Saturday, April 19, 2014

The Dog Whisperer.

So,  I mentioned that “company’s coming”,  and this was part of the package.

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Um ya.  This is “Milo”.   He’s a pretty good dog, considering he’s still really a puppy.  I think he’s still not quite 2.  Calm beyond his years.

AND,  somehow I’m now “dog sitting”. 

Seriously?  What the hell?  

I think by this point in the relationship,  he has a pretty good idea as to just who the “alpha dog”  is,  and it ain’t him.  It’s *never* any creature with four legs. And certainly not any creature I let inside these four walls.

Doesn’t chew on sh*t.  Doesn’t jump on the couch. Doesn’t sniff yer balls.  (I hate that).   I hear his owner’s back yard is a bit of a disaster,  but he’s welcome to dig up anyone’s lawn.  Except mine.

You know,  I see these little missives online,  going on about how somebody’s dog is “part of the family”.  Well you know, *I* might be part of the family,  but I’m sure if I started sniffing your ass,  you’d probably wonder what was up. Of course,  I have some definite ideas about that whole relationship between Man and Dog.  It goes like this,  “I’m the MAN,  and you’re the DOG”. 

But really,  if your dog is part of the family,  (and I’m OK with that,really)  then you’d best teach him or her not to destroy the trim around the doors, or generally be a complete and utter tool. Because if he’s “part of the family”, and is a complete and utter tool,  then you must be too?  Ah yes,  it’s The Tool Family. 

And,  we’re not talking about Milo here.  Let’s keep that straight.

He does get a little agitated when you burst through the front door,  and just might bark.  Dogs are notoriously near sighted,  so I gave him a pass on that one.   I threatened to feed him some chocolate,  and he shut right up.   Google “chocolate for dogs”,  and you’ll know what I mean.  Actually,  I’ll save you the trouble.

 

Anyway, ‘nuff of that.  Hope everyone is enjoying their Easter.  With whatever that entails.  

My Good Friday ritual involved going to two different pubs,  getting a free meal,  AND a T-shirt.

Someone on the Book of Face mentioned something about the “Easter Service” being great or wonderful or something.  Well yes,  I had great service at both locations.  Thank-you very much.

 

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Yup,  gonna be sailing again this year.  It’s been a few years.  You may recall that I went out at some point in the fall.  Didn’t screw up.  That’s the main thing.

So we had a “meeting”  at one of the watering holes in Bronte,  and I offered to pay for my lunch,  as did other members of the crew,  but the meal was taken care of by the skipper.  Alrighty then!

I know most of these folks,  although since I was overseas, (since 08!)  there have been a few new faces.  And others who used to occasionally sail on Baccarat,  but who are now full timers.

See,  here’s the thing.   It’s all fine and dandy to own a sailboat,  and you may be able to go cruising all by your lonesome or perhaps with your “first mate”,  but if you want to race,  you need a crew.  

It never hurts to feed the crew,  and if it makes you happy,  provide them with T-shirts.   I have a few of these,  in other colours. Along with a host of hats.

It’s all about the swag.  Seriously.  Between the Company that Possibly Could be Named But I need the Typing Practise and sailing,  I have drawers full.

 

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In other “news”,  the people across the road have finally decided to move the rest of their stuff.   You can’t see it from here,  but they’ve been bringing boatloads of stuff over and shoving it in the garage.  It’s a two car garage,  and it was completely full.  These guys brought the beds,  mattresses and other stuff that wouldn’t fit into an SUV or the back of a pick-up truck.

Oh,  and you’ll notice there are a few bags out front there?

Well,  we do have a system whereby our yard waste is picked up every other week,  and you can use these store bought paper bags.  However, this ISN’T the week. 

Should I call the municipality?   Should I be “that guy”?

 

See at what I mean?

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There’s gotta be over forty fecking bags out there!

I floated the idea of taking over my old snow thrower,  an old TV and maybe that old printer and scanner and just sticking them all in amongst the bags.  T.C. though that was an OK idea.

