President’s Message: December 2014

Hell in a Hand Basket?

Screen Shot 2014-12-16 at 5.03.04 PMFerguson, global warming, Ebola, fuel prices, ISIS, polar vortexes, me oh my. Things are sure rough out there. Or are they?  Things are always tough. Things are always good as well. What do you focus on – the good, the bad, the ugly? The choice is always your own but the bad and ugly sure can be fascinating. It is our nature to be intrigued with bad and the ugly- if we were not -the expression “rubber necking” would have never been coined, horror movies would have never been filmed, and Fredericks wouldn’t have a police scanner he listens to every night. Modern rubber necking has been taken to an all new lev- el, however.  With a push of a few buttons we can read all the sordid events of the day from almost anywhere – the horror movie never ends. The unfortunate outcome of this easy access to “the bad” is that we can get it in our mind, if not our DNA, that there is little to be thankful for.

Not true.  Now that the year comes to a close we are all presented with the opportunity to enjoy the holidays with our families and friends and to be thankful for all the blessings we have. In the famous words of Hans and Franz from Saturday Night Live – it is time to Pump You Up!  There are many things for each of us to be thankful for- family, friends, employment, our nation, and not least our chapter. Things are good, the economy is improving, this year’s anadromous salmon runs were a real testament to the hard work of fisheries professionals, and the chapter is in sound fiscal shape.   The good rarely gets the headlines. Think about it – in the last year or so we discovered a new species of sculpin in Idaho, offered the first recreational Coho salmon fishery in generations, witnessed a pretty productive wild fall, spring, and summer Chinook returns, had an excellent runoff for Idaho’s ocean-bound juvenile anadromous stocks, and saw the resurrection of the kokanee fisheries in Lake Pend Oreille. That’s pretty grand stuff – stuff that should Pump You Up!  Those are things we can all be proud of and things to get excited about.  As our annual meeting rapidly approaches don’t be lured into the attitude that I don’t have anything to offer, my information won’t be interesting enough, woe is me!  As Hans and Franz would say “Hear me now and listen to me later” – you got it! We need it! We need you!  If not presenting a paper, maybe a poster, run for office, volunteer to assist one of our fabulous committees or moderate a session. Don’t be a girley-man or a mani-girl – you are the embodiment of perfect pumpitude. Hans and Franz would counsel you “it doesn’t matter how much you pump up those muscles, as long as you reach the full pumptential”. The chapter needs everyone to reach their full pumptential. The chapter is your weight lifting gym – yes – I dare say the Idaho Chapter meeting is your very own Pumpatorium!  Don’t sit back and be a flabby loser – get involved and the returns will be so rewarding.

So as the holidays approach get pumped up!
Hug your spouse, your dog, count your blessings and look on the bright side.
—  Tom Curet