Saturday, December 25, 2010

Nothing says Merry Christmas like the sound of gunfire

While most of you are enjoying your Christmas morning surrounded by the sound of children giggling with delight at opening toy gifts or adults sharing stories about those odd custom made corporate gifts they received at the office, I am subjected to the sound of gunfire.

No I am not spending Christmas Day in a war zone, nor am I located in a high crime inner city. I live in what most people consider to be the peaceful countryside in rural America. The gunfire is made by children who's parents and relatives have given the gift of a rifle for Christmas.

All I ask is that no animals are harmed but in my heart I know that the rifle was bought to kill and not for shooting at hay bales with targets on them. Tomorrow I will read about all about the injuries or listen to the neighbors boast about their 7 year old's target practice.

Have a Merry Christmas.

Saturday, December 18, 2010

Hoping to have a Merry Christmas

It is that time of year when we are expected to buy gifts, enjoy the company of friends and family and cherish being alive. That all ended for me just a few days ago when some idiot stole over $400 from my bank account. They...he or she, got my ATM card number and went on a buying spree online buying software downloads and order electronic cigarettes online. So the thief is either under age or a creep with habits.

While I would love to say that my bank (Chase) handled the whole thing for me, that is not the case. They said I was to contact all the merchants and convince them to issue a refund. WTF!!!! Chase was suppose to have a security clause for my account. That apparently means little or nothing to them. If I can't get my money back in 30 or less then I will be moving my accounts out of Chase for good.

Merry Christmas everyone and I hope your bank account is safe.

Friday, December 10, 2010

Storms bring beach trash

Winter storms bring more than high waves and erosion to the shore line, they also deposit trash on the beaches. When you think of trash you are probably thinking about bottles and cans with the regular human picnic trash. Winter storm trash is much larger than that. There have been instances of sunken ships and boats washing up on beaches along with their cargo. These are not old ships and boats but modern ones. Their cargo could be anything from cars to mattresses and all of that can become beach trash.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

No college for the winter semester

Well it is time to take a break from my college classes for the winter semester and go back to work for awhile. Got to save more money for my next classes. Tuition is not cheap and I vow not to have a college loan on my back when I finally graduate....if I get that far. Yes I am always finding that I want to learn more, but boy does it get expensive!

What is in your drinking water?

Do you know that chemicals can leach into your drinking water? Sure, you are thinking about bottled water but I am not. I am thinking about water hoses and water lines that are in your house. The water line that runs to your refrigerator from your house water could have chemicals in it that is leaching into your water. If you ever drink from your garden hose outside or use it to fill your pets water, NEVER use a hose that is from recycled materials. Most of them have warnings on their labels to not use it for drinking water - it may cause cancer!!!

Rubber is made from oil so almost all hoses are petroleum hoses but some are made from nylon and other materials. Investigate the materials before you use them to transport drinking water in them. If they are safe, it will usually be labeled as safe for drinking water.

Monday, November 22, 2010

DONT buy fur this Christmas

It is making a comeback! Fur coats are now creeping back to becoming in vogue again. The hideous coat in the photo above is made out of otter. It costs about $1K and is being sold online. I found it at eBay, Amazon and other venues. You see people will buy something online that they don't have to pass through a line of protesters in front of a fur coat store.

Don't be a sneaky online shopper and buy fur clothing made from baby seals or otters. Spend Cyber Monday supporting a good cause instead of supporting an industry that should have died decades ago.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Cold weather does not cause colds!!!

Why is it that some people will not let go of old myths, also known as "wives tales." It is beyond me why old half truths and made up stories still have a strong hold on some people. Here is a list of myths and outright lies that are still strong today:
  • Oil is made up of the bones of dinosaurs. No it is not
  • Colds are caused by exposure to cold weather. No, colds are caused by a virus
  • Too much of a vitamin will cause health problems, not enough vitamins will make you sick. Take your pick on that one
  • Dolphins and whales are fish. Are you kidding me?
So what are your favorite myths and untruths? Comments about politics will not be published since they are all lies.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Gifts for a ocean lover

If I can't go to the coast and frolic on the beach in this frigged, cold winter weather then I can shop. Let's see, what would an ocean loving person want? Something interesting perhaps persnonalized gifts or a travel DVD, underwater travel of course. I would stay away from anything that was made from sea life. Don't buy preserved seahorses or something made from a sea turtle shell. Think before you buy that gift.

Winter is here

The Pacific Northwest is now getting its first major snow storm of the season. Wind, heavy rain and high swells on the seas. Time to put away those julbo sunglasses until sunny weather arrives next spring. While it is rare to have snow on the beach, we do have lots of snow in the coastal mountain range. I have already witnessed local flooding in the Willamette Valley. I expect to see lots more in the next few days.

Monday, October 25, 2010

Skin conditions of sea mammals

A question was brought up in class the other day by a fellow student that got me stumped. He asked if whales or dolphins could get eczema like land mammals do. Eczema is word that covers a very broad condition with a variety of skin irritations. Even dandruff is a form of eczema. While the class pondered the question, the instructor guided us on a discussion to try and figure out the answer.

Since all skin has the potential to become irritated then the answer would be yes whales and dolphins could have eczema. But since eczema was often characterized with dry patchy skin then maybe dolphins and whales could not get it, while seals and sea lions could. We also pondered if the eczema treatment would be salt water but only if the animal lived in the water 100% of the time. So for an animal not to have eczema we figured out that living in water may or may not have a bearing on the condition but the type of skin might. You see, whales and dolphins have a different type of skin than a seal does, so its personal biology would be a huge factor.

Our discussion was interesting but I still came away with more questions than answers.

