fun. Will post photos if I think they’re up to snuff. Meanwhile here’s stuff from our past sorties and the woodworking. The project in process will be my last of this “summer” season. Yesterday in sixties, today in high 50s, tomorrow the same, these are our real days of Indian summer: Three, by definition, warm after the first hard freezes. We now have ice in the dog water every morning and earlier this week I stepped out with the dog at 0600 and a deer snorted at us from the wood line. Twice. We’ll miss this place and locale this summer, but not the snow they are soon to have in abundance. Enjoy the photos. Over.
Days I write and BUCKULAR DYSTROPHY (WOODS COP #10) is growing steadily, approaching Act 3 of 5. At night I’ve been piddling with wood and agates again. Pix follow. More pix from ramblings later.
Saturday morning, MSU vs Indiana later today, moving left to right on my radio dial with George Blaha and the “team.” This morning, I’m working on BUCKLAR DYSTROPHY, the tenth Woods Cop story, and the whole focus on Grady Service and one very strange deer season where he runs into a series of people who are crazed by shooting big deer, most illegally. Hornophiles, if you will. In the thirties here, rain predicted, gray overcast, leaves coming off trees, perfect fall day.
Will start the story off with a little deerggerel (think doggerel), and it organize it into five acts (rather than three parts) , a sop to my good pal Willy Boy Shakespeare, who is rumored (never proven) to have poached at least one deer in his spectacular life. I suspect he would have enjoyed these hinky-kinky extremist out-there outdoor folks.
Anthem of Secret Trophy Hunters
To tell a story such as this
Think how snakeys twist and hiss.
One must not shed a single deer
To shoot oneself a great big deer.
Do not be so namby pamby
And let yourself think of Bambi.
Count the point, inches and all
Your taxidermist can fix it for your wall.
Knocking own huge horned rack things
Need not be so very taxing.
Learn to hunt smarter with your brains
Not harder with your boots in snow and rain.
Get out there in the dark with a nice big light
Pretend you’re Army tough, and “own the night.”
Hope the game warden’s not around
When your trophy crashes to the ground.
Yes you’ve got a wall of mounts
They make animal lovers very and pout.
Tell them killing deer is in your blood,
Your dad’s, your uncle Frank’s and your best friend Bud.
He who kills the most big bucks
Can tell his pals that they all suck.
Hunting trophies is your LIFE,
It’s cost you a house, 3 kids, 2 dogs and a wife.
Best of all in the order of things
You do it alone, neither whisper nor sing.
You kill in the dark and all alone
And keep the work to yourself at home
The bottom line’s not bragging rights
Over that Let amateurs puff an fight.
For you bringing home those huge old deer
Is much, much better than a shot and a beer.
DAY 168, Friday, October 17, ALBERTA – Gas at $2.90/gal in Baraga yesterday at the Indian stations, about a quarter cheaper than stations in L’Anse. Be nice if it lasts, but it won’t, and so it goes. Two weeks left in our sojourn and then we’re back in Portage. Will be working with COs BTB this deer season and just this morning I heard federal meteorologists announcing that another polar vortex is unlikely this winter. Just last night we had a discussion around here. The “bad” winters of the past two years are the kinds of “normal” winters we had when I lived up here during high school, and again during my USAF hitch. It will be what it will be. Yoopers have the right attitude about this: keep to your plans no matter the forecast and most of the time you can do what you want to do. Common sense at its best.
I continue to be perplexed by political debates and the pure venom people are spewing – on all sides. We are becoming a country of sad sacks with no sense of us.
Yesterday we came home on the Baraga Plains Road and kicked four eagles off the ground. Shaksper, of course, volunteered to investigate, but we pooped on his sniff sortie and pressed on.
Making great progress on the first draft of BUCKULAR DYSTROPHY and felt great until I looked for the 30,000 or so typed words I had and could not find them on my computer or on any flash drives. The ms. may be in the laptop. I hope so. This seems to happen with almost every book.
More importantly the weekly mail came today and with it an announcement by our doctor that he is retiring the first of the year and we need to find another provider, — one who takes Medicare, which many don’t – and how does it work that you have to join Medicare, but nobody is required to service it. Oh well, will be what it will be. My doctor is Larry Don Troyer and he has been a blessing. He’s been in practice 39 years and we Heywoods have been on his patient rolls since the 1970. Will miss him beyond words, but we all get to retire if we’re lucky. (Heard somewhere yesterday that writers get to retire one day before they die. That works for me.
