Great Barracuda - Sphyraena barracuda

Great Barracuda - Sphyraena barracuda

August 25, 2011

Abissi Sparkling Wine - Hmmmm

Many years ago, we visited Portofino, Italy. Of all the places we'd been to from Brussels, to Florence, to Lucerne, to the Italian coast -- Portofino was by far the most spectacular and mesmerizing. The buildings are ancient, beautiful; the streets were cobbled; boats rock in the port; vineyards and farms frame the town and cling to cliffs that fall into the Mediterranean. If you EVER get the chance to go there.... go there!

Anyway, this is an interesting combination of entrepreneurship and use of natural resources. Harmless to the environment, the bottles are stored for a year in cages under the sea while the water rocks them and keeps them dark and cool. If I can get my hands on one, would't that be nice?

Click here to read article.

August 24, 2011

Hurricanes and Hatchlings

Whew! I've only been back home a few days and already I'm buried in work, and missing the ease and pace of life on Ocracoke. Some day I must write a short story or long book about the island. It is a place like no other.

Anyway, seems like we came and went just in time to avoid Hurricane Irene. As of today, the path looks like it will skirt the coast and wind up in New England. There might not be a 'direct hit', but any hurricane off of the thin line of Outer Banks islands can be devastating to many creatures. Especially the young, the old, and the weak. There are still a lot of nesting birds, and the Sea turtles have many un-hatched nests still buried in the sand.

Sea turtles have been caught between a rock and a hard place: loss of habitat, increasing ocean pollution, declining ecosystems, death by net.... compounding these issues is the fact that along the east coast, the later nests hatch at the beginning of hurricane season. There is a very good chance that all of the remaining nests on Ocracoke and other barrier island in Irene's path will be lost. They can survive rain, and minimal flooding, but not hurricane flooding. The eggs literally drown.

Last summer, a storm churned off of Bermuda bringing heavy surf and high water to Ocracoke. Every nest was lost. It was the most depressing sight: staked nest sights completely underwater.

Well, no one can change the weather. But we can keep plastics out of the ocean, eat only turtle safe seafood, contribute to our favorite causes. And, turn off the lights... Updates forthcoming.

August 20, 2011

Back Home?

Oh Lordy... Two weeks on Ocracoke Island. There is too much to relay. It is late. I'm tired. So, just a glimpse: These two juvie Spades are dancing around eachother. Balletic.
More later....

August 5, 2011

Shark Week Live - Day 6

7:29pm: Refreshing! I think I'm watching the tail-end (no pun intended) of a segment on getting close to Blue Sharks off of New Zealand. The fellow narrating actually has a NORMAL voice! And, the information is interesting and factual. Nice... Now, another scientist giving a primer on Hammerhead sharks. Straight forward, factual. OK! Maybe I can stay in tune with this.

7:50pm: Uh oh... I just realized this is a count-down kind of thing: least to most dangerous to humans. Ugh. Here we go. Downward spiral into White Shark statistics? I've been duped. OK OK calm down... The narrator was bitten by a Gray Reef, but holds no grudges. I don't know what to think about this now. It's a combination of science, with semi-scary narration. The one seems to temper the other.

8:06: Further decline. Quote: "Oceanic Whitetips don't make their living off of ship wrecks. Ship wrecks are just bonuses." Oh boy. The shark just ate a floating doll or something while quasi-Jaws music played in the background. Okey doke. Got it. I bet by 9pm we'll be watching White Sharks and Bull Sharks terrorize.

8:26: Tiger Sharks. 8:31: White Sharks. 8:47: Bull Sharks at #1. Another mix of science and scary.

Synopsis: Perhaps the only things that kept me engaged in this episode was the mix of science into scary, the tempering of 'Jaws' music with 'normal' music, and the shear lack of scary gutteral voice-over.... Maybe (just maybe?) next year will be all science? Fat chance.

August 4, 2011

Shark Week Live - Day Five? (I'm losing track...)

DISCLAIMER: Bad language.
I've pretty much given up on Shark Week. There's nothing new to report, and I haven't learned anything useful. It's all White Sharks, Bite Cams, and now, "Air Jaws" -- which my son told me is a repeat... The heck with it.
So! Instead of repeating myself redundantly over and over again, here is a collection of parodies!
First, a really bad parody of the music and theme with lots of bleep words -- really bad:

This has one bleep word, but at least it's funny:

Then this!!

