starting-blast landlocked

Category: lists FTW!

Is this thing on? … And other asorted bits.

So I meant to do this thing more often and yada, yada, yada. Now I’ve got a nifty little empty where most of July’s random bits of I have no idea what should be and absolutely nothing to put there–except, well, more random bits of I have no idea what. Story of my life. And a play on a thing in a game I started not really playing–but that’s another entry, if I can ever remember to get to writing it.

I’m starting to get back into things I used to do somewhat regularly, including that whole school thing. Or rather, chasing people around with regards that whole school thing. It seems if one wants to take an online class in geekery from a school explicitly set up for teaching that material to the visually impaired, the door’s wide open. If you instead want to take that self-same course, regulated by the self-same company, but at a local college and still in a somewhat accessible format, step 1 is build your own door. It’s what a geek gets for wanting to actually be out of the house a while to get shit done, but you’ll have that. So I’ve got emails in with people, who’ve got their own emails in with people, who’re having a meeting or two with other people, who’ve got emails in with other people, and yada yada where’s my vodka. It’s kind of fun, if you don’t mind the occasional migraine. I’m used to it, so whichever. Just educate me already.

On top of that, I’m still tossing stones into the job market just to see what hits. So far, I’ve gotten a handful of automated “thanks for your application” emails, and… That appears to be about it. Well that was productive. I’d probably get a little farther if I had something to toss on a resume that was a little more recent than, say, 2008. Which I’m working on. Also: see above.

I’ve been back and forth to Pembroke a handful of times over the last while. And Pembroke’s come to me a few times, which is always nice. Still not even close to used to living in this house, and I’ve been here since the end of freaking January. The fact that I haven’t actually lived in a two-story house since I was in highschool might have a vague kind of something to do with it. And the fact it belongs to me–well, in about as much as a thing you pay rent on belongs to you–might be something else. I’m used to apartments. Namely, the ones in which you can throw a rock from the front door and, if aimed right, can hit your footboard. Which was every apartment I’ve ever actually paid rent on up until about last year, so this is a thing that needs adjusting to. On the bright side, it doesn’t toss me for a loop quite as much when I end up spending a couple days at mom’s. My only complaint with this place is it doesn’t come with AC. Of course the fact we’re not paying extra for heat easily cancels out that complaint, particularly in about mid-February when the very thought of going outside is enough to make you wrap the blankets around you and forget you had plans for the day. It’s a nice place, and I don’t see me leaving it any time soon, but good lord does it take getting used to. Apparently it also takes an age to properly furnish, but you’ll have that. It’s not like we’ve got a use just yet for the rooms with nothing in them anyway, so this works. Related: I have my entertainment room! Now just to add the entertainment.

Other things have happened that I could have probably mocked, but then promptly forgot I was going to. Let’s see. List format? Why, sure.

  • Remember all that talk from Toronto on how this was the year for the Bluejays, and they were heading for at the very least a .500 season, if not some postseason activity? Remember how they tossed all this money into a rebuild during the offseason, got a bunch of people with decent to good numbers, stuck them on the team and said “Go own the damn field”? Remember how in May people were saying it’s too early to write the team off yet? Yeah. Is it still too early?
  • Dear 16-year-old me. For reasons of integrity, dismiss any and all thoughts of entering politics. Better yet, add any and all thoughts of entering politics to your personal blacklist. And for crying in the sink get back to figuring out where the school network’s single point of failure actually was. Hint: you were close when you traced the connection to a router in the basement. Hey–it could be worth something someday. And by something, I mean probably more than $90000 from Harper’s chief of staff.
  • I now have positive confirmation. It’s not other people’s children I have a problem with. It’s other people. There’s an entry on that floating around amidst a tangled wire or two. I’ll go find it and get back to you.
  • The more I read, the more I’m convinced not actually moving to the US when I was being told things were much more stable/flexible than they are up here was probably the smartest decision I ever made. Well, okay, second smartest. The smartest has me right where I’m at now. The more that slides across my desk, the more convinced I am that the US constitution, by both major players, is just a thing they toss out to shush the masses. And they say our government’s whacked.
  • Related to the last, but still somewhat separate. The NSA’s still lying, still spying, and still lying about spying. And every word of this blog post has probably just been copied to that datacenter they’ve got going on in Utah. Hope yall enjoy the read, folks. Do drop by and say hello once in a while, yeah?

So that’s life and mockery if you’re me. Now. Where’d I put the essay I was working on for those college professorial types?

Asorted junk, listified.

As I do way, way too often, I’ve gone and fell off the blogging wagon. But, uh, at least I’ve kept up with the ones who haven’t? Yeah, okay, that works. For the 75 quadrillionth time, I’m going to attempt to fix that. And because there are post ideas in my head, that will probably last–er, well, at least a week or two. I should probably use this thing for, if nothing else, a dumping ground for anything and everything technical that floats through my head. And I probably will. but that’s not what this post will pretend to be. Because there are ideas, and because they’ll probably get their own posts in due time, have a thing in list format. Because lazy, and caffeine’s all the way over there.

