Friday, December 24, 2010

Merry Christmas! Get your holiday music

From two of my favorite organizations, holiday music is available free - for your listening pleasure.

From Amazon:  25 free christmas songs including Mannheim Steamroller, Indigo Girls, Superchunk, MxPx.

The Beatles on a toboggan in Austria in 1965. Hulton Achive/Getty Images
From NPR:  Jingle Jams including Frank Sinatra, Run D.M.C., Willie Nelson, and the Pretenders.

My gift to you this Christmas is to tell you where to hear this music. Happy listening, and happy new year!

Friday, November 19, 2010

What's the point of foursquare, anyway?

Occasionally, I am asked what the point of foursquare is. OK, more than occasionally—a lot. I think people see a lot of potential in the app generally, but aren't quite sure how to use it. That's an easy question for me. From my standpoint, it's just a game—a game with some interesting social features.
I'll leave out describing how foursquare works, since there are already iconic descriptions of foursquare functionality. As an avid foursquare propeller-head, I can tell you why I think foursquare is great:
  • I can track friends, and use my knowledge to facilitate serendipity. If I'm nearby and a friend checks in to my local lunch spot, I can drop in to say hi.
  • I can predict my friend's receptivity to ideas. The friend who checked in from the bar at 3 am isn't going to join me for the trail hike at dawn today.
  • I can be the mayor, which gives me a tiny sliver of a sense of ownership for a place. Not that I'd help take out the trash, but I will bring a friend over unannounced. Also, given a choice between two places, I'll go to the one at which I'm mayor. I've heard from other mayors that they feel a similar sentiment.
  • I can find out about new and unheard of fun places from my friends who are there, and I can avoid places they don't recommend as well.
  • I can annoy my husband with unprecedented acuity. No longer can he check in at the market without me calling to remind him to get stuff from the list. (Love you, dear. If he didn't want me to know he was there, he just wouldn't check in.)
  • I win the game. I'm part of a nomad comedy troupe, I work at multiple locations, and I eat out a lot. I like a game I can win!
For those with fears of Orwellian level monitoring--or those who find geolocation presence announcements creepy, first off, if you're carrying a cell phone, then your location can be found. It takes more than ordinary telephony skills and some cash, but it can be done and done legally. (Tracking someone by cell phone is a very real option.) Most people think that only their telephone service provider and perhaps authorized government personnel could know this info. It is reasonable to assume, however, that the general public doesn't have access to this data, and choosing to publish it via foursquare or other services, such as Google Latitude, will make the data more available to the world (and available to market with.)
Let's consider what a marketer might do with that public location data:
  • A business can market to prospects based on check ins. The person who checks in to camera shops from an ordinary cell phone might be receptive to upgrade to a smart phone with camera, for example.
  • Foursquare is getting smarter about being business friendly. Venue owners can now
    control who is the mayor or their location. Thus, they can run promotions for a location with a reasonable expectation that they can avoid being fleeced. Also, foursquare is now using the GPS data received with a check-in to note whether the user is actually anywhere near where they say they are. This crack down on cheating means that a business can have a reasonable expectation that people are where they say they are. "And where there are rules, there can be commerce, participation and meaningful investment," (from Read Write Web).
So, do you want to run specials at Al-Anon or the laser hair removal clinic? Doubtful that this would work. If your business relies on discretion, foursquare isn't going to help you at this point. But if you're a business where people go to see and be seen, or a business with a strong local presence, or one with an existing fan base, then you can make a stronger connection with your regulars and perhaps draw in their connections with strategic promotions. For case studies, check out Scotty's Brewhouse (for a local biz success) and Starbucks (a national play).

Image representing Foursquare Solutions as dep...
Image via CrunchBase
A marketer should consider how to measure the impact of any foursquare campaign carefully. For example, measuring foot traffic isn't really valuable unless that's really what you want. (I suppose if you're running a 5K race that would be a good measure.) But for most of us, determining how to measure a social marketing campaign is essential. Picking your metric--be it sales, leads, or registrations--is essential. Then, as you vary your offer and target audience, you can measure your results to see what works for your specific situation.

by Eva Lyford , first posted at Biznology Blog.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

The fearsome Alot, tamed by a grammatically conscientious person

I read a cartoon essay with my 10 year old and he promised me that forevermore he will be unconfused about when to use alot and when to use a lot.

Alot of Laughter

We laughed a lot reading this and when I commented on that he challenged me to draw alot of laughter. Here it is.

