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Topic Review (Newest First)
Yesterday 11:53 AM
Wobbling and throbbing, our recruit shows up for day 2...

He's in too much pain to think straight. Instead, his mind is spinning on some of the stuff the tour guide "shared" with him, yesterday.

"We're a very dynamic organization," she said, "Our employees are integrated team members with high-level adaptability skills."

(Not today, but later, he realizes this is code-speak for, "We do re-orgs nearly every Friday, and if you don't passively lay your head on the chopping block, you WILL develop tension headaches from trying to raise your head up off the block to see what's coming. May as well relax, and if the blade comes, it comes. Oh, by the way, you're number one on the list, as you are the newest meat.")

After the procedure, yesterday, in the back room, he was taken to the break room, a filthy little hovel showered in stale processed food crumbs with a few sticky chairs surrounding a wobbly break table. On the way there, he saw the "bullpen" where his cohorts work.

"We're doing some space management in the employee zone and are managing our space more effectively, so at this moment we are in flux and cannot place you longterm while the space management is happening. I'm going to put you in an alternate, nearby space, for now."

(Codespeak for, "The corporate goals are to shrink effective employee space by a square foot per month on average. We do this by shrinking cubes and using previously 'sub-optimal' office real estate that has evolved into 'standard' office real estate for our low-levels.")

Over on the back wall of the break "room" there is a tiny bar table and rickety stool, used to post crap snacks until they disintegrate into a pile of crumbs after the herd has grazed upon them. The bar table is crammed between a humming water cooler next to the photocopier, and the employee refrigerator with its grimy handle zone.

The guide goes on, "You can use this space until something opens up on the floor. I'll call IT for you and see if they can goose Facilities to see about getting you some sort of power."

(Codespeak: "SUCKER!! - first we see if you even last long enough to get assigned bull pen space!)

Our recruit stands and stares at his rickety stool, nestled in the 18 inch niche.

07-27-2015 11:14 AM
Our recruit shows up first thing Monday morning...

...the product of helicopter parents, he's used to the silver platter. He's expecting the same experience at the "new place" as he's had in the past.

The difference, this time, is that, in the past, his parents were PAYING FOR THE EXPERIENCE. This time, he is getting paid.

In the past, orientations consisted of a warm welcome by a hand-picked staff member with a smiley face and just the right handshake. There would be a shiny glass conference room with a conference table spiffed out with libations and breakfast foods. The staff would fall over the recruits, tending to their every breath. They WANTED you.

This morning, reality hits. Life OUT THERE, IN THE REAL WORLD OF WORK.

Our recruit, still naive, has expectations. He expects this same warm welcome into a modern, clean space. A nice hour of orientation, followed by a Starbuck's quality brew in hand as he's toured around to meet his new peers. Finally, he expects to be introduced to his admin, where he can offload his carry bag and jacket, and be ushered into his windowed office and taught the phone system and intercom system. How the window blinds work. That sort of thing. Then left alone as the tour guide asks if he'd like his door pulled shut as she leaves.

Instead, we hate to tell you this.

Our recruit is taken to the back room, and neutered. Chop, chop, we remove your parts, because we can use you better, without them.

He's in shock.


07-26-2015 12:07 PM
Simple lessons the Shrimporium has taught DK

So, while DK is scrambling in the background to attempt some other major projects, and the shrimp are getting the shaft behind their murky glass walls, DK will dance a smoke and mirrors show using pictures from her recent pump replacement, to divert all y'all.

She's pretty excited, because later in this series she harvests a part off her REFRIGERATOR to use to solve an issue here. See, she has now related the fridge project to the Shrimporium. Ahem.

The pump replacement process illustrates a lot of lessons DK has learned (the hard way, I might add), during her tenure at the Shrimporium.
Let's look at a few of those lessons:
  1. Design things MODULAR, so parts can be switched in and out easily.
  2. NEVER, and ah-main NEVER take apart something without first owning a digital camera, learning how to use the macro function, having CHARGED batteries, and shooting pics from several angles of whacha aboot to take apart.
  3. If'n sumpin's notable, BEFORE you take it apart, note it, mark it, draw a map, or sumpin'. So's you can put it back together the SAME WAY. Bad things can happen when ya don't. Especially at 80 PSI and with a water system.
Citing the above scripture, DK notes that she cleverly designed Wet Wedding with a MASTER GFCI, which, when tripped, de-powers anything in the whole Wet Wedding system. She pops the GFCI button, making further steps less fun but a whole lot safer.

So, DK's Wet Wedding pressure booster pump 1.0 is retiring. He's just tired of the daily backstabbing and BS at the office, ready to take his red stapler and sip margaritas in stemware while in a lounge chair down south at a tropical beach. (Who can chime in here and tell the audience where that comes from... ennyone??)

