Robert (gurdonark) wrote,
Robert
gurdonark

Walking in a warm winter wonderland



Tonight we walked in our neighborhood in a night so warm it might have been early Summer. I love to see Orion's belt, and the lights of airplanes making their flight paths to DFW Airport, an hour away.

I stopped in the "Oriental Food Mart" in Richardson on my way home tonight. I wanted to pick up some squid. During my California sojourn, I decided that squid was a mystical catch-all fish bait. Some men swear by anise oil. I swear by squid.

We spent a New Year's weekend years ago in Santa Barbara. Santa Barbara is a glorious town under any circumstances, but at New Year's it turns out none of the other tourists are there. We had incredible meals, and went to see the movie Little Women in a nearly deserted theater. The nights there were cool but not cold.

One morning, I got up and drove up the coast slightly to nearby Goleta Pier. I love fishing in the ocean from fishing piers, which seems to me somehow retro and anti-consumerist.
The sports shows on TV want to induce you to buy high end boats or pay high end guides. From the pier, you're just a bit of squid away from perfection. On that dawn from Goleta pier, I caught surfperch and croaker. I threw them all back, where no doubt they all live yet today, now grown huge (or maybe not). I used squid for my bait.

Squid is the perfect bait for pier fishing because bait-stealing fish cannot get it off the hook. During my first experiences in marine fishing, I assumed that earthworms, a universal bait in freshwater, would work in the ocean. But ocean fish do not know to eat earthworms. I guess few earthworms burrow up under the Pacific Ocean.

The man at the Oriental Food Mart seemed mystified when I wanted only a single squid from him. I guess he imagined me as some poor solo act, chowing down on a single strip of calamari. I had actually hoped for raw squid, but they'd sold out. But a single cut squid will provide bait enough for a day's fishing. I'll see if prairie sunfish like it as much as rapacious Pacific mackerel.

Tonight at on-line chess my blitz rating finally broke 1500. This was long overdue. I seem to be getting handy with the Scandinavian Defense, which I never played much until this year.

The news said we'll see a grand comet this year, and the first meteor shower is just around the bend. I'd like to see
less fighting, more scratch biscuits with honey, and the discovery of life on Mars.
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