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paul b

WAMAS Speaker
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About paul b

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    Oracle Reefer
  • Birthday 12/25/1948

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    Long Island NY

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  1. That's true. I can't buy a coral no matter how much I throw at an LFS.
  2. I need to cut back on this sponge and throw a bunch of it out. (unless anyone wants it) It grows rather fast but it is easy to cut. I lie a lot of sponges because they eat microscope particles (and parasites I would imagine) and they keep the water very clear. I just need to watch it because it takes up spaces where I would rather grow corals. I also notice my new, small hippo tang just started to swim around and not be afraid of anything has a white patch on his black stripe. I didn't look at him when I bought him out of a tank of a bunch of them. I just told the guy to catch one. I think it s a type of fungus but I am almost 100% sure it will heal on it's own with no help from me.
  3. I have a problem with flatworms. There are so many flatworms that they are laying on top of each other and the bottom ones don't like that. That is not my problem. In some places they are so thick that I can't see the gravel. That is also not the problem. The problem is that I like to name things and I am running out of names.
  4. I just remembered a story and the rare times I remember something I want to post them. I know I posted this on here probably near the beginning of last century so if you heard it go and watch "Naked and Afraid". I think tonight they are hunting newts with spears. I was in Kings Cross in Sydney Australia on R&R from Nam in 1970 and I just got off the plane. I went on a double decker bus (which I had never seen before) and I went to the top and looked out the front window. I turned around and saw that there were mainly girls on the bus (in those days everyone was in the war) They all had mini skirts on which was new to me because I just spent 10 months in the jungle and when I got drafted not many girls wore them. All I saw in those ten months was monkeys, and some of them were starting to look good. Anyway, that doesn't matter. Well, to me it did. I saw this pretty girl in the front of the bus and she smiled so I sat down next to her. I would have sat next to her even if she threw a flounder and tire iron at me, but whatever. She is for another story (which I also posted on here someplace. ) Anyway she gave me directions to my hotel even though I had a map. I was on this busy intersection trying to figure out where I was and these two guys older come up to me. One guy says something to me that sounded like "Hey Chap, woud, you % mind if & yu heped, guy $ street ##. Or something like that. I said "What!? He said it again a little slower. I could barely make out that he wanted me to help this blind guy across the street. (You Aussies speak funny) So I took the guys arm and I am standing there waiting for the light to turn green. After a while I noticed that there was no light. No YIELD, no STOP, no CAUTION, no NOTHING. The cars were zooming all over the place with no spaces in between for me to cross, especially with a blind guy. So the guy mutters to me, "Whats the matter Chap?" I said, How do you cross the street? Now I come from New York so I know what traffic looks like, but here we have traffic lights and everything. He said "Oh No Problem Chap" and he lifts his cane and drags me into the street. I covered my eyes and got ready to scream in pain as we walked. I opened my eyes and noticed that the cars were going around us, on the sidewalk, in front and in back of us. They didn't slow down, they just kind of barely missed us. We make it to the other side and the guy thanks me and walks off. Now I take out my map to see where I am. Another blind guy comes over to me and he wants me to cross him back across the street. The same thing happens and now I am on the wrong side of the street looking for a blind guy to get be back to the other side. There was a "Lighthouse" blind people school, or social club on the corner so everyone, but me was blind. You can't make this stuff up.
