#154 (crabbing bug)

After a successful crabbing trip on Thursday, and since S had a prior engagement, I decided to go crabbing again to see if I could catch a few more crabs. 

According to the tidal charts, high tide would be around 9:45 on Saturday morning. So I could either leave really early on Saturday morning to catch a few before high tide or leave around 7am and get a little after the morning high tide. I decided for the latter. 

I bought my lucky combination bait (chicken liver and chicken legs), packed the bait traps, and had the crab pots in the water about 30 minutes after high tide. Now the wait begins…

So my coworker wasn’t with me this trip and I didn’t want to drink alone so instead I opted to drive around Newport area. I hadn’t really walked Nye Beach, which is a great area with lots of small shops selling things like beads (I didn’t think that was still a popular thing-but I guess it is), books, and knickknacks. There’s also several coffee shops and restaurants. Oh and most impressively, there were several Pokemon lures. 

After two hours of visiting the little shops and catching Pokemon, I headed back to the pier to find out if my crab pots were full and heavy. Wishful thoughts. 

I started pulling in the first pot and right away I knew it was not as full as Thursday as it came up fairly easy. There was one rock crab. I pulled up the second pot and I had two keeper Dungeness crab and one 4 more rock crabs. Earlier that day, I had planned to leave after the two hours and go on a bike ride near my house. 

But…after much consideration (about 30 seconds later) I decided to stay another two hours and returned my now emptied pots to the waters below the pier. 

Hindsight I should have left as upon my final return to pull my pots resulted in not a single crab in either of my two crab pots. 

I got skunked!

#singleasianmale #menslife #relationship #life #fishing #newportoregon

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#153 (midweek fishing trip)

Several weeks ago I had planned a bonfire gathering at the beach for my work team that never materialized. As a result one of my coworkers and I (I’ll keep his name private but I’ll refer to him as Juan Carlo or JC for short) planned for a fishing expedition of some sort. The details we left vague that was until two weeks ago – we were going crabbing. 

Now JC had not been to the Oregon coast other than to the more popular beach that most Portlandians go to – Cannon Beach. He’s never seen anything south of that point, which is a shame since there’s many other interesting areas to explore. 

Juan Carlo is only in town every other week because he resides on the east coast. Crabbing on the east coast and as well in Texas coastal areas are similar. Usually a small crab ring or a chicken leg tied to an end of a string (more like twine) and thrown into the water to lure in the blue crab specimen. Blue crab are sweet but it’s hard work getting the flesh out of the small body cavities. 

Now having lived in Texas for nearly 36 years, I was very familiar with the tactics of the chicken leg lure technique as was JC. Today would be different. We are crabbing for the bigger and just as sweet tasting crab – the Dungeness. 

Our plan were to leave work on Thursday afternoon around 4pm. It’s a 2.5 hour drive so we should reach the pier and our crab pots should be in the water by 7ish. High tide was around 6:38 that day so we should be fine. Not really sure we would catch anything but as the saying goes, “a bad day of fishing is better than a good day at work”.

We left a little later and traffic was a bit heavy. I took the back roads to try to make up for the later start time. We got into Newport about 6:45 and we stopped to get bait at the local grocery store. A little voice in my head said, “get chicken liver” so I obeyed. I also picked up the normal bait of chicken legs. 

We arrived at the pier a few minutes later and within a half hour our one crab pot was in the water…7:10ish

The beauty of crabbing with crab pots is you can drop them and let them soak for several hours and don’t need to check on them every 15 to 20 minutes like you would have to if using the crab ring variety.  

So what to do for a couple of hours. Luckily for us, the Rouge Brewery’s facilities were located at the same area. In fact the parking lot where we parked is shared with the brewery. So JC and I left our single crab pot soaking while we grabbed a bite and enjoyed some local brew. 

As a side note, this Rogue Brewery facility is the corporate office and is where all the Rogue beer are brewed and distributed. So if you’re ever in a grocery store and happen to spy a Rogue beer bottle, it’s probably brewed from Newport, Oregon. 

Back to the crabbing story…

About two hours later (actually it was almost 2.5 hours later) we left the brewery to pull up our single crab pot and head back to Portland area. We got to our crab pot around 9:40. 

Now I’ve been crabbing before on this same pier where sometimes (most times) I’ve not had a single crab (keeper or not) in my pot. So before we left the brewery, Juan Carlo and I openly stated our guesses on the number of crabs we would have in our pots. I guessed 3 and JC guessed 5. 

As we approached the spot where we had left or cooler and soaking crab pot, I asked JC if he wanted to do the honors of pulling in our loot. He said, “Sure!”

