solarbird: (Default)
This is the best picture I ever got of Oasis, who died today at just shy of 12 years old. Something like 11 years, 10 months, though I can't be exactly sure because he was over eight years old when I got him and the pet store was giving him away to anybody who would buy his stuff with him.

Destroy All Rings!

Destroy All Rings was his favourite game other than being terrified and running away from any sounds that weren't made by himself or Zoe. That one was always his favourite, of course, being tiny and ever so tasty to cats.

He'd had a bad day a couple of weeks ago - he had some little seizures, which he'd never had before and were very alarming - but I put a heater in his cage and refreshed everything and kept everything nice and quiet, and he'd recovered pretty well. There'd been no more seizures, and he'd been spending more and more of each day awake and doing his normal little budgie things. The last three or four days, he'd been completely back to normal except for maybe a little extra sleeping - I'm not even sure of that - and this morning he'd been all about hopping down and demanding food and then, after being fed, going to bug Zoe next door to try to get her to pay attention to him. (Like he does, or, rather, did, whenever he was feeling rambunctious. I think he thought he was wooing her. Being eight times his size and a completely different species, she wasn't going for it.) I was thinking that maybe it would be time soon to put the heater away.

Then I went back to the kitchen after math - I'm revisiting my old maths texts for hopefully-next-year grad school work and because my experience with recent neuro papers tells me I need to - and he was dead on the floor of his cage, already cold. I don't know what happened, but at least it seems to have been quick.
solarbird: (molly-content)
It looks to me very much like we're at the end of round one of the oil spike. Barring a major incident, crude has probably peaked, and gasoline on the street will peak in another few weeks, followed by a slow decline in prices over a period of a few months. Crude has spiked past where demand fundamentals should actually have it right now, and more importantly, a bit past where demand growth should put it in three to six months, which is about as far ahead as the commodities market bothers to think.

Many people will take this overshoot as evidence, or even proof, that the concerns about any end to cheap oil are overblown. I continue to hear about how "all those capped wells in Texas" will pop right back up now, for example. And about how all there's all this domestic production we could tap if only those evil environmentalists would let us.

This is not true, by the way. Check the USGS data yourself, if you want. It's all available. And sure, there are some marginal-production wells that can be brought back online. But few of them have much left, anymore. That's why they're idle.

Regardless, oil could sink back to $55/barrel, or even reasonably as low as $50/barrel over the next few months - particularly if the US falls into recession. Falling prices at the pump are likely to end incipient concerns about gas milage and/or fuel economy for another round of automobile buying. Oil will be called cheap again, as it takes its one step back before taking the next two forward. The Summer of 2005 will be called the New 1973, in that way that the current commentariat likes to compare everything now to The Vietnam Era Of Their Youth.

I don't know how long oil's down cycle will last. However, it will only last as long as it takes for the continued economic growth of China and India - emphasis on "and India," as China faces a variety of structural problems which may slow, though will not not stop, its growth - to pick up their demand. The same applies to American demand, for that matter. The China Effect, as economists are calling it, has saved the US from the normal inflationary disaster that would have historically followed an oil spike like this one. It will likely continue to do so for at least the near future - which could, in turn, prompt this coming downturn in oil prices - this correct, more or less - to be fairly short-lived.

A great deal will depend upon how quickly and how efficiently oil shale production can be ramped up. With large-scale investment going into Alberta, that can be expected to ramp up somewhat quickly, and should help oil maintain a fairly stable adjusted-dollar trading-range for a few years whenever it does finally become a large factor. (The price-point for that remains to be determined. However, we're safely above the breakeven point of around level-dollar $50/barrel, so since there's good money to be made, it will be made.) However, even if that were to be at, say, a level-dollar $60/barrel, I think it's likely that there will be another downward adjustment in the US dollar, resulting in a slow 30% rise in unadjusted dollars over two to three years.

In completely unrelated news, I woke up and watched the milk truck pull up the street early this morning; out popped probably an eight year old(?) girl - "OMG milk maid!" - who ran up to get the list for her father, who then brought up the milk, yogurt, and cheese. It was so cute it made me grin all morning. ^_^

And here, since I hardly ever post budgie pictures; this is Oasis. She MUST KILL ALL RINGS! At least, when she thinks nobody is watching. ^_^

Oasis vs. Rings
Destroy All Rings!
solarbird: (dmw)
Oasis (budgie) has been paying more and more attention to Zoe (parrot), and spending a lot of time on the far left side of the cage just hanging out.

Zoe just went off on one of her BRAK rants at one of her toys, and from the other room, I could hear Oasis following along about half a beat later, trying to imitate her with his much tinier voice.

I am stupidly charmed. ^_^

And a quiz )


Sep. 29th, 2004 11:34 am
solarbird: (Default)
Rainsong - my ancient budgie - died overnight. She was 13 years, 5 months old, more or less, which is somewhere over 140, in human terms.

She seemed fine yesterday, but, well, birds are good at that. Active and hoppy. She couldn't really fly anymore, and occasionally she'd forget and try to fly-jump a little too far, and we'd hear <crash> in the other room and wince and giggle, "Poor budgie!" But she never seemed to mind.

Oasis, who is now ten, isn't too freaked, but is already being more social - clinging to the side of the cage next to Zoe, making more noises. He may not understand where Rainsong went, but he does know "hey, my flock is missing. That sucks!"

Zoe mostly seems to be concerned with GIMMIE CHEERIO. I guess she decided they weren't tiny her after all.
solarbird: (molly-content)
Zoe (my parrot) is a Quaker, which is the only (as far as I know) parrot that nests. They form big communal apartment-building-style multi-room nests, in fact.

I was cleaning the budgies' cage just now, and she started making the territory-alarm noise. I looked over at her, and she's all upset - someone's invading someone else's part of the nest!

I knew she liked the budgies, but I didn't realise she connected with them quite that well.

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