Paul B's thread


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If you found the right store in Manhattan you would be rich selling that steam punk talent! Very nice. You are a visionary craftsman. I am not a steam punker, but that is art to me, call it whatever you want but it took creativity and vision. Art.
So I went away for 2 days and last night after I came home I found my male Mandarin dead. This is very unusual because I never find a dead fish and my fish don't get sick. I "think" I saw him eating a few days ago but I didn't notice anything weird with him as he was full bodied and smiled a lot.
I did notice that he hasn't paid any attention to the really good looking female mandarin in a few months.
I also have not used my Mandarin feeder since I moved here 8 months ago because I just have not had time to set up my brine shrimp hatchery. But he was not thin at all so I don't think I needed it and there are bluestripe pipefish and a scooter bleeny that are also fat and fine after a few years.

I am not sure how long Mandarins live and I don't remember when I got this one so it could have been ten years or more ago. He outlived two females, one died from being egg bound and I think the other one jumped out. Maybe he broke her heart. I do have a lousy memory and have not kept a log book in decades. He was dead to long to do a necropsy but I am sure it would not show anything.

Normally when other fish die of old age, they stop eating for a few days and hide a lot. He was not eaten by bristle worms but Mandarins have a thick slime that keeps other fish from eating them and maybe bristle worms don't find them tasty. I have bristle worms that could finish off a halibut in a few hours.


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Maybe he spawned his little heart out. You did say they were regular spawners. I think fish that eat well, and have interactions with others of the species, particularly the opposite sex, do not last as long. Tropicals do it all the time once they start, so they probably don't live in excess of 5 years in the wild. my golden headed sleepers (Valencienna strigata) spawned every 13 days once they got going and they did not last more than 2.5 years. I found papers online that tracked pairs in the wild that never recorded any over 3 years old. FWIW.. Sorry Paul. I love mandarins.
I have been feeding an awful lot since I moved and now my nitrates creeped up to about 20, which is fine. Before I moved here I built a Sulphur denitrator just for an experiment but I never used it. It is a cool looking thing and I think, if I get time I will fire it up as an experiment.
I love to experiment. I live near the sea and can easily change as much water as I like especially now when the sea is full of ice bergs. :rolleyes:

I built this thing out of some sort of reactor, calcium I think. I couldn't install it sooner because my tank had no measurable nitrates. Now I have been feeding this stuff (I forget what it is) but it is red and mushy. I use it for my pipefish and anthius that don't eat larger food. The corals also seem to eat it. But it makes a mess and just this week I started rinsing off the "juices" from the stuff.

I think it is the cause of my fast nitrate spike. The nitrates are good because now, I can try to lower them with this thing. Or, of course, it may crash my tank and I will have to dump out all my dead fish and use the tank for duck billed platypuses. :eek:

A little while ago I took out my bicycle. I am supposed to ride the thing to exercise the knee, and the rest of me. I used to swim 3 times a week then after a few silly, but manly surgeries I had to give up swimming. Now I can do it again, but it is 20 degrees and my boat is in a snow drift.
So I rode the bike for about a mile or so and it was much easier than I thought. Then I noticed it was mostly down hill. Coming back was another story and I was straining to get back. My ears were also getting frostbite. So I was peddling and peddling, working harder and harder and I thought I was going to get a heart attack. If my lips were bigger I would have put them over my nose and given myself CPR.
Since my knee operation I haven't exercised to much and I need to get back into shape so I can resume my job as a Male model.
If my bicycle would have fit in an ambulance I would have called 911.
But I made it back. Sat down and had a nice glass of Grand Marnier and a piece of dark chocolate just for medicinal purposes of course. :cool:


Tim- 2019 BRS President
BRS Member
Lol. A few good one liners there. Give yourself cpr.... I would pay to see that, or even pay for part of the ambulance ride if it fit the bike as well!
Last night I noticed one of my long growing corals bleached and croaked. Another one has a bleached part so I had to look for a test kit. I found an alk kit but I think it is old because it’s in a wooden box .

I used it anyway and the alk is so low that that it is only good for goldfish. I quickly searched through my tank and couldn’t find any goldfish.. OMG. I ran to my favorite LFS. And their goldfish were getting last rites so I figured I had to go with my saltwater stuff. I needed to drastically raise the alk.

I had some 2 part stuff and quickly mixed it up. I dumped a bunch in and watched the white cloud spread around the tank.

A half an hour later I dumped more in. (I really like to watch that white cloud).

I tested the alk. OMG. It only raised it half a point so I dumped in more. Then more. I got the alk up to where I can keep kissing Gouramies. I then had to leave to watch my Grand Kids so I am not sure if my tank will make it to 49 years old.

Today I will get home and see what I have. If anything.
Apparently the Long Island Sound water is very low in alk so if the tank is still running I should test it next time I change it.

That, or look for Goldfish :D:)
This reminds me of a story. Everything reminds me of a story and 10 years ago I may have posted this on here. When I was about 14 or so I lived in Queens New York. At that time it was mostly empty lots and I used to walk through them to go to school. (Now Queens is more crowded than midtown Manhattan) There was even a horse stable next to my school. Now to find a horse, you have to drive 80 miles out on Long Island to where I live now or look at the ingredients on a dog food can.

