Monday, December 22, 2008

Three New Stories

There are three more stories that Hayley worked on posted on the 8-18 Media website. Here are the direct mp3 links:
Sister City Youth Visit (Japanese students visiting Marquette)
Sister City School Differences (Japan vs. U.S.)
Ugly Phrases (Using phrases containing words like "gay" and "retarded".)

Ta-da! Da Tadpoles!


Finally got a little bit better shots of the tadpoles today. While cleaning out their tank, I put them into a CoolWhip container, which made it a little easier to photograph them. Still not great shots, but I'm workin' on it!
Hayley has finally decided on their names (all Japanese names):
The small one is Ren (meaning lotus or romance, love - just 'cause it's so darn cute)
The medium-sized one is Yasu (meaning peaceful, peace or level - this tadpole is the most docile)
And the biggest one is Michi (meaning path - appropriately named, since that one is developing faster than the other two)

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Otherwise Occupied

Haven't been posting or taking photos much lately. Besides the weather being too crappy for taking pictures, I've also been busy trying to find supplies for a more permanent home for our amphibian houseguests.
We are pretty sure Hayley's tadpoles are going to be Northern Leopard Frogs. Of course, that's assuming they even survive the tadpole stage. Apparently, there's not a lot of success in this area - nor is there much information about these particular creatures as pets. But I did find an absolutely wonderful site, called Vivarium Forums, which has all sorts of information on creating habitats and animal care (for reptiles, amphibians, etc.) If the tadpoles don't survive even after we get an appropriate habitat set up for them, we will probably find some other creature to put into it. I really like the whole natural land/water vivarium idea! Even if we end up not having any critters to put into it, it'd be neat just for having plants and stuff.
So that's what is keeping me occupied lately. I'm still trying to get some decent shots of the tadpoles, but doubt I'll have anything before we get them into a better tank. The little plastic one they're in now just doesn't make for good photos.
If anyone has any ideas as to where to pick up some fairly inexpensive frog supplies, please let me know! Right now, my biggest problem is finding a tank large enough for when (IF) they become adults. I was told I'd probably need at least a 4-foot long aquarium (they're "excellent climbers, jumpers and swimmers"), and those are definitely not cheap and are difficult to find!

Friday, December 12, 2008

Frogs-to-Be




In Hayley's Biology class, they had to break into groups and raise any type of living organism. Hayley and her partners decided to raise frogs -- first from embryos, then from tadpoles when the first set died after someone accientally used undistilled water to fill their tank. (At least that's the story Hayley's sticking with.) Apparently, nobody else in her group wanted to bring them home. So...we are now the owners of three (rather ugly, but interesting) large tadpoles. I have no idea what kind of frogs they will be -- assuming they live long enough to reach adulthood. But this now means I need to figure out not only what these li'l creatures need (now and later), but also how to pay for the stuff. *sigh*
Of course, we don't HAVE to keep them. But as my friends and family know, I like almost any creature or critter. (Except maybe humans, heh heh.) So I will do what I can to provide the froggies-to-be a suitable home...'til death do us part, and hopefully that doesn't happen before they grow up.

As a side note...Hayley's Biology teacher is also a photographer. She takes beautiful portraits! I hope she got better shots of these tadpoles. It was difficult shooting them through their plastic tank, and with poor lighting too.
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Sunday, December 07, 2008

Twelve Days of Christmas (Naturally)

On the 1st day of Christmas, Mother Nature gave to me:


...a portable snowman in a tree.


On the 2nd day of Christmas, Mother Nature gave to me:


two stumps with humps
...and a portable snowman in a tree.


On the 3rd day of Christmas, Mother Nature gave to me:

three birches bare, two stumps with humps
...and a portable snowman in a tree.

On the 4th day of Christmas, Mother Nature gave to me:

four balls a-hanging, three birches bare, two stumps with humps
...and a portable snowman in a tree.

On the 5th day of Christmas, Mother Nature gave to me:

...five inches of snow...
four balls a-hanging, three birches bare, two stumps with humps
...and a portable snowman in a tree.

On the 6th day of Christmas, Mother Nature gave to me:

six snowy headstones
...five inches of snow...
four balls a-hanging, three birches bare, two stumps with humps
...and a portable snowman in a tree.

On the 7th day of Christmas, Mother Nature gave to me:

seven maple leaves, six snowy headstones
...five inches of snow...
four balls a-hanging, three birches bare, two stumps with humps
...and a portable snowman in a tree.

On the 8th day of Christmas, Mother Nature gave to me:

eight minutes waiting, seven maple leaves, six snowy headstones
...five inches of snow...
four balls a-hanging, three birches bare, two stumps with humps
...and a portable snowman in a tree.

On the 9th day of Christmas, Mother Nature gave to me:

nine 'pecker holes, eight minutes waiting, seven maple leaves, six snowy headstones
...five inches of snow...
four balls a-hanging, three birches bare, two stumps with humps
...and a portable snowman in a tree.

On the 10th day of Christmas, Mother Nature gave to me:

ten freezing fingers, nine 'pecker holes, eight minutes waiting, seven maple leaves, six snowy headstones
...five inches of snow...
four balls a-hanging, three birches bare, two stumps with humps
...and a portable snowman in a tree.

On the 11th day of Christmas, Mother Nature gave to me:

eleven tiny pinecones, ten freezing fingers, nine 'pecker holes, eight minutes waiting, seven maple leaves, six snowy headstones
...five inches of snow...
four balls a-hanging, three birches bare, two stumps with humps
...and a portable snowman in a tree.


On the 12th day of Christmas, Mother Nature gave to me:

twelve squirrel footprints, eleven tiny pinecones, ten freezing fingers, nine 'pecker holes, eight minutes waiting, seven maple leaves, six snowy headstones
...five inches of snow...
four balls a-hanging, three birches bare, two stumps with humps
...and a portable snowman in a tree.

Friday, December 05, 2008

Introducing Seth








Another teen couple update. As previously mentioned, Crystalyn and Carl are now parents of a beautiful baby boy. Today, Hayley and I finally got to see him. We didn't get to spend much time with them though. Crystalyn's mom, Cyndy, picked us up (thankfully, she now has a car) to run to Walmart and the grocery store. These are shots were taken at Walmart. As you can see, Mom and Dad are still very much teenagers -- they immediately went straight to the video game section.
Argh! Not sure why Blogger is chopping off my images all of a sudden. No matter which options I choose, nor which size photo from Flickr. Oh well. I don't post on here all that much for it to matter, I guess.

Thursday, December 04, 2008

I've Been Shot!


Taken by my buddy, Henk, during our trip to Washington, D.C.
And, no, my hair isn't red. It just looks like it is 'cause of the processing, I think.