Tuesday, October 16, 2012


Spotted Sandpipers gathering
It's been four days since I had the surgery on my mouth.  Surgery = turning, twisting, pushing, pulling, gouging and lifting and wrenching each and every tooth out of one's mouth.   I tried to stop using the pain medication but soon found it to be a necessity, at least for a while longer.  As the medication wears down, the gums start to ache.  I'm supposed to be wearing the "healing dentures" as much as possible but find them to be a severe irritant.  They're laying in the ash tray of the truck.  A visit to the dentist yesterday indicated the gums are healing perfectly.  The dentures were ground at contact points and didn't feel any different when I popped them in.  A soft denture was prepared for the bottom plate and that did make a positive difference.  I can eat nothing but soup and yogurt, probably for the next three months.  This should prove to be a great weight loss diet.  I want a pepperoni pizza so bad!  

A negative aspect of the operation (everything is adverse) is the adverse affects of the pain meds.  They cause weakness and drowsiness.  Chills sometimes accompany the drowsiness.   I lay down an hour after taking a pill, (8PM) and awaken at (2AM).  Then I'm up for the day.  It's nuts!  I can't wait to get rid of pain pills.
You can see by the photos that I'm pulling an old agency jon boat with a new Chevy truck.  A lot has happened over the past couple weeks.  If the teeth extraction wasn't enough - my boat trailer suffered severe mechanical problems.  Both axles required replacement as well as the brake system.  My 22 foot Pathfinder boat and trailer are now at Extreme Welding located at North Knoxville.  I'm not sure when I'll get the rig back.  The aluminum jon boat I'm pulling today is a temporary boat for me to use but, I find it lacking.  The motor runs erratically and it is not equipped with an electric trolling motor.  
The lack of an electric motor disallows the safe, close approach to fishing boats on the water, thereby eliminating the possibility of inspecting fish for species identification and acquiring weights and measures.
2013 Chevy Silverado 3/4 ton, 4WD
The old Dodge is gone now and replaced with the truck you see above.  Not bad!

It's 8AM and I'm sitting in the truck at Walters Bridge boat ramp feeling drowsy and achey.  Damn pills!  I don't feel comfortable launching this boat feeling like this.  I may do the best I can with the job at the boat ramps today.  All I need to do is experience one careless moment out there, trip and fall off the boat.  Who'd write this blog then?
You know me - common sense and safety first.  I not only owe it to myself but to the agency as well who entrusts me with all this expensive equipment.  If it were my personal boat and equipment I may have a different outlook on the matter.  I really love my job and the TWRA and will act ethically toward both.
I can see where this blog entry is going.  A fisherman pulled in who I know.  I jumped out of the truck and welcomed him.
He said, "where the hell's yer teeth?"

I said, "its good to see you too Bill."

Then, he asked, "you ok?"

I replied, "hell no I ain't ok.  Do I look ok?"

I knew I would have to explain the teeth thing to everyone I talked to today.  Bill caught me up on water temperatures and fishing activity on the lake.  He's a really nice guy and somewhat a "cut-up".   I liked him from the first minute I met him months ago.

Another truck pulled in and I had to go over the same story about the teeth with him.  It went like this:

I said, "good morning.  What are you fishing for today?"

He said, "crappie."

I apologized for slurring my words and not pronouncing my th's properly because I had my teeth extracted.

He said, "I had mine out thirty years ago.  Did they give you your new ones yet?"

I said, "yep - they're on the dash in the truck."

He tapped his shirt pocket with two fingers and said, "I keep mine right here."

What a chuckle we had over that comment.

Actually, this morning has been very interesting.  I've approached and met over fifteen fishermen here on the ramp parking lot and got the opportunity to really enjoy some great conservation with them.  All, to the man, were really interesting to talk to.  Fishermen are always willing to be informative and quick to pass on information about the status of the lake and fish.  I jotted down some data derived from the conversations and jumped in the truck for a ride up to the Rankin boat ramp.
The French Broad River at the Rankin boat ramp
The water was very low in the river at Rankin.  The darker lines running horizontal across the water, above center in the picture is water rippling over rocks.  There won't be any boats up here until spring.  Shoreline fishermen will, however, fish from the ramp area throughout winter.  The great blue heron rookery I photographed from the state boat is located in that group of trees next to the water, top center of the shot.  Right now this is canoe water.  I won't even try to run the Gheenoe up here.

Tomorrow is an RDO, regular day off, and I'll see how I feel then with regards to what I get into.  The leaves are changing everywhere and I'd really love to visit Scona Lodge on Chilhowee Lake.  The Cherokee National Forest will be ablaze!  So, there's the update.  Hopefully I'll be able to get somewhere pretty tomorrow.  It all revolves around the pain pill.  If you ever need all your teeth extracted for whatever reason - make sure you are asleep when the procedure is done or, just say no!