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San Diego fishing life, dirty work, tools of the trade

The heady job of a waiter, nurses on the run, who brings you your candy

Michael Early: "My tool belt — construction workers call them "bags" — are usually set up beforehand."
Michael Early: "My tool belt — construction workers call them "bags" — are usually set up beforehand."
Mark Serritella: "At the end of each set, I take a notebook of the jokes I just did and put a star next to the ones that worked."

Tools of the Trade

The implements for bringing home the bacon.

Have your friends and neighbors looked weighed down, put upon, or bent low to the ground lately? Perhaps they are! After all, many of the people we see around us tote a good deal of gear around with them: Chainsaws and helmets, toolbelts and chests, clown shoes and rubber noses. These are just some of the implements people use to earn their daily bread.

To find out more about the tools people use, and the ways they use them, I tracked down seven men and women working in seven different professions and asked them to describe their jobs, the tools it took to do them, and any rituals and superstitions that might have built up around those tools.

By Geoff Bouvier, Sept. 1, 2005 | Read full article


J.D. McGriff, captain of the Fisherman III,: "I don't see much benefit in lying about what you catch. We're checked by Fish and Game anyway."

Heartbreak? That's Fishing. Frustration? That's Fishing. The Good Life? That's Fishing.

A play in multiple acts.

Cast, in order of appearance:

  • Chorus, infrequent fisher and loather of boat travel
  • Bill Poole, 85, local fishing legend, past part-owner of Poole-Chaffee Boatyard
  • Buck Everingham, 51, heir and part-owner of Everingham Brothers Bait Company
  • Frank LoPreste, 63, local fishing legend, owner of five boats, two gas docks, and three landings
  • Catherine Miller, promotional officer of the San Diego Sportfishing Council
  • Fred Huber, 45, captain and part-owner of the Daily Double, a rival half-day boat
  • R.J. Hudson, 24, captain of the New Seaforth, a rival half-day boat
  • Robert Knox, associate director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography

By Geoff Bouvier, Nov. 30, 2006 | Read full article

Ramon Salazar on portable toilet duty: "I don't want it to get on my arms. They gave us long plastic gloves," clearing the elbows, "but they're too hot."

Dirty Jobs

San Diego’s most disgusting work.

At 6 a.m., Ramon Salazar is readying to leave the vehicle yard of Spanky's Portable Services in Escondido. It's Monday, and Mondays are rough. "Man, I needed an hour more sleep." He yawns. He climbs the two serrated step boards to the cab of his big white pumper truck. He bounces onto the seat, then starts the diesel motor. Rolling a blue kerchief tightly, he bands it carefully around his shaved head and square-knots its ends just under the occipital bone. The snug cinch means business.

By Thomas Larson, April 27, 2006 | Read full article

Stephen Traino: "I have this red Sentra. it's still parked out there in the street, my old car. I'd throw all my boxes in there, and I'd drive it to the post office, and I literally couldn't see out of my window."

Candy Man

Stephen Traino’s life is sweet.

"I was crossing the street in my old hometown of Fairport, New York, to get some candy," Stephen Traino admits, "and the next thing I knew, this car almost hit me because I wasn't even looking where I was going. That would be the only reason I was in that part of town. Just to get candy."

We're talking at a fold-up card table in the impromptu conference room of a warehouse in National City. Every month, several thousand pounds of sweets pass through here, the hub of Traino's Internet business venture, Candy Direct. Traino has been regaling me for over an hour about his two great loves: business and candy.

By Geoff Bouvier, Dec. 16, 2004 | Read full article


Peter Jargowsky, George’s at the Cove: "You have to create yourself, you have to create your service personality, every night."

Service Personality

Waiters tell all.

Dinner at Tapenade Restaurant is a memorable experience. The cordial ambience, the feel of that which is unmistakably French, and service like a brilliantly engineered heist: the help comes and takes you from your worries, replacing daily stress with gustatory delights. And what delights!

The heady depths of reduction sauces. Heights of chiboust, confit, and coulis. The half-vanished art of textural balance. And in the end, the immeasurable value of experiencing that which is enjoyably different. All to taste!

By Geoff Bouvier, March 11, 2004 | Read full article


In California, San Diego nursing jobs pay the lowest - from $24 to $30 an hour.

Nurses on the Run

Adventures of mobile medical personnel.

By Jeannette DeWyze, Oct. 13, 2005

When Mariette Parsons, RN, tells her patients she's a traveler, she says they often look puzzled. "They're, like, 'You work for a travel agency or something?'" Parsons explains that travel nurses fill assignments all over the United States. A native of Arlington, Virginia, Parsons came to San Diego at the beginning of February 2004. When I talked to her seven months later, she was contemplating a move to Denver. If the general public hasn't yet become familiar with the idea of itinerant health-care professionals, Parsons says most nurses have.

| Read full article


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Michael Early: "My tool belt — construction workers call them "bags" — are usually set up beforehand."
Michael Early: "My tool belt — construction workers call them "bags" — are usually set up beforehand."
Mark Serritella: "At the end of each set, I take a notebook of the jokes I just did and put a star next to the ones that worked."