Originally I drew him with many laughing mouths but I had to take them out as he started looking like a manic Corinthian. And, yes, he has some vaguely basset-hound traits and that is to be blamed on Eric, our new foster pup.

Hat tip to The Oatmeal for tipping me off to the Alot.

Saturday, November 13, 2010

Out of my comfort zone

Thursday I left the familiar work of data and processes behind and ventured out with a product manager and an engineer from Delta Faucet... into my kitchen. They were looking for someone to video tape for an install of the Allora Single-Handle Pull-Down Kitchen Faucet with Soap Dispenser - someone who is a novice when it comes to home repair, and I certainly fit the bill. Little did they know that I’m also a kitchen novice, as I can barely tell the difference between a kitchenaid and a cuisinart.
Allora by Delta Faucet. With Soap dispenser!

After some preliminaries the tape started rolling. Like a good little geek, I read the instructions, counted the parts in the box, got my tools out and got my safety glasses on. I recruited the husband and a son to assist; husband’s first job was to shut off the water, and he shut it down for the whole house. (I found out later there were shutoffs under the sink for just the kitchen plumbing. I guess husband didn’t trust me to have any water in the area.)

Next, I de-installed the old faucet. Which actually required me, the kid, an engineer, and the husband at various points. Fortunately we had an auxiliary engineer. The product manager took the high road and stayed out from under the sink. Whoever installed the previous faucet had tightened down the nuts on the underside of the sink so tightly, that they may have been cross-threaded. (Points to the first post in comments who can explain cross-threading, btw). A few bruised knuckles later, finally we got off the old faucet without having to resort to the gardening shears (my idea, I confess). Elapsed time: 1:20. If I hadn’t been on camera, I probably would have stopped for a celebratory beer at that point. 

Finally I started installation of the faucet - this was the part that was being evaluated, and since I’m not sure if it is public I’ll have to be a little vague here. Suffice it to say that I was really happy I could do the install from the top of the faucet and didn’t have to crawl under the sink again. But, I wish I’d had the right tools - I had to improvise with what I had, and it took longer than I expected that way. Still I was done in under an hour.

I was quite surprised at how easy it was to do the install; I made a few missteps but it was nothing I couldn’t recover from. My 10-year-old was able to some of the work as well. I’d never attempted to do a faucet install because I figured it would be just to hard for me and I’d end up with a leaky mess afterwards which would require a plumber to fix. But that wasn’t the case at all.

Next, I’ll take on installation of the In2ition shower upstairs. Have you seen the new In2ition ad? 

Monday, September 6, 2010

Da Mayor

I was profiled in MetroMix this summer for their series on Foursquare mayors in Indy. At the time, I was mayor of the delectable Yats on Massachusetts Avenue in the Theatre District of Indy.

How long you've been on Foursquare: Since November 13, 2009.

Occupation (when you're being mayor): Business Analyst by day. IT director for improv troupe INDYPROV by night.

photo by Greg Griffo
Side of the city you live on: the demilitarized zone on the north side of Indy next to Carmel.

Why you joined in the first place: There's points involved! I haven't been this excited since A&P grocery was handing out stamps.

How many mayorships you have and where: I hold the Mayor's title in 25 places. I am the Mayor of Clay Township. I stand ready to serve the constituents at any time they notice they have a mayor.

How many badges do you have? 21. I'd like to get the food truck one next just to balance off the gym rat badge. I think I'm most proud of the "Foursquare Day" badge because it required some research to get.

What does being "mayor" mean to you? A tiny sliver of a sense of ownership for the place. Not that I'd help take out the trash, but I will bring a friend over unannounced. Also, given a choice between two places I'll go to the one at which I'm mayor.

How have you/do you plan to maintain your mayorship? If things get dire, I may remodel the kitchen for a year or two so that I'm forced to eat out.

What do you plan to do as mayor/what are your platforms? I'd love it if the places where I'm mayor offered a perk to people who checked in while I was there (even if it weren't available to me); how awesome would it be to make it rain sushi rolls when the mayor's in the house? Or, a free shot of flavor at the Starbucks? Not such a treat for the guys waiting in the chairs at the threading shop though.

If you could be mayor of any place in this city, what would it be?
If Talbott street treated their Mayor as well as they treat their queens, that could work out. But I need to see if Clay Township needs a Mayor first before I can commit.

