Thursday, February 2, 2012

And…..we’re back.

Getting back “on the line” was really a matter of being able to get a hold of an actual human being on the other end. 

For any of you who have had this experience,  and since you’re reading this on line,  that’s quite likely 99.99% of you, (some times relatives can be pressed into service) you already know that getting through to an actual human is the biggest part of the challenge. 

We’re still not sure what the exact nature of the problem was,  and I’m just glad I was willing to give it one more shot yesterday afternoon after coming home from the café.  The message this time around was a little different (although I’ve forgotten it by now,  so whatever) and lo and behold,  before I knew it, there was a technician on the line!   I didn’t even have time to pinch myself.

I started off by saying “Deutsch ist nicht meine Muttersprache”,  (German is not my first language)  which turned out to be not much of a problem,  and we sort of waffled back and forth between English and German.  It’s only once in a while that I come up with a blank,  so it’s always good to know if I can slide into English if need be.  

He needed my mobile number in order to call me back, since he had to reset something or other,  and that would have meant the phone would have been out of service as well.   We have VOIP here,  which only means that it comes in by way of cable.   We still have long distance issues,  unlike our phone account back in Canada which,  due to it being VOIP with Cogeco,  means every call within North America is a local call.   Pretty awesome,  really.   

So that,  as they say,  is that.  Like I said,  I still don’t know what the heck happened,  and the technician wasn’t forthcoming with any info.   Don’t know.  Don’t care.  Beyond my control anyway.


In other “news”,  and you may already sort of know this,  I hereby present the following item into evidence:




And that’s after it had “warmed up”.   It started out at minus 12 when T.C. left this morning. 


And I want to tell ya,  I was kinda wishing I had a little more of my face covered up this morning on my daily jaunt,  since my cheeks were starting to hurt just ever so slightly in between stopovers.   It would seem that most of Europe is in a bit of a deep freeze.  


This little guy at least has a fur coat though:


As reasonably liberal as the Austrians are about dogs,  there are some places where they’re simply not allowed.   You might join someone for a drink,  only to discover their hulking great Black Lab asleep under the table,  but if you venture into a bakery or,  in this case the butcher shop,  there’s not supposed to be any dogs in there.   A few weeks back there was one yappy little bastard in this shop,  and if he had kept his yappy little beak closed,  he and his owner wouldn’t have been told to leave.   If there’s a complaint,  I’m reasonably certain the proprietor can be fined.    I don’t know this first hand,  so I’m only guessing.

Curiously enough,  and this is only due to the type of news that I end up reading on line,  the City of Vancouver was just recently trying to update a by-law that makes this very activity illegal.    Yes,  that’s right.  If you’re going out for a walk with Fido (in Vancouver)   AND then suddenly realise that you just might need to make a stop along the way,  thereby needing to affix your dog to some immoveable object while you dash inside,  yer screwed!   If a “Bylaw Officer” (and isn’t that some sort of Oxymoron?)  comes along,  you can be fined something like $250 for leaving your pooch outside.    I’m not kidding.

The “argument” is that,  “Oh,  he might bite somebody”.   Here’s the thing,  if you’re going to leave some wild eyed snarling beast tied up within biting distance of anyone coming by,  that would be the second area of concern.  The first one being that you shouldn’t own a dog,  if that’s what you think is a suitable choice for an urban environment.

Much to the displeasure of many dog owners here in Wienerland,  a fair number of breeds were put on a list that are no longer permitted in the city of Vienna,  unless of course their owners could prove,  by way of training and through passing of a test,  that their dogs were indeed well mannered.   There’s also the mandatory “Beißkorb”  (muzzle) that must be on the dog in certain locations,  such as public transit.     Sometimes it’s a little amusing to see a wee dog with a muzzle on him that’s almost as big as he is,  but them’s the rules.

Oh,  and you might wonder just how they manage to pass this type of law?   There’s no need for some lone councillor to convince the rest of the elected officials.  No no,  in this case they had a referendum.   Quite possibly another way for the Austrian politicians to say,  “It’s out of my control”,   but the vote was overwhelmingly in favour of the new rules.    They’ll sometimes have a referendum for the silliest things.   But,   it seems to work,  and there’s no second guessing the will of the people.   Much harder for the voting public to suddenly feel abandoned by the local politician that they voted for too.  Keeps everything much more civilised I think,  all the while allowing the politicos to get on with more important things,  such as traffic management,  public transit or what have you.     I could mention a few cities in North America that need to prioritise their take on what the job should really entail,  but I don’t have all night.

Oh,  and by the way,  voter turnout in Austria for 2008 (the last recorded information available)  was slightly over 75%.    Puts a few other nations to shame,  but I think part of the reason is that voting is always carried out on a Sunday.  Wow!  What an idea!    No excuses.   No worries about getting home from work,  or any other nonsense,  just meander down to the polling station and mark your ballot.  So simple really,  that almost anyone can do it.



If anything “exciting” happens over the next day or so,  I’ll be sure and pass it on.   We haven’t quite froze to death just yet.   There’s still some winter left.


Bundle up if you have to.

Thanks for stopping by.


1 comment:

  1. Glad your back on line. Most times they can't tell you why it went down because they don't even know.
    That is one cold temperature. Glad we are here and not there! Bundle up! ~wheresweaver


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