Friday, August 31, 2007

Question of the day...

Today's question... is it a violation of the city's leash laws if one end of the leash is attached to the dog's collar and the other end is in it's mouth?

Interesting question. Here's why I ask it: Today I went out at lunch time to run an errand. In my travels I was passed by a large Alsatian-type dog (a cross... not sure what with) trotting demurely down the street with a leash attached to it's collar. The other end of the leash was not in the hand of the man walking behind the dog, but was rather in the dog's mouth. Now, yes, they were headed to a park that may be a leash-free zone (I haven't checked, although it wasn't a couple of years ago), but they were, at that point, still on the street/sidewalk.

The official answer? Yes, it's a violation. Because in spite of the much spoken "dogs must be on a leash except on private property or in designated 'off-leash' areas of city parks" ... the actual restriction is this:
Dogs running at large.
A. No owner of a dog shall cause or permit the dog to run at large in the City, except as
permitted in those areas of City parks where dogs are permitted to run at large as
designated by City by-law.
B. For the purposes of this chapter, a dog shall be deemed to be running at large when found in any place other than the premises of the owner of the dog and not under the control of any person.
C. No person shall keep a dog off the premises of the owner other than on a leash
which shall not exceed two metres in length except where consent is given by the
person owning the property where the dog is found.

This lesson has been brought to you by the letter D and the number 31.

Have a great long weekend folks!

Wednesday, August 29, 2007

Miscellaneous rambling...

So... a number of different topics today.

1. The campaign from hell. It got even more 'interesting' yesterday when I discovered that a request I made at the beginning of the month never got done. Why? Because apparently it doesn't fall into the frame of tasks for either of the people I asked to do it. And they didn't tell me that on the 3rd when I'd have had a chance of fixing the issue because? No clue... you've got me... I'm going to have to resort to citing idiocy, I think. So... that left me scrambling to contact another group to get it done. A group with a 5-day turn-around to RESPOND. With a target launch of Tuesday. Yes, folks you can do the math... that leaves 3 days to get it done by a group with a 5 day turn-around to say "yeah? What do you want?". So... the guy whose job this campaign ACTUALLY is got a 6:30 a.m. email today alerting him to the situation and suggesting he start escalating now. What happens remains to be seen.

2. Ding! Dong! The bitch is dead! Or leaving town, anyway. Yes, one of the people who was so utterly horrified to discover a shared friend is leaving town for an extended period of time! *happy dance* Wheeee!

3. Some people have no sense of discretion. Some people have no sense of socially acceptable behaviour and tact. Put the two together in the same group and watch the stupidity ensue!

4. Medical secretaries who think they're "god" need a reality check. A really, really big one. A Publisher's Clearing House sized one. Tact, diplomacy, sensitivity, and actually letting people talk to the doctor when they say they need to... these are important skills. So is "breaking news gently". Where's a flame-thrower when you need one?

5. There are times when video game violence is quite therapeutic. Much like pool, but without the same level of thinking required ;)

6. I need a vacation. 10 days from now I'll be sitting by a lake looking at nothing but rocks and trees (until I turn my head and see 12 cabins, a 'camp store', several boats, a fish-cleaning shed... oh yes, and 2 people very dear to me :) ). Now remains the task of trying to figure out what to bring... and what groceries to pack from here and what groceries to stop part-way there and pick up.

New job is finally ticking along... apparently I'm a Business Analyst now (poop)... and picking up a project mid-flow, so I've got a lot of ground to make up. Plus I'm not sure why I'm on the project, since I technically work on the secure sites and this is launching first on the public sites. *shrug* Oh well... life goes on, at least I won't have to deal with the campaigns from hell any more.

And that's the morning ramble...

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Sad and wondering

Well, the title sums up how my mornings have been for the past little while. They go something like this:

get up. Run around like a mad woman trying to get organized and out the door on time. Marvel at the sunrise (I love sunrises... there's so much promise and magic in them). Catch train. Look out window on train at lake for the first couple of minutes until the shoreline and rail line part company.

