We hadn't finished washing the Thanksgiving Day dishes when I noticed that some of the folks who live up the street were already putting up their Christmas lights.
I started to say something about rushing things when I realized that there are only so many postal days left until Christmas.
Christmas is the time of the year to select an appropriate gift for your loved one.
It is also time to tell your loved one what appropriate gift you would like to receive. Sometimes loved ones are not up on fishing and hunting accessories and need a hint or two.
Instead of new underwear, socks, sweater and a pullover, why not ask for a toy that would cost about the same as the above, but is something you would much rather play with? Might I suggest a hand-crafted fishing or hunting knife from Red Royal Knives?
Red Royal Knives is a husband-and-wife team (Red and Rose Royal) from Georgia that makes excellent outdoor knives. I met them two years ago in Annapolis at the U.S. Powerboat Show.
I picked up one of their 7 -inch filet knives and could not get it out of my hand. This year I had a similar problem with their 5-inch rigger/filet knife.
Each knife is crafted by Red and Rose Royal from ATS 34 steel and is delivered at 61 Rockwell.
It's hard enough to hold an edge, but not so hard you can't sharpen it yourself. I've used the 7 -inch filet for a year now and only touch it up on a steel and a leather strap. At this year's U.S. Powerboat Show I put my knife up to the display models; it was difficult to tell my knife from a new one.
Prices are up slightly this year. The 7 -inch filet is $165; the 5-inch filet is $140.
You normally wouldn't spend that much on a filet knife, but a Mercedes costs more than a Volkswagen, and Red Royal Knives are the Mercedes of the fishing and hunting knives.
Call Red or Rose for a catalog at 404-878-3227. A tip for keeping your knife looking new is to pick up a can of "Nevr-Dull" metal polish.
Red mentioned that one of my readers returned a knife because of a spot of rust, which Red quickly cleaned off with a wad of Nevr-Dull.
* That recent blast of cold reminds us that it's time to get our boats ready for winter.
As the local president of Procrastinators International, I mean to get this job behind me long before skim ice comes to the Magothy, but it doesn't always work out that way.
Usually, I'm pumping in antifreeze as the ice is forming on the river.
Last year I had to wait for the boat to thaw out in January to get the job done.
If you are fortunate enough to be able to pull your boat for the winter, do so.
If the boat is fiberglass, it needs time to dry out before next year's season. Many folks don't realize that fiberglass leaks and, if not given time to dry out, will become soft.
If the engine is not an outboard, change the oil so that nasty acids are not lying in your crankcase all winter. Add sufficient antifreeze to your cooling system to protect the engine.
If the boat is out of the water, it will need more protection than if it is still tied to your pier.
Make certain there is no water standing in heads or drinking-water systems, or else it will freeze.
Raw water cooling systems should be drained if your boat is pulled.
If your boat is wooden and stays in all year, close your seacock, which brings raw water into the engine. Unhook the hose to the seacock and put it in a bucket containing antifreeze. Run the engine for a few seconds until you see antifreeze coming out the engine exhaust.
Shut her down, wrap her up and tuck her away until spring -- she's winterized.
Bob Spore is a Coast Guard-licensed charter boat captain from Pasadena.
His Outdoors column appears every Friday and Sunday in The Anne Arundel County Sun.