Helloo-o-o, birdbrain!

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Walking along briskly early this morning, I heard a bird call, an almost human-sounding whistle. Wheeee whoo wheeee whoo. It seemed to be coming from the tree tops in the little woods I was passing.

Wheeee whooo wheeeee whoooo wheeee whoooo.

On and on it went. Persistent little thing, I thought. Hm, so persistent, I realized, that it couldn’t be a bird. Probably a car alarm, I decided, although it was too pleasant a sound for an alarm…

Oh-h no, who’s the bird brain? It was my phone which I carry in my pocket on my walks as dictated by my daughters. As I walked, listening intently to the “bird,” I missed a call that I only just now remembered to check, a call I didn’t want to miss. Nuts.

So now my ringtone is a “classic” that sounds just like the phones I grew up with:
ring-g, ring-g, ring-g, ring-g.

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‘The Dodo’ drawing, Birdadorable Bonanza, 2009
Cartoon, Mike Keefe, The Denver Post, 2011

Knifed and forked.

Screen shot 2014-11-07 at 2.23.10 PMRemember electric knives? They were the go-to present for brides back in the 1960s. As far as I was concerned they were just another gadget to clutter my tiny kitchen, plus cleaning the blades was a pain, and the gadget, like many “tools,” was designed for a right-handed person. That gave lefty-me another reason to dislike it. Electric knife indeed!

The knife ranked right up there with an electric can opener in my estimation. I could open a can way quicker with the old “turn-key” type.

At some point during that decade I was on a quest to find really different present. I went into store that had gift ideas displayed inside the main entrance. And right in the middle of the table was…was it…an electric fork?  I laughed.

“What does it do?” I asked the salesman.

“It heats up,” he said, trying to hide his grin.


“That’s all, it just gets hot.” He laughed with me.

I had better things to do with a hundred bucks than buy a hot fork!

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If this fork is electric, that swan is in for a big surprise! Installation: Swiss artist Jean-Pierre Zuragg, 10/17/14.

My electric knife didn’t last long in my kitchen, but I did use it for non-food related activities over the years. It was great for slicing slabs of foam rubber to make Halloween costumes or new “throw” pillows, and I remember using it to nip errant threads off the edges of tablecloths just before company arrived.

Turns out, though knives for kitchen use were a short-lived fad, medical and forensic science adapted them, in smaller and more refined sizes, for use in operating rooms and morgues. Who knew? Electric knives for home use are now available again for another generation to try and then discard.

Another gadget remotely related to an electric knife is a musical cake slice. I found it on a list of ten weirdest appliances. The thing plays “Happy Birthday,” “Jingle Bells,” “The Wedding March” and “For he’s a jolly good fellow” while you slice the cake. Presumably there’s a way to choose which tune.

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Top ten.

But who am I to laugh? I have a birthday candle holder that plays “Happy Birthday.” Three years ago I couldn’t find it. In a panic I dashed to the grocery and bought another. It wouldn’t be a birthday with out my musical candle.


No laughing matter.