Saturday, September 30, 2006

Lasiodora parahybana molting

Got to see most of this molt happen. She's not done yet, but I can't stay awake any longer!

Lasiodora parahybana molt sequence - flat on it's back


shrivelled abdomen


beginning work on the legs


new legs pulling out


getting close to being finished


Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Half marathon, outdoor snake pics, ya know?

I signed up for a half marathon tonight.  My word... what have I done?  It's in a couple of weeks. 
I've been saddled with allergy trouble, but I'm so ticked off an having met none of my running goals this year that I thought this one would be ok.  No time goals and a bunch from the site are making a big effort and I couldn't resist finishing up the season with at least one milestone complete.  This might hurt a little.  We'll run it as team runningmania.  We're listed about 2/3rds of the way down that page.

It was a spectacular fall day here so Manon and I took out a couple of snakes for a last tour of the grass before the big white sleep.  There's nothing quite like natural light to make the images look their best.

Sumara out for a tour in the grass before the big freeze


Close up of Diego

Head shot from above

Close up of snake in the grass

Snake in the grass

Friday, September 22, 2006

John Prine

John Prine was good tonight.  He's aging, but like Mum, he knows a lot about pacing.  It was good fun.  He played with the same guys as the last time I saw him.  I didn't know John had won an emmy for his latest disc, but I think that's great.  What took them so long?

The concert was a the Pantages and that's always a good thing.  The Walker or Burton Cummings Theatre, as it's formally known, is good too, but I like the Pantages.  It seats about 14000.  The Walker is a bit bigger.

The prize of the evening for me was Dan Reeder.  I found him funny.  Can't really sing and play, but his sense of humour with the lyric is quite difficult for me to resist.  I'll be having his two cds shortly. 

Thursday, September 21, 2006

raziel311@lj Dad and amethyst42@lj Mum had a baby! It's our heartfelt hope that you are all enjoying a healthy happy recovery from the long dance of pregnancy. Go Viola go!
Another one hits the ground safely.

Rosilynd Estre Jones
Sept 19 at 2309
6lbs 14 oz
19 inches long

tarantula dental hygiene

This guy is gonzo, but he's got a wealth of experience I've got a boat load of respect for.  Here's "Troll" with a home made tarantula restraint device working to help clear some kind of parasite eggs from a tarantula of his.  Some peoples kids! 

linear thinking vs. everything-is-connected-somehow thinking

Thanks Elyse.  She's my evil twin.  Friends are great!


how cool is this?!




hit the "take a tour" link


then, skip ahead to the "a new approach to learning" link


i was so excited to see a diagram of how my brain works.  i can't even begin to tell you ... oh, i already have ... never mind ... ;)


"You can think of the entire base of knowledge as a vast continuum, a flow of intricately interrelated concepts. However, instructors have traditionally delivered knowledge to students in a series of formalized steps that interrupts the flow and breaks the natural links among concepts...." 


the graphic they use just illustrates "linear thinking" v. "everything-is-connected-somehow thinking"


here's the part i thought you'd like ...


"Connexions utilizes a number of new technologies and tools, all of which are freely available under open-source and open-content licenses..."


Saw this posted to the local RASC list and thought it was pretty cool. It's amazing to think that someone can nail down a half second opportunity beside the cow pasture.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

How to Destroy the Earth With a Coffee Can

I had fun reading this bit of distraction.

Cat slide show

Cats... gotta love them.

Tom's hormone reduction day in the neuter lane of a dogs life

To some extent it was easier than some of the other things I've had to do with dogs. Somehow this kid (me) grew up to be more fluent communicating in "dog" than my skills in communicating with people in many ways. I branched out to horses and now my interest is focused on some new buddies. :D Are we having fun yet? Oh yeah!

