Friday, September 18, 2020

2020 Wild Game Feed

Today is a sad day for those of us who attend the Annual Wild Game Feed each year at Irvine Lake.  The cancellation of this year’s event has left a very large hole in each of our schedules that is hard to fill due to all the restrictions during the pandemic.

 Each year I usually get together with some friends the day before the main event and have a mini-feed.  Since we see each other only once a year, this is really our only time together, because once we get to the Feed, we are busy making new friends.  There was no mini-feed this year.  It will be another entire year before we can see each other again--that is, if the restrictions are lifted by then.  Right now I can dream. 

 We all know canceling the Feed was the right thing to do.  This virus must be stopped, and sooner is better than later.  But still, it has already been a very long year of waiting for the return of the Feed, and now we must wait another long year.  On the plus side, that means those in charge of putting it together have another year to improve upon perfection.  I hate waiting, but it is always worth the wait. 

 My calendar is already marked for September 17, 2021. 

 Stay Safe!

 See you at the Feed!

 Meat and Beer!

Monday, June 22, 2020

We Knew It Was Going To Happen

I had a bad feeling when I first heard about the covid-19 virus.  Somehow I just knew it would bite into the Annual Wild Game Feed at Irvine Lake, and that’s just what happened.  The 2020 Annual Wild Game Feed Main Event for September 18, 2020 has been CANCELLED!   Bummer! And a few other choice words to go with it.  But it is for the best.  This virus must be stopped, and the Board of Directors felt the safety of everyone involved was the most important item on the Feed’s agenda.

Sooooo…  NEXT YEAR!!  September 17, 2021.  Mark your calendar for the third Friday in September, 2021.

See you at the Feed!

Meat and Beer!

Monday, May 18, 2020

Quarantined

I know it’s not a complete lockdown, but I'm treating it as such--sort of.  I still need to get groceries, water, and visit my doctors for routine maintenance, but for the most part, I’m staying home.  It’s not a lot of fun.  But I’m trying to do my part in stopping this virus.

Many adjustments have been made to accomplish this minimalization of lifestyle, and I know I’m not alone.  I was talking with my neighbors (over the phone) a few days ago, and the discussion of toilet paper came up.  Oh, boy!  Neither of us knows of anyone who has even seen a roll of the stuff in a month.  Well, sort of.  Almost everyone has seen it in abundance in someone else’s shopping cart.  Earlier this week I was at a Costco and saw a person with eleven shopping carts lined up each with a bundle of toilet paper in it, along with paper towels and hand sanitizer in most of them.  I watched as this person (along with her shopping cart guard) took one of the carts through checkout, then handed it off to a waiting friend to remove from the store.  This person then took another cart through checkout and did the same thing again.  It took a team of four or five people to work this out, but it was all purchased by one person.  And I didn’t get any.  The store was out.

The phone discussion with my neighbor turned into a “what did people do before toilet paper” discussion.  Well I was raised on a farm with an outhouse, and I know what to do, but I’m not real excited about doing it.  I remember when Papa brought home a wagon load of dried corncobs, and piled them by the outhouse.  Just grab a few on the way in and scrape away.  Fortunately dried corncobs are scarcer than toilet paper today.  Of course, corncobs were a last resort.  The usual choice was a few pages from a catalog, such as Sears or Montgomery Ward, that is until they started printing in color on the slick glossy paper.  Then it was back to corncobs or even a handful of hay from a bale lying next to the pile of corncobs.

This morning I called to make an appointment to see my doctor about some problems stemming from an accident some time in my past.  What a circus!  The doctors at the clinic I go to are now on a rotating schedule with no one working more than two random days per week.  To get an appointment one must be in an emergency situation and call on the day their doctor is available.  If the doctor is not available, one must wait until the following day to try again.  When I asked what days my doctor will be in, I was told the schedule is known only to the doctors, so I must try every day until I get it right.  What is this? 

I went to a local grocery a few days ago only to discover a line wrapping around the building.  The estimate was a seven to eight hour wait to enter the store.  The next morning I returned at five a.m. only to discover the line was already wrapped around the building.  I asked some people near the front of the line what time they arrived, and I was shocked to discover they were in line when the store closed at nine p.m the night before. 

