Saturday, May 24, 2008

My Best Friend!

Hello everyone. So I’ve been here in Bali a little over a week and have had some incredible corals come through. Before moving on to those pieces, I’d like to take a moment to talk about my “joy” of my life! Of course I’m talking about my dog, Joyluck. She is a boxer that I found, or better yet, found me about 10 years ago. The saying “ man’s best friend is a dog” is certainly true to the max. Here is my story.

About 10 years ago, I was dropping off my little cousin at his house in Fremont, California. I lived in the next town of Union City at the time, a few minutes away. We had just finished an eight hour marathon of “Streetfighter” and I was taking him home. It was in the middle of the night and we had just parked at me cousin’s house. I was going to go inside for a minute to use the bathroom. The moment I got out of my truck, this little dog came up running wagging it’s little “nubby” tail. At first, me and my cousin got scared thinking it was a pitbull. The markings were brindle and we quickly realized that it was a puppy and just wanted attention. We figured it got out of someone’s house, and who knows how long it was running around in the middle of the night for.

I told my cousin he should keep the puppy but said no way his parents would allow it. Being a single guy and never home, there was no way I could raise a little dog, or at least I thought. So I took her home thinking that I was going to take her to the pound the next day. For those of you that don’t know, a pound is an old term for SPCA, an animal shelter. The cutest thing was when I put her in the truck, she jumped onto my lap and curled down. I drove home with a dog on my lap!

It wasn’t until I got home that I realized that my puppy was a girl! That night me and my “new girl” slept on the same bed! I woke up in the morning with her snoring in my ear. I got up to go to the bathroom, and so did she, right on the carpet!

By then, I was having second thoughts about taking my new little girl to the shelter. What if no one would adopt her and then what? She would be put to sleep! No way was I going to have this happen.

Actually, the truth is that I was trying to find excuses to keep my little dog, for sure she would be adopted. I was getting attached to her, she was so cute! I decided to keep her!

I left her in the backyard and headed for the nearest Petco. I came back with a little collar and a leash. Not to mention all kinds of toys, treats, dogfood, and anti flea shampoo. After a good bath, most of the fleas died. She was literally a “flea bag” and whoever owned her didn’t take care of her very well. Then I went online and searched for pitbulls. The brown and black marbled color turned out to be called “brindle” on the pitbulls. All the pictures I saw really didn’t look like my dog. I just thought that she would grow up and look like the ones in the pictures. And of course I thought that the owner had docked the tail when she was born, although I didn’t read or see anything about that during my research. Oh well, it didn’t matter, I loved my little pitbull puppy!

So now, my next thing on the agenda was to come up with a name for her. This had to be a very special name, for a very special dog. My cousin came over and for the rest of the afternoon, we tried to figure out a name for her. It wasn’t until that evening that I went to a Filipino fast food restaurant called Jollibee’s nearby that gave me the idea of a name. I was ordering fried chicken through the drive through and bingo there it was! “two piece chicken joy”! Joy, that is what I would call my dog. I would name her Joyluck. She would bring me joy and luck! What a great name I thought.

Later that night, she would be put to the test. I walked over to a nearby Hollywood Video to rent a video for the night. I leashed her up outside on a tree pole. I went inside and was not there 5 minutes and I peaked out the window. Oh yah, three girls were playing with my puppy! Oh this was good. It was true that “puppies are chick magnets”. After grabbing my flick, I proudly went to see my Joyluck! “How old is your Boxer?” one of the girls asked. I responded “She is not a Boxer? She is a pitbull”. They all looked at each other funny, and said “no, you have a pure Boxer. I didn’t want to argue, but convinced me after telling me that they were veterinary students!

Ok, so now I have a Boxer puppy on my hands. I never have seen one, but again if you don’t have a dog, then probably don’t know all the breeds. So I went back home and looked up “Boxers”. Oh yah, that is Joyluck all right! Of course I really felt silly thinking Joyluck was a pitbull after that. There are huge differences, but the color got me and my cousin confused. I've had so many people comment "is that a pitbull?".

The hard part was that I had to take Joyluck everywhere I went. I could have left her in the house, but I knew she would cry without anyone around. I had to bring her to my shop. The following years, she kept me company as I ran my service company. I was having big parties at night at my warehouse back in those days. Clean fishtanks by day and have parties at night, loads of fun! My place became known as "club Ed". On summer of 2000, Joy and I spent day and night building the retail. She would keep the mice away while I hammered away, building the fish and coral system. She was so dedicated that she followed me everywhere I went. I would sneak away and go to the toilet, and I could here her collar making noises as she tried to find me. Then she would sit outside the bathroom door and whimper until I came out.


Joy is getting old now and you can see the grey hair around her nose. She has survived two cancers (Boxers are notorious for this) and she is getting old. She always has been a small Boxer. Even regular female Boxers are normally bigger. So for many years, everyone thought that Joyluck was still a puppy. She still acts like one but age is catching up to her. She has entertained many of my customers (and their kids) back in my TP days.

In a lot of ways, dogs are like kids. They can sense everything around them and they can feel. Those who have dogs as pets will understand what I'm saying. Unlike people, dogs are always happy to see you come home!

I know one day, I will lose her. I'm going to save a DNA sample of Joyluck and clone her later in my golden years. Another life with my Joyluck would bring me happiness to the day I move on!

I could end the post here, but I know you guys are dying to see some coral pictures. So here you go!

A pair of awesome red fungids! The one on the left looks to be a fungia species while the one on the right looks like a cycloseris. Either way, they are called fungias here. But finding a pair like this is no easy task - just amazing!!

Metallic green centered, red rimmed Blastomussa Wellsi. Awesome little coral from Makassar, Sulawessi!

