i made my way to the aquarium for the monthly lecture of the boston aquarium society (established in 1916). i can never quite tell just by looking whether or not somebody is a fish keeper, but when this many fish nerds gather together in a single place, i start to notice the patterns. for the most part these are men, many sporting pot bellies. i got there early so i was able to watch people carrying inflated bags of fish in coolers and cardboard boxes. each one was tagged and placed on a long table. people would walk around and inspect the fish or plant held within. at first i thought it was for show but turns out these were auction items for after the lecture (the auction value is split 50/50 between the breeder and the society). there was also a raffle with prizes like 40 gallon water filter and water purification solutions. in the back some people brought in specimens to be judged best-in-show: one person brought in a dragon goby. the club president first said a few words about upcoming events. he mentioned the breeders' award program (there's a joke in there somewhere), where people earned points for breeding fish, the rarer the better. the points don't do anything, they're just a mark of distinction.
rhode island fireman richard rego was the guest speaker, giving a presentation on the native freshwater fishes of massachusetts. it wasn't so much a normal lecture as it was a comprehensive marathon session describing every single native freshwater fish species. thankfully there are only something like 48 here the state. rego, who spoke with a boston accent, had a good sense of humor and while normally these talks would put me to sleep, i was very much awake for this one. i learned that here in new england we have so few native fish species because the glaciers during the ice age had killed off most them. besides pollution, the single most detrimental force to some fish species are dams, which prevent fish from swimming upstream to spawn. the lecture started at 8pm and didn't finish until 10pm. while people took a break in preparation for the auction, i gathered up my stuff and left, my motorcycle parked in the north end.
i got home just in time to catch the final inning of the red sox yankees game, the red sox losing tonight behind wakefield's pitching. earlier during the day i had yesterday's leftover sausages and ribs for lunch. for dinner, i heated up a microwaveable philly cheese steak sub, slathered with a generous amount of barbecue sauce. i watched the season finale of heroes (recorded on my VCR, old-school tivo!).