Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Paying back the fates for returning my cell phone to me

Today I was walking home from work and I was about 10 minutes from my house when a large gray cat started meowing loudly. It was moving slowly down the sidewalk. I shut off my music and said hi to it - as I naturally do with all cats. As I was on a main road lined with abandoned stores, I looked to see if I could see where it had come from. There was no obvious owner in sight, but as the cat looked a bit mangy but not in distress, I continued on my way.

Not a half minute later I saw a homemade sign taped to a light post. Even in the photocopied likeness the picture looked incredibly like the cat I had just passed. Which looked incredibly like the cat on the Simpsons (not Itchy and Scratchy, but their pet, and someone can clue me into the name because I can't be arsed to Google it). I scanned the sign quickly - lost, loud meow... That's what did it for me. The bit about the loud meow.

I turned back around and by this time the cat was lying on the sidewalk. I tore off one of the phone numbers on the sheet and ran back to the cat. I think that despite looking not too bad, it was overcome with the heat. I started petting it and calling its name. The whole time I was rummaging through my bag with my other hand, trying to locate my cell phone.

As I was waiting for the number to connect, a woman came out of the beauty salon in front of me. She told me that she thought the cat on the poster had already been found. She was holding another copy of the poster in her hand. At that point a man answered the number I had dialed. I started babbling.

"Yeah hi. Uh, did you find your missing cat? No? Oh well I think it's here. Yeah wait...[as I read the poster the woman handed to me]...green...and pink...collar...yeah...this is your cat. He's a little worse for wear but otherwise fine. So can you come here now? Should I pick him up? Will he bite? No wait - I'll stay here and watch your cat and you come here now."

I think the guy had managed to say about two sentences in amongst all of my chatter. He lived just around the corner. Me and the salon owner and another woman who lived nearby all stayed around the cat. I was still seated on the sidewalk petting it. A guy showed up quickly. Apparently the cat had been missing for two weeks. He scooped the cat into his arms and shortly after, the man's very pregnant wife headed down the sidewalk towards all of us. The man thought I'd found the cat at a bar. I explained that I had walked into their cat on the sidewalk. We surmised that someone had originally taken the cat as its id tag had been torn off.

I went on my way to the grocery store and left the cat lying in his human's arms.

It was kind of strange. We were all so low key. Believe me, if one of my cats went missing for two weeks I would be screaming with joy and hugging her none stop upon her return. This was all very casual, or maybe it was that in this heat none of us could process it all.

So here are my questions... I'm glad the guy was home, but if he hadn't been, what could I have done? I was going to pick up the cat and take it home with me, but that's always a risk of infection for my other cats. Also, carrying a strange cat in my arms by a busy street for over 10 minutes was not a process I was looking forward to. Still, the cat was apparently 20, so I wouldn't have left it outside. If it had been a dog and the owners hadn't been home, I don't know what I would have done. There's no way I would bring a stray dog into my home - I like dogs, but I'm scared of them.

Back online

I have been having Internet problems for several weeks now - more like a few months in total, but for the past two weeks it's been a constant nightmare. I would be connected for about a minute at a time, then my system would disconnect, then I'd have to wait about a minute before connecting again. The first time Rogers sent a technician, my system was in one of its miracle phases where nothing seemed wrong. The next week it all went to hell again.

I was supposed to have an appointment this past Saturday between 8am and 11am. I got up at 6:30am so that I could shower and clean up a bit. No one showed. I called Rogers and it turns out that the person who had taken my order had written down my phone number incorrectly. Initially I was furious. They couldn't send out anyone later in the day on Saturday, and that meant that the next appointment was Sunday afternoon. In other words, all my week-end plans were shot to hell.

I'll give them this though: Rogers did all they could to get me another appointment right away. I also realized that mistakes happen. The technical rep who had taken my order was a fantastic person who correctly diagnosed what was wrong with my system. Okay, it was annoying that he had written my phone number down wrong, but that's life. I know he didn't do it deliberately to fuck me over.

There is much that drives me nuts about Rogers (for one, their incredibly annoying voice prompt system), but once again, I'm going to praise online their technical service reps.

Monday, July 30, 2007

Help wanted

Got a spare internet moment? Would you like to help a lovely librarian (that would be me) ?

If so, please go to the web site www.annals.org and let me know if back issues of The Annals of Internal Medicine are available full text for free or not and if there is a hold back period (what this means is that articles are free, but only after a certain time period such as 6 months after publication). I'm not sure if my access is linked to our work IP address or not as we are subscribers. I need to know if my clients can access the articles from their computers or not.


Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Me me meme

Hotdudi tagged me to do the wikipedia birthday meme.

Here are the rules:
You go to Wikipedia, type in your birthday (month and day) & you list 3 events, 2 births, 1 holiday, and tag 5 friends.

Event #1: 1879 - The Tay Bridge Disaster: The central part of the Tay Rail Bridge in Dundee, Scotland collapses as a train passed over it, killing 75. - My grandparents lived near this bridge.

Event #2: 1912 - The first municipally owned streetcars take to the streets in San Francisco - I love me some streetcars

Event #3: 1981 - Pat Sajak starts hosting the daytime version of Wheel of Fortune - Well, I was addicted to that show back in the day

Shared birthday #1: 1763 - John Molson, English-born Canadian brewer (d. 1836) - I must drink more.

Shared birthday #2: 1842 - Calixa Lavallée, French-Canadian composer (O Canada) (d. 1891) - Thanks dude. I sang that song every day in grade school and stood for some horrific tinny muzak version of it every day in high school.

The Holiday: Yeah, none interested me, so I bring you instead what will now become my own personal tribute each year - I found out that Jerry Orbach, aka Lenny on Law & Order, died in 2004 on my birthday. I adored his character and it is because of Detective Briscoe that I was able to reunite the sculptors of my statue The Myth of Sisyphus with their lost dog. So from now on, I will have a drink for Jerry on my b-day. It will of course be a Molson's product.

Sunday, July 15, 2007


I want potato chips. Kettle Creek salt and pepper ones to be exact.

Or sex.

I don't see either craving being satisfied tonight.

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Annoyingly chipper

I'm so happy. I don't even know why. Well, not entirely. But, I'm happy and I'm filing and listening to my iPod at work and line dancing to Achy Breaky Heart.

[yes, I can line dance]