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Behind The Scenes At backwoods Home Magazine

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Archive for August, 2007

Dave Duffy

Walking through our new woods

Wednesday, August 29th, 2007

Two of my sons are cross-country runners, one at the local grammar school and one at the local high school. I began training with Jake, the high schooler, but I ride my bicycle while he runs. Lenie has now joined us, alternately walking and jogging. Yesterday, as Jake ran off down the lower logging road, Lenie and I walked the upper one, which has turned into a beautiful young cedar forest with trees between 8 and 12 feet tall. Just about five years previous, I had walked up the same logging road with a friend who was a committed environmentalist as well as a writer for thenew-douglas-fir-forest.jpg magazine. The forest had just been felled and my friend could not hide his disgust at what he perceived as widespread environmental destruction by a logging company. I tried to explain to him that the logging represented a good use of forest land, and that I was familiar with the practices of the local timber company, Southcoast Lumber, and they did things correctly, namely, they logged, then burned, then replanted according to a very long-term logging schedule. “They have an economic stake in taking care of this land,” I said. “Thousands of homes will be built from the timber, then in another 20 or 30 years, they’ll log again and repeat the process.” I tried to explain to him that even the burning they do after logging is good for the land. “Fire is a natural part of the ecosystem of these forests. What could be more environmentally responsible than that?” He dismissed my explanation, as I knew he would. He was one of those environmentalists who seem to treat their beliefs as a religion. He blocked out explanations that showed timber companies doing any kind of enlightened logging. He simply looked at the denuded land and saw its ugliness. He couldn’t see the productive beauty that was eager to spring up as new trees. For him, logging was simply bad! Now here my wife and I were walking through this beautiful new forest. The logged timber has long ago become new homes. The land sloped away from us to the Pacific Ocean, and we could survey miles of new trees leading to the ocean. But I could see this in my imagination five years ago, amid the heaps of stumps and slash. Why couldn’t my environmental friend see that this was a responsible use of land, not a rape of a forest. Would he acknowledge it even now? I’ve lost track of him so I can’t ask him. I’ve met a lot of people like this. They are committed to a line of thought, and no amount of reasoning will sway them from their beliefs. And their thoughts DO become beliefs, as far as I can tell. Thought and reasoning implies listening to alternative views as you search for knowledge. Beliefs imply that you have reached your decision. There is no more room for talk. Too many environmentalists have become “true believers,” rather than pragmatists looking for sensible solutions to environmental problems. They have become part of the problem, not part of the solution. Companies like Southcoast Lumber are part of the solution. They are making money by caring for their forests. We’ll cut our Christmas tree out of this new growth of forest when there’s snow on the ground. We take care to cut out a crowded tree to help the timber company improve the new forest. Reminds me of a Robert Frost poem: Whose woods these are I think I know, His house is in the village though, He will not see me stopping here To watch his woods fill up with snow. … I’ll skip to the end: The woods are lovely, dark, and deep, But I have promises to keep, And miles to go before I sleep, And miles to go before I sleep.

