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Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Long distance blogging

Posted by: Jambo / 6:39 PM

I'm going to be out of the country for the next couple weeks and will try for the first time to bring you my part of 3WN from another hemisphere. It will be a bit of a departure from my normal political diatribes and movie and music musings as I will be writing almost exclusively about a marine biology research project I am involved in. Since I know this will not be of interest to all of our regular readers I'm going to post a little differently by just appending each new entry at the bottom of this post so that if you save the permalink for this entry (found by clicking on the time stamp right under the title above) you can see all the posts on this topic without my cluttering up the rest of the blog with (semi) daily posts about dolphins. I will also try to put a link on the main page each time I add a new entry for those reading the blog in the "normal" way.

Some background

To make a long story very short, before I became an attorney/father/blogger/political curmudgeon (OK, I've ALWAYS been a political curmudgeon) I did some work with a group of researchers tagging and studying bottlenose dolphins along the gulf coast of Florida. Thru the good fortune of being in the right place at the right time and getting to know some wonderful and dedicated scientists I have been able to continue my involvement in the field for almost 20 years now and I hope that in some small way I have been able to make my own contribution to the understanding and protection of the natural world. The project in Florida, while relatively small when I joined up, has since grown into one of the world's most respected studies of small cetaceans with researchers from dozens of other countries participating in the work. A few years ago we were joined by several biologists from Argentina who were interested in learning our techniques so that they might do similar research on a relatively unstudied species of dolphin found only along the coast of a few countries in South America. I was quite flattered last year to be among a group of about half a dozen that they invited down to Argentina to launch their project. Tomorrow I leave to help them with the second phase of their research and I'm going to try to post periodic updates from the field for those of you who might be interested. I was able last year to send the occasional email from an internet cafe but web access was sometimes a little spotty so it remains to be seen how this all works out.

Update, 2-28-06

Here is one of the 3 we tagged last year as we are putting her back in the water:

It's an unusual little species called the Franciscana dolphin (Pontoporia blainvillei) that is found only along the coast of Argentina, Uruguay, and Brazil. They reach about 5 feet long and 100 pounds. Very little is known about them which makes this project pretty exciting. The ones we caught last year were the first ever to be captured alive and released. Almost everything we know about them comes from the examination of ones that have died after becoming entangled in fishing nets. Quite a few are killed that way every year but since we know so little about them we don't know what effect that has on their overall population. Finding an answer to that question is one of the main goals of the research. Last year we caught and released 3 females that we fitted with radio transmitters which allowed us to follow their general movements for several weeks. This year the goal is to put satellite tags (which can give us a lot more data that simple radio tags) on 5 more. Both types of tags are designed to be temporary--they are attached with magnesium bolts which corrode very quickly in salt water. Once the bolts dissolve the tag pops off, ideally about the time the battery in the transmitter goes dead.

It will be interesting (to me at least) to see if we catch any males this year. Was it just coincidence that all we caught last year were females, or was the area we were working in, a shallow area fairly close to shore, favored by females, perhaps as a more protected area for having calves? I guess we'll find out in the next week or so.

Update March 2

Long flight down in steerage. 11 hours overnight from Dallas (after an easy one from Minneapolis) in a middle seat near the back of the plane. Not much sleep but it’s great to be here. The rest of the American crew was waiting for me in Buenos Aires and we had a 4 hour drive to the coast. There’s always something exciting to me about the first few hours in a foreign country where everything from the shape of street signs to the billboards to the cars looks very different than home. There’s a real thrill to not quite knowing where you are or where you are going to go. One of the things I miss most about having kids is how often I got to have that feeling. I’m looking forward to taking my girls on a few adventures like that when they get just a little older.

