senoritafish: (neil finn)
Drat. I'm beginning to think I'm destined to never see Neil Finn/Crowded House ever again. Don't think I have since VT and I saw him during one of his solo tours at Downtown Disney (which seems like a weird place to see him in hindsight). They're at Club Nokia which is right across from the Convention Center where we went to AX last month, so we could easily do the train thing again. However, Avalon's birthday is on Saturday, and we were saving $ for that, and even though we got full paychecks this month (for the first time in about 18 mos.), it went for other things we behind on; I didn't buy tickets when I had the money available. Oh well. I'm not sure I could handle that horrendous pornstache Neil's grown recently in person anyway; I might get arrested for assaulting his upper lip with a Schick Quattro or at least trying to convince him to grow out something else around it. Don't get me wrong, I usually like male facial hair - [livejournal.com profile] runsamuck's had full beards since becoming a stay-at-home dad - but that thing is awful. Well, maybe I'll splurge on the CD when I pick up Big Time Rush for Avalon, as she gets suckered in by any new Nick show.

This Saturday, on her birthday, this is going on right next to the Aquarium. The last time I heard of this in CA it was up in the Bay Area and it looks like a lot of fun. It reminds of when I was a student at Queensland University in 1988, and there was "Birdman of the Brisbane River" Competition. I have no idea where my pictures of this are now, but I found someone's photo set from a year before which brings back a lot of memories. There was someone jumping of a platform on a bicycle with wings attached, another guy with boxes attached to his arms, decorated with silvery "tentacles" - he was a "box jellyfish" - and the engineering students at some school had made a giant orange papier-mache' crab, claws, legs, eyes, and all, that they had all the spectators sign (in the picture set I see a chicken with what looks like signatures all over it, wonder if it's by the same people?). It was about 20' across, and by the time the students had carried it up to the top of the platform, all the legs had fallen off, but they threw it in the river anyway. Heh. I notice the FM 104 signs on the pictures - I still have a mug with the" 'Rockin' Roo"' on it from that radio station sitting on my desk here at work. Someone broke it, but glued it back together for me when I was back in New Hampshire (boy, it's traveled a lot!), and it holds all my writing implements (a few of which are dried up and need to be chucked), a couple of pairs of scissors and a swizzle stick with a fish on it now.

So we might go to that. Break out the sunscreen.

ETA: Brisbane was the first place I saw Crowded House, come to think of it. They played at the Expo, which I bought a season pass to. Saw a lot of good music with that pass - I got pretty spoiled.

ETA2: Just realized they are playing next week at McMenamin's Edgefield in Portland, where we went for dinner during the Council meeting back in April! Damn, that would be a great place to go see them. ;_ ;
senoritafish: (6yrsold)
IMG_5481

To tell the truth, I copied down the [livejournal.com profile] mylife_onceaday scavenger hunt list at the beginning of the month, but have suffered travel, stress, Flickr account expiring, lack of computer access (read one computer and 4-5 people wanting to use it) and lack of motivation to keep track of it. Hell with it, let's just say I'm a lazy ass. Given that I did take pics without the list in mind I thought I'd at least go through my April photos and see if any matched up with the prompts.

Angus and I went for a walk downtown; given that I've lived here since being younger than he is, there are a LOT of childhood memories here. The tree above, more horizontal than vertical, is one of several like it I used to climb regularly when my Girl Scout troop had day camp (called Camp Puk-Wudgie) for a week each summer. We'd spend Thursday night in a tent in the park - one time we were kept awake all night by a screech owl in a nearby palm tree.

Ostensibly we were looking for a geocache in the tree, but there were so many people with dogs around we gave up.

Farquar Park
Huntington Beach CA
Canon EOS 1000D
2 April 2009

other memories, I can't decide... )

14. childhood memory ☺
30. hands ☺
6. damage ☺
senoritafish: (starry night)
IMG_1205Forty years ago? I was six, we had only shortly before moved into this house in this neighborhood. I was going to start second grade at a new school in a couple of months - strangely enough, at the ones my kids attend now.

