Saturday, November 9, 2013

Do your children know what Veteran's Day is?






Veteran's Day honors all American veterans, both living and dead. In fact, Veteran's Day is largely intended to thank the living veterans for their dedicated service to our country. November 11 of each year is the day that we ensure every veterans knows that we deeply appreciate the sacrifices they have made to protect us and keep our country free.

The official wreath-laying ceremony is held each November 11th at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery, while parades and other celebrations are held in states around the country. Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day, a common misunderstanding, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. Memorial Day (the fourth Monday in May) honors American service members who died in service to their country or as a result of injuries incurred during battle, while Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans living or dead, but especially gives thanks to living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime.

In 1947, Raymond Weeks, of Birmingham Ala., organized a "Veterans Day" parade on November 11th to honor all of America's veterans for their loyal and dedicated service. Shortly thereafter, Congressman Edward H. Rees (Kansas) introduced legislation to change the name of Armistice Day to Veterans Day in order to honor all veterans who have served the United States in all wars.
In 1954, President Eisenhower signed a bill proclaiming November 11th as Veterans Day, and called upon all Americans everywhere to rededicate themselves to the cause of peace. He issued a Presidential Order directing the head of the Veterans Administration (now called the Department of Veterans Affairs), to form a Veterans Day National Committee to organize and oversee the national observance of Veterans Day.

Congress passed legislation in 1968 to move Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. However, as it became apparent that November 11th was historically significant to many Americans, in 1978, Congress reversed itself and returned the holiday to its traditional date.

One of the most personal and meaningful Veterans Day activities you could do are going to visit a local veteran’s hospital. If you can't do that the least you could do is thank your family and friends who are veterans by a simply picking up the phone and calling them on Monday.... 


Thanks Dad and all my friends that have served the greatest country in the world! 

GOD Bless America!




THANKS FOR READING..... BRANCH


About the author: Tom is a freelance outdoor writer and full time Firefighter, Paramedic/Lieutenant in Georgia for the past 29+ years.  He has been working and consulting in the Outdoor Industry for over 18 years and is currently creating and managing a pro fishing team, developing new products, promoting products through demonstrations, designing packaging, and he participates in different forums, radio & television shows.  Tom and his wife, Kim are volunteers with Operation One Voice. They live north of Atlanta near Braselton, GA with their lab “Jake”.


  


Monday, October 21, 2013

Turkey Chili that is Gluten Free

I got a cool email from the master blogger at Bass Pro Shops this weekend and he wants a recipe from me for a Thanksgiving posting. Obviously, the dude has never spoke to my wife, Kim because I don't cook. My girls will tell you, my Dad could ruin "SpaghettiOs®".

Kim and I have started a new practice and are trying to go "Gluten Free" and I really love the below chili recipe.... 




Turkey Chili that is Gluten Free



This recipe calls for Ground Turkey, Canned Pinto Beans, Canned tomato paste, and canned diced tomatoes. Chop the onions, garlic and celery. This meal takes about 15 minutes to prepare and is ready to eat in 15 minutes, but I like mine to simmer for 1 hour before eating it.



Ingredients

    1 pound Ground Turkey

    1 cup fresh chopped onions

    1/2 cup fresh chopped celery

    3 cloves garlic

    1 tbsp dried parsley

    3 tbsp chili powder

    1/2 tsp ground turmeric

    1 tsp Paprika

    1 can green chiles - 4 oz.

    1 can Pinto Beans - 16 oz.

    1 can diced tomatoes - 16 oz.

    1 can tomato paste - 6 oz.



The original recipe came from sparkpeople.com and I have made some minor modifications.



THANKS FOR READING..... BRANCH

About the author: Tom is a Prostaffer with Bass Pro Shops Outdoor World in Lawrenceville, GA since 2007, he previously worked in the fishing department for 10 years. He is also a  freelance outdoor writer and full time Firefighter, Paramedic/Lieutenant in Georgia for the past 28+ years.  He has been working and consulting in the Outdoor Industry for over 18 years and is currently creating and managing a pro fishing team, developing new products, promoting products through demonstrations, designing packaging, and he participates in different forums, radio & television shows.  Tom and his wife, Kim are volunteers with Operation One Voice. They live north of Atlanta near Braselton, GA with their lab “Jake”.
  
