Anne (netmouse) wrote,

weekend happenings...

Let's see... The Saturday night dinner was fun and the Stilyagi meeting went pretty well. It had a very up ending as we called Chuck Firment on Brendan's cell phone and invited him to be the 2006 ConFusion Fan GoH on the spot. He accepted and it was fun to have put the topper on a good day for him.

I am pleased to say I have initial invitations out to three other nominees and Roxanne has agreed to do the other invitation. I'm actually on top of something! It's a good feeling. (too much smoffing does eventually make smoffing easier -- I had the email addresses for two of the nominees already...)

I also got to see Chuck on Sunday along with many of the other concom members. He was glowing- it was nice. I think it would have beeen a better concom meeting if I had had a real breakfast and/or lunch, but we limped along despite my low blood sugar and afterwards Chuck and I went to Depot Town for a sandwich. That made me late for the SFOHA board meeting but I had called ahead and no one seemed to mind. They all seemed more worried about my shoulder, which I was visibly favoring.

With their urging, I called my surgeon today and have an appointment to see him next monday morning. I haven't lost any mobility but then I didn't lose any when I initially hurt it, so that might not be a very good indicator for me.

After the SFOHA meeting, I went home and worked on finishing a couple of Top Michigan Women in Computing Bios for the AWC Gala program. I've got all but one done so I'm almost on top of that. In the meantime, Bill vaccuumed the house. It's much nicer now. We tried going to the Village Theatre for a movie but it turned out their website was wrong and the movie we were interested in wasn't actually showing. We went back home and Bill worked on getting the sewing machine working while I went downstairs to feed the oscars dinner.

That involved cutting up some goldfish that were too big to just drop in the tank. I have some observations about that, but I'll hide them behind a cut for the sake of the squeamish...

Bill didn't want to cut up anything that felt like a pet. I've long held that one ought to be able to dispatch anything you would eat yourself or feed a pet, and figured it wouldn't bother me too much.

so, I had this theory that chopping up fish was logically something you do with a cleaver and a cutting board, where you chop the fish's head off with a single blow. We don't use our cleaver very often, so it wasn't very sharp. I sharpened it a bit.
The fish were relatively small, three goldfish, each four or five inches long. I caught the first one from the bucket in a net and held him out of the water until he stopped thrashing so much. I laid him in the net on the cutting board, got hold of his tail through the net and moved the rest of the net out of the way. The fish seemed relatively calm, as I explained that he was going to be food anyway and this would hopefully be a much faster, more painless death. I swung the cleaver.. and only cut slightly through the fish's shoulder. The fish didn't really respond, other than to look at me. I apologized. The cleaver turned out to only be really sharp in the top two inches of the blade. I swung the knife again, harder, and got the desired result- fish instantly dead, head chopped off.
I hadn't really been prepared for the blood. I've seen films of bears eating fresh fish of course, and such, but I've never gone fishing, never cleaned a fresh fish. We think of fish as white meat - the opposite of red, bleeding, heavy flesh, and the fish fillets and steaks you get in the store have no sign of blood about them. So I realized I was surprised to have red red blood splatter on my hand.
I cut up the fish and fed it to the bigger fish in the tank, then caught the second goldfish out of the bucket. This time I knew which part of the knife was sharp and how hard to swing. I successfully chopped the head off in one motion on the first try. However, I cut a little too far back in the fish, so although the head was severed from the body, it wasn't instantly dead. The fish tried to breath and looked at me a bit reproachfully while it suffocated to death, I'm sorry to say. While I felt sorry for the fish I did feel a sort of fascination, watching this severed head continue to move its mouth and gills.

I decided the third fish was small enough for the oscars to catch and eat it so I just threw it in the tank. The oscars all had their mouths full at that point, and completely ignored him, so he got a reprieve.

It was an interesting experience that all in all firmed up my conviction that people who eat animal flesh ought to have the experience of killing an animal and therefore a deeper appreciation of what their diet involves. One ought to be thankful for the life that goes to feed you, and willing to look that animal in the face and say so.

If I ever do this again, though, I will make sure the knife is very sharp.
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