glimmer of happiness (bird speak part 1)

at the risk of sounding like a whiner people of the web wide world my life sucks these days...

i know i've done nothing but mostly moan and complain about stuff lately, but i'm not being a dramasaur when i say that my cousin larry completely destroyed everything i had going here in my new life in new zealand.

granted i did manage to fix things with owain, and i still have my job. however in this month of decemeber you'd hardly notice these things. that alone their being good.

owain went off to the north island to be with his family for x-mas, so i have NO one to hang out with (especially in light of craig's sudden disappearance).

though i have work to keep me occupied a lot of the time (i've taken on a bunch of extra shifts in light of nothing else to do) it is still just my regular old "boring" security job. larry managed to rob the fun of my job by pointing out how unglamourous it is (i really used to like it to). there hasn't been a sign of ms. rhonwyn or the new duties and responsibilities she gave me in my promotion.

much like novemeber i haven't posted much due to depression combined with the blog killer nothing happening in my life. can't talk about stuff that doesn't happen.

due to sheer boredom at the beginning of this week, caused by all the humans of dunedin doing x-mas stuff, i wandered aimlessly around the botanic garden before my next monotonous shift.

without thinking about it i strolled into the aviary, the site of the beginning and end of larry's visit. when i noticed where i was i initially didn't really care... until suddenly a bird's call caught my attention...

"hello," i thought i heard. i looked over to see a parrot. i figured it was just one of those talking parrots you see in pirate movies. i wasn't in the mood to talk to a pirate today... it scwalked again in bird speak i couldn't understand with a "the" in the middle of it...

however i realized something. it wasn't in english... though it had a heavy accent, and was almost different in structure this parrot had spoke almost coelurosaurian.

this drew my attention right in. in hindsight the presentation of something unfamiliar and mysterious was just what the doctor had ordered to break me out of my depression/routine stupor.

"hello," i said back. the kea, i noted from her aviary sign, chirped happily back.

"how are you?" i asked slowly, making every word separate and clear.

she replied a long reply. not that i understood a bit of it.

"traumador," i said bobbing my head. this motion is the same a pointing at yourself in theropod. the reason we do this you might ask? well you try pointing with an arm that barely clears your chest!

she tilted her head clearly noting what i had done. i repeated it several more times.

i was gratified on the sixth or seventh time with "hine," her head bobbed.

so her name was hine... maybe... i wanted to test. "hine," i said arching my neck downward. the theropod version of pointing at something.

she immediately responded arching her neck as much as a parrot can "traumador."

i couldn't believe it... i was talking to a bird! sorta anyway... i'd noticed when i came to the aviary just before larry's arrival that i thought i heard familiar sounds in their voices, and that i should look into it, but in the wake of all the misery of late i forgot about this idea (probably of a brain the size of a peanut i guess).

i must have spent a couple hours standing there trying to talk to my new friend hine. despite a good start to this process things slowed down a lot from there. seems that bird speech has changed a lot in the 65 million years since we coelurosaurs went extinct...

if i'm gathering it right also the change of hunting forelimbs into flying wings has changed a lot of the torso down body language. the only thing we seem to understand of each other's is neck and head motions.

then came a big break through... pointing at the cage i got an answer i followed! "... makes ... ... feel trapped."

hine didn't like being caged... who would?... but i understood her! that and i could now put my talon on the emotion conveyed by her weird body sway.

it was an amazing start to our "friendship". two creatures distantly related MILLIONS of years apart! i immediately planned on regularly coming back to try and bridge this gap between us.

sadly as i needed to get to work soon (after what must of have been now 3-4 hours... i lost track of time for the first time in a month!) i tried to conclude. "bye," with the theropod motion of the tail for conclusion. she just looked at me blankly. "good bye." "farewell." "have to go."

nothing. rather than leave her confused i repeated "bye." to her a few more times, and than left at a slow but steady pace. just as i was leaving eye distance she said something three times. clearly trying to reinforce it like i had... i took it to be her version of "bye", and so i tried to copy it back to her. hoping i'd guessed right.

as i walked by other bird enclosures i tried a brief introduction to see if i'd just imagined the whole thing in a desperate attempt to forget my whole current situation. it looked grim for a few cages. none of the song birds responded specifically, that alone constructedly. all i got were random replies or even ignored out right.

i started to lose my optimism, and could feel my heart sinking as i thought i'd been day dreaming or something. snapping me out of my reemerging gloom a cockatoo called back "hello ..."

i tried out the name game, and was rewarded with yet another name. shoe. not exactly a normal sounding name, but than again my name isn't exactly one that comes up much either...

