‘The Fall’ in round 1

A new day dawns this morning, signalling the ‘death’ of summer.

Today is September 21, a ‘moment’ in a year known to astronomers and meteorologists as autumnal equinox, and the autumn season “officially” begins today (In the Southern hemisphere, it’s the reverse: spring begins). In all parts of the earth, the daytime hours and nighttime hours are equal (12 hours each). The sun rises and sets at the exact eastern and western horizon.

summer solstice (last day) sunset

This photo was taken yesterday (Sep 20), the last day of summer. The sun set at a point in the western horizon (at the middle of the photo) somewhere behind the trees (compare this with my SUNSET photos of December, March and June).

One year ago…

Isang ikot

Birthday ngayon ng unang post ni Hello Hammie ko. Bukas naman ( Sep 8 ), isang ikot na rin simula nung ipasulat at ipa-post nya sa akin ang sarili nilang bersyon nina Malakas at Maganda (click that for the original version).

Hindi na ako masyadong magbibida, para may panahon kayong samahan akong mag-ikot-ikot dito sa IkawTubo bidyo. Ni-produced ito ng magigiting na mga salinlahi nina Mauslakas at Magandaga. 😆

See 12th comment (mine) below. ↓

Hirs a litol song I rowt

Yu mayt want to sing it nowt por nowt

Donk Wodent… Bi Hammie…

Aru… lumala yata ang vertigo ko. 🙄 Tsokey lang… Basta naka-one full turn na akong sakay ng blogosperyo. 😀 Isang taon na pala akong nagkakalat ng superbabaw kong kaligayahan sa internet?

Pasensya na po kayo sa mga korning jokes ko. 😳

Galing sa Yahoo Mail inbox ni misis:

There comes a TIME in our LIFE when we have TO LET GO of all the pointless drama and the people who created it and surround ourselves with people who make us laugh so hard that we forget the bad news and focus on the pleasant memories. After all, life is too short for us not to be HAPPY!

🙄 …Nyay! 😳 Ahehe… Hindi naman sigruro “pointless” yung mga dramanobela na nikukwento ko dito, di ba? Atsaka mas marami naman “pleasant memories”. 🙂

Seven in 5

Another thing the month of August reminds me is how this clan had started.

It was five years ago when I first saw these two (later bacame the first couple), with the rest of the litter, helpless as they were, “sucklings” to their mother. Their owner was my wife’s friend, a former “suki” in our cross stitch and framing business.

The following month (September 2003), she offered us to adopt a pair of these hamsters. Her auntie didn’t want to keep these “bad luck” critters any longer, and was thinking of disposing all of them soon. (You have to squeeze your way in to reach the innermost end of this blog’s sub-terranean tunnel for details… Take this shortcut.)

I’ve been keeping records of my hamster’s “chronicles” even before I gained access to the internet:

19 had lived and perished before I started to blog.

One passed away soon, less than two weeks after I launched this blog.

13 were left to be seen “on-live” in my posts.

Out of the 13, nine are still living as of this day.

The following presentation was also produced in their pre-blogging chronicles (Ispidbol’s appearance was added just later). CLICK the photo.

NOTE: WordPress does not allow a .pps-file upload anymore, so this is a .ppt (powerpoint) presentation. Wait for it to be downloaded, open the file, then hit F5” on your keyboard to play and watch the presentation. “ Less than 3 minutes. Nakakaaliw ito, para sa mga “batang” paris ko! 😉

ADDENDUM (2009 Nov 16) : PPS format can be uploaded again; Just open the .pps-file after the download and watch. Thanks!

Hamster cages and wheels are kinda expensive, so I learned to improvise.

One of my utmost concerns is what to do when a hamster got sick, or how to prevent incidence of illness. That was the first topic that I researched upon gaining internet access in August last year. My searches led me to Wikipedia, then to fellow pet- and hamster-bloggers. Eventually I thought on blogging at WordPress, signing up with Flickr and YouTube ONLY as photo and video hosts. (My blogging is another story, so much about that next month).

I am not a breeding expert. I was quite disappointed when I learned that what I’ve been doing is not a “good” practice. I knew some basic rules about genetics, but I was not seriously aware about the ill-effects of in-breeding. I stopped “marriages” among closed relatives since the last litter of June 2007 – after I have gone through seven generations.

Amboy’s ♂ ‘good side’

Seventh-line descendant Amboy. Will he be my last hammie?

