Fishing Guide to the Stars
    By Kramer Wetzel
    For the week starting: 11/12/2009

"Life is as tedious as a twice-told tale vexing the dull ear of a drawsy man."
Shakespeare's King John [III.iv]

New Moon, Sun in Scorpio, fast approaching. The pre-sale is still on, video is about to ship. Scorpio: Local sports are always a big deal, and I might be mistaken, but there was a local high school team, probably from a remote West Texas town, the team's name? The Possums. The problem being, with a name like that? Like the "Poteet Possums?" Or wherever it was? When that team played at home, the home field advantage, they were great.

    I'd like to think it was a Scorpio-like team, because they would be sneaky and good. I mean, you know, sneaky, like clever. The home-field advantage, I'm sure. The problem with the team? Like many of the smaller West Texas towns, there's a sizable amount of travel involved in order to compete. What I'm warning Scorpio about? Travel. Careful in the next few days. You know what happened to the Possums when they went on the road? They just got killed.

    The Video - Barefoot Astrology Sagittarius: Theory holds that this is a good time for Bass Fishing, the month of November. The lakes are cooling off, and the fish are foraging for winter, in as much as we have winter down here. The phase of the moon, this weekend? Particularly good for fishing, although, it doesn't look like the weather will be too compliant. Hence a little dilemma.

    Fish? Hunt? Or other activity? I'm in favor of the other activity, in as much as I would prefer to be out-of-doors? Not always able to get the weather, the Moon's phase and the wildlife all cooperating. Which is the problem. Three things to do. Only enough time to do two of the three. Or one of the three. Pick and be careful, choose which one is most important at this time. Pursue that objective. Might get a chance to do the others, too, but stick to one, at first. See where it goes.

    The Video - Barefoot Astrology Capricorn: There's a special kind of operating mode that I've found very helpful. "Are you sure you want to do that?" I'll ask. Then, I'll affix a steely, steady, beady eye stare on the person. I won't repeat the comment, but it's a way to punctuate the "Are sure you really want to do this even though the consequences might be totally disastrous for you" -- punch that expression up some.

    Punctuate with the look.

    The deal is, that look? It's totally ironic, as that action is completely okay with you, with me, and with the other person. It's just good, though, especially with a new moon occurring during the terms of this scope, it's just a good idea to make sure that there's plenty of time to pause and consider actions that might -- or might not -- have consequences. What kind of consequences? Could be serious, you know. Which is the point to stop and ask that question, appropriately punctuated.

    The Video - Barefoot Astrology Aquarius: I got a catalog in the mail. I was reading it, like a magazine, full of out-of-doors people doing outdoorsy activities. Snow. Warm coats, mittens, gloves, long underwear, wool socks, heavy footwear, and I realized, as I gazed at this cold weather gear? I have no intention, none whatsoever, of landing in a place where I need that kind of cold weather attire. Ever again.

    That catalog is wasted on me. I looked for a little while then realized I was wasting my time. Not going to happen. If I have to wear long pants, a sweater, and maybe a sports coat? That's about as much cold weather gear as I want to own. Or need to own. I have a winter coat, and yes, I do have some shoes I could wear, but I live in a close-to-tropical climate, and I just figure, that's where I'll spend my winters, here at home. No need to get all dressed for freezing weather, not if I can avoid it.

    Which I can. It's a matter of choice. So the next time I get a catalog full of winter-wear, I'll just toss it before I bother wasting time looking at people bundled up in colorful layers of expensive under and outer wear. This is about cutting out one action. One item, one piece of inbound information that is no longer required. For my Aquarius self? Obviously, it was the cold-weather catalog. Might be that, or, quite possibly some other item you no longer need. Save time by not bothering with it.

    The Video - Barefoot Astrology Pisces: Ever figure you just a few degrees off? That's what this feels like to me. Not in a bad way, but you thought it started at 7:30 and when you get there, 5 minutes early? It started at 7:15, and you're late. Just a few degrees off. Plan on a fishing trip with me, and we agree to meet at 7 AM. You show up at 6:30 AM and wonder where I am for half an hour.

    Fortunately, if you want to belabor the point, I have a copy of the e-mail confirmation for 7. Only if you want to push the point, though. However, these are just examples of how you feel a little off, a little different, a little at odds with the rest of the world, or, as I posited at the beginning of the scope? A few degrees to one side of center. Not good, not bad, not horrifically wrong, just a little one side. It isn't bad, it isn't good, it's just understanding. Understand how you're just a little off to the side of the main action.

    Is this bad? Not really, as the bad stuff will go flying right over you and miss your sweet Pisces self completely. As long as you stand off to one side, just by a few inches, feet, just a couple of degrees off center.

    The Video - Barefoot Astrology

    astrofish.netAries: Local taco stand, more a restaurant than a true taco stand, this one place has some of the finest green salsa I've ever had. It's a strong salsa, typically, green salsa uses "green tomatillo tomatoes" as a base. But this one place? Jalapeño peppers are the base for the green salsa. Yeah, baby, it's hot. Really hot. Subtle yet strong and fiery. Maybe not so subtle but creeps up on you.

    Does me, anyway. Why I like it. However, I've found that I have to ask for the green sauce. Usually, the waitress sees a white (person) like me? We'll get served the milder red sauce. I make a quick point to ask for the "salsa verde" and it's all good. Quick and easy. You would also guess, after dining there, off and on for over a year, that the staff would recognize me, and from my tips, remember to bring me the good stuff. The hot stuff. Then again, this scenario gets repeated, maybe every week or two, and I have to ask for that Jalapeño salsa.

    While you would think, as an Aries, that folks would learn what you like? Not so sure that's going to happen this week. Doesn't hurt to let them know what you want. Exactly what you want. Taurus: I was in a buddy's truck, coming in from the lake, and I pulled through a certain brand of coffee shop in order to acquire an afternoon beverage. I pulled through Starbucks to get something to drink. "Would you like a nice Hot Chocolate or a Skinny Pumpkin Spice Latte?" The nice counter girl asked through the speaker. I got a tall ice tea, no water, lots of ice. The ice melts, waters it down and it's palatable.

    It was also close to 85 that afternoon. Might've been about a week or two ago, might've been just yesterday. That Texas weather in the fall, it's funny like that. Warm days, cool nights. I was sweating and sunburned. No, I didn't want hot coffee, hot chocolate, and I had to wonder, out loud, at the wisdom of offering just such fare. "Hot coffee?" "Well, it was cool when I came in this morning," the girl said, then stuck her head out the window a ways, "but I can see it's warmed up a lot."

    She giggled and squirmed back in. Because I was being difficult with my cranky old man question about efficacy of hot beverages on a sweaty winter afternoon, I tipped the usual amount. Only proper. I pay for my insolence. You're a Taurus. You're going to get hammered with either weather, a question about the weather, or a cranky old man asking curmudgeon-like questions. Hopefully, he's nice like me and leaves a tip. But just as a warning? Might not be me.

    The Video - Barefoot Astrology Gemini: What some people, let's pretend these people are non-Gemini, consider the easiest, most expedient route to be a straight line. I'm good with that. I can see how that would appear to be the most direct way to get from here to there. From Point A, to Point B, the purported destination.

    However, you're a Gemini, and you're going to use the advance Gemini warning system to alert you to upcoming weather and unforeseen issues. Road hazards, traffic patterns, delays and concerns. The way around it all? What most folks don't understand that the easiest, most expedient route seems a little circuitous to some.

