Saturday, May 16, 2009

The good, the bad, and the, erm, dead

The Good:  The yard sale netted $382.87 over three days, with just over $83 of that assigned for Liza to split between her savings and spending accounts.  Most of the stuff is gone, although I didn't meet my personal goal of selling that ugly-ass black sink (for $5!  you can't even buy the knobs on the cabinet for $5!).

The Bad:  Today I sat in the garage from 9am until 5pm and sold a total of seven items.  One of them was a Playstation with games, and the young kid who was getting it jumped up and down all the way to his car, screaming "This is the happiest day of my life!"  That sort of made up for the hours and hours of watching it rain and stop raining and oh, look, it's raining again.  At least I got a lot of knitting done.

The Ugly:  "Um, Gretchen, the you-know-what's aren't looking too healthy."  Yeah, you could say that, what with the comatose triops bodies and spastic twitching.  As near as I can figure, the carrot that I grated into their water to supplement their food (as instructed in the manual) must have had some kind of pesticide on it or something.  Or, possibly, I put too much in and it fouled the water ... but I don't think that would have happened so fast.  I fed them before dinner, and by the time we had wolfed down our food, it looked like the Orkin man had come to visit the tank.

Crap, crap, crap.  I grabbed a spare gladware container and the bottle of distilled water we keep to top off the sump pump backup battery, then realized that the water was basement temperature, not the nice 80 degrees the triops water currently was, so I had to microwave it until it was lukewarm.  Then I used a spoon to fish out the twitchiest triops, taking as little of the original water as possible, and plunked them in the new tank.  Two were hopefuls, two were only flailing one little swimmerette every once in a while, and the other four looked dead as a doornail.  After a few minutes in the new water, though, they started to perk back up.  The hopefuls stopped swimming around upside down on the bottom and started swimming normally, while the flailers started moving more limbs.  Then one of the doornails - let's call it 'Lazarus' - started fluttering one little swimmerette.  Hallelujah!  It's like Easter, only with exoskeletons!

All in all, we managed to salvage five of the eight, which is probably a more sustainable number of animals for this tiny tank, anyway.  The three that croaked were the smallest ones, so I guess whatever it was that caused the distress - fouled water, pesticide, lack of oxygen - hit them the hardest.  At least Liza isn't too upset about it.  As a matter of fact, I had to keep elbowing her out of the way and telling her to be quiet and let me concentrate on letting me fish them out of the old tank, because she was gleefully asking, "Ooooh, are they dead?  Which ones are dead?  Is that one dead?" every 0.85 seconds.  On a less creepy note, we finally got to examine one up close (while it was holding reeeeeeeealy still) and confirm that they do, in fact, have three eyes.  So that was cool.

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