Friday, July 13, 2007


I have decided to try my hand at short fiction stories. I have been thinking of something for quite sometime now and I believe I will try it. Occurrances will be historically accurate but the main character will be mine. I'm sure you already know who gets to play the part. I'll try a short story installment at first and see how it comes out. Each story in succession will become chapters. I may skip to future chapter installments at first to see how things progress. And, well maybe, the chapters will evolve into one of those things called a book. We'll see. The story time line will be early to mid seventeen hundreds and the place will be the American frontier of that era. I'll work it out. Later!


It is an overcast morning on Tellico Lake with a very gentle rain constantly falling. The grey sky holds promise of heavier rain later on in the morning. I decided to install the new cabin enclosure on the boat this morning. I accomplished this task while still in the parking lot at the boat ramp area. It took awhile to figure it all out again, but I achieved a perfect assembly. The enclosure is not a thing to trifle with in a "foul weather" emergency. It is best to attach all the sides and roll them up and fasten them to the top so they are ready for action in case of storm conditions. When needed, the fastex buckles can be depressed and each side will be free to fall down to its bottom snap and strap attachment.
Douglas is accompanying me today again. It is like old times at TWRA to just have him with me. I don't have to watch him as close as I do when four dogs are along. Douglas is silent. And he's maturing. He does not bark, but moves quietly in all things he does. He has been in the water under the boat launch pier, fishing, ever since we arrived an hour ago. He walks into one to three feet of water up near the bank and lunges at the Bluegills and Sunfish that habitually swim in that shallow water. He will never catch one I'm sure. But he is happy trying. His head is cocked back and his muzzle is pointed down against his chest as his keen eyes search the sub surface for moving shadows to lunge at. He never grows tired of this exercise. He is relentless and humerus.
I have always wanted to live on a house boat. It has been a dream of mine since moving to Tennessee. The dream is within my grasp but there is only one thing stopping me. Douglas. I can not figure out a way to have him live on a house boat and leave him for two to three days at a time. The situation now is that he has an enormous fenced in yard area for his exercise and protection. The warehouse room where I exist has a dog door built into the main "walk in" door for him to enter and exit at his leisure. It is cool in the room on hot days and I free feed him and provide water for him inside. In short; he comes and goes as he wishes unimpeded. I can actually take up to three day motorcycle trips and he is perfectly safe and comfortable until my return. A house boat provides no way for him to touch dry land without human intervention. That means I must return to the house boat immediately after work every single day to take him out. Motorcycle trips would be out of the question without having someone drop in to help him. I even thought of designing a barge with sand in the bottom that would attach to the rear of the house boat for him. I think that would be frowned upon by the marina owners. If I can not think of an answer to this puzzle, there will not be a house boat in my future. Douglas is like my own child and his best interest is Paramount. I love him and will sacrifice everything for him. It's amazing how a bond that tight can occur. He and I have weathered many storms together in the few years since I have migrated here. He is my friend.
I notice that he has developed a fishing system of sorts. He swims out to deeper water now and moves horizontally to the shore and gradually moves in close to the boat ramp. It is indeed hard to believe, but he is herding the fish to the most shallow part of the boat ramp where he can actually stand. Then he lunges at them, plunging his head entirely under water in an attempt to grab a bluegill. Maybe I should explain parallax to him. Well, maybe not. It has been an hour and a half since he started his fishing routine and not a single catch has been made. He's having a lot of fun and that is all I care about. Maybe he should stay with chasing ducks across the lake. Maybe not. He fares no better with ducks. Three fishermen in a little green boat just drifted by, pointing and laughing, at the furry, golden fisherman under the pier catching Bluegills; or rather trying to catch them.
I had expected some heavy rain so I left the top up. I have wanted to try it out ever since I got it made and it works fine.
This is sort of my office on the lake. I have been tied off here at the boat launch for over an hour and am just enjoying the sound of rain on the canvas roof and writing thoughts down on a legal pad. Douglas, of course, is swimming and chasing fish.
He is such a sweet, sweet guy! I adore him so much! He stayed here and fished for over an hour and a half.
I wonder if he is formulating a plan or just looking for a opportunity to strike?
All he can see is their shadows and quick movements. But he doesn't miss a thing. I am very surprised he learned to fish. He would be a danger to the fish in a narrow creek, but here in this lake he is harmless.
It's called the ol sneak up on em trick
The rain is gentle for a change and feels good. The new enclosure is great on this boat. I have the right side rolled up and out of the way here. Just a great thing! Can't wait for a big storm to really try it out. We are coming up on Tellico Blockhouse now.
Mimosa trees line the shore down by the old fort properties.
Tellico Blockhouse sits on a little peninsula of land that juts out into the lake. The TVA folks provided a nice boat dock for lake travellers to tie off to and enjoy the scenery at the blockhouse site.
This is the Tellico Blockhouse and Factory located directly across a small bay from Fort Loudoun State Park and fort.
Count the stars