Now, here's where the sad and wondering creep in. Back in spring, I saw a pair of swans had taken up residence in the area of the lakeshore near where a local creek spills into the lake. They're a nice change from the goose commune and the gull infestation.

Lately, there's only been one swan. No mate. No cygnets. Now, I know that swans mate for life, and they're generally pretty much a 'family unit' if there's a hatching. So to only see one where previously there had been a pair generally signifies bad things... like one of them died... and the lack of cygnets would suggest one of them died either before laying, or before hatching. And that makes me sad... because not only has one of these glorious birds apparently died, but another will be alone for the rest of its life (however long or short that may be). And the wondering creeps in as wondering what happened. Did one of them eat something it shouldn't have? (there's a few chemical treatment plants near that creek) Was there a garbage issue (like choking on something not so friendly, or getting noosed on a 6-pack ring or something)? Or was there something more sinister at play? Was one deliberately poisoned or beaten or otherwise killed?

So... sad and wondering is how my days start now :(

Friday, August 10, 2007

Another week... another bad picture

So, the realization dawned on me the other day that my Health Card is about to expire. Yes... expire. For those of you outside of Ontario, our health cards, if we're "lucky" enough to have a photo card (and thanks to changing my name when I married, I've got one of those) they expire every 5 years (or so... the first one can be anywhere from 3 - 7 years apparently)... and just like the drivers licence it's tied to your birthday.

Theoretically, they mail out a notice that it's about to expire 2 months before it goes away. Not in my case. No, in my case, I had to rely on the strange workings of my brain to say "hmmm... you're gonne be needing that health card in the near future, maybe you should make sure this isn't the year it expires". Sadly, not so lucky... it expires on Tuesday. Which means I have to find a MInistry of Health office and get the damn thing renewed.... ASAP!

So I look around at the 'local' offices closest to work and home. Work's out... the nearest office isn't all that close and it's only open 'til 5:00. Home... well, it seems only the Scarborough office is open past 5:00... so I guess I'll go there. Of course, if I'd thought of it yesterday, I could have gone on one of the 4 days per week that they're open 'til 7:00... but no, I thought of it on Friday, when they close at 6:30... so no dinner for me before I hare on over there ('cuz normally I get home at 4:50... need to stop for gas... takes close to a half hour to get there at the best of times... then stand in line... argue with the person behind the desk about the info on the renewal form and the ID I've brought.... get the picture taken....

Did I mention I'm having yet another frizzy pony-tail day? At least my Ontario government issued ID pics will look like the same person *laugh*

And hopefully *fingers crossed*, they'll put a sticker on it with a temporary extension or something until they mail out my new one

Other thoughts from the past week:
- some people will inevitably irritate me, regardless of how often or infrequently I see them or how long or short a time I'm exposed to them. It's just their nature... I realize it, but sadly, it doesn't help in dealing with them.
- the TNDC meeting this week was in Whitby and attendance was the very large group of myself and the Diva herself ;) Much fun, chatter, commiseration, and many wings.
- We went to the annual sale of "seconds" and "discontinued" items for Tilley (if you're unfamiliar with Tilley... very good clothing for travel... but not so good if you're tall, or under the age of 45, it seems... or maybe that's just me)
- Shopping for a baby shower can be both intriguing and depressing
- this reorg is never going to be finalized and some of us will be stuck doing jobs that aren't technically our responsibilities for the rest of eternity. (can you tell this damn campaign is just getting better and better?)

But... it's Friday... it's practically the weekend... next week is my "Hey, I'm another year older" day, and next weekend we're going to see the new Cirque show "Kooza".

Have a great one!

Thursday, August 2, 2007

Is it Friday yet?

Sadly, no... not yet Friday.