My parents called us into the knotty-pine paneled den, and we sat on the hard floor, gathered aroung a 12-inch black and white TV. I think there were still boxes around us, we hadn't finished moving in. Grainy, high contrast images. Men putting up a flag, hopping like kangaroos, sipping lunch out of tubes. I was rapt and couldn't look away; I don't remember if my brothers were, being not quite five. Dad worked for one of the companies that helped put those men up there, and we quite understood that this was history. I think one of our parents said this would be something to tell our kids or grandkids about, I don't remember who. Later, we went outside the back door and looked up in the sky, wondering if we could catch a glimpse of the men that were up there; no, said my dad, they'd be way too tiny for us to see.

Maybe this is part of what later fueled my love of science fiction and the idea of other worlds. That certainly hasn't left me. I thought by now the world would be much farther along.
senoritafish: (perfect TV mom)
One of Avalon's friends had a skating birthday party Saturday, and the parents were kind enough to invite Angus and Gareth too. I went with, and since none of them had been skating before, I rented my own pair of skates too. It's been roughly 20 years since I've been skating, but the last time was at this same rink in Fountain Valley. Beth, Doug and I (and others) used to go every couple of weeks or so, although it sort of slowed down a bit after Doug and Beth collided on a turnand he landed on her ankle and nearly broke it. I don't think she'd even be able to now, the way her neck is.

Note for next time - the kid's skates run small. I asked for their shoes sizes and and all of them had their toes jamming up against the ends, needing the next bigger size. I tried to demonstrate on the carpet how to keep your front foot going straight and pushing off with your back foot, but really, it's something you have to do to figure out how to do it. Angus and I did a lap first; he wanted to cling bodily onto my arm, and his feet were going all over the place (imagine one of those cartoons where the character's arms or legs have speeded up into fans). We got around once and I needed to rest a bit before the next one. Whew! Avalon was easier to pull around, and Gareth seemed to be ok too, although were pretty wobbly. Angus kept going around next to the wall by himself; good for him! Seems like he's getting better at doing stuff by himself, and not freaking out so much when he can't see me.

Then the PA called the birthday girl's name, and pizza, cupcakes and ice cream were served in the snack bar, then everyone was off and skating again. Angus and Avalon gamely tried to do the Hokey-Pokey, making wobbly circles, but not doing much about the body parts, which was fine. Soon after that, the two youngest crashed and burned - Avalon on her butt a couple of times, and then Gareth fell down forward and did a face plant (well, he bumped his nose, anyway). They were done, and swore they would skate no more forever. Angus could have kept going, but they were all getting pretty tired and thirsty, and trying to get a drink of water from the fountain was an exercise in contortion. For some reason the damn thing was mounted about two feet from the floor and with skates on I think I was at least six feet tall. We'll have to be sure to bring a bottle of water if we come again.

Anyway, I'd forgotten how fun it was. Only thing is I thought I at least got a few pics of feet in skates, but all I have is the fry stuffing their faces with pizza. ;p
senoritafish: (6yrsold)
(tagged by Andy at FB, but it's just easier to write out in Semagic for LJ and goes there anyway...)

Fill this out about your SENIOR year of high school! The longer ago it was, the more fun the answers will be!! FORWARD with name of high school and graduating year in the subject box. Send this to all your friends, but don't forget to send it back to me.

Hmmm, this is really straining the brain to remember... )
senoritafish: (pensive)
PICT0266

(To the tune of My Grandfather's Clock - words by Garrison Kiellor)

My grandmother's cat was too big for the shelf
So he slept every night in a bed
He was almost as big as Grandma herself
'Cause three times a day he was fed
He was fed tuna scraps as he lay in Grandma's lap
On his back with a big napkin tied
He ate as much as he could hold
'Til he got too wide.


Goldie, and my grandmother, and us... )
senoritafish: (6yrsold)
... or so a few old friends who found me on Facebook asked? I shall attempt to summarize...

(I wrote this up, yeesh, back in November, and then was too lazy or shy to actually post it...I've been reminded that I did, though...posted here at LJ because it'll show up there, or at least it's supposed to...)