Amboy is my 33rd hamster. He belongs to the 7th generation (maternal line; see my first comment below) and is the youngest. He had gone past midlife but still celibate – a forty year-old virgin, at that. 😆 Now he is faced with the question:

“To breed or not to breed?”

FLOOD for thought:

Remember that the Ark was built by an amateur, Titanic by professionals.

Squeaky lovers!

“Mabilisan lang” po ito kaya maiksi.

Naalala ko kasi yung comment ni minyang sa year of the rat post ko, kaya very QUICKIE kong inihabol ito:

VIDEO: Squeaky lovers #1

Ahehe… ano ba sa akala nyo? Eto kasi yung comment o:

Ang sabi ni Bentong

Incidentally, yung tinutukoy ni Bentong na si Berio ay ang naging resulta ng pag-a-“asawahang” ito nina Bugoy at Bebang III.

Atsaka parang info material na rin yan kasi bumili sya ng pair of hamshew. (Minyang, pag nagka-idad na yang dalawa, panuorin mo nito ha?) :mrgreen:

Eto pa yung isang tinukoy ni Bentong:

Kung gusto nyo pang makilala si Berio, punta kayo dito:

Nandito naman ang kanyang naulilang pamilya:

Ahehe… trilogy na yan… pero hindi pa nila kayo tatantanan… kaya eto dalawang dyunyors nila ni Mochahontas:

Eto naman ang tatlong Maria na anak nila:

Eto isa pang RATed-X na video — Negro at Tisay naman (mas quickie ito):

(Ayoto na, HAMISTEL lang ulit yan!) ehhe, cge na CLICK yo to!

Pamana ng isang DAGA

The storyteller behind Ikabod tower. Right: The Tower, “aerial” shot.

Kilala nyo ba si Bitoy?

Bitoy and Bebang are the names of the first pair of hamsters in this family: They are the ancestors. If you want some detail, you can go to the second post of this blog:

A tribute to Bitoy and his girlfriend

Yung mga alerdyik sa daga e okey lang kung DI nyo type ang blog ko, no problem. Meron nga dyan alerdyik sa pusa, o kaya sa aso — maski sa surot pa nga. Alam ko naman ang feeling ng mga me “allergies” na paris nyo.

Pero TIP lang: If you have a phobia (irrational hate or fear) there is something wrong with you — maski tanungin nyo ang bespren nyong saykayatris… Learn to overcome it. Okey lang kung hindi kayo magkahilig sa kinaa-alerdyik-an nyo, just do away with the “prejudice”. Hindi ko naman ipipilit sayo itong blog ko. Maglaro ka ng apoy hangga’t gusto mo ahehe. Daig mo pa ang sumuntok sa buwan.

Dun naman sa mga tatay na alerdyik sa ingles: Maghintay lang kayo, hane? — Tutal nakakaintindi naman kayo. May foreign readers din kasi ako (Yang allergy sa foreigners, xenophobia yan. Dapat balanseng pananaw sa bagay-bagay). Usap tayo mamaya tungkol sa mga DYUNYOR nyo. Pramis, mananagalog ako…

I was a former government employee — a desktop artist, still cameraman, video editor (sometimes), exhibit developer, and scale-model-maker. As a research photographer I loved shooting small insects in rice fields for crop protection. When public officials here and from abroad were visiting our Institute I also shoot them. Mga scientists, ambassadors, congressmen, senators; May mga barangay kapten barbel pa kung minsan, escorting presidents from Cory thru FVR (to Erap) — Sayang hindi ko na inabot si madam GMA… So that was one of my jobs — shooting insects and politicians. Nung kalaunan e hindi ko na malaman kung sino ang insekto at ano ang politiko. I resigned in 2000 — As a freelance servant, I have chosen custom-framing to earn my keep.

Now, in my framing jobs, moulding scraps littered every corner of my house. Instead of disposing, I used these materials to construct some domicile for my hamsters. Thru this, my wife and I are entertaining kids who visit our small home. Makita lang naming namimilog ang mga mata ng mga paslit sa tuwa at pagkamangha, kami ni misis ay masaya na. Entertaining these children was not part of the plan — nagkataon lang… I made the homecages because my hamsters need them; It just so happen that simple carpentry are among the things I enjoy doing.

