Friday, November 30, 2007

Photo Contest

I entered a picture of my clarkii in her Anemone in an on-line magazines photo contest, but now I need your help. Turns out the contest is being decided by people visiting the site, casting votes.... so therefore it's a bit of a popularity thing, and people who have entered have recruited their friends to inlfate their numbers. You can tell by the fact that the leader so far is a blurry picture of a fish behind a dirty galss.... it's bad. Anyway the contest organizers have changed the rules as of today and will take the top 20 and have them judged by professional photographers. I still need your help to get into the top 20 though.

Here's the pic I entered. (I actually entered two but the second one is so far down the list it's a lost cause)

Clarkii Clownfish and Bubble tipp Anemone

This is the link for the contest

Contest Page

You can vote by selecting vote now at the top of the picture. You can vote three times per day for the next 60 days. So if you could help me out I would really apreciate it.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Hump day

I took yesterday off and got some stuff celaned up at home (mostly dished). The guys were working on a deadline for the OBAs so I decided I would just be in the way and took a day to hang out in my robe and get a little extra sleep.

I popped out to superstore and got some porkchops on sale, so I made a giant stirfry of pork ctrips, mnixed veggies and brown rice. There's enough for lunches all week long, then I headed into town to teach my class. I stopped off at the office with some stirfry for Darrell and dropped the dogs off, then went to the school. One of my kids didn'tmake it, so it was only the two girls and one of them said something very cool, that really didn't occur to me until she said it.

they were talking about the movie Hairspray, because rachel was using You can't stopthe neat in her animation. Then Rachel said something about the movie Grease and Louise said she didn't like the way it ended. I thought that was strange because the ending was thebest part with two huge numbers, and I asked her why she didn't like the end. She said because of the way Sandy changed in the end just to impress Danny... she thought people weren't supposed to change themselves just to impress others. From the mouths of babes.

Monday, November 26, 2007


We got the tiles for the back wall over the cabinet downstairs, and decided it would be easier to do them, and set the mortar if we finally replaced the baseboard heater that didn't work. Darrell went out and got a new heater, took the old off and was trying to trace the current through the wires. For some reason only one was giving him a reading and both should have. I suggested he check the thermostat to see if everything was hooked up properly, and when he unscrewed it and pulled it away a little, he found all the wires in the box were scorched, and black. Like once upon a time they had been on fire. No wonder the baseboard heater wasn't working. It hasn't worked since we bought the house, but wasn't a high priority fix, since we didn't really use the room a lot. Who knew it was a giant fire hazzard? It now has us wondering if we should maybe go open up a few other things and see what's going on in the walls downstairs, just in case.

Of course all this happened on Sunday and nothing was open to change out the dead thermostat, so no work got done on the tiling. It's not that big a deal anyway, since I have to wait two weeks for the wood for the top of the cabinet. Hunter Lake Lumber didn't have any lengths long enough, so I am waiting for the next batch to come out of the kiln. I could have bought shorter lengths and joined them, but it's not a big panic so why not just wait? Besides, now that I have the tiles it seems to make more sense to put them on first anyway.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


DVDs...I still have them.... Please come get them. I'm begging here, I've had these ready for over a month now..... you said you wanted them, come and get them... bring cash!

If they're still here when we take time off for X-Mas, I'm sending them all to friends out west and you will be SOL (stands for "Shit Out of Luck" in case it's a BC saying that people out here aren't experienced with.)

Monday, November 19, 2007

Another Monday

I'm feeling kind of blah lately. Just from the weather and the time change I guess. It was weird having it later this year, there was really no gradual darkening of the skies that way. One day it's getting dark by 6:30, the next it's dark when you're driving home from work. Didn't help that it snowed that night as well. It felt like a punch in the gut, and my system hasn't really recovered yet.

I didn't get a chance to see Dracula, which I'm kind of bummed about. The week was just too busy and I was working late too many nights to get out to it, then Saturday just got completely away from me with stuff to do at home. Heard good things about it from everyone who did see it though, and judging from the people in the cast I know I really missed a good one. Sorry guys.

I took the day off Thursday to get some stuff done around the house. I had to teach that night, so it wasn't a total day off. I went out to Hunter Lake lumber and got the boards I need for the moulding on my cabinet. It was a pretty cool trip. The guy was all by himself so I got to help him get the stuff I needed, and got to watch him reset the planer. He was nice enough to plane all the rough lumber to the width and thickness I needed at no extra charge, it just meant I had to hang around and visit for a half hour while he set up the machine, which didn't bother me. Plus it was interesting to see the inner working of the big industrial planer, makes our little delta planer look like a tinker toy.

