Altoid & Other Cuties' Thread

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Re: Altoid & Other Cuties' Thread

Postby jamiebk » Thu Apr 22, 2010 12:54 pm

Schmeelkie wrote:I remember long trips to NJ where we would leave about 6pm after my dad got home from work. Big brother and I would have blankets and toys in the back of the (probably) early '70s station wagon. We'd spend most of our time back there - sometimes just lying back and watching the stars once it got dark. At the time my folks avoided the interstates to avoid tolls, so in some places it got REALLY dark... I always feel bad when I have to take our kids on long trips and they have to be strapped in the whole time. Which is why we got the portable DVD - a consession to the fact that they can't move. We also stop a LOT more than my parents ever did. We'd stop once on a 6-6.5 hour trip then, now probably every 1.5-2 hours. At least with the van, husband or I can climb into the back to read or otherwise interact with the kids - my folks were pretty much stuck in the front of the station wagon.


My folks had a wagon too. They used to take us to drive-in's and we'd curl up in the back. Like you Schmeelkie, we'd lay back there between the luggage during long trips...it was great. No seatbelt! No child seat. Somehow we survived.
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Re: Altoid & Other Cuties' Thread

Postby Haggis@wk » Thu Apr 22, 2010 1:26 pm

I remember the shelf in the back of Dad's Oldsmobile when I was 7-8 and could lay on the shelf and look up at the stars. Dad made a bed to fit across the transmission hump on the floor in the back seat so my sister and I could sleep while on a trip.

Here's a picture of the Olds in Tripoli, Libya in 1957. The guy on the scooter was a neighbor, a pilot.

Image
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Re: Altoid & Other Cuties' Thread

Postby piqaboo » Thu Apr 22, 2010 3:13 pm

Gek the gecko - an update.
Altoid caught our 'free' gecko, relatively newly hatched, eating fire ants, on a friends pool deck just moments before leaving the desert to drive home.
OT thought I was the one who agreed to take it with us, I thought he was. By the time we had that sorted out, we were up 8000 feet and it wouldnt have been fair to let it loose again. Altoid named this see-thru western banded gecko 'Gek'. Gek was smaller than my little finger (tho nearly as long, about 1/5 the mass). We could see his innards & bones thru his skin, and his eyeballs thru his skull.

The first month was difficult (for me). We didnt have a good container, we didnt have a good food source (we were catching ants in a neighbor's yard every night), and having taken it from paradise, I felt we owed it proper care.
We eventually found a local source of pin-head crickets, the appropriate 'cricket food for geckos', and an aquarium with heater. Gek seemed to thrive. He/She/It shed its skin a time or two, and even started to get a little bit of a fat tail (where they store reserves). Watching Gek catch dinner was fun.

Last Friday, Gek seemed 'off'. Didnt move right or enough. Didnt hunt dinner. No way I am paying ER rates for a gecko on a weekend. Internet revealed nothing. We worried. Finally a later search attempt Monday night yielded possible cause (takes time to work thru all possible searches). We took the left-over crickets out (they bite sleeping geckos), cleaned the cage as usual, added LOTS more water than before, and waited... the possible diagnosis was constipation due to eating sand along with the crickets. After 24 hours, there was movement (gecko poop has this bright white tip, which is the gecko pee. Very distinctive). Gek seemed a bit more lively. But not much, and the most recent molt wasnt entirely shed. This should not take 7 days. So, the free gecko got a vet appt. [sigh]. Verdict - dehydration. Gek spent last night in a vet-recommended sauna: heater on bottom, hot pad on top, bottom covered in saturated papertowels. Gek was lively this morning. It will be interesting to see how it hunts tonight. Meantime, we have to make permanent changes to its enclosure to a) give some local humidity b) get UV light near the heat, for basking c) change/vary feed. The recommended fee is a years supply, only $15... with $15 or more in shipping.

This free gecko is up to $65 in non-consumable costs (I dont count his feed. Everyone has to eat). It would be $100 but at the very end, the vet (an old friend of OTs) ended up bartering the cost of the exam against a free piano tuning. The vet came out wayyyyyyyy ahead, but it will likely expand OT's customer list, as he gets most of them thru word of mouth.

On the plus side, the vet said this kind is difficult to keep in captivity and that if we've gotten 8 mo, we've done well. He's grown from smaller than my pinky (tho as long) to as long as my ring-finger, with commensurate gain in diameter, in the past 8 months (not so explicitely said is that since its a baby, the mistakes we have made, whatever they may be, will have downstream repercussions in health/lifespan).