On the plus side, I needed gasoline (for the first time in many weeks), and there was no one in line at Costco.  I drove straight to the pump and filled my gas tank.  Unbelievable.  It’s usually a twenty to thirty minute wait, and sometimes much longer. 

A sign on the front of a hardware store said “Face Masks Required.”  Underneath it was a sticker on the glass reading “Facial Coverings Not Allowed.” 

It’s a crazy world we are now living in, but the key word here is "living."  I'm seeing on the television reports of protesting crowds and crowded beaches.  I don’t understand why these people have such a death wish.  This pandemic will only grow longer if people don’t isolate.  More time inside will help to end this tragedy sooner.  To me that is obvious, but apparently not everyone agrees.  Oh, well.  I'll just stay as isolated as possible until this is over.  Hopefully you will also.

Stay safe everyone.

Tuesday, April 21, 2020

My Fingers are Crossed

Well, the official word is that there is no official word as to whether or not the Annual Wild Game Feed will happen as scheduled on Friday, September 18, 2020.  Today I received a notice that everything is ready to move forward quickly when the quarantine is lifted, and we can have a safe and healthy environment for our gathering.  Hopefully we will know by mid-June, and if the "All Clear" button is pressed, the ticket order forms will then be mailed out.  If so, then be ready to place your order quickly.

This year has been a ride on the back of a buffalo in the middle of a stampede.  Of course, the buffalos are all wearing masks and staying six feet apart, but nonetheless, it's been a crazy ride.  However, no one I know is rushing to get this corona virus.  And let's keep it that way.  Speaking for myself, if the Feed has to be postponed for safety reasons, so be it.  I am an outdoors person, and quarantine does not fit my lifestyle, although it is infinitely better than catching covid-19. 

So, hang in there guys.  As soon as I know anything I’ll post it here. 

See You at the Feed!

Meat and Beer!

Friday, March 20, 2020

Half Full or Half Empty?

Today is the halfway point in the yearly journey to the Annual Wild Game Feed, and I don't know to be happy or sad.  I could be happy because half of the year is already behind us and the waiting time is shortened by 26 weeks, or I could be sad because half of the year is still ahead of us, and it's a long 26 week wait for the greatest feast in Orange County.  Once again, it is on the third Friday of September.  This year it happens on September 18, 2020.

For over twenty years I have been attending this annual gathering of men to chomp down on quail, buffalo, alligator, wild boar, ostrich, reindeer, calamari, frog legs, antelope, elk, sea bass, gumbo, crawfish, and quite a few other treats.  I simply cannot remember all the meats served.  Each year the list seems to grow a bit.  Also, the beer.  What can I say?  ALL THE BEER YOU WANT!!  Meat and Beer!  How can it get any better?  Maybe throw in some incredible raffle prizes?  Exhibitions, games, contests.  Back to the beer -- how about rotating handles of craft beers? Utopia!

The ticket order forms will be arriving somewhere around the end of May to the middle of June.  When you get your form, order your tickets immediately.  Every year this event is sold out in just a few days, and I always receive messages from guys who got left out.  Sorry, but sold out means sold out.  Order quickly for best results.

Well, I was just looking at my beer glass and realized it doesn’t really matter if it is half full or half empty.  There is still half a year to go regardless.  But I’ll be ready when it gets here.

See you at the Feed!

Meat and Beer!

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Biggie—Year Nine—The Granddog

Biggie has been in my life for nine years now, and for this entire time he has been my part-time dog.  His mom is a friend who currently lives in a different city from my wife and me, but Biggie gets to come for regular visits for a few days at a time.  However, his current visit has lasted for over nine months, and I am beginning to forget he belongs to someone else.

Biggie’s mom is having trouble finding quality work and an affordable place to live.  While this is something most of us have experienced in our lives (past and/or present), it is making it difficult for her to keep Biggie at home and care for him properly.  Therefore, “Grandpa" and “Grandma" stepped in. 

We love this little doggie.  A lot.  But we never expected to have him for nine months and counting.  It’s like having a 2-year old with bad habits (or maybe it’s Grandpa with the bad habits), but still we love this little doggie.  A lot. 

Biggie brings us a lot of joy, fun, and laughter.  Everyday he does something fun to watch.  Lately he is starting out each day with a back scratch by crawling under my feet and moving back and forth so my feet do the scratching.  Needless to say, it wakes me up.  So does crawling up on me and licking my ear.  This, along with a series of doggie dances, ultimately gets me up.  As soon as I am vertical, he starts nudging me toward the kitchen for his breakfast. 

