Terrarium 1

widow and hornet

Of the inhabitants in Terrarium 1, none have had official names. Any suggestions are welcome.

first day with terrarium

The original purpose of purchasing a 14$ wahl mert aquarium was to retain moisture around the Venus fly trap. I soon added a small circular container with a perforated plastic/rubber lid with 3 locally grown peaches (from my neighbor).

Life box behind black widow

This “life box” provided many fruit flies for consumption of the Venus fly trap as well as later editions to the terrarium “world”.

These include jumping spiders, grasshoppers, box elder beetles, crab spiders, an orb weaver, a black widow, a velvet long-horned beetle, caterpillars, common beetles, house flies, and probably several more.

rose orb weaver venus fly trap
orb weaver rose venus fly trap

So, as I mentioned none of the spiders have had names. And honestly my two favorites have already passed on. The two jumping spiders were by far the most consistently entertaining to watch in a terrarium environment. But one died of possible starvation via misunderstanding, and the other was eaten by the Venus fly trap (if you look really close you can technically see him/her in the 2nd rose picture).

However, I am considering “8” as a good name for the black widow. Wha tchu thank? 8 is having a great day today, as you could see up top. I wonder if spiders get bonus crazy-juice points for eating something that’s potentially lethal.

orb weaver and bee

Don’t worry, I didn’t leave the orb weaver out. She got a nice bee from me.

So now my main concern is about my arachnid responsibilities. I have saved these spiders from destruction. Each were rescues, from spray, eviction/crushing, and then the approaching elements of winter. (The jumping spiders were captures)

But what now? I certainly cannot release them into the winter and expect survival. Insects are becoming less ubiquitous. This is my current question of terrarium care.

2 Plymouth Breezes Pass in the Afternoon

I drive a peeling red 1998 Plymouth Breeze. I did buy it on purpose, it was not a hand-me-down car. It is the second Plymouth I have owned. Please don’t do this to yourself unless your only other option is a Saturn.

Over the last 8 years, my kind friend Ryjan and I have fixed almost every part of this squeaky doored, crooked belted, Chrysler embarrassment. It’s not an easy car to work on due to its strange design and poor quality. For example, the car battery is in the wheel well and you have to jack it up and remove a tire to get to it. It has power steering. That is its only feature. No power locks, windows, not even anti-lock brakes.

One day in 2018, I was driving in a neighboring city when my phone’s gps routed me through an area I had never been before. While going around a curve I saw another red Plymouth Breeze coming from the other direction. It quickly caught my attention, because I have rarely seen even a similar model/year of the Breeze since I have owned it. It wasn’t a very desirable car when I bought it in 2010. It probably wasn’t even a desirable car in 1998. I have put a lot of work into keeping this thing running, and by 2018 I had good reason to believe that I was the only person who still had a functioning version of this crappy car. In fact, I cannot recall a single instance when I saw the same car in the same color as my red Breeze. Once I realized what I was seeing I looked closer and could see the clear coat peeling off the red paint of the other car. Just like mine. I felt like I was somehow seeing myself.  A rare glimpse of what I look like while going about my day to day in my stupid old car.

As we passed each other it was apparent that my identical car had caught the other driver’s attention as well. We both had our heads turned with slightly puzzled looks on our faces. We both had medium beards. One of us was bald.

After we passed I stuck my arm out the window to give him a wave of solidarity, like I used to give other motorcyclists back when I was cool. As I did, I looked at the rear view mirror and saw he was already waving to me too.

Normally I wouldn’t have the windows down because the air conditioning technically still works. But I had manually rolled them down because it was a really hot day – high 90s – and sometimes the car dies when it’s too hot and I run the A/C. Since we passed and were out of each other’s sight so quickly, I wondered if he had the same situation as I, and therefore already had his windows down with time to wave as well.

I also wondered if he had spent hours and hours fixing his Breeze. Since many mechanics won’t work on a car so old and rusted out. They always say, “if we try to fix this we’ll just end up breaking something else in the process.” And that’s true. Every time I fix the car I break something else and have to fix that too.

