Wednesday, September 19, 2012

rare political post

If you are going to vote on the "Live and Let Live" theme of 12-step programs, then your only choice is to vote Libertarian. Vote Gary Johnson for President. He might not win, but you will be sending a message that you really value this in your life.

That is all.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

What is the lesson of our dead fish?

We got a small five-gallon fish tank a bit over a year ago. One of my daughter's friends got one for a birthday present at a birthday party that we attended, and she decided she wanted one too. Since allergies were preventing us from owning a cat or a dog, we agreed. The fish tank seemed the best way to go in terms of pet ownership, and pets are supposed to be good for your health and good for teaching kids life's lessons.

After a while we decided that one fish wasn't really enough. After checking with the some friends and the people at the pet shop we decided to get 2 more of the same variety. One of these turned out to be slightly larger than the other ones. Well we quickly nicknamed him "Bully". After moving into his new home he began biting the other fish. Soon the other new one died from it's injuries. However our little Pinky, who we had started with did not die. Eventually Pinky bit Bully back. Soon Bully died. We buried both fish in a corner of our yard with small graveside services. Life continued on in our home and we decided to just stick with the one fish. Obviously the tank was too small for sharing. When we lost power because of bad weather we worried about our little Pinky. When the power went out for a whole week my husband rigged up a complicated battery/inverter thing that let us run the water pump  and heater for a few hours a day. We poured hot water into the tank to keep our little Pinky from freezing (which we had to heat on a camping stove). We sheltered out the power outage in a hotel but we came home every day to make sure Pinky was safe. Pinky survived. What a tough little fish!

Time passed, months and months went by. Eventually we were feeling sorry for our little fish again. With no friends to play with, surely this social creature must be lonely. When the pet store put the bigger tanks on sale we decided it was finally time to upgrade. We got a much larger tank and very carefully prepared it. We tested the water, let the tank run for a few days, and made sure everything was just about right. Finally we moved Pinky in.

Pinky was in shock. He/she had never been in such a big home before. From a 5 gallon tank to a 29 gallon tank. He barely moved. I could feed him and he would react, but he seemed stunned. We tested the water again and it still seemed fine. We thought about moving him back to the smaller home but we were afraid that would just shock him more. We hadn't even gotten the new friends yet, we were just trying to get Pinky to adjust to his new surroundings. On the second day I brought my daughter home from school and he was not doing well at all. We all sensed it was urgent. Of course a vet couldn't really help us. I did the only thing I knew to do. I collected a water sample and we went to the pet store. They said our water was pretty good. We could add a little banking soda and some gravel from the old tank but really Pinky was just scared. Should we move Pinky back to the smaller tank (which was still on standby sitting empty)? No, probably not. He'll just be even more confused. He's just a little fish after all.  [If anyone is really wondering, he was a glo fish, a relative of the zebrafish.]

We had dinner and went home. When I went to the tank I could not find our little Pinky, and then we saw him. It was too late. He had gone on to Fish Heaven to be with his friends I guess.

In our hearts we were trying to cheer him up. Of course he didn't know that. He had survived so much. I am still just a little surprised that he is gone.

Did we do the wrong thing by moving him to a bigger home? I don't know. I feel like there is a lesson in here somewhere.

Is it better to live alone, in a small but safe home or is it better to go out into the big world and take some chances and possibly make a friend?

What do you think?