  • I promise myself I won’t watch hockey this year, and the Leafs go and make the playoffs. It figures. But I’m still not watching hockey this year. Screw you, NHL.
  • Alright, so it’s still april. And April more often than not is usually a less than stellar month for the Bluejays–at least that’s the line that gets handed to us on a yearly basis. But we were told to expect big things. Approximately 1.5 of us are still waiting.
  • Finding a routine takes on a whole new meaning after you’ve moved a handful of times in the span of less than a year. Interestingly enough, so does finding the things that make up your routine. Or your kitchen.
  • I pay for TV for the first time in a couple years, and am reminded why I stopped. Note: that does not mean I’m stopping again–at least not until the baseball season either ends or implodes. I know better.
  • Small note to Ottawa’s weather paterns. Or, rather, weather paterns in all manner of places. It’s near the end of April, and places are still seeing snow. We only just got finished with the below freezing–again. You’re fired. Oh, and the first person to blame this on global warming buys me a bottle of vodka. I don’t doubt it’s global, but I’m still waiting on the warming.

Happy April fools day. Please bring coffee.

It’s amazing how involved folks get with the whole april fools day idea, even right down to doing things that honestly wouldn’t be surprising–hey, Google killed their Reader platform, so it’s not completely beyond the realm of possibility for them to off Youtube. And with the day being 3 hours old, I’m already highly amused. Why? Well, let’s see.

  • Youtube dies a death today. All along it’s been a contest for the awesomest video, and it goes see ya later while the judges pick a winner. I knew I should have downloaded that Jeff Dunham video.
  • In Youtube’s place, Google’s beta testing a new product, called Google Nose. Finally, I can make the office here smell like the outdoors without the risk of opening the window and freezing my everloving ass off (hi, still nearly 5 degrees out, nice to see ya). Also comes in handy if it happens to be -40 and you still want that freshly cut grass smell.
  • Apparently Google’s the only one taking an early start at this whole gag product thing, but hey it’s worth it. Kind of. especially if you happen to like the colour blue–and maybe want your entire email system to reflect it. Personally I’ll stick with my self-hosted email, but hey–somebody might just sign up for this one.
  • Because everyone pretty much has been dumbed down to LOLSpeak anyway, Twitter’s offering the LOLSpeak edition of its service, TWTTR, for free. Meanwhile, the grown-ups who actually want to continue forming proper sentences, complete with non-missing letters, will be paying $5/month. They’re also offering the ability to extend your tweet limit by an additional character, for a price depending on the popularity of the character you need (*). A mighty fine way for me to actually put some missing punctuation back on the end of some of my damned tweets. Hey Twitter, let’s talk.

And it’s Google 4, the rest of the world 1. Not bad for a thing that only just started. You should probably disconnect your internets if you don’t have a reasonably good bullshit filter, at least until 12:01 Tuesday morning. Things should return to normal around then. Normal, and baseball. Mmmmm…. baseball.

(*): I’d actually not mind seeing a feature like this. And paying for it. Though, I’d be interested in maybe a discount for all the Tweets who’s ending pounctuation I had to lop off just to make the damn thing fit. On the other hand, perhaps that’s why it’s on the April Fools list–Twitter’d be paying *me* money.

Things to note when taxiing a blind dude, in list format.

I do a fair bit of cabbing from here to there, as does any person who doesn’t quite know how to shuffle the bus system from A to Z. Since I’m hardly the first to do it, and hardly the first blind fool at that, I thought it might be useful to toss together a little reference something that maybe some enterprising cab dude can read while he should be paying attention to the road. I’m even croudsourcing this one, so if someone somewhere thinks a thinggy or three can be added, it will probably be added. And because I know some fool somewhere will read this while driving, and because I’m all for minimising distractions while driving, have it in list format. Also because lists are lazy, and lazy is win, therefore lists are win. So. Without further BS, the taxi guy’s reference guide–what not to do, blind guy edition.

