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Monday, April 30, 2018

The End of April

Friday, April 13, 2018

Intruders on the Property

On April 11, Bow enjoyed the nice weather. He went outside and gave his swing in the outer pen some use.

As the grass has started to grow, I was also out there mowing with my trusty reel mower.

After I finish mowing, the grass does not seem particularly well mown to the average person, but believe me, if I did not mow, it would get impossibly unmanageable.

After mowing, I relaxed a little by the pen, too. And then it was time for lunch. After lunch, I usually take a walk. But as I went out the door, I noticed that we had intruders on the property.

A big red truck was blocking my driveway in as spot I never even allow honored guests to occupy. Its motor was running, and it was very loud, but there was no one in the vehicle. I went all round the truck, trying to figure out why it was there, and where the people were who came in it.

Eventually I located them by the power pole, where they were attempting -- unsuccessfully, I might add -- to change the meter.

The process too a very long time, and we could hear Bow inside vocalizing in frustration. When I checked later, I saw that he had made a mess. However, at the time I felt it was best for me to stand guard over the intruders and to see them safely off when they were down.

I was polite, but I did let them know that the next time they need to work on my property, they should notify me that they are coming. This is, after all, a rural property. I could have had a guard dog loose or I could have been engaged in target practice, and there are any number of hazardous activities they might have stumbled upon that would have been dangerous to them. They can't just assume that it is all right to come here without first giving notice.

I am grateful for the electricity, and I understand that the power company needs access to the meter, but I think there is still some expectation of privacy even when there is an electric pole on my property. If I ever built that island for Bow, I would need to know that power company people would not wander onto the property without permission. Bow is very good natured, but he wants to know who is coming over and when.

Monday, April 9, 2018

Things that Happened Around Easter

The cockatiel eggs did not hatch. One of them even broke, and it did not look as if it had been fertilized. Nevertheless, there were plenty of other kinds of eggs around Easter time.

While the annual Easter egg hunt for Bow had to be cut short due to chain saws in the woods behind our house and later rain, a few days  later, Bow found another egg that he had overlooked on April 1.

It was a nice, sunny day for a change, and Bow enjoyed his find.

After sniffing the candy, he determined it to be good.

While the sunshine lasted. Bow and Leo made the most of it in the back yard.

But the sun-soaked days did not last long.

Soon it was snowing again.

RELATED: An Interview with Dr. Sue Savage-Rumbaugh. 

Friday, March 9, 2018

Three Cockatiel Eggs

For a long time, it seemed the cockatiels would end  their season with only a single egg. And they also seemed quite neglectful of that one egg, going off to do other things together, such as eating, grooming and mating. I thought that probably nothing would come of it, but I kept the nest there, and every now and then Queen seemed to have the nesting urge.

Actually, she sat there the longest, looking tired and irritable and a little stricken, when she was trying to lay another egg. I only understood that in retrospect.

It took a very long time for that second egg to finally emerge.

The third egg arrived promptly soon thereafter. It was only just last night.

Both cockatiels are taking turns sitting on the eggs now, with Queen taking her shift in the evening and King coming on duty in the morning, when the coffee is a-brewing. They both look identical to me. The only way I can tell the difference is by the way they behave. Queen is shy and nervous. King is outgoing and talkative. I think he actually takes pride in showing me the eggs, before he gently pushes them into place underneath him with his halfway open beak.


Julia Hanna and I are doing livestreams every Friday night at around 8:00pm Central Standard Time on both our channels. For notifications, please make sure that you are subscribed to my channel. Click on the link below, and if you are not yet subscribed, it will give you a chance to do so.

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Parental Controls and a Nesting Box

The next thing I did after Bow discovered rap music was to get him a cheap tablet at Wal*Mart. I wanted it to be something that I could leave with him, and if he did break it, it would not be an economic disaster.

 But I also wanted to make sure he did not do anything too extreme, while surfing the internet, so I set him up with a Google account as my son, allowing me to control it under Family Link. There was just one problem. As a sixteen year old, he was deemed too old for parental controls.

I had to fudge before I was able to finish the process of enrolling Bow in family link. He now has YouTube for Kids on his tablet, and for the time being this satisfies him.

