April 16, 2014 | LXXIV No. 3

Things I think about

Jess Shut Up

OK, sometimes when I look around the Coulee I see things or hear things, and I cannot help but dwell on these things for a while and just think.

For example, “I won’t buy a house below the dam. What if the dam breaks?” I always laugh a little on the inside when I hear this. This dam is not going anywhere. I remember a teacher, years ago, doing research on how much firepower it would take to put a hole in the face of the dam. Even with a perfectly placed shot of the most powerful weapon known, he concluded, it would not even crack the dam at the weakest point. Take off a few layers of concrete yes, but a crack or hole was nearly impossible.

OK, so take outside weapons off the list. Earthquake maybe? Well, we have never had an earthquake in our area of the size that it would take to dislodge the dam. Could it happen? I suppose, but history says it’s unlikely. Now if the dam were in Yellowstone Park, we’d be talking a whole different ball game. Just something I think about.

I have seen a lot of big squirrels lately in Grand Coulee. They are finally making a comeback. Years ago the use of DDT, a chemical pesticide used in the area, wiped out a lot of the smaller wildlife around the Coulee. Squirrels, Nighthawks, Rock Chucks and other critters took a big hit. They are coming back. You can now see squirrels doing high line acts across our roadways and moving into the trees that surround us. The night hawks can again be seen in the evening, collecting their fill of bugs. And of course the ground hogs are again welcoming the visitors to the VC, returning a past tradition of a furry welcome party to the tourists coming to see the dam.

Fishing, well, we could chat a lot about fishing. But here is my question for you: How come bank fishermen and women try and cast out as far as they can, while the boat fishermen and women try to get as close to the shore as possible? Just something I noticed. Maybe not as much on Lake Roosevelt, but on Banks Lake it seems to be the trend. I also remember when fishing as a kid, we could throw on a bobber and a little weighted red jig with a white tail, hook attached, and we could catch perch all day long. But these days rarely does a bobber, with anything, get a bite. By the way, the fish are getting smarter. So many bass will spit that worm out as soon as they feel the slightest pressure. Maybe that is just it, too much pressure.

Ever read Coulee Cops? Of course you do. Ever wonder how some criminals can be so stupid? I mean the ones with warrants. They always seem to be getting stopped for a headlight out, or failing to stop, or talking on their cell phones. They are wanted. They know it. So why do they not take the utmost precaution and try and not get caught? But I guess there is a reason they are wanted to begin with. Starts with a D and ends in a B. Don’t worry, they won’t be able to figure that out either.

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