Monday, August 29, 2011

fish files

From the Learn-Something-New-Every-Day files: 

Apparently one of our goldfish was a bit gassy.  She was having "buoyancy issues".  Ever try swimming while hugging a beachball?  That's what our fish was imitating, to the point where she would totally flip over and float upside down when she tired of fighting it.

Note:  I have no idea whether or not this fish is male or female, but we named "her" Lillie, thus the female pronoun...

Now, none of us had ever seen such a thing and I just figured she had one fin in the toilet, but she just kept on going - for days and days.  Finally, Dr. Wolfgang did a google search and found this to be a common thing with fancy goldfish.  That's probably part of our problem, in the past we've only had unfancy fish.

Anyways, about 3 minutes of research and he learned we should feed her peas.  What? What??  Feed peas to the goldfish?  Yeah, okay whatever.

And heck if it didn't work. 

She was right side up in a few minutes and bottom feeding like the best of 'em.  A few peas in her general direction was all it took to cure the fish farts - or lack thereof.

Is there such a remedy for the dog?  OTHER  family members?

Saturday, August 27, 2011


Holy paper and pencils!  It's Illustration Friday again!  This week's prompt is "disguise", and I tried to come up with something clever, but ended up just going with a guy in a costume.

I don't think I've ever drawn a comic book type character.  But I do have a couple of artist/comic book geek friends, and that is ALL they draw.  And Batman is a favorite subject, I think because he's just so dark and mysterious.

So, I chose him for my "guy in a costume", and I'll admit that he was fun to draw. 

Sunday, August 21, 2011

just a flesh wound

Friday night, I was at Urgent Care with Chaco.  It was absolutely terrible.

Gored by a bull?!?  Through the MOUTH!!?  I purposely just loaded a smallish copy of this photo, much larger is nearly too much to bare (click on it at your own risk, and it will get larger.  And if you're really brave/psycho, there's video).

There I was, just minding my own business in the waiting area.  Oh, Chaco was fine by the way.  He just crashed his bicycle on Thursday and was still whining about an achy swollen finger on Friday, so we made the trip.  Not broken, just a bad sprain.

But it was there that I came across this bullfighter photo.  I mean, come on!  Is that the kind of thing to have in the x-ray waiting area?!?   It was on the cover of a sports magazine - an issue highlighting the dangerous side of sports.

I feverishly flipped through the pages to get more of the story.  I learned that this bullfighter actually lived to bullfight another day.  I'm glad he lived, but I wish he would've gone into another line of work.  His poor mother!

Anyway, after some pondering, I thought, maybe it's not such a bad thing to have in the Urgent Care waiting area.  Whatever you're there for, it's most likely not that bad.

Friday, August 19, 2011


Poof!  It's Illustration Friday once again.  This week's prompt is "Influence" and I'll admit that, rather than see the prompt and decide what to create, I saw the prompt and dug something out that I did a couple of week's ago. 

One of the nice (?) things about this art hobby is that it never gets old.  There is ALWAYS something to influece the next drawing/sketch/doodle/painting/etc...  ALWAYS.  Thinking about it, I could choose anything from the art clutter to submit for "influence".

This particular painting was inspired by blog friend Terri.  I don't even remember how long she and I have been blog buddies, but I know I always look forward to reading her updates. 

And AND, she happens to be an exceptional photographer, and often peppers her posts with lovely photos taken while doing seemingly mundane things.   I've often thought of doing "something" artsy with one of them, and, a couple of week's ago, Terri's Influence just pushed me over the edge. 

The word "influence" often has negative connotations attached to it, but I think life would be boring without it.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

a dog walk with half a face and a bear

Today was interesting.  First of all, the crossing guard morning started out better.  I did get a hold of the school building manager who got the flashing lights synched properly.  The only glitch was a large pile of "evidence" left on the walking path to the school by, apparently, a largish herbivore. 

I knew it wasn't deer "evidence" or coyote "evidence" or fox "evidence" - the known wild neighbors.  I fathomed that it could be bear "evidence", but here?  A bear?  Nah.  Outstanding crossing guard that I am, I took my shovel to it.  I mean come on, there's moms with strollers that use that path.

 Shortly afterwards, I spent about an hour and a half in the dentist's chair on my way to getting a new crown, so I figured the day would be all down hill from there, right?  WRONG

After leaving the dentist, I was just happy to be released from the land of power tools of the mouth, and thought I'd take China the crazy dog for her beauty walk.  Only half of my face was functional because of the novacaine, but I figured I wouldn't need it (the face) for China's beauty walk. 

About 15 minutes into it, we were strolling by some apartments when we rounded a corner and were faced with this:

Okay, I didn't have a camera with me, so I got this image from the internet.  But I swear, the beast looked JUST like this... except it was smaller and running in the opposite direction and smaller.

China the oblivious dog and I stopped and decided to turn around and head back from whence we came.  No slaves to the route are we!  Anyway, I guess that cleared up who left me that gift of "evidence" this morning. 