Dave Duffy

Whole wheat garlic toast and oatmeal for breakfast

Sunday, August 26th, 2007

I’ve been health conscious ever since I underwent triple bypass surgery nearly two years ago. Very often for breakfast I have a bowl of oatmeal with raisins and craisins (dried cranberries), plus whole wheat toast with a garlic and oil spread. The oatmeal keeps my cholesterol lower by as many as 15 points, the raisins and craisins supply me with two of the recommended nine servings a day of healthy fruit and/or vegetables, whole wheat at almost every meal is now recommended by the latest medical research, and garlic is the next best thing to a wonder drug. garlic-and-oil-spread.jpg It is my garlic spread that I enjoy the most, however. I keep a little bowl on the counter that I fill with extra virgin olive oil, a splash of balsamic vinegar, and lots of chopped garlic. The raw bitterness of garlic mellows after a day immersed in the oil and it makes a delicious spread (applied with a small paint brush) on my toast. About three days a week I drop an egg fried in healthy canola oil onto the toast. The latest research shows that an egg a day does not raise your cholesterol. Our eggs are also home grown by our chickens who free-range so pick up a lot of phytochemicals in their eggs, and phytochemicals are very healthy for humans. Lenie and I try to pass on our healthy eating to our kids. They have come to like healthier olive oil, rather than butter, on their toast. They don’t like the straight garlic chunks or balsamic vinegar of my mixture, but those two things separate and drop to the bottom ofcooking-breakfast.jpg the bowl, so I just paint their toast with the olive oil from the top. And they like their eggs cooked in healthy canola oil; if you stop cooking with butter or lard or other unhealthy oils, your taste buds will get used to the healthy oils. Our kids have also gotten used to turkey bacon, which is at least 65 percent less fat than pig bacon. And they prefer whole wheat bread over that worthless pasty white stuff. Now is the time to get the kids used to eating healthy foods. Autopsies done years ago on our young dead soldiers during the Vietnam Conflict revealed a surprising level of coronary artery blockage among these young men. It sent alarm bells through the medical community, as doctors began realizing that heart disease can start at a very young age. eat-drink-and-be-healthy.jpgThe best book I have read on eating healthy and putting all these things in perspective is Eat, Drink, & Be Healthy by Walter C. Willett. After I read it, I bought five copies and sent them to my brothers and close friends, then put it in the Books section of the General Store of the website. We live in an age where there is plenty of accurate life-extending information about disease prevention; my bypass surgery compelled me to go out and read it. A publishing tip — promotion in a changing world Publishing a magazine like BHM is a lot of fun. I go my own way when it comes to the editorial content, dismissing the “experts” who say I can’t write about this or that because it will hurt my sales. But I do keep in mind that to publish a magazine you must earn a certain minimum amount of money to stay in business. Since I’m not very good at keeping track of what that minimum amount is, I let my wife, Ilene, do it. She doesn’t mess with the editorial content of the magazine, but understands you must send out a lot of mail solicitations if the magazine expects to get a lot of subscribers’ checks in the mail, so she is always hunting down appropriate mail lists we can solicit. No mail out equals no mail in. My editorial approach sometimes makes certain subscribers cancel their subscriptions, but Lenie finds new subscribers. The subscribers who do stay with us tend to treat us like family, because I think they appreciate the magazine’s editorial candor and honesty in a publishing industry that is easily intimidated by special interest groups who want only politically correct topics discussed. So promotion of the magazine is a key to success. The internet, including this blog, is another arm of our attempts to promote BHM. But the internet, so far, earns BHM very little money; our income comes primarily from the sale of our print issue. But this blog and our internet website will hopefully alert potential subscribers to the value of our print issue. As publisher of BHM, I am betting that the amount of money and time put into our internet presence will eventually translate into print issue sales. But I’m not sure! The jury is still out on internet sites for all publishers. We are treading on new ground here, as no one really knows how to make money from the internet because readers’ have come to expect all information on the internet for free. But the internet has one attribute that plays into the hands of a good magazine like BHM: It allows readers to select what they want to read. Before the internet, readers had few choices, being forced to choose from among a few magazines covering their chosen topics, and those magazines were typically produced by large corporations who served up a sort of bland mush of politically correct topics. Readers have many choices on the internet, including the choice to stop reading the bland mush and search out quality in-depth articles about subjects in which they are interested. So I’m betting that if BHM offers its typical quality articles, as we have done for 18 years, readers will automatically migrate to the BHM website. Magazines who continue to offer the bland crap that they have offered for years will lose their readers. The internet, I believe, will force all publishers to either offer a lot of quality material free, or they will lose subscribers to those (like BHM) who do. I believe that the BHM website, and vehicles like this blog, will stimulate the conversation about BHM and what it has been offering readers for 18 years. The internet, by its nature, forces the cream to the top. It will eventually eliminate the need for the large sums of money to do the large snail mailings a publisher must now do to let people know you offer quality material. The internet is the greatest equalizer of the publishing playing field in history. If you do not already subscribe to the print issue of BHM, I invite you to do so. It is even better than our website and the four blogs we have recently launched from its Home Page. If you are contemplating ever becoming a publisher yourself, look to the internet as the key ally of the future. The world of publishing is changing rapidly, thanks to the internet, and it is those people with good ideas and products who will benefit most. — Dave