Meanwhile, Queen, the cockatiel, laid another egg. This time the egg was perfect and not cracked. I had set up a basket for a nest before she laid the second egg, but Queen did not choose to lay her egg in the basket.

When I moved the egg to the basket nest, Queen did not choose to follow the egg there.

I read up on it and found that some cockatiels like more shallow nesting boxes, so I used a tea box that I got from Charla with the bananas, and I padded it with newspaper and put it in the corner where Queen had been trying to nest. I put the egg inside the box. Eventually Queen went back to nest on the egg.

Queen is kind of anxious and leaves the nest frequently, especially when I am looking at her, so I am trying to stay away to give her a chance to do her thing. She may be too old to be a mother, but however old she is, she lacks experience and needs some space to try to figure out what to do.

Friday, February 23, 2018

Bow Discovers Rap Music

Yesterday was a big and eventful day. Bow discovered rap music.

It started out like any other day. We have been having icy mornings, with everything covered in sheet of transparent frozen water.

This is not Bow's kind of weather, and no amount of cajoling will get him to leave the warmth of the inner pen.

On days like this, Bow remains in the pen, lying on his blanket and I venture forth to see what is going on outside.

On my way to the front yard I said hello to the two cockatiels and Summer the Quaker parrot. I noticed that the female cockatiel, Queen, was trying to nest, but I did not think much of it. In our backyard, the old mourning dove nest had been covered in ice, like a nest made of diamonds.

In the front yard, every tree and bush and blade of grass was coated with ice.

By noon, however, all that ice was melting and crashing to the ground.

After lunch, I brought the iPhone into the pen with Bow, so he could see what I had seen outside. But he was having none of that. He swiftly located the YouTube app and started surfing for new videos to watch. In no time at all, he had located a rap song and began to groove to it.

It was nothing I had planned on. I was in shock! I could not stop him, and he would not give me back the iPhone until long after the spirit of the song had left him. Luckily, he had a firm grip on the iPhone the whole time he was dancing and swinging on his rope to the beat of the rap song.

Bow is growing up. He needs his own electronic device, I thought, as I was cleaning out the bird cages last night. And then I noticed something unusual in the cockatiel cage. It was an egg. But it was cracked. She must have laid it while on a high perch.

Somehow when I saw her trying to nest, I did not take Queen quite seriously enough. I thought she was just playing at being a mother. I had seen her and King mating the day before, but thought nothing of it. I mean, I considered filming it, but decided that YouTube would not approve, so I didn't. Now I was really sad that she had not had a good enough nest to protect this egg, which was undoubtedly fertilized.

In the two years that I have been taking care of the cockatiels since I took them over from Sword, I have never found an egg in the cage, even though the birds have been active as a couple. I wondered if this was a fluke, or it means that King and Queen are ready to start a family.

Last night I went to Wal*Mart with two things on my shopping list: a tablet for Bow and a nesting box for Queen.

Tuesday, February 20, 2018

The End of a Paystream

Today is the day YouTube plans to cut me off. No more banana money for Bow.

After over nine years and and 1,968 video uploads, with  44,183  minutes that my videos were watched last month and monthly views of 30,424, I am going to lose my revenue stream for bananas, because I do not have one thousand subscribers. Today is the cutoff date.

They gave me a month, and I spent that month trying to get more subscribers. In the process, I seem to have alienated some of my most loyal viewers -- who are not now and never were subscribers!

Toward the end of last month, I was making around $40.00 per month. It has come down as I added commercials for myself and my channel to try to drum up subscribers. But my viewers are not my fans. They are not my friends. They are just people who like specific videos for reasons of their own. And if YouTube cared about its revenue as much as I care about mine, they would not have made this ridiculous rule about the thousand subscribers -- an impossible goal for someone who has a valuable product to sell, but is not herself popular.

Yes, my friends have subscribed. But I haven't got a thousand friends. And to tell you the truth, my subscribers do not watch my videos all that much. My own mother has better things to do than sit around all day watching my videos. My friends wish me well, but most of them have not seen most of my videos, because they have lives of their own. My real viewers are the nameless, faceless people who put food on our table, but will never, ever subscribe. My thanks go to them, even though I do not know who they are. And I understand why they do not wish to reveal their identity by subscribing.

Maybe someday YouTube will catch on.