We stopped for some lunch on the way down at one of the many road side BBQs, really just a shelter with an open fire pit full of beef (and in one case a whole pig) cooking on sticks. We sat an wooden tables and were asked what kind of meat we wanted and were offered Coke, water or beer. We took all three. A few minutes later we got several plates full of beef, chincken, lamb and pork and a knife to cut off how much we each wanted. Later that night we had a reunion with all the Argentina crew from last year (which includes many rounds of cheek kissing) and had a meeting (which includes many bottles of Argentinian wine) about our research plans for the next couple weeks. All of us Americans are beat from traveling for the last 36 hours and crash before midnight. (My spellcheck program here in the internet café is in Spanish and is flagging almost every word I type. Please forgive all teh typos that will no doubt slip thru.)

Update March 3

Off to a slow start

We have 8 days to get tags on seven dolphins. (We’ll be able to track their movements via a web site for a couple months afterwards and I’ll try to post a map here a few weeks from now. ) Well, in truth we now have 7 days to get tags on 7 dolphins since our first day we got nothing. We all met at the dock at about 8:00 (and had a round of cheek kissing of course) to find a wind of about 10-12 knots judging by the witecaps we could see off shore. Pablo, the research director, has told us the water temp will be around 16C which is about 60F, pretty cold for just standing around in for any length of time. A couple of us stick our hands in and guess it is more like 70F, warm enough for us to be glad we only brought our short wetsuits. We wait for a few hours to see is the wind will die down a little. Some of the Argentinians bring out the Mate (pronounced Ma-tay) a very strong tea that is shared by packing a wooden cup with the leaves and a silver straw. It is then passed around with a thermus of hot water and each person pours some water thru the leaves and drinks about an ounce at a time. There is a very communal way of doing things here that I really enjoy (even if I am not crazy about Mate).

When we finally decide to give it a shot and head out on the water we find 4 to 5 foot swells just a little off shore. We will catch the dolphins by circling them with a couple hundred foot long gill net that has leads on one side and corks on the other so that when it is in the water it will form a big pen. Once the net is around the dolphins it is important to see the cork line so we can see if any of the dolphins hit and get tanggled. With the wind and the swells it is not that easy to see even the other 5 boats sometimes. I’m in a boat with Pablo, an 18 foot Zodiac style with an old 60hp Johnson outboard, and after an hour or so he decides there is no way we can catch anything today and we head back to shore. We wait at the dock a little shile longer hoping the weather will clear up a little. When it starts to rain we decide to call it a day and head back to the hotel for a siesta. Some local fishermen have a dead dolpohin they have recovered and given to us. Later today our vet will do a necropsy on it as a demonstration, tho most of us have seen teh insides of a Franciscan before, and then it will be time for dinner. It doesn{t take long in this field to get used to that kind of juxtaposition.

Update: 3-4-06

Still nothing.

No man will go to se that has the wits to get himself arrested as being in a boat is like being in jail with the chance of drowning. – Samuel Johnson

Rough seas, high wind and a little rain. We don´t even bother to go to the dock today.

Update: 3-5-06

Three, for a while

Pablo on the radio

I take back what I said about the water being 70 degrees F. It`s more like mid to low 60s which is a bit of a shock when you jump in, even with a wetsuit. Not TOO bad, but not much fun either. I was in the water finally because we finally caught a few dolphins, two adults and a calf that Pablo guessed was about a year old. We got the net out in a circle around them with no problem and they swam around calmly while we slowly shrunk the diameter until we had it down to a manageable size. Five of us jumped in and swam to various points around the net to be ready if one of them hit and got stuck. In a new twist we now all have with us a parachuted cord cutter, kind of a hooked knife blade with the edge only on the small inside curve, that we will use to cut the dolphin free if it gets tangled. We´ve never had these in the past but the thinking now is that it will be a quick way to get the dolphin free if need be. We also have them because of an event in the US a couple years ago where a woman on a similar research project got her arm caught in the net with a spinning dolphin, sustained multiple compound fractures to her arm and almost drowned. As it turns out we never get our hands on the dolphins as they somehow slip out of the net before we can grab them. Likely either in a gap underwater where we are pulling the ends of the net together or someplace where the net got pulled up from the bottom and allowed them to swim underneath. Crap.

