Saturday, November 28, 2009

Scene of the Crime

In case any law enforcement types are reading my blog, this post (like most of what you will read on is pure fiction.

When I found out it was going to cost over $5000 (NZ) to take our fish with us, I began to frantically search for a new home for Mr. Suckerfish, our 13 inch plecostomus (during my search, I found out that he is in fact, not a plecostomus, but a Pterygoplichthys). I tried donating him to aquariums, zoos, people who work at zoos who say things like: "I'd love a 13 inch fish". Eventually, I came across the Sepulveda Wildlife Basin. Evidently, people starting liberating their plecos in this lake 20 or 30 years ago, and there's now a reproducing colony of them.

I knew he'd be safe when I saw the "No Fishing" sign. Also, the 4 other giant plecos sunning themselves on that ramp was a good indicator.

Although getting him into the 1 gallon transporter involved more splashing than I ever hope to see a fish do again, he was not in a hurry to leave it when given the opportunity.

Eventually (with a little coaxing), he swam off into the deep. You were a good fish, Mr. Suckerfish. We hope to see you again sometime. Enjoy your new home.

PS: Anybody need 3 clown loaches?

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Moving to New Zealand (In 5 easy steps)

1) Be under the age of 56. Sorry, if you don't have at least 10 years in you before retirement, New Zealand does not want you. [There are some exceptions if you are bringing more than 2.5 million kiwibucks into the country. If you have 2.5 million kiwibucks, you can probably find a better place to retire.]

2) Be in perfect health. If the New Zealand government thinks you will be costing them more than 20,000 kiwibucks over the next 4 years, they will not let you in. [If you have any chronic condition, the 20,000 dollar limit extends to the end of your life.]

3) Speak perfect English. Those of you who can read this blog would find that the Kiwi do not care where you are from, or what you look like, though political correctness has not caught on there yet; however, they have little patience for those who have not mastered their language.

4) Be of high upstanding moral character. If you are from the US, this means the FBI must provide evidence that you have no criminal record. [Getting the FBI to admit to this can be extremely difficult.]

5) Possess a skill that the New Zealand government desires. Pharmacists and teachers are both in short supply in New Zealand. I found out pretty late in the process that the pharmacist shortage is due to the minuscule salaries in New Zealand. So meager that most go to Australia to earn their fortunes. [You are unlikely to hear about the Laskos hopping the ditch because a) I could make a whole lot more in the US and b) I am afraid of deadly spiders, deadly jellyfish, deadly alligators, and kangaroos.]

Sunday, November 08, 2009

You can't go home again...

Somehow ended up at UCR last night for a Crab the A&I cafeteria of all places. I lived in Lothian (New Lothian, which now is apparently called East Lothian). A whole bunch of new dorms have been built sometime in the last 15 years, which made it most difficult to find Lothian when we decided to go looking for it. The rest of the campus was also filled with new buildings. Only the bell tower looked familiar.

Getting rid of the wine party #1

Turnout was a little lighter than expected (as expected it's hard to get a good turnout when you plan a part with only 3 days notice); only consumed 10 bottles.

It hurt to open the Ridge Jimsomare (9 barrels produced). It is likely that I will never have a better zinfandel. Also painful to part with that old (1997) bottle of Trentadue port. One of those things to pick you up in times of despair: "At least I have that bottle of Trentadue port at home..." Alas, no more.

Docked the class on the Island.

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