Posts Tagged ‘Freddie the macaw’

What I’ve Been Up To

Saturday, April 4th, 2020

Sheltering In Place

California extended its Shelter in Place order to May 3, 2020, so we’re in for another month. I’ve been working from home since March 16th so we’re into day 19 here at Jewel HQ. We don’t take my dad anywhere except for his necessary medical appointments. He misses his shopping trips but, as a retired physician, he understands exactly why this is necessary.

The California DMV has cancelled nearly all in-person appointments, which is great. Since the RealID deadline is now extended to 2021, I don’t have to worry about my now cancelled appointment. I have no travel plans on the horizon so this is fine.

My local grocery store now only lets in 30 people at a time, and they have a taped physical distancing line outside for those waiting to go in. They have signs limiting the purchase of staples like flour etc.

The Days Are Blurring

I confess I am really enjoying my commute to the living room and being able to get up at 7:00AM instead of 5:30AM, but I keep losing track of the days . . .

Freddie the Macaw loves having me home all the time. As my twitter followers may know, he imitates the dogs when they start barking out of control because of a delivery truck or a squirrel. He barks like them dead on but can’t maintain and his escalation devolves into macaw screeching. I have successfully de-coupled the barking from the screeching via click training. Now he understands that barking like the dog gets him a treat, so he’ll sit on his play stand and bark at me to get a treat. I’m bridging that to the question “What’s the dog say?” We’re now at about 70% success rate with him responding to the cue. Eventually, (I hope) he won’t bark every time he wants a treat and will only bark when I ask him the question.

Once that’s done, I want to work on getting his meow on cue. He already meows like a cat, in addition to saying ‘Kitty, kitty, kitty!” I think it will fun to have that on cue as well.

Writing News

I’ll leave you with writing news, which is that I am doing that last pass through Bound in Smoke before it goes back to my editor. I’m about halfway through.

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A Bad Day was Had

Wednesday, February 6th, 2019

I had to travel to a two day conference at the other end of the State and upon returning late in the evening, go to work the next day. This morning AT 5:45 AM, when I got up we had no internet and my carrier was saying they expected service to be back at 4:11 PM. Wow

Less than an hour later, I dropped my thermos of coffee, which happened to be open because I had had just taken my second sip, and my coffee spilled everywhere. ALL OF IT.

Here’s a picture of my mood at that point:

I had to buy replacement coffee that wasn’t the coffee I make which I love because I make it the way I like it. AND because it was morning, I decided to get almond milk instead of regular milk and only realized too late that I might end up having to replace that coffee too.

Mornings. I’m telling you. The brain is not firing on all cylinders when there’s no coffee fueling it.

As for Mouse, the cat I adopted from the shelter last December, who turned out to have diabetes, her numbers have stayed good, so we’ll go two more weeks without insulin and recheck her to make sure she’s still doing well. She has at last decided to wander the house a bit and is currently on the couch with the big dog. Both are napping

The almond milk was actually OK.

How was your day?

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Making Friends With Freddie, Part 4

Saturday, March 3rd, 2018

I haven’t posted about Freddie in a while, but not because there isn’t anything to say. Below is a video of him dancing to his favorite song, Good Night Irene. When he’s ready to go to bed, he starts dancing like that and singing.  A little more about that in a bit. As you can see, he’s adorable. And he’s on the counter. We do some target training there, and he hangs out on the counter in the evening while I’m getting my lunch and coffee ready for the morning, doing some kitchen clean up and feeding my sourdough starter.

Target training is going well. When we’re training, he’s 100% on target. Non-training times are about 80% so we need more work and repetitions. For those who don’t know, target training is when you train a bird to touch the end of a chopstick (or any clean dowel or stick). You give a treat as soon as the bird touches the end of the stick. You train the bird to go to the target — that is, wherever you have the end of the chopstick. This teaches the bird to go places you want and need him to go, such as inside a cage, a carrier, or just away from something troublesome.

Right now, Freddie steps up on my forearm, and I need him to step up on my hand because that is a safer and more stable way to carry the bird. I am working on training that. He will now step near my hand, but not yet on it. We have a good time!

Regarding going to bed, yes, he sings and dances to indicate he would like to go to bed, but actually putting him back in his cage is about 70% successful for me. He loves the cat/dog bed under my desk and I realized last night that he seems to want to roost for the night there. This, of course, is a terrible and unsafe idea for him to have. Sometimes when I put him back in his cage for the night, he sidesteps me and grabs the outside of his cage. He then climbs down to the floor and wanders about, and last night was when I realized he wants to roost in my room. It was some time before I could coax him out of my room and for him to decide he was ready to step up. I managed to cleverly block his attempt to not go into his cage. In return for his being in the cage, I sang Good Night Irene to him for some time.

And so our training continues . . . for him and for me.

 

 

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Respect The Beak

Sunday, January 28th, 2018

Now that Freddie the macaw has an indoor perch and has been inside several times and quite excited about it, I had to get some toys for it so he can entertain himself. Here is a video of Freddie making short work of parts of a toy. He was very happy. The big pieces are actually pretty soft, but what you don’t see is the smaller, harder wooden blocks that he chewed up already.

He walked into the living room from the deck and I figured, OK, this will be like the garage where he stepped up on my arm right away. But he didn’t. He made a beeline for the couch and disappeared underneath it, talking to himself the whole time. I put the dogs up in my room and when I came back he was halfway across the living room, and then he happily stepped up. And, he likes being inside and every time I walk past him he lifts up his leg (which is the signal for “I want to be on your arm!”) A couple of times he was unhappy about going back into his cage. So there are some behaviors to work on. This is new territory for us both, of course.

You can read more about Freddie here:
Here and also here.

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