A tale of two fishes

What’s the difference between the words “fish” and “fishes”,? This was explained to me a few weeks ago in a lecture about fishes (and if you feel I’ve left anything out, please let me know):
Fish (I’m just dealing with the noun form, pertaining to language used by aquarists, keep in mind) can mean an individual or a group of the same species of fish.
Fishes, on the other hand, deals specifically with the plural of two or more species.
So does this mean that the sentence “I eat a lot of fish.” is wrong if you enjoy eating salmon, tuna, yellowtail, barramundi, and other types of fishes? I don’t think so, but I’ll ask around.
Anyhow, on to the pictures. One fish pictured is a gar. The other fish is a goldfish. One of them ate the other one, and though the outcome was predictable, I was not expecting to see the following play out.
I don’t know enough about gars to hazard a guess at which species this is, but I can tell you that it is the King (or Queen) of the tank.
Maneuvering by using mostly its muscular pectoral fins, the gar slowly positions itself for a meal.
The attack is lightning fast, and devastating to the goldfish. Pressure sensitive canals are lined up along its snout, and function much like a lateral line, letting the gar sense changes in water pressure. It attacks by lining its prey up right next to its mouth, and then snapping it up with its needle-like teeth while flexing its body to one side.
For some reason, the gar spat out its meal, and started to drag the disemboweled goldfish around. It reminded me of a master walking his dog.
After a few minutes, the intestines finally snapped, and the gar finished its grisly meal.

LOTR: the Passing of the Torch

Brian Herbert, with Kevin J. Anderson, took up the Dune universe’s story after his father, Frank Herbert, passed away. I thought he did a very good job in staying true to his father’s vision, and really enjoyed the two books of his that I read (“House Atreides” and “House Harkonnen”).
I am very interested to read “The Children of Hurin” by Christopher Tolkien (son of J.R.R. Tolkien), which is coming out next month. Just like Brian Herbert, Christopher Tolkien used his father’s extensive notes to complete a work in progress that was never finished.
One of the major themes of the worlds of these books are the legacies that previous generations hand off to future generations. It is fitting that the sons of two great authors, Tolkien and Herbert, have finished the work that their fathers had started.

Whale Bomb

I remember hearing about another whale exploding on the streets of China a few years ago. Well, it happened again in Taiwan. This time with a Sperm Whale:
Why would the researchers wait until now to move a whale from the beach. Did they not think about the consequences of letting a whale decompose for 2 months before doing a necropsy?
Can you imagine the carnage? Putrid whale entrails splattered on the buildings, cars, and the street with such force and volume that it stopped traffic…

National Geographic, April 2007

The latest issue of National Geographic magazine is exceptional, which is the highest praise I can give it. I’ve grown up reading this magazine, and the two main stories are both on topics that I love.
The main story is entitled “Saving the Sea’s Bounty” and is broken down into:
The Majestic Bluefin
Safe Haven in New Zealand
Village of Empty Nets
The smaller story is entitled “The Roots of Hip-hop”.
Both stories are really well done.
You can take a look at what’s inside at the National Geographic Magazine website.


For the moment, comments are down, so don’t feel bad if they aren’t getting posted. I’ll be working on updating this blog, and will let you know when comments are back online. Thanks for your patience.

?? over Pacific Grove

One evening, the moon was intensely bright and illuminated everything on my walk home from work. Ignoring my hunger, I grabbed my D50 as soon as I got home, and snapped some pictures.
This is a view from my front door. Lacking a tripod, I improvised by resting the camera on a rail, and using my SOG multitool to get a better angle.
I wanted to see what it looked like in front of the trees in the distance, so I put my shoes back on and headed over to the Point.
There were many families down at Lovers’ Point, mostly Hispanic. I thought it was cool that as I was shooting, more and more of them showed up, and started having picnics on the grass. It was a cultural remix of the tsukimi parties that I’d attended in Japan.
As the seasons transition from Winter to Spring, I find myself remembering all of the flower viewing parties that I enjoyed in a time not too long ago.
Located not a minute away from my apartment is a park located right on the beach, with public picnic areas and barbecues. Now all you(and you all know who “you” are) have to do is drop by, and we can enjoy grilled meats and vegetables while watching the sun set by the Bay. Beer is in the ‘fridge… Let’s ‘Q.

IV TV meets Troops

There used to be a cool show on public access television in Santa Barbara called IV TV that chronicled the happenings in Isla Vista, U.C. Santa Barbara’s college town. This was the best independent TV show ever, and dealt with controversial topics as well as the crazy stuff that went on back then.
One of the craziest shows captured the aftermath of David Attias slamming his car into 5 pedestrians, killing 4 of them. I was one of many that night that was out on those streets that night. I think the whole town felt united in their rage and sadness, following this senseless act. IV TV was on the scene, and showed us what happened.
(for more on this topic, check out this post)
It was in college that I was introduced to the Troops vids. These shorts were pretty cool, and gave us a glimpse of the Star Wars Universe in much the same way that Dante and Randall speculated about the loss of innocent life as a result of blowing up the Death Star in The Return of the Jedi.
I watched the following video, which brought back memories of IV TV and Troops:
Stabbing at Leia’s 22nd Birthday

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Ah, it brings back so many memories…


Like my brother, I get a real sense of satisfaction from keeping a car in good condition. I don’t particularly enjoy washing, waxing, vacuuming, shampooing, or doing the other things that make a car look great, but it feels pretty good to know that it is being maintained in the best condition possible. Waxing a car is a tedious, time consuming process, but when you wipe away the haze to reveal a mirror-like finish and see a previously hidden depth exposed, it is all worth it.
Most of you don’t take the time to wash and wax your cars yourself, and unless you do, you won’t understand the exact feeling I’m talking about. No, taking your car to the car wash won’t accomplish the same thing.
Since I’ve returned to the States, this is the 3rd car that I’ll be involved in selling. I’m getting it into the best shape I can before it’s going to be sold, as I have done with the previous two cars.
On another note, I know I haven’t been posting any great posts or new pictures lately, and I apologize for that. Give me a bit more time to figure things out and to regain my equilibrium while I develop my focus. I’ll be working on it, even if it isn’t apparent right now.