Schrödinger’s bird: Suzu-chan lives!

I got an email from the Wild Bird sanctuary a few minutes ago about Suzu-chan.

I am happy to report that the finch you brought to Wild Bird Rehabilitation was released last week.  It stayed with us for about 1 month, gaining strength and good health.  Thank you very much for your concern!

Say what?!

I wrote them back:

You sent me mail last week saying it died! This is what you wrote on August 4th:

I am so sorry to have to tell you that Suzu-chan did not survive.  This sparrow kept its head tilted, which indicated to us some neurological damage, and it did not respond to treatment.  Our thanks for your kindness.

Which is it?

Everybody was really distressed about its dying. And I thought he had lots of strength when he came in, which is why I was surprised by your initial response. Now I’m surprised by the new email.

Please confirm which is correct!

They just replied:

Urg!  We got our numbers all mixed up.  You were asking about #4470, but the number was really 4770!  Your bird was the one that was released last week, happily so!  And you were right – it had a lot of energy and strength, which increased in treatment, so that it was able to fly free as of last week.  My sincere apologies for causing grief.  Please be happy now!  Thanks.

So I think Suzu-chan is alive. Maybe. I wouldn’t know for sure unless I saw it at this point. And in one email they referred to it as a finch and the the next a sparrow. Though those are interchangeable sometimes I know. For example, Java Sparrows are also called Java Finches.

On another note, Kokita-san tells me Chako is doing fine and will send me a photo. But Purple has become Schrödinger’s cat.



Bits and pieces: Chako, diet, iPads

Sad news to report about Chako

My neighbor, who had continued to feed Chako every day in secret from her husband, behind her house, said that after the huge 45 year record snowstorm last week, Chako has not yet returned. We strongly suspect she was unable to survive the snowstorm.

Sort of a lonely feeling that if she passed away she had to go like that. But if so, she did live the normal lifespan of a feral cat. Even though feral, she seemed sweet and quiet. We tried our best with trap, spay and release. But she could not get used to people, except for me occasionally “nose-bumping” her.

Purple did return after the snowstorm, and my neighbor continues to feed him.

Some old blog posts and pictures of Chako can be found here:

Diet update

I might have gone into a panic over nothing regarding my diet. Since yesterday, in one day, my weight dropped 2.2 kg = almost 5 lb. Obviously there must have been some water retention.

Nevertheless, I think all the high-glycemic foods I’ve been eating (white rice, senbei, corn-on-the-cob) has altered my hunger cycles. Plus rice has a large number of calories. So I’m going to stop eating rice every day and make a couple of minor, non-vegan, changes to my diet.

For example, I ate low-fat cottage cheese yesterday for the first time in 2 years. A container has only 224 calories, but a whopping 34 g of protein, and is very low fat, and very filling. Non-fat dairy is actually allowed on the Ornish program, so I don’t feel this is too far off.

I decided not to add chicken, but I did add some small amounts of fish (sashimi) yesterday and today. That is also very low calorie and filling. I don’t think I’ll wreck my heart trying this for a couple of months. My dietician and doctors all recommended it in fact.

In early April I have my next checkup. If my cholesterol goes up I’ll rethink. Otherwise I might continue to allow small amounts of dairy and fish as part of my diet to help control appetite and keep calories low. Everybody is different. We all have to find our best way.


I like the iPad 4 I recently received (thanks again, Dave!) so much I’m thinking of selling it.

Sound contradictory? It makes sense to me, and I think it’s not just “gadget cravings” for the iPad Air.

The iPad 4 is such a huge improvement over my old iPad 2 in visual quality, speed and very importantly in the fact it has Siri, that I find myself grabbing for it even more than my Nexus 7 now. I really enjoy using it, even though it is heavier than my iPad 2.

Since I’ll be making a trip to the U.S. next month, it seems to me an iPad Air with cellular might be a perfect thing to take along. I can get a no commitment one-month contract with tethering in the U.S. and stay connected with all my devices from everywhere, and not bother with renting a mobile wi-fi, or separate phone, etc. The iPad Air would become my mobile hot-spot.

It seems it would be a perfect, utilitarian, light-weight carry along. And in Japan I can use a sharing data contract with my iPhone 5, so it will only be an extra 1,300 yen a month in running costs.

So I think I’ll sell my iPad 4 – and older iPad 2 – and even older iPad 1. I don’t know the combined values, but I think together they will go a long way to covering the cost of the iPad Air. So it seems worth doing.

And that’s my update for today.

Anybody want Purple?

Purple is one of the two strays I feed. There’s really nothing more I can do for Chako except feed her, because she is feral. I can sometimes nose bump her but that’s it. I can’t touch her at all.

But Purple has become quite tame. I can touch him, stroke him, he even comes partway into my house into the genkan area. He has quite a tame and friendly personality.

Surely someone who can keep cats can come by and take him home? Contact me if interested.


Chako and Purple

Purple is a long time associate of Chako. Lately he’s been coming around again, so I’ve been giving him food. He is what I would call semi-feral. Unlike Chako, I can pet Purple while he’s eating and sometimes he’ll be curious and stick his head inside my front door while I’m putting food in the bowl.

It occurs to me that if somebody traps him that Purple might make an okay house cat. Let me know if you’re interested.

Tonight they both came by together so they were eating side-by-side. Sigh.