October 03, 2006

pictures from France

-------> here <-------


September 04, 2006

Eiffel Tower & the Louvre

September 02, 2006

arrival in Paris

I'm trying to fool my body into thinking it's 6:46pm. My body knows better.

Our greatest adventure in the past couple days was actually in Boston, where we thought we'd be having a dull 4 hour layover at Logan. Instead, after discovering I"d left my laptop's power adapter in Maryland, we called the friendly neighborhood Hilton hotel concierge for advice and he directed us precisely to the nearest Radio Shack. In Boston. On the T. And, as we had extra time, we stopped for a sushi lunch.

In Boston, within sight of Radio Shack

Since arriving in Paris, we've tried desparately to stay awake by such torturous measures as:
  • showering in our utterly charming apartment
  • drinking coffee at sidewalk cafes
  • wandering the picturesque streets
Picturesque street

  • eating lunch with a view of the historic Place des Vosges
View of historic Places des Vosges
  • admiring Notre Dame cathedralNotre Dame and an admirer
  • and smooching on a bridge over the Seine.

A bientot!

August 06, 2006

many things, among them this

I've wandered off along several paths and have lots to tell you about me and: hummingbirds, Spanish colonialism, fandom, moving, Joe, reorganization,...you know, I shouldn't be making this list. I'll only disappoint myself by not having written about something, later on.

Here's a little cool thing to tide us over: a blog called 365 Urban Species. It's a different living thing in a city, every day. Excerpt:
Urban species #115: Fireweed epilobium angustifolium

The ecological state of a city is that it is always in the first stage of succession. Concrete and asphalt resist colonization by all but the most aggressive plants. Most of the areas that have some welcoming soil are constantly mowed, resetting the sequence of ecological succession, making the city a place for pioneer plants.
The next entry is about seagulls.

I miss you guys!!

July 21, 2006

not entirely with you

I've had my computer back for a WEEKS. But to get myself through that dark, computer-less time, I rented a tv show on DVD, called Firefly. And I haven't been able to escape from it. Seriously. I've been completely engrossed in "on-line research." Plus watching the show's single season and its movie sequel, Serenity, over and over. And listening to all the commentaries. Over and over.

It's pretty torturous. And here's the worst part:

Nathan Fillion. He plays the gun-slinging captain of a broken-down old spaceship, out on the frontier edge of a future universe. Sounds a little Han Solo-ish, and he is. But, I contend, better.

When I told a friend about my geekish, girlish pastime, she looked a little concerned and said, "I hope Joe gets here soon."


July 07, 2006

Dell Voice

So, here's a transcript from one of my encounters with Dell recently:
DellVoice: My name is Dave. Please allow me a moment to review your question.
DellVoice: How are you today?

CaitMcQ: fine, thanks, except that I can't see most of my screen. Big splotch where I stepped on it.

DellVoice: I am sorry about that.
DellVoice: I'll be glad to assist you.
DellVoice: Please give me a moment to pull up your account information.
DellVoice: I see that the warranty period of the system has expired since 10/15/2005.
DellVoice: You will have to contact the expired warranty support.

CaitMcQ: How do I contact expired warranty support?

DellVoice: You can contact them at 800-624-9897.
DellVoice: Once you contact them they will provide you all the information you need.

CaitMcQ: Thank you. Are you a real person or am I interacting with software?

DellVoice: I am a real person, why do you ask?

CaitMcQ: There's something formal about the language you're using. And I bet a lot of the questions that come in can be answered by a limited set of responses.

DellVoice: Not exactly, but yes I do agree sometimes that does happen.
DellVoice: Is there anything else that I can assist you?

CaitMcQ: Nope, I'll call that number. Thanks, Dave.

DellVoice: You are welcome, Caitlin.
DellVoice: Are you satisfied with the level of support provided by me today?

CaitMcQ: Yes, thank you.

DellVoice: Thank you.
DellVoice: Thank you for contacting Dell hardware warranty support online chat, have a great day!
DellVoice: Take care, bye.

So, what do you think? Human or AI? Or maybe some combination, like he presses a single key and out pops "My name is Dave."

June 29, 2006

digital tragedy!

Dear Friends,

If you think it's been dull around here in past days, you ain't seen nothin' yet. My laptop's on its way to Memphis, TN, where Dell technicians will chuckle as they spend 9.7 seconds on a replacement job that is costing me $400.

Last week I stepped on my computer, while the lid was closed. Yes. Stepped on it. The LCD monitor hemorrhaged, obscuring a good third of the screen. And then I dropped the computer. Yes. Dropped it. After stepping on it. And that liquid crystal stuff just oozed everywhere inside the screen, making it impossible to see anything at all.

Had some nice conversations with some gentlemen in India. One of them instructed me to get a Phillips screwdriver. He proceeded to talk me through the deconstruction of my machine. When we'd stripped off several pieces, I lost the phone connection. His boss called back. Didn't seem to know as much as his employee. Way of the world. Through no fault of his, fixing didn't happen.

So, I'm told it will by "7 to 10 business days" from yesterday before I'll be back at the business of communicating with you. Perhaps, during that time, you could contemplate some of the expressive things you might say, were you ever to post any comments.