Fighting Fish

Inside the bowl, the two goldfish are making a Pisces sign, head-to-tail
and very still. Penelope sits and peers into their world. There is a little
sunken galleon, a china diver in a diving suit, pretty stones and shells she
and her sisters have brought back from the sea.

—-Thomas Pynchon, Gravity’s Rainbow

 

Bishop Arts District, Dallas, Texas

Like White Bread To Goldfish

“but nothing I ever gave was good for you;
it was like white bread to goldfish.
they cram and cram, and it kills them,
and they drift in the pool, belly-up,
making stunned faces
and playing on our guilt
as if their own toxic gluttony
was not their own fault

there you are, still outside the window,
still with your hands out, still
pallid and fish-eyed, still acting
stupidly innocent and starved.”
― Margaret Atwood, Morning in the Burned House

Goldfish Pond, Dallas Arboretum

All Things Were Older Than Man

“Once there were brook trout in the streams in the mountains. You could see them standing in the amber current where the white edges of their fins wimpled softly in the flow. They smelled of moss in your hand. Polished and muscular and torsional. On their backs were vermiculate patterns that were maps of the world in its becoming. Maps and mazes. Of a thing which could not be put back. Not be made right again. In the deep glens where they lived all things were older than man and they hummed of mystery.”
― Cormac McCarthy, The Road

Design District Dallas, Texas

Design District
Dallas, Texas

The Headlines Screamed, Baithouse Disappears

Joe Barrington, American (Texas), The Headlines Screamed, Baithouse Disappears, 2000
Frisco, Texas

If you are curious, it’s Right Here.

Here is Another one by Joe Barrington

“How do men act on a sinking ship? Do they hold each other? Do they pass around the whisky? Do they cry?”
― Sebastian Junger, The Perfect Storm: A True Story of Men Against the Sea

The Headlines Screamed, Baithouse Disappears

The Headlines Screamed, Baithouse Disappears

“He remembered the time he had hooked one of a pair of marlin. The male fish always let the female fish feed first and the hooked fish, the female, made a wild, panic-stricken, despairing fight that soon exhausted her, and all the time the male had stayed with her, crossing the line and circling with her on the surface. He had stayed so close that the old man was afraid he would cut the line with his tail which was sharp as a scythe and almost of that size and shape. When the old man had gaffed her and clubbed her, holding the rapier bill with its sandpaper edge and clubbing her across the top of her head until her colour turned to a colour almost like the backing of mirrors, and then, with the boy’s aid, hoisted her aboard, the male fish had stayed by the side of the boat. Then, while the old man was clearing the lines and preparing the harpoon, the male fish jumped high into the air beside the boat to see where the female was and then went down deep, his lavender wings, that were his pectoral fins, spread wide and all his wide lavender stripes showing. He was beautiful, the old man remembered, and he had stayed.”
― Ernest Hemingway, The Old Man and the Sea

baithouse2

“…as the wind howled on, and the sea leaped, and the ship groaned and dived, and yet steadfastedly shot her red hell further and further into the blackness of the sea and the night, and scornfully champed the white bone in her mouth, and viciously spat round her on all sides; then the rushing Pequod, freighted with savages, and laden with fire, and burning a corpse, and plunging into that blackness of darkness seemed the material counterpart of her monomaniac commander’s soul.”
― Herman Melville, Moby-Dick

baithouse3

“You see? I know where every single book used to be in the library.’ She pointed to the shelf opposite. ‘Over there was Catch-22, which was a hugely popular fishing book and one of a series, I believe.”
― Jasper Fforde, Shades of Grey

baithouse4

“I must be in love with this woman, Sumire realized with a start. No
mistake about it. Ice is cold; roses are red; I’m in love. And this
love is about to carry me off somewhere. This current’s too
overpowering; I don’t have any choice. It may very well be a special
place, some place I’ve never seen before. Danger may be lurking
there, something that may end up wounding me deeply, fatally. I might
end up losing everything. But there’s no turning back. I can only go
with the flow. Even if it means I’ll be burned up, gone forever.”
― Haruki Murakami, Sputnik Sweetheart

baithouse5

“There’s nothing in the sea this fish would fear. Other fish run from bigger things. That’s their instinct. But this fish doesn’t run from anything. He doesn’t fear.”
― Peter Benchley, Jaws

Fish Fry

Last week I cooked up a bunch of Kingfish that Nick brought back from a deep-sea fishing trip off Galveston. I had no idea on how to cook Kingfish, so I cut some into steaks and grilled them and fried the rest up Cajun-Style, dredged in spicy cornmeal. The steaks weren’t great, but the fried stuff was fantastic.

Kingfish

Nick and a Kingfish caught in the Gulf of Mexico

This week is the kids’ softball team’s last game so I fried up another frozen batch of the Kingfish. Since there were so many hungry kids coming by I needed to stretch the fish as far as I could, so I decided to make hush puppies and fritters to go along with the fish, and to make po-boy sandwiches to serve up the fried Kingfish, if anyone wanted one.

Frozen Kingfish

One of the packages of frozen kingfish Nick brought back. This is a big mess of fish.

Skinning the fish

The Kingfish has a tough skin. Cleaning it and cutting it into fry-sized pieces is a job. It takes a couple sharp knives and patience.

Frying

I like to use a cast-iron Dutch Oven on the stove for frying. It takes a while, but gives good control over the frying temperature. The fish is dredged in seasoned cornmeal and fried.

Plate

Last week we ran out of fish so I made a bunch of cornmeal hushpuppies, corn fritters, and served fish po-boy sandwiches.

I cooked up a big mess of fish and a big pile of hush puppies. We had plenty of leftovers… y’all should have come over to eat.

What I learned this Week, July 15, 2011

While I don’t share her enthusiasm for a certain morning cable talk show (though I did enjoy this bit of hilarity very much) I really like Peggy‘s Friday blog entries – Things I Learned This Week. Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery. I have no problem in blatantly ripping off her idea.

The Wave that Washes us all

The Wave that Washes us all

What I learned this week:

Procrastination caused by fear… I thought I was done with that, but I’m not. I still must say to myself:

I must not fear.
Fear is the mind-killer.
Fear is the little-death that brings total obliteration.
I will face my fear.
I will permit it to pass over me and through me.
And when it has gone past I will turn the inner eye to see its path.
Where the fear has gone there will be nothing.
Only I will remain
— Dune

Markus Zusak saidFailure has been my best friend as a writer. It tests you, to see if you have what it takes to see it through.


With proper hydration, the most brutal heat can be dealt with.


Too much habanera sauce – while not a good thing in all respects – will clear out your sinuses very quickly.


From a Blog Entry – Global Weirding Coming At Us All, by Walter Russell Mead (read the whole thing)

Except for some entrepreneurs, mavericks and renegades, our technocratic elites are mostly a bunch of rule followers and incrementalists.  They got where they are by scoring well on tests, manipulating the platitudes of conventional wisdom a little better than the next guy and by pleasing their supervisors.

This is almost exactly the wrong way to raise leaders for tumultuous times. …  We are producing legions of promotion-hungry bureaucrats and narrow specialists with no knowledge of or interest in the tumult and chaos that inevitably rises up in times like ours.  We then place them in large, bureaucratically run institutions and expect them to deal creatively with the unexpected, the revolutionary and the totally new.

I can not say it better.


Kingfish is better fried than grilled.

Wankelfish

Wankelfish