Bringing order to chaos: a name, a nickname, and The Treehouse
Having brought the baby bearded dragon home on Sunday, Monday and Tuesday were extremely busy days for me (work, class, and krav maga in quick succession on both days). Even so, I knew that it is going to get cold soon, and as a desert lizard, the bearded dragon would need a nighttime heat source of some sort. As such, Amber and I did a quick run over to a Petco, and ended up grabbing several other upgrades for the place. The vivarium now includes a rubber rock and stick emplacement in the middle for the lizard to get closer to the heat lamp as it wants to (which we have taken to calling The Treehouse); another thermometer, this time on the hot side (there is an ultraviolet light on the left which provides ~70 degree temperatures, and a heat lamp on the right which is meant to get up to 100 degree temperatures or so). Decided to grab smaller ceramic dishes for food (vegetables and fruit, the non-hopping kind) and water in order to make them easier to clean. Finally, we grabbed something I wasn’t aware of until yesterday: crickets should be doused with a calcium-heavy vitamin powder, while the bearded dragon is growing, so that he eats the crickets and gets the extra calcium his bones need to properly grow. Haven’t tried that yet, but it should be interesting to see how it goes (and perhaps provide a video for a future blog post??)! All told, the lizard’s place is now quite nice; he doesn’t even seem to gratefully acknowledge how good he has it 😦
But whose place, exactly, did we upgrade? In terms of a name, many options had been suggested to me (from Godzilla to Gandalf, Hagrid to Zyzzard, and many, many more). While I was thankful for all of those ideas, none of them struck me as right. My housemate Ryan was leaning in the realm of mythological or theological (and suggested names like Satan, Belial, Beelzebub, and the like), so that got me thinking about using the name of a historical figure of some sort. During my undergraduate education, I both worked at the Dwight D. Eisenhower Memorial Commission and as a related project, did an independent study on Ike culminating in a 125 page paper! I don’t, as a rule, approve of any political figures in any way whatsoever, but reading about Ike’s life, trials and tribulations, and incredibly shrewd policies both personal and professional, made me break my one rule; I found I rather appreciated Eisenhower and the wisdom he accumulated over a lifetime. As such, I ran the name by Ryan, who responded in a couple of ways. Most importantly to the naming, Ryan said “how about Ike as a nickname for Icarus, as a kindred soul who likes getting closer to the heat and light of the sun?” I agreed with this, as having a formal name is always a good thing (for resumes and job applications, for instance). Ryan’s second response was to ask if I thought of Ike so I could rightfully refer to myself and lizard as “Mike & Ike,” to which I had (and have) no comment.
The Treehouse, the infared nighttime heat lamp, and apples being less appetizing than crickets (ick); check it out below: