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23 August 2011


I'm in Minneapolis, takin' care of some business. I was going to post a blog from Keflavik airport on my way here, but their darned wifi was not connected to the internet for some reason. That was my first public wifi blog some years ago and I thought it would be cool to do a repeat.

10 August 2011

Another little birdie passed away

Holly passed away last night, suddenly, as budgies do. Holly is the one on the left above; the one on the right, Pearl, passed some time ago. I think Holly was between 5 and 7 years old. He has some offspring out there somewhere, thanks to a little breeding holiday he took care of Cindy, our friend who used to live near here. Here is our current roll call of birds and other critters:

  • Toby, a white, totally deaf English bull terrier / Jack Russell cross, male, neutered, drama queen, thinks he's a cat
  • Max and Chewy, a pair of gorgeous Blue&Gold Macaws
  • Fred, a cockatoo
  • Leslie and Freddy, a pair of Amazons
  • Four! Hahn's macaws (we now have more Hahn's macaws than budgies) : Han, Vernie, Kermie and Harry (we think they are all males)
  • Three budgies : Bill-or-Ben, Little Bob (who is female, and she made babies with Holly) and Nelson (also female)
We are also temporarily boarding a pair of parrotlets, whom I have provisionally named Oscar and Lucinda. Of course, in truth, all these critters are Lewis's, although I do contribute a bit to their care. Quite a lot to Toby's, almost none at all to Fred, who would rip my hand off if I tried to handle him.
Lewis has been making some forays into the world of web design on behalf of the charity he is an officer of, Soft Landing.

The problem with social media

Well, I am on Google+, have been there a while. Definitely still on Facebook, where truthfully most of my online "activity" occurs. My problem with social media vs. old-fashioned blogging (funny that something becomes really old-fashioned in about 7 years) is one I have not heard expressed a lot. I really took to blogging, because it's sort of like being a self-published author and sort of like being an amateur journalist and sort of like keeping a diary. Social media, even if you post frequently and participate enthusiastically, is nothing like that.

Here's the thing. I just last week submitted my (£900!) application for naturalization as a British citizen. I had to recreate my travel journal for the last 5 years for the proof of residency section. Now obviously the passport is the first place to check. But as an American, I didn't always get a stamp on entering the US, and amongst my UK stamps and one Spain stamp and two Ireland stamps, they are not all that legible. So back when I was posting regularly here, I had a record of my travels, all nicely dated and indexed. But as I lazily moved over to Facebook, well it might be there somewhere, but it's almost impossible to look up and the only way to access it is to page backward literally forever (or however long FB keeps them, and frankly, my paging finger got tired.)
Here's another little gripe that may be almost unique to me: I am on this app for sharing blogs on FB, so this post will go there automatically (I think; of course, FB does keep changing stuff.) But to cross-post to Google+ is a major hassle, and you do wonder if it's worth it.
Blogger and mainly this blog is now an aide memoire for me, and also a memory lane trip, having recorded a lot of major events in my life, like Thanksgivings spent with family, death of most of our pets, birthdays I got to celebrate with Savannah, especially nice meals I cooked or books I read. But from about 2007 onwards, I just haven't been posting enough, and there are gaps in the record. Of course, it's a cop-out for me to blame FB, let alone Google. I just need to proper-blog more.

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