  5. I Wish I Were a Fish—with a Lateral Line System! March 30, 2016 by Paul Baldassano Leave a Comment Notice the lateral line on this Anthias in my tank Everything about fish is amazing and fascinating. To me, the most fascinating thing about fish (beside their taste) is their lateral line system. The lateral line is the most important thing fish possess because without it, they would get around about as well as a supermodel in a bikini but no high heels. All fish have a lateral line, and you can usually see it. It is a line of scales that are slightly different from the rest of the fish’s scales, and they run from near their mouth, around the eye, to the tail. That line is made up of epithelial cells, which are basically modified skin cells. They are mucus-filled canals that have hair cells in them—kind of like what we have in our ears to help us determine which direction our spouse is yelling at us from. For our participation in this hobby, we don’t need to know exactly how all this works, but you can delve into it if you desire. Basically, the lateral line system allows the fish to know what is around it, what it is chasing, and how close it is to anything solid, including other fish, which is how millions of fish can swim in a school and never touch each other. I rode on the New York City subway system for 40 years, and I can assure you that none of those people had a lateral line system! This system is a huge help to fish, but in an aquarium, it can also be a liability. Think about this for a minute: A fish in the sea has no barriers. It can roam all over the place as long as it avoids the bottom, other fish, and rocks. The lateral line system works just like sonar in a submarine and lets the fish avoid obstacles and predators. Of course, predators also have a lateral line system, which is why so many fish get eaten. But a tank is made out of glass, which the fish can sense but not see. The glass surrounds the fish so the fish can detect only a very short distance around or under it. The lateral line is apparent on this copperband butterflyfish As noted in my subway example, we humans don’t possess such a system, but plenty of us are claustrophobic, and if we’re put in a small space, such as an MRI machine, we can go nuts. Of course many of us have no fear of tight places. We can, of course, just avoid tight spaces, but our fish are at our mercy and know they are confined. A schooling fish, such as a tang, always swims in very close proximity to other tangs in its school. Most tangs are never alone, and they depend on the mindset of the entire school to determine when to turn, when to eat, and when to flee. Now, when we take that tang and put it in a tank, there is no school. There are no other fish within inches of it, no other fish for it to take cues from. But there is that glass—that obstacle near it that seems to always move with it. It can’t get away. It can’t find open water. It can’t go deeper. Then we wonder why tangs are known as ich magnets. I wonder if this tank situation causes HLLE, which always starts where the lateral line does, on the head. Have you ever tried to catch a fish with a net? Of course you have. I bet you didn’t catch it very easily unless you cheated and trapped it next to a rock or the glass. Healthy fish can easily avoid a net because they are much faster than we are and their lateral line instantly lets them know exactly where the net is. Have you ever seen a fish crash into the glass? No you haven’t. Fish don’t crash, as I have never seen one with a bloody nose. Not even in the dark. Have you ever seen a fish get cut on coral or a rusty fender from a 1957 Oldsmobile? I bet you haven’t. Fish can even get along quite well if they lose an eye and sometimes both eyes. Blind cave fish don’t even have eyes, and you still can’t catch them with a net unless you trap them. If you scuba dive, you will see dozens of fish all dive into a coral head at the same time. If you are wearing a Speedo, they will cram themselves in tighter. They don’t even know whether they will fit, but they get in. They don’t even jam themselves into the same hole as other fish. And they all come out just fine, no scratches. For an experiment, you can take a permanent marker and draw a line from your eye, down your sides, right to your toes. Then blindfold yourself and run through a forest or Times Square in Manhattan on New Year’s Eve. I bet you come out all beaten up and bloody. That’s because you are not a fish.
  6. I took a picture. The 2 SPS corals at the top center are new. I don't know why the picture is so big.
  7. I don't know the name. I will take a picture eventually. It was one of the only corals they had. The Hippo is just to prove I can keep a tang, but most people will say a hippo is too easy to keep so it doesn't count. They are the only tang I don't actually mind.
  8. Just now I threw in (after a little acclimation) a hippo tang and a coral. He is just starting to come out and play with the other fish. There is plenty of algae on the back glass to nibble on. Hopefully he will live 15 years and hopefully, I will too.
  9. You can also do that yourself. The fitting that drains the fluid is made to fit a hose on. Put some brake fluid in a bottle and put the end of the hose in it. Pump the brakes a few times and fill the reservoir. Do that to every wheel but make sure the hose end stays under the fluid in the jar. When you are done think to yourself why you changed the fluid which never has to be changed. I never changed it on any of my cars and even after over 100,000 miles, they stopped fine. I know the owners manual says to do it. But I also bet it says to only use their brake fluid to do the job. I wonder why.