You may skip if you already know - the last eight or so are right here... )
senoritafish: (munch trek)
Dream:

We were all in the park at the end of my street, flying kites, late in the afternoon (note:in real life, this park is not all that great a place to fly kites; there are too many trees, and a couple of buildings for them to get stuck on the roof of). I think even my dad had come. Instead of flying them from west to east, the normal wind dirction, we were flying them from north to south, so we were actually standing in the street and the kites were in the air in front of the scout cabin. Our kite was pretty small and plain. Another man showed up and began setting up a series of figures in a semicircle on the grass in front of the scout cabin. The may have been cartoon characters or political figures or flowers, I don't remember, but we wondered why he was taking such care with how they were arranged. Then he came back to where we were standing and began sending a black kite up in the air. By this time, it was after sunset and it was getting fairly dark, so the rest of us were working on reeling our kites in. Once we had gotten them down and put away, we heard a BANG BANG BANG, and look up to see the man had set off series of fireworks along the string of his kite. They traveled up the string, and when the sparks reached the kite, it burst into a fan-shaped fountain, which burned for a few seconds. This of course burned up the kite as well, and it turned over and nosedived to the ground, crashing right in front of the figures set up on the ground in a shower of sparks. This set off lines of incendiary to each of the figures, of which the outlines flashed into flame from top to bottom. Wow. We all stood and clapped, as he smiled quietly and began to pick up all the remnants of his display.

This may have been triggered by commercials for Making Fiends running on Nickelodeon lately. where evil Vendetta brings a kite to fly alongside her would-be friend Charlotte's kite.

Charlotte: "Oh, you have a kite too Vendetta?
Vendetta: "Oh yes, it's a very special kite!

And then her black kite sprouts tentacles and teeth, growls, and grabs Charlotte's kite and eats it.

(I actually started watching these as web videos a couple of years ago before Nick started airing the series)

I was thinking about this dream when first got up (actually I was TMI! )), and it segued in my head to the the little kite I'd gotten once as a prize on the bottom of a Slurpee cup, and how free prizes in kids products used to be so much better than they are now. Cracker Jacks (a brand of carmel popcorn snack) used to have actual toys in them; I remember when I was about five, getting a tiny plastic elephant (assembly required) that had some kind of rider (a monkey or a mahout, I don't remember) that fit into a slot on its back. You pushed down the elephants tail, or maybe its trunk, and the rider went flying off somewhere (and you were lucky if you ever found it again). Nowadays, you get a sticker or a temporary tattoo. My father used to save Planters Peanut wrappers for me because you could send away for free stuff with them. I think I still have a Mr. Peanut bank out in the garage somewhere. Nothing on the backs of their wrappers now. I notice the Dums-Dums suckers my kids got in their Halloween candy have a "save wrappers for stuff" thing, but you order from a website and the wrappers only get you a discount.

An exception lately was the alarm clock from a box of Poptarts, which you needed to have several coupons from a box to able to purchase. It has pictures of a the little dinosaur from the commercial on the hands, and when the alarm goes off, it says:

"Get up. One of us has to get up, and it ain't gonna be me. Get up or I tell all your friends you wear jammies!"

It also runs backwards, so it takes a bit of squinting to tell what time it actually is.

I should make a pattern for that kite. It always amazed me that it actually flew. What do you remember getting out of a box or sending away for when you were a kid?
senoritafish: (6yrsold)
... or so a few old friends who found me on Facebook asked? I shall attempt to summarize...

(I wrote this up, yeesh, back in November, and then was too lazy or shy to actually post it...I've been reminded that I did, though...)

Graduated from Humboldt State University in June of '87, but actually finished classes in December '86. In between, I worked two stints as a foreign fisheries observer (this was when the US still allowed foreign vessels to fish in our waters), first for a month on a Japanese Longline vessel fishing for cod in the Bering Sea, then for two months on a Polish factory trawler fishing for hake (whiting) off Oregon and Washington. Following that (and working temp jobs in between), I applied to grad school at CSULB, was accepted and spent my first year studying marine biology at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, Australia as an exchange student. That was wonderful and I have always, always, wanted to go back.

