October 30, 2008


A new site for pets has just launched:

RightPet.com: Pet owner ratings of dogs, cats, birds and fish. Pet forums, photos, videos.

It's a place to check out which pet is best for you and your family. Pets and vendors are user-rated so that an online collective wisdom is shared with everyone wanting to find the right pets for the right homes. Drop by and post your pet stories, photos, and videos... I'm sharing my pet fish experiences there.

March 26, 2008

Night Sounds

We live in Orlando, you know, the city where dreams come true. For several years, we stayed in an apartment located just two traffic lights away from Mickey Mouse's door. Every night we would hear a cacophony of fireworks explosions from Epcot, Magic Kingdom, or Downtown Disney. (Every now and then we would hear heavy walking and late night furniture rearranging from the neighbors upstairs.)

Fireworks are exceptionally loud during holidays like the eve of the 4th of July or New Year's. They usually last about 10 to 15 minutes, so they won't really keep you up. If they ever wake you up, especially the finale super-explosions, you quickly realize it's the Disney fireworks giving all those breathtaken visitors the awe of their lives, and you promptly fall back asleep.

Since we moved to our new place last year, we have a different set of nighttime sounds. We now live about two blocks from Seaworld, where they also have fireworks, although not everyday, and not as loud as Disney's. And because the Orlando International Airport is just 15 minutes away, the traffic of airplanes can sometimes be heard in the stillness of the night.

But tonight, we heard a totally unusual sound. For a second it sounded like someone dropped a piece of furniture upstairs. Only thing is, there's no "upstairs" -- unless someone dropped something on our roof. It didn't quite sound like thunder... the weather was clear all day.

"What the heck was that?"

So, we paused the show we were watching and we stepped outside, looking around for whatever may have caused that thunderous explosion.

A neighbor was taking a stroll. She saw me walk out to our driveway and look up at the clear blue sky.

"You heard the sound of the shuttle," she called out, smiling.

"That was the space shuttle?"

"Yes, the sonic boom of the space shuttle."

"Oh, wow! That's right! They're landing tonight! Thanks!" It was a huge "aha" moment for me!

So, there it was, our first sonic boom experience in all the years we lived in Orlando. Next time we hear a thunderous sound like someone dropped a piece of furniture "upstairs," we'll know to suspect it was another space shuttle announcing its arrival.

A news article said the Endeavor caused a "twin zonic boom" as it came in to land at the Kennedy Space Center. For more about the Space Shuttle Endeavor and its mission, and some tidbits about the International Space Station that's now 70% complete and gearing towards human expeditions to the moon:


March 19, 2008

New Articles: Aquarium Design and Decor

How to Design an Aquarium

Designing an aquarium, also called aquascaping, is one of the most exciting and challenging aspects of the fishkeeping hobby. The aquarium is a mini replica (or simulation) of the fishes' natural homes, which means utmost care must be taken in designing, preparing and maintaining the tank's elements and ecosystem. Here are some guidelines in designing a successful fish tank.


How to Be Creative With Aquarium Decor

Aquascaping or decorating an aquarium involves the bringing together of various elements primarily to simulate the natural habitats of the resident fishes. Setting up aquarium tank décor is a basic task--and after you've done a few setups and seen others, they start to all look the same. How can you make your aquarium stand out? Here are a few suggestions.

January 16, 2008

New Articles: Growing Roses and Cleaning Bronze

How to Grow Bare-Root Roses in Containers

Bare-root RosesOne of the best ways to propagate roses is by transplanting them in their bare root state. Bare-root roses remain stagnant until they are "awakened" through soaking and planting on the ground or in containers. Here are the simple steps to plant bare-root roses in containers.


How to Clean and Polish Bronze

Clean and Polish BronzeAlmost everyone has bronze décor pieces in their home. These metal artifacts may have looked shiny and new when you bought them, but the longer they are exposed to air and moisture, the greener and duller they become. Bronze reacts with moisture (oxidation) to form a greenish layer on its surface, called patina. Some homeowners appreciate the darkened finish because it adds character to the metal, but many prefer their bronze clean and shiny. Here are a couple of natural ways to clean and polish your bronze treasures.

January 5, 2008

New Articles: Metal Tables and Papier-Mache'

New articles at my eHow Home & Garden:

How to Repaint a Metal Table

Metal tables, especially those used in outdoor gardens and patios, can quickly rust and deteriorate from exposure to the elements. They should be checked periodically for fading and corrosion, and then cleaned and repainted as necessary. Follow these steps for removing rust from an old metal table and repainting it to look like new.


How to Make Papier-Mache' Hearts

One of the easiest ways to create decorative forms is with papier-mache' or paper mache. Using common materials like old newspaper, modeling clay and diluted white glue, you can create your favorite three-dimensional shapes and forms for decorating your home. Here are the simple steps for making papier-mache' hearts for Valentine's Day, Christmas, or just for fun.


How to Make a Valentine Mobile

Mobiles are interesting décor items because they are dynamic and always in motion. Hanging your favorite items in a balanced, free-moving configuration can be attractive to infants learning about shapes and motion, as well as to art aficionados appreciating creative expression. Here are the simple steps to creating a Valentine mobile with bamboo sticks and lightweight papier-mache' hearts.