“Bulwagang Bitoy” (Bitoy Hall) with the Lupindilayk Wheel

The hamster was Faramir, direct descendant of Bitoy. Faramir was the grandfather of Ispidbol on the father side. This video was taken in May 2005.

“Bahay ni Lola” (Bebang Pension House)

The hamster was Boromir, Faramir’s elder twin brother. Boromir was the grandfather of Ispidbol on the mother side. Taken during the house’s early stages of construction (03 July 2005).

“Mansyon ng Daga” (Hamster Mansion, still unfinished)

September 30, 2006. Ikabod tower is the structure at right. The hamster was Bebong, one of the offspring of Faramir, just like me, unable to sire. No big deal.
(Mga fathers, yung sabi ko kanina ha? Usap tayo.)

So that’s it…! A father hamster’s legacy to his sons and succeeding generations. “Ang pamana ng isang ninunong daga sa kanyang mga anak-anak at mga kaapu-apuhan.” (Yun lang? Anubayan…)

Mga bata, hanggang dito na lang tayo, hane? Maglaro muna kayo sa labas at kakausapin ko lang ang mga tatay nyo.

To my foreign readers, the next topic concerns a ‘national issue’ and is an Usapang-Pinoy lang. Thank you for reading about my hammies.

Redi? KLIK nyo dito.

A Hamster Halloween special

A NOTE FOR THE READERS:

This is the first and last time I made such a video remix for my pets.  (I see nothing wrong about it) My concern of not offending anybody, particularly the conservative bigot or a person of the extremist-type (animal-welfare nazis), is the only reason that keep me from making this two-minute ‘teaser’ and showing it publicly in YouTube and in my blog.

If you have some superstitious beliefs, cultural biases or religious prejudices, DO NOT CLICK on that PLAY button — this video is not for your eyes to see.

To find out more about Berio, click on these:

Dying young

There is only one thing which makes it very hard for me to accept the departure of a pet. It is when it didn’t live its full lifespan, especially if it died so suddenly, without any hint or warning.

Beria-girdel was a Boolagang, one of the three daughters of Berio and Mochahontas. She was a very active and lively hamster. I mated her with Wigwam when she was in heat on September 2; incidentally that was 16 days before my birthday, which means her babies were expected to be born on my birthday. But like Snowy and the elder Beria, she got birthing problems.

On September 18, she suddenly became dormant and I could hear her groans. To make it worst, she refused to touch her food. The daytime passed without sign of any babies, only bleeding. Since there were still the hours of the night to complete one day, I dared not to touch her because I was afraid I could do her more harm than good. Finally a portion of the first baby came out the following day. She was straining very hard but unable to push it out, I had to pull it gently; and I could see her feeling of relief when it came out. Minutes later came out the other small lifeless bodies all by themselves one by one.

My mother used to tell me her story about how she suffered when she gave birth to me — I was born by breech birth and came out a “blue baby” … I was seemingly lifeless — still, not breathing and didn’t cry or made any response to the new world outside. If not for the expertise of the midwife, who needed to hold me upside down by my feet and snap me at my buttocks, I’m not here at this moment telling this or my hamsters’ story. The birth ‘crippled’ my mother for a month or two.

Beria-girdel’s last attempt to “crawl” to her sleeping spot (she was literally pulling her hind legs) was still very clear in my memory. By the look in her deepened eyes, I can feel as if she was saying:

“It’s alright, Robert… just let me ‘go’ — I’m dying.”

Late that night, after two days of intense labor stress, Beria-girdel died very solemnly. It was two days after my birthday, just less than 40 days ago. Again, another moment of mournful crying for my poor little pet. I couldn’t restrain the tears in my eyes as I buried her small body early the next morning — Autumnal Equinox, the first day of the Fall…

Beria-girdel lived for only six months and 15 days.

“Rubbing frenzy” (Remembering Beria-girdel)

Size didn’t matter

2006-10-01 (Berio)

Berio was a Herculean hamster with the balls of a Hobbit.

Berio was a banded black male, son of Bugoy and Bebang III, and belonging to the first litter of the 4th generations. Like Beria, his name was derived from the word Siberian because at his young age, he was very small. When he was nearly one month old, sexing was rather not so easy because not even a single testicle was visible. As he grew up, one — but only one — became visible, and this only showed up during warm weather.

Even though his single ball was small, Berio was no yellow. In fact he was the most fearless hamster I ever had. At maturity he was able to gain size and weight. I called him the bull hamster because of his big size.

