Bonnie is a dog with her own nest. The big wire crate near the fireplace is her place. The door is always open, It’s a huge crate, big enough for three dogs at least. Inside, it’s piled with old blankets, towels, one of my worn-out flannel nightgowns. I don’t remember what else, but whenever something soft is at the point where we would usually throw it away, it becomes part of Bonnie’s’ Big Bed and Living Room Suite.


Several times a week, she’s in there, moving all the stuff around. Digging. Dragging various pieces to a new locations in the crate. Sometimes she drags each piece out of the crate, eyes the space critically, then drags each item back in. It looks the same to us, but apparently not to her more discerning eye.


A couple of weeks ago, we dragged everything out. Garry washed and dried it, then put it neatly back into the crate. After which Bonnie tore it apart and rearranged everything.

Humans never get it right.

Did I mention that’s Gibbs’ nest is our sofa? He will let Bonnie sleep with him on the sofa, but she will not let him into her crate. I’m sure that means something.



This challenge was made for me. I collect quotes. I keep the computer open so when I hear something new, I pop the words into an email and send it to myself and Garry. In this case, he sent it to me, but you get the idea I’m sure. I know many (most?) people look for inspiring quotes from the pens of the great and wannabe greats of our world. Around here, most quotes get picked up from television shows and movies. And Garry doesn’t even have to watch the movies since he already knows all the lines.

This quotation has been sitting in my email since August 29th when Garry sent it to me. I knew I’d be using it one day:


“We’re all carrying pre-historic genes in a post modern world.” Think about the concept. We are not only what we are, we are all our ancestors were. We carry DNA from our Neanderthal and Cro-Magnon forebears and our children carry it too. Maybe it partly explains so much otherwise inexplicable behavior.

 He was talking about a particularly brutal murder and one of his crew asked  how anyone could do such a horrible thing. That was his answer. It was a bit of a show stopper for me. It made me think. It’s still making me think.

For my first three victims, I choose:
  • Evil (aka Bill Brown) at Evil Squirrel’s Nest. I’m pretty sure he can take — and make — a joke and probably won’t send one of his critters to bite me on the ankle.
  • Emilio Pasquale (Photos by Emilio) or as he is more familiarly known, 007) because he lives too far away to come and get me … and I totally love both his photography and his sense of humor.
  • Leslie Martel, my pal in Montreal at swo8 – MUSIC MEANS SOMETHING. We talk a lot. And I, Though we have done a couple of projects together, I’ve never tapped her for a challenge. I think (hope) she’ll enjoy this one.

There’s no time pressure here. You don’t have to do all three posts in a week. Put them up whenever you have time to do it and space to fill.
I want to thank Sue Vincent at Daily Echo. She knows how to take a hint and run with it! She got me into this — this time — but, I’d have happily done it anyway. I enjoy word play.
Now, all the rest of you blogging buddies — don’t think you’re off the hook just cause I didn’t tag you. There are two more days of tagging and if you’d like to play, let me know. Also, I don’t want to impose. If you’re overloaded, or just don’t want to do it, tell me and I’ll find someone else. If I didn’t tag you and you DO want to play, I’ll be delighted to add you. Games are more fun if everyone playing is happy to be there.


I wasn’t going to bother to write this because you’ve heard it before. And you’ll hear it again. The same old sad story. Dell makes some amazing computers — yet they have what must be the worst customer service on the planet. I do not see how it could be worse. It is so bad on so many different levels, it’s hard to know where to start. But then, I realized I might as well write it. Writing it could make me feel better. Eventually, I will also find it funny. I’m nearly ready to begin laughing. One more cuppa coffee and I’m there. Laughing.

This problem — not a huge problem, mind you — was whoever put my machine together forgot to install the Adobe software I bought with the computer. Or leave a link — or give me an unlock key to download it myself. Knowing Dell as I do, I considered just forgetting it. Let them keep the money and move on. But it’s $80. A bit too much to let slide.


The thing about Dell Customer Disservice, other than its general suckiness, is that they never connect you to the right department. They repeatedly ask for the same information, but whoever you talk to next won’t have the information and you’ll have to provide it again. If you ask for the number to which they are supposedly transferring you because you fear they will disconnect you, you can be sure the phone number is either no longer in service, or is completely wrong. The ones they gave me were either: (1) disconnected, (2) A cruise scam organization (you know, free cruise if you give us all your personal information?), and (3) Direct-TV. What I wanted? Sales Support for Alienware.


Any agent to whom you talk will never read what (if anything) a previous agent wrote — so you are always back on square one. No one ever calls you back or can provide you with a number to get you to the same person again.

They put you on hold and forget about you. Or disconnect you. They transform minor problems that could be dealt with by any normal company in a couple of minutes, into a week-long crises.

The first two agents I spoke to insisted I really had the software and was too inexperienced with computers to find it. Both agents went poking around INSIDE my computer (remotely). Each independently ascertained that the software isn’t there, nor is there any download link for me to acquire it. So, finally, after I got a bit strident about it, they connected me with a supervisor (this identical scenario played out twice). Both of whom informed me that they would not be able to deliver it. The first said it would be another five days. What? A download?


I was in “patience is my middle name” mode, so I waited. Five days later with no further contact from Dell, I called again. The first agent told me I would have to wait ten days more and disconnected me. I hit redial. When finally I got an agent, I shouted: “I WANT MY MONEY BACK.” I felt I needed to get his attention before he disconnected me again.

The agent (aka idiot) explained he could escalate “my issue” and maybe (only maybe) I would get my money back. He would “send a request” up to whoever were slightly more in charge than he was, but he could not guarantee they would comply. Because, he said, I probably already have the software and simply can’t find it.

