Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Can y'all ever shut up so I can hear over here?

If you ever thought you were in in danger, you don't count coups.
Do any of you have any experience with the Grrreat Wall?

I'm thinking of one of these to give Charlie some ground-level play space while he recovers. Remember, he can climb a lot of things. What he can't climb he can chew through.

They're available on eBay. Here's the web address of the manufacturer.

Or could we build one cheaper? What is the name of this type of material for a search?
I'm with Mr. Cosh. Wouldn't the great Alberta lupin fields be spectacular?

Monday, January 29, 2007

Well, hell.

It looks like we'll need to start over again with Charlie.

He's popped his belly again. He goes back in tomorrow.

This time, I'll see if we can avoid stitches, and just confine him to his cage. That collar depresses him so that it might interfere with his healing. Surely birds heal in the wild.

UPDATE: After taking a good look at him, not spotting any infection, she suggested doing just that until his keel is feathered over. He'll still need oral antibiotics, which is not a problem.
I'll bite my tongue about the Edwards' new house as long as Miss Elizabeth doesn't suggest that I dry washing on an outdoor line to reduce global warming.


Friday, January 26, 2007

Just a note, kids. Do not cross a mutant female turning fifty.

Got that?

Not my favorites, Proctor & Gamble, but I've bought you a little time to come around, twits.

You stank up the Trinity River in Dallas. I'm not in the least surprised that you would stink up my house.

Yes, I'm talking to you. As I was talking to the woman checking me out at the grocery, who uses this product, too.

Click here and scroll down to Anti-bacterial Cleaner. Click again

Thursday, January 25, 2007

I have a headache.

There's a reason. I ran all over town looking for the bathroom cleaner I use. It's gone. Off the shelf. So I spent the afternoon sniffing bathroom cleaners.

I'm not happy.

It's a good day in the Gore household.

See, there's sunshine, and no collar.

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

We've seen the sun here for about 10 minutes during the past two weeks.

I finally managed to transcribe the necessaries into the new address book (2-1/2 years old), so it's not all for nought, but the grey days are getting old.

Predictions call for sun on Friday. It will be welcome.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Ahem. I was interrupted literally midstream, tossing some potatoes down the garbage disposal. The town has a water main break.

So let's talk football.

I watched both games yesterday, and am convinced that the Superbowl this year will be a letdown after the Colts/Pats game last night. The Bears aren't in that league, and being in the same bowl with either of those teams would only hurt the Saints' feelings.

Can't explain why, but I have always liked Tony Dungy. He's not a particularly prepossessing man.

I will note that Joseph Addai is an LSU player done good.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Lyman buys groceries. I buy cleaning supplies.

For bathrooms and some other purposes, I use Mr. Clean Anti-bacterial Multi-Purpose Cleaner. It doesn't bother the birds (though I don't use it on their things) and has a light, pleasant scent. I use the blue "Invigorating Breeze" formula, which isn't too sweet or fruity.

When I last ran out, Lyman offered to replace it. He came home with Mr. Clean Multi-Surfaces Cleaner, blue formula.

I opened that today to work on our office. I can't use it. A billowing cloud of noxious sweetness rose from the bucket. I can't bear it, and fear for the birds.

Maybe it can be used outside. It seems to clean well enough, if you can stand the smell.

I gave up using Joy dish liquid because I couldn't stand the new smell. Does someone know what the formulators have done to create these new, cloying odors?

Saturday, January 20, 2007

There's a team. Presto, left, and Beau, right.

Friday, January 19, 2007

I haven't heard from Adler, so I spoke to Butch at Sewing Machine Sales and Service in Jackson, MS. His boss, Mr. Davis, has been in the biz for 42 years. Based on the model number of my machine, he dates it from the late '40s to the early '50s.

What do you think, based on the design?
Far be it from me to criticise my brother.

My heart lifted today when Charlie chose to speak in my presence.

