Friday, August 13, 2010

Finally some fish

Had a very disappointing trip out to Stellwagen Bank that saw no tuna and even stanger, no whales. That was a first. When leaving Marshfield last weekend I came across a huge school of fish that were mostly bass and I was able to get a couple nice 30" class fish before heading back to Falmouth. Went out at an insanely early time on Wednesday and caught a couple bass just under keeper size with live eels. The weird catch of the day was the huge black sea bass that took an eel around Quicks' Hole.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Bust Out Another Thousand

Or, B O A T!!!!

That is what I heard before purchasing a boat and now I am starting to find out why. The most recent issue did not equal $1000, just $600. Clogged injectors is what I am told. Most likely from bad gas or faulty filters. $%^&!!! Should be getting back in a day or two which would be outstanding. Looking forward to getting back on the water and especially fishing.

Going to be more diligent in my changing of filters from now on.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A much needed update

Fishing -

I have been fishing a grand total of 2 times since my last post. Glad that I got a nice fish out of the way early this season or I would be majorly depressed. Still feel pretty crappy about the small amount of fishing that I have done, but some is better than none. I went fishing out of Bass River with a guy I met online at Stripersonline. We happened to share a lot of the same experiences and similar fishing styles. Funny thing is that he lives year round in Woburn, right near Reading and summers down here on the Cape. We went to Monomoy in search of stripers, but none were to be found other than some finicky fish that were porpoising and sipping krill. I had only read about this and true to what I had read they are impossible to catch when keyed in on such small bait. We spotted a charter boat moving north along Chatham that we both recognized from his local fame at catching large tuna. Sure enough, after a short ride we happened upon busting tuna. I hooked up on the 5th or 6th try and after a 25 minute battle or so we lost him. Unlike the last two that I have fought, this one felt huge and heavy. My arms were sore.


I have received the Curriculum Coordinator position in Falmouth. I am very excited about it and am happy to be in this position. Schools all over the country are really struggling to stay afloat and Falmouth is no different. Not a lot of money to go around. I was happy to be involved in the interview process to find a new music teacher for Falmouth and I could not be happier about the person we found.

Today I started at Boston Conservatory and the students taking the Brass Methods course seem to be kind, motivated and talented people. Should be a good class.


Gwen's lacrosse team had an undefeated season that lasted all the way to the jamboree which consisted of three games. In the first game we were tied up 4-4 with only a few minutes left and Gwen scored two goals in a row giving her a hat trick for the game. She also guarded the other teams top player and was just outstanding. Unfortunately the team lost the last game of the jamboree against an amazing team from Andover that was an "A" team and not all inclusive like our team. I would have loved to have seen that game if we did not have our weak players playing.

TJ played to spring sports, travel soccer and baseball. I had the pleasure of assistant coaching both teams. I would never have thought that I would have enjoyed coaching a losing team so much as i did the boys soccer team, but they were such an awesome group of kids. most of the kids were playing up a level too. So, the three wins we did have felt awesome. There were multiple 8 year olds playing on the Under 10 team. Baseball was awesome. TJ was one of the starting pitchers on the team and had 25 strikeouts on the season. He ended up hitting .474 for the season and had two home runs. Our coach was a stat Nazi, I never would have paid that much attention. :) Although we did not make it to the championship game as expected it was an awesome season.


We did out first family camping trip over the July 4th weekend. We had a lot of fun and it was great to really bond as a family in that atmosphere. We bought an 8 person tent that was on sale which was great size for a family of four IMO. The campground we chose was VERY full and the campsites were right on top of each other. For the most part it went well, but there was one late night party that was very loud and some parents that found swearing and hitting their kids their main way of parenting. the last day was the best as we stayed longer than the 4th which gave us an almost private campsite.

Friday, May 7, 2010

What a way to Start a New Season!!

I have only been fishing a few times during lunch breaks at my favorite early season spots with only a couple hits to show for my efforts. Thomas told me earlier this week that he wanted to eat some bluefish so I told him that we would go fishing on Thursday night. So we go to our favorite early season bluefish hot spot and it was windy and cold. I did see one fish caught, but TJ was not going to try and stick it out. But, he really wanted fish to eat. I told him we could go try our favorite harbor because it would be calmer and warmer there.

