Archive for the 'Pets' Category

Invertebrates Added

I’m finally adding some life to my new fish tank project. I just went down to a local store that specializes in saltwater and picked up a half dozen hermit crabs and a few snails. I should have written down exactly what I got, but I think the hermit crabs are called dwarf red tip hermit crabs. They are pretty small, all occupying shells that are around half an inch. I believe the snails are orange turbo snails. I thought they were another variety other than turbo, but I cannot find anything other than turbo snails while searching online. Either way, I don’t think it will matter too much. Currently, I am acclimating them from the water at the store to the water that is in my tank. I’ll be sure to take some photos once they are in the tank.

Edit: As promised, here are a few photos of the critters.

Live Rock Added
Live Rock Added

Two weeks ago I started my very first salt water fish aquarium. Since then I have added some live rocks that I bought from a guy on craigslist. In local stores, these rocks sell for around five or six dollars a pound. Fortunately, this guy was moving soon and needed to clear out his stuff. He offered to sell for two dollars a pound. Perfect, I thought, I could get twenty-five pounds for fifty bucks.

More Live Rocks

But the deal ended up being even better, when he gave me around forty pounds for fifty bucks. I added all of this rock to the tank two Saturdays ago, and I’ve left the tank running since then. Now I am just waiting for the water to cycle, at which point it will be safe to add additional creatures into the tank. It’s hard to let it sit without fish, but it is necessary if I want this project to be a success.

PS Let me know what you think of the new functionality when clicking on the above pictures. You can view the rest of them here.

Giving Salt A Try

My lonely 20 gallon tank has sat empty since we moved into our house in Kansas City. But that will change soon! I’ve decided to delve into the world of saltwater fish keeping. Just a couple of days ago, I filled the tank up with saltwater, leaving the sand that I had in there from before. I added the rest of the equipment and have let it settle over the last couple of days. Now I am on a mission to acquire some live rock. This will help cycle the tank and get it ready for adding some critters into the mix. I’m not exactly sure what I will put in it in the end, perhaps some clownfish (think Nemo). I’ll be sure to post updates on the status of the tank.

Guys’ Night Out

After work on Friday Kim and I headed to dinner at Brio. The food was wonderful and mostly free since we had some gift cards to use. From there we headed back to the apartment and put together the new office desk that I bought from a guy on craigslist for $30. It is big enough for both sets of monitors, keyboards and mice. I’ll have to take some pictures of the new setup, it looks really nice.

Kim left early on Saturday morning for San Antonio, the location of Great American’s annual conference. After sleeping in for a few more hours, I put together a new filter for the turtle tank. I hope that the tank will require much less maintenance than before. From there I sat at the computers and made some progress in getting them all working as I want them to. I’m to the point where I am ready to install Windows XP on Ringo, the old dell machine. From there it should be easy to get the webserver setup and hopefully run some tests on it. Soon enough it was time for the guys’ weekend to start. Todd, Mike, and I first went up to Harling’s to watch the one and only Mama Ray. From there we headed to Kelly’s for a few rounds and some pizza. Finally we ended up at the Levee to listen to Groove Agency once again. It was a nice night out.

Sunday I had lunch at The Mixx, a rather new restaurant next to Chipotle. The food was good, but it’s a little pricey. From there I picked up a few things at the grocery and headed home to make some Skyline dip. Mike and I walked over to Todd’s a couple of hours before the big game, to start tasting some of the leftover bourbon from the New Year’s tasting. The party was a nice way to round out the weekend, even though the Steelers won. :)

That’s One Sick Rabbit

Kim returned to KC yesterday afternoon from her work trip to Charlotte. At some point she must have decided that the rabbit’s ‘allergies’ were a bit too much and she called a vet. As a little background, the rabbit has been sneezing for a few months and lately has developed sores around his nose that we were attributing to his scratching. Anyway, the vet told her that rabbits don’t have allergies and that he probably has an infection that he cannot fight off himself. She decided to take the $70 plunge and take him into the office for an evaluation.

I’m told that the $70 wasn’t just for a visit, but also to cover the medications. Amstel got a shot of antibiotics into his system and some drops that we have to apply to his nose a few times a day. I don’t think they even had to numb him before getting the shot, the giant dogs in the office likely sent him directly into shock. The most surprising thing is that the doctor diagnosed him as having syphilis. Yeah, you read that correctly.

At first I wasn’t sure how that could be possible, since he has been a solitary rabbit since he was tiny. But after doing some research, he does have many of the symptoms of the disease:

  • Lesions around the nose and/or mouth: check
  • Sneezing: check
  • Lesions around the genitalia and/or anus: Uhhh… I haven’t checked

Finally one article I read said that the disease can be maternally transmitted, so I guess that’s the only explanation. Hopefully he will be all cleared up in a week or two.

Now Showing: Turtle Cam

Alright so first thing I did on our busy Saturday was replace a temperature sender on the Jetta. You may remember talk of a check engine light from over a month ago. Well I though it was just a loose gas cap, but that was not the problem. A few weeks ago I took the car to a car parts store and had them pull the error codes. I then googled the error codes and found a message board thread describing how to fix the problem. I bought the parts last week and then pretended to be a mechanic. Today the check engine light is no longer on! Looks like that problem is finally fixed.

From there we took the car to Tires Plus to get the tires rotated and balanced as well as have a brake inspection performed. For a week or so there had been an occasional squeak coming from one of the wheels. In the end we got a call saying the car was ready and the brakes are fine. Guess I’ll just keep my ears open for any other sounds and take it from there.