Thursday, July 12, 2007


It is about 6:30 PM when the magic carpet floats slowly up to the beach and gently kisses the sand. I quickly tie her off to a close tree. Today has been a slow day off. I couldn't really get into much as I had a dental appointment at 3:00 PM. Yes a dental appointment. X Rays at the dentist office indicate a tooth is out of control. Mom wouldn't allow the family dentist to remove the wisdom teeth back in 1963. She had a problem with allowing dentists to pull wisdom teeth just because they have a less than desirable score on the satisfaction index of life. So, today was the last day for the wisdom tooth on the upper jaw, right side, to ever be caressed by my soft bristled tooth brush. It was pulled. The entire procedure was painless. Had my eyes been closed, I never would have known the extraction was completed. So with gauze packed into the newest hole in my head, and pain pills clutched tightly in my hand; I returned home to get the boat and find a quiet place on the lake to await the discomfort that I was assured would present itself shortly. This would mean only Douglas would accompany me today. The others would be too much. Douglas is very well mannered and very silent in his ways. Down the lake was the island you see below. I beached the boat and allowed Douglas to meander about. When he is alone with me, he stays close. The influence of other dogs, (the pack), causes pack mentality and they tend to require closer scrutiny. I want to start a new story so I carried my notebook and camera to a shady spot and sat down after a few photo opportunities were satisfied. Sit turned to lay and lay turned to almost "fell asleep". Time to go. Amazing how time flies. And yes a slight throbbing in my jaw required a pain pill. But it was a beautiful beach, precious time with my friend Douglas, and sweet views as the sun slowly receded away behind the water and tree line.
The boat hasn't been tied off five minutes and Douglas is already clearing the lake of floating debris.
The water is only two feet deep here. This boat skims right on top clear to the beach. That big Mercury engine has low water intakes that allow it to be tilted radically so the prop can clear the muddy bottom.
What a beautiful beach we found! Tellico Lake is full of nooks and crannies on the lake. This beach is all sand. No mud. It is clean and the wooded area is spacious. There is plenty of room for a foot loose dog to roam and plenty of area for a tired old guy to lie down and ponder the state of things.
If there's one thing Douglas really loves to do it's exploring holes. There isn't a hole in the ground or the bank of a stream he passes by. He is so funny! The hole is circumnavigated, then approached cautiously, sniffed and stared at, and if tempting enough; excavated!
To be a good hunting dog ya got to know every hole in the forest. Here's one of em now!
Ya might as well come on out and give yourself up. I know your in there. Well, come on out!
There's something down there and I'm on it.
Just a gorgeous scene. I hated to have to leave this. The beach was sandy not muddy, sky was perfect and the water lapped the shore and the resulting sound exemplified solitude.
Oh, I hate to leave.

Friday, July 6, 2007


I took the new yellow Harley up the Foothills Parkway to a place called Look Rock. After a 3 tenths of a mile hike a tower appears. It is wheel chair friendly. I can't see how anyone could get a wheel chair up there as the hike is all up hill, but its a nice thought. The tower has no steps but is smooth surfaced and zig zags up to the top. It is worth the hike. Absolutely fantastic views are afforded in all directions. I didn't put any comments on the pictures, but if you click on a picture, it will magnify. Read the signs. They say it all.


All ahead full! Hanging on at 50 mph. Nothing to fear. Douglas is here. 1st mate.
I was thinking. Dogs come into this world innocent and arrive with all the good attributes and virtues that humans strive for. They really do. Affection, dedication and the will to please and satisify are but a few attributes. But they are kicked, shot at, shoved aside and used in experiments. They are tied to poles for their entire lives. There could be nothing more tortuous to a dog than to be tied for an entire life time to a pole and given a wooden box to sleep in. They seek affection and interaction with their human pack leaders. They want to please. They want to run and jump and enjoy their existence. Instead, they are tied. Tethered to an object that is unyielding. Every second of every minute of every hour of their lives is lived looking at the same tree, same bare earth in front of the dog house, same fence, and same routine of a human sitting down the dry dog food. Then the aloneness. Once in a while a child will approach close and someone says " don't get too close to the dog". And he's alone again. I get physically ill when I see a dog chained. It would be more humane if it were ----------well, I won't go there.
Who could drive out into the wilderness far from anyone and shove this gorgeous animal out the car door? Shade is the most loving dog I have ever seen. She sits against me in the truck, leaning against me with force seemingly to silently say, "please don't leave me". She stares at my face with unblinking eyes as if to try to get a read on my thoughts. Her left paw is always thrown over my thigh and her muzzle rests on my knee precariously close to the steering wheel. She will not allow me to shove her off to the right, away from me. She clings to my every movement. That is dedication! Douglas, on the other hand, stands at the window with his head in the wind, drinking in all the smells, oblivious as to what I'm doing. He is a free spirit. He is loyal, loving and sweet but he is more self reliant than other dogs. Shade is apprehensive and at times fearful of her surroundings. She was afraid of the boat. Constant coaxing was necessary to get her in. Only after two hours of operation on the lake would she approach the bow on deck with Douglas. But finally she made it. Then we hit the beach. And happiness was felt by all.....
Dedicated and Loyal
Race ya to the beach
Shade is really displaying happiness. Had I not been in the right place at the right time, she would surely be dead by now. I am grateful I was there for her.
Happy, Fetch! She's swimming in ten feet of tater about forty feet out from shore. What a little dog!
A swimming terrier. What next? Flying cows!
Happy attacks again. The stick is hers.
is oblivious to size in her adversary.
Neither Douglas or Shade are allowed to return to the beach with their stick without Happy attacking and stealing the treasure.
Go Shade!
Here are three very active, happy dogs. No dog has it better on this planet than these guys.
Shade, Douglas and Happy. Happy's sort of under water in this shot.
Shade is with the program. She has acclimated to Douglas and his dominance and is enjoying herself.
Hey dad; when we gonna get off this boat and have some fun?
Nope! I ain't going up there on the bow. Nope. I'm staying right here.
Wish I could go back there with the master. He keeps trying to make me go up front with Douglas. What to do?
Hum!, Should I go up there with him or stay here out of the way? Looks like it might be fun there.
It isn't so bad up here after all. Breezy!
Ah; feeling better about the boat. And Douglas will not budge and inch. He is master of the bow.
Now she's fully acclimated to the boat and at home.