Dead Fish in a Box

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

My Photo
Location: United States

Tuesday, August 30, 2005

To Whom It May Concern

Don't sweat my Diet Rockstar pseudo-habbit. It's all good; according to this, I'd need to drink 81.9 cans in one sitting to kill myself, and that's just not gonna happen - there's no way Mrs. Fishpimp would ever let me spend $222.15 on energy drinks.

But I might get away with killing myself with 84.72 cups of delicious coffee.

I'll keep y'all posted.

Making Lemonade

This guy is really taking advantage of this hurricane stuff. Nothing makes extreme weather fun like tucking a bedsheet into one's shoes and, as the kids say, "catching some air"



Monday, August 29, 2005

Bike-commuting Forum

The Seattle P-I ran a point-counterpoint article today on the relationship between cyclists and auto drivers today. The story was fairly benign, but the reader forum was pretty lively. It's an interesting cross section of the Seattle community. I think I put in a fairly reasonable post; see if you can find it, and let me know if I'm off my rocker.

Check it out here.

Thursday, August 25, 2005


I got another brief e-mail from Mrs. Fishpimp yesterday:

“We're off to a boat launch trip to see hippos. We've seen chimps twice already and leopard, one on the side of the road and one up a tree with a kill.”

Again, I ask my self: “how does this qualify as ‘work’?”

She goes on one of these trips once a year, usually for two to three weeks at a time. She’s been to Alaska, Costa Rica (several times), Panama, Honduras, Guatemala, Belize, Kenya, Tanzania, and now Uganda. Each time I am left alone with the dog to fend for myself. I used to have a hard time – I’d always run out of clean plates & glasses, but now I just use paper. It’s just too hard for me to go against my genetic destiny and actually “do the dishes” as they say.

During these breaks in proximity I distract myself from any potential loneliness with a number of methods. Some are pretty normal: drinking cocktails & reading, wasting time playing Civilization (aka: “Civing”), crying over / laughing at the Mariners, etc. Others are more atypical: currently I’m training for a triathlon in September.

But one activity remains constant anytime my wife travels: I go out and buy something, and I’m not talking groceries or gas. Something significant. This year I bought a used digital camera on E-bay (she took all the other cameras to Africa and I’ve got serious documentation needs!) Last year I bought a new suit, the year before that I bought a new backpack. She hates this little ritual of mine. It’s not enough that I’ve got lots of use out of all these things, she’s still mad because of how the tradition started.

We were engaged the very first time she traveled for this company. While she was away my car started having problems. After a $600 repair I started thinking. I realized that I was sitting on a vehicle with 150,000 miles that had received no major services – brakes, clutch, timing belt, nothing. I didn’t have the cash lying around for a major repair on a 12 year old rice-rocket – so, with my fiancée out of town, I traded it in on a new truck.
I don’t understand what the big deal is.

Avian Intelligence Questioned

I can’t decide if the Big Bird is a conniving bastard or just plain dumb. We all just heard him on the phone with a customer talking about how the king salmon have a beautiful blush color on the skin, and how he prefers them that way. To those of you who are unaware: salmon “blush”, meaning their skin turns red, when they head up the rivers to spawn. It is a major indicator or diminished quality. It’s the salmon equivalent of getting gamey venison. Not delicious. It won’t take long for the customer to figure out that the Bird either lied about the quality of this fish or he just doesn’t know what the hell he is talking about. It’s like having the car salesman say: “take a look at this baby here! It’s one fine machine – yup, only got 3 wheels, Now, I don’t know about you, but I prefer them that way.” With guys like this it’s no wonder we Fishpimps suffer such an awful reputation.

Tuesday, August 23, 2005

Barn Doors

This is a big fish. It is a Pacific Halibut. Halibut are the ocean's largest flatfish (as well as one of the largest fish species in the sea), Pacific halibut are noted for their thick steaks and fillets, which boast a big flake, mild flavor and excellent versatility in the kitchen. Thanks to changes in the fishery's management, fresh halibut is now available nine months a year, while frozen product is available year round. Although Pacific halibut reportedly can grow to more than eight feet long and 700 pounds, (rightfully earning their Latin name, Hippoglossus, or "hippos of the sea"), although the sportfishing record is 459 Lbs, and 533 for commercial fisherman. Most commercially caught fish run 20 to 100 pounds. In general, only female halibut grow to any significant size; males rarely tip the scales at more than 50 pounds. Large halibut (more than 80 to 100 pounds) are sometimes called "whales," while small ones (20 pounds or less) are sometimes known as "chicken halibut." The really, really big ones like the one pictured here are colloquially known as "Barn Doors".

Many people feel that the best part of the halibut are the cheeks. We like to make jokes about people eating " 'But Cheeks". It's one of those seafood jokes that never get old.

Monday, August 22, 2005

Update from Tanzania

I finally heard from my world-traveling-wife this morning - here's her account of the ascent of Kilimanjaro:

Thought I'd give you a Kili update. We had a good group of 12, aged 68 to
30, with me being the youngest. Two Americans, two Aussies, two New
Zealanders and five British guys.