I wondered If he saw my bald head and thought he was getting a glimpse of his future. A future where he had lost his hair, but somehow still had that terrible car.

Naked in the Rain

One time I decided to go streaking. I was with my friend Joseph and we lived near the University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh. It was one of those warm evening summer thunderstorms that would inspire even Thor to bare his cheeks.

No, there weren’t any girls with us. And no, we hadn’t been drinking. I don’t know why we did it. I remember that I wanted to. But I don’t know why Joe came with me. What a great guy.

It was obviously a bit awkward because, even though we were in an instrumental funk band together, we had never seen each other naked. And, as far as I know we still haven’t. At least, I didn’t look at him and I assume he didn’t look at me. Although I did see a photo that his ex-girlfriend took of him doing a naked kickflip in a hotel hallway in Barcelona.

Did we streak past the college dorms? Yes we did. Were there sexy college girls there impressed with our manhoods? No there weren’t. This was during the annual EAA convention. (The Experimental Aircraft Association). That is the week that Oshkosh’s population goes from 60,000 to 300,000. And I believe it’s during spring break or in between semesters, so the dorms were full of old men who love aviating. I saw a couple of them walking to their rented rooms. They were super old, and really into airplanes.

So, I was a sober 20 year old, streaking with his bandmate in front of old dudes in dorms. To be truthful it felt kind of gay.

Besides that, it felt amazing. I had never streaked before and I came to realize that it’s not all about the exhibitionism (at least not for me). I felt natural and free. That sounds stupid. But it was something like that. Especially during the lightning and the rain.

When Joe and I got back to the house, we didn’t talk about it. And we never have.

Weiners Ole’!

I want to share a recipe that my mom got from her mom. It’s jam packed with sodium, almost all the ingredients come from cans, and it is topped with hot dogs. It’s called Weiners Ole’.

You will need several of “cream of” cans; such as cream of potato or cream of mushroom soup. The can should have at least 800 milligrams of salt per serving. Mix that with a couple of cans of sliced potatoes (not fresh potatoes), and canned green beans.

Then add the piece of resistance; take a handful of hot dogs, slice then the long way, and delicately place them on top in a fancy pattern or shape. (If you have small hands, get two handfuls.)

Bake that mess, probably, at 350. Basically, by the time the hot dogs are starting to curl up it’s good. All that stuff in there has been cooked already so the cook time is up to you.

This delightful fall and springtime delicacy can be cooked in a glass hot dish or a cast iron dish. My momma puts it into a stoneware dish because we classy like that.

As mentioned, once those hot dogs are curled you got yourself a big fat helping of carbs, fat, crude protein and sodium that the kids will love. But only when they are kids. They’ll crave the texture of baked hot dogs until they realize it is stunting their growth, receding their hairlines, and supporting terrorists.

I probably cannot eat this anymore, but maybe you can?


The concept of “hot dish” is apparently foreign outside of the Midwest. I did not know that other places don’t have “hot dish”; or maybe they call it something else. But in Wisconsin we put whatever we got in a casserole pan and it becomes hot dish. In my family’s case it’s Wieners Ole’!

Peeing in a Spoon

I once dated a girl named Liz. She had beautiful wavy auburn hair, and would never wear white socks. She didn’t shave her armpits, and had a little bit of her cute auburn hair there too. She was quite short and worked as a waitress. Being so short and carrying trays of food might be why she had such a nice round butt.


I met her through a mutual friend named Mary. Mary, Liz, and I were gonna all move to California together after Mary’s last semester (which was the current semester). Until then, Liz and I had some time to get to know each other better (since we had met about a week earlier). We decided to go camping in northern Wisconsin.


I brought a pony keg of Heineken and she brought the food. It took us a while to pick a lake to camp by, and it was dark by the time we set up our tent. So, we did our drinking after dark while sitting by the campfire. I didn’t realize how drunk I was because I hadn’t gotten up most of the evening. When I drunkenly tried to get romantic she politely declined. But, we did fall asleep spooning in the tent.


When we woke up the next morning Liz’s back was soaking wet.

I said, “well, maybe you just sweated a lot.”

