Shelter Island Fishing Pier



In California you don’t need a fishing license to fish off of the municipal piers hence they are pretty crowded on the weekends.  I like to go to Shelter Island with my wife because it’s a bit more upscale that the IB pier. There is a nice little park nearby and there always seems to be an Islander family set up over there with their BBQ and Hawaiian music.  It sort of sets the vibe for the day.  And of course there is the Fathom Bistro where the Soup of The Day is always beer.  Really good local and not-so-local beer.

Pier fishing is real laid back. It’s not a high-tech arms race like you run into offshore.  On a pier, the old Filipino lady with two crusty old Ugly Stick rigs is likely to be the hot hand. If you can get by her mean-ass little dog and are polite, she just might give you one of the ghost shrimp she siphons up out of Mission Bay at low tide.  

The thing I like about fishing Saltwater is you never know what you (or the person next to you) is going to catch.  At this pier I’ve caught Yellowfin Croaker, Sculpin, tiny Halibuts and Bat Rays and of course those delightfully suicidal Greenback Mackerels. All great sport on my old six and a half foot trout rod and a small spinning real. 

A Day Without Sunshine


SculpinI heard about today’s Sculpin ban and kind of panicked for a minute.   If there is an official beer of San Diego,  Ballast  Point’s flagship brew is it.  It’s so popular here, the hipsters in North Park turn their noses up at it.

Luckily  we only have to quit killing a small, bottom dwelling fish for a few months and can go on enjoying our favorite IPA year round.

Postmodern Musashi

Being a hard-ass  never looked so easy

                                      Being a hard-ass never looked so easy

Over the past decade, Denzel Washington has built a sizable and soulful body of work as an action hero. He has fleshed out a singular character who is aged and wounded but… well, still in the game is an understatement.

From Glockslinger extraordinaire John Creasy (Man on Fire) to the latest incarnation as Robert McCall (The Equalizer) Denzel plays American men who have received vaguely referenced government training or as in The Book of Eli, Divine gifts that have rendered them nigh on invincible.  However their unique skills and life experience have left them haunted and alone.

As I was watching The Equalizer yesterday in an upscale La Jolla theater, I kept asking myself what is it that makes this guy and these films so satisfying? Could it be an aged, wounded American male psyche is thirsting for things like competence, moral certainty, restraint and discipline? Well at least my American male psyche.  Probably something like that. I can’t put my finger fully on it.

Whatever it is, Denzel Washington brings it.

Election Day

Election Day in California holds no joy for a conservative.  The Republican party is terminally ill and the closest thing we have to a responsible adult in Sacramento is this guy.


In my Congressional district, I am faced with a choice between a rubber Obama stamp named Scott Peters and Republican Carl DeMaio who’s main selling point seems to be “Trust me! I’m gay!”  Young Carl seems bent on a career in politics despite a lackluster resumé.  The fact that he is in a dead heat with the incumbent Peters says volumes about the problems facing the Democrats today.  Peters is so worried, he’s gotten his pals over at KBPS to reveal not just one but two sexual harassment allegations in the passed few weeks.  It’s all such a blatant smear I’m tempted to actually vote for DeMaio rather than writing in this guy.

Brown Eyed Handsome Man


When Giants Roamed The Earth!

Tedeschi Trucks

Last night we were treated to a great night of music at the beautiful Balboa Theater courtesy of Greyhounds and The Tedeschi Trucks Band.  I left the theater with a big smile on my face and in my head.  

The whole evening was a throwback to the ’70s for me. Driving downtown to an old theater, sinking into a good seat and checking out the roadies, the gear and the fans… just like when I was 17. Speaking of the fans, judging by the age of the crowd, most of us probably arrived by way of The Grateful Dead and Allmans which is to say…

Old Salt 3

Yeah, so be it. I remember when audiences didn’t mind showing up early for an opening band they’d never heard of because they were hopeful and open to new things. If that makes me a hippy, pass the… patchouli. Please.

In this case the opening band was Greyhounds, a three piece outfit out of Austin Texas.  If  Tony Joe White and Booker T & The MGs own a Condo Complex in Memphis, these guys have been sneaking in and swimming in the pool.

Friends don't let friends drive without reverb

                         Greyhounds:  Friends don’t let friends drive without reverb

These guys totally won the crowd over but rules are rules and in San Diego… well lets just say the trains here run on time and Greyhounds was kept to a strict 40 minute set.  They apologetically surrendered the stage to the roadies and at precisely 2100 hrs The Tedeschi Trucks Band rolled in.

Tedeschi Trucks is a huge band with a huge heart.  Again I couldn’t help but think of the ’70s when big, soulful bands like Mad Dogs and Englishmen, Delaney & Bonnie & Friends… hell The Mahavishnu Orchestra were blowing up hockey arenas right and left. Go big or go home! To be sure two drummers, a horn section, backup singers it all can get pretty loud and jumbled at times but when this band settles into their sweet spot (and they quite often do) it is a thing of rare power and beauty.

Take for instance “Midnight In Harlem”  the songs stars with just Derek Trucks’s bottleneck noodling.  Which is to say some incredibly hypnotic, harmonically rich, dead nuts precise bottleneck noodling that eventually gives way to the song’s actual intro.  Mrs. Trucks, Susan Tedeschi (looking great in hipster glasses) then takes control of the song and… well shit here, just listen for awhile

Mmmmmmm Harlem. I thought of The Allman Brothers playing their final show the previous night in New York the night before and here we were across the country the very next night seeing the torch being passed without a hitch. You remember that scene in Return Of The Jedi when Obi-Wan, Darth Vader and Yoda  are looking down on all the happy ewoks?  There were times last night where I imagined Duane Allman, Al Jackson Jr. and Levon Helm doing the same thing.   Contact high? You better believe it!