Archive for June, 2007 Page 2 of 7



J. on fishing and lies

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from Jerome K. Jerome Three Men in a Boat:

I am not a good fisherman myself. I devoted a considerable amount of attention to the subject at one time, and was getting on, as I thought, fairly well; but the old hands told me that I should never be any real good at it, and advised me to give it up. They said that I was an extremely neat thrower, and that I seemed to have plenty of gumption for the thing, and quite enough constitutional laziness. But they were sure I should never make anything of a fisherman. I had not got sufficient imagination.

They said that as a poet, or a shilling shocker, or a reporter, or anything of that kind, I might be satisfactory, but that, to gain any position as a Thames angler, would require more play of fancy, more power of invention than I appeared to possess.

Some people are under the impression that all that is required to make a good fisherman is the ability to tell lies easily and without blushing; but this is a mistake. Mere bald fabrication is useless; the veriest tyro can manage that. It is in the circumstantial detail, the embellishing touches of probability, the general air of scrupulous – almost of pedantic – veracity, that the experienced angler is seen.

Anybody can come in and say, “Oh, I caught fifteen dozen perch yesterday evening;” or “Last Monday I landed a gudgeon, weighing eighteen pounds, and measuring three feet from the tip to the tail.”

There is no art, no skill, required for that sort of thing. It shows pluck, but that is all.

No; your accomplished angler would scorn to tell a lie, that way. His method is a study in itself.

He comes in quietly with his hat on, appropriates the most comfortable chair, lights his pipe, and commences to puff in silence. He lets the youngsters brag away for a while, and then, during a momentary lull, he removes the pipe from his mouth, and remarks, as he knocks the ashes out against the bars:

“Well, I had a haul on Tuesday evening that it’s not much good my telling anybody about.”

“Oh! why’s that?” they ask.

“Because I don’t expect anybody would believe me if I did,” replies the old fellow calmly, and without even a tinge of bitterness in his tone, as he refills his pipe, and requests the landlord to bring him three of Scotch, cold.

There is a pause after this, nobody feeling sufficiently sure of himself to contradict the old gentleman. So he has to go on by himself without any encouragement.

“No,” he continues thoughtfully; “I shouldn’t believe it myself if anybody told it to me, but it’s a fact, for all that. I had been sitting there all the afternoon and had caught literally nothing – except a few dozen dace and a score of jack; and I was just about giving it up as a bad job when I suddenly felt a rather smart pull at the line. I thought it was another little one, and I went to jerk it up. Hang me, if I could move the rod! It took me half-an-hour – half-an-hour, sir! – to land that fish; and every moment I thought the line was going to snap! I reached him at last, and what do you think it was? A sturgeon! a forty pound sturgeon! taken on a line, sir! Yes, you may well look surprised – I’ll have another three of Scotch, landlord, please.”

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And then he goes on to tell of the astonishment of everybody who saw it; and what his wife said, when he got home, and of what Joe Buggles thought about it.

I asked the landlord of an inn up the river once, if it did not injure him, sometimes, listening to the tales that the fishermen about there told him; and he said:
   “Oh, no; not now, sir. It did used to knock me over a bit at first, but, lor love you! me and the missus we listens to `em all day now. It’s what you’re used to, you know. It’s what you’re used to.”

I knew a young man once, he was a most conscientious fellow, and, when he took to fly-fishing, he determined never to exaggerate his hauls by more than twenty-five per cent.

“When I have caught forty fish,” said he, “then I will tell people that I have caught fifty, and so on. But I will not lie any more than that, because it is sinful to lie.”

But the twenty-five per cent. plan did not work well at all. He never was able to use it. The greatest number of fish he ever caught in one day was three, and you can’t add twenty-five per cent. to three – at least, not in fish.

So he increased his percentage to thirty-three-and-a-third; but that, again, was awkward, when he had only caught one or two; so, to simplify matters, he made up his mind to just double the quantity.

He stuck to this arrangement for a couple of months, and then he grew dissatisfied with it. Nobody believed him when he told them that he only doubled, and he, therefore, gained no credit that way whatever, while his moderation put him at a disadvantage among the other anglers. When he had really caught three small fish, and said he had caught six, it used to make him quite jealous to hear a man, whom he knew for a fact had only caught one, going about telling people he had landed two dozen.

So, eventually, he made one final arrangement with himself, which he has religiously held to ever since, and that was to count each fish that he caught as ten, and to assume ten to begin with. For example, if he did not catch any fish at all, then he said he had caught ten fish – you could never catch less than ten fish by his system; that was the foundation of it. Then, if by any chance he really did catch one fish, he called it twenty, while two fish would count thirty, three forty, and so on.

It is a simple and easily worked plan, and there has been some talk lately of its being made use of by the angling fraternity in general. Indeed, the Committee of the Thames Angler’s Association did recommend its adoption about two years ago, but some of the older members opposed it. They said they would consider the idea if the number were doubled, and each fish counted as twenty.

Continue reading ‘J. on fishing and lies’

Today’s mermaid

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Sushi tonight

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Not sure if this is a whale, whale shark, or what.

Pirate wench of the day

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Quote of the day: more on seasickness

pg013.gifHarris said that, to himself, it was always a mystery how people managed to get sick at sea – said he thought people must do it on purpose, from affectation – said he had often wished to be, but had never been able.

Then he told us anecdotes of how he had gone across the Channel when it was so rough that the passengers had to be tied into their berths, and he and the captain were the only two living souls on board who were not ill. Sometimes it was he and the second mate who were not ill; but it was generally he and one other man. If not he and another man, then it was he by himself.

It is a curious fact, but nobody ever is sea-sick – on land. At sea, you come across plenty of people very bad indeed, whole boat-loads of them; but I never met a man yet, on land, who had ever known at all what it was to be sea-sick. Where the thousands upon thousands of bad sailors that swarm in every ship hide themselves when they are on land is a mystery. 

—  from Jerome K. Jerome Three Men in a Boat

Coney Island 2007 Mermaid Parade Coverage

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The underwater fin-tailed Grandmama of all mermaid events….

After 1,000 years, restored Viking ship to sail North Sea

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The Havhingsten fra Glendalough, built by the Vikings in 1040, will set sail for the first time in over 900 years. The restored ship, recovered from the bottom of a Danish fjord, will cover 900 miles in 44 days powered only by its sails.

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Today’s cocktail: Tenth Inning

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To be enjoyed after the ballgame, or any warm afternoon.

Stir 1 1/2 tsp sugar into 2 oz fresh squeezed lemon juice in a highball glass.  Add ice, 1/2 to 1 oz. Cointreau, and fill with ~ 4 oz cachaça.  Garnish with two lemon slices as shown.

Today’s mermaid

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Big job

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My robo-fish, let me show you it

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[click pic for full size]

Yawl envy

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Fun with Guns on Boats

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Splash

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Going places

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