The Saturday Report

So Shrimp Bob was bopping along, all seemed right with the world, and every Pest Bob had vanished from the tank. Yesterday morning, he was actually out and about, accepting a flake of food and generally being an interesting addition to the tank.

Last night, I came in to flip off the light, and discovered Crab Bob devouring his head.


I have no particular explanation for this–he may have died of unrelated causes (He didn’t LOOK sick!) and been eaten by my voracious clean-up crew, or he may have actively run afoul of Crab Bob. Crab Bob is not supposed to be a sociopathic killer of fellow crustaceans, but perhaps he hasn’t read the articles. (Kevin claims that someday when I break down the tank, I’ll find a tiny little shrine to the Great Chopstick containing the empty shell of Shrimp Bob and the artistically arranged bones of Goby Bob, complete with tiny incoherent crab writings.)

I attempted to take the head away from Crab Bob–epic fail–and threw my hands in the air and did a large water change instead to try and cut any ammonia levels from a rotting shrimp. What I want to know is where the BACK end of Shrimp Bob went–he was bigger than Crab Bob! No way could Crab Bob have eaten ALL of him! It’d be like me eating a whole deer!

I suppose Tonga Bob, the giant snail, could have done it–having no bones allows him to stretch quite a ways. Alternately, there’s half a shrimp stashed somewhere in the rocks being gnoshed on by a zillion copepods and Crab Bob.

Okay. So in a few months, I will try a very small clownfish, who can host in the torch coral and generally escape Crab Bob if need be. Other than that, I’m giving up on other non-coral inhabitants of the tank–everybody currently in is deleriously happy, but I’m havin’ no damn luck with anybody else in there. (I feel like a bad shrimp-keeper. *sigh* Or maybe it’s just that particular LFS–I’m not buying any more live animals from them.)

In other news, Kevin and I have been re-tiling the master bathroom. It’s a two-room little thing, with a wet room and a dry room with the sinks in it. The dry room was carpeted. Carpet of any kind in a bathroom is an abomination, as far as I’m concerned, and this stuff was ten years old and had suffered the depredations of many cats. I proposed tiling it. Kevin jumped on this notion–he’d apparently always WANTED to tile something–so we tore out the carpet, put down board, and went to work. Unfortunately, in order to grout today, we had to get everything cemented yesterday, so we were up until 3 AM.

We did several things right–we ordered enough tile, and we sprung for the GOOD kneepads, because there is no point skimping on that. It’s a dark gray-green textured faux-slate kind of tile, and it’s very good looking. We did need to go and get some plain glossy black to do the border on the wall, which turned out to be a good thing, because we were able to do all the thresholds (two doors, one shower) in a line of black tile, which is a surprisingly snazzy look and saved us a lot of grief in terms of layout. Kevin also picked up a Dremel with a diamond cutting wheel to do the neccessary fancy cuts, which worked very well.

Unfortunately, either these particular tiles or the tile cutter we bought–we sprang for the big one! The guy at Lowe’s recommended it!–broke horribly about 3/4ths of the time. Fortunately we had an extra box of tiles, because we ran through a lot of them on bad breaks–half the tile broke along the score, then it would swoop off in wild directions. Sometimes we could save it with the tile nippers. Mostly not. If we tile anything again–and despite the 3 AM thing, we actually might, it’s not that bad a job, and Kevin found it strangely enjoyable, plus there’s a half-carpeted kid’s bathroom, and a living room that could really stand to have 10-year-old child-and-beagle-wrecked carpet torn out and replaced with something nice–we’re springing for the $200 tile saw. 

Also, the bathroom walls aren’t straight. Whether the build was a little off true or the house has simply settled in ten years, hard to say, but there is a distinctly non-Euclidean quality to the bathroom that was not obvious until we attempted to jam it full of unyielding squares.

So that added a lot of cursing, and there are several sections of the floor that…well…let’s just say they have character. A lot of character. Oodles.

Still, in some ways, the living room (which we’re definitely eyeing) would be an easier job–every row wouldn’t require intricate cuts to fit around doorframes, showers, toilets, etc, and we could do something fun around the fireplace.

This afternoon, we grout!*

*Dark grey grout. Not white. Not crazy.

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