November 11th, 2014

krazy koati

Though there's nothing else I want that would set me free

Since winter is setting in --- Halloween was a clear warning shot even if the week after got tolerably warm again --- that meant we had to start getting the fish back inside the house. This involves a couple of steps, first of which was peeling the net off the pond enough to put some fish traps in. We've got a couple, one metal, one a mesh enclosure that looks more than anything else like a science program's diagram of a wormhole. We tossed them into likely-looking areas and hoped that some fish would feel energetic enough to swim inside, by luck or to try getting the bait, some koi treat pellets, left inside.

And then there's filling up the tub in the basement. We filled that to about halfway using the garden hose and then tugged long and hard on the plug in it so that it stopped leaking. That was annoying, since the handle is rubber, and squeezes around in any wrench, which can't be turned more than about an eighth of a turn without hitting the tub's walls. We also poured in some of this chemical treatment that's supposed to neutralize the chlorination of city water, so that it won't stress the fish.

Remarkably, within the first two days --- basically, our first attempt --- we'd gotten six of our eight adult fish inside the wire-mesh wormhole trap; we had something like ten baby fish within the metal cage (and one in the mesh). Getting them out of the wire cage is easy, as it cracks open like a plastic egg. The mesh one is harder, as you basically have to hold open the mesh wide enough for the fish to fit through, and also have to squeeze down the mesh so the fish can't just swim away from the alarmingly weird thing that is your hands. So, yes, I ended up basically grabbing fish to toss them into the main body of the tub in the basement. I hope this has not stressed them too badly, and that they take it as just, sheesh, humans are weird.

Trivia: The barrels to the ``Paris Gun'' Big Berthas could be fired about 45 times before becoming useless. Source: Eleventh Month, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Hour,Joseph E Persico.

Currently Reading: Ignition! An Informal History of Liquid Rocket Propellants, John D Clark. So, wait, somebody (not the author) thought, ``you know what hydrazine really needs? To be mixed with beryllium!'' And presumably went home satisfied with that day's work?