Tuesday, April 28, 2009

With the longest shuttle in RRCC history coming up next month we finally got around to ordering those special trailer adornments we've been talking about since August, 2006.

In Rebel Rivers blue:

Procastination has been rewarded once again. During the three years we've put off buying them the R&D team at The Original Bull Balls Company developed and released the "2nd Generation Big Boy Style Truck Nuts".

Click here to learn all about the differences between 1st and 2nd Generation Balls. Or just be satisfied knowing that the new chain-mount system on the 2nd Generation "prevents the negative look of flippity flopping of the nuts at higher speeds. They simply float nicely as the air pushes them gently up and back." Unquote.

Also, let it be known that Roy has the Cubs tickets. He took possession of them at Brown's and we have witnesses. Just for the record.


Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Map My Shuttle

The Country Music Marathon is this weekend - an event we like to watch sitting on a cooler in our waders on our way out to the river.

Running is a sport that is hard for a paddler to understand. A hobby that makes your nipples bleed and your toenails fall out - versus gliding downstream with a dog and a cold beer.

Seriously, who is having more fun at the finish line:

...Running Rob?

...or River Rob?

However, there is some new technology out there that is extremely useful to canoeists, and we have the runners to thank for it. When planning a trip, river miles are easy to calculate because they are marked on the USGS quads. The missing piece of information for map gazers and day dreamers has always been the length of the shuttle. We've never been able to measure the distances on those gravel country roads ahead of time. And a long shuttle is a major factor to consider when choosing what section to float. Especially if your shuttle is on a bike.

Now check out http://www.mapmyrun.com/. It's an interactive mapping tool that lets you figure the mileage of any road route down to the .01.

Say you wanted to float the Gasper River near Bowling Green, Kentucky. MapMyRun would tell you that it's going to require 11.2 shuttle miles to float 8.0 miles from Galloway Mills Rd. to the Hwy. 231 bridge.

But it's only a 3.5 mile shuttle to float 10.5 miles on the next section (Hwy. 231 bridge to the Barren River).

That's a big difference on a bicycle, which is the only way you can do solo canoe trips.

Keep in mind that if you are on a bike distance is only half the story. The first half mile of the "easy" 3.5 mile shuttle is a 250 foot climb straight up.

You can get that kind of elevation change information from MapMyRun, too, but sometimes it's better not to know.

7% grade up to "Sally's Rock" at confluence of Gasper and Barren Rivers.


Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Things We Decided at the Meeting

Next to nothing!

We did agree we will meet at the house at 7:30 am on Friday the 29th. We'll take Rob's Suburban and Roy's father's van and Kirk will drive separately.

The goal is to arrive in Chicago about 4:00 Friday afternoon, except for Kirly who should get there around noon to ice down the beer.

It was also decided, over ready-rolls somewhere on the First Base concourse, that when you're not wearing knee-high Wellingtons the best waterproof boots on the river and on the gravel bar are upland pheasant-hunting boots, Red Wings and Redhead ranchers.

One of the indirect benefits of having a club full of hunters and fishermen.

The direct benefits: elk, squirrel, dove, venison and trout.

Sport was not a main purpose of this trip, but if, during most of your life, your given reason for going out of doors has been to hunt and to fish, then even after you know that the real reason is different, a faint compulsion toward those things remains like a consciousness of sin. I thought of the sour old Midwestern-Scowegian outsider, Veblen, and what he said about it. Despite his hydrochloric wit, to me he is abstract and not very quotable, and all I could remember was a phrase: "the risk of disrepute and consequent lesion to one's self-respect." It was what he said happened to the member of the leisure class who sallied afield for purposes other than slaughter.

Even Saint Henry Thoreau, who implied that blood sports were for juveniles, not men, had impulses to gobble woodchucks raw. Eating does get into it. Leave sports and ethics out of consideration and you still like meat in your belly. . . .

Goodbye to a River, pp. 53-54.


Thursday, April 09, 2009

MOUNDBALL: Official Rules


At the start of the game, each player places their ante into a cup or hat. The game begins in the top of the first inning, with the player closest to the aisle holding the cup for the length of the half inning. Alternately, players may draw numbers or otherwise randomly determine the order.

At the end of the half inning, the player from the fielding team to record the last out will typically throw or roll the ball towards the mound, where the opposing pitcher might easily retrieve it. This is the seminal moment of gameplay, as the ball will usually reach the mound, roll up on the slope of dirt, and roll back towards the grass due to gravity or momentum


Should the ball stay on the dirt of the mound, the player holding the cup is declared the winner, and collects all money in the cup. If the ball should roll back onto the grass, or fail to reach the mound at all, that player has lost the round, and the cup passes to the next player. The money in the cup carries over, as in a skins game in golf, and each player must add more money to the cup. If a player is not in his or her seat holding the cup at the time of the winning or losing event, the other players are not obligated to inform him or her of a winning moundball. It is each player's sole responsibility to pay attention to the moundball results on their own particular turn.


Each time the ball stays on the mound, the player whose turn it is to hold the cup wins all of the money contained therein. Each time the ball does not stay on the mound, the money in the cup increments by one dollar per player. Either way, the game continues with each player adding a dollar to the cup as the teams switch fields between half innings, and the cup passing to the next player for their turn. As the moundball players leave their seats periodically to use the restroom or go to the concession stand, it is important to retain the same order of turns to maintain fairness.

At the end of the baseball game, any money remaining in the cup is returned to the players equally. Some games may be ended early in order to limit the number of turns to a multiple of the number of players - e.g. the game might end after the 8th inning so that four players each had four chances to win over 16 half innings. Only games consisting of 2, 3 or 6 players naturally result in a fair number of turns over 9 innings (18 half innings), although the baseball tradition of skipping the bottom of the ninth when the home team is ahead can affect fairness in any case.

Tuesday, April 07, 2009

"The Best Seats in All of Professional Sports"

Breaking news every day.

Stuart has secured the Cubs tickets. And they are sweet. Section 226 in rows 14 and 15 in a block - six and six behind (the most favored Moundball formation). Here's the view from that section:

Monday, April 06, 2009

Even bigger news!

Cronin is tying the knot - and we're not talking about a bowline. Congrats to Mike and Amy!

See how it happened:

Friday, April 03, 2009

The Urban Gravel Bar

Enormous news.

Agents for the RRCC have just secured the ultimate Chicago campsite.

For less than the price of hotel rooms ($75 per person per night), we'll be staying right on the Chicago River in this luxury 3,000 sq.ft. townhome.

There are decks overlooking the river on both the second and fourth floors for guitar picking and Ready-rolls.

Here are the views:


This is the kitchen where Rob will stay up all night staring at the gas burners.


Here's a link with more info: http://www.vrbo.com/183938

Notice "Parking for RV/Boat/Trailer" under amenities.

And it sleeps 8-10 including a King Size bed for Roy. Because "Roy" means "King".