June 21, 2007 at 3:26 p.m.
My head's a mess. This is no surprise to anyone who's read this column before. However, this time I'm speaking of the exterior.
We went north for a few days of mowing/fishing in early June. I apparently went fishing without a hat, or forgot to wear it. The next day my scalp was ruby red, like the grapefruit juice. Not only was it red, it was sore...really sore. Hard to imagine how this could happen. Surely my luxuriant head of hair should have provided adequate shade. ???
The head's also sore for another reason. The brother-in-law bought a new boat last year. This year he added a boat lift. We decided that the old boat lift would be the new home for my fishing boat AND that lift would reside on the same side of the dock, beyond the new lift.
This creates a problem, at least for now. At this point, the only way to get to my boat is to straddle the new lift, which is about as wide as the deck of an aircraft carrier....ducking under and climbing over while carrying a tackle box, bait bucket and four fishing rods. (Of course it's necessary to have at least four rods. It's required to be ready to cast with a spinner bait or a plug, fish for walleyes with a live bait rig, cast for panfish with an ultralight and have a slip bobber set-up available for quick action when I locate the huge schools of famished fish, whatever species.)
My 86 year-old father uses the expression, "Like a monkey playing football." I've never fully understood what it meant. But, as I was climbing across the new lift, it came to mind.
Even as graceful and athletic as I am, I still managed to bump my head on every possible opportunity. The subsequent bruising and cuts combined with the sunburn, provided for some unwanted sensory exhilaration. As soon as the healing began and the sunburn started to abate, the itching and peeling began. For several weeks, flakes flew from my scalp like a January snowfall.
We have begun the annual struggle with grass. After a slow start, the rains came and the green stuff is in hypergrowth mode.....It's not so much here. It's up north. In the Bemidji area, where my mother-in-law lives and where we mow two lake lots, ample rainfall has recently fallen. She reports five inches in a two-day deluge last week. They were also blessed with a similar dousing the first week in June.
While lake levels are in decline in this area, the opposite is true in north-central Minnesota. The lawns are in full growth. And, we expect, the mosquito population will also be in full bloom. The combination of ample precipitation and 16-plus hours of daylight have the vegetation in overactive status.
We're hoping that, by the time we get up there again, around the Fourth of July, we'll be able to locate the buildings.
Big-Time Basketball Recruiting
The University of Minnesota puts out a publication called, "The Gopher Source." On the cover of the Spring 2007 issue is a picture of new Gopher hoops coach Tubby Smith. He's quoted as saying, "I'm pretty intense. I'm a stickler for the fundamentals and execution. I want my players to play with a passion and work with a passion. That's the best approach. When you love something, and care about it, you want to share it with everyone."
It seems that most fans are pleased with the selection of Smith to lead the U of M program and feel that his record proves he can coach. The question I've heard most frequently is, "Can he get the same quality of athlete to come to Minnesota as he successfully recruited to Kentucky?"
Some schools, like Kentucky, Duke, North Carolina, Indiana, UCLA and, now, I suppose, Florida, seem to have such strong basketball reputations that many sought after players dream to play there.
Maybe something will happen here like did recently at USC.
A man showed up at at the office of USC men's basketball coach Tim Floyd. He said, "How would you like to have the best player in the country play for you?" That man was talking about O.J. Mayo, a highly recruited player who had played in West Virginia, Kentucky, Ohio and, again, in West Virginia.
The man told Floyd that Mayo wanted to play in Los Angeles because he thought it would be good for his marketing opportunities. He also said, "You can't have OJ's phone number. He'll call you." Mayo reportedly told Floyd later, "Coach, don't worry about recruiting, I'll take care of it."
In April, Mayo signed a national letter-of-intent at USC. "It's the perfect situation," Mayo said. "After (football) players like Reggie Bush and Matt Leinart, the school is ready for a player of my caliber."
Bikers are tough!
The average citizen of The Netherlands rides more than 500 miles per year on his/her bike. Recently a Dutch shoplifter robbed $20 worth of cosmetics from a supermarket. He tried to escape on foot. However, an 81-year-old biker chased him until the thief tired. The biker knocked down the thief and the police captured him.
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