We came back to the dock with no satellite tags deployed and a couple people came back without their lunch. I´ve been doing this for 20 years now and don´t remember anyone being seasick. Today half a dozen of us were as the water was still pretty choppy with some decent sized swells. I missed out on being sick but I was firmly in the sunburned crew. I bought a new polar fleece liner and a Gor-Tex jacket before coming down and I´m glad I did. But when you are cold you don´t always think that you might also be getting burned. Quite few of us fell into that trap today.

Update: 3-6-06

What´s the “0” for? Oh my god it´s early!

Sunrise from the boat

In an attempt to find some calmer water we decide to leave at 5:30 in the morning. We see dolphins a few times but it is still rough enough that they are hard to follow (we are near the mouth of a river so the water is pretty turbid with a visibility of next to zero so we can only see them for the few seconds that they pop up to breath) and we never put the net out. After seven fruitless hours we head back to the dock and get to town in time for a siesta along with the rest of the locals.

Update: 3-7-06>

Como se dise “Sucks”?

Another day without getting a tag on a dolphin. Once again we got three of them in the net but could not get them on the boat. There was better weather and some calm water but we weren’t able to find any dolphins there. Going farther out to rougher water we spotted three of them and the fisherman working with us started putting out the net. They were swimming pretty fast and we ran out of net before we could get all the way around them. We were left with the net out in hte shape of a giant “C” with about 50 yards between the two ends. I spotted the dolphins right in the middle of the opening and yelled to Pablo where they were. He was able to speed in their direction fast enough to get them to change course and head back in to the net while the crew on the catch boat scrambled to pull the ends of the net together. We kept doing circles at the opening to keep them from heading our direction. They could easily swim right under us but the sound of the boat keeps them away. For now at least, the dolphins we catch in Florida are so used to the process that we can do very little to get them to go where we want. We got the net together and started shrinking it down and once again when we were almost about to put people in the water they slipped out. This time it was under an overlay in the net. That´s when the lead line at teh bottom gets wrapped up with the float line on the top and leaves a space between the ocean floor and the net. Everyone is getting very frustrated that we have not been able to get any of our tags deployed and having three dolphins slip away from us at the last minutes really sucks. The lone bright spot was that I finally got to use the parachute cutter even if it was only on a line that got wrapped around our prop. We have three days left and it is raining as I type this. At this point I´ll be happy to get a single tag out and hope for better luck next year. Maybe our bad luck is becasue only two of us remembered to bring our red Steve Zissou hats?

Update, 3-8-06

Got one!!!

Two actually. A mom and a one year old male calf. Everyone was overjoyed and relieved at the same time. Not much time to post but I will fill in details later. The male was very feisty. If you want to know how far apart their teeth are I will try to post a picture of my thumb. Tags are already sending back a good signal.

(Slightly longer version)

We woke up to much nicer weather than we have had all week and were happy to spot a couple dolphins in about 8 to ten feet of water. We got the net out, again coming a little short of full circle but the fishermen were able to drag the net far enough to get it closed. Once we had it shrunk down to a managable size a half dozen of us got inthe water around the net. We had trouble seeing the dolphins as they were staying underwater for long stretches but when one hit the net and got tangled several of us swam to it right away and pulled it up. We weren’t sure if the other one was still inside or not and I left the first one with the folks who were holding it and got free in case the other one was stillin and hit also. Almost right away Jason yelled that it had hit near him (even managing to yell in Spanish!) and began pulling up the net. I got there in time to reach down and help pull just as it was almost to the surface. It turned out to be facing the opposit direction than I was expecting and I found myself grabbing its beak rather than its tail. (I think I have mentioned that the visibility in thewater is almost zero?) When we get it up and under control I see that it is really wrapped up in the net. I’m now completely sold on the net cutters we just started carring this year as there would have been almost no other way to get it out of the net. But as I cut the last strands that were wrapping up its teeth and mouth, for thefirst time in 20 years of doing this work, I got bit. And not an accidental tooth rake either. It was clearly intentional and it didn’t want to let go. We had film crew with us and I hope they were not close enough to get audio as my exact quote was “F*ck! F*ck! F*ck! F*ck!” which continued until I had pried its mouth open and gotten my thumb back. Looking at it later I saw that I had 6 perfect puncture wounds on the inside and two deeper ones on the outside of my thumb along with two parallel cuts on my forefinger.