Dave Duffy

Cooling off

Friday, August 24th, 2007

fan-opening.jpgIt’s been hot–in the 90s–the last couple of days a mile away from the Oregon Coast. This is when I’m glad I installed a “Whole House Ceiling Fan” in the far bedroom at the other end of the house a few years ago. When the evening cools down, as it always does here, I turn on the Whole House Fan, which is an exhaust fan which sucks a large volume of air out of the house and empties it into the attic where vents transfer it outside.hallway.jpg It’s big enough (30 inches square) to create a nice draft through the house, sucking cool evening air in through open windows at the opposite end of the house, thus cooling the whole house with the evening air. Wonderfully simple device. My house never gets really hot, as I am well insulated and have an additional fan — an automatic attic vent fan — just below the main roof gable. When the air in the attic gets hot enough, the fan kicks on and sucks it through a vent in the roof. Get rid of the hot air that collects in your attic, and it makes cooling your house much easier. But some heat still builds up in the interior. This is just a stick house built on a foundation, with no thermal mass in it jake-gets-set-to-take-a-dive.jpgor design features that allow me to tap into the constant temperature of the ground. (For some BHM articles that discuss “thermal mass”, just type in “thermal mass” in the search window on our Home page.) But the Whole House Fan works pretty well. My three sons have other innovative ways to cool off. Jake, your typical teenager who will try just about anything, will take a dip in the teenagers-know-how-to-cool-off.jpghorse trough if he’s hot enough. He doesn’t mind that there are mosquito fish in it. Sammy and Robby will wade in the little fish pond we’ve been creating for the last couple of years. There are lots of big — 6 to 8 inch — goldfish and salamanders in the pond, but the boys don’t care. A publishing tip We’re just shy of three weeks from deadline for the Christmas (Nov/Dec 2007) issue, so we’ve been working behind the scenes with various writers and examining submissions. If you submit something to us, whether via snail mail or email, you have to be patient. It can take a while for us to decide. Sometimes it’s just a quick read and a “yes” or “no,” but sometimes we have to think on it. We tend not to keep in touch with writers during this sam-and-rob-prefer-the-little-fish-pond.jpgprocess; there’s just too much other stuff to do to keep people informed of every move we make. So if you are a writer, please be patient and we’ll get back to you eventually. Organization is one of the key talents a publisher must have. If you can’t keep track of vast amounts of information, you’ll have trouble being a publisher. As the years have gone by, I’ve been lucky enough to hire people who can organize and keep track, so I tend to delegate many of these tasks to my employees. I’ve already told you about Lisa in a previous post, who helps me organize the editorial side of the business. My wife, Lenie, takes care of the details of the business side of the business. It’s scary what she has to keep track of. One person cannot handle the organization of both the editorial and business sides of a publication like this; there is simply too much pulse to feel.

