Saturday, December 29, 2007

Christmas "Fishing trip" to Maine - thursday Dec. 28, 2007

We decided to brave the potential winter storm and take our Fishing Trip to Maine on Thursday. We loaded up the dogs into the blazer, and, armed with our passports and an empty cooler we headed to St. Stephen bright and early to cross into the US. It was our first time taking the dog across the border, and we were pleasantly surprised at how easy it was... well I guess anything is easy when you are prepared with all the proper documents in order. It was actually impressive to see trucks out on the Maine highways spraying deicer on the roads in preparation for the coming snow.

Our first stop was Maine Pets & Aquariums in Ellsworth, where we found a pretty good selection of fish and corals (Too bad you can't bring corals back to Canada). All we bought on that first visit was a couple pigs ears for the dogs, it was more of a selection and pricing outing.

Then we were off to Bucksport, Maine to Check out Vance's Tropical Fish and Guitars. He had a really unique store setup with some Nice fish as well. He also was very knowledgeable and we took away a lot of great information from our conversation with him. There was a really large Powder Blue Tang there that caught my eye, but he was a little too big for my plans so I passed. There was also a really beautiful angel fish, that is quite rare in the aquarium trade (I wish I had written down what she was called, but she was white and with blue and black markings), but she was more money that I was willing to pay for one fish that day, and I just didn't feel experienced enough to venture into something rare just yet. We did purchase an in tank filter that filters the surface water. One of our problems with our main tank, since it isn't sumped is that film you get on the surface, so this will prove quite handy once we reset the tank for the Eel. The snow started while we were visiting, but we were undeterred from our course, and headed back to Ellsworth, where we picked up a smaller Powder Blue Tang and a fairly large Flame Angel.

Next it was up to Pro Pets, by the Airport in Bangor. This is a fairly new store, owned by the same owner as Maine Pets in Ellsworth. Their salt water selection was much larger and more nicely laid out. Unfortunately we got so carried away talking and shopping that we didn't take any pictures, and by the time we realized it the snow was really piling up. We picked up a really nice foxface rabbitfish and a 20 gallon long tank that will be our permanent quarantine tank once everything is up and running. I like the length because it gives us the ability to section it off easier if we need to quarantine fish that may not be compatible.

Then we started the long and treacherous drive home. I was actually very easy going through Maine, since they had been out all day in prepping the roads and there were plows everywhere. I was really impressed with how well they looked after the roads. We crossed the border into Canada with absolutely no hassles at all, we didn't even get searched,which surprised the hell out of me considering we had the dogs and live tropical fish.

Once we started up the highway from St. Stephen we began to appreciate the Maine Department of Highways even more, because the roads in NB were absolute, complete shit. They had dropped a layer of salt down so underneath the snow was a layer of slush and we didn't see a single plow until quite a ways after St. George. There was an almost constant stream of oncoming traffic, but we were generally the only vehicle on our side of the road for the majority of the way. Needless to say it was slow going and we arrived quite home quite late. We were up even later setting up our new tank and acclimating our new treasures. We are taking no chances this time around since we have a tang of the powder variety, and have the quarantine tank treated with a half dose of cupramine for the next two weeks. We aren't going to do a full dose, since all the fish we got were in copper treated water when we got them, and this is only a buffer measure. By the time these fish are ready to come out of their four - six week quarantine period the new tanks will be set up and cycled so everything will be able to be added at the same time.

I don't have any pics of our new additions yet, but took a few of our little adventure, they are in a photo set here:


We have had a very quiet and subdued Holiday Season so far, which has been quite nice.
X-Mas eve day we did some shopping with our Friend Silvia from next door, afterwards she came by for dinner. I made Fetuccinni Carbonara and a Caesar Salad and we had a very nice time just hanging out while it cooked. She couldn't stay too long since she had a thing going on at the church, so afterward we headed out to our old neighbourhood and visited with George & Loretta and clan. We got to see nearly everyone from out there and it was good catching up, we haven't been out in a fairly long time.

X-Mas day was another quiet and lowkey affair. We didn't do gifts for each other, since we have been going nuts with our reno and aquarium addiction. Instead we planned a trip to Maine to do a little pet store shopping. We had Christmas dinner at Mike and Kathy's place, and called it an early night. Over the course of those two days we managed to get in phone calls to most of our respective family members as well.

We took advantage of the time off to get a lot of work done on the basement. We got the area under the stairs framed in and sheetrocked, and most of the boards for the cabinet top glued together. I hope to get the rest finished today so I can cut the top, sand it and finish it, and get the wall under the stairs painted.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Blah blah blah

We had a pretty productive weekend again. The Bonds popped in for a visit Friday night, and Saturday night was Brian Chisholm's annual Christmas openhouse, which was quite fun.

