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  Things I've Done Since the Last Issue of No Umbrella

...A list by the editor:
   - Rented an office in Bingham for No Umbrella.
   - Listened to several Maine Bureau of Health Department of Human Services radio spots promoting exercise to Mainers. “Maine is overweight,” says the announcer. “Don’t take the elevator, take the stairs,” he says, “Park further away and walk. We’re not asking you to run a marathon or join a gym, just do a little exercise every day so your arteries don’t clog up on you, and so you don’t clog up the front door to McDonald’s,” he says. (I’m paraphrasing a bit here.)
   I have to say, I’m a bit ashamed that my fitness level has plummeted to such depths that a man on the radio has to tell me to shape up ... A man from the government no less.
   I am glad to report, however, that most river people don’t need to be reminded to exercise. Be it splitting their own firewood, taking a run, going fishing, kayaking or helping a friend get his truck unstuck; if you spend a lot of time in the outdoors, you’re going to end up pretty healthy.
   The guy on the radio shoulda been saying, “Turn off the TV, dammit, and turn on Life.”
   - Picked up 2 hitchhikers. The first one was a fellow who had been living in Aspen, Colorado. He was born in Maine and had bought land in Carrabassett in the early 80’s and now he and his wife have moved back to Maine to develop the land. She was running errands down in Farmington with the car and he was running errands up in Carrabassett without it. Nice guy.
   The second one was a woman who looked a lot younger than she was, about 40, she said. I picked her up in North New Portland. She had a small golden mutt and 5 or 6 duffel bags. She was on her way to Boston to work at a carnival. Nice enough lady, but her dog was in heat and she bled all over my p.f.d and dry bag in the back of my pickup. By the time I dropped her off, I was ready to see her go. Hope she makes some friends working at the carnival.
   - Last November, I got on the Internet and searched Google for “Web Building Tutorials”. After reading a bunch of these web pages, I put in about 250 hours on No Umbrella’s web site. I am amazed at how much you can learn on the Internet.
   - Paddled the Dead eight times, the Kennebec 16 times, the Carrabassett twice, the West River in Vermont four times.
   - Produced this issue of No Umbrella. And here it is: the first issue of No Umbrella Volume II. To those who know us from last year, I know we look a little bit different this time around; but I hope we still taste okay.
   To those who are checking us out for the first time: Hi! Don’t worry about taking off your shoes and do excuse the mess, but please make yourself at home.
   We’ve got some wicked good stuff lined up for the summer. For example, I think people may be impressed with the new classifieds section (see if you can guess which item is still on sale from last year.).
   Some copies of this publication will make it quite a ways from the Upper Kennebec Valley here in the heart of Maine. But please, don’t allow the distance between us to affect your enjoyment of No Umbrella. We figure boaters are boaters one way or another, and if boaters in Maine find something interesting, boaters in West Virginia, Quebec, Vermont, Idaho, North Carolina, Massachusetts, New York, New Hampshire or wherever might find it interesting too... and why not? We all know which way the water flows.
   - One last thing: as my grandfather used to say, if you can’t take a joke, to hell with ya.

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