Well, I'm almost ready to yield the woods to the deer hunters. There might be one more trip at the end of the month but I'm not sure. While Sammy has enjoyed the last month immensely, it's clear that at the age of eight she can no longer spring back as quickly as she used to. She did good though and we'll see what things are like next week. The Ruffed Grouse population rises and falls in about a ten year cycle and they are at or near the low end this year. Over the last four weeks I've seen only about ten birds and got only one. Sammy scared that one up on Tuesday morning on our last walk before we headed home and the only rainy day we had for hunting. Most of the time it was unseasonably warm and clear.
My buddy Pat and I managed to get some fishing in on the Pike River and it felt really good to get out in a boat again. We reeled in about eight small northerns and I kept one for dinner Sunday night. Even though the birds were scarce, I'm very grateful that I was able to spend so much time up north this year, probably twice the time this year alone than the previous four years together. My attitude on hunting is the same as my attitude about fishing: it's the experience that matters, not the number of birds or fish taken.
On the FFL front my number two and number three picks are out for the rest of the FFL season and I'm stuck on the win one/lose one rollercoaster. I need to do some serious research and make some pickups this week. All is not lost at this point but .500 is not going to make the playoffs this year I think.
Now that hunting season is almost over for me and I since did not win the Powerball jackpot last night, I need to get the resume tweaked and references lined up. A critical decision also needs to be made, keep or lose the beard? I've heard that job interviewers are generally prejudiced against beards so I should probably lose it. The gray that has become more prominent since my last one five years ago probably doesn't help. It is nice in the winter though. Oh well, I've got at least a couple weeks to decide.
Three books read in the last two weeks:
The Taking, by Dean Koontz. Pretty typical Koontz as far as I'm concerned, a combination of horror and weirdness and mystery. It's an end of the world as we know it story with a twist and the plot and characters are decently done. I don't read Koontz looking for deep thoughts, I read his books to be entertained and this one did the job well.
The Icarus Agenda, by Robert Ludlum. I hate to say this but I don't think I've ever read anything by Ludlum before. I know he's written a lot of books and has a base of hardcore fans out there but if his other books are like this one, I don't get it. The cold war references are dated and the plot line somewhat implausible but that wasn't the problem for me. I can easily suspend disbelief to enjoy a well written book. It was the dialog of the characters that grated on me. It seemed forced and at times, laughable. It was so bad I could barely finish the book. I'm open to other opinions but absent any, I'll skip his other work.
The Partner, by John Grisham. I liked this book, especially after struggling through Ludlum. Great plot and characters and well written. It was very entertaining and I loved the twist at the end. Like Koontz, I read Grisham strictly for fun, not any deep stuff, and this one worked for me.