Ever Seen Purple Potatoes?

I have. Last night. I bought a bunch of “fingerling” potatoes and when I sliced the dark-skinned ones, they were purple on the inside.

Colorful Potatoes

Unfortunately they had a really funky flavor that just didn’t work with the olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper I put on them before roasting them. They were pretty, but not very tasty. 😦

Bloody Hell, the Snail Died

I was wrong [cref another-day-another-fish-funeral about Pokey the snail]. He died today.

I ran ammonia and Ph tests on the tank water and was shocked by the results. The ammonia test was off the charts. The Ph was also out of whack. I took the filter housing off and scrubbed it with an old toothbrush because it had some slimy gunk in it. I also changed the filter and added some drops that are supposed to help. I put about two gallons of fresh water in a bucket and put the de-chlorinator in it, so tomorrow night I will replace some of the water in the tank. After this, we’ll be testing the water weekly to make sure this doesn’t happen again. 

Keeping fish is sure a lot of damn work.

Another Day, Another Fish Funeral

As I mentioned [cref fish-funeral two days ago], we had a goldfish die, buried him at sea, and then bought another fish and a snail to keep the remaining fish company. As Tuesday wore on, the new fish, Speedy, wasn’t looking so hot. He was hanging out near the bottom and just not doing much besides breathing, or whatever you call what fish do for oxygen. We took him out and put him in a bowl of water, just in case there was something in the tank that was affecting him. 

This morning, I went in to check on him.

And found him floating. Damn.

Fortunately, we’d been preparing Thomas yesterday that things may not go well, so he was somewhat prepared. It hasn’t affected him the way Fred’s passing did. And for that I’m grateful. We buried Speedy at sea, just like we did Fred.

I’m happy to report that Pokey the snail seems to be in fine form, as does our older fish, Rocky.

I went to the pet shop today and got some tests to run on the water to see if we have an ammonia or Ph problem, which I’ll be running tomorrow. We need to find out for certain if there’s something up with our tank water before we get another fish.

Michael Phelps – The Man Is a Machine

I’ve watched quite a bit of the Olympics so far, and I continue to be amazed at how Michael Phelps keeps racking up the medals. I just watched him win the semi-final of the 200 Meter Individual Medley. He was in 2nd-ish place for the first three laps, but when he touched for the last time, he absolutely exploded into the lead and never lost it. 

After Phelps’ semi-final, fellow USA team member Ryan Lochte won his semi-final. And he beat Phelps’ time by 1 100th of a second. Wow. It’s going to be an interesting final.

Our Dyson Vacuum Sucks

We have a Dyson vacuum, and it sucks. In both bad and good ways. On the good side, it has better suction, with a far fuller tank, than any vacuum I’ve ever used. It’s also fairly light and easy to push around. 

On the negative side, if you should ever happen to go against the nap of the carpet, it makes the most horrible noise. In fact, this is not our first Dyson. I took the first one back when I heard that noise. But apparently that’s “normal” for these vacuums. You’d think that for as much as the damned thing cost, it wouldn’t do that. We’ve had a host of cheapo vacuums in the past that never made noises like this, and they cost hundreds of dollars less than the Dyson. But, they didn’t last all that long, either.

Speaking Punctuation

So we’re watching Project Runway (don’t ask) and the designers only have 5 minutes left. Tim Gunn walks in and says

Designers! Five Minutes! And some of you are still sewing? Question Mark!

I laughed out loud at that. And of course, the way Tim says it, with his “gay lilt,” it’s far funnier than if someone else had said it.

Fish Funeral

For Christmas, my sister-in-law gave my son two goldfish. Without asking us. Needless to say I was not happy about this, but he had them before we knew what was going on. Anyway, he’s been very happy with the fish and has been feeding them the right amount, and talking to them and making sure they were happy. All the nasty work, such as changing the filter, was handled by me.

So this morning, as I’m getting ready to leave the house, Thomas calls out “Dad! Fred’s stuck in the plants!” There are several decorative items in the aquarium and as I looked, I could see that Fred was indeed caught in one of the plants. And he wasn’t moving. I took the little net and tried to get him out. After he was free, he floated to the surface.

Graveyard dead.

Oh. Crap.

Thomas’ first question broke my heart: “What did I do wrong?” I tried to tell him that it was nothing he did. He did everything right. But sometimes, for reasons we can’t understand, things just die. We then explained the “traditional” method of burying fish: flushing them down the toilet. Tammy said a few words and then we committed Fred’s body to the deep.

I talked to him a little while ago, and he’s doing OK. They went to the pet store and got another fish, a fantail he named Speedy, and a snail, named Pokey. These two new additions will keep Rocky from getting lonely.

And I hope they stay alive for a long time… Please, O please, O please let them stay alive.

Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony

Oh. My. Goodness. We’re watching the opening ceremony and I am absolutely blown away. This is staggeringly beautiful. I think this just might be the most beautiful Olympic ceremony I’ve ever seen. Stunning. Breathtaking.

No “Pirate Sun” For Me Yet

I just got back from Borders attempting to buy Karl Schroeder’s Pirate Sun, but they don’t have it yet. Argh. I’ll be finished with The Yellow Admiral in a few days and I really wanted to dive back into Virga. Maybe the Borders near my house has it… need to check…

08/08/2008 Update: I ordered it from Amazon. They tell me it will be here around the 12th of August.

iPhone OS 2.0.1 – Installed

I just finished updating my 2G iPhone to OS 2.0.1. Usually when I sync my phone, I skip the “backing up iPhone” stage because it takes too damn long, but tonight, I figured I’d better let it complete. That stage alone took over an hour. After the upgrade, the entire sync process took under three minutes. That’s a serious improvement. As for other changes, I haven’t had time to play with it yet. I will be sure to note any improvements or annoyances I find.