Musings From The Edge

"Not all those who wander are lost" - J.R.R Tolkien

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

What books have you read?

I got this meme from Ms Teacher

Look at the list of books below.
* Bold the ones you’ve read
* Italicize the ones you want to read
* Leave blank the ones that you aren’t interested in.
* If you are reading this, tag, you’re it!
**If there are any books on this list that I didn't italicize and you think I should read, let me know in comments! Also, what other books do you think belong on this list and why?

1. The Da Vinci Code (Dan Brown)
2. Pride and Prejudice (Jane Austen)
3. To Kill A Mockingbird (Harper Lee)
4. Gone With The Wind (Margaret Mitchell)
5. The Lord of the Rings: Return of the King (Tolkien)
6. The Lord of the Rings: Fellowship of the Ring (Tolkien)
7. The Lord of the Rings: Two Towers (Tolkien)
8. Anne of Green Gables (L.M. Montgomery)

9. Outlander (Diana Gabaldon)
10. A Fine Balance (Rohinton Mistry)
11. Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire (Rowling)
12. Angels and Demons (Dan Brown)
13. Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix (Rowling)
14. A Prayer for Owen Meany (John Irving)
15. Memoirs of a Geisha (Arthur Golden)
16. Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone (Rowling)
17. Fall on Your Knees (Ann-Marie MacDonald)
18. The Stand (Stephen King)
19. Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban (Rowling)
20. Jane Eyre (Charlotte Bronte)

21. The Hobbit (Tolkien)
22. The Catcher in the Rye (J.D. Salinger)
23. Little Women (Louisa May Alcott)
24. The Lovely Bones (Alice Sebold)
25. Life of Pi (Yann Martel)
26. The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy (Douglas Adams)
27. Wuthering Heights (Emily Bronte)
28. The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe (C. S. Lewis)
29. East of Eden (John Steinbeck)
30. Tuesdays with Morrie (Mitch Albom)
31. Dune (Frank Herbert)
32. The Notebook (Nicholas Sparks)
33. Atlas Shrugged (Ayn Rand)
34. 1984 (Orwell)
35. The Mists of Avalon (Marion Zimmer Bradley)
36. The Pillars of the Earth (Ken Follett)
37. The Power of One (Bryce Courtenay)
38. I Know This Much is True (Wally Lamb)
39. The Red Tent (Anita Diamant)
40. The Alchemist (Paulo Coelho)
41. The Clan of the Cave Bear (Jean M. Auel)
42. The Kite Runner (Khaled Hosseini)
43. Confessions of a Shopaholic (Sophie Kinsella)
44. The Five People You Meet In Heaven (Mitch Albom)
45. Bible
46. Anna Karenina (Tolstoy)
47. The Count of Monte Cristo (Alexandre Dumas)
48. Angela’s Ashes (Frank McCourt)
49. The Grapes of Wrath (John Steinbeck)
50. She’s Come Undone (Wally Lamb)
51. The Poisonwood Bible (Barbara Kingsolver)
52. A Tale of Two Cities (Dickens)
53. Ender’s Game (Orson Scott Card)
54. Great Expectations (Dickens)
55. The Great Gatsby (Fitzgerald)
56. The Stone Angel (Margaret Laurence)
57. Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets (Rowling)
58. The Thorn Birds (Colleen McCullough)
59. The Handmaid’s Tale (Margaret Atwood)
60. The Time Traveller’s Wife (Audrew Niffenegger)
61. Crime and Punishment (Fyodor Dostoyevsky)
62. The Fountainhead (Ayn Rand)
63. War and Peace (Tolstoy)
64. Interview With The Vampire (Anne Rice)
65. Fifth Business (Robertson Davis)
66. One Hundred Years Of Solitude (Gabriel Garcia Marquez)
67. The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants (Ann Brashares)
68. Catch-22 (Joseph Heller)
69. Les Miserables (Hugo)
70. The Little Prince (Antoine de Saint-Exupery)
71. Bridget Jones’ Diary (Fielding)
72. Love in the Time of Cholera (Marquez)
73. Shogun (James Clavell)
74. The English Patient (Michael Ondaatje)
75. The Secret Garden (Frances Hodgson Burnett)
76. The Summer Tree (Guy Gavriel Kay)
77. A Tree Grows in Brooklyn (Betty Smith)
78. The World According To Garp (John Irving)
79. The Diviners (Margaret Laurence)
80. Charlotte’s Web (E.B. White)
81. Not Wanted On The Voyage (Timothy Findley)
82. Of Mice And Men (Steinbeck)
83. Rebecca (Daphne DuMavrier)
84. Wizard’s First Rule (Terry Goodkind)
85. Emma (Jane Austen)
86. Watership Down(Richard Adams)
87. Brave New World (Aldous Huxley)
88. The Stone Diaries (Carol Shields)
89. Blindness (Jose Saramago)
90. Kane and Abel (Jeffrey Archer)
91. In The Skin Of A Lion (Ondaatje)
92. Lord of the Flies (Golding)
93. The Good Earth (Pearl S. Buck)

