When I saw a Lego Minecraft logo on a box at the thrift store I got excited. Slightly less excited when I saw it was #21113 The Cave, the same kit I found on a previous visit. It was missing the minis and a few parts, but had the Spider and Lego Brand blocks are always worth a few bucks.
I did a big tank cleaning a few days ago and found, to my absolute delight, that once I replaced the Penguin 350 biowheel filter it made a horrid grinding noise. I spent a lot of time taking it apart, cleaning it, messing with the impeller and the rubber gaskets (which looked straight to me) and I finally settled on dabbing a bit of vaseline on the impeller and spoke per a YouTube video I found. I knew this was temporary fix but it was better than nothing.
This morning, as I’m alone downstairs making my early morning social media rounds, the filter suddenly begins the horrible grinding noise. I ended up unplugging it so it wouldn’t wake the household (fail: I just heard Marlin get up 😦 ).
It turns out this is a known manufacturing issue with Marineland biowheel filters. On the one hand, I only got the filter for $26, on the other hand, it’s still annoying as crap to have to replace a filter. On the other, other hand, if this had happened with the $75 Emperor 400 biowheel the pet store originally sold me I would be VERY pissed, and there’s no reason to think it wouldn’t have happened eventually since this is an issue across the product line.
I’ve emailed Marineland to request a replacement impeller, but I’m pretty sure I’ll end up investing in a canister eventually.
I’ve been sporadically blogging but I haven’t uploaded the site in several months and I have neglected NeoCities entirely. Part of the issue is something is wrong with my upload script, it doesn’t always update tags and categories, and I haven’t gotten around to figuring out what the problem is. I hate uploading the whole site, I like using a script that only uploads what’s needed, but I really have no idea what the issue is in this case.
I took this morning to go through my unpublished pages and make sure everything is in order (no broken links, images added, etc.)
I 👏 keep 👏 putting 👏 off 👏 galleries, but I have a ton of pictures on my phone I want to add to the site so I can remembery them. Hopefully in the next week or so I will dig back into my site notes and figure out how the heck this thing works again.
Technically this is not a thrift report since it deals with stuff I got at the secondhand store. I have relaxed my rule about only acquiring PNP games somewhat and I have purchased a few games at the secondhand store. Both are campaign card games, which is not something well represented in the PNP world currently.
I picked up Grimslingers for $11, being vaguely interested in the theme but suspecting I would regret the purchase and to an extent, indeed, I do. It’s the first edition, which is a hot mess. I printed off a 3rd edition rulebook and did a lot of reading and research, and to be perfectly honest I’m still not entirely sure how to play it and my first run kind of fizzled, but for $11 (plus the time already invested) I’m willing to attempt it again later. The expansion, which allegedly improves the experience, is available as PNP but it is a TON of cards (like, 200) so IDK man. I’m not thrilled that the core game ended up being such a mess. The designer is apparently working on a second standalone game in the same universe that is not a mess, but of course that remains to be seen.
I also picked up the very popular Arkham Horror: The Card Game core box for a cool $26. They actually had 2 core sets on the shelf, so I think a group got the cores, played through a few scenarios and decided it wasn’t for them. This game is a solo favorite and has been on the top lists for years but I have never owned a living card game before and I was unsure how much replayability there was and how much of an investment it would be. Some people feel there is no replayability since once you play through the story you know it, some people feel the game has infinite replayability because you can play through with different investigators and the encounter cards will be different each time. So it really boils down to if you’re there for the story or if you legitimately enjoy the mechanics.
After 2 plays of the first scenario I can see myself leaning to the second response. Though the core scenario was obviously the same both times, the encounter cards I drew lent themselves to very different storytelling and both games were still exciting. My first game Roland kept his wits about him and the second game he lost it but Wendy stepped up and took care of them until he could come to terms with the horror and help take town the ghoul priest.
Lastly I was digging through the handhelds when I found a 268-in-1 knockoff emulator for $4. There are a ton of these devices on the market and mine has no identifying markings at all, so I’ve had trouble tracking down an exact listing but I think it’s probably a BL Portable Game Player (blue). I didn’t know exactly what it was at the time, since the handhelds are in little lock boxes without batteries, so I bought it thinking I might cram an Arduboy inside. Finding a working emulator was an unexpected surprise. I considered getting a device like this for Minnow. The problem is the 2” screen is so small most of the NES games loaded on it are a nuisance to play. It doesn’t really have 268 games, it has multiple listings for the same games. It’s worth the $4, but it’s probably not worth attempting to hack. I could not find any teardowns or hacks on line. I will probably take it apart after Minnow has tired of it just to see what’s inside.
Years ago when I had aquariums I kept an aquarium full of apple snails. They grew quite large and I enjoyed them. I picked up a little nerite snail last week to help with algae cleanup and of course fell in love with it, so this week I took Minnow to get a “mystery snail” which was labelled pomacea bridgesii. Minnow did a good job picking the largest with the strongest shell without my prompting at all. This bridgesii but it reminds me a little of the pomacea canaliculatas I used to keep, but seems much more shy.
Anyway, I LOVE IT so much. I’ve only had it in the tank a few days and its still a bit shy, but so far so good. I realized there might be some trace medication in the tank so I put in some charcoal in the filter today but the nerite has been fine so I doubt there’s an issue. Apple snails and mystery snails have a significant bioload so I probably wouldn’t want to get any more unless I had another tank setup somewhere I could move them if needed.
The fish store also had a good sized rabbit snail, which was a pleasant surprise, but I held off because I hadn’t properly researched the species. I think it probably needs warmer water than what I’m keeping but I will look into it.