Dave Duffy

Old doors for a new greenhouse

Friday, August 24th, 2007

Old doors for a new greenhouseI continue to gather the makings of Lenie’s greenhouse from the doors and windows they are tearing out of the front of the BHM building to make way for a new Subway franchise there. Today I got the double glass doors made of tempered glass. I already snatched two panes of 4-foot by 8-foot tempered glass windows. Very strong glass that will stand up to almost any type of weather. You could whack it with a 2 by 4 and it wouldn’t break. I’ll build it over the winter. I like heavy structural stuff like this to build with, rather than the plastic poles and plastic sheeting many people use for their greenhouses. I guess I’m just a meat and potatoes kind of guy. Mas Ayoob’s article arrives Mas Ayoob’s article for the Christmas issue arrived in the mail today. Superb and informative! An important article too! We print so many articles in BHM that are not just good and informative, but are important for people to read. I’m very lucky to have convinced Mas so many years ago to write for BHM. It didn’t take much convincing. He simply said sure when I asked him through an intermediary. He just liked the magazine. He wrote for BHM for a couple of years before I finally made a trip to New Hampshire to meet him. Very smart, pleasant, unassuming guy. Mas spends much of his time travelling all over the country giving specialized gun defense classes, some to cops like himself and some to ordinary citizens. He is much in demand. Aside from being a lethal force and gun expert and a champion shooter, however, Mas is a “natural” as a writer. I asked another Syrian, Habeeb Salloum, who also writes for BHM, if there is something in the Syrian makeup that makes people like him and Mas natural users of the English language. I was trying to make a comparison with a lot of Irish people who also have an easy ability writing in English. But Habeeb wasn’t aware of any particular character trait, nor am I aware of any particular character trait for the Irish. It is peculiar, however, that certain groups of people seem to have particular talents for certain things. Jews, for example, make the greatest chess masters, while Germans make the best physicists. Get a German Jew like Einstein and look what happens: the great mysteries of physics get solved. Why is this? Is it the way their brains are structurally configured. And look at Americans in general: We’ve always been the great inventors and innovators. The internet is only our latest great invention. We invent, other people’s copy and improve upon our inventions. Why is that? It probably has a lot to do with the fact we are a very diverse mix of people so produce clever offspring by the mere act of breeding. But it also has a lot to do with our political system; as a society we encourage our children to roam far and wide and take in all they can with their lives. An American’s easy opportunity to pursue whatever career he or she fancies, encourages them to seize opportunity wherever it appears. Americans are born to explore and experiment, so we are naturally creative as a byproduct. Still dealing with photo caption problems We tried a new captioning plug-in on my blog, but it doesn’t quite work in Firefox and screwed up the text in Internet Explorer, for both the present and past posts. It automatically displays captions from the jpeg file, so it would be quicker when posting — if we can get it to work properly. But if we can’t get it to work properly, we’ll stay with the Photoshop workaround. Please be patient as we experiment with these fixes. Since I am an American, I am perfectly qualified to invent a photo captioning system that will work, look nice, and be quick to use. — Dave

Dave Duffy

Computer idiot learns captioning

Wednesday, August 22nd, 2007

Dave writes up a blog postI mentioned once before that I am a computer idiot, but I’m proud to report that after only three months of blogging I’ve learned to put captions on the photos I post. Oliver, BHM’s webmaster, showed me how to do it with Photoshop since Wordpress, the blogging software we use, doesn’t appear to have that capability. This is a workaround, obviously, and I’m lucky to be familiar with Photoshop as it has been a basic tool of publishing since the computer age began. It goes to show that blogging software, and all this computer technology that is hurtling publishing into the 21st Century, is still relatively primitive when it comes to what I consider basic capabilities.

That said, They demolished the front of the BHM building to make room for a new SubwayI like Wordpress for its ease of use. If it allows this computer idiot to use it, it’s got to be pretty good. Wordpress does support captions that you can read by running your cursor over the photo, but that seems like a lame way to have readers read captions. Besides, I couldn’t get the captions to show up in Mozilla Firefox, which about 15 percent of readers use to access the BHM blog. Oliver came up with the Photoshop idea after we spent an hour on the phone trying to solve the Firefox problem. We did also solve the Firefox problem.

If anyone knows of an easier way to put captions on the photos, kindly let me know.

Blog comments

I also discovered I had a lot more comments on my blog posts than I thought. I just didn’t think to look back through the posts to check comments put on previous posts days after I made the posts. I should have responded to some of the comments, and will try to do so in the future. All this blogging stuff is new for me, but I will catch on to the technicalities of how it’s done soon.

I also think I’ll begin to narrow the focus of this blog to a behind-the-scenes look at publishing a magazine, which was my original intent. Right now the blog is all over the place, which has been good to get me used to how to do blogging. But a narrower focus will help build readership, and since I’m a publisher I’m obviously interested in building readership.

