Little Shoulder Demon

I am generally seen as a nice guy. I tend to go out of my way to make sure people are happy and that I treat others the way I want to be treated. Some, like my best friend, say that sometimes I am too nice.

You know those stories and cartoons where the main character is making a moral decision and they have a little angel and a little demon on their shoulder?

The reason I am such a nice guy is that I think my little demon is a little too nuts... it is always obvious which choice should be made. But as crazy as my little demon is, I still laugh at his suggestions.

I would like to think I am not the only one who thinks this way. We all have a little dark side in ourselves. I just hope that little demon never takes control.

If you'll excuse me... I have to go rig my mail box with a car alarm. The mail lady has been a little cranky lately.

Toki the Love Bird

Many people never get the privilege of owning a bird. My girlfriend loves birds and has always had a bird growing up. When we first met she had two cute little love birds. Peaches and Toki.

Now, when you get a pair of love birds, you preferably want them to be paired.

To make a long story short. Peaches and Toki came from two different places and were brought together by my girlfriends family. By the time I joined the picture, the two birds were in the same cage but their relationship was still not functional. It had taken my girlfriend and her mom a while to get them this far. What I saw was this.

Now Toki had accepted the fact that he was now a mate with Peaches and he seemed to genuinely care for her.

They did in fact communicate quite well. Toki would tweet and then she would tweet. She would whistle then he would whistle. Even if they were in different rooms. It was like they were checking to see if the other was there.

He fed her regularly, even though she ate well enough on her own.

Peaches willingly excepted the food even though she had eaten already. It was the only thing she seemed to like him for. It seemed like all she did was eat and it was apparent when you compared the two.

She was definitely better fed than Toki, who shared a lot of his meal. Never did she feed him back.

He also tried to groom her. On occasions she would let him, but she never returned the favor. The most Toki ever got out of her was that she would sit still while he groomed. Most of the time she would get bored with it and attack him. And he would end up hiding from her on the other side of the cage.

Sometimes when they were just sitting there she would bite at him for no apparent reason. And it was almost guaranteed that Toki would get attacked if you were giving him more attention than her.

Still. Every day Toki fed her what he had been eating and tried to take care of her.

Now you're probably thinking that Peaches is a bit evil. But don't, you will make my girlfriend cry. (The relationship between Peaches and my girlfriend is a cute/funny story, that I may tell later)

Sadly, in 2009 Peaches got sick and didn't survive it. She passed away in my girlfriends hands and when my girlfriend showed her to Toki he tried to groom her. When she didn't seem to respond or attack him he tried their whistle. No response... He tried again and he nudged her. Nothing. He stared at her for a few long moments then he took a few steps away and just looked at her. He whistled a few more times and then was silent... He flew back to the cage and sat in silence. It was so sad that even I teared up.

But enough with the sad part of the story. After a few days Toki seemed to realize his new found freedom. He didn't have to masticate for anyone any more and he wasn't getting attacked every day. He generally seemed happy swinging on his perch.

A couple weeks went by and my girlfriend decided she should get another bird, just so Toki doesn't have to be alone in the room when everyone is gone. She knew he was too old to hook up with another love bird so she opted for a cockatiel that would be kept in a neighboring cage.

Enter Zel.

Zel still had some baby feathers when we got her and she was just growing her plume. She was nearing young adulthood.

Toki is getting old.

I figure that getting Zel was the equivalent of putting a high school cheerleader in a cage next to a creepy old guy.

Toki wanted everything to do with her. Zel seemed generally afraid of him.

When we would have them both out Toki tried so many times to get close to her.

Sometimes he would even sneak up behind her and try to groom her tail feathers.

She would have nothing to do with that.

He has since realized that she is out of his league. But we put them in the same cage together from time to time just for the entertainment value or to clean the other cage. Zel usually ends up dominating the cage and Toki ends up on the opposite side while she eats his food... like nothing had ever changed.

Gremlin Ninja Cops?

Picture if you will a Minnesota household of 4 people, 1 dog, 1 cat, 2 birds, and I think 18 fish, 2 snails. Of the four people there is me, my girlfriend and 2 of my friends who are renting rooms from me. One of those 2 friends I run a computer repair business with. At any given time there could be 5 vehicles at my house. Each of us with our own car and a business vehicle. Needless to say, from time to time we have to rearrange the cars or move cars out of the way. Sometimes that requires us to park a car or two in the street. That set's up the situation.

Our important and well intentioned law system requires that, in the winter, you can not have any cars in the street over night. Just in case it snows over night and the plows come through. Which is understandable and I agree with. But I am convinced that there is a gremlin that is specifically giving me parking tickets when I forget to pull my car back in at night.

Here is my reasoning.

I usually know when snow is coming because I am always checking the weather. It is part of my procrastination cycle.

When snow is coming I know I need my car off the road for two reasons...

1. I do not want my car to go missing until spring.

2. I have convinced myself that if I park my car in my driveway, it will protect the driveway from getting snow on it...

Well that is until I realize that I am going to have to clean off the snow from my car on to my driveway anyway. But I never really think about that fact until I have to go out there.

To make my point clear. When I do forget to park my car in the driveway, it is on a night when there will be no snow. In turn there will be no snow on the ground for the plows to plow... So I am not in the way of anything.

I will admit that I am guilty of breaking the posted law, and will pay the fine accordingly.

Even though I did not cause any harm or inconvenience to anyone. The neighbor, neighborhood, city, county, state, country, or world for that matter is unaffected by my car being parked outside of my house.

It is hard for me to believe that the good officers at the local police department would just drive around on a clear night slapping parking tickets on harmless cars in a residential neighborhood like they had nothing better to do.

In addition to that, I am an extremely light sleeper. My cat has woken me up just by entering the room.

I have never noticed a police car outside of my house. It is like they come and go silently.

I am convinced that it cant be the police, it has to be a gremlin that thinks he is a cop. And he is specifically harassing me.

But if it is the police... maybe I can understand. By slapping me with a ticket, on a clear snow-less night, they are telling me to make sure that I park my car in my driveway in the future so there isn't a problem. They don't know me and the fact that I wouldn't leave my car out on a snowy night... so I will forgive them for now.

If it is a gremlin, I need to see if I can get him to put tickets on my laundry I leave on the floor. Maybe then I will actually put them in the hamper and have a clean room.