Archive for the 'dog' Category

Lights, Sirens, Action!

August 24, 2006

AmbulanceToday started out like any other, I got up, checked email…everything was fine. In the United States today many radio stations will be carrying a story about my music video release of “Rock and Roll Heaven.” I was quite excited to start the day and I came downstairs, greeted my mom and Max my dog…and then all hell broke loose!

With an Arrrrhhhhhhh!!! from my mom, everything started, and everything went to hell. She was in screaming agony. She sat down on the sofa and for the next half hour as I sat there, she was in pain, and then not and back to pain again. I was of course very worried because my mother has an extremely high threshold for pain, and does not usually actually scream in pain.

I called the local doctors surgery to see about getting her in. I explained that my mother was screaming in agony and she needed to see someone right now! The absolute incompetence of our local doctor’s surgery followed with orchestrated precision. They were unwilling and unable to change from the programmed response. They said that she would not be able to see a doctor until 4PM. By this time I was getting irritated and told them that was simply not good enough, she needed to see a doctor immediately, and would not be able to make it to the surgery under her own locomotion. As expected, I was placed on hold while “she checked” with the doctor on call. She came back and told me that she was unable to get us in before more than an hours time had passed. I told her that an hour was too long, and asked her for the phone number for our local Hospital, I did not think it necessary to call the emergency number. She gave me a number that was incorrect, outdated. With another scream from my mother I made the decision to call 999 and ask for an ambulance.

The ambulance arrived about 20 minutes later with two very pleasant paramedics/EMTs. They talked to her and determined after taking blood pressure and talking about medical history, that it was necessary to take her to the hospital Accident and Emergency Room. When we got there the usual waiting game started and she was finally seen by an emergency room doctor, about an hour later. He said it was nothing serious, and offered her a pain killer that contained Codine. My mother is violently allergic to Codiene, and when informed of this the doctor was unable to offer an alternative other than paracetemol, which is of course not a strong enough drug for agony. She arrived back in the waiting room less than 5 minutes after she had gone in and is still in similar pain now that we are home. I hope this clears up soon.

We had to get a taxi home which started another game when the Taxi driver told us that he had absolutely no idea how much it should cost, and that he thought it would be around 10 pounds, He radioed to his dispatch, and was unable to raise them without incredible interference on the channel. He had a mobile phone in the car and never once considered using it to call his dispatch. We told him we thought it would be around 5 pounds and I actually ended up calling the taxi agency and asking them myself! They informed me it was 4.50 and I told the driver. He was visibly irritated that he was unable to swindle us. So we got home for 4.50.

An incredibly stressful and non-productive morning.

You can never tell what life if going to throw you at you, can you? I will add that I plan to contact the doctor’s surgery and launch an official complaint. I am pleased with the diagnosis of “not serious” anything not serious means we can breathe a little easier, well I can, it still hurts for my mom to take a deep breath. I am hopeful that she will be better in the next couple of days, and I am grateful for the neighbours who have come and asked if I need anything and if my mom is alright. Knowing people care, really helps.

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Home Truths From a New BlogSpot Blogger

July 30, 2006

Cast your mind back to the other day when I posted about my mother’s unemployment situation – to the first comment that was left on the entry. Did any of you go and check out that guy’s blog? Well I did, and I want to share some entries from PJ Blue’s blog that is called “Old Dog – New Tricks” over on blogspot.

Knowing this is a new blog/blogger I was surprised when the entries were top notch! This is one of those blogs that you have to check out and find what humorous and truthful comment has been deposited this day. I also really liked his post about dogs and why they adore their owners so much. All in all a really cool and fresh approach to old problems!

The following is an excerpt from PJ Blue’s blog entry where he has quoted a letter written to a bank back in 1999. Very true and humorous, check it out!

Dear Bank Manager,

I am writing to thank you for bouncing the check with which I endeavoured to pay my plumber last month. By my calculations some three nanoseconds must have elapsed between his presenting the check, and the arrival in my account of the funds needed to honor it. I refer, of course, to the automatic monthly deposit of my entire salary, an arrangement which, I admit, has only been in place for eight years.

You are to be commended for seizing that brief window of opportunity, and also for debiting my account with $50 by way of penalty for the inconvenience I caused to your bank. My thankfulness springs from the manner in which this incident has caused me to re-think my errant financial ways. You have set me on the path of fiscal righteousness.

No more will our relationship be blighted by these unpleasant incidents, for I am restructuring my affairs in the second half of 1999, taking as my model the procedures, attitudes and conduct of your very bank. I can think of no greater compliment, and I know you will be excited and proud to hear it.

To this end, please be advised about the following changes:

First, I have noticed that whereas I personally attend to your telephone calls and letters, when I try to contact you I am confronted by the impersonal, ever-changing, pre-recorded, faceless entity which your bank has become. From now on I, like you, choose only to deal with a flesh and blood person.

