This is the first one I’ve done that hasn’t needed a printer or scanner. I exported the template to a single image (chargrid.png), then hand-wrote the characters using my graphics tablet on a new transparent layer in Gimp.
No, he’s not dead. Quite the opposite. Gerald seems to spend a lot of his time lurking flat on the gravel. He was born this way. I think he wants to be a turbot when he grows up.
He spends most of the day hiding. Twice a day at feeding times, though, he’s front and centre – indeed, seeing his wee bright red form lets me know I need to feed the fish.
When he sees me coming near the tank, he starts revving up his stubby tail. When I open the lid, he jets vertically up to the surface (paying scant attention to obstacles and other fish) and frantically scoots around waiting for the flakes. After nomming far more food than such a small fish should really be able to eat, he sinks back down to one of his hiding places.
We’ve had other platies born with similar buoyancy defects, but they’ve never lived as long as Gerald. He seems as happy as a platy could be, and is the only fish that really responds to our presence. Go Gerald!
(and yes, the tank does need cleaning; limescale on the outside, algae on the inside. And it’s blurry, too – long exposure, moving fish, macro depth of field.)
I’m in Cambridge, at the Mill Race Folk Festival. The weather’s great, it’s a good event (just saw Enoch Kent [!]), but what’s really holding my attention are a number of big fish with orange tails rootling about on the riverbed of the Grand. They’re leaving pleasing silt trails.
I took ten of the small platys over to Mike’s store last night. Catching the wee things was hard; I doubt the expression as difficult as catching platys in a planted aquarium will ever catch on, it’s definitely true. Maybe I should have tried thinking like a platy. On second thoughts, maybe not; all our ones seem to do is ingest, excrete and procreate.
In order to replace our dear departed cory, I picked up a couple of tiny Oto cats. They’ve been happily smooching the algae from the rocks ever since they were released.
Came home, said hello to the fish, and did a quick count; I was one loach down, and the CO2 generator had an orange tail …
Seems that one of the loaches had decided it was way cool to get wedged up the back of the gas generator, and couldn’t get back out. I gingerly pulled off the device from the side of the tank, and the loach fluttered off, a little dazed.
No sooner had I put the generator back did another loach zoom up and get jammed. It must’ve been told that you got a “wicked headrush, dude”.
And for this reason, loaches don’t rule the earth.
There’s going to be some ranting here, so I advise folks to look at this nice picture of a monarch butterfly I took at Bluffer’s Park today, and move along:
In the park there was a gull that wasn’t moving like the others. I got close to it, and discovered there was a large fishing lure lodged through its beak. I had no way of helping it, and a nearby parks crew couldn’t do anything either. It could fly, just, but the big lure slowed it down, and the trailing fishing line mad it stumble.
I know gulls are often seen as nuisance birds, but no animal deserved
this fate. There’s no fishing and no kite flying in this park because there are so many birds. I’m angry that someone could be so thoughtless.
There’s a picture below the fold. You probably don’t want to see it.
We lost one of the platies last night. I couldn’t see anything wrong with it; its eyes and scales were still bright, but it was definitely dead. The water’s clean, and has very low nitrite and ammonia levels.
We now have fish; some scissortail rasboras and a few threestripe corydoras. Not the most challenging of fish to keep, but entertaining and hardy enough (I hope) to survive this impractical fishkeeper.
I’m emphatically not naming them individually, but as groups: the corys are the Feldmans (though may yet become the Doctorows, since the spelling is closer), while the scissortails have to make do with being the Edwards.
Called in at Finatics Aquarium (599 Kennedy Rd, Scarborough, ON, M1K 2B2 – 416-265-2026) yesterday. The owner, Mike Bandura, was very helpful for the complete novice fishkeeper. I think we’ll be stocking our new aquarium from there.
Canadians are remarkably profligate in their energy use, and I think I know why. It’s not to do with the oft-cited scale of the country, the size of our houses, our cold winters or our hot summers, it’s something simpler than that; it’s what we call our electricity.
Power here is generally known as hydro, and with it comes images of tree-lined rivers with bears happily fishing for salmon. Local electricity companies tend to have that watery thing in their name: Toronto Hydro, Hamilton Hydro, London Hydro (Crieff Hydro is something quite different, though). Some happy green images, eh?
I propose that we stop using the term hydro, and replace it with the snappier smog belching, nuke leaking, only fractionally hydro. It’d certainly make yer average Kathy or Doug drop their double-double (or donut, or dumaurier) when they got their smog belching, nuke leaking, only fractionally hydro bill in. Energy use would plummet, and at no cost to anyone!
Serendipity: took a wrong turn coming out of the
federal building, and found ourselves in Scottish culinary heaven (which is not an oxymoron, I assure you). At the corner of Ellesmere & McCowan is The But ‘n’ Ben Butchers; they sell all sort of quality Scottish foods. So far, we’ve sampled and can approve their butcher’s pies, plain bread and empire biscuits. They’ve also got a supply of UK Heinz Beans, which knock the gummy North American beans into a cocked hat.
Next door but one is St Andrews Fish & Chips. They’re amazing. I think the chips (hand cut, of course) are deep fried in some unhealthy, but tasty, animal byproduct. And they have Irn Bru, too …
A yellow Chevrolet Corvette soft-top was having a really hard time going up Kennedy Road this morning. It was moving no faster than walking pace, and the back end was fishtailing out at every possible opportunity.