As he mature, the other member of the pair (the other testicle) started to catch up. There was a time when I think I saw a third one beginning to show up, but I realized it was just a small swelling that soon went off by itself.

Berio was initially wary, yet very amiable. If he senses that someone is approaching his cage, he climbs up, stays near its door and puts his snout against it, waiting “in ambush” (Berio-bulaga). He does not wrestle with my hands if handled, but pushes my nose when I try to put it closer to his face; stares at me blankly when I talk to him, whiskers moving. He was the only hamster among the family who can tightly grasp my finger with his hind paws (as koala bears do). Berio always wanted to get out of his cage but immediately turns back home upon receiving his treat. He enjoys eating.

For Berio, hoarding a ‘cheekful’ of corn grains is not enough… he wants to take the whole thing – kernels and cob – to his home.

Berio’s hoard

I have no idea why Berio suddenly got lethargic. I just remember I fed all the 12 hamsters some few drops of melted ice-cream that I was eating; then his father Bugoy got ill the following day, and Berio himself the next day. But his 26½ -month old hammie recovered.

Another thing I remember was, two days before the ice-cream, I mated him with his wife Mochahontas. Berio just got sick, and died five days after their honeymoon. Was he so much stressed by their arduous love affair? I don’t know. What I knew was before his wife was widowed, he was destined to be a father. For 11 days after he died, Mochahontas had given birth to his six beautiful posthumous offspring!

I observed simple ironies of life here.

  • Berio was born small but grew to an immense size at maturity to become the biggest hamster I ever had (his name was a misnomer).

  • He was big but he got small balls.

  • His balls were small but he was a brave hamster.

  • He was big and strong but his life was short (14 months and 28 days).

  • His balls were small but he fathered six hamsters — and mind you — he did it in just one hit!

Berio just proved that size doesn’t matter.

Published in: on 28 October 2007 at 8:46 am  Comments (12)  
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The “3½th” generation

2006-07-04 (Arrow & Beria)

Arrow (at left) and Beria on their first-year birthday. Partially hidden at the back was the 27-month & 22-day old Mocha Rurik, then the steward of the Hall after the death of the Lupindilayk twin.

Arrow and Beria were products of the union of Gandalf (2nd generation) and StitchWarwik’s daughter who was given for adoption. Since Warwik was a sister of Gandalf (both were members of a common litter) — Stitch (a sister to Warwik’s sons Harurendilayk) was a 3rd generation hamster. In simple words, the Gandalf-Stitch paring was an uncle-and-niece marriage relationship.

Calling this new litter as the 4th generation (their mother being a 3rd generation hamster) would make Gandalf their grandpa, not their father; calling them as another 3rd generation would place them just equal with Stitch, their mother. To make the matter less complicated(?), I have chosen to classify this particular litter as the “3½th” generation. Lucky we humans for discouraging such incestuous relationship; otherwise, imagine how confusing life can be. 😆

Gandalf (white) and Stitch (black) sired six banded blacks and two banded browns. That is why I named this litter the Banderitos.

Arrow was a banded black male, stout-bodied and round-face. His name was derived from the arrow-shaped black pattern on his back. He was so orderly in his cage, consistent as to what spot to urinate. Warm and snappy, persistently hyperactive. During his active hours, so impatient to get out of the cage; and once outside, refuses to be handled, wrestles with my hand. Upon getting tired, doze off along his cage’s ladder, or on the wheel, with head dangling down — like a dead mouse.

Arrow rocks his cradle wheel

Arrow’s bane — a living space turned into a lethal chamber. He could have lived longer if I was able to foresee the perils of staying here on a very hot summer day.

Beria, bored inside her cage

Beria was a banded black female. She was small and petit, with a very cute face. Her size was the basis of my giving her her name for when she was young she was small like a Siberian hamster. Hyperactive and snappy. Quite snob and a tomboy. A homebody, hesitates before leaving her cage for a stroll.

Beria became the wife of Bebong, but the two were not able to sire because like Snowy, Beria had birthing problem. She was less fortunate than Snowy though, for she didn’t survive the complication. But despite her infirmity Beria died fighting the good fight. She left the family on a Christmas eve at a young age of 17 months and 21 days.

