Friday, October 29, 2010

Is He Gnawing on a Carcass?

 So, we have a betta now. Yep, just what we need - another fish. It's a red crown-tail betta.
So, let's see - we have the aquarium with:
  • One fancy guppy named Shiny. He's the sole guppy in the tank because I suspect he's been terrorizing and brutally murdering the few friends we've put in the tank with him.
  • One sweet little loach. Technically his name is Cord, but we just call him Loachy. He's like a tiny snake-fish. He slithers all over the tank in the cutest way. Very entertaining!
  • Two albino catfish named Whiskers and Zoidberg. They are the sweetest things. We got the second one because the first seemed lonely. How can you tell if your catfish is lonely? I have no idea, but he seemed to be moping around. Now that we have two they both wiggle their little fishy bodies all over the place and both seem very happy.
  • One african dwarf frog. I have no idea what his name is. He has a name, I just don't remember it. He's cute enough, but boring and you really don't see him much so I tend to forget he's there.
  • Two new little ghost shrimp. I suspect that these guys also terrorize each other and suspect that we will be down to one, probably the larger of the two, pretty quickly. But they were only 49 cents so I won't be too upset if one disappears.
Then we have the feeder guppy bowl with 4 unnamed female feeder guppies. They look identical so we would never be able to keep names straight anyway. Especially now that 'Crooked Tail' is gone. She was the only one who looked different than the rest. They share the bowl with 4 black mystery snails. (Frisky and Mister Sinister's children). I've discovered that snails are foul, dirty little creatures and that the aquarium is much much easier to keep clear with the snails out of it. Don't get me wrong, I think they are cute and I love to watch them crawl around the tank and use their little siphons and provide shelter for the guppies who like to hang out underneath them, but they really are dirty. And smelly. Don't forget smelly. Oh, and you think a live snail can stink up a bowl? Try smelling a dead one! Whew that's nasty. Anyway, only one of the snails really has a name and that's Snailerbiggius. He is quite large! The others are interchangable and sometimes go by Snailermediumus, Snailersmallius or just 'That Snail There'.

Then there is the bowl with the 4 mail feeder guppies. Again, these guys are unnamed mostly because we can't tell them apart anyway. One is slightly smaller than the others (and seems to be harrassed by the other 3 because of it) but he still has no name.

And just to mix things up, I added our new betta to the male guppy bowl. Now, I know that betta don't mix well with other fish and I would never put it in with something with fancy fins like another betta or a fancy guppy, but I read online several people who had luck mixing betta with boring, relatively placid fish like feeder guppies. (and whatever you read online must be true, right?) All depending of course on the temperament of the particular betta. We had a betta several years ago and we really like him. Velvet was an awesome fish. We got him at a wedding - he was a party favor - each table had one in the center. He was a beautiful dark blue. We had him for quite a while until he died of some fin disease. Poor Velvet.

Well, the new one (as yet unnamed) is a red one. I'm hesitant about red pets. After all, there's the demon gerbil with the red eyes. He is uncommonly evil! I hesitate to give him food because he will attack my hand when I put a handful of food in the cage. He even bit poor little Doodlebug and drew blood and that was through the bars of the cage! I've considered (not seriously) ending his life in a number of terrible ways but then I'd have to touch him and he'd probably chew my hand right off. I swear we all have nightmares about him escaping his cage. Seriously. He's that evil. For a short time the kids decided that he wasn't evil. He was just afraid. Afterall, he's just a little animal, right? Wrong! We've all decided at this point that he is pure unalterated evil. (I sense a horror novel in the making)

But, back on track. Red pets. Red is a warning color in nature, is it not? Red snakes are often poisonous, red bugs are often foul tasting, you get the idea. So getting a red fish, and hoping he's not too aggressive to live with some guppies is pretty silly, but hey. I'll give it a try.
He seems to be doing OK so far. He will chase the guppies, but gives up quickly. I did see him with his head in the castle, which is the guppy hiding spot (I didn't think he'd fit) and assumed he was probably gnawing on a carcass, but no - so far so good. We'll see if it continues.


Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Sweetilicious Squish

Some haiku to honor halloween Peeps - those squishy, tasty, pumpkins, ghosts and cats:

Peeps. Marshmallow Peeps.
Sugary crunch, fluffy squish,
Soft, tender and sweet.

Peeps. Marshmallow Peeps.
Chickies, Bunnies . . . and pumpkins?
Not just for Easter.

Peeps. Halloween Peeps
Pumpkins, ghosts and chocolate cats
Sugary squishness.


Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Looping, Swooping, Swirling, Crazy, Head-Circling Butterflies

 So, just what have I been up to lately you ask? Oh, nuthin'. Well, a little bit of stuff. Let's see. Halloween is coming up. The butterfly costume is coming along nicely. We have a brown dress covered in leaves and butterflies. I may add a few twigs now that I think of it. And we have several hair combs all decked out in butterflies - looping, swooping, swirling, crazy, head-circling butterflies. And some moss and bird nests for head wear and shoulder wear. I think this one is almost done.

And, what is today? Oh, it's Tuesday. And when do I need the other two costumes done by? Friday. What?!?!? Friday!?!?!? Yep, that's where I am. In the holy-crap-I-will-never-have-enough-time-to-finish-this phase. Who needs sleep?

I started the Pac Man and Blinky costumes Saturday, but didn't get as much done as I had hoped. I spent some time sprawled across the deck cutting out huge sheets of foam board with my utility knife, scoring them and piecing them together with duck tape (Quack! Here at Ginormous Duck it is duck tape, not duct tape!) and masking tape. I have Pac Man mostly done. It's awesome! And now, as I write this on Monday evening, I have Blinky mostly done. The pieces are cut out, taped together and looking great.

