Tuesday, May 29, 2012

No Respect

It happened a few days ago.  I haven't written about it yet because i've been on work schedule, and i've been REALLY pissed about it.  Last Friday  I had plans to go do a little afternoon paddling in my kayak.  I headed down to the garage area at my apartment to get all my gear together and noticed something was missing.  It was my kayak.  It was nowhere to be found.  My paddles were still there and everything else was still there, so I figure someone just grabbed it and ran.  Bummer.  

I haven't even had it that long!  My first kayaking post was on March 30th of this year.  That was one day after we bought the pair.  I only had the chance to use it a handful of times in this short period.  I never wrote about the last trip, but here it is summed up in a picture.

There is just a serious lack of respect for anyone else these days.  It just feels like you can't work hard and buy things you want without someone else deciding that it would be better suited as theirs for the price of free.  A good friend of mine had his entire truck stolen a few months ago.  What is happening to our peaceful little town?

I did the whole police report thing.  Hopefully I will hear something, but I don't have my hopes up too high.

Until Next Time,

Thursday, May 24, 2012

My Letter

I know you probably don't know this about me, but i've always wanted to write some sort of opinion column for a local newspaper.  Dream big right? (sarcasm)  It's just something I know I would enjoy doing.  I'm sure it couldn't be all that hard to get into, but I honestly really just haven't taken the time to dig any further into the possibilities.  Thus you get kylemarcellus.com and an occasional letter to the editor of our coastal paper.  

A few weeks ago our little town held a hearing regarding a proposed noise ordinance. Basically the ordinance mandates that the use of amplified outdoor music must be ceased by 11pm  Sunday night through friday morning and at 11:59 Friday night through Sunday morning.  I don't disagree with these times by any means.  I would like to go ahead and make this clear.  I think that is fair enough.

The night of the hearing walked downtown to listen to the arguments and show our support for the local businesses that are pumping our local economy full of revenue.  

Our "march" to city hall

Our illustrious mayor and wonderful board of alderman.
(sarcasm again)

We sat through the comment portion of the meeting, which was mostly populated by ridiculous rants supporting one side or another.  There were some very valid points made by several audience members, but it was basically all wasted breath.  The board of alderman  had already made up their minds and the ordinance was passed with a 5-2 vote.

Again, I don't disagree with the times, but there were some other points that didn't sit well with me.  There is nothing in the ordinance that describes what unreasonable sound is.  There were many points made in the meeting regarding someone being disturbed while studying, or a young mom and her baby being disturbed.  I felt like there was an entire demographic of residents left out.  Basically, those who work at night as I do.  

I just feel like this city worked tirelessly promoting our downtown social scene.  This place really has turned into the hot spot of the MS gulf coast.  Now we want to punish them for being successful.  This was my first foray into local small town politics and I was pretty disappointed in the outcome.  I hate that just a few sour apples can ruin the entire batch.  I was also disappointed that the board of alderman were so hasty in their decision.  Alderman Dalgo voted against the proposal and stated that he felt like the rest of the board was just taking the easy way out.  He felt like they were just trying to quiet a few people that are making the majority of the noise without spending a little more time researching the alternatives.

I realize that the common citizen, such as me, can't really do a whole lot to change the way things operate around here, but I still want to be heard.  As small of a cry as it may be, I wrote a letter to the editor to try and get my voice heard.  I was happy to see it published in the Sun Herald on this past Tuesday.  I am very easily amused, so seeing my name printed in the paper has kept me happy as a clam for the past few days.  

My little spot in the Sun Herald

If you'd like to read my letter in a much easier format it can be found here.

Until Next Time,

Monday, May 21, 2012

Things That Make Me Laugh

Back in 2007 my buddies and I were having a good time making goofy little videos.  I came across one that I thought had been deleted off of YouTube a long time ago.  It made me laugh seeing what we did back then and really made me want to make a couple more! You should know by now that there is a huge part of me that is a sentimentalist.  This brought back memories that I never wouldn't thought of again without this.  The good ole days.  I know this isn't much of a post, but never the less, I hope you enjoy this video!

Until Next Time,

If you haven't done so yet, make sure you check out my previous post from my fishing trip.  I had an unexpected guest that may surprise you a bit!

