Tag: friends

Tallying the score for my fly-fishing year (2009)

I’d planned on fishing Christmas day, but with high temps expected to climb no higher than the teens I’m likely to bag it. Hence, my fly-fishing year is over, and this year-in-review comes a few days early.

The learning curve

I spent 30 minutes talking one-on-one with Lefty Kreh, in the second week of January. I should have quit while I was ahead. (+30)

Creating infamy

The Wall Street Journal showed up in Denver after I guaranteed them some carp on the fly footage, and Tom Teasdale got front page billing in the print edition, nationally. I know self-made entrepreneurs with $250 million net worths that never made the front page of the WSJ. So I take all the credit for this one. (+250)

Time spent fishing is better than time spent working

I had 22 days on the Blue River, 21 days on suburban lakes, 13 days on the urban South Platte, 10 days on the Dream Stream, 4 days on the Williams Fork, 3 days on the North Platte, 3 days on the salt, 1 day in Cheesman Canyon, 1 day on the Colorado, and a few minutes on Gore Creek and Ten Mile Creek. (+78.5) ALMOST FORGOT: 2 days on the Eagle, and a day on “Moose Creek” – so +81.5

Worth a mention

I caught this fish and this fish using 5X tippets and tiny flies (+2). I used a San Juan Worm one day this year – this fish was the result (+1). I almost died from dehydration in the Carp Slam, but thank my lucky stars Barry Reynolds was my partner (+10).

Some gear runs through it

I acquired five fly rods and four fly reels this year (+9). I dumped one 2009 rod for another (+0), gave one rod up as a going away present (+1), and passed on three reels to folks that really needed them (-3). At least two rods will get ejected in the spring, and I’m on the hunt for another reel (-1).

I retired some waders, and waited patiently for some others (+0). I booted three pairs of wading boots, and wound up with two pairs in their place (-1). I gave away two wading belts (+2), and I found my socks (+20).

I bought seven fly lines, was given one fly line, sold two fly lines, and gave seven fly lines away (+13). I ruined one fly line, and one fly line just plain fell apart on me (-2). Two fly lines are still in the boxes (-2). I gave away a tippet dispenser, six spools of tippet, 250 yards of gelspun backing, and spooled/rigged four reels for newbies (+261).

Fly boxes are for civilians

I purchased 780 flies, tied ten flies, bent four hooks, popped 28 leaders with two-fly rigs, and snagged 2,462 flies on tree branches. (-1,732)

Liar liar pants on fire

I caught 225 brown, rainbow and/or cutthroat trout over ten pounds, 150 carp over forty pounds, 90 largemouth bass over eleven pounds, and one state record brook trout (at twelve pounds) that I didn’t get a picture of since I was by myself in a desolate location with no food, water, or camera. (225 X 10) + (150 X 40) + (90 X 12) + (1 X 12 X 11,500 foot elevation) = +147,330

High note

I acquired a king’s hoard of new friends, but unlike royalty throughout history I wouldn’t trade them for anything. And I spent some precious time fishing with some dear old friends too. ((7382 + 6) X 1014 = 7.382e+17) (Note: score arrived at by adding total friends, new and old, to the number of beers consumed in their company, individually, post-outing, then multiplying by the ACTUAL VALUE of time spent fishing and/or drinking with them)

Final tally

I want to say I lost count, but the reality is I’m an accountant, which means I don’t know how to count it was just a darn good year.

Merry Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, What-Have-You, and a Happy New Year to all.

MG signing off (until 2010)

Get an amazing first edition fly fishing lanyard, and help a dear friend in the process

waterwalkerlanyard-saleA couple of weeks back a dear friend of mine, Amanda Bodak, was involved in a terrible household accident. While she is going to live, that life is not going to be normal – she suffered severe lacerations to her face and is going to need reconstructive surgery. We all know that insurance never comes close to covering all the cost for such issues, and Amanda is by no means loaded. In fact, she’s the single mother of twin boys, and pretty much spends every dime she has on those two rascals. They deserve it, and now she deserves some help.