My interest is primarily in communication and learning patterns. It's not a formally trained line of enquiry, but it's not completely based on my own hair brained ideas, I do read and seek out others in the field. If you're in need of an interesting book about communications with cats, dogs and horses let me know and I'll be glad to help with a book I've read more than 15 times. I must be slow... :P (info posted below)

The long and short of it is that I read somewhere, that in the city of a million that is our provincial capital and an hour north of where we live, the Humane Society puts down something like 7,000 dogs a year. Once I comprehended the dgree of hypocrisy many people seem to carry in regards to their support for animals, the world shifted under my feet. I then dedicated myself to relationships with dogs in particular, that are as void of bribery, and coercion as I can make them.

I'm constantly asked to take dogs that for one reason or another people have found themselves unable to live with. Tom is one of those dogs. We got him late last fall. He's not the brightest tool in the shed, and not bonded well, primarily, I believe, because we missed being together between that critical period between 8 and 16 weeks old.

When I dropped him off at the vet's this morning I was asked if I wanted to buy a full spectrum of shots for him and I declined, saying that I wasn't sure yet whether he was going to be around that long. The woman taking my information looked at me knowingly, but then asked why I was spending money having him fixed. It seemed as if that was a fair question so we got into it briefly. I guess I'm human too.

I'll gladly pay to do what I can to ensure I have an animal with the best chance of learning to live in harmony with people, but I accept that my love of dogs extends to the broader field of dogs that are maybe better suited to a life with humans, albeit the humans in their lives fall short of being competent with them. I prefer to keep space available for the gems that inevitably come my way and to place them with someone that will love them well. It's for the love of those dogs that I'd have Tom cut, or put him down if he can't learn to adhere to the non-negotiables for dog conduct here.

I'm hopelessly cerebral no? heh. It's been an odd transition moving to this very rural setting 15 years ago. Life and death in an impoverished rural agricultural community where deer meat, breeding animals, and knowing where your dinner comes from, has offered a very utilitarian view of the value of life I'd not known previously. Death is inevitable and unavoidable. Domestic animals in my life do not take precedence over those in my own species, so I will not risk a mauling by a dog or broken ribs or worse from a nut ball horse.

Vicki Hearne's book, "Adam's Task" is a really interesting look at communicating with animals, that sometimes reflects back on humans in less than a flattering light. This is the book I've read so many times I've really lost count. Vicki was one of America's most successful trainers for problem horses. She cut her teeth under the the guy that put Disney on the map with animals in their early years, William Koehler's methods as well as his son. Be forewarned that I've never met anyone that can read this book.

All are controversial and not at all fashionable. I became a supporter when my first dog got beyond control under the guidance of some very talented dog trainers. Koehler's work helped me to prolong that dog's life significantly and eventually she competed successfully in obedience trials against other dogs far above her station. A very honest relationship was the key, but it was a painful transition for us all as we all learnt to converse in ways that were less about control and more about integrity.

So... there you go! Another day with Ian. :P Sometimes I just feel like blathering.

I was finding my own man parts tightening uncomfortably at the thought of taking Tom into the vet this morning. It's a guy thing for sure! Last night I fed a big rat to my jungle carpet python and I was reminded again about the sympathies I have with Tom. Blue is not a great colour with a neutering in the works.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Emperor Scorpion - Pandinus imperator

I had a great time with this guy tonight. I thought he'd be more difficult to handle, but he wasn't bad at all.

Emperor Scorpion - Pandinus imperator

Saturday, September 16, 2006

A. seemanni slings growing

This is the one that doesn't feel the need to burrow so deeply as to never been seen. Although when this one is hungry it's out in the open all spread out all perfectly tarantula like, but for the life of me, I can't get an image of that posture.

Man these guys have been growing well. I saw a mature one at a local pet store yesterday and was thrilled by the presentation. :D

A. seemanni sling close up no compression


A. seemanni sling full frame


Better knitting mistake images

I hope there is enough resolution that someone can spot the errors of my ways. It happened on the straight knit double row. Sheesh!

Knitting with pointers for the odd row mistake not showing


The flipside with markers showing the missing row


No markers, but showing no mistake


No markers, but showing the mistake


knitted dish cloth

It's not rocket science, but man the counting is brutal. My attention span is challenged! I ripped out at least as much as I knitted and this was a dish cloth for crying out loud! If there ever was a test for the effects of medication on my ability to focus, this was it.