Think about using non-toxic products first

Did you know that many of our household products are not biodegradable? I am not talking about plastic bottles and grocery bags, but the actual creams, lotions and other chemicals that we use. Take for example prescription pills, did you know that you should NEVER flush them or put them in any waste water system? Antibiotics do not break down but end up as a biological soup in our waterways. Fish and other creatures are exposed to dissolved pills, lotions for acne treatments, shampoos and a whole list of other chemicals that water treatment plants cannot handle.

The results are fish that now have possible genetic problems, people and animals eating fish that have been exposed to those chemicals and the food chain becoming highly unstable.

So think before you flush or pour anything down the drain. You can take back any unused pills to a pharmacy or doctor for disposal.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Colorful coral reef video

I found this video over on YouTube about reefs by the BBC and it is fascinating. It always amazes me to see the similarities between coral reefs and the open fields on land. The wind breezes are the same as ocean currents only a different element is used. Enjoy

Blog stuff

With this big storm coming in, and I just finished getting in the last of the firewood, I now have some time to tidy up the blog. Yes I actually do some dusting out of the spammy comments and the ones that seem to be OK but start to end up being a huge come on for how to learn more about safe diet pills. Come on people (or maybe it is an automated computer bot) but this blog is about sea life, you know fish not fish recipes or what pharmacy products are made out of but living fish, sea mammals, ecology, ocean weather and coastal tide pools.

Well I had better do some more blog work before the storm rolls in and I am without power and the internet.

Storm season begins tonight

The first big North Pacific storm of the season is suppose to roll in tonight. Out local weather casters are saying to expect 50mph winds on the coast and 30mph winds inland. Portland is under warning of local flooding.

This means I have to have the house ready for power outages and watch out for storm damage. Just last week a neighbors' tree came down on my driveway. I ended up removing it because I didn't want the guy making another trip to that payday advance loans place just because he is down on his luck.

At least I have plenty of firewood should I have to cook on my wood stove.

Friday, October 15, 2010

Weird ads showing up

I just changed the layout of the blog and for some odd reason I am getting Google ads for fast food places, travel and hoodia diet pills. I guess the Google ad bot can't figure out that this is a sea life blog, not sea food blog. I guess I had better put the words whales, boats, ocean and aquariums in this post so it gets a better idea.

I finally changed the layout of the blog

After a lengthy battle with myself, I decided to change the layout of the blog. What do you think? I wanted to give the blog more of a "wet" feel to it. I guess I want my visitors to almost drown themselves in oceanography while they are here. I also wanted to add some pages to the blog. Not sure what they will be right now but I do want to have a place where I can list some important resources for visitors.

I only wish I could figure out how to center the photo better in the header. Oh well, maybe blogger will have something in the future for that. I have to find some more photos to dress up the place. Right now it looks more like freshwater habitat than deep sea. Got to find the right fish photos to get the blog that thermogenic feel to it.

Who knows, I might change it again and this blog post will give you that "what the heck is she talking about?" type of feeling.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

How the internet has changed everyday people

I cannot begin to tell you how the internet has allowed everyday people....that's you and me, to voice our opinions above the crowd of politicians, big business and paid spokesman for BIG money ventures. If it was not for the internet, we as the general pubic, would not be aware of the many events that go unreported by the main stream media.

I have a really good example of the fact that TV news is now getting the news from us, yes us the people and not from disaster events. A few weeks back in Eugene, Oregon, there was a small riot, a drunken riot but a riot none the less. It involved over 400 people that were having parties in the college section of town. Police were called and arrests were made. None of it showed up in the local news for days. The riot was filmed and put up on YouTube, people were finding out about the event on their PC's, laptop computers, iPhones and other internet connected devices. The local news did not cover the event until............................3 days later. A TV news channel in Portland (almost 150 miles away from Eugene) picked up the news event from YouTube and broadcasted it. I found it really odd that the TV channels did not have the event. The riot was reported on the AP wire (I checked) but apparently nobody reads it at the TV news room.

So private people putting up a news worthy event on YouTube can make a difference. Blogging (writing) about what you have seen or did can make a difference too. Someone, somewhere will read it and it will change how they see something, or react to what you have written, or think how they can make a difference too. It all starts online.

Saturday, October 9, 2010

What I wanted to be when I grew up

I think when I was in junior high school I wanted so badly to be a veterinarian. At the time you had to have straight A's in high school and of course the money to get into the state college that was out. I was not a straight A student. More like a straight B with a few C's and an occasional A thrown in here and there.

Being a pet doctor was out, so what was next? A teacher suggested that I might try for a forestry degree when I got out of high school. My parents would not support that career. I guess the thought of their little girl being a forest ranger was a bit too much for them. I would have loved it. Of course after I got out of high school I went to work for a few years before continuing on with college.

Before I went back to college I tried one career that I hated with a passion. I became a CNA. I thought that healthcare jobs was the way to go. Everyone kept telling me the future lies with taking care of sick and old people. They maybe right but it was not for me.

So then I embarked on my career in marine biology. I take breaks from college and I am not there full time so it will take many years before I get through to my goal. I refuse to take out student loans so my goal is many, many years away yet. It sure beats that CNA career.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Whales beaching themselves

Most people think that whales never intentionally beach themselves, this is not true. Killer whales often beach themselves to grab a seal from off of the beach. Other whales such as the Humpback often visit very shallow bays and inlets that have stones as the bed instead of sand. The whales will rub against the stones to rid their bodies of barnacles, almost like a body acne treatment for whale skin.

While the smaller whales are use to being close to land and using the shoreline to their hunting advantage, they are not immune to rip tides or extreme under currents of the sea. We, as humans, would worry about drowning but the whales have to watch out for being stranded or land locked in a shallow sea.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Kelp can be good for you

Kelp is one of the most common salt water plants. Commonly known as seaweed, because of its rapid growth rate, kelp is found in most of the world's oceans. Large areas of kelp growing are called kelp "forests." Sea otters just love making their home among the long strands of kelp and humans harvest kelp for a multitude of products.

