Fishing Guide to the Stars starting 9.2.2010

"A peace about all earthly dignities,
A still and quiet conscience."
Shakespeare's Henry VIII (All that is true) [III.ii.452-3]

    Jupiter and Uranus are conjoined at 29 degrees of Pisces this week. Mercury is retrograde. On September 12, 1897, 21 Sikh infantry held off a reputed 10,000 Afghans. While not commemorated in history like Thermopylae, the Battle of Saragarhi is a similar tale of valor. Never underestimate true devotion and the undertaking of a few armed with faith.

No diluted, product proliferation here. Virgo: It happened to be an airport, the Austin airport, to be exact, but this could be anywhere. The Austin airport is little weirder -- in keeping with its namesake and reflecting local sentiments.

I was passing through, traveling someplace, and I watched, after making it through the security layer, there was a guy -- cowboy -- with his kid. The kid was between the ages of two and four, as a guess, and the kid was dressed "western," as was his apparent dad. The kid was tied with a real lariat around his waist.

Perfect. How many parents wish they could/would use a rope to handle the kids? Watching how that guy handled the rope, I'm sure, if need be, he could hog-tie the kid in less than 6 seconds. Just a guess.

Before I catch any abuse about perceptions of abuse, in the setting, it appeared that it was a safe and loving arrangement. Besides, anyone who's spent time around kids in that age range? Yeah, the lasso and lariat, that's looking like a good idea. The idea I that Mercury is like 2 to 4 year-old male child. Rambunctious. Rowdy. Easiest way to keep one from getting lost? Tie a rope around his waist. This is either figurative, or literal, doesn't much matter. Lasso that problem, and hold onto it. One way or another. Libra: Place I like to frequent, a little coastal kind of place, they used to have the best cinnamon rolls. Big, huge, big as your face, dripping with frosty icing that's so sweet, I can just feel my teeth rotting under the sugary excess. It's down in one of the fishing towns I like. Good break from the coastal flats fishing.

We wandered in the other morning, and asked about the legendary cinnamon rolls. "Too hot. We won't be baking again until the winter." The waitress/cook scurried off with our breakfast order. Bummer. I'm not sure where you're at, but in South Texas, along the Coastal Bend? It's still very "summer-like" in respect to the temperature. Going to be a little longer before that kitchen can stand the heat. Is it worth the wait?

I'd like to think so. Besides, about the time Mercury is no longer Retrograde, about the time Libra starts, about the time the fall really arrives? Then it will be cool enough for those mammoth and sweet piles of confectionary baked goodness. Between now and then? Can't stand the heat? Then don't bake in the kitchen, as a sideways, mercurial spin on the old expression. Scorpio: Predictably, we were headed someplace to fish. I was riding, not driving, so I offered to pay for some gas. We pulled into -- this place should be an archetype -- an older gas station that doubled as a coffee shop and grocery store, beer stop and maybe some live worms for bait.

The structure is an aged gas station, but the bays were used for the grocery and fry cook. As we climbed back into the truck, I noticed movement out of the corner of my eye, and my fishing buddy, not named Bubba, he sighed.

I chuckled, but I didn't have a camera ready so I missed the shot. There was a rooster, pecking at dirt, around the side of the building. Not in a yard or anything, just loose on the gravel. I'm of the opinion that this just doesn't happen in other parts of the country, or even in most third-world countries.

Yard birds, right there, pecking in the gravel. Rooster, to be sure. Maybe this isn't a big revelation. Or maybe, there's a point in here that needs to be made.

It's about stuff like roosters in the yard. Mercury may indeed, be backwards, but that's not going to stop the weird observations. Make note, make note, but don't be too obvious. My buddy, gunned the engine, and we were back on the highway. Sagittarius: "You mind if I have some of your tasty beverage to wash this down?" The line is from Pulp Fiction, a true classic film in and of its own. The speaker, the actor, he was in local franchise chain store, another usual stop for me.

I eschew such places, usually, but it's convenient, and I like the staff. One of the little girls behind the counter was gushing. "OMG, OMG, he was here, you know." Turns out the actor was doing a benefit golf charity event and just stopped in the store to get an afternoon libation. He was just being himself and didn't see any need to make a big production. The entire staff recognized him. He got an ice cold coffee drink, took a sip and uttered his famous line. Nod and wink.

