Dead Fish in a Box

The chronicles of a suburban fishpimp trying to keep it rural.

My Photo
Location: United States

Friday, March 25, 2005

Posted by Hello

Thursday, March 24, 2005

Bobby fell in the mud

Remember that “Wanna hear a dirty joke? Wanna hear a clean joke?” joke? I had an experience like that last night. Wifey-poo & I went to Costco & Home Depot last night. We actually got the closest non-handicapped parking space in the entire lot. Totally friggin cool - absolutly made my day.

Bobby fell in the mud

As I was smugly enjoying the short walk to the door I reached for my wallet to retrieve my membership card. No wallet – left it in my other pants! No Costco. I actually considered walking home & back, but in the end I had to give up my pristine parking spot because I’m an idiot.

Bobby took a bath.

We’re only 1.5 miles from the store. But my frustration was compounded by some road-raging bonehead that caused an 8 car pile-up on 99 precisely between Costco & my house. So the evening commute out of town was detouring down my normally quite back road route. A trip that should have taken 7 minutes took nearly 20, and I was getting really hot under the collar. My only solace was that the wife decided to go get the new bathroom paint mixed over at the HD. Otherwise she’d nagging my outraged-ass about the loss of a parking spot not being a big deal. Like hell! It’s a friggin’ huge deal!

Bobby took a bath with bubbles.

So I finally pull back into the Costco lot, and am mentally preparing for the long, hard slog from my new distant parking spot, steam pouring out my ears, when I find that the exact same parking spot is open and no one is waiting for it. Unbelievable! Add to my delight these three things: Wifey-wife suggesting we scrap painting tonight for buying & watching The Incredibles, running into an old, old friend & setting up a chance to get together for adult beverages, and a delicious polish sausage & drink for $1.50. Booyah?

Bubbles was the girl next door.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

Nicknames II

As I had detailed, we’re a compassionate & affectionate bunch of fishpimps; the nicknames we give each other are fine illustrations of our camaraderie. I’ve already written about the man we lovingly call “Cat Shit” & Chainsaw. I’ve written about the Baron, who is also referred to as Pancho Grande, Big-boy, & "T.T." which is short for Ta-Tas (“Baron! Put on your sports bra! We’re going downtown!”) Then there’s the office tough-guy who got stuck with “Pumpkin”. Because of his consistent low-margin sales we worry the senior sales rep is giving away the farm - his moniker: “The Underbelly”. The new guy is made in the mold of the Baron, only taller, so now he answers to "Baby Huey" or "Big Bird".

But my favorite name goes to the Norwegian. Someone once said that he’s “as useful as tits on a frog”. Hence: “Frog Tits”. I laugh every time I hear it.

Frog Tits. HA!

Tuesday, March 08, 2005

Special Orders.

I get some weird requests sometimes. We pander to this specialty crowd, most of whom are second-rate chefs trying to make a name for themselves. But we do sell some weird stuff here - Sea Urchin roe, Monkfish livers, Salmon cheeks, Salted Herring fillets from Norway. One can even buy just the first joint of the largest legs of a King or Dungeness crab- we even gave them special names - Merus Sections (king) and Frylegs (Dungeness). There was even a time when we sold Pork fat & Bull testicles.

But then we get some requests that are so bizarre even the saltiest Fishpimp is caused to chortle. We get people who only want female lobsters with their roe (eggs) still attached to the underbelly (which are illegal to harvest in the USA). We get people who want Alaskan Periwinkles or San Francisco Bay Gooseneck Barnacles. Then there’s the whole Cod byproduct thing. Most folk are happy with the delicious & firm white-meat fillets, but then there are the wackos who want Cod tongues, or Cod livers, or even Cod sperm sacks - I guess they're a delicacy in Japan. I guess most of these things are delicacies in Japan. Listen, I think the Japanese get most things right - hell, I even drive one of their cars, but seriously, Cod sperm?!

I bring this all up because I got another weird one today - a guy who wants 3 whole Wolf Eels. Have you ever seen one of these things? Man, they're ugly. I can't imagine they eat particularly well, and I really don't want to imagine what he wants them for. Whatever it is, I'm sure it's unnatural, and I want no part of it. Sick bastard!
Posted by Hello

Sunday, March 06, 2005

I need a day off.

I just took 3 days off to work on the homestead with the wife & In-laws. We got a ton done. But now I'm so sore that I can barely move. My forearms are so tired I can barely type this. I told the Father-in-law that, while I truly enjoy his company, I was glad to see him leave because it meant no more heavy lifting. Seriously. We replaced all 8 garden beds in the back yard which involved removing all the rotten existing timbers, assembling 62 2x6"x8's into the beds, then wrapping them with 6ml poly (to keep them from leaching the pressure treatment chemicals into our veggies), and moving about 1.5 yards of dirt around in the process. After that we began work on the main bathroom, by removing the vanity & toilet. Then we took up the glued-on tiles, in the process revealing a lovely turquoise & black parquet complete with gold speckles. I wanted to keep it, but we'd already trashed 1/2, we I kept ripping. After removing all that I applied all my modern physics knowledge to the bathtub through the medium of my 8 Lb. sledgehammer. Sounds fun, but when porcelain shards are flying every which way (including around my eye protection!) one is forced to reconsider.

