Monthly Archives: February 2008

Calling All Grey Cheek and other Brotogeris Lovers!

I was recently elected Membership Director of the Brotogeris Society International. We are a group of pet owners, breeders, and enthusiasts who love the Brotogeris parrot species. This species includes the Grey Cheek Parakeet, Orange Chinned Parakeet (both of whom you can see in the main mast photo above), the Canary Winged, White Winged, and Golden Winged Parakeets, and the Tui Parakeet. Our goal is to spread knowledge of the species and encourage the conservation of these little gems. We publish a quarterly journal with stories, photos, and articles written by our members.

If you are a Brotogeris enthusiast, please consider joining our club! We are always looking for articles and other content about your Brotos for our journal. You don’t have to be a professional writer; we can help you edit your stories.

Just go to , click on the “application for membership” button and follow the instructions.

If you would like to see a free sample of our journal, leave a comment on this blog and I will email you a .pdf file of our colorful December issue.



Filed under Birds, Brotogeris Society


Those wise ones who see that the consciousness within themselves is the same consciousness within all conscious beings, attain eternal peace.

The Upanishads

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Filed under Seeking, Spirituality

Advice from HAL


Filed under Humor

Adventures with GPS

My husband has discovered portable GPS (global positioning system) technology. This is a little box you can put in your car that speaks to you and tells you where you are and how to get where you want to be.

He is absolutely entranced by them (he actually owns two of them, a Garmin Nuvi and a TomTom). Before he goes to bed at night, he fiddles with the GPS; when he comes home, there’s the GPS again in his hot little hands. He doesn’t speak to me or hear what I am saying, that’s the hold these little machines have on him (of course he does hear the little voice of the GPS which comes in both male and female versions). I know it’s temporary and will pass, but it seemed like good blog fodder.

Besides loneliness for the non-GPS leaning spouse, here are some other things that go on once a GPS is actually used while driving:

Blabber – I asked Bill to turn off the machine’s speech yesterday as we were driving to Pasadena. Everytime I opened my mouth, the machine would literally interrupt me with some bit of information not strictly necessary, like repeating an instruction every 1/4 mile or so. I know-it’s just a machine but it really pissed me off! I found myself unreasonably insulted that this woman in a box wouldn’t let me speak to my husband. I’m not a jealous person, but this made me wonder…

Interesting accents – these machines give you a choice not only of male and female voices, but also different accents. Currently, the Nuvi has an Australian fellow (named “Lee” by the software writers) and he is amazingly easy to understand; I like Lee. The TomTom has a regular American English female on it right now (I hate her, that husband-stealing bitch).

Inability to pronounce foreign street names – as you may know, a lot of things out here in California have Spanish names. The streets in my particular tract are ALL in Spanish. Some of the letters in Spanish have different sounds than English. For instance, if you see the letter “L” doubled in a word, it is a unique Spanish letter that sounds like an English letter “Y”. And the letter “H” is silent in Spanish. For example “Calle Hogar” would be pronounced “Ka yay Oh gar“. However, Lee the Australian virtual navigator has a lot of trouble with this. He believes the name of the street is “Call Hogger”. I found that absolutely hilarious the first time I heard it. Also a street named “Rojas” where the “J” sounds like an “H” in Spanish is pronounced “Rajiss” by Lee (it should be “Ro haas”). Not as funny, but still amusing.

The ding – On the Nuvi, a ding is sounded as an attention getter before instructions are spoken. It is identical to the ding you hear on a jet before takeoff when they want you to listen closely before a safety announcement. So the first few times I heard the ding on the GPS, I was compelled to recite the mantra “Please turn off your cell phone and extinguish all smoking materials now”. The ding has now been muted.

Getting there – The system actually works. Sometimes it maps out a route that is circuitous instead of taking a known shortcut, but it seems that you will get to your destination most of the time (I’d still keep a mapbook in the car though – you never know if that pesky satellite you’re locked on to will be obstructed or whatever it is that happens when the GPS announces that it has lost the satellite).