Blog: http://outonalimbwithtombranchjr.blogspot.com/

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Changing Water Conditions

Finding bass becomes much more difficult when lake levels start falling in October. These water levels seem to congregate the bass on specific spots. In the next few paragraphs, I am going to help you catch more bass this fall.

I believe it’s a good thing to see the water levels to begin to fall, because the fish are getting tighter to cover, and they get harder to find. Once you find them; you can have a real good day, but you might not find them as quickly as a professional angler will. Many people are fishing right on top of them and just cannot get them to bite.  Falling water levels make the bass move, but not too far. Like us humans, an example would be moving from the kitchen into the living room. These fish are not going to move more than 50 yards in a day. Some anglers believe a fish will move a long way away, but they don’t move that far really quickly. Don’t get me wrong, they will move up to a mile away, but it will take days for this to happen.

On my area lake, Lake Sidney Lanier, I have seen bass move 2 to 3 feet deeper as the day goes on with the lake level falling. I caught fish in the 3 to 5 feet depth in the morning, and then by midday; they might have backed out another foot or so. By late afternoon, those same fish can sometimes be found in 5 to 8 feet deeper water. I still fish shallow water, but I am constantly looking at my Lowrance unit for fish and bait fish. If you can stay in constant contact with the moving bass, you can catch them. If you see them and they are biting, adjust your pattern. If they quit biting, move a few feet and look for a change in the bottom and see if you can relocate those same fish again.



Don’t try to over adjust your fishing to the falling water levels. Move your boat out and fish 2 or 3 feet deeper to locate those moving fish. For years, I have seen too many people give up on their fish and move out to deep water. Don’t give up to quick, those fish are there, and you can locate them. Remember Mr. Bass has a small brain; you can out think him! These fish are not going to run ½ mile to find another flat to live on. They are going to swim a short distance to relocate and find some more food.

If you cannot find the fish 3-5 feet deeper, your next step is to locate some kind of drop off close by where the fish are eating. This could be a depth change of no more than 1 foot off a tapering bank. Many anglers think a ledge drop off is a 5 to 10-foot drop off. My best luck has come from a slow drop off of 1-3 deep. This is a good ambush point for bass to hide out at just out of the site of the bait. If there is bait fish near the drop-off, Mr. Bass is not far away.

Many times when I move out to the drop off, I cannot use the same crankbait I caught them in the morning on. Now I might need to swap to a crankbait that runs deeper or even swapping to a different tactic by throwing a soft plastic like the Strike King Ocho, which is a stick style bait.  After moving to a new spot thoroughly work this area over at varied angles. Remember what I said earlier, if you see bait, the bass are there; you just have to figure out what they want to eat right then.



If you are using crankbaits concentrate on changing depth of the bait. If you find a color or pattern they are eating, do not change colors - change the depth of the bait. On Lake Sidney Lanier, one of my favorite colors is “Blue Gizzard Shad." I know this color works 98% of the time. I just have to get the bait to the right depth where the fish are eating. If the 2-3-foot crankbait is not working, swap to the 5-7-foot depth running crankbait. If that middle depth crankbait does not work change to a lure that is bouncing off the bottom either a deep diver or a plastic worm. One of my favorite places on Lake Sidney Lanier is a big (boulder) rocky type point that’s close to a red clay bank when the water starts falling. This place is perfect because 12 feet off the bank, there is another 2-3-foot drop off, then if you go another 50 yards the bottom falls off into deeper water.

Catching bass in the fall should not be a big giant guessing game with the right electronics and the correct baits. Bass will move from the banks out to the deeper water at a slow pace when the lake levels begin falling in the fall (I made a funny!). 

Go fishing with these tips, they will help you can catch more bass!



