Archive | Denton Men

Bass Fishermen

by Owen Strand

Have A Spring Fling

You can call it a spring fling or call it spawning time but one of the rites of spring in Texas is fishing for white bass.  Weighing no more than three to four pounds, they are a bit small, but the numbers will make up for it as they migrate up rivers and streams from now through May on their annual spawn run.

While moving and making that trek they feed ravenously, and this will make them easy to catch, even for those fishing from the shore. If you will notice, in areas with bridges, you will see lots of cars parked around them.  There is a payoff  below as the spawning run is in progress and the hundreds to literally thousands of bass moving through can be a superb offering for fishermen.

Spawning beds too offer excitement that black bass fisherman can’t get at other times of the year.  Seeing lots of fish is fun, but the challenge right at the bed is getting them to bite. Spawning bass can be disinterested, since while spawning they are not interested in eating, so you will want to work your bait into their spawning beds and shake it up right in front of them. Looking for the right area is fairly easy, shallow grass offers a good spawning bed. If you search the edges for an opening, you may find one that pays off.  If the bottom is too soft for spawning, bass will make their beds near the root of lily pads or around old submerged stumps and the like.

You should watch for bluegills hanging around.  They tend to wait for a chance to munch on bass eggs, so when you see them, experts at Field & Stream recommend using swim bait (look at the ones in the Mattlures series). The bass will mistake it for a bluegill predator and gulp it up.

Texas is one of the best bass fishing states in the U.S., enjoy it this spring.

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Valentine Buds

by Owen Strand

February 14 is just around the corner and you know what that means – love is in the air. There are lots of ways to declare your love this Valentine’s Day, but the reality is very few gifts have a lasting impact. This year, why not make your display of affection a gift that not only shows how much you care, but also a gift she really will remember. Whether you want to buy an extravagant present or you’ve only got a few bucks to spare, whether you’re shopping for your romantic love or your lovely grandma, you can find a gift that makes her feel like you really….I mean really, chose it just for her.

Be a real valentine?  Is that what I am suggesting here? Okay guys, we are going to take an oath this year, we are going to plan ahead and make her Valentine’s Day special. No stopping on the way home just to grab a handful of flowers or a box of chocolates. Nope not us, right?

Maybe we could launch our new found bow-n-arrow trek by sending an e-card to start her day.  It is an easy way to reach out and what a surprise it will be.  Decided!!!  We can start her day with a quick email card surprise.

Truly though, no Valentine’s Day is complete without a box of chocolates or a sweet smelling flower bouquet, so in the name of love, no buying without thought,we will plan ahead and actually make a selection that fits her.   That does means actually dropping by the local florist or chocolate shop to pick out the gift….ahead of time.  Remember, thoughtful gifts are almost always treasured.

But if those are not the right ticket for your love, well, I used to hear the old saying, “Who doesn’t love getting flowers, especially for Valentine’s Day,” I know the answer to that perplexing question now.  It’s the gal who loves jewelry, that’s who!   If a piece of jewelry is her heart’s desire; choose ahead and choose with her wants in mind. Lucky us, guys, we have great jewelers in the area and they have experts waiting to guide us through the selection process.  We will stop by soon to ask for help!

To put the ole red ribbon on the Heart Day, write a note expressing how we feel to go with that gift. A thought-out handwritten note can melted a heart and can change the whole presence of a gift.

The only thing left to give her now is you, add in a little romantic time together and it will mean more than any gift alone.  From her standpoint, great memories are always made by time together.

Salute to my Valentine Buds, Good Luck!

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Ho, ho, oh oh oh

Ho, ho, oh oh oh

by Owen Strand

‘Tis the season fellas!  We all love these holiday times but secretly even the best of us guys dread trying to live up to Santa  Man.  I have some pointers, just a few suggestions, and some are the mine fields that you need to be aware of.  Many are tried and true; some just make sense and one or two that I will be trying out this season myself.  Good Luck to us all, maybe we can all be the big Holly Hero this year.

These are some things I know:

Look around, those catalogs sitting on the sofa table with little dog-eared pages?  Those are hints, possibilities and maybe suggestions, check them out.

Tight, low cut, red sweaters are not the answer EVERY year.

Your gal may or may not be the norm, you know her best, tap into all that knowledge.  Some gals would actually love to get a vacuum for a gift and others will pluck your eyes out while you sleep for giving such a gift.  You better know your gal’s preferences.

