Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Week Eleven: A Bird in the Box

Pikachu, the Budgie

Well. I knew college was full of surprises, but I didn’t think that a budgie was one of them.  A budgie, you ask?  Well yes, I see.  It’s a type of small parakeet, frequently found in pet stores, that mostly comes in a variety of yellows, greens, and blues with white and black markings.  Possibly.  This one happened to be very yellow, and very cold.

Not that I blame it.  It was around 40 degrees Fahrenheit outside.

It was also very domesticated.  I know this, because it flew up on a friend.  Quite literally.  He called a halt to our LARP battle to reveal a small yellow bird laying on his chest, cuddling him quite fiercely.

Of course, all this happened while there was a small gaming convention occurring inside the University Center, a suddenly not so scant 100 feet away.  Luckily, a box was found, and the people running the convention were summoned to help figure out what to do.

Meanwhile, of course, a group of around 20 bystanders has gathered, and no one has any clue what to do.  My eyebrow feels a twitch coming on.  In quite firm agreement with the eyebrow, I suggest calling maintenance to get the poor bird inside until further plans are made.  They are, after all, the only ones available on weekends.

No one called.  No one knew the number, or knew how to look it up.  Instead, the people in charge and I  decided to make other plans.  I put my cloak over the box to aid in warming the small cold thing, and someone with a car volunteered, then asked for someone else with a GPS in their phone, and someone who knew…okay, I’m still not certain why he was there, but he proved important later.

Oh.  Don’t be stuck on the bit about the cloak.  LARP means Live Action Role Play, and I have great fun doing so in costume.  Plus, it was cold.  I needed the dratted thing to protect against the wind.  Well, now the budgie needed it more.

It took three tries to find an open vet, and after the second, we finally just searched for an emergency animal clinic.  This is around 5 pm by the way, on a Saturday.  Yes, the emergency clinics were the only ones open.  It’s a Saturday.  They need a break too.

We spoke to the vet at the clinic.  The vet examined the bird, gave us a breed, offered to take it over, but admitted the owners had little hope of finding it that way, and said that she couldn’t find any more information on the bird, because the band on is leg was of no use.   This apparently just shows it’s domesticated.

Drat.  Still, it wasn’t a bird specific clinic, and most vets don’t have an awful lot of avian visitors.  At least we knew it was in good health.  From there, now in a rather unfamiliar part of town, and with sunset rapidly approaching, we needed to find a pet supply place.

We found PetCo shortly after the sun disappeared and a cage and basic supplies were located.  The bird in the meantime, had acquired a name, and had his gender identified.  Pikachu, a male.  I did not name the Budgie.  But I liked it more than Pidgeotto and Zapados. I fiercely defended the name Pikachu.  It was two against two, but as the other two in the car couldn’t agree on a name, the united front won out.  For now, no doubt.

Well, what do you expect? He was small, yellow, and found during a gaming convention.   At one point, he flew inside even.  There’s more than one reason the box was needed.  With the supplies, we now had to return, temporarily.  Most of us had left a wide variety of our things there after all, and it was there that we met up with the temporary care provider.

That mysterious fourth person earlier?  He turned out to know someone who loved animals, and had family in the area that also loved animals, and needed to change the food and water daily for those animals, so could do the same for Pikachu.  This is important, as everyone but the driver had called at least two other people, and no one else found anyone else who could take a poor helpless bird in immediately.

However, it takes a bit of time to pull gamers away from a gaming convention, so, while everything was being set up, and the caretaker acquired, (and some of us ate dinner) the Budgie was snuck into the convention to hide in one of the empty back rooms, where he was allowed to wander around for a bit and stretch his wings outside the cramped box that he only barely fit in.

And don’t tell me we should have let him out earlier.  We let him out in the car, and that proved to be a poor idea, because he had to see out all the windows, and then he decided there was food on the mat of the driver’s side door.  Needless to say, we came to a very careful rolling stop in a parking lot.

The Budgie was put back in the box after this.  A PetCo he decided to fly off to another part of the store.  I am willing to bet this is not the first time this Budgie has gone missing.  He’s a runner.

