Saturday, April 28, 2007

Theo Jansen’s Kinetic sculpture

This is enough to buoy my spirits through the dark moments. As a die hard mechanic, this appeals to me deeply. I could watch this walk down the beach for a long time.

Theo Jansen is one interesting dude.

Friday, April 27, 2007

frogs and Dad

I was given a large setup with two White's Tree frogs today. It's worth a bundle just in equipment. I love a good deal and it's tough to beat free. :) I'll post pics sometime soon. I'm baby sitting three red eyed tree frogs too and images of those cool little guys will follow as well.

Red-eyed tree frog - Agalychnis callidryas

White's Tree Frog, Dumpy Tree Frog, Smiling Frog - Litoria caerulea

Along with today's freebies came a female cubby frog and all the equipment. It's been a good week for herps!

Chubby Frog, Asian Bullfrog, Painted Frog, Rice Frog, Bubble Frog - Kaloula pulchra

It's not been such a good week for my Dad. He was in for angioplasty today and they bailed and scheduled him for a bypass pronto. :( I wish I was there to make him smile.

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

running, feet, cameras

My goals now are all choked back in regards to running. I'll begin building my endurance again when I can and pound up some speed work to make an assault on my 5km PB. That should keep my attention while avoiding most of the high mileage that the longer races require. Damn! Not happy! Let's get going already!

As I'm waiting to see how my foot heals I'm going to try and get back to doing some core strength work, build up my quads to help protect my knees and drop 25 pounds. Go me! Two pounds a week is the goal.

Someone on the running mania board posted this. I hope someday to be in this position. :P

I'm thinking about buying a new camera. I got used to being able to take very good quality shots with my old 35mm Nikon. The old 3.2 Canon Power shot A70 has served up many thousands of images, but I've come to the point where quality counts again. I'm impatient with the limited resolution of the 3.2. I might even break down and buy a good printer so I can frame some images and enjoy them away from the computer!

The point and shoot candidate:"

The, I'm made of money candidate:"

Actually all in this series are under consideration.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Bruce the corn snake

Manon thought we should name this guy Bruce. I have a brother Bruce, her uncle, but I didn't ask why. I thought maybe the colouring. I'm sure her uncle would be wholly unimpressed.

Rats are more nutritious than mice with a better meat to bone ratio, but this guy had never seen a rat in his whole life. Some snakes apparently won't take rats at all and most herpetoculturists don't like mousers as they call them. Bruce apparently has no qualms about taking rats. His feeding response is wild! He hammered this rat pup like he hadn't seen food in months. I know he was fed the day before yesterday so what's his excuse? heh He's going to like it here. I'm not sure he's had all he wanted to eat, and we're all about the food... :P


Here's the roach pizza I made after cleaning up the roach colony. They are feeders for the invertebrates. I put two and two together and figured the colony had out grown it's enclosure so I froze these guys in hopes of feeding them more easily.

I have managed to learn a few things about handling the roaches. They are so darned fast that it's tough to stay 100% contained with none of the escaping, but so far so good. Changing the substrate and moving them around is my biggest challenge, but today I chilled them! It was only 12C here today so I set the container on the Yota and went for lunch. When I came back they were delightfully slow! If the freezing thing works I'm off to the races.

Even though they are a more soft bodied and tropical roach, they are after all a roach and I'm not too interested in cohabiting. They are the most relentless, persistent, and tenacious animal I've ever dealt with. My invert love them though and are growing so well!


New corn snake

I guess the jury is in. I'll never grow up. At 48 I still take more than my share of pleasure out of settling this four year old male corn snake (Elaphe guttata) into his new home. He's a little cramped in the ten gallon aquarium, but he's been there since birth so I'm sure he can last a bit longer. I do so prefer to play than work. It almost never wins me brownie points with the adults, but the kids love me. heh

He's 66% possible heterozygous for the "snow" morph, but what genetics are involved for snow is still a mystery. :P I bought a female last week that was the most expensive of my expenditures so far in hopes of making baaaaayyyyybies! :D As a bonus the breeder will kick in one of her progeny as a hatch ling. Heaven only knows what that will involve, but I'm guessing new born mice at the very least.

Mice... the bain of the herpetoculturist's existence. I cleaned up the roach enclosure today too and that's a nasty bit of business. I much prefer rats to mice and crickets to roaches, but there are upsides to the roaches, and none that I can think of for the mice. Do you think PU would mind if I had some mice breeding bins in the barn? ehhehh







Blood Tea and Red String

Maybe I was too tired to appreciate this film. I wrangled a corn snake home tonght so it wasn't a complete wash...

Blood Tea and Red String
By Christine Cegavske (2006) (69 mins.)

A handmade stop motion fairy tale for adults.

Thirteen years in the making, Christiane Cegavske's dialogue free film tells
the tale of the struggle between the aristocratic White Mice and the rustic
Creatures Who Dwell Under the Oak over the doll of their heart's desire.

