Monday, November 24, 2014

Gloria Salavarria
Gloria Salavarria
Gloria Salavarria inherited an itchy toe as well as math smarts from her father who spent his teen years as a hobo during the Great Depression. She learned from him the wisdom of working at something you truly love doing and so she spent her working years as a biochemist and an engineer. She retired in her 50s but after one week of retirement, her husband told her that she couldn’t go from supervising 40 guys down to supervising just one guy and expect that one guy to like it. She next became a freelance writer and photographer for The Elkhart Truth and after a few months, her husband again complained but this time he said that she was just like their tomcat—always “on the prowl” and never at home. Now a widow, she has traveled every continent except Antarctica and she plans on going there one of these days.

Catching blame

Blogger Gloria Salavarria writes about her experience seeing New Zealand's Cormorants, which some say eat about seven pounds of fish each day.

Posted on March 3, 2014 at 10:00 a.m.

Cormorants—also known as Shags in New Zealand—are great at catching things such as fish, sunlight and blame—and like my Qantas flight out of Los Angeles, they’re not so great on take-offs.

Shags are without question fantastic at catching fish and they consume a lot of fish in one day and spend the rest of their day preening and sunning themselves on rocks near the shore. They also do a lot of thinking and shitting—turning their favorite perches white with their guano—while they contemplate their next move.

Some claim that these birds eat seven pounds of fish each day—which is a lot when you consider the size of this bird and its need to fly—although this might explain why they’re so terrible on their take-offs. They struggle mightily to gain flight, much less altitude and spend a long run walking on water in an almost vain effort to get themselves airborne.

For all the omega-3 oil they allegedly consume, you’d also think they’d generate enough oil for their feathers to be more water resilient than they are and thus avoid having to hang their feathers “out to dry” but there they stand like B-movie Draculas with their wings outstretched.

It’s not easy being a shag.

So far I’ve heard from my Kiwi friends that the death of penguins and gannets along the shores of New Zealand has more to do with the overfishing of shags along the coastal waters and less to do with overfishing by man. Others claim that the penguins are dying of disease—and the same goes for the gannets.

For their part, the shags turn their backs to man and squirt shit in our direction—white-washing the rocks on which they stand.

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