Dead Fish in a Box

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

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Location: United States

Sunday, October 30, 2005

It's a Small World After All

Friday night I went to a charity auction benefiting W.E.I. – a group that empowers women in third world countries like Bolivia and Kenya. It’s a pretty interesting model; they’re big on fiscal responsibility. In these places women spend hours a day just fetching water, leaving very little time to tend crops, raise cattle, or work on any other means of raising money. They teach the women to stash a few coins away here and there, then, periodically, they will pool their cash and buy a huge plastic cistern that is subsidized by W.E.I.. The free time they now can use to raise money and send their kids to school. They also are into micro-loans to women’s cooperatives to help get them off the ground. As far as Non-government Organizations (NGO’s) it seems to be a good one. Mrs. Fishpimp, the Peace Corps veteran, who is very critical of development groups, seemed ok with this one.

The really interesting part was that I kept running into people I hadn’t seen in years. First I saw a woman I went to high school with. I never see anyone from high school, which is weird in itself, because the school is right in the middle of town, one would think I’d see more folk, but I don’t. Then we ran into a woman Mrs. F.P. served with in “The Corps”, and her girlfriend – which was also weird, since last time we saw her she was chasing boys not girls. While queued up for the buffet we met a friend from college. Seconds later we bumped into the former Miss Washington who is engaged to an acquaintance of mine; she’s an amazing woman (as most Miss America candidates are), and I was pleased to see we were seated at the same table. When we arrived at the table we found seated there a woman that I met 12 years ago while building houses in Tijuana with the old youth group. On top of all that, my old youth pastor was the evening’s M.C.!

The most ironic thing about seeing all these people is that this was Mrs. Fishpimp’s event! She was the one invited, not me, and I didn’t even want to go! HA!

In other news: While packing up the house we emptied all the change jars into a box and took them to our local CoinStar machine. It turns out we were sitting on $138 and change. Mrs. F.P. asked what we should to with this unexpected windfall, I told her to buy me something cool for my upcoming birthday.

Friday, October 28, 2005

This Just In

Here's the latest Simonism, hot off the press:

When you walk into a room full of horsesh*t you have to believe there’s a pony in there somewhere. If you don’t you’re in the wrong business.


Check it out, yo:

Fishpimp Estate for rent

And just for fun, here are a couple classic Simonisms to get your weekend started right:

  • You’ve got to screw your friends because your enemies don’t come around.
  • If you don’t go home with a knot in your stomach, you’re not doing the job right.
  • This place is like the Navy – every rule exists because something got f***edup.
  • You can’t always do what’s right, sometimes you have to do what you can get away with!
  • I’ve never seen that world peace depends on manila clams, but this is a sensitive issue.
  • “No one wants egg on their face, but we’re going to peel back the onion and find out where the egg is!”
  • I can’t invent City Hall! (can’t fight city hall, don’t reinvent the wheel)
  • By hook, by crook, or whatever, this is the goddamn fish buisness!!!

Friday, October 21, 2005

Garage Sale

Once or twice a year they clean out the freezer here. It's a 20,000 square foot room, and I'm always surprised what they find in there. They put it all out on a couple of palates for us to rummage through - it's just like the REI garage sale, only more delicious. Last year I got a whole beef tenderloin, 25 Lbs of king salmon fillet, 8 racks of lamb, and a whole duck for $6. This year wasn't quite as exciting, but I did score a whole prime rib, 20 lbs of chicken breasts, and a bunch of swordfish steaks for about $10. I'm excited about the beef - the timing couldn't be better.

We'll be moving in 4 weeks and I'm going to use it to bribe some friends to help with the heavy lifting. We grilled top sirloins last time, which brought enough people out of the woodwork to get the entire move done in about two and a half hours. We've got a little more stuff this time around, so we needed to up the ante. We also have some extra motivation - if we finish quick enough we can enjoy our prime rib while watching the Apple Cup! So if any of you want free delicious meat, aren't going to the game, and don't mind putting in an hour or two of work, drop me a line and I'll give you the deets - we sure could use the help.

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Store Wars

My boss forwarded this link to me a few months back. I finally got around to watching it today. It is a moderatly entertaining Star Wars parody.

Monday, October 17, 2005

King of Kings

A few weeks ago we made some changes around here. It used to be each of the salespeople had to work a Saturday morning 4 times a year. We got rid of that shift to the delight of many and disgust of a few. Now, instead of a Saturday morning, 4 times a year we are working a Monday night, inputting orders from the voicemail. I'm working tonight. There is no T.V. and radio reception is crap, so I'm reduced to tracking Monday Night Football on the internet. It looks like a great game, especially now that Indy is on a 31-3 rally. To kill the boredom I went digging through my phish photos for something "blog-worthy" and came up with these:

It's the nicest King crab you will ever see. Here's your seafood lesson for the day: King Crab is graded by the number of legs per ten pounds (which is kind of confusing since they're always sold in 20 Lb. cases!) Your normal run-of-the-mill buffet king crab is usually a 20/up count - which works out to be less than 8 oz per leg, less than 1/2 of which is actually meat. A fine dining establishment will often run a 14/17 or a 16/20. If it's a really nice place you might get a 9/12 count. These big fatties are a 4-8 count! Remember that's 4 to 8 legs per 10 pounds - meaning they're averaging nearly 2 Lbs per piece! Some legs are near 3 inches in diameter! They look more like an early-Germanic war club than fine Seafood. And here's what the fishnerds and frou-frou chefs will be all twittering about: no barnacles - they're completely clean.

