27 February 2011

Once Upon a Time In Mexico, Chapter 1

Time/Date: 2050 CST, 27-Feb-11
Location: Estado de Guerrero, Mexico

My pocket-sized Latin American Spanish phrasebook did not have the following useful phrases:
  • "I'm sorry, sir, but I am not smuggling a weapon. It is a fly-tying vice. If you sit tight for 8 minutes, I can tie you up a Clouser Deep Minnow."
  • "I do not wish to drink Dos Equis, as it is the beer of douchebags back home."
  • "Do I receive Aeroplan miles for this hotel stay?"
  • "Your food looks very tasty, but I'm worried it will give me the shits."
  • "Kidnapping me will embarrass us both. I'm not wealthy, and the food costs of keeping me will be higher than any ransom you will receive."
  • "Would you by chance know how to whip-finish this Clouser Deep Minnow?"
  • "Do you know Salma Hayek? I have a friend that thinks she is cute."
  • "I pray to Jesus you have more toilet paper than this."

22 February 2011

Silly Signs, v2.0

Time/Date: 1050, 22-Feb-11
Location: Fredericton

I hope the pelican was ok with it...

20 February 2011

Lazy Sunday Post - Cool Bonefish Vid...

...brought to my attention by Davin over at Flatswalker. (PS- glad to see you back posting often, Davin)

Enjoy some classic grunge on your Sunday afternoon.

17 February 2011

A Proper Stroll Around London-town

Time/Date: 0825 GMT, 17-Feb-11
Location: London

This is a long one, so there's music at the top and the bottom to get you through this.

After wandering around seeing the sights for the past couple of days, Matt & I figured we walked about 45km.

Having mastered the art of walking, we decided it would be prudent to add a new level of difficulty: add booze. The following is how it transpired:
  • 1748 leave Tavistock Hotel
  • 1800 Round #1: Marlborough Arms. Spitfire Bitter, £8 for 2
It begins...
  • 1823 drink 1st Red Bull en route to next stop
  • 1830 Round #2: The Fitzrovia. Kronenbourg 1664 Cold, £7.40 for 2
  • 1846 just discovered, via SkyNews, Justin Bieber is in town. We continue to drink, feeling absolutely no Canadian pride over this. 
  • 1902 Round #3: The Northumberland Arms. Vodka-soda, £8 for 2 
  • 1920 Round #4: The One Tun (not a typo). Dark Rum-coke, £7.54 for 2 
Should have mentioned this BEFORE you served us dark rum
  • 1929 Matt: "this is a good idea, no matter what country you're in."
  • 1945 we discuss the logistics of "sacking York." Hurdle of this: not knowing where York is.
  • 1957 Round #5: The Green Man. Vodka-soda, £5 for 2. Arsenal-Barcelona have filled pubs. Silly bastards cheering about boring things. 
  • 2006 I decide there is no amount of booze that could make soccer exciting/enjoyable for me. 
  • 2016 Mat: "Ummm, it appears we're in the porn district. I just want food."
  • 2018 Server: "We haven't any room right now." Mat to Matt: "If their dining room wasn't the size of a closet they wouldn't have this problem."
  • 2025 Round #6: unknown bar with kitchen open, after striking out for food at 3 other places. Matt: Stella Artois, Mat: Carling or Carlsberg. Both: Chicken Club Platters. Total: £19.50 for everything.
  • 2043 Everything gets dipped into HP Sauce. Mat: "When in Rome..." Not entirely sure if that saying is applicable. Don't care. 
The condiment of the angels
  • 2101 This beer tastes like polluted sea water. Eff you, Carling...or Carlsberg... 
  • 2107 the place with the awesome club sandwich & the polluted sea water beer is called St. James Tavern.
  • 2112 Round #7: The Blue Posts. Matt: dark rum-coke, Mat: vodka-soda. £6.60 for both 
  • 2133 we fail to see any blue posts in this establishment.
  • 2135 Matt found the blue posts. They're 3" tall, semi-hidden behind the bar 
  • 2141 Round #8: Waxy's Little Sister. Matt: rum-coke, Mat: vodka-red bull. £11.20. My bad. Red Bull added to price substantially. 
  • 2145 Mat: "I have no idea where the f**k we are in this city right now."
  • 2152 Billy Joel's We Didn't Start the Fire comes on. Sadly, I remember when it was originally released. Two twenty-something Brits sing along. I cringe. 
  • 2202 We find ourselves in Chinatown.
Wong turn, maybe?
  • 2206 Homeless guy offers weed for a cigarette. No deal. Matt: "How often can you drive away a homeless guy offering weed in London?" Mat: "I knew what I was doing." 
  • 2213 Round #9: The Golden Lion. Matt: rum-coke, Mat: Guinness. £7.20 for both. 
  • 2234 At this stage if the night, Guinness was a very poor choice. 
  • 2305 we retire, start trekking back to hotel. Matt indulges in the the traditional English snack of Kentucky Fried Chicken on the way back. 
  • 2308 first pee in public in London. I blame KFC for being bags o' douche with their bathroom policy. 
  • 2320 I cave to my symptoms of croissant withdrawal. But no cravings for the Sizzling King Prawn crisps. Bacon-flavoured crisps? Damn straight. 
Oh God...
Damn straight...
  • 2326 return to hotel. Eat. 
  • 2355 (-ish) Fall asleep, fully dressed on the bed (for 2nd time in 3 nights).