This is just a chatty post... nothing to rant about... yet... it's only 9:45, though, so I'm sure there's still time for someone to piss me off today *laugh*

Crazy weather today... at 5:30 this morning it was already feeling like 29° with the humidity... it's supposed to hit 35° today (base temp)... Extreme Heat Alert... Smog Advisory... Humidex Advisory... the guy on the news this morning was figureing it'd feel about 42° when everything was factored in. I should have worked from home. Got to work this morning at 7:20 and already my lungs were staging a strike. In case you were wondering... asthma really sucks... especially in the city in summer.

BUT... we're headed out to New Hamburg for the weekend, so that should help clear out the lungs again (assuming I make it to Saturday night without dying *laugh*).

Have to go get a new driver's licence picture tonight... figures. Hottest day of the year so far, but Thursday is late opening day at the MTO, and I'd rather have my new licence in-hand when the old one expires (in 12 days), so tonight it has to be. D needs to go get his plate sticker renewed before tomorrow, too, so we'll be there anyway. So now I'll spend 5 years with the picture on my card being one with my hair up in a likely very frizzy pony-tail. Fun.

We'll probably go out to "the good nursery" in Ajax after that... scope out some plants for the sunroom and get some more ideas for things we'd like to put in the back yard next summer. Funny how we always seem to be going to this place on evenings when the weather folks are talking rain, though. Maybe we'll talk to their fish guy while we're out there and see what prices are like on new fish and how many we can reasonably put in our little pond, and how to introduce new fish to the group.

We seem to be having decent luck resurrecting our hibiscus. We got the thing at Canadian Tire (first mistake)... then listened to the gal there (second mistake) who said it's a tropical plant and doesn't need much water. Ended up with a very thirsty plant (ok... mostly a stick with branches and a few tiny shriveled leaves) infested with spider mites *sigh*. It's been about a week and a half treating for the mites and about a week of actual daily waterings (thanks Michelle for telling me how yours is thriving so much!) and there's lots of new growth and far fewer webs appearing than there were.

So... in case anyone's wondering... it's getting about 2L of water daily (the bottom of the pot is raised to ensure we don't run into root rot... it's not sitting in water for longer than about a half hour, if that)... and sprayed once a week with a solution of water and sunlight dish soap.

Here's hoping we'll get it back to full health in time for it to show us a few more blooms this season. Of course, we'll likely have to stress it out a bit by bringing it inside for the winter... the sunroom isn't as "all season" as we were led to believe and I'm not sure it'd survive winter out there *sigh*

And that's about it for now... stay cool, stay hydrated, stay mildly sane!

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

So... does this make sense to you?

Situation: You are a marketing manager working on a tight timeline to get a campaign launched. Your timelines were already tight and you keep changing what you want.
Question: Do you take a week's vacation immediately preceding your launch target?

Yup... you guessed it. This damn campaign I'm working on (because I don't have a name yet to pass it off to) is set to launch September 4th (the Tuesday immediately following the labour day weekend). It was a tight schedule when working to September 4th. It has just come to my attention that we actually have a week LESS time because the marketing gal is taking a week's vacation August 27 - 31. Of course, all the deadlines given to this woman to work with were based on having everything finalized and final approval given by August 31st... and now we actually need everything to be done with final approval by August 24th. Actually, available in test by the 20th.

Plus, the relationship manager for this campaign, who won't let me hand it off to him until he has a marketing coordinator, is getting information from the marketing rep and not sharing all of it... and he's talking to our coding folks for some things, but expecting me to talk to them about other things. GAH!!! Enough already! Somebody send out the damn org chart and give me a name to hand off to!!!!

And, on other, unrelated topics... I got my first card from my new SGF today. Yay! And some items I ordered to pamper myself, too :)

The weather is insane (last check, with the humidity it was feeling like 39 out there... and since it was only supposed to hit 32, that's pretty sticky)... the A/C here at home is working over-time (not ideal for so many reasons)... and I'm a teensy bit concerned about a plant I'm trying to bring back from the dead (drought conditions) which is in our sunroom... which is considerably warmer *sigh*

Ah well.. life goes on... 2 more days to the long weekend!