A beautiful Ricordia yuma! This one rock has one large head and two small ones. The rock that they are sitting on is nice too!

Some Indo Pacific regal angelfish. A little sensitive species that needs lots of care. Still, a pretty little angel.

The tiger striped mantis shrimp. This species is a spearer and sometimes you can find large specimens at the local Chinese seafood restaurants. Mantis shrimps are super tasting. I remember eating some monsters in Vietnam. But a small tank to keep them as pets is enjoying as eating one!

An oxypora - echnophyllia chalice coral. You can just imagine what the colors would look like under halides!

A rare wild colony of a seriotopora bird's nest. This one is pink with yellowish tips. There is a green morph that is another seriotopora species, but is very hard to find.

A Montipora digitata looking coral. The color is actually purple but can't make it out very good in the picture. I think it would turn killer purple and the edges would plate out in an aquarium. The edges resemble a spumosa species but the base has no encrustation, typical of this species.

A nice acropora stag, perhaps a formosa species. This one actually has raspberry colored tips. Some halides will bring out the real nice colors for sure!

If you guessed Acropora hyacinthus, then you are right! This beauty sports a green base with pink body and sky blue tips! Tabling acroporas in general are difficult to keep their colors. There are some crazy ones from the South Pacific (Tonga and Fiji) but are almost impossible to keep it's original color. They all turn green or brown in the end, for the most part. The Indonesian counterparts in general are much easier to keep colored. Some lucky reefer will get a chance with this gorgeous piece!

Ah yes, one of my favorite deepwater acros - a tabling Acropora carduus! Check out the striking colors on one edge of the coral. Halides! halides!

This thin brittle branch acropora looks to be jacquelineae! It is a killer piece. Check out the blue edges!

This is an acropora tenuis, a pink morph! I used to find a few pieces in Tonga back in the days but never seen one until this one came along. It is a bad picture but still has much pink left. I wish I had as sps tank here:(

A nice Acropora valida! This coral and the Acropora nana look very similar and is commonly referred to as "Bali tricolor". The way you can tell the difference is that the nana has long thinner branches. The valida has shorter thicker branches. But the color looks dead on same! Normally easy to keep in a good sps system. But can turn brown fast in not so perfect condition.

An Acropora tenuis growing with thinner long corallites. Sometimes the people here mistakes this coral for an echinata. They are only wishful thinking and getting confused because of the long thin tubular corallites. I've seen this tenuis grow in many different forms, from branching, to stubby, to thin branch. I noticed this in Tonga as well. It all depends on which part of the reef the coral happens to grow on. I can honestly say that this is one of few corals that is found in all depths of the reef!

A beautiful show sized Montipora undata colony! The base color is brown-green with purple rim. Don't let the dull color fool you, remember my true undata when I first got it!

A close up view and you can see the details of the coenosteum ridges, typical of this species.

At first glance this montipora and the undata look alike. But a closer inspection reveal that this is a Montipora confusa! I have never seen such a beautiful perfect piece before. A show piece for a show tank! I think this would look nice in ShuTin's 4000 gallon reef!

And here I am, sporting my new $6 tee shirt with my young hero "Goku".
In between him are the two show sized montipora pieces. The undata is on the left, and the confusa is on the right. For sure where these pieces end up, they will be fragged into million pieces!

And finally, a picture of my wife Anne, looking like Pocahontas! She has gained a little weight while she was in the states. All the American fatty foods for sure is to blame. She is standing in front of one of the two rowed coral holding systems. When we are finished, we will have four of these.


I hoped you enjoyed the pictures. My next post will be on an exciting fishing/crabbing trip that I took while I was back in the US. At the same time, we can have a look at some of the seashore life along the central California Pacific coast. After finishing the series, we can do a comparison between the seashore animals of Bali and of those with the California coast. It should be interesting and fun.

But not to worry, as I will end each post with some pictures of nice corals from here in Bali, Indonesia! So get your coffee and get ready, my coral adventures is moving forward!



Anonymous said...

Hi Eddie, nice confusa, I'm glad you put this blog, since I last heard from you you where closiing TPA and goine overseas and also when TPA was still,(only if you can) can you provide an ID for this monti, I think it is a Undata - Jedi Mind Trick, but can't be sure,. I hope now you are doing well,

Thanks man,

Low Res

Hi Res (4mb each)

Eddie H. said...

Hi Lautaro,

Good to hear from you. The monti on your site is an undata. There are many morphs of the undata in the hobby. That is why my "undata" was named by Steve Tyree as "true undata". Before my colony was fragged up, it looked just like the picture in Veron's Coral Book on page 87 Volume 1, picture 7!


Anonymous said...

I got a salad plate 'Tyree' Undata that I got about 2 years ago from a shipment from Indo!

They don't come in often, but they are amazing in person!

Lauta said...

Hi Eddie, thanks for the ID, I also have some of your True Undata ( I got it from Lance when he was frag your colony in the last days of TPA, man he lost a lot of those cuttings, I must say it still one of the best corals I've seen, are you going to do any propagations or just collection?, in your current setup?

Cheers to you too


Eddie H. said...

Hi Vlad,

You are one lucky guy! I've been looking for the piece for over a year now here in Indo and still haven't found one. How big is it now?


Eddie H. said...

Hi Lautaro,

The wild coral export is just to buy us time until we can secure our own aquaculture license. I have some big projects that I will be working on as soon as we can get permits. We will continue to do wild but our focus will be on farming corals. It is a pretty exciting project and it surely will "rock" the reef hobby. You can count on that!


Aquaculture Northern Bali

November Corals Collection Part. 1

November Corals Collection Part. 2

Aquaculture - November Shipment

Coral Showcase - September 2008 Inventory

Holding Facility's Corals Collection Showcase 2007