When I returned to the States, I visited the CSULB campus fully intending to continue grad school (as I'd always been told I'd never get a job in marine biology without a graduate degree). However, that day they were having a job fair on campus and I began talking with a guy who worked for the California Dept.of Fish & Game, who needed a scientific aide. I had bills to pay, so I filled out an application and got the job. Scientific aide jobs are temporary, and only supposed to last for nine months; however, they found other stuff for me to do during the three months I was supposed to be off. I did that for about three years, then took a short break for about 8 months and worked again as a fisheries observer, only this time in New England on much smaller gill net boats. I lived on my own in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, living for the first time somewhere it snowed in the winter and also experienced my first hurricane (both were fairly mild, although it was a bit nerve wracking being out at sea in a small boat, the nets clogged with dogfish, about 12 hours before the storm made landfall-I finally gave up on the sampling I was supposed to be doing and helped them pull dogfish out of the net - that fishery is not doing too well nowadays).

I visited home over the holidays that year, and at the same time, interviewed for a permanent position with the Department. They hired me and I've pretty much been here ever since. I've spent most of my time on a project monitoring commercial fisheries for what's called Coastal Pelagic Species - that is, small schooling species like sardines, mackerel and squid, that are caught by purse seine vessels. Our main focus is collecting biological data about them for use in biomass assessments, i.e. how much fish is actually out there, so we can tell the fishermen how much of it they can catch without overfishing and leaving enough for the other wildlife that needs it. I also ran a shark tagging program for awhile; however, the powers that be cut funding for it about eight years ago. About a year ago, I got a promotion and now I serve on a interagency team with other West Coast federal and state biologists managing the fisheries of Highly Migratory Species - those are the big fish like tuna, swordfish and sharks. I don't get to actually see the critters I work with much anymore, but I get to contribute to their still being around for future generations. I did get to go out on a two week federal shark tagging cruise last year, which was wonderful.

On the personal side, after putting him off for a very long time (he was very persistant), I wound up marrying the chef who worked next door in the UC Chancellor's Office (you can read more about that here, if you want). We've been together for 13 years now. My mom passed away in 1994, and following that, my father asked us to move in with him - he's never lived alone in his entire life. He's 83 now, so we're sort of his default caretakers - not that he needs much,he's in good shape. As a friend tells me, I'm the only person he knows who still has the same phone number she had in high school.

We have three kids - Angus, who's 10 and loves Ancient Egypt and drawing comic books; Gareth, who turned 9 on Halloween and is interested military history (Granpa got him into that - they like to watch the History Channel together) and an aspiring pilot; and Avalon, who turned 7 in August, is a very girly girl (unlike her mother), but nevertheless likes bugs, reptiles and gets dirty regularly. John decided to be a stay-at-home dad for them and does a lot of woodworking on the side as well. I can't believe so much time has gone by, that they've gotten so big, and I've gotten so gray - not that I mind, I sort of have racing stripes. I'm now closer to 50 than 40, but I still like alternative rock and science fiction, although I've gotten into anime a lot lately, and I'm as weird as I always was.

And what have you been doing for the last 20 years?
senoritafish: (6yrsold)
PICT0823

Snack - when I was a kid, my dad got a package of these out of the machine every afternoon. He'd save all the wrappers and bring them home for me because they all had offers on the back. You could send away for free stuff for postage and certain number of wrappers. I had a stack of them about three inches tall before I finally sent away for a plastic Mr. Peanut bank. Now, they're three times as much and no free stuff anymore. Sigh.

Work
Los Alamitos, CA
Sharp VE-CG30
14 August 2008
senoritafish: (Wolf's Rain Women)
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I joined LJ because I was first a member of the long-defunct ChickClick.com, a bulletin board. It was owned by the same company as IGN.com, but apparently was one of their least active boards (although it always seemed plenty active to me!), so they decided to close it. I was pregnant with Avalon at the time, and was a participant in the pregnancy thread; I started to consider all the other women in that conversation my friends. I noticed that many of them had LiveJournal accounts in their signatures, so when ChickClick went away, I followed them here, and have been here ever since. I created my account in 2001, but I didn't actually start using it until the following January. I can't quite believe its been more than six years! I think all of you I added then are still on my list; [livejournal.com profile] angelsmum, [livejournal.com profile] jedi_bunny, [livejournal.com profile] newbadthing, [livejournal.com profile] vampgyrl, and [livejournal.com profile] vwsrmylife, thanks for enriching my friend's page all this time, and putting up with me on yours. And all of you who've added me or let me add you in the meantime, I'm truly grateful that you let me share your experiences as well.