  10. HELLO!! Is this thing on? Where is anyone? I think I am talking to myself and I am tired of listening to myself rant. I know I am not that interesting but at least tell me to go and stick a sea urchin in my eye. Thank God for Tom
  11. When I was a mechanic for Oldsmobile I was able to take customers cars home on the weekend to try them out to see if they had rattles or stalled. In those days we were real Men and spent our time looking for girls, like real men did for 4 million years. Now Sissy, men just text or go on sites like "Desperate, Girly Man looking for a date.com". Then you have to write about yourself, things like "I have more degrees than a thermometer and my Dad finances me because I don't know how to work. But I can text really fast". Anyway, many weekends I had a new 442 or Toronado which was one of the most expensive cars at the time and most cars were American. We wouldn't think of riding, mush less buying a foreign car. I also did pretty well with the girls in those days. I didn't always look like this you know!!!!! Then I met my wife at a wedding. She was 12 and I was 18 so of course I didn't go out with her, or even talk to her that I remember, but I went out with her older cousin. I was not a Perv. When I was a little kid cars didn't have air conditioning but it just came out. I was at my much older cousins house out on Long Island (where I live now but it was desolate then with a few small towns) When we would drive past a pretty girl he would say "Close all the windows and smile". It was like 100 degrees but we rolled up the windows and smiled like we had AC to impress the girl. We were covered in sweat. Of course we never impressed anyone.
  12. I finished installing my brakes today. It was a beautiful day so I decided to do them outside in the sun instead of in my garage. I took off the wheels and of course it started to rain....Hard. It's a good thing I am a Veteran and the rain doesn't bother me.....Much. I also started a new whiteworm culture in a larger plastic container. I am taking dirt and worms from my years old, stinky culture and drowning them so I can eliminate the tiny white bugs as they float. Then I rinse the worms and dirt in a coarse net and throw them into the new container nice and fresh. These things multiply very fast and I have thousands of them, not that I counted them. If anyone wants a culture and lives near me, I will give them to you. No, I don't ship them as you can get them on line if you want them.
  13. I buy a lot on Amazon also, but I had the car jacked up when I realized I needed brakes and all my life everyone always had brakes stocks for everything.
  14. I always seem to be dealing with Jibonies. I swear I don't know how some people stay in business. As I said, I needed front brakes so I jacked up the front of the car and took off the wheels. Then I went to "Auto Zone" which is the closest place to me to buy them. In my old neighborhood I was able to go to a wholesaler because a long long time ago in a galaxy far far away I used to be a mechanic for General Motors. So I go to the store, wait on a long line, (which I normally would not do because if I see more than one person on line, I leave.) The PTSD did that to me as I have no patience for waiting. I get to the counter and the guy can't find the listing for my car. It's a Jeep, it's not like I got a DeLorian or Excaliber. So the guy finally says, He has them. Great I pay for them and start walking out when he calls me back and says. "Wait a minute, those are for a Wrangler, I have a Renegade." He has to order them. I am also not used to that because everyone stocks brakes for everything. (If I knew I had to order then I would have called Amazon) I go home and figure while I have the front wheels off, I would rotate the tires. I take off the back tires and notice I also need back brakes. I call "Auto Zone" to get the rear brakes and of course they don't have them so they have to order them. They would come in tomorrow. Like the song from Annie, Tomorrow is always a day away. They call me right back and say they have them. I drive to Auto Zone and tell the guy to get me my brakes. Oh No, we made a mistake, we don't have them. They are on order. I get home and take my wife out for a nice seafood dinner. We had the stuffed grouper. Fantastic, Stuffed with crab meat, lobster and shrimp with a nice glass of Pino Noir. As we are eating, "Auto Zone" calls me and says we have the brakes. I say, do you have both sets, front and rear. "Yes both sets". We are having guests over for the weekend, which will get her any minute so I rush to Auto Zone to get the brakes figuring after our company leaves on Sunday, I will install them on Monday. I drive to Auto Zone. Oh no, we just have the front brakes. Who called you? I don't know, you only have 3 people working here. Ask someone. They have no idea so It must have been in a drunken stupor or maybe I had too much Pino Noir and was in a Coma. I said, now you guys have to deliver them to my house and install them because you are all Jibonies and I can't believe how you stay in business. Installing brakes on a car takes about an hour, that includes jacking up the car and having one or two beers and talking with the neighbors. Getting the parts can take forever and I am old so I don't have forever.
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