- The Washington Times - Sunday, December 13, 2009

Please forgive me if I do a bit of daydreaming about Christmas gifts. No, not presents for other people, but goodies from Santa for me, your obedient servant.

To the best of my knowledge, I haven’t misbehaved all year. I’m hoping St. Nick doesn’t count the time I fished with a friend and clipped off the sharp point on his lure’s hook while he wasn’t looking. We were casting bucktails to a school of rockfish, and he couldn’t understand why I caught stripers and he wasn’t able to get even one to stay on the lure long enough to be netted.

Santa understands that there are days when guys will be guys, doesn’t he?

Now to the chore at hand.

A few weeks before Christmas Day arrives, I leave a list lying around the house in places where every member of my family can find it. So why is nothing ever done about the new F-250 pickup truck that I want? We’re talking about only one gift, people. One.

I did want a special camouflage paint job on the truck, which can be done for a few extra bucks. But, for crying out loud, the truck is all I’m asking for. Could it be that the sticking point is the $32,000 price tag?

If the new vehicle isn’t going to sit in my driveway Dec. 25, I guess I don’t need to get my hopes up for a shotgun I saw advertised on a Web site. It was described as a .410 James Purdey, Best, 26-inch full choke barrels, with a “beautifully figured straight hard stock and a checkered butt, single trigger, gold oval, splinter forend, self opener, solid rib and automatic ejectors.” Manufactured in 1977, the ad said it was 100 percent new, having been fired only during factory tests. A mere $125,000 could buy it.

If I know my clan of penny pinchers, this isn’t going to happen.

OK, something that I’ve always liked and not one family member has yet seen fit to give me is a high-end Gore-Tex rain suit. The kind I’m talking about can be found in the national Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops catalogs and for a fellow like me, who requires size XXL, the cost is somewhere around $400.

Hey, it comes with insulated, waterproof bib overalls and a matching parka that will keep me dry even when the boat is traveling through a monsoon rain at 50 mph.

If either of the above-mentioned items won’t materialize, what about a new pair of shooting glasses for a fellow who does a fair amount of shooting?

At a recent outdoors show, I had a chance to check out a pair I liked. The literature said the Radians Eclipse RXT light-adjusting, protective glasses had special lenses that, depending on clouds or a bright sun, will lighten or darken in a matter of seconds. Such qualities are desirable for old fogies like me. The glasses, complete with a neck cord, adjustable nose piece, rubber-tipped temples and carrying case cost $69.99.

Next on the list is something I saw in a store - it could have been in the camping section of a Wal-Mart. It was a fire starter labeled as the Coghlan Company Flint Striker. Although I don’t go camping as much as I’d like to, there are times when I need to start a fire and, being a nonsmoker, I don’t carry a lighter. The Coghlan Flint Striker is a finger-long, slender flint stick that comes with a metal striker. Scrape it against the material, and you’ll get a mass of sparks that will ignite paper or dry grass. If I remember correctly, it costs less than $5. If I get one in my stocking, I promise to be careful with it.

Another item that family members rarely think of for the outdoorsmen in their lives are rubber boots. I’m talking plain rubber boots, the kind that almost reach your knees. They cost less than $30 in a big retail store. I go through a pair every other year. Scraping against ice, sharp edges of timber while walking through snow or wet forests and other mishaps do them in, so I can always use another pair. Size 11, dear family.

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