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.

Aye, lads…

Aye, lads, it’s chilly

But not as chilly as our boy Willie!

You see, he’s dead.

So goes an old family refrain. It comes out often during the winter, especially when someone remarks that “it’s a bit chilly.”

There’s a particular cadence, too:

Person 1: “Aye lads, it’s chilly.”
Person 2 (not in the least bit somber): “Not as chilly as our boy Willie.”
Everyone (in a cheerful chorus): “You see, he’s dead!

We’ve lost the genesis of it, but Megh thinks there was a second refrain as well. “Something about being colder than a witch’s tit,” she says, but can’t remember more.

Mathematicians

As a mathematician, I take care not to be caught doing philosophy. When I buy my copy of Philosophy Now, I ask the newsagent to wrap it up in a brown paper bag in the hope that it will be mistaken for a girly-mag.

Mike Alder, Newton’s Flaming Laser Sword

In which I sew on buttons

Alpha loves the Newsies. Alpha had Christmas money, and bought herself suspenders. Alpha asked me to sew buttons on to her pants so they wouldn’t snap off. Since we took her phone away, she’s got the time to pester me, so here we are.

Buttons on a pair of pants.
Buttons buttons who’s got the buttons

Mission accomplished.

Also, reading glasses help with the threading of needles.

Me in glasses.
My glasses match my shirt!

Quick note about the birds and the cars

You know what a cardinal is, right? Little red bird with a big red attitude. I pulled into our drive way last night, and parked next to Quinn’s pretty new car. Quinn’s pretty new car is parked in front of my mother’s car (we’re car sitting while she’s Out Of The Country). I heard a noise behind me and looked in the rear view mirror.

There was a cardinal on her rear-view mirror. And it was really really angry at the cardinal inside her rear view mirror. Lets say that again for the people in the back:

There was a cardinal attacking her rear view mirror because he saw his own reflection and they are insane, territorial little beasts.

Quinn scared him off by accident, so I’m the only one who saw him. I have pictures of the results of his assault (bird poops and some weird smears on the mirror).

This morning I came out and found my rear mirror – covered in a little bit of bird poop and weird smears.

This guy is going to be a problem, I can see already.

That was one angry duck…

I’m sitting in the living room, minding my own business, working from home (as you do), when I see a large bird land in the neighbor’s yard, followed by a male mallard duck. Being me, and curious, I checked and sure enough, the first bird was a female duck.

After they finished doing … whatever it is they were doing in the neighbor’s yard, she popped up on the fence and started quacking. Loudly. For a LONG time.

She was up there for a good two minutes, quacking angrily. And then she moved…

Yes. That’s my car. With an angry duck on it. She flew off along with Mr. Duck. You can almost hear the “Honey! Wait for me!”