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Behind The Scenes At backwoods Home Magazine

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Archive for December, 2009

Dave Duffy

Trying to catch crab the day after Christmas

Saturday, December 26th, 2009

Robby pilots boat back to dock with pelican escort perched on motor.

Lenie got me a crab hoist for my boat for Christmas, so naturally I had to go crabbing the day after Christmas. My three sons and Erik (my son-in-law who is home for Christmas leave) went with me. We were all very eager to go since the Dungeness crab season opened only a couple of weeks ago and big catches with big sizes are being reported. I had even gone out and bought four “better and heavier” crab pots because my new hoist would be doing the work of pulling them in.

But none of us bothered to check the ocean forecast. It was sunny with mid-50s temperatures, and I could see from my living room window that the ocean a mile and a half away had no white-caps. But after we launched the boat in Brookings and headed toward the mouth of the harbor, it was a different story. The sailboat in front of us did a 360 and headed back in. We put the boat in idle and looked at the swells breaking at the entrance, took in the flashing lights on the Coast Guard station warning about a dangerous bar, and watched the small-craft-warning flag flutter next to the flashing lights. Then we did a conference to see if we wanted to risk our lives for monster crabs. Jake did, his two younger brothers were undecided, but Erik and I decided to nix the trip.

On the way back to the dock a pelican hopped onto the main motor for a ride. I think he was expecting a handout, but we had nothing to give him. He didn’t leave until we docked and Sam tried to pet him.

After we got back to the dock and unlaunched the boat, I bought six crabs at the launch-side market that sold only crabs caught in local waters. They measured seven inches across, which is huge! You seldom find these crabs in the market.

I’ll check the bar and ocean conditions before venturing out tomorrow.

Robby and Erik and pelican

Sam got too close and the pelican finally left.

Jake holds a Dungeness crab that measured seven inches across.

Dave Duffy

Tiger’s fall holds an obvious life lesson

Tuesday, December 22nd, 2009

I was a big Tiger Woods fan, and I may be again one day — depending on whether or not he can rehabilitate himself.

I’ve been involved with a youth golf club for about three years now, and all the kids looked to Tiger to see what the possibilities of success could be. Now it’s time for them to look to Tiger to see how much a person can screw up one’s own life. It’s a matter of making correct choices and being honest with yourself.

Tiger’s disastrous fall should be an example to everyone of how important it is to guard what you have. If you have a happy family life, nurture it by showing those close to you that you care about them. Do it on a regular basis. If you have a job you like, work hard at it and learn how to do it even better. If you have a nice home, keep it repaired and clean. If you have good kids, keep them as your friends for the rest of your life by not arguing with them over silly things. If you are healthy, eat and exercise like you want your body to live forever. In all these things, be honest with yourself and those around you.

Tiger has shown us how perilous life’s pleasures can be if you take your talent, your loves, and your way of life for granted. He’s discovered, perhaps too late, how important honesty is.

This Christmas I am more thankful than ever for what I have, and I’ll be more vigilant than ever in safeguarding it.

I grieve for Tiger and his family.

Dave Duffy

Restoring order in the chicken yard

Sunday, December 20th, 2009

We took advantage yesterday of a sudden day of warm sunshine on the southwest Oregon coast to restore order to our flock of two dozen chickens. We had too many roosters and they were beating up on the hens. Today the rain returned and so did order to the chicken yard.

Sam holds a condemned bird.

I took my turn with the axe.

Annie and Erik clean the birds.

After boiling, they're ready for canning.

Dave Duffy

Harvesting delicious local mussels

Sunday, December 13th, 2009

We’ve been taking advantage of a free food source just outside Gold Beach by harvesting mussels off the sea stacks that uncover at low tide. John Silveira and I had a great time harvesting our allotted 72 mussels each per day yesterday, then we steamed and ate them like clams after John made a delicious curry/apple juice dip.

The dip was a copy of that served at Barnacle Bistro, one of Gold Beach’s newest and best small restaurants. I have a mussel lunch there about twice a week.

John used an entrenching tool to harvest mussels.

My sturdy surplus military knife worked better.

We soaked them in a bucket for 20 minutes to get out sand.

The most tasty size are between 2 and 2.75 inches.

Dave Duffy

Global warming BS

Monday, December 7th, 2009

Global warming is always a good humorous story. This article from the CNN website is at least heartening because it states that more Americians believe that global warming is a natural event, and indeed it is.

Global warming is natural, as is global cooling. The earth is always either warming, as it is now, or cooling. It’s how the earth has worked since its incepton four and a half billion years ago. The evidence for man-caused global warming has NEVER been there. But most of the people of the world don’t understand science so politicians — especially commie and socialist politicians — can convince them that we need a massive redistribution of the world’s wealth to stop global warming. Thank God some Americans are catching on to what is actually occurring.

I allude to this problem of commies becoming environmentalists in my Issue No. 120 article:

“One needs to understand the politics of the day. As BHM was being born, communism around the world was collapsing. Gorbachev was about to dissolve the Soviet Union, and the Berlin Wall was set to come down. It was an extraordinary worldwide repudiation of communism, and diehard communists and socialists were fleeing their sinking ship and hopping aboard its new horse, the worldwide environmental movement. They injected themselves into the movement, giving it tremendous momentum but distorting its altruistic goals with their socialist philosophy.”

Global warming is a fact that few scientists would dispute. But most scientists who are not dependent upon government funding to say otherwise would say that global warming is a natural cycle of the earth. I’ve talked about this before in this blog, but I can’t find the damn post. Suffice it to say that we have more to fear from global cooling than global warming.

Dave Duffy

A really big burn pile!

Sunday, December 6th, 2009

Jake, at left, sprays trees so the heat from the burn pile doesn't kill them.

My excellent burn pile crew, from left: Rob, 17, Sam, 14, and Jake, 18

The pile shrinks quickly as it collapses.

Dave Duffy

Gold Beach Ping Pong championship

Saturday, December 5th, 2009

I figured Robby would win the whole tournament, but three adults won the top three spots. Robby came in fourth and his brother, Sam, fifth. But the battle that held the audience’s attention, which consisted of their mom, me, older sister and older brother, plus a few spectators, was Robby against Sam — brother against brother!

It was a sensational match! I didn’t know Sam was that good! He battled Robby  down to the wire, but in the end Robby’s aggressive style put Sam on the defensive and, ultimately, sent him down to defeat. They came in fourth and fifth in the Gold Beach Ping Pong Championship at our local library. Here are a few shots:

Sam handles Robby's serve.

He smashes a forehand of his own.

Robby puts Sam on the defensive.

The top 5 finishers


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