Sunday, October 25, 2009

Manty Update

Thought we'd update you guys on our efforts to feed the little guy. A few days after I caught him, I spied a pincer-bug on the ground outside our apartment so I scooped it into a paper cup. The pincer bug started crawling out, and I got squeamish, so I dropped the cup on the ground and stepped on the lid to close it. Unfortunately, I stepped on the bug too, so he died. I threw him in the tupperware anyway to see if I could trick Manty into eating it if I shook the cage, but to no avail.

A few days later, M and I went on a bug hunt outside and found a roly-poly/pillbug. We were pretty excited about this matchup, since the roly-poly is engineered for protection. The mantis circled him a few times, then struck and the roly-poly rolled into a ball. The mantis chewed at the shell a few times and then let him go. We were pretty impressed that the roly-poly's protective measures were so effective, but he promptly crawled into a puddle of water and drowned, so that didn't last long.

Yesterday, I saw something on the ground near my pile of clothes and realized it was a spider (!). M and I quickly caught it, and tried to put it in the tupperware. At some point, we accidentally opened the cage and Manty got out and the spider was crawling around on our table. I ran away screaming, and M had to flip the tupperware over to recapture Manty. Eventually, after much ado, we got the spider into Manty's makeshift home. Manty mostly ignored the spider, which was actually so brave as to crawl around on Manty's legs, which really freaked us out. Eventually, Manty decided to strike, and he struck out at the spider, but the spider got away. When we looked more closely, I noticed that he was munching on something. So I counted the legs on the spider: 7. Aaaaah!

We had to head out to flag football for DC's birthday, so we brought him along. Manty snacked on a couple more of Spidey's legs before the spider just died out of shock. What a cruel cruel bug. While we were out, DC caught and threw a mosquito in there, but Manty ignored him.

So anyway, we haven't had much success feeding him. I think he's really just looking for his freedom, so we may just let him go soon. Just not sure where to let him go, and it's getting cold so I'd hate for him to just die because we left him out in the cold.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Man vs. Wild

M's out of town, which is always exciting. The day she left, I was bumming around on the couch. I tilted my head back to take a drink from my translucent green water bottle, and when I put the bottle down, something was off. The blurry greenness had stayed in my field of vision. I focused on it and realized it was a praying mantis perched atop our bookshelf. I spazzed out and ran out of the room to grab a can of raid, but then I felt bad for the thing and didn't want to kill it. I called up DC over at bbqgrapies and asked him what he would do if, hypothetically, he found a praying mantis on his bookshelf. "Dude, I'd document that for sure. Get your camera." I poked my head out from the kitchen to check, "Uhmm, what would you do if your camera was on the bookshelf too?" We had a good laugh, but DC was really helpful in helping me to not freak out (M makes fun of me because I'm kind of squeamish about bugs and spiders). So I leaned in to take some pictures with my phone. Eventually, I gathered up the courage and decided to capture him, so I went back into the kitchen to get some tupperware and a colander. While in the kitchen, I heard a weird slapping thud noise, and came back out to see him sprawled out on the floor. I guess he'd jumped. He rolled over and started crawling around on the floor. I didn't catch him right away because I didn't want to miss and have him to fly in my face and poke my eyes out, so I let him crawl onto our coffee table and crawl around. Which gave me the chance to retrieve the camera and take some pictures (sorry for the crappy photography):

Eventually he fell off the coffee table and I threw the colander on him. I laughed at myself for feeling so victorious after sneaking around this little harmless bug (although I did measure him, his body's almost 2.5 inches!). I wasn't sure what to do with him, whether to keep him or set him free, so I just left him in there for the day. When I woke up in the morning, he was hanging motionless from the top of his plastic cage, so I shook the colander a little, but he didn't move. I assumed he was dead. But then when I got back later that day, he was moving again, so I transferred him to a tupperware container and poked some holes in the lid.

Later that night, some friends came over and we went on a hunt for some some other insects in my apartment. We found and trapped a mosquito and managed to get him into Manty's tupperware. We watched for several minutes as the mosquito just buzzed around and Manty just sat praying. Then he started licking/washing his hands (hmm those aren't hands, not sure what to call them...knives?), which we thought was very anthropomorphic. Then he washed his legs, which wasn't very anthropomorphic. Out of nowhere, he perked up, and struck out with his knife-arms, seizing the poor mosquito and shoving it into his mouth. He chewed for a second, and then spit out a wing or some kind of mosquito carcass. So awesome.

Later, I told M, and sad that she missed the cage match, she remarked, "For the first time in my life, I can't wait to find a cockroach in our apartment." Hmmm...

If you leave a comment, suggest a good matchup for the mantis. Animal Planet says that a large mantis will take on and eat rodents, birds, and turtles...

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Google Voice?

Finally got my Google Voice invite. Trying to route it through a Skypein number, you can test help us test it by giving us a call:

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

We're back!

A few weeks ago, our trusty (free) Hotspot Shield vpn lost out to the Great Firewall, so that's the reason for the radio silence. M's been wanting to buy a real vpn since we got here; I'd slowly been preparing myself to take the plunge and spend the money, up until today when I just decided to do it.

We've got a bunch of posts rattling in our brains from the past month or so; here's hoping get around to actually posting them.