1/4/18

I'm being listened to night & day

After 6 months of being listened to by a small, wild bird, that roosts in my heater box on the roof,
it's had it's effects on me, and the bird, too.  I don't think this situation is sustainable due to the plus 100 degree days we have here, during July and August.   Listening to music full time, as this bird wants, is something I've never done before.   Very soon, the music that I liked was either listened to again and again, or I had to try new music, which I've done, so this is what's been happening for  6 months....every day.  Expanding my horizons, musically, is something I wanted to do as a retiree, and the bird has been a positive force in my current living environs.    

How does a bird listen to music?   I've read that birds listen to music differently than humans, and that must be true.   And it's probably the case that other species of birds listen differently, if they listen to music at all.  Does a bird remember the music that they've listened to?  All I can say is what I've observed from this bird in my heater box, over the last 6 months.  While all the time being aware that what I think I hear the bird expressing in it's variety of tweets, very well may be projecting, which is common among us humans.   However, it is amazing that this bird can communicate it's desires and woes by it's tweets, and if I were an animal behaviorist, I would be interested....that is if they don't immediately dismiss me as a nut case, because who ever heard of a wild bird listening to music?   Actually, if you go on You Tube, there are birds and other animals enthralled with music.   

The bird in my heater box listens to music, seemingly, without distraction.   There's little to distract a bird in a box, although it can hear sounds from the immediate neighborhood.   Of course, the bird's brain is much smaller than a human's, and I would think that bird behavior is instinct based with little if anything akin to a busy mind that humans have.   It is difficult for humans to listen to music with sustained intensity because the mind wanders, whereas this bird listens with sustained intensity, normally.  We've listened to one Beethoven symphony after another, and it listens unceasingly, tweeting 'sweet-tweets' at the parts it likes, and wanting more after the music ends.

The bird listens to my clicking sounds as I type and the clicks my mouse.  It often can recognize that I'm about to play music by the pattern of the clicks.   There are 3 ways the bird tweets the start of a new tune.   The most common is that the bird listens for the tune to develop for 4 to 10 bars and then it tweets.   The second way is to tweet the opening note of the song with a tweet that seems to say, "At last, music ! ".     The 3rd way is to interpret my clicking sounds when summoning up music from You Tube, and that tweet has a somewhat excited and hopeful sound to it.    It doesn't always guess correctly, but it does guess correctly often enough to call attention to it.   Sometimes, on You Tube, the song collections leave no space between the ending of one tune and the start of the next.   The bird recognizes when this happens and tweets in the new tune.  This happens quite often.

I should explain that the bird is not long winded.   It seems that the bird needs to recharge between tweets, which are commonly about 20 to 35 seconds apart.   So, during music, it can't tweet at any ol' time, because it "recharges".   So, I have to guess if it's tweeting because it normally tweets at  intervals,  or is it tweeting because of the music?  The tone of the tweet settles the question.  It has a standard tweet, which is basically just one note, but can alter it's tweet to express itself.   What I call a sweet-tweet, is a normal tweet with a higher tone at the end of the tweet.  There are variations of the sweet-tweet, and my favorite is the excited sweet-tweet, which is loud and sounds more like a loud whistle, which is most common at exciting parts of the music.   There is the stuttering tweet which indicates that the bird is on "cloud-9".  Then there's is the flat-tweet, which I'm getting right now because there's no music playing.   Then, there is the insta-tweet, which seems to be spring loaded, in that the bird can whip this tweet out virtually simultaneously with whatever it wants to highlight.   It will use the inta-tweet with my yawns in bed, to encourage me to get up in the morning.   Once in a while, it will insta-tweet my pool shot.   It will insta-tweet my typing, to hammer home the problem of no music playing.   It has a suffering tweet, too, and that can be very sad.

One aspect of it's tweets is that it tweets as recognition.   Back in December, it began listening to me in my bedroom, den, bathroom and kitchen, and would tweet when it recognized something that I did during my daily routine, such as throwing my socks in the hallway at night before I go to bed.   A sock does not make much noise when it lands, but the bird can hear anything that I can hear in the room, and more.  It tweets when I get out of my computer chair, and it tweets when it thinks I'm about the leave the house.   It tweets when I come back in the house, but not always.   It tweets when it hears water running, or a drawer closing in the kitchen, or when it hears the microwave oven.   It tweets a flat sounding tweet when I make noise during music.    I find myself apologizing to the bird for making noise (I'm repressed by a tiny bird).  And this gives rise to confusion as to whether the bird is recognizing something or enjoying it.   While listening to concertos, the bird tweets the solo instrument, and is that recognition that the instrument is now playing, or that it likes it?  Probably both, when it comes to music. There's little doubt, due to it's sweet tweets and timing of those tweets that it likes solo instruments cutting in during concertos or any kind of music.    Big band music has a lot of this kind of action, and the bird just loves Big Band music.  It can enjoy any kind of music, but some more than others, based on the sweetness and frequency of it's tweets.