And most important, the ‘for sure’ in the entire gift giving scenario, she wants to know that she was special enough for you to take the time on her.  Knowing that it doesn’t come completely natural for most of us guys, we need to plan it out then, Stick to the plan.  Here is mine…

Times have changed so much in the gift giving world.  The days of a surprise gift that you never thought of having is FAR behind us now.  No option for you to pick out something she never expected….dude, if she never thought of having it then she probably won’t ever want it…ever!  So don’t get carried away with yourself.  Check your plan.

Don’t get too comfortable with the knowledge of knowing what she wants either.  You can’t just run out and buy the exact three gifts you know she has mentioned.  Take my word for this one, and I quote  “If I was going to get the first three items on my list, I could have done that for myself”.  Stick to your plan.

The Plan

Remember first and foremost my friends, that this is not about you.  It has nothing to do with how this will affect you (little nighties or a ticket to the upcoming concert of your favorite band included).   This is about HER.

Make your decisions.  How much can I spend and how would I like to see that play-out at our gift giving time.  What I am saying, that we so often miss,  if I am spending $200.00 and would like her to get to open 5 gifts, then as I look over “the list” and a 50 minute Tropical Pedicure from Coldwater Creek at $70.00 (hello, a great suggestion guys)  is going to then set the limits of the other four items.

Start now.  That is not meant to imply that you can start thinking about what you will buy.  Give yourself a timeline and use it.

Make your list and don’t let impulse guide you away.  Once you are out shopping, don’t deviate.  Impulse will get you into trouble on many fronts, financial included.  She will not enjoy a gift that she later has to help pay for.

If you have never tried a stocking, put it on your plan this year.  She will love waking up to a little stocking with small sweet treats inside.  Simple items like her favorite breath mints, a pair of cuddly socks and her favorite magazine would be perfect.  None of those are expensive and yet, she will be thrilled that you took the extra time and effort.

Now last thing guys, wrap the dang thing.  This is another of those monumental little “learn from my mistakes” suggestions I will pass to you.  At the gift giving festivities do not ask if she wants it wrapped!  As the words echo in my head, ‘exactly what is she supposed to answer to that, obviously it is not wrapped already?’

My gift giving experiences and wounds have taught me that all she is wanting, is to see the results of you taking some time to show she is worth you taking some time and effort…for her.

One last note buddies, if you are reading this because it was left open on your desk or magazine pile then feel very secure that SHE agrees, at least in part, with what I have suggested.  This is your hint, but more importantly it is her hope for a Ho Ho Ho from her Santa Man.

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‘wassup’

by Owen Strand

‘Wassup’ is for lakes, rivers and bays without surf, just right for North Texas.  Stand-up paddle boards are surfing’s newest device.  Stand-up paddle surfing became the big hit of the summer this year. In warmer parts of the country, like right here, it’s still going strong.  True surfing enthusiasts proclaim that “this sport sort of came from out of nowhere.”   From the stars to the athletes, from the young to the old, everyone’s catching waves in a new way.  Once you own your board, you can beat high gas prices while being in the fastest-growing water sport around.  Dave Kalama, a champion Stand Up Paddler who is proclaimed to be the world’s greatest waterman says “It’s like walking on water.”

Surfboard makers say paddle boards are the fastest-growing segment of the industry. Sales have mushroomed in surprising places such as Chicago, Boise, Idaho and Austin, according to Surftech, a Santa Cruz, California-based manufacturer.

In addition to being down right sporty and a great new water recreation the stand-up board has now taken off as part of a fitness craze. The additional element of cross training that comes with SUP surfing is a bonus, this sport provides a total body workout.   Since humans are made to stand upright; stand up paddling leads to less muscular imbalance than regular surfing. The position of standing parallel on the board works the legs more and the pivoting and leaning work the abs. All this leads to better conditioning for other sport activities.   Paddling exertion will also benefit the arms, back, shoulders, abdomen and legs. All in all, mixing fun and cool water with a workout also increases success probabilities.

Known as SUP (pronounced “Wassup”); the popular board is about 32 inches wide.  While this is one of many boards available it is one that will be good in the lakes, rivers and streams of our area rather than boards made for coastal areas. Some luxury models are available at surfing stores, but Costco sells a board-and-paddle set for $429.

Paddlers wear a flotation device and stand with feet apart and knees slightly bent. Newcomers should first kneel on the board and paddle before trying to rise to a standing position. Once standing, it’s pretty easy to stay that way.  Larger boards can accommodate two people for a combo ride.

Jump in, get wet and fit up, stats indicate you will enjoy the ride.

