[Taken 17 April 2005 | Koi at the Cox Arboretum | Dayton, OH]
The exact inhabitants of the fish tank in the living room exist in a rather fluid (pun not quite intended) state. Our attitude towards the fish is rather the same as our attitude toward the plants in the flowerbed – survival of the fittest.
That being said, there is definitely a fish in the tank that should not be surviving… and yet, inexplicably, is. We call this one "the scoliosis fish". It is the lowest of the low in the pecking order of our small school of red tetras. A while ago it was in a fight (or something) and its tail was bitten (or nibbled or chewed) completely off. Completely. But since it could still swim, sort of, John and I decided to leave it alone, sit back, and see what would happen.
Eventually (over several long months) its tail grew back, though the new tail is nowhere near as big as the original tail was. However, during those tail-less months, the fish developed an extremely pronounced S-curve in its spine. Even though its tail grew back, it is having more trouble getting around then ever. But it is still getting around. It can make its way around the tank well enough to eat and do all of the normal fishy things.
Every now and then John and I think that maybe we ought to just put it out of its misery, but, at the same time… it has hung in this far…. Can fish be thought of as managing to persevere in the face of almost insurmountable deformities?
We also have between 1 and 3 little baby mollys in the tank. The reason I can't be more specific about the number is because we haven't actually seen 2 of them in about a week. The missing 2 could either have been eaten by the larger fish, or could simply be doing a good job of hiding in all of the plant life at the bottom of the tank.
[Taken 15 August 2006 | During the Main Field Battle | Pennsic XXXV, Cooper's Lake, PA]
John and I have been back from Pennsic almost two weeks at this point, and I haven't posted until this because… frankly, I am a bit lazy when it comes to updating this (though I am not quite as lazy with getting several gigabits worth of photos processed and uploaded to my flickr site) and it is quite easy to get off track when I have been away for a bit, and quite a bit hard to get back on track again.
Now to reminisce…
Pennsic was great. The weather was the best that it has ever been of all of the (5) Pennsics that I have attended – mid 80s, only moderate humidity, very few bugs, nice breezes, and, most important, very very little rain. It only rained once during the night, and then again a little bit while we were packing up to leave
I collected a lot of bruises, including a very spectacular one on my right bicep that is only now (two weeks later) almost fully healed. I also sprained my right wrist somehow, probably through overuse, and that is also almost all healed. Bruises mean you had fun, so I must really have had a lot of fun.
There is always so much available to do at Pennsic… hanging out in camp, parties, good food, better drink, plentiful shopping, dancing, music, classes, pageantry, and (the central purpose, as it is a WAR after all) fighting. Most of what John and I did at Pennsic was fence. Oh, we wandered around the merchants a bit and did some shopping, and also had some pretty good food, but pretty much our Pennsic was all about the fencing. And I have to say, that the Midrealm fencers acquitted themselves pretty darn well, as we won two of our war points and tied with the East on the third. Midrealm might have lost the overall war, but the fencers kicked some serious ass.
John and I also spent quite a bit of time hanging out in camp with other members of our Barony and doing quite a bit of partying there, but that pretty much goes without saying. As a direct result of this, I have acquired a taste for Johnny Jump-Ups (Jameson and hard cider) and single-malt scotch. Yum.
[Taken 12 July 2006 | Blue Waterlily in the Begonia House | Botanical Gardens, Wellington, NZ]
Thie past weekend, John and I set up the tent that we borrowed from my folks in the backward. We hosed it down to clean it off and check for any leaks, since it had been a while since it was last used, and then used waterproofing compound to touch up any questionable spots, to try to forstall any leaks while we are at Pennsic next week. My Dad included a sheet of instructions for how to set the tent up, but it is pretty simple, and we probably could have figured it out without the instructions, though they sure were helpful.
My Mom brought the tent down from Cleveland for me, when she and my Granny visited for a long lunch about a week ago. It is the tent that my family used when we went camping when my brothers and I were little, and it is almost as old as I am. They don't make them like this anymore, and haven't for a while. It is a big cabin-type tent, though not quite as big as I remembered it. I remember it as being more then roomy enough to sleep six and still have space for duffle bags, suitcases, stuffed animals, shoes, and all other sundry. Of course, for the time I am remembering, four of the six involved were kids.
I always remember things from my childhood as being larger then they actually are...
It is a good old tent, and will be more then enough for two adults and all of their gear at an event like Pennsic.
[Taken 15 July 2006 | Sculptures on Wellington Harbor Walk at Dawn | Wellington, NZ]
Who would believe that I would already miss the cool sun, rain, and blustery winter weather of New Zealand?
There has been quite the heat wave in my little section of the world lately... eXtreme heat warnings, heat advisories, mid- to upper- 90 degrees F, very humid... I have been glad of the AC. This morning at 7:30am it was already like stepping into a sauna. The humidity haze has been reminding me of the haze in the Smoky Mountains. And on Tuesday we got a little pre-taste of what fencing is probably going to be like at Pennsic this year, exvept that at Pennsic there won't be any trees to provide shade.
The weatherman has been promising a break in the heat, which was to start in the early afternoon with some thunderstorms. (eXtreme thunderstorms) By about 8:30 this evening I had finally decided that it was not going to rain afterall, and that I had better water the flowerbeds. Naturally, when I was about halfway through watering... it started to rain. But since it only lasted about 10 minutes, I didn't even bother putting the hose away.
Earlier at work I was complaining a bit about the heat, saying something like, "It feels like it is already August!" This got me a bit of an odd look, and it was gently pointed out to me that, of course, it is August. Oops. Well, I guess that I have been out of town so often over the past couple of months that the summer completely got away from me. Huh.
I would also like to speculate as to why exactly Dayton gets as humid as it does, since there isn't a significant body of water anywhere near here.