Saturday, August 25, 2012


Today it's Lance Armstrong throwing in the towel. Professional Cycling has been after Armstrong since he was a Junior. When he started winning the Tour de France the French press lead the charge to discredit him. Chauvinism pure and simple.

Hat Tip:
1865-70 Origin: French chauvinisme, equivalent to chauvin jingo (named after N. Chauvin, a soldier in Napoleon's army noted for loud-mouthed patriotism) + -isme -ism

I joined Twitter specifically to follow @lancearmstrong. He used Twitter to go around the European Cycling Press to speak directly to cycling fans and cancer patients and advocates. I can't tell you how many times Armstrong's first tweet of the day from the TdF began: "Good morning Doping Control! Now for some coffee and stage..."

Armstrong has been tested 1000+ times and never failed a test. That hasn't stopped the accusations. has an index of Armstrong's Doping Allegations Over the Years online. That's some list!

Frankly? My mind is too fatigued to dig in to the story this week...doping's hit my San Francisco Giants hard this season too, and my "Doping Allegation Receptors" are just a little...overstimulated.

Giants left fielder Melky Cabrera was given a 50 game suspension from baseball after testing positive for testosterone.

In early May, Giants' long reliever Guillermo Mota was handed a 100 game suspension by MLB for his second failed drug test. Baseball found Clenbuterol in Mota's system. Clenbuterol was also the substance that caused the 2010 Tour de France winner Alberto Contador to be stripped of his title.

Don't misunderstand me. I'm against doping in all sports. But I'm also against witch hunts that trample personal liberties and due process. Armstrong seems to be in a "guilty until proved innocent" situation...under fire from an American Association in America where jurisprudence is governed by the United States Constitution. What's wrong with this picture?

That's it...I don't have the appetite for anything more on this today...

Friday, August 24, 2012

Good Day

Well, SturgeUrge and I spent the afternoon on San Francisco Bay. The NWS missed the wind forecast a little, but not enough to matter in the Grand Scheme of Things.

We definitely punched in on Banker's Hours! Because of the salmon fishery we were targeting, our best shot at them wouldn't come until 3PM, two hours before High Tide. Traditionally you fish two hours before and two hours after the top of the tide and hope the fish come through. It's an interception fishery, and picking the right time to be in the right place isn't easy!

At least it's scenic! We didn't bother to depart the SturgeUrge Compound 'till 10AM! We missed the tail end of rush hour, and were drifting frozen anchovies for halibut by 11AM.

We're convinced now that the halibut have scarcely entered the San Francisco Bay system this year. Most of the creditable halibut catch reports have been from outside the Golden Gate. Some halibut are being taken from Tomales Bay, but that's a long trip when Dungeness Crab season is closed!

The halibut have been taken on the Marin Beaches, off San Francisco's Ocean Beach, off Santa Cruz and in Monterey Bay proper. In the Bay they've barely made it past Angel Island.

We threw in the halibut towel early, and mooched the Tiburon shoreline for salmon for an hour or two before deploying the downriggers and trolling for salmon in earnest.

Mooching was just a time-filler...a low kinetics pastime while we made lunch. I packed the usual lunch (after trying my failed solar BLT experiment on our last trip) Today's fare was honey ham and swiss on a Kaiser roll...dressed with red onion, and incredible heirloom tomato named Pineapple and sliced thick. Mayo, dijon and leaf lettuce.

Unfortunately, the sandwich was the highlight of the day.

We trolled until after 5:30PM and had the worst wind in the last mile back to the Richmond Marina boat ramp.

We had hoped to watch some America's Cup World Series racing, but the course was too far towards the Golden Gate for the F/V SturgeUrge.

I watched the replay of the racing after the Giants beat the Atlanta Braves. There was a huge spectator fleet watching the AC45s on the opposite side of Angel Island from where we were fishing. The announcers said the wind was 22 knots and the tidal current was another 2 knots. High overcast made for "flat light" too. All in all, a recipe for discomfort or worse in a 17ft outboard motorboat.