Saturday, May 19, 2012

The Worst Day of Fishing

I'm sure you've heard it before.  The worst day of fishing is still better than the best day of work.  I couldn't agree more with that.  I grew up on the water.  From the time I was six years old I have been exploring all the ins and outs out the Mississippi sound up and down the gulf coast.  I've spent my fair share of time a little bit further out in the Gulf of Mexico as well.  When you spend as much time out there as I have, you end up seeing some pretty amazing things.  I think I could write a book solely around the time i've spent out on the water.  My pirate journals.  (It's all part of my retirement plans.)

As time has gone on, i've become a little busier and haven't been able to spend the time out there that i've wished I could.  With me working weekends, it can be hard to coordinate trips, but it doesn't stop me from trying.  Today was finally the perfect day.  My dad and I launched the boat in the early morning hours and headed to one of our favorite spots.  After getting a little bit of bait we settled into an attempt at trying to get enough fish to fry tonight.

It didn't take us very long to start getting bites, and when it started it became a frenzy for a little bit.  It feels good to put the first trout in the boat.  For about 20 mins, every time we threw a bait out into the water we got a bite almost instantly.  Now, quite a few of them were too small to keep, but we still managed to get enough for the cooler.  As, quickly as the bite started, it quit.  Little did we know it wouldn't pick up at all for the rest of the day, but it wasn't going to keep us from trying. 

After deciding that the fish weren't biting at this spot anymore we pulled up the anchor and headed for fresh grounds.  Something very interesting happened there.  I cast a bait out and got a bite fairly quickly.  As I watched the strike I noticed something peculiar.  It didn't look like a normal fish.  My dad noted that he thought it might be some kind of ray.  We were surprised to see what came up with my line.

Yes, that is a sea turtle!

I had my dad scoop him up in the net so I could work on the hook.  I worked  as carefully as I could to make sure no more damage was inflicted in the little guy.  Once I finally got the hook out I had to pose for a quick photo op before setting him back free.  This little turtle was VERY energetic and spent most of its time trying to bite my fingers.  When I set him back in the water, he was gone in an instant.

Full throttle flapping!

You never know what you're going to see out there.  We continued on into the early afternoon before calling it a day and heading home.  The bite never picked back up, but the wind certainly did.  

We got back to the house and went through the regular motions of cleaning fish and the boat.  Then the best part happened.  There is nothing like fresh fish that you caught that morning.

We didn't catch a ton, but definitely enough 
for a good dinner!

My mom was nice enough to fry some up for
me before I headed back home.  Thanks Mom!

Sweet Victory

Until Next Time,

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

The Natchez Trace Part 3

Yes, i'm finally continuing on with this little trip.  If you are new to this site I suggest you catch up with Part 1 and Part 2 before continuing on.  Or, if you don't really care about the earlier parts just press on!  

Here's the deal with the procrastination.  I haven't been too overly ambitious in continuing the writing about this trip because I was really going through a lot at this point.  I was an emotional wreck and I really didn't want to be quite that open with everyone, but such is life and here it is.  

When I woke up that second morning at Jeff Busby State Park I truly wasn't feeling in the best of spirits.  I had been eaten alive by mosquitoes earlier and then spent the remainder of the night restlessly in the cab of my truck.  I was sore and grumpy.  I didn't bother with trying to make any breakfast.  I didn't even really bother packing anything back up.  I just stuffed all my wet gear in the cab of my truck and took off.  

The weather that morning really wasn't helping me out at all.  It was miserably dreary.  It wasn't quite raining, but it wasn't dry enough for the windows to be down either.  It was that intolerable heavy mist that has a way of soaking you all the way to the bone without notice.  I guess the good thing was that, even though there was very little traffic to begin with, this little bit of weather kept even more motorist off the road.  I had the road to myself and my thoughts.  My iPod was even against me that morning playing all the wrong song.  I was finding myself digging deeper and deeper into self loathing so, rain or shine, I pulled over at the first hiking spot I came upon to get back out of the truck and into the woods.  

The old Trace and the dreary weather.  At least it wasn't hot.

I continued on this way for nearly 100 miles before the sun started to burn off the mist and burn off my gloom in the process.  By the time I had reached Tupelo I was feeling 100% better.  I laughed to myself about how much the weather can affect my mood.  I pulled over at one of the big visitors centers in the area, watched a film on the trace with an 86 year old man named Eugene.  Eugene was on a cross country RV trip with his wife and was also visiting the trace for the first time.  We exchanged pleasantries and went on our separate ways.