Tools of the Trade

The implements for bringing home the bacon.

Have your friends and neighbors looked weighed down, put upon, or bent low to the ground lately? Perhaps they are! After all, many of the people we see around us tote a good deal of gear around with them: Chainsaws and helmets, toolbelts and chests, clown shoes and rubber noses. These are just some of the implements people use to earn their daily bread.

To find out more about the tools people use, and the ways they use them, I tracked down seven men and women working in seven different professions and asked them to describe their jobs, the tools it took to do them, and any rituals and superstitions that might have built up around those tools.

By Geoff Bouvier, Sept. 1, 2005 | Read full article


J.D. McGriff, captain of the Fisherman III,: "I don't see much benefit in lying about what you catch. We're checked by Fish and Game anyway."

Heartbreak? That's Fishing. Frustration? That's Fishing. The Good Life? That's Fishing.

A play in multiple acts.

Cast, in order of appearance:

  • Chorus, infrequent fisher and loather of boat travel
  • Bill Poole, 85, local fishing legend, past part-owner of Poole-Chaffee Boatyard
  • Buck Everingham, 51, heir and part-owner of Everingham Brothers Bait Company
  • Frank LoPreste, 63, local fishing legend, owner of five boats, two gas docks, and three landings
  • Catherine Miller, promotional officer of the San Diego Sportfishing Council
  • Fred Huber, 45, captain and part-owner of the Daily Double, a rival half-day boat
  • R.J. Hudson, 24, captain of the New Seaforth, a rival half-day boat
  • Robert Knox, associate director of Scripps Institution of Oceanography

By Geoff Bouvier, Nov. 30, 2006 | Read full article

Ramon Salazar on portable toilet duty: "I don't want it to get on my arms. They gave us long plastic gloves," clearing the elbows, "but they're too hot."

Dirty Jobs

San Diego’s most disgusting work.

At 6 a.m., Ramon Salazar is readying to leave the vehicle yard of Spanky's Portable Services in Escondido. It's Monday, and Mondays are rough. "Man, I needed an hour more sleep." He yawns. He climbs the two serrated step boards to the cab of his big white pumper truck. He bounces onto the seat, then starts the diesel motor. Rolling a blue kerchief tightly, he bands it carefully around his shaved head and square-knots its ends just under the occipital bone. The snug cinch means business.

By Thomas Larson, April 27, 2006 | Read full article

Stephen Traino: "I have this red Sentra. it's still parked out there in the street, my old car. I'd throw all my boxes in there, and I'd drive it to the post office, and I literally couldn't see out of my window."

Candy Man

Stephen Traino’s life is sweet.

"I was crossing the street in my old hometown of Fairport, New York, to get some candy," Stephen Traino admits, "and the next thing I knew, this car almost hit me because I wasn't even looking where I was going. That would be the only reason I was in that part of town. Just to get candy."

We're talking at a fold-up card table in the impromptu conference room of a warehouse in National City. Every month, several thousand pounds of sweets pass through here, the hub of Traino's Internet business venture, Candy Direct. Traino has been regaling me for over an hour about his two great loves: business and candy.

By Geoff Bouvier, Dec. 16, 2004 | Read full article


Peter Jargowsky, George’s at the Cove: "You have to create yourself, you have to create your service personality, every night."

Service Personality

Waiters tell all.

Dinner at Tapenade Restaurant is a memorable experience. The cordial ambience, the feel of that which is unmistakably French, and service like a brilliantly engineered heist: the help comes and takes you from your worries, replacing daily stress with gustatory delights. And what delights!

The heady depths of reduction sauces. Heights of chiboust, confit, and coulis. The half-vanished art of textural balance. And in the end, the immeasurable value of experiencing that which is enjoyably different. All to taste!

By Geoff Bouvier, March 11, 2004 | Read full article


In California, San Diego nursing jobs pay the lowest - from $24 to $30 an hour.

Nurses on the Run

Adventures of mobile medical personnel.

By Jeannette DeWyze, Oct. 13, 2005

When Mariette Parsons, RN, tells her patients she's a traveler, she says they often look puzzled. "They're, like, 'You work for a travel agency or something?'" Parsons explains that travel nurses fill assignments all over the United States. A native of Arlington, Virginia, Parsons came to San Diego at the beginning of February 2004. When I talked to her seven months later, she was contemplating a move to Denver. If the general public hasn't yet become familiar with the idea of itinerant health-care professionals, Parsons says most nurses have.

| Read full article


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