First few days were fine, we had a great guide crew, food was excellent.
The summit day-well, it sucked. We started at 15,500 feet and had
temperatures around -200C (60F) with winds 30-50mph sustained, gusts of up
to 80mph. We were climbing in scree for 6 hours, and did I mention that it
was dark and we started at midnight?

If it weren't for the guides, none of us would have made it. It was the
most miserable I've ever been physically + mentally and if it weren't for
Passien and Stratton saying "Anything is possible", "look how high we've
come", "I know you're strong", "let me carry your pack" I wouldn't have
made it to the top. But I did make it, all the way to Uhuru, the roof of
Africa. I still can't believe that in those terribly awful conditions,
that I made it.

Of 12 climbers, 9 in our group made it to Uhuru and 2 more to the crater
rim at Gilman's Point. A successful climb. It took us 8 hours to Uhuru (6
hours to Gilman's before sunrise) and then we came down 3 hours and had
lunch, and then hiked an additional 3 hours to our camp.14 hours. I've
never been so exhausted!

On to Uganda-primates await.

Sunday, August 21, 2005

Bachelor Update

Mrs. Fishpimp has been gone for a week and a half now, and I’m just happy to be alive. She does so much to keep me out of trouble. I can’t believe she actually trusted me to live on my own for three weeks; I keep waiting for the sitter to show up. But everything seems to be in tact, I haven’t killed any of the fish in the aquarium, the dog is doing well, even the garden seems to be in great shape (anyone want a zucchini?). Despite my ‘genetic destiny’, I’ve even managed to do the dishes & laundry all by myself! Heck, the whole house is clean; gold star for me!

The only thing that I’ve had problems with is paying the bills. She’s been keeping the books for the five years we’ve been married, and a lot has changed in that time. I don’t know any of the usernames or passwords for the on-line stuff. It used to be that the credit card companies made a big deal about how great it was to pay over the phone. But when I called this time they wanted to charge me $15! I pleaded ignorance, and asked that in lieu of charging me the fee they could just provide me with my username and password. The lady did me the favor of taking a check over the phone at no charge – she obviously felt sorry for me because at the end of the transaction she stated:

“We’ve got to get Mrs. Fishpimp back home quick!”

In the words of Homer J. Simpson: It’s funny ‘cause it’s true.

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

The Belligerence is Back

Neil the Belligerent Scot is back on-line at Read it or he'll kick your teeth in!

Tuesday, August 16, 2005

Simon Pontificates on Emerald City

Simon was on fire this morning, the tirade was capped by this zinger:

"Why do we even sell (accounts in) Downtown Seattle? 'Cause it's a percolating pile of sh*t!"

I wonder if Mayor Nickles was aware of this.

Thursday, August 11, 2005

Images From Tahoe

So Senora Pescadoputo is off climbing Africa's highest peak, but she didn't undertake this adventure unprepared. She's been training quite a bit in the weeks leading up to the trip. the culmination of this trip happened last weekend when we flew down to Lake Tahoe, CA for a weekend of high-altitude hiking with her parents. She did 30 miles in three days, nearly all above 8,000 feet. I came along for the first two days, but took Sunday off to rest - I'm not training to climb any mountains anytime soon and my feet hurt, so Mother-in-law and I went out for lunch.

So here are a couple photos I took on our hike along the Pacific Crest Trail as we headed north from Ebbet's Pass. Click any image to see at full size.

Sierra Mountains South of Ebbet's Pass, blatant Ansel Adams rip-off.

I'm still getting used to my digital camera (Minolta A2), so pardon the viginetting around the corners - my polarizer is a little too big to run the lens at the minimum focal length. I'd fix them in Photoshop, except that I haven't installed it yet on the new computer.


Cairn, PCT

Dwarf Pine, Lake Alpine

One Very Determined Tree.

This is Good Comedy



Well, I put Mrs. Fishpimp on the plane to Kenya yesterday. She'll be spending the next three weeks climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro in Tanzania and trekking for mountain gorillas in Uganda. I'll spend the next three weeks rediscovering my bachelorhood. The first thing I'm going to do is put in an extra day at work.

Yup, I'm living the high life.

Tuesday, August 09, 2005


I've been enjoying a diet rockstar this afternoon. I'm feeling seriously "enhanced with the potent herb Milk Thistle". Anyone who gets me on the phone is going to receive some excellent customer service - I'm dialed, styled, & profiled!

"Better living through chemistry!"

Monday, August 08, 2005

I saw "The Island" yesterday. I think I saw Luke. I know I saw Scarlest Johansson.

We saw the summer-blockbuster-action-thriller-movie-event-thing in Reno with the In-laws. It was a good flick, but our timing was crap. Let me preface this anecdote by saying that I am absolutely neurotic about punctuality; I cannot be late or I risk flying into a furious rage. Now, we were trying to kill some time in Reno before our flight…without gambling. There was a big car show there called “Hot August Nights” – it’s a pretty big deal with people coming from all over the country, but it was 110F outside and none of us are into cars. Instead, we made a pilgrimage to the Sierra Trading Post store to buy socks for my Kilamanjaro-bound wife. Only then did we decide to take in a movie. We rolled up to the theater at 4:20. Most of the movies were starting between 4:00 and 5:30. Anything starting after 4:45 would make us late to the airport. Indecision nearly derailed the entire operation. We finally decided on the action-thriller “The Island”. I sent the family inside for supplies while I purchased tickets. Make that while I attempted to purchase tickets: the theater doesn’t take credit cards. Aha! But they do have an ATM. So they avoid the 2% credit card fee and end up making $2 on the ATM withdrawals made by unprepared & unsuspecting moviegoers; what a racket!

