Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Fishin Fools

We left for fishing Sunday afternoon and arrived Seaforth, San Diego about 7 PM. Got on the boat about 9 and were underway about 10PM. The seas were exceptionally rough that night from an 18 knot wind. It was so bad Paulette almost got motion sickness from me telling her about it. A couple time I was awakened by being thrown around the small berth. The next day the chop laid down and we had great weather thereafter. But I made a terrible fishing mistake. I didn't get new line on three of my reels. I hooked up to enough big fish, but then experienced the dismay of a breaking line: Penny wise and pound foolish. For the whole trip I landed only one fish, about a 30# Yellowtail. I lost more like five. It was heartbreaking.

The highlight of the trip was when one angler hooked into a marlin! Marlin are almost unheard of this far north and I suspect the charter boat had never had anyone hook one before. That fish was prob six feet plus long from bill to tail, and did some fabulous tailwalks across the swells for the first few minutes. These are not a merely the fish jumping out of the water and going back down. The fish literally stands vertical on its tail and seems to walk across the waves for what seemed like five to ten seconds at a time. When I got my camera the fish dove deep and was never to be seen again. The fisherman had the estimated 150 lb marlin on only 30 lb test line, so it was doubtful from the beginning whether he would ever get it in. Marlin are usually fought with huge equipment and a special seat called a "fighting chair." His rod looks very small for such a huge fast fish. Sure enough, after about a half hour the fish broke the line and a collective groan went up from everyone on the boat (We all pulled in our lines so as not to get in his way while he fought the awesome fish). I had never seen a marlin in person, much less one doing their famous tail walk across the ocean surface. That was an awesome first hand experience to put in memory. These first two pictures are of our angler standing in the bow with a pole that looks like it is about to break. The guy in the yellow hat is my friend Mike, who invited me to go fishing with him.

I couldn't find video but finally located this pix on the web as a demo of what we saw for a few minutes. The fish in the pix seems to be about the same size as the one the guy hooked on the boat. Still photos don't do the wave dance justice.

I had a fabulous time, came home this morning totally wiped out. Tonight is a study night and I need to get up around 4AM Wednesday before teaching, then will head home about 8 AM, finish loading, and drive 400 miles to Sacramento, overnight, and then another 350 miles Thursday. I'm thinking I overextended. I forgot my ambitious life is trapped in a 60 year old body.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Plans, Store, and Trips

I got invited to go deep sea fishing off Mexico on a 1.5 day charter. I made an emotional decision and quickly accepted. Over the next few days I repented at leisure. I almost hoped a hurricane would cancel the trip. Unfortunately the weather looks good. So I'm going to reluctantly live up to my commitment.

The store lease activity has been very quiet. I think I have had two calls in the past six weeks (one was an oriental guy wanting to rent 200 sq. ft. LOL) I counted eight fwy frontage retail stores for lease within two miles of our location. On top of that our tenant told me she is closing. I visited the store this afternoon to show Mom the new vinyl flooring and the young man who works there said it looks like she is going to close the end of this month. She is still on the lease, but once she is out I can imagine she will be more reluctant than ever to pay the lease. I've been very gracious so far, but she takes advantage of my graces.

We were in Costco today and I got chatty with a middle aged gal boxing purchases. I noted how few people were shopping compared to usual. She said this local Costco laid off 10 people that morning. The Inland Empire is hit a lot harder than most of the rest of the nation. Our unemployment is now approaching 9% according to the newspaper. It isn't pretty.

We canceled all summer plans because of the store lease situation and I did so willingly to try to help our struggling tenant. Lately I've had a change of heart and feel free to be gone due to the fact the tenant has not lived up to her commitment to bring deteriorated areas up to good condition to help merchandise the building. So we decided to take in a buggy run in the Eureka, CA area, and continue on to Portland to see kids and grandkids for a few days . We plan to leave home next Wednesday, arrive in the Eureka area Friday afternoon, and head for Portland Monday or Tuesday. We are in flux as to when we will return home. In retrospect I desire to be here if the store is going to close so am re-evaluating. But we will probably go north (partly due to a strong lobbyist named Gamma!).

Friday, August 8, 2008

Straw hats

Been a while since I posted so I thought to give an update. The update is: not much new. Still working a bit on the store though I have slowed down. I ordered some flooring for a restroom and the main entry. After that's done all that remains is touchup painting. Calls have dropped way off. Uncertainty due to economy and election??? I suspect so. I'd be reluctant to commit to a lease in this environment.

Price reduced. New reportedly was $1,500,000. Now asking $450,000

There is an old adage, "Buy your straw hats in the winter." Contrary to the economic trend we made an offer on a boat a few days ago. (It's about 40 feet shorter than the one in that picture, which Mom likes VERY MUCH). My offer was below what the seller was asking even though they had already dropped the price $10,000 over the past year. My logic is with fuel prices where they are, and most folks now being unable to use home equity for major purchases (= less buyers), values of something like a boat, which is very energy inefficient and costly to maintain, must come way down. I see ads trying to unload boats everywhere, especially ads for big boats (see above). I counted 650-700 postings on one Craigslist boat site in one day this week! But so far most folks with trailerable boats are reluctant to take less than they think the boats are worth. They didn't accept our offer. I think the market will gradually adjust. Even now I see some that have been for sale a while and the sellers are into their second, third, or even fourth price reduction... and still no takers. So we're sorta watching for a deal on a straw hat. It doesn't matter whether we get one or not.
I guess I feel the same way as the boat sellers. Our 5th wheel is prob worth about half of what we paid for it (due to fuel costs and economic slowdown), but I wouldn't take that.