Friday, April 15, 2011

Avoiding the Parrot Zone

Living in a house with a dog and a parrot will cause for some interesting situations. 

If the dog doesn't like something, she has free rein of the house.  She'll leave.

The parrot for the most part lives in a cage.  It's around a meter/yard square, 2/3 of that wide.  When I am through my morning routine, I let him out and he then has room to roam.

Thing is that while I am doing my routine, I usually have some music on in the background. 

Having a stereo with lots of speakers, oodles of watts to power them, and being in a fully detached house allows me the freedom to turn the music up if there is something choice on the radio.

Within Reason.

You see, having that stereo equipment is somewhat overkill.

Having a large stereo that pumps out booms of bass, much mid-range, and terrific treble is difficult to use.   I call it the "Lamborghini school of Music Appreciation".   I've heard driving a Lamborghini down any road is like having every teen with Mom's big block V8 trying to race you.  You know you could blow them away, they know you could blow them away, so why bother?

In my case, the Lamborghini is the Parrot, and I'm driving my old Honda Accord. 

The 1.6 Litre Engine simply can't beat that V12.

There is a certain level of sound after being obtained in the house, the Parrot joins in for Accompaniment.

For the most part, Oscar, My Orange Wing Amazon Parrot is quiet.  He'll chatter along with certain things like the popcorn popper that I use for roasting coffee most mornings, the vacuum cleaner or other things.  They're loud, I don't even like being in the same room with them and My Lettie has run off to the bedroom to hide.

Oscar at this point shows his other side.  His nickname at this point becomes "Chaos The Bird" and he starts getting loud.

Have you ever tried to out shout a parrot?   I don't recommend it.

So this morning, I was listening to a new music feed that I had found.  Beautiful crisp 256K MP3 stream from Shoutcast playing some Disco music.  I heard one song that I have liked, and realizing that it was the "Disco Version" (what else?) I proceeded to turn the volume up.


Yes, Love in C Minor, by Cerrone.   One of those songs that are my Kryptonite.

I had on my noise cancelling headphones, and before the song kicked in, I was thinking how silent the house was.  Nothing at all in the background from that annoying bird outside the window, or the FEC railroad a half a mile away.


And then Cerrone's girls started talking about a banana.   The version in the link above is the "radio" mix, you won't have any banana there, you'll have to find the long version yourself.  Enjoy, it's a beautiful work of Popular Music that is still played in dance clubs everywhere in the world.

By the time I had heard the first bass notes in the beginning, I was watching the on screen display go from 3 to 14 for the volume, and then moved onto the copy of Winamp that was streaming the song in crisp crystal clear sound go from yellow 50% to red at 100%.

Things slowed down as the heart rate went up and my head bobbed to the music.

Around 7 minutes (out of 14 or so) I realized I was doing something I simply couldn't do.  Beat the Lamborghini.

I had the volume much louder than I usually listen to music, and realized that I didn't really need the extra volume since it was so clean.  My refurbished Sony noise cancelling headphones that I got for $17 were much cleaner than those giant pieces of furniture that sit against the opposing wall under the cable box and the shortwave radio.

No Parrot Accompaniment Allowed.

I'm sure that the next door neighbors are happy too that I have those "cans" on my ears because the Parrot Zone can be jarring.

We go through this when listening to the TV or Radio in this house.   Play music too loud, have a commercial come on, and Oscar joins in.  Not a chatter so much as a sound like a tire being punished on an asphalt road under heavy breaking.

Not. Melodic. At. All.

Even the annoyance of a shrieking parrot can serve a beneficial purpose.   He's saving my hearing.   We keep volumes low because if we don't we're told by that green and orange bird that it's time to behave.  I've learned that with the noise canceling headphones, I can get by with less volume from the iPod or Laptop as well, so my hearing is better for it.

In fact, I find that others are having problems hearing what I can hear as a result.   Oh sure, those days I spent in a dance club without the hearing protection that I am known for will come back and haunt me, but for now, I've got some disco to listen to...

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