Let teachers and philosophers brood over questions of reality and illusion. I know this: if life is illusion, then I am no less an illusion, and being thus, the illusion is real to me.

“Conan the Barbarian” in the novel Queen of the Black Coast by Robert E. Howard

George Washington Carver’s Eight Virtues

…it is needless for me to keep saying, I hope, except for emphasis, that each one of my children will rise to the full height of your possibilities, which means the possession of these eight cardinal virtues which constitutes a lady or gentleman.

1st. Be clean both inside and out.
2nd. Neither look up to the rich or down on the poor.
3rd. Lose, if need be, without squealing.
4th. Win without bragging.
5th. Always be considerate of women, children, and older people.
6th. Be too brave to lie.
7th. Be too generous to cheat.
8th. Take your share of the world and let others take theirs.

Source, page 24

Mystery Man In My Attic

While demolishing Alpha’s bedroom last month I uncovered a photo tucked into the insulation.

mystery man in rickshaw

It seems to have been deliberately placed, as it was deep in the attic crawlspace between two batts of insulation.

This is one of those photos that spawns more questions than it could possibly hope to answer.

  • When was it taken?  (there are no dates, not even a printers date on the back)
  • Where was it taken?
  • Who is this?
  • Was this someone who used to live here?
  • Why is he sitting in a rickshaw?
  • Why was it in the attic?
  • Who put it there?

If you know anything about this photo, please email me or leave a comment.

SpeedSnail! Where are you?

I got a fish tank a year or so ago. It’s one of those Back to the Roots garden tanks that support a betta and three plant buckets. We had an alge problem, so we added a snail. He gets around a lot, so we call him the SpeedSnail.

(The fish is Fish Stick. It’s what was for dinner the night we brought him home.)

Yesterday, I noticed that the tank walls were getting a little brown. I decided today was the day to clear the counters and do some maintenance on the tank. The first part of that maintenance is to take out the plant pots.

So, I take out the middle pot. The roots are a little long, but not bad. Take out the far left pot. That one is ew and I may need to invest in new growth rocks. Then comes the one with the spider plant in it. This was an experimental plant. I look in the pot and notice one of the rocks looks strangely smooth. And round.

We collect shells. I have several snail shells from various beaches and our yard. So the obvious first thought is, “who put one of the shells in there?”

Then I look at the tank, and all the alge. I look at the tiger-striped shell in my pot. And SpeedSnail took a quick trip back into the tank.

He must have climbed up the feeding tube, gotten across the rocks, and discovered there was no water up there. He sealed himself up, and waited for the water to come back.

I watched him for a while before I left to meet Quinn for lunch, and spotted him sneaking a peak from inside his shell. When I got back to the house, he was busy hoovering up alge as fast as he could.

So, the snail had an adventure. The tank will get nice and clean again. FishStick can make aggressive moves against a tank-mate that can’t care less about what he’s doing.

All is well.