austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Come and see the real thing

Wednesday, the plan bunny_hugger and I had was, started when we looked at the week stretching indefinitely far ahead of us and bought tickets at Meijer's, that we would go to the Cedar Point amusement park in Sandusky, Ohio.

By Tuesday, we had some premonitions that the weather Wednesday might be pretty near lousy. There can be advantages to going to an amusement park when the weather isn't ideal, in that there's less of a crowd, and slightly cool weather may mean the afternoon is less tiring and you need fewer 64-ounce sodas to avoid collapsing from heat stroke. But there can be disadvantages too, such as trying to ride a roller coaster while a monsoon whips rain into your face and lightning shuts down everything. The weather forecast was looking more like this latter sort of weather, so we figured we might put things off a day.

This gave us a day hanging around fairly loosely, but one of the nice things about visiting someone else's home is that we knew there were things to do even when there wasn't anything else to do. We expected to spend some time exploring the state capital, which may not sound like much fun to you but tickled both our fancies. Or there was going to a pet store, which I think started out with the notion that we might be picking up something for bunny_hugger's pet rabbit and/or mice, although I don't remember that we actually did pick up anything after all.

The pet store was a charming place, though, sprawled out over more territory than any pet stores I'd been to in places I lived, which mostly put them in shopping malls in stores no bigger than what Waldenbooks got. (Well, I suppose one could get pets at Agway, which in the field of selling all kinds of agricultural products and being out in what used to be the middle of nowhere before ``where'' started building up in the 60s got pretty well sprawling out, but I wouldn't think of that as a pet store.) Although it had plenty of space, though, it was also packed, with the shelving and the decorations stuffed full of things, and even including a little koi pond long and thin so that there could be a wooden bridge. The fish had tumbled on to how some people will toss food their way, as well, so there'd be action going on as people walked by, even people like me and bunny_hugger who didn't plan on tossing any food anywhere.

One of the main features that I remember from it, besides the koi pond, was the little enclave for birds. Some of them were allowed to sit out of their cages and glare at people who were just a wee bit too close to them to feel comfortable. Some were left in cages which were covered up, partly or fully, with the warning about how they were new to the shop and needed their time to get comfortable with the sights, sounds, and ambiance so place don't go annoying them. I've never had a problem not annoying creatures with the ability to snap my finger in half, so I was content to just try peeking between the edges of the covering fabric. With it confirmed that birds were indeed in there I was pretty much satisfied.

Another splendid part was for the miscellaneous rodents, including guinea pigs and rabbits if they are still considered rodents. Now and then I try to figure out the boundaries of the rodent continuum but it always seems to be that I've remembered it a bit wrongly. In any case in an enclave had multiple levels of rodent-style animals in glass aquariums, some of them rabbits sprawled out flat, some of them guinea pigs looking skeptically back at me as though they were slightly irritated that I was expecting them to do anything guinea piggy, some of them mice or hamsters scurrying about hard at their work. I always like that part of pet shops, even if I don't actually touch an animal or have any of them particularly notice me. Adding to the fun was the displays of various guinea pig, hamster, and mice cages with the multi-level tubes and enclosures and windows and wheels which do suggest there should be some fun to be had there.

The shop also has some of the slightly more exotic creatures, getting into the reptile set and the animals that get so camouflaged in their settings that it takes advanced effort to prove they really are there. The shop also had a pair of tortoises (unless they're turtles, or some variant) which the sign warned were 45 or so years old and were not for sale. I understand that. There's also a huge section for fish, with aquariums both long and elaborately decorated, some with really lovely settings. This may sound like a weak word, but by putting up shelves at different heights and aquarium props at different locations along the shelves the total effect was to give the fish in the tanks plenty of space to swim and yet things to swim around, which I think I would find more interesting, if I were a fish. It was just the sort of place to go to spend a few hours in a pleasant environment. Maybe we might even feed the fish.

[ Oh, and update: Yes, I had the Time Capsule fixed, and I put my notes about how to do it up on the Apple discussion forum so someone will have the chance of figuring it out in future. ]

Trivia: The landing site, and final spot for the laying of cable for the first successful transatlantic telegraph, was Heart's Content, in Newfoundland. Source: How The World Was One: Beyond The Global Village, Arthur C Clarke.

Currently Reading: The Family Trade, Charles Stross.

[ Inexplicable things on the Tivo watch: an episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show which promises, among other things,``Dr Susan Evans gives advice on treating wringkles, sun spots, and acne''. Isn't the photosphere outside Oprah's mandate? Is she looking out for ham radio operators now? ]

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