But no,  I won’t do that.  I am tempted to call though.  There’s this whole “out by seven a.m. but not before five p.m. of the previous day” thing.  

I’m not sure what the thought process is there.

I’ll have to sleep on it.

 

OK so,  try not to O.D. on chocolate.  I’m trying to reform.  I can’t make any promises when it comes to Potica however.

 

Thanks for stopping by.

 

 

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Thursday, April 17, 2014

King Tut’s Tomb.

So, “company is coming”,  which is another way of saying “Bob needs to clean until he faints”.  Or decides to take some Ibuprofen.

Anyhoodle,  I’m mostly done at this point,  and figured I’d best stop for a bite to eat before I get even crankier.

I did manage to empty out one of the moving boxes that I had shoved in the downstairs closet.  It’s mostly stuff I don’t know what to do with.  Can’t bear to part with these maps,  although I suppose one day I’ll have to do something.  It’s a great time waster flipping through them.

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This is only the tip of the iceberg, believe me.  Not only were we in quite a few countries in Europe,  but I’m not always 100% convinced that the Navigation System should be relied on.   So we always had a map or two with us. 

Actually no,  that’s a lie.   On one trip to Verona (that would be Italy, by the way) it occurred to me after we found ourselves on a brand new “Autopista”  that wasn’t showing up on the GPS,  that I had in fact not brought along a map.   Silly bunt.   We made it there,  and over to Venice for a day, then back and back to Austria,  so I guess we dodged that bullet.

 

I meant to mention something about the maps there.  If you happen to click on the link,  you’ll notice that one of the ones along the top is a “Fietskaart”. 

I’m going to go out on a big fat limb here and say,  you will only find such a critter in the Netherlands.   It’s a map of all the bike routes in the province of Overijssel

“Fiets” = Bike.  “Kaart” = Map. 

How awesome is that?  And of course,  it gives all the distances in Kilometers.   So, instead of seeing some old couple meandering down the road in their aging Crown Vic,  you’re more likely to see a couple elderly yet pretty damned fit pensioners out on their tricked out bikes,  heading from B&B to B&B while on holiday.  I could just go on and on about biking infrastructure in The Netherlands,  but I’d just end up getting depressed.

 

As I was making my way through the routine this morning,  I really wanted to get some of the flotsam tidied up,  and had this bright idea I’d peek into the cold storage under the front steps.

Well….

 

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It’s better than it was,  but I wasn’t about to put anything in there without having a vacuum cleaner at the ready.  This is one of those jobs that I have been putting off like nobody’s business.   I did part company with all the preserves that we had left behind when we moved,  but that wine there is another story.  It could be OK,  or maybe not.  It was never my intention to keep it any longer than about six months to a year.

I had a look at the date on one of the tags I left in there.

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Hm, 2006?  Didn’t use long corks?  I’m not optimistic.

I’ll have to crack one of them and see what’s up, but not right this minute.  And that’s the problem.   Because once I close that door again, *poof* it’s gone.

It’s probably all going down the drain,  and I think that’s the other thing that I sort of dread.  Hate to throw out what otherwise would have been perfectly good wine.  Stay tuned.  I guess.

 

I might have a chance to utter a peep or two this weekend.  Not sure.

If not,  have a fine weekend.  The weather is improving.

 

Thanks for stopping in.

 

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Tuesday, April 15, 2014

The curious letter.

OK so,  yesterday I mentioned something that we got in the mail that I thought was rather….odd.  Normally I would simply turf something like this out,  but I thought I’d share.

So,  there was no actual name above the address in the little window box of the envelope.  Just our address,  which I’ve blanked out here.  Not putting my address on the internet fer heaven’s sake.  Bad enough trusting the gobermint with our information with the heartbleed business, but that’s a whole other story.

Don’t get me started.

 

Anyway,  no actual name,  so I thought “Hey that’s a good scam.”  I mean,  just randomly pick addresses out of the phone book, and fire off an “invoice”.

Well, who uses an actual phone book anymore, really?  But you know what I mean.  And,  it turns out it is an actual company,  although I’m not about to provide a link.  T.C. looked it up.  They exist.

