Dead Fish in a Box

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

My Photo
Location: United States

Friday, March 31, 2006


We just dropped the in-laws off at the airport. It’s always an adventure when they come to town. In the past 5 days together we: lay an underground electrical feed to our back yard shed, poured a cement floor inside, and wired it with outlets and lights, installed a garbage disposal, removed 4 trees from the back yard, removed nine 40 gallon bags worth of yard debris (mainly blackberries and ivy), built flower boxes for the deck, repaired 3 leaky faucets, replaced the laminate under the kitchen sink, framed and hung a dozen photos, chopped & stacked 4 cords of wood, drank 8 bottles of wine, and went to bed at 8:30 every night completely exhausted.

Thursday, March 30, 2006

Chuck Norris Facts

A coworker of mine sent me a 6 page list of facts about Chuck Norris. Here are some of the highlights:

  • Chuck Norris' tears cure cancer. Too bad he has never cried. Ever.

  • Chuck Norris does not sleep. He waits.

  • The chief export of Chuck Norris is pain.

  • Chuck Norris has counted to infinity. Twice.

  • In fine print on the last page of the Guinness Book of World Records it notes that all world records are held by Chuck Norris, and those listed in the book are simply the closest anyone else has ever gotten.

  • There is no chin behind Chuck Norris' beard. There is only another fist.

  • Chuck Norris once roundhouse kicked someone so hard that his foot broke the speed of light, went back in time, and killed Amelia Earhart while she was flying over the Pacific Ocean.

  • The Great Wall of China was originally created to keep Chuck Norris out. It failed miserably.

  • Chuck Norris sold his soul to the devil for his rugged good looks and unparalleled martial arts ability. Shortly after the transaction was finalized, Chuck roundhouse-kicked the devil in the face and took his soul back. The devil, who appreciates irony, couldn't stay mad and admitted he should have seen it coming. They now play poker every second Wednesday of the month.

  • Chuck Norris is the only man to ever defeat a brick wall in a game of tennis.

  • When Chuck Norris sends in his taxes, he sends blank forms and includes only a picture of himself, crouched and ready to attack. Chuck Norris has not had to pay taxes ever.

  • The quickest way to a man's heart is with Chuck Norris' fist.

  • Chuck Norris originally appeared in the "Street Fighter II" video game, but was removed by Beta Testers because every button caused him to do a roundhouse kick. When asked bout this "glitch," Norris replied, "That's no glitch."

  • Chuck Norris is the only human being to display the Heisenberg uncertainty principle -- you can never know both exactly where and how quickly he will roundhouse-kick you in the face.

  • Chuck Norris can drink an entire gallon of milk in forty-seven seconds.

  • Chuck Norris CAN believe it's not butter.

  • Chuck Norris doesnt shave; he kicks himself in the face. The only thing that can cut Chuck Norris is Chuck Norris.

  • Chuck Norris has the greatest Poker-Face of all time. He won the 1983 World Series of Poker, despite holding only a Joker, a Get out of Jail Free Monopoloy card, a 2 of clubs, 7 of spades and a green #4 card from the game UNO.

  • In the beginning there was nothing...then Chuck Norris Roundhouse kicked that nothing in the face and said "Get a job". That is the story of the universe.

  • Chuck Norris played Russian Roulette with a fully loaded gun and won.

  • A Chuck Norris-delivered Roundhouse Kick is the preferred method of execution in 16 states.

  • Chuck Norris is the reason why Waldo is hiding.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Anyone for an iron?

A buddy of mine posted this on Craigslist. I 've got a lot to write about, but no time, so this will have to do:

Steam iron for pressing stuff, if you like to iron

Reply to:
Date: 2006-03-27, 9:16PM

How many convicted felons can boast that they have their name on a household iron? This baby is a Martha Stewart Everyday Living Iron. It has heat settings from cool to hot, but no frigid setting like Martha herself. It works great, but somehow my wife and I discovered we have two, and neither of us irons anything.

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Train Kept A'rollin'

Tuesday evening the Fishpimps enjoyed the concert by Train at McCaw Hall in Seattle. I went mainly because a) my wife wanted to go, and b) I haven't seen many concerts in recent years. I really liked Train's first album, but have been less enamored with their subsequent releases. But I'll tell you what, they sure put on a great show!

Coming of age in Seattle in the early '90s going to concerts was our primary pastime. I've seen a lot of great acts in the past 15 years, but this show shot up right into my top 5 all-time favorite performances. They did everything I expect in a great show: played through sound issues to deliver a diverse, entertaining, and powerful set; didn't rush through older hits like 'Meet Virginia' and 'Free'; played more than 90 minutes and less than 3 hours; inserted a cover or two ('Ramble On' and 'Going to California' by Zepplin'); and put an explanation point on the end of the set.