The cocky, fresh, young replacement, just newly hatched with a degree, has arrived, naive smile on his overly-groomed face, first day on the job. (In the future, the scent of aftershave will fade first, followed by the smooth, shiny skin, followed by the emergence of the grizzled look, and then BO.)

DK surveys the landscape. Most importantly, with her camera.

She notes the points of attachment of outgoing pump. ALL OF THEM. Mechanical. Electrical. Plumbing. Obstructing other objects.

But first, pump is in-line with all sorts of water from both sides. So, DK turns off the water, IN BOTH DIRECTIONS. She doesn't want spewing water as she tries to un-wire a pump from the orgy-glob. She then removes the in-going and out-going plumbing connections.

The pump is powered by two wires emerging from the bottom of the pump. DK, being the Nerd that she is, notes that one of the wires has writing, whilst the other does not. She notes this and photographs this. But equally importantly, she notes that the two wires that those wires connect to BOTH have writing.

Hm. How to distinguish them.

DK grabs a permanent marker and, like Banksy, leaves her mark.

She NOW undoes the wires, so when she removes the mounting, she's not left with a heavy pump in one hand, the tools across the room, and the dang thing still attached at the wires. Now, when she removes the mounting, the pump will be free. Free to wander off with the red stapler.

Stay tuned for more raucous and thrilling adventure, up next.

07-26-2015 05:30 AM
wicca27 ha ha ha that is what my house looks like in a week if i dont sweep or vacuum every day lol. them GSD are hairy huh lol
07-24-2015 08:13 PM
Schmuck says,

"I'm still hairy. Just not AS hairy." (after a comb-out session today)



Sometimes, we learn things only by time and experience, and track record.

This week, DK learned the lifespan of her pressure boosting pump on Wet Wedding. She's pretty sure it's a-aging out, 'cause it's makin' some awful noises. She's ordered and received a replacement, before the original has a chance to implode while working.

She considers it a fair lifespan - the thing boosts system pressure to 80 PSI against significant load, and works 5 hours a day 24/7/365. The original was installed 3/2013, so that's, um , 2.33 years at 365 days per year and 5 hours a day... 4252 hours of operational time. Replacement cost $90 so that's 2.1 cents an hour equipment cost, not including the power to run it.

She's been so bizzy working on some other important projects that the shreemps have been tossed some food now and then and left alone to populate back up from last summer's Shrimpmageddon. You can see the yellows, through their dirty glass, are coming along.

Oh, and. She abducted 5 more Mermaids into the second tank.

07-18-2015 11:16 PM
Geeky DK is fascinated by weird things

Originally Posted by pKaz View Post
Great Story DK, and the wall looks awesome!
Why, thank you. Come visit again, except at the moment it's a war zone down there, truly!



DK's new wet grinder ("stone polisher," technically) has arrived, along with the diamabrush. DK is, of course, procrastinating starting THAT project, because it makes the fridge project seem like a little thang. Truth be told, she is DREADING this upcoming monster of a project.

So, she distracted herself shooting a few awful photos, instead. Across slimy glass. So don't expect too much.


She is completely fascinated with the concept of biological indicators. By this, she means like the canary in the coal mine.

She can track whether her waters are on track based on a number of biological indicators, such as presence or absence of snails and their sizes and which ones (ramshorns shells look ratty when her calcium levels dip, whereas pondsnail populations soar when her chloride levels dip, MTS shells turn pinkish with calcium sulfate source but are grey with calcium chloride source, etc.), movement of copepods on the glass biofilm (thick masses of them on the front glass indicate a clogged substrate layer toward the tank front), the presence of black beard algae (indicates low perfusion of tank water such that the new water is not getting mixed adequately into the whole tank), migration of substrate nematodes (they will emerge from the substrate when oxygen levels dip). In case you have trouble extracting the abstract concept from examples, here she digresses to state: she believes in biodiversity in a biome.

OK, so she's gone off on a tangent, here, to get to her point.

She is fascinated by small bio-differences in her tanks, because if you pay attention, you can learn to "read" them - they speak to you.

So, she is very fascinated by two adjacent Sulawesi tanks. In theory, they should be identical. They receive identical water feeds. They share the exact same light source. They have adjacent location, geographically. Their hardscapes are the same rock (petrified wood from a particular source and location).

However, the tank on the right has a TINY difference in biomass: a small population of Mermaids. The tank on the left, until recently, had no shrimp. The (right) Mermaid tank gets TINY amounts of food fed into it, so trace nitrogen and nutrients that the other tank does not get. The food feeds not only the shrimp, but the snails, too. So now you have shrimp and snail by-products, moreso than in the tank to the left.

