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Monday, February 09, 2004

Various Updates 

A couple of things from the past week or three.

We made oatmeal pancakes again this weekend, this time trying them with ginger instead of cinnamon. Evelin liked them better with ginger (it was a toss up for me ... both ways are good), but we did decide that Lyle's Golden Syrup was better than maple syrup as a topping.

The catfish I photographed in Amazonia last week at the zoo is a shovelnose catfish (Sorubin lima, also known by the common name "cucharón"). I ran down to Amazonia before my panda shift yesterday because not knowing what sort of fish it was kept bothering me. I also found out that cucharón tend to spend most of their time floating diagonally with their nose pointing downwards.

In the rainforest atrium, both the callimico (Callimico goeldii) and dusky titi monkey (Callicebus moloch) were visible (one of the callimico came very close to me, hooting and whistling) and I finally got to see the two-toed sloth (Choloepus didactylus), who was walking below an I-bar at the back of the atrium and then down the wall to a feeder station.

I pulled out the seed packets (all from Burpee's) and here's the full rundown of this summer's gardening plans: Genovese basil; common chives; Brandywine, Super Sweet 100 hybrid, and yellow pear tomatoes; California Wonder sweet peppers; Clemson spineless okra; Baby's Leaf hybrid spinach; Scarlet Runner pole beans; and Super Snappy edible-podded snap peas. Already in the ground are five varieties of garlic (Spanish roja, Italian, music, Georgian crystal, and Inchelium red), rosemary, three or four varieties of raspberries, some blueberry bushes and strawberry plants in front of the house, daylilies and other edible flowers, and the fig tree.

Two weeks ago, I mentioned that the drain in the upstairs bathtub was acting up. After a week of going back and forth in my mind (and searching lots of plumbing sites), I opted for an industrial/chemical solution instead of trying a more natural baking powder/vinegar solution. I'd already tried both water and mechanical snakes, as well as boiling water, to clear the problem, and I was worried that if I used a baking soda mixture it would rule out future use of a chemical solution, if necessary (mixing bases with acids and all). In the end, it took a full bottle of Drāno Max Gel, which probably is killing the Chesapeake Bay, but it did clear things up.

Tonight, Evelin and I are going to an adoption informational seminar sponsored by the fertility clinic we've been going to. No decisions or thoughts yet, but we want to explore our options ...

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