THANKS FOR READING..... BRANCH


About the author: Tom is a freelance outdoor writer and full time Firefighter, Paramedic/Lieutenant in Georgia for the past 28 years.  He has been working and consulting in the Outdoor Industry for over 18 years and is currently creating and managing a pro fishing team, developing new products, promoting products through demonstrations, designing packaging, and he participates in different forums, radio & television shows.  Tom and his wife, Kim are volunteers with Operation One Voice. They live north of Atlanta near Braselton, GA with their lab “Jake”.

  


Thursday, September 26, 2013

Raising money for Chase…..


Picture Courtesy www.wafish.com


Some of the top pro bass fishermen in the industry donated their jerseys to help raise funds for our friend, Chase Heaton who's headed to Arkansas next month for the Junior Bass World Championship. Bidding ends September 29th at 500pm.

click on this link to Bid on the jerseys or go to:


At the 2012 Bassmaster Classic, mention the name Chase Heaton, and the person you’re talking to is likely to tell you they know, or they’ve met, or they’ve heard about, this remarkable young man from Spokane, Wash.

Eighteen years old, tall and wearing a tournament jersey and Triton cap, Heaton looks like many other young men attending the Classic that year. He is, but then again, he isn’t. Diagnosed in October 2012 with stage 2B Hodgkin's lymphoma, Heaton is fighting cancer.
One thing that makes people remember meeting Heaton is his positive attitude. He has refused to let cancer scare him, and he is a quiet fighter.

The other thing about Heaton that strikes people is his passion for bass fishing. He’s the 2010, 2011 & 2012 Washington state champion in the Junior Bassmaster program. When he’s not in school, he works for the Northwest Bass circuit of tournaments — and in the fishing department of a major outdoor retailer. He’s an honor student, on track to graduate this spring and attend college in the fall.

“The response has been so amazing, we don’t even know how many people sent us contributions, but we know many were from people we’ve never met,” said Chase.  Chris Lambert, the owner of Wave Away, LLC started a raffle that turned nationwide. The list is long — I wish I could name every person who donated a check to me.”

From the time he first tossed lures off a dock as a small kid, Heaton has wished he could attend the Classic. His expectations are being met.

He’s got two missions: Beat the cancer, and help people realize that cancer should not be feared, that it can be cured. “If you keep a positive attitude, that’s how you beat it,” he said.


*Excepts came directly from the original article written by Deb Johnson for Bassmaster.com in February 2012





About the author: Tom is a freelance outdoor writer and full time Firefighter, Paramedic/Lieutenant in Georgia for the past 28 years.  He has been working and consulting in the Outdoor Industry for over 18 years and is currently creating and managing a pro fishing team, developing new products, promoting products through demonstrations, designing packaging, and he participates in different forums, radio & television shows.  Tom and his wife, Kim are volunteers with Operation One Voice. They live north of Atlanta near Braselton, GA with their lab “Jake”.



Tuesday, August 20, 2013

I don't need a case for my iPad.... Oh yes you do!

I am one of those people that when I am carrying my iPad I treat it like a small child. OK, maybe that’s a little over the top! Due to my career path and hobbies I seem to be rough on my equipment. See 28 years ago I became a firefighter and due to the job and my personality I tend to tear stuff up. I am the perfect person to test an iPad case because I am in some unfriendly environments.

To start this product test I go straight to the internet and do a little research on the LifeProof web site (http://www.lifeproof.com/en/ ). All their advertising says all their cases (phone or tablet) are waterproof, dirt proof, snow proof, and shock proof. Well guess what, I believe I can test a few of those things over the next month! I am not satisfied with what I read so I pick up the phone and call LifeProof. I get a marketing person on the phone who tells me, “Tom go ahead and give it a hard test. Drop it on the concrete to test it. Put the Life Jacket on your iPad and drop it in the water and see what happens!” Now I am a little scared to be dropping my iPad on the ground or in the water. “If it tears up your equipment we will replace it!” said the LifeProof employee. OK, I am in….

