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Old 08-07-2012, 06:13 PM   #241 
Pilot00
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http://www.ebay.com/itm/Broken-Aircr...item41662c1c00

You can go a little hardcore all the while being subtle
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Old 08-08-2012, 02:35 AM   #242 
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Haha, thanks Pilot and BLT (Cleo's still the megastar diva of our fish population, if she was human she'd be Tyra Banks I think) I quite liked the idea of the Cambodian ruins... and with a bit of a look-about found this, which I think may make all concerned persons and fish quite happy - depending on the size..

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Old 08-08-2012, 08:20 AM   #243 
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This aquarium has been the only one I have ever seen that has used an aquarium decoration without it looking tacky:

http://www.plantedtank.net/forums/sh...d.php?t=115633
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Old 08-09-2012, 12:37 AM   #244 
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D'oh. I am now having visions of a certain group of strohi swimming about in a scaled replica of Angkor Wat...

Also, it seems we're moving house. After another emo fit from our other housemate (the one I don't like and thus never talk about, let's call him 'Slammy') I finally lost my temper and gave him what-for, and started looking for another house for me, Daughter and Irish (who is more than happy to move with us).

We found a nice place to go look at this Saturday, and the landlord sounds great, so cross fingers for us!

Of course this happens -after- I set up a three foot tank. Thank all the gods I did not make it a dirt tank!!
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Old 08-10-2012, 04:59 AM   #245 
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Well, it's taken more than a month (I didn't want to eat it all in one sitting) and I've finally caught up with this blog/journal. What an uncanny journey, however brief, and how steep the learning curve. Just blow-minding.

Thanks for the poetry, Aus, and for sharing your wonderful short stories---not to mention your photographs, which are high-quality, indeed.

I've mentioned to you before how much I enjoy your narrative style. It had me in stitches on occasion and, by turns, in tears and on the edge of my seat.

Now I can just visit here weekly or so and enjoy the latest adventures of the most rapidly growing and learning Betta keeper I've ever met.

Last edited by Hallyx; 08-10-2012 at 05:03 AM.
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Old 08-10-2012, 05:53 AM   #246 
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I like that Aus keeps her journal constantly updated as I get to see how my little strohi turds are doing. It will make me feel like a grandparent if they manage to get any fry hatched haha.

Where's your new house going to be at? Same suburb/area or elsewhere? I would never be able to share a house with anyone that wasn't immediate family. Even with immediate family, I can see now why some baby birds push their siblings from the nest!

Hope things work out for you and good luck with moving your fish tank.
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Old 08-12-2012, 06:38 PM   #247 
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Hallyx - way to make me blush, mang. But awh, thank you. There's no greater compliment a writer can get than being read. And yeah, I have fast tracked things a bit from outset to present, but keeping fish was always a secret yearning for me, and I'm loving it s much now I finally got around to it.

And since you like my stories so much - I included another one just for you today. =P (did I mention that writers also have giant egos, albeit made of silly putty and eggshells?)

LBF: I was so going to call you 'Grandma' if this spawn happened. :D

Thanks for the well-wishes. :) We're hoping to move locally, maybe no further than a suburb or two away. I like this general area, and Daughter's school is here and all.. the house we are going to look at was postponed til this week some time as apparently the prior tenants made a bit of a mess of it, so it's still being cleaned up -- I love the sound of this place, and reallllly hope we get it.

Irish is a great housemate, more like family than not (we've been friends for many years now, and our various neuroticisms tend to align quite nicely for the most part which is awesome) so I don't mind sharing a place with people like him. Passive aggressive door slammers suck, however. So do terminally unwilling to fix anything landlords. Can't wait for a nice new house.

Anyhow, here's the story. I'm too weary to scan it for terrible swears, so if there's one or two I apologise in advance:

Dooley's Treasure

by Aus 2010



Simple Gint tore up the last of the floorboards, his short forehead buckling into a frown so deep that his hairline almost met his eyebrows.

He raised his voice, in order to be heard over the storm and the din of what must be a couple of thousand wind-chimes hanging outside on the decrepit shack's porch, some made of old brass forks and bits of tin, others of bone or seashells, and most painted with the symbol of the Eye, a supposed ward against black magic.

"Ain't no treasure here, Padrick. An' this place is givin' me th' willies. Feels witched, it does."

O'Malley was the second man hired to help find the rumoured loot. "I say we wait this squall out an' then get oursel's back te th' pub and a pint fer our trouble. Waste o' feckin time..." He was almost spherical and had the face of an over-fed cherub, but O'Malley was also no easy prey; not a few men had fought with him and died for their trouble.

A third man sat amid the rubble on an upturned crate. Known to the others only as Padrick, he spoke in a low rumble of a voice which somehow sounded clearly over the racket outside, and the wind's eerie whistle through the salt-buckled walls. "Aye. Witched."

Simple Gint lifted his chin toward Padrick. "Know a tale, do ye?"

"Aye." Padrick nodded, tugging thoughtfully at his beard.

O'Malley's corpulent body wobbled with a shiver that had nothing to do with the chill, dank air. "Awa' wi' ye daft ****e."

"Abou' seventy year ago, in this very shack," said Padrick, ignoring O'Malley, "A man by name o' Dooley got rich, after killin' off his rivals, smugglers all."

"Th' murderin' bastard," gasped Gint, being himself no stranger to treachery nor profiteering.

"Aye," Padrick drew a pipe from a pocket inside his oil-skin coat. "An' not only tha'…" He struck a match against his boot. A cloud of blue-grey smoke billowed, sweet and spicy, as he puffed the pipe alight. "Dooley sold his god-given soul awa' to a devil's hag, a real sea-witch from th' deep, in exchange fer seventy extra years o' life'. An' seventy he lived, to th' very day, afore she came to get her due."

