Thursday, April 26, 2012

Galena. MacLoosh style.

Have camera, will travel.

I'm out of town again, but was careful to make sure I brought my camera (with charged battery) with me since I won't be able to go fishing.  I did catch some roadside attractions, but this group of photos is decidedly more refined than giant fiberglass characters.

Here is a taste of The Galena Territory~the way I see it.  Enjoy.

Til later Y'all!


Wednesday, April 11, 2012


Blogger's Note:  

The following is something I wrote a long time ago (must've known I would be a world famous blogger someday...) however it represents a couple of reoccurring themes in my home, and was eerily similar to an incident this evening.  Spiders beware...I'm a damn killa.  Betta recognize.

Wolf spiders.

I'll be really honest here...I don't like spiders. Especially wolf spiders. As a matter of fact, I am 200lbs (or so...) of spider hatin' mutha f'er. Unfortunately,the wolf spiders that try to invade my home seem to have exceptional speed and agility.

What's worse, is the presence of a spider in my house represents a fully blown emergency. My family seems to have a unique abilty elevate the happless arachnid presence to that of a homeland security issue (Threat level severe). If we had a red light and a spotlight with the batman symbol on it...we wouldn't even blink an eye at activating the emergency response system. My fear of spiders certainly doesn't help the problem, but by virtue of size and amount of facial hair...I have been designated the official spider executioner for the MacLoosh clan.

This is an uncomfortable balance for me. The kid in me is facinated by them, the chicken in me is spooked by them and the father in me is bound by honor to hide my fear and do the job. This is my personal hell.

The fear. It's all my sister's fault, and I will never forgive her. I secretly hope there is a spider on her leg right now. I don't want her to get bit...I just want her to get spooked.  It would be great if she did the "heeby jeeby dance" and peed herself. Just a little bit of pee would be enough to satisfy me--I'm not greedy.

Why write about this? Because no matter what I may be doing, once an intruder has entered our sanctuary, I am required to respond, and it just happened.

This spider hated me.  He wanted to eat my liver....
So off I go. Armed with the prefered weapon from my arsenal. Sometimes its a shoe. Sometimes its a newspaper. Sometimes a fly swatter, and occasionally, if our budget permits--a can of aerosol spider killer. The truth is...if I am in a pinch, I am not opposed to chemical warfare, and have even resorted to using a fresh bottle of Pledge to give that "lemony" sent to my victim (and slow him down) before I bring the force.

Unfortunately tonight, the wolf spider in question waited to appear until I was a few drinks into the evening and feeling relaxed.

This is where a simple hunt and kill operation has the opportunity to go horribly wrong.

Tonight's weapon: a fly swatter. Usually a pretty solid choice. Plenty of reach, it offers the ability to generate enough force to obliterate my opponent, it is cheap, re-usable, and it doesn't make me sneeze like the bug spray.

Everything was going well. He was in an open area of the ceiling (nothing worse than having to stretch into places where I can't guarantee a full contact swing...) and had suddenly stopped moving. I had my game face on. The plan was this-a quick kill and clean up, and return to my cocktail (s).

Things took a turn for the worse when my first swing was a complete miss (and here comes the alcohol factor...). But like anything a person does when drinking--I grossly over compensated with force.

Did I mention that we have a "popcorn" finish on our ceiling? Oh know, the stuff that crumbles off like confetti when knocked loose....

As the spider skittered away, I had "popcorn" falling on my head and arms and thought it was the spider. Out of the corner of my eye, I saw the little bastard moving to stage left, so I took another swing. More popcorn, and he fell to the floor. As if he was going to exact his revenge on me, he ran TOWARDS me.

......uh oh......

At this point, my mind was clicking and buzzing with chaos. I wasn't 100% certain that a second spider hadn't fallen on me, but as he ran towards me I realized very quickly that he had gotten close enough to keep me from being able to execute a full swing due to the lenght of the fly swatter. So with a hasty double step backwards, I delivered the final, fatal blow. I hit him another 3 times just to make sure he was dead, and did a quick check to see what was crawling on me.

Whew...nothing there, so I looked up. Triumphant. A gladiator of sorts...weapon still in hand and the sweat of a hard fought battle on my forehead.