“But I smell like urine and your crotch is all wet” she responded.

It was apparent that I had wet the Liz.


No, we did not have other clothes to change into. But we dried out eventually. Our romantic getaway weekend was off to a great start.


Liz had brought us artichoke heart sandwiches and cantaloupe for lunch; she’s a vegetarian. While scaling a pine tree together, I realized I needed to stop climbing and get down because my protein-deprived arms were shaking. Life pro tip: vegetarians need protein and B12.   


I was standing on the beach while she was straddling a tree stretching over the lake,

when she asked me:

“Do you ever feel like you are having sex with nature?

I couldn’t think of anything to say.

She continued, “Like you’re giving something and getting something back?”

I wasn’t sure. But probably not.


A few weeks later she made the move to California. I didn’t go. I felt that she would eventually break my heart. Also, I didn’t have a job or a place to live lined up.  Last I heard she is still living out there in a homemade mud houses community.


Not moving with her was one of the few times that I made a logical decision in that period of my life. But since then I haven’t been able to find Mary. She still has my “Code of the Woosters” book by P.G. Wodehouse and I miss it dearly. If you read this Mary, I will give you back your 60’s Dance Party, and Motown Classics CDs for that book. Please, its one of my prize possessions. It’s that really old orange hardcover.

Ice Hole Whisky


My friend Scott thought it would be a great idea to hide a bottle of Kessler’s (cheap whisky) in an ice hole on lake Winnebago. His thinking was, it would be cool to pull a bottle of whisky out of the frozen lake and drink it.

People drill ice holes out there in the wintertime for ice fishing, and Scott had put the bottle in one of these holes a couple days before. This kept it cold and for some reason it didn’t get stuck.

We drove out to the lake and he walked out onto the ice to get it. I had brought some Pepsi’s, root beers, and fast food cups. I taught Scott that you need to pour the soda in first because the whiskey will start to eat away the bottom of the fast-food cup and it gets all soggy.

We just sat there in the parking lot by the lake and drank. That would pretty much be the end of the story, but as we were sitting there, a bus from a casino showed up and dropped off a horde very drunk, very old people. After being dropped off they proceeded to stumble and meander to their cars so as to drive themselves home.

It was a portrait of a capitalistic America at its finest. Multiple geriatric​ drunks drinking, gambling, and then driving their way home. This is America. Where a casino on an indian reservation will provide a free bus ride for most of the trip in order to get your grandparents’ retirement monies. And it looked like those geezers had a great time.

Cotton Colon

Just so you know I have Crohn’s disease.

That means that there’s inflammation in my intestines and a lot of stuff happens because of that. Basically it’s super easy to shat or crap my pants. I almost always have to wear a pad or a diaper when things are really bad. At this point in my life I hadn’t gotten to diapers yet and was just using pads.

I had been working as a Wilderness therapy Trail guide. And obviously had a pretty active lifestyle with that job. So I’ve been bringing in a couple dozen pads with me because we are on trail seven to eight days at a time.

And this had been working pretty well. One day while I was off trail (at home) I thought to myself; These pads have been working pretty well but women also use tampons instead of pads, that may work even better.

Being the scientist- minded person that I am, I decided that I should try it out. So I went ahead and got one of my wife’s tampons has opposed to her pads, and proceeded to stick it in my butt hole.

I figured that if it worked for vaginas I figured it would work for butts too right?

So I got it in there,  and as soon as I did my sphincter clenched it was pretty uncomfortable and a bit painful. This problem compounded. When I felt the pain my sphincter, it clenched more which created more pain  which caused more clenching and even more pain. So my discomfort was multiplied by 3 before I got that tampon out of my butt. Turns out, vaginas and butts are totally different.

Later as I related my findings to friends, the reaction that I always got was along of lines of “what the crap were you thinking” or “of course that wouldn’t work”. That’s easy for them to say now.  I mean it made sense at the time, sort of. I think that logic was sound, just not the common sense. .

People also asked;

Why didn’t you figure that it would it just pop out when you pooped?  I admit that I hadn’t considered that. So now we know.