Tuesday, April 11, 2006


To pick up the thread, go get a helping of Wolf Food.

Saturday, March 04, 2006

Fishing Hurts.

I have the worst pinched nerve in my neck today.

That happens whenever I put any strain on my back. I try not to do it. But last night, a big lingcod surprised me.

Friend and fellow artist Chris Wasankari was with me when I was fishing for greenling.

A lot of greenling fishing involves starting to haul in a foot-long fish, and suddenly have a huge pole-bending fight on your hands, and then the fight goes out of it, or the fish escapes. You wonder that such a small fish has so much fight.

A greenling started its small steady pull on the line, and I started to reel it in. Suddenly the pole dropped and I had a real fight on my hands. Reeling in so hard and fast is what hurt my neck.

I nearly had the fish to the beach when the heavy pressure came off, and the fish I pulled in was again just a foot-long greenling. Good eating, but where comes this huge fight? Are greenling that strong?

The fish was scored with the marks of larger jaws, and the vent was torn open. I had proof of what I'd long been suspecting.

When you hook a greenling and drag it out of a kelp bed, sometimes a lurking lingcod rushes out and grabs it. A ling is a big mean cousin of the little mollusk-eating greenling.

If the ling can haul the greenling off the hook, you lose the fish. If the ling can't get the greenling off the hook, it spits it out and you get a bit-up fish. I once saw one of the Hat boys haul in a three-foot-lingcod, its greedy mouth stuffed with a hooked greenling. The fish was dragged clear into the shallows and the only reason the kid didn't grab it is because, unlike its smooth-mouthed cousin, it has a mouthful of tiger teeth, befitting a predator. That one managed to yank the kid's catch loose and take off.

So if you're ling-cod fishing, grab fast, don't get your hands near its teeth -- and don't reel in too fast or hard.


Sunday, February 05, 2006

Ducking the Bullet

Had the guys from Rainmasters putting up a new roof on Thursday.

Friday, 70-mph winds hit the coast.

We ducked that bullet by ONE day. Jeff Layman, who owns the company says that our roof was just beginning to rot and go soggy. The storm would have brought a flood down on our heads.

BUT now we have a lovely new roof that should take us the next thirty years.

"Good!" I said. "We'll be dead by then."

When you're 53 and 58, you see this big projects as something you won't have to do again because you won't outlive them. It comes as a relief. THAT's done. One less worry in life.

Anyway, the Harvest Brown roof matches our little yellow double-wide just perfect. The roof can air out now, because it's vented all along the ridge. The old double-wides were too airtight, and they'd rot from the ridge. The new venting will let the house breathe.

A guy I was talking to about roofing, who had put his own roof on a couple years ago, didn't know this, and he had to do it all over again. And Labor and Industry won't sign off on your roof unless a bonded company does it. Maybe not a problem now, but who needs to jump through more hoops come time to sell? The job wasn't that expensive, anyway, not for the great job they did and with all the materials.

Up here you don't fool around with roofs. Maybe in Arizona, but up here the rain will just eat a house to death if that roof isn't put on right. It's worth the money to get a professional with a long history of putting up roofs between the rain squalls.

Even though the power went out Friday at about 11:00 am and didn't come on again until about 3:00 pm Saturday, we sat by the woodstove and listened to the wind howl and whip at our perfect ease. Because I couldn't get on the computer -- everything was down, trees, electricity, dsl -- I just sat and did pages for the newestDesert Peach all day long.

I don't get depressed in the dark. Some candles in some cut-glass vases -- which act as Fresnell lamps -- and I'm good for the day.

We will have to build some kind of shelter for the Bug. Or hold the tarp on the car better with the punji cords.

Tuesday, January 24, 2006

Ling Cod Back

Eagles at Slip Point:


With the fish having taken off for vacation or something since September, we hadn't been getting much fish in the diet.

The greenling do seem to be back on the beach. Caught three nice ones within the last week, which means that I can feed raw fish to our old cat Spuds.

Yes, Spuds is still around. His nose is still blooming, but we're keeping the virulence of the growth back with a silver/sulphur cream. He'll probably end up with a Jimmy Durante nose, but at least we won't have to drag him all over the place for biopses and surgery. The old man is 17. Dan and I have a living will so nobody will put us on machines. I've threatened to have "Do not resuscitate" tatoo'd on one wrist, and "no heroic measures" on the other, just so the emergency personnel would read it for sure while trying to take my pulse. After having inflicted heroic measures on other old cats, we don't want to do it to Spuds. He's having too much fun sleeping in front of the wood stove and running out into the sun.

Anyway, about the ling cod: threw the greenling heads and guts and skins back into my favorite fishin' hole. So I shouldn't have been surprised when something HAULED on my line today and chewed it off, twice. If I'm going to chum for ling cod, even by accident, what do I expect?

Ling cod season opens in May. I'm getting a wire leader.

Dan on the first nice day in a long time. He's watching eagles:

Slip Point