That's right.  Mess with the best, die like the rest.  Biatch.
My wife gave me that mocking "way to go tough guy" look that only a wife can give a husband, and my son said "boy dad, that was a tough spider wasn't it?!" in the innocent way that only a child can muster.

Yeah...I said. THAT was one of the toughest spiders that ever lived. With as much pride as possible, I hung up my weapon and poured myself a fresh drink.

In the eyes of my wife ( the way refused to help...) I was an idiot. To my son and daughter, a hero. To a spider...a killer.  And to myself...well...I was just REALLY glad I didn't have a second spider on me.

That would have been dangerously ugly.

Saturday, April 7, 2012

Cadbury Bunny, eat your heart out

.....and just for fun....

Easter egg decoration by a kid who ate too much lead paint when he was young...

Happy Easter Y'all!


Tuesday, April 3, 2012


In more ways than one.

Last week, I had to go over to La Crosse for some training.  Never one to miss an opportunity, I was able to work it so that I could fish my way home through the heart of the driftless.  But I was also smart enough to stop at a few roadside attractions to add them to the list.

Multitasking.  MacLoosh style.

I hadn't really decided which creek I was going to fish ahead of time. The loosely organized plan was: if I made it as far as Viroqua before finding enticing water, I would stop in at the Driftless Angler for some local knowledge.

I have to admit, it didn't take but a few miles into my trip from La Crosse down Hwy 14/61 and I pretty much couldn't stand it anymore.  To avoid crashing my vehicle while I was craning my neck to look over every bridge or creek that I saw (at highway speed), I decided that Coon Valley was far enough. So by the time I hit the CV town limits, I was a jabbering mess.  Muttering to myself, cursing the pesky people trying to actually make time on the highway, howling along to Disturbed's "Down with the Sickness", and tossing every bit of self control out of the window.

I Needed to fish!

After turning north on Cty P, stopping and peering over the first bridge, only to see a 14-15" fish go skittering off into the safety of the rocks...I knew I had found my spot for the evening. So I set up shop on the side of the road, only to realize that I had used up all of my camera battery on the roadside attractions.  I wasn't terribly concerned, I had my phone, which usually doubles as my backup.  I geared up, and headed off to the water.  Only to realize that I had left my phone in my truck.  Damn.

It didn't take long for me to rationalize the fact that I would have no way to "prove" it if I caught 'the big one', therefore my odds may have inadvertently improved dramatically.  The only scientific way to test this theory would be to fish hard, sans camera.  Besides, I had the essentials; license, 4wt rod (with reel), two boxes full of flies and an endless supply of optimism. What more did I really NEED?

That's me.  Glass half full.   <insert maniacal laughter here>

The fishing was good, but I can't tell you that I caught troutzilla.  I do think there was a decent (18" +) fish in the area, I just didn't get a chance to raise him.  I did, however manage to swindle multiple fish in the 11-13" range into taking a pink squirrel.  (A driftless chiche'?  Maybe...but damnit...they work)

After the first fish (insuring that I hadn't gotten skunked...) I quit counting.  At some point, I had even caught enough to drift away from the safety of the pink squirrel so I tried several other patterns I don't usually fish. No luck with those patterns, but the fact that I was experimenting was a sure sign that things were going well.

I fished until dark, and then relied on my GPS to get me back on the way home, with a long drive to go. Good fishing takes a lot out of you, so a long drive had me wishing I had a campsite nearby.  A campfire and a beer would have topped things off nicely. such luck, so it was up to a  16oz. Redbull,  enough "road" music to keep my hands at a steady drumbeat  and the thought of my comfortable bed waiting for me at the end of the road to keep me moving forward.

I also mentioned that I scored multiple roadside attractions.  I LOVE weird things...

Here is a photographic recap:

World's Largest 6-Pack.  Yes Please.
King Gambrinus the "Patron Saint of Beer"

Chief Hiawatha

Giant baseball bat & ball - Cheesy...but still a roadside attraction

Seriously cool eagle statue

Anybody who has spent any quality time in LAX understands the significance of The Library
Nothing says "Welcome to Wisconsin" quite like a giant rat dressed like a cowboy (in the middle of the state...)
Big ass bike - Sparta
Who doesn't love a rootbeer drinkin' roller skatin' sweater wearing bear?  - Sparta