    From the starting point, you go up, then to the left, then veer to the right, then take a detour down this side road, and finally wind up where you set out to be. Long way around to outside observer. The point is, though, it was actually shorter since you avoided a few obstacles. So even though it doesn't seem like a shorter route? Use your Gemini senses to pick the way to get here from there. Don't listen to other people, not now. Might seem like more work, but for you? Not really.

    The Video - Barefoot Astrology Cancer: One of the guides with whom I fish? He gets all worried when I wear sport sandals instead of, like, tennis shoes. The biggest problem? In his mind, anyway? Crabs, loose on the deck of the boat. We'll pick up some crab from time to time, and use it as bait. Late in the year, like now? Reds are running good. Cut crab makes an excellent bait. Both Reds and (Speckled Sea) Trout love the tender flesh. Great bait. But that means there's a good chance there's a real blue-shell crab loose on the boat's deck, from time to time. With pincers. With crab claws that exert hundreds of foot-pounds of pressure with sharp claws.

    It's not so much dangerous as uncomfortable. Which is why that one Captain always shakes his head at my choice in footwear. However, to me, the danger is minimal, not like I'd lose a toe or anything, worst thing that might happen? One of those crabs would threaten me.

    Now, imagine that this week, like me, you're going fishing. And like me, you're thinking about sandals. Unlike me, though, you think about those crab pincers, and you opt, after reading this horoscope, you choose close-toe footwear, in the name of safety. Good move. I can get away with tempting the crab's claw. Not sure you want to play the same game, not if you don't want the pain.

    The Video - Barefoot Astrology Leo: I've got a picture, some place on my website, has the original Starbucks logo. From a single storefront in Seattle. The image, that original logo? Looks like, to me, an artistic representation of a woman's naked breasts. Exposed, out there for all to see. I was thinking about that because I liked it, but my obviously male and prurient tastes are transparent.

    That logo was sanitized for some, more universal or whatever. However, that's not what this is about. That original logo reaction? The mere suggestions that naked breasts were on a cup's sleeve, or signs across the country? Across the globe? That really irritates some people. Others, like me, are amused, or attracted -- or whatever.

    It's a polarizing effect. Much like what you're experiencing at the hands of the planets. Either you like it or you don't. Not much middle ground here in Leo. If you don't like it? Why? If you do like it? Same question. Might not be the original Starbucks logo, either, could be any number of issues. But you get the idea. Instead of just being opinionated, dig for the reason, source, and cause of that Leo opinion.

    Hint: there really aren't any wrong answers.

    The Video - Barefoot Astrology Virgo: "Ear-worm." That's when a lyric gets stuck in your head. Or, in my case, it's part of a lyric. Just a brief, slightly garbled version of a few lines of a song. Powerful verse, to me, at one time. Sort of means something now. But I got to the point where I was annoying friends and even some innocent bystanders, inflicting my useless attempt at singing the lyrics, or the brief portion of the refrain that I remember, and while that's momentarily entertaining, even to the point that, as Virgo, you might giggle or smirk at the idea of me singing to friends and strangers?

    Like karaoke, only without the benefit of being all liquored up? Yeah, it's an ugly sight. I realize that, now.

    Anyway, like that ear-worm, like that persistent and repetitive refrain? With silent musical accompaniment? Yeah, that's what this is like. Now, as a solution? I've got one Virgo fishing buddy, and what he'll do is merely burn me a CD with the song on it. He won't try to sing. But that's his solution. Most of us? We'll probably try to sing. Can't say I didn't warn you.

    The Video - Barefoot Astrology Libra: I like tourists. I like questions. In San Antonio, I always feel like a tourist. However as a native Texan, I understand San Antonio's importance as a historical shrine and a birthplace of freedom. I tread on hallowed ground with the requisite amount of reverence. But the other tourists, they're a funny lot. I'm constantly amused, and one of my favorite answers, when asked where I'm from? "I'm from up north," I'll drawl, "Austin." 60-70 miles north. Different land, but that's not what this is about.

    It's about tourists and weird questions. As a Libra, you're feeling the effects of Pluto square Saturn and just what that means to you. You will, sure as can be, encounter, a smart aleck like me, who's "From up north." Think that's bad? Wait, that's just the effect of Pluto in Capricorn. The effect of Saturn in Libra? One more question, not from me, but I've heard this before, "Why did they put the Alamo in the center of downtown San Antonio?"

The Video - Barefoot Astrology

Fishing Guide to the Stars
By Kramer Wetzel
For the week starting: 11/5/2009

"Music, moody food of us that trade in love."
Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra [II.v]

Saturn Square Pluto exact this week. Venus enters Scorpio.

    astrofish.netScorpio: Grease the wheels. Grease the skids. I really don't think that skids are used much, not anymore, except perhaps, in remote locations, so that term, "grease the skids," it's kind of pointless. A skid is a long, usually flat piece, either wood or metal and either a rail or a plane, and greasing the skids meant that -- are you even paying attention?

    It's all about making room, in a nice way, for some good Scorpio progress. I'm not being difficult here.

    Straight up and simple. Make nice. It's your birthday, everyone else should be making nice to you. In order to make this happen, a situation where everyone is nice, polite and kind to Scorpio? (Ask me, and I'll tell anyone, they should always be nice to Scorpio.) To make room for this to happen? The little Scorpio slice needs to give this a push, a shove, or just "grease the skids" so folks can be nice to you. Smile. Even if you don't man it? Still, smile. Make room for the other people to be nice to you, especially when they find out it's your birthday.

    Barefoot Astrology - Video Tutorial - order here, order now! Sagittarius: "You draw blood. I write horoscopes. It's what I do. It's what you do." It was a nurse-like person, a Scorpio, actually, and she was efficiently, and without too much extra pain, sampling some of my blood. Routine, nothing to worry about, just the doctor checking up on something. It was early and as the nurse-like technician was digging around in my arm looking for a vein? I was not grimacing and making light conversation.

    "Yeah, Scorpio's are cool," I said. She hit the vein, blood flowed into the tube, and I looked her up and down. She was the first to hit the mainline in the first try, and I hope that portends well for the blood-work. However, I wonder if my (attempt) at polite banter was also a cause of some extra irritation. Venus, Mercury, Sun, stacked up in Scorpio. Some days? Some days it's better if we just keep our Sagittarius mouths closed. I mean, I still got the bruise from that little needle. Perhaps our light and breezy way isn't always appreciated, especially now, all that Scorpio influence. Capricorn: By the time I wound up in a trailer park in South Austin, I had developed a lifestyle wherein I was somewhat removed from doing readings in my own domicile. Other than phone, readings, I never invited any clients over for readings. Not in the trailer itself. Means I've got a private side to life. There's what the public sees, and there's what goes on behind closed (aluminum) doors.

    You're a Capricorn. You have a private side of life. Some of your public life is starting to invade, infect, or interject into your private life. While I'm a firm believer in no firm rules, a good boundary or barrier is required. When I lived in South Austin, I considered the edge of that trailer park as the edge of "my world" and the "outside world." Made for a clear line of demarcation. No problems with people showing up at odd hours requesting my professional services -- no one knew where I lived.

    I'm using this as an example to get a point across, a valid Capricorn point about the line. Could be a line in the sand, a line chalked on a grass playing field, an invisible boundary around a trailer park. But there's a line, and as a Capricorn, this is one of the times it's best to respect that line. Could be your line and it could be us you're saving yourself from. Aquarius: Fishing in October (last month) -- along the Gulf Coast -- it was a typical scene. Had my allotted (slotted) Reds, three in the cooler, and then, late in the afternoon, a fishing pole bent over, the line went singing out against the reel's drag, and it was a big one. Nice, big Red. Got her in the boat and bemoaned the fact that we already three in the cooler.

