14

Snoops and Kommando: On the Prowl

Kommando: Hi everyone! We’ve been so busy interviewing other cats that we forgot our most interesting subjects.

Snoops: Who’s that?

Kommando: Us, silly!

Snoops: Things have been a little interesting recently.

Kommando: We got two new channels of cat TV. It’s pretty pawsome. They’re on the second floor.

Snoops: You may remember that we had four humans – two male and two female. Now we’re down to three.

Kommando: The younger female moved out. She brought home a strange male human one time. It was awful. He smelled worse that Horatio Hedgehog.

Horatio: Hey! I’m right here, you know.

Snoops: She didn’t mean it. You know we love you.

Horatio: Cats!

(He huffs and goes back to sleep.)

Kommando: Anyway her room is on the second floor and has views from two directions. One is even a new direction!

Snoops: It’s true. But it’s probably the most boring. There aren’t any trees that way.

Kommando: That’s true. But still, she was hiding it from us.

Snoops: True enough. It was so messy that it was hard to get over there.

Kommando: It hurt my delicate little paws to walk on it.

Snoops: Whatever you say, Kommando. Let’s move on to the pawsome TV show we found on human TV.

Kommando: That’s right; I almost forgot. It’s called “My Cat from Hell.”  Every time we see it, there are cats just being cats. You know, racing around and getting into stuff.

Snoops: Well, some of the cats are a little obnoxious. There seem to be awful lot of them who bite their humans. We don’t approve of that at all.

Snoops: She right. The pawsome part is that the human who runs the show, Jackson Galaxy, always blames everything on the humans! All the “bad” stuff that the cats do is because of something the humans do. Even scratching the drapes and pooping outside the litter box.

Kommando: Yep. They get homework and everything. And the humans work really hard to get their cats back to our usually sweet selves.

Snoops: He always says that there are no bad cats. We already knew that, but it’s really cool to hear a human admit it.

Kommando: Every week, the humans have done what they need to, and the cats have become snuggly like the rest of us.

Snoops: Life has been good.

Kommando: Well except recently. We got abandoned again.

Snoops: Oh yeah. Last night.

Kommando: Mom has been home with us 24/7 for the last few weeks. She had the other tunnel opened, on her left wrist. That’s two, so I think she’s done.

Snoops: It’s too bad. For the first couple of weeks, she wasn’t supposed to lift much of anything. And after that she had a weight restriction.

Kommando: It was great. Naps and snuggles and cuddles…

Snoops: It’s a good thing that she went back though. We used our last can of food the day before she went back. And she gets our food where she works.

Kommando: Oh, right. That would have been bad.

Snoops: At least she works nights. So we have someone here to wait on us all the time.

Kommando: And Dad had that flu thing a couple of weeks ago. He wasn’t much fun, but he was good to sleep on.

Snoops: And they get different days off, so they’re both here together.

Kommando: All right. I guess life is pretty good.

Snoops: And it would be perfect if we could get rid of all the noisy machines…

 

0

Peace in Our Time**

**A reference to World War One. Remember: I told you that one of the hazards of reading this blog was the possibility of learning something.

I wanted to remind you that this year is the 100th anniversary of the start of WWI. (Yes, we count the part before the U.S. entered.) Those of you with school-age children may want to be prepared for macaroni U-boats. I can also see a debate on the futility of trench warfare vs congressional debate. Maybe Congress could debate the futility of trench warfare. Would they see the irony?

Back to reality.This this post could have been subtitled “Technology Strikes Back Part, Part 2: Going Global.” Last week we lost all electronic connectivity.

That’s right. No Internet. No TV. No land-based telephone. If we wanted news, we had to read it. Which would have been a lot easier if the Internet had not caused the papers to either shut down or only print a few days a week.

As you may recall, I am not a huge user/lover of technology. When my husband came upstairs on Friday to tell me that Comcast was out, I don’t think I showed the proper level of distress. That really shouldn’t have come as too much of a surprise. I’m the only one in the family who could have been home from work for three hours without noticing it.

My reaction was more along the lines of a sigh of relief. No Judge Judy (a family member’s secret addiction). No shouts of triumph at 2a because someone’s team had finally breached the wall and was attacking their arch-nemesis. No pieces of candy, marbles, flying pigs or whatever mesmerizing for hours. No more hour-by-hour updates of someone’s family (not mine) reunion.

Best of all, no solicitation calls at dinner-time. Admittedly we eat early (about 4p), but the timing is amazing. I’m told that non-profits were not impacted by the No Call rule. There seems to be some sort of team-tag going on. I will just get rid of one, when another one finds our number. Considering that it usually takes 3-4 repetitions of “I’ve told you not to call x times” before it gets through, I’m thinking that maybe my own pre-recorded response is the answer.

