Ambrosia Express Fish Curry

Curry was the first food to open my mind to spice and heat, and remains a perpetual favorite. One of my ten curries was made by Neil, a very kind and talented Nepalese cook who used to work at Ambrosia Indian Bistro on Cannery Row. I think I got pretty close to the recipe this weekend, with some experimentation:

Make Fish Curry:

Aromatics – Fry the following on medium high heat:

Ginger, 1-2 inches, minced

Massaman curry paste, 1 generous tbsp

Black bean garlic sauce, 1 tsp

Mustard seeds

Coriander seeds

Onions, 2 medium chopped

Garlic, 1 head minced and added at the end

Sauce – Once ingredients are browned, start adding liquids:

Tomato puree, 1 large can

Coconut milk, 1 can

Fish sauce

Butter beans, 1 can

Fish – 1-2 lbs of white fleshed species such as rockfish, mahi, etc.

Add fish at end and cook for a few minutes. Make sure to only cook fish just long enough and no longer.

I’m going to mess around more with Indian food, so now it’s time to find a good local market and stock up on spices!

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Bibliophagy and Condiments: Crossing the streams

I sate my hunger for food and information with the mindset of a buffet enthusiast. I pile my plate with books that have interesting covers, with books that friends want to share, and in order to help me to complete projects or improve processes. I sprinkle on a topping of New York Times bestsellers and other mainstream lists (Nobel, Hugo, and other awards or curated collections), and often of curated lists that spark resonance or dissonance. Sometimes it feels like snatching a fly mid-flight with a pair of ohashi, flowing and interacting with my stream of consciousness. I fluctuate between consuming media at a relaxed pace, but sometimes engage fully in wanton binging of material. There’s just too much to take in sometimes, and I am restless to have more.

I enjoy reading like I enjoy eating Dim Sum with a happy group – I scan, sniff, bite, chew, and taste stories and ideas laid down on page and savor the experience. After supping, and hopefully with some strong oolong or jasmine tea, my conscious and subconscious break down the constituents, metabolizing and mobilizing molecules, microbes and particulates in a peristaltic ebb and flow, talking amongst themselves before providing me with periodic updates. Information flows in and is up taken by mind and body as information flows out. Immersion in the rich, primal nutrient broth of information and feelings allow for a regular, tidal exchange of anabolic and catabolic activity amongst the interwoven interstitia and parenchyma. They are the building blocks that contribute to the growth, maintenance, and ability of body and mind to adapt to the ever-shifting needs of the present. If all systems function as desired, outdated or lower quality information exits as feces, urine, sweat, tears, exhaled breath, and other effluents. Nothing goes to waste.

Through continued intention and repetition, I cultivate a garden that provides quality ingredients processed using open source methods and sources that ground speculation with skepticism (and sources, triangulation, and disclosure) when possible. Let’s be clear, I am still in a dysfunctional relationship with junk food, but our relationship is consensual, informed, and desired to a degree. Ultimately, as long as I move enough fiber and water down my alimentary and cognitive canals, minimize toxic accumulations, and perform maintenance on a regular schedule, I’m OK with running my fuel a bit on the rich side. If the engine knocks too much, I may choose to do things differently next time.

I can truly say that I’m a better version of myself after that first bite of a fresh In-N-Out cheeseburger with a whole grilled onion and a big sip of Neapolitan shake – accept no substitutes! This particular beloved slippery slope allows for a slow, sticky, finger-lickin’ good slide into the Sarlacc ball pit of inflammation, just up the street from metabolic and autoimmune disease. It’s a good thing that I spend most of my time powered by antioxidants, fiber, probiotics, and movement, and that there are no In-N-Outs close by. On occasion, I do find myself being partially digested by the beast. But sometimes, that’s just what I need.