We got some 2x4s on Sunday during the storm and built a scafholding/support structure in our stairway, so I could reach the ceiling and upper walls to paint. I got most of that finished by Monday night, but still have some touch ups and a second coat to do on the bottom part of the stairwell.

Our little Puffer fish is now officially called Eddie. It's a strange hop how I got there, but the name suits him. He looks like E.T., but for some strange reason whenever I think ET, my brain does a hop to Cheech and Chong's "Still Smokin'" and their Et/ Eddie Torez with the extra (male body part that sounds a lot like Terrestrial)sketch. That coupled with the fact that the puffer fish in Finding Nemo was played by Brad Garrett (Robert from Everybody Loves Raymond) and Brad has a new show out call, 'Til Death, in which he plays a character guessed it... Eddie. So there's the bizzar and convalluted path my fragile little mind took with the name of our puffer fish.

It is now December 19th, and I've done absolutely nothing even remotely Christmas like, and I really have no desire at all to do anything about it. I can't remember a time in my life when I've actually cared less about something, but for some reason this year, the spirit has completely skipped me. I haven't even gotten around to starting on my nephew's PJs yet. I have the fabric, it's washed and ready to go, but I just haven't managed to work up the energy to do anything else with it, not that it would get there on time at this rate anyway. I'm just not feeling it. I am feeling acutely aware of how far away my family is right now, and the more people around me hype up the holidays, the larger that distance feels. To tell the truth I just wish I could hybernate and wake up when the weather's nicer.

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Leslie Hall

I took Friday off work and spent the day catching up on stuff at home. I had to come into town to teach my animation class (the last Friday Class for a few weeks now). Not everyone got finished their projects, but it was becuase they were doing very intricate and detailed things, so I consider it a success. After class I went down into the studio to visit with Kelli and Mark and they were watching this histerical gal on You Tube. Her name is Leslie Hall and you will pee yourself watching her music videos. Leslie Hall - How We Go Out

The Bonds dropped by on Friday night, for a surprise vist. I really like it when people just pop in, it's like an added bonus that you weren't expecting.

Saturday I stopped into Richies and got the rest of the paint for my rec room. There was still quite a bit wall fixing that had to be done with the drywall compound so I didn't get around to actually getting some paint onthe walls until last night.

After Richies it was off to Stephens for a read through of Tuesdays with Morrie. There were a lot of tears by the end of the read, but not all sad tears... it's a very uplifting story, that leaves you feeling like you should go phone your Dad afterwards just to say I love you.

Yesterday I started getting a very sore throat and today I am completely stuffed up. If I hadn't had to go do a shoot with Darrell today I wouldn't have bothered coming in. Then I got here and found out I don't have to do the shoot afterall. Oh well, I'm here now, and I have my last Tuesday class tonight so I will just tuff it out.

Friday, December 07, 2007

New Addition

Wednesday after work we couldn't resist heading to the pet store to pick up this little guy we saw there a couple days before.

Porcupine Puffer

Isn't he cool? He's a porcupine puffer fish. Yes he inflates, and did it a couple times in the process of capture and release, but it's not good for them so it's not encouraged. He eats like a little pig, mostly shellfish, and we feed him shrimp and scallops right off a wooden skewer. He's got a pretty powerful beak, that is for breaking through shells in nature, so I wouldn't want to risk getting nipped on the finger, otherwise I might be temped to try feeding him by hand. He's kind of like a little dog, and comes swimming up to the glass when he sees you coming so he can beg for food. I also think he looks a lot like E.T. ... That may become his name.

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Looks a lot like Winter

We took a snow day yesterday. It was nice to just stay home and not deal with the snow on the road and the others who may not be so good at driving in it. Darrell actually spent a good part of yesterday driving though. He got his plow hooked up on the truck and drove around our neighborhood digging people out.

Over the weekend we got the ceramic tiles put up on the back wall over the cabinet, so I took the oportunity to grout them yesterday. I have to clean them with vinegar and water tonight when I get home.

The school also shut down due to the snow, so I was able to have a complete day off, with no extra trip in in the evening. This is my last week of classes and then we break for a few weeks. I have classes on Thursday & Friday, and because of cancelling last night I will have to go in next Tuesday to finish off that class as well. So I guess this technically isn't my last week of classes any more, next week is.

It looks like lots of people went by the contest page to help me out with voting... thanks a lot I really appreciate it. Don't stop now though, since it still has a lot longer to go, and I'm still fifty votes away from the top 20. I need to get into that top section in order to qualify to have the picture judged by qualified please pleas please keep going to the site and voting for the pic, every day. If you have interent at work and at home, try and hit it twice. The link is in the post below.