Friday, December 2, 2011

Another Fish Attempted Murder Story

You may remember the trials of poor Corpsey last summer. The guppies we replaced him with are doing well, actually 3 of them are - the other two died within a month of purchase (one of illness, one of injuries sustained from the other fish). But still, Theo remembers to feed them every morning without prompting and the three remaining guppies (red, yellow and blue) have been living the good life.

Until yesterday.

Being a good fish "grandpa", I decided to clean their tank yesterday. It's a large tank so it was no small feat: moving the guppies to a large bowl to swim in, slowly emptying the water, rinsing all of the pebbles and paraphernalia. I had put all THREE guppies in a large kitchen bowl and placed it on top of our bar in the living room. I checked on them every 20 minutes or so, making sure that they were still alive as I cleaned.

At one point, I checked on them - there were only TWO guppies in the bowl.

It doesn't take long to count to 2. I counted the fish ten times before it sunk in that the blue one (Blue Gill) was missing. Then, like an idiot, I'm searching the bowl, as if a guppy could hide in a kitchen mixing bowl. Again, like an idiot, next thing I checked was to see if one of the 2 remaining guppies had someone eaten the missing guppy. Everybody comes to the living room as I frantically exclaim that a guppy has suddenly, inexplicably gone missing.

And then I see the cat. The fucking cat, sitting on the floor right next to me, licking its paws.

Theo, on the other side of the bar, yells that the fish is on the floor. I ran around to the other side of the bar and found poor limp Blue Gill. I picked it up and threw it back into the bowl.

It had been 20 minutes since I last checked the fish, so Blue Gill could have been outside the tank for quite some time. We had spent at least a minute (maybe two) looking for the poor fish. Blue Gill had plummeted 4 feet to the floor, and who knows what torture the cat might have inflicted on it. I had no hope.

And of course, Blue Gill starts to swim. Not only does it swim, it frantically swims around as if being chased by my demon cat. The other two fish are cowering in fear, traumatized.

We explained to Theo that the chances of Blue Gill surviving were very slim. I guess I didn't learn my lesson about the resiliency of our household fish, because Blue Gill is still alive this morning, swimming normally about with his companions.

Our fish are survivors.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Corpsey now in critical condition after attempted murder

This morning we finally got the aquarium tank all filled up with filtered water, which meant that we could install the automatic water filter at last. Clean water for "Ron"! Plopped it in, turned it on, and saw how wonderfully the pump took in the slightly cloudy water and removed the fish crap.

A few minutes later, Theo walked to the aquarium and exclaims "Where's my fish??"

So, apparently, we didn't construct the filter correctly. In fact, we missed a critical piece that ensured that the fish wouldn't get sucked into the filter. (By we, I mean Danielle, who constructed the filter, although I was in charge of double-checking her work)

Corpsey (let's go back to calling him that for the time being) was halfway into the filter pump - only his frantically wiggling tail was visible. In an act of heroism, Danielle reached in and yanked poor Corpsey out of the filter pump hole.

Remember Two-Face from the last Batman movie? Yeah, that's what Corpsey looks like right now. It's not a pretty sight, but remember, this fish is a survivor. It's uncanny how perfectly fine he looks from one side, while on the other it's a horror-show.

After the initial shock, he's now swimming around seemingly unaffected. Theo was very hurt by the whole incident but after a little weepiness, he seems OK, too. We found the missing piece of the filter and got that back on. Now we wait and see - another trip to Petco might be in our future for a replacement fish.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

The Story of Corpsey

July 4th - most years we go down to Dewey Beach and visit Aunt Suzie for as long as she'll have us. The past few years, we have participated in their neighborhood parade and fair. The fair is basically a bunch of little carnival like games for the young kids to win tickets (which they can trade for prizes).

One of the games is to land a ping-pong ball in one of 2 dozen fish bowls with living goldfish inside, a feat Theo has never yet managed despite multiple tries each year. Really, he's never come close to landing one. This year, he tried and failed with his first 3 ping pong balls, much to our relief. Later, when he had played to the other games, he wanted to try again and we thought there would be no harm, especially since he never even came close the other times he tried, often missing the table altogether.