Inflammation of the gut and/or amygdala lurks behind ubiquitous, weaponized marketing. Marketers cast out their bait, superbly informed by the surveillance capitalism techniques that measure, sort and sell batched schools of consumers to the highest bidder. Look at any T-bag Carlson or Shill O’Reilly book’s title (and many others on the opposite side of our narrow political spectrum as well), and you’ll see a delicious worm on a high tech hook set to dazzle and entice those who swim in the effluent Mythos of trickle-down manifest Idiocracy. They scratch their operantly conditioned, primed, pruritic triggers with histamines and demand a steady supply. It’s a shitty magic trick to watch these fellow animals act on behaviors that have been permanently grafted to their cranium by ill-intentioned, or perhaps well-meaning shills, hucksters, frauds, oligarchs, zealots, CEOs, pariahs and other intermediaries who worship the maximization of profits while blissfully ignoring any costs aside from monetary. The marks reliably part from their money, freely giving and even gladly volunteering their data to their masters, greedily slurping up their impersonally curated Soylent Meat Slurry that has been engineered to engage diverse segmentation clusters of individuals while maximizing extraction. In most cases, all it takes is the premise that there must always be winners and losers, and that winners should keep losers in their place. It’s like they read a different version of the Punisher, the one where Frank Castle shifts his focus from fighting large scale corruption and evil to slapping the avocado toast from the mouths of the most vulnerable members of society.

I don’t find it funny at all that Jello Biafra’s “Give me convenience or give me death” has become the rallying cry for many. It is sad when convenience becomes the only acceptable choice. Putting in active effort, thought, and intention keeps the blood and lymph pumping, builds muscle and flexibility, facilitates nutrient and waste exchange, and slows the degenerative disease and aging processes. It is disconcerting to see the extent and proliferation of plug and play ideologies peddled to the masses and marketed as benevolent, optimized and personalized products and services that you can’t live without. A peek behind the curtain often exposes lies and creative liberties taken, an amalgamation of subsidized monoculture products wrapped up with a luxury finish, and containingen fillers, stabilizers, emulsifiers, surfactants, pesticides, terminator genes, palatability enhancers, sawdust, marketing chooch, and other poisons swirling around cheerfully like a jolted snow globe. Accumulations of snow compresses and, given enough time and precipitation, glaciates and shears the very substrate of civilization. Legions of pushermen and pusherwomen coordinate the drive to itch our festering rashes, our engineered pain points. Willful ignorance, gatekeeping, tribalism theater, kleptocratic culture, institutional inertia, and neo-robber barons demand fealty and rule us as a divided people.

So how do we get these fuckers off of our backs, and get the fuck out of this dystopia?

Here’s a working list of stuff I’m investing more intention:

  • Observation, processing and discussion of both the empirical and esoteric information
    • Triangulate information from diverse sources
    • Update information regularly and frequently – do regular “sniff tests”, and improve olfactory capabilities and focus
  • Assimilation of beneficial and effective systems, methods or behaviors
    • Test driving, assessment, and selective uptake of practices
    • Identification and mitigation of outdated relics borne of institutional inertia, othodoxy, and ingrained habits
  • Exposure to new ideas
    • Meeting new people, participating in conversations across times, places, demographics, etc.
  • Willingness to risk displacing familiarity and comfort as part of the cost of the process of improvement
    • Linking change and adaptation to excitement, growth and maintenance
  • Improving breath control in the face of conflict, and respond with empathy and self-discipline
    • Quieting the angry amygdala, cultivating a cool and steady state of mind
  • Creating and joining cooperative efforts to address basic human needs in providing for the common good
    • A fed, clothed and sheltered population is one that can participate in efforts focused on achievement of higher purposes
  • Viewing humanity as a story of continuity, with the crisis of being cancelled as a species being the the kindling that singes us off of our collective ass to prevent anthropogenic human extinction
    • Believe in the belief that “On a long enough time scale, WE win.”
  • Recognizing, encouraging and instigating efforts that build human capital, including education, connection, flow, creativity, and fun
  • More fun, movement and growth

I’ve been taking more control of my inputs and outputs, and focusing on the exchange between my brain and gut. A diverse ecosystem of ideas, thoughts and stories, especially those that literally make me laugh, smile, or rush to share with someone, has rooted and taken hold as part of the Mycelial Network. I often find unexpected linkages that pop up like fruiting bodies in books and other media that span genre, delivery systems, audiences, and intentions. I harvest these thoughts and remix them into musing like this mundane one that sparked a conversation with my nephew and a few strangers in pre-COVID Costco.

