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Well one would think that this page would be all about the exciting new material that comes rushing in for the blog. In truth its a holding area for some good stuff I've been sent but don't know where to put it!!
It is ♉   Pat who has triggered this dilemma as she has sent me a great story about a canary ... now does this fit into wildlife? ... should I start a new neme 'pets'? even though its not a pet story but includes wildlife and a pet dog. ... it is hardly things to do when you are locked in, so here it is until I get new tales about your pets or your dead parrots and can start a new neme that really is trending.

If you want to challenge me with some other esoteric tale that won't fit anywhere at least I now have a home for it and no tw I don't want any more 'crackpot' letters! [but that I might just put your latest example here as a warning to us all]

From Val, Vertigo        7 May

Val forwarded me this email which reminded me ... well you better see the email first before you hear what it reminded me of!
Fwd: Changing a light bulb
Husband: “I changed a light bulb today.”
Wife: “That's all? I did the laundry, vacuumed the house, washed windows, cooked three meals, and the list goes on and on ... and you changed a single light bulb?”
Husband: “Yep, that’s what I did today. Watch this; I filmed me doing it.”

When I was a sophomore at the ♉State University of New York, College at Cortland , I had a friend Jeff, a fellow physics major, who was also keen on electronics and had a part-time job at the local radio station WKRT. Knowing my interest, one day he invited to go up the station transmitter for a look around and to 'help' him with one of his jobs which was to change the light bulbs. 'Bring your cine camera with you and we will get a film of the panorama from the top' he said, just what he meant by 'top' I was not so sure, though it quickly became apparent!.

  Jeff at SUNY Cortland. Science building in the background. Snow on the ground in May! Typically Cortland.

So one day I went with him to help ... there was no PPE in those days .. you just had to hold on tight! and not look down .... and I duly did the panoramic view from the top of the tower ... it's a mega boring clip of course because there is not much to see, just trees. What we did do though was to take out the aircraft warning bulbs ... they had to be changed every month automatically ... and automatically meant that Jeff had to do it.. so we just took them out and let them drop sickeningly to the ground ... just don't look down when you are up high and especially don't watch something falling that you have dropped.

  WKRT tower and station from Google Earth as it is now.

At the time I was the fraternity 'House president' now this sounds very grand but it was the worst job in the place ... it involved organising the cleaning and maintenance of our fraternity house, clearing snow, cleaning living spaces, mowing lawns, replacing failed boilers, everything needed to keep an old wooden house occupied by thirty 'men and boys' in some sort of fit state.

Now one of my little problems was that I kept on having to replace the oven lights in our huge, commercial cooking stove. It was impossible to buy a bulb for the oven that would last longer than a month ... so once we had got down from the tower and I was not shaking quite so much we sorted through all the bulbs that had been ejected from on high and found a couple that had survived, glass and filament intact. I took these back with me and as far as i know the one I put in the oven is still going strong!!! [you know I don't know much]

I am not sure if any of us actually listened to WKRT but what I liked to do when returning to Cortland from a long journey away was to press the car radio preset for it and then appreciate the slow decrease in static and distortion as we got closer to home.
When I bought the ♉   fiac Fiat it didn't have a radio so one of the first things I did was to go down to our local scrap yard [a place I got to know well] and bought a car radio. What I got had come out of a Cadillac and it was BIG ... I mean it was HUGE and all but filled up the front of the car. It also had about a hundred knobs on it [very few of which actually did anything] and wonder of wonders [in those times] a station selector bar. You pressed this and it automatically searched for strong signals.

My only other claim to fame concerning WKRT happened when I was trying to learn Russian. We had a really nice Russian teacher, Helena Zapletalova, and she liked to get us to sing Russian songs to aid our learning. Now you will know that the next worse thing I can do after learning foreign languages is singing so I have to say that this was not entirely successful for me. It must have given her immense satisfaction though to hear her class singing the declaration of the verb 'not to know' to the tune of frere jacques. [я ничего не знаю, он ничего не знает, ХОРОШО] But we did have a proper choir though and somehow WKRT got wind of it and sent up a reporter to interview us and play our singing on the radio. The reporter and sound crew duly turned up and we launched into a rehearsal of the Russian folk song 'Kalinka', sound man twiddled a few knobs, adjusted his microphones and then strolled round the room, checking the sound balance, I thought. When he got to me he shouted 'YOU! Keep quiet!!!' and so I did.

You can hear a more authentic version below: [That's me in white BTW.]

From Pat, The sad tale of tweetie Pie        29 April


From Pat: The sad tale of tweetie Pie        29 April

Tweetie Pie came to live with us in the early 80s. She was brought to me at school where I was secretary at that time and was one of quite a few damaged,sick little birds that were brought to me in the hope that I could make them better, often I couldn’t.

This particular little bird not only had only one leg but her wing was damaged and she could only flutter a few yards before falling to the ground. The picture shows her on the lawn being examined by our old and gentle boxer dog ‘Sally’.

I remember that picture was taken when Tweetie was being taken up to the aviary where she was housed with two pairs of Fischers Love Birds. The aviary had an indoor section and an outdoor flight where there were two lovebird nest boxes. The boxes were known as ‘Grandfather clock’ nest boxes as they were each about three feet high with an entrance hole at about two feet up and they had a sloping roof. Both boxes had come to me from a keen bird fancier who lived in the village and were very old and one of them was very unstable and so I placed it next to the wire netting wall which supported it.

For a few months, in the evenings I made sure that Tweetie was in the indoor section before shutting the pop-hole for the night. The pop-hole was left open in the summer when the lovebirds were nesting and preferred to stay out of doors and Tweetie chose to roost on the lid of the leaning nest box.

She always started at the uppermost edge of the lid but as she dozed off she slid down and of course came to a halt at the netting but was quite happy using this as a support and was often still there asleep in the morning sunshine. On this particular morning at about 7.30 a.m. I happened to glance out of the bedroom window and was puzzled to see two tiny creatures, very slender, beautifully coloured a rich tan, darting across the grass. I couldn’t tell what they were but when they reached the netting and started to climb up it I realised that they were weasels and that Tweetie Pie was their objective. I ran up the garden as fast as I could but they had already attacked and killed the sleeping canary and were trying to pull her through the netting; they fled as I approached without their prey but I was too late to save her.

I was very sad at this incident but in later years I have appreciated seeing the weasels, I have never seen one since, a few stoats and ferrets but never the tiny weasels.

Some months after this happened that particular aviary was destroyed when a large tree from a neighbouring garden crashed onto it and 15 birds were lost. Later we did have a much more solid construction erected, I had learned a lot during those first few months and designed this new aviary with an extra corridor so that the walls of the flights were not exposed to predators. I was really sad about what happened to Tweetie Pie but I think that she had a happy few months living with us and as for me......well I guess it’s what is known as ‘Learning the hard way’

  Tweety pie

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