Thursday, July 30, 2009

...till I find something to write about, this'll hafta do...

HE STILL MIGHT NOT BE DEAD: Once again, I flipped on MSNBC, and instantly heard an Annoying Voice From The Past. I immediately reached for the remote so I could hit the Mute Button, but the voice belonged to Billy Mays, and out of respect for the dead, I didn't mute him. Although I did turn down the volume. A Billy Mays commercial is always 75% louder than the volume of the TV program that you were watching. Writing about this makes me think of an old novelty tune I heard years ago...'Slick Sam the Salesman, Lives a life that's Free...he could sell salt water in the middle of the sea...Slick Sam the Salesman's always on the go; he could sell hot coffee to the Devil Down Below."

HEAVY-METAL BEATLES: I've just lately become aware of a Canadian band called "Beatallica". They play heavy metal versions of Beatles songs; a sort-of cross between the Beatles and Metallica. Beatallica ain't pretty, that's for sure. They don't engage in sweet harmonies, nor does the lead singer go for the high notes. They pound, scream and otherwise gesticulate wildly as they satirize the Fab Four. My initial impression is that Beatallica's versions of Beatles tunes are rather mean-spirited; it's one thing to poke fun (The Rutles, for example), but it's as if Beatallica is trying to tear down the Beatles' reputations/and or legacy. Careful, guys...if it wasn't for The Beatles, we might not have self-contained rock bands who wrote their own material. And, Beatallica...if it wasn't for the Beatles, you guys would be just another 3rd-rate loudmouth band wallowing around in the musical mud. If you want to hear what I'm talking about, go to Youtube ( and enter "Beatallica" into the search bar. (Not recommended for those who suffer from high blood pressure.)

SOME LIKE IT HOT: Not me, but some do! I saw a weathermap in today's paper, and just about the entire western portion of Our Great Nation seems to be able to fry eggs on the sidewalk; I've heard that in Phoenix, Arizona, that Glass Panes began Melting due to the heat. Something to do with 114-degree temperatures. Ack, ack, aaaaaack. I have a slow metabolism and sweat very very slowly, and ultra-hot temperatures make me almost wanna pass out. Well, here in Southern Oregon, the paper said that My Neck of the woods (Oregon Coast) was "sizzling" at 64 degrees the other day. I think it's supposed to get up to 70 or 75 by the weekend. In spite of those cool temps, the Humidity is Just Tremendous down here. I can barely make a move without breaking into a sweat. The antidote? Well, I usually wear a hat and light sweater-coat, but not when the humidity's like this. I'm not ready to Go Everywhere Naked, and I'm sure all citizens of Oregon will Thank Me For That.

SPAMMERS OUGHTA BE SHACKLED: Recently, I bought the 'enhanced' version of RealPlayer, so that when I put CD's together, I can get the volume equalized for all songs on the disc, plus I can also put 3 or 5-second crossfades in, to give the CD a different flavor. This version of the RealPlayer cost $14.99, and is a ONE-TIME CHARGE. Now...if you have online banking, don't only look at your balances, but look at your Charge-Card Authorizations, which do not show up in the Balance Section. That's how I found two charges from '*rnRealplayer' for $14.99 EACH. I didn't authorize those! I bank with US Bank, and called them and reported the spam. They not only removed the two fake charges, they also sent me a new Debit Card. Over the last 5 years, I've had to do this 3 or 4 times. I'm sure a lot can be said for small hometown banks, but I'll say Right Here and Now, that US Bank is a pro outfit all the way. It's nice to get service like that. And I've heard US Bank is run rather conservatively; you didn't see them go under during the Recent Financial Crisis our country had recently.

THIS IS FOR THE BIRDS: I am the bird-dad of two little Female Cockatiels, as you found out a few posts ago. One female is energetic and neurotic; the other is quite standoffish. And when I open the cage door in the morning, they're out as fast as possible, climbing all over the cage, chirping and whistling. I put a bird on each shoulder, and then go out to make coffee. Once I get back in the La-Z-Boy, I take a few crackers out of the box at Chairside, break them into bits, so the birds can crunch and munch. After they've done that for a while, they begin cleaning their feathers. Right about then, the Neurotic Female begins chirping insanely; 3 or 4 chirps every five seconds which drives me nuts. So, that's when I break out the squirt-bottle and give both a few good shots of water spray...a soggy Cockatiel is a funny sight, believe me. It needs to be done, though; Cockatiels emit a natural 'feather dust' so they need to be bathed regularly. Then I sit back down, pick up the space heater, and dry off my birds. They seem to really enjoy the warm air, and seem a bit calmer afterwards.

The little, nervous quiet female is becoming a little bit calmer; she'll even let me (occasionally) scratch her head when she's on my shoulder now. It must be said right here that, even tho she's quiet and timid, when she Wants Something, she'll emit a few loud chirps that immediately make me Stand At Attention. Lately, we've added something else to our routine...I'll try to do my best version of a Bird Whistle, and we all end up whistling at each other, like flocks of birds do. So I'm a part-time bird who is a member of a flock. And with a bird on each shoulder, I'll feed them little bits of cracker out of my mouth; 'Left' for one bird, 'Right' for the other. They're ready for bed Bright n'early at 6pm, but that's okay, 'cos it's nice to have some quiet time around here, too. My birds are out of the cage for 2 to 3 hours a day, and even more when the weather's lousy and I can't do a whole lot outside.

As you can see from the picture above, my birds think they Own the place, and who knows; they just might. These birds are just as much, if not more, entertaining than a lot of parrots I've seen, but cockatiels don't cost near as much. They're good birds; it's up to me to become a better bird owner. I'm trying...


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