Sunday, September 12, 2010

Another one....

The San Antonio Reptile show was this weekend. Oddly enough I have never been tempted to purchase a reptile or amphibian from this show. 1st cardinal sin of reptile shows, buying an animal that looks cool but you have no idea what it is or how to take care of it. Happens constantly! I'm scared of doing this, to the point of OCD. I have never gone both weekend days of this show so I've never had the chance to go, see something I like, come home, research it sufficiently, and then go back and buy it. This weekend was an adventure. Since the hubby is gone for 12 days (he was promoted to sergeant and they have to leave for training) I had a super free weekend (minus the chores that still aren't done) the kid and I went to the show Saturday and then again with my neighbor friend on Sunday (he worked Saturday). I found a teensie tiny frog that I fell in love with. The seller called it a Peacock Reed Tree Frog, aka Big Eye tree frog. They start out a vibrant green peacock like color but normally turn brown as adults, which get to about 2-3" big. I'm ok with that and so I went home to study up on it with the intent on buying Sunday if I deemed it a frog I could handle.

The only reservations I had were the seller was a regular at the show and my minion has purchased from him before. With less than stellar results(many died in less than a week). Apparently the seller often sells wild caught animals. Wild caught animals are usually smuggled out of their country of origin (yes, illegally), shipped under poor conditions in crates to other countries. Then sold in bulk to middle men (like this one). A business practice I don't really want to support. These frogs though, they didn't look wild caught. Wild caught normally look emaciated due to stress, they won't eat, and they also get skin lesions. Also these are so small they can only eat basically what dart frogs eat, fruit flies and spring tails. You have to culture these feeders yourself and not everyone is willing to do this. Well ok most people aren't willing to do this. These frogs are very young and about 1/2 inch long. I'm thinking a month ago they may have been tadpoles. It makes it less likely that these were wild caught, they may very well be captive bred. I asked the seller (not expecting the truth but you never know) and he said wild caught. Then he said well, he didn't really know because they came from a new supplier so they could be captive bred.

I decided to get 2 because they were cheap and pretty and I knew that if anyone could keep them alive it would be me. Vain? Yes. Meticulous? Dude, I'm an analytical chemist. So we'll see how long I can get them to survive. I'm super excited about raising fogs that are not commonly found and I can't find anyone who breeds them yet. Maybe I got a pair with these two...

This image is from Google images, since my shot was so terrible (I need a macro!) I figured I'd give you all a better idea of what they look like in real life. Really, lovely frogs.

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Down for a day

A whole day. My Internet. DOWN. This was a tragedy, seriously I'd like to see how you weather through it. I'm not talking about you traveling and hanging out on the beach all day no Internet. I'm talking regular at work then come home to no Internet. The kid had homework due that instructions were to be downloaded and printed out. I had to email her teacher (from my phone) admit my plight, and have her print it out for the kid and send it home. I mean GEEZ!

There is a method to the madness though. We had Time Warner Cable. The bundle of home phone (useless much?), cable, and Internet. They pissed us off. First off it was cheaper to get the bundle rather than just the 2 services we need (cable and Internet). Then it was insanely expensive regardless unless you got some sort of special. That ran out after 12 months. On month 13 you'd get a super sized bill and have a coronary, call TW cable, and beg them for some new deal. And swallow that one big ass month 13 bill. Every 13 months it reoccurs like some evil birthday. I don't want a special freaking deal, I want service that isn't astronomically priced! Apparently that's too much to ask. And I did ask. Every 13 months.

Then there's the service. There's nothing special about the phone, we only use it to receive telemarketing calls. The Internet was fine but nothing spectacular no matter how many times Manu went on about speed. The cable is what really pissed us off though. We only watch a few channels (like 5) and we have a DVR to record mommy and daddy's shows. For whatever reason (and I really don't give a shit what the reason was) the few channels we watched (including the kid's channels) were coming through pixelated. Completely unwatchable.

So let's do the math. We were paying close to $150 a month for a phone we don't use, Internet, and tv shows we can't watch. Seriously I can't believe we stayed with them for as long as we have. It's embarrassing to admit. Now mind you I didn't bother giving TW cable a chance to fix our issues with the cable. After evaluating what we were paying and what we needed I really could care less if they could fix the cable box since I payed so much for the 'special' and it only lasted 12 months.

One day last month AT&T Uverse called and asked if I wanted to switch. I half listened to the spiel and went with the cheaper one. Hey it couldn't be much worse than what I already had and it cost less. It took a little while, the phone was switched right quick though. The tv came in, we somehow ended up with Direct TV, whatever. It's totally watchable, clear, survives during storms, and easy to use. We're good.

The Internet. Yeah it was a bit more convoluted, took a few phone calls for us to figure out what we needed vs what we had. Finally got the box in though and my turn on time was scheduled for the next day. Now by this time I had cancelled only the phone and cable with TWC, my TW Internet was still going. Of course when AT&T took over my lines the day before activating me they kicked out TWC service. Hence my day without the nets. Once my go time passed I got on the phone with tech support though and was great. Hooked fast with no issues. The day between though, wow. My iphone had the battery almost sucked dry with doing Internet stuff on it.

Embarrassing, really....

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Pet #95,456, yet another mammal....

I am on a 'no more mammals unless I give birth to it' kick. I'm done with the dogs. Love them, just not ever going to get anymore, I'm done with them. I was over chinchillas before moving back to San Diego in 2000, Smidgen is well over 10 years old and can't possibly be long for this world. In the meantime his cage is being used as a stand for 2 new vivariums. My new motto is 'pets only in vivarium form'. If I can't seal them up in a glass box I'm not interested.

Of course there was that whole 'grandmother in San Diego bought the child a rat' thing. Remember me blathering on about that? Well since grandmother did not want to pony up the $75 to ship said rat home with the child we, thankfully, dodged that bullet. Not completely though. The bargain was when the child got home we'd get her a critter of her choice. As long as it wasn't a rat or a hamster. I hate hamsters, they bite. She had her heart set in a guinea pig. I'm oddly ok with that. Then again, even though I don't like rats or hamsters, I've always had a thing for rodents.

So this past Friday (yesterday) I took the child to the pet store and let her pick out a rodent. We already had a guinea pig cage from when we first moved to Texas 4 years ago. I got rid of the chinchilla cage in San Diego with the hopes of deciding on a new bigger one out here. I bought the guinea pig cage as a temp while I ordered Smidge his massive condo. The temp cage has since been stored in the garage. When the kid found out we already owned a cage for a guinea pig she just about had a fit of delight. It basically set the deal in stone. She was waffling between the pig, a bunny (I've raised dwarf holland lops before, I don't want to again), or a turtle (I would have talked her into a tortoise). The guinea pig was by far the lesser of many evils. Many evils. Did you know hermit crabs stink? Yeah we got off easy.

So even though we need another pet like we need another hole in the head (did I mention a friend of mine is giving my hubby 2 of the gray banded king snakes he's always wanted? No? Yeah...) we now have a guinea pig. Named Topf. She's a girl, black with gray and white. I'll get a picture of her when I get off my lazy duff. BTW Topf is the name of an Earth Bender from Avatar, the last Air Bender, the kid's new fav cartoon.