That's it?

Yes. Nod and wink. Capricorn: The joy of apartment living, huh. I think living in a trailer was much, much easier. "Moving" had a completely different notion. There's also the "landlord karma" I've run into from time to time. With real estate prices on a genuinely frightening roller coaster ride, and a long, downward slide, just makes me wonder. Makes me glad to be a renter and not a landlord.

While Mercury is still backwards, look, I seriously doubt that one-twelfth of the population -- all the Capricorns -- are moving, there's sense that something's up. Like a move. Besides, this isn't a good time to move. However, it's a good time to think about some of the action associated with moving. Like boxing up stuff that needs to be hauled off. Clearing out some clutter. Maybe not all at once, go slow and easy. But think about that, too.

If you were going to move, who, in his or her right mind, would move during the hottest time of the year? Never mind that. It's time to think, loosely, about moving. Or moving stuff around. Aquarius: Ghost appear in four Shakespeare plays. Which plays? Be a good trivia question. I know what you're thinking, too.

The ghosts tend to be theatrical or rhetorical devices when something "otherworldly" is required to move the plot along. Sometimes a harbinger, sometimes hastens, but the ghosts aren't usually a good thing. Good role, though, if you ask me. Less speaking.

Mercury, backwards in its current position? Consider a ghostly role. Or ghost player, one who has no speaking lines. Better yet, what four plays and what character were the Shakespeare ghosts? Does it really matter? Not really, and there is no award for the right answer. However, it could keep you from focusing on some details that really don't require your focus. Or voice. Pisces: I was watching a couple of local musicians. They were playing a lunchtime set in the park. I didn't see an obvious tip jar, nor, for that matters, did I see the usual box of CDs on sale. Just a couple of guys, might've been paid by the park service. Might be just playing, too.

Mercury, backwards. What happens? Halfway through a song about a dog? The PA stopped working, the amp for one of the two guitars, it just stopped. The guy kept playing, and I was close enough, I was treated a half acoustic set.

The other guy was doing just fine, so he merely shrugged his shoulders and kept strumming. The guy with the dead amp, he unplugged his guitar, strummed, plugged it back in, strummed, reached and fiddled with the knobs, strummed and eventually, he hit the right combination, and power was restored.

I think it was a knob on the front of the cabinet that did it. The whole time, though, the musician kept playing music, albeit, not as loud nor as much, due to the various interruptions. But still. The show must go on. Aries: The image, it's me, with a fishing pole in my hand, and I'm on the south shore, facing north, sitting, standing, actually, on a dock. I cast out. I'm slowly reeling the line back in. I take a puff on a cigar, and my face then my whole head, it seems to be engulfed in cigar smoke.

There's the flutter of wings and single squawk. A mid-sized heron settles on the dock, a few paces from me. The bird, with its long beak, looks out into the water I'm fishing. We look at each other. It's a summer twilight, and we both think about it. Fortunately we're not fishing for the same kind of quarry or there might be trouble as I tend to hunt game fish that are little larger, or a lot larger, than the food stuff that bird was looking for.

Although, to be honest, we were both foraging, him for a meal and me for a metaphor. I puffed on the cigar, and looked at the fish. Mars was just appearing in a his glory, following the setting sun. Another puff. I'd like to think I made a good picture, me, the smoke, heron, the fishing pole Would've been more fun if there had been a fish that evening. The Yellow Crested Night Heron isn't really that large, just majestic looking with his crest and all. Not ore than a couple of feet tall. However, on that summer's eve?

Taurus: "Stand clear of hazard areas while engine is running." It was on the side of a jet engine's cowling. Stenciled. Amusing, at best. You'd think, I'd think, for sure, that any technician working on the ramp would know to stay from the powerful intake of a running jet motor. "You'd think," is the catch phrase. I would think that. Doesn't mean that someone can't sue the airplane company (either maker or operator) if some technician wandered in front of the motor as it revved up. Instant puree, be my guess.

