Friday, May 30, 2008

I won the lottery!

0 of 4 w/Bonus $5

Thursday, May 29, 2008

How Elusive?

I've watched most of the series Coupling since we got BBCA. Jane is annoying, but she's also My Heroin at about 1:45.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

To Do Update

I've been at this "summer" thing for 20 days now. How is it going? Oh, its going allright...

1. Clean my house.
I keep cleaning the kitchen, only to turn around and cook dinner. I've tackled the living room, but that's about it.

2. Mega-Organizing.
Which means, of course, this is not even started. I guess the yard sale sort of counts, but not really.

3. Bird Training
videos and toys still have not arrived. Reducing the lighting from 7 hours to 5 hours has helped with the attitude and biting ALOT! Thank you internet people.

is daunting. I finally did two pages yesterday, but my printer is out of ink and all the extra stuff i bought is expired and dried out. Frick! Also, 3 billion cute pictures of my baby brother, where to start?!?!?

5. I plan to read this summer. Books. Novels. Space-Operas. The kind you read for fun, with no homework-related guilt. Lots of books.

6. I'll leave for the Great State of Misery probably on the 26th of June, or maybe the 20th...or something. I haven't really nailed it down yet. I'll be scrapbooking with my mom on the 29th and 30th at least, though.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Worth It.

Worth It.

Getting bitten, shat upon, screeched at.

Cleaning blackberry poop stains off the floor.

Loads of cash for new toys never used, re-used ones are more fun.

Banana slime on my nice black t-shirt.

Waking up early to honor his sleep schedule.

Totally Worth it.

Fluffed up neck feathers, trying to whistle back.

Flew around the room three times, now wings are stuck in the "Up" position.

Belly feathers sticking through the cage bars from sleeping in the new coziest spot.

Chatters at his dish of vegetables.

First morning step-up, still surprised at how his feet feel.

Totally totally worth it.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

His Lordship the Tyrranical Conure

I posted this at, for some advice...

Lately, I can't leave Rigel in his cage for two moments to use my computer, clean my kitchen, eat, or even to use the bathroom without him going with screeching as if I have left him alone for three days with no food and HOW DARE I BE AWAY! So that now I have to use my laptop in the other room, because if I let him out while I use it he will perch on it and become very possessive of it.

Also when I let him out, he jumps directly for my neck sometimes, but usually bites my hand. He's never drawn blood until now. Then he becomes the angel and cuddles like nothing happened.

Thing is, I can't figure out what has changed to make him this way. Maybe it is just because he's a year old now, maybe it is because he can fly now. I can't change the first, and I really don't want to change the other. I thought it would be so great that I could spend more time with him since I'm out of school this summer, and I almost feel like me being here more often is what is pissing him off and making him think I HAVE to be here ALL the time. Nothing else about his environment has changed.

*sigh* The clicker training kit arrives soon, right? It will help him feel more enriched and improve his mood, right?

Real Human Conversation

Today I had a real, human, face-to-face conversation. Summer makes it hard to do this, with all my college friends at home in other towns, and all my home friends at home where I'm not at (yet!). I guess I've had a few "conversations" while buying things, but that maybe doesn't count much, since that is more "customer service."

I went out and bought some fitness clothes at Ross's, and stopped by Zucchini's for a cool lunch. Eating alone in public is awkward, but I wasn't the only one sitting by myself in a booth. That makes it more awkward, of course, because now you are facing someone you don't know. You can either look down at your food the entire time, stare strangely at a stranger while eating, or start a little chat.

We talked about the heat, different places to get good salads, how I'm just starting to ride a bike in this horrible heat.

"Well, it's definitely good for your health"..."Yeah, unless I die of heat stroke...hhahaha,"

We compared the various coffee shops, and there's a new Starsucks going in next to the Cheddar's. I don't think they will do well with Texas Coffee Co. and Baker's Street so nearby, even though the Hastings is moving further away.

