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Oct 23, 2013 blog-about ... Death of a Mi’kmaq Moose; Having Fun Fearing the Forecasts

The Fish Story

Death of a Mi’kmaq Moose; Having Fun Fearing the Forecasts

 

This is a sad and troubling segment about a murdered white moose in Nova Scotia. Perhaps you’ve read about this hunting travesty, a clear-cut case of discrimination against all albinos.

I’ve had a soft spot for albinos since not reading Moby Dick – but having seen the movie.

I didn’t read Moby Dick because I’ve been saddled with a case of attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder since I burst out of the womb and was instantly bored sick with the hospital surroundings: “Whadda? We gonna hang around this whitewashed dump forever?”

Since then, AD/HD has been hounding me like the proverbial monkey on my balls. What’s that? The expression is a monkey on my back? Hell, that doesn’t even make sense. I’d just do one of those judo moves and that hairy bastard would go flying. Whatever. I gotta move on, dude.

As for having never read Moby Dick, that happened – or didn’t happen – in Literature 101, Mauna Olu College, Maui – significantly, an island known for its indiscriminant whalers.

Nothing terrifies a devout AD/HD’er worse than being told to read a huge, old-written book; one absurdly jammed with word after word after word – and filled with punctuations nobody can identify even to this day. Just harpoon me now.

Fortunately, Melville was quite cool and harbored an AD/HD understanding far beyond his time. He dutifully offered an instant AD/HD exit strategy via the book’s opening sentence, “Call me Ismael.”

Me: “Uh, OK. You’re Ismael. Cool. See ya. I got surf to check, Hank.” Maui was a mecca for AD/HD types.

Along with Melville, Dickens was ultra-understanding, too. Chas’s Tale of Two Citiesmercifully and succinctly began, “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times …”

Me: “Well, hell, that’s that, then, isn’t it? I’m outta here.”

I even passed the Tale of Two Cities spot quiz:

What time period was the book written?

“Uh, it was the best of times and the worst of times.”

Check.

What was the heroine’s reaction when she discovered her father, presumed dead, was still alive?

“Uh, it was the best of times.”

Why did Manette spend all his time in the basement making shoes and going mad?

“Uh, it was the worst of times?”

Don’t worry, I’ll be gettin’ to the frickin’ white moose – you buncha AD/HD’ers.

But first, did you know that Melville did not even remotely devise the wicked albino whale thing? The aboriginal people of coastal North America, both sides, had chatted and chanted about kick-ass white whales dating back to the ancientest of times – when only Native Americans and a handful of annoying Vikings frequented the continent.

Historic Flashback time.

Vikings: “We’re the first people here! We hereby claim this land in the name of … wherever in the hell we’re from. Anyone remember where we’re from? Whatever. Everyone together now, ‘We’re number one. We’re number one. We’re number one.’”

A nearby Native American walks up. The number one-ing tails off. “Let me get this straight, salmon breath. There are no fewer than 10,000 of us locals standing in front of you and yet you’re openly and vociferously perpetuating the obviously fabled notion that you’re the first people here. What’s wrong with this demographic picture, dude?” (The Indians were wittier and wise-assier then we give them credit for.)

And, just like that, I’ve succinctly segued nicely into the Nova Scotian great white Moby Moose, current deceased.

If you want to see Indians as pissed as they’ve been since the Little Big Horn, check out the Mi’kmaq people of Nova Scotia in the aftermath of some utterly numbnutsified hunters recently shooting the Mi’kmaq’s sacred white moose. They are albinoed with rage, so to speak.

In genuine sympathy, tribe after tribe of white folks has also gone ballistic over the fully senseless killing. In fact, the entire planet is now being egged into anger by Internet photos of the ditzy hunters ogling over their great white kill. In one viral photo, a lard-ass shooter is straddling the fallen sacred moose, Teddy Roosevelt-like.

“It was so disrespectful having seen it put on the social media, and it’s been an outcry and our people are outraged,” Mi’kmaq hunter Danny Paul told the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation.

You can see photos of the downed moose (if you can take them) by Googling “White moose” and then click on “Images.” No kids allowed. Too sad.

Now here’s a gut hook to that killing – and why I first went Viking up above. The clueless, albino-hostile hunters were from Sweden, part and parcel of the Viking Age. (See, my madness doth have method.)

So, in a broad ax sense, the Vikings have once again royally pissed off the Nova Scotian Indians. Ghost of that other Indian: “Let me get this straight, salmon breath. There are 10,000 moose out there …”

Actually, the hunters’ countrymen, known as Swedes, aren’t a bit pleased with the Moby Moose murder. Newspapers in Sweden – and all of Scandinavia – have carried scathing stories and editorials lambasting the hunters to holy hell and back. One publication called the hunters an insult to the entire country. That’s very strong language for a paper famed for carrying a daily centerfold of icy-hot Swedish women.

