Saturday, December 24, 2005


Yes, the busses in Clallam Bay's school district DO have brakes. In an earlier post, I guess I scared people by making it seem like the busses won't stop. I meant that the brakes are very very delicate, being air-brakes. One has to step on them softly but firmly.

I'm getting not half bad at driving these things, or so Bob Cain says. Bob owns Cain's Marina, and does the maintenance on the busses and got stuck with teaching me to drive. I'm not scaring the willies out of him when I back up any more. At least he's not ducking behind the seats.

I didn't grow up driving trucks and boats or backing them up, so backing up is difficult for me. Bob's got this extremely narrow little alley beside his property that he's using to teach me to back into. It's a bear, but it's a good idea. If I ever get the hang of back-turning the bus into that alleyway I'll be able to back between the line of traffic cones during the test. Bob's a pretty good teacher.

After 3 and a half months without a bite, I finally pulled a decent-sized female greenling in off the Slip Point beach. Fish haven't been biting all over the straits and into the ocean, so this one was a bit of a surprise.

She looked a bit odd. Her golden back was nearly red and the light places on her gill covers and belly were more white than the usual yellow.

When I opened her up, her flesh was bright blue. Not the usual greenish-blue of a greenling, but bright chemical blue. Her stomach was pale artificial blue and very stiff. In fact, everything in her except her heart and liver was like hard plastic. It was like cutting into Cyber-Fish.

Her fillets, after two days soaking in milk, came out nice and white, but the milk was chemical blue. We ate the fillets anyway. They cooked up lovely white and tasted great. No ill effects.

No one I described her to could explain why a fish might be bright light blue, until Dan and I were out cutting wood with Tim van Riper. He said that the divers around here sometimes illegally use copper sulphate crystals to drive octopodi out of their holes in the rocks. This greenling, in her foraging for crustaceans on the reef, had probably swallowed one of the crystals.

At least now we know.
Already On Television.

I'd been thinking this place would make a good setting for a play or a book or a movie.

It's been done.

Picked up a dvd of the second season of "Northern Exposure" at the library the other day. In the course of watching the show I started recognizing the characters and places and situations around here.

If that ain't that bunch of red-headed kids I don't know what is. And the way everybody is always running around doing something with kayaks and second-and-third-hand trucks, and moose in the streets (or, in our case, eagles and the occasional cougar).

Or maybe these little rural towns are just all like that. When I was watching that show a decade ago, I never realized I'd be moving to it.