Anybody with a spare $300 want a box?

The Fishpimp Strikes Back

I’ve got Montezuma under control now, and I learned a valuable lesson in the process: don't trust my wife's medical advise; just because her father is a doctor doesn't mean that she is. When everything started getting "loose" on Friday I sought her counsel. She's Peace Corps vet, ought to know about this sort of thing - heck, the volunteer newsletter in her country was called "The Salmonass" a thinly veiled reference to the gastro-intestinal acclimatization most volunteers go through upon arrival. She told me not to take Imodium, rather to let the bug run it’s course – let my body expel the baddies by itself. So after 48 hours of dehydration & attempted rehydration I finally asked Dr. Father-in-law for his medical opinion.

“Well, first of all try some Imodium…”


Everything is all shored up now – stuff works like a charm. I’m tempted to be upset with her, but the upside of being sick all weekend was that I got to watch about four times as much football as usual. It also got me out of having to start packing up the house for our upcoming move. So I’ve got that going for me, which is nice.

I suppose the real question is: what is the Peace Corps teaching their staffs about these types of infections? Gotta love government medicine.

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Fishpimp seeking medical advise

Have any of you who travel abroad ever experienced this "Montezuma's Revenge" business? I've been back from Mexico for a week but last night something happened, and now, when it comes to my gut, in the words of Bill S. Preston, Esquire: Strange things are afoot at the Circle-K.

Thursday, October 13, 2005

El Nova

I'm sure you all have heard the one about the Chevrolet and it's failure to market the Nova model in Mexico. It goes like this: Chevy couldn't sell the Nova in Spanish speaking countries because in Spanish "Nova" is interpreted as "no va". Translated into English it means "it doesn't go" Well, they sold at least one, but it appears the name was all too accurate:

Tuesday, October 11, 2005


One of my favorite things in life is the comedy of Roy D. Mercer. He's the Oklahoma answer to the Jerky Boys. He's got one bit where he calls Goldberg the wrestler. He claims Goldberg signed his son's forehead with a permanent marker which has caused him to go blind and lose his job at the Big Boy. Because of that he demands money from Goldberg or else he's gonna whoop his a**. Goldberg, perdictably, get's rather indignant: "Yeah? You and what army?" My man R.D. answers him "It ain't nothing for me to whoop a man's a**. It don't matter that yer one of them wrasslers; I know that ain't real, 'cept down in Mexico."

I think Roy was right - these posters were everywhere down there.

Monday, October 10, 2005


We got long on some product last week and Simon offered this to who ever sold the most that day: It's a 67.2 oz Porterhouse steak. That's a 4.2 pound steak! The Norwegian won it. It's fitting - he's the kind of guy who could eat an entire horse and not gain an ounce. We think he's got a tapeworm. If he does it's going to be one happy tapeworm!!!


I heard today that while I was gone Simon had some dental work done. He had a rotten tooth and they had to take out a lot of material to get everything cleaned up in his mouth. Then the dentist wired his jaw shut to make sure the wound healed appropriately. The sales guys must have got him pretty riled up because he broke through the wiring not once, but twice while yelling at the staff.

After hearing that I am really glad I was on vacation last week!

Sunday, October 09, 2005

The Fishpimp Mixteco's it up in Oaxaca

Hola Amigos, I know it's been a long time since I rapped at ya', but I've been packing on the pounds in the valley of the Mextecs & Zapotecs. Instead of writing up the entire trip in one big slug, I think I'm going to throw together a few vignettes as I go through the week.

The first thing you need to know is that the weather was crap nearly all week. Hurricane Stan hit around Veracruz the day we got there. Now, Oaxaca is surrounded by 10,000' mountains, but even they couldn't stop all the moisture from moving inland. We weren't prepared for Seattle-in-November type weather, but we did the best we could with the ponchos & umbrellas our hotels provided.

We had planned to do some hiking in the high pine forests of the Sierra Norte mountains, but after the first walk in the morning we decided to bag the rest. We spent the rest of day in the tiny town of Llano Grande. It's not much of a town - only 150 or so very hearty souls, so the only activity our guide could come up with was an impromptu cooking class in the local roadhouse - I'll write more on that later. Llano Grande is at around 10,300', and is purported to have excellent views of the Oaxacan valley. But this is all we got:

By contrast, here is a shot from Teotitlan from later in the week. It's a good 4,000' lower in the same range

Nice view, eh?

We were able to enjoy ourselves none-the-less. The town of Oaxaca was deserted - no one in the plazas, no street vendors selling tacos and enfrijoladas, even the pan-handlers stayed inside. We checked out some great markets that are under cover as well as the 400 year old Santo Domingo mission & museum, as well as two more cooking classes. We also did some Mescal tastings - an excellent thing to do anytime; even the worst weather becomes inconsequential if one tastes enough of this wonderful liquor. I'll write more on that later also - just know this - mescal has come a long way - no worms in any bottles we drank from.

The bottom line is that when one travels thousands of miles to celebrate their 5th wedding anniversary, a little thing like the weather should not get in the way.

Tuesday, October 04, 2005

Vacation II

Ok, so we're not in Costa Rica, we're in Oaxaca (wa-HA-ka) Mexico, the home of Mole and Mescal. It is normally very sunny & warm here but they got this hurricane on right now and it's raining harder here than it was in Seattle! At least we got to do some mescal tasting today. Tomorrow we're taking a cooking class - Bueno! I've got lots of photos of our rain-soaked activities to post when we return. Until then, Buenos Tardes, amigos!!!

Johnnie Fishpimp.