A publishing tip

Here’s a publishing tip: Just yesterday I had to go into a previous blog and correct the spelling of someone’s name. It is always unacceptable to misspell a person’s name in full view of the world. It is the greatest error of publishing. I know the Mom of this person,Curry County Health inspectors Dave Manzella, left, and Michael Meszaros check the builder’s plans and she said she didn’t mind that I misspelled her daughter’s name. It may not bother her, but it should bother a publisher. Facts must be correct, and the most important fact in publishing is the proper spelling of people’s names. It is not so bad to misspell an ordinary word (people always forgive simple mistakes), but a misspelled name is a MAJOR error in publishing, damaging the credibility of a publication. A name, properly spelled, is very important to most readers. If you ever publish your own magazine or newspaper, or even a little newsletter for your local soccer team, this Rule should be a primary concern.

Progress is swift on new Subway

Progress has been swift on the building of a new Subway into the front of the BHM building. They gutted the front of our building less than two weeks ago, but have now The new Subway will open in 4 weeksinstalled all the plumbing and framed the exterior walls. They expect to complete everything and open for business in another four weeks.

The kids at the “open campus” Gold Beach High School across the street will be glad of that. So won’t I. Now I can walk next door for lunch. I can also start collecting rent! That’s the best payoff for BHM. We now have a long-term tenant.

Dave Duffy

A rain storm batters our corn

Monday, August 20th, 2007

A storm blew down our corn. We left our campsite in the rain and came home to find the wind that had accompanied the rain had blown down our corn. My boys and I tied it back up today with some old parachute cord. Glad the rain held off until our last night of camping. I posted Jackie Clay’s blog as soon as we got home last night. She sends the blog and questions to me and I post them. Annie’s internet is now active in North Carolina so she’ll Jake and Rob tie up corn with parachute cord.resume administration of the blogs again pretty soon. That will make Jackie’s blog go much smoother. There are a lot of technical considerations when administering multiple blogs, such as Jackie’s, David Lee’s, Silveira’s, and mine. They have to do with programs like Feedburner, Technorati, etc., all stuff that goes over my head rather quickly. I need the information these programs provide, but Annie is better able to handle the technical nuances that arise with them, so I’ll glad to hand blog administration back to her in a few days. My legs are comfortably sore from camping. I rode my bike every day, swam in the river, and chopped the wood we brought along. Good healthy trip for a 63-year-old publisher who must spend a lot of time behind aLou and Dalene Daniel of Cherry Valley, California. computer. One of our camping neighbors, Lou and Dalene Daniel, of Cherry Valley, California, had a really nifty big wall tent they had bought from Reliable Tents in Billings, Montana. He’s a retired fireman and they now camp all over. Their home is near Palm Springs in the desert, so they have to travel about a thousand miles for their two weeks of camping at Quosatana on the Rogue River. Lou Daniel bought the front and collar for this stove, then built the rest. At left is a little Coleman oven.Lou had built a barrel stove for his tent out of a kit he had bought from an online outfit — By a kit, I mean he bought the front panel and the collar, then welded up the rest onto a small barrel himself. Their tent was a big wall tent you use on hunting expeditions — at least 20 feet by 10 feet. He says the stove keeps it very comfortable in any weather. I asked him to do an article on him welding up his next stove, and he said he would. He’s going to try and sell them online. He also had a hot shower enclosure outdoors, which he bought from Cabela’s catalogue. That’s what I missed most — a shower. But How’s this for a camp tent.swimming in the river kept us fairly clean. They also had a small Coleman oven in which his wife could cook bread. Lenie wants one so she can cook up apple and blackberry cobbler the next time we go to Quosatana. I’m always finding good ideas or helpful products from people I meet.