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A Man’s Point of View

A Man’s Point of View

by Mark Sandel, msandel@twu.edu

This One’s for You, Bud

For a boy raised in a teetotaling home, the image of Otis, the comical drunk stumbling his way into Andy Griffith’s jail cell was my first exposure to alcohol abuse.

For men born later, that first media impression of alcohol may have come from TV commercials; remember the “Whazzzuppp” guys?  Or the Budweiser frogs? Advertising for every generation conveys the very clear message that drinking booze makes you sexually attractive to svelte young women in bikinis, and if you drink enough, they might just drop out of the sky with parachutes (Note: this rarely happens in real life).

The marketing and social pressure to use alcohol begins early.  I rode the Swinging Spanish Ship ride at Six Flags many years ago with a friend and her children. The crowd on one end began shouting, “TASTES GREAT!” as their end of the boat reached its apex, echoed by the riders on the other end screaming, “LESS FILLING!” as they reached the top.  How would sociologists explain the phenomenon of a hundred children spontaneously shrieking the words to a beer commercial?

The Center for Substance Abuse Research reports that, “Alcohol is the most widely abused psychoactive drug in the United States,” and the rates of alcohol abuse appear to be climbing.  About two thirds of problem drinkers are men, but the effects of alcohol abuse are devastating to both the alcoholic and his family.  Fortunately, help is available.

Alcoholics Anonymous, a fellowship of alcoholics with no dues or fees, publishes a test:

1.    Have you ever decided to stop drinking for a week or so, but couldn’t?
2.    Do you wish people would mind their own business about your drinking?
3.    Have you ever switched from one kind of drink to another to try and stay sober?
4.    Have you had to have a morning drink in the past year?
5.    Do you envy people who can drink without getting into trouble?
6.    Have you had problems connected with drinking during the past year?
7.    Has your drinking caused trouble at home?
8.    Do you ever try to get “extra” drinks at a party?
9.    Do you tell yourself you can stop drinking any time you want, but you don’t?
10.    Have you missed work or school because of drinking?
11.    Do you have “blackouts”?
12.    Have you ever felt that your life would be better if you didn’t drink?

According to AA, answering “yes” to four or more of these may indicate a problem.  If you think you may have a problem, please get help.

Resources:  Alcoholics Anonymous, www.aa.org
University Behavioral Health, http://ubhdenton.net

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A Man’s Point of View

A Man’s Point of View

Dying to Be a Man

by Mark Sandel, msandel@twu.edu

“Act like a man.”  This phrase, heard often by young men and boys, just might be a death sentence.

Men die younger than women. The life expectancy for men today is about 6 years less than for women. By age 35, women outnumber men, and the gap continues to widen with age.  Bt age 100, there are 8 women alive for every man.

It is not just heart attacks; men lead the way in all natural death categories, including cancer and strokes. But the biggest factor is that men die violently in far greater numbers than do women.

Researchers have noted that the gender gap in death rates is the highest in young adulthood, primarily because of risky and violent behaviors. Men drive faster and more aggressively than women and are less likely to wear seatbelts. Young men are also prone to random acts of stupidity in the form of dangerous stunts. Type “Stupid Stunts Gone Bad” into Google if you want to see a few thousand examples.

Mark Stibich, Ph.D., suggested ten behavioral changes men can make to avoid an early death.  The top five items are:
1.  Avoid Violence.    Boys aged 15-19 are twice as likely to be victims of homicide than girls.
2.  Drive Safely.   The automobile death rate for men is double that of women.
3.  Work Safely. 92% of workplace fatalities are male.  Many men work dangerous jobs, and Stibich notes that men don’t read instruction manuals which could lessen risks.
4.  Don’t Drink (Too Much), Smoke or Use Drugs.   Men do all three more than women.  There are, of course, long term health consequences for drinking and drugging, but these behaviors are also associated with risky behaviors in the short term (go back to your Google search).
5.  Get Regular Checkups.   Men usually don’t go the doctor unless something hurts.

The good news is that some fairly simple lifestyle changes could reduce the gender death rate disparity.  One reward for men who live longer may be in their sex lives. According to Cosmos Magazine, “Men are more than twice as likely as women to be sexually active in old age, and more likely to report it as good quality.”

While geriatric sex may not be on the radar of most young men, it might be a good reason not to set yourself on fire and ride your bike off the roof into a kiddie pool while your friend videotapes it.

Resource: Top 10 Ways Men Can Improve Health and Longevity By Mark Stibich, Ph.D
longevity.about.com/od/longevity101/tp/mens_longevity.htm

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