Thursday, April 24, 2014

2 Weeks to Go!

Tearing Apart My Motor
Not unlike last year, 2014's weather, a late Easter, and the early Minnesota fishing opener date of May 10 is compressing my to do list to the limits.  The garden is far from dry enough to tiller, the yard is in various shades of brown, at least I was able to get all of my fruit trees pruned.  The list goes on and on and right at the top is getting my boat ready.  Because I winterize it before putting it away for it's 5 month sleep, usually my task is a simple cleaning up the accumulation of fishing stuff that ends up in the boat during the winter and maybe one substantial improvement.  This year I am running a Lowrance HDS12 Touch and decided that it would be nice to finally connect the engine data interface from my 115 Suzuki outboard to the Lowrance.  Seems simple enough as you just need to buy the proper Engine Interface Cable and an addition NMEA 2000 network T expansion port.  I order the cable online from  Browns Point Suzuki, a large Suzuki dealership in New Jersey who has everything.  When talking to them it was suggested that if I wanted to keep my existing tachometer/monitor gauge working, I would need another adaptor cable.  After receiving the cables I figure this would be about an hour job to hook everything up.  Famous last words.  After pulling of the right housing the first thing I noticed was there is no room in the engine cable grommet for one more cable.  After staring at the motor for a while, reading the installation instructions, staring more,  it became obvious that this task was getting over my head and fast.  The cable instructions said to plug it in the SDS connection yet the schematic in the Suzuki's Owner's Manual showed no such connection.  After posting a question on Walleye Central, the guy who help with the tiller handle replacement, Dan suggested I give him a call.  He was more than helpful especially solving my cable routing problem yet in the end I still couldn't see the Suzuki appear on the HDS12.  Doing a simple Google search of my issue lead me to a number of informative posts yet they seemed very complicated.  I finally e-mailed Browns Point about the confusing instructions that do not line up with the manual, a simple reply from their service department and a quick reconnect was met with success!  That was the good news, the bad news is the service suggested reprogramming the cables software to fix a fuel rate error.  I wish they would have suggested this before they had sent it to me but so be it as the cable is on its way back to Browns Point for updating.  Hopefully it will be here next week and in time to get it put back together for Wisconsin Opener as it would nice to try it out before we head to Leech Lake.  Once connected it will be a nice addition to the information presented on the HDS unit such as true RPM, fuel usage, trim position, engine hours, and a few other engine outputs.  I suppose in the grand scheme of things, it probably doesn't make a lot of difference as I've been running these motors now going on 14 years without a single problem. 

Fresh Cheese Curds
Friday was my Mom's 80th birthday so we headed to my brother Steve's in LaCrosse, WI on Saturday to take her out for dinner.  On the way down we stopped in Ellsworth, Wisconsin to buy some cheese for my friend Joe Stanfield, who lives in Dallas.  Joe was kind enough to help set up our Louisiana trip last month and at the time he was commenting on how good the cheese was that I had sent him a number of years ago.  You see Texas really doesn't have a lot of good cheese there as I remember when my uncle Dewey moved to Ardmore, Oklahoma he always brought a bunch of cheese back with him after visiting Eleva.  Ellsworth is known for their great cheddar cheese curds, the kind that squeak in your mouth as you chew them.  Leaving the curds their natural color, they are delicious.  When you buy them at the creamery, they sell so many that the packages are actually warm from the final process.  Those being the freshest create almost a symphony as you chew......ok, not really but it is pretty interesting.  The older they get the less they squeak so it best to eat them right away.  The other cheese I bought that was outstanding is their 6 year old Cheddar.  Cut from a block it almost crumbled as you handled it but the flavor was amazing.  I ended up with a number of varieties including Coly, Farmers Cheese, Smoke Cheddar, Beerkase, Havarti, Wisconsin Brick, Chipotle Colby, White Cheddar, and Jalapeno Monterrey Jack, Joe should stay plugged up for a while!  In addition, he loves the real wild rice that I get from my friend Bill so I included a couple of packages.  Until you've had real wild rice, you don't know what you are missing.

The weather made a substantial dent in the ice cover last week with most of the large lakes around Minneapolis ice free.  I am getting more confident that we will have open water on May 10th for the fishing opener at Leech.  If you go to Mille Lacs Lake Webcams you can see there is a substantial difference between this year's picture verse last years.  As of April 23rd the ice is slowly starting to pull away from the shore and is truning black, last years picture shows a lake still snow covered and shut tight.  There's not doubt however that it's going to be tight!

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