Wednesday, April 22, 2009

I am working on the DVD.

Again, Spielberg should NOT be worried about his job.

This week has already proven to be crazy busy, and I foresee only being more so until after the event on the 30th and the newsletter mailing. Perhaps then, the third week in May, things might become more manageable.

I guess it is good I have little else in my life save for my pets.

Last night--really early this morning--I found myself putting together a new bird cage for Fancy, Smokey, and Madeleine.

One of the four plastic protrusions that hold the bottom of the cage to the top broke off a while ago. I think when I was carting it back and forth. Once the weight of seed shells and such gets to be too much, the bottom falls off. The birds fly across the room. Kashi started barking. And I have a colossal mess to clean up. I have tried to stay ahead of the weight problem, but I don't do a perfect job of monitoring.

When I was off from work in March, I spent some time researching bird cages and discovered a new system that has a seed guard built into the cage. The theory sounded good. However, I find that I sort of resent having to spend so much money on a bird cage. The best price I found was $119 plus 19.99 shipping. Plain cages are not much better. Many cages are two and three times that price...even nearing $1,000 if you get into the California cages. While the California cages are quite substantial, most bird cages are just thin, lightweight metal and plastic. After all, that protrusion was probably a mere 8th of an inch of plastic.

I tabled the idea because I just don't really need to be spending extra money just now. However, two things happened to change my mind: 1) a second protrusion broke and I had to jury rig a solution that included two ring clasps, which make cleaning the cage that much harder and 2) I spotted the very cage I was Googling at my local Petco for a bargain basement $79.

The cage has been sitting on the floor since Thursday. Kashi barks at it. I trip over it. But I've been too busy to do anything about it. So last night, after another fumbling attempt to work on the DVD, I decided to tackle transferring all the perches and such from the old cage to the new one. This time, I was up until the sun began peeking out because of my own darned fault.

My house is a mess. My laundry is piling up. The only real things I have done outside of work is mow the grass, replace the outlet cover (with a shield) on the GFIC circuit outside, and replace the pump on the fountain. I felt guilty about taking the time to do the last two, but an unfortunate electrical meltdown due to rain coming in the old leaky cover fried the pump and hearing the fountain does bring a bit of peace to my world. I was at Lowe's with my boss, so the only real time was the repairs...which I ended up doing late at night with a flashlight and would not recommend repeating when caulk is involved.

I have only worked and slept and worked more for the past few weeks, but I did want to take care of this only because I was loathe to clean up another mess and hoped, rather fervently, that the seed guard system would make for a cleaner floor. [I very much enjoy having two new birds, but I have despaired a bit at the exponentially greater mess three birds generate over just one.]

Well, as I have alluded, the process took far longer than I even anticipated. I had not realized that I had seven wooden perches, two upper food cups, two cuttle bone holders, three curved ladders, three dangle chews with bells, one plain bell, one fuzzy snuggle, one wooden ladder, two rope perches, one lava beak rub, three bars, and three millet clips. Needless to say, removing them, cleaning them, and then putting them on the new cage was time consuming. I also had to figure out (three unsuccessful attempts before victory) how to shorten the interior chain to compensate for the fact that the new cage sticks out further from the wall due to the seed guard and I was not about to remove the hollow-wall-toggle-bolt-hooks screwed into the ceiling. [In case you are wondering, it required three lengths of chain to be removed.]

I believe it is important to note that the bottom of the cage is secured by no less than 10 latches! One could fail on each side and I believe the bottom would still remain attached to the cage!

The new cage also has a peaked roof, which means that the ladders I put back on top are even higher than they were on the old one. Fancy, Smokey, and Madeleine are most happy about that. They always bicker over who gets the highest perch atop the cage and only sleep on the uppermost perches on the inside the cage. I do have to step on a stool to put the millet up now, but I don't really mind the extra effort.

Why, do you ask?

Well, I know it is far too early to be claiming victory over mess, but I am fairly sure that the advertising about the seed guard system was not bunk. The Victorian record cabinet beneath the cage is still clean after clearing the top off when I hung the new cage. The towel beneath the cage is not yet covered in droppings and food scraps. And the floor from the door to the stairs to the green chair to the coat rack is wonderfully, relatively clean!

I did discover something a bit funny this evening when standing on a stool to hang the Momma-come-home-millet spray that now goes with the Momma-come-home-doggy-bone, being eye-to-eye with the birds. Smokey was trying to make his way across the top of the cage, but kept sliding down the peaked slope! I cracked up laughing watching him. He would slip and slide, climb back up and move over, and slip and slide again. This is a learning curve for the birdies that I had not anticipated!

Still, they seem to enjoy the new home and there are three vertical bars across each side of the roof for them to grasp. I moved the wooden ladder so that it now lies across one side of the roof. That way, they have more substantial vertical grips...and the three curved ladders...and two perches. They'll be fine, eh?


Back to the grindstone...

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