Post 14, in which I don’t give legal advice

I’m on call this beautiful Saturday morning, and having already been up to attend a delivery, I am now sitting quietly at home while Hampton sleeps and the dogs romp outside. While I would love to catch a nap myself, the dogs will need to be let in soon, so it’s the perfect time for a blog post.

First off, holy cow is the jasmine on our front porch beautiful. It smells awesome, too. Here, enjoy some jasmine photos:



Our house is like something out of a Disney movie. I love it.

As of the day before yesterday, I have a new car! Woo! It’s a 2013 Mazda 3 i Grand Touring with 6-speed manual transmission. I’m pretty smitten with it.

I also went to court the day before yesterday since I was cited for the car wreck I was in a few weeks back (y’know, despite an eye witness stating the other guy ran a red light and the fact that he was obviously speeding seeing as how he went 80 yards down the road after he hit me and took out a utility pole, but whatever). I hadn’t ever had to go to court before, so while it was a terrifying experience, in retrospect it was a little interesting. Ultimately, it made me feel a little bit better about myself, as I was not in cuffs, I hadn’t stolen anything, and I didn’t have any drug charges, which is more than I can say for most of the folks there. I didn’t realize I had to plead one way or another, so after hearing a couple other people get asked how they pleaded, I was frantically Googling how on earth I was supposed to plead (I’m not sure how I survived before smart phones).

My findings seemed to indicate that pleading guilty was exactly how it sounded – admitting guilt for whatever you’re accused of. Pleading innocent, while denying guilt regarding what happened, also sets up an expectation that you’re going fight whatever charges there are, possibly (probably) retaining legal counsel to do so. I mean, I absolutely didn’t want to admit guilt because I firmly believe there was not a thing in the world I could have done to prevent the accident, but I was totally not game for any type of legal battle. Google seemed to think the answer was pleading “no contest,” basically a legal way of saying “I’m not going to admit guilt in this case, but it’s really not worth my time to put up a fight, so let’s just get this over with.” Perfect. I did exactly that, the judge seemed satisfied, the case was dismissed, we all went home. Except the people in cuffs.

I’m glad to have that behind me. It was interesting to see the judicial system at work, and a little concerning to me that no further preparation is offered to people like myself who have to appear in court but really have no idea what they’re doing. The average individual might not have thought (or been able to) frantically Google how to plead without incriminating themselves or instigating a legal battle.

Anyhow, in the world of fishkeeping, the temperature has been around 87* for about three days now. The same day I increased the temperature, I added a little less than one teaspoon of aquarium salt per gallon of water. This was a much bigger undertaking than I had anticipated, having never before kept a tank greater than 46 gallons. Suffice to say, it was a LOT of salt, and the little bitty $6 API cartons don’t really cut it. I’ll keep the temperature high and the salt in the water until May 21 or so, when I’ll do a big water change and slowly bring the temperature back down to around 78*. I’ll do a number of small gravel vacuums and water changes in between now and then to remove ich spores and keep the pH stable, but for the most part I want the temperature and salinity to stay where they’re at.

All fish seem to be doing well. I’m wishing I had gotten an albino bristlenose, as my little green guy is pretty difficult to find. Hampton saw him briefly yesterday, but I haven’t seen him at all in a few days. The little golden mystery snail got himself wedged between the fake rock background and the glass, damaging his shell in doing so, and while I initially was concerned that he wouldn’t recover, he has since been cruising around the tank. I also added a second cuttlebone to make sure he has access to enough calcium to grow a strong, healthy shell.

Water parameters yesterday all looked good:

  • Ammonia 0 ppm
  • Nitrite 0 ppm
  • Nitrate 5 ppm
  • pH 7.2

I’m concerned about my plants becoming nitrogen-starved again, and the solution is really to get a heavier bioload, but I won’t be adding any more fish until this ich outbreak is taken care of. Until then, lots of plant fertilizer.


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