The best part about smashing the cast iron tub into little bits was that I could just pitch them out the window into the bed of my fish-haulin' truck.

"Say, what'd you do with the old tub?"

"Oh, I threw it out the window."



So 3/4 of a ton and $65 to King County Dump later we took on the plumbing issue. Now I knew I'd have to replace about 15" of drywall around the tub, but to get at the old fixture I had to take out nearly the entire wall. Then, I pulled out the bizarre bracing system that the original installers cooked up, including a 12 x 15" panel of the adjoining closet wall. It took a good two hours just to remove the 6 original joints, and another 3-4 to get the new stuff in and leak-free, including running down to the street & busting my knuckles to turn on/off the water main at least 4 times.

But the real fun had yet to begin.

We then replaced the floor with a new sheet of 3/4" plywood, and moved the new tub into the house. I began attaching the overflow drain while Father-in-law mixed up a batch of mortar that we'd seat the tub into. We put down 1" of mortar & moved the tub into position. The Home Depot 1-2-3 book had the great idea of sliding the tub on 1x4's greased up with soap. For once, something worked right, the tub slid right into the slot...well, 1/2 way in, at least. One of the old nailers was impeding our progress, so we pulled the tub out and removed it. The second time we put the tub in we had the same problem on the opposite side. Out it came to fix the problem, then in it went again. Same problem, six inches later. Damn! Out. Fix. In. Damn! The drain wouldn't slide past the stud - but that can't be removed, so we resolved to install it via the crawl space (more on that later!). In. Damn! The tub was sitting a good inch and a half above the mud. Out.

Mind you, this is a 30"x60" tub. The space we were installing it into is 30.25x60.25", so it took a whole lot of wiggling to move it in & out. Oh, and did I mention that I had a batch of ribs going on the smoker? So in addition to watching the grout dry up in front of our very eyes, I had to keep an eye on dinner!

So while Father-in-law cut the tub supports down 1.5"s I mixed up a new bunch of mortar, removed the ribs, mixed up a batch of sauce, slathered the ribs, and started slicing. Then I raced through the living room with the wheelbarrow full of mortar & dumped another layer down. In went the tub. Out came the 1x4's, and it finally fit. After jumping up & down on one end, it's even almost level. But after 6 hours of horsing that thing around it was in at 6:45 PM. Needless to say I had to call the custom tub surround people and rescheduled our 3:00 measuring appointment.

We retired to eat delicious ribs & played ping pong.

After enjoying copious amounts of chowder at the Penn Cove Mussel festival (which wasn't much of a festival - no festive bunting? Come on!) we attacked the drain problem. Well, the Father-in-law attacked the drain problem. Hey! He volunteered to go under the house himself! They don't call it a crawlspace for nothing, you know!

Turns out I wasn't so lucky. While down there he discovered why, despite swapping out all our old single-pane windows for new double-panes, out heating bill hasn't dropped a penny. Turns out the furnace output wasn't attached to any of the duct system. Mr & Mrs Fishpimp were (and continue to be) outraged! We've been there for 2 1/2 years and all that time we've been heating the crawlspace! That a lot of dead fish gone up in smoke!

So I ended up having to muck around in the crawlspace with the spiders, 30-year-old rat shit, and radon after all. Damn! We patched it all together with some leftover scrap metal we found down there, some heavy-duty aluminum foil, and about 400 yards of duct tape. Yes, as bizarre as it may sound, we actually used duct tape on ducts.

We finally emerged from our unfinished basement at 8:30 and ate delicious Pagliacci's pizza and I enjoyed one cold Alaskan Amber before collapsing into bed.

The in-laws rolled out this morning, leaving me to finish the drywall, replace the floor, and re-install the toilet and vanity, and repaint. Oh, and Father-in-law, in a startling departure from his normally splendid electrical work, failed to rewire the new outlet that I put in just two weeks ago, so that's on the list too. At least they left a new wax gasket for the toilet.

So I've got that going for me..... which is nice.

Next time I'm calling a contractor.

Wednesday, March 02, 2005

Quote of the Day

In what is likely to be a rather infrequent recurring segment here at the Blog-o-Fish I would like to share with you the quote of the day. Gleaned from the pages of Schott's Original Miscellany by Ben Schott (one of the finest bathroom readers produced to date) is this little gem by Dorothy Parker:

"Wit has truth in it, wisecracking is merely calisthenics with words"