As he was pulling it up, he asked grunting, “is it normally this heavy?” I responded “No, not typically.” My first thought was we were snagged on something. So I immediately looked over the rail. Keep in mind it’s 9:45ish at night and the pier was not lit so the only light casting on the water were ambient light from the surrounding light of the bridge and nearby brewery. 

As I focused on our rope and where it entered the water, all I saw was the rope Juan Carlo was tugging on. “We’re not snagged on the pier,” I informed JC. I stood on the bottom railing and as I grabbed the rope to help, I instructed, “keep pulling!” After a few more minutes of both of us tugging and pulling I finally saw the pot. It was filled with crabs!!

It took us another 15 minutes of struggling and maneuvering the pot over the beams that supported the pier before we were able to pull the pot up and over the bannister and inspected our catch. There were about 15 or so crabs (and that’s no fish story). I’d never had been that fortunate. 

After sifting through our catch, out of the 15 or so crabs, there were three males. All were legal size with the smallest measuring more than 6″. The others were female and had to be released. 

What a great way to end a work day…crabbing and cold beer…

#singleasianmale #menslife #relationship #life #fishing #newportoregon

#152 (heart to heart)

After spending four full days with S and her children, it was great to have a respite and be in my own bed and in my own home. Also this past weekend S and some of her teacher friends would be in the annual Portland to coast relay race. So I’m on my own to do with whatever fancies me. 

To continue with my journey of fitness, I had planned for me to ride my bike on a longer stretch. However since I left my road bike at S, I had to fetch it. I had also planned a mid week crabbing session with a work buddy but I also left my crab pots at S’s house. 

I thought I could get both my bike and the crab pots, but unfortunately only the bike fit in my little convertible car. So only the bike was what I would be collecting from S. 

I sent her a text on Tuesday informing S of my plans. She responded, “That’s great! I’ll see you then.” As typical these days, I worked a little longer than planned on Wednesday and didn’t leave the office until 6:30ish. So I let S know that I wouldn’t be at her place until about 7:30, which uncannily I arrived exactly at 7:30. I rang her doorbell and she ushered me in and said with a smile, “Dinner is ready.” Then she turned and yelled for her kids to come and eat. 

I thought to myself masking behind a smile, “Hmmmm, that’s nice!” Followed by a slight panic, “…and what just happened?” Did I just step into the set of the old TV show “Leave it to Beaver”? You know the all American family viewpoint in the fifties where hubby comes home from a long day at work to dinner ready and the children happily bounding down the stairs to meet the…WHOA!!! 

Her children didn’t actually happily bound down the stairs. Her daughter was at soccer practice but her two boys did eat their dinner a little later…just about the time S and I  were done. But for a split second I felt I were in an alternate universe. 

We ate on her back deck and she shared the happenings of her day and asked about mine. She opened up and confessed she had an emotional day as she’s realizing her kids are older and they’ll soon be gone. The dreaded empty nester syndrome. 

We also started talking about her finances and her fears of having less money once her oldest turns 18. It’s too bad the divorce parents can’t work together and focus on not making their children suffer more than they already have…especially their emotional and financial state. 

We talked for a few hours until she was relatively calm and then I finally loaded up my bike and headed home. It’s tough being a single parent. I should know as I was one for a while after my first wife passed…

#singleasianmale #menslife #relationship #life #hearttoheart

#151 (4 nights and 4 days)

It’s been four days and nights that I’ve spent with S, her children’s summer schedules, and their emotionally charged conversations, especially between S and her younger son. 

I guess I’ve been on my own for too long that about the third night I was dreaming and hoping to be back in my own place. Albeit I live by myself and conversations with someone else is much better than the quietness of my own resident, I was ready for the peace and quiet and especially the cleanliness of my home. 

The last few days of playing house with S and her kids have given more insight than just the weekends of observation of their family interactions. On several occasions, their voices were raised as if they were arguing but in actuality they were joking and kidding. Then they were raising their voices again and were actually having a verbal argument. 

I later confessed to S, “I still can’t tell when you guys are arguing and when you’re playing around.” Her response were laughter as if it were cute. But in my head, I thought, “Wow, she doesn’t even realize it’s a bit unhealthy,” but I’m not a family counselor so what do I know. 

My family actually carries on normal conversations in normal decibel levels and when there’s a disagreement then there are some heated dialogue, but nothing close to the screaming matches that I witnessed with S and her kids (or with her parents). By all means, I’m not saying I’m civilized. I’m just not used to that way of communicating with my kids or my family members. 

On my last day / evening with S (Sunday), Jackie threw a summer party, which S and I attended. S was carrying on in normal conversational tones without the yelling and emotionally charged emotions in her voice. So I guess that’s just the tone she uses with her kids and parents.

