A Swim with the Fishes

“Oceanic, that’s it.”

“What are you talking about?”

“My wife asked me about the full name of the seafood place over in East Hartford – it’s Mickey’s Oceanic.”

“I don’t like it when you guys come in here talking about other restaurants.”

“Don’t mind my young friend, Cheryl, he’s having a senior moment. Besides, Mickey’s doesn’t have a liquor license.”

“Well we do, but you guys aren’t taking advantage of it.”

“I’ll have a glass of red wine, Cheryl.”

“Yo, Dan. Yuengling? Brooklyn, Corona?”

“Just a sec’ Cheryl, I have to text my wife.”

“OooKay – Brooklyn, it is.”

“So, how come you didn’t mention the Woodworking Show last week?”

“I hadn’t gone yet, we actually didn’t go until Sunday.”

“Oh, so that’s why I had to find out about it by reading your blog.”

“Here’s your beer, and here’s your wine.”

“What about…”

“…your seltzer and a glass of ice? I’m still counting only two hands here.”

“I’m Sorry, Cheryl. Anyway, I was expecting to see more about your woodworking projects in that post.”

“Yeah, I rushed that post a bit. We had a busy day and I was heading up to Boston on Monday.”

“Ah, Boston, so that’s why your mind is on seafood.”

“I did have some remarkable seafood at the bar in the hotel.”

“What? I told you, I don’t like it when you guys talk about other restaurants and especially other bars.”

“Not to worry Cheryl. The food was good, but the bartenders were awful.”

“Tell me more.”

“Well, there are a couple bartenders on duty, but they spend a lot of time talking to each other.”

“That’s terrible.”

“Now hold on you two. It’s a hotel, it’s not like they have regulars.”

“I’ve been there at least a dozen times in the past three years.”

“That’s regular enough to remember. I have customers that visit here a few times a year, I remember them.”

“You’re different, Cheryl. You’re the best.”

“Well thank you. And here all this time I thought you were the grumpy one.”

“I am, but I recognize quality. Still, I’m not so sure you should be picking on those guys.”

I’m out of beer

“How about this? This happened twice.”

“What’s that? You’re drinking Corona? You had two Coronas. What am I looking at?”

“An empty glass. Twice, they left me staring at an empty glass.”

“That’s unacceptable, I never do that. Are you ready for another?”

“You are the best, Cheryl. I am ready for another.”

“OK, bad bartenders, I’ll give you that. What’s this great seafood?”

“I had the best fish tacos I’ve ever had.”

“Oooh, I’ve been trying to get them to put those on the menu here. What were they like?”

“I’m not sure what kind of fish, but they were sitting on a bed of crunchy Cole slaw, with Pico on the side.”

“That does sound good.”

“That sounds yummy. And we make a pretty nice Cole Slaw here. I have to mention that.”

“It gets better. The next day, I had a Lobster P.L.T. for lunch.”

“P.L.T. Gracie?”

“Pancetta, Lobster and Tomato, on a grilled hard roll.”

“OK, OK, enough talk about the good food, tell me again how bad those bartenders were.”

“Ha, ha. Don’t worry Cheryl. The place is over a hundred miles away.”

“Cheryl, all this babbling about food by my young friend is making me hungry. How about an order of twenty wings.”

“Consider it done!”

“Now, tell me about what’s going on in your shop.”

“Well, I am trying to finish a candy dish.”

“Another bowl, turned on your lathe?”

“No, this one is carved.”

“I didn’t know you liked carving.”

“I don’t. That’s why it’s been in-progress for over a year.”

“Anything else?”

“I’m getting ready to start on a new coffee table for my office.”

“What happened to the old one?”

“I gave it away.”

“You gave it away? I loved that table.”

“I know. A lot of people did, but a friend who was retiring seemed to like it more than all of you, so I gave it to him.”

“Rats. I mean, I guess that’s fair. So, what does the new one look like?”

“It’s a Mulberry slab, and it will have heavy steel legs.”

