Preparing for summer outings in the UP, I went to the US Geological Survey (USGS ) website to order the 25-30 7.5-minute topo charts I needed — at $8 a pop. Bought charts last summer from the same site, but of course I have no idea where my customer ID or password are, so I entered as new customer after two hours of filling the shopping basket, and then it spit me out because “another customer” (that would be me) has my e-mail address. Duh. And of course, no way to get out of my paradox or electronic box. I had gone head-first into the tar baby and could not find a way to pull loose.
But I have Irish blood. Stubborn. And sometimes even clever.
From previous research I know from another website of a local Kalamazoo biz that sells Topos. I drive down there and the clerk says, “We only got local ones.”
I quipped, “You should make that clear on the website.” Of course I could have called, too, but didn’t.
“BUT, sayeth the clerk with infectious optimism and the promise of fulfilling customer service, “We can order them for you!”
I said,” Okey doke.” He stepped out of sight and I heard a woman’s voice, and he returned with a very in-charge white-haired lady of my age who said with mega shrillage and personal annoyance: ” We can‘t order one. We gotta order five of each in order to order for you.”
I said, “Fine, forget it and change you damn web listing.” They don’t want nearly $25o in sales, so be it. Turns out, I’m not so clever.
This has been a rainy, blustery day. This morning the muttsker and I walked to beat the rain. I was looking at something and he disappeared, which NEVER happens. Forty minutes of searching and no luck. I found some very fresh deer tracks, but not his but still figured he might have run off after a deer, then given up, and found some other sort of diversion. I went home and got the truck. I pulled down a parallel road to a cul de sac in time to see him trotting west for home, yelled for him to to come to the truck, and he came. I have no doubt he was headed home. He drank an entire bowl of water and has quaffed several toilet cocktails to boot.
All day the talk on national public radio out of Ann Arbor has been about not panicking people about avian-swine-human flu outbreaks, which might be or might not be a new flu, but probably is (or isn’t), and idiots and dolts are calling in to see if they should take their kids to emergency or call their doctors. Yo, if you have to call a radio station to ask what to do about a sick kid, your kid is likely in deep doodoo. The U.S. State Department (or some government agency allegedly is advising people to skip non-essential travel to Mexico. Meanwhile the European Union, I think I heard, is advising Europeans not to come to US and we’ve had a grand total of 40 cases, all mild so far. What the hell is going on with this world? We’re becoming a bunch of whining, whinging wimps. And today is Barack Obama’s so-called “100- day Report Card.” I’m still getting email from his web organization (whose braintrust apparently considers me an ardent supporter) but nobody has ever answered or even bothered to acknowledge my one question to the then-candidate.I will say this: I like the President and after 100 days, it’s nice to have a Pres with English as his first language and who seems to be actually engaged in doing as much as delegating like a cardboard MBA.v (I voted for neither Obama nor Dubya.)
Some days are real fun. Over.