94. The Secret Life of Bees (Sue Monk Kidd)
95. The Bourne Identity (Robert Ludlum)
96. The Outsiders (S.E. Hinton)
97. White Oleander (Janet Fitch)
98. A Woman of Substance (Barbara Taylor Bradford)
99. The Celestine Prophecy (James Redfield)
100. Ulysses (James Joyce)

I would also add that I've read and enjoyed Caramelo by Sandra Cisneros and Eragon by Christopher Paolini. I tend to read mostly fantasy books, I especially enjoy the books written by Margaret Weis. I also recommend any books by Michael Gear and Kathleen O'Neill Gear. They are an archeaologist/anthropologist team that write about ancient American Indian tribes in a fictional setting. I suppose they are considered historical fiction writers.

Tell me what you have read!

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Last Straw?

As much as I hate to say this, I think it's time to look for another job. The cons of this place are beginning to outweigh the benefits and the atmosphere is beginning to drag me down. Shall I elaborate?

Mr and Mrs Boss are generally nice people and in fact, I really like Mrs Boss. We are very much alike and I cherish the times we work together. Her husband however, is a different story. The husband and wife team push salesmanship...they really want us to be out there on the floor pushing the merchandise to make that extra sale. I've noticed that Mr Boss is a pushy salesman almost to the point of being obnoxious and he expects his employees to be the same way. Over the last year he has criticized the way I handle the customers, telling me that I'm not "leading" the customer, I'm allowing the customer to lead me around the store. He has told me that I need to take command and show them what they should buy. Personally, I have a problem with this. If the customer knows what they want, why should I push something on them? I will suggest products, but if they say no, I will not persist. If the customer doesn't know what they want, then I will be a little more insistent with the products, especially if I sense that he/she is open-minded to my sales pitch.

Mr Boss has a problem with the fact that I do not persist over any customer objections to suggested products. He has told me that I cave too easily and I need to have a sales pitch in mind. Have I mentioned the fact that Mr Boss used to be a car salesman? (No offense to any car salesman readers out there) I have tried to alter my sales pitch and even have been pushy but it seems nothing is good enough for this man. He has continued to criticize, sometimes in a rather nasty fashion, my sales technique. I don't engage in conversation with this man. He is a hot head and easily raises his voice to any opposing dialogue. So I keep my mouth shut and TRY to tune him out while he rants on about what a poor salesperson I am.

There were 2 incidents that I had with him this week that have proved to be the proverbial last straw. On Tuesday a gentleman came in to buy 2 bags of seed. Right now we're having a seed sale and there is an additional price break if you buy 4 bags of seed. I pointed this out to the gentleman and the man said no thank you. I reminded him that there was only 1 week left to the seed sale and he could take advantage of our seed storage program (you buy as much seed as you like and keep the rest in storage. It works like a bank...we get fresh seed in once a week so the bags aren't' the same and they're always fresh) and store those extra 2 bags. He firmly persisted with his answer and I obliged and checked the man out.

