Monday, December 25, 2006

merry christmas

i'm at my folks' house and truly i'm digging the rest. there is nothing quite like taking a holiday on which your biggest responsibility is brushing your teeth between meals to keep the cheese dip from conflicting with the boiled shrimp and that from conflicting with the fudge and that from conflicting with the lasagna. my folks have been excellent hosts and my sisters and their significant others were all here to share in it. we've had a good, peaceful, happy holiday. thanks to everyone involved!

as for the snails, Joey the Clown Loach has been rubbing them out with the desired efficacy. i don't usually name my fish, because i usually buy small schooling fish in bunches of 6. however, with the snail problem, i just bought a pair of clown loaches, and they were distinct enough for me to name them. so i named them Tony and Joey, which was short for Antonio and Giuseppe Corleone. unfortunately, tony didn't make it. however, before he croaked, two of my other fish died. one was floating at the top of the tank with his eyes missing. the other was never found. it is assumed that Tony and Joey, the Clowns, were involved although nothing can be proved conclusively. once Joey had established himself as the boss of the tank and a fish not to be messed with, he started in on controlling the snails. almost every time i walk by the tank, he seems to be sucking the insides out of a snail shell. color me thrilled!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006


note that in the title, i've cleverly morphed the name of my current location with the newsy item "no snow". thus, you may assume that i'm relatively much happier than i was last week in wyoming. yea! no snow here! when i mentioned my bliss over this fact to my class, one of the students said that it HAD snowed here recently - in 2000. :) yup. i love cities where they recall the last snowfall merely by the year in which it occurred. that's heavenly.

i would like it noted, for the record, that i have a new standard for rapid reproduction in the animal kingdom. it is not, gentle readers, as you would surmise from pop culture reference, the rabbit. it is, contrarily, the snail. do you think, honestly, that i could fit one more comma-delimited aside into this paragraph?

seriously, yos. i refer you to my previous post on the snail issue as regards my fishtank here. well, apparently, i never did post about the snails the first time. i've just searched through all my archives for a record of a post on the bonus snails when they were discovered, and such has not been found. since i mentioned them, however, they have been multiplying at an ALARMING pace. i've now got so many snails that they're literally clogging the filter. some of the wee ones got sucked into the filter and just lived in there for a while. they come out every night to feast on my driftwood and poop. snail poop doesn't sound like it would be a significant problem, but when they reproduce faster than rabbits, it really is. and, unlike rabbits, there are few natural hazards in the fish tank environment that these little poopers have to survive. i had no idea what to do about the little menaces! they don't need partners to reproduce all the time. for those of you in shocked disbelief, see here where wiki informs you (as it did me) of this True Fact (TM, pat pend). i did a little research, and discovered that some fish will eat them. so i went out and got a couple of those. unfortunately, one of them croaked. i blame the snail poop for polluting the water. anyway, the snails are reproducing at a rate which has no simile or metaphor. they're way faster than rabbits, i assure you. hopefully, the one remaining snail-eating fish will help with the snail decimation project.

i'll keep you posted, because i know you're dying to know.

Thursday, December 07, 2006

i HATE snow.

just in case i've never mentioned it, i hate snow. i don't hate snow angels, i only hate snowballs when i'm in a bad mood, and i actually adore it as a medium for skiing. furthermore, it makes for a nice decorative feel on an otherwise bland landscape. so, why do i hate snow? i'll tell you...

i hate snow because you've gotta scrape the shit off your windshield. that means that while your coffee is sitting warm and dry in a cupholder inside your car, YOU are standing out in the weather that produced the snow (i.e.: cold, wet weather) with a ridiculous plastic tool in your hand, scraping the icy shell off your car so that you can see out to drive. the main reason i tolerate snowballs is that i can, with reasonable precaution, avoid most of them. if i'm in the mood for them, however, i can indulge. NOT SO WITH WINDSHIELD SCRAPING. good mood or bad, running late or on time (and let's not kid ourselves about how often i am the latter), healthy or ill... snow has to be scraped off the windshield.

seriously, yo. i'm in Gillette, WY, the self-proclaimed Energy Capital of the Nation, on account of their cold-bed methane mining operations. couldn't they convert just a little bit of that methane into a giant blowdrier, just like is used to give you a spotless finish at the car wash, but with a little heat added? you just roll your car through the dryer and voila! the ice is melted away and the water blown off so it doesn't re-freeze when you park your car for a day at work. i think those should be installed on all hotels in Gillette, WY, and i mean forthwith.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

rotten travel day, whiner post


  • i woke up on time, but after only 3 hours of sleep, i'm not sure whether that's a plus or a minus.
  • i forgot to pack shoes that go with the socks i packed for my business trip. or i forgot to pack socks to go with the shoes i packed. see the above item for possible explanations not utilizing the term "airhead"
  • i found TWO dead fish in my tank. one i kinda expected. he was sickly yesterday. the other one surprised me and indicates that i've got a LOT of work to do on my tank when i get home.
  • i got caught in two traffic snarls and some construction trying to drop off my dog at my sister's house. yea metroplex!
  • i got a speeding ticket on my way to the airport. harrumph. is it a plus that irving police are so concerned with getting you off to the airport after they ticket you that they have electronic signature pads and portable ticket printers, just like the UPS guy?
  • my customary parking lot was full and i know from experience that i can't exit the airport to try the "remote" lot without paying the $2 passthru toll. plus, i was running late and didn't have time for that. see all of the above items for explanation not utilizing language i don't want to type out in front of my mother. (hi, mom!)
  • i wound up parking on the roof of the infield parking zone for $17/day and parked at the wrong end of the building. i am NOT an airhead!
  • by the time i'd found parking and walked all the way to the opposite end of the terminal, i'd missed the check-in window for my flight

on the plus side, i did manage to get to my destination without too terribly much trouble after that. i had a delightful walk across the frozen tarmac in denver that only involved a small amount of ice. the flight was on a prop-driven plane from denver to gillette, but i like roller-coasters and i have a strong stomach. plus, i didn't eat much today so there wasn't anything to feel nauseous about. although i flew standby, i got good seats on both my planes and (here's the important part) my luggage made it with me. in fact, when i got here, i was at the rent car counter getting my paperwork done while waiting for luggage to arrive. the crowd picked the "belt" clean so fast that the luggage guy actually found me and brought me my bag while i was standing at the counter. i have "belt" in quotes, not because i don't know how to use them, but because calling the luggage claim thing here a "belt" in the sense you're used to from places like denver, chicago, or dallas is a semantic stretch of india-rubber proportions. it's more like a metallic ramp that they back a truck up to and toss your stuff on so that it slides down onto the floor.

in other good news, since it gets too cold and dark here to fly out after 4 pm, i'll be flying out on saturday morning after my class at 6:30 am. the upside to a small airport is that you don't have to arrive two hours early to check in for your flight. the plane only holds maybe 20 souls, counting the crew. and believe me, they're only running one flight at a time.