November 30, 2010 1 comment

Okay, here’s an update on the Reef!  I received the first 2 replacement bulbs and got them installed this afternoon.  Here’s a before:

Here’s an after shot:

 

And as a bonus, here’s a pic of my clown cozying up with a hairy mushroom:

Here’s hoping the new bulbs will aid in the corals’ recovery….

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“Immediately After”

November 27, 2010 2 comments

Okay, so I shamed myself into thoroughly cleaning not only the display tank, but also the protein skimmer assembly.  Take a look at the difference:

Before

Immediately After

Keep in mind, in the latest photo, the lights were just turned on, and the debris cloud hadn’t settled yet.  Even as drastic as this pic is, the water will bet clearer, and the corals will open up to soak up light they have been deprived of, and enjoy the infusion of fresh saltwater.  I can’t believe I let it get that bad!

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Almost a Year Old

November 27, 2010 Leave a comment

So…  my reef aquarium is just shy of a year old.  At its height of vitality, back in May, it looked like this:

 

Today, it looks like this:

 

You may be wondering why…  Well, I don’t really have a single good excuse.  It’s a culmination of a back injury and severe depression over the summer, a lack of money (which really killed my motivation and had me seriously considering tearing it down for now), and shortage of time.  With the weather turning colder, and a 4 day weekend to take stock, I am now prepared to tackle this mess and see what it will look like in a few hours.  Wish me luck!

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Thanks Ryan

May 8, 2010 Leave a comment

It is with mixed emotions that I reflect on today, May 8th, 2010.  In just a few hours I will finally attend my graduation ceremony at Miami University.  It’s been a long and hard, but well worth it, journey to this point, and I am proud to be here.

I also just learned that someone I went to (Madison) school with, Ryan Lozier, was killed in Afghanistan less than 24 hours ago.  While I was never “close” with Ryan, he was always someone for whom I had the utmost respect (even through Jr. High).  Over the years, as he has crossed my mind, I’ve always thought of him as a natural-born leader.  Those who have known him in recent years, and served with him will likely say the same and more.

Ryan isn’t the first classmate that the Madison High School class of 1998 has had to say goodbye to (note: Ryan ultimately graduated from Middletown, but went to Madison for most of his school career).  12 years ago, when we were all looking forward to getting our high school diplomas, none of us would have been able to believe that life would be so fleeting for some.  It’s a solemn reminder that we have no promise of tomorrow, and that our lives should be spent working toward what we know our purpose to be.  I believe that’s what Ryan was doing, and it’s with pride that I can say that I knew him, if only for a little while.

So tonight, as I pass from one era of my life to another, I will pause to remember a life well lived, and life given willingly for the sake of freedom, passing from one era to another.  Please join me in doing so.

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It’s getting close!

April 14, 2010 Leave a comment

Of all the times for me to decide to update my blog, now probably isn’t the best. I should be studying for an exam right now (I have been studying – just taking a break). I’ve been getting overwhelmed a bit over the past couple weeks, and perhaps now is as good a time as any to vent a bit.

Work has been a bit crazy. Starting the last week of March and continuing through the end of last week, I was working on a couple “Incidents,” as we refer to them, which put me about 3 weeks behind on my other projects. I am now attempting to catch up on those, but it will be awhile.

As far as college goes, I just met with my academic advisor, Diane, to finalize the last little bit of paperwork I had outstanding, so that now all I have to do is concentrate on finishing the next couple weeks, and finals.

Wrapping up an epic journey in pursuit of my Associate Degree, I am just now beginning to realize that 12 years have passed since I graduated high school, and I will turn 30 a week after my graduation.  I suppose it is a bit fitting that I reach two milestones simultaneously.  My 20’s weren’t exactly easy.  It seems that from 2004 on, I have been caught in a whirlwind.  And even as I started to figure some things out in 2007 and on, that only meant that I had steeper, more abundant hills to climb.  Since Connor was 2 years old, I have been in one form of major transition or another.  Much of my time spent in police academy or college.

So now that I am wrapping up a college milestone, and taking some time off to enjoy life a bit, I’m not really sure what I will do with myself.  I hope I don’t waste my free time, but life happens and even the best made plans are laid to waste.

I suppose that’s it for now.  Maybe I’ll have something more profound to write about in the coming days and weeks.  Until then, I better get back to the “books.”

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Updates for my fans

February 27, 2010 Leave a comment

It’s been a really long time since my last update. I’ve been really busy with this semester of school (I applied for graduation this past week!), work, finishing the basement, and establishing, maintaining, and tweaking the reef aquarium. I hope to be posting some new aquarium pics really soon, so keep an eye out on https://ghurlag.wordpress.com/reef.

I’m heading into midterms this week, so I’ve hit the halfway point of this semester before I realized it. I can’t wait to be done, so that I can say I am a college graduate (even though I have more school down the road). It will be nice to take a couple years off school so I can concentrate on work and family and fun.

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Winter Blues

January 23, 2010 Leave a comment

Well, it’s been a little while since my last entry, so I suppose I’ll update everyone on my antics.

School started back 2 weeks ago.  So far I think this, being my final semester for now, will be a very manageable 4 months.  I am taking an ASP.NET class and a project management class.  I am going in to week three not feeling overwhelmed yet, so I am already ahead of the game from the past 3 semesters.  In the next couple weeks, I have to apply for graduation (Associate Degree – CIT-Networking).  I’ll probably take a couple years off, then return to pursue a Bachelor’s degree online from someplace such as DeVry.  From what I understand they have quite a reputation in the IT sector.

I don’t know if I’ve really mentioned it on my blog, but we are expanding our living space by partially finishing the basement.  The carpet is down (but not finished completely), the first phase of electrical is done (overhead lighting to come later down the road), and Jessica and Connor are priming the walls as I type this.  I figure that worst case scenario, that project will be complete by the end of summer.  We will be moving my office down there from where it is in our bedroom, currently, and the TV will be moving from the living room.

My reef aquarium is coming along nicely.  The water parameters have remained stable and conducive to marine life.  I have a small frag of Eagle Eye Zoanthids that seem to be doing well.  I’ve only had them for a week, so no real growth yet, but no die off, either, so I’m gonna stay positive.  I will be installing a Reverse Osmosis/De-ionization unit that will supply ultra pure water for the aquariums, as well as ultra-pure drinking water for us.  According to experts, based on my test results of the tap water, Middletown is at the maximum EPA-allowed limit for nitrates.  I haven’t tested any other parameters, such as phosphates and total dissolved solids (TDS), but I doubt they would be anything to be proud of, either.

If you haven’t visited my reef page yet, I recommend you stop by and see the first batch of pics that I posted.  I’m waiting for some more significant changes before posting anything else, but stay tuned!  Thanks for reading!

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