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I foresee a boating accident involving a white Arima. Its propeller gets fouled by a crab pot line, and the powerless boat is capsized by a big swell.
Toggle Commented Dec 17, 2011 on Robbery On The High Seas at The Monkeyface News
Speaking of eels, here's a story from the SF Chronicle that might be just another urban legend. It's reminiscent of candiru fish stories: "A Chinese man thought he would look years younger after bathing with live eels in a spa treatment designed to remove dead skin. Instead, one of the eels meant to eat the man's dead skin cells decided to enter his penis through the urethra." Robert L. Ripley, we hardly knew ye...
Toggle Commented Sep 14, 2011 on Too Much Drag at The Monkeyface News
Kirk, are you the reincarnation of Ed Ricketts (the inspiration for Doc in Steinbeck's Cannery Row)? Nice to read about invertebrate marine life. It'll make for lively conversations at cocktail parties -- if I'm lucky enough to attend any crab or shrimp cocktail soirees during the holidays. I'm mostly interested in Metacarcinus magister (A.K.A. Cancer magister) this time of year. Where did they go yesterday? (That's a mostly rhetorical question.) I was hoping to be as lucky as Saturday's crab fishermen, but I only caught one legal size Dungeness crab on my snare yesterday. The Sonoma coast was cold and windy. Even at low tide, the water seemed 10 feet higher than it had been in June. Meanwhile, my bait was barely touched. I only had 4 crabs on my line, one keeper, two that fell off and another that was smaller than my snare. I told my fishing buddies that our recent poor angling performance is the result of the Giants' victory. (We agreed that it's well worth it, if even remotely true.)
Toggle Commented Nov 10, 2010 on Limpet Bite: Wide Open! at The Monkeyface News
I'd like to see the Giants finish the job on the road. I believe Tim Lincecum can win tonight even though Cliff Lee wants to redeem himself for losing Game 1. If I'm wrong, Matt Cain is more than capable of winning it all at home, which would make many fans even happier. I don't want to think about Game 7 unless the team physicians say that Jonathan Sanchez is injured and unfit to play. That would allow Zito to pitch, but I'd hate to bet the series' outcome on him. I've been waiting for this victory since 1962 (not as many years as some geriatric Red Sox fans waited -- but long enough for this old man).
Toggle Commented Nov 1, 2010 on The Gods Of Beisbol at The Monkeyface News
Glad you got to see the Giants win the pennant. Thanks to his 2 winning runs batted in, Juan Uribe would be my second choice for NLCS MVP after Cody Ross -- who is the equivalent of a bargain found on eBay. Giants fans will have to endure another week of torture. Can't stand Joe Buck & Tim McCarver. (They're the REAL torture!) I had to listen to KNBR radio in real time, which turned the delayed Fox broadcast into instant replay. I have to wait 'til I get home to watch your videos. My employer still pretends to pay me, so I still pretend to work...
Toggle Commented Oct 25, 2010 on Reflections On A Big Country at The Monkeyface News
Autumn is a great time to be outdoors. Hope you enjoy peering into the abyss. I need to visit the Grand Canyon soon myself. Nothing like natural beauty on a mammoth scale to help me appreciate the insignificance of human endeavor. After I allow the S.F. Giants to give me an ulcer, I'll travel to the northern Sierra where I will be surrounded by fall foliage as I catch spawning Brook trout. Soon after that, Dungeness crab will be in season. Life is good.
Toggle Commented Oct 9, 2010 on Fame at The Monkeyface News
Did you make that 3-hook Sabiki? Local tackle shops that I visit don't sell 3-hook Sabikis or shrimp fly rigs, which probably explains why most anglers continue to use too many hooks. My local Sports Authority posts a sign next to the 7-loop crab snares that advises the customer to remove one loop to conform with California DF&G regulations, but there's nothing posted next to the Sabikis.
