May 08, 2010

Rainbow Cichlids, Busy at 4:16 a.m.

I woke up, thirsty, and wound up sitting here in the kitchen, with the computer on. I just looked up at the ten gallon tank with five nine month old Rainbow Cichlids, Herotilapia multispinosa, in it, to see them, very shy in the daytime, cavorting freely, and in fine, full color. Amazing.

May 04, 2010

My First Try at an Old Aquascaping Idea

Today, for the first time ever, I made a moss covered piece of driftwood. I was inspired to do so by Jason Baliban's presentation at Sunday's meeting of the Atlanta Area Aquarium Associsation, at which he delivered a Power Point presentation on the basics of the aquascapers' art, and then aquascaped a moderate sized aquarium, from the bare tank, up.

I did my bit of elementary aquascaping, this evening, by wrapping clumps of good old fashioned Java Moss around a branch, tying dark, heavy cotton thread to the branch, and then wrapping the thread in a spiral over the moss. A couple of such passes, one on each of two sides of the branch, sufficed for a pretty good cover. Then a few snips with scissors, where the moss came up in obvious loops between the wrappings of thread, served to obscure a good bit of the man made nature of the artifact. Fun. Easy. Pretty. Pictures to come.

January 30, 2010

Pee-wee Gets an iPad!

I've loved Pee-wee since the Eighties, when our whole family watched Pee-wee's Playhouse every Saturday morning. I'm so jealous that he got an iPad before I did!

January 14, 2010

Me and the Scorpion

When I was about ten or eleven years old, my family took a trip to Hot Springs, Arkansas. I remember my brother Frank and I prowling the area around the motel we were staying in. I turned over a piece of shale, and found a scorpion, which promptly stung me. It burned like anything, which scared me greatly, 'cause I didn't know how potent the toxin was. Probable Truth: under the influence of scarey Western Movie Nonsense, I thought I might die if untreated.

My dad, though, was pretty much guaranteed to fly into a rage if I came clean with the fact that I'd gotten stung. So, real casual-like, I initiated a conversation with the adults in the group about scorpions, and real, real casually checked out what they knew about scorpion stings. It sounded to me like it was about as bad as a bee sting, so I decided not to say anything further on the subject. I'll never forget the day, though.

Here's the guy who got me: "The only scorpion known to occur in Arkansas . . . the common striped bark scorpion."

"Death and severe allergic reactions have been attributed to the striped bark scorpions, but such claims have never been substantiated by reputable sources."

January 03, 2010

Bruce Sterling: State of the World 2010

They've been doing this for eleven years now, at the beginning of every year. It happens on The Well, one of the earliest open-to-the-public Internet communities. Chairman Bruce, as he's known to old-hand science fiction fans whose memories go back to the first days of the cyberpunk movement, plays Delphic Oracle. All the rest of us get to ask questions, and kibbitz. Thoughtful, challenging, wonderful, fun.