I probably could have been a little more sympathetic. My husband does use home email for work since the email at work is down for upgrade. I figure if they can use the excuse that their email server is down, so can he. He’s worried about a breakdown in communication. As if anything has been able to fix that problem since the beginning of time.

My son’s friends took pity on him and invited him to the modern equivalent of socializing: sitting in the same room and each person facing a screen instead of the other people. I had heard about it, but the first time it happened in our house it was a little unnerving. Back in the dark ages, if two or more people were in the same room and not talking they were either fighting or bored. Unless it was mixed male and female.

My daughter turned to cleaning her room. It was wonderful. She’s been promising to do it for some time. She’s going away to college in the fall. It’s going to be really nice to be able to leave the door open and not worry about losing the cats.

In a way, the timing was a little unfortunate. Edgar (my computer) and I had finally come to a meeting of the minds (so to speak). I realized what a sensitive personality he really is. And he realized that I could permanently disconnect his power source. We can generally get through an entire session without angst. It probably helps that my son taught me how to move around the screen rather than having the screen move around on me.

Nevertheless, I probably suffered disproportionately little. Even one of the cats was put out. She spends a lot of time with my husband while’s he’s on the computer. In his lap, not the keyboard (she’s a little non-technical too). No computer, no sitting, no warm-blooded furniture.

I guess we’ve all become creatures of the 21st century.

Update: It is now Wednesday afternoon (5.5 days later) and the connectivity has finally been restored (they did something in the backyard.) Maybe Comcast is right – their customer service couldn’t possibly be any worse after a merger with TimeWarner.

5

Happy as a Trog

TROGLODYTE

1:  a member of any of various peoples (as in antiquity) who lived or were reputed to live chiefly in caves

2:  a person characterized by reclusive habits or outmoded or reactionary attitudes

The other night when I was watching “Person of Interest” on TV, the woman who is the brawn of the operation (I love that! I also love that they are finally letting Jim Caviezel smile – he looks so much better) says that she has found “some sort of Bible.” To which the intellectual says something along the lines of “Yes, that’s the Gutenberg Bible.”  They did not elaborate on what the Gutenberg Bible was. I wondered if they thought everyone knew or if they just moved on since it was not important to the plot.

Lately I’ve been feeling a bit like a Gutenberg press in a Movable Type world. Ironically, while moveable type is the current standard in web design according to their press release, its roots are older than Gutenberg. It was developed in China by Bi Sheng in the mid-11th century. Gutenberg introduced metal moveable type to Europe in the mid-15th century. Note: the problem with trying to be an intellectual smart-aleck is that either people won’t get the reference or they will be able to show you why it was a stupid analogy to start with.

I am typing this on a desktop PC. I may be the last college-educated person in the country without a laptop. I saw an advertisement on TV for a product that promises to be a laptop when you need it to be and a tablet when you want it to be. I have no idea what that means. That should probably bother me.

I guess I have a stupid phone. Is that what they call a non-smart phone? I can make calls on it. I can even text if I don’t mind hitting the key two or three times to get the different letters. I’ve always hated telephones. I don’t know how to make small-talk.

They probably shouldn’t allow me to have a cell phone in the first place. I’m not allowed to use it at work, and I never remember to turn it on any other time. Most people know this and don’t bother calling me on it. There are two people who insist on calling me on it. They always wonder why it takes me days to get back to them.

We still have a low-definition TV (much to my husband’s dismay). He tells me the sound is also bad on it. I’m not sure. I can tell what the people are saying – most of the time. As soon as I find something on television really worth watching, I’ll worry about getting something better to watch it on.

We don’t have a Blu-Ray anything. We haven’t watched 90 percent of the regular DVD’s we have, so why bother? And the headsets are just creepy to me – people walk around looking like they’re talking to themselves. And then wonder why they’re being ignored when they do ask someone a question.

Even my Kindle is pretty low-tech. I have a regular screen, and only use it to read books. I have a keyboard, but no use for it. I love that I can take it to work and not worry about it getting dog-eared in my locker. I also love that I don’t have to remember to bring a new book when I’m close to finishing the old one.

A couple of people have asked me to go on Twitter. I don’t get Twitter. For every witty bon mot, there seems to be glut of “just saw jen. can’t believe what’s she’s wearing.” Then you have to go to Instagram (or whatever) to actually see it. Of course, it would probably make more sense if I had a smart phone and saw the tweets real-time.

I belong to two LinkedIn networks, one Google circle, and Facebook. I am guessing my old MySpace account is still floating around somewhere too. All of those people probably think that I have moved to Tibersk (or wherever you have to be these days to be unconnected). I think I’m just too anti-social for social media.

Now that I think about it, the Troglodytes might be insulted that I am comparing myself to them. After all, permanent shelter and fire were cutting edge in their day.