Kelp is dried and eaten, it is added to supplements, weight loss pills, pet foods and even cosmetics. Kelp is high in vitamin C as well as lesser known trace elements.

Kelp also has another very important role in the world's ecology. It helps oxygenate the worlds oceans so that ocean life can survive and it gives off oxygen into the atmosphere.

Are you munching on sea shells?

It is amazing to me what people will put in their mouths without even knowing where it came from. Don't you remember that old saying your mother use to tell you....."get that out of your mouth, you don't know where it has been."

Are you just one of the many millions of people that are eating sea shells? Did you know that The best diet pill on the market contains sea shells? The ingredient is called Chitosan and is made from sea shells.

Chitosan is been researched to help in all sorts or other industries as well as the medical industry. It has a rich history of being researched for applications in agriculture and horticulture dating back to the 1980s.

Sea shells by the seashore are not what you thought they were.

The awful truth about fish oil harvesting

How many of you use fish oil supplements in your diet or even your pets' diet. Fish oil is used in everything from dog food to male enhancement pills. Do you ever wonder where that fish oil comes from?

Most people think that the oil comes from the fish that are harvested for human consumption, sort of a by-product. That is not entirely true. The fish the oil comes from is a by-product of sorts but not how you would normally think of.

Fish oil is extracted from fish that are not headed for the human or pet food industry. The fish that were caught while net fishing for other fish are the poor victims of the fish oil trade. I bet you thought that non-edible fish that were caught in the fish nets were tossed back into the ocean, didn't you? Nope, they are headed for the fish oil industry.

Humans.......they want to rape the ocean for everything when they put a net in the water.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Camouflage among marine fish

Have you ever wondered why some marine fish have a large black dot on their bodies? Those black dots are the camouflage pattern of the fish that will confuse the larger fish. The dots are to mimic dark eye circles so the larger fish will aim for the wrong end while hunting for the fish. That allows the smaller fish a chance to get away.

That's my trivia fact for the day.

Friday, September 10, 2010

Should I change the way this blog looks?

After blogger came out with all those new templates, I have been thinking about giving this blog a new look. I guess I am kinda reluctant to change because I like the "clean" look that this blog has right now. I'll give it some thought. Right now I have got a quick chore, a neighbor wants help changing her spa filter. While I am doing that, I'll think about changing the layout. The one thing I do like about the new themes that blogger offers is the option of adding pages. Right now I have no idea what my added pages would be, but it is a nice option to have around.

Friday, September 3, 2010

Aquarium culture

It has been a while since I wrote a blog post about aquariums and keeping fish. Although I am totally against wild caught fish for the home aquarium, I have nothing against captive bred and raised aquarium fish. I also realize that many people and children often have their first experiences with live fish via a home aquarium. What sparked this post was something I saw at a local pet store.

I have seen some pretty odd stuff in the fish sections of pet stores. A few years back it was "painted fish," followed by "neon fish." Both of them had been treated with a chemical that would make them "pretty" to the customer but would kill the fish. This time what I saw was not as harmful but odd to say the least.

Aquarium plants are not only very plentiful, pretty and do well in fresh water aquariums, providing the amount of lighting is correct, they provide extra aeration to the fish and water. That being said, do not buy land plants and stick them completely under water and expect them to survive. One pet store I was in, was doing that. They had potted lucky bamboo, which is a low light terrestrial plant and had them in the tanks with goldfish, completely submerged. What customers will not realize is the fact that the lucky bamboo (which is not at real bamboo at all, but that is another matter) will slowly deteriorate over time. It does make a great semi-wet terrarium plant where it is only partly submerged but not entirely underwater.

Do your research on what aquatic plants do well with your fish and leave the terrestrial plants on land.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

An underwater hotel

How's this for something interesting on your next vacation? An underwater hotel. The hotel is located in Turkey. This is not your typical log cabin in the woods type of vacation. You won't find log furniture or stuffed animals adorning the dinning room wall but you will find the most spectacular scenery you have ever seen from a window or your bed.

Man overboard!

The title above is one of the worse 2 words for someone to hear while on a ship or boat. While most people have some common sense and wear their life jackets, you do get the occasional yahoo who thinks that they are immortal and refuses to wear one. The life jacket is just added insurance for those who not only can't swim but those who do swim too.

Another thing that I really hate to hear is when someone has knocked or accidentally dropped a piece of valuable equipment overboard. Cameras, phones and recording devices have all seen some deep water action at one time or another. Most of them have been rescued but not all. One of our team has even gone so far as to purchase ipad insurance for her iPad since it would cost close to $600 to replace it. She does not want to see that go in the water but she uses it on board all the time.

Water damage can be nasty to electronics but there are a few things we do. First take any batteries out of the equipment if it gets wet. Wipe as much of the moisture off of it as possible. Let the equipment air dry for a few days before trying to turn it on. Just doing those simple steps has manged to save most of our equipment from permanent damage.

Piranha found in landlocked lake - USA

Some idiot let a piranha or 2 loose in a fresh water lake in the USA. That is not as strange as the fact that a couple of kids caught it on their fishing line. Below is the video of the event and the actual piranha they caught.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Shoreline trash

Have you been to the beach lately? Was it pristine and clean? I am betting not. Put aside the oil washing up on the Gulf coast beaches and what other bits of human trash do you see? I think I have come across more can and bottles than anything else. A close second is used diapers and broken up Styrofoam coolers. I thought that Styrofoam was being outlawed? The most unusual item I saw in the last few months was a king size mattress that someone tried to set on fire and only burnt part of it. The mattress could have come from an off shore ship wreak or brought to the beach to be dumped. You guess is as good as mine for that one.

The one burning question I have always had: If people come to the beach to enjoy its beauty, then why do they trash it?

