Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Dan Small Outdoors: "Blogging The Road"

From Blog The Road: "I wonder if anybody makes a surface bait with 3-foot wings and legs?"

It's just not everyday that your read something like this. And then, it's not every day you get to read .. oh, wait just scaulded-dog minute! You do! You do get to read this .. every day - and sometimes twice a day.

How? You ask ... (Ok .. .OK.. O K !! That's your cue .. !!!) How ? YOU ASK ... ???

Whew! For a moment I didn't think you'd catch on ... but since you asked .. and so kindly, tune into an Outdoor Writer's Network Blog .. that's how.

Never heard of the Outdoor Writers Network? And what's a BLOG? Well, I'm not surprised - they are both still pretty new - and for the most part quite rare, too. But they are out there. In fact - if you're actually reading this - then you've found one: The O'fieldstream Blog.

The Outdoor Network Blog: Blog The Road, comes from Dan Small, from up-Wisconsin-way. Each day, during Dan's regular activity as an outdoor communicator, he uncovers and discovers interesting details that he passes onto his reading public by way of his Blog.

I've yet to read one of his Blog-o-ports (that's a report-by-Blog .. by, Blog!) that isn't both enlightening and entertaining. And that's pretty much why I read this stuff anyway. It's fun. Engaging. And it's downright informative.

So .. shuffle back this way - The O'fieldstream Blog (the 'Original' Outdoor Writers Network Blog) from time-to-time (daily would be a recommended good-thing!) to get your daily dose of Outdoor Information that's both, Fun and Engaging. And if you really don't have time to buzz on over here - like most of these days, you're no doubt a busy-person, too - then get yourself a News Aggregator to do your 'travelin' 'n gatherin' for you. Huh .. you say? News aggravation .. well, yes it is ... ??

NO. I didn't say News Aggravator !! I said NEWS AGGREGATOR.

OK, I see it's time for an 'official' definition for the question:

What is a News Aggregator?
  • A news aggregator is "software that periodically reads a set of
    news sources, in one of several XML-based formats, finds the new
    bits, and displays them in reverse-chronological order on a single

  • You open the Aggregator and read the short-blips on what a 'blogger' has written and then you descide if you want to read any more. It's pretty cool. You don't have to go trapsing around the Internet or try to remember how you filed those Bookmarks, to find your information. It is serverd - right to you. Personal like.

Now head on over to Danny-boys and read his latest ramblings - he's got some really good ones, too. But don't just stay around with the current 'warm bread' .. head down through the Archives to read those that are resting on the bottom.

Unlike the "sludge" - you'd expect to find at the 'bottom-of-something' - this is more like fine wine that improves with time and stored in a cellar while it ages and matures. You'll find some really 'good stuff' down in the, Blog The Road 'cellar'.. Just wait 'til you read the story that goes with this one !!

A. O'fieldstream

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Whitefish Studio & TMAR .. Outdoor Heritage Boosters

Another Box of Rocks ... maybe, maybe not

'Got a black magic woman
Got a black magic woman
I've got a black magic woman, got me so blind I can't see.
That she's a black magic woman, she's trying to make a devil out of me.'
-Carlos Santana

I recently received a visit from a reader of the Thursday Morning Art Review who happened to be in the area on business and took the time to stop by.

We'd just exchanged pleasantries when I was called down to the house for a few minutes.

'Sorry to bail out on you like that.' I said upon my return. 'Not a problem.' He replied. 'It was fun to look around the place. Even though we've just met, I feel like I know quite a bit about you. There's the box of rocks that you wrote about last week.' He nodded toward the corner. 'But, there's more than just rocks...'"

-- from the Whitefish Studio web site's -"Thursday Morning Art Review ...

Yes ... that's the way it is with a lot of things we see on a regular basis .. we begin to forget that they are MUCH MORE than just rocks.

This exerpt, is from the site of a gentle man - and I do mean that in that way - who is both a collegue and a friend. He is also an incredibley talented person who is able to share with others through his art and his writing the experiences of a lifetime streamside and afield. His name is Bob White.

Bob and his wife Lisa own and operate Whitefish Studios out of their home in Marine on St. Croix, Minnesota. Bob is a 20+ year veteran of guiding both fishing and hunting in some of the most beautiful areas on earth: Alaska and Argentina. He brings to the canvas and watercolor paper the revelations of his years of passionate attention to detail and the experiences with some of the most colorful characters imaginable. He and Lisa then make them available to us - the waiting and yearning public, who only dream of such experience - in the forms of original art, reproduction prints and note cards.

Recently - over the past 2 years - Bob has been experimenting with a new medium: writing. Bob has shown, in that time, that he is as at-home with a computer keyboard as he is with his brushes and palettes. Each week, nearly 2000 eager souls wait for their email to inform them they have 'mail'. Because they know they will be getting the new - hot-off-the-press visions of Bob in his regular weekly publication, "Thursday Morning Art Review" .. or TMAR as we've come to fondly refer to it.

TMAR is a word story that flows from the images of Bob's artwork - through his years of experience - and colored by his very fertile imagination and storehouse of knowledge. Each story carries with it the images of thousands of experiences - yet focused though one image - a print - which Bob promotes, each week.

As an artist myself, I can appreciate the talent it takes to make these images and prose come to life for me and hundreds of others. As an outdoorsman, I relish in the experiences Bob allows me to experience vicariously. As a promoter and evangelist of the Outdoor Heritage I am not only thankful .. I am awed .. by the power Bob brings to the statements one can make for the grandeur, the majesty, the magic .. the sheer wonder of it all: the beauty of the natural world.

The ancient chinese philosopher Confucious is credited with the saying,
"A picture is worth a thousand words" .. and it is so true. Imagine, then, how gifted one must be to be able to say a thousand words and create a picture in your mind of the very picture your are looking upon, but ... from another perspective. That is the art and talent of Bob White.

Experience the
Whitefish Studios. Experience the 'Thursday Morning Art Review'. Experience the great Outdoors. And then step-to-the-plate to ensure they will always be there ... for us - and for future generations. Support efforts to protect and preserve our resources. Take steps to insure each of your actions- in or out of the outdoors- does the same. Teach a child, pass-on-to a friend and strengthen within yourself - the Outdoors Code ... to be respectful of and towards the natural resources. Embue this effort through being engaged in the Outdoor Heritage Activities.

Experience the magic through the visuals and words of those like Bob White. Support those who work diligently to feed their passions - those that bring to all of us the wonders of nature - in their various forms: of artwork , as stories in print, as photographs, in movies, as online productions, and by whatever media they use.

Support the Outdoor Communicators. Those who ply their craft as artists of pen and brush - and those who today use the modern technological versions. For it is through their efforts we have a legacy - a visual, oral and written - record of our wonderous Outdoor Heritage. It will be through those 'pictures' with which we will launch a thousand words - that will reconstitute our memories of the wildlife and times that inhabit the streams, fields and mountains. All of which we so deeply hold dear .. and for many, as the burning words of a wise man once said still prod us today;

"... Be that as it may, I am glad I shall never be young without wild country to be young in. Of what avail are forty freedoms without a blank spot on the map?"
- Aldo Leopold, A Sand County Almanac

And that .. well, that's - as my dad used to say, "our sack-of-rocks".

A. O'fieldstream