Before heading back down the trace I swung down into downtown Tupelo to grab some lunch and visit the Tupelo National Battlefield.  Let me go ahead and tell you this if you're planning a trip.  Just take the time to read about this "battlefield."  It was basically a small lot sized piece of land right off the main highway.  There was no parking to even get out and read the plaques.  It's really not worth the trip off the trace.  Sorry Tupelo.

The next great stop, not too far north is the Pharr Mounds.  It's a nine acre group of Indian burial mounds.  Because these are burial mound, it is a view site only unlike the Emerald Mound that you could climb to the top of.  These mounds were excavated some time back and numerous amazing artifacts were recovered.  I personally don't feel like these kinds of things should be removed from burial sites, but for history's sake it's an amazing archaeological find.  There is plenty of interesting information around the site and it's definitely worth a visit.  

The Pharr Mound site and the clearing weather.

There was a group of cyclist taking a rest here and since I was in a MUCH better mood I decided to have a little chat with them.  They were part of a large group that was biking the entire trace.  They were south bound from Nashville and told me that they still over a hundred miles ahead of them on this day.  As amazing as that trip sounds, I could never keep up with a group like that.  Maybe i'll just do it on a scooter one day! haha.  I wish I had gotten their names and info to find out how their trip turned out, but I just wasn't quite on top of my game at this point yet.  

This day quickly went from gloomy to great for me.  The stops just became better and better as I went and actually lifted me to a level of optimism that I didn't think was possible with the way the morning started.  I pulled over at the Tennessee- Tombigbee Waterway for another little break.  I don't remember if it was part 1 or 2 in which I talked about my connection with water, but that's beyond the point.  Water has always made me feel connected and this canal was no different.  It's an 80 mile man made canal connecting the Tennessee and Tombigbee rivers and it was beautiful.  The water was a crystal clear bluish-green.  I even tested it for a potential swim spot, but it was intensely frigid!  I just found me a nice little spot to lay out in the grass and soak up some sun while watching a tug make it's way through the lock.

Tug on the Ten-Tom Waterway.

The section of trace between the waterway and Meriwether Lewis state park was exactly what I needed on a day like this.  It's the perfect afternoon drive for a beautiful day.  As you make your way further up north the terrain becomes more rocky and lends to very interesting landscapes for a boy from the Gulf Coast of Mississippi.  Trust me I stopped at every cave between there and Nashville.

Farewell Mississippi, I shall return soon.

I'm just going to let the pictures do most of the talking for Alabama.  You really aren't in that state for long, but it's surprisingly scenic with some interesting historical sites. 

The Tennessee River was beautiful.  Would you believe
that I spent some time hanging out here as well?

Worth a quick read to set up the next picture.  (It gets 
bigger if you click on it)

The actual site of Colbert's stand.  All that remains is the 
clearing and that piece of pipe sticking out of the group.
Amazing view over the TN river as well.

Another one of my feeble attempts at self timer photography.
One day i'm sure to master this!

Heading into TN!  You would've laughed if you had seen
me playing the hop back and forth across the state line
game like I was 12 years old.  You've got to enjoy the small

I made a couple of the usual stops between the Tennessee state line and Meriwether Lewis to visit sites of the old trace and other former stands.  You can see my full album to see all the photos I took of these different spots.  I will recommend, if you're on the trace, taking the "old trace drive" detour.  I liked it simply because it was borderline sketchy.  It's a one way winding road that follows some of the old trace.  It's too small for any RV's so don't even attempt it!  The crumbling road winds along a few steep drop offs that makes for some tense moments of driving.  It's worth the excursion if you enjoy tense moments as much as I do.  

As I was making my way along the trace I learned something that i'm surprised I honestly had no idea about.  The great explorer Meriwether Lewis died along the trace in 1809 to a mysterious ailment.  The last campground on the northbound trace is at this site.  There is a large memorial erected at the site.  When I showed up there I was the only person there, so I was really able to take my time soaking it all in.  M. Lewis died at the age of 35.  In 35 years he commanded the expedition to Oregon, was an officer of the regular Army, became private secretary to President Jefferson, and was elected governor of the Louisiana Territory.  We learn about him throughout grade school 200 years after his death.  It amazed me what one man could accomplish in such a short amount of time.  It really made me think about the legacy i'll leave behind in the future.  35 years.  Wow.  

The grave site. 

The words of President Jefferson

Following my visit to the grave, I decided to go find a campsite.  Driving around I couldn't believe how nice this place was.  It was amazingly clean and well kept, especially for a free campground.  When I finally reached the camping area I was very happy about what I found before me.  There were a lot of campsites and very few campers.  I was able to get down in a corner a good way away from everyone else.  It was very quiet and the perfect place to spend the night. After the mayhem of the night before it was no doubt that I was going to set up my tent this night.  I pushed a nice pile of leaves together and built camp right on top of the soft mound.  It truly made for a nice nights sleep.