    However, the fish and game laws are there to protect the species, and as such, actually help. Only that means I was going to have to let the biggest one go. Instead, buddy I was fishing with, he grabbed the most recent previous catch, the gills were still working on that one, and after about thirty seconds in the bay's warm waters? That little one swam off.

    The big one, I'm sure there's a picture on a website someplace of me with the big Red, he was dinner that night. Those Redfish, really, Red Drum, they are a hearty species of fish. But that one we let go? What's he going to tell his friends? "One minutes, I'm eating this good shrimp, landed right in front of me, then I'm pulled up into an alien space ship, white light and voices? Then it's cold. Cold and dark. Suddenly, I'm back. Jaw's a little sore, too, must be that shrimp."

    You get a second chance. You get an opportunity to live, swim and tell about it. Stick to the facts, though, and think before you start eating shrimp again -- or whatever bait it was that caught you.

    Barefoot Astrology - Video Tutorial - order here, order now!

    astrofish.netPisces: I was standing in line, waiting on an icy coffee beverage to be prepared, as is my custom on a sunny afternoon. The young lady -- woman -- making the drink was bantering and relating a recent experience involving dancing, nightclubs, and men.

    "I told him I wasn't going to (dance with) him, and he insisted on buying me a beer anyway," she said. I had a small audience. "Look," I replied, glancing to my right, "guys are just stupid." Two girls next to me giggled. I shrugged. Sotto voce, I added, "I should know; I am one." A fleeting blush, a giggle, a hand over one mouth, something whispered. All in good fun.

    What it means for Pisces? You can be the guy or the girl, but if you're not careful, just because someone says, "No," that means you keep trying harder. Me? I'd just, as an outside observer? I'd suggest you give up. Some girl tells me "No?" I'll take it as a no, and leave it go. Aries: There are certain items, and I just can't make this stuff up. I passed a (big-name oil company) station. The block letters advertised the price of a pack of cigarettes, the prices for various grades of gasoline, and then, on the sign in removable letters? "Fresh Turkey Legs." I'm thinking, I didn't have the stomach, or heart, to investigate. I'm guessing these are like the turkey legs sold at various events through the south and west. I don't know if ya'll get such things in other parts of the country. We do. Turkey legs. Big old drumstick. Good food. But at a corner gas station and convenience store? I can't even begin to fathom the details. Unless it was a joke, and in that particular neighborhood? Probably not a joke.

    Here's the scenario: you see this kind of a sign, odd and oddly enough, not odd. This isn't about turkey legs, it's about seeing something that's plainly out of place and yet, for some reason, not out of place. Action, reaction and the Aries course? Nothing. As long as Pluto and Saturn are tight? Realize that it's absolutely weird and strangely enough, not that strange. Instead of having a grand freak out? Maybe just take a picture with your phone, then send that along, and not worry about it. Too much.

    astrofish.netTaurus: I live in a widely diverse neighborhood. While it is principally classified as "Hispanic," don't complain -- I don't make up the demographic terms -- the actual bloodlines are much more entangled. Towards that end, while I'm used to the aroma of cooked meat (BBQ) wafting on the afternoon breeze, or the smell of tortillas hot on the comal? What caught my attention was a very "German" smell of hot apple (strudel, pie, filling, jam) with a layer of burnt, caramelized sugar.

    I never claimed to have an accurate nose, except for catfish bait. However, that one afternoon, wind was out of the south-southwest, and the gentle zephyrs carried that aroma. Strong enough to create an impression on me. Strong enough to override the usual (and delicious) Latin cuisine. Strong enough to make me wonder. Strong enough to puncture my sinus membranes -- get an image here? That's what's happening to Taurus, you get a strong, perhaps pungent, punch that, at first, might seem incongruous. It's not. Appreciate the differences, whether it's cultural or something else.

    Barefoot Astrology - Video Tutorial - order here, order now! Gemini: Historically, the local lakes aren't any good fishing, not during November. But that's just according to the history, local lore and myth. While some lore and mythology is based in fact, other sorts of historical data might suggest otherwise.

    I'll admit, it's a hit or miss proposition, but time it right, and this only makes sense, the big fish are fattening up for the winter's nap. Winter, such as we get it. About two or three days of intensely cold weather.

    What's it going to be, my fine little Gemini friend? Are you going to look at the almanac, and just leave the fishing until later? Or are you willing to give it a try, despite what some of the predictions are? Just as a casual guess, from what I've seen lately? Go ahead consider giving it a try, doesn't matter what you're fishing for, and I'm not promising that there will definitely be some return, but I think, just eschew common wisdom for a little while. See what you might catch, even tough, traditionally, this isn't a good month for Gemini fishing. Cancer: I stopped at a certain chain of coffee shops to get an afternoon shot of caffeine. I like my coffee like my women, cold and bitter, and oddly refreshing on a warm winter afternoon. The coffee was served in an Xmas cup. This is wrong. This wrong on so many levels, I don't even know where to begin. Xmas starts the day after Thanksgiving.

    There will be no Xmas candy, no Xmas color, no xmas anything until the day after Thanksgiving. I don't care what mess the economy is in, the state of the world, anything. It's just plain wrong to have stockings hung with care in late August. Wrong. Not mildly wrong or slightly incongruent, no, it's just wrong.

    That Xmas cup reminded me of another experience. "Would you like to try a new Pumpkin Latte?" No. It was 80 degrees, I'm not interested in a "warm winter drink" when it's hot and sunny. Again, this wrong. I want the bucket of ice, tea, which only makes sense. I can't combat stupid national chains with no sense about marketing in warmer climates. I can't stem the tide of Xmas crap that starts in July. I can warn my little Cancer friends that there's a battle, and I'm sure you agree with me, about what's right and what's not. Leo: Consider this a dress rehearsal. Consider this a dry run. Consider this Leo Exercise Week. Consider not taking this too much to heart? By that, what I'm suggesting is that you don't get so wrapped up in the final outcome of just one project, don't bet the farm and at this point, I'm out of stupid cliche expressions for you.

    It's more like this all about practice and getting a process fine-tuned. The problem is that you think this is the real deal. It's not. I was at the lake the other afternoon. I had a certain fishing pole and certain reel, not particularly well-suited for that lake, not that it matters, but what I was doing was working it out so the next time I'm confronted with similar water and similar situations? I'll be ready. Hone my skills, as it were, instead of really fishing. What this is about, too. Mars is in your sign, Sun &c., is in Scorpio. Tension. Jupiter, across from you in Aquarius. More tension. It's like the walls are closing in. Again, more tension. Consider this practice and exercise rather than final form. Besides, I did hook two small perch with that arrangement, not that it matters, it was just an exercise.

    Barefoot Astrology - Video Tutorial - order here, order now! Virgo: I've joked about this one Taco House close to me. Only open for breakfast and lunch, the food itself is wonderful. Absolutely amazing cuisine. Just plain, basic Tex-Mex/Mexican fare. Personal fave? "Steak and Enchilada Plate," runs about four dollars, might be a little higher now, but not much.

    The steak is a miniscule piece of mystery meat with the bejeebers grilled out of it. There is no "Rare-Medium-Well-done" to this thin slice of beef (or beef-like substance). Not really something I'd want served any other way besides "really well-done." There's always the roadkill joke about the food, but I'm not so sure that it's really a joke. Nothing I want to know. The enchiladas that go with that "steak" plate? Mexican Cheese wrapped in a red-corn tortilla, covered with a chili sauce that's hot and good. More like a beef stew, rather than a sauce.

