View Full Version : May 2004 Spotlight, Southern Discus Workshop

05-10-2004, 08:06 AM
Hey folks, a few months ago Eric decided it would be a good idea to tease the outsider and have someone speak about plants at a fish convention. I thought, "Hey, I get to hang out with the cool people! Woo Hoo!" so of course I went. Here's a little story of my journey from the Dark Side to the Light, if only for a short time.

It all started at 3:00 on Friday April 3rd, that hellacious 4 hour drive from my house to Atlanta. I've driven all over the country and was under the impression that Kansas and Nebraska were boring... It wasn't until later that I realized why there are so many girlie bars and "book" stores where you have to flash ID to get in on I-85 South between Charlotte and Atlanta. After a 4 hour drive and the joy of experiencing Atlanta rush hour on a Friday night my wife and I made it safe and sound to the hotel. (Husbands, NEVER, NEVER, NEVER take your wife to Atlanta by car if she's one of those nervous passenger seat driver types. Be warned. :) )

Once we got our bags unloaded I went back downstairs while Sharon decompressed in the room. I noticed a group of folks congregated around the bar listening to Cary tell some story and watching as his hands kept getting farther and farther apart as he told it. After a round and some introductions I went to the "cool stuff" room and unloaded my weeds. Tim Thimios of US Bonsai/Discus was sitting back surveying the goods talking with Walter Wu (Wahter). Finally, people I knew!

Unfortunately I'd left the camera in the room for this first part, but the blackmail material is still to come.

Here are some pics of the tanks in the display room. Tim donated a ton of fish, as did Alberto, Liz S., and a few other people who weren't there that I can't remember. Cary brought in some of the best looking Koi Angels I've seen in a long time and a few pairs of beautiful feeder breeders. All the fish there were great looking. I couldn't wait to see what they would go for in the auction.

These are the fabulous wild RSG from Alberto. All six of them had spotting like you wouldn't believe. I've never cried over a fish, but when I saw these and realized I couldn't have them I almost did.

05-10-2004, 08:08 AM
Cary's koi angels and fancy guppies:

I went home with a pair of those guppies. :)

05-10-2004, 08:10 AM
Some of Tim's fish.

Aside from some of the most beautiful Tangerines I've ever seen, Tim gets some great looking spotted fish as well. These are LSS babies that seem much happier on this side of the ocean.

Yes, that ring in the reflection does get letters on it if you throw it into the fire. I know some of you are wondering....;)

05-10-2004, 08:12 AM
Here are some other assorted fish from US Discus.

05-10-2004, 08:13 AM
Some Mandarin Passions that were all the rage at the show.

05-10-2004, 08:21 AM
Some of the weeds I brought in an attempt to convert the whole crew to the Dark Side.

05-10-2004, 08:29 AM
After the intros and drooling over the fish, Jack finally made it to the hotel and we all went out to dinner. Eric had reservations at a really swanky Thai restaurant which we proceeded to take by storm. I think there was a dress code and a decibel maximum, both of which we broke in fabulous fashion.

Starting on the left: Eric (the mastermind of SDW), Vicki Burnley, Anand, Jean, Jack, Rhonda, Kenny (the hands in the purple shirt), Cary (taking a peek at us), Ken Davis at the head, Dave Webber, John Giroux, my wife Sharon, my seat, Tim Thimios, Walter Wu's hands and in front of me, Eric's daughters.

05-10-2004, 08:31 AM
A little different angle on the festivities:

That's Kenny (Discus Dawg) in the purple and Ken's wife Ruth across the table.

05-10-2004, 08:33 AM
I think we all had the most fun poking fun at Cary the whole night. While he was up shmoozing someone put a straw in his beer and a flower behind his ear. What a trooper.

05-10-2004, 08:35 AM
I'm not sure, but I think the asian atmosphere and Ken and Cary talking about their trips overseas went to their heads.

The fuzzy one is Cary trying to peddle Ken around Atlanta at 11:00 at night. He kept saying something about "Me love you long time".....who knows with those to guys.... ???

05-10-2004, 08:38 AM
After dinner some of us retired for the evening and the rest continuted to party on like only flat fish fanatics can.

Here's Eric getting the dry goods table ready Saturday morning. Some folks brought all sorts of great stuff for the raffle. You should have been there! Yeah, I'm talking to you.

05-10-2004, 08:42 AM
Here's our first speaker, Tim Thimios, speaking on the ins and outs of being an importer. It was a lot of fun to listen to someone with so many years of experience in the discus hobby.

05-10-2004, 08:54 AM
Next came our good friend and Class Clown, Ken Davis. His tales of adventure on Southeast Asia were informative and his personal commentary was more than a little entertaining. After hearing both Ken and Tim speak I've got a much better idea of what's actually gone into getting our fish.

05-10-2004, 08:57 AM
After lunch Vicki Burnley spoke about fish diseases and microscope techniques for home necropsy. I've seen some pretty nasty looking parasites before, but some of the stuff she showed and talked to us about took the cake. I think I'll be quarantining myself after I get new fish. ;D

Pics to come after a little editing...

