Daily Fishing and Outdoor Report
The Fish Story
I saw a quote this week that fits me to a T: “Think Outside – No Box Required.” Despite the cruel shoes this winter is stomping us under with, I’ve still been outdoors every spare second I can find – or conjure up. My job often allows me to work after dark, so I can savor light-bearing hours, like manna. In fact, my weekly workloads seem lighter when I mosey back to my desk with mud, snippets of shrubberies and assorted bloodsucking insects on me.
Helping my daylight seeking is this weekend’s return to Daylight Saving Time. Clocks are turned ahead at 2 a.m. Sunday.
Warning: If you don’t turn clocks ahead at that exact moment, you’ll be penalized – and deprived of daylight saving privileges until next year. So make sure you’re sitting smack in front of all your gathered clocks at 2 a.m. – and then bolt outside to set your vehicle’s clock. Hey, I’m an old hand at this daylight saving stuff, and it’s well worth the lost sleep that night.
By the Daylight Saving Time way, many places in the world simply don’t make the sun switch. Of the roughly 196 countries in the world today, a fairly mere 70 nations go with the DST flow. Generally, nations shunning the daylight-shifting process are located more toward the tropics – where they already have more sunlight than they know what to do with. Antarctica doesn’t have DST, but who really gives a rat’s ass? More disturbingly, our very own Arizona refuses to make the switch. Buncha commies.
Oh, Hawaii also ignores DST, but that’s cool. After all, it’s Hawaii – where you can surf just as well at sunrise or sunset. No biggie. As the famed Hawaiian saying goes, “Coconuts don’t tell time, Bro.” OK, so that loses a little something in translation.
By the by, I fully realize that the amount of actual sunlight remains the same whether it’s Daylight Saving Time or not. It then comes down to choosing what hours the sun hangs high in the sky. Sunlight located late in the day works immensely well for America’s 9-to-5 workday orientation.
Hey, if you don’t like our DTS, you can just go and move to, say, Togo. Yes, Togo is an actual nation, located in darkest Africa. And it’s a thin country. On the world map, it looks like an exclamation mark with the dot missing; it’s that thin. At one northerly point, you can straddle the entire nation by standing with your legs spread akimbo. That’s how thin. In fact, it’s so thin that the two bordering nations play badminton over it. From outer space, Togo is often mistaken for a tiny crack in the space station window. It’s so thin … enough, already!
Now where was I? Oh, Daylight Saving Time.
Historically, it has been the likes of outdoorsmen and, uh, bug collectors who have moved entire nations to go with DST’s late-day lighting. New Zealand entomologist (insect studier) George Hudson is often dubbed the father of modern DST. Being a 9-to-5er, Hudson was constantly itching for more time to collect his beloved bugs. True story. You gotta really love your six-leggers to beseech an entire nation to adjust their clocks and lives to allow for better insect collecting.
Per an article in the Huff Post, written by Joe Satran, “There’s now broad agreement among historians that the true mastermind of daylight saving time was George Vernon Hudson (1867-1946), a specialist in insect biology (entomology) who left England for New Zealand in 1881. In 1895, when he first presented the idea to the Royal Society of New Zealand, he was mocked. Other members of the society deemed the proposal confusing and unnecessary. But attitudes changed, and he lived to see his brainchild adopted by many nations – including, in 1927, his own.”
Less surprisingly, an avid outdoorsman and industrialist, Londoner William Willet, got Europe thinking shine time over clock time. In a compelling pamphlet, written in 1907 – and emotionally titled “The Waste of Daylight” – Willet went balls out to get governmental folks to transfer light away from sunrise and toward sunset. One paragraph reads, “Now, if some of the hours of wasted sunlight could be withdrawn from the beginning and added to the end of the day, how many advantages would be gained by all, and in particular by those who spend in the open air, when light permits them to do so, whatever time they have at their command after the duties of the day have been discharged.”
Wow. A man after my own outback heart. I think I’ll have his image tattooed on my inner arm. In henna.
By the by, Ben Franklin was not a mover-and-groover in establishing DST. You’ll often hear that Ben, the mad partier, wanted more sun time to rave. Dead opposite. He stuck with his proverbial advice “Early to bed, and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy and wise.” However, as envoy to France, he did write a less-than-shining satire, proposing the French should conserve candles by rising early. He further suggested that nation’s sagging economy could be salvaged by thereafter charging tariffs on candles – and also sounding church bells and cannons at the break of dawn to wake people. Ben thought it was about the funniest thing he had ever written. Being fairly humorless, the French soon after kicked him the hell out of the country. The French swore the cost of keeping Ben in fine wine was what was actually bankrupting the nation.