I know this has absolutely nothing to do with Shark Week (and it's chocked with bleep words). But I'm punch drunk on chum and this is flat out funny:

HAPPY SHARK WEEK! (one day to go??)

August 3, 2011

Shark Week LIve - Day Four ? ! !

8:00pm: I may not make it to the end. I'm wiped. Been out all day trying to get my sons ready for school: one to senior-year high school, the other to senior-year college. This entailed trips to the ASPCA rummage store (inexpensive kitchen ware), J. Crew, Verizon, Dick's Sporting, Kroger, Bed Bath and Brainwashing. Then I helped a neighbor who can't drive get to her orthopedist apt. Then I cooked dinner. Then I did dishes and laundry and packing. I did not draw or paint today. All I want right now is to GET TO OCRACOKE AND GO FISHING!!!

Ahhh. Well with that off my chest... here we go....

What the hell are these guys doing? They're treading water while chumming fish heads among feeding sharks. If they get bit, they asked for it. 'Bite-Cam'? WTF? How is learning how sharks bite going to help preserve them from overfishing? It's useless information. They can't bite their way out of a net or off of a hook.

8:52pm: No wonder this program gets ratings... it's all about scary, sharp teeth. Maybe that's erotic? Ugh.

10:07pm: Yep, I'm toast. The staged blood and guts and gore were no match against my longing for sleep. It's just too repetitive and boring, and sad. Shark Week: 0. Sleep: 10. Bye!

August 2, 2011

Shark Week Live - Day THREE ! ! !

7:23pm: This is really funny. I'm actually looking forward to the next few hours. "WHAT!" you may say! Yep...

See, my 18 year-old son is on the brink of his senior year at high school. Thus, we have begun the college application process. Yippee! (I'd rather have a root canal.) So, after wrangling with him for the past five hours, I'm looking forward to being disgusted by Shark Week. He was THAT annoying.

7:29pm: I'm laughing at the voice-over! Jeeze... Normally it pisses me off. These guys must practice this voice thing. I wonder if they do it in a mirror?

8:45pm: Isn't this a rerun? Sharks circling? Hey! Rerun! Maybe they're running out of material...

9:56: Scary reenactment. "Jaws" theme rip-off: city mayor against scientist. Can we please see something cool like a Frill shark, or a Gulper shark, or a Goblin Shark? It's all White Sharks and Bull Sharks and Tiger Sharks. Nothing new.

Interesting: I'm now more agitated than I was filling out college apps with apathetic son. Hmmm.... Perhaps I've overdosed on Shark Week just as I did on College App Week.

Hmmm.... I'm double dosed?

10:47: No lie. Bear is asleep next to me and just let lose a particularly gaseous fart.

I give up...I'm going to sleep...

August 1, 2011

Shark Week Break - Fun News!

11:05pm: I'm really tired and fed up. Forcing myself to watch the same gruesome stuff over an over has become exhausting. So, I went looking for a break.
Yay! This is fun - Click Here. This fellow sat on a dock and caught over 2,000 fishes in 24 hours. I suspect that since these fishes live under a restaurant dock, they're trained. But, who cares? A record is a record.

Shark Week Live - Day Two

OK! 8:05pm: Ano Nuevo, California. My old stomping grounds! I graduated from UCSC and spent many afternoons walking the Ano beaches and trying not to choke on the smell of Elephant Seal poo. Folks didn't really worry about the sharks. I don't remember any incidents -- and surfers frequented key spots when the waves were ripe.

Anyway, besides the scary voice-over and creepy music, the video of a White Shark eating an Ano Nuevo Elephant Seal was pretty cool. It was honest - not like the video of the sharks hitting the fake, towed seal. That was staged. Not natural. Sensational.

Oh! I forgot! This is Attack Night. So, it didn't take long for Discovery editors to get right to it.

Quick segue from seals to humans. Attack Attack Attack. Reinactment (typical), scary music (typical), and deep gutteral voice-over (typical). Hoping the next installment has some educational content....and something OTHER than White Sharks...

9pm: "They're natures perfect killing machines... But do some sharks target people? Intentionally, purposefully... do some go rogue... Humans are not a sharks favorite meal... it was a blood-bath... " Graphic reenactments and retellings....


9:55pm: Coppelson sucks. He did more to vilify sharks than Benchley did using his theories in 'Jaws.'

Ooohhh! Epiphany: The White Shark is completely and absolutely capable of devouring - devouring - a human. They don't. The encounters are a 'mistaken identity' situation. Duh... again.