Friday, July 30, 2010

Marine mining

When you think of gold and diamond mining I bet you think of dark long tunnels or strip mining. Would it surprise you that marine mining, mining for minerals in the ocean is being done by large corporations? Yes marine mining is being done and those companies are looking for diamonds and gold. The main areas of exploration are off the coast of west Africa. The De Beers company, known the world over for their TV commercials for loose diamonds with the phrase "a diamond is forever", is a major marine mining company.

Marine mining is not simple and most smaller companies and hobbyists are just salvaging old ship wrecks and call it mining. The true marine mining vessels are huge ships. like this one:

This is the De Beers diamond recovery vessel PEACE IN AFRICA (former Dock Express 20)

Water proofing your camera

We now live in an age of paperless photos. Where we don't have to bother with film, film developing nor printing them those photos out is we don't want to, that's what digital frames are for. But what about making sure your camera is functioning in surroundings like the beach, on a boat or near a body of water. Sure, you say that you won't get the camera wet or drop it in the water, but what about air born moisture?

People that live close to the ocean will tell you that their electronic devices will corrode after being exposed to salt laden ocean air. If you only go to the ocean once in a great while your camera should be fine but if you live or visit the coast on a weekly basis then I would look into getting a camera that was more resistant to moisture and even better if it was designed for use near or in salt water.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

How time flies - this blog is almost 3 years old!!

I had not even bothered to look at how many blog posts or even when I started this blog....until just a few minutes ago. I did not realize that I had been writing on here for nearly 3 years now. To be more precise, it will be 3 years in October, but that is almost here!!!

I really can't say what keeps drawing back here to write. I guess I do have something to say and this is the only way anyone will ever listen to me. Even if you get to the point of being a highly educated scientist and knew how to "fix" the entire problem of pollution, energy and balancing the ecology, and could do it still have to make people listen to you and believe in what you have to say. You can't go it alone, as much as you want to believe you can. You have to communicate.

So with this blog almost 3 years old, I can tell you there were times when I thought I should give it up. I thought that no one else reads this thing. Most of the comments were trash or spammy "come visit my website where I sell thermogenic fat burners," yep that one popped up the other day and I don't even know what that is. Then just when I would think that I might call it quits, someone posts a comment to keep me going. All I can say is, thanks I needed that.

Sea salt cures

It is nice to know that the salt water on our Earth is a massive cleansing fluid. It dilutes much of the toxic waste that flow down our streams and rivers. In a concentrated form we eat it (table salt) or use it to preserve our food. In a slightly diluted stage we float on it (The Great Salt Lake in Utah) or use it to treat eczema. Sea mammals that have wounds are more quickly healed by their watery environment than a similar land mammal would. Without our oceans to keep this planet moist and cool enough for us to survive where would we be? Non-existent that is where.

Friday, July 9, 2010

My true feelings about the oil spill in the Gulf

Warning: this post may offend some of you

Ok, I have heard just about enough news on the TV about the oil spill in the Gulf and I am pissed. What I am pissed off about is the fact that almost all of the coverage is about how people are affected by the spill. The TV news is covering how people are losing their businesses and work. Well boo who. People can move, find other lines of work, start other businesses. Damn it, what about the sea life that can't move, are having their homes destroyed and some of them will not live through this disaster to continue their species. Instead of the TV news continually covering the economic part of the disaster just to sell commercial air time to viagra and sleep aids, why don't they cover what the Sierra Club, The National Wildlife Federation and other conservation clubs are doing.

I am sorry if I offended some of you but I just had to say that.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Nursing a non-water baby

I have been busy the last 5 days. A family member disturbed a nest of newborn deer mice and I have been feeding and caring for them for the last 4 days. Momma deer mouse never returned to the nest for the first 18 hours after the nest was disturbed and the baby mice were getting extremely cold.

I had a crash course in deer mouse rescue. I happened to have some powdered kitten formula but all of the online help mentioned puppy formula or some form of natural protein powder, which means powdered milk.

So far out of the 4 mice, only one has survived this long. Each one has died about 24 hours apart so far. I have been feeding and cleaning them every 3-4 hours, including during the night. It is the middle of the afternoon right now and I am ready for a nap.

You are probably asking why I am doing this, after all it is just a few mice. It is just my nature, to help others, including the smallest of animals. I am just that way.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Day 72 of the oil spill in the Gulf

It is now over 2 months after the pipe broke on that BP oil rig and we are not any closer to shutting it down than we were at day 1! What the hell is wrong with this picture? I have heard of all kinds of solutions from burning it off (which is what they tried at first), enzymes, using stainless steel drums and of course that famous "cap" that didn't work. Apparently BP does not have any scientists on its payroll otherwise they would have figured out how to shut it down or make it less harmful to the environment. We shall see what happens next.

Friday, June 25, 2010

More marine biology should be taught in schools

Something that I always thought that should be taught at the high school level is marine biology. Regular biology class has always been geared toward the medical aspect of learning. Sort of getting students ready for the world of doctors and biological sciences. Not everyone is interested in becoming a doctor or nurse. Some of us want something else that does not have to do with medicine.

Then you also get the push for computer science and even computer clubs at school. I use to get sick just getting those club flyers pushing for more technology. People, the more we move towards technology the further we move away from nature. Just look at how the children of today act. They get their life's experiences from TV, movies and video games. Even the Wii simulates real exercise. Next they will come up with a Wii game that simulates swimming for those who can't really swim.

Boy did I go off on a tangent there, from what I would like to see taught in schools to what kids are doing in their spare time. Well, enough ranting for now....I have got to shut the lid on this laptop and go do something outside with nature.....away from technology, at least for a few hours.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Is 16 too young to do anything solo?