    The point is, though, do you really want to know, what exactly is in the meat or the sauce? Not really. No, trust me, even the Virgo people I've taken to this one place, they all agree, no, really, some things in life are better left unknown. As this next few days progresses and as we get on into November the full moon and so on? Yeah, ask yourself, "Virgo self, this a really good deal, do I want to know what kind of animal this came from?"

    astrofish.netLibra: I've rigged different fishing poles and different fishing lines for a variety of situations. As I got to poking at your Libra chart, I thought about a particular surf-like fishing rig I've used on a lake, lake's just south of here.

    Used this set-up with remarkable success, which is funny, since it's a salt-water (allegedly) arrangement. What I do is put a heavy sinker on the line, then, anywhere from one to three feet up from that sinker? That's where the hook goes. Big weight, on the bottom. Bait, live, fresh dead, or artificial? Up from there. Number of different names for this kind of arrangement, too. Call it what you want, but something to anchor your Libra self, whatever that is, and then, you float something tasty, just above the anchor. Easiest way to deal with Saturn and Pluto, anchor and float.

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"I can hardly forbear hurling things at him."
Shakespeare's 12th Night [III.ii.78-9]

    Saturn moves into Libra and Saturn squares Pluto. First of many.

    Barefoot Astrology - Video Tutorial - order here, order now! Scorpio: Last spring, I'd tried to hit a day for fishing that was going to accommodate several friends. Balance the moon against three other schedules, line up on a weekend, and pray for fish. Got it good, so I thought. I guessed wrong. Hit the full moon on the very day we hired a boat to drag as around the mud flats. No fish. Probably lots of fish at night, just none in the day time. At all. Sort of a bad break, and I got ribbed for that, a little. However, in my defense, and as a Scorpio, I'm sure you'll understand, it was the balance point.

Three different buddies, wives and girlfriends, that's up to to six people, and myself, that's 7, and a guide, that's 8, and now it's gotten to the point that it's completely unmanageable. Which was the problem I faced, last spring.

As a Scorpio, and with the highest of Scorpio holy days approaching (either your birthday or Halloween), there's a point where you can't make everyone happy. Question is, how many people should you try to appease? The correct answer is 1 (one). That's all. That's all that really matter. Instead of trying to accommodate a group, that's not going to work. I'd suggest, if, like me, you wanted to fish? I'd suggested you pick a day that's good for you. Next week? Looks good, Tuesday or Wednesday, hit that time/tide/lunar calendar for what's best. Best for you and fishing, anyway. Sagittarius: I pulled on one of my cowboy hats, I have several, and a pair of vintage cowboy boots. That was it for Halloween. Not much of a leap. There was a point, though, since this all about what the planets are doing to us, right now, and how we feel about what's going on, and what we're going to do about it?

As little as possible. Whether this is for Halloween or whether this is for something else, doesn't much matter. There's that last-minute, minimalist effort that is required, but do so in a quiet way. Great time not draw attention to ourselves, and that's what this is all about. No need to try and ham it up for glory, fame, and eventually, ridicule. Nope, not our Sagittarius selves, no, not this weekend.

While it's a good time to play, party and do whatever the holiday dictates? It's not a good time to act like we must be the center of attention, and it also not a good time to lavish (unnecessary) resources (no expensive costumes) holiday merry-making. I'm not saying you shouldn't have some fun, but do so in refined manner, taking one step back out of the people who are the stars right now. Not us. We're stars, but the quiet and demur type. For now.

book banner Capricorn: I tend to be a private person, at least private about some things in my life. I had a string of luck, when I was living on the river in Austin, I had string of luck that meant I caught, repeatedly, a ton of little fish. I would take phone-camera images and post them in my web journal (code name: xenon).

I got a call from long-lost and forgotten love of mine, an ex-wife, really, and she was mocking me. Not like it's hard to do, I'm an easy guy to mock, apparently. But she mocked my little fishes. I'l admit, they weren't manly fishes, but then, on some days, even a little sunfish on a small, gold hook is better than nothing. I was fishing. However, my pride was wounded. Shortly thereafter, I quite posting images of smaller fishes.

There's a time to live life out loud, and there's a time to make bold pronouncements, and there's a time when even little fishes are bragging rights. However, like that old flame mocking me? There's also a time not to lay yourself open to ridicule. Slow up, pause, reflect, decide on how much is too much. Too much information, in this day and age? Makes you wonder. I'd like to see you slow down, just a little, on letting out too much information. Stick to basics. And watch what you make available. Never can tell when someone will come along and mock you.

On Writing a Short Story Aquarius: Proceed with caution. It's Halloween, or Samhain, or Dia de los Muertos, or All Saint's Mass, or something. Party weekend. Go slow. Proceed with caution. There's, like, a ton of good stuff all stacked up in Aquarius, around Aquarius, and there's just one caution: caution. It's the traditional, hits close to a full moon, year-end harvest celebration. Depends on one's religious beliefs, how to approach this.

I'm not saying one is better than the other, not me. It's just that there's an air, an expectancy, a sense of "something good about to happen" for Aquarius. Don't blow it. Don't jump when you should just sit there. Let the pace, as determined by the natural order of the events, let the pace proceed at its stately and elegant rate.

"Jumping the gun" is an expression that refers to a time when there was a starter pistol, and getting a head start, a too-hurried approach, that's called "jumping the gun." And that's exactly what I'm warning my little Aquarius friends about. Don't. Jump. The. Gun. Pisces: Coastal fishing is a fine sport with excellent rewards, in that, well, along the Texas Gulf Coast, a "grand slam" is Sea Trout, Redfish (Red Drum) and Flounder. I've angled for that trilogy several times. Been an elusive target, for many years now. I hear about guys getting it all in one day, and I read about it -- frequently. But no, it's a goal I have yet to reach.

I did, by accident, happen to get close, the problem being, I didn't have evidence of all three on my line. No proof means that there's no way to substantiate the claim. My word, about a fishing topic, isn't really sufficient evidence. Besides, I wanted that "Texas grand slam" as my version of trophy. Just the images, too, I would have those fish prepared and consumed.

Weather's a little suspect, but there are still some good days for fishing. Might not be the big "Texas Grand Slam" that you're chasing right now, but there's some goal. While I won't promise that you win the prize, attain the goal, I will promise that this is an excellent time to pursue that desire. Not just good, excellent.

On Writing a Short Story

book banner Aries: I was listening to one of my Aries buddies argue a point. My buddy, he was eloquent. Had facts and figures, bulleted talking points, all at his command. It was like he rehearsed some of this material ahead of time. He was only about two beers into an argument, so he was still quite lucid. But then, this one Aries buddy, he tends to be frank and upfront, and still, he can win arguments with an impressive command of rhetoric and facts.

Only, in this argument -- I have insider knowledge -- my Aries buddy was wrong. Didn't stop him from presenting a brilliant argument, well-put-together case, and making his points in gentle yet forceful manner. Wrong. Artfully assembled. Still wrong. I'm not being stubborn, I just happen to know more than he did about that one topic -- the benefits of liberal arts education. Still, I was more than impressed by the artifice of the argument. Any outsider, just listening to my Aries buddy's points? Impartial outsider would award the victory to my buddy. He was still wrong, though, and I never played that trump card.

Which one are you going to be? Impressively, persuasively wrong? Or, like me, the (non) Aries? Right but silent. Think before you answer.