I started actually using this journal, when I realized I was forgetting things - funny stories, things my kids did, people at work, my pets, issues - and wanted to be able to remember them. Just the other day, I was reading through some old entries and thinking "I don't remember writing this at all." Photos help, but they don't tell the entire story. Someone at work invited me to a scrapbooking party shortly before I started this; I never really took it up, but this is my way of doing it. It's also a good place to vent, but I hope I haven't been doing that too often. Another reason I started it was, since I am not always that good at keeping in touch with people, and I do better with letters than phone calls, that this would a sort of open letter to friends and family, so they could check to see what I'm up to. So far, that hasn't worked so well, but I do have people who tell me they look at it from time to time.

I've started things other places (blogger, deviantart, gather) but here is where I seem to spend the most time. LJ has done a few things over the years that piss me off, but I seem to have invested too much here; mostly the people and communities. Not that I'm a huge participator, but I haven't found anything quite like it anywhere else. Sure Gather pays me (after a fashion), but it's just not as nice a place to hang around; since stuff there seems to be more geared toward public consumption, it's just not quite as comfortable and I haven't gotten to know people as well.
senoritafish: (pensive)
(crossposted to [livejournal.com profile] momlessdaughter)

Christmas at Sam's

Someone in the above community had the idea of posting a pic of us with our moms, since most people there have a difficult time with this holiday. Usually I'm ok with Mother's Day, I don't usually feel the need to hide from it. However, every once in a while something will set me off. I had another picture in mind, but it's in album somewhere, that I can't find. This one is in a frame in my room.

(I sent this to both my brothers - so I just copied the email here)
Hope today is treating you ok.  I'd thought I was ok with Mother's Day, but then John & I got in a fight for no apparent reason, and I'm suddenly wishing I could talk to mom really badly.  Anyway, I wanted to send you this; I know Doug has wanted it for a long time and I'm sorry it's taken me so goddamn long. 

This is from Christmas Day '93.  I didn't know it would have been my last Christmas with her. Mom and I were arguing that day too, because I was still living in Seal Beach then, and she didn't think I came home soon enough that day, and Grandma was also wondering what we were doing (in typical Laughlin fashion, nobody had made any advance plans).  We all decided to go out to Sam's Seafood because nobody felt like cooking, and it was the only place we could find open for dinner that day.

(left to right - [livejournal.com profile] runsamuck, me, my grandmother (dad's mom), my dad, and my mom. Dad must have tickled her or something, she didn't normally look like she was laughing for photos. My grandmother is 92 here; she lived for another 8 years - outliving both my mother [who was 56 when she died] and her oldest son, my uncle)

We went out for coffee... )
senoritafish: (dreams on a 'chovie can)
cowboy coffee

The coffee in the breakroom (which is not free, btw, all of us partakers donate about $4-5 a month to the coffee/utensil fund) has been so disgustingly weak lately, I thought this morning I would try just making my own cowboy coffee - there's one of those hot water taps that's fine for making tea or ramen, so should be hot enough.

I have fond memories of when I was a fisheries observer on a Polish trawler for two months - they made the best coffee, but it was always a cup at a time. They would grind the beans to a powder, spoon a couple of tablespoons into one of those Russian-type coffee/tea glasses - a thin glass tumbler in a decorative metal holder with a handle. Then they would pour boiling water over the ground coffee (there were pitchers of filtered water and electric ceramic kettles in every cabin, because the water produced by the watermaker wasn't quite fit to drink), stir it up, and let it sit for a couple of minutes to brew. After the grounds had settled to the bottom, they would add milk, stir it up and let it settle again. Then it was ready to drink. You had to leave the last sip or two in the glass to avoid the grounds in the bottom, but it was some of the best coffee I've ever had, on that boat.

It always seemed a bit incongrous to see fishermen drinking out of these delicate looking glasses on the bridge of working fishing boat, although I mostly only saw the officers, and they rarely ventured onto the fishing deck or into the factory where the rest of the crew worked. This "boat" was also probably big enough to be classed as a ship; it was over 200 feet long and had a crew of hmm, 50? 75? I'm shocked to think this was 20 years ago(!), and the details are a bit fuzzy.