I’ve set up a donation site on Amanda’s behalf at Help Amanda dot org, but also wanted to do something a little more special. An auction crossed my mind, but then became the “what to auction” question. It had to be unique, that way someone who bought the item would remember the cause. Besides not being particularly sentimental, I’m not much for “owning” – I view most material goods as liabilities. But I do “own” two things I’m certain are unique. The first is my collie dog – he’s the only mammal that dares live with me and he generates a few extra BTUs around the house in the winter, so there’s no way he’s going. The second is my fly fishing lanyard.

During the winter I asked Rick Mang of Water Walker Lanyards to do some custom work for me, and the result was the Gracie Model lanyard. When Rick isn’t creating fantastic fly fishing tools he’s a church minister, and while he was working on my lanyard he was also helping several of his parishioners during times of crisis. The lanyard took quite a while to complete because of this, and Rick was very apologetic even though he really didn’t need to be. Anyway, remembering that, all of a sudden it made sense – who wouldn’t want a fly fishing lanyard made by a Texas preacher (and help someone in need by getting it)?!

So, the lanyard is up for sale. Sure it’s been used a couple of times, but it is mint (and you obviously know where to find me if you thought I was bullshitting you). It’s the first of it’s kind, and has become a popular model from Rick as well as a template for additional Water Walker models for other clients. It’s a great lanyard, and you’d be helping a great person in the process. If you are interested, leave a bid in the comments – don’t use your real name if you don’t want to, but please leave a real email address so I can contact you later. If you’d like complete and utter anonymity, you can also contact me directly here, and I’ll simple post your bid in the comments myself. Payment will be done via Paypal, directly to the account set up on Amanda’s behalf here. I’ll leave the ‘auction’ open for a week.

Thank you in advance for your support.

UPDATE: The lanyard has been sold.

UPDATE2: Donation links are now closed.

Rounding Up Friends (and their online profiles)

And figuring out if they’re really your friends too…

There’s a new set of standards being developed which aims to make it easier to discover existing friends on new social networks you join – the initiative is called The OpenFriend Project. It’s building on the chit chat from a few weeks back, and is being spearheaded by Anthony Romano of Tabber. This is a much needed idea-in-action, and implementation is going to create a lot of flexibility for users, particularly if the social network phenomena moves towards membership in multiple independent subject matter specific networks (as in groups, just not within some larger network). As distributed identity platforms such as OpenID take hold, I suspect that is exactly what is going to happen. (h/t to Pete Cashmore, who’s keeping his promise to keep up with this stuff for the rest of us!)

While having tons of portable friends is great, psychologists always say “know yourself” before you dive into relationships. For that, you have ProfileBuilder, which exists to help you create and manage a consistent profile. (Techcrunch gets the credit for this tidbit). Services like these are also needed, and for much the same reason as the above. However, there’s also going to be a need for people to maintain multiple profiles that can be “dragged and dropped” into newly joined networks – thankfully, ProfileBuilder has already thought of that. Note: TechCrunch highlighted that this space has several players, and I suspect it is going to get quite crowded as identity management and sharing standards proliferate.

To round up the week, Mashable also pointed us to a strangely needed Facebook app called “Profile Web Address.” Three points (sadly)…

  • I would have loved to provide a link, but I’m always a bit aggravated about having to log into Facebook to see new stuff, so I won’t burden you if you’re in the same boat.
  • I call it strange because I still can’t believe Facebook didn’t do this themselves from day one.
  • Lastly, this little app was not well thought out. There is no validation available for the name I choose, so I can assume any name I want. I could have used TinyURL and done pretty much the same – these profile URLs aren’t any more useful – just a simple redirect. I wound up choosing http://profile.to/williamgatesiii/ just to prove a point, and it worked just fine (note, I’ve since changed to http://profile.to/michaelgracie/ only because I wouldn’t want someone snatching my URL either).
  • There is cold beer, dog watching for the neighbors, and taking a few out-of-towners fishing in my immediate future. On the latter, I’ve provided a guarantee, although what exactly that guarantee entails will remain the subject of some internal debate. Wish me luck, and have a great weekend.

    UPDATE: Sean Aune follows up with 25+ Ways to Manage Your Online Identity.