It’s been said that going fishing is good, catching a fish is great. While catching a fish is a great experience and will put food on the table, it’s easy to simply enjoy the act of fishing.
Fishing is an activity that is easy to get into and fun to do, but also has an immense depth to it that difficult to master. I won’t attempt to fathom the depths of the art of fishing, rather I’ll stay right on the surface and give a more minimalist description of how you can go fishing.
All you really need to get started is a stick that is about five feet long, a fishing line that is about six feet long, a hook and some bait. You can pick up the line, hook, and bait at almost any box store for just a few bucks and you can grab a stick from anywhere. Bamboo works great, but any stout stick will do the job.
Grabbing a bobber and some clamp on sinkers will certainly be helpful, but aren’t a requirement.
One final consideration is the fishing license. Most places that sell fishing supplies also sell fishing licenses. While almost every state requires that adults buy fishing licenses, most states don’t require kids to have licenses, but some do so you should check.
Secure one end of the line to one end of the stick using a good, solid knot. Wrap the line around the end of the stick a few times and secure it with an arbor knot. An arbor knot is just a slip knot with a stopper in the tag end.
Secure the hook to the other end of the line with a clinch knot. This is done by running the end of the line through the eye of the hook, wrapping the tag end around the line several times, then running the tag end through the loop created by the line that is right next to the eye of the hook and pulling to cinch the knot.
If you are using a bobber, add it to the middle of the line. If you are using sinkers, clamp them on about a foot above the hook.
Once you’ve got your pole built and your line tied, all you’ve got left to do is to take your bait and get out to the water. If you don’t know where to go fishing, you’ll find that just asking the folks that sold you the supplies is a great way to start. Don’t feel embarrassed about asking for advice on good fishing holes. People tend to have fond memories about fishing when they were kids and want to help provide that experience to other kids.
When you get where you’re headed, be mindful of your fellow fishers. One of the biggest attractions of going fishing is the solitude and quietness so plopping down right next to another person on the dock and chatting their ear off might ruin the experience for them. If you’re at a dock or river bank with another person, asking how the fish are biting and what bait they’re using are acceptable greetings and a good way to know if you’re in the right place.
If you’re using worms as bait, you’ll need to hook them. The goal is to try and skewer as much of the worm’s body on the metal of the hook as you can manage. Any parts of the worm that are off the hook are liable to get nibbled away by the fish without ever actually getting a hook set.
Once your hook is baited, it’s just a matter of throwing in your line and waiting.
Dealing with Success
If you’re lucky enough to land a fish, it’s important to be able to handle it correctly. If you only want the one fish, then you can take it home and cook it. Wrapping the fish in a plastic bag or in a sandwich baggy is a good way of transporting it home.
If you want to catch more fish, run a line (rope or fishing line) through the fish’s mouth and gills and secure it to the shore or dock so that the fish stays in the water. This will make sure that the fish stays fresh while you try to catch more of his friends.
Be sure to mark down any fish you catch on your fishing license as well.
It can be difficult to think clearly when you get into a car accident. The sudden rush of fear and excitement cloud your thinking and make it hard to make good decisions. Having a checklist on-hand to help guide you is a very simple way to help make a bad situation better.
Whether you’re involved in a major wreck or a minor fender-bender, the general process for responding to an accident is the same. In all cases, it’s important that you think clearly and treat the other people involved in the accident politely and with respect. Everyone involved is going to be upset, yelling and getting angry won’t help anyone.
Check for Injuries
The first thing you should do immediately after an accident is check yourself for injuries. If you are hurt, it’s ok to call 911 and stay put until help arrives. If you and any passengers with you are ok, check to see if it’s safe to get out of the car and go check on the other people involved in the accident.
It’s important to note that there are legal and moral factors to consider if one of the other people involved in the accident needs medical help. There are more situations and scenarios than could possibly be listed in any book. There is no substitute or life-hack for critical thinking and good decision making.
Generally speaking, the only reason you should render aid to other people involved in the accident is if the person asks for help or if the person is unconscious and you determine that their injuries are life-threatening and failure to assist would result in a loss of life or limb.
In any situation, if someone is injured, you should call 911 immediately.
Secure the Scene
After you’ve assessed any personal injury resulting from the accident, you need to make sure that the scene is safe. The first and simplest step is to activate your hazard lights. If your vehicle can move and is blocking traffic, move it safely out of the way onto the shoulder of the road and set up any warning signals. If your car is unable to move, safely set up any warning signals to alert other vehicles to the hazard.
Whatever condition your vehicle is in, the goal here is to ensure your safety and the safety of the people around you.
You’ll need to be able to tell the 911 operator where the accident occurred, how many cars and people were involved, and if there are any injuries.
Other drivers may try to convince you that it’s unnecessary to call 911. If the property damage caused by the accident exceeds a dollar value threshold set by the state, you are committing a crime by failing to report the accident. If you choose not to call 911, you expose yourself to the possibility of prosecution for hit and run or fleeing the scene of an accident.