Sauerkraut is German kimchi.

Occidental-Oriental translation that sparked a spontaneous, fun discussion with a kid and adult in the food court

I try to make a habit of taking the time to slowly examine ideas and stories, especially those that I disagree with, and being more intentional about what goes in and what comes out. When I have time and interest, I also dig around a bit, to try to triangulate and validate sources and tidbits for arguments that I don’t agree with, which although time and attention consuming, adds richness and capacity to question my beliefs.

I’d like to transmogrify the DK’s prescient dark mirror quote to meet the needs of our present zeitgeist, into a retrovirus that will hopefully shift a fundamental American perspective:

Give me cognitive dissonance, or give me death.

Cybernetic Patrick Henry

Critical thought is more precious than King Content, Queen SEO, petroleum, rare-earth magnets, blockchain-based commerce, gold-backed currency, the Superbowl, Disney+, Space X, Chicken McNuggets, Rand-McNally, Dogma (our Precioussssss….), and even Big Pharma. If I ever start primarily pushing NFTs, Herbalife, POGs, tulips, merchant services, opiates, or any of that shit, please push a large bolus via IV with a dangerously large dose of dissonance and a B-12 booster, give me my In-N-Out, and hope for the best. Should I be assimilated by the Borg, then it’s too late for me. In that case, you can have my cheeseburger.

Reading List / 1 year

Here’s an incomplete patch of books my brain has been grazing on for the past year:

  1. The Wim Hof Method by Wim Hof
  2. The Outsider by Stephen King
  3. Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
  4. The Body by Bill Bryson
  5. Beowulf translated by Seamus Heaney
  6. Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
  7. Mr. Mercedes by Stephen King
  8. High Fidelity by Nick Hornby
  9. Finders Keepers by Stephen King
  10. A Book of Five Rings by Miyamoto Musashi
  11. End of Watch by Stephen King,
  12. The Bomber Mafia by Malcolm Gladwell
  13. Breath by James Nestor
  14. A Very Punchable Face by Colin Jost
  15. Thinking in Bets by Annie Duke
  16. The Secret Wisdom of Nature by Peter Wohllenben
  17. The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho
  18. The Mind-Gut Connection by Emeran Mayer, MD
  19. This Is Your Mind on Plants by Michael Pollan
  20. Chomp by Carl Hiassen and James Van Der Beek
  21. Later by Stephen King
  22. Business Doing Good by Shannon Deer and Cheryl Miller
  23. Finding Flow by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
  24. Hunger Makes Me a Modern Girl by Carrie Brownstein
  25. Devolution by Max Brooks
  26. Yearbook by Seth Rogan
  27. The Song of Achilles by Madeline Miller
  28. Talking to Strangers by Malcolm Gladwell
  29. Breathe by Rickson Gracie and Peter Maguire
  30. How to Decide by Annie Duke
  31. Ready Player Two by Ernest Cline
  32. Little Weirds by Jenny Slate
  33. Four Thousand Weeks: Time Management for Mortals by Oliver Burkman
  34. Klara and the Sun by Kazuo Ishiguro
  35. Pacific Northwest Foraging by Douglas Deur
  36. Rabbits by Terry Miles
  37. Billy Summers by Stephen King
  38. Best. State. Ever. by Dave Barry
  39. Think Again by Adam Grant
  40. Backyard Foraging by Ellen Zachos
  41. The Meditations by Marcus Aurelius
  42. The Storyteller by Dave Grohl
  43. Mythos by Stephen Fry
  44. On the Plain of Snakes by Paul Theroux
  45. SPQR by Mary Beard
  46. Bourdain by Laurie Woolever
  47. Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman
  48. Immune by Phillip Dettmer
  49. Mycelium Running by Paul Stamets
  50. Tales from the Cafe by Toshikazu Kawaguchi
  51. Drive by Daniel H. Pink
  52. The Confidence Men by Margalit Fox
  53. Citizen Cash by Michael Stewart Foley
  54. The Secret History of Food by Matt Siegel
  55. World Travel by Anthony Bourdain and Laurie Woolover
  56. Forget the Alamo by Bryan Burrough, Chris Tomlinson, and Jason Stanford
  57. Entangled Life by Merlin Sheldrake
  58. Profit First by Mike Michalowitz
  59. Artful Dodging by Jeanne Martinet
  60. As Long As Grass Grows by Dina Gilio-Whitaker
  61. Breathing by Andrew Weil
  62. Growing Up, Growing Old and Going Fishing at the End of the Road by Tom Bodett
  63. Money by Jacob Goldstein
  64. I Contain Multitudes by Ed Yong
  65. The Power of Fun by Catherine Price