Truth be told, I don’t picture Swedes as being gunners. I instead see them charming moose to within an arm’s length, using chocolates and various Swedish herbs, before clobbering them senseless with wooden clogs. Maybe it’s just this image I have.

Back in Nova Scotia, the Mi’kmaq are understandably acting up in the aftermath of this obvious mooseicide. They’ve duly warned the back-home Swedish hunters that their killing of the white moose will bring them more headaches than breaking 1,000 salty mirrors with the tips of their noses. Uh, there might have been some translation gaps there. My Mi’kmaq isn’t what it used to be.

To their afterthought credit, the hunters have sheepishly apologized and have also given the white moose’s hide back to the Indians. “Uh, we’re really sorry about this and stuff. Care for a piece of chocolate? Herbs? Clogs?”

To appease spitting-mad moose spirits, the Indians have been performing sacred post-moose ceremonies. “They’re going to set an altar where the hide will be. There will be offerings and there will be prayers,” Bob Gloade, chief of the Millbrook First Nation, told the media, “As a way of releasing the spirit of the animal back to its rightful place.”

Personally I’m thinking that moose’s spirit is in no mood to go back to any place, rightful or otherwise, until it kicks some Scandinavian butt, spiritually speaking.

I’m also thinking more than a few more belligerent Mi’kmaq tribe members are studying what they might kill in Sweden – to get even. The best they’ve come up with so far is smashing the s*** out of a Swedish stoat. I don’t know. It’s some sort of furry little thing. It’s not mine to say but the Swedish stoat seems sorely lacking in name recognition, payback-wise.

However, an intertribal hum has arisen with the discovery that Sweden also has moose. And might there be a white one in the land of meatballs? No, not to go shoot! That sucker could be kidnapped, or moose-napped, or whatever.

Being part Indian, I fully volunteer to go on any clandestine, albino moose abduction mission to Sweden. Not only would such a moose-knapping offer fair payback but I’d also just happen to be smack dab in the land those centerfolds.

“Jay, we’ve nabbed the Swedes’ sacred white moose. Let’s get outta here.”

“Uh, that’s great, guys, but why don’t all y’all scurry on ahead. I’m thinkin’ maybe I’ll commence to lookin’ for, uh, an albino, uh, Swedish stoat. Yeah, that’s it. I’m gonna nab me a pure white stoat – you know, seeing we just happen to already be in Sweden and all …”

By the by, the Mi’kmaq and much of the Nova Scotia population are now stumping for a law against shooting white moose.

Damn, just think how short and readable Moby Dick would have been if there was a “No Shooting White Whales” law back when.

FEAR IS JUST FINE, THANK-YOU: Already this fall there has been some scary, long-range misses on the weather front. I’m talking ugly future storms that blew up on the social media front but thoroughly defused by impact time. These are what are technically knows as “whew!ers.”

There was a time I panned such meteorological paranoia, including any and all long-range weather guesses. No longer. Science and Sandy have caused me to shift gears from a don’t-cry-wolf mindset into a better-safe-than-sorry attitude. I’m now sold on having long-range storm predictions being hawked by we folks – and instantly rushed forth on the likes of Facebook.

Hyper-prognosticating is a clear case of post-Sandy paranoia. However, the Superstorm proved that paranoia pays – even knowing that far-future forecasts go bankrupt more often than not.

But back to that social media in forecasting concept.

I, for one, was first alerted to the “possibility” of an absolutely epic storm (Sandy) purely through social media. In fact, it was a wave-hungry surfer on Facebook who first posted what I literally thought was a sham forecast map. I soon wised up to the fact it was a legit doomsday storm scenario.

The early-on Sandy forecast was based on something I had never heard of: the European Model. At first I’m thinkin’ Kate Moss or Heidi Klum. Is Twiggy even around any more, or did she simply vanish into thin air? I couldn’t envision those European models being crack meteorologists in their spare time.

It turned out those Euro meteoro-models – and the meteorologists behind them – were scalding hot in their own rights. Those forecasters won the early-forecast grand prize for this and any other millennium. They nailed Sandy, though she surely got in the final blows.

As background, the now-famed European weather models are primarily the projections of the ultra-high-tech sky folks with EUMETSAT, an acronym for the European Organisation for the Exploitation of Meteorological Satellites. That’s a cool name for a group with an even cooler forecasting acumen, despite having one helluva time spelling organization. Name-wise, our stellar National Oceanic and Atmospheric Association pales by comparison. Maybe if we spelt it Assoziation.

To get head and shoulders above all other world weather forecasters, this contactable weather forecasting organization is swimming in satellites. Hell, they launched two (more) last year alone, just in time to spy on the Caribbean inclemency eventually producing Sandy.