“Mulberry? I don’t even know what that looks like.”

“It has a golden hue when finished.”

“Sounds interesting. I guess I’ll have to wait to see the finished product.”

“I have to wait for it to get warmer.”

“OK, but I’m calling dibs if you give it away…I mean, if I like it.”


“Wings are in, here’s your beer. Are you going to want another glass of wine?”

“I am. And when you bring out the wings, can I have Ranch dressing instead of the Blue Cheese.”

“Sure. Dan, you still want Parm Pep, right?”

“Yes. No surprises here.”

“It’s not a surprise. You order the same thing all the time. I explore new things on occasion.”

This bar visit has been inspired by recent events and Linda G. Hill’s Saturday Stream of Consciousness prompt” If you want to see Cheryl’s entry, click here.

“Your prompt for #JusJoJan and Stream of Consciousness Saturday is: “oc.” Find a word that starts with “oc” and use it in your post. Bonus points if you start and end with your post with an “oc” word. Have fun!”


  1. Hubs would love that table and the candy dish. That ia a ver pretty and unusual wood! I can’t wait to see the end result. Do you do commissioned work, Dan? 😀 I sure hope I get to sample some of that good food you describe from your northern excursions. Whatever they being to the little places they open up in Florida leaves a lot to be desired…but your photos always look yummy. Have a great weekend!

    Liked by 3 people

  2. The “old” table is a masterpiece. No doubt your friend treasures it and your friendship. I already love the candy dish, even unfinished. You are a gifted craftsman.

    So sorry you had to stare at empty beer glass. Better luck next time! *Ginger*

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Ginger. My friend liked that table from the day I took it into work. I was hoping to leave it for him when I retired but he best me to the retirement punch. It seemed only right to offer it to him. The caveat was that his wife had to approve. She did, so the table is happily retired, too.

      I hope the candy dish turns out well. I’m struggling to ease some of the tooled edges. Carving is not my forte.


  3. You are an amazing Artist and Wood Sculptor, Dan!! What a beautiful “candy dish” and gorgeous coffee table. I would have been hardly able to part with it, but look forward to your mulberry coffee table.
    I would put some of those marble (billiard ball sized) balls into that lovely dish. It is extraordinary.
    I have had smaller, appetizer/bar size fish tacos at Ruby Tuesday but yours were Huge!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Robin for the kind words it was hard to part with the coffee table but this man liked it way more than I did. It was a pleasure to make him happy.

      Those tacos were a dinner entree and they were filling.

      I’m not sure what will end up in that dish, if I ever finish it.


  4. A tough post to read when:
    a) It’s only 9 am, and
    b) I haven’t eaten breakfast yet
    c) I’m still in bed and chicken wings would be messy
    d) I just realized my SoC does NOT have “oc” in it. anywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Deborah. I make up a lot of things for these posts, but not Mickey’s. My best friend and I meet there for lunch once or twice a year. It’s 50 miles from the shore, but it looks like it would fit well on the beach.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Marian. I’ve never worked with Mulberry, I’m not sure I’ve even seen it. The candy dish, I think, will look nice if I can soften the edges a bit.

      I didn’t eat fish tacos until about three years ago. When they are prepared well, they are very good.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Your woodworking in lovely, Dan. I can see why you loved the “old table”. Sorry to hear the new piece of wood isn’t quite right yet. Maybe carve/router out some bits and put in inlays before you seal the wood? Just a thought…

    (Fish tacos, when done well, are divine!)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Eden. I gave the old table away near Thanksgiving, and I only bought the new slab in December. It’s been pretty cold here. I probably won’t be able to start on it until mid to late February.

      I haven’t given much thought to augmenting the slab. I want to see what it looks like after I start planing the surface. The last one seemed interesting enough on its own.

      Fish tacos have become a favorite of mine.

      Liked by 1 person

  6. You are a good friend, Dan, to have gifted your coffee table. That was a classy thing to do and I’m sure it was greatly appreciated. Now you get the pleasure of making a new one!!

