26 March 2013

Stupid Technology & Scared Dogs

New on the website - French magazine
advertisement, Guerlain Perfume,
Disaster struck this week, hence the late Blog.  Technology is a fine thing until it carks it, isn’t it?  One minute I was happily plugging away at the laptop, cataloguing new things to come into the shop and onto the website this week, and the next minute it broke.  No warning, no speccy explosions, no acrid smoke, no data turning lime green and bleeding off the bottom of the page in a dramatic sci-fi You’re Losing All Your Data moment, just blerk, it’s broken.  But ha-ha! yes I am a good gel who does backups, and for the stuff where I was less than a good gel the hard drive was recoverable so my slackness wasn’t punished.  How I hate technology. 

So now I have a spiffy new laptop (white, not my first choice but it was the last of its type available in any store because of the fabo price, so white is now my first choice).  But how I hate Windows 8. 
New on the website - English green Depression
Glass Lidded Storage Container, c1930
OMG why can’t computer geeks get it that normal people like their electronic tools to be user-friendly?  Taking good photos for the website is challenging enough without some stoopid computer system not allowing me to easily crop and fiddle as I wish.  But fortunately, if you know someone who knows someone who also prefers Windows 7, you can get a bunch of that operating system back.  Sort of.  Enough, anyway.  How I hate computer geeks.
Caleb has discovered Mischka's
secret spot on top of the bookcase
and seized it for his own.
Meanwhile, the search for a suitable play date for Caleb continues.  Poh the Little White SomethingorOther came by on Wednesday for their first meeting.  But Caleb was snoozing on the desk when she came scampering in and was startled by her sudden presence.  He immediately jumped off the desk and came for her, snarling with every single big bad Bengal tooth showing. 

Poh backed off to the end of her leash, but Caleb kept advancing with a quite aggressive stiff-legged gait.  But when he reached her and touched noses he realised it was only a nice little mutt and he was happy to play.  He rolled over and showed her his belly, and when that didn’t work he put his head between his front paws and his bum in the air, in a very dog-like gesture of inviting a game.  But Poh was having none of it.  One little snarl had entirely put her off, and she decided on a quick retreat.  But I’ve said it before – never run from Caleb.  So of course he chased her, which really made her run.  Which really made him chase her.  Her owner picked her up for some comforting, and we decided to try again another day.
New on the website - Chinese Shipwreck Salvage
from the Tek Sing, c1822
So Poh came back on Friday.  And this time I made sure Caleb was awake so he saw her at the door.  I carried him so there could be some closely supervised nose touching, and Poh was happy to give him a quick face wash, but when they were put on the floor together she hid behind her owner’s legs and Caleb could not entice her out.  But at least this time she didn’t run. 

Poh came back again on Saturday and her owner said Poh had dragged her in, so that was a good sign.  Unfortunately it was Calypso in the chair on Saturday, and there is no mistaking it when you’re a dog and Calypso tells you to Back Off.  So we’re trying with Caleb again this coming Saturday.  Hopefully it won’t be over before I have time to reach for my camera this time.
New on the website - French Art Deco cocktail
prongs with red bakelite ball tops, c1930
I was told that Thursday’s play date would be a golden retriever who is a sook for cats.  But it turned out to be two big golden retrievers.  Now this was an entirely different experience for Caleb – to have to look up at his play dates, so little chance clutching them in a quick headlock and giving them a judo throw.  He was cautious but inclined to touch noses and engage with the first retriever, while still leaning against my legs for a bit of reassurance, but when the second came to join in he was overwhelmed and fluffed up every single bit of his body.  I’d never seen a cat double the size of their face before, but Caleb managed to double the size of every bit of him.  And yes, every single big bad Bengal tooth was again on show, and the mutts backed off rapidly. 
New on the website - French gilded brass
Cherub & Dragon brooch, c1940
But at least they didn’t run, just backed away.  And because they only whined at him and didn’t run, he then regained his courage and again marched up to the first dog.  But, as with Poh, one little snarl seemed to have put the retriever off so he kept backing up, right out the door.  Caleb isn’t allowed outside on the street, so he had to stop at the front door and that was the end of the encounter. 

Given a little time I think the retrievers might be good play dates for Caleb.  At least he can’t immediately flatten these dogs, and it was funny to watch his reaction to meeting something a whole lot bigger than him.  He totally lived up to his name (Hebrew for Bold), even when he was unsure and a bit afraid.  He’s never met a person or animal that was mean or aggressive towards him - not counting that idiot a few Blogs ago who said he would shoot him if he could - and isn’t that a nice way to encounter the world?
New on the website - and my favourite
piece of glass in the shop right now -
French glass vase, c1900
In actual shop news, I have outdone myself this week and put heaps of new things on the website.  We continue to find lots of interesting things in our garage from previous trips, so being forced to go hunting to find new stock is turning out to be an excellent exercise – long overdue.  And how lucky are we to not be stuck in the middle of a coldest-March-in-50-years blizzard in the UK right now?  All in all, I’m glad we’ve kept to the 2013 Plan, even though I do still secretly hanker for a little bit of Paris.
Meanwhile, the contract has been signed, the deposit has been paid, and work is starting on the new part of our house on Thursday.  I told the builder to cut his hair and make himself look pretty – perhaps a few beads and braids in his beard would be nice – because he’s going to feature in future Blogs. 

A random photo of Mischka because she hasn't featured for a while and this is a nice shot.
She and Caleb have become very close lately, which is amazing considering how she
hated him with every fibre of her fur when he first arrived.

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