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scalyfreak

Scalyfreak does a bunch of side quests

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MCguSE0.png

 

Cut. Parry. Thrust. Shield up.

 

Nothing matters but the here and now.

 

Focus.

 

And then silence. Blessed, wonderful silence, as the last of the Stress-Monster swarm falls at Scalyfreak’s feet. For now. Still, this was the biggest boss fight yet, and after far too long it finally ended in a victory. Scalyfreak takes a few moments to savor the feeling before she begins to take stock of her own injuries.

 

There’s been some level drain, at least two, maybe three. Both the health bar and the stamina meter are shorter than they were before vampiric Stress Monster made its first appearance, and the mana pool is entirely gone. What used to be an expensive suit of armor is in tatters, the shield has so many cracks it is literally useless, and even Scalyfreak’s trusted sword has been damaged to the point of breaking. Yes, it ended in victory, but it came at a high price. Quite literally. Repairing or replacing all the damaged equipment is going to cost a lost more money than Scalyfreak currently owns, and that is without factoring in the cost of replacing the rather large number of healing potions, boosters, and buffing consumables that were used in the long battle.

 

Scalyfreak swears. Then she mutters curses. And then she grudgingly and reluctantly walks down the hill and into a small and sleepy village. She finds the inn, walks past it, and knocks on a green door. And then she knocks again. Eventually, finally, the door open, and an elderly man peers suspiciously at his unexpected guest. Scalyfreak does her best to look non-threatening.

 

Tom Tailor? I’m supposed to pick up a letter from you and deliver it to the mill three miles down the river.”

 

MCguSE0.png

 

So after dealing with Massive Stress Monster created by work insanity right up until Thanksgiving, the time between then and now was essentially spent recovering. I basically skipped out of the last challenge period, then and did the 2018 Holiday Mini Challenge, (which is not a part of the canon in the Saga of Scalyfreak!) and that helped a lot because it was easy and unassuming.

 

It is time to rebuild. To respec. To gain back what was lost when Stress Monster took over and forced me to go into Survival Mode just to stay sane. To that end, I have decided that I’m going to spend this January not focusing on diet or losing weight. This is an entirely new thing for me, and I am very excited. Instead, I am going to do Seemingly Random Stuff that will increase the happiness factor in my life, and that will be more than good enough for me.

 

1. Sleep. It’s starting to be annoying that I am so bad at this. But I have learned that anxiety often manifests as insomnia, so at least now I know why I am so bad at sleeping. So, measures will be taken to take power away from the anxiety, which in turn will make it smaller and less insomnia inducing.

     1a. I have given myself a bed time and will use meditation techniques I have learned from Headspace to help my brain slow down and go to sleep mode.

     1b. Daily meditation and some kind of physical activity will help the brain become stronger against the anxiety and stress

2. Schedule my gym workouts in Google Calendar, for three nights per week. This makes it exponentially more likely that I will actually go to the gym. Getting my tired behind into the car and towards the gym building is by far the biggest obstacle for me when it comes to working out regularly.

3. Request time off for all the dates listed in the Upcoming Events email I received yesterday, so it becomes possible for me to physically be present at the events I am volunteering for. This quest expires and automatically fails on Thursday 10th of January.

     3a. Sign up for all the events. All of them!

4. Declutter and tidy the desk in my dragon cave. Completing this quest unlocks Quest # 8.

5. Join the Walk to Mordor 2019 PvP. Then link it in my sig so I can find it easily.

6. Sign up for Read Harder 2019, and start reading early enough that I can actually finish it this year. Also, link it in my sig so I can find it easily.

7. Work on my NaNo project every weekend. 0/4

8. Spec out and pick parts for the new computer build. Not available until Quest #4 is complete.

9. Sort out the skincare stuff – make an active effort to educate myself by watching one video or reading one article every night.

    9a. Completely geek out on skin care ingredients and how they work

    9b. Identify brands and products I want to use from here on

    9c. Obtain the products from 9b, and incorporate them into existing daily routines

 

 

Also, post pictures of other scaly freaks. I will start with this one:

 

Related image

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Scaly! 

 

So good to see you back and that damn stress monster finally slain! It's been terrorizing the village for years!

