Friday, September 29, 2023

7 Quick Takes about How Not to Name a Bird, Acting Jobs I Didn't Realize Existed, and Representing the United States of America

It's 7 Quick Takes Friday! How was your week?


My 11-year-old was thrilled this week to finally get a bird. She saved up for a long time to buy a cage and all its accessories, and then she had to present us with a detailed plan for cleaning up after the bird and taking care of it.

I've personally never liked green parakeets because I thought they were boring-looking, but this one is so interesting because it's really bright with a tail that fades into a gradient of blue.

The bird's name is a bit of a controversy. At first my daughter named it Pringles, but once she jokingly said "What are you doing, Mr. Birdo?" and the name sort of stuck. So the kids decided to incorporate both names and making it proper with the full name "Jonathan Pringles Birdo." 

It was a fine melding of ideas. But after a few days, one of the kids looked up how you tell the gender of birds and it's almost certain that Mr. Birdo is... a girl. 

So anyway, now we have a parakeet who goes by Jonathan, Mr. Birdo, or Pringles, whatever he/she/it is.


For the first day after we brought it home, the bird was pretty quiet. But when I put on music to do some post-run stretches the next day, it started chirping like crazy about 10 minutes into the playlist. 

I looked at what was playing ("Devuélveme El Corazón" by Sebastián Yatra), so I turned it down and Googled whether that meant the music was making it mad or happy. The web results told me that parakeets will join in with music they like, and that they even have favorite songs.

Over the next few days we played it lots of different music from different genres and I swear that the bird seems to love that specific song more than any others, even ones from the same genre and the same artist. Even when I went to find the link for the song to write this post and it started playing accidentally, it started chirping along enthusiastically in its cage.


The 7-year-old has been drawing pictures lately of things going really fast. He will sketch a vehicle with flames shooting out of the back and attach as many rockets as possible to speed it up even more.

For illustrative purposes, he even included a close-up of the speedometer reading "9999999999" to prove it.


The older kids and I have been watching a cartoon called Gravity Falls (it's rated Y7 but I probably wouldn't recommend it for kids younger than 5th grade). I was curious about the voice actors behind a few of the characters so I decided to look them up. 

I think that compulsively having to do this every time we watch a show or movie is a sign of aging. I don't even know why I care now. I just do.

Anyway, I was scanning down the list of characters and noticed that "Waddles" was listed as a character with a corresponding voice actor. 

Waddles is a pig. Not a talking pig, either. He's just a pig that makes pig noises. So I couldn't not click on the guy who voices him (Dee Bradley Baker) and go down the rabbit hole.

According to Wikipedia, Baker is "an American voice actor. His work consists of mainly vocalizations of animals and monsters."

My 17-year-old thought the ways he had to contort his face to make some of these sounds was horrific, but I was just straight-up 100% impressed. Can you imagine how fun it would be to have this guy as your dad reading you bedtime stories??


One thing we reiterate in our church is the importance of the family. In Latter-day Saint theology, the temple is the holiest place on earth, but you'll also hear an often-repeated statement that "only the home can compare with the temple in sacredness."

So our family was talking about that recently, and I asked the kids "How can we make our home more like a temple?"

The immediate answer came from the 11-year-old: "Stop acting like fighty hobgoblins."

I wouldn't have phrased it like that but YES.


Our Spanish exchange student is coming in three weeks. The school shared Paula's bio with us and my 17-year-old daughter exchanged a few texts with her, and now she's really concerned that the exchange student will be too cool for us.

She probably will be. We're not very cool. But as I pointed out to her, Paula won't know what differences are specifically our family and what's just America generally. So in the worst case scenario she probably won't pass any judgment on us, she'll just go back to Spain thinking that the entire United States is lame.

I'm not sure if that made her feel better or worse.


This weekend is general conference, the biannual live broadcast from the worldwide leaders of my church, including the prophet Russell M. Nelson. If you're looking for peace or direction in life, or even if you just want to satisfy your curiosity about the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints with zero commitment to talking to anyone or learning more, watching conference online is a great thing to do this weekend.

There are a few different ways to watch/listen but my family personally prefers the YouTube channel. Different talks or sermons are given in two 2-hour sessions on Saturday and Sunday, with an evening session on Saturday. 

On my list of things to do today is buy Conference Snacks. We'll be watching and eating, and thoroughly enjoying both of those things.

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Rehan said...
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