Once we got it competly free (it turned out we had the calf who later measured at about 115cm) we held it in the water while the other was lifted onto a boat to be measured and fitted with the tag on her dorsal fin. The crew on the boat worked pretty quickly but I got a few minutes to actully look closely at the dolphin, something I did not manage to do last year. He was beautiful and had a series of faint stripes running from his blowhole to his dorsal fin, something none of the Argentina crew had seen on the scores of Fransiscanas they had examined over the years. Maybe something that fades as they get older? I will be interested to see if they show up in the pictures we got on the boat. I think many of us get wrapped up in the science and excitement of research and forget to take a moment or two to notice just how beautiful our subjects are. I’m glad I had a chance that very very few people get, evenif it was only for a few minutes. I remember a few years ago when our vet and I freed a spotted eagle ray that had become caught in our net in Florida. They are beautiful creatures and after we let him go I was kicking myself for not just holding him for an extra minute or so to appreciate something I have not seen since. (Gosh, is there a life lesson in there somewhere?)

As long as the process was to finally get a couple of these guys it was over pretty quickly—17 minutes from the time they hit the net until they were both back in the water and swimming away with tags beeping. There were then many cheers and many hugs. That night there were many bottles of wine and even a little dancing. We have two days left on the water and it would be nice to catch five more but everyone here would call it a success if we all went home right now.

Update, 3-9-06

I take it back

I take it back. Even tho catching only two dolphins would technically be a success I think we will all be very disappointed if that is all we get. We got nothing today and I'm not very happy about it.

Update, 3-10-06

Our last chance

As we stepped out of the hotel today to catch a ride to the dock several of us thought this was the most promising day we have seen. It's bright and sunny with almost no wind. It just feels like a good day is coming. We're all feeling upbeat as we turn down the dirt road that runs the last couple miles to the dock. Not that many people here have their own car so most of our transportation has been by cab with the occasional ride from Pablo and the boy friend of one of the Aqua Marina staff. (Thank you again, Alejandro, if you are reading this!) But before we get half way there I see that the cab in front of us is stopped. We stop and get out as well and see that the road ahead is covered with water, apparently from a big rain storm overnight that I managed to sleep through. The cabs can't get thru so we start walking with cameras, boat gear and satellite tags in hand. Eventually we are picked up in a truck by Gabriel, a local park ranger working with us who last year became the patron saint and protector of American biologists.

But arriving at the docks further deflated our sense of the day's promise. The tide was higher than we had seen it in the previous two weeks and that meant that several of the shallow areas where we often found dolphins would be too deep for us to catch in, at least for the next couple hours. Our net is about 10 feet deep so it is pointless to set it anywhere deeper than that since the dolphins will simply swim out underneath it. It was also a bit windier than it had seemed when we were at the hotel. All we could do was wait for the tide to drop a bit and for the wind to hopefully die down some as well.

In the meantime someone found a soccer ball and suggested a quick pick up game in the empty field near the dock. I grudgingly subbed in as goalie after explaining that when I was growing up in America almost no one played soccer and I had rarely even watched it being played. I may not take up the game now (old dogs and new tricks as they say) but after watching these guys play I will certainly try to watch a few World Cup matches this year. It was just amazing to watch these guys and what they could do with a soccer ball! I had no idea you could move, pass and control the ball that way. These were guys who all started playing almost as soon as they could walk so it was kind of like watching an inner city basketball game with guys right out of Hoop Dreams. A couple of the younger American guys had played high school soccer so by our standards they were pretty good but they got completely schooled by the Argentineans, some of whom were ten years older than they were. I'm much more impressed with the game than I ever thought I would be. Heck, I almost bought an Argentinean national team jersey at the duty free shop in the BA airport on my way home.

