Rattle and Hum
Links for 2008-02-25

Hurricane Charlie

It didn’t occur to me until about, oh, 30 seconds ago that I could have photographed this for posterity, but the description will have to do because I already cleaned up the debris.

Backing up a bit, though:

This morning I went out to the hospital to upgrade the gift shop’s cash registers to the latest version of their point-of-sale software. I was hoping to solve a problem whereby manually entered credit-card transactions are declined because the register software we had wasn’t sending a “card is present” flag to our credit-card processing software, which then assumed the card was NOT present and in turn passed that on to our card processor. Our card processor does not accept such transactions without an explicit declaration of the card’s physical presence, even if you provide the CVV2, which the register software is not providing and does not have a setting I can change to ensure the declaration is made. So the transactions are denied with the helpful message:

INVALID DATA

We thought an upgrade to the latest version of the register software might resolve this. The upgrade proceeded smoothly and the register program launched just fine, a few visual tweaks to the interface but nothing momentous, and then I tried a manual credit-card transaction and—

(wait for it)

I got:

INVALID DATA

The shop doesn’t open until 12:30 today, which is good, because only the stuffed animals and Easter bunnies and candy bars heard the string of curses I emitted after that response code appeared on the screen.

And apropos of nothing whatever, it’s wildly appropriate that the abbreviation for “point of sale” is POS.

And it’s Sunday, so no sales or technical support available, which means this now will be what I do Monday. Oh joy.

But perspective counts for a lot on a day like today, and when I got back to the house I found out that the register silliness wasn’t actually so bad. Because Charlie, adorable little almost-14-week-old Charlie, had romped about the house in a spectacular imitation of an M1 Abrams tank in a china shop.

Charlie had managed to knock a plant entirely off its stand, somehow not spilling much dirt and not cracking the pot in the process, but the plant knocked over Mom’s CD storage tower, sending CD cases all over the living room. The flying CDs in turn knocked over and broke a glass hurricane lamp that contained a wad of small lights as a decorative accent.

And then Charlie found the potpourri bowl on the coffee table, and the scents of cinnamon and dried oranges and other nice things proved irresistible, and now that potpourri rests mainly in the Shop-Vac.

But Chuckles wasn’t done yet. From the dining room, he grabbed a quilted bag that held several catalogs and stapled sets of papers and managed somehow to scatter the papers about (most of them were in the entry hall) without chewing them up. And the bag shows no damage either; I have a feeling that was because I returned right as he was starting with the bag.

Scarves and coats scattered about too, because they dangle from hooks on the wall by the stairs just inside the front door, and oooh! swinging things!

Needless to say, Charlie’s a bit on my shit list, which is difficult because of the cute. He does seem to get the badness, I suppose, though I think most of the teaching-him-not-to-eat-potpourri is going to be achieved by removing the potpourri from areas he can reach until he’s past the nibbles stage with the new teefs.

Time for a walk, I think. He can chew up the trees as we wander the neighborhood in the wind!

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