Bonus 4sq story: I was astonished recently to find that a McDonalds I'm mayor of that I critiqued as "creepy" was demolished for remodeling. Just a reminder - with great power comes great responsibility.

Saturday, August 7, 2010

Beauregard is lifeblogging

I set up Puppy Tweets for Beau Boy today and already he's tweeting pithy comments:
photo by Rich Burton
Beauregard:Being a dog would be a better gig if we all got paid in bacon.
I ordered the Puppy Tweets item from Amazon on April 21, then received an ominous "your approval required" message asking if I still wanted the item; the last time that happened with me was for George Martin's A Dance With Dragons as the release data keeps moving out. I approved the order again with reluctance, wondering how many times the product availability date would be pushed out. But I need not have worried; the product shipped soon and I received it today.

Setup of Puppy Tweets took about 5 minutes, not counting the search for a screwdriver to remove the battery cover. I think set up would have taken even less time had the packaging complied with Amazon's Frustration-Free Packaging; I had to slice through 5 plastic closures to get the box open.

So far, the tweets are humorous but it wasn't immediately apparent how Beau's activity was related to them. Also, I'm hoping over time the available tweets will get to be more customizable. For example, one of Beau's early tweets was about wanting the TV on; but we're an anti-tv household, so it didn't make much sense. Then again, if anyone is really looking for good sense in a dog tweeting automation toy there's a bigger problem here.

Huffington Post has a dry review and Engadget ("Yep, a real product.") has a snarky review too.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Foursquare Day!

I'm in NYC today coincidentally on Foursquare day, and what a lucky serendipity that is. I get to unleash my inner geo-caching geek and play in an old school four square day tourney today too. (OMG do they mean with a real live red rubber playground ball? Eeek.) Of course back at the office all the boys were agog with envy when I told them my plans. At least, I think it was envy. It might have been a concerned, confused kind of envy. They look at the servers the same way when they're humming along properly and suspected of going down in flames at any minute.

So what's so hot about foursquare? I'm on the hook to provide a write up for Biznology soon, but at risk of stealing my own thunder I'll share a tease here. First off, foursquare provides a mutually-beneficial ecosystem for relationships to flourish between customers and businesses. An example: a twitter pal of mine, Scott @Brewhouse in Indy, is using foursquare to make very targeted offers to customers in his restaurant - the customers get some bucks back on their orders and he gets word-of-mouth marketing.

From a user perspective, I use foursquare when I'm in a new place and suddenly its as if there's a huge red "YOU ARE HERE" arrow hanging over my head on a map with everything labeled.  I can see what's nearby, who's nearby from my network, and make more informed choices about where to go. (Kudos also to Waze and Yelp for working this mojo too.)  Right now, I'm getting input from other users. But more and more, I'm seeing businesses such as Scott's out there speaking up to influence my choices.

Finally, Foursquare is developing an ecosystem. shows a heatmap with your checkins. I can use my foursquare data to find deals in New York City or fight zombies. This reminds me of the early days of twitter; at the same moment that loads of people are declaiming "what's the point!!" the eager inspired techies are out building out the system, regardless of whether there's a point or not. Following the twitter trajectory wouldn't be bad at all. And f you think about it, it is pretty obvious that humans had dice games way before they had game theory or probability analysis. Foursquare is a game, but it is clear that from games very complex systems can arise.

Signing off from Starbucks, in a place where they list the calories on the muffins.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

I'll be the judge of that

Pitbull or Victim?Image by cobalt123 via Flickr

After the laff-a-thon fundraising this year with INDYPROV for Indy Pit Crew, I was asked to judge a photo contest with Troy from ComedySportz. Here's the deets:
Win a free Mutt Strut registration by entering our photo contest! Eva from IndyProv and Troy from Comedy Sportz Indianapolis will choose the winner, and 5 runners up who will receive Mutt Strut Swag. Contest deadline is March 19 at midnight. Email your photo to facebook-at-indypitcrew-dot-org.

Check out the entries so far in the flickr slideshow. Awww. These pups are all so adorable!

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Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Project management lessons in snowmaggedon

This past weekend, we had such a large amount of snow dumped on us - it was quite beautiful. Nowhere near as much as we used to get in Northern Illinois near the Wisconsin border, but a lot.