After a few more diversions--checking out a nearby group of burrowing owls, recreating a scene from The Life Aquatic with some jellyfish we found washed up on the beach--we hit the water for our one last shot at catching a few more dolphins. We're not desperate but after so many unsuccessful days we really really want something good to happen today. And we certainly try. We put the net out around dolphins three different time, the most we've done on any single day, and each time we come up with nothing. It's getting late in the afternoon and we figure we can try one more time when we find a group of three dolphins. The net goes out smoothly and we see the dolphins surface periodically so we know we have them in the compass. But we're also worried since we have never caught three Fransiscana at the same time before. In Florida we often catch that many or more but there we have dozens of people who can get in the water who have many years of experience dealing with wild dolphins. Here there are only a half dozen of us from the Florida crew and a handful of Argentineans who have done this sort of thing before. If the dolphins panic and hit the net in several different places we could be in trouble. We have Leo, one of the Argentinean students on the catch boat, get in the water to make sure the two ends of the net don't pull apart making a hole for the dolphins to swim out. We're relieved to see that when he gets in the water is only about 3 feet deep where he is. That will make it much easier for us to work. When I get in on the other side of the net it's just as shallow there so I quickly take off my lifejacket and clip it to the net so it doesn't float away since my boat is now too far away to throw it back. With shallow water all around the net we start to put a lot more people in the water, including a number of the students who have never done this before, knowing that we can mix them all in with experienced people who can help them out if a dolphin hits the net near them.

We get the net circle shrunk down to a manageable size and have people spread all around the outside. I go inside and for the first time we are in a situation where the area is small enough that I can actually tell where the dolphins are some of the time when they are underwater. The water is clearer than it has been before but it's still pretty murky. I'm thinking that rather than letting them hit the net and get tangled I might make a grab for one when it goes by which is often the way we catch the much larger tursiops (bottlenose dolphins) in Florida. But before I have a chance one of them hits the net and the other two hit pretty quickly thereafter. We've got all three! Several people all grab the dolphin closest to them and pull them to the surface. They are all pretty well tangled in the net and the one I'm with has his mouth, pectoral fins and flukes (tail fins) wrapped up pretty tight. I cut the net out of its mouth, being careful not to get bit this time, and then try to start unwrapping the rest. I start pulling on the flukes to get them free when I think, "We're done after this set. We'll have a year to fix the net." I take the net knife and just slice thru about 3 feet of net and pop the dolphin right out. The other guys get their dolphins out as well and we quickly figure out we've got a female, a male and a calf. We want to minimize stress to the calf so we won't put it in the boat or give it a tag. We'll also tag the female first so we can put her back in the water with her calf and let them go as soon as we can. I can tell the Argentineans are very excited to be in the water holding the dolphins and they're doing a great job--holding them up to breath, keeping their dorsal fins wet and their eyes shaded from the sun, counting the time between respirations to make sure they are ok and signaling each breath to a person on one of the boats keeping track of it all.

When the tag is on the mother she comes back in the water and I have the people holding her and the calf hold them side by side (the position moms and babies usually swim in) so they can reestablish contact. We walk them a little ways away from the boat and I tell the people that I am going to count to three and on three they are to step back and let go together to let them swim off. When we let go they take a couple leisurely kicks and disappear. In short order the third dolphin is also back in the water with his tag on and I tell Ana, one of the Argentineans who had been up to work with us in Florida, that she can make the count for the release figuring one of the locals should have the honor of sending off the last dolphin.

As he swims off we all cheer. And then everyone just goes nuts--jumping, yelling, hugging and crying. It looks like a college team that has just won a national championship. Leo is so excited he almost jumps out of the water while just about everyone still in a boat jumps in, including Pablo with his cell phone in his pocket. There is more hugging and cheering and posing for pictures together. We have ended on the highest of high notes. After many frustrating days and with our last chance to make the project a success we have caught three dolphins at once. After too many days of rough seas and bad weather we end with everyone in the water on a clean shallow sandbar with a bright clear sky and a flat calm sea. I've done this for 20 years now and don't think I have ever had a more gratifying day.