Of course, on his second ball, he got a swish, and we were the owners of a brand new goldfish in a very small bowl. We dubbed him "Corpsey" because we were sure that either a) he would be the victim of an "accident", probably at the hands of Luke or b) the thing wouldn't last the night, if he even lasted the rest of the fair.

Not only did he make it back to Suzie's house, he devoured the frozen pea dinner we gave him (thanks a lot, Google). He survived the fact that I unknowingly shocked him by plopping him into water of a vastly different temperature. And he survived the next night, too. So now it was time to bring the damn fish home.

No way he's going to survive a 3-4 hour car trip back from the beach, right? Incorrect. He reached our house, safe and peppy. By the next morning, we felt we had to reward his resiliency, so off to the pet store we went.

He now has a real name, "Ron" (after another red-haired survivor), a tank, a filter, real fish food, and a little boy who hopefully is learning responsibility by feeding him. He'll be dead by next week.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

First game of the year

We had our first youth baseball game of the year last night, as our Hot Rods took on the River Bandits. All day, we weren't sure if we were going to be able to get the game in, as a huge storm kept threatening to swoop in at exactly game time (6pm). On top of it all, there was a Tornado Watch in effect for the whole region, from Aberdeen to Arlington.

At the last minute, the storms looked to change to a northerly direction, so we grabbed all of our stuff and announced that the game was ON!

We discovered this week that Theo likes the ball up and in - whenever we pitch it there, he crushes it! He almost broke the glass table we have on our back porch with one of his "smokers", as he calls it.

We were up first, and Theo, batting 4th (size order) lashed a nice single on an up and in pitch. We only scored 1 run in the first - the Bandits had kids who could really play defense! I was worried that we might get embarrassed, because defense has NOT been our strong suit.

My worry was for nothing, as we got 3 defensive outs in the bottom of the inning. They scored 3 runs, but the important things was that the inning ended with outs, not the max 6 runs.

Our big hitters were up in the 2nd and we scored 3 more runs before their brilliant defense got us out.

In the bottom of the 2nd, the Hit Rods defense displayed effort like we had never seen in practice. Our defense got 3 very qick outs as we only allowed 1 run! They even had a kid CRUSH a double. But our inning was highlighted by a hard smash that Billy scooped up like a pro, along with a perfect throw to Jack who made a nice catch. The poor kid who hit the ball was barely out of the batter's box when called out.

In the top of the 3rd, or hitters came alive. EIGHT consecutive hits, nine altogether as we scored the maximum allowed 6 runs. Theo had another great hit and scored a run.

We only just got started in the bottom of the inning when a vicious thunderstorm rolled in. After pausing the game to evaluate (and have snack), we were forced to call off the game.

As you can tell, I am extremely proud of the kids. Everyone got a hit in the game. Many kids contributed on defense and most touched the ball. It's going to be a great year!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Leprechaun Trap

This morning, Theo decided to make a Leprechaun Trap for school. He came up with this design, enticing a leprechaun with a fun slide and a coin at the bottom, which he then constructed with mommy. He even gave the leprechaun a handy ladder to climb up (pilfered from a Playmobil pirate ship). But once the leprechaun got in, he explained, he would be unable to escape!

He brought it to school (he was the only one in his class to make a trap) and when he came back from recess, he found that his trap was filled with lollipops! He gave a lollipop to everyone in his class, as well as some teachers, and still had about 2 dozen left over to bring home.

We decided that the leprechaun must have magically conjured the lollipops, so that he could climb them and escape the trap. Theo said that the leprechaun probably didn't have enough time to take the lollipops with him.

He has some wonderful teachers at that school! The best part is that he is completely convinced that he caught a leprechaun. I don't know at what age they lose their beliefs in magic, fairies, leprechauns and jolly old toy-giving elves, but when I see his face light up I start to believe in a little magic, too.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Guitar Case for Takamine Jasmine S34C

Last Christmas, I bought a Jasmine By Takamine S34C NEX Acoustic Guitar. It's a great guitar (my first, but vetted by a musician friend). I had a heck of a time trying to find a case online that I knew would fit.

I recently purchased the Guardian Hardshell Dreadnaught Case from Amazon and it fits like a glove. I'm very happy with the case, so if you own a Takamine Jasmine and need a case, try that one out. I paid only $40 and it got to me within 3 days from the Musician's Friend store.