Toggle Commented Oct 1, 2010 on Bait Bait Bait at The Monkeyface News
Sounds like a great road trip! Unfortunately, after a salmon has spawned, it isn't worth eating. Fortunately for me, the only salmon I catch these days are land-locked Kokanee--and most of the mature ones are about to spawn now. If Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady had been anglers, they could have met Richard Brautigan hitchhiking to Hat Creek. If they had turned William Burroughs into a fisherman, Joan Burroughs might have only suffered a fishhook in her eye...
Toggle Commented Sep 20, 2010 on Satori In Oregon at The Monkeyface News
Fontenelle451 is now following Lombard Of The Intertidal
Sep 13, 2010
Great local color, as always. I didn't know that Oofty Goofty allowed himself to be tarred & feathered. I thought you would have finished with Gentleman Jim Corbett knocking out Sullivan. Initially, I only knew the Warner Brothers version of Corbett played by Errol Flynn with Ward Bond as John L. Sullivan. Later, thanks to a Benicia tract home brochure, I learned of Corbett's all night bout with Joe Choynski on a barge in San Francisco Bay which eventually grounded in Benicia the next morning! The barge was a floating venue that kept the fighters and spectators free from police intervention. Corbett won, even though he broke his left hand. I find it odd that I only encountered one fish whose common name was taken from a boxer, the Jack Dempsey cichlid. My fishing buddy owned one when we were kids. The only thing that could live in the same aquarium tank with that Jack Dempsey was an albino walking catfish (still legal back then--but so was LSD).
Toggle Commented Aug 31, 2010 on In The Dark at The Monkeyface News
Nice Times article! After watching the Patagonia video, I found a Flies and Fins Roosterfish video: Next, I went to the Flies & Fins site and watched many of their other fishing videos: Not a bad way to waste time on the weekend!
Toggle Commented Aug 2, 2010 on Nothing To Say at The Monkeyface News
I know one birder who will travel a few hundred miles after hearing a rumor of a remote possibility to view some rara avis that is just passing through the region. I would never do that. I need targets of opportunity to pique my interest. I also need time on my hands. My fishing buddies and I become casual birders when the fish aren't biting. We argue whether that bird of prey across the river is an osprey or an eagle. Is that a raven or a crow? See that egret? I seldom have the patience to distinguish one species of gull from another. In spite of that, I managed to read Jonathan Livingston Seagull during the Christmas break when I was a college freshman. Oddly enough, nearly all of my contemporaries read it during that same period. We either received that best seller as a gift or knew someone who had. We pretended to like that book in order to get that second date with that cute chick in art history, astronomy, etc. I prefer Fup, a novela by Jim Dodge (which I received for Christmas over a dozen years after reading JLS). It's a mystical northern California tale of a duck, a boar, a big guy named Tiny and his grandfather. As fowl fiction goes, that one fits the bill. I'm thinking about rummaging through bins of used bookstores for some field guides that I can carry when I eat lunch at one of the local salt marshes. I only want to identify the birds I see at the places I frequent. Otherwise, birding becomes too obsessive for me.
Toggle Commented Jul 28, 2010 on One For The Boids at The Monkeyface News
I knew it! I knew that you would eventually broach the subject of shark fins! I haven't eaten that delicacy in over a decade. I always preferred bird's nest soup. The other alternatives, fish maw (swim bladder) and sea cucumber are far less appealing. Supposedly shark fin is becoming less popular as word gets around. Now I dread reading some report in which outraged ornithologists say that cave swifts were injected with heroin to encourage them to regurgitate which resulted in birds dying by asphyxiation... like Jimi Hendrix died. Living in California and listening to baseball games on the radio taught a lot of kids bad Spanish: place names and Latino ballplayer's names. Russ Hodges and Lon Simmons were great announcers, but their Spanish pronunciation was as bad as mine. Kids used to take blasphemous delight in referring to Felipe Alou's brother Jesus as "GEEZus" when the occasion presented itself (He walked, struck out, etc.). I used to wonder whether Che Guevara would be running Cuba if Fidel Castro had become an infielder for the Giants or a pitcher for the Pirates. (All of the stories about the bearded one's baseball hopes have been debunked by I'll never get over John Lennon especially when another decade passes without him. *** Lots of people from Taiwan claim that they're better educated than their ABC counterparts, so belief in the regeneration of shark fins is inexcusable! "Under God" was officially added to the Pledge of Allegiance in 1954. Check out Madalyn Murray O'Hair who failed to get the words stricken but successfully ended prayer in public schools. Teachers did not hide their contempt when they excused Jehovah's Witnesses from the pledge.
