From the sublime to, the you know where

So you know how in the blogging world, especially in the tech blogging world where time is money, money is gear, gear is nirvana and nirvana means 1st person shooter quality time - as I was saying, how tech folks don't want you to waste their time? And, how well, the normal example of a blog post that wastes time or is not on topic, is, a blog post about someone's cat?

Well, avert your eyes, guys, as I lay an official Blog About My Cat on you. If any of you feel too ashamed, don't bother to read on. Assume I've had a spurious lapse. 🙂

This is sorta relevant to technology in that, I've just switched over to a new team in the WindowsLive/MSN world, and of course it being a new job you want to be omnipresent,everpresent, and presentable during the first few weeks you are there. Well the best laid plans gang aft agley, or gang after the kitty, because a week ago I was called by my housemate saying horror of horrors, my cat seemed to be puking up blood, she was going to take her to the hospital, could I leave Microsoft and come RIGHT NOW. (!!!!)

I was of course in the middle of a meeting, and had to struggle to get out of it ( my officemate was there an graciously told me to get home, she'd hanldle things) and who should pop into the office but my peer pm Jason Wodicka and my boss Nils Pohlmann, both of whom need a ride across the bridge. They note that with the carpool lane I will likely get across to Seattle faster with them and the slight detour we will take to get them to their park and ride/bus locations will be negligible. Fine I say, as visions of my poor evil kitty struggling for her last gasp are filling my brain. Let's go now.

They hop in and immediately, snow falls from the sky (this is Friday March 10th). Then the hailstones appear. I am driving very cautiously thinking: it would be bad form to kill off both my boss and a critical technical coworker in one go, must not skid. Meanwhile of course, since I'm new, and they want to distract themselves from the fact they've entrusted their lives to their new coworker (me) they start making small talk. I edge the car forward. Chitchat. I have no recollection of what they said, because I vacillated between cat dead on arrival and my new team dead on arrival. 😛

Finally, I get to drop off my coworkers safely and make it to the hospital. This begins a 3-day saga of in and out of vet clinics where she's throwing up but progressive Xrays are not showing anything new.

Fast forward, $1500 later, to Monday they call me and tell me they are putting the kitty under anesthesia so they can look up her nose. And on Tuesday - I end up working from home that day - they present me with the prize - kitty whole and alive again, and a 12-INCH grass stem they pulled intact out of her nasal cavities. Nils refused to see it. My poor officemate Krista sees it every day because I have it up on the whiteboard where I can see it every day and think: how is this possible?

So if you are facing some sort of hard problem in your life (like say a code problem where the bug is not readily found), and you are feeling sorry for yourself, think of this:

1) no matter what Virginia, miracles do happen, and cats get things up their nose through sheer force of will. Whatever your problem is, and however unlikely the solution may be, hey, miracles do happen that defy logic.

2) no matter how bad it is now, you do not have to spend the day with a 12-inch green stem of grass up your nose

3) you don't have to try to explain this epiphany to your new boss, who hopefully has not noticed all the times that the hailstones and snow were actually endangering his life

Live it vivid! Don't tell The Real Bloggers What I've Done!

Comments (11)
  1. ericki says:

    I think I need to reply to this… on several levels/points.


    First, my favorite part was at the beginning… when you allude to how busy us techies claim to be, but somehow still manage to drop everything to play a computer/video game. How true!


    Second, it is just nicely human to talk about hail and sick cats and the anxiety of driving home in a hurry in a hail storm.  This is REAL life. Yet many folks seem to think the electronic virtual life is what counts, moving around bits, email. As if eating, sleeping and face time is low fidelity time. 1’s and 0’s are more efficient.


    It does not need to be relevant to technology.


    Fifteen hundred dollars can buy a nice new notebook computer, or save your kitty from the 12-inch grass stem of death. Low-tech kitty wins. Low-tech stuff wins again and again. We move quickly through life focusing on technology, ignoring the risks of real life disaster, making chitchat, trying to ignore the risks of how fast it all could change.


    No need to apologize for your drama in real life story. Live it vivid, talk about it, share it with the world so we can laugh and wince with you.


    The last line is a great finish "Don’t tell The Real Bloggers What I’ve Done!"

  2. Zyg Gardon says:

    Dear Betsy,

    I’m a member of a Community committee based in Stanthorpe, Southern Queensland, and we are trying to establish whether Micrsoft has people available to act as consultants, in the setting up of a community based web site, for educational and informational purposes. The local council currently has a server and are willing to relinquish this to the Community group if we can demonstrate an appropriate plan for the running of such a community based facility. Can you help. I can be reached on the bove email address or on mobile: 0407280646.

    Many thanks for your possible assitance.

    Zyg Gardon.

  3. Alicia Cales says:

    Hmm, both of these comments are not what I expected. Zyg your email doesn’t work for me, so what I’d advise you is to look into, which is what this site runs on for your technical consideration. In terms of Microsofft people to guide you in Australia, talk to Charles Sterling – same beginning blog address as mine then where there is betsya instead have  /charles_sterling.  

    Good luck!


  4. Brian Kelley says:

    Those of us in technology are very, very used to automated systems,

    batch jobs, etc., all which run…

  5. My new email sig…

    2) no matter how bad it is now, you do not have to spend the day with a 12-inch green stem of grass up your nose   -Betsy Aoki


  6. I blogged about it on the MSN Search blog briefly, but as part of the new Betsy world I will be assisting…

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