Mr Boss was on me as soon as the man left the store. Again with the "you cave too easily" blah blah blah. Then he told me that I need to make the customer feel stupid for not wanting to save money when they didn't want to buy the additional bags of seed. WHAT? First of all, I will NOT purposely make someone feel stupid. Why degrade another human being? I've often been on the end of that chain and it is not pleasant. I grew up with my father telling me I wasn't smart enough or good enough and that has STUCK with me...I struggle with those feelings of inadequacy to this very day. I have been in THERAPY for those feelings. So as you can imagine, this struck a big nerve with me. And then I looked at him and realized this man would do just about anything for the extra money. An extra 20 bucks essentially.

To prove his point he went through his sales pitch later that day with another man who only wanted to buy 2 bags of seed instead of the 4 bags of seed. He sounded like a jackass. He pushed the seed and said that he wished he could buy gas or milk when it was on sale and store it the same way you can store seed in our boutique. The man clearly was not interested and I could tell he wasn't listening to Mr Boss' sales pitch.

Yesterday Mr Boss really blew his top at me. A man came in and wanted to buy a bird feeder. He knew what he wanted so I showed him all the feeders. At the end the man mentioned in an offhanded way the fact that he bought seed at the hardware store. I showed him our seed and told him that our seed doesn't have the grain fillers in it etc and the man left. Mr Boss was PISSED at me for not showing him the seed earlier. Again he told me that I was letting the customer lead me around instead of me taking command.

He said "We sell fucking seed in our store. That's half of our fucking business and you let him walk out of the store without buying seed or giving him a sample. Again you let him lead you around."

I was almost in tears. But I held it together. I know this issue is about him. It's not my problem that he's a jerk. I'm not responsible for his feelings, I'm only responsible for my own feelings. Mr Boss is a bully and somewhere in him there must be an insecure person, perhaps a person who is afraid of failure. But that does not excuse his behavior. You may not like my sales pitch, but you must see that I am trying and I can't believe you just talked to me in that fashion.

I walk my path of integrity...if a customer says no and doesn't want something that I try to push, I will respect their feelings and not continually push the goods and I will NOT purposely make someone feel stupid.

And besides, I thought the store was about setting a positive atmosphere. Interacting with the customers, educating them and making them smile. Chances are if they have a positive experience, they will return. I may make a small sale today, but that person will return at a later date to buy more and perhaps consistently return.

I almost quit right there on the spot on Friday but the thought of not seeing my co-workers and even Mrs Boss made me stop. That's what's going to be hard. I really enjoy my co-workers and Mrs. Boss. Granted, I don't work with these 3 people very often, because about 90%of my time is with Mr Boss, but I cherish the time spent with my colleagues. The hours and flexibility are also a BIG bonus.

But I just can't take him anymore. How do you not let someone get to you? It's getting increasingly difficult. And what if I go on to another job and it's worse? And am I ever going to find that job where I can put my degree to work? A job that matches my passion for the birds and the environment?


Thursday, February 22, 2007

Thursday 13

Thirteen Things about CHICKADEE

1) Saturday night before I went to brush my teeth, I discovered a piece of lettuce on my front tooth. How long was that there? I had lettuce both at lunch AND dinner. Why did anyone not say anything to me? I WORKED on Saturday too and the thought of me grinning stupidly with that lettuce out there in the open the whole time was embarrassing.

2) Even more embarrassing then when I went to the Post Office on Friday and had a panty liner flop out on the counter in front of the clerk when I pulled my wallet out of my purse.

3) Olivia is in love with my little tube of chapstick. If it’s within paw’s reach, it’s off the table and in her mouth. She drops it and bats it around before picking it up again and carrying it off someplace to play with. I’ve found it in my shoe, under the table, near the couch…

4) I’ve been buying the Cinnamon Dolce Latte’s from Starbucks…they are sooo good. But I don’t know the correct pronunciation of Dolce. Initially I was pronouncing it “Dol-say”. I’ve heard clerks say “Dol-chey” and “Dol-say” as well. I’ve stopped saying it all together and just ask for the Cinnamon Latte. But which is the correct pronunciation? Dol-chey or Dol-say?

5) I don’t want to give too much away in case there are some Heroes fans that didn’t get to watch Monday’s show, but can you believe the ending? I didn’t see that ONE coming. I’m eagerly anticipating next week’s episode. What will Claire’s dad have to say for himself? And I think Matt is walking the thin line between good and evil.