carrying on with the cages i found it was only parrots and other psittacines who could understand me and vice versa (psittacines is the fancy scientific name for the parrot bird family). this was an interesting development that i noted, and was going to have to explore soon.

for the first time in two months i felt exhilarated at work, and the time just flow by. i even decided it was time to get out and live a little. so i turned down working tomorrow's shift, and took my first day off from work this whole month.

what did i do with my day off? well i set out for port chalmers. now i haven't been to port chalmers since doing that show with andrew during my whole countdown of doom. as the name implies it was a port, but what does a tyrannosaur possibly want to do at a port you might ask?

well for starters its on the ocean. i LOVE the ocean. it has big boats. i LOVE big boats. making it different from most ocean type places that i've visited around dunedin and BC this one has all sorts of cool sci-fi looking machinery all over the place.

it's like the temperature on hoth suddenly increased melting all the ice, but yet the empire is still invading LOL

the biggest draw for me today though... where there's ocean there has to be fish!

come ice age or high water i wasn't leaving the port today until i caught at least one fish! not a boot fish like the last couple times (that's right not one occasion but two).

so i cast off my line, and took in the beautiful and cool scenery of the port as i waited for what i hoped would be my lucky day. after all don't they say the third ones a charm?

the only problem with fishing, especially salmon fishing that i was trying, is that you spend about 2 minutes prepping the hooks and line 10 seconds casting it off, and than the rest of the time just letting it sit there.

even with my ubber short attention span (thanks again to my small brain case) there's only so many waves, boats, sea birds, and false bite alarms that can distract me from what some might consider a very boring interlude in the fishing process.

where every other bit of ideal time in decemeber i'd have been brooding on my life post-larry, this time i found i was on happy thoughts. in fact grand thoughts...

what if i caught the biggest salmon ever seen? what if it wasn't just a bit bigger than your normal salmon, but was the Amphicoelias of fish.

Amphicoelias is a legendary almost mythical sauropod dinosaur who was based on a few monstrous vertebras indicated a long necked dino almost 67 metres long!

just imagine that. a long necked dinosaur twice the length of a blue whale! though it probably still weighed nothing compared to the whale, but twice as long is something!

so why isn't it celebrated as the largest dinosaur of all time? (i seem to want to quiz you this post people of the innerweb)

well the thing is, leading to Amphicoelias's mythical status, is that the vertebrae disappeared in the 1890's. discovered by cope during the famous bone wars (though how you get fossils to fight a war is a bit beyond me?!?) he drew a single picture of it, and no one of the time raised a fuss about this (which they would have at the time had he been making it up, as tensions among palaeontologists were a little high during this war), and than puff the bones disappeared...

leaving us with a fantastic benchmark for the fossil that got away...

so there i was picturing catching the biggest fish that you ever saw. snared on my line and brilliant step up bait and hook. throwing itself in and out of the water in desperate battle with my reeling. till the end i'm somehow triumphed.

than comes the make belief news coverage. i go from public enemy number one, like i still am every now and than on the TV. suddenly i'd be a national fishing hero. the kiwis are big on their fishing and outdoors stuff.

catching such a make belief, but ever so unpossible (but not impossible), fish would be the coolest thing ever. not to mention how it'd fix my problems.

suddenly interrupting my imagining, the line started to tug. which is funny cause until now i've never seen my line actually tug before!

i was at a slight confusion of what to do. i didn't think a boot could or would put up this much fight...

after seriously a 40 minute battle of the fishing trying for its life to escape, and me desperately trying to figure out how to actually pull in a fish the most amazing thing happened...

i actually caught a fish!!! my first one ever! it wasn't even a small one, but a 10 pound chinook salmon!!!

alright i'm definitely going fishing again! hopefully talking to the birds soon too...

so there you go people of the web wide world. sometimes it's the small things that make life worth going.


david santos said...

Great posting, thank you,
you are master!

I wish you a good end of 2007 and a good year of 2008

Bond said...

Well Traumador, I hope we've cleared up our misunderstandings about the whole "Larry thing." We're cool, right?

Excellent work catching that fish! Did you let it go, or eat it? Loving the PalaeoFacts - keep'em up! Readership is going up and more and more people are reading your blog, Traum-baby!

Soon, we'll make you as famous as Larry - as your manager, I can see it! Happy New Year Traum!

The Ridger, FCD said...

Traumador, I want to wish you the very Happiest of New Years! May your problems be solved and your friends understand how much you love and miss them. And may you have many more happy days of fishing!

ps - I hope the birds and you manage to learn to communicate, too.