On Writing a Short Story Taurus: I get blamed for some occurrences that are clearly not my fault. But for a price, I guess, I have to accept the blame. "You told me to 'go fishing' and I could've closed this big deal at work! It's your fault!" Which means my allusion to "fishing" and work was wholly lost on that individual. Too bad, so sad. Besides, it was a good day to fish. Maybe not a great day, but perhaps that one person will understand my banter a little more clearly.

Or not. But this isn't about a good day to fish or a big deal at work, or anything along those lines. It's about being blamed for something that's clearly not your fault. You're not guilty. Palpable culpability obviously lays with someone else. Doesn't mean, like me, you won't get shouldered and burdened with the associated guilt. Or that some person will point a finger at your fine Taurus self and say, "He did it!" (Or, "She did it!")

Just as advice, while this little game of finger pointing and blame storming is floating around your Taurus self? Duck. Be someplace where they can't find you. Works better than any amount of sidestepping after you've been fingered as the culprit -- even though you and I know you're not guilty. Gemini: Life -- Gemini life right now -- it's a giant buffet table. Last time I was in Las Vegas, one of the girls I was with, she absolutely refused to eat at the (free) buffet. It was part of the package deal, and free food is a good deal, and she was resolutely unable -- unwilling -- to dine, as she put it, "At the community trough." Hardly how I'd look at it, but then, that's me, and I'm not a Gemini, although, I'd like to think I were handsome enough to play one on TV. Not going to happen. What? Either the trough food or me on TV.

However, life is like a buffet and the trick (or treat) is to sample. Do not gorge. Sample a little of this, and little of that. Load the Gemini plate up with whatever looks good; however, in no case are you under any obligation to finish every sample. It's like the archetypical candy treats passed out at this sacred All Hollow's Mass, the namesake for the holiday. Grab a bunch of the bite-sized candy. Don't bother with the full-size, or the stuff that looks too healthy, but sample. Like a hummingbird, sample all the candies on the tray. In the bag. Sample all the stuff that looks good, on this buffet table of life. Just know, in good Gemini fashion, when to push back from that buffet table laden with sticky goodness.

book banner Cancer: I ran across an expression, it was "pocket culture." I didn't research this, I didn't look it up, I just adapted to the Cancer horoscope. To me, the definition of "pocket culture," what first sprang to mind was El Paso, TX and its immediate environs. Cross the state line into New Mexico, and the culture changes, most demonstrably, the cuisine. South of El Paso? Ciudad Juarez. Again, different culture entirely.

While sandwiched between these two, there's an idiom, cuisine, cultural bias and language that appears, all on its own. It's, to me, a "pocket culture." Not big enough to make a demographic blip on the sociologist's radar, but enough of a difference to be noticeable to alert observers. I'm not sure where you're at, while you're reading this. But look around. Note some of the local variations.

Pocket culture. With the relative movement of Mars and so forth, there's something, I'm not sure the exact details, but there's something you should pay attention to. It's right in front of you, and probably, using my definition, an inherent part of the local (Cancer) pocket culture. Leo: There are two totally different astrological aspects I'd look at. First, it's Mars. In Leo, frying along. Mars is "just fixing to" square the Sun and Mercury, in Scorpio. Not there yet. But almost. Second? That Saturn and Pluto thing, hitting the cardinal signs, and hitting the "Start" or better yet, "start NOW" buttons. The action of Mars plus the minor irritation that results from the Sun in Scorpio? Or is it that Pluto and Saturn are at a tension angle? Call it what you want, but there's a little too little Leo and far too much "other stuff," which precludes you getting what you want.

At least, as a Leo, you're not going to get what you want -- not right away. Doesn't mean it won't happen, but then, maybe it will happen at a better time. Not now. The energy is there, but there's also a sense of minor frustration. Not major, just minor. Small. Miniscule. In a normal setting, this would fall well below your Leo-level of tolerance. Wouldn't bother you a bit. Hence the problem. This time, this week, it does bother you. Best course of action? Just remember that this is going to annoy some other (non-Leo) people worse than it will bother you.

Let is slide. Justice will be yours, eventually. Virgo: Halloween is particularly good time for my little Virgo friends. Usually, anyway, and I wouldn't get too caught up with all the details, but this is a time of year when the fantasy can run amok. Which is exactly the point, as this week. Saturn slips out of Virgo, but Mars isn't in Virgo yet. This one of the times to to do the ultimate Virgo Expression of Self, the Slutty Librarian.

The inner tramp needs an outward display to overcome the basic, and often times false, impression of Virgo's as being "uptight." Might be "wound tight," as I'm unsure of the correct expression. But now, more so than ever before, this is a time -- I'm looking at planetary charts and energy -- the Virgo come out of the Virgo shell, and express a more provocative side. Yeah, it's personal, and yeah, I've known a Virgo or two, and yeah, I like the idea of the tramp/tart/dominatrix alternating as a librarian/geek/nerd. Work out the details anyway that fits with your personal fantasy.

book banner Libra: Saturn enters the tropical zodiac sign of Libra this week. And in doing so, at the same point, Pluto squares Saturn. Not exactly a happy place. Bad? No. Unfortunate? Sort of depends. There's a point wherein you say to your Libra self, "Self, we've had about all we can stand, and we can't stand anymore."

That's where you make the stand because you can't stand what you've been given, the hand you've been dealt, or the unfair treatment at the hands of the planets.

I'd quit fighting, this one. I'd quit pushing. And I'd suggest you stop pushing on a doorway that is clearly marked "Pull."

There is a way through, around, and dealing with this kind of energy. Figure out what's the most broken part of this problem. I'm not suggesting trying to fix everything, not all at once, just isolate a single issue, a particular part, just one piece of the puzzle. Let's just turn our Libra (Saturn and Pluto) infused energy towards that one (thing). Tend to just that. Then wait. Let's see what else develops. Halloween suggestions? All black. Try the "Lord of the Underworld" gig. Like one namesake for that planet.

On Writing a Short Story

Fishing Guide to the Stars
By Kramer Wetzel
For the week starting: 10/22/2009

"God grant we may never have need of you."
Shakespeare's Richard III [I.iii.76]

Questions are always free, some answers require a cash deposit. The e-mail line is always on, "31" (24 and 7).

Two-hour class, in one handy video.

    Barefoot Astrology - Video Tutorial - order here, order now! Scorpio: Finally, I heard a new one. It was a news crew, looking me over. "You UC?" The reporter asked, in some kind of verbal shorthand. "You see?" I queried back. "Under Cover." "No ma'am," I said to the young lady, "I'm a guitar player."

    My voice was dripping in irony. Might've been sarcasm, I'm not sure. She just nodded, knowingly, "Cool. Musician." She assumed I was on an undercover assignment. Wish I knew what it was. I wish for a lot things, like world peace, better economic times, and a different tone to politics. I can't change any of that.

    However, I can mess with a reporter by answering stupid questions with stupid answers. Hello Scorpio. This is about you. This is about someone looking at you and assuming that you're undercover, or something. I merely perpetuated that reporter's mythology, but that doesn't speak well for fair and balanced journalism. I'd suggest, birthdays and all? I'd suggest you have some fun with the answers, like I did.

book banner Sagittarius: Puffy clouds. Moisture clouds. Rain clouds. White, cotton-ball looking clouds. The underside of some of the clouds? The parts that seem most visible? Looked like a cotton ball that was used to wipe up a spill -- flat and dirty. Still, the clouds, looking at the clouds, guessing moisture and weather?

    Okay, here's how this breaks down: we can watch the weather, got a less than half and half chance of being right. We can look at the clouds ourselves, and there's a better chance we can guess at the meaning and weather portents. Or best? We can go out. Doesn't much matter if it's rain, wind, clouds, or even a freakish clear day, sitting on our backsides -- guessing -- won't tell us what ten minutes of experience will tell. That's kind of the point.

