FIRST THINGS FIRST: Big ups to the gentlemen of rare caliber over at Zooillogix for shilling for me in exchange for an aquarium shot glass showing their appreciation for my contribution to their ambitious Zoo/Aquarium Shot Glass Collection by linking to Star-Gazy Pie! Also, welcome to any/all visitors arriving here from that fine institution!
I have returned from the wilds of a) finals and b) spending winter vacation in Texas. Activities in Texas were not as fish-centric as I had hoped, except a lovely visit to the Houston Aquarium where I shamed my ancestors with my enthusiasm; details are forthcoming, but suffice to say that I am enamored of cobia and could spend all day playing with social rays.
Aquacultured cobia, being raised for America's kitchens. I'm sure they will not be marketed using an idiotic/completely-misleading name like "oil rig bass" or something else similarly inspiring.
NOAA (2008, January 8). Aquaculture information center - DOC/NOAA. Retrieved from http://www.lib.noaa.gov/retiredsites/docaqua/nmai2006.html
There was also a brief visit to the Houston Natural Science Museum, where I acquired this fine gentleman: the very first Dunkleosteus figure I've ever seen. Dinosaur plastic figures are a dime a dozen, but I've never seen a single Devonian fish figure before. I was immediately smitten and my mother was probably embarrassed by the sight of her 25-year-old child beaming while carrying around a piece of painted plastic in the shape of a fish as if it were the greatest thing since sliced bread. I also acquired a slice of an ammonite fossil because ammonites are great; the only thing that would make them greater is if the living cephalopod were inside.
Unfortunately, this visit did NOT include a trip to the National Resource Center for Cephalopods in Galveston. I searched their website thoroughly and it didn't appear offer individual ceph-dork tours. However, this trip report from TONMO (The Octopus News Magazine Online, natch) shows that it is possible for cephalopod enthusiasts to visit. To be fair, this was published back in 2002, so who knows? I'll actually try calling next time I'm in the area and see what I can arrange.
Unfortunately, classes are starting again tomorrow, but I'll see what I can do. Lots of ideas, lack of time/occasionally computing power to bring them to fruition!