banjo nails from the axis of evil

I tried taping pistachio shells to my fingers to get those perfect frailing nails. It was, at best, a partial success.

But why axis of evil? Well, these were very fine Iranian pistachios from Rafsanjan. If we lived in the USA, we couldn’t buy them. We’d have to make do with the tasteless little California pistachios. Go Canada!

weedtree

Did some remedial gardening today, which included lopping some trees that have sprung up. Man, are these things soft wood:

tree section

It’s about the thickness of my wrist, and got there in only five summers.

Weird weather; there was a dandelion flowering, and some of the trees had buds.

no, it just isn’t

Finding a source of “Unlimited free energy” would be the most unimaginably heinous crime possible against humanity. For it would inevitably turn the planet into a cinder. Hastening an isoentropic heat death. If you find a free energy source, you damn well better find a new free energy sink as well. Even then, the relative flux rates will still nail you.

 — Don Lancaster, How to Bash Pseudoscience.

loaches!

We are troubled by water snails, so Mike at Finatics suggested some clown loaches. We now have four Chromobotia macracanthus zooming around, and they’re the only ones that’ll stand up to the algae eaters.

And I get to say loach again: loach!

completely tanked

I spent most of yesterday setting up the aquarium. It’s an 120l one, so it’s a lot bigger and heavier than anything I’ve worked with before. It’s been running since then, getting the water ready, and I put in a couple of plants today. Real plants, that is; not the plastic ones that came with the tank.

The tank’s already got a couple of denizens; some tiny snails that were lurking on the plants. I don’t think they’re anything to freak out about yet. If they’re still alive in the morning, at least I know the water’s not completely toxic.

The biggest problem has been making sure the heater’s working. Today it’s been hotter in the house than the tank, so I don’t know if the set-point’s wrong.

little turbine on the desk

GE 'Your Wind Turbine In A Box'

I’ve finally managed to snag a model wind turbine. Thanks to Jay Wilgar at AIM Powergen, I now have a GE Your Wind Turbine in a Box 1/265 scale turbine, complete with tiny plastic cow.