Friday, June 2, 2017

Harry's Tweetbag (2017)

Not only am I still exhausted from my trip to Idaho, I caught a terrible cold so I have asked Iowa's favorite bird,
Harry the cockatiel, to fill in for me on short notice with another episode of Harry's Tweetbag.

  Hello and welcome to my second blog post. I’m Harry the cockatiel which you would know if you read my first blog post which was published last year. I was hoping for a nomination for the Cockatiel Journalists of America’s best blog award but as I since found out there is no such organization so I’ll have to look elsewhere if I want to win an award for my posts.

  Hank is still too exhausted from his trip to Idaho to write his blog so he called on me to take care of this week’s edition after having those two beagles I live with write last week’s post. I didn’t mind having Daisy and Baxter boarded for the weekend but I missed sitting on Hank’s shoulders in the morning when he plays chess. In fact, I didn’t get any outside time while Hank and Kathy were away. I was a little worried about running out of food but one of Hank and Kathy’s friends came over every day to give me some fresh food and water. Anyway I had a lot of spare time and Hank left me his old iPod so I was able to work on my next blog post which worked out great since Hank caught a big cold and has been pretty wiped out ever since he got back from Idaho. Just like last time my post is made up from Twitter questions sent to @brokenpawn #AskHarry.

  My first question is from @WhatNext who says “Harry, don’t you think the election of President Trump signals a new level of divisiveness in America?” I don’t think so at all @WhatNext. I think Americans are getting along better than ever. Everytime I go on Facebook I see the liberals and conservatives being very generous in lending their posts to each other. Last year I saw my conservative friends posting complaints about how President Obama has golfed and vacationed more than any other president and how his wife spends too much money on clothes and how the President bowed to the King of Saudi Arabia. Back then my liberal friends would accuse the conservatives of sour grapes. But now that Trump is president the conservatives and liberals have happily switched posts and the conservatives are defending presidential golf outings and the liberal are posting the same complaints about the President playing too much golf and expensive First Lady-wear and how President Trump bowed to the Saudi King. If these groups that supposedly hate each other can share their Facebook posts so easily I don’t think there is real divisiveness to worry about.

  My next question is from @NBANerd who asks “Harry I imagine you have been following the NBA playoffs from Hank’s shoulder. Who will win the championship?” That is an interesting question @NBANerd and thanks for asking. I’ve been watching Hank bet and blog on NBA games for the last seven months. After he walks the beagles and lets me out of my cage for some outside time he enters the NBA scores in his basketball prediction program and I’ve been watching intently. I’ve seen a lot of both the Cavaliers and Warriors from my spot near the television. They are both good teams but I think the Cavaliers will be able to guard Steph Curry and Kevin Durant better than the Warriors will be able to guard LeBron James and Kyrie Irving. That makes me think the Cavaliers will win the championship. Hank says he is going to pick the underdog every game so he can get the points which makes sense to me even if it looks like the easy way out. I can’t argue with Hank too much – his prediction program seems to work and he is way ahead on the playoffs this year.

  Here's a chess tweet from @ChessHawk2008 who says “Have you played any chess lately? How about changing your handle to @ChessCockatiel?” That is one great handle @ChessHawk2008! I’ll see if I can get a handle for @ChessCockatiel. It sounds really cool. Hank stopped playing one minute chess after getting his new high rating on the Internet Chess Club last December and switched to three minute chess so that is what I’ve been playing also when he leaves his computer on. I like three minute chess a lot better because it gives me more time to hop around on the touchpad and make my moves. I also like getting more time to think since after all my brain only weighs a few grams. Here is a beauty of a game I played last Monday:

pgn4web chessboards courtesy of pgn4web.casaschi.net

  I missed my mouse click on this game and played a one minute game last month. I got in big trouble but moved at lightning speed and my exceptional vision helped me see the board and the clock all at once so I knew White was running out of time. Luckily I won or else Hank would have thrown a fit about losing his silly all time high rating but I don’t hear him complaining now that his one minute rating is even higher than before at 1639!

pgn4web chessboards courtesy of pgn4web.casaschi.net

  Here is a tweet by @ SNAP_Outrage who says “Harry, What do you think about the cuts to the SNAP [that means food stamps] program?” Well, @SNAP_Outrage I’ll never be eligible for SNAP so I don’t think too much about it but I did do some research on this so I could give you an opinion. I don’t see anything wrong with giving people who are hungry some food but here is what I don’t understand. I see that food manufacturers and Wal-Mart are the most outraged over the proposed cuts because they make the most money from the SNAP program. Why would a government program dish out over 70 BILLION DOLLARS every year just let to people put a large chunk of it into the pockets of Wal-Mart and food manufacturers? There should be a way to make sure SNAP card holders buys food at a discount. Then the people who need food can get it and the government cost-cutters can get what they want too. It’s a win-win as long as you are not a food manufacturer or Wal-Mart!

  I have time for one more tweet and hopefully a less controversial one. This one is from @MovieGirl who asks “I know Daisy loves Steven Seagal, Harry. I want to know who is your favorite movie action hero?” Thanks for the tweet @MovieGirl. I’m not much of a movie fan but since my cage is close to the television I do get to see the movies everyone else watches. I’m not much of a Steven Seagal fan. I'm not nearly as enamored of his steely glare as Daisy is because I have quite a glare myself with my pupil-less black eyes. The best movie I saw this year was the 1981 “Road Warrior” with Mel Gibson. Gibson isn’t quite the fighter like Seagal or Jason Statham but his Mad Max character is plenty tough. Besides, most of the action comes from the wild and weird characters that Max has to fight like Wez and the Humungus. It was a movie full of action and the only thing that could have made it better was to have a cockatiel or two in it. I’m sure cockatiels would survive the apocalypse since we could fly away from all the bad biker gangs that took over the roads.

The Road Warrior (or Max Max 2) is a great movie that has everything but a cockatiel...

  Well, that’s about it for my second blog. Thanks for reading. Hopefully Hank will feel better by next week and take his blog back from us animals but if you want to hear more from me send a tweet to @BrokenPawn with the hashtag #MoreHarry!