I got my wood home and used the weekend to router the edges, sand, and urithane. Tonight when I get home I'll be able to put the moulding on. The only thing left that has to be done before the tanks can go on the cabinet now, it the very top. Hopefully I can afford the wood this week. I still have to build the doors, but the cabinet doesn't need to have doors for the tanks to be set up. I have to do the top and tile the back wall, and then the tanks can be put in place and the plumbing done, and the whole thing can be started up.

We're battling a parasite in our quarantine tank that is killing the fish. It came on the Powder Brown Tang we bought. We lost that fish first, then yesterday our racoon butterfly died. We're treating the tank with copper to kill the parasite, but I'm afraid it may be too late for the fish that remain. I'm keeping my fingers crossed, because it really makes me sad. I get way too attached to these fish. I'm just glad that we didn't do something stupid like put the fish in the main tank to have everything get infected. It's a hard lesson about the importance of quarantining new livestock, and we're lucky that we're learning it in the quarantine tank, not the main display. Even so it still makes me really really sad.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Fairly Productive

The extra long weekend was good for helping us get a little bit more caught up on things that we have fallen behind on at home. Being so busy with deadlines and home projects, simple little chores like dishes have taken on monsterous lives of their own in the past week and a half, so cleaning the kitchen and the general living area took priority this weekend. We also got alot of stuff done in the basement. I had enough money to get my oak for the trim on the stand, but when we called Hunter Lake Lumber all we ever got was a recording from Thursday, so we didn't know if they were open. Instead I opted to finish the ceiling and get it painted. It's still not quite done, because I didn't tape out the seams quite right (it's the first time I've ever done it so there were bound to be mistakes) There were a couple places where I didn't get enough or any compound under the drywall tape and so it bubbled. I had to cut those out and re-crack fill them. There's no heat on in that room so it's taking alittle while to dry. Aside from that I got the rest of the ceiling painted in 90's beige (taupe). We also painted the backs of both the tanks in a super bright blue called Jamaican Sea.. I have to throw a coat of urithane over it so it won't chip off easily.
We also got the canopy extension finished and the metal halide light installed on our main tank. The extra light is fantastic, and it creates that shimmer effect you see under water. So far we only have it on for a few hours each day so the corals can get used to it gradually, but evntually it will be on most of the day. I'm mourning the loss of one of my new fish. My powder Brown tang died unexpectedly on Monday. They are really delicate and hard to keep fish so his survival was far from a guarantee when I got him, but he seemed to be doing well for a while and I had high hopes. I don't think I'll be trying that kind of fish again they're just not very hardy and should probably be left out in the ocean (they may be just fish but you get attached them).
Since I had a little extra money left over that I hadn't planned on I decided it would ba a good time to renew my prescription. I was expecting a big hit financially sinec the last time I actually bought the stuff it cost me $180 (that's with 80% of it covered by my health plan). I had been making special trips to the hospital in Halifax and getting it there until they cut me off, and I finally got to a point where I'm starting to run out. My dose has been cut considerably since the last time I bought it, and has actually been cut in half since I put the prescrition in to be filled, so I asked if I could take half of it instead of the full dose, since (fingers crossed) in three months I may actually be completely off the stuff, and they said yes. It only cost me $46 for three months worth, significant difference from $180. I did the math and I'm paying 50 cents per 250mg pill, which means the full hit on it without a drug plan is $2.50 per 250mg pill.... still pretty expensive... especially when you consider that once upon a time I was taking 750 mg (3 pills) twice a day, every day.....$15 per day ($3 per day with my drug plan, but still quite a hit)

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Another Long Weekend

We are coming on yet another long weekend, and a very important one at that. Sunday is Rememberance Day. WW1 & 2 were a very long time ago, and the farther into history they go, the more important it is to remember what happened and why, so we don't repeat it. My Great Grandfather was a veteran of the First world war, two of my great uncles were vets of the second, and I'm pretty sure all of us can climb down our respective family trees a little ways and find someone who was a vet... so treat the day with the respect it deserves.

That said, as with any and all long weekends, we will of course be taking the holiday Monday as well as Friday, so today is my Friday.... very happy about that (but only in the most serious and respectful of ways of course). I have my classes tonight, and an hour long class on Friday, but other than that I'm off til Tuesday. I am taking a few copies of the DVD home with me, so if you want to get in touch with me and arrange to meet somewhere, I don't mind bringing it to you.... basically I just want these things gone now. I believe Mike will be in on Friday for a little while working on something, so if he happens to be here, you can get your copy from him. Anyway, enjoy your long weekend, and sometime during it, take a few moments to think about the brave young men and women who laid down their lives for our freedom to do so.