You can see that the profiles of the tanks today are quite different. The left tank (until last week the Mermaid-LESS tank) shows much more diatom growth and much less carpet (green spot looking) algae on the glass surfaces. However, it is culturing green "fur" algae on the top of the main rock that the tank on the right has never shown. The tank on the right shows dark brown growth of something on the rock surface, and a carpet of green-spot-like algae on the rock surface.
  • First, a picture of the tanks when they were first set up, with very little biofilm growth, yet.
  • Then, a picture of them today, showing the vast differences left to right in the two tanks.
  • Next, a closer look at the substrates. The left tank has little visible bio-coating on the substrate particles, whereas the right tank has a heavy dark green coating. (The white patch of substrate in the right tank slightly back is an area DK recently stirred up - until then it was uniform green as the front substrate shows.)
  • Next, a closer look at the rock top surface growth, left tank first, then right tank.
  • Finally, and VERY INTERESTING, the left tank has this population of amorphous floaty dark green unattached fluff that sits on the substrate layer in the back of the tank (but it does not coat the substrate particles). DK thinks this is a novel form of algae never seen in any of her other tanks. It's green. It came out of "nowhere." It doesn't go away. It must be some sort of algae culture.


DK is fascinated, watching for biological indicators in her Sulawesi tanks.

DK is reminded of goggle-eyed Jeff Goldblum in Jurassic Park, talking about Chaos Theory, when she looks at these two tanks.

07-17-2015 04:39 PM
pKaz Great Story DK, and the wall looks awesome!
07-15-2015 01:53 PM

Goop? What goop?


OK, so DK's been bizzy. She got the bridge lamps done, after not-a-little-cursing during the wiring phase.

The other day, she helped one of her favorite peeps make this retaining wall, in a day. She's still a bit stiff.

She thot things were a-gonna settle down a bit so today she might clean some glass and show some pics, but, alas, it was not to be.

Last night, one of the leak frogs was a-goin' off.

Now, it's taken YEARS. DECADES, if truth be told. But now when she says sumpin' to Other Geek, she's taken pretty seriously. Last summer when she swore it was NOT her Shrimporium causing the high humidity in the basement, then she did the Vapor Control Project to prove it to herself, she inched up her credibility some.

So last night, when Other Geek heard ol' frog a-goin' off, then she went down to see why, then came up to report she did NOT think it was her system, Other Geek listened.

Yeah, I know. Miracle.

Ennyway, together, the Nerd Pair went downstairs, took a look at the very suspicious growing puddle underneath the furnace unit, threw the breaker, then broke into said furnace unit.

Inside, was an inch of standing water, and water streaming down the internal walls.

It was like a CSI episode, looking at the water splatter pattern where the squirrel cage fan had taken that inch of water in the base and thrown it all over the inside side wall.

This was NOT related to Wet Wedding, being INSIDE the furnace unit.

Now, for most homeowners, not the Geek Dynamic Duo, this would have meant an emergency several-hundred-buck service call.

To the Geeks, it was a few minutes with a flashlight, some thoughts about how the system works (OK, here we stop and say that the whole Shrimporium Project has been an in-depth lesson to DK about the importance of SYSTEMS, and UNDERSTANDING SOMETHING AS AN ENTIRE SYSTEM... in case you twitchy one-thot types cannot stand DK waxing forth "not about shrimp, in a shrimp forum"), a few minutes with a hacksaw, a trip to Lowes, ten bucks, and a good mood due to PVC (CPVC, actually) glue fumes.

$10. (And a buck in gas money to get to Lowes, and a buck for the necessary Diet Coke bought from the impulse coolers at the Lowes checkout aisle.)

All fixed.

Other Geek made DK do it, saying, "You're the master plumber in the house... that's your thing..." so, she did.

She woulda taken pics, but she was bizzy, and all.


OH, and actual shrimp news:

All the transplanted (abducted, really) Mermaiden have survived and seem to be thriving in the second Sulawesi tank. DK didn't want to report until she was sure they not only liked the water, but also had enough bio film to eat in there. Oddly, that tank, even though it has identical feeds, has a different bio-slime and algae profile than the tank right next to it. Of course, it doesn't get the same nutrients as it doesn't get fed, and it has an almost non-existent snail population, whereas the Mermaid tank has a buncha snails adding to the mix.

Need to do some more abductions...


OH, and DK's new wet grinder is tracking to arrive today. THAT'S gonna be a BIG project. She's prolly gonna hire her some Amish guys to do it.

07-15-2015 03:50 AM
Maechael Understandable Wicca, definitely understandable. Even DK had the goop thing way back when that silenced us cavedwellers for a bit.

But we all recover eventually, and find the extra oomph, or hire it haha.
07-14-2015 04:38 PM
wicca27 in order to figure out the switch on my light i have a feeling i will need to pull my other strip light apart lol. see how they have it wired together to see what i did wrong on the one i replaced the ballast on. just not had the umph lately to do that
07-14-2015 07:12 AM
Maechael I missed so, so very much here.
Liking the refrigerator rehash, looks gorgeous to me, though beige is not my colour haha.