6) The birds are beginning to sing again and that means spring is right around the corner! That also means that I need to start listening to my birdsong CD again. A good deal of birdwatching involves being able to identify birds by their song.

7) Mr. and Mrs. Boss are going to use one of my photographs for the next monthly flyer that go out to the customers. Granted, the flyer is only going out to a small number of folks in the city, but MY picture will be in that ad!

8) Here in my city, the GMC/Chevrolet/Saturn conglomerate has been airing a “President’s Day” car commercial that I absolutely hate. I HATE it. The commercial is aired at least twice a commercial run (so if the TV station has commercials every 10 minutes, that’s at least 10 times that commercial is on the air in a given hour??? Is that math correct???) from 7 – 10pm. I thought that once President’s Day was over, the commercials would end. WRONG. They’re still airing that commercial. I just about have a fit and fall over myself muting the TV when it comes on.

9) Can someone either email me or tell me in the comments section how to do the blogrolling thing? I’m having a difficult time posting my favorite blogs on my blog. And pictures…how do you post pictures in between paragraphs? When I’ve tried to download pictures, blogger only allows me to place the pictures at the head of the entry, or the end. Help!

10) I’m thinking about dying my hair. I’ve been thinking about it for the last 6 months or so because I’m going prematurely gray…well, silver. Almost 2/3 of my hair is now silver and it’s disheartening. I’m only 33!

11) I finished reading The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency. Overall it was a good book, but it seemed like Mme Ramotswe solved her cases too easily and quickly. But I got the impression that this was the introductory book meant to acquaint you with the main characters. I’m going to give book two a shot.

12) I have discovered the crunchy goodness of Grape Nut Os cereal. It is so crunchy but sooo good!

13) As with my last several 13 memes, please continue to keep my friend’s husband in your thoughts who is serving our country in Iraq right now. My friend was interviewed by a US senator yesterday on the effects that deployment has on spouses. Maybe she’ll stop by and leave a comment on some of the specifics of that interview!

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Maps and the horror of Mountain Mint

I volunteered at Nature Center A today (I'm designating the Nature Centers as A and B now) and the lesson plan was on reading maps, interpreting and creating map legends, identifying natural and man-made features on a map from the key and getting acquainted with the cardinal directions. Each group was given an aerial photo/map and a drawn map of the site and each leader was to help the kids identify landmarks on the map etc.

The afternoon session consisted of 16 lively second grade kids. During the introduction, Mrs. S (one of the staff teachers at the nature center) asked the kids what a map was used for and she received a few interesting responses.

One boy quickly responded "You can make a boat out of the map."

Followed by another that shouted "And an airplane! You can make an airplane."

And yet another boy thoughtfully replied "You can fold the map up and put it in the recycling bin."

Not quite the answers that Mrs. S had in mind. But once we got back on track, the kids quickly caught on. I had a smart group of kids. One of the boys proved to be excellent at finding our location by examining the position of landmarks on the map and the little girl in my group was good at determining the direction we were facing by using the compass.

At the beginning of the trip, the little girl asked if we were going to find the mountain mint that grew in the prairie. Mountain mint is a popular plant with all of the kids that come to the nature center. When crushed, the leaves and flowers emit a minty fragrance and most of the kids enjoy smelling the plant. I agreed that once we entered the prairie, we would find some Mountain Mint.

We spent some time in the woods before hitting the prairie and when I mentioned that we were going to look for the Mountain Mint, Boy A exclaimed "Mountain Mint! Oh I HATE that stuff."

Boy B agreed and then the little girl said that she hated Mountain Mint too. Sigh...peer pressure at work in my group. I had a feeling Boy A didn't really hate Mountain Mint and just enjoyed being dramatic so I persisted and found a small patch of mountain mint. Everyone plucked a piece of the plant.

Boy A rubbed his mountain mint and exclaimed "Oh, this smells awful! The horror of mountain mint!"

I rolled my eyes and said "Wow, you can really smell that mint. Doesn't that smell good?"