IncredibleSevereFiddlercrab-size_restric

 

Following cause you're awesome, and I love the saga structure (you're a gifted writer!)

 

Very adulting of you setting a bed time...I'm considering stealing that!

 

Good luck delivering Tailor's letter!

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You have a quest chain. That's magical. 

 

Observation, having played the pc building game for years, price check against cyberpower or one of those gaming focused companies. I found the price to actually be cheaper than building the equivalent on my own. That being said, there is still that feeling of satisfaction in building your own rig that you can't get with any premade machine.

 

Re: scaly creatures: It was ONE BAD DAY. Yeesh.

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1 hour ago, farflight said:

Scaly! 

 

So good to see you back and that damn stress monster finally slain! It's been terrorizing the village for years!

IncredibleSevereFiddlercrab-size_restric

 

Following cause you're awesome, and I love the saga structure (you're a gifted writer!)

 

Very adulting of you setting a bed time...I'm considering stealing that!

 

 

There is something weird about this sentence.

 

+2 points for Monty Python reference. :D

 

33 minutes ago, Grumble said:

You have a quest chain. That's magical. 

 

Observation, having played the pc building game for years, price check against cyberpower or one of those gaming focused companies. I found the price to actually be cheaper than building the equivalent on my own. That being said, there is still that feeling of satisfaction in building your own rig that you can't get with any premade machine.

 

I bought a PC from Cyberpower once. In the interest of keeping a positive tone in this post, I'm simply going to state that I am better at building computers than they are, and leave it at that. Most importantly though, I enjoy the building process itself, and refuse to outsource it to anyone just to save money. ;)

 

Scaly freakish creatures:

 

242?cb=20140415200718

 

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5 minutes ago, scalyfreak said:

I bought a PC from Cyberpower once. In the interest of keeping a positive tone in this post, I'm simply going to state that I am better at building computers than they are, and leave it at that. Most importantly though, I enjoy the building process itself, and refuse to outsource it to anyone just to save money. ;)

HAH.
 

That is a fair assessment. Please share your pc part porn when this quest starts.

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4 minutes ago, Grumble said:

Please share your pc part porn when this quest starts.

 

I have prepared an imgur folder for this exact purpose.

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13 hours ago, scalyfreak said:

 

It is time to rebuild. To respec. To gain back what was lost when Stress Monster took over and forced me to go into Survival Mode just to stay sane. To that end, I have decided that I’m going to spend this January not focusing on diet or losing weight. This is an entirely new thing for me, and I am very excited. Instead, I am going to do Seemingly Random Stuff that will increase the happiness factor in my life, and that will be more than good enough for me.

 

 

The Wisdom of Scalyfreak - there are legends ...

 

Thrilled to hear you are still engaged with your NaNo project! I'm committed to writing 444 words a day (because that's what it takes to maintain my streak) so I am still plugging away at mine as well. (And thanks for reminding me to check in with my region, I sort of forgot about them around Dec 3.)

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All great quests, especially delicious sleep, soul-nourishing walking and writing, and spirit-lifting decluttering. If you learn any magical secrets about skin care, please tell me what they are. 

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51 minutes ago, Gemma said:

 

Thrilled to hear you are still engaged with your NaNo project! I'm committed to writing 444 words a day (because that's what it takes to maintain my streak) so I am still plugging away at mine as well. (And thanks for reminding me to check in with my region, I sort of forgot about them around Dec 3.)

 

Not as much as I should be, to be honest. That's why there is a quest to stay active with it. Discovering the fun and awesome that is Quoll Writer, has really helped renewing my energy for this. It's so much easier to keep things organized now!

 

36 minutes ago, Harriet said:

If you learn any magical secrets about skin care, please tell me what they are. 

 

Hydration and sunscreen. Give your skin both those, and the rest is minutiae. Or are you looking for something more specific?  :)

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Quest log updated!

 

1. Sleep. It’s starting to be annoying that I am so bad at this. But I have learned that anxiety often manifests as insomnia, so at least now I know why I am so bad at sleeping. So, measures will be taken to take power away from the anxiety, which in turn will make it smaller and less insomnia inducing.

     1a. I have given myself a bed time and will use meditation techniques I have learned from Headspace to help my brain slow down and go to sleep mode.