If you have been following the news about the 16 year old girl that attempted to sail around the world you would know that her attempt has ended. After a storm left her sail boat's mast broken, she had to end her trip. The controversy surrounding her age is by far over shadowing her dream. I have seen way too many stories and polls online saying she is too young to attempt such a feat. To them I say phooey and here is why:

Society has a short memory. Much of our history is forged on people under the age of 18 leading armies, making discoveries and doing extraordinary feats. If you want a short refresher course in history just check out this page. Of course that does not take into account that only 200 years ago people were often married and had started families by the age of 16. Kings and Queens were often put in charge of armies at very young ages. It was not uncommon that Kings married a "woman" that was only 12 and that the child bride outlived the King and took over running the kingdom.

Nature has made humans sexually mature at the age of 13-14 years of age. Normally when a mammal is strong enough and able enough to reproduce we call them adults. So why the controversy over a 16 year old girl who wants to accomplish something in her young life. Maybe it is not her age but because she is a girl. After all, her brother did the same thing last year and I don't remember an outcry about him. Of course he is a "man" when he did something young.

Have we not only a double standard about sex but age as well?

Thursday, June 3, 2010

I can't swim!!!!

Yes, I can swim, just like a fish at that. The thought of some of my friends that love marine life and even going out on the ships and boats but can't swim amazes me. My own father who was in the navy, could not swim. It just boggles the mind.

Why on earth would someone not learn how to swim when they are near water so much? I guess that gives their loved ones an excuse to shop for health insurance quotes, hoping they don't use it to keep them on life support after they nearly drown. It just makes no sense to me.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Counting my blessings

It is pouring rain here in the Pacific Northwest so that brings me to yet another day to count my blessings:
  • I am so thankful that we have rain. I say that because I have lived in a drought area when I was younger. Water rationing in not fun.
  • I am so thankful that another semester is almost over with. Just one final this term.
  • I am so thankful that I don't have to shop for a term life ins policy...or should I?
  • I am so thankful that I might get a part time summer job at the local fish hatchery.
  • I am so thankful that my last trip to the coast to gather geology info was a success.
My blessings may seem small to you but they are BIG to me.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Hurricane season has just begun in the Gulf

It is June first and it marks the beginning of the hurricane season in the Gulf of Mexico. With the oil disaster still going on, I wonder how a hurricane will affect the situation. I still find it amazing that the amount of oil that has spilled into the Gulf would amount to what the entire US population would use in 3 hours.

As always I would love to read your comments on the subject, just leave a comment. Of course all comments are moderated due to the fact I keep getting spammy comments that have links to diet pills or other junk websites. I really can't understand why someone would sign their comment with a product name like Acneticin instead of a real sounding one like Joe or Tammy. It just makes you wonder where they get the time to do stuff like that. Oh, wait a minute, aren't they the ones making government policy regarding off shore oil drilling? Now it makes sense........or does it?

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Wakame Seaweed

What is wakame seaweed? There are many varieties of seaweed but not all of them are edible. Wakame seaweed is the seaweed that you find in oriental salads and soups. It is different than the seaweed used to wrap sushi. Wakame seaweed is farmed as a crop in Japan. You will find wakame seaweed used in many products including diet pills such as apidexin because of its digestive benefits.

Another health benefit from the ocean

Did you know that seaweed has many health benefits? One of them is as a digestive aid and source of vitamins. Another one is as a eczema treatment. A paste is made from the seaweed and it is used as a cream to treat many skin conditions. So you see, seaweed is not just something wrapped around sushi.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

My collection of fish books

When I was little I always had a fish tank with some sort of swimming resident. Since it was my pet and mine alone I had to take of what ever fish I had at the time. Of course I had, and still have many of them, lots of books about pet fish. I did sell a few of them over the years and even listed some of them on Amazon books but I will not get rid of my favorite ones about seahorses. The funny thing is, I never had seahorses as pets, even in the days when you could get a pregnant papa seahorse in the mail for $2.98 I just never thought that I could care for them very well so I passed on have one as a pet. But that did not stop me from reading all I could about them and talking to pet shop owners who sold them.

Marine photography

Photography has been a life long hobby of mine but I never have done underwater photography yet. I think that is because of the limited number of cameras on the market that don't cost and arm and a leg. Believe me, I need that arm and leg.

I really admire the photos that people put up on the internet that have beautiful underwater scenery. From the simple shots to the complex ones that have been set up - I love them all.

I also love the videos that people put up on tube, anything from their own dives to slide shows they have put together with ocean sounds.

I don't know, just call me a nut, since I love the visual media.

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

Did you know?

I find that the history of the Earth is fascinating. I am not talking about human history but geologic and marine history. For example do you know what limestone is made of? It is ancient reef beds. Did you also know that the Andes mountain range is made mostly of limestone? That mountain range was created when the plate containing India collided with the Asian plate, millions of years ago. Another fascinating fact is that those deep marine trenches in the ocean is where the oceanic plates are sliding underneath the continental plate.

To understand the phenomenon of underwater volcanos more I am taking an advanced geology class. This course is absolutely fascinating. I have to do a poster on any subject related to geology as my final project. I was just taking a break from researching universal life insurance quotes and doing my homework when I just had to share those facts with you. I also found this photo and just wanted to share it too.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Varieties of the fantail Goldfish

The fantail Goldfish has an elliptical shaped body with a split tail. When they swim they kind of waddle through the water. They are not very fast swimmers so they are not very popular as pond fish but are great tank pets. There are many varieties of the fantail Goldfish. The longer finned versions are called veiltails. The fantail also comes in a variety of colors and scale types. There are many varieties of Goldfish that closely resemble the fantail and may have been bred originally from them to create new varieties.