Now, when I say almost done, I mean the cutting and taping is almost done. Let's not forget that I need to come up with some sort of strap contraption so the kids can wear these things without having to hold them up with their heads or their widdle arms. And they still need painting. They are both just white foam board right now and need some paint - hopefully one coat will do it.

And, while I'd like to say I planned it this way, I have to admit it just sort of happened. But Snicker's Pac Man came out so that he will be able to sit down while wearing it. (Assuming he has a bench to sit on with a lot of room). And Doodlebug's, well, his is veritably ginormous so he'll be able to sit down inside it. Maybe I'll build a bench in there. There's certainly enough room.

Doodlebug's already had to have his re-engineered slightly. The first plan would have ended up with him in a massive costume, with only his hands sticking out the sides. Not his arms, but just his hands from the wrist down. That would make it very hard to do anything. Now, with the new plan, he can have more arm exposed if he chooses. Of course in both the Pac Man and the Blinky they won't be able to get their hands together which will make it hard to hold a trick or treat bag, but hey, we'll work around that somehow. There's plenty of time, right?


Monday, October 18, 2010

Doo-Dads and Thing-A-Ma-Bobs

Over the years we've had our share of trips to McDonalds. Much less frequently now - it's too expensive, too fatty and salty and just all out unhealthy - at least for the really yummy stuff, so we've scaled back (much to the kids regret). But we've managed to experience quite a slew of Happy Meal toys over the last 10 years. From tiny little dolls to plastic cars, movie-related gee-gaws to pop-up, flip-over, twist-around doo-dads, light-up thing-a-ma-bobs to glowing whats-its. All of them fun.

For about 5 minutes.

Then they are tossed aside and finally trashed. But the one that has stuck around all these years, the one with staying power, the one that we still pick up whenever we come across it and spend 10 minutes playing with is a tiny little hand-held video game. I think it's a Sonic the Hedgehog game. A little circle-y shape careens down a road, avoiding x's and squares and gobbling up dots. There are 4 levels and it gets faster with each level. We must have got those over five years ago! And we still play with them whenever they surface from the bottom of the toy box! (I think we have two of them). Now that was a worth the cost of a happy meal!

As for all the others. Well, you can't have a hit every time. Or even much of the time apparently. We have a few that earned more than the trash can treatment - there are some little plush penguins still kicking around, an iDog wanna-be, a Ty lion or two, even a Kidz Bop CD, but nothing quite as thoroughly enjoyed as that little game. Where is it? I want to play!


Monday, October 11, 2010

Barbara Hindenburg Duck

This is Barbara Hindenburg Duck. Barbara being her first name, Hindenburg being her middle name and Duck being her last name of course. She's one of us here in the Ginormous Duck family.

And how did she come by this unusual and delightful name? Well, when the kids were much younger they were fans of Veggie Tales. Those wonderful cartoon vegetables that teach lessons on being good human beings, often through the retelling of bible stories. It's very kid-friendly and fun. Dave and the Giant Pickle was a favorite as was King George and his Ducky. And one of the best parts of the show was the "Silly Songs With Larry" segment where Larry the Cucumber sings some very silly song and is often interrupted by Archibald the Asparagus who is very proper and doesn't approve of the silliness.

Everybody wants a water buffalo, yours is fast, but mine is slow. Where do you get them I don't know but everybody wants a water buffalo-oooo.

Everybody wants a baby kangaroo, yours is pink, but mine is blue. Where do you get them I don't know . . .
Another of these songs was Larry the Cucumber professing his love for Soap Opera star Barbara Manatee.

Barbara Manatee, you are the one for me...
So, needless to say, this particular manatee struck me as a Barbara. Maybe it's the lips. (You can't seem them in the picture, but she has some nice pink lips.)

And Hindenburg adds a note of formality and soberness to this serious animal. And she is shaped rather like the hindenburg, don't you think? Oh the huge manatee!


Sunday, October 10, 2010

Ten Ten Ten Ten Ten

Alright, how cool is this? It's 10/10/10 at 10:10 AM. Awesome!


Monday, October 4, 2010

Mail-Order Larvae

 So, I just finished ordering mail-order larvae. That's right. Mail-order larvae. You see, Snickers just got a ladybug kit (a belated birthday gift). It comes with a nice little ladybug habitat and a coupon for ordering some ladybug larvae. Very exciting! So I placed my order and now we have to wait 1-3 weeks with bated breath for it to arrive.

And, to top it off. Remember this?

That cute little blackberry eating monstrosity I discovered a few weeks back? Do you know what it is? I couldn't believe it when I saw it. Drum roll please . . .

It is . . .

Ladybug larvae!! Yes indeed. Who knew? Apparently ladybugs are little cuties in more than one part of their life cycle. Very cool!


Friday, October 1, 2010

Halloween Costumes

 So it's getting closer to Halloween. We've started planning costumes. (Because I have a lot of spare time to make costumes, right?) Snickers and Doodlebug are going as Pac Man and Blinky (or maybe Inky, or Clyde). I'm rounding up cardboard and paint and hoping I can put something decent together.

And Sweet Pea is going as a butterfly tree. Yep, that's right. We saw a picture in a magazine. It involves brown clothes, lots and lots of fake butterflies, some wire, a hot glue gun, fake leaves and crossed fingers. It should be very unique.

The Hubster will wear his usual gorilla costume. And I'll put something together - I have witch hats, feather masks, wings, anntenae, striped tights, pointy shoes, etc etc etc. I'll come up with something. How about you? What are you going as this year?