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March 5th, 2002

Corydoras

I got a chance to look at the book I bought at the
Under 5 Dollar bookstore on Sunday. It's called:
"A Complete Authoritative Guide to Corydoras Catfishes". Lots of great pictures of these little aquarium armored catfish. My last aquarium,in California, was a guppy tank. I had originally wanted a tank full of less popular livebearers,such as the Midget Livebearer. Then, when I was browsing in an Altadena pet shop,
a clerk at the register shouted out "Fred! Go in the back and get me 50 more feeders!". The feeder guppies not only were being sold to be fed to other fish; they were hidden from view.
I immediately asked for a dozen; I believe they cost a dollar.
The clerk seemed a bit puzzled that I would confine myself to the loss leader product. When I got them home, and put them into the new aquarium, they were a pale and fairly immature bunch. Within
weeks, they were robust and breeding. As time went on, different color variations seemed to breed in and out of the tank like rainbow assortments; it was a crazy science experiment, with no Mendel aboard to explain it. When we left CA, I gave my fish and tank to the neighbor girl. We must have pulled over a hundred guppies from that tank. The guppy tank reminded me of a similar one I kept for my 7th grade science teacher. I'll never forget how some White Cloud Mountain fish actually bred amidst those hundreds of guppies. I had been thinking my next aquarium would be a livebearer aquarium, and I guess I still think it will. Livebearers are so easy to breed, and it's fun to breed fish in captivity. But I have to admit the notion of a dozen little armored catfish is very appealing to me right now.

I sent Polarbird a little note on how much I like his site.
His mail art calls have penguin themes; very clever.
Someday I want to do a mail art call, but right now I'm
still trying to figure out how to draw a stick figure that doesn't look like a stick figure. Thank goodness for the camera.

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death drives an airflow Chrysler

An old Be Bop Deluxe song threads through my mind
as I wind up the evening. I used cheap crayons, a piece of corrugated plastic and a picture of dead weeds in winter to make a mail art postcard to send to an exhibition over in Irving, not all that far from here. I've got a busy week ahead, which is good; the weather is finally heating up again.
I wonder sometimes if optometry might have been right for me...after all, people call you "doctor", you work normal hours, and you get to run those cool sci fi lens machines. OTOH,
some of my small town school teachers growing up always impressed me with the way they could live quiet, unadorned lives, but filled with amateur naturalism, intense gardening, and an unostentatious love of good books of every kind. I think that the ability to amuse onself, and to continue the search for new meanings in surroundings others might find dull, is one of life's greatest self-taught skills.

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