When officers arrive on the scene, be sure to follow their instructions. The officer will talk with everyone involved in the accident and document the scene. Continue being polite and helpful while the officer processes the scene. Once the officer has completely processed the scene, you should expect to get a police report of the incident. Be sure to keep this as you will need it when filing your insurance claim.
Document the Scene
Documenting the scene of the accident is critical. Police officers will do this as a part of their response, but it’s still a good idea for you to do it as well incase any disputes arise. Be sure to follow the officer’s instructions if they contradict any guidance given here.
It’s appropriate to exchange the following information with the other drivers:
The following information should not be shared with or requested from the other drivers:
Take as many pictures as you can. Focus on taking pictures of the following:
You should also document in writing or record on video the following:
Recover the Vehicle
At this point, the police should be on site and in the final stages of processing the scene. If your vehicle can still drive safely, you’ll likely be advised to drive it home. If your vehicle is too damaged to drive off safely, you’ll need to call a tow truck.
If you do need to call a tow truck, be sure to contact your insurance agency first as most agencies will provide you with the contact information for a tow truck company that they work with.
Contact Your Insurance Agent
After you’ve arranged for your vehicle to be recovered, it’s time to contact your insurance agent if you haven’t already done so. You’ll be asked to provide the information that you collected when documenting the scene along with the police report number.
Most agencies will ask you to submit pictures of your vehicle. Depending on the value of your vehicle and the damage resulting from the accident, you may be asked to have an assessor evaluate the damage to determine if the car is a total loss or if it can be repaired.
Flying the flag is something that I’ve done my whole life. My family has always been patriotic and it’s become a part of our family heritage. When I was a boy, we had a family flag that would fly on special occasions, but over time those occasions would simply come and go and the flag would stay wrapped up in the corner of a closet. When I moved off to college, I took the flag with me and hung it on the wall in my dorm room and apartment. When I deployed to Baghdad, I took that flag with and hung it in my hooch and carried it with me whenever I went on a convoy.
Over the years, that flag became tattered and wind blown, but I couldn’t bring myself to retire it. I also couldn’t bring myself to fly it anymore since it had started to come apart. By this time, I had one son and another on the way and I began to think about when my boys grew up and moved out on their own. I wanted to give them the option to take a family flag with them as well so I decided that I would save my flag and start flying a new one. Over time, that flag would show signs of wear and I could take it down, fold and store it, and fly a new flag. By the time that my kids were ready to move out on their own, I should have several flags that they can choose from to take with them on their journey through life.
The flag of the USA is composed of two main sections, the stars and the stripes. The stars are 50 five-pointed white stars (one star for each state) arranged in five rows with six stars each and four rows of five stars each spaced evenly on a field of blue. The stars and the field of blue is called the Union. The stripes are 13 alternating horizontal red and white stripes (one for each of the original 13 colonies).
Displaying the Flag
US Flag Code goes into great detail about the correct way to fly the flag in a variety of situations. Historically, there have been penalties associated with incorrectly displaying or desecrating the flag, but those penalties have since been deemed unconstitutional and are no longer enforceable.
Generally speaking, any person flying the flag is likely doing so out of a sense of national pride and intends to pay respect to the flag and the country. If someone is displaying the flag incorrectly and you feel it’s appropriate to inform them of it, it’s best to do so privately in a way that acknowledges their good intent and your desire to inform them and let them choose to correct the error.
From a Staff or Pole
When flown from a staff or pole, the Union should always be upright. Only in times of emergency should the flag be flown upside-down. The flag may be flown at half staff at the direction of the President, the governor of the state, or by any person as a sign of mourning. When flown at half-staff, the flag is first raised to the top of the staff and then lowered to half-staff.
When lowering a flag flown from a pole at half-staff, it’s appropriate to first raise it to the top of the staff and then lower it down to be removed, folded, and stored respectfully.
Against a Wall or Building
When hung horizontally on a wall, the Union should be on the left when viewed from the front. When hung vertically, the Union should also remain on the left when viewed from the front. Another way of thinking about it is that if the flag were a person, the Union should always be over that person’s right shoulder.
Occasion for Display
It’s appropriate to display the flag every day from sunrise to sunset or during hours of darkness as long as there is a light shining on the flag. It is acceptable to fly the flag year round or only to observe special holidays. Some of those holidays include:
Folding the Flag
Folding the flag is done best with two people. To fold the flag, hold it by the corners about waist high. Fold it length-wise twice so that the Union is on the outside of the folds. Beginning with the end of the flag opposite the Union, fold one corner up and over to the other side so that a triangular point is formed. Continue folding the triangle in alternating directions until there is too little material left to complete another fold. Tuck this remaining material into the folded section of the flag and smooth it out.
A Reversed Flag
You may have noticed that on some military uniforms, the flag worn on the right shoulder is reversed so that the Union is on the right. The reason for this is that the flag is worn on the service member’s right arm and when that is done, the Union should face forward as it is being carried into battle.
Imagine long ago when armies lined up for battle under the flag of their country. When marching towards the enemy, the flag would be streaming overhead and the stars would be leading the way. This same principal is why flags on United States military uniforms have the Union reversed.