I bemoaned the lack of a real farmer's market in town, since I only knew about the one that sells pumpkins, honey, chili peppers, potted plants, and tacky steer-shaped Christmas lawn decorations. She set me straight. There is one downtown at the Fort Concho parking lot! lists the dates, times, locations, and what produce is in available each month.

So it was a pleasant and productive "real" conversation, and I really needed that. Also, the chocolate muffin was good.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Ride #3: Leaving the Comfort Zone

I have been looking for the best route to get from home to school, wavering on which busy road I will brave (Sunset or Johnson), when I noticed (on the map) a way to avoid both, so I took it. I'm really glad I did, too. I've never been down that road and it is really pretty scenery! As long as I finally get it in my head to turn at the right road down the line, I will have a really great morning route. :) I ended up all over the place in those curvy non-connecting streets near the college, which is really frustrating, but I always get lost around there by car.

Equipment Malfunctions:
The seat went all wonky on me again! I have a powerful ass, indeed. I took it easy the rest of the way, but as soon as I parked and got off the bike, I heard a tink and one of the screws for the rack came right out! It was difficult for the bike guys to get in when they installed it, so hopefully they will have a way to fix it for me. I put the screw away and tried to work on the seat. The quick release was for sure clamped all the way down, but I tried tightening the screw/bolt/whatever thing with my hand and then I could not get the quick release to clamp on again! I loosened what I tightened and things seemed to work out for now, as it didn't fail me on the way home. As I finished up in the computer lab, I realized I left both my lights on. Doh!

I can summarize the trip to the grocery store like so: If I ever find the city planner who decided that the majority of all streets in this town do not need to be through streets, I will string him up by his toenails. That is all.

I am pretty excited to say I rode back from HEB on College Hills and Sunset and did not feel like I was going to be run over. I did learn that the manual is right, and you should not move more than one gear at a time, and that I should also not try to do this as I cross an intersection. People understood my Oh Shit! face and the not pedaling, so I did not get honked at or anything. I got off the road and put the chain back onto its path and continued on to the intersection where I had to cross into the left-turn lane, and that went smoothly. Well, except the car waiting behind me honked once. I disregard their opinion because I would not have attempted to make that gap even if I was in a car. Cranky Wanker. Things were okay going up Sunset until I got close to the Knickerbocker intersection, where it gets steep. I stopped and was going to rest at the light, but it turned and I almost went but my legs and lungs gave out. I got off the road and walked at the crosswalk on my wobbly legs. I would have rested under the tree for a little while longer, but I had dairy products to protect and it was 96 degrees and I was almost home.

Overall Estimated Distance: 8.0 miles (12.9km)

Last thought: The carry bag was way to small to hold even 5 smallish grocery items. I must find a better way.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Editing with Picnik



Monday, May 19, 2008

Bike Ride #2

Summary of Ride #1:

Ride #2:

First, a complaint, because I'm so good at those. Can they find a more comfortable way to attach helmets to our heads? Like nails, or staples? Because I'm not all into the bondage/choking thing. Mkay?

Moving on.

Here is a lesson learned for you. After riding in the rain, you should dry off your bike. I learned this because, during rigorous pedaling, my seat would move in all directions. You may understand this was disconcerting. I rode back home and sacrificed a dish towel to dry off the seat post and I think the problem went away. I'm really glad I decided to stay in the neighborhood, instead of trying a route to the school. That would have been a bad time to go wobbling around.

I got the new lights and the mirror mounted and they worked pretty well. The front light did a great job of showing me how wobbly I was riding!

I do have a request for whoever makes bike parts: turn signals and brake lights. WTF with primitive hand signals?!?!

That is all. For Now

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Because You Care, Probably...Maybe

Today I bought the bike. They had white, blue, and orange. The white was being sold when I walked in, so I went with the orange. Why not?

