Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Water, Computer & Merci

This is what our area looks like today. Yeah, hope you're wearing your waders. It's wet. Lots of water outside running down the streets but no water inside since sometime last night. Oh, a dribble this morning. It even dripped several inches into the washing machine for some reason. But now -- nothing in the pipes but air.

Another city water main broke, this one practically on our doorstep.

And this is what it looks like now. We sent Jan over to take some photos while it was quiet and a guy told her they will have the leak fixed before they leave tonight.

Guess this means the city finally shut off the water to the leak instead of just to the houses. Anyway, the shutter stuck halfway open on the camera again and she had to go back to retake the shots. This time a crew was working so the photos are more interesting.

Jan's being a ham. She's wandering around the house singing about cool, clear water. Wait a minute. Hot day, no water, just what's in our bowls. Excuse us, we all need a drink.

As to our computer blackout, we still don't know what caused it to shut down and try to reboot, but Monday evening Jan checked to be sure all the gadgets were properly plugged into the tower. They were. However....

Buddy: Don't you dare try to blame me for what happened. I was NOT crawling under the back of the desk when the machine went bananas!

Cyndi: We know that Buddy, but you might have loosened the cord during the number of times you DID crawl under the back of the desk to sleep at Jan's feet.

Well, however it happened, the cord that connects the USB Hub to the computer fell out of the hub, and the external hard drive with all our photos was connected to it. It took Jan's brother going into places we aren't even allowed to know exist to get the computer to boot and Windows to load. But it's running a bit hot, so we're not sure if a fan went out or the computer is having hot flashes or high blood pressure. There is an ac unit behind it and Jan has put a fan in front of it, so we hope it will keep going at least a couple more months. Cross your paws, please.

And today Jan sent a message to both of the co-sponsors of the Cutest Dog Competition since the CDC has not responded to any of her questions and has deleted her comments off their blog. There was one auto reply from saying they answer within a day or two, so they have not had time to respond, but we would like to post the message here as it was sent.

I entered my dog Merci in the 2nd week of the Cutest Dog Competition which you're co-sponsoring and am thorougly frustrated. Not just the things I'm reading elsewhere about the integrity of the contest, but the problems I have been experiencing myself. I am short on time so I am going to refer you to my blog where I was putting Merci's link in every day until my computer went out last Friday. The last two posts there have been on the contest and they have not been positive.
When I tried to vote Sunday from a neighbor's computer because mine still would not start, I spent an hour getting Out of Service messages and when I finally reached Merci's voting page, I was told to "register your email and get a password to vote." Well, I registered when I entered Merci and didn't have the password with me or even know if that is the one that was wanted. Then I found everyone else was having to re-register and some still couldn't vote after that.
And when I went back this morning, I was told to register again. I didn't even bother to vote for my own dog. I had no idea voters were having to register to vote. I assumed we just had to register to enter a dog. What does an email address have to do with an IP address? Is it the one with the most email addresses or the one with the most IP addresses or the one with both that will win this? Whichever, this contest does appear to give an unfair advantage to those who can and would cheat.
I have left 2 comments on separate CDC blog posts and both have been deleted, asking how the few can get thousands of votes while (I can't speak for others) me and my friends are constantly thwarted in our efforts to even get through. One of the comments deleted from the CDC blog is posted on I've been working to network more votes each week on my blog, on Twitter and through emails. Many of Merci's voters never get through because of of some problem. If this is happening to us, it is happening to others. And that makes for a very poorly run and monitored "competition."
On top of that, I learned this morning that not only can IP addresses be faked, but "with blind or blinding firewalls that blab out random IPs the programs can blast a voting thing like this, overwhelming it." So, if this is true, how is the CDC monitoring votes to be sure someone isn't cheating?
I would be interested in your view on these problems. I will continue to post and to tweet on what is happening to me and my friends who tried to vote for Merci and to seek answers as to what is going on. It would be nice to win but I would not want to win by cheating and I do not want to continue to ask my friends and blog readers to waste their time attempting to vote for Merci until this is cleared up.

Jan's Funny Farm Poop & Scoop Janitorial Staff (No, Jan didn't really sign it this way, but the title helps keep her humble.)

So that's where we stand right now. We've had comments and emails from a number of you stating you had problems voting for Merci. We're sorry for the inconvenience we caused you. Had we imagined it would ever be like this, we would never have entered Merci. She is a winner in our book!


  1. Merci is a winner in our book too. We hopes you get a response. Some days the page loads for us and some days all we get is the error message. Very puzzling. But at least we knows it's not our Luddite Mommy to blame.

    Paws crossed the water thing is fixed. No water is NO FUN. The boy beans had to deal with that at work. We are on a well so we don't have the same problems St. Martin does with their water, thankfully. ~S,S,C & F

  2. Whew! Bad news does come in threes. Here's hoping the contest thing is just a fluke and they get it fixed. We're rooting for you Merci!

  3. Great letter. They had better respond to you.

    Wish we had some of your sky water.

  4. I had problems too!
    Every time I try to vote they ask me to register... again and again...
    Good luck!
    Kisses and hugs

  5. Hey gang,
    We know that it is frustrating to know things are evidently a fixed scam but what's important is what y'all and your followers think. I'm sure that youse and us all know that Merci is the cutest dog..period and end of contest. Heck, radar's not as cute as merci and radar is dang awfdul cute.
    Hope that you can all take showers and have a drink by now.
    - TBH&K

  6. I was able to vote again tonight! Good luck Merci!

    So sorry to hear about the water and computer problems. Hope they are better soon.

  7. We are so sorry you have been out of water. That is not fun. We know Merci is the cutest dog, paws down, no matter what that dumb contact says. We were able vote tonight, too!

  8. No matter what, Merci is a winner in my book. Look at all that water!

  9. We didn't know that computers could get hot flashes or high blood pressure! YIKES!

    We're sorry for all the problems with the voting. Something does seem a bit unusual about the whole situation.

  10. Mmm, I'd be checking that water to see if there were TUNA FISHIES in it!!!!

  11. That's a lot of water! We hope they get it fixed soon!

    We were able to vote again. We thing the Register to vote is misleading... we think they might change it to login or register, since we just logged in again with no problem.

  12. I'm agreein' with you, and Merci..this is a poorly run contest, which makes me wonder if it's a contest at all. It's definitely an "email mining" operation, for sure! Merci is the BEST!

  13. Merci is a winner for us too. We will finally get our the mom to send out the pakage we haf for y'all on Saturday. she's just impossible to work wif.

  14. Just wanted you to know everyone on our page thought Merci should have been the winner! Come look at Your Maltese paLs, LuLu and LoLLy

  15. Merci is a winner in all of our hearts!

    We is glad you guys didnt drown...that was alot of water.

    And we do hope your computer is A-OK!


  16. Merci should definitely win!

  17. Merci is still da winnur

    wow bout da watur stuffoms... u managed to get sum reelly clear fotohs uf dat.

    We purrs dat ur compewter stays werkin!

  18. Wow, that's some seriously red soil exposed by that water main break! Is it clay?


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