......

That night we're together for dinner one last time in the restaurant where we've been eating all week. With some vocabulary help from my friend Luciana I try to make a toast in Spanish that may or may not have said something about science, dolphins, and 40 of my best friends. I'm followed by Bill, a friend from Bermuda who has worked with our Florida team on and off for about 15 years, who has prepared a much longer and much funnier toast (damn him!). We are followed by many others from both the US and the Argentinean contingents who express, thru various levels of emotion, a mix of joy, gratitude, and awe at what we have managed to accomplish and the teamwork and friendship that has developed over the last two weeks. It is one of those "not a dry eye in the house" moments as we celebrate but also realize that we will all be heading our separate ways the next day. (I'll always remember Sol crying her way thru her whole speech. I have no idea what she said, my Spanish being pretty poor even with the calmest of speakers, but by the end I was in tears as well, so obvious were her feelings.) And after that it was really time to celebrate as we headed off to a small night club where we made up about half the crowd. I've always been a night owl but I'm no longer as young as I used to be so by 3:00 am I have to head to my room knowing that I will be heading to Buenos Aires between 9 and 10 that morning. And I still have to pack. But then the pizza came and the limbo started. Can't miss that, so I hang on until 4:15 before finally staggering home with about half our team still going strong. Ah, nothing like getting a good night's sleep before starting a long couple days of travel. Maybe I'll get caught up by the time we're ready to start again next year.

Post script

We've been getting good signals from three of our four tags for a couple weeks now with all of the dolphins staying in about a 5km area. The fourth tag worked for a short time and then gave us a weak signal and then disappearing. That makes us think there was some kind of equipment failure rather than anything happening to the dolphin. I'm sorry I don't have any good dolphin pictures to post but I was generally too busy to take any. No doubt I'll get some sent to me by others on the project and I'll try to post a couple when I do.

23 Comments:

Have a great time! We'll miss you.


But.....


How the heck do you manage to leave your work for more than a few days? I want to learn how to do that.

By Blogger MNObserver, at 9:34 PM  

Are those Commerson's dolphins that you'll be studying? We saw those in Patagonia last year. Beautiful dolphins with coloring like orcas. I'm curious to hear about your study.

-Swiss

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 10:31 PM  

I'll try to put up a photo before I go but they are actually an odd little species called the Fransiscana dolphin. They look a little like river dolphins but smaller and grayer.

As for time off, all I had to do was sacrifice money, status and any hope of ever being in charge of anyone but myself. Not a bad deal if I don't think too hard about it.

By Blogger Jambo, at 11:25 PM  

Regarding James' ability to leave work for a few days: By keeping his productivity deliberately low on the days he is at work, there isn't too much lost on the numerous days he's gone.

Have a good time James. I leave your work for you.

By Anonymous Is my two cent contribution tax deductible?, at 7:49 AM  

Due to the amount of crap I give him about his blog, "Jambo," as we'll call him here, mistakenly assumed that I wouldn't read and see his comments about productivity. His office life is going to be extremely different when he returns from waxing his porpoise(s) or blogging his dolphin(s) or whatever it is he's doing in Bolivia.

By Anonymous Dr. Evil, Jambo's enployer, at 12:38 AM  

Another unscheduled vacation? So that blow up doll sitting at Jambo's desk is not really Jambo? He's already matched Jambo's normal weekly (work related) production and he's full of hot air! Are you sure Jambo's on vacation?

By Blogger Disgruntled, at 9:54 AM  

I'm watching you, too, Disgruntled.

By Blogger Trent, at 12:59 PM  

Jambo:

March of the Penguins won an Oscar. What are you doing to convey the drama and anthropromorphisms associated with those "fish" you are playing games with? Will the narrator speak French?

