You are currently browsing the September, 2009 archives.

Wine 1, Cryptospam 0, Wine 0

Posted 2009.09.27 21.58 in Life On Drugs, Pointless Blather by Stephanie


The cryptospam still wasn’t working, but the wine was nice.

For a while, then it wore off.

Back to step one.

Possibly the Last Fry Update

Posted 2009.09.26 22.04 in Aquaria by Stephanie

So my zebrafish fry are about a month old, perhaps even a bit more than that. Their numbers have dwindled to only seven, out of over 3 dozen. Those who remained, however, have been growing. They’ve doubled their size I think, from when I first found them. The longest is about 7mm long. They’re developing tail fins and their wee bodies are developing. When I am able to see them using a loupe I can even see their stripes are coming in.

Zebra FrySo, I figured that I shouldn’t be still keeping them in that inadequately small plastic ‘tank’ any more. Especially considering that ‘tank’ has no filtering and no way to add filtering. I figured, I have a breeder box that hangs inside a larger tank, it has little slits to let water move in and out but keeps the big hungry fishes away. I know when the fry were first born they were small enough to drift in and out with the water which is why I didn’t use it in the first place. But now, they’re much bigger. Well, doubled in size anyways.

Not big enough, it seems.

I put all seven into the breeder box and before I knew it there were only five. Ingenious thing about the design of the breeder box – the slits are angled in such a way that the fry can figure out how to exit but they can’t figure out how to get back in. I spotted one trying to get back in, he was poking at it and swimming into it over and over but couldn’t get through the slots. So I scooped him up and put him back in. Still, it’s fairly easy for them to get out, it seems.

Within an hour, there were only four. Now at last check, there’s just two left in there.

Zebrafish Fry

The ones who’ve moved on out into the big wide open world (well, big wide open tank anyways) are in a dangerous place. There’s four harlequin rasboras and two peppered corydoras, all of whom would love to eat a little wriggly fish fry. I did spot one of the rasboras chasing a fry, and on this one occasion, the fry escaped. But who knows if that will happen next time around.

So, the fry seem bound and determined to strike out on their own and I suppose I have to sit back and let them do their thing. Maybe they’ll all end up being fish-food in the first 24 hours. Maybe one or two will even survive. I suppose it’s just up to luck now.

Cryptospam Fail

Posted 2009.09.26 17.42 in Life On Drugs, Pointless Blather by Stephanie

So, Saturday evening. Rainy out. Quiet, other than the hum and trickle of the aquarium filters. No more dizzy spells or heebie-jeebies which is ok.

On the other hand, the cryptospam doesn’t seem to be working at all. It’s like it switched off, and now everything starts with D. ¬†Darkness; Depression; Despair.


Maybe some wine will help. Nothing like a depressant to chase away the blues, right?

Office Chair vs. Wheelchair – Part 1

Posted 2009.09.26 13.03 in Pointless Blather by Stephanie

Here on Planet Stephanie, office chairs are an important part of everyday furniture – even in the household. Office chairs allow one to roll back and forth from the desk to the cupboard, or from one side of the desk to the other. They’re the right height for working at the desk. The desk being another very important part of home furnishings – the most important, almost. (A good Sofa of Relaxation is also crucial.)

Unfortunately, the main benefit of the office chair, is also its biggest problem. The wheels.

They are made of this hard, unforgiving plastic. Probably ABS. On carpet, they crush the carpet fibres down, and on floor, they grind the top surface away. Even on a cement floor, those hard plastic wheels eventually crush and break up the top layer of cement, resulting in dust and a damaged floor.

Ok, yes, you can buy these floor / carpet protectors. We’re aware of them. They do not work. The carpet ones have all these nubbly bits that anchor them to the carpet. These eventually drill holes in your carpet, and merely slow the overall crushing of the rest of the surface. Plus they make it hard to wheel around, which is the main point of the office chair in the first place. The floor protectors don’t have nubbly bits but they also don’t do a damn thing to protect the floor. Worse, they can accellerate the damage should something get underneath the ‘protector’.

Read more »

Office Chair vs. Wheelchair – Part 2

Posted 2009.09.25 20.11 in Pointless Blather by Stephanie

So, comparing the office chair to the wheelchair, in actual practical use. There are some pros and cons to both, and so far, there’s no clear winner.

Office chair pros:
Can move sideways
Easy to adjust the height
Office chair cons:
Hard plastic wheels damage floor
Mostly plastic construction
Wheelchair pros:
Rubber wheels (less/no floor damage)
Sturdy metal construction
Wheelchair cons:
Cannot go sideways!
No obvious way to alter height

Wheel Chair
They are both about tied when it comes to comfort, as well. The office chair is generally not-terribly-comfortable overall, in any level of slouch. The wheelchair is a comfort-winner when you sit in certain positions, but then in other positions there are sharp hard metal poking bits jabbing into my legs, or shoulders, depending on the amount of slouching. I could probably grind down the poking bits or cover them with some soft foam, and may end up doing that at some point.

Also, despite being made out of metal (steel?) tubing, the wheelchair seems much less customizable than I had initially thought. I guess due to the compactness or foldingability, but all the structural parts are arranged such that if I bolt things on, they’ll end up jabbing me in the arms or legs. So, for the moment at least, no ChairCam and no drink holder. I suppose if I wanted to permanently disable the foldingability then I could bolt things across the back of the chair, and maybe add some storage compartments to the underside.

Anyhow, stay tuned, parts 1 and 3 will be coming later.

C41 Film, B&W Chemistry

Posted 2009.09.25 9.35 in Hobbies, Photography by Stephanie

So I’ve tried a few times to process colour film at home in Black & White chemicals. And I’ve had a few failures. It started out as a lark, then became a bit of a challenge and a learning process. In the meantime, I also got a newer, better scanner that has a bit more oomph in its transparency adapter and can better manage the darker negs that colour film produce. (Darker due to a built-in orange mask.)

My most-recent attempt actually produced workable results! Pitty I wasn’t trying to take good pictures.

What happened was, I picked up one of those disposable / one-use cameras. It was cheap, a ‘store-brand’, and mostly I wanted to take it apart to get at the shutter assembly and the electronic flash components. So I had 27 frames of film to piss away, and I did just that, snapping here there and whatever. The film was ISO 800 which is very fast (for me at least, I used to think 100 was ‘standard’ and 400 was ‘very fast’; now 400 seems standard.)

Anyhow, so at the end of the day I had managed to waste the whole roll and took the camera apart to get it out. The no-name camera contained a roll of no-name film. I had been hoping for some clue as to who made it, so I’d have some hope of knowing what to expect. No luck. So I snipped off a bit of the leader then loaded the rest into my developing tank.

Read more »

No Fair!

Posted 2009.09.24 15.22 in DID, Life On Drugs, Pointless Blather by Stephanie

It’s not fair! I took my cryptospam. I had a rest yesterday. I haven’t had nearly as much extra large extra strong coffees.¬†Why am I still dizzy and befuddled?!

About the only improvement from yesterday is that my eyemuscles have stopped convulsing. But I’m still feeling twitchy and my eyeballs are still itchy. Gawd I hate that!

And another thing – how is it that minutes and hours take forever, but actual weeks and months go by quickly? Something is really messed up with the way time works. Somebody should look into that, do a study.