I called the D.O.W. and I don't know if they ever tracked the bear down.  I'm guessing not, but it was a bit of harmless excitement for China and me... until tomorrow? 

And turns out no, I didn't need my face.

Monday, August 15, 2011

day 1

School started this morning in our district. 

As such, I was out there, orange and early at my crossing guard post.  I arrived a few minutes earlier than usual because I know there are some gung ho "students" (a.k.a. PARENTS) that are really eager for the school year to get going and so hit the pavement early on the first day. 

It was a lovely late summer morning.  Sun was shining, birds were chirping, cars were speeding...  Like really speeding - moreso than the usual.  I know I was a bit rusty after the long summer layoff, but it really wasn't typical.  I looked up to the flashing school zone lights to my right - the ones right above the sign that reads "REDUCED  SPEED WHEN LIGHTS ARE FLASHING".

No flashing.

To my left...

No flashing. 

Okay, this was to be an interesting first day  morning.  There is no intersection here, there's just a light that is forever green until some obnoxious crossing guard or other pedestrian type pushes the button, so many drivers are not expecting to have to stop there.  It's rather unpleasant to be stopped when barrelling through at 45+ miles an hour. 

Despite this, the drivers did all obey my button pushing and big STOP sign (thank GOD!).  And I was somewhat expecting to witness a traffic incident with all the busses and cars going in and out of the school street, but people managed. 

I tried to call the school to alert them to the fact that the flashers weren't a-flashin'.

*ring*ring*... "Hello, you have reached Abby's neighborhood elementary school.  Our office is closed for the summer and will reopen August 2nd.  Thanks, and have a nice..."

The heck?

I tried again and got the same, so just let it ride.  It was a rush.  Literally.  Later on, in the safety of my home I tried , "... Thanks and have a... "

Oh sheesh.

day 1:  The Afternoon could be interesting

Friday, August 12, 2011


Wow, Illustration Friday again already!  This week's prompt is "swell". 

I will confess that my mind first went to Adult Themes on that one (think about it, there are many), but I managed to keep it clean and just go with something that may cause unwanted swelling:  banana, orbs of ice cream meltage, a cherry...

Get your minds out of the gutter.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

odds and ends

School starts up again next week around here.  Which means that THIS week is run-around-and-get-ready-for-school-to-start-up-again week.

Monday was registration for Chaco and Meego, yesterday Wolfgang completed his.  A lot of the documents that need signing and fees that need paying are online this year, which makes the whole process a little simpler.  A little.  And now there is yet another place to hack into to get at my credit card information and everything financial and private. 

But HEY, beats standing in lines, no?

So with that behind us, plus the school supply list which Meego is still subject to... note:  I didn't get nearly half the stuff because of previous years where I've gotten eveything only to have it come back home at the end of the year, smashed but otherwise unused.  Don't conform, people!... we went on a nice little bike ride yesterday. 

And I have a new camera so

You live in Colorado, you will hafta go uphill sometimes

That's okay as long as there's shade and refreshment at some point.  I wonder, how many miles to the Slurpee they average?  Is it cheaper than the gas?

So with that, we should give the appropriate Product Placement photo. 

Oh thank Heaven.

Saturday, August 6, 2011


Welcome to another episode of Illustration Friday, where this week's prompt is "imperfect".

I recently finished reading a book titled The Art of Making Money.  It's about a guy - who coincidentally is named Art - who successfully counterfeited the 1996 one hundred dollar bill.  Well, somewhat successfully since he's currently in prison...

It was an intriguing book and I was impressed by the lengths at which a person will go to break the law.  It was a rush for him, and I think an addiction, to pass his fake money as the real thing.  I don't in any way condone what he did, but at the same time, he did create masterpieces.

My artplay is a hobby for me.  I do these illustration Friday posts and other things, but trust me...
Plenty of my creations end up in the trash!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

don't pet the sweaty things

Ah, pets.

We currently have 5, counting the 3 fish survivors.  For some reason, 3 of our new fish died within about 3 or 4 weeks of getting them, but the 3 remainders are hanging in and look fine (don't jinx it).  I'm still honing my fish keeping skills.

Fish are actually pretty easy.  When one gets to looking on death's door, we just send it to the big porcelain "hospice", say a few words, and send it to fish heaven. 

On the other hand, we also have a cat and a dog, both of whom are not youthful.  Last week, I took China the dog in for some various lumps and bumps - 3 actually - that are sprouting.  They are "skin cysts", the vet informed me.  They're not harmful, they just tend to fill up with fluid and make it look like the pooch is hiding eggs or jelly beans under her skin. 

One of them, on the top of her ear (??) was infected, so China is reluctantly taking a daily pill.  The cost of removal would be about $700 for just the one on the ear or - what the hell - around $1300 to remove all three and clean her teeth while they're at it.


So we're mulling it over.  At the same time, we need a new roof. 

I'm kinda thinking that a xacto knife and a pint of vodka is quite a bit cheaper than $700?