My mortgage and loan repayments will, therefore and hereafter, no longer be automatic, but will arrive at your bank, by check, addressed personally and confidentially to an employee of your branch, whom you must nominate. You will be aware that it is an offense under the Postal Act for any other person to open such an envelope.

Please find attached an Application Contact Status which I require our chosen employee to complete. I am sorry it runs to eight pages, but in order that I know as much about him or her as your bank knows about me, there is no alternative. Please note that all copies of his or her medical history must be countersigned by a Justice of the Peace, and that the mandatory details of his/her financial situation (income, debts, assets and liabilities) must be accompanied by documented proof.

In due course I will issue your employee with a PIN number which he/she must quote in all dealings with me. I regret that it cannot be shorter than 28 digits but, again, I have modeled it on the number of button presses required to access my account balance on your phone bank service. As they say, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.

Let me level the playing field even further by introducing you to my new telephone system, which you will notice, is very much like yours. My authorized contact at your bank, the only person with whom I will have any dealings, may call me at any time and will be answered by an automated voice. By pressing buttons on the phone, he/she will be guided thorough an extensive set of menus:

  1. To make an appointment to see me
  2. To query a missing repayment
  3. To make a general complaint or inquiry
  4. To transfer the call to my living room in case I am there; Extension of living room to be communicated at the time the call is received;
  5. To transfer the call to my bedroom in case I am still sleeping. Extension of bedroom to be communicated at the time the call is received;
  6. To transfer the call to my toilet in case I am attending to nature. Extension of toilet to be communicated at the time the call is received.
  7. To transfer the call to my mobile phone in case I am not at home.
  8. To leave a message on my computer. To leave a message a password to access my computer is required. Password will be communicated at a later date to the contact.
  9. To return to the main menu and listen carefully to options 1 through 8.

The contact will then be put on hold, pending the attention of my automated answering service. While this may on occasion involve a lengthy wait, uplifting music will play for the duration. This month I’ve chosen a refrain from The Best Of Woody Guthrie:

“Oh, the banks are made of marble
With a guard at every door
And the vaults are filled with silver
That the miners sweated for”

After twenty minutes of that, our mutual contact will probably know it by heart. On a more serious note, we come to the matter of cost.

As your bank has often pointed out, the ongoing drive for greater efficiency comes at a cost. A cost which you have always been quick to pass on to me. Let me repay your kindness by passing some costs back.

First, there is the matter of advertising material you send me. This I will read for a fee of $20 per page. Inquiries from your nominated contact will be billed at $5 per minute of my time spent in response. Any debits to my account, as, for example, in the matter of the penalty for the dishonored check, will be passed back to you.

My new phone service runs at 75 cents a minute (even Woody Guthrie doesn’t come for free), so you would be well advised to keep your inquiries brief and to the point. Regrettably, but again following your example, I must also levy an establishment fee to cover the setting up of this new arrangement.

Best Wishes,

Your humble client

Flickr – Coolness Factor

May 2, 2006

FlickrI have just been to Flickr and configured the remaining settings and polished up photos that I have in my account over there.  If you had not noticed I actually have a Flickr “ticker” come into my blog for the photos on the right sidebar near the bottom. Go and check it out, here's a handy link.  Notice the notes on the photos and the full profile, I am trying to make it a worth while account rather than just an account I hold to store some photos.

Flickr – Community

I must say I am really excited about the community feel over at flickr, aside from the usual bullshit posts of spam and obscenity most people have something to say in comment and the comments are mostly worth reading. I like the actual photographic quality than some of the contributors who treat Flickr like more than a Family album, demonstrate with their posts. I am not however criticizing people who use it as a family album as I use it for random photos of my Family including my dog!

Flickr – Features

If you use Flickr at all you will see that there are several really interesting features, such as the Blog connection, the favourites, notes on individual images and of course the fact that you can copyright your images with the Creative Commons License, which I have done. There are also the feature of having contacts, which really helps if you have friends and family on Flickr, you can sort of cross promote your images for maximum exposure if you pardon the pun.

Better than all the other photo storage websites available?

I think Flickr is definetly better than the other leading brands of photo storage sites online. When you think about it, Flickr is just taking off, and getting higher and higher, with no ceiling in sight. When you look at some of the other sites they require you to sign up for either a pay service, if it isn’t pay, there are huge ads everywhere and most of all these sites are usually full of bogus posters and spammers.  When you look at the other photo storage websites, they have very few people who are actually posting images of real photographic quality, mostly free porn or other crap.

I really like the community surrounding and saturating Flickr and I know the site has a lot of future potential eventhough it is already taking the internet by storm! Keep your eye on Flickr and get your account there and start uploading photos if you have not already done so!  Share your Flickr ID's here and we can talk about the photos over on Flickr!

(I am not in anyway an employee of Flickr I just wanted to draw your attention to an exciting website if you were unaware or had not given it enough thought!)