Monday, July 28, 2008

Felix Mas

I fell madly in love with this artist on a recent trip to CA. We nearly bought one of his paintings titled Sirena. I also had a hard time walking away from Caballito De Mar. The pieces that were displayed in the gallery we visited can all be seen here

Here are a few of his works. The man is a genius.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Green Rocket Shrimp

I'm pretty excited. I picked up a few of these little guys the other day. First of all I just love the name. "Green Rocket Shrimp." It has a bit of a punch to it. These are some of the more interesting shrimp I've brought home. Some are a light apple green and others show tints of red. I like that the coloring is subtle. You have to spend a moment looking for them in the aquarium and then there they are, right in front of you. Just wish I had better photography skills.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Fungus Amoung Us

My paludarium is going through a bit of a moldy stage right now. It happens often when the wood is fairly new to a wet environment and usually goes away with time.
Most of what I've seen is your garden variety, fluffy, white mold, but Monday I found this little gem. I know it's sortof odd to get excited over a mushroom but this bright orange little guy was straight out of a faery tale.

How Cute is This?

We were walking through Petsmart the other day and came across these little dolls all huddled together. I love birds. someday when I have a greenhouse I'd love to raise some little Finches like these in it .

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Dario oh Dario

My poor little Dario Dario is losing color on his left side. I'm told this is common but I'm still sad!

Friday, July 11, 2008


Throughout my life I have been sortof an accident magnet with around 20 car accidents to my credit. Now I'm sure your first thought is "I'm never getting in a car with you." I wouldn't blame you. So why write about them now? Well on 7/1/08 I was rear-ended yet again. The most common theme being I sitting quietly at a stop light while some jerk blasts into the back of me, this was no exception. Although to be fair this guy was not a "jerk." He was actually quite nice and concerned for my well being. As I wade through numerous phone calls and procedures I recall that a nearly identical situation on 7/3/01 had never been settled. You'd think a simple stop light rear-ending would be fairly cut and dry right. Nope.
I called my insurance sobbing one day after the other guy's insurance company had relentlessly harassed me at home and work for over a week. My always helpful insurance agent suggested I claim the car through State Farm, pay my deductible and other such necessities, and let them collect on the other guy. I did so and went on with my life. For a couple years I called consistently, hoping "any day now" I'd be reimbursed but was always told the same thing, "his insurance is still fighting us." Something to do with the fact that he was an ex cop and that he hadn't been willing to stay around and wait for the cops to show up. Isn't that technically a hit and run? Well unfortunately the cop that showed up to the accident didn't write it down as such. Now seven years later I decided to call and see just what even happened to that claim. Now stop me if you've heard this one before because certainly this has to be a joke. I was told that because there was damage to another area of the car the insurance company wasn't going to accept liability. Their reasoning............if I were to ever get this other area(the left rear quarter panel) fixed I would have to repaint the bumper anyway so that the paint would match. WHAT?! Ok this is the most ridiculous rationalization I have ever heard but hell what can I do?

Car accident roll call.........
My first car accident ever was in my parents' 1987 Mercedes Benz. I can't remember the month or year even but we were cruising along the freeway when my dad had to stop short for traffic and a lady in an old Mercury Cougar slammed into us going 70 mph or so. No one was hurt thankfully.

My second car accident was in my grandmother's 1981 Buick Skylark. She bonked someone while changing lanes and repeatedly announced it was because the guy was in her "blind spot." For years I was afraid of this mysterious "blind spot."

My third car accident happened to be in this same Buick Skylark but years later when it was my turn behind the wheel. I was driving I-80 eastbound when I came upon a patch of black ice and suddenly realized that so had everyone else. I sailed through a blur of spinning automobiles finally coming to rest against a red Jeep Cherokee that happened to spin off into that location prior.

Throughout high school I had my share of necessary beginning driver dings, scratches and crunches.

In July of 1997 I got my first "mine" car. You know that first car that no one in the family is just loaning you. It was a 1994 strawberry red Geo Prism and I promptly
proceeded to add it to the damage club when driving to work one morning. I was turning left and some guy came roaring around the corner "like a bat outa hell" and slammed right into the side of my pretty little girl. Lame!