What follows is a portfolio of pix from the past couple of weeks.
CO Dave Painter and PCO Mike Mansell, less than 10 miles from here, one week ago, middle of the day. The bull came within four feet of the driver’s window and circled the truck. First the animal came out of the bush in front of the truck. Eventually it went past and started for US 141 and the officers could hear vehicles coming, so Dave made his female moose-in-heat grunt (he’s never told me how he learned it) and the moose stopped and turned. When it started for the highway again, Mike blew the horn and stopped it. Then the traffic was past and the bull went on his way. This is how professionals handle moose contacts. Mansell is a rookie and this was his first moose, so he had a different view of the encounter than Dave. So it goes. You gotta love the Upper Peculiar! Over.
DAY 159, October 8, 2014, ALBERTA — 114 days between snows up here. Last one was May 16. Had under-the-weather mutt last couple of weeks, with multiple trips back and forth to vet in Ishpeming, 48 miles each way. Thanks to my woodworking coach Dave Stimac for wood supplies, workshop tools, and directions. neither of us lost a digit — a major accomplishment. Working hard on 10the Woods Cop Mystery, BUCKULAR DYSTROPHY, and some new essays for a second edition of COVERED WATERS: TEMPESTS OF A NOMADIC TROUTER. First edition was in 2003 and the new edition will add some stuff in the history before that and come forward to now. Fun to work on. Lonne say CO Doug Hermanson earlier this week. He was hot on an investigation and no time for chitsychatsy. One of our great COs with impressive incisive interviewing skills. Enjoy da pictures, eh. Over.
DAY 154, Friday, October 3, 2014, ALBERTA — All the following news bits are from the Saturday, September 30, 1899 L’Anse Sentinel.
The Comings and Goings of People:
Willie St. Ange left for Flint last week to resume his course in the school for the deaf and dumb. Willie is a bright little fellow and is progressing rapidly.
Simon Beauchamp, of Ishpeming, married, aged 28, accidentally shot himself while hunting Monday at Humboldt. He died in twenty minutes.
Clarence, 8-yar old son of Otto Lindquist, Calumet, lies at the Tamarack Hospital with both legs severed from his body. He, with older boys, let a flat car run down a crossing at an open switch. The care was derailed and young Lindquist fell under the wheels.
James Moak, an employee of the Boom Company, of Menominee, was killed in Florence Wisconsin, Monday. He was driving a supply wagon and was thrown off. The wheels passed over him, death resulting instantly.
Weather in Our Thoughts:
According to prediction we are booked for another long and severe winter. But then, people are becoming used to it.
The ground was covered with snow Friday morning.
The partridge season opens tomorrow, Oct. 1.
Over three inches of snow fell at the Summit yesterday.
Dogs chased and killed a deer near the head of the bay early Wednesday morning.
The States of Education and Marriage
Teachers last year in Michigan were paid, an average of $43 and women an average of $35. The total number of pupils enrolled in the state was 496,000.There was 403 private schools with 1,140 teachers and 45,000 pupils.
There were 20,138 marriages returned by the county clerks of Michigan to Secretary of State Stearns for the year 1898. This is the largest number ever recorded for a single-year and represents a marriage rate of 16.9 per 1,000 population. The largest number of marriages took place in November, the smallest number in February. Favorite months were November, June and October.
And we Think Advertising is Better Now?
The woman who is lovely in face, form and temper will always have friends, but one who would be attractive must keep her health. If she is weak, sickly, and all run down, she will be nervous and irritable. If she has constipation or kidney trouble, her impure blood will cause pimples, blotches, skin eruptions and a wretched complexion. Electric Bitters is the best medication in the world to regulate stomach, liver, and kidneys to purify the blood. It gives strong nerves, bright eyes, smooth, velvety skin, rich complexion. It will make a good-looking, charming woman of a rundown invalid. Only 50 cents at (stores named in L’Anse and Baraga).
According the Chicago News, as reported in this edition of the L’Anse Sentinel, Nine of ten people think that when a man asks your opinion he is only looking for an opportunity to express his own.