not sure what happened: during the dough-making process things looked good, a perfectly round ball of protobread, unless the last time when it was a soupy sludge that never coalesced into solid shape. however, during the rising phase i noticed the dough wasn't doing anything; specifically, it was rising, but rather just sat in the bread machine tub like a dead thing. the baking stage puffed it up a bit, but it was a disappointment. i gave it to my parents when i drove over to their place for dinner.
i brought my kill-a-watt electricity meter and my father and i went through the house measuring everything. surprises: the innocuous-looking halogen torchiere lamp uses a whopping 250 watts of power. their electric heated toilet seat uses 500 watts during its heating cycle. their dual control electricity bed spread cover uses 60 watts maximum on each side. and down in the basement, where 3 humidifiers run 24/7, we figured out that each unit uses about 400-500 watts of electricity when operating, for a combined 1500 watts maximum, which happens during the summers when the basement gets more damp. after i finished watching the screen actors' guild award, i got a ride back to cambridge.
i decided to consolidate all my smaller trays into several large cafeteria-style trays. i poured gravel onto their surfaces and added warm water. i also went with a 3 row configuration, hoping to gain more grow space in the process.
this morning while feeding my guppies i noticed one of the pregnant females was no longer pregnant. i looked around in the tank sure enough i spotted two small fries hiding on one corner of the aquarium. with all the other adult guppies swimming around, it was hard to collect the fries, so i first scooped out all the females and put them into a jar before slowly catching the two fries. i relocated them to the 7 gallon minibow. the pH isn't exactly optimal, but i figured the tetras and the barb would be gentler on the fries than the adult guppies, which i know for a fact will eat the babies. and that's probably what's been happening for a while, because all my females were pregnant, and none of them are pregnant now, but it's only today that i've actually seen fries (i just wasn't paying attention before). unfortunately, later in the evening when i went to check to see if the fries were okay, i couldn't find them. i personally think that the tetras are docile enough that they wouldn't hurt the fries, but the cherry barb is more aggressive and he probably ate them. i didn't want the fries anyway, i already have enough guppies as it is! thank god they only live for 2 years. once they're all dead, i'm going to get new fish.