*Sip* - well, my version is not nearly as good, especially coming from coffee out of a can. The grounds don't settle as nicely to the bottom and some inevitiably get stuck in my teeth, but it's better than what's in the pot.
senoritafish: (Default)
Now these are the ones I'm familiar with...just a slightly different format...

^__^

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nhbt9z4fkWo

Brings back memories of my first roommates Beth and Logan; when Logan would get home from work and stand in the front doorway with a wadded up piece of paper in his hand. He'd aim it a the wastebasket across the living room and holler "Ten bucks worth of video games if I miss!" And he usually did - on purpose, I suspect. Off we'd head to the arcade at the miniature golf course in Fountain Valley. This was when most all of them only cost a quarter, so that was plenty for all three of us for awhile.
senoritafish: (Jet - red)
When I was five, I told my dad I wanted an alligator for a pet. He told me I could have one when I was fifteen.

When I was in fourth or fifth grade (can't remember exactly what year now), there used to be a alligator/crocodile park close to one of the theme parks near my home. Remembering back on it now, it was probably small and overcrowded, although the animals seemed well taken care of; at the time I thought it was a fascinating place. That was where I dragged all of my girlfriends for my birthday, when I was in fourth or fifth grade. Most of them put on the typical girl-afraid-of reptile act, but I think at least a few of them found themselves reluctantly interested. I think I got one or two of them to actually touch a snake, including my best friend Anne, who was terrified of them; she was shocked that it wasn't slimy.

In Girl Scouts, I was always the girl in my troop who got woken up in the middle of the night to get a spider out of somebody's tent. One time, it was a chicken; not really all that scary an animal, but I suppose at three o'clock in the morning when you aren't expecting it, it could be a bit nerve-wracking to wake up and find an Indian Jungle Fowl on top of your sleeping bag. And when we had emergency-preparedness challenge where someone pretended to sprain her ankle and the rest of us had to carry her back to camp, I tried to calm everyone down when the cows in the field started coming through the busted fence onto the road behind us; I don't know what they thought they were going to do, just suddenly charge and trample us for no reason?

On my fifteenth birthday, after opening my gifts, I turned to Dad and said, "OK, where's my alligator?" He blanched and replied "Dammit, you were supposed to have forgotten by now!" I laughed and put him at ease; by that time I had realized that large reptilian predators do not make good household pets, and sharing the bathroom with two brothers was crowded enough without putting a creature with a lot of teeth into the mix.

So maybe we had a few things in common, but I can't say I was a big fan of Steve Irwin - my main reaction to his show was rolling my eyes, and it seemed that he often put getting a good camera shot above safety. There's such a thing as a healthy respect for the business end of an animal that's either venomous or could do you a serious injury, that he just didn't seem to have. However, I watched one of his interviews the next day, and to his credit, he emphasized (as he pointed out all of his numerous scars) that any injury he'd ever gotten from an animal was his own fault (although aren't you supposed to learn before you get that many?). I've worked with pelagic stingrays ( Pteroplatytrygon violacea, formerly Dasyatis violacea, same genus); they are not gentle or harmless if they think they're threatened. They can arch their tails clear over their backs, they can aim, and there's a lot of muscle behind it, too - that spine is just like a serrated knife. Maybe he just didn't take that into account.

But if his enthusiasm got anyone interested in animals, conservation, zoology, or even changed anyone's mind that "ugly" or dangerous critters serve a purpose in the environment and shouldn't be killed just because you're afraid of them, then that was a good thing. I know I had two little boys here who took the news pretty hard and needed a lot of comforting and drying of tears before going to bed the other night. Gareth sobbed and cried, and Angus was just as affected although he reacts to grief with a stiff body, clenched fists, and angry tears, refusing to be soothed - he immediately wanted to go and punish the stingray, and we had to explain that it was only trying to defend itself, and that's exactly what the Crocodile Hunter always tried to prevent. We've always taught them that animals are allowed to protect themselves, and the cats will scratch them if they're bothered.

We finally got out a candle, took it out on the patio, lit it and said good-bye to Steve as we watched the flame. Rituals seem to help, and they were finally able to calm down enough to go to sleep. I know it won't be as easy for Terri and her kids.

He was only a little older than me - we were born in the same year.

*sigh*

If I ever catch my kids picking up a snake by the tail, though, they're going to wish it had bitten them.

