Author: John

The Funniest Rabbits

Hello Mochimochi Land. Anna’s husband John here, contributing a guest post to Bunny Week. As the most loyal Mochimochi fans may know, my job is to write about video games. Anna asked me if there are any bunny-related games that I like. In fact, there is one:


My favorite bunny-related game is Rabbids Go Home. It’s a Wii game that came out last year. The main characters are a bunch of bunnies who live at the dump. One day, they get the impression that the moon is their homeland, so they decide to build a garbage pile tall enough to reach the moon.

I reviewed Rabbids Go Home for The A.V. Club last year. It’s a funny game. If you have a Wii, check it out!

Mochimochi Photo Contest ’09: The Final Vote!

Update: Thanks for your votes! Balloting is now closed.

Update: The voting will be open throughout the weekend and will close Sunday night at midnight (New York time). Thank you for your votes, and Happy Thanksgiving!

The polls are now open for the final round in the 2009 Mochimochi Photo Contest! We’ve sifted through your many comments to narrow the field of 20 semifinalists down to the last 10.

As always, you can vote for as many photos as you want: vote for your favorite three, top four, or more if you like! But choose wisely because you only get to cast your ballot one time. (John will be watching the voting activity and keeping an eye out for ballot-box stuffing to make sure the final tally is fair.)

Simply check the box next to each photo you’d like to vote for, Then click the “Submit Your Votes!” button at the bottom of this post. Check back in a few days to see the winners!

Bold and Beautiful by

campy and the mallows! and mmmmm… by giolou

Batty Bats by DutchMoeder

Breakfast Surprise by lapelote

Disaster strikes the garden patch by wakegu4

Sweeping the Dust Bunny by Bitter-Sweet-

Snails Want to be Bullets Too by mariannes_stuff

Chicken Gang Leader by teekayknits

Halloween Cats by mrs.cheveley

Grassling in his natural habitat by Chubseus

Sidebar Buttons

Hi, Mochimochi friends. John here. Some of you may have been having trouble with the sidebar buttons for the photo contest and the free patterns, particularly if you were using Firefox. Sorry about that. It was a little server-configuration glitch that I introduced while I was upgrading Mochimochi Land’s blog software. The buttons should be working now (you might have to reload, but probably not). Please let us know if you have any other problems. Thanks for your patience!

Mochimochi Server Maintenance

Hello, Mochimochi friends! I need to do some work on Mochimochi Land’s server today, so I have to turn comments off for a little while. They should be back up by tonight. Hold that thought!

Update: The server maintenance is finished, but because of circumstances out of my control, I can’t turn comments back on just yet. There’s no problem—I’m basically waiting for some people on the other side of the country to flick a switch for me! Hopefully they’ll have done this by tomorrow. I’m sorry for the delay.

Another Update: They never did flick that switch, but I’m turning on comments again until they do. I’ll probably have to take them down for just a little while later this week—should be brief. Thanks for your patience!

Shrimp: Not Just for Dinner Anymore

You know when you turn on the news in the middle of summer, and somebody you’ve never heard of is sitting at the anchor desk, and he says, “I’m Joe Nobody, sitting in for Charles Gibson, who is on assignment”? Except Charlie isn’t on assignment. He’s sipping chai in the Swiss Alps, or BASE jumping in Thailand, or whatever. I don’t know what Charlie Gibson does in his spare time. That’s not the point.

The point is this: I’m John, sitting in for Anna, who is on assignment.

For those who don’t know, I am Anna’s husband. In Mochimochi Land, my job is to build the website and keep it running so Anna can do her thing without worrying about PHP parse errors or MySQL query syntax.

My other job is to suggest topics for the Mochimochi Blog, and when Anna asks, I always suggest the same thing: my fishes. This has spawned posts about panda cories, hatchetfish, and—after weeks of lobbying—Plecky the Pleco. But in my first and possibly last guest post, I’m throwing a curveball. I’m not writing about fishes. Tonight’s topic is completely different: shrimps.

Red Cherry Shrimp

This is a red cherry shrimp. No, she can’t be served with cocktail sauce or scampi style, but go ahead and make your jokes. She’s heard them all before. In this picture, she is working at her favorite hobby: cleaning a spot of algae from wood in my aquarium, where she lives with a couple dozen (so far—self-multiplication is another hobby) of her closest friends.

A lot of people think that an aquarium is just a tank of water with some gravel and a few fish. But with a spirit of exploration, people create amazing worlds in those glass boxes, from bustling reefs to serene freshwater aquascapes. Coolest of all, fishkeepers are always discovering more animals that we can humanely bring home to our tanks.

Which brings me back to the shrimp. You might not have known that such creatures could be kept in an aquarium. Neither did most aquarists until a few years ago, when word started to travel around the internet about these Asian freshwater shrimp that loved to gobble up algae. A few guys in Taiwan got the bright idea to isolate a red color variant through selective breeding—the same way the dalmatian got his spots—and the Red Cherry Shrimp was born. (The wild ones are brown, and very rare variations like green exist, too.)

The one in the picture is just a tiny ¾-inch splash of red in the tank. That’s until you lean in, and you see a creature furiously working her tiny claws over a parcel of ground, looking for a little scrap of food or algae to nibble on. Perhaps after a few seconds, she will glide through the water to a leaf and start work again. Her industriousness—especially when you notice her buddies nearby doing the same thing—is hilarious and endearing.

The best thing about these shrimps is that they’re another layer of life; they encourage you to look closer. When a friend first sees my tank, he might notice the plants, a big school of cardinal tetras, and a proud bunch of hatchetfish at the top. After a few seconds he might spot a brooding Plecky in the corner wishing everyone would go away, or an apple snail lumbering across the gravel. And then he might notice one busy little shrimp, and another, and another, until he wonders how he missed them in the first place.

You can probably tell I’m pretty enamored with the tiny aquatic world I’ve created. I love Anna’s creations in the same way. She makes wonderful pieces of knitted art that give you an immediate smile and then, when you look closer, make you happy all over again. We may have very different hobbies, but we share that joy in making each other smile again and again. That endlessly smiling spirit is why I married her. Also, I thought she was pretty hot. But mostly the smiling thing.

P.S. if you would like to spice up your watery glass box with some little shrimp, first do some research to make sure their tankmates won’t gobble them up. After that, the best way to get your hands on a batch of RCS is to find a reputable fishkeeping forum—I like AquariumBoard—and ask around for a fellow aquarist who’s selling them or giving them away. There are shops on the internet that sell them, but you will get the healthiest shrimps and best price from another fishkeeper. And there are many different kinds of freshwater shrimp beyond red cherries, so read up, explore and try something new!