     1b. Daily meditation and some kind of physical activity will help the brain become stronger against the anxiety and stress

      Daily update: Kept my bed time last night and mediated this morning.

2. Schedule my gym workouts in Google Calendar, for three nights per week. This makes it exponentially more likely that I will actually go to the gym. Getting my tired behind into the car and towards the gym building is by far the biggest obstacle for me when it comes to working out regularly. QUEST COMPLETE

3. Request time off for all the dates listed in the Upcoming Events email I received yesterday, so it becomes possible for me to physically be present at the events I am volunteering for. This quest expires and automatically fails on Thursday 10th of January. QUEST COMPLETE

     3a. Sign up for all the events. All of them! QUEST COMPLETE

     3b. Add all the events to Google Calendar QUEST COMPLETE

4. Declutter and tidy the desk in my dragon cave. Completing this quest unlocks Quest # 8.

5. Join the Walk to Mordor 2019 PvP. Then link it in my sig so I can find it easily.

6. Sign up for Read Harder 2019, and start reading early enough that I can actually finish it this year. Also, link it in my sig so I can find it easily.

7. Work on my NaNo project every weekend. 0/4

8. Spec out and pick parts for the new computer build. Not available until Quest #4 is complete.

9. Sort out the skincare stuff – make an active effort to educate myself by watching one video or reading one article every night.

    9a. Completely geek out on skin care ingredients and how they work.

    9b. Identify brands and products I want to use from here on

    9c. Obtain the products from 9b, and incorporate them into existing daily routines

    Daily update: Was thoroughly distracted from skin care videos by the shiny objects in scholagladiatoria

10. Activated by completing Quest #2: Go to the gym during my scheduled time. Friday, Sunday, and Tuesday.

Daily update: Getting dressed for the gym and preparing to leave.

11. Activated by completing Quest #3: Attend all scheduled volunteer events.

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20 hours ago, scalyfreak said:

Hydration and sunscreen. Give your skin both those, and the rest is minutiae. Or are you looking for something more specific?  :)

 

Oh, well, I was wondering if there was a secret to having clear skin. In my 30s. Sigh. BHAs and getting older have cleared it up a bit but the acne around my chin is extremely persistent. Using anything harsher makes my skin dry and flaky :/

 

 

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2 minutes ago, Harriet said:

 

Oh, well, I was wondering if there was a secret to having clear skin. In my 30s. Sigh. BHAs and getting older have cleared it up a bit but the acne around my chin is extremely persistent. Using anything harsher makes my skin dry and flaky :/

 

 

GROW A BEARD!!!!! Worked for me!

 

image.png.03506f8be4a03d5164c628d2aba2d673.png

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2 minutes ago, farflight said:

GROW A BEARD!!!!! Worked for me!

 

image.png.03506f8be4a03d5164c628d2aba2d673.png


I'M TRYING!!! So far I have a spare collection of mostly transparent hairs on my chin. They're not much, but there are a couple more every year, so it's progress of a sort.

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3 hours ago, farflight said:

Confused...you got goals 2 & 3 struckthru because they're completed or dropped? Just curious for my following purposes :D

 

I added "QUEST COMPLETE" to them, to make it clear the quests are completed. Just for you. :D

 

3 hours ago, Harriet said:

 

Oh, well, I was wondering if there was a secret to having clear skin. In my 30s. Sigh. BHAs and getting older have cleared it up a bit but the acne around my chin is extremely persistent. Using anything harsher makes my skin dry and flaky :/

 

Mandatory disclaimer: I am not a dermatologist, a makeup artist, or skin care tech of any kind. I'm a geek who likes knowing how things work and enjoys playing with makeup and skincare products. Another thing I'm not, is prone to acne. I had some during puberty I suppose, but since I don't remember it very well it must not have been severe, and as an adult only the occasional pimple a couple of times in the summer. This means that what I have learned over the years is not focused on acne, and as a result know a lot less about that skin condition than I do about eczema (which I do have).