Turns out I walked in right as they were getting ready to close, but the woman buying the white bike was very needy, and kept coming up with more stuff for them to put on her bike, and even had them deliver it to her house. I had them put on a rack and also got a helmet and rack bag. I should have also gotten the front basket and a set of lights especially. The rack covered up the rear reflector, which is a wee bit of a problem. I'll probably ride it around the neighborhood during the daytime for a week and then go back for the lights at least.

Did I mention I walked there, stopped at the coffee shop for some lunch, and rode back in the rain? I guess I had to ride in the rain eventually, might as well get it over with today. The ride wasn't too bad, except the sensors at the one light I had to go through did not register me and I had to wait for a car to come along to trip the signal. While I sat in the rain.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Another Wildly Stupid Idea by Me

I have planned a kinda crazy route in order to get my new Electra Townie bicycle from Concho Bike to my apartment. Why? Because I'm to chicken to drive strait down Knickerbocker on a bicycle, duh. Ohhh...Why a bike?

1) I had a bike a few years ago that I rode to work a few times until I left it there for months. Lets just say I bought that bike at Wal-Mart (root of all evil), and the bruises on my ass(area) from the uncomfortable seat and riding position could be shown as proof. This bike is made for commuting, and best of all it is made so you can put your feet flat on the ground while sitting, and comes in a variety of sizes. SHORT PEOPLE REJOICE!!!!

2) My car has served me well. I bought it 3+ years ago for $5000 without financing. It is now 11 years old, and I fear it will any day fall to a problem that will cost more than I can afford to fix it. I cannot afford to buy another car if this happens, unless I want some falling-apart and polluting junker, or to go into debt for a car. Not an option, as I do not have a permanent/long-term job and I will not go into debt. Anyway, a smaller car would be better for me, since nobody else rides with me, so what little gas I buy is being wasted A LOT. Also, I just forked over $140 for a new seatbelt, and it just emphasized all the maintenance costs, gas, insurance, and annual registration fees that mean I'm still paying for this car in some way.

3) I don't go very far, so a bike is a reasonable, healthy and earth-friendly way for me to get around town. I can add a rack and pick up two bags of groceries on the way home from school. It will also keep me from buying stuff I don't need, since I won't be able to carry it, or get to Hobby Lobby or Target anymore. I plan/hope to be able to sell the car after the summer is over and I'm used to the bike. We'll see.

And tomorrow, I'm going to chicken out and not buy the bike. Or I will buy it, you are all going to shake your head and think "There goes another one of TJ's Lame Hippie Ideas." Like that one time I bought a Tablet PC.

Polarized Shirmp Vision

Funky Shrimp Vision helps them get Funky
or as Professor White says, "...for the four fs: feeding, fighting, fleeing and...flirting."
The two scientists have shown that shrimp of the species Gonodactylus smithii have eyes that simultaneously measure four linear and two circular polarisations, enabling them to determine both the direction of the oscillation, as well as how polarised the light is.

A Storm of Comments!!!

The craziness must stop! AAahhhh!!! Three whole comments in as many weeks!!! Of course, I just found out, as I neglect to check my gmail very often, and these are on older posts. My responses:

Dear Baba Wayo,

Unfortunately, I gave up on the tablet PC. It is sitting in a box until I get around to scouring it of personal info and selling it at a yard sale. GoBinder wasn't really the problem in the end. The constant noise level of the fans during class, and the feeling like I was staring into a tiny window to write on just got to be too much. Also, it did not effect reducing my backpack load, since I can't download my textbook onto it and still READ my textbook while taking notes.

Short Story: It just became a pain in the ass, and a huge disappointing waste of money. People thought it was cool, though...*sigh*

Dear Beakerann,

The title of the book is called, I shit you not:

"Reflections on a Gift of Watermelon Pickle"

Watermelon pickle sounds more appealing each and every time I read the words...mmmmmmmm

Dear Stewie (here's Stewie Blog, can he train Rigel to type without chewing off the keys?!?!?!)