They threw in a couple extras as well. Mid-show they dropped the curtain, walked out front and played a 4-song acoustic mini-set. Every musician had a chance to solo – great drum solo ending with a quick homage to Jon Bonham, and a great keyboard solo to open and close ‘Train’ from their first album. The Encore was great and crescendoed with an amazing cover or Aerosmith’s ‘Dream On’ – powerful & passionate, and punctuated with confetti rockets shot out over the crowd.

These guys have all the power of the mega-bands like those they covered, but keep it under wraps with syrupy stuff like ‘Drops of Jupiter’ and ‘Calling All Angels’. They remind me of Mother Love Bone: a hard-rocking band fronted by an attention-hungry pop-star. Patrick Monahan is a more polished (and hopefully heroin-free) version of Andy Wood. Regardless, they are top-notch performers, and certainly worth the price of admission.

All of this got me thinking about the shows I’ve seen over the years. So here is my top 10 list:

10: Sweet Water, Seattle University, Summer 1994. Pre-release show for the ‘Superfriends’ album. Small crowd, very intimate, very tight set from a Seattle band that never quite made it. We bootlegged the show; I still listen to the tape from time to time.

9: Cake. Paramount Theater, Seattle. November, 2002. All I wanted to hear them play was 'I Will Survive' and 'Jolene'. They didn't play either…until the 2 song encore, when they played both. They break it down on 'Jolene' and get the crowd singing the background vocals, bring it back together to seal a very solid set.

8: Tool/Candlebox. Kitsap Bowl, Silverdale, WA, summer 1994. Tool’s Maynard was freakyscary, Candlebox played the most passionate performance of a song I’ve ever seen on ‘Left Behind’ – rain pouring onto the stage, lights playing on the steam rising up from the mosh pit. I still get chills thinking about it 12 years later.

7: Diamond Star Halo, Sweet Water, Screaming Trees. Moore Theater, Seattle, Summer 1996. DSH only put out one album, and never toured, but rocked hard. Sweet Water and the Trees are two of my favorite bands from the Seattle scene. We traded out back row tix with a scalper for row 3 seats. The guitarist (at 6’3”, 300 fell over backwards during a solo and the roadies had to prop him back up a la Spinal Tap. He didn’t miss a lick.

6: Sam Roberts Band/ The Tragically Hip. Showbox, Seattle, October, 2005. Sam Roberts turned it up to 11, they’re now one of my favorite bands. The Hip were their normal selves.

5: Pearl Jam, Moore Theater, Seattle, Spring 1993. Only my second concert ever, my first mosh pit where I learned the hard way not to wear glasses while moshing. I made the 'Even Flow' video.

4: Train, McCaw Hall, Seattle, March 2006. See Above.

3: U2: Tacoma Dome, Tacoma, Summer 2004. Big band with a big sound put on a big show. 'Ground Beneath Her Feat' was absolutely haunting!

2: The Tragically Hip, Thunderbird Stadium, Vancouver, BC. Another Roadside Attraction, summer 1995. After being hit with a shoe Gordy (Lead Vocals) admonished the crowd telling a mock story: "Did you lose your eye in the Great War, Grandpa? No! Some F*cker hit me with a shoe!".

1: Urge Overkill: Paramount Theater, Seattle, Spring 2005. Extremely tight set, all dressed in various black clothes with black tank tops that spelled URGE. Switched instruments between songs.

There you have it! Rock on.

Saturday, March 18, 2006

From the Desk of Mrs. Fishpimp

This is from an e-mail she sent me on Friday:

"We had a vendor (I
m not going to say who because I feel bad for this poor guy) who Toe [our Blue Heeler dog] was trying to engage in a game of fetch, as usual. The guy asked me his name, and I said, Tolkien, like the author. He folded his hands in this prayer-like motion and said, Thats great. Im a total geek, I write dwarf. Dont get me started.

Not a chance Ill get him started. Not a chance."

Windows Update 3.1

I spent St. Patrick’s Day in T-town with some friends from college. After a few Irish Carbombs and a fat Partega stogie I crashed down there. While we were breakfasting at the Hob Nob the “Sales Manager” from Statewide called back. I think Mrs. Fishpimp did a good job handling the call. Here’s how she tells me it went down:

‘So Jared (the kid) tells me the reason you’re not buying our windows is because of the price.’

