How to catch a pet parakeet / budgie on the loose outside

how to catch a pet parakeet

During the last week of July a blue parakeet, or budgie, began eating at our backyard birdfeeder. It was immediately clear this bird was a pet on the run. My wife Amy scanned the local Facebook pages and learned nobody reported a missing bird. Days later she posted photos I took of the beauty on Facebook and a few parties expressed interest in the bird. A neighbor loaned us a cage to assist in the capture.

I placed the bird cage on our brick patio with the guillotine door facing the bird feeder and stacked two bricks on top of each other to make an impromptu staircase to the door. A piece of fishing line was connected to the top of the door, routed over a few impromptu pulleys and through the screen of our kitchen window. The line was pulled taunt keeping the cage door lifted up. Inside our home the terminus end of the line was tied to a rack near the window. Cut the line and the door drops.

Day after day we watched the budgie eat the seed from the ground, repeatedly circling the cage. A week passed and I watched, in shock, as our friend pecked his way onto the bricks leading to the cage door. Is this really happening? He poked his head into the cage, noticed the food tray and hopped in! From inside my home I cut the string and “Wham!” the cage door dropped trapping the feathered fugitive inside.

Hours later Amy delivered the budgie to a new home. We wish many years of enjoyment to the family.

Repair broken NRG Digital Table Warmer 231-0293

repair broken nrg digital table warmer 231-0293

A quality massage table is very important to my wife Amy, a massage therapist. Many clients find the warmth of an electronic table warmer beneficial for various reasons. Enter the NRG Digital Table Warmer 231-0293 found “on sale” for $70+ dollars. Amy purchased one of these pads; it lasted six months before the controller crapped out and died. She purchased another, stored the extra pad and plugged the new controller into the original pad. Give it about six months and that controller bit the dust as well.

Always curious with electronic stuff I took apart a controller to inspect for a blown replaceable fuse. I didn’t find any. I poked around a few of the components with my meter to test continuity, it all checked out. I sent one of the broken controllers to my electronics expert friend Charlie. He found a blown thermal fuse positioned under a resistor on the circuit board enclosed by a glob of thermal compound. When the resistor reaches a temperature above 76 degrees Celsius the fuse trips and permanently shuts down the controller. RIP.

Both Charlie and I went to work locating the manufacturer of the thermal fuse Set Fuse (, the Model Number is K0. We reached out to the very enthusiastic and helpful sales department and a week later Charlie received the fuses direct from China. He replaced the fuse and returned the controller to me. I unpacked the box, removed the controller and dashed to the massage table. With the controller attached to the pad I plugged the controller in and Voila! The controller turned on like new.

I possess the remaining replacement fuses and I’m looking forward to repairing the other blown controller. While I have the second controller disassembled I plan on measuring the temperature of the resistor while the unit is functioning to examine how close to the cutoff temperature the resistor becomes. Hopefully the new thermal cutoffs last longer than six months each. At best we extended the life of these otherwise perfectly good objects, keeping them out of the landfill for now.

Kalalau Trail Topographic Map and Backpacking Tips

lalalau trail topographic map and backpacking tips

Some of you may recall my wife and I hiked the Kalalau Trail on the Na Pali Coast of Kauai, Hawaii the last week of May 2015. When I was planning the trip I searched high and low for a good map of the Kalalau Trail with no success. The first complete map I found of the trail was in the parking lot at the trail head. I took a photo of the map and used the map on my camera screen while we were on the trail.

I brought the photo of the map home and digitally cleaned up the artwork in Photoshop. I added a few tips and hints regarding what I learned about parking safely and good places to camp along the way. I’ve done my very best to match the map at the trail head. To my recollection this map reflects what I experienced during my backpacking adventure on the Kalalau Trail.

I am sharing this map to help plan your adventure. The above image is only a small section of the complete map. Please remember, I am not a cartographer and I cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information.

Kalalau Trail Complete: 24 MB: (1) 21″ x 9″ page
Kalalau Trail 3 Pages: 16 MB: (3) 8.5″ x 11″ pages