Cast on 46 stitches
2x - Knit, knit, knit, knit, knit, knit, knit....
2x - Knit, knit, knit, purl, knit, purl, knit.... .... purl, knit, knit
2x - Knit, knit, knit, knit, knit, knit, knit....
Cast off...

The part I finished with is the bottom of the shot. I was getting looser as I went.

Looks easy, but my brain is something else! :D I like to whine. It wasn't that bad and it was quite enjoyable over all. Sure did learn a lot by just digging in and doing it. I need better shots to show the part I still have questions remaining for. I ripped it out several times, but failed to appreciate what was going on against my will!
Cheers! and thanks all that have helped get me started.

I'll try to get something that shows more contrast or something. I really can't see much in this image! Dang!


explore the universe / crop circles

It's raining! We might get 10 or 15 millimeters of rain tonight. Not really enough to make any difference, but at least it should cut the dust. My nose and throat could use the rest.

I've been scouting an astronomy project for the winter and I think I'll go for the "Explore the Universe" certificate through the RASC. I find that crew to be a really interesting bunch. Today on the local list there was a link posted for some pretty nice looking crop circles.

A friend caught me a cool spider today. I'll have to figure out how to connect with it now!

Thursday, September 14, 2006

last of the tomato sauce

At last the end of the tomato products. Salsa is done, and all the sauce is in the root cellar. Pierrette is such a machine! The tomatoes continue to roll in. Sheets and tarps in the guest house are fragrant with ripe fruit. I made a fresh tomato, basil, sweet onion, garlic thing tonight. I called it salad. Almost like a cool uncooked soup really. It sold well. Nothing like sun ripe tomatoes to make it all come together.

ThePterinochilus murinus - Mombasa golden starburst tarantula was out in it's fresh silk this morning.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Paper art - Dvorak special

I loved this paper art display. The human animal is quite the ticket.

The tarantula caught my attention right away. < g >

Google spunk and Dvorak's treasures

I never knew these other versions existed until tonight. Google has it going on. Wish more companies could get with the program.

Versions of Google:

Klingon version
Haxxor version
Pig-Latin Version
Elmer Fudd version
Muppet Swedish Chef version
Firefox Special Version

District B13

District B13 is a great little action film. Lots of stunts done on old fashioned guts and glory. heh

Friday, September 8, 2006

Knit one, pearl two

After much starting and stopping and ripping out, the learning curve is beginning to appear as something other than vertical. I began by asking a few questions of a master knitter. I have an aunt that double clicks!

I learnt a few different ways of casting on, but most ended up being way too tight. So I practised casting on until things loosened up a bit. Then I set to learn to straight knit. I began by casting on about forty stitches which turned out to be too depressing. I would get a couple of rows done and drop a stitch. I didn't know enough to be careful enough to put it back together!

Lion brand yarn has a great little tutorial in pdf format, just aimed at people just beginning to knit, like me. The same information is available on line viewing too. My aunt suggested I look at that site for ideas and it was a great help. Thanks Rita!

I backed it off to twenty stitches and slowly stopped dropping stitches. The biggest boost was seeing how Mum held her wool and needles. Getting the hang of that setup took some time, but I knew it would come.

I learnt to pearl the other day and tonight I finally put the knitting and pearling together. It's not perfect, but it's coming along.

The first part of the piece shown below, was done by knitting one and pearling two, then continuing with where ever I was in the sequence when I started the next row. I never did figure out for certain how many rows it took me to get back to starting a row with "knit one", but I think it was three. The pattern game will be an interesting one. Even keeping count of the cycles of one and two seem a handful just now!

I'm going to knit this small ball of yarn out into some other patterns and move onto something more ambitious project I think. Mum told me it took her a year to knit her first sweater. She was only twelve I think at the time, but I'm certainly feeling twelve!

Now the knitting is nice and loose!


Thursday, September 7, 2006

Tabby Tote - Engineer humour

Cat Carrier -
Tabby Tote

Sunday, September 3, 2006

Circle domino fall video

Manon was at it again tonight. I'll have to get her some more dominos for her more patient moments. :D