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About Ephemerella

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  • Birthday 12/16/1957

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    Southern New Hampshire

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  1. Even the venerated Thompson A vise had a design weakness. The pin used as the fulcrum for the clamping lever (handle) would fatigue. Many years ago, replacement pins were available, for not much more than the postage, but they too suffered the same fate. I eventually replaced the 3rd failed pin with a hardened roll pin, which still works, although I have not used it in years, having moved on to an HMH Spartan (one of the early versions).
  2. I retired after 42 years as an engineer, mostly with the same defense company (OK, it got bought 3 times with accompanying name changes). With one exception, every time I was fed up or bored, something appeared at my office door and I was able to take advantage of the opportunity. (Early in my career I left for a year to work elsewhere, and came back.) Not so much advancement into management (although I did that too), but interesting technology, lots of innovation, and some really interesting people to work with. By the end of my career I had spent an inordinate amount of time as a project troubleshooter - mostly technical, but also management type problems as well. These were mainly projects deemed important but hopeless. Remedying these projects gone awry took way too many 60 hour weeks, and lots of stress. I found the best times were motivating technical folks by spending time in the lab with them, asking the "dumb questions" and often getting the "uh-oh" look when one of the dumb questions sparked an idea on the nature of the problem. I found 90% of the people I worked with (or led their team) could be easily motivated by being valued, listened to, and removing constraints on their ability to actually make progress. Almost never had to tell someone to do something - the idea was to get them to see something needed to be done and enable them to do it. Apparently managers and technical leads before me did not subscribe to this concept. Plus most of my teams, nerds like me, enjoyed having a boss that was technical and interested in how they had created the design that was part of the troubled project. The other 10% were removed from the project one way or another. It appears this approach worked, and I found that I enjoyed working with the folks on the project, and it was reported that they enjoyed working for me. This meant long-term connections with smart people, and we could and did call on each other for help if needed. So I miss that. My own bosses were generally OK, but my position was more or less independent, so no day-to-day direction from most of them - a good thing. But I also observed that over the 40 some-odd years, the company's approach to employees had changed from perhaps paternalistic but mutually supportive in the long term, to a more transactional (i.e. we pay you for that, so just do it) and more short term - things like making health insurance worse, and making it harder for young engineers to get a graduate education on the company's dime in the evenings (that benefit has a ROI to the company of less than a year, since the courses are directly related to the work - so no real management excuse for making it harder to access). And management whining about the millennials (they are actually smarter than I am, they recognized the transactional shift early in their careers and decided they could play that game as well). It was time to say good-bye to it all. That was 20 months ago. So what's different? A little more time fishing, tying, tying at shows. Much better conversations with my better half. Lots of deferred maintenance and restoration on my house (it's about 150 yrs old). Just rebuilt my table saw. I get up at 6 most days (a habit from when we had workmen at the house last year) - beats 4:45 am from my working days - and take my time at breakfast to read before starting my "honey do" list or my own list of projects and tasks. Or go fishing, or plan a fishing trip away. I do still keep a notebook with my to-do list and notes, but now it has measurements and dimensions for various woodworking projects, or notes on stuff to buy to repair something, or ideas on flies to be tied, instead of engineering analyses and the like. No weekly reports or presentations to angry customers or clueless executives. Money is different, since I now have to pay myself from retirement savings, etc. but not too hard to get used to. These things are all what I want to do (or my better half wants me to do), not someone else. I'm much more relaxed. I'm not short with my temper anymore. I spend more time with my granddaughters (1, 3, and 6), and take a walk every day with the dog - some days a nice 90-minute fast walk on a nearby trail. I enjoy the sounds and smells of the morning and the sounds of all the birds, and savor how the plants grow lush in the spring and summer, and fade in fall - and enjoy the snow in the winter. I recommend it to you all.
  3. And NOT working today. I note that one can sometimes click on other pages from the main forum list of topics to get to another page. But once in a topic one is stuck.