Anyway, in those days I had a load of friends and none of us was Sissy Snowflakes and we spent all of our time outside. In one of those lots there was a defunct greenhouse that must have went out of business many years before and all the windows were broken. Of course we helped break the windows.

Next to that thing we decided to build an underground fort. That's what kids did then as there was only 7 channels on TV, all in black and white and TVs had tubes so the picture wasn't very good and there was nothing on for kids. :p

So we got shovels. Shovels are something your Grand Father can tell you about. They had a wooden handle and a metal blade. There was no USB port, they had no batteries, and they didn't do anything on there own. You actually had to pick it up to use it. (they are heavy so you may have to get an old person to help you)

You put the metal part in the dirt (dirt is stuff outside your front door. You may see some if you have to travel to your mail box to get your new I Phone 15. It's the brown stuff that trees are stuck in. )

You put your foot on the metal part of the shovel and push down, then you pick up the dirt. If you do this long enough you make a hole and you may even get some muscles, (Those are bumps on your arms, girls used to like boys with muscles and didn't much like Girly men) o_O

After a couple of weeks we had our hole dug big enough to put on the roof. That was made from logs, which come from trees. Then we put on plywood (made from flat trees
) Then you cover that with dirt.
When it was done we went inside. This was very cool.
In the fort we
made these rubber band guns in there that shot pieces of Linoleum (Google it)
Then it rained. So we had a swimming hole, a very muddy swimming hole. Eventually we got tired of that and we grew up a little and got cars, girlfriends and forgot about that underground fort. When we didn't have girlfriends we spent virtually all of our time looking for girls. That's what men did then. When we found a girl that we wanted to go out with, we had to speak to her with our mouth and actually look at her, face to face. I know this is a hard concept to understand but our thumbs were big and muscular so even if we had a phone we wouldn't go on "So many Fish", "E Harmony", "Match . Com" or "Who wants to Date a Nerdy looking guy . com" like so many people have to do today.
If you told a girl she looked nice, she didn't get mad and think you were a Perv. She blushed and said Thank You. And didn't think you were a sexist. WE didn't even have the term sexist.
When you took the girl out, you opened the door for her and you paid for the meal. The entire meal, tip and all. If you were not a Girly Man you knew how to talk to the girl and compliment her and not talk about yourself and show her your muscles or your I Phone.

Back to the fort. Eventually
trees grew on top of it and it looked like the rest of the lot. I was working at a Gulf Gas station across the street from there and they were going to build a shopping center there with an A&P. We had no Supermarkets then (or Supermodels that I can remember). All we had was a deli so our Moms were thrilled.

Anyway, one day I was watching the bulldozer. (real Men love to watch bulldozers because they are big heavy machines that make a lot of noise and break things)
The bulldozer was leveling the land and knocking all the trees down.
As the driver backed up, I noticed that the blade of the thing went straight up in the air and the machine disappeared.
It was then that I remembered the underground fort.

I ran over there to see if the driver was OK as he was climbing out of the hole. Not in a real good mood and bulldozer drivers were Real Men with Tattoos and all. He was fine but he had to come to the gas station I was working in to make a phone call. Cell phones were not invented and if they were, they would have been made out of wood like our TVs were.

They had to bring in a big crane to get that bulldozer out. That was real cool to watch.
Last night, or actually this morning at 3:00am I hear: "YOU HAVE A REMINDER, THE COMPUTER GEEK IS COMING OVER TO FIX THE COMPUTER"
It was the Alexa on the other side of my house. When I set the reminder I neglected to tell it PM and not AM and usually the thing asks me but I was probably sipping a glass of Grand Marnier and didn't pay attention to it and said something like : "Whatever".

10 Seconds later the Alexa in our bedroom says the same thing. (This is a condo and not real big but my 2 Alexa's seem to be in different time zones because they tell me the same thing 10 seconds apart.)

I quickly get out of bed so as not to wake my wife and I put my mouth right near it's "ear" and whisper. "Alexa, Shut Up"

I looked around and my wife just stirred a little. I again whispered to Alexa, "Alexa, thank you, go to sleep, stop talking.
Alexa again lit up and said:


Alexa, No and thank you.

So I finally got it to shut up.

Then I hear the other Alexa in the dining room but it is far away so I run there to see what it wants. It is still reminding me of the computer Geek.
I close the bedroom door and hope we can't hear it. But these doors were probably from Home Depot and made out of three or four layers of Scott toilet tissue. The good three ply ones but it didn't matter, I can still hear her.

Then I hear: BEEP. Aparently if Alexa thinks you didn't hear her, she just Beeps all night about every 2 minutes. BEEP,,,,,,,,,BEEP,,,,,,BEEP ETC.
Try to sleep with that. So I go to the thing and say :Alexa, Thank you, now be quiet. She says "THANK ME FOR WHAT? YOU HAVE NO MORE REMINDERS, WOULD YOU LIKE TO HEAR YOUR REMINDERS.

