Tuesday, May 30, 2006

another inconvenient truth

As told by the Rude Pundit:

Last night, Gore was as you've heard, loose, funny, and smart. Goddamn, so fuckin' smart. Every time he opened his mouth to discuss some aspect of melting ice caps or fuel efficiency, you just wanted to weep, thinking, "Jesus Christ, he won. Motherfucker won. He should be our president right now, not that inarticulate, shit-tossing baboon hunched in the ditch next to Tony Blair right now."

That is indeed a most inconvenient truth.

Monday, May 29, 2006

one last thing

I usually don't check for comments, I take it for granted that not a heck of a lot of people are reading this anyway.

So...what is up with the weird spam comments on the threads below? 6 or 8 posts on each thread that basically repeat the same thing. I guess it beats ads for pharmaceuticals.

another one!

Working WIth Fire and Steel by China Crisis.

Wow, I'm in an 80s mood. I got a link to a page with links to all kinds of videos - I'll have to check out the Public Enemy and Skinny Puppy later, but for now, it's time to call it a day.

woo hoo!

See the video for Nemesis here. Did I mention how much I love Shriekback?


Some stuff I am reading right now:

The Art of Rebellion

Graffiti Brasil

Borne of Necessity - this one is on my stack, I haven't started it yet.

The Human Stain - about a third of the way through

Blowback - almost done, and then I have The Sorrows of Empire to read after that.

Philip Roth on Radio OpenSource

Wow. Just. Wow.

He was just saying something about how we are all feeling totally unrepresented, wondering if the country is made up of cowards, and all we can do is whine to our friends over the phone, and we are growing tired of the sounds of our voices in indignant mode. About how we ruminate over the letters to the editor we want to write, and no longer bother with.

Beyond capturing the spirit of the age, he is poetic and pretty damn deep.

Friday, May 19, 2006

bird update

Got the blood results back on Aziza (finally) - her counts now look normal. I'll still be giving her the anti-fungal medicine for another two weeks, and then I think she'll have to get another x-ray to see how her lungs and air sacs look. She has shown a lot more energy the last week or so; she even flew across the room twice yesterday without looking at all put out (she was trying to get away from the towel because it was time for her medicine, and she hates being wrapped in a towel, even for the few seconds it takes). So, I am hopeful she'll be fine. I ordered a bird scale today, so that I can monitor her (and my other birds') weight.

English only

The Senate, clearly lacking more constructive things to do:

voted on Thursday to designate English as the national language. In a charged debate, Republican backers of the proposal, which was added to the Senate's immigration measure on a 63-to-34 vote, said that it was equivalent to establishing a formal national anthem or motto and that it would simply affirm the pre-eminence of English without overturning laws or rules on bilingualism.

You know, since they have now declared the United States an English-speaking country, maybe next they can pass a resolution that the U.S. is a heterosexual country. That ought to take care of that whole gay marriage issue once and for all.

Monday, May 15, 2006

listening to

A lot of bloggers post what they've been listening to, which I find interesting, a sort of internal snapshot, perhaps.

Today on the drive into work, I listened to Orbital; on the drive home I listened to Nitzer Ebb.

Well, that doesn't seem all that exciting, but let's see if any patterns develop over time.

bird update

The vet seemed happy with Aziza's progress. I was startled to see that she has lost 10 more grams in 12 days since her last visit, but the vet said this was typical for birds when they are on antibiotics. They took more blood (boy, does 'Ziz' get mad!) and I'll get the results tomorrow. Hopefully there won't be any elevated cell counts (her white count was borderline high when I first took her in) or abnormal-looking cells (some of the white cells looked like they had been busy).

She is still sneezing, though. She did it a lot in the car, on the way to the vet. The vet didn't see any wetness around her nostrils, and said she might just be sneezing from an allergic reaction to something; I'm wondering if it wasn't a manefestation of the Pionus wheeze. She has been sneezing periodically at home, but not all that frequently.

She has been wanting out nearly every day, and now that I'm only medicating her once a day, she is better about stepping onto my hand.

Yesterday, I made some bird bread from a recipe the vet gave me. It's like a low-cal cornbread, with added veggies. It called for 2 cups of thawed frozen vegetables; I cooked up some black-eyed peas and also threw in some lentils. They seem to like it, though they like my soak-and-cook too, so I will probably alternate them some so they don't get too bored. Tonight for dinner I roasted some carrots and parsnips (though it is a little late in the season for those, and they were a bit past their prime), so they got some of those as well.

If nothing else, this will turn them all into good eaters - I'd like them to at least try anything I put into their dishes (I sound like the mother of toddler, don't I - make that 5 toddlers!).

I also gave the birds a bath yesterday, using a plant mister filled with hot water (it cools as it expands into mist, so the mist is just a little warm). Kianga and Ti'ki didn't want anything to do with it, but Aziza and Koga allowed me to get them pretty wet. Kelele, on the other hand, just went wild - he kept walking towards me with his feathers up, begging for more, then going down to his water dish and splashing in that; he was really enjoying himself, though he seemed genuinely puzzled that a human would be doing something that he enjoyed. He is still quite a "wild" bird - it took a long time until he would even take food from our hands, and he still doesn't quite trust people, but it seems he is really getting better. He always watches closely as I scratch Koga's head, which she very obviously enjoys, and I wonder what he's thinking. I know he would like to get those head feathers (the ones he can't quite reach) scratched as well, he just can't bring himself to allow The Evil Hand close enough. Sometimes he picks up feathers or sticks from toys and tries to scratch himself - I know greys do this in the wild as well, but it's so cute, I just want to reach over and give him a really good scratch, the poor thing. But I know that The Hand is just too scary!