As you spend more and more time outdoors in nature, you increase the probability that you will encounter a wild animal. These encounters occur quite regularly, even in relatively populated areas so it’s important to know how to respond when you find yourself in the presence of a wild animal.
The response that you should have will vary depending on a number of factors, so you should avoid the thought that there is only one right way to deal with every situation. Instead, it’s best to be aware of your surroundings and the situations you find yourself in and have a toolbox of responses that you can choose from in order to deal with the challenge.
If you’re going to spend time in the wilderness, it’s a good idea to have some kind of ranged self-defense capability. A pistol or bear spray are two of the best ways to ensure your safety. If you go the spray route, make sure to get a foam-based spray to avoid having the wind blow the aerosol-based spray back into your face. If you choose to carry a pistol, make sure to train with it and to train under stress that will simulate the conditions of coming face to face with a large hungry carnivore so that you can be as prepared as possible.
You should also familiarize yourself with local wildlife and the telltale signs of their presence. As you walk through the wilderness, be alert for those signs be they footprints, scratches on trees, matted down vegetation or any other indication that large animals are nearby.
Common Response Pattern
Many of the encounters that we’ll discuss have similar recommended responses. In all cases, do not run. In most cases, you should give a show of force, make a slow retreat, and as a last resort fight back.
Do Not Run
In every case, running from an animal is the wrong answer. Running makes you appear to be prey and can trigger the animal’s instinct to attack.
Give a Show of Force
A show of force is done to intimidate the animal into running away. The best way to do this is to stand as tall as you can with your arms over your head to look larger than you really are. Holding a backpack or coat over your head will add to the illusion. Making noise by yelling and growling will add to the effect.
Back Away Slowly
Slowly backing away from the animal while not turning your back is something that you should always try. Most often, it’s better to appear neutral and not aggressive while you move away. In all cases, you should avoid showing fear even if you feel it. Creating distance between yourself and the animal may allow you to break contact and will give you time to react if the animal attacks.
If the animal decides to try it’s luck at making a meal out of you, your best bet is to fight back. Use whatever you can get your hands on to hit at the animal’s nose, eyes, ears, throat or underbelly. If you have a walking stick, a knife, bear spray or a pistol, this is the time to use it.
The correct response to a bear depends a lot on the type and size of the bear. In all cases, running should be avoided. Sudden moves will frighten the bear and may trigger an attack.
Steer clear of baby bears! The mother bear is likely nearby somewhere and won’t understand that you just want to pet the cute little cub. A mother bear will fight to the death to protect her young. Skip the show of force and get straight to the slow retreat. Try to find a place that is as far away as possible while you can observe the cub to wait for it to clear your path.
Brown and black bears are the most commonly encountered small bears, but it’s possible that a small bear is simply a young grizzly. “Small” is generally defined as a bear that is about waist high when it’s on all four feet.
When you encounter a small bear, go through all the common response steps: don’t run, give a show of force, slowly retreat and if it attacks, fight back.
Grizzly bears are the most commonly encountered large bears, though some brown bears can grow quite large as well. The term “large” applies to bears that come up to your waist when they’re on all fours.
If you encounter a large bear, resist the urge to run, do not give a show of force, start backing away slowly and avoid making eye contact or appearing threatening. Put as much distance between yourself and the bear as possible. If you have a pistol or bear spray, get ready to use it.
If the bear attacks you and your spray or pistol don’t stop it, do not fight back. Fall to the ground and play dead. Curl up to protect your face and stomach. You may not have the choice, but if you do, now is a good time to poop yourself. Like humans, bears also dislike the smell of human poop and it will help convince the bear to leave you alone. Stay still and quiet while the bear investigates you. When it’s done, wait about 10 minutes before getting up.
Wolf encounters are uncommon and usually resolve quite quickly. Most often, the wolf will startle and run away. In the event that the wolf doesn’t run off, go through all the common responses: don’t run, present a show of force, retreat slowly and if the wolf attacks, fight back.
If the wolf attacks you, follow your instinct to protect yourself and lift your arms to cover your face and neck. It’s likely that the wolf will bite and latch onto your forearm. Biting and shaking is the only weapon that the wolf has in it’s arsenal and it just used it. Let the wolf keep it’s bite on your arm so that you can fight back with your free arm and kick with your legs.
Encounters with a cougar or mountain lion should follow the common response pattern: don’t run, give a show of force, retreat slowly, and fight back if attacked. With cougars and mountain lions, however, you should be sure to make and maintain eye contact to make it clear that you are not prey.
During mating season, bucks often perceive people as threats. Similarly, does will defend their fawns if you stumble into them. The common response pattern is correct for a deer encounter. If you find yourself fighting a deer, try grab and control the antlers. If you end up on the ground, curl up and protect yourself. The deer may stamp on you with its hooves and try to stick you with its horns, but it will lose interest and move on.
Moose are mean animals. They’re also very big. Follow the common response pattern, but tone down or skip the show of force. Focus on trying to back away and putting obstacles between you and the moose. Hiding behind a tree or a large rock will often be enough to stop the moose from getting close to you.