The bird tweets repetition in music, which happens in popular music as well as classical.  The bird loves when solo instruments "go wild", and it loves crescendos.  Almost always, the bird tweets when the tune has ended. Lately, it seems to be guessing at the last note of the tune.   It will commonly tweet sweet parts of the music, which I find sweet also, and that suggests that what sounds good to a human ear, also sounds good to a bird's ear.   This bird likes all music, from bongo solos to the Firebird Suite.  ( I haven't played any rap or disco music for it, out of respect for the bird. ) The bird doesn't like it when I pause the music, or when You Tube interrupts rudely, like it does.   It doesn't like me leaving my computer chair to go do something, because it feels it needs to follow what I'm doing in the kitchen or bathroom, etc., and the music then gets in the way of tracking me.   I thought I could just put on some music to entertain the bird while I did chores, but listening to music seems to be done with a buddy, in the nest.  The bird not only listens for patterns of clicks for starting music from You Tube, it also can tell when I'm turning off my 2 computers at night, which means no music until the next morning.   It takes this without protest.   It will tweet when I walk into my bedroom and listen to me take off my clothes, which it used to tweet to, but seldom does anymore.  Each night, I switch off the light and say to it, "Goodnight little birdy, good luck hunting.  I hope you catch a big juicy mosquito."   Then it listens to me get into bed, and when I rustle the covers to get comfy, it tweets.  It continues to listen to me in bed, and will tweet if I scratch or move around.   I think it waits for me to go to sleep before it goes hunting.    


11/28/14

Diet - tame the wolf to maximize energy

  1. Fat people avoid exercise
  2. Fat people eat sugar
  3. Fat people wolf their food.
 

I fasted for 3 days, once, when I was in junior college.   On that 3rd day, I stopped being tired and hungry, and I felt full of energy.

What happened was my digestive system stopped drawing energy to digest because there was nothing left to digest.  It was a eye-opening lesson in how much energy it takes to digest food.  Eating slower means the food is chewed more thoroughly.  It's the opposite of wolfing down your food.  Unchewed food takes more energy, and stomach acid, to digest.    I think it's the usual cause of sluggishness. 

During 20013-14 when I lost weight,  I experimented with chewing food until there was nothing left to chew.   It takes quite a long time.   Surprisingly, there is flavor in the tiniest of morsels left in the mouth during chewing.   After a while I get bored with chewing and become easily distracted from what was on my plate.   My food craving is satisfied with less food.  Skinny people observe fat people as they wolf their food quickly down their gullets.  It's a display of an instinctual urge.  Skinny folk wonder why you wolf your food.   

Another key to digestion is roughage.  It takes less energy to push a stool through the intestine when it contains roughage.  We eat food for energy, but if the digestive process requires too much energy, then we feel tired, and want to snack to overcome the tiredness.  Eat slow instead of dieting.  Just knock off the sugar (eat some roughage at every meal, too), and take a brisk 40 minute walk to start the day.

When they tell you that dieting is a matter of energy in - energy out, they are wrong.   Predigestion is essential to avoid weakness during dieting.   People who wolf their food eat too much, and their bodies allocate energy to digest the inadequately chewed food and unnecessary mass of food in ther stomachs and intestines.  Losing weight is a 3 legged stool, and making digestion easier (using less calories to get the job done) is one leg.  The other legs are regular exercize, and cutting out sugar and alcohol.

7/7/12

Cosmic Question

I'm just a regular guy from somewhere on the fat part of the bell curve asking a question to the YouTube geeks about Cosmic Microwave Background. And here is what I posted in the comments:
"Why is it that this earliest of light, or microwave background, still in our neighborhood? What's it been doing all this time? Shouldn't it have sped off into uncharted space long ago, leaving matter, like galaxies, suns and planets, such as Earth, in it's wake? Surely microwaves travel faster than galaxies."

4/16/11

10 days on Easter Island



I'd taken photographs before, but always at the thoroughly ignorant beginner level, and only with film cameras. My decision to go digital, I thought, was subject to pitfalls and hard lessons.
After hours of research of the reviews of cameras on the net, I chose the Sony Cyber-Shot DSC-W150.
I bought it just before leaving on a trip to Easter Island. I made certain to take the instruction booklet with me, in order to learn how to use it. Well, I was able to read some of the instructions, but I was very busy, and reading on a South Sea island is not easy. Anyways, almost all of my pics turned out clear, and certainly beyond my expectations. Here's five examples. Click on the pics to enlarge, and then click on the pic to enlarge even more. They lose some clarity transferred from my computer via this blog program, which resizes them. I'll be sure next time to make the pics not so big.