All is well, and Rigel sends his thanks for belated hatchday wishes. I haven't been around Birdboard much since I've been busy, except that I put up a long-ish post looking for help with ants, which quickly got buried and ignored. I have some other questions I need to get around to asking, which I will try to keep short (ha!). I'm hesitant to keep posting questions, since I don't post *look what my birdy did cute* stuff there since I have a blog for that... it makes me seem a bit needy and not very fun. In my own mind, anyway.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Mommy's Day

TanyaNewborn #2Newborn MattNewborn Jesse
Pro PhotoTanya Matt Mom

Our Matriarchy
4 Generations of Women

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Bla Bla Bla....

Still no word on my final grade in Physics 2. Suck.

I had to replace my driver's side seatbelt, which was going to cost an arm and three legs. Luckily, I go to the same place all the time and they are super-nice and I saved $40 off my bill. While waiting for them to diagnose the problem on Monday, I discovered the new River Valley Coffee and Cafe downtown. I was so hungry for breakfast that I would have eaten cardboard, but luckily this was much better AND YOU MUST GO THERE AND EAT! Yesterday while waiting for them to finish my car, I stopped by D'Vine Wine for the first time. I was unaware that they made their own wine on site. I had a Wine Rita....a frickin' wine was very good. Then I had to walk back to the coffee shop for some lunch.

For today's activities, I started with a yard sale "organized" by the apartment management. By "organized" I mean they told us what day to do it, and maybe put up signs. Participation was low, and I didn't get out there until 9:30 so I missed some sales opportunities. I made $35, which will go to buying grass mat or bamboo window treatments for my living and dining rooms. I'm off to goodwill now, to drop off some unsold items, and then to Tuesday Morning to find those window treatments, and then to the grocery store for some sour cream for tacos. Mmmm tacos.....I'm so hungry....

Eh. I forgot the box of stuff for Goodwill, and there were no good window coverings at Tuesday Morning

But the tacos were totally good, and now I'm full.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

To Do List: Summer

This past week, I joined my classmates in ritualistic self-torture. We shoved the knowledge of 4 months into our poor brains, and then yesterday we sat down and turned our heads, so that the knowledge would oooozzzeee out of our ears and onto the Sacred Final. Some of it ended up on the floor.

And then I slept for 14 hours.

The results are partially in, and I have a B in Calculus 3. Physics is still pending, but I woke up this morning with my right hand representing magnetic field, current, and force, and then I realized that I mentally had the field going out of the page on the final. Fucks.

I have plans, and half a summer to get around to them.

1. Clean my house.
For real, people, this place is a general pigsty, and I have no clean socks.

2. Mega-Organizing.
Now that the cleaning is done, I'm all into giving shit away and discovering stuff I've been looking for (like socks) and re-discovering sentimental items (like underwear). That box of cables and that pile of cables and that device over there, they need to find each other. The closets aren't exactly overflowing, but its not like I can find anything in there.

3. Bird Training
Since I'm out of school for a few months, it is time to give a certain unrestrained parrot a few lessons. He's got "be adorable" and "bite me" down already. I think we'll start with "stop shitting on me" and move up to "do not chew on the laptop power cord." We'll see.

I am very excited. This will be a scrapbook for my mom, sort of a Mother's Day/Birthday gift that she has to help me with. I got this pretty paisley paper (btw I HATE paisley and this stuff is gorgeous, so there you go) and punch-out set. I still need to find a book, but I'll place the pictures and leave room for Mom to do the journaling. FUN!!

5. Speaking of books.
I plan to read this summer. Books. Novels. Space-Operas. The kind you read for fun, with no homework-related guilt. Lots of books.

6. HOoooommmmeee Home on The Range...
I'll leave for the Great State of Misery probably on the 26th of June, and return to Big Texass on the 6th or 7th of July. Becky wants to go bowling in KC for her birthday, and after that the whole trip is up in the air. Mostly there will be food, coffee, alcohol, and blowing shit up. Probably in that order.

There goes half the summer....bye-bye fun...

7. Back to School
I registered for Technical Writing in the second summer term, and then it is back to school full-time in the Fall. Four courses, two with time for sleep.