Friday, August 5, 2016

Harry's Tweetbag

I am heading to Duluth, Minnesota this weekend to play in the Twin Ports Open and didn't have time to write my regular post. Luckily Harry the cockatiel was able to fill in for me on short notice. I hope you enjoy Harry's thoughts as a cockatiel in Iowa.

  Hello and welcome to my first blog post. As most of you know my name is Harry. I am a cockatiel and the only feathered animal in this house. I used to share my cage with a cockatiel named Mr. Feathers. Mr. Feathers and I originally stayed with a family in Des Moines until they got a new baby and our constant squawking and whistling kept waking up the baby. So the family gave us to Hank and Kathy. We shared the cage for years until one day during our outside time Mr. Feathers flew too close to Daisy the beagle and she snapped at him and killed him. Ever since then I’ve been alone in the house. Not really alone but alone in terms of feathered creatures.

  Hank and Kathy were going to get me a playmate but they read on the internet that introducing cockatiels to each other takes months and even then they may not get along so they decided not to get another cockatiel (You can read about it here). Then Hank read that while it was good for a cockatiel to have a friend it didn’t have to have another cockatiel – we can bond with humans (It's true - click here to find out). Every day during my outside time Hank would have me sit on his finger for a few minutes. Eventually I let him pet the feathers on my head and now we’re best buddies.

  I get outside time away from my cage for a few hours every morning. We close off my half of the house from Sneezy the cat and I get to hang out with Hank before he goes to work. I help him play chess on the internet. I sit on his shoulder when he’s playing and squawk in his ear when he’s about to make a bad move. Most of the time he makes the bad move anyway and blames me for making him losing by being noisy. When Hank leaves for work then I hang out with Kathy for a couple of hours, reading the other side of the paper she’s looking at and then it’s back to the cage for me.

  Normally the beagles would be writing Hank’s blog post but since they just wrote one last month and I didn’t have anything better to do Hank is letting me fill in for him while he’s in Duluth playing chess. Writing a blog post is easy for the beagles because they get out of the house for walks and beef stick treats. I get to leave my cage for a few hours every day but I never get outside. That would make it hard to write a blog post if I didn’t have anyone to discuss things with but luckily I knew I’d be writing this post and put out a call for questions on what else – Twitter @brokenpawn #AskHarry.

  My first tweet is from @Curious1976 who asks “Harry, we all know that birds can’t control their bowel movements. When Hank’s playing chess with you on his shoulder and you go to bathroom on him doesn’t he get upset?” Well, Curious1976 that is a pretty silly question. Birds can control their bowel movements (see it here) but we might make over 40 a day. If you had to go to the bathroom 40 or more times a day I doubt you would get through a day accident free either. Anyway to answer your question, Hank barely even notices. There was one time when he started his new job and he came home complaining that he was in a big meeting with my poop on his shirt. I played dumb and now Hank does a ‘shoulder check’ before he goes to work. It was no big deal because he didn’t like that job too much anyway.

  My next tweet is from @TrumpOrClinton who says “Harry, congratulations on your first blog post. I was wondering who you are supporting in this year’s presidential election?” This is a great question, TrumpOrClinton. I like how Hillary Clinton used every trick in the book to get to run for president. She used her buddies at the Democratic National Committee to keep Bernie Sanders from getting the nomination and her FBI connections to not get charged with having national secrets on her own e-mail server. If she can use those tricks on America’s enemies she will make America great again. But I have to side with Donald Trump because I think we’re related. I mean look at the hairline!

  @QuietGamer tweets “Harry, you said you sit on Hanks shoulder when he plays chess and watches You Tube videos in the morning. Do you have any favorite YouTubers or favorite games?” QuietGamer, I’m glad you asked! I like the accents on the ChessExplained and MatoJelic channels but my favorite ‘YouTuber’ is Simon Williams, the British grandmaster. I don’t like how Simon curses when he loses but I love how he calls his ‘h’ pawn ‘Harry the h-pawn’ and races it up the board. Here’s a sample.

Simon says…’It’s not a game of chess without Harry’!

  I love how Simon plays in a wild attacking style. That’s how I like to play when I have a chance to sneak onto the Internet Chess Club when Hank forgets to turn his computer off when he goes to work. Here’s a game I played last week:
pgn4web chessboards courtesy of

  Not a perfect game but keeping in mind that my brain only weighs a few grams and running around pecking the touchpad on Hank's computer isn't easy this game was pretty darn good if I do say so myself! And since I won Hank won’t even get upset like the time I lost 50 of his silly rating points. Maybe Hank should take me to Duluth to play!

  I have time for one more tweet. It's from @MediacomBad who asks “Harry, I’ve seen from your pictures that you sit near the TV. What’s your favorite show?” That’s a great twitter handle, MediacomBad. Even though my cage is right near the television, Kathy watches her shows from Netflix on her computer. Hank likes to watch ‘Blue Bloods’ but it looks like whenever I watch it the family is gathered at dinner eating chicken so I try to avoid that show and look at the handsome bird in my mirror instead. I like to watch sports and squawk like crazy at big moments because it makes Hank crazy. If I had to pick a favorite show I’d have to pick this one. It must be super popular because it’s on all the time!

  And on that note I'll end my first blog post. Hank will be back next week and probably write about his chess tournament in Duluth for the next couple of months especially if he does well. If you liked my post and want to hear more from me and less from those silly beagles send hank a tweet at @brokenpawn and use the hashtag #moreHarry!