Either way, he was soon back in the too small box on his way to his temporary accommodations, everything provided for until his still missing owner could be found.  As we believe it to be a student, most of us don’t have much hope.  He would have been an illegal pet on campus after all, and to claim it would be to invite trouble.

If the owner isn’t found, a bird lover has agreed to take him in on a more permanent basis, as it’s no good for a Budgie to be on his own like this, and I don’t think turtles in an aquarium count as companions.  I could be wrong. 

Or rather, permanent until this summer when, if the owner isn’t found, I will suddenly own a bird.

One Girl’s Byte: Do I now say I choose you Pikachu?

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Week Ten: Hypocrisy

Sometimes I entertain myself, especially once I realize I’ve done something I advise against.  Talk about hypocrisy!  I have to apologize for last week’s blog.  I wrote it in about twenty fast minutes between two classes, rather than doing what’s right and using the time I normally set aside for it to think and write properly.   I chose to play games rather than write, despite that I like both, and take great pleasure in this blog.

Worse.  I rushed like a ninny, which is incredibly hypocritical of me.  Unfortunately, I’m probably not the only one who has hypocritical moments.  I suspect we all do, though many of us are less willing to admit to it than others.  Unfortunately it still occurs.  I’m of the opinion that hypocrisy shouldn’t be mocked or chosen as proof that the person in questions view point is wrong.  After all, many times they don’t realize it until it’s pointed out to them.

I am rarely aware of the difference between my writing when I am in a rush or am hyper and my writing when I am calm and thinking it out.  If I’m still in a rush when I read over it, then often it sounds well-paced to me.

Many people are hypocritical.  They say one thing, tell you to do things this way, then do it completely different and don’t even seem to notice.  Most of the time, they don’t pay attention, and fall back to a habit.  Habits can be dangerous things, after all.

People often condemn people of faith, regardless of faith, of not practicing what they preach.  In many circumstances this can be true.  But next time, before you mock someone for being hypocritical, pause and think yourself.  Did they mean to be?  Are they realizing they are?  Pause and think on it.

Likely the answer is no.  Very few people mean to.  I intend to get into the habit of not judging the people who are hypocritical, and instead simply forgiving them.  I shall even try my hardest to practice what I preach.  After all, if I take a breath and breath, and focus on what I want to do, rather than multitask and do sloppy work, I’m certain I have more than enough hours in the day to get everything done.  No need to rush and be hypocritical.

One Final Byte:  Fall is truly my favorite time of year.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Week Nine: Fall is here.

It’s officially fall here, as of this previous week, when the leaves began to chance.  I think it started on Monday, as not all the leaves have begun to, just yet.  Fall is undoubtedly a beautiful season, and one of my favorite seasons by far.  It is neither too hot nor too cold, and the plants are either green and lively or colorful.

  In a way it’s a sad season, though I like to think of it otherwise.  People often say that fall is when the plants are dying.  Now, fall is merely when they finally get to go to sleep.  They’ve been awake, all summer long, after all, and need some rest.

To me, I think being a conifer would be the hardest job out there, always awake, only parts of you allowed to rest at any one time.    If I were to be a plant, I don’t think I could be a conifer.  I’d like to be something else.  Maybe a maple tree. 

If I were a plant.

However, I am not a plant!  I am a college student, which is a rather different sort of thing.  Speaking of, we recently had inspection, and I helped another student clean their room for it, my own room already being clean.  I have decided that I am in the top ten percent of clean people I know.  Maybe even the top five!

It’s an odd thought, considering I’m one of my messiest family members.  I think my summer with my grandparents definitely helped however.  Though that’s not to say my grandpa would find my room ship shape.  The top of my dresser and my desk would bother the fire out of him, I suspect.

Inspection was interesting though.  They walked in and five minutes later were done.  Male RAs did the female rooms and female RAs did the male rooms.   I’ve yet to figure out why, other than, perhaps, to eliminate bias?


I don’t really have much to say to be honest.  I’ve been too busy to think, which may be a dangerous thing.  Perhaps I’ll slow down this next week and assure myself my head is still where tis supposed to be.

If I’m too busy to think after all, what important thing might I have missed?

