Me? I’m Helen Parr.

At least, I feel like her. If anyone twigged on that reference, I’m talking about the start of the movie, The Incredibles, when Helen unpacks the last box from the last house move. Which happened three years ago.


I just unpacked the last of my books. Granted, I had to rebox some textbooks because I don’t have enough space, but the physical opening of boxes had happened. Which is not to say that all of our belongings have been unboxed and assembled. Somewhere, in one of the boxes, are a pair of ulaks. *shrugs*


I suppose, I could treat this as my subconsciousness settling down. The move into Abbotsford always had a temporary feel to it. Not because I wanted to move again; rather, I had to adjust to constant change. There was the new job (that brought me to Hicksville), then there was the next job (when that high-risk career-move fell through), then the job after that (since I needed a better income), and finally another job where I am currently (because goddamnit I want something decent not just desperate). I moved here in March 2014 and I have changed jobs three times since then; it’s been… trying these past few years (to put it nicely).

So, here I am. Settling. Three years, five months, and some weeks later.

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Tank Chat: New denizens

The ich parasites have been routed as have the Camallanus worms which arrived shortly after. Now my community tank has been clean for a month after two rounds of medication and I’m finally restocking.


Please, ignore the glowing shell…

First thing I did was clean out my local fish store of albino corys, just to give the lone cory company to play with. All five of them (yeah, not that many) are now skimming across the sand and basically shaking up their tankmates (corys are active buggers). The cardinals are still shy, though the two remaining rice fish are up top and begging for food (I fed you guys twice already!).
I’m also in the process of adding more sand to the tank. Petsmart has this fantastic black sand that weighs just enough not to swirl up in the current. It can only be added a little at a time though, since, against all its official claims, it does raise the pH levels in the tank. Quite a lot. So a bit at a time gives the driftwood time to boost the low acidity*. Eventually, the sand grains neutralize (not sure if it’s because of biofilm or the surface acclimates) and they stop releasing base elements. In the picture, you can see the difference between the old sand and the new (and the air trapped by the fresh sand). For now, I’ve only put in a quarter cup of sand. I’ll probably wait another week before dropping in another helping (this is gonna take a while…) Continue reading

Scruffing the cat

Not sure if I’ve brought it up here before, but one of our cats doesn’t really trust me. Hasn’t for about all her life. Only recently in the past year has she been calm enough to let me walk past her in the same room. Granted, we shared a mutual sense of scorn for each other; she stayed away from me and I found no incentive in getting to know her. That was our previous balance. Yeah, no more.

In the past two months, our home was infested with fleas. I probably brought them home from work. So. We vacuumed, washed sheets and blankets, sprayed the carpets down, and squirted pesticide on the cats. Or at least we managed to get one of the cats (Paul).

Now, if anyone else out there has more than one cat, they know what happens after that. The other cat(s) sees how miserable the first cat is and stays on alert. Which is exactly what happened.

‘Thulu stayed on the fringes for days after and no amount of coaxing would get her to come close. And so Paul suffered through the meds and she suffered as the only safe food source for the fleas.

And then today happened. I chased her around the apartment after three “friendly” and “subtle” attempts. I swear, she can probably smell the stuff.

In any case, she cornered herself in the bathroom. A quick scruff grab and a squirt, and she was done.

Of course, she yowled the entire time.

In any case. She’s back to hating me (I’m smug), but at least now she’s got a legit reason for it. Adam can continue to be her favourite person, I just want the fleas gone.

Who wants to bet the fleas crawl right off her and come charging after me in revenge for pissing in their wheaties?

Come at me, you pests! I’ve sprayed my socks too! XD

P.S. Who else is so happy the vets lost exclusive rights to selling flea pesticides? Adam don’t have to shell out an arm for the stuff anymore!

Tank Chat: New tank light!

  1. Yay!
  2. Uh… different light = plants freaking out. Hmmmm…
    1. Anubias drop existing leaves, grow new ones (oh well)
    2. New plants?
      1. wisteria3

        W. Wisteria

        Water wisteria is pretty!

        1. Likes mod-high light (done!)
        2. Needs iron fertilizer…
        3. Needs to be anchored down
          • I got plant anchors!
        4. May need “rich substrate”
          • I got plant baskets, fill those with dirt pebbles…
        5. Can be “anchored” horizontally
          • Oooo… So if I seal the roots in a basket, pin it down… Neat.
      2. Java ferns?
        Java fern

        Java fern

        1. Only in shade… I can do that!
          • Oooo! Put that in Steve’s tank!
        2. No need for fertilizer (even better!)
        3. Easy to split apart for new ones (ah ha! 2 for 1!)
      3. Java moss?
        1. Only in shade…
          • You know what? Never mind. It floats everywhere.
  3. I think I should just get more sand and split the anubias for now.
  4. The second chunk of driftwood should be ready soon!
    1. Yay!

Continue reading

Tank Chat: Electric Blue Rams (x 2!)

I got new fish!





These two beauties are called electric blue rams. A bit different from regular rams in that both sexes have the same colours; no helpful black or blue dots to give hints. Eventually, when they get older the body shapes will change… but while they are young I can only guess by their fins. Oh, and they really are the same colours, I just used different photo filters (I love Instagram’s UI). Continue reading

Summer Plans

Last year, I said to myself, “Next year, I’m going to see the air show!” Because last year, I was on the bus heading to my parents place for the day and would be missing it.

This year, I’m sitting in my office, fully aware that I don’t have slush funds to afford the gate fee and I’d much rather go watch the new Start Trek movie than watch planes fly around. In 30+ weather.

The air conditioning of a theatre certainly is a deciding factor.

Maybe I can convince Mom to go to the movies with me this weekend.