Category Archives: Announcements

In Memoriam

For those of you that follow along on Facebook, this is old news.

Last week when I started looking for pictures of my dad for a memorial, I was finding pictures in folders everywhere. I’m sure there are still more that I missed. All of these were posted to Facebook over a couple of days.

That’s not good enough. I wanted to put something up here where I can go to and thumb through the pictures without having to wander all over Facebook posts looking for them.

I’m doing this for me and I’ll be adding more pictures to the gallery as I come across them.

My dad had a very narrow view of what is right and what is wrong. In his world, there was no gray and in my whole life, I can’t remember him ever being wrong.

You were either doing things right, or you were wrong.

I want this here so that on a bad day I can come here and look at these pictures to remind me of where I came from. Remind me that somewhere in my head is this view of what is right and what is wrong. This view of the world that has been instilled in me since birth.

Only now I’ll have to imagine how the rest of it all went.

Those times he vehemently disagreed with me.

I’ll have to imagine that firm tap on the back of my head.

And I’ll have to imagine that low growl as he said… what the hell’s wrong with you.

Even now, 60 as I write this, I imagine I can use both of those admonishments now and then.

_______________________

After trying a few times over the last two years or so, he finally got what he wanted.

Kenneth H. Gortowski
June 30, 1931 — January 16, 2017

It doesn’t take much thought on my part.

In my eyes, in my mind and in my heart, I had the perfect dad.

I’d like to say I’m going to miss him, but that would be impossible.

As long as I live, so will he.

Love ya dad…

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New Year Resolution

I put the below New Year Resolution on my Waterdog Journal Facebook page the other day.

Thought I would give fair warning to those that somehow subscribe to new posts.

Over the holidays, with a few extra days off, I’ll probably start going through my FB page to find the things that I should have been putting up here all along.

For those that have subscribed to this place via email, you shouldn’t notice anything, I can check something off to not send out a notice. For those that do everything through smart phones, you might be out of luck. I don’t have a smart phone and don’t know how they work. I have no clue how you all subscribe to anything and I’m pretty sure I don’t have any way of not sending out a notice of a new post at that point.

So, basically, you’re out of luck. Might get a little annoying for you, but then, what else would be new.

_____

New Year Resolution

I never make them, but for the past couple of years I’ve wondered why I put things up here on this Facebook page and not my blog. Then I could just put a link up here to the blog.

Pictures and words I put up here would easily be a nice short post on my blog.

The reasoning behind this is that I’ve always hated Facebook and don’t trust it, but it is simple to use. Main reason for not liking FB is that I don’t own what I put here. I’m just renting space and they basically own my data. I learned a long time ago to not trust people with my data. They’ll eventually fuck you over and poof, it’s gone.

The control freak in me also likes to have complete control over details. I really have none here. FB does whatever it feels like and half the time I can’t find something that I KNOW I put up here a year or so ago. On my site, piece of cake, I know how to access everything with no real effort on my part.

But I keep defaulting to laziness and simple to use. Time to end that. I have a feeling a lot of people will not make the simple click and go look at a link I put up, that’s their choice, but it’s time to cut the FB cord a bit.

Along with that I have a photo site that has been waiting in the wings for a few years and my ChicagoNow blog has been sitting idle for a couple of years. I might expand my New Year Resolution to those two sites and see what happens.

I also have a forum I basically shut down a couple of years ago. Been looking at that wondering what to do with it, but I can’t help feel that forums have gone the way of the dinosaurs.

This is Only a Test

No, really. This is only a test.

So it’s a little boring, but I wanted to try out the WordPress Gallery feature. I keep going back and forth on using it, which I haven’t, or to continue to just put in images like usual, full size and you scroll down and down the page.

I’ve seen others use the gallery feature and it doesn’t bother me. For the most part.

The one thing I know I don’t like is that it won’t let me use the images that are on my image server. I have to upload all the images to the WordPress Media Library. I like to organize things in folders, by date and location. The Media Library just dumps things all together. I have over 2000 images on my server all nice and neatly organized. I can’t access any of them for this gallery feature. Unless there is a way and I just have to figure it out.

Illinois Catchable Trout Program

Three years ago I put up a post that does a decent job of treating the Illinois Catchable Trout Program like the joke that I think it is. I actually wrote it 15 years ago but never bothered doing anything with it till then.

Illinois Catchable Trout Program or Fishing in Hell

Since Illinois has no native inland trout, I can’t find anything that says it ever did, trout native to California are imported here and then placed in rivers, lakes and ponds that get too warm to support them and they eventually die.

That’s why the stocking for this program occurs in early spring and fall. Maybe the water will stay cool enough for them to survive a little while.

In the mean time, fishermen are charged a fee for the privilege of going out and catching these trout and you can keep and kill five of them I believe on a daily basis.

I think money better spent would be on trout from a half way decent fish market, at least then you stand a better chance of getting fish meat that doesn’t look kind of gray and doesn’t smell and taste a bit like cat food.

Spring and fall are when some native Illinois fish are aggressively active, like crappie and bluegill, so why not catch them. Plus, they taste much better then trout.

But I hear there’s a lot of nostalgia surrounding this program and I found out at many a dam removal meeting that nostalgia always wins over logic and reason.

So the chances of making this program go away is probably nil.

Though I don’t do it much, I do know how to fish lakes and ponds. A couple of decades ago, when I was in a rod and gun club in Virginia and had access to three private lakes, I read about and fished lakes a lot, at least out there.

One of the books I have is about catching big bass. It’s packed in a box somewhere and I don’t remember the exact name or author. You’ll have to figure out how to search on this sparse info.

The guy that wrote it lives out in California.

The reason bass get so big in the lakes in California is because one of their favorite meals is rainbow trout. High fat content and all.

The reason this guy catches so many big bass, among other reasons, is because he uses things that look and act like rainbow trout.

I tried these techniques on the one spring fed lake in Virginia where we threw in handfuls of rainbow trout every now and then.

Worked like a charm.

I can understand the pleasure of fishing for these trout here in Illinois. On a good day they fight a little better then a wet sock.

But this is a bass state after all, small and large mouth.

So, while fishing for rainbow trout, I think fishermen should reconsider taking these bland tasting things home for dinner.

I think they should gently and quickly release these trout back in the water from where they came.

Chances are the waters where these trout are being caught are already full of small and large mouth bass.

Chances are the fishermen will be back later in the year to fish for those bass.

Why not release all those trout year after year and let the bass eat them, year after year.

Imagine the size of the bass we’ll be catching in a few years.

So, here’s the new name for this changed program:

Illinois Catch and Release Trout Program.

Only this one will have a slogan:

Feed the Bass.

National Organization for Rivers

If you have never visited the National Organization for Rivers site, you should.

National Organization for Rivers

I first came across it over a dozen years ago and rely on it heavily to do what I do here in Illinois.

It’s been a couple of years since I visited the site myself and I recently got a note from Vanessa Jones informing me that there are all kinds of new things going on at NORS.

New site look, new book, new info and it’s worth it just to download the one page summary River Law Handout.

If you know about NORS and haven’t been there in awhile, go check it out.

If you don’t know about NORS, go now.

Either way, pass the link around.

I think it’s info that all of us that wade rivers and creeks need to know.