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The Finster Log
Archive — August 2009
Important Question: Answered
Posted on: 08/31/09, 20:23:00 | | link
Scientific minds the world over have long pondered the question: Which is more appealing to the average completely-spoiled Timneh African Grey parrot: macaroni and cheese, or corn on the cob? Harley loves both food items, but until last night, we'd never presented him with both at the same time.
The first winner was the macaroni and cheese! This isn't the best food for a bird, but I get a pretty healthy version: organic, low-sodium, etc. Harley ate the mac and cheese, eyes pinning the whole time, until he nearly popped. He had to climb onto the back of my chair and digest for a few minutes after his little eating frenzy.
But a little later, the second winner was the corn on the cob! Apparently, there's nothing better than really digging into a corn cob, with bits of kernel squishing and squirting out between your beak. Tasty and
a good toy! Harley had to climb onto the back of my chair and digest for a few minutes after his little eating frenzy.
So the final verdict: they're both winners, but macaroni and cheese is #1!
Posted on: 08/28/09, 13:37:00 | | link
Last weekend I was away from home for — I think — the fifth time since we got Harley, to gather with almost all of my immediate family to celebrate my mother's 80th birthday. I've left this photo deliberately small to protect the innocent.
[Two notes: 1) Pictures of the two missing grandchildren will be Photoshopped onto those computer screens. Oddly enough, we did nothing about the two missing Significant Others. 2) Why yes, I'm afraid this is
one of the best group photos. Sigh.]
You remember our nightly routine, right? Bruce, Harley and I all go up to the bedroom to watch TV in the evening, humans on their respective sides of the bed, Harley in the middle, and the bird gets scritches until he falls asleep
picture pops). We wake him up a little so he can climb onto Bruce's chest, where he dozes for a few more minutes. Then I wake him up just enough to take him downstairs again, and he sleeps in his cage. It's taken awhile to get to this point, mind you. A little over a year ago I was regularly leaving Harley clinging to the side of the cage while I crept upstairs in the dark — and you can't imagine the unhappiness on Harley's part, and the guilt on my part, when Bruce was out of town. No doubt we could correlate tornadoes over Kansas with some of Bruce's trips out of town, if only we had the patience to do the research. But while Harley still has his occasional fussy nights, we do
have a routine now, and it's usually pretty easy.
Well, apparently Harley was really
upset that I wasn't home this past weekend. He wouldn't stop moping around on my side of the bed, calling out for me, or fussing, and he refused to go to his cage for bed. Refused. Re. Fused. REFUSED. After several tries, Bruce finally moved the perch usually reserved for the window onto the headboard, and let Harley sleep there.
It turns out that when Harley goes to bed about three or four hours later than normal, he talks in his sleep. Who knew!?! (Bruce couldn't make out any recognizable words, but I'm pretty sure Harley has started practicing "kill all humans." I'll let you know.)
The next two nights, with me still away, were the same. Bruce started letting Harley settle onto the perch on the headboard earlier, though, so he started sleeping a little more soundly, and didn't talk in his sleep so much. Bruce and I discussed the possibility of putting a more permanent sleep option up in our bedroom for future trips — it was that
hard. But we decided to wait and see how the next few days went.
As it turned out, Harley was fine with the normal routine on Sunday night. We all went up to the bedroom, Harley fell asleep to scritches, he climbed up onto Bruce's chest for awhile, I woke him up and took him downstairs, and he climbed right up onto his sleepy perch. To sleep. No clinging to the side of the cage, no "kill kill kill" mumbled under his breath, and no guilt on my part.
Still, we weren't out of the woods yet: Bruce left Monday afternoon for two nights away from home.
Surprisingly, all was fine. Sure, Harley spent a little time moping on Bruce's side of the bed, looking for him. But he settled down soon enough for scritches, he fell asleep, I woke him up to take him downstairs to his cage, and he stepped up onto his perch to settle down for the night. No muss, no fuss, and the world didn't end. So, I don't know what Bruce's problem was! Oh, wait — yes I do: Bruce is much weaker than I am, and he just wasn't prepared to leave Harley clinging to the side of the cage. Assuming, of course, he was able to scrape him off his hand in the first place.
Here's Harley playing with the new toy Bruce brought back for him, because, don't you know, Dad always has to bring back a toy!