05-10-2004, 09:00 AM
Here's Dave Webber talking to a blank screen. I think he was the last one to get to bed on Friday night.......

Actually, he's giving a very informative talk on the Amazon with a ton of great pictures. Pictures tell their own tale and do a great job of bringing the spoken word to life.

05-10-2004, 09:04 AM
After Dave's talk DiscusDawg took us out back for a true Southern Shrimp Boil. For those of you who aren't lucky enough to live in the South that's that's pronounced "bowl".

I think he brought 80 lbs of huge freshwater shrimp and 100 lbs of the best tasting crayfish I've ever eaten in my life. If it weren't for all the cold beer I flowing like milk and honey I'm sure I would have been sick.

05-10-2004, 09:05 AM

05-10-2004, 09:05 AM
Here's the gang getting ready for the feast.

05-10-2004, 09:06 AM
"Fried shrimp, boiled shrimp, shrimp salad, shrimp sandwiches, shrimp kabobs......."

05-10-2004, 09:07 AM
The gang enjoying Kenny's efforts..

05-10-2004, 09:08 AM

05-10-2004, 09:10 AM
There was a wedding party staying at the hotel too and later that night the newlyweds came back and were invited to partake as well. The bride was beautiful (of course) and the groom was more than a little antsy to get upstairs.

05-10-2004, 09:11 AM
Here's the bride and her brother. That big guy took to us like he'd known us for his whole life. I think he and Kenny had a competition to see who could down the most crawfish. I'm not sure who won, but they were both sucking heads and tails like it was their last meal.

05-10-2004, 09:13 AM
Yours truly sucking a head. I don't recommend doing this unless you've got a Cajun doing the cooking.

Those potatoes and corn cobs were just the thing to take the edge off the spices when they flared up.

05-10-2004, 09:15 AM
Here's Kenny and Rhonda talking with the other Kenny while he's peeling his weight in shellfish for the benefit of those not interested in doing it themselves.

05-10-2004, 09:18 AM
The next morning, after a night of supporting Anheuser-Busch, on top of an hour time change, a few die-hards came and listened to me ramble on about plants and keeping discus in planted tanks.

05-10-2004, 09:20 AM
Then came one of the highlights of the entire weekend. Jack Taylor giving the play by play of the Ultimate Fishroom. The room was packed and everyone was sitting in a pool after he was done.

05-10-2004, 09:22 AM
Then came the Auction! Ken Davis put his vocal abilities to work pawning off all sorts of wonderful fish and plants. Vicki was his lovely assistand and Bobby Keiger his unwitting apprentice. Everyone who didn't have to catch a plane was there as well as a few folks from the local club. The bidding was intense thank to Chuck.

Who's Chuck? He was the guy on the other end of Kenny's phone who bought just about everything in the auction.

05-10-2004, 09:23 AM
Ken and Vicki peddling the wares. Ken was a great auctioneer who guaranteed a decent price on everything sold. If it was going for a price that was lower than he thought it was worth he'd big on it himself at a higher price. Even so, he got away with some steals.

05-10-2004, 09:24 AM
Bobby Keiger, who bought up all of Cary's angelfish.

05-10-2004, 09:26 AM
Finally, two of the shining stars of the weekend. Eric's beautiful daughters. I don't envy Mr. Lacriox in a couple years..... :gorgeous:

05-10-2004, 09:29 AM
Overall this was an awesome weekend and a very enjoyable introduction to the Light Side squad. My only regret is that the weekend went by too quickly. For those of you who missed this one, you really need to come to the next.


05-10-2004, 11:24 AM
Thanks for the article Phil. Looks like a bunch of great people and great food. ;D

05-10-2004, 12:07 PM
Excellent Pictoral/Spotlight, Phil! Looks like an awesome time!

Of course now I'm starving for shrimp and crawfish!

Thanks for the guest appearance!


05-11-2004, 11:00 AM
It was AWESOME!! I cannot wait to do it next year!!

2 of the 4 Wild RSG's we picked up!!

05-20-2004, 05:24 AM
it seems that you guys are having a great time.. nice pictures..

the highest level of discus keeping : to raise nice discus and make new friends.. and you have made it there..

05-21-2004, 03:23 AM
Travelling to see old friends and meet new ones !!!!! And learn a thing or two !!!!!

It doesn't get any better than that !!!!!!!!!!!!!! ;D ;D ;D ;D


06-15-2004, 10:47 AM
Good shots of the weekend. I have been busy as can be lately. My discus made it thru the Q tank, those pistos I got didn't. All the plants are doing well with minimal algee, ya right ;D The fish I got from Anand has gotten bigger than my tank runt and is showing some new color and pattern. Looking forward to seeing it develope. KC - I haven't been back out that way since Easter weekend. Maybe July. Ill let you know.