So here we go:

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I don’t recall which one was the cover letter,  but it might have been the one above.  Doesn’t matter.

So let me just paraphrase what this dough head was saying.  “We’re kinda dumb and we don’t understand this tax thing,  so could you send us money?”

Oh and,  it’s also wrong.  We don’t even have *that* tax anymore. 

And you know,  you can look sh*t up on the internet and find out all about importing,  exporting.  Taxation.   You should try it there, Matt.  

It’s amazing really,  that whole internet thing.  It’s not just for sharing dumb jokes and some of that *rude* stuff.  There’s actual information to be had out there!

OK so,  did you get all that?  They were “audited”.

Right. 

 

And so,  to support their “claim”,  they include all the documentation.

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Oh,  and then there was an additional sheet to fill out with a credit card number.

 

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Oh my fecking Gawd! 

Where shall I begin to explain the stupidity here?   First of all,  it may very well have been a legitimate purchase by Daughter Number Two who was living here for the last four plus years.   Fine and dandy.  She was here today,  I honestly forgot to ask,  because it matters so very little.  Because really? 

Here’s the thing,  if you go into a shop and they forget to charge you the tax that they’re supposed to collect on behalf of some government or other,  then guess what?  They’re on the hook.  You’re long gone.

And really FOUR DOLLARS???    

Postage is a buck,  and then what?  send you a cheque?  Oh wait,  in US funds?  Let me just run out and get a money order.  ‘Cause they’re only ten bucks.

I’m tempted to call up this “Matt van Dom” just to tell him how uttering stoopid he must be.   Or think I am.

Maybe I misread that.  Was it Matt van Dumb?   That would be too obvious.   I can only hope that this was somehow generated by some automated program installed by a room full of a thousand monkeys smacking away at a thousand keyboards. 

That I could accept.

Never know,  maybe I’ll be getting a threatening letter next.  Of course,  It would be a good thing if they actually had a NAME to add to their documents. D’ya think?

And don’t worry,  I won’t be calling Matt any time soon. Unless of course I block my number…

Meh,  not even then.  Couldn’t be bothered.

 

Now,  the upside of all this?   I got to try out our nifty new scanner/printer thingy.  It’s an HP 4500 something or other.

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We’ve been going through some peripherals over the last little while. 
First of all,  the scanner was no longer being supported by the new Windoz program.  So that sucked.

THEN,  our old reliable printer,  which WAS being supported by the new Windoz,  decided to crap out.

Oh,  and let’s not forget the web cam.

BAH!

I mean, the printer and the scanner were both TWELVE YEARS OLD, so I can’t complain about longevity or anything.  I mean,  what’s that in computer years?  144?  A long time. 

A long.  Time.

So I found us a new one.  Had to go to Futile Shop to pick it up,  but it’s here and working just fine.  There was a “deal”,  and it was either there or “The Source”.  It came down to whoever wasn’t sold out.

AND,  it’s wireless.   I just sits there in the little spot that was originally designed for a massive typewriter (it’s an old desk)  and will spit out whatever I want it too.  Oh,  and I’ve *almost* figured out how to get it to print from T.C.’s Ipad.   Somehow the POP is being a bastard.  No big deal.  It will print pictures from her Ipad, but emails?  Meh.

Scanning something of course means I have to actually open the door to the desk and pull the thing out,  but I can suffer that inconvenience.  

I mean,  I have to lift the lid and everything.

 

Normally I’ve never been keen at all when it comes to the “all in one” type of devices,  but it was only just under eighty bucks.  And that’s including some feckin’ 10 dollar “environmental fee”.    *pfft*

So we’ll see how long it lasts.   I suppose if we don’t pack it up and move it half way across the globe,  that should help?  Who knows?

 

Didn’t want to say too much about it,  but we had that white four letter word stuff earlier today.  It’s mostly gone,  but still cold out.  

And I’ve already put away my winter coat but hey,  it’ll be nice again in a few days.  Let’s hope.

 

Keep those sticks on the ice.

 

Thanks for stopping by.