It’s Babytime

Congratulations, Han and Mang!


Kid to be named later.

(OK, we probably know his name, but we’ll wait until it’s officially on the birth certificate. It’s a good one, though… I’m pretty sure of that.)


The family unit.


“You know, he’s got this look…”

What’s worse than baby-pictures?


Nebuchadnezzar

Nebuchadnezzar – length 4″


Gaius Marius

Gaius Marius- length 6″


Hilstream Loach

Hilstream Loach – length ~2″

Pet pictures. Here’s some of my goldfish, Nebuchadnezzar (the bug-eyed one) and Gaius Marius. There’s also a picture of one of my Hillstream Loaches. They are very hard to photograph because they are small, fast, and very neutral-colored. Also, since they like to suck onto the glass, you have to shoot across the tank to get their upper half.

About a year ago I decided that maybe it was time to try my hand at keeping fish again. The last time I had an actual aquarium I was about 12-13 and I overloaded it with fish and watched passively as the water went from bad to absolutely disgusting and all the fish died horrible deaths. I’ve had a few goldfish bowls since then with more success (and a lot more sense of responsibility for my piscine charges).
I figured I could make a successful go of it this time. So I bought a ten-gallon tank kit and put two goldfish and a bunch of plants in it. The plants included Vallisneria torta, Echinodorus bleherii, Anacharis, and several others I’ve since forgotten the names of. The fish were little guys, a calico-coloured telescope-eyed one I named Nebuchadnezzar, and a calico-colored shubunkin (standard body type) I initially named Salust. However, after reading “The Assassination of Julius Caesar” by Michael Parenti, I realized that Salust wasn’t anyone I wanted to commemorate with a fish I liked, so I named him Gaius Marius (who was a person much more worthy of having a cool fish named in his memory).

I had a couple things working against me right off the bat. First, goldfish are notoriously “dirty” fish, crapping up a storm and overwhelming filtration quite easily with waste chemicals. Second, keeping plants is supposed to be somewhat challenging (I saw it as a way to simplify things since the plants would tend to help bring the water to equilibrium, but the literature says it’s an additional complication) and goldfish like to tear into most plants. Also, goldfish favor cooler-than-tropical waters which limits the plants, support fish, and invertebrates I could have in my tank to those able to take the cooler temps. In my favor I had an increased knowledge of basic aquaristics as a result of actually reading a book or two on the subject.

The tank flourished, the fish grew rapidly and before too long my plants had completely over-grown it and I had to get in there and thin them way out. A month or two back I got my hands on a 40-gallon tank and set about out-fitting it, but was in the middle of a fiscal crisis, so had to do it as cheaply as reasonably possible. I ended up with a build-it-yourself lighting kit (thanks to Dave for finding that online), an undergravel filter and fancy power-head given to me along with the tank by my housemate Holly‘s family. A couple days ago I went out and laid down a pile of money for a fancy cannister filter and three Hillstream Loaches. I had been having major problems with algae over time in the small tank, and suddenly the new larger tank had a major bloom pretty much over night, so it was time to get algae-eaters and better filtration (you’ll probably notice in the pictures that my tank walls are kind of gross; I’m letting them stay algae-covered for a little while to test out ways to kill it without physically removing it…and Neb has been feasting on it in the meanwhile!).

This morning I was looking into the tank and I noticed little white balls here and there…eggs. Somebody spawned. Most likely Neb, who’s by her(?)self, so they’ll be non-viable. But who knows, I might be having incredible beginner’s luck and it’s the Hillstream Loaches which aren’t bred in captivity. Yeah, not likely. It’s cool all the same. I pulled a few eggs out into a bowl just in case, to give them a chance at living if they do hatch. If anything does hatch, I’ll post about it here as it will certainly be far more newsworthy than this gratiutous picture-posting of mine. Either I’ll have accomplished a major fish-breeding feat completely by accident or I will have played host to an immaculate conception of goldfish…strangely appropriate to this website. Wish me luck.
-Erin.

Here are some links to more pictures of my fish for anyone who cares.
Neb inspects the plumbing
Neb up close and personal
Marius up close and personal
More Marius
Still more Marius
Yet more Marius

Hot Buttered Borat

I haven’t posted much on the JesusH since I was put in prison for murdering all those homeless people, but after I read the following bit of genius by Borat hero Sacha Baron Cohen (in France to promote his upcoming movie, Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan) I was inspired to make a daring escape to post about it.

I know you will be inspired as well.

“It’s a great honour to be here in minor nation of France,” he said, adding that all he had heard about the country’s refined cuisine was true.

“Your McDonald’s are wonderful … I eat there 15 of these delicious hamburgers,” though he reflected that “today there was a problem and my anus was hanging loose like the mouth of a tired dog”.

Vivid, expressive, and entirely worth any extra time I might have to spend in the hole.

Recipe for Action

1 AntWorks Illuminated gel ant farm
1 vial Western Harvester ants

Mix in office on Friday, take the weekend off, and by Monday the tunnel system in the gel will be rocking.


Sorry for the crappy picture, but I bet you get the idea. I’ve always said you were extremely perceptive.