Dave Duffy

Harry Potter and toastites

Sunday, August 19th, 2007

There’s nothing like a good glass of merlot while camping.
A bottle of good merlot while camping is a wonderful thing. Luckily my son-in-law Erik’s Dad, Rocky Tuttle, is a wine guy, namely, he studies the stuff. While my family was visiting Annie and Erik a couple of months ago in 29 Palms, California, Rocky was also visiting from Arizona and provided the wine for a barbecue we had at our cabin at the 29 Palms Inn. He bought some inexpensive (about $10 a bottle) Columbia-Crest wine from the local grocery store. It was extremely good. I am a merlot guy, so I know. The wine was 2004 Columbia-Crest Merlot, but it must also say “Grand Estates” on the label. I brought along two bottles for this camping trip.

Unfortunately I couldn’t open the bottles. The cork was just too tight. Luckily, I have a Jake didn’t drink any, just opened it. It’s Columbia-Crest Merlot (Grand Estates) 2004. Very good!.15-year-old son, Jake, who is immensely powerful, so he opened them after a bit of effort.

This has been a very relaxing camping trip. Lenie has taken to reading the boys Harry Potter’s 7th book during the day because they are within a hundred pages of the end of this 759-page book, so I’ve had lots of time to just think. I think J. K. Rowling will be remembered just like Shakespeare, who was also very popular in his own time. We know from the history that people flocked to Shakespeare’s plays, especially his comedies, and now we read him hundreds of years later.

Hopefully, the language won’t change as much in the future as it did between Shakespeare’s time and now. Shakespeare was at the beginning of Fresh apples and blackberries on whole wheat bread.modern English, inventing many of the words and phrases we now take for granted, but we can still understand him with the help of a good English teacher or a guide. But our modern English is evolving quickly, at least as quickly since Shakespeare’s time. Isn’t that weird? The language we speak today is changing so much that we probably will have difficulty understanding Harry Potter a few centuries from now. If we let some teachers from the inner cities have their way, we won’t be able to understand some of our citizens a few decades from now.

Rocky Tuttle, by the way, is much more than a wine officionado. He is Gold Beach High We cook it right in the fire.School’s greatest football star, prominently displayed in its Hall of Fame. He got a full football scholarship to Idaho State, then got an offer to try out for the Green Bay Packers in his senior year. He said ”no” and decided to pursue a career in banking. I asked him if he regrets that decision, and he said he didn’t. “I realized I was simply finished with football,” he told me. He ran a 4.4 forty in college. That’s fast!

We’re eating good while camping. One of my favorite snacks is a toastite made from apples we picked from our own trees at home and blackberries we picked while here. Sandwiched between two pieces of whole wheat bread, it’s very healthy, besides being delicious. I also Yummy!sprinkle on a bit of cinnamon sugar. We spray the insides of the toastiter with Pam, but any oil will do. Otherwise the bread sticks to the toastiter. They also cook quick in the fire pit, so you have to check them often or they’ll burn.

The boys make a sour candy from the unripe blackberry kernels. They just break them out and carry them around in their pockets. I tried some: very good but very sour.Sammy’s sour candy made from blackberry kernels.

Dave Duffy

The company picnic and camping

Friday, August 17th, 2007

It was a great company picnic.
We had our company picnic yesterday at Quosatana Campground 14 miles up the Rogue River from the BHM office. My family decided we’d combine the picnic with a four-day camp at Quosatana so we got there a day ahead. We brought everything we could fit in the truck, including our bicycles, four coolers for the picnic fixings, a bunch of firewood, and my axes.

It was a great day!. Quosatana is the local’s favorite camp spot, It’s spacious, has three flush toilet bathrooms, potable water, a boat ramp, and easy access to Lenie cooks turkey sausages and chicken.swimming and fishing in the river. It also quiets down nicely after 10 pm as campers respect people’s desire for a quiet sit by the campfire. I’ve been in campgrounds in California where I decided to leave after a night of shouting and drunkenness from other camp sites.

We brought our Coleman popup camper too, which makes camping pretty easy with its two queen-sized beds, a stove, and refrigerator. But we cook mainly with a small barbecue we set out on the picnic table at the site. Lenie barbecued turkey sausages and chicken for the picnic, and employees brought all sorts of The ladies went blackberry picking.delicious stuff: pasta, potato salad, lots of fruit, brownies, chips, dips, various drinks and desserts.