The husband and I went out to shovel, and I recruited the kids to help. The repetitive, heavy labor of shoveling gave me time to think about some project management lessons.
Snow shovelImage by dianecordell via Flickr

First, what were our goals? "Clearing the driveway" was my first answer. But when I thought about it, actually the goal was to be able to get the cars out of the garage and the people out of the house safely. So I changed my work plan to focus on removing enough snow to make driving safe (recognizing that we wouldn't be going at high speeds down the drive) and to sweep and salt the walk. Since we're all able bodied and everyone has boots, having dry and completely clear pavement wasn't required to meet our objective. Don't over-engineer your deliverable. (Six sigma practitioners refer to this as Muda a.k.a. over-processing - activity that is wasteful because it doesn't add value.

Were there any secondary goals? Yes, I'd like the kids to develop their work ethic. This meant accepting a certain amount of snowball-throwing, fort-building, and jumping-into-snow-piles as the work was progressing. The actual contribution to the work effort from the kids was non-trivial, but not as substantial as it could have been. (But yes, boys - I thank you!) So two lessons here: first, adding resources to a project does not necessarily reduce the time line (especially if the resources are unskilled). Also: helping or managing new resources on a project reduces the efficiency of the other resources. So consider all the factors carefully when looking for new resources for a project.

Finally, what happens to a project with two objectives? In my case, the objectives were safe travel from home and developing a work ethic in the kids. Most project managers know this intuitively - adding objectives reduces the speed with which those objectives are achieved. Probably I could have done two projects separately and gotten them done sooner. But, cumulatively they may have taken more time. So consider the need for speed carefully before adding objectives to your project.

For those still digging out, I wish you luck!
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Monday, February 8, 2010

Google grammar tricks

I recently read an article and saw a delightful gem of a comment thread between two responders.
"@Commenter: " . . . miss a typo after pouring over a document . . . " I'm not sure if your use of 'pouring' here is an intentional demonstration of the point, or not - but note that it should be 'poring' instead. "
Grammar policeImage by the_munificent_sasquatch via Flickr
I think having good grammar and writing well is a really essential skill, but sometimes the nuances of a language can be tricky to master. (Especially for non-native speakers; you have my sympathy.) This example above is a good case in point: which is right? Poring over, or pouring over?

One simple way to check is to use google. Open a search, and type "pouring over" and note how many results you get - today for me was 398,000. Then type "poring over" and compare the results - 624,000. (Mind those quotes, they're important for search.) Based on these numbers, I can see that "poring over" is correct.

Eats, Shoots & Leaves: The Zero Tolerance Approach to Punctuation
Not everything is amenable to a simple popularity contest. Check out a book or two for a more thorough understanding of grammar. I think grammar generally is adequately judged by common usage, because grammar arises from conventions. But be warned: acting as the grammar enforcer at work or around your friends won't win any popularity contests. Another good resource to check and see if an expression you're using in writing is a problem is Wikipedia's page on common misspellings/grammar and Misc.

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Thursday, January 21, 2010

Foursquare generates an ecosystem

Twitter has an open API that is making the service more relevant to users by spawning a whole ecosystem supporting its use and making the experience richer for all participants. By one estimate, there are now 50,000 twitter apps and there is 20 times the volume of requests to the twitter API as there is to the web server. Similarly, the facebook API is distributing facebook data on the web and throwing off its own ecosystem - sometimes interlinked with twitter, sometimes not.

Are any other services similarly spawning partner apps to enliven the core experience? One social networking app I've been using recently is Foursquare, and I just found which can generate a heatmap of your activity using the Google App Engine for its mashup. Seems like I'm basically a Northsider.

The appearance of is a strong indicator to me that Foursquare is going to have a strong set of partner apps in 2010, justifying some of the hype going around that foursquare is the next darling of the internet cognoscenti. And this differentiates foursquare from services like Gowalla, which seem to lack that developing series of partner apps.

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Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Rascal's Fun Zone

I took a friend recently out to Rascal's Fun Zone in Whiteland and realized that although I've been chatting the place up to friends for years, I've never posted a review on them anywhere. So, I wrote up one and listed the review on Google and a review on Yelp. And here it is too -

