Bert Christensen was slightly off base

June 12, 2007

Earlier this week, when writing a post about how I deserved the Nobel Peace Prize for saving a turtle, I looked around the Web and found a site that had on it a story about turtle butchering.

The site belongs to Bert Christensen. Bert seemed at first glance to be mild mannered and educated, but this isn’t the case. Let me lay out the story for you in pictures and words…

My first step was a hasty one. I wanted to get this turtle information up on Bowl of Cheese as fast as possible because people might want to Twitter about it and they’d need fodder from which to draw their tweets.

SO, I dashed over to Bert’s site and copied his URL. I then pasted it near the beginning of my post and explained that it went to the full story that people would see below. Then – and this was my mistake – I just copied the picture of the turtle…seen here…

Then I copied the text from Bert’s site and pasted it below the picture. Unfortunately, I hadn’t taken a photo or screen shot of Bert’s site and the resulting traffic spike (probably about four people) alerted him to the fact that he was getting hits from “that Bowl of Cheese site written by Jeff Cutler”.

THEN, when he figured that the added visits and the bandwidth being used by the photo (this is technical so you can go read something or hum while I explain this) was being paid for by him because I had pasted just the turtle photo location on my site, he decided to call it piracy and change the code on his photo so a slanderous comment showed up on this site.

Well, it was not piracy (that would be stealing and I obviously didn’t steal this image from Bert because he was able to change it as evidenced by the incorrect PIRACY message). It was actually something that’s called deep linking and while it’s not against the law, it is frowned upon.

I too frown upon this linking process and apologize here to Bert for doing so. I also sit here and feel sorry for Bert that he, like so many people in the world, doesn’t understand the difference between fair use, piracy, copyright and other protections for creative materials.

I hope he is crediting the original authors of the bible when he reads from it during some of his UU activities. Oh, we don’t know who wrote it? Then it can’t be public domain because if we all descended from one couple then Bert would need to get permission from every single human to perform the words of the bible in public.

Oh, wait. That is an example of fair use. Bert, you’re welcome for this lesson. And please note that my evaluation of one post (in the grand body of work that is your blog) is also fair use. The turtle post and a screen shot of the turtle appear here for all to enjoy. Real credit should go to the original author (also credited at the bottom of the post Earl Shelsby).
More to come…

Bert's Turtle

1 Snapping Turtle

Any old soup recipe will work for (snapping) turtle soup. The main problem with turtle soup is cleaning the turtle. You have to be certain that every last speck of fat is removed from the meat before cooking. This is not too difficult because the fat is between the skin and the flesh.

To butcher a turtle you start by chopping off the turtle’s head. Be careful because the head will still bite even after it is removed from the body and the body will still crawl away after the head is removed. Turtles don’t die right away.

When the body stops trying to crawl away, dip it in boiling water and scrape off the exterior layer of skin, including the shell. The result will be a bright white carcus, compared to the muddy brown-green you started with.

Next step is to remove the shell. Cut along grove on each side between the front and back legs. It is the narrowest part of the shell. The tail, neck and all four legs are attached to the top of the shell. Remove from shell and you have the bulk of the meat. However, there will be some meat on the bottom shell and top shell.

It is at this point that you remove the fat. Just roll back the skin and with a paring knife and your index finger scrape out the fat.

I learned about turtles from my parents who learned from their German immigrant fathers. It has been told in family circles that my maternal grandfather would catch snapping turtles by hand. I never saw him do it because he was hit and killed by a truck when I was about nine years old. It was a big loss for me because he was just starting to teach me about turtles, wild mushrooms, dandelions and other natural things. He made the greatest doughnuts I ever ate.

Good luck with your turtle soup. Just cook it long with lots of vegetables and it will be good if you removed all of the fat. – Earl

From Earl Shelsby

Collected by Bert Christensen
Toronto, Ontario