By Anonymous Montgo, at 12:48 PM  

Esteban! Esteban! Esteban!

By Blogger Trent, at 1:18 PM  

I think you have crazy eye!

By Anonymous Jambo, at 4:13 PM  

Are you the leader of the B team? I also find it hard to believe that yu got up at 5:30 am. Yes this is comming from a person who sleeps in a closet.

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 5:35 PM  

Jambo up at 5:30? No f'n way.

By Blogger Hammer, at 9:34 AM  

I was on my way to the boat at 5:30. And Argentina is 3 hours ahead of Minnesota so I was really on my way at 2:30am. For what it's worth, people here are pretty surprised about it, too.

By Anonymous jambo99, at 3:06 PM  

Oh, I can believe you were out at 2:30 a.m. That's different.

Jambo -- did you see the bad news in today's paper? Rio died suddenly. Cause unknown.

By Blogger Hammer, at 3:38 PM  

I did see that, thanks. 35 is a pretty good run for a dolphin but not THAT old. It will be interesting to see what happened.

By Blogger Jambo, at 1:45 PM  

Jambo thanks for letting us live through you. I wish I was there to help. I hope you get more tomarrow. Keep the up dates comming. Stover

By Anonymous Anonymous, at 4:33 PM  

I was gratified to read the comments from your coworkers- I was afraid that maybe now that we have grown up & are supposedly in the "real" world- that people may be treating you with excessive respect! beth

By Blogger BETH, at 1:54 PM  

Excessive respect? Yeah, that's never really been an issue in my life.

By Blogger Jambo, at 4:21 PM  

i was in the supermarket yesterday, in the canned goods aisle, and there was a beeping sound coming from this can of tunafish (in oil no less) sounding like it's a tracking device or something ... i bought it and took the can home but the beeping kept my wife up all night so now she's upset and i'm not getting any work done either... you think maybe it's one of yours?

By Anonymous milkman, at 10:41 AM  

That explains SO much! We did have one signal that seemed to be making a cross country trip via highway but we assumed it was only a transmitter malfunction. Those tags are expensive so please send us the unopened can here at a 3WN and I'll make sure it gets back to the proper people.

For what it is worth tho, I doubt a Fransiscana could even keep up with a tuna, even if they did inhabit the same waters, which they don't. Tuna can be very big and very fast while Fransiscana are, well, neither.

By Blogger Jambo, at 11:30 AM  

< test cause i can't remember how to get back on this thing >

By Blogger milkman, at 11:16 PM  

change in plans... you'd think life'd be easy in a case like this... but no... i decide okay i'll send you the beeper but thinking first take it out of the can and save on postage... so two days ago i get up and without shaving first open the tuna can using the electric can opener, when what happens but the wife starts hollering that there's a roach scratching around in her clothes closet and i need to come and get it... on getting back to the pantry damn if general burkhalter the cat hadn't gotten up on the counter and was just finishing the last of the tuna out of the empty can letting hunger rule over common sense (fricking animal)and now the cat's taking notice it's got a beeping sound coming out of it's torso and starts licking itself all over more and more frantic like til it lets loose running wild all around the trailer while the wife's yelling in irony what the hell's got into the general when the damn thing runs up on the toilet tank slips falls forward tripping the automatic light sensor to flush mode on the way down, gets caught in the vortex blocking the orifice (plumber talk) and drowns to death or something pinned under the whirlpool... what you get for leaving the lid up... i don't care, getting pissed, but considering now how am i going to get the effing beeper out and snap finally figuring i'll use the carcass for dissection purposes in front of my second grade students which is next week and i need something to do hands on for science class anyway, just got to blow dry it out... so you're going to have to wait a while longer for that tracking device... it's in the freezer in a ziplock...

By Blogger milkman, at 11:45 PM  

Crap! Man am I slow. I'm only just now (beginning of May) figuring out who "milkman" is! Back in line Tarzan! I'm the toughest man here!

By Blogger Jambo, at 5:49 PM  

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