When we arrived at the harbor there was a nice sized school of menhaden popping around on the surface so I brought a rod down and started throwing a 7" bone Hogy. Every few minutes the menhaden would stop dancing around on the surface and then get blasted by some bigger fish. I missed a bass (no tooth marks on the Hogy) and then a little later had a bluefish come and bite the bait just shy of the hook. So, I take the hook off and am getting ready to put on a new Hogy and I figure what the heck!! I cast out my Owner 7/0 hook, unweighted right into the middle of the school of bunker. I snag one and within a few seconds it gets hit, but I lose the fish really quick. I threw out the hook again and snag a bunker, but this time I decide to reel in and rehook. Well, on the way in I see the bunker about ten feet in front of the dock I am standing on and this big 0le bass comes up and inhales it. I was not expecting to see a fish this size yet this season so I am fishing with my 8' Tsunami Trophy, Okuma Epixor with 15 lb. Tuff-line braid. I just kept repeating over and over, "do not go under the docks." Well, she didn't, and after a long fight I got her into the dock. TJ took this great picture and then I went to put her back in the water. TJ says, "Dad, you always keep the first striper of the year and you said we were going to catch a fish to eat." I went on to explain to him that usually my first fish of the year is around 30" and this was much bigger. We talked for a little longer and after a lot of hemming and hawing I decided to harvest the fish (during this entire conversation with TJ I am venting the fish and she is not really coming to, I think the fight was rather long on my light tackle and she was spent).

Got her home, measured and weighed her. 39" and 22 lbs. When fileting her her stomach contained a partially digested whole bunker and two binker heads that had clearly been left over from bluefish.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Playing Trumpet with the Famous

Over school vacation I had two salsa gigs. The first one was in Hartford at the Expo Center where "the Rolling Stones of Salsa", Gran Combo was the headlining band. Salsa Night Band was the first of three bands and it was quite a trip for $150 and four songs. Bad sound men do not make for a positive performance, but at least Gran Combo had their own sound guy and they sounded excellent. Nothing incredibly fancy, but very solid and clean. Javier was in his glory when he went up and sang coro on one number. This was the largest crowd I have ever played for which was somewhere in the neighborhood of 7 to 9 thousand people.

The second gig had me playing in an All Star lineup of salsa musicians. Legendary salsa musicians Bobby Cruz and Richie Ray were in Providence and needed a band for a gig so my trumpet buddy Carlos called me up. The band had the best salsa musicians I have played with from top to bottom. Three trumpets, three trombones, three percussionists (with exceptional music reading ability), a bass player and three coro singers. We had to practice and perform 10 songs within two days. Had a lot of fun on the gig and met some cool guys.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Fun time on the ice

Last night I laced up the skates to play hockey for the first time in 18 years or so. What a fun time. This was a fundraiser for the girls hockey scholarship for Falmouth High School. Together we raised $715. Awesome job everybody. It was exciting to get a couple goals and it was a blast playing with people of all ability levels. A few people were playing for the first time which was fun to see. Some real athletic people trying their best to get to the puck, pass or shoot, all the while trying to maintain their balance was funny to watch.

Personally, a lot of things came back to me like riding a bike, but my skating was a bit uncomfortable. On the first play I took a huge digger when pivoting from backwards to forwards which is something I could have done in my sleep years ago, but my skills did not match my memory so..... My highlight was a breakaway and I snapped a nice shot into the top corner from the top of the circle. Lucky!! Pretty cool looking though.

Can't believe a Barnstable graduate actually wore maroon and white for Falmouth!!!

Friday, March 19, 2010

Interesting Observation

I now think I have an idea as to why so many athletes get so overweight after they retire. It is incredible. I have not run since the road race, but remember for the three or four weeks prior to the race that I was absolutely ravenous. When I weighed myself the week before the race I figured that I would have put on 5 pounds knowing what and how much I had eaten. Nope, lost 5 pounds!! Well, at the advice of my Dr. to get my knee ready to resume training for my next half marathon, I did not run for two weeks after the race. But, I still was just as hungry and ate a lot like before the race. I have not weighed myself, but I suspect not good things. Having said all of this I will also say that I do not really concern myself with weight that much anymore. I want to be healthy. However, I did put a cap on my weight at 250 pounds so that I do not let my weight get out of hand.

Just started running again this week as the Dr. gave me the go ahead to start running again on Monday. I have gone twice, both with the kids. Once with Thomas and once with Gwen. Thomas went nice and easy and walked quite a bit so it was a good slow start for me to get back into it. Gwen, on the other hand, decided she wanted to practice for the girl run that Christine and her are doing. Well, Gwen definitely set the pace. I would say that it was better than a 9 minute mile pace. Awesome!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

I did it!!

Ran the half marathon. Very exciting. I was very happy to finish it without walking. I started the race off a bit too fast which ended up hurting my pace down the stretch, but you live and learn. Before my next race I will be investing in a GPS watch that will help me calculate my pace. Finished the race in 2h 15m. A little slower than a 10 minute mile pace. This has been my experience so far during my practice runs. My pace for 5 to 7 miles has been more in the 9:40 range, but I must really slow down those last few miles. No worries. A work in progress. Knee pain was minimal and was more stiff than painful. I am looking forward to resting my knee for a few weeks, getting new shoes and start training for my next half marathon on May 30. I am only hoping that my knee pain does not reoccur. That would really suck. Hopefully the rest and new shoes will do the trick and get rid of the pain and/or stiffness altogether. Still thinking of doing a sprint triathlon too. We'll see.

Monday, February 22, 2010

I am a runner!!