So, now you know the hazards and pitfalls involved when your spouse catches the GPS bug. Take precautions now and do not let him or her wander into electronic stores alone. Monitor their internet usage and lock out inappropriate electronic sales websites. You will be glad you did.


Filed under Humor, Life, Musings, Travel

Bathing Beauty

My friend Kathleen and her husband Jerry have a lovely little greycheek boy named Pekabo. She takes lots of pictures of him and recently took this series of him bathing. It’s rather hilarious that with all the selection of bowls Peak has to choose from, he crams himself into the smallest one available! We don’t understand this behavior, but my orangechinned Broto does the same thing – it’s the tiny water dish or bust.

The bath:

The blow dry:


Filed under Birds

Ronaldo’s Question

I got recruited by Xerox Corporation to be a Technical Representative while I was attending college (a Technical Representative is the person who comes to your office and repairs your Xerox copier). Each hiree for technical employment was required to attend Xerox training in Leesburg,Virginia. There was a huge campus there where people from all over the world trained for their future roles at Xerox.

My boyfriend Rich got a job at Xerox about 6 months before I did. While he was at Xerox training in Leesburg, he met a Brazilian fellow who was training on the same model copier and was in his class. This young man’s name was Ronaldo and he was a hilarious character. Ronaldo had a fiancee back at home, but this didn’t stop him from looking at the other female attendees (as far as I know, he never touched, only looked). His accented Portugese-accented English was truly endearing and he had these brown puppy dog eyes that would bring out the mother in you. He was (and probably still is, I haven’t heard from him in over 20 years) a huge flirt.

Anyway, there is an oldie from the 80s I hear on the radio from time to time by Patrick Hernandez called “Born to be Alive”. Unfailingly when I hear this song I am reminded of old fun times, Xerox school, my old boyfriend (and still good friend) Rich, and also Ronaldo. The reason for this is that when Ronaldo first heard this song, he said to Rich “Reech – why ees thees song called ‘Bored to be Alive’? I’ma never bored with life.'”

I guess you had to be there.


Filed under Humor, Lyrics, Musings

Los Angeles Driver’s Manual


1. You must first learn to pronounce the city name, it is L A.

2. The morning rush hour is from 5:00 a.m. to noon. The evening rush hour is from noon to 7:00 p.m. Friday’s rush hour starts on Thursday morning.

3. The minimum acceptable speed on most freeways is 85 mph. On the 105 or 110, your speed is expected to match the highway number. Anything less is considered “Wussy.”

4. Forget the traffic rules you learned elsewhere. L A has its own version of traffic rules. For example, cars/trucks with the loudest muffler go first at a four-way stop; the trucks with the biggest tires go second. However, in Malibu, SUV-driving, cell phone-talking moms ALWAYS have the right of way.

5. If you actually stop at a yellow light, you will be rear ended, cussed out, and possibly shot.

6. Never honk at anyone. Ever. Seriously. It’s another offense that can get you shot.

7. Road construction is permanent and continuous in all of L A and Orange Counties. Detour barrels are moved around for your entertainment pleasure during the middle of the night to make the next day’s driving a bit more exciting.

8. Watch carefully for road hazards such as drunks, skunks, dogs, cats, barrels, cones, celebrities, rubberneckers, shredded tires, cell phoners, deer and other road kill; also the coyotes feeding on any of the aforementioned items.

9. MapQuest does not work here — none of the roads are where they say they are or go where they say they do and all the freeway off and on ramps are moved each night.

10. If someone actually has their turn signal on, wave them to the shoulder immediately to let them know it has been “accidentally activated.”

11. If you are in the left lane and only driving 70 in a 55-65 mph zone, you are considered a road hazard and will be “flipped off” accordingly. If you return the flip, you will be shot.

12. Do not try to estimate travel time — just leave Monday afternoon for Tuesday appointments, by noon Thursday for Friday and right after church on Sunday for anything on Monday morning.


Filed under Humor