He and Lucy went to the vet together today. The vet removed Charlie's stitches, but suggested that he keep the collar until mid-week next week. Lucy had a trim of flight feathers, beak and toe-nails.

When someone looked in to see them together after all was done, Charlie took up his position beside Lucy, ruffed his feathers and growled for all his worth. He hasn't done that before, and the vet was surprised.

But he hasn't been there with Lucy, either. He looks after her.
My brother has gone round the bend. He's taking in another dog.

This one is a Shih-Tzu/Pomeranian cross named "Beau". He's a little smaller than Yorkie "Presto", and will come from the house down the block from my brother's. The two dogs are happy playmates already.

Beau's current owner has decided to acquire two Dobermans instead. (?)

The same vet attends both dogs, so it's pretty much a matter of moving the food dish. Charles rather hopes Beau will occupy Presto and take some of his greedy neediness away.

UPDATE: My brother's persona is something of the English bachelor uncle. When he said he'd like a dog, I pictured him with a spaniel like Kitchen Hand's Goldie, not two little amphetamine pills.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

Andrew Sullivan features "The View from My Window" on his blog. He posts lovely shots of meadows and cityscapes from readers, sunsets, sunrises.

Here is the view from mine. The worker blew the gutter out when he was on the roof several days ago. It's too cold to go wash it now.
Charlie will not speak to or around me.

But he's dying to talk. I was reading in the back yesterday when Charlie piped up and began chattering, beginning right where he left off with "...good tidings for Christmas..." Lyman was sitting beside him.

He said not another word when I entered the room later.

He sees the vet again tomorrow. I hope the collar can come off then.

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Here's a biographical note on Cynthia Seton.

UPDATE: And here is her last review from the New York Times, January 13, 1985:
A PRIVATE LIFE, by Cynthia Propper Seton. (Norton, $4.95.) In this, Cynthia Propper Seton's fifth and last novel - published in 1982, six months before she died - a woman who is a writer and editor copes with the realities of the new freedoms of the post-1960's era. One of Mrs. Seton's aims was to explain women's stresses and men's difficulties. Critics found the characters in ''A Private Life'' ironic, witty and compassionate.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

We got us some steer-tail soup on the range to combat the chills.

(James Peterson, in Splendid Soups, says most "oxtails" in stores are from steers raised for beef.)

UPDATE: This soup turned out very good. The taste is fuller than I've found with roasts and such. I blew off Mr. Peterson's instructions for straining beyond a first removal of stock vegetables, skimmed the fat, then added freshly cut leeks, carrots, potatoes and turnips to simmer before adding the meat back in. I wanted a sturdy soup, not an elegant one.

I'll be watching for more oxtail recipes. There's a recipe for braised oxtails in the 1963 Good Housekeeping book. That might be next.
At 11 a.m. on Tuesday, it's still 34 degrees with wind. I'm just thankful that this is not downtown Dallas, where the wind drives down the tunnels between office buildings. ::brrrrr::

I didn't go to the library yesterday, so wound up reading an excerpt of Cynthia Propper Seton's I Think Rome is Burning (1962) from a 1963 copy of Nelson Doubleday's Best-in-Books. This particular book is a journal. She was also a newspaper columnist and novelist.

Sharp and funny she was, and I'd like to read more. She was of the same generation as Betty Friedan, educated at Smith, married with five children. Everything she wrote is out of print as far as I can tell.

I wonder if Miss Sarah's mother might have read her? Or Peg?

UPDATE: Down to 33 degrees at 2 p.m., and radar is showing us in the pink (sleet) zone. No precipitation as of yet.

I bought several of Ms. Seton's books from used bookstores through Amazon. Some were as low as $.01, with $3.49 shipping. Not at all bad.

Monday, January 15, 2007

At 6:30 or so this morning the temperature was 66 degrees with rain.

Right now it's at 42, with a mix of rain and sleet expected for the night and morning. A nasty day.

