Vivarium work

I just put up a page on some tuning I’ve been doing to the large vivarium. To see it, click here or go to the Pages section in the right margin. I’m liking the results – if the plants agree, woo-hoo!

Lookee what I found!


Found in my back yard right at the lawn to woods transition. I couldn’t decide whether it was bear or coyote, then I figured out what the triangular things are. Sunflower seed hulls. I vote bear. For those of you muttering, “Ew, gross” under your breath, please refer to the title of this blog *grin*.

Also spotted in the back yard a week ago – the rare and dangerous New Caledonian Laundry Hound. Isn’t she helpful?! I know – what’s cute now will be a PITA when she’s grown. Luckily, the laundry thing seems to have been a one time occurrence – or maybe it’s just that she can’t resist her fave blanket.


In response to my Ranchero post below, Steve sends along this picture of a ’61 taken 300 feet away from his house:


Cue Homer Simpson slobbering noises from yrs truly.

Let me also put in a shameless plug for A Certain Design Student’s MoMA Flickr set. Well worth a peek. The shot below is not from his museum set, but I post it because I love panoramas (as usual, click to embiggen).

You are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike.

T-Rex and Pluvialis teamed up this morning and caused me to guffaw, then reminisce a bit. The laughter you’ll have to take on faith; unfortunately, I’m going to subject you to a couple ‘way back when’ stories. I first played Adventure on a Honeywell DPS6 or DPS8 – I’m not sure which hardware we were running at that point. I do remember the model number of the glass teletypes we used – the usual Honeywell suspect – VIP7814s (VIP = visual information processor, I believe). The system software used to control and communicate with the terminals was the time sharing system (TSS – everything must be reduced to initials).

The systems software person was an wonderful guy named Jack. At one point he was fighting with a really gnarly bit of mis-configuration; stuff that absolutely should have worked and absolutely did not. One night during this struggle, he had a work nightmare. As he told it, for a grand finale, he sat bolt upright in bed, yelling “It’s time sharin’! It’s time sharin’!” His wife, who obviously was awake at this point, turned to him and asked (with the look that causes all men to start looking for a means of egress), “So… Who the f*ck is Sharon?”

There was a legendary systems programmer in the General Electric/G200/Honeywell world: Guy Wayne. He apparently liked his cigarettes and his coffee; this was back in the days when one could smoke just about anywhere – an exception being a raised-floor computer room with Halon fire suppression equipment. So, if Mr. Wayne had not finished his smoke, but needed to go into the computer room, he’d carefully put the cigarette out and pocket it to be finished later. One day he came back out of the machine room and got into a conversation with someone. After a few minutes, Guy was informed that there seemed to be smoke coming from his jacket pocket. Without missing a beat, he took his coffee cup and poured his coffee into the pocket. Problem solved.

Moleskine mania

Via Cool Tools:

A second skin for your Moleskine that itself will become an elegant heirloom. Priced at $39.95 it is an excellent value and will provide exceptional service, becoming a comfortable second skin for that valuable Moleskine. We used our regular English kip, a thin very tight-grained leather that is exceedingly durable. (Also available in Chocolate or Black calf finished cowhide or buffalo, depending upon availability.)

Droolworthy – and Gfeller Casemakers offer some other wicked pissah leather goods. I’m sure Gfeller is a familiar name to some out there (my money is on RF, for one), but they are new to me.

Karma Repair Kit: Items 1-4

1. Get enough food to eat,
and eat it.

2. Find a place to sleep where it is quiet,
and sleep there.

3. Reduce intellectual activity and emotional noise
until you arrive at the silence of yourself,
and listen to it.


– Richard Brautigan *

Two Argentine links

First, a follow-up to an earlier post on Borges’ Library – via BoingBoing, a paper titled Information Policy for the Library of Babel. To quote the BB entry, “James proposes that the Internet bears striking similarities to the Library of Babel — and applies the lessons from its infinite depths to the question of information policy for the net.”

And – a bit of hyperlinked serendipity. One of the widgets on my Netvibes page shows me my Fickr contacts’ most recently posted pictures. This morning I saw this picture of a Ford Falcon Ranchero posted by Telstar Logistics (as COOP and A Certain Design Student know, the Ranchero is a huge favorite of mine). I zipped over to Flickr to mark it as a fave and while I was there, I read the comments. GiselaGiardino23 wrote, “(The sedan version, apart from being the most used Ford car, was used by the military dictatorship and the police, painted green, so they are widely linked in the collective memory to the violence and atrocities of the 70’s here).” “Wow”, said I, “I wonder where she lives?” I clicked through to her Flickr home page – the answer was immediately apparent: Argentina. And to close the loop, she has a “Borges, the infinite and me” photoset!

I am reassured by the delight I feel when these kinds of odd connections occur – age and cynicism (aside from the military dictatorship considerations) haven’t swamped me yet!

Frogger’s BBQ

I went to a great get-together yesterday – a barbecue for folks who keep and breed poison dart frogs. The food was great, the host’s frog room was amazing, and as always the company was wonderful. Some pictures…

Dendrobates imitator intermedius:

One of my favorite frogs – the black blotches seem to float above the metallic orange undercolor. They tend to be bold; out hopping around without a care in the world.


The map:

G just got back from kicking around Central America. He pulled a map of Panama out of his wallet and I had to take a picture. I love maps, and this one has everything – it’s been used, marked on and now serves to document an interesting trip.


My new frogs:

It was a good chance for folks to trade, buy each other’s frogs, give plant cuttings away, etc. I did a trade with a friend – some adult D. pumilio ‘Man Creeks’ for some D. fantasticus froglets. The Man Creeks have produced some froglets for me, but I haven’t been able to bring them past the critical 4 to 6 month old window. My plan with pumilio is to start keeping them in larger enclosures, where I can get a better population of springtails and woodlice established; in the meantime, the Man Creeks ought to be with a breeder who can do right by them. Fantasticus are aptly named – they are in a grow-out tank now, but once they’re in a nicely planted enclosure – yowzah!

More pictures here.

Fruits of the season

Sam Gribley grows up and gets responsibilities
Results of a little foraging:
Some nice blackberries from my patch.
And some hickory nuts from the woods.
Perhaps a tiny bit of cooking with a small amount of sugar for the berries, then over ice cream?
Update – a little sugar to pull out some juice, let stand during dinner, then use to top peach ice cream. Good.