The movie started at 4:25, we finally got into the theater at 4:30, missing most of the previews, but none of the movie. I nearly lost it going through the concession line, especially after my Father-in-law (who is arguably the best F.I.L. a guy could have) asked me 4 times if I wanted anything to drink. I snapped at Mrs Fishpimp when I felt she was walking too slow, and almost came completely unglued when no one could decide where to sit. Fortunately, I held it together and enjoyed a good, borderline-great, movie – the chase scene with the semi & the train axles was particularly excellent!

My one complaint is that the movie kept going on and on – there were two points where they could have wrapped it up nicely, but chose to keep going. This wouldn’t have been a problem had we not had a prior engagement: the flight home. Adding to the conundrum was the bottle of water my Father-in-law forced upon me and the opportunity to use the bathroom that I passed up in my haste t0 get seated – I really, really had to take a leak! As the clock tick-tocked ever closer to the time of our departure my on-time obsession started boosted my stress to a dangerous level. I nearly flipped out again when I found the men’s room line to be of Kingdome-esque proportions – fortunately, I maintained composure as I ran across the lobby to a less crowded facility.

We raced to the airport only to find our flight had been delayed; all my anxiety had been in vain, and the entire ordeal was washed away with a gin & tonic at P.F. Changs.

But in all sincerity: The Island is a movie worth seeing, it’s nearly as harrowing as my experience viewing it.

Thursday, August 04, 2005

Welcome, Brother

This is my brother-in-law, Kent. He makes the art. You can enjoy the art at Next time I see him I'm going to ask him if this ever happens to him:

Tuesday, August 02, 2005

My main man, the Punkin, is a smoker. I've been bugging him to quit for a while. He's also an Atkins devotee who has fallen off the wagon. In order to help motivate Punky I sent him this link:

Study links tobacco smoke with belly fat

I was just looking out for my man's health, because I care. But he obviously took it the wrong way:

From: Punky
Smart ass articles lead to man getting hit on bike.

Monday, August 01, 2005

Lynnwood Sucks

I hate Lynnwood. I didn’t like it much before I started cycling to work, and now I have far fewer reasons to enjoy it’s less-than-elysian environs. Fist of all, navigating it is as logical as French is phonetic (a subject for a future rant, stay tuned). Growing up in Seattle, I had one good friend who lived up on the Lynnwood/Bothell border; it was next to impossible to find – what’s wrong with planning a city on a grid?! Seriously, he lived on 8th place off of 8th street. The first time I drove myself there I got completely befuddled; I passed 8th ave, 8th place (missed the turn) 8th court, 8th circle, then 8th place a second time. What kind of crap is that? That’s 5 roads named 8th that intersect with a street by the same name. Who comes up with this stuff? Garbage!

More recently I have been experiencing Lynnwood’s lovely traffic experience. Dealing with Alderwood is crap, but, hey, it’s a mall, what do you expect? But negotiating the 196th St./44th Ave area is miserable; most of the roads are rutted out, those that aren’t are perpetually under construction, the lights don’t respond to the crosswalk buttons, and the drivers are the very definition of oblivious. Seriously, I’m taking my life in my hands every time I jump on the bike. At least my morning ride takes place before all the yayhoos have slept off their hangovers. But what is it about seeing a dude riding a bike that turns people into such complete jerks?

Does seeing someone actually exercising & keeping their weight under control send them into a furious rage? Is it the thought of someone breaking solidarity by lessening the nation’s dependence on foreign oil? Does the flashing of my L.E.D. taillight cause them to have a seizure? Perhaps my ass just that good looking in the bike shorts. I wish I knew.

Yesterday, some dude pulled up next to me in his 1990 300 Z and proceeded to rev up his engine. What does he expect me to say? “Yes, I am very impressed with your 16 year old sportscar sir, it’s much better than a camaro. I am astonished by the fact that all the fenders still match the hood, a real rarity in this neighborhood! If I were to race you on my bicycle you almost certainly would win. The spoils of your victory will be your choice of Alderwood’s finest women for your bride. You know what? Take two, they’re cheap!”

I get honked at almost every time I ride. Being from Seattle, where the auto horn was banned back in ’47, I find them especially startling, not to mention rude. Honestly, what does the citizen of Lynnwood accomplish by honking at cyclists? “Hey BillyJimBob! Watch this, I’m gonna honk at this biker, we gonna scare him real good! Hey! Biker! **HonkHoooooonk** Hooboy, we got him good!”

“Yeah Chet, you showed him! But he sure did have a nice ass!”

Yes I do, and my ass hates Lynnwood.