Friday, December 29, 2006

Freshwater aquarium

We have a 55 gallon freshwater tropical aquarium in our dining room/study/front sitting room. Our large angelfish recently passed away, so we will be looking for a few new angels soon. We originally bought 2 angelfish, hoping that we would have a male and a female, but one of the 2 died shortly after we brought them home. After that, we were too concerned about aggressive behavior to get another. We also have 2 smaller cichlids that are quite social, tolerant fish. They seem more interested in/curious about the other fish than concerned about defending their territories. We also have at least a dozen tetras, some blood-fins and some black skirts. We of course, have a plecostomus. Also a flying fox (I love this fish and wish I could find more) and a Chinese algae eater. The Chinese is the most aggressive fish in the tank and is definately the bully. He chased our dwarf orange flame gourami to death. Little bugger! We considered bagging that stinker, but then realized how great of a cleaner he was/is, so he stays. Last, but not least, we have a bala shark. He appears to be some kind of a sucker, with the appearance that suggests a slim shark.

I'm constantly fighting the slimy algae, but at least the water is crystal clear. I carefully pull out the algae from the plants and roots every other weekend. This is a planted aquarium with a couple of philodendron cuttings hanging in the water. The philodendrons love the tank, although they don't like me pulling the algae off their roots. I do try to be gentle.

Thursday, December 28, 2006

Past knitted projects

At the top is the baby cabled hat I made for my husband graciously modeling it. I obviously made this for a cone-head. Ooops! In the center is his Pastaness, the Flying Spaghetti Monster. I knitted this for my father-in-law for Christmas. The bottom one is the front of my husband's sweater. I took this a while back. I've since completed the front and have nearly completed the back. Next, I just need to do the arms and then seam everything. I'm doing his sweater in Filatura de Crosa/Ad hoc Maxi cotton. The main color is charcoal, and that's black along the bottom.

My little boy

Such a beautiful boy! Taken just a few months ago.


I am remise in not mentioning herping! I grew up around the rattlesnakes and lizards of central and northern Texas. Those slithery things that shshhed quickly through the grass and scattered up tree trunks entranced me and I became addicted. As an adult, and as a professional biologist, I am just as entranced. Snakes, rattlesnakes in particular, hold my fascination for hours on end, although the rest of the herps should not take a back seat. The only image I have on my computer that I took (not copyrighted) is this western fence lizard; a common site in the grasslands and blue oak savannah of the great central valley of california. This fellow was doing his typical "push ups" telling me I was a bit too close for comfort and that he wanted me to move off straight away. :) For those not familiar with this particular species, this individual was maybe 6 inches long (including the tail). Not exactly a formidable foe, but try telling that to him!

Karate IS life!

My husband and I both take classes at Reid Family Martial Arts. I am a second degree brown. I've been doing martial arts for 3 years now, and very much enjoy it. I also do arnise, the filipino art of fighting with short sticks. I am yearning to learn the long staff, or jo, and anticipate beginning that once I attain my student black. Which should hopefully be at or around my 35th birthday, in June.

Must lose weight!!!

Ok, before anyone looks at the photos I've put on here of me and says, "WHY are you trying to lose weight?!!!" you all need to know that those pictures were taken a while back. I have put on mucho weight since then. I'm not gonna tell ya what I weigh, but I will say I need to lose 40lbs. Frankly, I don't really want to admit that to the world. I am making some changes to my exercise and diet routine. Nothing major, more minor adjustments. Plus, I'm having my doctor test me for potential physical issues that might be keeping me from losing weight. I suspect a few issues are at play and am making my diet and exercise changes more to holdover until I get answers back from the blood tests. Having others know that I am making these changes should be helpful for me, especially if I get occasional messages asking me how its going.


I took this photo of my son a couple years ago now. I get lost in his eyes!

4 generations

I am in the top left. One of my aunts to the right. My grandad and my son at the bottom. This was taken a few years ago. My grandfather passed away November 29, 2006. He is dearly missed!

Skiing at Boreal

Took this while skiing at Boreal a couple years ago. It was the first time I had skied since I was 7 or 8. I discovered I loved it! However, hubby did not enjoy it nearly as much as I did. :( Now that Brendan is getting older, perhaps we can make another trek up into the Sierras for some white wintry fun!

4 days and counting down!

4 days till I can cast on for Rogue! I purchased the pattern back in August and found the yarn in October. I swore I would finish all my knitted Christmas gifts before casting on for rogue, even though the pattern was love at first site. I'm breaking my rule a bit, because my husband's sweater will not be completed by New Year's Day. It'll be close, though. I've completed the front and am 3 inches from having the back completed, then on to the sleeves and seaming. If anyone's interested, rogue is here: