Category Archives: Gizmo

Best-dressed parrot on the planet.

Hopping for Joy

Here is a video of a bird like mine having a hoppin’ good time. This is the way they like to cover distance; instead of running they hop like this. The first time I saw my bird Gizmo do this, I couldn’t stop laughing!




Filed under Birds, caique, Gizmo, Humor

Scrambled Eggs

My Black-Headed Caique  parrot Gizmo is sitting on eggs. This is the time of the season when her species (as well as many other birds) lay eggs, whether they are fertile or not.

Gizmo’s eggs are of course infertile. There is no boy caique around to add his two cents. But Gizmo doesn’t know that. She’s laid two clutches of eggs this year; she usually only lays one, then it’s over with. But this year she’s done it twice, much to our chagrin. I say this because a natural part of incubating eggs for her species is that as they sit on them, they screech loudly. For hours on end. It’s like having a broken alarm system.

For your pleasure and in the spirit of sharing, here is a brief video of Gizmo sitting on two infertile eggs and announcing to the world how proud she is. NOTE: Before viewing this video, let me reassure animal lovers that Gizmo is not ill, she is sitting at the bottom of her cage to sit on the eggs; the sounds she is making are normal and not in any way due to any sort of mistreatment. This is a healthy, natural noise although imagine listening to it over and over for two or three hours straight!!!


Filed under Birds, Gizmo

Feather Factory

My parrot Gizmo has always had beautiful feathers. She is dressed like a little clown, with a white shirt, orange pantaloons, a black hat, and a green back.

A few months ago I noticed a lot of feathers at the bottom of her cage each night, and that her beautiful white chest and pantaloons were thinning out. Gizmo has never been a feather-picker, so I was very worried. She was eating and drinking well, preening, playing and singing.

I took her to the vet and apparently she is going through a tougher-than-usual moult (where birds’ old feathers are replaced by new ones). The vet said she was probably uncomfortable with the feather loss and all the new feather sheathes sprouting up all over her body, but she kept her happy demeanor the whole way through. She’s almost done with this moult, still looks a little ratty, but better.

These two pics show the missing feathers on her chest and legs. It was actually worse, these photos were taken after she started growing them back in. Notice the little sheathes the new feathers are contained in (you can see them very clearly in the yellow neck area).

In order to get the feathers to open up, Gizmo must gently open all the sheathes with her beak (the sheathes crumble into pieces if you gently move them in between your fingers – birds like this help on places they can’t reach, like the top of their heads, but you have to be careful not to take too much of the sheathe off or the feather may bleed – only experienced bird owners should try this).

Below is how Gizzy looks normally. All dressed for the party!


Filed under Birds, Gizmo

My Interview with Manuel

My buddy Manuel sent me these questions as part of the Interview Meme that’s been going around. Here are my answers. By the way HAPPY BIRTHDAY MANUEL!!!!!!!!!

1. How did your views on Spirituality manifest?

I have always felt like I was in the presence of something greater, call it God, or Source, or whatever you like. I was raised as a Catholic, but never got any kind of spiritual feeling at religious instruction, or when going to church.I asked “too many questions” and annoyed the instructors. So I stopped going to any kind of organized religious activity and simply prayed/meditated on my own.Then, at age 34, I was diagnosed with cutaneous scleroderma, Raynaud’s phenomenon, and undifferentiated connective tissue disease (these are all manifestations of an immune system that attacks my own body’s cells instead of just germs and other invaders). I experienced some physical limitations due to these disorders that required me to rest and stop working for awhile. This enabled me to have lots of time to ponder philosophy and spirituality. I read a lot of books about spirituality and found that I was very hungry to learn more and more about metaphysics, quantum physics, and comparative religion. As a result, I have gratitude for this illness. It has and does cause inconvenience and some pain, but it has allowed me to evolve my thinking to an incredible extent, which has made my life and all personal relationships enjoyable.

2. Birds? Really, why should someone get a bird instead of a dog or cat?

Birds, or I should specify parrots, are the most underestimated pets ever. Some people think they just sit on their perches all day and that’s it. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Birds are intelligent (African Gray parrots have been estimated to have the intelligence of a 4 year old child), communicative, and extremely interactive with their humans. Not only do they speak, but I am convinced through my own experiences with my own pets that they speak in context; that is they put together words with actions and say words to accomplish specific goals. For instance, my most beloved pet who died three years ago always said “bye bye” whenever I started putting my shoes on. He also said “Here Kitty, Kitty” whenever a cat walked by the window. My bird Gizmo makes kissing noises whenever my hubby and I share a hug. They can also be quite cuddly, believe it or not!! They’re most often affectionate and loyal to their owners, and if separated from them, remember their people years later on sight. They are amazing animals, and once you’ve had one, you won’t want to live without one.

