rangersyl: (hard at work)
Today I strapped on hip waders and waded into a shark-infested tank.

Was much fun, actually, though the scrubbing of algae was a tough job. The sharks had no fear of me or my scrubber, and swam all around me (and between my legs!). They were little sharks, mostly brown banded bamboo sharks, no more than 2-3 feet long.

That qualifies as surreal, doesn't it?
rangersyl: (Sitting on What?)
Went to the Aquarium today for the first time this month -- too much travel and work recently, gah.

But anyway, it was fun -- though there were spring break crowds, it wasn't nearly as insane as MLK day. There was, however a class of ? first graders who were mostly well-behaved but kept trying to lift up a cover I put on a touch pool. And since I must make their visit a positive experience, I couldn't go all Dog Whisperer on them by snapping my fingers and saying: "TSST!" I did, however, manage to keep them from mutilating the animals, which is a good thing.

The other thing about today was the manual labor aspect. We were scrubbing out one of the shark holding (quarantine) tanks -- which means it has to be mostly drained and a lot of elbow grease applied to the layers of algae that have developed. My job was to clean off the pvc tubes we use to provide shark hiding places. They were covered with slimy brown-red algae (my personal favorite!). Major scrubbing, along with the added glee of having flecks of red algae flung everywhere - on my clothes, in my hair, on my face -- yuck! My back and shoulders are reminding me that was some old-school scrubbing going on!

But it's all in good fun. After having a total desk job the rest of the time, there's something very satisfying about cleaning slime off of a shark toy. Once you're done, you can see that you've accomplished something. Which is better for the psyche than just shuffling papers from one pile to another.

As for the desk job -- I have been cleaning my office. I've been expecting new office furniture for some time now, so I've let entropy take over. But last week I decided that entropy was causing me stress, and resolved to straighten up matters.

What a difference! I still have one corner to go, but it's already made a huge difference. It sounds so obvious, but all that clutter etc. represented a lot of subconscious stress. Now that it's mostly gone, my subconscious knows that there aren't long-forgotten assignments and botched tasks hiding in the piles. When I walk in now it's relaxing... I feel like working. Happy sigh.

And I've been whittling down my email inbox from a high of 426 emails. Wish me luck.

Grr.

Jan. 21st, 2008 09:42 pm
rangersyl: (eyepoke)
Dear -

a) parents of small child who prised a sea star off of rocks and entirely out of the water while visiting my touch tank today.

b) man who is way old enough to know better who plunged his arm into an exhibit to 'pet' the skate

c) the kid who tried to stick his finger up the sea hare's anus

d) the people who found it amusing to take the food out of the anenome's tentacles

and

e) everyone who visited the aquarium today who, whether intentionally or due to idiotic ignorance, managed to injure the animals.

No love at all.

Me.
rangersyl: (West Coast Sea Nettle)
Due to a crazy work schedule, it's been over a month since I've been able to go to the Aquarium. I had forgotten how nice it is to get away from the desk job and do something fun that involves animals and lets me use my hands (and all the other parts). Getting dirty, chopping seafood and feeding fish is very therapeutic.

There was a child and his family from the Make-a-Wish foundation, and several of the Aquarists and other staff were giving them a red-carpet backstage tour. I was feeding when they were around, so they got to see the sharks in a feeding frenzy. They enjoyed that quite a bit! I heard some fun gasps of surprise as about 20 2-foot sharks jumped to life when I tossed food into their tank. Lots of smiles, which was cool.

Also, there is a new 1 1/2 foot juvenile zebra shark that I target fed. He is just absolutely gorgeous (not to mention cute as a button). He ate really well, just striking at the feeding stick I put down for him. Great fun!

Healthwise, I was able to handle the basics pretty well, though it will be nice when I'm back to something near 100%. I feel a little drained, but not too bad. Will probably just go to bed a bit earlier tonight.

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