Volume 6, #2-3, March 2020
Editor: Alan De Angelo
Greetings and a doubled salutation.
Not much happened in the doldrums of February so I took a break from creativity. Some of you may think that I never had any to begin with but … you get what you pay for!
It’s March! Here, in northern Illinois, signs are appearing that the warm weather is not far behind. The first red-winged blackbird of the season arrived on Monday and a dozen or so robins magically appeared on my lawn yesterday. Spring is on its way! Yahoo! I have yet to hear the flights of sandhill cranes flying overhead but I’m sure that they are not far behind. You hear the sandhill cranes first, then, very often, you can see them flying extremely high up, groups of tiny spots in the sky. To me, the sandhills are the real harbingers of Spring. I’m getting ready to turn the heat off, open up the windows, and enjoy some fresh air.
Now, for the news.
Convention 2020 – Sacramento, CA
The convention website is up and running. You can now register for the convention at convention.cichlid.org. There are several great events being planned for conventioneers. First, a wine-tasting in the Shenandoah Valley of Amadore County. A great afternoon tasting fabulous wines may be right up your alley. Catch some rays, and maybe a good buzz, in the California sunshine. To learn a bit more, go to Amadorewine.com.
Toss another Tropheus on the barbie! Plan on attending what sounds to be the side event of the year, a BBQ at the home and Fish Ranch of Pam and Gary Chin. You all know Pam from her many articles, columns, posts of her travels to Africa on FB and tireless work with the BABES group. Now, you can have a chance to see the Chin family fish room. You’ll be like a kid in a candy store, with a belly full of BBQ. Don’t miss out on this event.
(Disclaimer: Before I get mail … they will not be serving BBQ Tropheus.)
Speakers at this year’s convention are:
• Dr Tomas Hrbek – Federal University of Amazonas
• Sandy Moore – President Segrest Farms
• Juan Miguel Artigas Azas
• Ad Konings
• Dr Christopher Martin – University of California, Berkeley
• Pam Chin
• Hernán López-Fernández – University of Michigan
The topics have not been posted yet. When they are, I’ll keep you informed. Check the website periodically, too.
Yes, there will be a fish show. I will update you as soon as I get more info. Get those show fish ready to dazzle the guests and attendees.
The Marriot Rancho Cordova awaits. Make your reservations today! Make sure to mention the ACA for a discounted room rate. For more information, go to: convention.cichlid.org.
Some people have concerns about traveling to a convention by themselves. Will you be bored, no-one to talk to, how will you spend your time? I can see why someone, who has never attended an ACA Convention, might think that. But, fear not, that’s not going to happen unless you are a curmudgeon, of course. ACA Conventions are full of like-minded people who have one thing in common, they love to talk about fish. Not just cichlids, all fish, livebearers, barbs, danios, killies, natives, you name it. You can always find a conversation to join in. Go to the Show Room, the Sales Room, the Hospitality Suite, the talks, the lobby, the hallway, anywhere and you will find people who are willing to share information or just plain socialize. Heck, there are people that I have known for years and have never had a conversation with.
Take Jeff Cardwell for instance. Great guy! We have known one another for years, we pass each other in the hallways and give out cheery greetings to one another but we have never actually sat down and talked. Ever! And we’ve known each other for 30-40 years? On the flip side, there are guys like Mike Schadle, Ray “Kingfish” Lucas, Rusty Wessel and on and on, who we talk to all the time for a loooong time at a crack. You can also meet people in person that you only know from FaceBook, or from magazine articles. I’ve already told you all about how I met Erwin Gundrum. I sat down at a table in the Hospitality Room in Cincinatti and a gentleman looks at me, reads my name tag and says “You unfriended me on FB!” I read his name and said “Yes, every two seconds I got your dopey game information. “Erwin did this, Erwin did that!” We had a good laugh and had a light-hearted conversation. We also joked a little about politics. The
operative word here was joked! In today’s climate, I would stay away from even that.
Politics! Keep politics out of your fish convention experience. Period! I will give you a prime example of why. Laif Demason is a guy who is always surrounded by a throng of people. The guy never gets a break it seems. So, I leave Laif alone. Through the years, I have emailed him a few times on a few topics and we have conversed electronically. The same with Ad Konings. He is quick to reply via email whenever I have approached him on topics regarding his books, fish, conservation efforts, etc. But, at one convention, Laif, Ad, and a fish friend of mine, who will remain nameless, were having a conversation and I walked up and joined in. Finally, I was getting to talk to these two guys, biggies in cichlidom, no less, and after about two minutes, the guy who will remain nameless, starts spewing vitriol. I mean really nasty, intolerant, political stuff. The moment got so uncomfortable for us all that the conversation ended. Boom! Done! What the heck, I was finally talking to these two guys and it was over. So, do us all a favor, at fish events, any fish events, local, national, whatever, keep politics out of it.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if you really want to meet people, get involved. I guarantee that you will have fun, make great friends and have wonderful memories, Volunteer for something. Whether it be for the host club or for the ACA, you will be warmly rewarded. Walk up to a convention staffer and ask who to see to get involved or simply ask: “Can I help with anything.” I have met so many great people by getting involved. Not just at conventions either. Manning the ACA Booth in Chicago during the Aquatic Experience was a fantastic experience. There were so many ACA members and non-members alike to meet and talk with.
Being on the BOT, I got to meet tons of people, too. Then, writing the ACA News really brought about notoriety. I remember riding the elevator at a convention and a young guy read my badge and said that he really enjoyed the newsletter and that it was his favorite thing about the ACA. I almost blushed! LOL!
Don’t be afraid, get involved.
Lastly, remember, it’s all about FISH, FRIENDS and FUN!
When Daryl Hutchins made a request for a Guest Editor to give him some relief, Don Danko stepped-up to the plate. He has now Guest Edited two editions of BB. What a fantastic way to support BB, Daryl and the ACA. I wanted to extend kudos to Don for his efforts. As a former Editor (The Apisto-Gram) myself, I know how much efforts like this are appreciated. Thanks Don!
Besides Guest Editing you can also help out by writing for BB. The ACA even pays you for your efforts! Don’t worry about your writing style as Daryl and I will help you in any way we can. Send all contributions to Daryl at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a great month and think Spring!
WHERE ARE YOU?
Please, please, pretty please, make sure that the ACA has your current e-mail address. Otherwise we could lose touch … e-mails not arriving, fire and brimstone coming down from the skies, rivers and seas boiling, forty years of darkness, earthquakes, volcanoes, dead rising from the grave, human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together – mass hysteria.
Your street address and/or mobile/phone number could prove useful too … just in case.