The next accident was not so much an accident but one of those "no see ems." My brother and his wife were watching the house while my mother and I were out of town. We left them the keys to my car should they need to move it from the driveway. Upon arriving home I found a large dent in the left quarter side panel(That same dent that later on caused problems). I asked if they knew what had happened and they said no. Hmmmm, maybe my enemies are sneakier than I thought.

In the summer of 1998 I was backing out of a parking place in the alley behind PC main street. I was nearly out of the spot when BAM. Young and dumb, I let the guy who hit me, scare me with tales of "company insurance companies that I didn't want to deal with." His excuse......."I saw you backing out and I thought you would have been gone by the time I backed out." What?! Duh Kate! If he would have said that to the cops they would have laughed. Oh well, the damage wasn't too bad.

A few more minor bumps and bruises later and we come to 7/3/01. Sitting at a red light, two cars in front of me, minding my own business. I look in my rear view mirror to see a red Corvette barreling down on me with a driver that is looking down at something on the passenger side. I braced myself for the hit and WHAM!

About a week after I got my car back from the body shop I was rear-ended again at a stop light. This time just as the light turned green. Apparently I wasn't moving quite fast enough for the poor teenage girl who's face was panic stricken as she exited the car. No damage to either car and I told her not to worry about it.

A month or two later I was again sitting at a red light, looking in my rear view mirror and thought "yep he's gonna hit me." The white truck racing up behind did manage to stop in time, but the moment the light turned green, BANG! What is wrong with these people? What was worse, I had my poor Chihuahua Diablo sitting on my lap, dazed from the drugs the vet had administered for his neuter operation. The guy begged me not to call his insurance and promised to pay for whatever damages were done. He made good on the promise and I fixed my car again.

I finally decided to retire little red and traded up to a 1994 Volkswagen Jetta later that year. Great little car other than being mildly possessed. I didn't mind so much that the seat heaters worked only when they wanted, or that the buttons to roll down the door windows changed which window they rolled down on a daily basis, but the sunroof opening and closing on it's own got irritating. This car started out without much better luck. A friend of mine rear-ended me while pulling out of a parking lot. No damage, other than to his pride I'm sure, but come on Richard. I mean I know your car was ten times faster than mine but couldn't you have waited until I was out of the way to prove that? All jokes aside things were looking glim.

In the summer of 2003 I was again at a stop light about to turn right. The guy in front of me went and so did I. It was a sneeze that did me in. Damn summer cold! In that split second where my eyes closed, he jammed his breaks and I ran right into the back of his truck. Ugh! How embarrassing!

In spring of 2004 I fell in love with Subaru's WRX and traded in my Jetta on a bright blue one. On 7/5/04 I rolled it off a cliff. When I dodged to miss the large truck that had come over in to my lane, my little car went over the side and rolled twice down the hill. After tons of tears and a lengthier story than need be written here I decided another WRX was all that would do.

I bought Belle, my first brand new car, on 7/18/04 and promptly wrecked her on 7/19/04. It was the morning of the SCCA(Sport Car Club of America) races and terrified as I was to drive again, I figured a planned course with an instructor beside me was the best way to get back at it. A few runs into the day I was feeling more confident. I came around the last big turn of the course but wait the breaks weren't working. The car was actually going faster. The instructor and I screamed as I did my best to dodge course workers and others cars. I ended up going through a large guard chain and hitting a parked truck. Thank god I'd steered well enough to miss the brand new BMW M5.

One more hit and run, to the driver side door, on poor miss Belle and that brings us to last week. Funny enough I passed the guy who hit me going south on I-15. I looked at the large load of loosely packed items, boards and such, in the back of his trailer and decided I didn't want to be behind him. I passed him and got off on the 45th south exit. He smacked into my bum at the first light after the freeway exit. The damage is fairly minimal and the insurance companies are being unusually helpful so hopeful this will be over quick.

No more accidents K.