Another pause as there's more of the Morphicon trip to wrap up; let me go back to the pond.
The pond in back has needed cleaning, because ponds come out to need cleaning, what with their being only incomplete slices of an ecosystem and bits of plant life and, alas, probably fish reaching states of partial decomposition. To clean it requires a kind of vacuuming that we didn't get to last fall because the winter just set on so early and so extraordinarily hard there wasn't time. But now, it's spring, the water is warming up, we could turn the filter on and see through much of the water to the silty, muddy base and, there was no putting that off any longer.
The pond vacuum, I would learn, is what that long-poled blue skimmer-like construct we never used in the garage was. Onto one end of it you hook the garden hose, and spray water in, which stirs up the muck and mud and, hopefully, captures most of the muck in the mesh bags. After bunny_hugger showed the rough process I took my innings and we filled up a five-gallon plastic bucket with pond debris several times over. (She worried I wouldn't want to get my hands dirty with this, but getting one's hands dirty for the sake of cleaning a thing is almost exactly what obsessive-compulsive disorder was made for.) We also looked very carefully for evidence of the missing dark fish, but nothing turned up; I have to give up my hopefulness on this point and accept that the other dark fish died at some unknown point in the winter. I hope it didn't suffer.
After a couple days the remaining silt had settled down, and we could see through the pond all the way to, in patches, the rubber lining. This was pretty stunning. Also we realized why one corner of the pond was basically inaccessible: the diameters of the pond vacuum, the box crate in which the filter is kept, and a pot from which water lilies spring conspire to make the area pretty inaccessible. When the water is warmer we'll try moving those to a better configuration, and maybe come fall get the pond really clean.
Trivia: The main, first backup, and second backup docking procedures failed for the Skylab 2/1 docking to the main space station. A third, final backup procedure, which the crew had trained on for fifteen minutes, finally succeeded. Source: Homesteading Space: The Skylab Story, David Hitt, Owen Garriott, Joe Kerwin.
Currently Reading: Roadshow! The Fall Of Film Musicals In The 1960s, Matthew Kennedy.
PS: What Is Equivalence?, a lemma of an essay introducing one of those big ideas of mathematics that's also really easy to talk about.