Animals Out of Place

About 15 minutes ago I parked my car in the parking lot of my office, which is in North Atlanta, near Perimeter Mall. As I was walking across the lot toward the building, I saw something move, out of the corner of my eye. I turned, expecting to see a goose or maybe a cat. But it was a fox! A beautiful, grey fox, about two feet tall at the shoulder. It quickly ran into the bushes, and then something else caught my eye. I turned to look where the fox had come from, and there was another one. This one was smaller, maybe a foot and a half high, just as beautiful. It was probably a juvenile, probably the first fox’s child. I tried to get out my iPhone to take a picture, but the sound of the velcro on the holster spooked the child, and he darted back into the bushes.

It’s been a long time since I’ve seen a fox that wasn’t in a zoo, and I certainly didn’t expect to see one in such a busy area. I really wish I could have gotten some photos.

Apple Still Working on MobileMe

I just received an email from Apple regarding MobileMe. Here’s what it said

We have already made many improvements to MobileMe, but we still have many more to make. To recognize our users’ patience, we are giving every MobileMe subscriber as of today a free 60 day extension. This is in addition to the one month extension most subscribers have already received. We are working very hard to make MobileMe a great service we can all be proud of. We know that MobileMe’s launch has not been our finest hour, and we truly appreciate your patience as we turn this around.

It’s good to see the bit in there about this launch not being their “finest hour.” That shows that they recognize how bad this rollout has been. But they better solve it soon or they’ll be giving everyone a free year. We’re already up to 90 days of free service.

I really like MobileMe, though the only part of it that I really use is syncing bookmarks and stuff between my Mac Pro and iBook. I tried to setup the Outlook integration on my Windows laptop the other day, but it didn’t seem to actually do anything. I guess that’s part of what’s broken with the service, maybe.

When General Motors Was Dreaming

The New York Times has a slideshow today of gorgeous old cars called When General Motors Was Dreaming. Some of the cars were just prototypes, but some were production. And all of them had beautiful angles and style. Most cars on the road today are almost identical to every other car. My friend Fred says they all look like “melted Hershey bars” which is just about true.

I still have this dream that one day I’ll buy a car from the 50’s. That was the true golden age of American automobiles.

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.