Let the testing begin. The LifeProof cases are made of: polycarbonate. Polycarbonate is a durable material. Although it has high impact-resistance, it has low scratch-resistance and so a hard coating is applied to polycarbonate eyewear lenses and polycarbonate exterior automotive components. 

 
lifeproof ipad case

* iPad with Life jacket picture courtesy of LifeProof


For all of you that hate the process of learning about new items, LifeProof iPad  cases come with a really nice set of instructions. The instructions have really good pictures if you would rather not read, but I would suggest that you do.  Don’t hesitate to go to their web site and view some of their cool videos.

Prior to placing your iPad in the case the company recommends you test the case in the water to make you feel satisfied you are not going to stick your iPad directly in the water first. Again “READ THE DIRECTIONS, THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT PRIOR TO PUTTING YOUR iPad INTO THE WATER!” The two-piece case will snap around your plastic, the iPad test unit on both sides. It is important when assembling the case to be careful and take your time. When doing this you must make sure the internal latches are locked together. All the latches must connect to make the case 100% waterproof and dust proof. Place the case and the test unit in the water for up to 3 minutes to test for water proofing. After 3 minutes pull the unit out of the water, shake it off, dry the outside and now look inside the unit to make sure no water has entered the case. If I have confused you at this point go to the web site at:  http://www.lifeproof.com/en/support/products/ipad/user-guide/

Snapping the case together did not seem to be an issue, but taking it apart requires a bit more time and effort. I honestly say I still felt strange placing my iPad into the water, but now I feel a lot better about the unit getting wet. Once your iPad is in the case, you should ensure that the “Charge Port Door” is completely closed & locked prior to putting the unit in the water. LifeProof does have a mechanism that folds over the iPad to protect your charging connectors. You can open that door whenever you need to connect your charger or sync your iPad. The door is also made with the polycarbonate material which will keep it study and strong.  To keep all the dust, dirt and grime out of your iPad headphone jack, the LifeProof case includes a cover that screws into the opening of the jack. Can you still take pictures with your iPad? Yes, you can because the camera remains exposed, and all the buttons can be accessed through the case. The volume, sleep, wake, and Home buttons are easy to access with a touch.
LifeProof claims their cases remains are watertight down to 2 meters of water, and it can survive drops onto the smooth concrete from the same distance. The LifeProof cases are able to withstand temperatures between -40 and 140 degrees Fahrenheit. I don’t believe I will be testing this feature right now!  Overall, this case is very light for the protection it offers. This case is tough, durable and meets my test with flying colors.
 
If you are an outdoor's person, I highly recommend buying another item from LifeProof, and that is the “Life Jacket."  With the Life Jacket accessory, your iPhone or iPad will actually float. The “Life Jackets” are handy extra for those who take their iPad or iPhone out on the water. With the big orange Life Jacket wrapped around your device, you will not have to worry about it sinking to the bottom of the lake or ocean if your tablet or phone goes over board. This “Life Jacket” will keep your tablet or phone safe and secure, which means it shouldn’t get wet or even sink into the water.

If you purchase any LifeProof case, make sure to register it to get the “Total Water Protection Program”. If your eligible device suffers water damage while in a LifeProof case, LifeProof will repair or replace it. The program is limited to a one-time use, and requires the case be used in accordance with all instructions provided. Check the web site out for more information.

I value my electronic device's way too much to use a cheap $10 case you can buy online. Spend a few extra dollars and get a dependable LifeProof case. The cases retail for $79.95 for iPhones and $129.99 for iPads, but you might be able to find them on sale with some searching. The Life Jacket can be purchased for $39.95 to $59.95 depending on the unit you want to protect out on the water.


Thanks for reading…… BRANCH





About the author: Tom is a freelance outdoor writer and full time Firefighter, Paramedic/Lieutenant in Georgia for the past 28 years.  He has been working and consulting in the Outdoor Industry for over 18 years and is currently creating and managing a pro fishing team, developing new products, promoting products through demonstrations, designing packaging, and he participates in different forums, radio & television shows.  Tom and his wife, Kim are volunteers with Operation One Voice. They live north of Atlanta near Braselton, GA with their lab “Jake”.


Follow him on www.facebook.com/tombranchjr   and http://twitter.com/tombranchjr 

Blog: http://outonalimbwithtombranchjr.blogspot.com/