Writing update

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Writer in editing mode

It has definitely been awhile since I updated the blog on the writing side of things. A few reasons. I really don’t like writing about writing.  I also discovered that I’m not really a fan of reading about writers expounding on writing. Bores me to tears.

When I took the plunge into actually publishing my work, I friended up quite a few authors and independently published writers in the social media world to get their take on things. Educational yep. Exciting and fun to read? Nope. So my blog has evolved to the things I DO find interesting to blabber about, namely my 8-legged cats and other hobbies.

That all said, I haven’t stopped writing, but it has slowed down this last twelve months. You’re probably asking yourself at this point, if this dude hates writing about writing so much, what is this for? The answer is that I have actual readers now who are waiting for the next book(s) in the series that began with “Princess”. Folks wanna’ know where things are at, and a few have asked politely how stuff is going, so here ya go.

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Tarantula bits #4

Sometimes there is no rhyme nor reason to a tarantula sling dying. I lost my Tapinauchenius violaceus the other day. It was eating well, kept in a good enclosure and seemed to be thriving. However…it molted. The next day it high dived off of the cork bark onto the floor of its home and this is where I found it:

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I can see nothing wrong with it, other than it is in a death curl. At first I thought it might be getting ready to molt, but it JUST DID that the day before.

In this hobby, raising tarantulas from slings is more economical from the cost standpoint, but you run a much higher risk of mortality. Beginning keepers sometimes lose slings from improper care. Even us “older-hands” will sometimes have losses that can be explained (such as my last Avicularia). The annoying thing is that there are times the little derps will kick the bucket without a good visible reason.

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Tarantula bits #3

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Aphonopelma anax “Tango” hard at work on the new house.

So in the last few days I’ve had a death in the family. One of my Avicularia tarantulas succumbed. The first one of these I had also died from the same issue. (What that issue is…I don’t really know.) The local reptile shop replaced the failed T with this one, and it lasted longer, but eventually expired the same way. Best guess is that both were infested with some sort of parasite or infection as they were from the same source, and were probably wild caught. It is sad, but when dealing with exotic animals such as these the Keeper needs to understand going in that there will be failures. Sometimes for no apparent reason.

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Tarantula bits #2

 

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“This is my poop and leftover food corner. There are many like it, but this one is mine!”  Grammostola rosea young adult female “Victory Jr.”

Tarantulas are one of the cleanest animals out there. In fact I only half joke when I call em’ “8-legged cats”. They behave very much like cats. From persnickety bathroom habits, to fastidious feeding habits, to grooming.  Yep, they groom…and they can spend hours doing it. (Of course with eight legs, this stands to reason.)

They also don’t give a rat’s butt about you, the Keeper. Oh they will pretend like they do occasionally, usually when it gets around feeding time, but nope, like cats, you are merely an object to be suffered through most of the time.

Some of the more persnickety snots on the exotic pet boards in social media will wave their hands and scream that tarantulas don’t have these traits, that it is pure anthropomorphism, but I aquire the look in this meme picture and move along.

sarcastic House

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The Tarantula molt process, or how to become a virgin again.

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Brachypelma smithi in her old clothes

This would have been a “tarantula bits” post, except I liked the title, so hey.

Last night my Brachypelma smithi, a purchase from a local Petco, molted, and Tom Moran posted up a Grammostola iheringi update where the molt had just occurred with one of his 8-legged cats.
SYNCRONICITY!   heh heh.

I had photo-documented the process with my B. smithi, so I figured I’d post up about the how, what and whyfores with some most excellent shots to illustrate just how Tarantulas “do”.

One of the interesting facets of the exotic pet hobby (not JUST tarantulas) is the molting process. Reptiles shed, as well as snakes, and almost all inverts as well.

[aside: This includes all of the sea-abiding cousins such as this kid here:]

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The poor man’s Eels

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Just a quick post up of a fish tank migration. I retired the old 29 gallon and replaced it with a 40 gallon breeder setup.  This is the living room “FOWLR” tank.  (Fish Only With Live Rock.) Coral “reef” tanks introduce a level of care that I’m not interested in doing beyond the two smaller tanks I’m managing. FOWLR tanks are far far easier in the maintenance category and much more forgiving of mistakes.

As this tank set up is new, it is still clearing from the motion, new sandbed and rock situating.

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In the Eye of the Beholder, or “I don’t see what you see.”