Gek is fun, cool, interesting, and causes me ridiculous amounts of stress. WAY better to buy one from a pet store, which will have a boatload of literature on the species.
Altoid - curiously strong.
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Re: Altoid & Other Cuties' Thread

Postby Haggis@wk » Thu Apr 22, 2010 4:08 pm

We have 1-3 geckos around the house, they eat mosquitos in the summer and ...something else during winter. The old daschund would hunt them so we kept doors to the rooms we think they are in closed. I wonder if the populaton will increase. In Thailand they are considered good luck if they live in your house. We had one that was several inches long.
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Re: Altoid & Other Cuties' Thread

Postby dai bread » Thu Apr 22, 2010 6:14 pm

Somebody found a Duvaucel's gecko in a mousetrap in a wildlife sanctuary not far from here. It was dead, of course. The find caused mixed feelings in conservationists. On the one hand, sorrow, even anger, that it had been killed; on the other, joy and elation that it had been found at all. The species hadn't been seen on the mainland for almost a century. It was thought to exist only on predator-free off-shore islands.
We have no money; we must use our brains. -Ernest Rutherford.
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Re: Altoid & Other Cuties' Thread

Postby jamiebk » Thu Apr 22, 2010 7:34 pm

dai bread wrote:Somebody found a Duvaucel's gecko in a mousetrap in a wildlife sanctuary not far from here. It was dead, of course. The find caused mixed feelings in conservationists. On the one hand, sorrow, even anger, that it had been killed; on the other, joy and elation that it had been found at all. The species hadn't been seen on the mainland for almost a century. It was thought to exist only on predator-free off-shore islands.


A real "good news...bad news" story. Sorta like when your mother in law drives off a cliff in your brand new Lexus.
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Re: Altoid & Other Cuties' Thread

Postby Haggis@wk » Fri Apr 23, 2010 1:33 pm

jamiebk wrote: A real "good news...bad news" story. Sorta like when your mother in law drives off a cliff in your brand new Lexus.



Like when your daughter comes home from a date reading a Gideon bible!! :rofl:
The American Republic will endure until the day Congress discovers that it can bribe the public with the public’s money.” Alexis De Tocqueville 1835
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Re: Altoid & Other Cuties' Thread

Postby piqaboo » Mon May 10, 2010 12:54 pm

Gek died this weekend. Disturbingly, I know he died between midnight and dawn on Saturday.
He starved. He never recovered from the bad shed, which resulted in lost digits and vision.
Even in a small enclosure, overwhelmed with food, he couldnt adapt to hunting any way other than by sight.
There was a short viewing, to ensure the Altoid knew Gek was dead before he was boxed on lilac satin and interred
by the calla lilies. There were tears. She wants to go back to Palm Desert and catch another one.
God help me.
Altoid - curiously strong.
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Re: Altoid & Other Cuties' Thread

Postby Shapley » Mon May 10, 2010 1:41 pm

My condolences on your loss.
Quod scripsi, scripsi.
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Re: Altoid & Other Cuties' Thread

Postby Trumpetmaster » Mon May 10, 2010 3:26 pm

Shapley wrote:My condolences on your loss.


DITTO....
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Re: Altoid & Other Cuties' Thread

Postby analog » Tue May 11, 2010 12:04 am

Sorry about Gek. How nice you had the ceremony , recognizing Altoid's feelings.


pets for kids... search memory.......Day after hurricane Andrew the dog carried in from remains of the woods an infant rodent of some sort so tiny its eyes weren't open.
We warmed it up and eyedropper fed it sugar water first day then baby formula, the powdered kind with rice.
Its eyes opened in a few days and it developed a distinctive stripe down its back & tail.

In about ten days it was pretty surely a squirrel. Whew- we'd feared it was Pepe LePew.

Made a delightful kids' pet, playful and friendly. Stayed with us about seven months then one day hopped off a shoulder into a tree. After a couple transitions between shoulder and tree Mother Nature took over and he went up into the canopy with the others.

i don't know where one would acquire a squirrel under normal circumstances.... tree trimmers and exterminators doubtless encounter squirrel nests and have to deal with them.

Somewhere a few years ago i posted a similar tale about a bluejay raised under similar circumstances when i was in fifth grade. Now THERE's a family pet !

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Re: Altoid & Other Cuties' Thread

Postby Shapley » Tue May 11, 2010 8:28 am

I've always heard that crows make excellent pets if you can acqure the early enough. Never tried it, though. I've never had the inclination to raid a crow's nest. We used to have crows that would hang around the house, robbing the cat and dog of their food. We've apparently eliminated that by going to the 'continuous feeder' that has the flap door to keep the weather and pests out of the food. We still get raccoons and opossums raiding the feeder, but apparently not crows.

Crows are intelligent creatures, and can be taught to mimic human language.

