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lights and flights


For the last few months I've diverted all my available cash flow to the
APD defense fund and other charities, but now I'm ready to get back to
setting up my new 2'X2'X5' tank.

Lighting seems to be the major uncertainty.  My original intent was to
use MH pendants, but after shopping about I found myself unhappy about
the market for new and replacement bulbs, insecure about the amount of
lighting I would need to use in an already brightly-lit setting and
unhappy with the prices.  So I'm falling back to fluorescent lighting,
which provides considerably greater flexibility and control.  The tank
is an odd size; the surface to be lit is 5' long and 2' across.  The
best fit I've found is to run 6 or 8 55W pcf tubes front-to-back on the
tank.  The reflectors for the tubes are 22" long, and should fit nicely.

The problem is that I've never known of anyone to light tanks with tubes
running front-to-back.  Has anyone tried that?  If so, how did it come
out?  I doubt the plants care much, but I might.

A quick note for those who might be edgy about flying to Chatanooga for
the AGA conference next month...  On Thursday and Friday I took my first
flight since Sept 11.  Everyone was told to get to the airports 2-3
hours in advance.  However, it only took 10-20 minutes to get through
security, and nothing more.  Even a rather long line for baggage
check-in took less than 15 minutes to clear.  The upshot was that
everyone got to their gates with an hour and a half or more to spare,
and ended up spending most of that time queued up for boarding passes. 
It seemed a bit senseless, but it gave me about an hour to chat with a
very nice young couple from San Antonio.

My employer has been flying all over the mid-continent since flights
resumed, and the longest security delay he has experienced was the 10
minutes of so that it took to get through on Friday afternoon in
Austin.  Unfortunately, I understand that LAX is a zoo, but is there
anything new about that?

There was a National Guard presence in all airports and that might make
some people a little uncomfortable.  In Albuquerque they were friendly,
carried side arms and helped at the security checkpoints.  In Austin
they were a little sullen, carried rifles and just stood around looking

My flights were all on Southwest Airlines, which seems to be far more
intelligently run than most.  All flights were full, and people were in
happy and mostly relaxed moods.  Other airlines are still having trouble
getting riders.

Roger Miller