The New Finster
Posted on: 08/19/09, 20:47:11 | | link
In the "Can't Let Bruce Go Anywhere By Himself" category, Harley got a pet fish today. So far, his name is Finster, although Harley may decide to change that.
He (she?) is a Betta fish, or Siamese fighting fish. So far, Harley seems to like the tiny tank more than the fish, but that could change, too.
So far, the best
part is the refreshing beverage.
Don't worry, the Fish Finster won't live on Harley's bar!
Posted on: 08/18/09, 19:37:04 | | link
Thanks to our CSA share at Needle-Lane Farms
, we've been eating tomatillo salsa on rolled tacos for a few days. Yum! Unfortunately, this evening we realized we were out of cheese. Well, you can't have that. We spent a few minutes trying to decide who should drive out to Trader Joe's, but finally figured out it was Harley's turn.
Well, Bruce drove and I went into the store. But Harley had a good time.
Don't worry, he was in his backpack during the drives, and that
was belted in for safety.
Clash Of The Titans
Posted on: 08/17/09, 14:25:00 | | link
Have you ever had one of those days when your PMS craziness is happening at the same time as your parrot's extra-crazy birdness? Trust me. It happens. And it isn't pretty.
That's the way today has been going.
It started during the morning bathroom routine, during which Harley wanted nothing to do with his usual activities, and everything to do with New! Something New! What's That?! Is That New?! Can I Drop It Into The Garbage Can?!?! Finally, I pulled out one of our classy storage boxes from under the bathroom sink, and let him go at it for awhile.
This is actually a good toy idea. Dimensions and objects will vary depending on your bird's interests and size, but the general idea is to put the bird on something he can't climb off of, that contains things that will hold his interest for a little while. Specifically, this is a wine carton with the top cut off, partly filled with miscellaneous bathroom stuff that was mostly out of Harley's reach. I was watching him the whole time, but when you try this at home, you'll fill your box with bird-safe toys instead of scissors and extra razor blades, right? For all his hard work, I let Harley chew on the box of band-aids for awhile.
Yeah, next time I'll plan better for this. But still, it's a pretty good toy.
The moodiness continued over lunch time, when Bruce went Upstairs! To The Bedroom! Without Harley! To put some "business casual" attire on so he could meet some people for lunch. Without Harley! Needless to say, Harley's unhappiness was loud and continuous, to the point that I pulled out some sharp knives.
I've already mentioned my ongoing struggles to encourage Harley to eat the whole-grain, organic "food" I lovingly sprout, cook and chop for him every day. Just this week I've decided to substitute cooked grains for sprouted grains. Since Harley and I were on our own for lunch, I sliced up a carrot and a pepper, sauteed them in olive oil and curry powder for a few minutes, added some frozen spinach, some already-cooked buckwheat grains, and pasta sauce from a jar, and set it out for lunch.
Harley liked it pretty well. Here he is hulling some grains of buckwheat. (Yeah, Harley is one of the few big birds I've heard about that hulls his hull-free human-grade grains.) He totally flicked the pieces of pepper away (Can I Drop Them Into The Garbage Can?!?!?), but he ate quite a bit of carrot. So overall, it was a success.
I thought it was okay, although I've been known to eat plain, raw tofu. By choice. So I'm not the best gauge of this sort of thing. Besides, I know where the humans keep the chocolate.
Extreme food close up:
How To Eat Corn, Part 3
Posted on: 08/11/09, 21:32:42 | | link
Or, Bruce Said Two Really Funny Things Today
this is Part 3 in the Harley-eats-corn progression, but I could be wrong. I'm having a hard time searching for things tonight. Whatever.
Harley has decided that one of the best things since toast
is corn on the cob. Here he is, standing on one of his Stand-On-And-Chew toys on the Harley Bar, eating corn on the cob.
Lately, usually, he stands on the kitchen table and eats corn on the cob from one of our plates. But that's a different story. He really likes to eat corn, but a lot of the fun comes from ripping the corn kernels out of the cob.
Bruce says "didn't you notice that it has the consistency of human flesh?"
On a completely unrelated note, earlier today we were discussing the anti-joys of getting older, and I noted that even vegans who practice yoga can get cancer. Bruce's translation: even virgins who have sex with Yoda get cancer.