One thing did make me angry about the site though.  Although there was a trashcan on the site, it was still littered with the previous tenants garbage.  How hard is it just to put your stuff in the can?  Anyone that knows me borderline well knows that i'm an advocate of leave no trace, so I spent a few minutes picking up what I could find and grumbling to myself about the fools that left it behind. 

My awesome campsite for the night.

My continuing attempts at self time photography.

Enjoying the sunset.

Following the amazing sunset that night I crawled up into my tent and called it a day.  For a day that started out so poorly for me in general it really turned into an amazing experience.  I was riding high when I finally fell asleep.  This felt like a big turning point for me and although I have had a few down days since things have really seemed to turn around for me.  

To be continued...

As always, check out the full album!

Until Next Time,

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Kyle Goes Back to Mayfest: Day 2

I woke up FAR too early on Saturday morning.  When I turned over and looked at the clock it was only 7:43.  Yes, I remember that exact number.  I couldn't help but wonder why I always seem to wake up so early after a night of drinking. I've talked to a few people that have had the same problem, so I decided to do a little research.  Want it or not, here's the answer.  I'm sure you've noticed that you don't have any problem falling hard asleep very quickly after drinking.  Your body actually bypasses the normal REM sleep cycle and goes right into deep sleep.  And there you have it.  Not only do you wake up early, but you also don't get as high of a quality of sleep.  Why do we do this to ourselves?  I ask this to myself all the time.

I moped around the apartment for a little bit digging through the fridge looking for something to eat.  I didn't really feel that bad when I first got up, but I ended up realizing that the hangover just hadn't set in yet.  I didn't make it downtown until around noon.  I was dragging pretty badly by this point.  I know that there is only one true cure for a hangover, so I made quick work of finding my friends and getting a beer in me.  

SN:  The first thing I saw, when I hit the festival, was one of our local eccentrics.  I have no idea what his name is.  (If you know, please tell me!)  I've always called him Daddy Long Legs.  My neighbor says his daughters call him campground Chris.  He is pretty unanimously known as the bicycle guy for the most part.  He has been around for a long time.  You just see him randomly riding his bike around.  He is usually in a Richard Petty style cowboy hat, long t-shirt, and some sort of leggings.  He's just one of those local legends.  I should've gotten a picture, but i'll get it next time.

Saturday just so happened to be Cinco de Mayo, so that's just an extra excuse to party.  I was sitting at Leo's and ordered a Dos Equis to celebrate with mostly because I thought they were on special.  There is nothing special about $4 for anything!  It was definitely one and done for me at this spot.  

We headed out from there to listen to some of the bands for a bit.  It was SO hot out there on Saturday, so before too long we were ready to find some shade again.  We headed back into a little more regular spot, for us, the Grocery where a $2 PBR isn't even a special.  At that price I will drink that any day.  We grabbed some food, slammed back a few more brews, and waited for Perry and Lucy to join us. 

I'm feeling pretty good by the time they show up, so I made sure to give Perry a hard time about everything he did.  Lucy really liked when I called him out about not asking her what she wants before he orders his drink.  They pried me away from my spot at the bar to find a table where we could all sit together.  Perry was hungry and ordered the most deliciously southern sounding thing on the menu, gravy fries.  When I realized that there was a LOT more gravy than there was fries, I got an idea.  Time for more gambling.  This one was just for the benefit of making me laugh.  I bet Perry a couple of bucks that he wouldn't eat the rest of that bowl of gravy.  I know he would do it on any given day, but wasn't sure if he would do it in front of his girlfriend.  When he did it's needless to say that she was REALLY impressed.

Yes, he's eating it with a fork.

We bounced around the festival for a while following all of this.  Nothing really exciting happened, so i'll spare you the details.  Nothing really great actually happened for the rest of the day.  I'm going to go ahead and tell you right now that i'm a little ashamed.  I had hoped to have some big crazy mayfest stories from Saturday, but here's the truth.  I peaked WAY too early.  By the time we went to dinner around 7, I was already in full on hangover mode.  My head was pounding, my stomach was turning, and I was in a bad mood.  I tried to press on and even ended up at Mezo's later, but sadly I was way past done.  All I wanted to do was go to bed and sleep it off.  Sorry guys.