5/16/09

Reading Aloud and Listening to Audio Books


In the following article, the author discusses the lost art of reading aloud.
Well, not 'lost' but 'diminishing'. I decided to read  the Lord of the Rings
trilogy aloud in order to increase my reading aloud skill. It worked.  Not only is it easier now to read aloud, comprehension seems to be equal to that of reading silently. However, listening to books on tape or CD is a different thing altogether. Much more difficult. One has to be ready to
rewind to re-listen because the mind sometimes wonders. It seems the very act of reading the words off a page helps the mind to focus, while pure listening sparks other avenues of thought. For an extra special treat, try listening to "The Code of the Woosters" as read by Jonathon Cecil.  Cecil is the only reader of P.G. Wodehouse that I would recommend.
The above link is this: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/05/16/opinion/16sat4.html?hpw

April 16, 2011 - As a change of pace to reading aloud, here is an audiobook to buy:  "True Grit" by Charles Portis, as read by Donna Tartt. It is nothing less than excellent.  In fact, I've listened to it now 3 times, and realize that I should pace myself, and put off another listening for at least half a year. Great book. Great reading by Donna Tartt.

7/7/08

From Fahrenheit to Centigrade and back Again

My memory is so bad. It sputters, coughs & wheezes up surprising stuff, appearing
out of a fog, or washed up on the beach like they were messages in a bottle.
It occured to me that my ol' dad told me, probably 40 years ago, an easy formula for
converting between Fahrenheit and Centigrade.

I got depressed because I knew wouldn't ever remember it, but then it came to me
within a minute or two, after I stopped straining my brain.

Here it is: Whatever temp you have, in either Centigrade
or Fahrenheit, add 40 to the number. (I recalled the number 32 at first, incorrectly,
and found that value generated had an error of a few degrees.)

After adding 40, multiply by either 5/9 or 9/5. If you want to convert Fahrenheit
into Centigrade, multiply by 5/9. Then subtract that same 40.
That will be your converted temperature.

[(F + 40) 5/9] - 40 = C is the formula for converting F into C.

[(C + 40) 9/5] - 40 = F is the formula for converting C into F.

For easy remembering, just add 40 and multiply by either 5/9 or 9/5,
then subtract 40.

5/8/08

Switching from Nylon Strings to Steel

What if you're a classical guitarist wanting steel strings with a wide neck? 
The best way to go with that is the Takamine F-312s (see pic), which is out of 
production. It's not cheap either, but well worth the price. Actually, once 
a person owns this guitar, it's unlikely that they would ever sell it. You can't 
go wrong with that guitar and well worth the effort to shop around for it, 
including using eBay.   The old Martin 0-16, which the F312s copies, cost 
a minimum upwards of 2 grand.  It's essentially a classical guitar made for 
steel strings.   If you have 2 grand to spend, consider the Takamine EF740FS.

But what if you want a big bodied guitar or even an electric guitar with a 
wide neck for less than $2,000?
I experimented by stringing just 6 strings on an old, cheap Guild 12 string guitar. It panned out to be a successful procedure yielding a wide neck guitar with steel strings, which gives me 14 frets above the body, 2 more frets than a classical guitar. The Guild tuning keys were rather cheap, so I removed them and installed 6 Martin tuning keys.  I've strung 12-string guitars from the cheapies (Guild) to the more expensive Takamine and Larrivee.  The Guild did not need to be tuned by a luthier.  I think the thick neck of the Guild that was stout enough not to warp.  The Takamine and Larrivee required tuning because the thin neck warped after the string change.  It will cost around 200 bucks for the tune-up.

5/4/07

Calibrate your finger


Do you know how long your index finger is?

When you don't have a ruler or measuring tape, you can measure lengths, widths, diameters, and thicknesses by using your index finger as a ruler. It's amazingly quick and surprisingly accurate.

Look at your index finger with the palm of your hand open and facing towards you. It turns out that from your index fingertip to the first joint is about one inch.

Measure between the first and second joint, from one crease in the skin, or line, to the next. Again, it's almost exactly one inch. It turns out that the finger is about  3 inches long.  But you'll have to measure your
own fingers to find out the precise measurement between
each line on your finger. Discover where the lines on your
 finger are exactly at inch intervals.

Why do this? It's extremley 'handy' to know these dimensions
to be able to measure objects when you're in a hurry and you
don't have a tape measure or ruler, for example, while shopping.

You'll find that it's quite easy to estimate to an 1/8th of an inch.
How long would it take for you to find a measuring tape right now?
Before you start looking, using your finger, measure the width of
the ALT key on your keyboard.
I'm looking at it right now and it seems like it would be 3/4".
(Greater than half the distance between the lines, plus half again
as much.) Checking with a tape measure, I was off by a 1/16".
Accuracy to within an 1/16th" is pretty good in most instances,
and more reliable than 'guess'-timating.

It measures 3 1/4" from the tip of my finger to the line at my
knuckle. But since that line isn't perpendicular to the centerline
of the finger, the measurement on the opposite side of the finger
will be shorter. In my case, 2 7/8" long.

Another measurement is from the tip of your index finger to the
next line on your hand between the knuckle and the thumb. I
think palm readers call that your life line.

Now, stretch your pinky and thumb as far apart as possible and
measure that. Mine is 9" give or take an 1/8" depending on how
hard I stretch them. You can put both hands stretched out
like this, thumb tip to thumb tip, and get a measurement
close to 18", hands vary of course. You can hold your index
finger end-to-end with your other hand stretched out and get
something close to 1 foot.