Friday, March 23, 2007

Friday parrot blogging

Meet Kelele:

Kelele is a male, wild-caught timneh African grey. He was about 2 years old when I got him in 1992, so he's about 17 now. A breeder had purchased him out of quarantine, but he was too young, so she put and ad in the paper. I felt sorry for him - the breeder kept her birds in her garage, they got no natural sunlight, so I bought him. He was still so wild at that time, that he growled at us whenever we approached. Even after all this time, he's still wild enough that he isn't hand-tamed; however, he will take food from our hands, and the couple of times I have had to man-handle him, he's never tried to bite. He also is a good talker and makes a variety of lovely whistles and clicks, and loves the attention he gets. We named him 'Kelele' which is Swahili for "uproar" because of the way he would growl all the time when we first got him.

Here is a picture of Aziza in her favorite spot on the headboard of the bed. She is working her beak, trying to look as fierce as possible. If you look closely, you might be able to see that her under-tail coverts are missing - the were all plucked out for her surgery. You can't see her "bubble" though, in this photo.

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knit blogging

This is some knitting that I am working on. I am making a tiny pair of baby socks for our Mac IT guy at work, who is expecting a baby next month. Here is the first sock, finished:

Here is the second one too, just starting on the cuff.

I am now done with the gusset and have only a little more to do. Sort of a neat project, since they go so fast - just a few hours on each one. In addition to that, they don't need much yarn - I was able to use some superwash sock yard left over from making my mom a pair of socks last fall, and I even have enough left, I could probably make a baby cap from it. (There's an idea)

I'm also working on a pair of socks for myself. One sock is finished already, I'll try to post a picture soon.


Thursday, March 22, 2007


I have to admit, I have a fondness for smelly cheeses. I got it from my great-grandmother, back when the only thing available locally was a fairly innocuous imitation Limburger marketed by Borden. How things have changed with the global economy. I often buy exotic soft cheeses in the gourmet section of my local supermarket, just to try them. There are cheeses from all over the world, the real thing, not just domestic impersonations of them.


Wednesday, March 21, 2007

parrot update

An update on the birds. Or for the birds, if you will.

Last Friday, while cleaning Kianga's cage, I was transferring her eggs back to her little makeshift nestbox - and accidentally dropped one. I felt like such a bad mom, even though I was able to confirm that no, it wasn't fertile (so any suspicions that she and Kelele, the male timneh, were doing the nasty with cage bars in between were quashed). Fortunately, she's sitting quite happily on the remaining egg and has been very good about eating and such. She's been very responsive and fairly talkative and isn't losing enough weight for me to worry about.

Aziza seems more her old self, though she still seems on the thin side, and she tires out earlier than the grays. She still has that 'bubble' in her abdomen just in front of her vent. She's had this since I got her back from her surgery; the vet said it was probably air under the skin from a small air sac that may have been ruptured; however, it hasn't gone away as it should have, I'm beginning to wonder if she didn't give herself a hernia with all that straining. I'll ask the vet about it when she goes in next weekend; I would think this would require yet another surgery. :-(


one time's a lark...

...but two times, and we're beginning to see a disturbing pattern here:

He was found guilty in April 2005 of felony mistreatment of an animal after he killed a horse with the intention of having sex with it. He was sentenced to 18 months in jail and two years of extended supervision on that charge as well as six years of probation for taking and driving a vehicle without the owner's consent.

Hathaway pleaded no contest earlier this month to misdemeanor mistreatment of an animal for the incident involving the deer. He was sentenced Tuesday in Douglas County Circuit Court.

Um....isn't cruelty to / messing with animals one of the signs of an incipient serial killer? I hope this guy gets some serious help.

Honestly, though, look at this again - you might argue that he almost got a stiffer sentence for the auto theft charge than for the felony mistreatment charge in 2005. But he can't even have been out of jail all that long, and he's right back to trying to sexually assault something. You know, I'm not much in favor of civil commitment laws, but sheesh, maybe we can call three strikes on this guy, and keep him from hurting Nellie or Bambi or, you know, somebody's daughter.

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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

the last honest republicans

Yes, there are still a few:


Fired attorneys, left to right, Carol Lam, former U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of California; David Iglesias, former U.S. Attorney for the District of New Mexico, Daniel Bogden, former U.S. Attorney for the District of Nevada; Paul Carlton, former U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona, H.E. "Bud" Cummins, former U.S. Attorney for the District of Arkansas, and John McKay, former U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Washington, are all sworn in before testifying to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee on Capitol Hill last week.

McKay doesn't know if Republican unhappiness over his handling of the 2004 election cost him his job as U.S. Attorney for Western Washington, but the new revelations contained in a Washington Post story are sure to reignite questions about McKay's dismissal and whether it was connected to Washington state's hotly contested governor's race.

Um, ya think?

Oh, I still remember when Bush the Younger was sworn in. Shortly afterwards, we all got an email memo stating that the highest ethical standards were going to be expected of all federal employees, and that we should take our positions of public trust seriously, etc. At the time, knowing something of Bush's history, I just snorted at this and thought it was pretty amusing of him to presume to lecture me on ethics. Now, I no longer think it's amusing. I think it's obscene.

Update: Did you ever believe it was possible to have an Attorney General so stinking rotten that John Ashcroft would look good in comparison?