The Mice commission the Oak Dwellers to create a beautiful doll for them.
When she is complete, the Creatures fall in love with her and refuse to give
her up. Resorting to thievery the Mice abscond with her in the middle of the

Meet fantastical creatures and view dazzling scenery as the Creatures Who
Dwell Under the Oak journey through this mystical land to reclaim their
love. See the mice descend into debauchery as they become drunk on blood
tea! See what happens when the Oak Dwellers eat the yellow fruit!

A heart rending musical score that was composed and performed by Mark
Growden accompanies this disturbing and wondrous adventure.

"at once wondrously obsolete and perfectly au courant" - Nathan Lee, NEW

"a David Lynchean fever dream on Beatrix Potter lovingly crafted
as it is unsettlingly sour-sweet" - Dennis Harvey, VARIETY

"its haunting images speak directly to some dark, preverbal corner of the
heart" - Maitland McDonagh, TV GUIDE

"an original head trip" - V.A. Musetto, NEW YORK POST

"a triumph of creative passion ..." - Mitch Davis, FANTASIA FILM FESTIVAL

"A stunning example of animated art" - Rain, SFIST.COM

Official Site

Monday, April 23, 2007


Stolen from sugarplumkitty@lj

I think I'm getting worse... :) Free Online Dating78% - Free Online Dating

Sunday, April 22, 2007

frogs, tarantulas, drama, honour roll, hockey, and a boat load of images

Long time no see! I have not been running. I see a doctor tomorrow to determine the trouble with the inside ball of my left foot. I expect I have a stress fracture or something similar from the run across the ice in March. I have no regrets at all. It's only another hurdle to cross in this adventure. I also have a nasty looking toe nail that I expect I'll lose sometime in the not so distant future. I've got excellent fitting shoes for the sport, but I guess the repeated compression can create issues regardless of the fit.

Work is booming. I have an abundance of jobs pending which is good for cash flow, but not so good for writing. I've written a few short stories, but like most of my stuff they are more akin to scenes and remain without the context of a plot.

I managed to cut and fit a fine French clock with a wheel that I cut from scratch in March. I took a pile of time to work on a gear cutter which is one of those long standing unfinished projects. I got the wheel done, but the project remains open. The crossing out is lame, but at that point I hadn't proven whether it was going to work and there was this little matter of a deadline.



I've been driving back and forth to the city way too often. Last week I was in on Monday to help host an evening with Stan Schultz. Stan wrote the popular "Tarantula Keeper's Guide". I met him on line and he contacted me recently wondering if some local enthusiasts might like to get together and talk tarantulas. I made some wonderful bread and Carlos and Isabel made some tasty cannelloni and some kind of sausage dish. Lots of onions and garlic. How can you go wrong there? My bread had a bulb of garlic in the two loaves, lots of parsley and plenty of sharp cheddar. It sold well.




I'm still really enjoying the learning curve on the tarantulas. This little guy molted last week and looks so handsome in his new coat. One of the younger scorpions molted too, which looked really cool. It's wild how they do all their growing in one giant step. The colour of this guy's carapice was like bright copper. The same type of copper that you have taking emory paper to copper pipe. Do you think I could capture that on the camera? No... :(

Grammostola rosea - Chilean rose copper


Wednesday night was the local MHS meeting and again Carlos was up and presented a short primer on photography for those that would hope to emulate his skills. I'd like to emulate my way into a better camera!

There are still snow banks in the shade away from the sun's strong rays, but spring is bursting forth as it does at this time of year. The rush to life is remarkable the farther north one goes. It's dry though and although the well is nicely topped up, we are all wondering if there will be enough to drink come August.

I'm baby sitting a few frogs for a friend and I've bought an expensive corn snake. Now the fun with genetics can begin in earnest. These are red eyed tree frogs. Not the greatest shots, but time was limited and what about that new camera? It's time to do some shopping!


Here's my little banded rubber frog. I would so love to put him in the retf vivarium. I still have some homework to do on that one though.


The computer is rebuilt and I'm running Suse Enterprise 10 (desktop). So far it's been OK, but without being able to do my updates, it's tough to say how much of what's left in questions are really flies in the ointment and how much is just waiting for an update. It's been a bit painful, but the hardware is all where I want it to be and I have a working installation of XP. I've been without windoz for a couple of years so it will be interesting to play there a bit once again. I do need to go and clean up some of the backup issues I missed on this install. Once that's done I can move onto Debian. FC6 won't behave with a serial modem. Unreal! Disappointed!

The girls have been up to no good. Boo and Manon won first in their respective categories for entries they made for remembrance day. Bonnie for a black and white drawing/poster and Manon for poetry.


They also both made the honour roll. I don't think Boo has ever not made it, but it was a first for Manon and she was all over the prize. All the kids that made the roll got taken to the finals for the world women's hockey tournament in Winnipeg. They got to see the silver and gold medal rounds. It was a pretty high day to say the least.


The drama production of Pride and Prejudice went off well enough. Boo had some fun and Manon's Kevin was suitably uncomfortable playing across from Boo.