The America's Cup 45ft catamarans are blisteringly fast. The accelerate like a dragster (at least for a wind powered craft) These boats are light years away from the stately 12 Meter sloops that contested the Cup back in the 70s and 80s over the course of a couple of hours per match race.

Today's AC45s are like STAR WAS spacecraft compared to the 12 Meter boats. Scary fast, and racing on a tight course.

After this week's World Series wraps up, the teams will start putting their new 72ft catamarans through their paces on the Bay. They say the AC72s will make 46 knots!

That's 53 MPH in Old about breath taking! Wow!

Heads Up! No salmon or halibut were harmed in the production of today's blog.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

It's In the Air

When I crested the hill above Blue Canyon Monday, I could see the pall of smoke from the Chips Fire hanging to the North.

While not really watching "Mornings on 2" KTVU2's 7-9AM news, I caught a teaser citing this fire season as "the worst fire season since 2006" This evening I went to KTVU's site and found the story.

There's still a third of Fire Season ahead of us. Lightning strikes continue to bedevil fire crews up and down California, as well as the rest of the West. "While the number of fires is down from the 10-year average of 54,209 as of Aug. 22, the acreage was well above the average of 5.4 million acres, said Don Smurthwaite, a NIFC spokesman. "NIFC is the National Interagency Fire Center.

"Let's be careful out there" only goes so far...tonight I was enjoying the San Francisco Giants game on TV. They were playing the arch rival Los Angeles Dodgers in LA. You could see huge thunderheads growing east of the San Gabriels...just the kind that start lightning fires...

All this dry winter/bad fire season stuff reminded me to check on the ENSO discussion. Last month the Climate Prediction Center was saying an El Niño-style winter was likely...this month they say it's even money either way. I thought the El Niño call was a little premature because the Sea Surface Temperature Anomalies were way west...Mid-Pacific, not off coastal South/Central America. We'll see, most of the other temp cycles are still on their cold sides.

Oh yeah...the Giants swept the their house! True, the Dodgers did it to us at our house last month...but we're Number One (for now)! We lead the NL West by 2 1/2 games.

Good night...SturgeUrge and I are gonna be on San Francisco Bay Thursday...Salmon and halibut are the quarry...America's Cup Racing is the distraction!

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Hey thanks everyone for sticking around while I ditched CorduroyPlanet for more than a whole month!

Yes, I had planned a week at the lake…Jackson Meadows Reservoir to be precise, but Life happened and I forgot my fishing license back at the Digs, so I couldn’t even toss the crawdad traps into Donner Lake!

I’d shut down the broadband at the DaveCave back in May, so I had to drive downtown to the Truckee Library to access the internet. A nice robust connection…but not a Secure connection. Discretion being the better part of valor, I did no online banking, no online shopping, and no blogging. Forgive my sloth. Thank you all for your forgiveness.

I spent a week with a pesky head cold before I rallied and got the pickup back on the road!

I drove the pickup over Donner Summit and across the Big Valley in 99°F heat on July 31st. I’d planned to cross the valley early but fate had other plans for me. When my alarm woke me up at 0600, I turned on the Trainwreck News only to see a rollover accident with fatalities gridlock westbound Interstate 80 on the Yolo Causeway. I didn’t leave Truckee until the miles long parking lot got moving around 10AM

So just where has TruckeeDave been for the last month? Well…far be it from me to blow smoke up your skirts gentle readers…I’ve been slacking. I fell out of the habit of scribbling out a blog  every night before bed. Once I returned to the Ancestral Digs and jacked back in, I fell prey to the multitude of distractions that is the World Wide Web…

Twitter, politics, and San Francisco Giants baseball.

Speaking of Giants’ Baseball…there’s no joy in Mudville this week. I’ll address the Melky Cabrera MLB Drug Policy violation and suspension later this week.

So I am back in the saddle, thanks again for reading CorduroyPlanet!