We all sat around the campfire and had a great time. Lenie and I decided to just close the office down for the day. Conveniently, someone cut a fiber optic table north of town, near Coos Bay, so the town had no phone or internet anyway. As the afternoon wore on, four of the ladies went off and picked blackberries. They got a lot, as blackberrries are plentiful this time of year around here. In fact, blackberries are so plentiful in Southern Oregon that many people treat them as a nuisance, hiring someone to just cut them out. I trim ours at home back severely every year. The day’s harvest went to Lisa, who had planned to make blackberry jam later in the day.

Our pop-up camper provides my aging body with a good night’s sleep.The six kids at the picnic went fishing on the Rogue, at a spot the adults found difficult to get to because you had to slither along a slate outcropping that hung over the river for about 60 yards. I think the kids planned it that way so they had several hours to themselves. They caught 21 small bullhead in all.

The kids, along with several adults, also went swimming in the Rogue. Typically, the river is very cold but the water was in the low 60s today, I would estimate. The warm water is one reason why the salmon season on the Rogue has been poor this summer. Salmon like a certain temperature. If the water gets too warm, disease begins to spread among them

By late afternoon BHM employees had gone home, so Robby and I went fishing for steelhead The kids went fishing. Here, Jessie Denning catches a a riffle west of the camp. We each caught one but they were too undersized to keep. I tried using one of the small bullhead as bait but steelhead apparently don’t like them. We ran out of worms so I’ll go to town tomorrow to get more.

The Rogue is a magnificent river, with each twist and turn revealing some new wonder of nature. Not only are their black bears and deer roaming around, plus osprey diving for fish, but there are rapids around one bend, then a peaceful swimming hole with a sandy beach around the next. The water is somewhat low this time of year, so when you take your jet boat up you have to keep up the speed through the riffles so you don’t bottom out. There weren’t many boats going upiver today.

The evenings have been very peaceful. My family sat around the campfire until bedtime, then Lenie read Harry Potter to the boys as I continued to stare into the mesmerizing flames or write on this blog post. The boys like to tend the fire. They are expert, since they have two wood stoves to tend at home. Our camp is in a myrtlewood grove so there are dry Getting to the fishing spot required skirting along a slate rock outcropping for about 60 yards. Sammy showed me the way.leaves all over, which the boys gather and toss into the fire to create a burst of colorful flames.

The camp quiets down nicely at night, with the lone exception of the one dodo a night who likes to lock his car door by pressing the button on that infernal key device that makes the car horn beep. But I’m a patient, understanding guy. I block out the interruptions and just relax. Besides, I’ve yet to meet anyone at Quosatana that I didn’t like.

There are lots of stars out tonight, from what I can see between the myrtlewood branches. Like at home, there are no nearby city lights here to diminish the brilliance of the stars.

I’ve taken advantage of my own magazine’s advice for this trip by bringing two of the GE lanterns Jeff Yago reviewed in a previous issue, plus the small, very quiet Honda 2000I generator he reviewed. My trailer batteries are low so I’ll charge them today while the campground is bustling.

Our black lab, Molly, also likes to camp. She swims in the Rogue. My boys are all strong swimmers, thanks to Lenie, who

Showing off the tiny bullhead fish they caught are, from left, Jake, Rob, Austin, Julia, Jessie, and Sam.

swam on her college team.

It’s getting late. The campground, except for me, is asleep. I’ll shut off the lantern and let the fire go out. Tomorrow I’ll drive the 14 miles to town to buy

marshmallows and more worms for fishing.

A night campfire keeps things cozy.

Dave Duffy

Fresh fish and maybe an e-issue

Tuesday, August 14th, 2007

Sammy loves to Drive.
I finally got to do some fishing. My boys and I went out into the Pacific Ocean from Chetco Bay, which is the harbor in Brookings, Oregon. We only caught a couple of blacks, but that was enough for dinner since they were pretty good size.

