||[Oct. 23rd, 2018|12:32 pm]
Transitioning into liminal space
This one's from two days ago:
I went fishing twice this weekend. On Saturday, Danae and I met several folks in Kenosha for the outing. My brothers were there along with Super-mechanic Juan and his son Aldo, and one of said brothers' girlfriend, Clarissia, to toss my magnet into the water at the Kenosha marina. My mother was going to join us, but it was cold enough that we only stayed out for an hour or so and she ended up meeting us after at the nearby coffee house.
I love the way Juan interacts with his kid. He pointed out lots of interesting physics as we played. "See how the line seems to bend at the water? The water bends the light!" I think he and Maddie must be awesome parents.
When I met Juan, I was in high school (I think) and he was in elementary school with my brother. So strange. I don't know when I last saw he or his wife; I miss them.
We caught a Bacardi bottle cap, a tiny bit of fishing gear I don't recognize (I know nothing about fish-fishing), and a ferrous rock of some kind a little bigger than maybe two ping-pong balls. I think if we could have gone out on the docks we'd have caught more interesting things, but those are fenced off.
I really wanted to try fishing what used to be the freight harbor when Kenosha still hosted international freighters picking up things like automobiles. There was some concern about the magnet getting stuck to the iron sheeting that lines the harbor wall, but we managed to avoid that. I did, though, get it stuck to the iron at the lip of the harbor itself. I did it once before, but only a bit of the magnet was attached so I managed to pull it off. When someone asked about the strength though, I put about half of it onto the iron and was unable to budget it loose. James ended up lying down on his side and bracing against a nearby concrete bench to kick the magnet sideways.
To my surprise, the harbor turned out to be about 30 feet deep, going by my rope. I didn't catch anything there. It does get dredged once in a while, so I suppose it's possible that there isn't years of build-up of discarded metal things, but I'd bet there are at least a few interesting things at the bottom. Maybe I'll find them another time. All I pulled up were rust chips.
In the evening, some of us hung out at my parents' house and played a game of Dixit before going home. The whole day was a pleasant excuse to get together with people. I imagine that must be what fishing for fish is kind of like, but without that whole sticking living animals with barbed hooks and yanking them around, which I can't deal with. My grandfather liked to fish; I wish I could invite him out for a day of him catching fish and me catching metal things.
On Sunday, I woke up early then fell asleep on the couch with the dog. I had terrible dreams and eventually woke myself up around 1 with the distressed moaning noises I was making. Danae was up and around by then and her presence was comforting. I really didn't feel like doing *anything*, but I reminded myself that doing something, no matter what, is positive and that being outside is good for depression. So I drove out to the Northwestern campus with my bucket and gear. I left Rufus home this time because my brother wasn't with us to keep Rufus warm inside his coat like Saturday and it's chilly out for a tiny-dog.
I spent a couple hours fishing off of a small pier at the north end of the Clark Street Beach at the south end of campus. The best part was chatting with other people who were curious about what I was doing. I explained the concept several times, showed off my catches, and pulled up the magnet to show to one person who took pictures of it! I was asked whether this was for my research; no, just for fun. A sailor told me that she and other boat folks always make sure to take off all of their valuable before going out, which made me think of working on the grid above a stage. A diver told me he found an iPhone at the bottom near the bridge to the landfill island just north of there.
Speaking of phones, I need a new one. I was leaning over the railing to manipulate the magnet and it jumped right of my jacket's breast pocket and down into the water. Sploosh! I spent some time trying to retrieve it with the magnet but gave up. I'm a bit distressed at having to find another one on Ebay, but I was having a good enough time that it was really only a minor setback. I have also learned something for next time.
As Juan commented on Saturday, it's amazing how much feedback comes through the magnet line. I sometimes closed my eyes as I moved the magnet along the bottom, mapping out what I was feeling in my mind. I think I developed a rough sense of the contours of the lake bottom which over time could help pinpoint areas where stuff is likely to accumulate.
I did make a few interesting catches. One more bottle cap came out, too worn to ID. I pulled up a two-foot length of pipe with a crimped end. I nabbed a beer can old enough to be prior to cans being made of aluminum. There didn't seem to be anything left of the labeling. And, the largest find yet, I caught about 30 pounds worth of some kind of structural flat metal piece with a flange that had a rubber wheel jammed into it.
So no bikes or safes or guns yet, but I had a really great time! I'll probably do some more this week and/or this weekend. I can think of so many places around here to look!
Pictures of the stuff I've found to come soon.