    Looking at the clouds, I'm good at guessing the weather. Looking at charts, I'm good at guessing astrology weather. Nothing beats getting out and feeling what its like outside. Less time predicting for Sagittarius. More time "doing" for Sagittarius. Better that way. However, it does look like rain, now that I think about it. Better be a little prepared for onerous weather events, but still, that doesn't mean you shouldn't get out.

On Writing a Short Story Capricorn: Can you allow for freakish weather and strange weather patterns? I live in South Texas, and yet, I have to be adaptable to weird weather. Nominally, while it's supposedly fall, it's still warm here. Cool nights with the trailer's windows open, snuggled up under a heap of blankets and warm afternoons, suitable for such pursuits as walking, hiking, and fishing. However, what usually happens, it doesn't get really "cold" until after All Saints Day, or Dia de los Muertos. Or Halloween. Just a recurring memory, I've acquired, over the years.

There's usually one cold front, an almost arctic blast of air that funnels down from Canada, but by the time the cold air gets here? It's really more a cool front than outright cold. But the weather can be either way, and what I was worried about, for Capricorn, was either a freakish hot spell, or a nightmare-like cold front. One or the other, occurs this week. In your astrological face. I'm not saying hot or cold is better than the other, no, that's not what this is about. But what will happen, if you want warm weather, it'll be cold, and if you want cold weather, it'll be warm. I'm just serving as an early reminder as to what the week ahead will hold. Aquarius: For starters, I don't recall where I was, where I was going, or what the deal was. I just remember the scene. It was a normal enough guy, walk along, pair of headphones on. Normal enough, right? Plugged into a Walkman, a flash media player, iPod, iPhone, i-music, whatever. I saw the guy again, in another turn, he might've gotten on the same bus I was riding, the same train, the same plane. I don't recall. Might've been on the hike and bike trail.

    The headphones had a standard headphone jack, plugged into a small adaptor, plugged into an Apple iShuffle, or mini-iPod, or whatever that clip-sized one is called. Not much bigger than a postage stamp or two. Maybe the the size of a squashed roll of stamps. Not very big. Smaller than one ear-piece to the headset. Which is why it was funny, in an off-beat manner. The source was smaller -- way smaller -- than the place the noise was played.

    Music. Don't know what he was listening to. In Aquarius, there a care a couple of elements. I was considering the truly ironic and bizarre notion that the source was much smaller than the headphones, when I realized that could be taken more than one way. Which might be the point, too, to what's going on. Before you pause to ridicule someone, think about the situation, the appearances, and then, consider, wouldn't yo like to be able to hear the music more clearly?

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    astrofish.netPisces: Tourists are an interesting lot. I passed a pair of guys, and they heard the faintest strains of a bagpipe player, marching his way through a highland tune. That bagpipe player? I've always wanted to ask if he knows "Freebird." He's of Latin cultural heritage, and he plays bagpipes in front of the Alamo.

    The tourists, though? Their comment? "Must be an Irish bar around here, I hear bagpipes." That's a "non sequiter," as in, it doesn't logically follow. Bagpipes are Scottish. Guys in kilts. Scots. Hadrians's Wall? Scots defeated the Romans? Crazy people? I mean, the Irish are pretty good fighters, too, and each grouping claims the finest whiskey, but this isn't about whiskey, or fighting, or history. Or even Mexicans playing bagpipes.

    No, this about silly associations that are patently wrong. "Bagpipes, must be Irish." I tend to beleive that my readers are educated, aware and not typical or average, and as such, you would laugh at the "Irish - Bagpipes" association. But you do have a choice in the next few days, you get to pick, which one are you? Quietly laughing to yourself, openly mocking a patently false association, or being laughed at for that statement?

On Writing a Short Story Aries: I learned the art of "photo within a photo" by making a mistake. I'd taken a digital image of a puddle, the theme for the piece was "water," and puddles are more common than huge expanses of water, so it was a puddle, and when I tweaked the puddle's image on my computer, just basic crop and color saturation, I noticed the reflection became more striking.

Which launched a whole new career of "puddle" images which gave way to a mirror-reflection category of images. Kind of interesting, in its own way. The first time was an accident, pure and simple. The second and third time, it was a little more intentional, but still, there's an accidental nature to the way the pictures work out. I was taking a picture of a fetching bumper sticker on a car, and the photographer, the artist, me, I was caught in a the window's reflection. Kind of cool, in a slightly weird way. Not that it matters, either. This is about the accidents turning into something interesting. But you have to look and observe what you're doing, my fine little Aries friend to see this happening. Taurus: I've been in this situation twice now. Fishing with a guide, and we're out on the bay, Texas Gulf Coast. Got about a half-dozen lines in the water, and one of the lines starts moving -- fish on! And then, the fish decides to make a long run for it and and that fishing line, Berkley Big Game line, I've watched as the fish is intent on snarling the lines as best as possible.

    Me and my fishing buddies? I concentrate on reeling in the big fish and the buds, they are responsible for unknotting any mess. Not always a pretty sight. Can be problematical. Tangled fishing lines, especially on warm fall day in the Gulf? Part of what happens. The measure of one's maturity, ability, enjoyment, and approach to life? How we all get along with untangling those lines, after the fish is in the boat. Was a big fish. Had it for dinner that night. Tasty.

    The same guide, I've seen tangled lines with him before. Some days, he's short tempered. Other days, like the day I was thinking of, he was waxing philosophical and grinning, like it's all a part of the job. Which it is. You're lines are going to get tangled. Either, for real (four reel), or as a metaphor. It's how you deal with the problem, that's the test. Us guys in the boat? While the first idea was just cut everything, about ten minutes of patient, "where does this one lead?" Got it all worked out. Eventually.

book banner Gemini: As a Gemini, you are normally a bit flighty by nature.

    Like a honey bee, you know, spreading pollen from one flower to another.

    Or like a hummingbird, delicately vibrating up to the sugar water and then buzzing off to another feeder, in another state.

    Gemini is inspired by sitting in my friend's backyard, such as it is, in El Paso (TX) watching the hummingbirds buzz at their feeders. Cancer: I understand the beauty of the sunset. A late October sunset, coming up from the Texas Coast, the western horizon ablaze in the radiant colors of the sun's death notes at the end of the day? Really, very attractive. Pretty. Amazing, sort of like "god's paint set," only it's not paint by numbers. What I don't get? I was driving and we passed a large truck, looked like it had family in it.

The driver, a male, and the front passenger, female, were busy with cell phones, taking pictures, or maybe movies, of the sunset. There is a time to do that. Pull over, get out of your car, it's almost Halloween in Texas, and that means it's still warm enough that you don't need overcoats and such, and then take the pictures.

Stop the vehicle. Get out. I, for one, am guilty of taking pictures while driving. However, I tend to not do that anymore. Makes for erratic driving, which then tends to cause much horn honking and finger language. Which I would suggest we all make an effort to avoid. How to do this?

Okay, my fine Cancer friend, you see something that you want to get a picture of. Something you want to admire. Something that makes you want to stop and act. It's quite all right, I've checked your chart, it's alright to stop and act on it. It's not alright -- no way -- to keep driving and trying to take a picture. Or movie. Or whatever they were doing with their cell phone. Do you get the image? Do one thing, handle one task, at a time. Leo: Some days, it pays to be furtive and sneaky. Some days, it pays to be quiet, and sulking around the corners, sticking in the shadows and pretending to be, well, for lack of better words, Ninja-like. You know, clad in black, head-to-toe? Just the barest slit for your eyes, camouflage and subterfuge? Got a good, if sneaky, image of all that?