  4. Blue and Gold Macaw is the tail feather of the blue and gold macaw. The upper side (on the bird) is blue and the underside is yellowish. You'll want 2, one from each side of the tail, and of the same size. Or if you can get a center tail (has same length fibers on each side of the stem (rachis). Look on ebay or at a pet bird store. Can't be imported or exported but readily available inside the US.
  5. Tying at Marlborough and the Edison show. The Edison show used to be about 3x the size of Marlborough show. Last year the Edison show was about 2/3 of its usual size, but I attributed that to the "hangover" from COVID. Should be back to the typical size this year, based on the number of celebrities and fly tyers listed. The shows generally only list the exhibitors when they publish the map, about 2-3 weeks before the show. No idea why they wait so long - ask Ben Furimsky (Fly FIshing Show manager) when you see him there. The CFFA show was about 1/2 to 2/3 the size of the Marlborough show, when it last occurred (2019?). It is shorter in duration (6 hrs on one day, not 8 hrs/day for 3 days). And it does not have the number of presentations and speakers. However, it is a friendly show, with a relaxed atmosphere. It has several interesting small vendors and good bargains on unusual items. And a bunch of tyers. It's small enough that allows for spending time with each of the tyers. I'm tying at that show also. Hope to see you at one or more of the shows. -Peter www.petersimonsonflydresser.com
  6. Glad you found somebody to work on the door. Part of the problem may be the construction of older mobile homes. My understanding is that the newest ones are built like a standard stick-built home with 2x6 wooden framing, standard sized doors and windows, and real insulation. Little risk of inducing failures when replacing doors and windows. Older ones seem to have metal framing roughly 2x3 or less, use water absorbing sheathing under sheet metal or vinyl skin, little insulation, and often have particle-board flooring, which is a sponge. A series of federal HUD construction standards over the years has transformed the mobile home into essentially a code-compliant house. Except the foundation and under-home support, and location of electrical metering. Code-compliant (on-site built or manufactured) homes need a cellar or slab with frost-walls (or an Alaska slab floating on gravel) and the meter is usually attached to the home, while mobile homes have a slab in the North and are typically on blocks above the slab or ground, metering detached from the home. Other than that the only difference now seems to be whether the HUD or the state/local building codes apply.
  7. Old tying thread or tying thread exposed to sunlight will fail. Usually black thread is the worst, but other colors also fall victim to this deterioration. Check your bobbin, chuck the spool of thread and get back to tying. As others have said, use ceramic tube or a bobbin with a ceramic bead at the tip.
  8. That's great! A new enthusiastic fishing buddy for you!
  9. It IS true that laziness, NOT necessity, is the mother of invention. As early man discovered, one CAN eat raw meat, but it takes a lot of chewing. Add FIRE, and the meat is tender, less work. One CAN catch fish with one's hands (e.g. noodling, as discussed in this forum earlier), but using an artificial fly is less work, and we believe it is less work (we DO believe that, right? ) This rule of thumb was of great use when I was working. Harness people's laziness and the world beats a path to your door.
  10. The guilty party needs to be ducktaped to that chair in blackfly season...for a week.
  11. A bit of shameless self-promotion: The cover and leading article in the Autumn 2022 issue of Fly Tyer magazine Click Here feature my dressings of several unnamed, unknown, or unusual streamer fly patterns of Carrie G. Stevens, the well-known Maine streamer tyer of the early 20th century. Complementing this article is the launch of my website, www.petersimonsonflydresser.com which contains the recipes for my flies featured in Fly Tyer and will be hosting all 180 tying recipes for the unnamed, unknown, or unusual streamer fly patterns of Carrie G. Stevens.
  12. The rowboats pic reminds me of Pittsburg, NH. All the lodges and a few private owners have boats at many of the ponds which are off the beaten path. The trees in your pic look like spruce or fir, and the American flag in the background is reminiscent of the monument for one of the locals at Coon Brook Bog.
  13. Suspect an old property boundary marker... common in New England to have iron rods driven into rocks as corner markers. Not sure how it came to be bent unless there was a flood and ice jam one spring. Is the iron rod bent downstream? Today one sees property markers as rods in dirt and rectangular granite markers with a cross on top for more modern subdivisions. My surveyor friend tells me in New England the markers and the property description in the deed often do not match, anything from measurement errors and use of magnetic North instead of true North. Hence the markers are generally used as the final arbiter. Probably a never-ending source of revenue for lawyers...
  14. If the officers don't donate the fish to a food pantry, then they should let'um sit outside until the [alleged] poacher's court date, and dump them on the defendants table in court. I'm guessing the guilty plea will come shortly after...
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