Launch – 3 part harmony

Just launch:
I’ve got a friend of a friend, an adopted, aging, “aunt.” Aunt Bernie, everyone should have one. She’s not shy about her age, 88. In the last year or so, she’s really bloomed, and the healing companionship of a former alley cat turned spoiled and pampered house cat? Never underestimate the power of the cat. Cat Power! From a cat that lived on the back porch and would never be allowed in the house, that cat now has her run of the place. Dogs have owners, cats have keepers. So true. I’m an old hand at cat wrangling. Herding cats is an apt metaphor for me.

It’s been a year or more since the cat wandered up to the back porch and begged food. Fat, happy, clean, warm house with good AC? Cat’s got it made. Someone to pet her when she wants. Cat lounges in the living room, dining room, on top of the kitchen table. Who is the boss? Rhetorical and redundant.

Aunt Bernie wanted to take the cat to the vet. I agreed, since I could fetch the cat and load it into the carrier (cage). I did so with an absolute minimum of fuss and hair. Vet found fleas, cat stayed the afternoon for a “kitty spa treatment” (flea dip, manicure, pedicure, trim and blow-dry), and in the interim, I suggested a quick flea bomb of Aunt Bernie’s house. Which meant we had to stay out for a few hours, which meant I needed to kill time which meant I wandered around the fishing section of the big store.

“Here,” Aunt Bernie said, “the cat wants to buy you a fishing pole.” I’ll admit, I was a little embarrassed, both by the largess, and the fact that Aunt Bernie forgot her walker so she was trailing me around while pushing a cart. However, one of my guidelines, “Don’t argue with women, you will lose?” I’ll occasionally follow my own advice. We had lunch, a sheltered stroll through the big store, I got a new fishing pole. The “Aunt Bernie cat’s memorial fishing pole.” To listen to the cat? Certain death and mistreatment at the vet’s. The ride in the cage. Everything. Howling.

Hard Launch:
One (Austin) local fishing guide developed a piece of hardware and technique that’s much fun for local lakes and local sport (fish). It’s called a “Launcher,” I’ve written about them before. Used them before, sometimes with excellent results.

First one of the day

The new fishing pole is a lightweight graphite pole, six-footer with a trigger grip. I fastened an old and reliable fishing reel, wound up some new line, and it was away we go. I tied a launcher onto that new pole, and I fitted it with about a 4-foot leader and the tiniest little minnow/shad fly I could find, locally. Boated out of the mariana and fished immediately. I wasn’t picking up anything but weeds, but as we moved further along the shoreline, I pulled out the new pole. First fish, barely half an hour on the water. Tried several other locations, but kept circling back there, and kept getting fish. With the new pole.

Soft Launch:
New Books, on their way. The first is called San Pedro Creek, and it’s about two years spent camping out on the floodplain south of the San Pedro Springs.

Text and images.

book banner

The other part of the soft launch is the “Portable Mercury Retrograde,” as I haven’t settled on a title. A primer for dealing with the existential crisis of Mercury in Retrograde.