One Final Byte:  A slow path means you can truly live.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Week Eight: Popularity Contests

Sometimes, I wonder why we hold popularity contests at school.  In both high school and in college, though I confess, most of the time I vote based on how pretty I find the name.  In other words, it’s homecoming week at the University of Alabama in Huntsville.    I wasn’t aware the practice continued on into college.  In fact, until sometime in the middle of last week, I wasn’t even aware that we had a homecoming week.

How one is supposed to enter into this popularity contest I never figured out.  There didn’t seem to be a way anywhere I saw.  I assume you have to be in a sorority in order to be queen.  It certainly seems it!  Still, at times I wonder why such a popularity contest is held.  This is college. It’s certainly not a party college by any means, and yet, they’re having a popularity contest. This is a research college for goodness sake.

I suppose, if I think deeply on it, it holds a purpose.  After all, those who covet such a title must keep themselves trim if they want to win, knowing the shallowness of my generation.  They also have to have a rather large network, and one that is primarily locally based.  I suppose they also must know how to best present themselves.  Those are three things that certainly benefit you later in life….and three things that can be taught, experienced, or achieved through pretty much a gazillion other things out there.


Still a popularity contest.

I don’t know.  Maybe it really is shallowness, or maybe it does serve a purpose, but to me, such a thing ought not be in college.  We’re here to learn things that we couldn’t learn in high school.  Not, to re-learn things we did. 

Not to say we can’t have fun.  We need to have fun too, if we’re to learn.  Balance and all that.  It’s just  I can’t help but not find contests like this at all interesting.  I voted alright…on the name I felt worked best together.

I vote on the merits of the decision the parents made.  Sometimes, it’s the most unique, other times, it’s the one that flows the smoothest.  But I don’t know these people, and I don’t like their lack of creativity in posters.  A good half of their pleas asking me to vote for them includes their last name and an internet meme.  How is this supposed to convince me?

Perhaps I am cynical, but that is my opinion.

One Final Byte: Popularity contests: Politics, TV, homecoming, and high school.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Week Seven: Counter Productive

When I was in fourth grade, my teacher took a book away.  I was informed it couldn't possibly be my book; that it was too advanced for me and I was much too stupid to read it.  The teacher refused to return the book until my parents were called, and the principal got involved.  I got told I shouldn't read in class.
This seemed…odd.  Very odd.  In fact, it seemed rather counterproductive, the whole not being told to read while in school thing.  A lot of things in life are this way.  On the surface, they seem entirely counterproductive.  Of course, the teacher meant I shouldn't read non-class material in class.  It was disrespectful of me to do so, and now that I’m old enough I can see that.  But the wording…

One should always be very careful with the words they use, I believe.

In life, people do things that don’t make one wit of sense.  In fact, they do things that, simply put, are senseless!  This happens more than you would think, and there is very little anyone can do about it.  People simply don’t make sense.  It’s hard to deal with at times.  Harder to understand.

The older you get, the more often it feels like you encounter people like this.  People who run counter-productive to everything you know and thing you understand.  This is not wrong of them.  This is simply them.  Who they are as a person.  Everyone is different in that way.

There are people out there that confuse the dickens out of me.  They do things or say things that seem out of place or odd.  There are people who confuse me on their gender, or on their opinion.  I know people who had a different opinion every day of the week on the color the sky was, it seemed.  Charlie Brown would call them wishy washy.  I call them confused.

Despite this.  Despite how counter-productive I think they behave, they are, in fact, completely fine.  They are even necessary.  Recently, people have chosen to protest or even have been driven to form angry mobs over disagreements on a horrible movie.  It insults their religion, and so they believe this is an excuse to harm and hurt others, to destroy property and cause general chaos.

This seems counter-productive to me.  It seems as if they ought to not do this.  As if, if they truly cared, they would find a different method.  Instead, they do something else, something I find odd, but they find right.  Something, in this world, that is, however distressing, necessary.

Mankind is odd.  But we must all be different, must have different responses to continue to grow as a species, as people, and as individuals.  For mankind to thrive, we need to disagree on the small things, and agree on the major.

The major things are what all people agree on, though everyone’s actions do not always agree.

Among these are that all life is precious, children should be protected and cherished, and peace is desireable.

Now if only we could agree on that peace.

One Final Byte:  It is our differences that make life precious.