It should be noted – and often is noted by our own NOAA folks – that EUMETSAT, being a company, has muchos Euros to work with. Since the Superstorm, the company stock is soaring skyward, as even the USA pays into it.

EUMETSAT’s head honcho, Alain Ratier, isn’t shy about hyping the company’s sweetest accomplishment: “…Without observations from polar satellites, it would not have been possible to forecast the correct landfall of Hurricane Sandy on the U.S. east coast and provide warnings, five days in advance,” said Ratier. He ended with a somewhat unprofessional, “Nanny, nanny, boo-boo!”

Regardless of that “nanny nanny” thing, the Euro model is hugely helpful for us, especially when combined with our under-dollared NOAA forecasting.

Here in coastal N.J., we can now get a hybrid, heavily satellited, micromanaged, long-range forecast. Importantly, forecasters are putting out long-rangers with a diminishing fear of failure. Not that far back, our National Weather Service folks dreaded going out on a windblown limb by publicizing the potential development of far-off storms – lest the Service bomb and wind up with storm egg on its face.

The Weather Service has also fretted over the cry-wolf syndrome, convinced that missed forecasts would lead to public complacency and a failure to launch in the face of the real thing. That concept has been blown away by the public’s newfound appreciation, if not fascination, with long-range storm predictions, even when storms fail to explode on-scene.

This all aligns with my new, proactive, paranoia stance. It is actually scary fun to see that often brief moment where the storm potential goes berserk on long-range weather maps – “We’re all gonna die!” – right before it peters out. Forget building up complacency, it’s more like we’re building up the potential, based on wolf cries alone. Hey, you don’t have to be Little Bo Peep to know that truly wicked storm wolves lurk out there. Wolves ate her, right? Whatever, I now like to think of us coastal-ites as a buncha meerkats looking for danger in every direction. I’ll Facebook you if I spot anything.

CLASSIC CHATTER: I’ll commence with this Long Beach Island Surf Fishing Classic chatter section on a less than soaring note – then soar a bit.

MM writes, “I just wanted to drop a quick note on some of my latest derby fishing ... this is without a doubt the worst October I have ever had, I went back in my journal to the early ’90s and this is the latest I’ve gone into October w/o a keeper striper... even spots that are traditionally good for a short are not giving up any fish. Perhaps I’m not reading the beach correctly, or fishing bait when I should be plugging on an outgoing tide?”

Hey, it’s tough out there. Hell, my shoulder hurts from casting plugs/jigs/metals for a mere entry-level striper. I thought I’d have a little whine with this report.

There are a mere seven bass, total (!) weighed into the Classic so far, that includes the big $1,000 Frank Panzone Special Prize fish won by Courtland Foos’s 22.75-pound bass, taken in Beach Haven on bunker.

I’ll use Courtland’s’ fish – a decent but markedly moderately sized bass – to show how you don’t have to go huge to win huge during low-fish times like these. The Classic still has a $500 single-day prize coming up. Hell, a 15-pounder could walk home with a half-grand earnings.

BROKEN RECORD TIME: A low fish count levels the Classic’s playing field like nobody’s business. Any contestant can go to any street end and rock the weigh-in board, even with a less-than-eye-opening tilt of the scales.

Remember, the Classic is barely one-fourth over. I absolutely, positively, utterly, completely guarantee the big bass times are comin’ – very soon, if cold weather kicks in as predicted. In fact, I’m looking for a cow town rodeo barreling in by next week, maybe sooner. And a slammin’ blues cruise isn’t that far off.

Make sure to sign up for the Classic, ASAP – if not sooner. You can’t be running around scrambling for sign-up sheets and a pen when all hell is breaking loose on the beach. And don’t think you can be sneaking to sign up, ex post facto, i.e. post-catch. I’ll know.

RUNDOWN: This rundown is literal. There are a slew of us who are totally run down from trying our hardest to catch fish – and coming up short. No, let me reword that, since most of us haven’t even been able to come up with a short striper.

BUT (!) the times may be a’changin’. I’m basing that on a steadily rising bass and weakfish bite on the north end of the Island, reported by Josh at Viking Outfitters bait and tackle in Viking Village. Pluggers are taking stripers in double-figure numbers in the BL suds. The fish are strongly attracted to teasers, accompanying virtually any plug. The plugs themselves aren’t taking much.

The teaser attraction fits perfectly with the huge run of small spearing we’re now seeing. The lack of interest in larger plugs reflects the lack of mullet and larger bunker. The mullet are long gone, short of some isolated larger pods that traditionally show after the main migratory run. The bunkies (peanuts to, say, six-inchers) are soon to emerge from the bay. I’m getting reports of bunkies still in the way backway. Air temps dropping into the 30s in the near future could spur on their scaly butts. Hopefully the very smell of bunker balls will waft into the nostrils of big bass to our north.

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