Hmmmm I guess that’s another thing I have to think about if I want to take this budding romance to the next level. I’m just used to a healthier and open dialogue…not screaming matches. 

#singleasianmale #buddingromance #relationship #life #familylife

#150 (stand up paddle boarding)

Another first for me this year is the relatively popular growing recreational sport of stand up paddle boarding. They say…they being the folks pioneering this sport, “it’s a good core workout.”  I say, “Ha!” I didn’t feel it in my core. Rather I felt it in my inner thighs (from my abductors to just above the muscle on the inside of my knee). My quads were also getting a great workout. 

Now like I stated earlier, this was my first time experiencing this activity so maybe since I typically don’t balance on a floating device, I’m engaging other muscle groups than what the activity would normally require. Nonetheless it wasn’t as enjoyable as kayaking because there are many things to think about instead of just sitting back and enjoying the surrounding scenery. You have to think about balance and not falling into the water. If you dip your paddle too far in front of you or leave it too far behind you as you finish your stroke, your board will teeter and totter. I nearly bit it several times, but recovered and avoided entering the water. 

Now when you’re tired of standing, you could also kneel or even sit on your feet. I actually ended doing more kneeling and sitting on my feet than standing. Kneeling provided a better way to enjoy the river scenery as the constant thinking of balance were lessened when the center of gravity were lowered. 

S had paddle boarded several times previously so she had acclimated to the kneeling then standing then back to kneeling. Even though I only did the standing to kneeling transition a few times, my quads were sore the next day. It’s the good soreness you are rewarded with after a good workout.

I think I’ll give the sport another try. I can only improve, right?

#singleasianmale #buddingromance #relationship #life #standuppaddleboard #fitnessjourney

#149 (midweek sleepover)

S and I have been dating for 6 months. At the very beginning we only spent every other weekend which required a lot of coordination with her three teenager’s schedules. A lot of times our plans were thwarted because of the ever changing events of weekend practices and in games that her kids were involved. Let me rephrase…maybe it’s ever changing but rather lack of communication of their practices. 

I was and continue to be fine with the changing and shifting of plans as her kids should be number one in her life. If the roles were reversed and I were the one with kids at home, they would be number one in my life as well. Any other relationship would come second. 

From the beginning and through current day, we text regularly throughout the week and on weekends when we’re not hanging out at her or my house. During the week it’s usually in the morning before work and again at night before we go to bed. Occasionally we would text during the day as we both have busy days. 

Last week on Wednesday I received on of the midday text which read, “Do you want to come over tonight and hangout? You could even stay the night tonight and through the weekend…”

Up until last week, staying over during the week was a thought not even considered as I’m cautious about her kids and how they would feel about some guy their mom were dating was sleeping over on a week day. Here lately they’ve been seeing me on weekends as well. Now I’ve slept over on weekends a couple of times while her kids were there. And the only reason was that we had planned an outdoor adventure that woul be better if I we started at her house. 

She had texted me in the past several weeks with the same suggestion of spending a week night with her. I’ve turned her down on the prior invitations as I’ve usually got meetings in the morning and would mean waking early and driving an hour to get to work. 

However, last week the building I work in required its tenants to work remotely as our workspaces were being redesigned. It just so happened that from Wednesday after 5pm through Sunday evening, I could work remotely. 

“Hmmm maybe the universe was saying it’s okay to spend the week night with S and her kids,” I thought to myself.  

I replied to her text, “I think that would work…”

#singleasianmale #buddingromance #relationship #life #sleepover

#148 (31 in 31 days)

I only worked out two days the week my mother and sister were in town. I know “that’s no excuse!” But hey it is what it is.  

I made a mistake and stepped on the scale and I shouldn’t have. I had gained another two pounds!! Really! Getting older sucks! Not only had I gained weight, I’ve also gained mass as my shorts were tighter along the waistline. So I went from a waist size of a loose 32 to a snug size of 33. 

So I made an executive decision and now executing my “get back on track” plan. As of last Monday, I’ve launched my 31 in 31 days. So basically my target is wearing size 31 waist in 31 days. Not sure I’ll get there as it’s an aggressive goal, but at least I’ll hopefully see some improvements to my clothes fitting better and less snug. 

As of this post, I’m on day 2 of week 2. Muffin top has shrunk (not yet gone) and fitting comfortably in waist size 33. 

#singleasianmale #life #fitness #menshealth

#147 (the cult)

One of Jackie and my colleagues who used to work with us were in town for a conference. A few years ago he moved him and his family to California and once a year he and his wife makes the journey north to Oregon for this conference – world domination summit or WDS known by its attendees. 

I only know about this group as last year our California friend couldn’t attend one of this group’s other conferences – Pioneer Nation. So I went in his place. Now the conference I attended were much smaller and were focused on starting your business. Speakers were lined up to motivate and inspire their attendees to make a move and get started on their business venture. 

