“He’s not chaloogifying! We’ve
got to make him chaloogify!”
Last Week’s Article Postscript: Getting Caught Up—err somewhat
by Jeff Fullerton
Attribute to L. Neil Smith’s The Libertarian Enterprise
A follow up to last week’s submission: why I’m so far behind.
Another week and the Florida Room is really rocking! Going on two years I’ve finally arrived at the point envisioned with a series of further improvements that have decided the final configuration of cages and tanks with the space for the most part fully utilized. And I’m very happy about that!
Going back early in the week I got additional blocks and bricks to finish the stairwell project.
The main issue of the collapsing retaining walls has been corrected to make the entry to the cellar from outside look more presentable with more improvements coming. Most likely next spring.
That same day—I also checked up on the progress with the new aquarium stand under construction. It was nearly finished but for the want of some additional hex bolts, nuts and flat washers. I ended up with a shopping list and a run to the hardware store to get those so the project could move forward and I could get my new tanks into the room and complete the renovation.
The following day the stand was ready and I loaded it in my car and took it home to work on in the time remaining before a 3 to 11pm shift. It was still unfinished for the want of a cross brace at the top of each corner post to add stability but I was willing to do that myself so i could get it home and put a coat of red oak stain on it rather than wait another day.
The bottom tank—20 long—passed the fit test. Barely. So the next step was to bring the stand into the Room to see how well it would fit there with an eye toward whether or not the tall tanks that would go on a platform supported by the posts will clear the I beam that runs the center of the room. And it was during this test I made a good discovery.
While I was easing the stand into place I looked down and what did I see? A turtle! It was the missing areolata who went AWOL a few weeks ago. Alive and well sitting on the floor behind the 20 H duo. So much for the floor drain theory—he probably never left the Room and just hunkered down somewhere in there. I’m thinking between the block pillar holding up the tub and the wall. I felt around back there and raked around under the tank stands with a snake hook in addition to going over the whole room and the rest of the basement to no avail. The ability of these creatures to hide is amazing!
I’m very happy to have him back alive and well and I’m keeping him in quarantine for a short time to make sure he didn’t pick up anything or gets sick as a result of being at large under suboptimal conditions—though the Room is warm enough.
Got the stand stained that afternoon and sealed in the evening when I got home. The major part of the project to get the stand in place , level and tanks on it set up and running happened the following day—Thursday.
Because I’m putting this together on a Saturday morning before an 11 to 11 shift time is getting short so I’m going to let the pictures do most of the talking for me in regard to what happened next. The process from draining and moving a fully planted aquarium to building a temporary platform to support the two additional tall tanks consumed most of the day with a hiatus to run out a do business and buy the wood to make the platform.
Looking forward to finishing this up. It will make for a really great story for the Adventures in Herpetology series sometime later this fall.
Ten tanks so far counting the small metal frame vivarium on the work counter not visible in these photos.
It’s so wonderful! I can’t think of the perfect set of words to articulate the philosophical underpinnings on a late afternoon dinner break of a busy Saturday at work as I try to squeeze in a final picture that shows an even better view of the newest additions. Something about how it is still possible and essential to be happy and productive in bad times.
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