Boy B and the Girl smiled and ohhed and ahhed and held on to their mountain mint and even picked another bunch of the tiny flowers. We continued on the trail and Boy A periodically would burst into "The horror of mountain mint!"

Boy A found another patch of Moutain mint. He plucked it and smelled it, again exclaiming "The horror of mountain mint! The horror!"

I lightly flicked him on the top of his head and said "I think you just like to say 'The horror of mountain mint'."

He began to grin and quickly turned away so that I wouldn't see that smile. I remained silent while he continued on with his tirade of "The horror of mountain mint!".

I didn't mention that I saw his grin, nor did I point out the fact that he was still holding and smelling that horrendous mountain mint.


Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Flowers and memories

My mom and I went to the Botanical Garden on Sunday and I took an unexpected stroll down memory lane when we entered the Mediterranean House. This small building was filled with blooming camellia trees, impatiens and olive trees. My grandma had 2 large camellia bushes in her backyard and I went back in time as I touched the red and pink satiny flowers.

I thought of the weekends spent at her house, of the chicken dinners she made especially for us, the scrambled eggs for breakfast, the orange sherbert she kept in the freezer and the green candy dish that she kept filled in the pantry. I remembered the times my sister and I played in the toy trunk found in basement. The basement itself was a treasure trove of forgotten household items, books and storage trunks. Up in the dining room there was a large cabinet and one drawer was stocked with coloring books, paper, pencils and crayons. I remember sitting at the dining room table drawing and coloring in those books.

We slept in a spare room that served as grandma's sewing room. She had stacks of yarn on a table and a recliner sat in front of that table. Each time she tucked us in, she would sit in that chair in the dark until we fell asleep.

She was a sweet woman and a great grandma. She died of colon cancer when I was 14 and I was heartbroken over her death. I still think of her often and wish that I could have gotten to know her better, especially now that I'm older. But I have pictures, memories and some of her things. And it's nice when something as simple as a flower can bring up unexpected memories.


Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Thursday 13

Thirteen Things about CHICKADEE

1) I’m back after a 2 week hiatus. I’ve had to work the last 2 Thursdays. I’m usually off on Thursdays…I missed reading the 13s, not mention writing my own and receiving the comments!

2) I got a gift card to Borders for Christmas and I went to the bookstore a few weeks ago. It has been a long time since I’ve gone to the bookstore for ME. It was wonderful to peruse the shelves and read the various book descriptions. I picked up 4 books and joined the Borders Book Club. I’ve been on a reading rampage since picking up those new books. It’s great!

3) Mr. Boss seems to be a gassy person. He leaves the “silent but deadly” ones and it seems like I’m usually around when he drops these stink bombs. Come on dude, do you honestly believe that I can’t smell that?

4) I went to the store last week to pick up some deodorant and it annoys me that unscented deodorant is so hard to find. Why must everything have a scent? I’m sorry, but when I perspire, I don’t want to smell like tropical fruit or fresh linen. I hate it when I get the “Oh, you smell good, what perfume are you wearing?” What do you say? “That’s my deodorant. Isn’t it lovely.”? Argh.

5) Olivia has invented a new game called fetch. The object of the game is to get her human (usually me) to throw her toy across the room so that she can chase after it. Then she will sit at the toy until the human retrieves said toy to throw it again. Repeat. Can you teach a cat to fetch? I’m tired of throwing her toy and then running to retrieve it for her. LOL

6) The air has been rather dry in our household and the static electricity has been horrendous. Hubby and I shock each other on a daily basis. It really sucks when we kiss. Ouch!

7) And my hair…the static electricity has not been kind to the hair. I look like Einstein!

8) I get so annoyed with customers that comment on the cost of our merchandise. Yes, some of our items are a bit on the pricey side, but it is rude to say so out loud. If you have nothing nice to say, don’t say anything at all.

9) My co-worker friend and I have been chatting up a storm about Heroes. We’ve decided that even though Nathan is a bit of scumbag, deep down, he really isn’t all that bad. Of course Claire’s dad is evil and I expressed concern that the Haitian is going to get killed after it’s discovered that he did not erase Claire’s memory. But we both love Hiro!