My doctor says that I am a runner. Truth is, I think I am too. Never thought it would be the case, but I feel great when I run. Unfortunately, over the past four weeks I have had some knee pain creeping in, but it was never bad enough to not be able to run through.

Long story short, I ran 12 miles on Sunday. In some way I was very excited, but my excitement had a hard time surfacing through all of the knee pain I was having. I went to the Dr. today and we came to the conclusion that I have tendonitis and it was caused by my new sneakers. Never actually put the two together other than thinking it was a coincidence. Now I know. Going to have to run in my old sneakers and he gave me some anti-inflamatory medication which has already taken away 90% of the pain. I will not be running again until race day, but I actually think that I am going to be fine. Most likely I will have some pain, but hopefully not too bad. Hyannis Marathon here I come. (Even if I am only doing half of it!)

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Getting Things Done

The bathroom came together quite nice. The mirror we chose was a little big, but we will get one soon to hang in there and the project is done. The sink and toilet are in perfect working order with no leaking at all. I really like the color and I can not tell you how much I enjoy looking up at the wall around the tub and seeing a clean, uncracked and unmoldy seam between the tub and wall. The ceiling fan is doing a great job of keeping the overall climate of the bathroom dry. Next up, a new color for the downstairs hallway leading up the stairs and into the upstairs hall. Before I do that I am going to tackle the stairs as well as the banisters and rises. Hopefully I can get that project done within the week.

I am up to 8 miles for my long run and my during the week runs are now 5 miles, 3 miles and 5 miles. 21 miles a week? You have go to be kidding me. My goal the weekend before the half marathon is to run the entire length of the bike path which is 10.6 miles. Another thing I have noticed lately is that my normal easy pace has increased. After doing the 8 miles last weekend I added up my time and I did it in just over 78 minutes. Last time I checked my time for a 3 mile run I was just a bit over a 9 minute mile pace. I am really happy with that considering speed is rarely my goal. My goal is distance and not stopping. So far, so good.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Or so I thought

Well after putting in the toilet I noticed it is leaking a little from the bottom. Long story short, after searching high and low for a flange that would fit around my existing PVC pipe I found a replacement that would fit into it and still allow me to drill the flange into the floor. No leaks between last night and this morning so it is looking good. The other problem I had was that when installing the vanity I needed to take out the top drawer in order to fit the plumbing. Christine and I both decided to just leave the top drawer as a false door. I managed to break off a screw in the door and make it look really crappy. Decided to bite the bullet and order another door front from the company and they are sending me one for free!! Not quite sure I can figure that one out, but who am I to argue that.

Couple small things on my list today. Put up the mirror, paint the patch on the ceiling I made and the small baseboard that I fixed yesterday. If I have time I will attempt to get the sink running. I have a feeling that might be problematic. Through trial and error I am pretty sure I can get that one done though.

Friday, January 8, 2010

The End is Near

I am so close I can taste it. I added the grout which came out great. I also patched some holes plus a part around the new ceiling fan/light where some of the cutout was showing. Yesterday I put in base boards. This was my first time doing this and I look forward to a second chance sometime because I messed up a little, but thankfully it will be blocked by the toilet and the vanity. The corners were my issue, but I know my mistake. Today after school I am going to sand the walls and caulk around the tub. When the caulk is dry and the dust is settled I am going to paint the base boards and then the walls. I should be able to come pretty close by the end of tonight I think. Tomorrow I will install the vanity and the toilet and put up some fixtures and the job will be done except for the new door. Going to have to wait on that.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Working on the Bathroom

Tried to give it a shot at being a handy man over winter break. It is tough. Our upstairs bathroom has been an eye sore for quite some time and finally I got the nerve up to give it a shot. First problem, the wood was peeling back from over the tub from years of moisture getting in. I had to rip out the wood, put up some blueboard and joint compound the pieces together. So far so good, but a little more time consuming then I had hoped. I was able to paint the window and heater and they both look nice. Next, the ceiling. The ceiling was covered with popcorn plaster. I scraped it all off and in most places got down to bare wood. Before going any further I bleached the entire bathroom to get rid of the mold. Then I put a layer of joint compound all over the entire ceiling, smoothed it out and sanded it. Filled in any holes with a second coat, sanded it again and painted it. Looks nice and most people would never know there is no plaster up there I think. Then I ripped out the vanity and filled in the wall behind it and prepped it to be painted. I took out the toilet too. Then came the hard stuff and luckily I had help. Paul and Brian came down yesterday and helped me tile the floor and rewire a ceiling light / fan combo that could be switched on individually. I am glad that I did not try the electrical part by myself, I never would have been able to do it. Brian did the tiling and I did some cutting, the tiles look great.

Still left to do. Next up is putting the grout in the tiles and putting on some sealer. When that is done I need to do a couple patches in the ceiling where the new light does not cover the old hole. Then I will sand the walls down and paint the walls. Then, I will need to install the vanity and the toilet and the bathroom is done. Whole new bathroom other than the tub. Phew! Hoping I can get it all done by Sunday. We'll see.