I intend to talk about specific books on future posts, as I have time to rest, digest, categorize, and discuss stories and ideas. Stay tuned, and let me know what you’re reading!

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Indentured Servitude in the Time of COVID-19

Two years passed, and then all of a sudden I went from no updates on my status as an applicant in the electrical workers’ union to working four 10-hour shifts and either one or two full 8-hour days of overtime per week. With brand new steel toe boots strapped on to my feet, I stuffed the tools that I was told to bring into a cheap, old backpack that would last a month under heavy strain and use. To be fair, the seams of the shoulder straps held on longer than expected for the thin, single-stitched nylon and resembled a fully spent inquisition participant after being put to the rack for heresy, blasphemy, and farting in a general direction.

The following tools contributed to backpack strap failure:
Old, beat up wood handled hammer

Large Channellocks, blue handle

Crescent wrench, 10″ with red plastic comfort handle

Beater slot headed screwdrivers, one small and one large

Klein 10-in-1 screwdriverKlein electrician snips and knife

Large Kleen Canteen, dents from bopping ling cods on the head

Google gives me a little information about the company I will be working for. They automate buildings and specialize in setting up massive HVAC systems on industrial scales. I will be working as a Low Voltage Electrician, also known as an “06”, or as a tech, or technician. We make less money than “Electricians” or “01’s”, however the work is less physically demanding and employment is less of a feast or famine situation. Also, the field is expected to continue expanding as more low voltage is utilized with modern infrastructure needs. Also, it is shared with me, 06’s are a more diverse pool of humans and tend to have a higher ratio of minorities and women (whom are yet to be seen by me).

I will come to find out that we play the specific role of installing low-voltage devices, such as temperature probes, thermostats, air pressure probes, CO2 monitors, occupancy sensors, light sensors and other devices, to networks that allow the HVAC processes to be automated. We basically turn buildings into giant computers. I will come to find out that building a PC or tinkering with a Raspberry Pi and linking peripherals up is not too different than what I will do. The main difference is big, namely the scale of the project. I will walk, climb, scamper, crawl, sit, crouch, and strain all day within the giant computer. It will take close to 10 minutes to briskly walk the perimeter of my first computer…But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Training consisted of being issued a hard hat with a heavy duty face shield, rubber-coated gloves, safety vest, and safety glasses. I got refreshed on basic scene safety on construction sites and how not to get seriously hurt by using the powers of observation with a liberal application of “common sense” (Thomas Paine, you had no idea the ironic combination of words that would become, did you?).

Summary of training: Gravity is dangerous, use tools properly, and use Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to prevent injury

Day 1: I show up to a busy construction site off of a windy country road that bypasses new housing projects intermingled with nicely maintained older houses surrounded by hilly woodlands, wide open parks and a lake, with a smattering of small businesses that benefit from the ebb and flow of tourists. 

