Well, last Friday afternoon at the Fred Hall Show
was interesting if only for people watching. Unfortunately, I am more familiar with commercial fishing regulations than sport, so often I am looking stuff up in the book as much as the people themselves are - I often deferred to Ed or Michelle or the warden at the booth with us when it came to something I didn't know the particulars of; Ed, especially, has the book just about memorized. In one instance, a guy came up to Ed and loudly complained about how limited rockfishing is getting - he was getting a little heated, but finally ran out of steam and wandered off to buy his fishing license anyway. After he moved away, Ed turned to me and breathed, "My god, could you smell the fumes coming off that guy? I was getting a contact high!" One nice thing was that we had a laptop with a large monitor attached, so we could check for updates on the website
, which we recommended people do the night before they go fishing. This is especially important for rockfish and other groundfish, since season and depth closures can change from month to month. We also had a rockfish poster that everyone wanted a copy of; we had to tell them it was available for purchase at RockfishID.com (Ed had a big hand in the making of that one - a beautiful poster that I'd show you, but unfortunately the website isn't active yet).
VT arrived a half hour before my shift was over, exclaiming, "Man, I had to be total bitch to get in here - they wanted to charge me to park and for admission!" I guess at both parking lot and the door she had to wait until the right person came along and said, yes, the Department had a booth here and she could come in. Regular exhibitors have a badge, but since we change people every few hours, they don't give them to us. "Don't piss off the pregnant lady," I laughed. Since visitors to the booth were slow, we stood around chatting for a bit until I looked at the clock, and told Michelle, "Hey, we were supposed to be out of here half an hour ago!" I had meant to look around the show more, but since I was already late going home, I figured I'd better get going. Since I had to use the state truck the next day, I just took it home.
Saturday morning, we had another meeting about the flower show - mostly how to set up the room and how to get more people to help with it. Seems like many of the people who would normally be helping the most are either going to be out of town that day or in the case of one of our members, recently moved to a nursing home. As soon as I returned home from that, I went with John to help remove a pair of broken-down laundry room doors, that he is reskinning for the grandfather of one of Gareth's classmates (he's getting a bit of a reputation as a handyman to folks at school).
After that, I took off for USC for the career panel. I was almost late - I constantly forget that the 110 freeway in that area is jammed almost 24 hours a day. Most of the questions I got were about enforcement. I guess they found the other careers more interesting; on the surface, fisheries management seemed a little dry. However, I did encourage them to try and get experience in anything at all even slightly related to what they want go into - for instance, I spent a summer working for the Forest Service, reconstructing stream beds for endangered trout species. I didn't really see a whole lot of the fish I was working for, and a lot of the job consisted of finding big rocks and throwing them into the back of a truck and building electric fences, but I did learn a lot about their habitat requirements and got to spend a summer working outdoors in a Sierra Mountain wilderness, something I won't ever forget. I got to spend a night helping fight a forest fire, too, something that made me decide that was a field I didn't
want to go into.
I did get to talk to the scientific illustrator, who also works part-time in education at the Cabrillo Aquarium
. She told the students one of her dreams had really come true when a publisher paid her to go to Alaska to paint seabirds for an ID manual. She got to kayak around to take her reference pictures and then stay in a cabin in the forest to do her paintings. Afterward, I asked her what kind of training she had had, since she said she got her degree in Biology before she ever did did any artwork. She told me she had been though the extension program at UC Santa Cruz, which had started out as a Master's program, but because of budget cuts and such, has been reduced to a year-long certificate program. It's no less grueling for all that - they only accept 15 students a year, and she hadn't been accepted her first two tries because she didn't have enough in her portfolio. They cram three years worth of work into one, and she said she had spent sometimes 16 hours a day, drawing. Whew!
That's a little disappointing because not only do I not have enough for a portfolio, Santa Cruz for a year is kind of out the question - I don't think I'd have a chance of dragging John up there. It's very expensive to live up in that area, not to mention the tuition. She did tell me, however, that a few books have come out recently
that cover just about everything
covered in the coursework, so it wouldn't be impossible to learn it myself. Food for thought...
There was a beautiful organpipe-type cactus opposite the building the panel took place in - it must have been 30 feet tall, nearly as big as the jacaranda tree growing right behind it. And btw, I have never seen so many beach cruiser bicycles in one place as on that campus(Had to stop and take pictures of both). I called my brother to see if he wanted to go get a cuppa somewhere before I headed home, but he had just gotten off work and was wiped out. Ah well, another time.