Saturday, May 10, 2008

It's About Time I Posted!

I have not felt very well this week. It may have had something to do with that fever I had a week ago or with the fact that tons of pollen is bursting forth. My asthma has kicked up. The problem is I do not even realize it when it happens. A little less oxygen to the brain causes tiredness and keeps you from recognizing you may be sick. But, I will be fine. A nice sunny warm day would definitely help but that's not gonna happen.

I love my newspapers. To me, there is nothing like reading newspapers, comparing headlines, and looking at the photographs. The experience cannot be duplicated online where you can't get perspective of the importance of a major story by its front page placement.

Today's front page story in the Seattle Times was about a life long clam digger who found himself in deep trouble. He was after the elusive geoduck. My husband and my son have had the experience of digging up geoducks and it is no simple matter. They end up completely covered with muck as they have a full out bodily war with a clam about the size of a football. The geoduck is all compact muscle and it can dig faster and stronger than a human man could even dream about. The problem is, human men don't realize that they are weaker than this particular clam. And when you see what a geoduck looks like, men seem to have all sorts of issues when in competition with the notorious geoduck. It is a threat to their manhood if the clam gets away.

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On Thursday, a local man almost lost his life in his battle for the geoduck. As he fought the giant clam, he got stuck in the mud. Then the tide came in. This man was experienced and knowledgeable but still got caught. His wife called 911. Several people on the beach tried to help pull him out to no avail and the water kept coming in---extremely cold Puget Sound water. The firefighters didn't know what to do either. They thought about a Coast Guard helicopter but the water was up to the man's waist and rising up to his neck. There wasn't time. They did manage to get a rescue fire boat there. All his poor wife could do was pray. Oh my gosh, she must have felt so helpless and for a silly clam. No doubt, geoducks are yummy but still...!

"Then Wolverton [one of the firefighters] had an idea: "I don't know how it came to me," he said Friday. "... I don't think they all had faith in my theory. They all gave me the eyebrow."

Wolverton connected a 200-foot long fire hose to the boat's fire pump. At the other end, he attached a 4-foot-long penetrating nozzle, a rod-shaped piece of equipment firefighters use to bust through roofs to pour water on a blaze. The firefighters stuck the nozzle into the sand around Thomas' legs, and the "turbulent action" from the pressurized water finally broke "the suction that was holding him there," he said.

"He popped out like a big, giant geoduck," Wolverton said."


The man spent some time in the hospital mostly getting warmed up and treated for hypothermia. He is going to be fine. I guess he is embarrassed at all of the fuss but they shared their story to remind people how quickly an innocent situation can become life threatening on our Puget Sound beaches. The man and his wife had a big picture of themselves in this morning's paper. My husband and I both enjoyed reading it.

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John Lok/Seattle Times

What is it they say about how men sometimes think? I wonder just how big the geoduck's brain is?