As I pull in 30 minutes early, my tires crunch over fresh base rock, basalt ranging from grapefruit to orange in size, that feels like it might high-center my Prius. Thankfully, I pass over it without touching my undercarriage. I park next to a heaping dumpster, and pallets of large quantities of construction material.

I meet my foreman, who immediately sends me to orientation, mandatory for those setting foot for the first time on site. We are working on building a new elementary school, consisting of five interconnected areas, with services areas in mezzanines above. They go over basic safety, and give a talk about the importance of using face masks on site. “Use of masks is mandatory, so wear one. Don’t show up to work if you feel sick, or else this site could get shut down and put a lot of guys out of work”. We are issued stickers for our hard hats to put on, my first piece of flair that shows that I am now Safety Trained.

Next I go to the COVID-19 Screening Area, have my name and company recorded along with the answers to the questions “are you feeling ill?” and “have you been around anyone recently who has tested positive for COVID-19 or had any of its symptoms?”. After a “No” and “No”, I get my forehead temperature taken, and am cleared to work for the day.

Walking to meet my team for the first time, I realize that the simple task of walking is somehow taking more–much more mental bandwidth than usual. Wearing a helmet, mask, and safety glasses that fog up due to my breath are messing with my perception. Extra momentum from the heavy boots makes the nature of my stride feel a bit different. Gloves are providing and shielding tactile input, and my baggy safety vest is also part of the noise that is impeding the signal I am trying to prioritize. The act of walking safely, weaving in between workers who are working on things and especially paying attention to heavy machinery and making sure I’m not in anyone’s way is actually a minor challenge that will become second nature within the end of the week. But not before I trip over an exposed sprinkler head in front of an amused crowd of Pacific Islanders, who delight in giving a greenhorn some morning shit. I reflect that I’m kind of glad that a minor fuck up has spread cheer and joy, and ponder the irony of good-natured schadenfreude.

My team is small, consisting of my foreman and a fresh journeyman who recently joined the company. The lessons of the day include simple tasks that will lay the foundation for the following weeks.

Insulated plenum-rated wire – these range from 18-22 gauge, and CAT-6, and come in large boxes. There will be other wires, but these will be less common. We ID cable by jacket color. Pink and purple wire are the same hues as grape and strawberry flavored Nerds, orange is Starburst, brown is a Hershey’s bar, white is mint Tic-Tac. Green and burgundy wire are not dissimilar from the colors favored by Subaru during the 90’s, and the Blue Cat-6 is a dead ringer for FJ-Cruiser.

Wires are used to provide power, some to facilitate signals. They will link devices to the network, being run in J-hooks affixed to the walls, grid-wire, and other structural supports above the drop-panel ceiling, using “bat wings”. To pass through walls and between floors, wires are routed through rigid EMC (Electrical Metal Conduit) sleeves that are secured by “Florida Bobs” with easy anchors, and other fixtures. Lengths of EMC and flexible conduit are joined by junction boxes, either 4″ or 4-11’s, with flexible conduit joined by “straights” or “90’s”. 

We will have to quickly calculate lengths using what is readily available, doing arithmetic by knowing that an average arm length is about 5 feet, and the standard dimensions of materials. Standard grid tiles are 2’x4′. Electrical Metal Conduit (EMC) comes in 10 foot lengths, and the drop from ceiling to floor is usually about 8 feet. My coworkers are used to calculating footages quickly in their heads, even with long runs that have convoluted pathways. I will start out drawing out the path, and writing down my equations rather than keeping it all in my head. This will turn out to be a good habit to cultivate.

We start pulling a wire between rooms through a sleeve above the ceiling grid, standing on 8′ Lean-safe ladders. The tension required to pull a bundle of cables proves to be more than expected, and is similar to doing balance yoga and pilates or pulling in a big rockfish with a handline. Wearing the mask and glasses while exerting myself makes me focus on maintaining balance and equilibrium. It doesn’t feel particularly dangerous, but then again I remember that ladders are the tool that people hurt themselves the most seriously and frequently with. Some mental hot sauce flavors an otherwise mundane task.