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Friday, March 09, 2007

on the occaision of PZ's birthday

Today is PZ Meyers' 50th Birthday. He asked for poetry....this isn't much, but it does rhyme, and contains all matter of evolutionarily-relevant invertebrates:

The squids are on parade
And the cuttlefishes too
The nudibranchs are twirling
Like shawls in the Deep Blue

Drosophila are buzzing
'Round Hovind's empty zoo
All because it's PZ's Birthday
And poetry is his due

Happy Birthday, PZ! Arrrgh!


Thursday, March 08, 2007

a little music video for today

Künstliche Welten. It isn't what I picture when I hear the song, but hey. The singer looks a little Simon LeBon, doesn't he?

I also like their song 'Once in a Lifetime' (no, it just has the same title as a Talking Heads song).

In parrot updates, Kianga laid her second egg (finally) at 5:40 pm on Tuesday. She is sitting on them, but has been climbing up to her dish to eat, which is something I had trouble convincing her to do in the past. So maybe the food is now good enough to be worth it?

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Monday, March 05, 2007


Aziza had her stitches out on Saturday, and another hormone shot to keep her from producing any more eggs. The vet said she appears to be doing well, and she does seem to be a lot more energetic now that she is off all medications except the terbenefine. I think the antibiotic she had been on was affecting her somewhat, as I've always noticed that she seems to lose weight while she's on them. She was back down to 211 g on Saturday, but the vet didn't seem too worried about it (she's weighed less). I'd like to see her back where she was (~238 g) so I'm hoping she will start gaining the weight back now. But she is healing well from her surgery, so that is good. I don't know how long it will be before the feathers they removed will come back in - the poor thing is going to itch, though, when they do.

As for Kianga, no second egg yet, though she acts like she might lay another. I don't mind if she has one more (she always stopped at two before), but I will be keeping an eye on her to make sure she doesn't have any trouble. She has been in good spirits, however - making funny noises and comments (I swear she has a sense of humor).


Friday, March 02, 2007

parrot and egg blogging

I am not sure if I have posted any picture of Aziza yet, but here is a decent one from this last summer:

I got the chance to pull both eggs, and photograph them next to each other to compare sizes:

I was actually really surprised - the eggs are actually pretty proportional to the weights of the birds. Kianga's egg looks to be about twice the size of Aziza's.

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Friday parrot blogging: egg edition

We still have a few stray snowflakes drifting around this morning, but spring must be on the way. I had quite a surprise last night....

Now that Aziza is slowly on the mend from her eggbinding, Kianga, my Congo African grey (who will be sweet 16 on March 31), decided to get in on the egg act as well. When I turned out the lights for bed, she climbed down off her perch to the bottom of the cage. I knew something was up. "Kianga, whatcha doin'?" I asked a couple of times, but she was quiet. After about twenty minutes, though, I heard it - a familiar sound since Aziza's egg-binding incident - the sound of a parrot pushing on an egg. I was thinking, "oh no, this is just what I need - another egg-bound hen having to go to the emergency vet." But it didn't sound like the stressed pushing that Aziza had been doing, so I just listened. She pushed and grunted a few more times, at several minute intervals, and after about ten minutes, I heard the sound of something hitting the metal tray on the floor of her cage. "Kianga! Are you done already?!" I got up and turned on the light, and sure enough, there she was, looking at the egg and starting to pull it underneath her.

I got a box top and put some paper in, then the egg, and turned the lights back out. She eventually got in the makeshift nest and started sitting. This morning, she was looking pretty proud of herself:

If I get the opportunity, I'm going to put her egg side-by-side with Aziza's and get a picture. I think Aziza's egg is almost as large as Kianga's. (Aziza weighs about a half pound, Kianga about a pound.)

It seems so odd that I never heard Kianga laying any of her previous four eggs, but I do hear her laying this one, and right after having gone through hearing Aziza try and try to lay hers. I guess I know now what normal and abnormal sound like. (And I'm extremely thankful that Kianga didn't have any problems.)

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Thursday, March 01, 2007

so call me a killjoy

...but dammit, I have to agree with this:

The new version of Jacobsen’s bill would allow leashed dogs in outdoor areas of restaurants, such as patios—better than everywhere, I guess, but still the top of a long, slippery slope that could end up screwing over those of us who don’t want your dog jumping in our laps while we try to enjoy a burger at Linda’s

And that goes for your snot-nosed, coughing, out-of-control kids too.

I know I sound like a "hey you kids - get off my lawn!" oldster, so let me clarify. I don't have a problem with dogs or kids (and I don't blame them for their owners' or parents' boorish behavior). What I have a problem with is YOU letting them JUMP UP ON ME when I have no idea WHO the f*** you ARE. Boundaries, people, boundaries. Has no one ever taught you what is and what is not an appropriate way to behave?

egg blogging

As promised, here is the photo of Aziza's egg, next to a ruler so you can get an idea of the size. For those of you who always wondered what a parrot egg looks like. Specifically, this is the egg of a dusky Pionus:

I tried to get a photo of her x-ray showing the egg, but that didn't work too well; I didn't have time to try scanning it.


winter wonderland

This is what we woke up to this morning:

Technically, it is still winter, but sheesh, this is getting ridiculous!

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