3. I like top 5s. What are the top 5 books you have read?

Number 1 in my top 5 is the Isaac Asimov book “The Robots of Dawn” (I have read this book many, many times and it has a prominent place in my bookcase). I also like “The Ladies No.1 Detective Agency” by Alexander McCall Smith (it’s a series and I like all of them, but let’s count them as 1 book here). “The Namesake” by Jhumpa Lahiri gets the number 3 slot – I could not put this book down once I picked it up! “He, She and It” by Marge Piercy ranks at number 4. Rounding out the list is “Eat, Pray, Love” by Elizabeth Gilbert – a wonderful book about a woman on sabbatical who learns about the spirituality evident around the world.

4. Do you get tired of living in SoCal?

When I was younger, I very much wanted to move to a less crowded area (my dream at the time was Oregon or Washington state). The traffic here in So Cal was and is difficult. But at this time, I can say that I never plan to leave Southern California. I love the sunshine, lack of humidity, lack of snow and extreme cold, and I really like the people here. The sun seems to have an effect on people’s attitudes. Maybe it’s me, but I have favorable encounters with everyone I meet. When I lived in the New York City area, I did not find relationships to be as enjoyable (maybe I’ve changed since then too).

5. What inspires you to blog?

I blog because I enjoy writing, first off. Second, it’s easier to write if you know someone is reading your stuff and sharing “mindspace” with you for even a moment. And third, I really like the people I have met through blogging. Even though I have never physically met these people, I feel like they are real friends and I laugh with their funny stories and cry with their tears. Some of the people I would like to acknowledge are James and Nicola (both of whom were essential in getting me started in blogging!), Manuel, Seb, Les, Randi, Sharon, Lyndon, and Rhys. Some new buddies are Icedmocha, The Naked Soul, and Pentropy. All of these people enrich my life in different ways. If I ever stopped blogging, it’s the people I would miss the most!!!!!


Filed under Birds, Books, Gizmo, Life, Spirituality

I’m Back

Sorry about my long absence. I had a terrible cough that robbed me of the ability to create. Until yesterday I had not been on the computer for about a week.

I really missed you guys! I have had lots of time to read and watch tv while I was ill, and have formed lots of opinions about things I’ve absorbed, which I will share with you in the coming posts. Bear with me as I start back slowly…

Me & Gizzy Gobi watches TV


Filed under Birds, Gizmo, Gobi, Musings

Men with Birds

I felt that a showcase of men “rubbing shoulders” with birds was needed. Here is a compilation of male people I know brave enough to get within the personal space of a parrot:

Gizmo and Dad

Hubby Bill and Peeper

Rick meets Gizmo

Bill and Gobi

My cousin Ron cautiously approaches Gizzy.

Where’s the bird? Look under Mike’s chin! There’s little Forest under the cashmere.


Filed under Birds, Gizmo, Gobi

Desert Island Songs & Contest

It’s remarkable how our sense of our personal history is so affected by music. We all hear a certain song and are immediately transported to some other place and time; often the memory evoked can be so strong that emotion takes over. Being a huge fan of music my entire life (starting at age 5 when I got my first transistor radio), there are a multitude of songs that have meaning for me.

Of course, there are also tunes that just feel good to listen to. You like the beat, the lyrics, some combination of instruments, a certain chord change, or the singer’s heartfelt performance.

So, if I somehow found myself stranded on a desert (or preferably tropical) island with a CD player that somehow ran on solar power, here are some songs I would have to have with me to survive:

1. My Descent Into Madness – Eels

2. Genius – Warren Zevon

3. Thank U – Alanis Morrisette

4. Female of the Species – Space

5. The Passenger – Iggy Pop

6. Stardust – Willie Nelson

7. You Can’t Always Get What You Want – Rolling Stones

8. Dead Melodies – Beck

9. Break Up the Family, I’ve Changed My Plea to Guilty- Morrissey

10. Dogs of L.A. – Liz Phair

11. Chinese Baby, Sound of German HipHop – Clem Snide

12. Transatlanticism – Death Cab for Cutie

13. Speed Dial No.2 – Zero 7

14. California One / Youth and Beauty Brigade – Decemberists

15. Friends – Elton John

16. Dangerous Type – Cars

17. Instant Karma – John Lennon

18. Motel Matches – Elvis Costello

19. Sun King – Beatles

20. Save Me – Aimee Mann

OK, I’m limiting myself to 20. There are so many more, I could go on and on. I’d love to know what your desert island songs are…

Now for the contest part. The first reader who can answer this question correctly gets a mix CD made by me, of most of the songs mentioned in my Desert Island List above. Here’s the question:

What kind of bird is Gizmo? (NOTE:”parrot” is not a correct answer. I am looking for the specific type of parrot that she is.) The answer is in this blog. Here’s where the categories feature of my blog will come in handy.

Leave your answer in the comments section!!!

Postscript: OK here’s a hint…don’t look in the “birds and parrots” category – there’s another category with a lot less posts that has the answer.


Filed under Contests, Gizmo, Life