Wicca, sort that switch issue out pronto, you are the other staple in this thread, no leaving just me holding candles in the cave!

DK, I got a house! I also got bit by a brown recluse during the move and waited till after the move to go to the hospital, my bosses made me go.

Collapsed so many tanks down to 2, might need my own intern soon haha.
07-09-2015 05:01 AM
wicca27 one of these days i will get back into shrimps and kinda thinking i want tigers again. not sure what color/type but pretty sure tigers lol. keep up the great work dk love all the new pics shrimp seem to be bouncing back well for you now
07-01-2015 09:03 PM
So, the idea took hold, and...

...DK abducted a few juvie mermaiden and plopped them into the virgin Sulawesi tank. There they will cook until they go forth and multiply, in theory. This was the beta test to see if they can survive in that tank ok. If they do, then she will snatch a few every so often from the other tank and continue to seed the new tank, for a few months.

Today she was able to find a few of them, so she knows at least some survived the move, and overnight.

She's not sure, but she thinks she moved more than 4. She knows at least 4, but there were probably one or two more than that. She picked up a feeding tray that had a buncha babies in there and moved it over to the other tank and let them swim off, but she was unable to see them well enough to count them accurately.

A few hours later, she took these pics of them. Of course, the first thing they do is establish defensive positions - smart buggers. These are not the same pair of shrimp - these are two different locations in the tank, and the one pair is about quarter inch size while the ones on top of the rock are half that size. Interesting that they sorted themselves according to size, and where their preferred defensive geography would be.


Oh, and yesterday she noticed this curvaceous lady in the black tiger tank. Lookin' like she was about to pop a batch. She saw a mermaid in the same way, but was unable to get her picture, as when she approached with the camera the slippery little lady scooted around the edge of the cliff outta sight.

06-30-2015 06:11 AM
wicca27 DK that looks great.

i had people here with me. we are all safe. not sure what the issue is but the light is fine as long as it is unplugged and plugged in something about the on off switch (built into the light) is the issue. as long as the switch stays on all is good so that is why it is plugged in now to turn it on.
06-30-2015 01:53 AM
Originally Posted by wicca27 View Post
im glad your light project worked. Mine...... not so much. i bet im the only person in the world who can blow a breaker switch by TURNING OFF a light. no clue how it happened but i have to unplug my light now. if i flip the switch to turn it of it trips a breaker. oh well at least it works. and at this point i am thinking about buying a switch to install inline in the wire to turn it on and off lol. getting in the floor under the tank to turn it off at night is not nice on bad knees
Hey C...

... stay safe.


DK never works on electrical work when alone - always has a responsible secondary party in the building... in case. She also has an expert electrician type on consult at all times. She knows her way around a multi-meter.

DK also never starts a plumbing project just before a weekend or holiday...


She realized she didn't post the finished pics of THAT OTHER project, with the wrought iron handles. Made by a blacksmith, both handles priced less than a single commercial appliance handle, including shipping (which the single commercial appliance handle would not include at this price point).

She used a mini trench drain grate as her replacement fridge grill, since she wanted black and hated the uber-ugly original white one. It worked out fah-buel-ussss. It disappears under the fridge not to be thought about, covers the fridge-guts, and allows the needed air flow for heat management. And, oh, yeah, it was cheaper than any replacement real fridge grill, even used ones. DK had to do a little magic with some aluminum angle, pop rivets, and a lexan plate to pull the grill together. It removes in a wink for easy access to the coils for cleaning - no pesky screws to undo down there.

The new fridge surround has a removable side panel that allows easy moving of the fridge (as its upper portion floats with no post on the left side when side panel is removed), or slides forward for easy access to behind the fridge, without removal. This is crucial when you have a bottom coiled unit and two hairy Germans in the same house. The center panel on top lifts and holds now for storage of items above fridge. There is a narrow closet between fridge and oven stack, behind a cute skinny door, with holders for brooms, fly swatters, etc.

In order to make the beadboard frame proportional, DK had to chop the sides off her fridge control panel, but this left some annoying leftover partial text on the left edge of the panel. DK camouflaged this using some automotive vinyl wrap in matte metallic champagne.

DK thinks it looks much better than the hulking white box formerly dominating her kitchen skyline.

Plus, it was fun to do.


She's contemplating her next project. Probably she needs to finish the bridge lamps that have been sitting around.


Shrimp are doing fine. She has the highest number of camo tigers she's ever had, now. The Mermaids are doing swell - their tank is growing slime to feed them at an accelerated rate since the install of the full-spectrum lighting. One of these days she's gonna seed the middle Sulawesi tank with them to start a second population in that tank. She has all slimy glass again, so no new shrimp pics until she cleans some glass.

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