    When you say you’re going to give that piece of mulberry a trim, does that mean you’re going to cut off the jagged piece at the top? It adds so much character to the slab.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Joanne. It felt very good to give it to him.

      The plan is to trim a little bit off each of the two angled jagged ends, to make them almost even with the center of that mess. Then, to cut the other end where the bark ends on the right side. That will leave me with about 36” of table with the character end and a bark edge along both sides.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Gah, I love fish tacos! Hardly ever have them, bit picky, cause you know, landlocked and all. That lobster sammich sounds good, too. And clam chowder! Free breakfast meat looks sketchy tho. lol
    Love the woodworking. It’s wonderful you have the skill and talent and vision for these projects. Very nice to give it away to your retiring colleague. So thoughtful.
    I really am judgy about servers of any kind who leave me with an empty glass of any kind. I’m a dry, thirsty creature.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Ha ha – and a “dry, thirsty creature” shouldn’t be left with an empty glass and withering lime wedge.

      I wrote about that table before. That slab seemed to know it wanted to be a coffee table. I’m sure you have characters in your head who want to be a certain way. I think it wanted to go home with my friend.

      I don’t know what the breakfast meat is. It’s not bacon. It’s like strips of Canadian bacon (which isn’t Canadian, I know) They always serve it and it hasn’t ever made me sick, so…

      I hope you find s good fish taco.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks JoAnna. I don’t know how good bartenders do it. They seem to keep everybody happy. Hotel bars are usually iffy. I like to eat at the bar as opposed to alone at a table but I’m hoping to strike up a conversation with someone.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. “I’m still counting only two hands here.” That made me LOL. Cheryl is a great bartender and certainly knows how to put you guys in your place.

    Goodness, the lobster sandwich and fries look delicious. This is the good thing about living out east…access to really great seafood without spending an arm and a leg.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. The food looks yummy! A side of mashed potatoes with a taco? There’s a first time for everything and that’s the first time I’ve seen or heard of that combo. :)

    I’m looking forward to seeing the slab become a coffee table, as well as the finished candy dish.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Deborah. They had left a small menu on the bar. I looked at it and thought it might be the lunch menu, because I had never seen fish tacos. The bartender said “those are things we always have” and he gave me the dinner menu. I saw new side “Loaded Mashed Potatoes” so I mixed items from both menus. It was a pretty good combo.

      I wouldn’t be surprised to see me finish the coffee table before that candy dish. I just can’t seem to get happy with that thing, but if I keep carving, I’m going to lose it.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. ACHHHH! Knock it off with the food photos! I’m hungry and my stomach is just in rumbles and my mouth is drooling cause I have yet to eat breakfast! Yeah I KNOW what time it is but … Big Cat Clinic Care Day which lasted longer then normal. I now have an egg boiling and a smoothie about ready to be put together. Anyways …. LOVE that wood table and candy dish! And I really like the new piece of wood you picked out for your new table. You’ve got quite the BIG heart, Dan, giving away your coffee table. Oh, and tell MiMi nice job on the tower … my cats’ towers are as beat up if not more so then hers are. LOVED the rambling on …. those voices must be greatly relieved to have gotten out of the cookie jar. LOL ☺️

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thanks Amy. It won’t come as a surprise that I always write these posts after I’ve eaten. I get just as hungry as you when I am answering the comments. This is MiMi’s third scratching post. She’s at the point where she mainly wants to get to the top and sleep. I’m hoping it will last a good long time.

      Giving the table away was easy, I think he liked it more than I did. I enjoyed making it, and it made someone very happy. I got to use it for a few years and I get to build a new one.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. We are holding onto are scratching post and Towers for as long as we possibly can. Seeing what is now being sold as shocking and would not last but a month in this house! And like I said in my previous comments, you really do have a big heart! Enjoy the creating! 💖

    Liked by 1 person

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