The only thing that really made me laugh later on in the day was the reminder I had Siri set for me.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I did!

Thanks Siri!

I've got lots of new topics coming for you soon and promise that I will finally finish up my Natchez Trace camping trip.  

Until Next Time,

Monday, May 7, 2012

Kyle Goes to Mayfest: Day 1

Ok, I did my best to document the Mayfest shenanigans, but sometimes things just don't turn out the way you think they might.  Wonder why?

Example #1.  This is how I started Mayfest.

Shortly after this Perry was knocking on my door informing me that it was time to begin.  He was a little bummed out because he was only in for a short ride on Friday night because he had to go into work later.  Apparently there was supposed to be a pub crawl on this night, but it just never seemed to materialize, or maybe we were just out of the loop.  We headed down to Leo's to meet Burt and get the night started.  I sat down on a wet cushion and started the night with wet pants.  I thought "This can't be a good sign." 

While we were sitting at Leo's, listening to an awful cover band, I decided that it would probably be a good idea to start taking notes in case I didn't remember anything the next day.  My phone died pretty early on in the night, but this is what I ended up with.

Let me explain a couple of things.  The band started playing Summer Breeze and it made me feel really awkward.  We were, after all, three guys sitting at a table together listening to Summer Breeze.  Here was my tweet about that moment.

The next note, just hit the chimes, was about them playing the Zac Brown song Free.  When all else fails, just start playing the chimes a lot.  (I need to get some chimes,  haha)  They started playing the Cupid Shuffle when the lead singer got down off the stage and started pulling people onto the dance floor so that he wasn't looking like a fool by himself.  That's when I noticed something pretty funny.  He was wearing Gold's Gym weight lifting gloves!  Now, i've seen guys wear gloves when they are playing the djembe before, but not weight lifting gloves!  Come on guy. Not only was he wearing weight lifting gloves, but he also yelled out "Somebody SCREAM."  Nobody screamed.

I went on to be fascinated at just how much Perry and Burton ate, then decided it would be awesome if I kept a log of how much we drank.  As you can see from the notes I didn't make it very much further.  We parted ways with Perry and headed down to the Grocery.  This is where the "gauntlet" was thrown.

We were just hanging out at the bar having a couple of drink when I came up with a wonderful idea.  The thing about the grocery is that they have this bucket of $2 beers.  Yes, $2 beers!  I had some cash in my pocket, so I made a little bet with Burton.  I bet him that he couldn't drink $20 worth of $2 beers (10 beers for those of you that aren't math majors).  If he won, I would simply pay for his efforts.  If I won, I demanded something else.  What could I want?  I am much more interested in humiliation than monetary benefit.  Do you really think he could do it?  The bartender Johnny gave him some tips, but it was to no avail.  I am a much better gambler than him and he bowed out after only 1 beer.  Sure, we had already had 6 before we started, but 1!?  That's just embarrassing.  As we left, I demanded payment.  Here it is:

The sweet words of victory.  There was more gambling this weekend, but that will come later.  After we left the grocery we were both several shots and beers in and definitely not planning on driving anywhere.  We decided to walk down to Mezo's.  We didn't make it very far before we hit Sekul's art gallery.  They had a booth set up outside selling none other than more adult beverages.  Burt decided to check it out and I soon followed.  I actually ran into a guy, Shane, that used to work with my dad and ended up sticking around and having a few more drinks there.  I had never been in there before, but there were some great pieces.  I'm planning on going back one day when i'm sober.  The one thing that really stood out was that the little dog in there was not a big fan of me! ha.. He was guarding the bathroom and was not very fond of me going in!  

From sekul's we continued on down the road to Mezo's.  This is when it all gets a little fuzzy.  I don't think I stayed out quite as long as I usually do, but I also don't really remember what time it was because my phone was long since dead.  I don't recall having any "epic" stories or meeting anyone overly odd.  No one threatened to punch me in the face this time, so that was a plus.  When I woke up the next morning I looked at the go box of food I had and saw that it had "special guy on the corner" written on the lid.  I had a little laugh and tried to remember who did that, but was unsuccessful.  If it was you, thanks! 

I had planned to do the whole weekend in one post, but not only would it be too much for anyone to actually want to read I'm pretty much just tired of typing now.  I will return with day 2 tomorrow!

Oh!  I have no idea why I wrote puns are funny in the notes, but it must have been a pretty good one for me to make note of it.  

Until Next Time,