Toggle Commented Jul 24, 2010 on Shark Fin Soup at The Monkeyface News
First time I saw opihi, I thought they were tiny abalone, the equivalent of White Castle sliders. Most recipes seem to be marinades, sort of like ceviche. Others call for grilling opihi for about 5 minutes after marinating them for 15 minutes in a mixture of chili peppers, sea salt, vinegar, garlic & soy sauce. Here's a Food Network recipe that substitutes oysters for opihi: I was a bit disappointed to see Don Knotts turn into a finned fish in "the Incredible Mr. Limpet," but I suppose it was a story of a timid man who managed to get out of his shell...
Toggle Commented Jul 17, 2010 on The Poor Man's Abalone at The Monkeyface News
Fifty years ago, a group calling itself the Society for Indecency to Naked Animals campaigned against animal nudity. SINA founder G. Clifford Prout was invited to various TV & radio talk shows. He demanded that animals be clothed. "A nude horse is a rude horse." Thousands of supporters were drawn to the cause, and many donated money. In 1962, Prout appeared on the CBS Evening News, but CBS employees recognized Prout as writer/comedian Buck Henry (before he co-created "Get Smart" or wrote the screenplay for "the Graduate"). The campaign had been an elaborate hoax staged by prankster Alan Abel who made a career of fooling the public. I'm amazed that no one resurrected the idea and turned it into a Spam campaign. There must be plenty of naked animals in Nigeria...
Toggle Commented Jun 25, 2010 on Crimes Of Omission at The Monkeyface News
The midshipman's luminescence may result from ingesting cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) that contain phycobilins, light-capturing molecules which assist the algae with photosynthesis. Phycobilins absorb red, orange, yellow, and green light wavelengths that are not well absorbed by chlorophyll. The color of the phycobilin usually depends upon the depth at which the algae live. Yellows & reds are found closer to the surface; while green phycobilins occur in deeper water. Phycobilins fluoresce at particular wavelengths, so they are used in pharmaceutical research as chemical tags. The fluorescent dyes derived from algae are chemically bound to antibodies in a technique known as immunofluorescence. The tagged antibodies or antigens are read by spectrophotometers. The data supposedly measures the efficacy of pharmaceuticals. Those fluorescent dyes derived from algae look great under black light (UV). A decade ago, a few companies were trying to market ingestible fluorescent dyes that could be added to mixed drinks for consumption in nightclubs or bars equipped with black lights. I wondered whether I could make some sort of bait incorporating fluorescent dyes, but my employer would probably take the patent rights away from me. So, mamas, don't let your kids work in biotechnology -- unless they own the company!
Toggle Commented Jun 16, 2010 on A Talented Fish at The Monkeyface News
Newspaper cones of cooked bay shrimp used to be sold like fast food along the S.F. waterfront. It was my second favorite local crustacean, after dungeness crab. If I caught a few pounds of bay shrimp, I'd party like it's 1959!
Toggle Commented May 24, 2010 on Good Morning at The Monkeyface News
You would have won that bet. I thought I knew where your picture was taken, but when I perused some photos of the spot that I had in mind, I couldn't find that architectural hint that you have cropped from the picture. I attribute my mistake to false memory syndrome or old age. I wish my father was alive to see your night smelt pictures & videos. He always referred to them as grunion. He caught them with an A-frame net too.