 

Here's what I do know, hidden in a spoiler because Wall of Text:


 

Spoiler

 

Acne has nothing to do with age. Or with eating chocolate. (Thankfully!) It's a reaction skin has to stress or external factors it perceives as attacks of sorts, and some internal factors. Not everyone's facial skin reacts to stress the same way. Itchiness, lasting redishness, hyper-pigmentation, or a rash, are other examples of how skin reacts to stress. Mine breaks out into a rash, because I have eczema prone skin. Your face breaks out into pimples, in indication of acne-prone skin.

 

One internal factor that can cause acne, is hormones. That's why almost all teenagers are cured with it. But hormonal acne is a real thing long after puberty, especially for women whose hormones vary a lot during their cycle. Because PMS wasn't frustrating enough without adding acne to the mix, apparently. (Thank you, Nature. Are you sure you're female?)

 

Clogged pores is another common reason for acne. Our bodies get rid of certain kinds of impurities by forcing them to dissipate through the skin. That's one of the reasons pores have openings, in addition to said openings being there to make it possible for the skin to breathe. It that opening gets clogged and nothing can get out, then those particular pores find themselves in the unenviable situation of being filled with a substances that should not be in the body, and no way of getting rid of it. This can build up over time, which leads to localized swelling and pus building up around those particular pores. In other words, a pimple.

 

Things that can clog up pores: Almost anything you put on your skin. Products labelled and marketed as "non-comedogenic" are a lot less likely to cause pore clogging, but if your skin is very trigger happy with acne, it's still a good idea to be careful.

 

Oils clog pores. A lot of cosmetics and skincare products have oils of some kind on the ingredients list. Applying too much of those, or for too long, can trigger acne.

 

Makeup clogs pores. If you wear foundation, tinted moisturizers, or heavy facial sunscreen, and you are not fanatical about thoroughly and completely cleaning all of it off at the end of each day, these things get stuck in the pores, clogs them up, and trigger acne. (This is how I give myself acne most of the time, btw. "I'm tired, I'll wash it tomorrow.")

 

Facial cleanser indirectly clogs pores. If you wash your face with a cleanser that removes a lot of your skin's natural oils, including the sebum, you leave the skin cells very dry. Sebum is basically human tallow - it is the oils and waxes that our own skin secretes to waterproof and lubricate itself. It is generally not a good idea to wash it off, or alternatively, to help your skin fully replace and replenish it if you do. Because human skin is a marvelous and incredible kind of living organism, that can sustain and survive so much more than it was originally designed for, and it will adjust to the lack of oils and serum over time. It will simple increase internal oil production as much as it needs to, in order to survive the hard cleanser, and now you are dealing with dried out skin that over-produces oil. Which clogs the pores.

 

Obviously I don't know what's causing your acne. I'm assuming that it is similar to eczema and that it's a combination of several factors: Genetics, what products you use, how stressed you are, what type of climate you live in, what kinds of foods you eat, to mention only a few. If you're willing to spend some time and effort learning more about how skin works and how to treat it, there's tons of good stuff on YouTube, that I've been learning from. Exceptionally good and effective skin care is surprisingly easy, once you understand how it all works together. :)

 

 

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4 hours ago, scalyfreak said:

 

Here's what I do know, hidden in a spoiler because Wall of Text:


 

  Hide contents

 

Acne has nothing to do with age. Or with eating chocolate. (Thankfully!) It's a reaction skin has to stress or external factors it perceives as attacks of sorts, and some internal factors. Not everyone's facial skin reacts to stress the same way. Itchiness, lasting redishness, hyper-pigmentation, or a rash, are other examples of how skin reacts to stress. Mine breaks out into a rash, because I have eczema prone skin. Your face breaks out into pimples, in indication of acne-prone skin.

 

One internal factor that can cause acne, is hormones. That's why almost all teenagers are cured with it. But hormonal acne is a real thing long after puberty, especially for women whose hormones vary a lot during their cycle. Because PMS wasn't frustrating enough without adding acne to the mix, apparently. (Thank you, Nature. Are you sure you're female?)

 

Clogged pores is another common reason for acne. Our bodies get rid of certain kinds of impurities by forcing them to dissipate through the skin. That's one of the reasons pores have openings, in addition to said openings being there to make it possible for the skin to breathe. It that opening gets clogged and nothing can get out, then those particular pores find themselves in the unenviable situation of being filled with a substances that should not be in the body, and no way of getting rid of it. This can build up over time, which leads to localized swelling and pus building up around those particular pores. In other words, a pimple.