Nooooooooooo. Alexa, just go to sleep.


I unplugged her and go back to bed

Every 2 minutes "BEEP,,,BEEP,,,,BEEP.
I put the pillow over my head. I thought maybe I just dreamt that I unplugged her so I go to check. Yep, the plug is on the floor so I head back to my bed.


Oh no. Now what do I do? It's 3:05 am and I don't want to get up. I figure maybe I am getting abducted by Aliens or worse "Liberals".
I go back into the kitchen and again check Alexa. She is dead. Then I look around and on the stove, the timer is saying, "Dinner is done" and beeping.

My wife shutoff the oven yesterday but apparently the times was still on.
So now I am not sure if I am awake typing this, or in an Alien Space Ship in a galaxy far far away. :eek::eek:

I bought a new power washer for my new house because my old one was gas powered and much to big for this new place. So I took the thing out of the box and had to assemble just a few little things.
I decided to read the directions because it has a couple of dials on it that I didn't know what they were for and unlike many people, I actually like to read directions. Like most men I may not ask for directions, but I do read them.

I noticed the part about cold weather storing because this will be stored in my garage where most things will freeze.

In the directions it says : "Do not store in a place that gets below 32 degrees". OK, the thing has water in it so that is common sense.
Then it says "If you have to keep it in a place where it gets below 32 degrees, drain out the water, pull the trigger to release the pressure, then don't store it in a place that goes below 32 degrees".

I mean is it me? They sell these things and put the directions in it and go to the trouble to translate the directions in 14 different languages including Farsi, Mozambique, Brooklynese, and some dialect in ancient Arabic that only Jesus spoke but they don't take a minute to read the thing.
I don't even think Jesus even had a Home Depot near by to get one. :confused: o_O
CRASH'''''''''''''''''''''''''''''''. No, not my tank, don't be silly, I have an undergravel filter so my tank don't crash. It was my knee that crashed. I went tomy knee surgeon for a tune up on my new knee which has not been working well and I am not up to my 20,000 mile check up. The thing hurts and the reason I got the thing was to stop the pain and allow me to resume my Male modeling job and bungee jumping. :rolleyes:

The physicians assistant comes in and pokes my knee on the side and before she could ask if that hurts, I was half way to the ceiling. I said WHAT WAS THAT??? She said, that is the ligament that is inflamed. I said, YOU THINK!!!. :confused:

She said, Thats not good. I said YOU THINK!!!
So the surgeon who replaced my knee comes in and picks up my foot. I said Now don't twist that thing. He says, I Won't. So he sticks his finger in a place at the bottom of my knee cap and before he can say, Does that hurt, I am past the center point to the ceiling.

He says, Thats not good. So he tells me, this only happens to one in 3,000 patients. He told me that once before. I asked, do you think you can rummage through the dumpster and find my old knee to put it back in? ;Wideyed

From his expression I could see that He can't or won't do that. He tells me I have two problems. I have tendinitis in this ligament on the left side of my knee and I have this neuroma on the front of the knee cap. I wanted to say, No I had one problem, I let you operate on my knee. Then he said, "This is very interesting". Those were not the words I would have chosen. :cool:

I said just shoot it up with cortizone. He said he doesn't want to do that because cortizone next to metal causes,,,,,,I could swear he was going to say rust, But he said infections. It is almost boating season and I don't have time for this. So he upped my anti inflamatory meds and said come back in 6 weeks. If that doesn't work, we (meaning him, unless he has a mouse in his pocket because I ain't going to help) will have to open up the knee (like it's a jar of peanut butter) and remove that tendon and replace it. "Replace it with what?" Like a piece of bicycle tube, beef jerky, Silly Putty. He didn't elaborate.

I will be in the Caribbean then, probably on crutches anyway so I hope we don't have to go that route.

So on the way home we have to go to an Italian Market because where we moved to we can't get good Italian food and we are both Italian so we need the right food. Not make believe Italian American food, but the real thing. In the store I am limping from my left knee so my right hip goes out. This market is great and they have stuff all over the place that you can sample, which I do. So I start limping worse and I almost fell to the floor from the pain. But on my way down, from the corner of my eye, I notice some home made, fresh mazareli (I can't spell that but we Italians call it Mootzadella with the emphisize on the Mootz) That gave me the strength to rise up and stick a tooth pick in it for a sample. Delicious. Now I am going down again and my wife SCREAMS,, "PAUL". Just then I notice a table with home made Italian bread and sauce. (We Italians call it gravy, I don't know why) But it was towards the door so I managed to get up enough to dip the bread into the sauce and take a bite. Fantastic. I was having a lot of trouble standing so I hobbled over to a table of pepperoni just in time. Anyway, these tables of great and were in line towards the door which is how i made my way to my car.

I texted my wife from there and told her that I missed a couple of cheeses if she could grab me some samples. :p
At home I grabbed some pain meds and a nice glass or Grand Marnier. :D
Paul, really sad to hear you are having so much trouble with your knee. Love the way you tell the story, but it sucks that you have to be in pain. Hope you feel better, and keep writing! Thanks for sharing your humor.

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