There was a sharp grunt from O'Malley. "Wha's with all them feckin' chimes, then? Did he aim te go mad wi' th' bloody racket, as well be damned?"

Padrick's lips drew into a smirk. "Tha's how he kept th' witch at bay, long after she came to collect."

Simple Gint's stubbly jaw went slack. "She come fer 'im, then?"

"Aye," said Padrick. "On a night when no wind blew, an' Dooley was too weary and crazed te keep th' chimes soundin'."

"Why didn't he jes' move away?" O'Malley sounded bored. His stomach let out a loud rumble.

"Because a witch scorned will follow ye like th' hounds o'hell itself. Besides, Dooley was safe here, where he could keep his chimes playin', a sound she could no' bear."

"So wha' happened to 'im then?" Simple Gint's cordy arms were wrapped about himself, his protuberant eyes fixed widely on Padrick.

"The wind stopped an' did not start up again. Dooley lasted fer days withou' food nor sleep, sittin' out on his porch, bangin' on them chimes wi' a broom for all he was worth. Bu' there's a limit te a man - in the end he could do no more bu' lie down an' wait fer his fate"

Padrick's voice grew deeper still as he lowered it, and as if the wind was in concurrence with his mood, it too quieted. "She came slitherin' outta th' waves, wi' her lower limbs them of an octopus. Bu' her upper half were a woman, an' there she was comely as any milkmaid, wi' these great big titties like tha', and eyes green as the deep itself. Feckin' lovely -- e'en wi' her sweet mouth openin' up te a mawful o' shark's teeth."

"I must ask ye." Gint blinked, and swallowed. "Ye say it was nigh seventy year ago, bu' yet ye speak as if…?"

A crooked smirk spread over Padrick's lips. "As if I saw it, fer meself? Aye, that I did."

"It's jes' ****e ye be speakin' now!" O'Malley's patience only went so far. "Yer no' a day older'n forty. How could ye have witnessed anythin' at all seventy years ago?"

Gint frowned at Padrick. O'Malley had a point.

"Seventy years, my arse." O'Malley drew to his feet, resembling an indignant puffer fish. "Yer full o' ****e, you are."

Padrick stood up, too, towering over the fat man. "I ne'er spoke a truer thing in me life."

It was then Simple Gint noticed that the wind had died down utterly. The chimes went quiet. "But h..how's it true?" His fishy eyes blinked again. "Unless…"

Padrick laughed. "Ye've guessed me secret an' all, lad."

"What secret?" O'Malley demanded.

"He's sold his soul, Darbin." Gint said, quietly. "Te tha' witch."

Before O'Malley could protest, Padrick cut in, "I did, indeed."

"****e," said O'Malley.

"What was that?" Gint shot to his feet, whey-faced. "Did ye hear it? Somethin' outside th' door, just now… slitherin'?"

O'Malley rolled his eyes. "Storm or no, I'm gettin' th' feck out. Mad bastards."

Padrick watched the tubby thief waddle toward the door. "As I was sayin'… she warmed te me, after I asked her to be me missus."

O'Malley snorted his derision, and opened the door.

A soft gurgle, like water draining down a hole, was drowned out by the fat man's high-pitched screams, and Simple Gint hit the floor in a dead faint half a second after.

Padrick's wife gurgled again, in approval of the lovely gifts he'd brought her.

Padrick grinned happily, "There y'are, Mrs. Dooley. A fine supper for ye, from th' pub. Happy anniversary, m' darlin'."

Last edited by Aus; 08-12-2012 at 06:53 PM.
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Old 08-14-2012, 04:19 PM   #248 
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Very Handy Links #1

I'm putting this here so I don't lose it: a very handy disease link, with pics:

http://badmanstropicalfish.com/fish_...html#Cloudyeye
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Old 08-16-2012, 03:17 AM   #249 
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The strohi are so hilarious.

I was cleaning the tank today, and a few grains of sand were dancing up and down the vac chamber. So of course, this looks a lot like FOOD and all five were circling it like a sharks, while I was desperately nudging them all away for fear they'd get sucked up into the tube. Were they obliging? Heck no.

It became a bit of a game - I'd nudge, they'd scatter, then return and get even closer to the end of the vac. Now and then Cotton (daughter named her this after I spent a few days in utter panick that the fish had caught cottonmouth, because my child is a darling that way...) would simply stare at me which is her favourite fishy pastime, it seems. I think she's my favourite, just because she's fat and sassy and likes to people-watch as much as I like to watch fish.

No news on new houses yet... I am thrilled about and dreading the idea of moving all at once.

I found a really enormous ramshorn in Cole's tank today that I had never seen before. And there's a tiny one, really tiny, in the micro tank - how it got there, I do not know.

I am beginning to suspect that snails can teleport.

Now all five strohi are holding some sort of fishy union meeting near the filter. Probably plotting to steal teleportation from the snails so they can zap themselves right into the food jar.

Last edited by Aus; 08-16-2012 at 03:20 AM.
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Old 08-16-2012, 03:43 AM   #250 
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Probably trying to find a gap to jump out of so you can experience the true joy of owning wild bettas haha. Lost two tussyae fry last night as I had knocked their lid off and they must have gotten spooked and jumped. Still kicking myself about it.

Glad to hear they are doing alright. Those strohi have been up my siphon more times than I can count (that sounds surprisingly dirty now I have written it out). That's how one of them got injured. I half siphoned him up and he had this big black mark all on one side of his body and a bleeding gill. I am bad for sucking fish up!
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