Unshelved by Bill Barnes and Gene Ambaum
comic strip overdue media

Tuesday, May 05, 2009


I lost my male swordfish today without any warning. He's been very active. I can only guess the nitrate levels are running high again--that can happen when you introduce fish or increase the amount you're feeding. Like the others, he lasted just over a week. The platies seem acclimated, but I'm worried about the female sword now. I'll have Animal House check the water for me Thursday and in the meantime I think I need to do a water change, although I haven't since the babies were born because I was waiting for them to get bigger. I don't want to suck them into oblivion and there's still a couple of nearly transparent tiny ones in there. I'll just have to be careful. I've added some more nitrate-fixing bacteria for good measure. If I can get the water balanced I'll introduce a catfish or two to clean up some of the detritus, and some sort of algae eater. But for now, I might just go with plants next.

Yesterday I finally got some rest. Our game got cancelled, so I went home and slept for five hours, went back to do the weekly housecleaning, and then went home early and fell asleep to soothing music whilst sitting in the comfy chair. I woke up about 1 am and moved to the bed. This morning I had a dream that a friend and I were touring the university's campus on a 1930s tour. There was an open-air bus that had a full-sized replica of a '30s car and a speakeasy bar (serving soft-drinks, however). It was very strange. I've noticed that when I dream of UK I tend to dream about the south campus, near the twin residential towers, the place I first lived when I came up to Lexington for school.

Today has been pretty productive. I'm trying to get the library on the EFTS payment system now that the National Network of Libraries of Medicine are giving out grants of up to $200 to start out, plus the same amount to sustain. That would take care of my interlibrary loans for the year (I get most of them through FREESHARE, a consortium of libraries which do not charge for articles, but large resource libraries, universities, and the National Library of Medicine itself charge about $11 per ILL, and I have about 10-15 bills a year.) But they're only giving out 100 awards this year, and so I've asked our financial officer if it would be possible for us to apply. The nice thing about EFTS is you deposit funds via one cheque (I don't think we're set up for a credit card) rather than writing a whole bunch of little cheques throughout the year, which costs money in itself. One quote I read was that it took about $110 to cut a cheque when you figured in manpower and other hidden costs. So it's a money saver, and for me it would be great to get one of these grants because my books/journals budget pretty much goes for journals these days. I'm using another grant to help pay for book updates this year. Even so, I'll still be a little over budget in that area, although I'm usually under budget in other things, so maybe it will be offset. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

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