 

Things that can clog up pores: Almost anything you put on your skin. Products labelled and marketed as "non-comedogenic" are a lot less likely to cause pore clogging, but if your skin is very trigger happy with acne, it's still a good idea to be careful.

 

Oils clog pores. A lot of cosmetics and skincare products have oils of some kind on the ingredients list. Applying too much of those, or for too long, can trigger acne.

 

Makeup clogs pores. If you wear foundation, tinted moisturizers, or heavy facial sunscreen, and you are not fanatical about thoroughly and completely cleaning all of it off at the end of each day, these things get stuck in the pores, clogs them up, and trigger acne. (This is how I give myself acne most of the time, btw. "I'm tired, I'll wash it tomorrow.")

 

Facial cleanser indirectly clogs pores. If you wash your face with a cleanser that removes a lot of your skin's natural oils, including the sebum, you leave the skin cells very dry. Sebum is basically human tallow - it is the oils and waxes that our own skin secretes to waterproof and lubricate itself. It is generally not a good idea to wash it off, or alternatively, to help your skin fully replace and replenish it if you do. Because human skin is a marvelous and incredible kind of living organism, that can sustain and survive so much more than it was originally designed for, and it will adjust to the lack of oils and serum over time. It will simple increase internal oil production as much as it needs to, in order to survive the hard cleanser, and now you are dealing with dried out skin that over-produces oil. Which clogs the pores.

 

Obviously I don't know what's causing your acne. I'm assuming that it is similar to eczema and that it's a combination of several factors: Genetics, what products you use, how stressed you are, what type of climate you live in, what kinds of foods you eat, to mention only a few. If you're willing to spend some time and effort learning more about how skin works and how to treat it, there's tons of good stuff on YouTube, that I've been learning from. Exceptionally good and effective skin care is surprisingly easy, once you understand how it all works together. :)

 

 

 

Thank you for the wall! I think I have the right products, I just need to get the strength right so I don't dry out my no-longer-teenaged skin. More is not better, it seems. My skin also seems to have gotten a bit better since I quit the pill, but other than that the hormones and genes are out of my control, I think. I'm working on the stress and good nutrition anyway, though nutrition for general health might not be identical to nutrition for skin--I will look into this. Maybe having more days without makeup would help, not that I wear much. Not sure what else I can do for now. Oh well. 

 

 

Edited to add maybe I should think of the chin hairs as a minimalist dwarven warrior costume that only I know about, instead of just a minor indignity that age and nature have inflicted on me. 

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Quest log updates!

 

1. Sleep. It’s starting to be annoying that I am so bad at this. But I have learned that anxiety often manifests as insomnia, so at least now I know why I am so bad at sleeping. So, measures will be taken to take power away from the anxiety, which in turn will make it smaller and less insomnia inducing.

     1a. I have given myself a bed time and will use meditation techniques I have learned from Headspace to help my brain slow down and go to sleep mode.

     1b. Daily meditation and some kind of physical activity will help the brain become stronger against the anxiety and stress

Daily update: Missed bed time yesterday, and forgot to meditate this morning. Started an experiment on Monday - no coffee in the afternoons. Instead I will make black or green tea at my desk and drink that instead. Less caffeine, but still gives me the ritual and comfort of an afternoon drink. I'm only on the third day of the experiment, and cautiously optimistic I will see good results.

2. Schedule my gym workouts in Google Calendar, for three nights per week. This makes it exponentially more likely that I will actually go to the gym. Getting my tired behind into the car and towards the gym building is by far the biggest obstacle for me when it comes to working out regularly. QUEST COMPLETE

3. Request time off for all the dates listed in the Upcoming Events email I received yesterday, so it becomes possible for me to physically be present at the events I am volunteering for. This quest expires and automatically fails on Thursday 10th of January. QUEST COMPLETE

     3a. Sign up for all the events. All of them! QUEST COMPLETE

     3b. Add all the events to Google Calendar QUEST COMPLETE

4. Declutter and tidy the desk in my dragon cave. Completing this quest unlocks Quest # 8.

5. Join the Walk to Mordor 2019 PvP. Then link it in my sig so I can find it easily. QUEST COMPLETE

6. Sign up for Read Harder 2019

     6a. Start reading early enough that I can actually finish it this year.