Sharpies – These are used to write on the wire, a potentially difficult task if you have to hold the wire and support it in space while wearing gloves. They are also used to write on face tape(light colored electrical tape used to create reference tags for temporary use or as a final label). Tag location, legibility, terminology, and syntax in some cases are things that must be known. Also, tags are written in the spirit of the standard measurement system, which is to say that they are not a standardized set of words. 

A “different strokes for different folks” approach results in a confusing patois that lends itself to taking up unnecessary bandwidth. It’s interesting that the trades use confusing sets of terms that could be standardized, but isn’t due to tradition, habit, an aversion to conform, or just the satisfaction of using a larger vocabulary or whatever other reason. This is reminiscent of how fishermen like to name fish. Olive rockfish = Johnny Bass = Sebastes sp.. Orange 18-2 Non-insulated cable = Start/Stop (S/S) = Enable (Enab) = Run, etc…

I have a lot to learn, but I relax a bit remembering that as an apprentice, I have two things going for me. Right now is my opportunity to learn a lot, and I have a drive to do so quickly. Reason number two ties directly into reason number one: I am expected to make mistakes. This is great, because I learn the best from my mistakes. I am going to make the most of my mistakes, and I will strive to make them less frequently by using observation and sense.

A political slogan crosses my mind and mutates into something else that doesn’t induce nausea or fire up the ol’ amygdala. I wish, to my imaginary genie, to “Make sense common again”. Was it ever? Could it be within the foreseeable future? Dunno, I’ll probably have to revise it to make it a wish that won’t have negative intended consequences. But I like the sound of it.

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Picked Clean

I like the unusual aspect of this fish head, looking up into the cranial cavity.

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Mindfulness and merde

Is it possible to develop the awareness of dog shit in your path, and also enjoy the good stuff around you in the same moment? I’m pretty good at avoiding stuff on the street or on grass, but on a leafy hiking path I will be practicing because somehow I managed to get both feet deep in the merde. As I was using a twig for purposes of remediation, I was fully able to appreciate the new, knobby Vibram tread on my Hanwags.

And then I reflected on the irony of appreciating something new AFTER an encounter with dog poo.

After this, I decided to see if the hive brain had yet come up with a better method than scraping, rinsing and scrubbing shoes to remove fecal material, and came upon this from Lifehacker:

  1. Stick your shoe in a plastic bag and toss it in the freezer for several hours.
  2. Come back later, grab a pencil, take the show outside, and use it to pick that frozen dog doo out of your shoe’s treads. Because the poop is less of a mushy substance and more like an ice cube, it won’t stick to the rubber. You’ll be able to get it out easily and go on with your day.
  3. If you want to really clean the shoe thoroughly, get yourself a toothbrush specifically for this occasion and brush the bottom of the shoe with soapy water. The tiny bristles well help remove any residue.
  4. When you’re done, spray the bottom of the show with a stream of water and let it dry. (The truly paranoid with non-leather shoes can toss them in the washing machine, too.

I may try this method out if it gets really cold and leave my shoes outside. Another question, who would be OK with putting a duke in their freezer, unless it was used for other non-food/beverage storage?

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Ranier at Dusk

The elusive mountain and its setting have a Tokaido vibe going on.

On a formatting note, this was posted as a Featured Photo. I’ll be playing with settings to see what they do.

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The Pioneer Bridge

It’s hard to believe that I can see the bridge from the Pioneer commercial from my patio.


Pioneer commercial:

More to come…


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Is this thing still on?

A decade ago. That’s how long it feels like it’s been since I signed in, typed words into the title and body fields, uploaded pictures, and hit [Publish]. Nothing really took over the place of Higo Blog. Posting on Facebook just wasn’t the same, and actually started feeling like a fax of a xeroxed picture.