Our 13th anniversary was on Saturday. We did nothing special. If you'd told me 13 years ago that I'd spend last week looking into the making of "parrot pallets," I'd have cocked my eyebrow and possibly said something profane. At this point, I just wonder why it didn't come up sooner.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

I tossed a small pack of Doctor's BrushPicks into each of the boys' Christmas stockings just to let them try a product they hadn't used before.

I hadn't either.

That bristly end is a nifty little dental tool. It tickles the gums and feels good.
I have just finished reading I Am Charlotte Simmons by Tom Wolfe.

I have also read nearly 500 reader reviews at the Amazon site, and about 15 reviews by professional reviewers.

Not once have I seen anyone bring up the other Thomas Wolfe, the North Carolinian of Look Homeward, Angel fame.

I am not so sure that you can "get" the one's book without reading the other's.

In this era of Google searches, if I were the talented writer that Tom Wolfe is, I'd have to play with the confusion of names.

Saturday, January 13, 2007

If you've feared that Charlie won't recover his speech faculties, rest your mind.

He's talking on the sneak, when he thinks no one can hear. Lyman went to the store yesterday while I was lying down for a nap. Charlie chattered away while Lyman was gone.

Friday, January 12, 2007

My sewing machine has been in my keeping for about 25 years. I bought it second-hand to replace the one I left in New York. It's one of the last of the Adler home sewing machines, which dates it no later than 1961. It's nearly as old as I am if it's not just my age.

Its body is painted steel. According to my bathroom scale it weighs 35 pounds.

And it's working fine, thank you. As am I. Sewing is, I think, something like riding a bicycle. Without the sweat.
Charlie keeps the collar for another week.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Lucy laid another egg on 1/11/07.

That's three this month. She needs a trip.


Machine washable, upholstery-style fabric from Wal-Mart for parrot cushions -- $2 a yard.

The vet suggested putting some pads down where Charlie lands when he jumps, to protect his keel. I can do an overlap closure to avoid hardware.

Wednesday, January 10, 2007


Here is another photo taken with the Vivicam. It is at lowest resolution and zoomed. This little camera is better than the other one.

Poor Charlie. The vet will check his stitches on Friday.

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

I have my new camera in hand. It's a cheap little Vivicam 6330s, which is a more than adequate replacement for the missing Gateway.

This photo is at a much higher resolution than I usually use, and I used the zoom.

Cost $120 at Office Depot. Only one thing, this one uses a rechargeable lithium battery where the other used two AAs. Good for the environment, likely, but bad for convenience.

Them's hired hands in the picture. They can do in two hours what it would take me three weeks to do.

Sunday, January 07, 2007

Lucy laid another egg at 7:31 this evening.
Charlie has made it clear that he will obey, but he will not speak to me until the collar comes off.

I sang his favorite personal ditty to him yesterday. He looked me straight in the eye and tugged at his collar. Not a word.

I know exactly how he feels.

When I was about two, I slipped supervision and was hit by a car. After ten or so days in the hospital, mother had me on her lap as my father drove us home. I was bandaged and uncomfortable. I wouldn't look at her or speak to her. My discomfort was her fault.

She wasn't to blame. She was outside talking to a neighbor. There were half a dozen older kids in the yard, and I was with my sister behind an ice cream truck across the narrow asphalt street when I bolted as fast as a two-year-old can, right into the path of an oncoming car.
Testing a little flamenco music today.

I grew up with a flamenco album, but we (my brother and I) can't remember the artist. It would have been early to mid 60's.

Speaking of make-up, I have touted bareMinerals products since I discovered them. They are light, sheer and cool in the summer.

But not everyone can afford them. A young woman who was here over the holidays uses comparable Neutrogena products.

The applicator is clever. A flick or two of the wrist brings the powder into the brush, so there is no mess and no waste.

Here's a source showing price and user reviews.
Oh, all right, already!

I replaced the bulb in my bedside table lamp with a compact fluorescent bulb equal to a 100 watt incandescent. I read in bed. In fact, the beds are the only comfortable places in the house to read.

