There aren't many future rocket scientists in this select group

Enjoy some carefully selected, true-life adventures and zany antics in the Great Outdoors during the year 2005:

Any pair is a pair: Cheryl Cooke who fished Walker Lake in Nov. with wading boots. Running late at "Oh Dark Thirty," she grabbed two boots in the dark on the way out the door and didn't realize they were both left boots until she put them on. Hmmm, maybe that explains why she kept walking in circles to the left.

I ain't a happy camper: The young owl that Peter Smith photographed outside his office window, right after a heavy rainstorm earlier this year. That wet and bedraggled-looking owl just sat on a tree branch and glared at Peter. Geez, I would have glared, too, if I had been sitting on that dumb branch, soaking wet.

I failed Boy Scout knot-tying: Gene Phelps, who had a knot come loose on his fish stringer at Walker Lake, while shore fishing in mid-May. His stringer of live, Cutthroat trout swam away, forever! Hmmm, I wonder if he is too old to join one of our local scout troops?

I've caught the new lake record: Marty Martinez (a double winner this year!) who thought he had caught the new lake record at Walker Lake. It was actually Norm Budden deliberately and slyly using his lure to tug and pull on Marty's line. Marty was really impressive, jumping up and down and excitedly shouting.

No, you're not seeing things: Two pink Flamingos were placed in my front yard in early May by those jokers, Norm Budden and Jack Cooke, while Elaine and I were out of town. The birds are still there because I like them and refuse to give them back. Heck, who else can say they have pink Flamingos in their flower beds in Carson City?

Perfect score of 10 for the dive: The angler at Indian Creek Reservoir, Calif. on Nov. 12. He saw his stringer of fish swimming away and made an impressive "Swan Dive" into the frigid water to re-capture it. He did, accompanied by the cheers of everyone watching.

Keep your regular job: Steve Lightfoot, who cut off the top of Doug Busey's head in a photo of Doug holding a 15-pound Channel Catfish caught at Wildhorse Reservoir. Hmmm, how would you like to have Steve photograph your wedding or 50th anniversary?

Who recommended this place: Eight anglers (including yours truly!) who got skunked in not one, not two, but three days of ice fishing at Chimney Creek Reservoir in Humboldt County in late January. There are more fish on the State Capital lawn than there were up there. Sad to say, there are no future rocket scientists in this group.

Why don't I catch fish: Chuck Van Hise who got "skunked" while trout fishing at Frog Lake near Kit Carson Pass. His dog, Blue, was having a ball jumping in and out of the water and swimming and splashing around Chuck's line. Chuck should not look forward to a second career as a rocket scientist.

Why plan ahead: Jack Cooke who bought a very nice and large travel trailer. Then, he discovered to his dismay that it was too high to fit into his car port. Some of the roof beams had to be cut out for it to fit. Geez, don't have this guy design your spaceship!

You ain't tall enough: Marty Martinez, who went into the water a tad bit too far, while wearing hip waders and spincast fishing at Walker Lake. He got his butt soaking wet. Obviously, he, too, should not be too high on the hiring list for a rocket scientist.

You ain't the sharpest knife in the drawer: The dummy who stole the Nevada Appeal photographer's step ladder at the Fifth Street round-about, while the fotog was standing there with a camera in his hands. Geez, that is about as dumb as bringing a knife to a gun fight.

You ain't a Rembrandt and can't spell: Bob "Slick" McCulloch who painted a big heart on the outside wall of his brand new garage with the phrase "Bob Love Linda" in it.

You Got Conned: I told Elaine that "The Wife" (AKA her) always carries the heavy-loaded backpack with all the goodies (extra bullets, spotting scope, tri-pod, skinning knife, deer bag, rope, extra clothing, food, drinks, etc.) and the "Hunter" (AKA me) only carries the gun.

That's a new rule I made up for her first-ever deer hunt, and it worked...that time!

You need a check list: Mark Day who only had to bring the tent and tent poles for an elk hunting trip. His partner, Norm Budden, brought everything else (truck, cooking items, camping and hunting gear, food, drinks, etc.). Mark brought the tent but forgot the poles. Wow, how would you like to have him design the rocket that blasts you into space?

You saw what: Elaine (another double winner this year) who excitedly told her Mom that she saw a moose standing along the highway, as she was driving between Fairbanks and Denali National Park in Alaska.

When they got closer, the "moose" turned out to be a mailbox! Geez, how can a poor old mailbox look like a moose?

Finally: You might find these items amusing but just remember, the "Eye in The Sky" is always watching.

Next year, you could be on this list, and people could be pointing fingers and snickering at you.

Don't mess up in 2006!

• Don Quilici is the Outdoors editor for the Nevada Appeal.


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