Sunday, December 20, 2009

Catching up.

This is coming to you from the comfort of our comfy couch here in Burlington.

I'm still waking up just a tad early,  and may have the need to crash some time this afternoon,  but for at least the next dozen minutes or so,  I'm bright-eyed.

It's nice to be home.  I try and not muscle in too much into the space of those whose home it presently is,  so that can be a challenge, and I do have a bad habit of leaving my laptop out in the living room.  I'll try and do better.  I promise.

You'll see that I stuck in a post that I had written on December 8th,  since I never did get around to posting it from a wifi hotspot.  The good news is,  my son-in-law tracked down a new battery for the laptop and I'll go and fetch the thing most likely Monday afternoon.  It's just one of those minor inconveniences I suppose,  and I'll fork over the hundred bucks or so to once again have the flexibility one expects from a portable computer.

This time I'll be sure and exercise the darned thing.

I haven't even bothered to check back to find out when the heck Telecom Austria is going to show up.  Why bother aggravating myself?  There are plenty of other things to choose from if I need to cuss and spit.

A few things have taken place over the last few weeks.

I think I mentioned that we had an appointment with immigration.  Gee,  that was fun.
Not quite as organised as the Dutch I must say.  Didn't help that our lawyer was late.
He gave some elaborate excuse about traffic which,  if you know Vienna at all,  will probably fly most of the time (hey, I've used it,  but I had only lived there for about five minutes up to that point....)  but truth be told,  he kinda looked like he had just rolled out of bed,  and ran out to a park bench to rip off a pair of shoes from some local bum.

I think I mentioned this to someone in an email not long ago but it bears repeating:  As a Caretaker (and let's be candid here folks,  for the most part that just some euphemism for a freakin' janitor) I had to be more presentable than this guy.  I was,  after all dealing with the public.  I used to wear steal toed work boots that looked better than this guy's shoes.

I'm pretty sure there are shoe stores in Vienna.

OK, I'll stop now.

So there was some considerable waiting time there at immigration.  Glad that's over with.  The only outstanding item was that the lady at the desk (oh,  and that's a whole other story,  but let's not even go there)  wanted scanned copies of our passports since she couldn't quite figure out where the heck we had been over the last while,  and if you saw Gabe's,  it's a pretty good travelog.  Had it occured to me,  we could have stopped at the Austrian border back when we drove down,  and had our passports stamped,  but I figured once you're in the EU,  that's pretty much it.  Not sure if it would have helped or not.
We'll probably hear something or other in January as to our status.
I don't think they're about to give us the boot.

That would be a bit of a wrinkle,  now wouldn't it?

Meanwhile,  lemme see,  what else?

Gabe took a little jaunt over to Romania for a visit.  She's going to try and hit all locations about once a quarter.  So that means Romania,  Serbia,  Spain....
Oh,  and let's not forget the Czech Republic.
The Romanians didn't exactly carry her around like Cleopatra or anything,  but she was treated very well.  There was some pampering there.  She brought home gifts which,  if you're only taking carry-on,  can be a challenge.
Um,  for those of you wanting to take a little trip to Romania,  it seems that checked luggage has a habit of getting lost in Bucharest if you have a connecting flight,  which she did,  so it was all about the carry-on program.

These little snippets do come in handy,  don't they?

The controllers in these locations that report to her are very appreciative that she's willing to take the time to come and see them,  since there are still a few issues that need to be sorted out.  I'll not bore you with the ins and outs of the Sarbanes-Oxley Act,  but the business world for US companies changed after the fallout from Enron,  and if you suddenly find yourself part of an American Corporation,  getting it all sorted out can be a headache.

Oh,  and we got the new car on December 3rd I think it was.   Bit of a different experience than dealing with the Dutch,  who basically handed over the keys and said something like, "It's out in the parking lot there somewhere".   This involved a tutorial from a guy from the local dealership,  and the car actually has the features that we want and need,  like a decent gps.  Not only that,  but this gentleman set up Gabe's crackberry with the bluetooth in the car,  which we never did get around to doing in the Audi.
The slightly different wrinkle was that,  instead of going to a garage or whatever to sort out the winter tires,  they were thankfully already on the car,  and the summer tires were distributed between the back seat and the trunk.  Since we have hubcaps (saw no need for crowding the budget with fancy rims)  the summer tires are on their own rims,  and I dropped them off at a garage just down the street from us on Zieglergasse.  I just have to give them a couple days notice in March and they'll do the switch.  The secretary there already set up a work order,  so I just have to make the call. 
I have a couple pics,  which I'll be darned if I can find,  but suffice to say it's a BMW 320d,  and is just a tad smaller than the A6 which,  let's face it folks,  is not a hardship in Europe,  since some of the places are not too roomy.  It's sitting patiently in our parking garage on Mariahilfer.   Meanwhile,  the Audi is sitting in the parking garage at the office,  waiting to get transported somehow back to the Netherlands.  That will get sorted out at some point.  There is a fellow who will be moving down from Denmark,  and he's been instructed to just use the thing instead of having to rent a car at the airport.  Once again,  it's all about the bottom line,  and well,  that is kinda common sense,  isn't it?
Now you might be thinking, "Gee Bob,  should you really be talking locations here?"   Well,  good luck trying to get into that parking garage if you didn't take your ticket with you.  We had a little bit of a problem with a really smelly guy sleeping in one of the stairwells,  so there was a phone call,  and now the place is locked.  Hey,  I was told it was supposed to be locked to begin with,  so I don't know who wasn't checking his doors,  but we got that sorted out.
Now let me just say this about that.  I spent a number of my earlier years on a farm,  and I'm pretty sure I've never smelled anything that made me want to gag as much this guy, especially first thing in the morning.  We'd hold our breath as best we could until we got to the elevator but really, I didn't think I needed to do that each and every morning. 
I'll admit that I'm not much of a "city boy",  but in spite of that I can put up with a certain amount of, how shall I put it?  Shit?   But not the human kind.

Gotta draw the line some place.

I guess that's about it in the update department.

Today I'm pretty sure I'll be making a few phone calls here and there.   One of the great things about having a phone line hooked up to the Internet,  is that we get to call anywhere in North America as a local call,  so there will be some phones ringing in a few different States and Provinces.

I hope to be seeing a few of the faithful over the next few days.

Keep it between the lines.

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Well, I've been getting too many spam comments showing up. Just a drag, so we'll go another route and hope that helps. So, we won't be hearing anything more from Mr. Nony Moose.
I guess I'll just have to do without that Gucci purse.