The color of light is just fine under the linen shade. That bulb is a Powerhouse soft white. As lights in this house go, it is the most used apart from the office lights (fluorescent tubes) and recessed cans in the kitchen. There are CF can lights available. We're contemplating how to use those.

There are three-way CFs. I can use one of those in the "Lucy lamp." As the incandescents go out in the guest rooms, we'll replace those with CFs.

Bathroom lights here are not used much, and I'm keeping incandescents in those. That's where I apply make-up when I wear it. I might share Al's name, but I don't want to share his colors.

UPDATE: What we don't have here is a facility to deal with the mercury content of these bulbs when it comes time for disposal.

Saturday, January 06, 2007

Call up Matt Welch at this number for a good time.

Friday, January 05, 2007

Charlie went back to the vet today to have his collar trimmed, a shot of antibiotics, and a fluid injection to help offset his blues-based loss of appetite.

He has been awfully frustrated because he couldn't get food to his mouth from his foot. He prefers not to eat directly from a dish if it can be avoided. We hope the light trim will enable him to manage.

His belly is healing very nicely.

My shoulder is going out from dragging the 25 lb. cage around. I'd have to break his wings to get him into the Pet Pocket.
Low dog.

My little digital camera, the one smaller than a cigarette pack, has been missing since the night of the Christmas party. Michael asked if they could borrow it for the evening.

After trying to track it, he thinks it might have been pocketed by an unknown young man who came with a friend of a friend. Everyone chipped in to replace it with one that's probably better, if inexpensive.

What's with these little #!%*!$&% who steal at parties? Friends of ours missed crawfish-cooking tools after throwing a reception for newlyweds.
Lucy laid her first egg of the year on the evening of January 4.

Charlie spoke two words as we prepared to put him up for the night: a whispered "Sweet kiss."

Thursday, January 04, 2007


My poor little birdie boy. He still hasn't said a word.

Looks something like the famous count, doesn't he? (That's x-ray film used as the collar.)

UPDATE: Many posts ago, so long that I won't look it up, I referenced an article about a rock band called "Hatebeak." One of the members was a grey owner, and would build songs around the grey's screeches. The bird didn't perform with the band. On his own time, he'd whistle Andy Griffith's theme song.

This photo looks like art for "Hatebeak."

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Watching the Sugar Bowl this evening.

Brady Quinn of Notre Dame is as pretty a boy as a mother could ask for. My, my.

As an LSU fan, I had my fill of pretty boys before this game started today. Do the initials NS mean anything to you?

UPDATE: Is this to be a game of challenges? Notre Dame is Catholic, and plenty of LSU is Catholic, so it looks like a game of Jesuit lawyers. These I know. Lyman is a graduate of Loyola.
Stitches today, and several of them, on Charlie's keel.

An old kitty had to be put down at the office today due to renal failure. A stalwart old couple brought the box out with them and put it in the back seat of their car. Looks like they'll take her home, bury her, and have a good cry.

UPDATE: This evening, Charlie ate and drank water, which is a sight better than last night. He's confined to the cage for a day or two so he doesn't push too hard or go bump.
I'd say that right about now we should be thankful that Charlie does not curse. This morning I'd get an earful with my coffee.

Or is the silent treatment more effective?

He didn't sing "We wish you a Merry Christmas" this morning. Or anything else for that matter.

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

We're back from the vet.

The lesion on Charlie's chest reopened, possibly because of ingrown feathers. After trimming away feathers, and pulling away the scab, the damned thing is about half the size of a dime.

They fitted him with an Elizabethan collar that is driving him mad, but it has to be done. He'll need stitches in a day or two, and he'll pick them right out without it.

She gave him a shot and did a topical treatment in case of infection.

UPDATE: Poor little Charlie. What did he ever do to deserve that collar, he wonders.

Monday, January 01, 2007

Kids in the neighborhood got one of these for Christmas. Ain't that cool?

(Except for the reviews from parents who say the balls fall apart.)