Not the holiday you plan for

That just ruins it.

Today is, apparently, Get Awakened Twice Before The Alarm Goes Off Day, that rather unwelcome holiday that planning for, or even alerting anyone to ahead of time, defeats the purpose, which is why I couldn’t tell you about it sooner, and in fact didn’t remember myself. Anyway, here it is, and I figured I’d use some of my extra time with posting about it.

The first occasion came courtesy of The Monster, who decided that somewhere in the wee dark hours, it was time to repeatedly dance across the bed, knock my glasses off the nightstand, and generally be far too kittenish for her age (shooting ugly looks in her direction.) This managed to get me awake enough to be annoyed, but not annoyed enough to stick, as it were, and I eventually fell back asleep.

An unknown time later but still better than 90 minutes before I was due to wake up, The Girlfriend got me up by telling me the neighbor’s yard waste fire from yesterday had reignited and was pretty high – they sit out back across the creek, better than a hundred meters off and so, to be visible, it was serious enough. We could see it wasn’t near the house, but also that no one was monitoring it, and so we traipsed over there in the frosty, still-dark air to get them up too. With luck, it was the second time for them, but I didn’t bother to ask. No damage, no immediate risk, but they appreciated being alerted to the hazard.

On an entirely incidental note, this is the winter solstice, or perhaps we should say the December solstice because it’s only a winter solstice for the northern hemisphere, meaning that the days have stopped getting shorter and are now lengthening again. In the northern hemisphere. In the southern hemisphere, where it is largely summer, the days have stopped getting longer and are now going to get shorter for six months. On the equator, meanwhile, nobody gives a damn. Plus, we can only count this days longer/shorter horseshit if you consider “day” to mean “daylight hours” and not the 24-ish hour sidereal day or like that, which remains the same length of time throughout the year and will only start to get longer/shorter if the Earth changes its rate of spin. Seriously, who created this system? It’s nuts.

But while we’re on the subject of celebrating-only-not-really,-maybe-kinda-observing-in-the-loosest-sense-of-the-word, I must note that this is the 1700th post on the ol’ Walkabout blogaroonie, 1700 being significant in that it, um, marks the dividing line between, you know, things. The remarkable difference between pre-1700 and post-1700. I shouldn’t have to explain this.

So in recognition of this, I present the 1700th image taken with the Sony F-717 digital camera, temporarily loaned to me while I lived in Florida – an odd milestone, perhaps, but it’s the first number that I could actually track, everything up until then (and plenty since) being shot on film and thus lacking any solid numbering system. So here’s a (probable) thinstripe hermit crab (Clibanarius vittatus,) residing for a short while in my saltwater aquarium and staring deep into our eyes in that mesmerizing way that crabs have. The crushed shell substrate at bottom gives a hint of scale, but my subject here wasn’t any greater than 20mm across the widest points of its adopted shell.

probable thinstripe hermit crab Clibanarius vittatus in small aquarium
So, regardless of which of these you’re celebrating, happy holidays, and don’t get too carried away!

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