 

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= in my eyes.

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I’m sitting here slurping coffee, getting ready to feed a bunch of tarantulas in a short bit and I was musing about some reactions on faffbook in response to arachnid galleries and posts…from people who obviously aren’t in the hobby.

These reactions range from just “EWWWWW!” to “I’m scared of spiders” to “kill it with fire”…with a few folks taking the high road complimenting on color or beauty, but quite often appending with “I’m terrified of…” or “but they are creepy”.

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Arachnophobia is a real thing. I know this, because I have a mild form of Apiphobia, which is the fear of bees and wasps. It is a completely irrational fear for me, and one which I’ve endeavored to get over by forcibly NOT running away at the mere sight of one of these beautiful animals. I still get anxiety around them, but by dealing with the fear, I no longer bolt when one swings by.

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So I CAN relate to the reaction.

 

 

 

 

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Tarantula Bits #1

 

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“Tiphane” Grammostola porteri mature female 6″ My first and still favorite.

A new take on my old “last bits”.

I ranted like crazy about this on faffbook in a local group. Posting the 2-part rant here for posterity:

Local shops rant #1
Irritated. There are times in this hobby when I get pissed about pricing. Specifically local herp (reptiles and snakes) shops. Been on the hunt for a B. smithi for awhile now, and found two…one at a local reptile store, and the other at…drumroll…Petco. Same size, everything. (juvenile to young adult approx 3-3.5″)

Guess who wanted 150+$ and were offended when I counter offered the price range I KNEW I could get the T for?
Then wild guess who sold me mine for 75$?

People hate on the chain stores, but I have had better luck in general with them then the “locals” in this hobby.
I do not and will not name names. Just “local” ranting.:-/

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Local shops rant #2:

I have yet to see a listing of T’s on ANY local pet store website. No prices, no species, nothing. Unless you call. Then it is, “Oh sure, we have a lot of them, come on down.” And when you do, you generally will see outrageous prices that would drive an online vendor out of business faster than you can shake your head as no one would make that kind of buy.

While I will exclude Naturebox (local vendor here in Denver) from the pricing irritation (they are an excellent source for reasonably priced tarantulas), even that store has a website section for spiders that is empty and has been since I first checked em’ out quite some time ago.
On the other hand, online vendors look like the 2nd picture.  Species, new arrivals, availability/sold out info, origin locale info, pricing, and general information as to species care.

Consider this an “I wish” posting rather than grrr argh.

[Aside, there were some web captures illustrating my points. I’ll leave them out of this post as they are local to the Denver area, and this blog has a wider reach.  Just pretend you saw blank pages where listings should go. heh.]

addendum to the rant:

I just saw an A. versicolor 1/2″ sling selling for 60$ on a shelf at a local shop. Almost choked. Then I looked at the other selections, some of which were absolutely crazy high as well.

Then when I asked why the prices were so high, I received the stock used car salesman answer, “Oh they’re on consignment.” -this is a magic term for “just because we think there are enough suckers who will pay it.”
:-/


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Aphonopelma seemanni

Back to me blabbing on the blog here:

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Tarantula Sling Husbandry – A Comprehensive Guide

Outstanding and in-depth. Great article on care of Tarantula slings.

Tom's Big Spiders

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I can remember getting my first two slings, a L. parahybana and a C. cyaneopubescens, several years ago. Although I had kept adult tarantulas before, these tiny little gals just seemed so tiny and fragile. I had spent hours researching the care, and had even spoken to a couple of keepers about them. I thought I had the correct setups, and my temperatures seemed okay, but I couldn’t shake the feeling that something with my husbandry was amiss and that I would inevitably end up with two dead slings.

Even folks who have kept larger specimens for years tend to experience more than their fair share of anxiety when they keep their first slings. Part of the problem is that much of what you read about sling care can conflict with what you read about their adult counterparts. For example, good husbandry information will tell you that the Brachypelma smithi is…

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Vendor Review: PetcenterUSA

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Just a quick review of an already respected Tarantula vendor who does retail and wholesale work.

Paul Becker has been in the 8-legged cat game for a long time, and with good reason.

I’m not going to go into screaming detail, as these things have been done many times via social media, (A good overview here from Tom’s Big Spider Blog)  but as I am 100% pleased with the selection, service and health of the specimens I just received, here’s the post!

Packaging = perfect.

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