14 February 2011

Random London Post v1.0 - Just chillin'

Time/Date: 0645 GMT, 15-Feb-11
Location: Tavistock Square, London

This was Sunday & Monday for us:
0900 - Depart Sabodala project area
1130 - Arrive Dakar, chill out (pics below)
2100 - Face a mob of people at Dakar Int'l Airport
2330 - Depart Dakar
0630 - Arrive Paris-CDG
0730 - Train to Gare du Nord, chill out (& freeze) in train station
1213 - Train to London
1430 - Chill out, go eat sushi
2130 - sleep fully dressed on most comfortable bed I've been on in 34 days

It's been fun so far...

Here are some pics from Dakar.

Boarding procedures at Sabodala Int'l Airport
The 49m-high monstrosity over looking Dakar. Read more about it here.
Checking out the fishing district with Matt & Ivann
The fisherman personalize their boats for good luck
Chill out on the beach (& get harassed by peddlers)
So yeah, that's what's up. A lot of 'hurry up & wait' at airports & train stations...and chillin'.

We have absolutely no plans for the next few days in London. It's kinda nice.

Here's some Brit rock for y'all:

12 February 2011

Travellin' (& fly reel dreams quickly dashed)

Time/Date: 1445 GMT, 12-Feb-11
Location: Senegal

Things are finally wrapping up on the project site for us; the last drill hole finished earlier today.

It has been a good project, though working 28 consecutive night shifts, 7PM-7AM, is something I'd rather not do frequently (not that I'm using that as an excuse for the lack of posts & photos...).

Tomorrow we set off for Dakar, then fly to Paris overnight tomorrow night. From there, it's a relatively quick train ride to London for a few days, as it would've cost ~$1500 to change our tickets from Paris to Canada. Though, with the rates of these effin' trains, one has to wonder what is more expensive.

The original plan was to visit the south of Spain & France for 6-7 days, but some of the drill holes being extended scuttled that plan. So London it is.

Not being one much for stuff like Westminster Abbey, last night I did a quick Google search for fly shops in the vicinity of our hotel.

Objects of desire
One site had a Nautilus NV reel listed "from £195." I almost shit my (fast-drying, uber-comfortable Ex-Officio) drawers. These things retail for $600US; I thought I stumbled into something awesome.

This morning, after NV-filled dreams, I went back on to the fly shop's website. Turns out once you hit the drop-down menus a bit, the spool retails for £195, the reel, on the other hand, retails for £495.

Big difference there.

Oh well, it was good to dream.

04 February 2011

Lazy fish porn post: Striper Madness

Due to 3rd world satellite internet feeds, I haven't yet been able to watch this completely, but what I've seen so far, it's pretty damn good (and a good soundtrack, too). The link below the video will take you to his vimeo page.

I've been reading/studying/dreaming about saltwater fly fishing ever since my redfish trip to Louisiana in November. It's definitely going to be a focus of mine in 2011. In fact, I'm working on an upcoming Intro to Saltwater 101 post, so we can learn along together.

Stripers are found in New Brunswick, fyi. I'm not going to pinpoint exactly where until I land one, though...

Happy Friday, everyone.

How to Perfectly Hard-Boil an Egg

Time/Date: 0220 GMT, 04-Feb-11
Location: The edge of a former open-pit mine, SE Senegal

A little local history/lore:

The open-pit mine mentioned above was operated by a Dutch company a couple or so decades back.

As the story goes, they were smuggling the recovered gold out of the country, apparently thinking money for mining royalties would be better spent on wooden shoes and/or dykes (insert giggle here).

The local populace didn't appreciate this too much, so they were asked very politely (think pitchfork & panga polite) to consider relocating their operations elsewhere.

Back to present day: at another drill site, an unwelcome visitor decided to stop in.
(photo by M. McGregor)
He was quickly dispatched with hospitality not typical of what I've seen in West Africa.
(photo by M. McGregor)

For those of you that clicked on this honestly expecting to learn the best way to hard-boil an egg, here you go:
  • place eggs in a medium-sized pot; 
  • cover them with cold water to ~1cm above the height of the eggs; 
  • add a dash o' salt (I use sea salt, just to be cool & hip); 
  • bring water to a rolling boil; 
  • let simmer (i.e., turn to 'Min' on stove) for 12 minutes. Not 10 min. Not 13 min. TWELVE; 
  • run under cold water for a minute or two; 
  • enjoy.

PS-Don't belittle yourselves by posting theatrical & self-righteous 'you rape the earth' anti-mining comments. Unless you happen to be making them through telepathy or via a computer made entirely from organically-grown switch grass from inside a sod hut. Just sayin'.