Afterward: John was angry with me for letting it slip. He thought they didn't need to know about it, and it could've waited. Maybe so, but he'd rather they found out from turning the show on the next day? At school, when a friend told them? When is a convenient time for a child's grief?
senoritafish: (That's Ms. señoritafish to you!)
An elderly gentleman who is writing a book on the history of commercial fishing in the Los Angeles area often calls me with questions about sardines. I guess he's the scion of a prominent local family; a major street in San Pedro is named after his father. Today he gave me a call for some clarification on the name of the fish; he had read somewhere that someone said "There is no such thing as a sardine."

As far as I know, sardine is what the French called it and pilchard is what the British called the same fish. About 50 years ago, pilchard is what they called it here on the West Coast of the the U.S. as well. As a matter of fact, my boss's boss (who once was my boss, once upon a time) visited us and distributed small tokens - her gift to VT and I was an empty can with this antique label on it:

http://www.canneryrow.net/labels/portola_pilch_tomato.jpg

However, there are no more sardine canneries here; there were three in Fish Harbor when I started, and they're all gone now. One, owned by a fishermen's co-op closed because of mismanagement; the second, mainly a tuna cannery that occasionally canned sardines on the side, was bought out by overseas interests and then closed, because canning overseas is cheaper; and the third, while still open, canned fish for pet food - moved their entire canning operation to the Midwest and now are only a labeling facility. A fourth cannery in Wilmington, also for pet food, presumably closed for the same reasons; but I would hope it was also because it was just plain disgusting. A cannery that opened in Monterey shortly after I started also closed a few years ago.

Another smaller can sits next to the big empty one, labeled California Girl® Sardines, with a logo of female surfer on a longboard. I purchased it in a supermarket in San Pedro last summer, and I have no doubt that the fish inside were brought to shore just down the hill (or possibly up the coast in Monterey). However, turn the can over and it says "Product of Thailand." It's cheaper now to pack them in fifty pound boxes, freeze them, ship them overseas, can them there, and ship them back to the U.S. to be sold in the same town they were landed

I remember my first job out college was being a fisheries observer. This was before they prohibited foreign vessels from fishing in the US EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone - the zone between the coastline and 200 miles offshore) as long as they had proper permitting and a United States observer on board. I spent two months on a Polish freezer/trawler fishing for Pacific hake off Oregon and Washington. Partly they fished on their own and partly they did joint ventures, where they acted as mother factory ship to smaller American boats, who would make a haul and bring the cod-ends (the full, bag end of the trawl net) to the ship to be processed. The whole lower deck was a factory that processed the fish into fillets or headed-and-gutted mostly whole fish, which was then flash frozen and boxed. When they'd filled their hold with processed fish, they would tie up to a cargo ship for about three day to unload everything. I assumed the freighter would then head back to Poland to unload the catch, but the captain told me that, no, the cargo ship would unload either in British Columbia or a Washington port, and most of the fish would wind up back in US markets, to be sold as an import! That floored me at the time.
senoritafish: (Default)
Happy birthday mom. You would have been 67 today.
senoritafish: (Default)
Science Channel is rerunning Cosmos. *Sigh* I loved this series when it first aired on PBS. Ah, I had such a crush on Carl Sagan at the time. I loved his voice. I'm still a sucker for voices. I joined the Planetary Society because of him.

I have the soundtrack on LP - I can't believe this series is 25 years old! Coincidentally, I've just been rereading Contact too.
senoritafish: (Grrrrr!)
Hi guys,
Every time I catch up on the digests in my "World Class Rock" folder I swear I'm going to keep up with this group better. And then I look again and there's a week or more piled up. Abject apologies for my late response.

The conversation about a month ago about The Golden Bear in Huntington Beach brought back some memories for me, of the building and the neighborhood anyway. I grew up and still live in downtown HB (an old high school friend likes to give me a hard time for still having the same phone number I did then), walking distance from where it used to be. One regret I have is that The Golden Bear closed before I was old enough to attend a concert there. I had been looking forward to it; I remember seeing the names of all kinds of performers I would have loved to have seen at the time. I always liked the mural of famous musicians on the side of the building - I think it was by Wyland ( the guy who does all the whales).