After reading online about the average size of this fish I have come to the conclusion that not many people who write for the internet about Goldfish actually owned them. For example the articles I found mentioned the average size for a fantail was from 1-3 inches in diameter. My guess is that they have never seen a pond grown one like I owned. My fantail grew to a large 5" from nose to base of tail and she was only 10 years old when she died. Since fish keep growing until they die she would have gotten much larger given enough time. Goldfish live an average of 20 years and often more.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Sea life everywhere

I love sea life. I mean I really love it. I have a bathroom that painted light blue and has ceramic mounted all over the walls. I would enjoy having each room decorated with a ocean theme. I would have a whale room and a shoreline room and a seahorse room. Or maybe I would go with ocean climates like ice flows and tropical bays.

A friend of mine did her child's room in tropical fish, cute baby tropical fish. The colors were just wonderful. Of course she also had her Baby jogger city select outfitted with fish too. I wonder if her child will end up as a future marine biologist. I personally doubt it because my mother decorated my bedroom with unicorns all over the place.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Blog ranting

I can fully understand why some people give up on their blogs. For the last 2 years I use to visit an interesting blog about guppies. The writer was a teen that had a passion for his fish. I started to notice that the comments were no longer being moderated and spam comments were being signed by "my favorite book" or "best diet pills for women" and other such junk. Soon the posts were not being added regularly.

I visited one last time and saw a "good bye" post. Blogging was getting "old" to the writer and the spammers and nasty commentators got to him. I can understand that since I get the oddball comment and my share of spammers too. I can only say that if he had not allowed comments on his blog he would have been better off for it.

Ok, rant over now, you can all go back to ocean viewing.

Why is really important news swept under a rug?

I am talking about huge ecological disasters, the ones that make the news briefly then disappear, never to be heard of again. Oil spills are notorious for being ignored by the major news organizations. One of those huge container ships sinks every few days yet nothing is even mentioned about them.

Then you have that on going floating garbage patch in the Pacific Ocean that was mentioned a few years ago - well that thing has not disappeared. That was one disaster that could have been preveranted.

I often wonder if big business is not only controlling our government but also what we see and hear via the main stream media. I am so grateful that we have Twitter, where news is instant and almost viral.

Monday, April 12, 2010

What is your ideal sea related job?

If you could have any job that had to do with working either in the ocean or near the ocean, what would it be? Keep in mind I said ANY and that means you already have what ever skills or education needed for that job.

Would it be an underwater photographer for National Geo? How about a member of the film crew for Deadliest Catch?

Would it be less glamorous but more important like being the research scientist that finds the reason why there is a decrease in the salmon population? Or maybe the person who discovers a new life form at the bottom of the ocean.

Come on, I want to hear about it. If you have a blog or website about your favorite ocean career then leave a link to it. I am sure that my readers would be interested in finding out about it too.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Water wings

A fellow college student in my advanced PE class has decided she wants to be a swimming instructor. The only thing holding her back is the fact she can barely swim. That has not stopped her however. She has enrolled in a swimming instructor class. She just barely passed the swimming test yesterday and next Tuesday she has to tread water with a 10 pound weight between her knees.

I have yet to find out how much the pay is for the instructor position that she wants this coming summer but I bet it is pretty good. She is already a fitness instructor for several of the college courses so she is in great condition.

So far she loves the fact that while she is enrolled in the course she has unlimited access to the swimming pool and spas. It was at the end of her first class session that she had a run in with one of the spa covers and ended up in an embarrassing position in the pool deck.

I can't wait until I hear about how she manages to pass the treading water test. I'll just have to wait until next week to find out.

Taking my PDA with me everywhere

I guess I am a cheapskate when it come to phones and gadgets. All of my friends have iPhones and iPods but I have something better, an older PDA. You know one of those palm sized computers. I have an HP which can connect to the internet - for free and play music and I can watch videos but I can also take notes, pictures and make audio comments.

That little PDA has gone with me everywhere, from the beach to the classroom and taking notes for labs. I can even add a memory card and operate some good sized software programs on it. My one came with Excel, Word and project management software. I know someone that works in a hospital and has a PDA with a medical reference library on it.

I love my little outdated and non-phone PDA. It works for me.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The ocean holds human health secrets

The future of human medicine might just hinge on discoveries of the deep. We all know how to lower bad cholesterol, by eating fish. There is something about fish oils that are beneficial to human health. Kelp also has been found to help digestion. Algae has been used in countless remedies.

I can see that many of the cures of human ailments will be found in the world's oceans, that is provided that us humans don't destroy the oceans first.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Star fish facts

Just some wondrous facts about star fish also known as sea stars:
  • If a star fish loses a leg (or arm if you prefer) they will regenerate another one to replace it.
  • Their suction cups extenze from the tips of their legs to their mouth openings.
  • The star fish has no brain, they "think" with their skin.
  • Star fish eat clams and oysters
There are hundreds of different varieties of star fish, the one in the photo above is a rose star.

How salty is salt water?

Salinity is the way we gauge how much salt there is in water. Some salt water environments, also called marine, have more or less salt in them. Salt water is less prone to freeze than water that has little or no salt in it. All water has some form of salinity in it, even fresh water. Water coming down out of the mountains gathers up minerals and salt as it travels down stream.

The human body also contains salt water. We sweat and cry salt water. Salt water AKA saline solution is what is used to replace our body fluids in hospitals. Salt water is also used to as an eczema treatment and to treat damaged skin. But how does salt water in a marine environment compare to the saline in the human body? The world's oceans range from 3.1% to 3.8% salinity. The human body is around 0.9% so the world's oceans contain 3 times the amount of salt as our bodies do.

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

A warning to those who want a college degree

Unfortunately with the advent of the internet came the con artists with promises of easy online degrees. While it is true that you can earn a degree online, it is usually through a major college that you have already registered with and have taken on sight classes. I hate to say it but many thousands of online classes are completely worthless. Not only have they taken your money but their fly by night college usually disappears.