In the increasing litigious nature of the world, this is a problem, which is why I noticed the sign, in the first place. The original, and I haven't seen it a long time, was "Wet Fuel: do not remove." Wing of older 737's, used by the regional carrier I tended to favor.

Spawned a whole new section of the website, called "The Fine Print," which eventually became incorporated as the legal stuff, and the site's Fine Print has taken a life of its own. This is about inspiration. Not about legalese and Terms of Service, wonky End User License Agreements, and so on. Where it shows up. How it shows up. I bounced from a wing-side observation to legally binding documents to poetry. Do the same. Mercury, backwards, in a really weird place for Taurus. Gemini: School's back. Will be. Should be, anyway. Made me think, and I won't name names, but there's one town, in Texas, and the High School? It was originally designed to be a jail. High School, remember when it was like a forever jail sentence? Imagine having to go to a real jail building. I won't go into the details, search it out on that inter-web thing you've got, if you're really curious. For real. Jail. High School building was intended to be a jail.

Not that there's much difference, especially in this day and age, there really isn't. This Mercury Retrograde? It's like a jail sentence. Or the beginning of the high school year. Long, hard, an eternity that seems to stretch forever into the distant horizon with no hope for any way out ever. At all. Get it?

It's almost over, Mercury and the Sun swap positions this week. We're over the worst of this. It still feels like you're in High School, facing another long year, and summer break was too short. Can't be fixed. You're back to school, Gemini school, one way or another. Cancer: I saw a CAPTCHA on a prayer portal. (Completely Automated test To tell Computers and Humans Apart.) Brings whole new level of meaning to computers, computing and the inter-web thing. Church had to have a protective layer between the "prayer line" and the answers.

I suppose that's a variation on a medieval theme, getting someone else to handle the supplications. You know, like getting someone else to pray for your penance? That's the idea.

Get the computer to hit the prayer portal, time and again, just to make sure. I'd have my computer just remind me rather than have the computer do the penance, although, come to think of it, if I could get the computer to do the patter-nostrums? Wouldn't that be better? Get the computer to automatically count them beads while saying a rosary? I don't know, not my faith, I've just observed, but from what I've seen, I think the protective layer on the web-page prayer-portal creates an unnecessary barrier between the Church and the Web.

Some boundaries, some barriers are necessary, though. Which ones are, and for that matter, which ones seem a tad excessive, like that CAPTCHA on a prayer request website? Too many (protective) layers, Cancer? Leo: I've got one client who is a "soccer dad." Like a soccer mom, only, well, obviously, a different gender. A single parent. Nice daughter. She's Leo. I predicted that she would win a tournament, or the game, or whatever it was in her little sports league.

Dad called me to bitch. Sideline coach. "They won, she kicked the only goal, but they played like crap." So the Leo, The Leo, she won the game. Didn't look good doing it, but her score won the game. Team didn't play well with each other and certainly barely eked out a win. With the single, winning goal, made by The Leo.

Now, that dad, he's all about sportsmanship, teamwork, that sort of stuff. He's not a Leo. His daughter is. To hear her version of the story? She took a pass from her team's goalie and dribbled the ball the hundred yards to the other goal and kicked it in with no assistance from her team mates.

I wasn't there, I don't know. I would tend to believe the little Leo more than the dad, though, for a more accurate portrayal of facts. But that's me.

The message I tried to impart to the dad, and what the Leo message should be? It doesn't matter whether you win or lose, it's how you play the game? Wrong answer. Some days, winning is most important.

About the author: Born and raised in a small town in East Texas, Kramer Wetzel spent years honing his craft in trailer park in South Austin. He hates writing about himself in third person.

2 comments… add one
  • Sarah Smith Sep 4, 2010 @ 13:07

    Yes, winning is the thing. But if you can do it elegantly (as Leo usually can), so much the better. speaking of lack of elegance, I’m ready for Mercury to stop with the retro already. Could you put in a word? Let’s get the show on the road. BTW part of Saturday’s journal entry, was thinking of you and fishing and boats and sunshine.

  • Kramer Sep 4, 2010 @ 21:48

    Hint: on the water? It feels much cooler. Well, usually.

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