11 January 2011 (Tuesday) - One Week Later
I had rather a late night last night. Being on a late shift I didn’t get home till well after 8pm, and by the time I’d showered and had tea, time was getting on. And F.B. (the parrot) was asking to play. When she’s left alone in the house we put her in her cage just in case she gets up to mischief. She seems quite content in the cage with plenty of toys, and her own radio to keep her company. But when I came home last night she asked to come out. When put in her cage, she sometimes hangs upside-down on the cage’s roof door and says “hold on!”. We’ve come to realise this is her way of asking to come out. When “out” she doesn’t do much more than she does inside the cage, and she doesn’t go very far “out” at all – mostly climbing over the outside of the cage. Having said that, I wouldn’t trust her unsupervised – she does go on “walkabouts” occassionally.
And I wasted quite a while this morning playing with her. As I cleaned her water bowls she kept bothering me to stroke her; she won’t be picked up, but she likes to be petted. I spent over an hour this evening fussing her.
She’s learned new words. “Hello Buffy – give us a kiss” in the voice of “My Boy TM ” and “Come on Buffy – get in your cage” in the voice of ‘er indoors TM . The latter is a phrase she’s picked up after ‘er indoors TM spent half an hour on Sunday night trying to get the parrot to go to bed.
The parrot’s been here for a week, and she’s quite a character. When younger I always wanted a parrot, and now I’ve got one (albeit temporarily) I’m quite enjoying having her to stay. But I have a decision to make. Her owners have decided that they are going to sell her, and as we’ve currently looking after her, we’ve got first dibs. The cost is….. I won’t go into pounds and pence, but let’s just say that I could probably (just about) find the cash. But do we want her here permanently?
She seems to like company – and regular readers of this blog will know that I’m not a stay-at-home guy. All the time it’s wintery we won’t be doing much, and so we’ll be about for the parrot for the next few weeks, but as the temperatures rise, so we will be out and about more. It wouldn’t be fair on the parrot to keep her locked up in her cage for so much of the time.
But I shall blub when she goes….
Another one-week anniversary today is celebrated in that my diet is now one week old. I’ve lost a few pounds – not as many as I might have hoped. But then for all that my food intake is down, I’ve not really started doing much exercise. I must do something about that.
Meanwhile science is excited by the discovery of the smallest planet so far found outside of our own solar system. At 1.4 times the size of Earth, it’s definitely rocky, like our own Earth. However before we start trying to call up E.T., we should bear in mind that the planet is so close to its parent star that it couldn’t possibly harbour life.
Although it’s definitely a very significant discovery in planet hunting, I can’t pretend to be very excited about it. It’s (just) yet another planet in a star-hugging orbit. What would really interesting would be the discovery of planets that are a lot further from their parent star, in (nearly) circular orbits. And the discovery of those will take time – planets close to their parent sun are detectable far quicker than planets further out (I could go into tedious detail…).
The probes doing this astronomy (COROT and Kepler) have only been up and in place for a few years. I think it’s fair to say that if hypothetical similar probes launched at the same time from a hypothetical planet ten light years away wouldn’t have found our own Jupiter yet.