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This Day in My History


The newest computer can merely compound, at speed, the oldest problem in the relations between human beings, and in the end the communicator will be confronted with the old problem, of what to say and how to say it.

~ Edward R. Murrow

Yesterday's Entries

2000: Picturebook Pretty
  Hot Flashes
2002:  Check This Out
2003:  Groaning at the Groaning Board


Breakfast:  Special K berries
Lunch:  Tomato Sandwich
Dinner:  Walt is going to barbecue something


The Oath
by John Lescroart


NO Six Feet Under ???
NO  Sopranos ???
NO  Queer as Folks???

What gives here?????

I guess I'll have to watch

--- TODAY ON DVD ---

In America


Says You

Buy my stuff at Lulu!



  • The FABulous PhotoShop tutorial "Underwater Scene" on this page.

  • If I can't have the usual Sunday line-up of shows, at least I have a good DVD to play.

  • Selfishly, that my sons are too old to face the threat of a draft, should it come to that in this country again.




31 May 2004

I am not the great communicator. I don’t think there is anyone who knows me who will argue with me on that point.

In person, I get tongue tied and I can’t get out the words that I intend to say, especially when it's something important. Which is not to mean that I am incapable of speech. It’s just that in trying to impart bits of important information, or express something that is important to me, I just don’t seem to do it well--which is why writing has become such a wonderful tool for me.

When the kids were growing up, you’d swear sometimes that I never spoke. Invariably bits of important information never reached anybody’s ears. There was a time when I resorted to putting out family newsletters just to make sure that everyone had a fighting chance to get all of the important bits of information--like when we were going on vacation, what time dinner was, etc.

Lately, however, I’m wondering if my written communications are also ineffective. Maybe it’s just that they are produced in such a volume that people don’t bother to read them. I really think that when it comes to basic information, requests, etc., I am fairly clear in what I write.

But take my recent very frustrating interaction with the SPCA.

No, we still don’t have a dog. To their credit, the SPCA does a more thorough background check than the Department of Homeland Security. The future of these dogs, many of whom have not had the best of pasts, is very important to these dedicated volunteers. I understand and appreciate that.

My dealings with the SPCA began when I sent an e-mail to the contact person for the dog, asking if the dog was still available for adoption. I received a reply that yes, she was. So far we were communicating well.

I made arrangements to meet the dog and though there were adjustments to be made as to when and where, these were logical changes and we still seemed to be communicating.

The dog had kennel cough and the woman thought she would hold her for a week until she’d lost the cough and until she had been spayed. When I left her, I said that I would contact her that night (after conferring with Walt and showing him the pictures) and let her know if we wanted to take the dog.

Up to this point things were still going well and we were still communicating.

I checked with Walt, he agreed we could get the dog and I sent a note (it is, she tells me, more efficient to reach her by e-mail, so we did this all without telephone calls) saying that yes, we wanted the dog.  I get an e-mail from her:

We need to set up a time to meet with you and your husband and your dog. I could have someone bring her over to your house later today and we could go from there. If she gets along well with your dog and your husband likes her, then we could do the paperwork.

So far so good.  I responded:

Today would be a good day, as my husband is home all day. When would be a good time for you? We will be going out around 7 or 7:30.

And then we waited around all day for someone to call or stop by, but did not hear from anybody.  Late in the afternoon, I wrote:

I never heard from you and we're leaving here in about 30 minutes, so I guess it won't work out for Appleberry for today. To my knowledge, we will be home all day tomorrow as well, except I have to review another show tomorrow night, so will be leaving at about the same time again tomorrow night. Will that work out for you?

I expected to have a reply when we returned from the show, but there was nothing, so I sent another note:

Hi....I thought I'd hear from you last night. Is there a chance of having Appleberry come to see the house today, or is later in the weekend better for you? We are home for the next 3 days, except for the show I'm reviewing on campus tonight.

Again we waited, and again there was no contact from the SPCA.  At this point I called and got a telephone message saying that the best way to reach her was by e-mail, but I also left a message saying that we would be home until 7 p.m., when we had to leave for the campus.  When I got home there was this message, which was sent at 8 p.m.:

I am sorry but I am out of town all weekend and will not be ready until this week. She is due to be spayed Friday and I can take her to PETCO on Saturday for you and your husband to come and see her and for you both to be interviewed.  Otherwise you could come and get her tonight and then take her to her appointment on Friday. Let me know. Does that work for you?

This was sent at 8 p.m. after THREE messages saying I would be reviewing a show in the evening and would not be home after 7 p.m.  I sent a message saying that we would just plan to come to PETCO on Saturday and pick her up and received the message:

My assistant Ashley can brng her to PETCO today, Sunday. Call her to arrange this.

I have always known that I don't always communicate clearly in person, but apparently I have also lost the ability to communicate clearly in writing as well.

I've decided to put it off for a week, since she's going in to be spayed on Friday and since I have work to get done today.  I'd like to bring her here on a day when I can spend a lot of time with her.  I just hope that the SPCA does not take my lack of response as a sign that I'm no longer interested!

Stay tuned for the continuing saga!


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Isn't this as great photo of a Kookaburra?
Peggy took it recently.

For more photos, please visit My Fotolog and My FoodLog

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