Mrs. NFB's car is playing hinky with us. My guess would be the battery got all hosed up when she went through the whole fuel system shut down problem and now it can't hold a charge in the cold. Hope that's what it is, as it's a cheap fix. Now for a day where it's warm enough I can actually get the battery swapped out without losing fingers in the process.
Having a garage would be pretty cool. Or, not quite as cool as not having a garage this time of year.
LLT upped the awesome this weekend. She took a shining to her wet hide, which I had been told over and over again, by expert after expert, both online and off, that Leopard Geckos only need during shed time. Well, she liked it all the time. And far be it from me to deprive one of our not human children. So, since they ugly red bowl with a hole cut in it filled with even uglier paper towels moistened every couple days with a spray bottle was just plain eyesore material, I decided to do something about it.
So I went looking for commercial hides designed to provide a wet/moist environment for smaller reptiles. Failtastic everywhere I looked. Most of them are either way too big, or way too small. One looked like it might fit, but had the access for the reptile in the top. She could easily get in, but I don't know that she'd ever get back out without help.
So, in typical me fashion, I went and grabbed a standard issue flat hide. Then I took it out to the shed and cut a floor with the dremel out of styrene to fit it. I sanded the styrene down with 200 grit to rough it up a bit, wet sanded the edges with 400 grit to take off any rough bits and lose any flash left. I thought about making a tiny lip at the entrance to hold in the bedding, but in the end decided to wait and see how she handles it the way it is.
Grabbed a bag of some special grade vermiculite stuff, soaked it, set up the floor, put wet vermiculite all around it, then set it up with the hide as a lid after her weekly enclosure cleaning. After about a half-hour the floor heat caused the moisture to begin to "steam up" and the ceiling of the hide began to collect water drops. These drops seem to be her favorite method of drinking. And she LOVES digging in the vermiculite. Makes a much better bed for her than paper towels.
And, after all that, she rewarded us with two things. She went through another shed, during the day while we were mostly present. Then, she ate a cricket right in front of us. She stalked it, sat perfectly still for a moment, then her little tail shot up in the air and she lunged. No more cricket. I knew she'd been doing it, but it's the first time we got to witness it first hand.
She's a tiny bit upset each morning when I just do a quick once over of the enclosure and don't pick her up to give her babyfood, but she's doing a good job feeding herself. She's still getting a tiny bit of baby food each evening right before we head off to bed, but we're tapering that off too. I've caught her licking at her powdered calcium twice more, and as noted above she's been taking water from the droplets formed on her new hide's ceiling. Essentially, she's gone from being entirely reliant on us for every bit of food and vitamins to taking care of her own needs. It was a big step this past week when we started to cut off her morning feedings, but it seems to be paying off.
And no longer do the vet's words of warning, "you've got a long road ahead of you" seem so threatening. In fact, aside from the stubby regrown tail, you really can't tell she was ever neglected. She's getting a bit of a belly, and is pretty active when we're around. Good things.
In not so good news, the fish fiasco has ended. Badly. The rasboras that survived quarantine and didn't appear to be harboring any other signs of problems were moved to the big tank. By the time I got up the next morning, the old-timers were obviously sick. No idea what this disease was. It was rasbora specific, as no other fish showed any signs of problems. The rasboras would slowly begin to freeze up, and breathe rapidly. Within a few hours, they'd be dead. It's like they were attacked by something that made them paralyzed, to the point where they couldn't even breathe.
The last of them left us less than twenty-four hours after contact with the new fish. The new ones succumbed the next day while I was at work. All that is currently left are the ottos, and the cory cats in the quarantine tank. All seem healthy, are eating well, and show no signs of problems. Water tests all checked out in both tanks. And the dealer again says they were shocked I was able to get any of that shipment to live as long as I did.
And I feel I'm a failure as a fishkeeper.
It's the first time since I started to understand aquarium basics that I've had such a problem with one. And even though I understand the new ones were doomed before I got them, I don't understand why I was stupid enough to believe they were over the hump since they had been doing so good. Hindsight, 20/20 and all that, but damn. Me = dumb and lives were lost because of it. If not for the success of our little LLT, I'd be seriously doubting my animal skills at the moment.
Have an outside of work job in the works that could provide for a nice little income boost in the next couple months. BB and I will be working together on it. It sounds pretty promising. Nothing huge and major, but enough to justify charging like a contractor. And that's good times right there.
Mrs. NFB heard my last few demos this weekend and started in on how her and her family love my stuff. Well, see, I'm partially of the opinion that they love my stuff because they love me. It's easy to hear something from someone you care about and go, "wow, I didn't know YOU could do that?!" But if you heard the same thing from some random stranger, the reaction would obviously be less thrill-tastic.
I like the ego-stroke, and I'll keep doing what I do. But her ideas on it are along the lines that my ideas were when I was a teen. It's nice to have the support of a spouse telling you you could be a rock star, unfortunately I'm about twenty years past thinking that would even be close to doable myself. I'm a dude with a microphone and guitar in the back room. I'm never gonna be that guy.
But hey, I'll don the guitfiddle and sing for my baby anytime she wants. THAT I can do.
In my nightclub for one. Yeah.
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