    There are times that call for just such clandestine and secretive, quiet skills from a Leo. This isn't one of those times. Be right, be wrong, but be known. You don't have to yell, you don't have to scream, but whatever point it is that you wants -- or need -- to make? Make it. Make forcefully, and, as I like to suggest, "unquiet."

    Subtlety is lost. Forget trying to be kind and quiet. It probably won't work. Worse, you have valid point. And if your valid (Leo) point gets skipped? If you don't make an effort to be heard, then it is your fault. So skip being quiet. And even if you're not right? Never hurts to be wrong in the loudest voice you've got.

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On Writing a Short Story Virgo: Buddy of mine is a Virgo. No surprise. He's managed to get through the last couple of years, wrestling with Saturn, without too much a toll on his soul. "No good deed ever goes unpunished," he was telling me last week. He's a late degree Virgo Sun, and guess what? Saturn has finally arrived to take its toll.

    The master must be answered.

    Which develops into a debate as to whether one is a master of one's own fate or if life, as we know it, is just left up to random chance and the odd planet influence? Does the debate really matter? Not at this point.

    Look, like my buddy, there's one obstacle, one hurdle, one goal, one "something in brackets goes here" that you, as a Virgo, you need to finish. Need to do. Need to get from here to there. One task or job. One good deed. One item. Finish it. This week. Get it done. It's that simple. No questions. No dithering around and pretending to work, either. Stick to that one, single goal. Destination. Task. And no surfing the web to avoid this, either. You can read your horoscopes later. Libra: I'm always afraid that the "Onset of Scorpio," that phrase? It sounds like a disease. Anyone who's ever dated a Scorpio and lived to tell? They will suggest it is like a disease. Maybe terminal and maybe one you can't ever get rid of all the symptoms. Me? I wouldn't know. I have a healthy respect for Scorpio and their ways.

As Scorpio commences, there's a gradual shift and small sense of relief occurring in Libra. There's a less frantic time. Less pressure. Less worried about some kind of stupid details that you really should let someone else worry about. It's as if something has been lifted from your hands, and it's now out of your (good) Libra control.

The point is to let the process work itself out. This isn't about you or your Libra self, near as much as this is about something that's completely out of your control. As such? It's not worth fretting, worrying, or getting worked up over. At all. Skip it.

Find a nice Scorpio and wish them a happy birthday.


    Fishing Guide to the Stars
    By Kramer Wetzel
    (c) 2008-2009 Kramer Wetzel for
    For the week starting: 10/15/2009

"Moderate lamentation is the right of the dead,
Excessive grief is the enemy of the living."
Shakespeare's All's Well That Ends Well [I.i.59 ]

Mercury direct. The e-mail line is always on, "31" (24 and 7).

Upcoming: Lecture/workshop, one-stop astrology class: in El Paso. Libra: Still plenty of Libra birthdays left to celebrate and still plenty of good times in Libra. The catch, if there were one, would be the relative position of the moon especially when that's balanced against the Libra Sun. It's not that you're unhappy, it's just that a number of people seem to be intent on ruining a perfectly good week.

    There's a small window that opens up at the end of the week, at the beginning of the weekend. That's good. There's also a suggestion I have, as the fall starts to finally arrive in full force: rest. This is a time, I know, birthday weekend and all, but this is a time to rest and recuperate. Get ready for what's up ahead. Maybe get a chore or two out of the way.

    Odd as it may sound, you're better off without the crushing hordes around you. That Libra "entourage" you're used to having follow you around? Perhaps, I won't say for sure, as it varies from person to person, Libra to individual Libra, but getting away from crowds? If only for a little while? Like this weekend, or maybe, next week? Call it a birthday getaway? You'll be much happier and more recharged, fresh and able to handle all the new challenges, once we get this behind us.

ASTROFISH.NET: Now with the all-new 5G Network! Scorpio: "Treat kids to a steady diet of eggs, worms and wooly buggers." That was a (western state) Department of the Interior, or exterior, really, or fish and game, one of those -- some government agency. State, federal, something. It was an image of young child holding up a fishing pole with a trick worm on the end. The rest of the ad wasn't nearly as clever, "Take a kid fishing."

    There are two guides, real fishing guides, that I know, and those two guys are good with kids. Other than that? I'm not sure. After about half an hour of a kid being fidget-prone, irascible, irritable and ADD? I get ready to use the kid itself as cut bait. Who would know? One of the guides is an older man, and he has that infinite grandfather type patience.

    The other is a young guy, and he was explaining that it's easy, just have to have the kids doing things at all time. Kids need activities, at all times. Hard to imagine how that would work in a fishing boat. He had some tricks, I'm sure. Maybe there's a surcharge for kids. Now, imagine that you're a Scorpio, not hard, and imagine that you've got a boat full of kids, maybe more difficult to get a clear image of, and now, finally, imagine that you've got activities for them. Figure a way to keep the kids in the Scorpio boat happy for the next few hours. All it takes. Sagittarius: Retrofitted farm house with its AC and water heater next to each other? I was walking in my neighborhood, and one of the homes is much older, possibly historic, a farm house. Just shotgun-style, be my guess, turn of the last century, wood on pier-and-beam support. Looks like it was lovingly redone a number of times. Included Central Air and Heat, I'd guess. The hot water heater itself, that was a clear addition some years ago, as there was some effort made to conceal the appendage -- although -- the water heater's storage shed looked like it was attached to the house some years later.

    I realize it's mid-October, but here in South Texas, we're still kicking in AC. Which was running and it was early in the morning, and I thought about a hot shower which brings me to the whole point, wondering why the AC and the water heater were so close to each other. Seems like they would work in opposite direction, one for hot water, one for cool air.

    The intricacies of household engineering might not be a strong suit with me, especially when this is applied to an older building. Not that it matters much. Or maybe it does. Both units were at the rear of the house. I was just thinking, though, wouldn't it be easier to put each unit at opposite sides of the rear of the house? Keep the hot side hot and the cool side cool? Is there a step in the Sagittarius land where we can take similar action? Separate hot from cold?

book banner Capricorn: I was talking to a neighbor, originally, from Houston. I'd asked how he dealt with Houston weather, in its excess. "It wasn't ever that bad, until, about two, maybe three hurricanes ago?" I nodded, not really remembering which one, "I woke up and the bed was floating. Time to move, what I thought."

    I'd have to agree with that -- pretty clear indication that it's time --high time-- to move. I'm not saying that your bed will be floating in the aftermath of a tropical storm. I'm not saying that you're moving, either. I'd be attendant, though, in a perspicacious manner, waiting and ready for a clear sign. This is one that's not too subtle. A clear indication that you should go one way or another, or particular issue.

    That issue, I doubt it's about Houston weather, but I'm suggesting that there is a pretty clear message from the Universe about which way to go. Maybe you and your bed frame get washed out the door, again, that's just one example, but I'd take that a clear indication of which way you should be going.

    Reverse Phone look-up! Aquarius: We'd been looking at boats, me and fishing buddy. More idle speculation rather than really shopping. Eventually, we decided that none of the boat dealers had what we were looking for, not all the parts we wanted and needed. Right size, wrong console arrangement, right console, wrong motor and hull, and so forth.

    What's boats got to do with Aquarius? Hello, Aquarius, it's the sign of the Water-Bearer.