     6b. Also, link it in my sig so I can find it easily.

7. Work on my NaNo project every weekend. 0/4

8. Spec out and pick parts for the new computer build. Not available until Quest #4 is complete.

9. Sort out the skincare stuff – make an active effort to educate myself by watching one video or reading one article every night.

    9a. Completely geek out on skin care ingredients and learn how they work.

    9b. Identify brands and products I want to use from here on

    9c. Obtain the products from 9b, and incorporate them into existing daily routines

Daily update: Was inspired by the acne talk to go learn more about skin hydration and ceramides. Ceramides are badass.

10. Activated by completing Quest #2: Go to the gym during my scheduled time. Friday, Sunday, and Tuesday.

Daily update: DOMS in my quads after squatting a mature wombat yesterday. Feels good, like reuniting with an old friend that I've missed. :) 

11. Activated by completing Quest #3: Attend all scheduled volunteer events.

 

Scaly freaky creature:

 

60290b27a3a900559b5f709e5cd511e9.jpg 

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4 hours ago, Harriet said:

 

Thank you for the wall! I think I have the right products, I just need to get the strength right so I don't dry out my no-longer-teenaged skin. More is not better, it seems. My skin also seems to have gotten a bit better since I quit the pill, but other than that the hormones and genes are out of my control, I think. I'm working on the stress and good nutrition anyway, though nutrition for general health might not be identical to nutrition for skin--I will look into this. Maybe having more days without makeup would help, not that I wear much. Not sure what else I can do for now. Oh well. 

 

 

Your skin is a part of the body you're feeding for general health. There's considerable overlap. :) 

 

Skin care is like physical fitness... you have to play the long game, and treat it like a science experiment. Change one single variable , wait for the skin to acclimate to the change, then wait and see if you get the desired results. This can take anywhere from four weeks to three months, to years. I obtained a new moisturizer two weeks ago, and I think it's going to work out okay, except it's a little bit heavy some days. Skin has mood swings. 

 

If you want to learn more about acne care on a budget, from someone who truly knows what they are talking about, look for Dr Dray on YouTube. :)

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I don't have a ton to add to the conversation, but here and excited to see all the things you do with your side quests!

 

...and I also just learned a ton about skin care. That I at some point will convert into actual useful action.

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Here's another one for you:

 

Blue-Tongue-Lizard.jpg

 

I had to break up a fight between one of these and my dog yesterday...

 

I'm not sure if you guys have anything like this... it's often reported a bite from these little fellas doesn't heal well because of toxic saliva (because Australia) but it's a myth.

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3 minutes ago, Blocky said:

Here's another one for you:

 

Blue-Tongue-Lizard.jpg

 

I had to break up a fight between one of these and my dog yesterday...

 

I'm not sure if you guys have anything like this... it's often reported a bite from these little fellas doesn't heal well because of toxic saliva (because Australia) but it's a myth.


SQUEEE! It's the best scaly creature! 

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3 hours ago, Blocky said:

Here's another one for you:

 

Blue-Tongue-Lizard.jpg

 

I had to break up a fight between one of these and my dog yesterday...

 

I'm not sure if you guys have anything like this... it's often reported a bite from these little fellas doesn't heal well because of toxic saliva (because Australia) but it's a myth.

 

 

IT HAS A BLUE TOUNGE!!! :blink:

 

We have nothing like that here. The most freakish scaly creatures we have are the rattlesnakes out in the foothills and mountains around the city. I avoid going there.

 

And I imagine a bite from such a creature won't heal well due to the high risk of infection more than anything...

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1 minute ago, scalyfreak said:

 

 

IT HAS A BLUE TOUNGE!!! :blink:

 

We have nothing like that here. The most freakish scaly creatures we have are the rattlesnakes out in the foothills and mountains around the city. I avoid going there.

 

And I imagine a bite from such a creature won't heal well due to the high risk of infection more than anything...

 

They are, rather unimaginatively, called blue tongue lizards.

 

Most of the dummies here cling to the belief that they are toxic. But apart from some strong bites, they are harmless. They mostly just puff themselves up and poke their tongues out in defence.

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