Saturday, June 26, 2010

Car Seat

Here is Manzi's new car seat. I have to bribe him with an almond to get him to stay on it. He is not afraid of it and within five minutes of me making it, he was standing on it. I haven't tried it out with him in the car. It buckles nicely into the seat and I would put newspapers or a towel under him and that way he doesn't have to be locked up in his small travel cage for long car rides. People have expressed concern over Manzi flying around inside the car. Often, I would let him out of his travel cage and he would hang out on top, but would go to the bathroom off the side, which is very inconvenient. I am not worried about him flying around and if he does, I can easily attach his leg leash so he has to stay on the perch. Even if a cage is large and a perch is small, he would prefer to be out on a perch any day over being in a cage.
About someone to watch Manzi: Yesterday I got a great lead from my neighbor. I will check it out later this week and see if it is a match.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Completely off topic

The other day I was having a conversation with two friends, both of whom had two young children. One friend had to have her mom watch her kids for a week. This led to a discussion of the convenience of having parents around to watch their grandchildren, but also of the fact that the grandchildren always need to be re-trained upon returning home.
Why do grandparents do that to their children's children? Revenge? Wanting to be a favorite? A question asked was, "When do they go from thinking 'the child needs to eat his dinner before getting ice cream' to 'let's give him ice cream and dinner at the same time and let him decide what he prefers?'" I found this extraordinarily funny. It is true that before we become grandparents, we can have some common sense about children. I wonder why all grandparents behave in the same way. It makes me think that I might not escape the loss of reasoning. Maybe instead it is all a conspiracy theory to make their children pay for the suffering they caused.
Another child I know used to throw bad temper tantrums. The child's grandmother would watch her for a week at a time. Once, when the child, mother and grandmother were all together, the child threw a temper tantrum. To this, the grandmother exclaimed, "She never behaves that way with me!" There was certainly a reason for this. The grandmother gave the child everything she could possibly want, so there was never a reason to throw a tantrum. It seemed like for every week that she watched the child, another week was needed to re-train the child.

Morale of this story: Think of how much problems your children give you. Write them down and remember them. Then when they have children of their own, conveniently throw out any logic reasoning and your grandchildren will adore you.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Manzi flying

I did end up taking Manzi outside again, but didn't have someone to film. Manzi finally began doing tricks in the air again. He used to do tricks all the time, such as dives, quick turns, etc. But since I've been taking him out this year, he has done none of that and instead is just flying in large circles making clumsy landings. His flight skills are coming back rapidly and he is going to be an expert acrobatic soon.

I haven't taken Manzi out since Monday afternoon and am not sure when I can take him out again. I have been getting more and more sick. Hopefully I feel better soon so we can enjoy the outdoors.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Leaving again

As of right now, I plan on leaving to France for six months starting at the end of August. I am very worried about Manzi. Four people have told me they will watch Manzi as a "last resort." Well, one of the four actually said, "last, last resort." He is quite the handful as he can be loud, demanding, moody, messy and once in your care, you can never leave anywhere for more than a couple of days unless you find someone to take care of him while you're gone. On a positive note, usually within a couple weeks of me being gone, he transfers all of his love for me to the new caretaker (in the case of a couple, he has transferred his love to the wife and his anger to the husband). Manzi can be loud, but he is not nearly as loud as many other parrots and at night, once he is covered he is quite until he is uncovered in the morning.

Anyway, I am not sure what to do. All of the people who will watch him as a last resort, are not willing to take Manzi out of his cage due to their fear of him. I doubt Manzi would do well being locked up for six months. I was hoping to find someone so excited about watching Manzi that they think I am doing them the favor by choosing them. I am willing to pay. The problem with paying is that if they really don't like Manzi, only an exorbitant amount of money would be worth the trouble. And if they really do like Manzi, then the money is really of little importance.

If any has recommendations or offers, please comment.

Next item on the list:
Manzi is doing great flying outdoors. He is still very rusty with his flight skills, but he is getting better very quickly. I will take Manzi outdoors again today. Maybe I can even make a short video.

Hercules is doing great. After being back only a week, his weight has jumped up. I have been taking him out to the park to get some exercise and he is loving it.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Hercules found

Hercules was found!!!

My neighbor called and said he saw Hercules walking in the grass about a few hundred feet from where I had last seen him. Now he is safely back in his yard enclosure (10' by 6'). I will still take him out every day, but I am going to try a new method. Besides trying not to take my eyes off him, someone suggested taping a helium balloon to his back while he is out to make it easy to spot him.

It is just in time as I was about to print out another 100 color flyers to post later on today.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Lost Hercules (tortoise)

Last Tuesday I lost Hercules. I like to take him to the huge grassy area in our apartments when it gets warm to let him run around. While outside for an hour, I decided to bring Manzi out too and let him fly around. Manzi did great and was staying quite close to me the entire time. But after Manzi being out for 5 minutes, I had forgotten to check on Hercules and by that time, I couldn't find him. A few neighbors were out with me and they helped me search the nearby bushes for two hours. Later that afternoon some friends came over and helped me look for another two hours. He can move quite quickly and steadily, which allows him to cover a large area in not too much time.

So far, I have posted 165 flyers. A big problem is that on three sides the apartments are surrounded by fields of trees and scrubs. If he gets into those fields, he will be impossible to find. I have also called the SPCA, the police department, local vets and animal rescues. I have posted ads on Craigslist and on a couple of "lost pet" websites. I hope I find him. I am very worried that he will get run over by a car.

Also, since there are so many people in our apartment area, I am thinking that maybe somebody already found him and picked him up. If so, I just need to find that person. I put so many signs up around the apartments that it will be impossible for someone to not see a sign.

A neighbor suggested a scent dog. That would be great because they would be able to follow his trail, but unfortunately I could not find any that were available. I called the sheriff to ask them and they suppressed a laugh. Having a scent dog would be very nice right now.

My neighbors and friends are great since they've spent so much time helping me search for him and putting up flyers with me. Hopefully it works in helping Hercules get back home.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Free Flying Again!!!!

And he's off!!!

Today was Manzi's 2010 debut. He was so excited to fly outside again. He did a few recalls and then took off in big circles stretching his wings. Manzi's first few landings were pretty bad due to landing on weak branches or just missing completely. He didn't fly as fast as normal nor did he do very many acrobatics, but he did play in the trees. Also, Manzi did about 5 recalls before I finally took him in. We're going to go again tomorrow. Hopefully we'll see the same success.

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