Each of my kids has had a birthday party at Rascal's and the staff makes a great fuss over them - not just a half-hearted bit of singing over cake, but the whole time they're playing the staff makes them feel special by letting the birthday kid have the pick of go-karts, first pick at ice-cream, etc. I've also seen the staff work with a reluctant kid to get him started racing and he had a blast once he got over his initial fear. Finally they don't nickel and dime you - if there isn't a line they run the races longer, and will let a kid bowl an extra game. Note also that they are very safety conscious - if the kid is not tall enough he will not ride the rides, they make sure you are buckled in properly on every ride and if someone on track is reckless or aggressive they will get prohibited from the track. However - they have separate tracks for kids 45" tall to slow race and for adults & kids 60" tall for fast racing. Don't hassle the staff about this, because their safety-mindedness really does make it a better time for all. Finally, the staff hustles - if someone's stuck on track, they run out to resolve the issue.  Check their website for coupons too.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Wikipedia and Reputation Management

Go on, search for your company. I dare you not to find a wikipedia entry in the first page of results, if you're a company of a certain size or significance. Now be honest -  are you engaged at all in that wikipedia article? Or, when you are googling your paid search terms and your organization name, is the wikipedia article on the topic one that your eyes carelessly slide past? What are you thinking?

Wikipedia entries consistently rank in the top 10 results for any query (see: A Survival Guide to SEO & Wikipedia). In comparisons with traditional shelved references, wikipedia is generally found to be more inclusive and no less reliable (see Wikipedia as accurate as Britannica and Errors in the Encyclopædia Britannica that have been corrected in Wikipedia).  I'm not saying Wikipedia is perfectly reliable, as it absolutely isn't. But neither are the traditional reference books. Caveat lector.

If you decide to include wikipedia in your web strategy, proceed carefully. Here's some points to consider:
  • First, understand the editorial policies of wikipedia. Especially review the Wikipedia: Conflict of Interest Policies and make sure you can operate within these guidelines.
  • Understand that you are giving away your writing when you write for wikipedia. Note the text shown below any article's edit box: "You irrevocably agree to release your contributions under the CC-BY-SA 3.0 License and the GFDL. You agree that a hyperlink or URL is sufficient attribution under the Creative Commons license. See the Terms of Use for details."
  • Be aware that your contributions may be flagged for potential bias as well. The following text may be appended to your articles: "A major contributor to this article appears to have a close connection with its subject. It may require cleanup to comply with Wikipedia's content policies, particularly neutral point of view." This is good. This means that you're not trying to obscure your connection to the topic, and the wikipedia community favors honest disclosure.
  • There is no undo. Once you submit the article, it is public content. It can be edited, reduced, refined, expanded, but it is there. So don't go publishing your quarterly earnings on wikipedia ahead of the release to the street.
  • There is no "done" with a wikipedia article. Articles evolve and change. Make monitoring and occasional review of your wikipedia article part of your ongoing social media strategy.
How to get started? First, before you write the articles that you care deeply about, familiarize yourself with the process:
  • Read the Community Portal for Wikipedia, and edit a few articles that are calling out for it. (The Typo team is a great place to start.)
  • Make a wikipedia profile, and make note of any potential sources of bias.
  • Review existing articles on topics that are similar to any you are seeking to create.
  • Before editing any article, read the talk page to understand any existing edit-wars. You don't want to walk into a fight without doing some reconnaissance.
  • "Please do not bite the newcomers" is a real wikipedia policy. Understand that you might be barked at, but participation is intended to occur civilly and recourse is available if it isn't.
  • If a wikipedia article is defaming something you care about, has factual errors, or is offending you - first, fix it. If this is a recurring problem then dispute resolution help is available.
Following these steps should assure you of a fairly decent first article on Wikipedia. But they're hardly sufficient. A Wikipedia article will need care and feeding over time, so plan to revisit the article occasionally. A good option for reminders is to set up a watchlist, and subscribe to the RSS feed of that watchlist.

I wish I could tell you to sit back and relax once the article is done but, sadly, resting on your laurels is not an option. But when is it ever an option nowadays? Remember: updating Wikipedia is not a one-and-done exercise. You'll need to plan for some time to stay engaged with the pages you create going forward. To keep yourself motivated, check your analytic tool afterward--when done properly, you'll likely see some high-quality, lengthy visits showing up on your sites from Wikipedia.  And that can be motivation enough to stay connected to the Wikipedia process, and can provide a significant ROI for the time spent on the article.
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Wednesday, January 13, 2010