My venture was actually this blog. I’m not sure this blog would become income producing but who knows. I started it not for the money but for the adventure and the experience as I’m not really that open in sharing my feelings or my life adventures. However, I’m finding it easier and easier as I continue writing. 

I digress…back to the story. 

Our California friend was in town for the WDS conference which was scheduled to begin this past Saturday. We had and continue to tease our friend about being in a cult because of the touchy feely aspect of the conferences. In the conference I attended, there were actually people crying. I’m not sure why…but then again I’m not one to wear my emotions on my sleeve. 

For our catch up dinner, our California friend picked a sushi restaurant in Lake Oswego, OR, and decided to meet between 6:30 and 7pm. The restaurant wasn’t too far from my house (distance wise). But it’s typically a highly traveled area and the short distance could mean an hour in traffic. Fortunately, traffic was oddly light. 

Jackie and I arrived about the same time and was about 15 minutes early. So we walked around the restaurant for a few minutes looking for possible Pokemon stops and collecting Pokemon items. Yes you’re thinking correctly, “Jackie and you are young and hip!”

Dinner was okay but the company was great! So great that I didn’t realize we were sitting and visiting for 3.5 hours. It’s always great to catch up with our Cali friend. 

#singleasianmale #buddingromance #relationship #life #friends #friendship

#146 (S meeting mother)

On Saturday, the day before my mom and sister were to fly back to Houston, S and I had planned for her to meet them. Since my immediate family members still resides in Houston, S hadn’t had the opportunity of meeting my mom or my siblings. This would be the first time they would meet. 

I’ve always found it best to meet someone new over a good dinner especially if the food looks, smells, and tastes delicious. At least that’s how I had planned it. 

I was making a semi traditional Filipino menu which consisted of Lumpia, pancit bihon (noodles), pork adobo, and chicken with coconut milk. I also added a couple of new recipes of my version of salt and pepper short pork ribs, and salt and pepper shrimp. Both of the salt and pepper dishes were spicier than the typical Filipino dish as it contained fresh garlic, fresh ginger, onions, and sliced jalapeños. 

Dinner time was set for 6pm on Saturday. I did get help from my kids (my son and his girlfriend) in rolling the Lumpia and my sister in frying up the Lumpia. The rest of the food I prepared and cooked myself. 

All worked out as it should. S arrived around 5:30. While my sister and I finished the final cooking of our meal, she visited with my son, his girlfriend, and my mother. My sister and I finished and we were seated at the table eating at 6pm as planned. 

After dinner and desert, S and I cleared the table, and filled and started my dishwasher while my family went for their after dinner walk – of course my mom would be pushed in her wheelchair. As S and I were doing the dishes, she confessed, “Your mom and sister are great! I’m not sure why I was nervous meeting them.”  I hugged her and responded sarcastically, “Of course they’re great! They’re actors who I paid to be my family!”

I’m glad S likes my mom and my sister…

#singleasianmale #buddingromance #relationship #life #familytime #familydinner

#145 (my bed and breakfast)

I’ve been living on my own for many years now. In fact the last few years of my recent marriage were also mainly on my own. I was a consultant for nearly 8 years which required me at times to live out of state. That meant I would only see my now ex on weekends or every other weekend. Also sometimes when my ex were on her sales trips we wouldn’t see each other for a several weeks at a time. Maybe being apart from each other over an extended amount of time was part of what lead to the demise of our marriage – well maybe from me ex’s POV. That’s a different story that maybe I’ll share one day. 

Since my divorce, and even the 2.5 years of the separation period, no one individual spent  more than a night with me other than my son and his girlfriend. In fact I don’t think S has ever spent more than one night at my house since we’ve been dating. So having a house full of people stay over is rare. 

Now my home has three bedrooms plus a bonus room up and to the left of the stairs. So I can actually accommodate enough for four sleeping quarters. However since it’s just me living in my house, the two upstairs bedroom and the bonus area at the top of the stairs are not set up as bedrooms. One of the upstairs bedroom is my office. Another upstairs bedroom is my home gym, and the loft area at the stop of the stairs is the lounging area. 

During my mom and sister’s visit, my son and his girlfriend also came down and stayed with me. So I had four guests in my house for three nights and four days. 

That’s a full house of guests!!

Needless to say, my  home gym became my son and his girlfriend’s sleeping quarters. I slept in the open bonus area and my sister and my mother slept in my master suite, which were perfect for my mother’s mobility impaired condition.  

During my family’s visit, I was also the chef and host. Hmmm, am I being trained to be an owner of a B&B?

#singleasianmale #relationship #life #familytime #fullhouse #bedandbreakfast