Posted by: Mark | August 25, 2016

Reading Library

Devilboy’s new school is within a few miles of the Reading branch library. It’s smaller than I expected–normally Devilboy finds a few dozen books but in this case he only found one.

There wasn’t much of a selection of books on mythology, pets, or nonfiction in general. It seemed more of a community center than a library. . . which is probably how most patrons like it. There were many public computers,  meeting rooms, and other resources that the community was using. Maybe this is the future of libraries. Not my first choice but it’s better than shutting down.

Posted by: Mark | August 19, 2016

Fairy Ring Mushroom

2016-08-19 18.00.51

I was proud of myself for matching these with a picture of fairy ring mushrooms but then I learned this a blanket term for more than 60 species of fungi.

If you believe evil fairies live inside the mushroom ring, there’s only one sure-fire way to dispel them–run around it nine times. Clockwise or counter-clockwise? The lore is vague.

Posted by: Mark | August 15, 2016

Bearded Dragons

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Shipping and distribution sent the store a package of bearded dragons despite the fact that is no place for them. After some confusion, they were driven to safety.

From what I’ve heard, these are the best reptilian pet available. Maybe some day.

Posted by: Mark | August 11, 2016


2016-08-11 21.08.14

Hornworms are the larval form of hawkmoths, and, much like Eric Carle’s Hungry Hungry Caterpillar, they spend much of their time eating. Unfortunately this resulted in a massive geyser of fecal matter when Isabela the turtle bit into him. I just put in a new filter system in her tank so it should work out.

She seemed to like hornworm flavor but I will probably stick with other food.

Posted by: Mark | August 9, 2016


2016-08-09 15.31.51

Well, this was as close as I could get to a goldfinch without scaring him off. I had expected to get a goldfinch early on but, for some reason, our paths never crossed.

Posted by: Mark | August 9, 2016

June Beetle

2016-08-08 23.59.02

I thought I posted a picture of a June Beetle before but nothing is coming up from searching. It’s not a particularly impressive insect but I guess it counts as a species. I had another eight-day stretch without a day off so I’ll take it.

Posted by: Mark | August 7, 2016

1,007 Dancing Robots

The Chinese have set the record for the most simultaneously dancing robots beating my record of three by a considerable margin.

These robots look like the Noa robots I work with except for a few alterations. I’ve seen a few web sites refer to them as Noa but I don’t think that there are that many Noa available.

Posted by: Mark | August 7, 2016

Finnegan’s Wake Chapter 6

After weeks of doing nothing, I finally got back to reading Finnegan’s Wake. It didn’t seem to make much difference in my comprehension. I’m up to page 148 out of 540. I’m not sure if I’ll finish by December 31 but eventually I will.

Posted by: Mark | August 5, 2016


In my final robotics class, I was supposed to have a girl edit her story to tone down the violence. Depending on the audeince’s choices, one of her main characters is beaten or stabbed to death or murders another character.

She countered that another kid’s story was about Star Wars and an entire planet blew up. Curiously, that was Zac Snyder’s defense of Superman v. Batman.

Eventually she changed it so that the robot married his male bodyguard. Nobody complained about that at all.

Is this America? Violence is frowned on but gay robot sex is okay?

I’m okay with it.

Posted by: Mark | August 2, 2016

Horse Fly

2016-08-02 23.16.56

You can’t tell from this dark picture but this was a huge fly. I’d call it a horse fly but I can’t say for sure. There’s over 150,000 known species of flies with many more thought to be out there.

I’ve been so beat lately that I’m going with it.

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