My sons are really into shoot-em games lately, and I'm struggling to find games that are as fun and interesting but don't involve violence. My 9 year old picked deBlob out and is really delighted with it, and my 7 year old loves it too. The basic game interaction is to collect colors from roaming color wells and then use the color to restore the city from black and white inflicted upon it by the invading Inky Army. The storyline of the game provides for a heroic and satisfying defeat of the army once the game is played through, and yet playing through doesn't make it stale - the kids still like the other game elements. My kids get really physical and active jumping around and playing the game, and they like the artistic component about it. Are we creating a future generation of Banksy style artists who think graffiti should not be a crime? Only time will tell.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Hey IMA – I Wanna Blog

Taking a risk and putting myself out there as a self-nominated blogger for the IMA. Why? Well, let me tell you... the IMA asked: Tell us a story. We want to know how good your yarn-spinning skills are, so give your best anecdote involving an experience you've had at the museum. And my response:

I went on a date once to see a temporary exhibit of La Fornarina by Raphael, and coincidentally that day there was a meeting of the Red Hat Society at the IMA. I felt somewhat rushed trying to keep up with my date as we headed to the exhibit - he was hopeful to beat the millinery crowd to the scene. We got there too late, and waited for the gaggle of grannies to thin out so we could get a clear view. But it seemed they had staked out that room as a gathering spot; eventually we moved on to see some John Wesley Hardrick paintings I'm fond of. Again, the red-hatted ladies beat us there, purple dresses swirling. I thought it was somewhat cheerful to see friends together but my date didn't appreciate it. We next went to see the Seurat that I like (I spent hours as a kid staring at La Grande Jatte at the Art Institute in Chicago, so seeing it is like meeting an old friend for me). Keeping up with my date's long stride was getting to be ridiculous. And the red hats surrounded us again. I suggested that if he wanted to walk for exercise, maybe we could go to the outdoor paths?

Out we went and again, the walking resumed with my date setting a fast pace. Everywhere we went, there were families out, red-hatted ladies, and other couples. The US Grand Prix race had brought in a lot of people and I'd never seen the museum so busy before. Finally I called for a halt on the forced march, claimed a surprisingly empty bench and tried to recover from gallivanting about. And then he brought out a small box, and asked me to be his wife. I was happy to accept, and years later we stop by that bench sometimes with the kids. But never since have I had to try and keep up with a nervous man's pace.  

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Quasi-feral cat

Where I work, there's been a shaggy orange cat hanging around the docks - he's called Dock Cat or "D. C." (see photo below). He's a mellow and friendly cat, fairly nondescript and he looks pretty much like any cat. Things got pretty cold recently, and his 6 month existence at the docks seemed to be in peril.

In generosity, the folks who I work with gathered some money and supplies for him and I contacted Indy Feral to see what might be done. I was able to arrange for the cat to be seen at the low-cast spay and neuter clinic in Noblesville. They have a feral cat package, and for $20 they offered a flea and worm treatment and surgical sterilization. They do an amazing amount of surgeries there so I assume with such practice they are good at it and certainly the cost is far less than usual.

The poor cat had tapeworms and fleas (no surprise) but he also had a burst abscess that had infected. So for an additional $31, I had the wound cleaned (and his side shaved to do so) and got some antibiotics to help him recover. They were kind enough to keep him for a few days post-recovery (also to make sure the worms and fleas were gone). Now he's hanging out in the laundry room at my house, mellow and quiet and hopefully, a survivor. The beagles are not happy with the arrangement; so he's just a temporary resident here. When he's recovered I'll see about returning him to his existence at the docks. He's a good mouser (and chipmunk-er). I thought about trying to keep him as an outdoor cat at my house, but I fear the local fox wouldn't be any friendlier to him than are my beagles.  So the plan at this point is to try and give him the best shot we can at living at the docks where he was previously making his home. He's getting food and water from my co-workers, and has a little dog house (or, cat house, more accurately) with a heating pad. And while he recovers from surgery, he's hanging out at Chez Beagle. If you have or know someone who might want to give him a home inside, I'm sure he'd be happy to find one.

A friend of mine has this quote in her sig line:
You never lose by loving. You always lose by holding back. (Barbara De Angelis)
And my corollary is: no good deed goes unpunished. For now I've got to thoroughly clean that laundry room to make sure the parasites are dead and gone. I suppose it needed cleaning anyway. For such a rough existence, I'm impressed that this cat is so calm. He takes his meds like a champ (though clearly he finds them yucky) and although he's got fierce looking nails I have nary a scratch. We suspect that the cat was dumped off at the property last summer. Whomever you are, I wish you an equal number of cold, lonely nights to what you've given this blameless cat.