Ben goes on my other arm.
CHEW ON THIS: Maybe there’s a little cannibal in all of us. A truly bizarre company, going by the innocent-sounding name Bite Labs, is banking on the flash behind flesh eating.
Follow me here. These freaky research folks are hip on growing tissues from skin samples taken from famed people. Once processed, celebrity tissues would end up in designer salami.
I promise this is all too real. Have I ever led you wrong? OK, you’re right. Therefore, here’s the website: http://bitelabs.org/.
Per that website: “It all starts with your favorite celebrities, and a quick biopsy to obtain tissue samples.”
Is there a bit of pain involved? Maybe, but Angelina Jolie has tattoos and piercings out the wazoo. What’s a little tissue sample sting if the end taste-tempter is a delectable Salami Jolie? Germans, Italians and the French will eat that stuff up.
So how is it done? Per the labs, once rich and famous tissue is secured, “isolating muscle stem cells, we grow celebrity meat in our proprietary bioreactors.”
I happen to know what proprietary (closed) bioreactors are all about. They create a fake embryonic environment (womb), with low oxygen and low gravity. Newborn cells develop. The cells soon become embryonic-like.
WTF!? Are they trying to make salamis or grow celebrity clones here? And is someone actually going to salute celebrity-DNA salami?! Bite Labs is banking on it. In its words: “In the tradition of Italian cured meats, we dry, age, and spice our product into fine charcuterie.”
Per a USA Today story, Bite Labs is already projecting James Franco tastes “arrogant, distinctive and completely undeniable.” Jennifer Lawrence will have “a charming and confident flavor profile.” And Kanye West salami is best paired with “strong straight bourbon.”
Hey, if you’re all but salivating over biting into Brad Pitt’s salami, Bite Labs is now asking folks to contact them, ASAP. Tweet them your favorite celebrities with #EatCelebrityMeat. Also, Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/bitelabs.
So who’s working the labs – and slabs? – at Bite Labs? A Bite Labs contact dubbed Kevin told USA Today, “The founding members have decided to keep their anonymity due to the controversial nature of our product.”
Kevin was willing to drop potential salami contributor names, saying Jennifer Lawrence has an early lead on whom people would like most to sample.
How weird might future after-Oscars parties be, as servers walk around with trays bearing nametags like Matt Damon, Will Smith, Oprah and Sandra Bullock? Overheard: “Have you tried Deepika Padukone? She tastes simply exotic, with just a touch of curry.”
And what about branding more popular salamis? I can see Al “Scarface” Pacino’s “Say hello to my little salami” brand. Or Matt Damon’s “Bourne Again Salami” brand. What about Miley Cyrus salami, with a big tongue sticking out of it? Of course, Ellen DeGeneres could be problematic, since she’ll likely refuse to be shaped like salami. Just sayin’.
Despite my vegetarian tendencies, I’m buying stock in this company.
WEIRD AIN’T US: I’m seeking weirdness, a la LBI. Through the years, I’ve seen some mighty weird sights on LBI ,but most of those were odd and transitory acts being done by the always-freaky tourist element – though locals aren’t immune from performing frolickin’ freakinesses. But I’m in serious search of oddities, in the vein of Weird NJ – a majorly fun enterprise begun by Bergen County’s Mark Moran and Mark Sceurman.
I’m wondering what is cosmically odd on our barrier island. I’m kinda at a loss. There used to be a small, homemade yellow submarine in Holgate, but that was only marginally suited for a full-time weirdness rating. I must admit that the house on the sedge off Beach Haven always strikes first-timers as being a bit on the loony side of things. It might pass for Weird NJ material, but we’ve grown so accustomed to it that it doesn’t garner a second glance from us.
