Bob, the fish

My son Maxim has been asking Santa for a gold fish.  Among a billion of other things, of course.  And while he wasn’t so sure about all those toys, he somehow was certain that Santa will bring him a gold fish this year.  For it was an almost done fact.  Something like tomorrows sunrise.  It’s not here yet, but you know for sure it’s coming.

Neither me, nor my wife Olga know anything about fish.  Except that it lives in the water and you can eat it in a variety of ways.  But fish as a pet is weird.   Still, we decided to go along with it.  So, for the New Year’s Santa did bring Maxim a small glass bowl for aquarium with a gold fish in it.

Maxim was overjoyed.  I think part of it was due to him expecting the gold fish for Christmas, and not getting it, sort of, downed his hopes a bit.  And then he didn’t find the aquarium under the tree for the New Year’s.  Santa was afraid that our cat will either eat the fish or knock off the aquarium and spill all the water, so he left the present on the table.  And Maxim just didn’t check there.  Yeah, I know, modern age kids.  Back in our day we’d check everywhere!  But I digress.

As I said, Maxim was very excited to have a fish.  He wanted to do things with – watch it, feed it, put more water in the aquarium, move the aquarium around, put more stones on the bottom of the aquarium, feed the fish again, and watch it some more.

By the end of the day, I noticed that the water in the aquarium wasn’t as crystal clear as before.  And the fish seemed to be swearing at us all.  At least it looked that way.  Now of course I think that the fish was trying to breath with its mouth.  Anyway.  Dirty water.  So I changed it – spilled half of it out and put some new water in.  The fish looked better.  But not for long.  The next day I felt like I need to change the water again.  And again.  And again.

Then it hit me – the Internet!  I had to read at least something about the fish.  Since I didn’t know which brand, model, class, or type this fish was, I just read a bit about gold fishes.  And even that little that I read made me worried.  Here is a list of things (I don’t dare call them facts yet) that I read:

  • Aquarium gold fish don’t exists in natural habitat.  They were created by humans for humans.  And while some of them are beautiful, they are very fragile.  One small mistake and the fish is dead.  One big mistake and the whole aquarium is cursed.
  • Aquarium fish is very sensitive to water.  Preparing and maintaining the right water is almost as hard as sending human to Mars.  Maybe not that expensive though.  Aquarium has to be prepared with water before the fish goes in.  Once the fish is in, it’ll take a couple of days for it to settle and adjust the water for itself.  And then that’s what you’ll need to maintain.
  • Gold fish needs a lot of space.  Suggestions varied between a 10 liters and 20 liters of aquarium space per each fish.  Our fish bowl was under 2 liters.
  • Gold fish are a common present for office competitions, birthdays, and other holidays.  But because most people don’t know how to take care of the fish, the fish usually survives only for 3-4 days.  Oops!

Well, at least we tried.  With water changing and everything.  But that didn’t help.  Today morning I woke up to a dead fish.  Bob-the-fish was its name.  And it survived in our custody from December 31st, 2010 to January 5th, 2011.  That’s almost a week. And somewhat longer than the average for a gold fish present.  Not even long enough for me to make a photograph of it.  Sad.

Today we’ll probably have a family meeting to decide if we want to try again.  And as much as I am for having pets in homes where children grow up, I am against torture and animal cruelty.  If we are to try, we’ll need better preparations this time.  We’ll need to learn something.  And we’ll need to get a bigger aquarium.  That’s for sure.

Maxim and the polar bear

Maxim and the polar bear

In the morning, my brother and I went for a perilous journey. We had to drive a really old car (“don’t live the city borders in the piece of machinery” type) in heavy rain and limited visibility conditions to Larnaca airport, where we had to pick up an unknown guy, who we had to bring back to Limassol and make and exchange with. This poor soul was a yachtsmen. He had to get to his team and we were his only hope. Team’s coach had a valuable posession for us. It was a package from my father.

Overcoming obstacles one by one, which were many by the way, we managed to succeed in our quest and get the package. In it, there was plenty of stuff. Most of it was for Maxim – books and a giant polar bear. Soft. And huge. He was exactly the size of Maxim.

Maxim showed a more than average level of excitement. He played with the bear, talked to him, and took him for a walk. He even wrestled him to the ground and than picked up into the air – that was a particularly hard thing to do, which you can witness from the pictures in the album.

Thanks Dad – very much appreciated. And vodka too, by the way.

Album location: /photos/2006/2006-02-08_POTD

More on Christmas

Here is more about Christmas, since I’m still in the spirit.

One of the cool things about living in a mutlicultural environment (like Cyprus) is that you can enjoy the best of all worlds. Originally, we were celebrating only the New Year with Ded Moroz (Russian Santa Claus) being the main character of the holiday. But now we enjoy Christmas too. And we get more presents from Santa Claus and Agios Vasilis (Greek Santa Claus).

The definition of “begin good all year” can also be interpreted in different ways, which pretty much guarantees presents from at least one of the three magical Christmas grandpas…

More content is coming…

Olga was very good this year and Santa Claus gave her a camcorder for Christmas. That means that even more content will be posted to this website in the coming year. So far you had plenty of texts and loads of images with occasional audio. Video clips were rare. Now they’ll be more often. (Stay tuned for the upcoming New Year Eve filming with me performing as Santa Claus).

We’ll just need some time to study the camera and how the whole process of filming, ripping, and optimizing for web works. Any hints are more than welcome, as usual…