goldfish the unspeakable

A couple of weeks ago Mary brought her Western pond turtle inside and upstairs to show me.  “I think he’s dead,” she said sadly.  She had found him drifting at an angle at mid-depth in his backyard home, a big Rubbermaid horse trough.   No clue as to what had happened or how long ago.  He sure looked lifeless.

After commiserating (she’s had that turtle for over two years, from the size of a fifty-cent piece), I said, “Well, let’s not assume anything.”  Figuring there was nothing to lose if I didn’t make things worse, I held him on one upturned palm and gently tugged on one foreleg, then the other.  Pretty limp, and no reflexive withdrawing into the shell as would be normal.   I stroked the top of his head from back to front, then under his chin (?).   Tugged on his legs again.  Head moved a bit!   Pulled his back legs.   From that point, every time I pulled on a leg there was a slight resistance, pulling back.

After a while he started moving his legs a little on his own.  Mary put him in his “winter home,” a 15-gal aquarium, with a quarter-inch of water in it.   He recovered, and the next day she put him back in the horse trough in the yard.  He seems fine now and spends most days basking in the sun on his rock.

The whole episode reminded me of “Bugs’s out-of-bowl experience” years ago, when Ben and I returned home one afternoon to find his very defunct-looking goldfish on the dining room’s hardwood floor.  Back in the bowl (seemingly an ex-goldfish), after 30 minutes he was swimming disorientedly around.  After several hours he seemed none the worse for wear and lived to a ripe old age.

Maybe the lesson is:  If the situation looks beyond hope, ask what you would do if it isn’t as final as it looks?  Then do that.

Of course, Bugs wasn’t quite the fish we remembered him being.

Blind in both eyes, he now had an unnatural sense to him, as if his lifeless eyes had been somehow transformed into something… other…

He gaped at us when we’d come in the room, seemingly begging for a death denied him. He lingered that way for almost ten years, and every day of that span his sickening presence grew. I shudder now to think of it…

He sits now even as I write above me, on a shelf in a pickling jar, swimming, eternally swimming, in a specimen bottle… waiting, silently, an eternity if necessary, the day of his release, the end to his imprisonment.

Is that the lesson, George? Perhaps none of us can really say… I cannot.

Bitcoin at $5

BRAIN: bitcoin at $5 !
SAMIR: is that high or low?
BRAIN: way low
BRAIN: shac estimated last year it takes about $15 to make a bitcoin
SAMIR: what led to the deflation?
BRAIN: could be a lot of things
BRAIN: it’s a weird market
BRAIN: the high was definitely a bubble
BRAIN: but the manufacturers of bitcoins are not generally driven by value
SAMIR: it’s all ideological?
BRAIN: I think people do it for the novelty of it
BRAIN: at least that’s what the “miners” I know are doing

Benevolent Dictatorship

[11:30:14] <brain> any last minute objections?
[11:53:37] <brain> done.
[16:04:55] <brain> server running on RHEL6.0 is now armed and operational
[16:05:20] <brain> available for tinkering
[16:05:45] <BB> neato
[16:05:56] <BB> but I object to the thing you asked for objections to above
[16:06:12] <brain> you object to me asking for objections?
[16:06:13] <brain> I agree
[16:06:22] <brain> everyone should automatically agree with whatever I say

Ukranian Punk is So Over

WILLIAM (FB status): Remember those beatboxing flute players everyone was blown away by a year or three ago? How many of you are still listening to them on a regular basis? Just asking…
BRAIN: I was so blown away by this beatboxing flute player
BRAIN: who has ever said that?!
SAMIR: I think it was that summer when everyone was listening to Ukranian punk
BRAIN: tch.
BRAIN: Ukrainian punk

Just Don’t Eat the Curry

BRAIN: this “Choffy” is just roasted cacao ground up and put in a bag
JYU: wouldn’t that just be “chocolate” then? Like historical chocolate?
BRAIN: right! We were joking it’s two spices short of Aztec Chocolate
BRAIN: it needs chili pepper and cinnamon
JYU: Why would you have a savory drink? Or a drink with chili in it?
BRAIN: it expands your blood vessels and helps keep you cool
JYU: I always thought you put spicy things in food to disguise that they had spoiled
BRIAN: no man, in south indian food there’s tons of chili pepper
JYU: yeah, because they are eating spoiled food
BRIAN: I’m not eating at your house