    Boats bear us on water? Might be a stretch, but I'm going some place with this. It's about looking at disparate parts an realizing that no off-the-shelf, no pre-manufactured product is going to work. Sometimes, it might be easier -- better -- just to buy the parts and build your own. This could be a car, a house, a fishing boat, a pleasure boat that doubles as a fishing platform, or any other kind of a large item-purchase. Instead of tire-kicking, complaining and bemoaning the lack of original thought in the design process, why not just buy the right parts and build yourself a keeper?

    astrofish.netPisces: I stop and talk to cops, as often as I can. The setting for this question and answer game was San Antonio's Riverwalk. I asked the SA PD what was the weirdest question, not "Where's the Alamo," but weirdest question from tourists? "There was this bunch of little old ladies, asked where Dirty Dick was."

    There is a place called Dirty Nelly's, an Irish-themed bar. And there is a place called Dick's Last Resort, a dive themed diner. "It was just this image of little old ladies, you know?" The cop asked. Depends on how weirdness falls on your "weird-o-meter." Mine is set pretty high, but that's too much time in Austin itself, nothing is ever going to be too strange. Which is why I tend to ask the guys in uniforms for help on this one.

    That wasn't the best, response I've gotten, but it's probably one of the better ones. Then, too, it was a pair of officers I'm not used to seeing. Some cops know me, I'm -- apparently -- a memorable character. You can be like me, a memorable character, you could be the cop on the spot, being quizzed about the most memorable questions, but most of all, I suspect, you're going to be like the gaggle of little old ladies, looking for a misnamed restaurant. Or bar. The real question, was that an intentional misnomer, or did they do that on accident?

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    astrofish.netAries: I was out-of-town, on business, of course, and I was watching a seriously road-weary road warrior. Business suite. No tie, but the collar looked like it had been recently tied up tight. The guy was frazzled. As he settled down to a meal in the coffee shop, he asked if he could get a steak and salad, nothing more. No bread. No veggies, nothing. Steak and salad. Then he unlimbered two smart phones.

    He picked one up, scrolled through the list of messages. Said something to himself, and set the phone down. He then picked up the second phone, typed a text message, said something to himself again, and looked at the first phone. He said something to himself again. I checked, no earpiece. He wasn't on some kind of hands-free ear-thing. He was talking to himself.

    I know how it is, around 11 at night, dog tired from work and yet, there's still one more thing. The question is, do you want to be the one talking to yourself? The work is good, but there's a frantic push that you don't have to make so frantic. Taurus: I watched a young man, just headed out to the lake to fish. He was dressed in fresh khaki cargo shorts and a light colored, long-sleeved "fishing" shirt. I was amused. I have a similar, if not identical, shirt. The difference is, when mine has the sleeves rolled up, there's a mess. I try to be neat and tidy, but the sleeves -- the little epaulette-like appendage for holding the sleeves rolled in place? Yeah, I never get the sleeves right, but that little strap works fine to keep the long sleeves short.

    I spend lot of time fishing and consequently, I don't spend a lot of time worrying about what I wear when I fish. I tend towards loud print shirts that are actually kind of cheap and cheesy, but that's my style -- or lack of a style.

    I was thinking about my lack of style because of the relative position of Mars -- going into Leo -- and Jupiter -- in Aquarius -- and you. The way it looks to me, you can spend a lot of time, folding and primping those sleeves so that they match up and look right. Or you can be a little more like a me, a little more slovenly, but by the time that kid got to the lake, I'd been fishing for over an hour. Tightly wrapped and correct in appearance? Almost to the point of having starch in your shorts? Or loose and unkempt, but just as fluid as needs be? You get to make the call, one way or another. Gemini: "Chinese dragon or English dragon?" The guy asking the question was a tattoo artist and the question was, I suppose, valid. In a way. The person was about to get inked, a permanent kind of deal, and all that was for sure was a dragon. Year of the dragon? Maybe. "Chinese or English, the English ones have wings, Chinese looks like a snake." Now I know the difference, and after a snippet of conversation, that was about all I wanted to know. Wasn't me getting inked, either.

    As the weekend marches closer? There's a sense that you've got this great idea, only, like the person getting the tattoo, you might not have thought the whole idea all the way through to its logical and eventual conclusion. Dragon is good, tattoo is good, the two combined is good, as well. But maybe do a little research, or sketch out an idea to sketch out before you just wander into the tattoo parlor and start asking for a ink. As a side note about timing? Next week? I mean, if you were going to do something permanent, next week? After this scope is up? Be a good time to get that work done.

book banner Cancer: It was advertising on a taxi, for a certain brand of restaurant. However, I liked the advertising even if I'm not fond of that chain's food. "Taxi crab." Which, just as a name, in and of itself? Be perfect. A cab I could call when I wanted someone to gripe all the way to the airport. A cab I could call when I had relatives arriving in town, or some friends, and I had to arrange for a ride from the airport. Not that I would deliberately take such action, but I'm sure you can see where just such a service would be a good idea.

    How about you get called upon to give someone a ride? And you don't want to, it takes too much time, it's inconvenient, something? "Oh, you need a lift in my Taxi-Crab?" Think about it, just one way to make it all better. Or make it worse by making it better. I tend to get crabby if I don't get enough sleep. That's why I was thinking about the Taxi Crab. And I'm loathe to get up at odd hours of the night to help out friends -- I could just call the Crabby Taxi. Or the Taxi Crab. It's an idea. As we hit the last quarter moon and as we see Mars exit Cancer? Think about that idea, you can use, just give me a little credit for applying it to your sign. Perfect, no? Leo: One B-movie ruined the whole effect. I was thinking about a chainsaw sound, as the powerful (and noisy) two-stroke motor starts up. But I wasn't thinking about that, compared with the movie franchise of a similar name. I was thinking more along the lines of getting right to it, and then, as I thought about that and Leo, the Leo, I was thinking about the sound of a two-stroke motor. Less and less these are these seen on chainsaws and more and more on leaf-blowers.

    The local yard maintenance guys? They all have standing orders to halt the leaf blowing when a pedestrian passes. That's the rule. Often broken or abused, but I can't say I complain since I know what hard work like that is all about.

    Mars is churning its way into Leo. While I liked the imagery of the sound of a chainsaw, starting up? I'm not sure that it conveys the right scenario, not anymore. Just one movie, then the franchise, ruined it all. Way it goes. However, with the advent and introduction of Mars into your quadrant of the sky? Imagine that it sounds like that chainsaw, starting up. Virgo: One of my favorite flavors of tea is Lapsang-Souchong. It's a smoky flavored tea, and I don't know the details of its source, treatment, or why it tastes like it does. I was in a resort and I got a "to go" cup of the tea. The little tea bag tag was snapped under the lid, looked like any of the usual solo-serve coffee cups that, at one point, were quite ubiquitous. I sipped at my tea and something tasted wrong. Eventually, after it steeped and cooled, I pulled the plastic lid off the cup.

    The tea tested like it was supposed to. It's woody and wood-smoked, with hint of roasted rice, and the image of the Oriental-wood cut art with a sparse mountains described in a single pen stroke? Yeah, all that from a simple sip of tea. The important part, though was the lid. For some reason, under the coffee cup's top, that tea didn't taste right.

    Could be an emotional factor, a physical property, my own imagination, or any other number of causes.

    Does it matter? Yes and no. Maybe. Sort of. All I did was discard a simple restraint, and that changed the flavor, the taste, perceptions, and most important, my enjoyment. Simple change yet made a whole world of difference. "So I'm supposed to take the top off my coffee cup?" Yeah, if that's what it takes, it could be that easy. Or something else. Some minor restraint. Some minor impediment to you getting all the Virgo pleasure you want and deserve.

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