Wellactually, part of it was price, but it was also your sales tactics. Calling my husband stubborn was uncalled for an unprofessional.

‘Oh, well, they were from the residential sales department, I’m from the commercial department. So I don’t know what they said, but I can offer you more competitive pricing.’

I don’t care what department you’re from, you’re all Statewide windows, and now I want to know if you’re calling me offering me lower pricing why didn’t you just offer it to us three weeks ago instead of wasting an evening of our lives?

‘Like I said, I work in a different department, and I’d like to come out and show you what we can offer you.’

And waste another 3 hours? No thank you. We are not going to buy windows from your company, regardless of what department you’re in. Goodbye.

‘But…’ *click*

I would have led him on a little longer before I dropped the hammer, but I think she represented well.

On a separate note: Guinness out of the bottle makes an awful carbomb, the carbonation creates an umpleasant experience, it was reminiscent of when they made us pound a bottle of Andre Brut in the frat. I say get the draught cans for your home I.E.B’s (improvised explosive beverages)

Sunday, March 12, 2006

A Blast From the Past

I ran the St. Patrick’s Day Dash with 12,500 of my closest friends today. I like the dash because it’s short (5Kish), there’s a beer garden, and I always run into someone I know. This year was no different: among others I encountered Tom Pritchard, a guy I worked with nearly 10 years ago in Denali Park, Alaska. Ironically, my running partner, whom I’ve only known for a scant few months, also worked with Tom at Southwestern Books, selling encyclopedias, so we chatted a while.

Tom is quite a character – one might describe him as a Northwest version of Jeff Spicoli. We asked him if he had run the race. He hadn’t. He was riding his bike to the Longshoreman’s hall looking for work when he saw the beer garden and abandoned his quest for employment.

I found this particularly entertaining since his nickname in Denali was “10-speed Tom, the Titan of the Tundra”. He bought two ghetto-ass 10 speeds of some kid in Healy for $15. He and his buddy rode them around town for the summer looking like complete fools. But who am I to judge, he had a great summer. At one point someone threw a costume party and he made a helmet out of tundra, stuffed leaves and branches in his shirt and pants and went as his nickname.

Anyway, since leaving Alaska here are some of the things 10-Speed Tom has been up to:

  • Bartended at Steven’s Pass
  • Spent an entire year frying on acid
  • Traveled Europe, Northern Africa, Central America, Australia, and New Zealand.
  • Pedaled a bike-taxi in Daytona for spring break three years in a row
  • Bit a guy’s ear off in a bar fight.
  • Did 2 months in jail for the bar fight.
  • Ran a ceramic molding business
  • Worked construction in Florida rebuilding hurricane damaged buildings
  • Fathered a child in Ireland
  • Developed some interesting and insightful views on Socialism and American Society
  • Had his passport revoked by the State Department

And the whole time he’s telling me about all these escapades, the one I find hardest to believe is that he went door to door selling encyclopedias!

A Statement of the Obvious

Craig's List rocks. I may have set a new record yesterday. I put a desk up for sale yesterday at 8:45 AM and got a call at 8:49. Sold. Cash. Word. It was out of my garage 90 minutes after I posted it. Makes me wonder what else around here I could sell.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Windows Update 2.0

The mysterious sales manager never called back. She must have found a sufficient amount of victims to not have to mess with us again. The ironic thing is that the number one complaint about sales people is that they don’t follow up on their commitments – like calling back when she said she would. Ha!

I might call the kid and let him know what a disservice they’re doing for his career. Then again, I might not, and just get on with my life.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

Value Added?

While perusing the kitchen store at the Burlington Premium Outlet Mall I remarked to no one in particular "Wow, look at all this stuff I never knew I needed!" A very helpful clerk quickly pointed me to this device:

Apparently, it's a fork with a built-in pizza-cutter. To me it looks like a bad idea with a built-in law suit- especially if you have a large nose or prominent chin. Seriously, folks, who needs this much convenience?

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Windows Update

We had the sales guy from Procraft come by last night. They did all the windows and doors at our first place and we were very pleased with them. In fact, the only reason we're talking to other companies is to keep them honest. The bid came in at less than half than the nightmare company (Statewide Windows, in case you're wondering). Then he confirmed my suspicions about the turkeys who visited us last week. He brought out the local consumer guide which showed Statewide having very low satisfaction scores, and told us that his company had hired 3 sales people away from them, and that they all had to be reprogrammed. Apparently, the company trains it's salespeople to camp out in the prospect's kitchen until they either give up and sign or throw them out on their ear.

The Statewide sales manager is going to call me back tonight to follow up. I can't wait, I'm going to light her up.