Every once in a while I take a look at old posts, enjoying them like the sweet, earthy smell of old, treasured, well-maintained books. It feels like I’ve picked up an especially significant book, one that I haven’t read in ages, that has benefited from a long, undisturbed rest. Much feels familiar, and I’ll be interested to see if it’s much the same as it used to be, or to note how it’s different.

One big setting that I changed a few years back was to disable comments. This was due to the overwhelming amount of spam comments that vied for attention. Spam seems no more in control now than it was when it first appeared, and continues to thrive despite being one of the few things that 99% of people can agree to hate. For now, I think I’ll leave comments off, though I used to really enjoy the discourse that they provided.

Side story: I was excitedly offered food at a party near Gilroy. The hostess exclaimed, “It’s really good sushi – try some. It has meat!”

It was Spam musubi. Which is always good. And it was culture shock. Which, in this case, was amusing. What does this have to do with the main narrative? Very little, but it’s about Spam.

And so with these rambling thoughts about what the blog was, and thinking about what I want it to be, I’ll let this post settle in. As a work in progress, as a relatively invisible stream of untargeted, non-fodderized social media. Sounds good to me.

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Time to Fish

Recently, I’ve had the opportunity to get on a boat, to challenge my sea legs and to test the tensile strength of the combination of rod + reel + spectra / mono / flouro lines + swivel + barbless hook on a (approximately) 20 pound king salmon. Though the bite wasn’t hot in Avila Beach last Friday, we manged to snag one using a black and white apex, down 60 feet (for some reason, not many people mooch this far south, preferring to troll instead). As there were few birds to indicate where the bait balls were hanging out, we had to rely on the location of other recreational boats and fish finder to put the lure in front of this:

adam.chinookKohei and I split the fish, and ended up with a decent amount of ruby red fillets and collars to grill up. We did a misoyaki prep for the collar, letting it sit for 3 days. For the fillets, we used salt, pepper, butter, oil, garlic and lemon juice and cooked them on cast iron for 5 minutes on high heat, then for 6 minutes in the oven at 450 degrees. I don’t think there’s much better than a cast iron skillet for evenly distributing heat, and for imparting a nice seared crust that is hard to beat.

Hopefully the bite up in Monterey picks up, and I can go get some more sustainably caught wild Chinook salmon. Fish that you catch yourself is, by definition, the best you can get because it is so fresh that you can literally still eat it when it’s alive (if that’s your thing- I wouldn’t because I would want to put it out of its misery first, and salmon have parasites that easily take up residence in us unless properly prepared), you can release any non-targeted species quickly and give them a reasonable chance to survive, its fun (though expensive), you get a nice tan and get a little exercise to boot. The only problem is that it’s hard to eat store or restaurant bought fish after successfully catching and eating fresh fish.

There’s only one solution: I need to catch more fish, which means that I have to go fishing more. I guess that I’m willing to make that sacrifice, for health and ocean conservation!

Posted in Fishes, Fishing, Food

Sharpie Art




This past weekend I got a chance to bust out my markers on my dive float as Alex Norton (very talented artist and tuna whisperer) burned a boar’s skeleton into a wooden sheath that pairs with a bone handled hunting knife. I started with the outline of the suction cups on the arm and the eye. I decided to just depict five of the octopus’ arms, as I’ve noticed that you don’t frequently get a good view of all eight of them at one time. Or maybe it’s a newly discovered species of cephalopod–the magnificent pentapus!


As you can see from the next shot, I decided to get rid of the siphon because of the orientation of the body. the panel between the zippers acts as a nice frame–an unintended result that I’m quite pleased with.IMG_0353At one point, I was going to have the octopus descending while holding an ab iron, but couldn’t get the proportions to work. Nevertheless, I’m happy with my progress thus far, and plan on adding more critters to fill up the negative spaces on the sides. Not bad for a humble sharpie on top of ballistic nylon, huh?

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