10) And speaking of Hiro, hubby and I have a new catch phrase. When we are happy about something, we say “Whoo hoo! Waffles!” (Because Hiro exclaims that phrase in one of the episodes in the diner)

11) Well, according to the groundhog in Pennsylvania zoo, spring is just 6 weeks away. I am dubious of this proclamation…it has been so cold here in my neck of the woods. For the last week temps have not risen much above 20 degrees!

12) To my fellow World of Warcraft gamers. We’re 3 weeks into the Burning Crusades expansion. I made up a Draenei shaman (though I’ve been mostly playing my level 63 rogue) and even though I do not ordinarily play Horde characters, I made up a Blood Elf mage. What do you like about the expansion and what do you dislike about it?

13) Please continue to keep my friend’s husband in your thoughts. Several soldiers in his battalion have died in the last 2 months and his morale is low. Gabe, I think about you and pray for you every day.

Links to other Thursday Thirteens!
1. (leave your link in comments, I’ll add you here!)

Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Be sure to update your Thirteen with links that are left for you, as well! I will link to everyone who participates and leaves a link to their 13 things. Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!


Monday, February 05, 2007

Contrary Customers

I dealt with a lady on Friday that was the epitome of the contrary customer. She came in "just to browse" but she often stopped to ask me questions on different products located throughout the store. We have a section that is devoted to suet and suet feeders. Suet is the fat that surrounds a cow's kidney and the product is boiled, cooked and strained to filter out impurities so that the finished product doesn't quickly melt or spoiled once it is offered to the birds. It comes in a small cake form and the woodpeckers love it. There are several different varieties of suet offered (ie - peanut suet, raisin and peanut suet, cherry suet etc) The woman was interested in setting up a suet feeder and asked my opinion on which was the best suet for the woodpeckers. I told her that either the peanut munch or the supreme peanut cake were two good choices for the woodpeckers. She asked which of the two suet products that I thought was best and I told her that it did not matter. However, when she persisted, I conceded that I believed the supreme peanut cake was the best choice.

She paused for a moment with both suet cakes in her hand, weighing my words before saying "Well, I think the peanut munch is best, don't you?"

I shrugged and agreed. Sometimes it helps to make a decision when someone has a preference that is different from your own.

She wandered around on her own for awhile before stopping at the wind chimes. She rang several different chimes and stopped to re-ring 2 particular chimes. She turned to me and again asked my opinion on which was best. I eyed her warily, sensing a trap. But curiosity got the better of me. I wanted to hear her reaction to my preference.

I approached her and rang both sets of chimes. I picked one chime to which she promptly replied. "Oh. That one is so loud, don't you think?"

No matter what you say, there is just no pleasing some people. I can think of at least 1 other example of a contrary customer. A gentleman came in a few weeks ago, wanting to buy a feeder, but didn't want a feeder that was "messy". He had an "immaculate" yard that won an award as the city's best yard. (or something snooty like that) Well...I'm NOT the person to talk to about maintaining cleanliness. Anyone who has seen my jungle of a backyard or has heard about the mountain of procrastination that sits in my bedroom knows that I am "neatness challenged". I smiled at the irony of the situation and led him to the house feeders (feeders that have walls and a roof) and the tube feeders. Of the two feeders, I told him the birds were less likely to fling a great quantity seed out of the tube feeders.

"Will I get my cardinal birds with the tube feeder?" He asked.

"No." I replied truthfully, "But if you place a tray at the bottom of the feeder, you will get the cardinals."

"But then they will be flinging the seed off the tray, won't they?"


He eyed the house feeder and I reiterated that this was the feeder that the birds were most likely to make the biggest mess. He sighed and held on to the tube feeder and we moved on to the birdseed. I showed him the "No Mess" birdseed blend that we sell. The no mess is just sunflower seeds and millet without the shells. He waved his hand and said that the seed was too expensive. Fair enough. We discussed all the bird seed blends before he went back to the house feeder.

"I think the house feeder will be okay. I don't think the birds will make too much of a mess. I'm going to get one."

Whatever you say. You are the customer and the customer is always right...even if they are contrary.