2006-12-25 (Beria) with Bebong & Arrow

Beria’s bereaved loved ones — brother Arrow on Arrowangkada wheel at left, and husband Bebong on the Pension house rooftop at right. (photo taken on morning of Christmas day, 2006)

Arrow became the husband of Isnowitwit, sole daughter of Blakdyak and Snow White. Before he died, Arrow fathered three hamsters. He perished suddenly due to environment-induced stress (much to my deepest grief and guilt) on the hottest month of the year — on the day when his daughter Mochahontas gave birth to his grand offspring, the Boolagang. His age was 20 months and two days.

First cousins

The third generations (two groups) exhibited all what I supposed to be the only five possible fur color and pattern that could be expected (considering the color pattern of the first ancestral pair) — black, brown, white, banded black and banded brown.

————————————————————————————————

See “Mochabebes”

2005-01-15 (Warwikgang)

These are the eight offspring of Faramir and Warwik at 33 days during their first day outside their litter cage for an ‘excursion’ in the Hall. The three boys, whom I later named collectively as the Harurendilayk, were shown here: Bebong (banded brown) and Bugoy (banded black) under the wheel, and Blakdyak, the black one at the back of the wheel. (Stitch, a black girl, and other four female whites were given for adoption.)

2005-05-31 (Harurendilayk)2005-05-20 (Harurendilayk)

The Harurendilayk got along well up to more than six months. On their eighth month, they had to be separated because they started to fight one another.

Wall-climbing Karera ng Dagâ” (RODENT-RACE) VIDEO

And the winner is…!???

(Tawa ka d’yan? 😆 …mag-comment kasi kayo!)

This video reminds me of a story of three brothers, where the two elder brothers always ‘conspired’ to bully their youngest skinny brother when they were kids. As they grew up, the vindictive youngest brother sowed hatred in his heart. In time he turned out to be more ‘fortunate’ than the two. He became self-righteous and arrogant, thinking he was the only good and responsible son. He has reached the top — or so he thinks. “Away-bata lang yun, dyunyor…” (This is only another human story anyway, not my hamsters’)

At maturity, Bebong’s eyes differ from each other in color — the right is transparent or crystal red, the left has a deeper color. Bebong was big and strong since young, and obviously an able-bodied fighter, but always stayed out of trouble (because he is so pikon — isn’t that obvious in the previous video?). When he matured he was gentle and relaxed in composure. Yawns a lot… Upon waking up, “wiggles” on his back. During his active hours, ignores the treat in my hand and climbs to my arm instead.

I called Blakdyak the “peek-a-boo” hamster (If you noticed him near the lower left corner in the first part of the video, you know why). Si Blakdyak ang dagang ‘may sariling mundo’… Initially wary but friendly, refusing to be cuddled but doesn’t bite. A late-riser but very active until after two o’clock in the morning. At midlife, he has grown a lot bigger than Bebong.

Bugoy was Faramir’s junior, the smallest but vocal, with the loudest and most pronounced “peet-peet” (echoic) sound. Explorative… hyperactive and very persistent. In the video he was the one who managed to get to the top. Peculiar sleeping habit — awake in the morning until up to 11am. When given a treat, receives it with his teeth, while grasping my fingers with his forepaws.

See “Mochabebes”

————————————————————————————————

Like their predecessors, the third generations passed swiftly before my eyes like a chain of railway cars in a train station. Hamsters are just that — short-lived (2-3 years average lifespan). They come and go, but as the old ones depart, new ones arrive in quick succession (four-day estrus cycle, 16-day pregnancy period, 6-12 babies per litter).

Snow White was the first to go at an early age of 19 months and 17 days due to a neck tumor that seemed to appear only immediately right before her death. Bebang III perished solemnly next at 22 months and 8 days.

A week after Bebang III’s departure, Blakdyak followed at midnight past his second birth date (so he lived 24 months and 1 day). Bebong passed away at age 27 months and 2 days. Sixteen days later, Bugoy followed (27 months and 18 days).

Bugoy, the last one to perish, was the most notable of all. He showed so many similarities with his father Faramir. Bugoy almost died earlier when he got sick simultaneously with his son Berio. His son didn’t make it, but Bugoy recovered and regained his strength to live 37 more days. During that time, he got loose out of his cage one night, passed thru our house door unnoticed, and got outside where stray toms were lurking; fortunately he was timely seen and recovered. He died of old age on the 31st day of March, the same month and date when his old hammy Faramir died a year earlier.

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Published in: on 14 October 2007 at 6:42 am  Comments (10)  
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