I’ve had the ant farm since my birthday (thanks for the ant farm, mom and pop… its great!) but I just got the ants in the mail. I brought the ant farm in to work a couple of weeks ago, since some people find the idea of keeping ants around beds and whatnot a little creepy, and because I want to complete setting up the coolest office ever*. I evidently kept it a little too close to the lava lamp initially, because the gel shrunk away from the sides of the ant farm somewhat. Note the ants in the middle right of the image, which appear to be encased in the gel–there’s actually a void there that they’re hanging out in. The ant tunnels would be a lot more compelling if I had avoided that and they’d had to have dug straight down.

Nevertheless, it’s fun to watch the little critters cruising around, rearranging the gel in mysterious configurations.

* ant farm: check. lava lamp: check. lighted motion waterfall picture: check. Veritech: check. Rob Deer “Starting Lineup” figurine: check. I can go on.

Weak

***** Hand History for Game 5327894342 *****
NL Texas Hold’em 11 Buy-in Trny:29718572 Level:5 Blinds(200/400) – Friday, October 06, 23:36:46 ET 2006
Table Speed #1290612 (Real Money)
Seat 8 is the button
Total number of players : 5
Seat 5: DES985 ( 4082 )
Seat 6: tjclose ( 8936 )
Seat 8: SevereGaber ( 3383 )
Seat 2: jgoodma ( 2256 )
Seat 10: davidmpease ( 1343 )
Trny:29718572 Level:5
Blinds(200/400)
** Dealing down cards **
Dealt to davidmpease [ Th Ks ]
DES985 folds.
tjclose folds.
SevereGaber folds.
davidmpease raises [600].
tjclose: Am I the official blind bully?
jgoodma is all-In [1856]
davidmpease is all-In [543]
** Dealing Flop ** [ 9h, 9d, 5s ]
** Dealing Turn ** [ 3s ]
** Dealing River ** [ Qc ]
davidmpease shows [ Th, Ks ] a pair of nines.
jgoodma shows [ 5d, 9c ] a full house, Nines full of fives.
jgoodma wins 913 chips from side pot #1 with a full house, Nines full of fives.
jgoodma wins 2686 chips from the main pot with a full house, Nines full of fives.
davidmpease finished in fifth place.
davidmpease: wtf

Social Security is Broken

Fed head Bernanke says what everyone really ought to already know: Social Security is fuxored.

You know who is part of the problem? People who take SS benefits when they don’t need them to live on. I’m talking the ‘supplimental income’ crowd; anyone who retires, is the beneficiary of some sort of retirement program they set up or were a part of which covers their living expenses, and takes their monthly Social Security check and blows it on coke and strippers, or a trip around the world once a year, or whatever.

I’m not saying it’s not perfectly reasonable to spend your money on these things. What I’m saying is that if all American citizens look at Social Security as a birthright, rather than as a safety net, the program is going to run out of money. If you look at the program and say “I put $x into it and damn it, I’m gonna get $x out of it come hell or high water”, and someone else has an actual exceptional need that they can’t pay for out of their pocket, we, as a society, have a problem.

As someone who is saving pretty aggressively because I’m lazy and want to be able to stop working as soon as I can, I’m sympathetic to those rugged individualists who feel like they’re quite capable of preparing for the economic realities of post-working-life themselves and resent Social Security being taken out of their paychecks, but the reality of the situation is that if we’re all looking to take what we can get from Social Security, rather than what we really need, the system is doomed to failure.

As for me, I’d prefer that Social Security not exist at all, but while it’s here, I’m content to recognize the intent of the program and don’t plan on ever cashing a check from it, regardless of what I end up contributing to the pot.

Washington Times Asks for Hastert’s Resignation

The Washington Times has just posted an editorial requesting Speaker Hastert’s resignation.  Wow.

House Speaker Dennis Hastert must do the only right thing, and resign his speakership at once. Either he was grossly negligent for not taking the red flags fully into account and ordering a swift investigation, for not even remembering the order of events leading up to last week’s revelations — or he deliberately looked the other way in hopes that a brewing scandal would simply blow away. He gave phony answers Friday to the old and ever-relevant questions of what did he know and when did he know it? Mr. Hastert has forfeited the confidence of the public and his party, and he cannot preside over the necessary coming investigation, an investigation that must examine his own inept performance.

Meanwhile, file the Foley IMs under “things that make you go ewwwwww.”

Snatching Defeat from the Jaws of Victory

The Chargers blew another fourth-quarter lead today and lost to the Baltimore Ravens despite dominating the game in most respects.

I like a lot of things the Chargers do on offense. They aren’t afraid to go for it on fourth down, though they don’t have a record of doing that in 2006. They’ve got some tasty gimmick plays, like letting LaDanian Tomlinson throw the ball. The team’s got plenty of hands guys. Phil Rivers has looked good at quarterback this year.

But sometimes the team grinds to a halt, like the Chargers did today after taking the lead, and then the defense finally gives up some plays in crunch time and the opposing team walks off the field with a victory. It happened too many times last year, and it happened earlier today.

We had the family over to watch the game, and Pop mentioned that Rivers couldn’t pull it out late, much the same way as Brees failed in the two-minute drill last year, but I don’t put the blame on the quarterback. I don’t blame the defense, either; they played pretty well overall. The playcalling is just way, way too conservative midgame for me. The team’s got a great, well-rounded offense; someone should tell the coaching staff that it’s not a sin to use it when you’re only up single digits with a lot of game remaining.