The weather was great and water calm, so I let the boys jet around at about 25 to 30 mph. There are lots of sea stacks and underwater rocks here where fish lurk, so we covered a lot The boat cruises well at about 25 mph.of territory both south and north of the harbor. I was more interested in how the boat performed this trip, since the gas in its tank was a couple of months old. That’s how long it had been since I last went fishing.

The biggest fish got away. It was a large black Robby hooked. Jake asked him if he needed the net and he said no, then lost him as he tried to pull him on board. “I didn’t know he was that big!” Robby complained afterward. Oh well! We used the nThere are many seastacks off the Oregon Coast that harbor fish. This one is covered with after that.

We stayed out about four hours. I caught nothing, but lost four rigs on the submerged rocks. Jake caught the biggest fish, a nice black rockfish. We bleed them as soon as we catch them by slitting their throat and gills. That way the meat tastes very good.

When we got back into shore, some fishermen were busy cleaning the tuna they caught. One guy went out 46 miles to catch them, and he did it in a river boat a lot smaller than mine. I’ll have to study the weather forecasts pretty thoroughly before I go offshore 46 miles with a river boat, especially with my three boys. If I had another boat to go out with me, maybe I’d do it on a good forecast. You never know when something can go wrong, and I don’t feel like having to call the Coast Guard to bring me back in.

Robby prefers fishing from the roof of the boat.When we got back it took us about an hour to hose the salt off the boat and flush the engines with fresh water. Those are essential tasks for a boat that goes in salt water. I put the prop of my small motor right in a barrel of fresh water and run it for 10 minutes. My big 200-hp has a hose adapter, and I run water through that for another 10 minutes.

The boys cleaned their own fish. That’s Mom’s rule. They are very good at it and enjoy the process. We froze the heads for later crab fishing, and we gave some fish guts, plus some leftover anchovy bait, to the chickens.

Lenie then made a nice dinner from the blacks, complemented by string beans and a cucumber from the garden.

Should we do an e-issue?

We’re investigating the possibility of bringing back the e-issue. The technology is now available that presents the magazine in pretty much the same format as the print issue, but it’s memory intensive, taking between 60 and 70 megs per issue. That means the e-issue would take too long to download for anyone with a dialup connection, and it is even kind of inconvenient with my high-speed satellite connection. Maybe some of you reading this could give me some feedback (just click on the COMMENTS button below) on what kind of internet connection you have, since it appears this new technology is really only suited to people who have a cable connection.

We’re only thinking about an e-issue at this point. It all depends on cost, how we can recover the cost, how much work is involved, etc. I’d appreciate input form anyone who You’ve got to clean your own catch.has an idea how we can do this. In the old days we did have an e-issue done in pdf format, but we had lots of piracy problems so I don’t think I want to go there again. The new technology makes theft of the magazine e-issue much more difficult.

An e-issue would obviously expand our readership overseas, since it is now prohibitively expensive to send a print issue to an overseas address.

Dave Duffy

Tiger Woods, Tiger Woods, Tiger Woods!

Sunday, August 12th, 2007

Lenie in the garden reading Harry Potter to Rob and SamI was off with my prediction of the number of strokes, but Tiger Woods did win the PGA Championship today. Hooray! During the TV ads, I went out in my yard and practiced chipping. Unfortunately, Tiger’s performance didn’t inspire my game at all.

While I watched the last few holes on TV, Lenie read Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows to Rob and Sam in the garden. Robby is an avid 14-year-old golfer, but Mom reading out loud in the garden trumped golf.

This is the time of year that my boys like to graze in the garden. Lots of food hanging everywhere. I love picking and eating the peas and beans. Our corn is eight to nine feet high. Pumpkins, squash, tomatoes, everything looks good. We don’t get many harmful bugs in our garden, for some reason, even though we use no spray or take any special natural precautions against bugs. All our trees look pretty full too. Plenty of apples and plums for the second year in a row. We have three apples, five plums, and a pear tree. It’s a great time of year when the garden and fruit trees begin offering up their bounty.


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