Wednesday, April 23, 2008


The Group Project is finished. We had to build a web page. For our own program. Because there wasn't one. I want my tuition back. The interesting thing about the project is that half of the exercise was trying to coordinate a team of people you don't know over long distance. You might remember that another assignment for this course, Introduction to E-Commerce, was to create this blog. So my group thought it would be cool, or at least easy, or maybe funny, or totally brown nosing, to create a student blog for the project. So I volunteered to develop that piece.
I have turned in my evaluations and the only thing left is to study for the final exam. Which I am doing at work. Don't tell my boss.

You want to know the secret to school? Practice exams. I don't want to jinx myself by talking about them any further. The other thing I am doing is typing up all of my notes from the entire semester. Stuff sinks in through osmosis and when I stop to format something, I might actually think about it for a minute.
I'm going to go take those practice quizzes again.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Library Used Book Sale

The dates have been set for the Glenview Public Library's Used Book Sale - July 12-13.

This lovely sketch was on the library website. I believe it is the original plan that was presented for approval two years ago. I also believe we have been downsized out of it twice. Nice to know what we're working for. If they would just break ground already.

I didn't think much of the design at first. I think it is trying to do a modern Prairie style thing - Glenview is very into Prairie anything. And I suppose it is better than Northbrook's, which we always referred to as "Jabba's Sail Barge". And not in a good way. Wait - I can find a picture of that.

So if you are going to be around town that weekend in July, stop by - I believe I picked up 12 books at the December sale (and have perhaps read two of them). Then go across the street to the Dairy Bar for ice cream.

Monday, April 21, 2008

Ben Stein's Pet Peeves

I had heard stories about this before Ben Stein spoke on CBS Sunday Morning. People that cannot keep up with their mortgages are dropping their keys on the counter and walking out the door.

Which does not solve your credit problems, people.

Worse than that is that some are leaving their pets in the houses they abandon. Can you imagine? As if the bank is going to show up the next day and magically find a new home for the 70 pound labrador that has no idea what in the hell is going on.

I might have some sympathy for people that were caught up in the market by unethical lenders. Perhaps. But this just makes me sick.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Rewarding Bad Behavior

Kiwi the Grey has tantrums when she is not let out to play when she thinks she should be let out to play. She throws her food dish on the floor, which makes a big mess. I decided it was time to get her a new cage.

To the best of my understanding, we should buy the biggest cages that we can afford, assuming that we have the space. So I did. I bought this King's Cage. You see that little bird on the bottom? Kiwi is about that big. Her old cage is (seems) half this size.

After our volunteer meeting yesterday, some friends from the Refuge helped me put it together. They made fun of me for getting the enormous thing for such a little bird.

Manu, my foster bird, was convinced it was for him. He is no longer speaking to me.

I moved Kiwi in tonight. She was perfectly happy to play in it. Then she figured it out. She flew back into her old cage and started to growl. When greys are really upset, they growl like little dogs. I got her back to the big cage and gave her a snack. It looks big and empty by comparison. I have some perches and swings coming in from Windy City Parrot early this week and I plan to make some more toys, too.

After some cleaning and moving around, I set up Kiwi's cage for Manu. Because it is bigger than what he has and he doesn't throw his food dish. He thinks such behavior is silly. He was not impressed with the new digs, but I think he is just offended with the hand-me-down and will lighten up tomorrow.

I put them to bed about an hour ago. I heard some flapping around, which must have been Kiwi getting her bearings in the dark. She has settled down.

Space is really tight in that room now. Might have to get rid of the TV!

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Back at the Library

I hadn't been at the Library in three weeks. Online sales seemed to have dried up while I was out, so I arrived early, anxious to get started. Stacy, another volunteer who was working the earlier shift, said that a couple of kids with a scanner came in, scanned just about all of the books and bought 13. She thought they were just college kids trying to make an extra buck, but it seems a bit more ominous to me.

I opened a box and there was a copy of A Thousand Splendid Suns, the new book by the author of The Kite Runner. I was all set to buy it, but Amazon suggested it would go for 10 or 12 bucks. I listed it for $11. It sold before I left that night.

Between my second and third boxes of books, I saw a trade paperback copy of Norman Mailer's last book on the Classics shelf. One dollar. OK - that one is mine.

Anyone working retail (as opposed to owning a retail business) will tell you there are times when the customers just interrupt you. That happened all night. For a total of $10, but our director keeps saying that every bit helps. As I suspected, it has definitely picked up since Chicago finally thawed out.

Anyway, I went through four boxes of donations and listed about a dozen books. Productive night, I'd say.

Edit: Ha! Two books sold before I had even left the Library last night. The second was a cookbook. Low Carb for the Slow Cooker - if you can believe that!

Monday, April 7, 2008

Oprah's Puppy Mill Show

Because I am part of the movement or whatever, I received several notices about Oprah's April 4 show on puppy mills. There was no freakin' way I was going to watch. I am already converted. I don't need to watch something that I know will make me cry until I am sick.

Watching the Today Show on Saturday, Lester Holt mentioned it. Excellent, I thought. I can get the gist and not the really bad stuff. But no. The Today Show just wanted to show clips of Oprah crying on camera. Bastards. The show was dedicated to her late cocker spaniel.

Just so I have done my part, I will pass along this, from Best Friends Animal Society, offering some follow up things we can do to help shut down the puppy mills and help as many dogs as we can.
Go Oprah.

At the Refuge - Peachie

I think every third Moluccan Cockatoo is named "Peaches" or some variation thereof. The current resident Peachie at the Refuge is the sweetest Moluccan I have ever met. And I grew up with one.

Peachie steps up so nicely and I have never seen her bite anyone. And do you see her beautiful feathers? Such a lovely girl.

Peachie lost her home when her mom developed asthma, but it is easy to see that she was loved. She is the poster-child for the cuddly parrot.

Moluccans are tough because they need a lot of attention. A lot. Of attention. It is hard for me to bring her around the Refuge when I am "on duty" because she wants to be on my shoulder. Have you ever tried to change paper with a parrot on your shoulder? And Moluccans can be ridiculously loud. When mine was screaming, you could hear him outside, down at the mailbox.

But seriously, if you can manage the high maintenance personalities of this species, they are the most loving of the bunch, in my humble opinion.

You can read more about Peachie here. She is available for adoption.

Kiwi and the Nephew

Yesterday, my 3-year old nephew was at the house. He wanted to see Kiwi the Grey fly, so I let her out of her cage. She flew to her playstand and looked at him.

"How are you?" Kiwi said.

Nephew's eyes bug out. He looks at me.

"Birds can't talk!" he declared.
"How are you?" Kiwi repeated.

Then he ran upstairs to tell his mother.