A search of the Better Business Bureau does not make much sense to me since the BBB is funded by the very businesses it claims to be a watch dog of. Your best bet with finding out if the online course is legit is to Google the college name and check to see if it is registered in your state or country as a college.

A word to the wise, you cannot learn biology via the internet, especially marine biology. The classes you have to take have lab study time and hands on experience, both of them not available online.

It is finals week at the college

I am thankful that I only have one class that has a final this semester. My other classes all had tests throughout the class session so having a final would not be logical for them.

At least I don't have to study for a gmat prep or a test to get a cert, at least not just yet. Some good news is that I will be getting work time as college credit next semester. Have to go now and take my text books back. Don't you just love book buyback week? I sure do.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Outdoor life is just around the corner

It maybe raining today but in the next few weeks the weather will be getting drier and the days longer. I am currently looking across my living room to where my tv stands and will be bidding it a fond farewell until we meet again during the next foul weather span. I rarely watch TV as it is and in fact spend most of my time online when not in class or on a field trip. Spring break is almost here and I have only one final during finals week.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Water fitness

I am fortunate to have a swimming pool but swimming pools take a lot of regular maintenance. Of course I also use fitness equipment to stay in shape but I would love to exchange that equipment and the pool for one of those swimming spas. The one thing I don't like about swimming laps in a swimming pool is just that - laps.

Weddings at the beach

Romance at the beach. Walking on the beach hand in hand with your loved one. Sounds romantic doesn't it? Have you ever witnessed a beach wedding? Believe me they are not always the most romantic of settings. The wedding favors often get blown all over the place and the wedding dress gets soaked. Of course I love the beach but I think I will skip the weddings on them.

Technology and the outdoors

I never thought that having a cell phone would become such an informational device. Recently a local high school was on full alert when a text message went viral throughout the entire student population. A sexual predator had been spotted in the area and not only was it a text message but it came complete with a picture of the suspect.

With Twitter now on cell phones it is becoming a very fast way to communicate such ecology news items such as oil spills in real time but also the progress of whale hunting on the high seas.

I praise such technology improvements but I still can't get use to people wearing those Bluetooth headsets in the grocery store. I remember a time when you had to wait to you got home to make or receive a phone call.

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Whale blubber - human uses

The consumption of whale blubber still occurs in this modern age of conservation. One would think that consumption of what amounts to fat of the whale would be injurious to the people who are consuming it, but that is not the case. Whale blubber has been found to be very different from land animal fat. The blubber properties are high in antioxidants and have a tendency to do good to the arteries of the people who consume it.

Blubber is unfortunately still seen as the best fat burner in the terms of oil in some areas of the world. A large whale often produces 50 tons of oil of which cosmetics, candles and some soaps are made from.

Countries that lack other methods of producing fuel for warmth are the one who are most likely to continue whaling.

Whale puke

Pic of whale puke

Do you often wonder what happens when whales puke and poop? I do. The enormous size of the animal is enough to make me wonder what happens to their excrement when they have a bout of diarrhea too. It takes the phrase "colon cleansing" to a whole new level, doesn't it? I do know that whale puke floats and that it is highly prized as an ingredient in perfumes. I really can't imagine putting whale puke on my body as a fragrance but I probably have done it without knowing about it.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Fish I have raised

I was in my backroom where I have sort of a library/office set up. I needed to sort through a few things and came across an old notebook where I had logged all the information, dates and results of a guppy breeding venture I had when I was a teen. I had gotten the bright idea to breed show guppies and then sell the offspring that didn't come up to show standards to the local pet store.

I thought my idea was brilliant until I found out that I needed more and more 10 gallon tanks to separate the males from the females and then separate the different types and colors. It was becoming a logistics nightmare.

Looking over that old notebook brought back memories of finding the best prenatal vitamins for fish, yes they do have them. I also had to keep on hand lots of fresh water plants so they were more inclined to breed.

Would I try it again one day? Nah, it was just a childhood pipe dream for me. Let someone else take over and breed guppies.

An inside type of day

With the winter storms still coming in from the Pacific it is a day to get things done inside. No school today and only 2 class days left this week. I am having some down time from school. The next long stretch will be spring break and hopefully I can get time to go to the coast. I have also got to get my income taxes done as well. Been putting that off for the last few weeks. Finding out that the tax software is priced differently in each store. I also need to put myself on more of a stringent budget. Oh where to find best home budget software for me?

Indoor time.....I think I will go and get a bag or 2 filled for Goodwill.....wait the sun is coming out!!! Should I stay in or go out.......a question to ponder.

More trials and tribulations of being a blog owner

I am thinking seriously about not having comments activated on my blog. I am really getting sick and tired of people trying to push their spammy website, diet pills, gambling or products. Most of the time I have never even heard of the stuff. Just today I get a rambling comment for a link exchange to some blog pushing tretinoin cream, something that I don't even know what it is, nor do I care. That comment got rejected in a heart beat. Do those people think I can't read or are they under the misguided assumption that all comments are automatic and unmoderated?

Since I don't really get that many comments I might just do just that, make all of my blog posts so you can't comment on them.

Monday, February 8, 2010

Ocean games

When I was younger and the videos games were limited to the PC, I remember there were many videos that had a oceanography theme. Ocean Explorers was one of my favorites. There were even games that identified the marine life with real videos of the sea mammals and fish.

Nowadays the video game industry has done very little in the way of really fun educational games. The math games are boring and when it comes to biology you can forget it....there is nothing.....nothing for the ps3, nothing for the xbox and not even anything for the PC. I wonder why blood and violence sells or maybe it doesn't but that is all there is being offered.

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Will you spammers please leave this blog alone?

