Saturday, April 16, 2011

A Visitation

So, today we braved the torrential downpours and gale-force winds (I'm exaggerating, but not by very much) to go and meet the dog we first saw online as "Gizmo". Having met him, I can agree with the current fosters that "Gizmo" might not be the right name for him, but neither is the "Winston" they've been trying to rename him to. For now, I'm thinking that if he ends up our, we'll probably call him "Dubz" (or "Dubzy"), as his fosters are, sometimes referring to him as just "W". Look at the picture, below:


He seems like the kind of dog that may spawn a thousand names ...Much as Puckett did.

At any rate, today's trip seemed like it was a very good meeting. We walked both dogs, side-by-side, throughout the store, outside and back in again. Initially, they mostly ignored each other. Then they exchanged sniffs. Then a few more sniffs. Then the full on doggy greetings. Then back to ignoring each other. Then more sniffs and greetings. There was a little bit of "am I the alpha?" posturing from both, but neither got too revved up and both quickly disengaged without prompting. 

I didn't want to stay too long, because, not yet knowing how well he'll do with our cats, I don't want to fall in love and be disappointed.. The shelter that the fosters had gotten the dog from had indicated that he'd passed basic cat tests, but, we won't know how he does with ours until he comes to our house for a visit. Hopefully, he does well.

On the plus side of it all, while some of his pix made me think of Puckett, meeting him removed my fears that he'll be too much like Puckett. He's very much a different dog. Still, he shows signs of being in a similar class of awesomeness that Puckett was in. I really hope this works out. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

US Bank Online Web Portal(s)

Each and every fucking time I use US Bank's web portal, I hate them more and more.

God. Their web site is just unspeakably horrible.That said, they do seem to make frequent changes to it.

Now, you'd think that they would be changing it to address some of its horribleness. You'd think that they'd try to change it for the better. But, no, such is not the case. Each time they change it, they actually manage to make it worse. I wouldn't think it possible, but, yet, every time they change it, they still manage to fuck it up worse.

This time was a real treat. I'm one of those people that bookmarks websites that I have to visit more than once. Helps with remembering where I need to go. Well, US Bank has decided I shouldn't go directly to that URL, any more. They've now set a redirect on the that URL that now points to a different website. Even better, the navigation on the new site is completely fucking brain-dead. If you click on the "login" button (on the page that has "mortgage" in the URL), it takes you away from the mortgage site and to their personal banking site. Unfortunately, you can't pay your mortgage through that site.

I call in to find out just what the fuck is going on. I'm told, "no, you don't click on the login button," (which, was pattently obvious, the first time you click on it and get redirected to someplace stupid). Instead, "you have to scroll down to the very bottom of the page and click on 'Manage & Pay Mortgage' link." How completely obvious was this bit of navigational daring-do?

At any rate, it's this "Manage & Pay" link that then takes you to the mortgage-specific login. And, to add insult to injury, that mortgage-specific login is the exact same damned page that my bookmark was set to, it's just now at a slightly different URL. Whut. The. Fuck?

The whole point of an online banking system is to make things so that your customer doesn't have to interact with an expensive to employ/maintain human. It really rather defeats the purpose when your web site is set up so horribly that people have to call in, navigate your equally horrible call-tree, find they have to call three different phone numbers (because the "call this number for assistance" phone number takes you to the wrong department and the person at that department can't forward you and refers you to yet another incorrect number...)

I hate you, US Bank. I really do. I have no idea how your CSR's haven't gone on murder sprees, because I gotta think that the number of frustrated people calling in has to be rather high and a non-trivial percentage of those people are a lot less nice about things.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Too Close for Comfort

So, was searching through PetFinder to see if we could find a pup to help fill some of the gigantic hole left by Puckett's departure. It's kind of a depressing process. You see all these dogs in need, and part of you wishes you could help them all. You know you can't, but still...

At any rate, neither the local shelter nor the rescue organizations we got Puckett or Lana and Cira through seem to have any candidates of interest. Thus, I expanded my search. I have American Bulldog Rescue as a page I'm a fan of on FaceBook. Most of their pups are far away (PA, Florida, deep into the boonies of Maryland). However, when I looked at their "local" affiliate (their Maryland pet listings), I found a link to a dog named Gizmo (apparently, now "Winston"). This was a courtesy posting for BullyPaws. So, I went to their site and looked at his profile.

He looked like a nice dog and is listed as cat and dog compatible. Since we have a staffie and two bengals, this was kind of an important consideration. So, I sent in a "we're interested" email and filled out the initial adoption application form. Yesterday, we got email back, directing us to the person that was actually fostering him. One of BullyPaws' volunteers called to go over the forms with us, to ensure that we knew what we might be getting into (if Winston works out, he'd be our fourth bully rescue and about my seventh dog). We had a nice conversation that gives me hope that we'll be able to work with them.

Winston's foster family got in touch with me via email. They sent me a link to their web site, since they'd posted up pictures of him and stories on his progress. He seems a really nifty dog ...but, oh my, does he have a startling resemblance to Puckett (that I'd not noticed  nearly so much in his BullyPaws profile).

We're set to go meet him, this weekend. We'd visit sooner, but he's about an hour's drive away and life is currently getting in the way of running out to see him. I'm hoping that the resemblance isn't too unsettling. I don't want to have unreasonable expectations. But, then again, maybe it just hints at a dog that's going to turn out to be as great as Puckett was. Tough act to follow, but one can hope, right?

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Eerie Likenesses

Saw this girl  on BullyPaws.Org and wondered who'd cloned Lana:

This dog's name is "Serenity". Her ears are a bit different. Other pix make it look like she's got much less jacked-up teeth (they look normal rather than as though she'd chewed through a heavy chain to free herself (Lana was found as a stray in the Carolinas, if I remember her back-story correctly - probably after freeing herself from a fight-breeder). And her proportions are a bit different. But a couple of her pictures are an eerie likeness.