Toggle Commented May 12, 2010 on Striper Number One at The Monkeyface News
That striper is the perfect size for eating. The meat is tender and succulent. When those fish get bigger than 15 pounds, the only tender meat is on the tail. I don't like to keep stripers heavier than 10 pounds. The best tasting stripers are barely legal. (Does Larry Flynt publish any fishing mags?) You might consider cropping that picture a little more tightly if you're trying to conceal your location. I believe I know that spot -- but so do most local striper fishermen! I was there about 2 weeks ago, during that brief heat wave, trying to catch dungeness crab on snares (with no success). I should have been striper fishing instead.
Toggle Commented May 11, 2010 on Striper Number One at The Monkeyface News
This post inspired me to enjoy some shore-based crabbing this weekend. There are only a few coastal piers and jetties in the Bay Area where one can catch dungeness crab legally. I would say that the most popular, the Pacifica Pier, is not so easy these days, probably because it's so popular. I went to one of the other spots. I had to settle for half a limit, but I'm happy! Meanwhile, I saw Cheryl Crane at the Presidio's Torpedo Wharf today. I watched a young man beach a barely illegal striper on a white jig, a few feet from the Golden Gate Promenade. Tourists were photographing him and his fish with the Golden Gate Bridge in the background. A Greek chorus of anglers was chanting, "Undersized! Undersized!" I didn't stick around to see whether he released that striper.
The most outrageous candiru stories have them swimming "upstream" into the open urethra. If salmon could do something similar, there would have been no need for fish ladders.
Toggle Commented Apr 6, 2010 on The Parasite's Dilemma at The Monkeyface News
Glad that you found it useful. The candiru's usual hosts are other fish, which don't suffer the same sort of damage that human hosts receive. Apparently, a tiny blind catfish can't tell the difference between a human phallus and a fish. It's any port in a storm for them. Unfortunately for us, we don't have gills in our urethras. First time I heard of the candiru, as an indirect reference to William Burroughs' Naked Lunch, I assumed it was an urban legend designed to teach guys not to piss into rivers. For me, it's the scariest tropical parasite on the planet, even worse than the roundworms that cause river blindness.
Toggle Commented Apr 6, 2010 on The Parasite's Dilemma at The Monkeyface News
As the alleged crab pirate's story became more elaborate, and his scenario became more practical, it sounded like bullshit. The perfect "Tales from the Crypt" ending to this tall tale would have been the part where you apologized for slipping candiru fry into the urinal, just before the pirate relieved himself. ( & Cecil Adams would refute that candiru delivery system too.)
Toggle Commented Apr 6, 2010 on The Parasite's Dilemma at The Monkeyface News
Nice gag! I was expecting an underwater adapter for the Google UK Animal Translator (so that we can talk to fish): Topeka, I have found it!
Toggle Commented Apr 1, 2010 on Groundbreaking News! at The Monkeyface News
People care more about the proverbial canary in a coal mine than they do about the eulachon--which is the real thing. These obscure "unsexy" endangered species become objects of derision like the spotted owl or snail darter. The persons who champion their cause are dismissed as elitist tree huggers. What can you do? Declare yourself the Lorax of the fishes? That might work with kids. Change the public's perception of the species by comparing it to esteemed-but-accessible celebrities? The eulachon could be the Tina Fey of endangered fish. I suppose it depends upon the demographic group you want to reach. Many anglers regard themselves as the original conservationists (as opposed to environmentalists). They are stewards of the natural world with the privilege to consume its resources. They tend to be conservatives or libertarians with a strong distrust of government bureaucracy. This is assuming that your audience consists of conservative anglers. There's no need to appeaser the lunatic fringe iconoclasts--we'll read your blog even it it doesn't feature the kinds of fish Papa Hemingway would catch.