As he begins eating I start making breakfast for me, but Biggie considers it his second breakfast and does not allow me to walk away from the stove for any reason.  If I try to step over to the refrigerator, for instance, he will begin barking non-stop until I return to the stove.  He will allow me to leave the stove only if I am about to plate my (his second) breakfast.  He will even allow me a few bites of it before becoming worried I will eat all of it.  Ultimately he wins, and my plate gets a Biggie licking.

About two hours before sunset every day Biggie begins announcing he wants to go out.  Not outside, but out, as in “out to a park."  A walk around the neighborhood will sometimes be acceptable, but a park is always preferable, if not demanded.  So about 5 to 6 times each week, Biggie visits a local park where he gets the same exercise as when he takes a walk around the block.  In our back yard he can run free if he wants to do so, but everywhere else a leash is required.  But Biggie still prefers a park.

We have made several dog beds for him to sleep in and placed them around the house.  There is one in my workroom/office.  One is located under the bed in the bedroom, and one is located in front of our living room television, and he knows these are for him.  Just try to move one, and he will let you know to whom it belongs.  But that doesn’t mean he is confined to sleeping there.  Biggie will sleep where Biggie will sleep.  Last night my wife was working on a craft item and a large square of paper fell to the floor.  Biggie immediately claimed it as a bed.  He stepped onto it, scratched it a few times, circled around for a bit, then laid himself down and took a nap.  Later he abandoned it for a drink of water, and my wife picked it up.  When Biggie returned, he looked around for it, let out a low growl, and went over to a space between a lounge chair and the wall to lie down and stare at me for a while as though I had something to do with removing his new bed.

Biggie also has a number of small soft toys to play with.  For the most part he just lets them clutter up the floor around his beds, and he will rarely play with any of them.  And for Biggie, play never lasts more than just a couple of minutes at best, but Biggie knows what is his, and what is not.  When we bring home a new toy, he seems to know instinctly it is his.  Biggie likes to inspect the contents of every bag we bring into the house.  Groceries, clothes, hair care products, etc., it doesn’t matter, he just wants to look at and/or sniff everything entering our home.  Sometimes we will buy a toy for our neighbor’s toddler or newborn, and Biggie gives these a pass.  But if it is for him, he always knows it.

Recently we purchased a small toy for Biggie, but we didn’t give it to him immediately.  Somehow we got it past his inspection and hid it away for another time.  My wife put together a small box of kid's toys for the neighbor’s children to play with when they come to visit and included this small (unused) toy we had purchased for Biggie.  A few days went by, and the toddler came over for a visit, so his new toy box was brought out for him to go through.  Of course Biggie wanted to inspect the contents of this box.  As usual, Biggie examined the toys as each one was taken out of the box, and as usual, Biggie gave each one a pass, that is until his own toy was brought out.  Even though he had never seen it before, Biggie grabbed it and carried it over to his bed and sat there guarding it the remainder of the day.  How did he know?

Oh, how we spoil our “granddog.”  The only problem right now is that we can spoil him, but can't send him home.  We have to live with the results, but I’ll keep on spoiling him as long as I can.  He is worth it.

Wednesday, January 1, 2020

Enter the Doldrums

A new year is upon us.  Now everyone should have 2020 vision.  Sorry.  I couldn’t help it.

According to my calendar year, this year is actually 3 ½ months old.  In about 8 ½ months my year will close with the 52nd Annual Wild Game Feed, and I’ll start a new year.  The problem is, however, it’s 8 ½ months away – the equivalent of being stranded in the doldrums of one of the great oceans.  No wind.  No movement.  Nothing but a long, long wait, all the while hoping for some distraction to help speed up the passage of time.

Actually, there is much to do.  I’ll pack and repack my car several times to make certain I have everything I want to bring with me.  I’ll check the humidor every day at least once to be certain the cigars are there (minus one or two of course).  I'll look at the calendar a few times every day hoping a day or two got dropped from the month.  Actually, there is not much to do but wait.  And wait.  But it's worth the wait for the best Wild Game Feed anywhere.

See you at the Feed!

Meat and Beer!