While the car was in the shop we headed to a couple of PETCO stores since they were the only ones in town to have the tank stand I wanted and the turtle dock I wanted. After we bought the necessary pieces we went home and I put the whole thing together. I took some pictures of the process and also have a webcam up and running. It should take a picture every 2 seconds or so. This is quite a strain on my PC though, so we’ll see how long it lasts. I think it is pretty neat though.

Mike came over during the setup and after it was all done we walked down to a newer pizza place near UMKC‘s campus called Pizza 51. They have huge slices of pizza, along with good calzones and sandwiches. Oh yeah, they have beer and Saturday night entertainment as well. We stayed there for awhile and that pretty much ended the night.

Sunday we went to the grocery and then picked up the car. My mom told me earlier in the day about a scanner at OfficeMax for $5 after rebates. So I picked one of those up and started scanning ticket stubs again. Right now I’m just re-scanning the old ones so that they will all be of the same quality. I have hundreds of stubs though so this will definitely take some time. We also fit in a round of golf with Mike during the day. Toward the end of it I really started to hate the game, but hopefully we’ll get out again next weekend.

Sans Wires

We did go to Mike’s roof on Friday and we did drink some beers. When it got a little cold out, we moved down to his apartment and watched Groundhog Day. Nothing else too exciting for Friday night.

Saturday we cooked up some breakfast and then got to work. Kim had some studying to do while I installed the new wireless router. It was really easy to setup and we can now access the internet from anywhere in our apartment. Also the webserver should be much more stable and the site should have very little downtime if any at all. Later on Kim cleaned out the new tank, and I made some minor repairs to it. It should be ready to go after work today, but I think we’ll wait until next weekend to get a stand and a few other supplies before we make the move. That didn’t stop us from going out and shopping though. I think we are going to try using a Turtle Dock in the new tank. We’ll have to use the large size though since the turtles keep growing. Kim noticed that they are building a Coldstone on the plaza, but since they are not quite open we headed out to Overland Park to visit that location. I think the construction of this is the worst thing to happen to us since they built the Chipotle just a few blocks away. Speaking of which, we did have some Chipotle over the weekend! While we were out shopping we picked up a few DVD’s from Doni. That night we watched War Games and then The Incredibles. Mike came over to watch the movies as well. We watched War Games because Doni and Phil quote it from time to time and we never have any clue what they are talking about. I figured out why though, the movie was released when I was 3 years old. Kim fell asleep during The Incredibles and I think I dozed of a time or two as well, so we’ll have to watch that one again. From what I saw though, it was a good movie. It was the end of this Saturday night however.

Sunday we did some cleaning and stuff around the apartment and then met up with Doni for lunch at Mr. Goodcents. From there we hit up the grocery and then played a few games of darts. Before too long it was dinner time. We grilled out some chicken and made some fresh stir fried green beans and potatoes with a little rice. It was very yummy. Afterward, it was back to the TV to finish out the night.

This morning was pretty warm out, so we got to run outside again. I think this week is supposed to be warmer and warmer each day with the possibility of hitting 90 degrees!

Widespread Fog In The Morning; Panic At Night

Nothing exciting from last night, I guess it was sort of a getting back to normal day. However, tonight we do have plans to go out. We have excellent seats for the Widespread Panic show at Starlight thanks to my buddy Jonathan. It might be a little cold tonight, but I’m very excited to be going to this venue for the first time even if I’m not too familiar with the band.

As for the rest of this week, I’m sure I’ll be busy with the home network and the new turtle tank. Best Buy has the linksys WRT54G for $69 with $30 in rebates. I plan to pick one up tonight and then I’ll start using it tomorrow. The nice thing is that Best Buy has a price matching policy that I’m going to use to get $22 back after buying the router since Radio Shack has the same router advertised for $49 on sale. The problem with Radio Shack is that they are not offering the same rebates. I would just take the Radio Shack ad in tonight, but then my receipt would show the price matching and I would risk not getting the rebates. If this all works out, I’ll get the router for around $17! Scandalous, I know. :)

The other thing I have to work on is a 55 gallon tank that I brought back from my parents. The turtles are currently in a 20 gallon tank, so this will almost triple the size of their tank. First I’m going to clean it, repair it and then get it setup for the turtles. This will definitely take some time though, good thing Kim has another exam to study for.

Happy Birthday Mom!

Today is my momma’s birthday! It is also MLK day. What am I doing at work???

I keep on remembering more and more things. My new black mollies had babies! I spent an hour yesterday trying to catch 3 of these guys so they didn’t get sucked into the filter like a few of their siblings already did. Add 3 more animals to our jungle!


Last night we got some packing done, since we really don’t have any time between now and when we leave. Tonight we have the vaco show out in Lawrence. I’m really excited for this one! Then we have work again tomorrow (hoping for a short day) and we will leave asap after that. We do have to go home to get amstel, since we are bringing him along. We got an “exercise cage” that we can keep him in at our parents houses, most likely in the basement somewhere. He would hate being stuck in his cage for long periods of time. Funny story about him, I heard all this noise coming from the porch when I was getting ready this morning. I get up and see two flashes run by the porch door. A squirrel had found its way onto the porch and amstel was chasing him out. The squirrel was up on the railing and eventually gave in and left. What a bad ass rabbit! :)