When they built the godawful buildings that are there now (that are supposed to look like lighthouses, but you can't even see them from the ocean) there was originally a venue in the back (under the movie theaters). I think it was even called the The New Golden Bear, but I'm not sure. The original bear sculpture and the columns that were topped with sculptures of poultry framed the doors, painted as they used to be when attached to the original building. Piss poor planning; you could hear the music during the movies upstairs and of course the neighbors in the condos next door complained about the noise. It didn't last long. Having lived in Huntington Beach most of my life, I've come to the conclusion they do stuff like this on purpose when there's some kind of a business they want to get rid of. And I agree with Shep, it was a tragedy what the city did to downtown - but the HB City Council was ever thus. They were practically drooling at the thought of a Walmart coming to town.

It was replaced by a pool hall, quieter, and the decorations were still there, but painted terra cotta to match the rest of the building.

My kids and I took a walk downtown and out to the end of the pier the other night, and on the way back, I thought I'd walk by there and snap some pics of the sculptures, just to show you guys what was left of the Golden Bear. As far as I knew they were still there. That side of the building gets very little foot traffic, and I swear any businesses situated there are cursed - they never last very long. I got out my camera, walked under the escalator, turned corner....and was horrified to see the pool hall had been replaced by what appeared to be a real estate office (probably the only kind of business the city really approves of) and Curves studio. I wonder what happened to the sculptures?

About the only original thing left down there is Perq's - I've never really been in there, not really being the bar type, but I'm glad to know it still exists. I hear interesting things coming out when I walk by, but I always seem to have kids with me, so I can't go in.

And Jeanne, yes, I think Lucky John's Two is still there, if it's the one at Beach and Yorktown. I used to work across the street at the Carl's Jr., a couple of decades ago. Three and Four are farther up Beach Bvld, or at least they used to be.

Wanted to post this last night, but my boys were hogging the computer playing Cartoon Network games. It's past Wednesday, but:

NP - WinAmp is shuffling between the last disk of Les Miserables - International Cast and Yoko Kanno/Cowboy Bebop MP3s on my flash drive

ND - a large mug of Trader Joe's Sencha Green Tea (been trying to drink more green tea lately)

NE - a Ginger PeopleTM Ginger Chew - love 'em, but since some recent dental work, man, do they stick to my teeth!

As ever, vicariously enjoying all the recent concert reviews, and you guys exposing me to new music.

-------------------------------
This is a group for listeners of a now-defunct L.A. radio station, started by a former DJ. However, they're open to new members and they discuss a wide range of music and concerts. A few members were formerly in the music or radio biz and it's neat to get their insider view on things...



Click here to join worldclassrock
Click to join worldclassrock

senoritafish: (Heart fish)
(Meant to post yesterday...)

Heh, VT is dragging today because she and hubby went to the midnight showing of the new Star Wars movie. As the day wears on I see more and more yawns; she said she only got to sleep an hour or so because one of her cats felt neglected and kept wanting attention.

The big Star Wars story here in L.A. was the fans who'd been camping in front of Grauman's Chinese in Hollywood since January, even though they weren't showing the movie. If you read Wil Wheaton's blog, he posted some very funny stories about it a few weeks ago. Turns out last night at the opening, they got a Stormtrooper escort across town to the theater where it was playing.

My kids are starting to get interested in Star Wars, probably getting started with the animated Clone Wars, on Cartoon Network. It's a little weird thinking this will be the last one of a series I started with as a sophomore in high school. And they are going to see it from an entirely different perspective. For instance, it was a shocker for us to find out who Darth Vader actually was. They'll already know, having started with number one, instead of number four. Anyway, Angus already has a pair of Darth Vader shoes, and I heard the parent of a classmate tell his kid they were going after school.

I hope we can go see this one in the theater, although I can wait until the crowds die down; I'm definitely not one of those who has to see it the first weekend it opens. I still need to watch the tape of the last movie first though, can you believe I haven't seen it yet?

So, those of you who are old enough - how many times did you stand in line to see the original Star Wars?

I saw it seven times, although one or two of those may have been sitting through two showings. They let you do that then- now it seems like they chase you out as soon as the credits are done. We stood in line for four hours, and tickets were $4.50 - I thought that was outrageous then.

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