Wednesday, November 07, 2007

ow my face!

I've been feeling like I slumped into a negative space lately. Not enough sleep and too much to do are taking a toll.

That said, we've got alot accomplished lately. The weekend was very busy with lots and lots to do. Mostly trying to catch up on the stuff that we've fallen behind on. There were a few late nights at work during the week to meet a deadline, so the rest of our life took a back seat.

We ventured out in the "Great Storm" on Saturday (was that really only on Saturday... it seems like longer.) and drove up to Moncton to pick up our 65 gallon tall aquarium. It is the same width and height as the 130 but half the length, both will sit side by side on the stand and have one big canopy across the top, giving the impression of one long 9 foot tank. (I know the fish obsession is getting out of hand) I also started building an extension for the canopy on our existing setup, so we can add the new metal hallide light and start acclimating the corals to the different light intensity they will be receiving once we finally get this big set up finish. The new eel is doing well and is eating. I made a blunder and got a mandarin Dragonet from Pets Unlimited. Basically because I thought it was a female (already have a male) and because the salt water section at PU is still too new to have any kind of copod population so the poor little thing would've starved there. Turns out once the little thing got some pods in it's belly and was feeling better it flashed up it's back fin and was a male.... can't have two males in a tank... they'll kill each other.... so he's now living in the quarantine tank (which doesn't have a super healthy pod population, so I'm looking at some suppliments and other things I can do inthe mean time. If I can find him a good home I will, if not he will live in the 65 tasll with my little nemos when we upgrade...i just have to keep him healthy until then. There's a few things I can do and I'm starting to figure out how to do them with some help from the people on the ARRG forum.

Darrell ended up having to work on Sunday, late into the night. So we came in quite late on Monday.

Tuesday was the setting the stage press release for the SJTC so we both went to that to see how work onthe building is coming along. It looks like the skeleton of a building right now, but you can really see how it's going to be pretty awsome when it's all done.

I got the the gym for the first time in a couple weeks yesterday as well, and instead of making me feel good like it normally does, I just felt like a creaky old man by the end of it. I hate it when I miss time there, and have to start over. It doesn't take to long to get back into the swing of things, but you feel like you're constantly starting over at the bottom of a long hill. The up side is I know whithin a week i'll be back to where I left off.

Last night I had my animation class. I have one boy who is a huge handful and very disruptive. I'm still trying to figure out how to deal with him the most effectively. One of the parents sat in last night and watched his daughter work, his son was with him as well, so I gave him a quick lesson and left him working away on a computer so he wouldn't be bored. Then at the end of the class in a mad rush to get out of the building because it was Jim's wife's birthday and he was already late, the lights in the hallway got turned out while I was still in the computer room shutting stuff down. I guess he thought I was right behind him but I wasn't. The door to the room wasn't open all the way or closed, it was on an angle facing into the room and when I turned to go out I smashed right into the edge of it face firt and got a pretty good gash on my eyebrow and bruised my cheek. Luckily I didn't hit nose first (mine is big enough as it is hahahah). Oh well, it hurt like hell but it was an accident. I wonder if karma is trying to tell me something? Like maybe take a day off and get a little rest.

Oh ... here's little progress picture on the work downstairs..... I know there are people who are going to say, that colour is so dark, but it's only that wall, and the rest of the room is going to be in much lighter browns so it will look really great when it's done. i also plan to redo the stairway in oak, but that's a project for thefuture not right now.

A little colour on a couple walls

Friday, November 02, 2007


I took most of Wednesday off, and I didn't go to work yesterday either....woooohooo!! I managed to get my two walls painted a really deep rich brown that looks like dark chocolate!! It looks amazing, and when the room downstairs is finally all finished and the tanks are up and running, we will be able to go down, snuggle up on the couch I'm going to redesign and reupholster, turn off the lights, and just relax watching the fish swim around. With the lights off the wall and the dark slate tiles will just disappear and all that will be left will be 9 feet of lit up coral reef to watch. Can't wait!!! It really is a very theraputic experience to just sit and watch an aquarium.

Yesterday we also struck gold at Pets Unlimited. Their new shipment came in and it had a snowflake eel in it. This is number one on Darrell's wish list, so we got it, plus a really pretty little Powder Brown Tang. I think we're pretty much stocked up on the fish we're looking for... well... mostly.

We had no little weeners come by for all our candy on Wednesday, so now I am stuck with a supurlus of chocolate..... oh well... life's hard sometimes.