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

bird update

Only a few more days of antibiotic for Aziza, and she goes back to the vet on Saturday for a checkup. She is still thin, but I have to say, she is starting to act more like her old self. Saturday, she wanted out, and took up her usual place on the headboard of the bed. She surveyed the room and the outside through the window - she had a look on her face I hadn't seen in weeks. Last night she came out and did the "Pionus strut" back and forth on the headboard, wings and tail flared. I haven't heard her sneezing either. She obviously doesn't like being medicated, but she has been very good about it, and doesn't try to spit it out, or refuse to swallow and then shake it out of her beak. She actually swallows, so I know the meds are getting down and into her system where they can do some good.

Monday evening I cleaned Kianga's cage, picking up her "nest" and essentially putting an end to her sitting. I noticed she was getting very thin, too, and she has been sitting long enough. She is getting back to her old self, now that she has had a day to adjust to the fact that there is nothing there for her to sit on, even sleeping on her perch again, though she is still spending a lot of time on the floor of her cage. Last night I let her out after she asked "wanna go outside?" - which I haven't heard in nearly six weeks. She walked around and investigated everything, talked up a storm, and scandalized the other greys. She has been eating well, so I expect she'll be filled out again in a few weeks.

Friday, May 05, 2006

bird pic

A pic of Kianga's face, so I can use it for my profile.

bird blogging

Aziza is till hanging in there; she does seem weak and thin, though - never something you want to see in a bird. Everyone does seem to be enjoying their healthier diet - everyone except perhaps Kelele, who at times seems to be asking for an audition for Hatebeak.

Driving into work this morning, I slip into the left lane on the Ship Canal Bridge, to view a bird flying towards me. One of the peregrines, it turns out, and it flies directly over me, powering north towards the University District (good hunting grounds). WOW. Several minutes later, a great blue heron lazily flaps in its pterodactyl way, heading west towards Gasworks Park.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

bird blogging

We still aren't sure what's going on with Aziza. She seems to have some kind of low-grade infection going on, though, so on Tuesday I got some antibiotic and antifungal medications to treat her with. I started treating her yesterday; I let her rest Tuesday, because she was so exhausted from screaming at the vet and the vet's staff while getting x-rayed. She's a fighter, I'll give her that.

And it hasn't taken her long to decide that I'm untrustworthy. I was able to get her to step onto my hand both times I had to medicate her yesterday; but this morning, she wasn't having it, and I ended up having to take her out of her cage in a towel. I know she's going to hate me by the time this is done. I hope she can forgive me eventually – she really is a sweet bird.

In wild bird blogging: We seem to have a pair of robins nesting in a juniper in the backyard; another pair of robins may also be nesting somewhere nearby. The robins seem to be fighting over territory at times, as we have seen at least three or four birds at a time in spats over the last week or so.

I would still like to find out where the downies are nesting, though. And I haven't seen anyone in the nest hole the flickers were using the last few years, though I know the flickers are around. I haven't had much time to observe, though, in the last few weeks - it has just been too crazy.

Yesterday on the way to work I saw one of the Ship Canal peregrines circling to gain altitude over NE 45th, while being harassed by a crow. Those crows have some brass ones - it's one thing to harass a slow, relatively unmaneuverable bald eagle, but a peregrine? I wouldn't want to take the chance that it would get above me, a bird could end up very dead!

I often see one of these peregrines sitting on one of the two towers just west of the Ship Canal, usually facing the southwest. Once, I saw both of them. I'm not a good enough birder to say, when I see a peregrine sitting on one of those towers, which of the pair it is. I know the females are larger, but without seeing some male and female peregrines side by side, I don't really have any frame of reference for the birds I see; I don't know if I am seeing the same bird every time, or if sometimes it's the male, others the female. Maybe I'll be able to tell, someday..

language skills

Little Scottie says Bush doesn't, in fact, speak Spanish all that well:

"The president can speak Spanish but not that well," White House press secretary Scott McClellan said. "He's not that good with his Spanish."

What I want to know is why anyone would expect him to speak Spanish any more fluently than he does, you know, English.

Monday, May 01, 2006

theme song

Heh heh. What's yours?

Your Theme Song is Back in Black by AC/DC

"Back in black, I hit the sack,
I've been too long, I'm glad to be back"

Things sometimes get really crazy for you, and sometimes you have to get away from all the chaos.
But each time you stage your comeback, it's even better than the last!

Cover the Uninsured Week

Cover The Uninsured Week

Check it out.

answers itself

On today's NYT:

Nicholas D. Kristof: Am I a Right Winger?

Um, more like an utter tool, but hey, I don't subscribe to "Times Select" so I guess only the kewl kids' opinion really matters.

still waiting....

....to hear back from the vet. This is so frustrating!