I’m even close to settling on some minor weird things I’ve seen, like the angler who was hooked up on a Beach Haven jetty and everyone was shouting, “He’s got a whale on!” – which, in fact, he did, literally. Some whales had moved in just off Queen City jetties. This fellow had quite accidentally snagged one. Now, don’t go getting all crazy on me, Bob (Schoelkopf). The poor guy was mortified, as his line bled off the reel, pulled out by a thousand pounds of leisurely swimming leviathan. His whale-loving family was on the beach, aghast. What’s more, the hook came loose, and he reeled in all the loosed line. I’ll bet anything that thick-skinned, fully blubbered whale never felt a thing – short of what we might feel if we get a hair on our face. (If that whale-hooking angler reads this, please contact me. I lost your name in the hubbub that day.)
But back to the weird LBI. Mefears that LBI might be just plain un-weird. That sorta sucks. Again, I’m wracking my brain to come up with anything rating even a mere 5 on the 1 to 10weirdness scale – which I just now made up.
For me, the oddest thing I’ve seen on LBI in many a moon was that hulking, three-story, otherworldly contraption that drove around coordinating the beach replenishments. I’ve had a couple nightmares since seeing it. Still, that’s not really a bona fide LBI thing.
In the bay west of Holgate, the Old Fish Factory surely offers a freaky feeling – like a steel skeleton, fully capable of someday zombie-ing up and attacking the Island. Don’t worry, children. I just made up that attacking zombie part. Sleep tight – don’t let the bunker bite.
Sidebar: I’m told some of the Old Fish Factory recently collapsed, begging the question: When a wall falls in an abandoned bunker processing plant, and there’s no one around to hear it, does it still make a sound? Hey, I’m stretching here for weirdness.
I have often been asked about the “weird” concrete block at the entrance to the beach at Washington Avenue, down Holgate way. It’s not overly weird to me. I used to sneak up the Coast Guard tower that sat atop that multi-ton chunka creepyish concrete. Doesn’t rate even a 4 on my weird rating scale.
So, as you see, I remain on the look for freaky and beyond. I’m a rapt listener, so anyone who wants to offer some tucked-away wad of LBI weirdness, get in touch.
GRATUITOUS FILLER MATERIAL: I’ve been a bit bored with writing this winter so I’ve been steadily looking around for a new “favorite word.” And I found a beaut, via urbandictionary.com. Problematically, I wasn’t sure where the hell I could ever use it. Then, when driving to work through unplowed snow on Monday, I saw a small silver sedan suddenly go all catawampus across the road.
Yes, catawampus is my new favorite word. And, no, it’s not obscene, providing you use it properly. Despite its literary innocence, I sure wouldn’t blurt out something like “That gal sure has a gorgeous catawampus.” Just my luck, I’d blurt it next to her jock boyfriend, who can only assume that he’s now obligated to take a swing at me.
“Whadda you doin’ lookin’ at my girl’s cata, uh, catywa … What was it again?”
“Sommabitch! You went and said it again. I’m gonna caty-whimp … uh, catywusum … I’m gonna caty-whatever your sorry ass!”
Anyway, back to that snowy drive and that perfect chance to finally apply my new favorite word. This middle-aged, male driver was turning onto the Boulevard, a block up from where I was also pulling onto the road. So I look over and he suddenly commences to going sideways – with a goodly portion of backwardness soon thrown in. My first thought was “Now that-there is one catawampus, if ever.” I couldn’t wait to get it in this column.
Regrettably, my always-running dash-cam was not set at “catawampus,” or I would have captured a really cool spot of reality-slick video – as the man stubbornly stuck with his accelerator and kept catawampusing all over the place. While he didn’t run into anything hard, he was so catawampused out that no sooner did he regain control than he took the next left turn off the Boulevard – very likely heading the hell back home.
Winter driving advice: Don’t go getting yourself all catawampus on ice and snow – unless my dash-cam is lined up and all focused in.
And just like that, I’m now bored sick with the overused word catawampus. Off to find a new favorite word.
AFTERWORD: Anyone old enough to remember when “the bird” was the word? Come on, who can forget the famed, heart-wrenching song lyrics “Bird, bird, bird. The bird is the word”? It was huge on LBI, via the 1963 song “Surfer Bird” by The Trashmen.
Being an extreme, tuned-in surfer back then, I liked the song – but had no idea what in bloody hell those guys were singing about. Still, I’d paddle out at Nelson Avenue, loudly singing, “Bird, Bird, Bird … the bird is the word.” Sadly, The Trashmen broke up when civil libertarians warned them they’d have to change their name to the Waste Management Engineers. Hardly anybody came to see them after that, just a few confused public works guys and a couple syndicate types.