When I was stationed in Saratoga Springs, NY, we used to have some overly-friendly squirrels. The young ones would run up to you and climb up your clothing. In the Spring and Summer, we kept our windows open in our apartment (which was the upper floor of an old house), and the squirrels would find their way in. More than once we returned from NPTU to find squirrels scampering about the house. They usually fled when we came in the door.

My father-in-law had a pet raccoon for a time. I don't recall how he acquired it. It stayed in the shed behind his home.
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Re: Altoid & Other Cuties' Thread

Postby Schmeelkie » Tue May 11, 2010 11:25 am

no pets yet here...my condolences on Gek.
Did see little cube aquariums with (I think) African pygmy frogs at a Hallmark store of all places. Advertised as 2 frogs, aquarium with filtering rocks and a year's worth of food for $29.99. Pumpkin wanted one, but it made me a little leary to get pets at a card store....and Pumpkin also said he thought they'd need more room to move around....

Our big news this weekend is Bella's transition to 'big girl underwear'. Though she doesn't have a great track record at home, she comes home dry from day care. We discussed it and she agreed that she might be more likely to run for the bathroom at home if she was wearing underwear. One accident the first day, dry all day yesterday, but I had to convince her she still needed the nighttime pull-up. Pulled that off by saying she didn't want to risk peeing on her new princess nightgown, did she? Our only concern now is our trip to my father-in-law's in Mass. next weekend. Will have to convince her that it's probably a good idea to have pull-ups for the drive as we won't always be able to stop at need. Or we could just bring the potty.... not sure yet.
"Up plus down equals flat" Pumpkin, 3 yrs, 10 mo, July '07
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Re: Altoid & Other Cuties' Thread

Postby jamiebk » Tue May 11, 2010 11:27 am

Shapley wrote:My father-in-law had a pet raccoon for a time. I don't recall how he acquired it. It stayed in the shed behind his home.


Tried to raise raccoons one time. We found a nest of babies that had been abandoned (mom might have been killed or something. We kept them in a pen and hand fed them...cared for them played with them. As they grew, they became very nasty and definitely "bit the hand the fed them" on numerous occassions. We had to let them go because they became so aggressive...nasty little critters!
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Re: Altoid & Other Cuties' Thread

Postby piqaboo » Wed May 12, 2010 7:15 pm

Bring the potty, skip the pull-ups.

Thanks all. Gek wasnt around all that long (7 months) but it was intense.
For herself, it was a fair percent of total time as an airbreather.

I wonder what raccoon tastes like?
Altoid - curiously strong.
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Re: Altoid & Other Cuties' Thread

Postby Shapley » Wed May 12, 2010 7:21 pm

piqaboo wrote:I wonder what raccoon tastes like?

'
I've eaten raccoon, barbequed. I don't recall much about it. It was not unlike rabbit, I think.
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Re: Altoid & Other Cuties' Thread

Postby Haggis@wk » Thu May 13, 2010 8:32 am

[quote="Shapley] It was not unlike rabbit, I think.[/quote]

When I was at Sheppard AFB in Wichita Falls, TX in 1967 fried rabbit was a staple in the chow hall. I'd been eating rabbit since I was a young'un but some of those yankee lads almost threw up when they learned they were eating Bugs Bunny. It was the same with grits, yankees never could deal with grits.....now I'm hungry, gotta go to Frank's, the MRHYN (yankee, remember) can't cook grits.
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Re: Altoid & Other Cuties' Thread

Postby jamiebk » Thu May 13, 2010 9:01 am

Rabbit is a favorite of mine and it's supposed to be incredibly "healthy" meat (probably not though, if it is fried). We should replace our chicken eating with that of rabbit. Dem bunnies grows fast and can be produced cheaply. Last time I had rabbit was at this place: http://www.farmhouseinn.com/ A truly incredible meal.

I agree with you Haggis on the grits...as George Carlin would say...."Get dat high rollin' boil...Get dat high rollin' boil. Den, throw dem out cause...You can't eat dem damn grits" :rofl:
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Re: Altoid & Other Cuties' Thread

Postby Shapley » Thu May 13, 2010 9:17 am

The Navy Mess Hall at Orlando (then home of the Navy Nuclear Power School) used to serve rabbit often. I guess they were cheap and readily available, the same reason Sheriff Joe Arpaio served ostrich to his prisoners.
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Re: Altoid & Other Cuties' Thread

Postby piqaboo » Mon May 17, 2010 1:15 pm

I got a 'gold' in a 4-H food contest, by cooking rabbit stew.
I probably havent had rabbit since then, but it may be time to renew the acquaintance.
We used to eat it several times a year, growing up.
Now its a special order item in the groceries, which is why it dropped off our menu.
Altoid - curiously strong.
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