What the f*** is wrong with you guys? I just had what started out as a nice thoughtful comment that turned into a blatant advertisement for an OKC lawyer. I deleted it only to find another A-Hole left a comment that read, "I love your blog and wanted you to know about the blog advertising website I run." It went on and on about how he could (for a price of course) make my little blog famous in the world of blogs. Damn it, if he was that good then he would have done it with his own blog and quit leaving such comments on this blog.

Do people think I am stupid or what?

I will say it again - ALL COMMENTS ARE MODERATED

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Sea water heals

Have you ever wondered about the healing properties of sea water? I have. In fact I have heard many tales of wounds that did not heal by ordinary means and that the person went swimming in the ocean and noticed that the wound started to heal. That is not surprising because sea water is salt water and salt water is very close to the human body's saline content. After all we are not comprised of just plain water but saline which is salt water.

I have a friend that utilizes salt water in his hot tub. He suffers from hemorrhoids and found that warm sea water is the best hemorrhoids treatment he has discovered so far.

Salt water has cleansing properties and most of the world has ignored them.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Quit raping the ocean for your own greed

I am simply fed up with companies coming up with a "secret" ingredients that involves a rare form of sea life. How many whales, dolphins, rare fish and other life need to die for the greed of man? I have read so many off the wall claims of rare enzymes found only in certain rare fish that are being touted as natural fat burners or sexual enhancers. It makes me sick.

Seahorses are still ground up and used in medicines in the far east but there is no real medical use for seahorses. That is a photo (above) of dried seahorses for sale. When will this stop?

Sea kelp and myths

Sea kelp is that long wide aquatic plant that is often called sea weed. Kelp is not really a plant as we know land plants but a form of algae. Kelp is used by humans in many ways. We eat it, make it into diet supplements and even make biodegradable clothing out of it. Along with the mass use of sea kelp there is also a lot of false claims about it. It will not make you younger again, it will not rid you of worms (I heard that one a few years back), it is not any kind of recommended dermatologist acne treatments nor is it a miracle cancer cure. Yes it does have some benefits but it is not a cure for everything under the sun.

Since it is an algae, it grows very fast and can be harvested rather heavily. It is also the home to the world's sea otters and they love it.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Products we have made with the help of sea life

There are literally millions of products that could not have been made without sea life. Over 100 years ago, whale oil lit the dark nights of most of the world. Whale oil was made from the fat or blubber of whales. Even whale throw up is used. It is called "ambergris" and is a foul-smelling substance. When a whale throws up, particularly a big sperm whale, apparently the sound of it travels for miles through the water. The substance is worth millions of dollars and is still used today as an ingredient in perfume.

Another product that is widely used today is joint supplements made from shark cartilage. Sea kelp is also found in medicine and supplements for both humans and animals.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

Being independant

I have always loved the idea of not having a regular 9 to 5 indoor job. I guess that is why I opted for marine biology as my future. I think that being a researcher is just about as good as or better than having a successful home based business.

My other option would have been a professional photographer and of course it would be underwater photography. I have found that professions that require a person to go underwater pays very well. I never thought about that when I started aiming for a profession that I hope to be in one day. In fact I thought that marine biologists only got paid $30K a year when in reality their pay rate is in the $100K a year and up.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Swirling waters

Water holds a strange fascination for me. Its dark circles when it moves down stream to the vast ocean. People complain when they don't have enough of it and they complain when there is too much. Droughts and floods are always news worthy but polluted water is often moved to a filler item on back page on a defunct newspaper.

Yes water, we all need it, some hate it, some fear it. I am fascinated by it.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

People that live too close to the ocean

What you are looking at in the photo above is the city of destin florida. This is a city that is literately built on the beach. Those buildings in the forefront of the photo are large mega hotels so it gives you an idea of what the rest of the buildings are. Being that this is in Florida, didn't anyone think about the hurricane season? Sure, it might be a few years between the major ones but within a span of 20-25 years a major one will strike and will kill or ruin family lives forever.

With the added bonus of global warming I wonder how long those buildings will be above the water level? That is a little unreal, isn't it?

The Octopus

Pictured above is the Blue Ringed Octopus. The Octopus has the capabilities to use camouflage to hide its presence. It can also change colors according to its mood, whether it is attracting a mate or being aggressive. Another one of its unusual abilities is to shot out a cloud of black ink to foil its attackers so it can make a swift escape. If you are handling an Octopus there is no need to use Flexo ink cleaner or other cleaners since the "ink" is not really an ink but a bio-chemical known as melanin. Melanin is what gives us our hair and skin color.

Octopus do not live for very long. Their average life span is a short 6 months to about 4-5 years depending on the species. They are genetically programed to die shortly after reproducing. The male will live for about a month after mating and the female lives long enough to take care of her unhatched eggs. The young usually grow up not knowing or even seeing their parents.

All octopuses are venomous, but only the small blue-ringed octopuses are deadly to humans.

Friday, January 8, 2010

Wounded sea lion rescue

Here is a disturbing video about a sea lion at Moss Landing that is in dire need of help but is eluding the people trying to rescue it. I warn you ahead of time that the sea lion is badly wounded and you might not be able to watch the video. The sea lion is just one of many that left the San Francisco Bay and traveled north to the coast of Oregon in search of food.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Stranded out on a lake

Don't you just love machinery? It, machinery, is a necessary evil, it is great when it works like it is suppose to but a pure devil when it breaks down. I have been out on 2 boats that have had engine problems when out on the water. Thankfully they were both on lakes and not out at sea.

The panic that sets in on people that have not been out very often on boats, will amaze you. They didn't know that the boat owners almost always have a way to get back to shore. If they don't then they don't belong out on the lake.

They were not small vessels either. One boat was owned by a friend and the other one by the state fish and game. The state ha their own mechanics to take care of those types of breakdowns but my friend had the forethought of carrying mechanical breakdown insurance on his boat.

Machinery something I use yet despise.