I started to say something, but choked on my own words. Several deep, cleansing breaths later, I pointed out Dell had failed to deliver something for which I had paid. They do not get to NOT give me the product OR return my money. That’s theft. But my idiot said those were the “rules” and I said “we have other rules in this country and I want to talk to a supervisor. NOW.” My idiot assured me a supervisor would say exactly the same idiotic thing. I said that, were this to prove true, then I would keep going up the ladder to the damned president of the company if I had to, so put the supervisor ON the phone NOW.” I think I may have been yelling by then.

Got the supervisor. After he too explained that the software was ON the machine and I explained he should read the notes on this case number (yes, I had a case number) and he would see that no, I don’t have it and no, I’m apparently not going to get it, and frankly, I’m sorry I ever ordered it, and now give me my money back before I call the Attorney General and report the company (I’m sure I wouldn’t be the first) for Felony Stupidity and Customer Malfeasance.


Eventually he said he couldn’t give me the $82.95 Dell owed me, but would $100 be okay? I said yeah, fine. He was still talking when I hung up. I’d been on the phone for three hours and the dogs needed feeding, Garry wanted help unloading the groceries and my ear was getting sore.

Yesterday, I was issued a refund for $82.95. Can I sue for emotional distress?

I still don’t understand why there is any problem. It’s a download. I could download the software on the spot from Adobe. I’d only bought it from Dell because it was much cheaper.

This is supposed to be (wait for it, wait for it) PREMIUM CUSTOMER SERVICE. I hesitate to imagine the standard shit they are dishing out these days to regular, non-premium customers.

I buy Dell computers in spite of Dell. The computers are great, but oh-lord-give-me-strength to deal with their “customer disservice.” This morning, they sent me a “customer satisfaction” survey. I didn’t bother to fill it out.



It was August. Gibbs, our rescued boy Scottish Terrier had been with us a scant 5 months, but he seemed to be fitting in well. We were happy with him. He seemed happy with us.

Gibbs is quirky. Funny quirky. Among his more amusing idiosyncrasies was how much he loves his water bowl. It’s a big bowl, probably 5 or 6 quarts. He drinks and when he’s finished quaffing, he puts his front paws in the bowl and paddles.

Garry and I though he might have an unfulfilled desire to spend time in water. Most terriers aren’t big on water, but our first Scottie, Mac-a-Dog liked to wallow in shallow water. He couldn’t swim. Too short-legged and long-bodied, but wherever the water was shallow, he liked to cool down on a warm summer’s day.

So I thought we could get Gibbs (Bonnie is not interested in water except as a drink between snakes) a little doggy wading pool. But they turned out to be too expensive and too big. Overkill. Finally, I thought … how about a tub? When my brother and I were toddlers, my mother used to give us tubs of cool water to play in. I have pictures (somewhere) of Matthew and me in our tubs. Chilling in the summer heat. I found a nice tub at a modest price. It looks exactly like the tubs in the pictures from my childhood.

Garry put about three inches of water in it and set it out on the front stoop for Gibbs to discover.

After a couple of weeks, it was obvious he was not going to discover it on his own. Garry decided to introduce Gibbs to the tub. Although he didn’t freak out, he also was obviously expecting, as someone so well stated it, “a follow-up soap event.” He stood there with that patient, put-upon look dogs get when their people are making them do stuff.

Gibbs has never wanted anything to do with the tub, but he still likes to paddle in the water bowl. Another great idea gone awry.


Share Your World – 2016 Week 43

What are you really glad you did yesterday?


I was editing a post. I looked up and the light was golden. I grabbed the camera and ran outside. Took a few pictures. These are two of them. If I’d waited, I’d have missed it. It was just past five in the evening, not quite sunset. More twilight.

The golden hour is barely 10 minutes long!


Would you prefer a one floor house or multiple levels?

One would be great, but we have two levels. It didn’t seem like a big deal when we bought the place in 2000. The steps loom much larger these days. We deal with them. Slowly.

Have you done something you truly want to do today?

No. Today I wasted more than three hours on the phone with Dell Customer Disservice. If this is (as advertised), their premium customer service, I can only imagine how bad it is for “regular” customers. It boggles the mind.

What plans did you have as a teenager that didn’t happen? Are you happy it didn’t work out that way?

I was going to be a famous author and have a hideaway on a cliff overlooking the ocean in Maine. I don’t even know if there is such a place in Maine, but I was going to live there.


Although I certainly wouldn’t have minded becoming a famous author, the way things worked out, mostly, I regret not getting to own that fabulous — yet fictional — house. I’m sure I’d have liked living there very much. If it existed.

Bonus question:  What are you grateful for from last week, and what are you looking forward to in the week coming up? 

I got my new computer. This week? I’m hoping I’m done with customer service for the duration of the life of my computer.



I know it’s not Tuesday. I know and I’m sorry, but Tuesday was a bit busy and Wednesday got full … so Thursday it is. I’m trying to not post more than three things on any day, two of them photography and one something written. I sometimes post a fourth thing if it’s time-sensitive and can’t wait. My statistics are taking something of a hit because, no matter what anyone says, you get more traffic if you post more. One post typically gets maybe 100 hits — on a good day. Four posts will get more than three hundred and occasionally, much more.


I can’t keep up such a fast past forever — and I don’t want to. I want to own more of my time. To not feel as if “Serendipity” is my job. It was never supposed to be “work.”


Self-discipline will get this blogging beast under control. Presumably.


This is something completely different in the way of texture. Smooth. Shiny. Classic and … a lot older than it looks! It was parked next to us at the grocery store. As we were leaving, its owner showed up. He was clearly used to people taking pictures of his adorable truck and told us was from 1930. And obviously, it’s a Ford.

Unfortunately, beyond that, I don’t know what model truck it is. If you know, let me know!