  • Let’s clear one thing up right off the bat. Blind. Kay? Means unable to see. Cannot eyeball. You wave randomly in my general direction, a lot of people are gonna wonder what the hell kinda meth you’re on. And I’m going to ignore your face. Mostly because I can’t see your face–again, blind. Follow so far?
  • Related to number 1, but also critical: Honking. Yeah, just don’t. Especially if you’re in a parking lot with at least half a dozen other vehicles. That happens fairly often in this building–and let’s be honest. Not every car that pulls in here’s a cab. Not every car that pulls in here and honks is a cab. I’m not going to assume you’re a cab if all you’re doing is honking. Especially if I’ve told you before to knock that noise right the hell off.
  • this one’s simple. If you make with the grabby, I get to make with the stabby. I’m capable of navigating from door to vehicle, provided I 1: am familiar with the area from which you’re picking me up and 2: it’s relatively straightforward-ish to locate your vehicle–for instance, if we’re outside this building and your vehicle’s the only one in front of the door running. If I’ve been to an area before, same goes from vehicle to door–provided you haven’t found somewhere completely ass backwards to park us. That I’ve started to move does not mean grab me by the shoulder, the arm, the hand, the wrist, the cane, or any other extremety or implement secured to or belonging to my person. Unless, of course, you don’t mind a cane in the eye. I’m quite obliging when asked.
  • This one might be vaguely obvious, but it still gets missed a lot. Pay the fuck attention, dude. Seriously. You’re asking a blind guy how to get from A, to B, to C. Last I checked, that was kind of what I was paying you for. Yes, okay, I do know my way around at least most of this end of the city. But I don’t know precisely where we are when you ask me, “So it’s just up here and to the right, yeah?”. Know your shit, or use your GPS if you absolutely must–even if those things have a nasty little habbit of occasionally being both dead wrong and all in favour of me paying more. Or be prepared to answer at least 3 questions having to do with exactly where the fuck “just up here and to the right” is. Failure to do either of those gets you this point in lecture format from the back seat. I’ve done it.
  • The answer to the question, “where’s the door?” is not, “Just go straight.”. That particularly is the exact *wrong* answer when one is still sitting in the car, having not yet gotten out because he’s waiting on your slow ass debit machine to get around to approving his transaction. Providing that answer will result in at a minimum an angry stare, and at a maximum a very detailed explanation as to why exactly that is perhaps the most wrong answer you can provide, next to no answer at all. Hint: you just read it.
  • This should be common sense in some places, and simply not breaking the law in others, but it takes on a bit more importance when driving a blind guy. Get the everloving hell off the phone, for the love of pepperoni. Not only does yacking on the phone prove you’re not really paying attention to where the hell you’re going, or what the hell the passenger(s) is/are saying to you, but especially in the context of blind passenger, you will more than likely miss something vaguely important–like, for instance, the afore mentioned request for the location of the door. If you’d put down the phone for at least the duration of the ride, you’d have an increased chance of actually hearing your passenger–be they blind or otherwise–tell you that they’ll be paying via your slow ass debit machine. At which point, that transaction can be slightly less slow as crap, because you’ll–preferably–have taken a couple minutes while finding somewhere to park to get the machine ready to actually process the transaction.
    • Exceptions can be made for things like, for instance, asking for directions. But pull the hell over if you’re gonna. That’s not so much because blind dude. That’s because, well, legal. At least if you’re an Ontario cab driver. I have my own issues with distracted driving laws, but they’re still there. And if you’re gonna get yourself slapped for not following them, I’d prefer to not be in the cab when it happens.
  • Blind guy is not new guy, okay? Odds are, even though I’m cabbing it there, I have a fairly decent idea where there is. I just haven’t yet figured out exactly how to translate directions into useable by blind person on foot information. So when trying to get from A to B, especially if you’ve already started the everloving metre (that’s another rant for another day), let’s not waste us some time by sitting in the driveway arguing about how to get from here to there. Especially if you’re going to throw it in your GPS and have it tell you exactly the same route I just freaking told you. That’s an incredibly quick shortcut to a free trip if I’m feeling particularly challenging that day. And since neither of us knows when that’s going to be, I’d suggest maybe not poking that switch.
  • speaking of slow ass debit machines, they may be incredibly slow at times, but for the love of everything sane, get you one. Believe me, they’re not just for blind folk anymore. This couldn’t have been made more clear when I lived in small town Ontario. The guys over at the Vomit Comet ran into it too, and they’re in bloody Kitchener for crying out loud. If you’re new, or hell, ya just don’t show up in town all that often, you’re not going to know where $place is, nevermind how far away it is from where you’ve been scooped. Leaving aside the fact that it’s bloody 2013 and no one caries cash in bloody 2013, guessing at how far you need to go at the going rate for that city just to reach a rough estimate of how much pocket change you should be carrying with you can be and has been an exercise in migraine. Guys. Even the pizza delivery guy has those wireless debit thinggies, kay? They can’t be too expensive. And with some of the rates municipalities let yall charge us, they can’t be entirely all that unafordable. Get you one. Or two–because hey, sharing is caring. Forget making things convenient for us. You wanna get paid, yes? This guarantees you do. Well, or at least guarantees that if you’re not up and being a tool about the rest of the trip, we’ll be that much more likely to get you paid. make sense?
  • further to points re: pay the fuck attention: your GPS is yelling at you. Meanwhile, you’re panicking because you haven’t the slightest idea where you’re going. Pro tip: even if you haven’t the slightest, your GPS has at least that much. Stop, look, listen. Or at the very least, shut up so I can–and maybe then *I* can figure out where the hell you’re going.
  • I hear about this way too often to be healthy. You’re called to pick up person and guidedog. That does not mean offer to pick up person, then bitch about picking up guidedog. This is one of those situations wherein the law trumps everything except fatal alergies–including your freedom of religion. Don’t approve? Behind the wheel of a cab is not for you. Don’t approve and voice said disapproval loudly? In front of a cab works just fine.
  • that thing I’m holding? Yeah, that thing. It’s a cane. It’s not a magical locator beam. It won’t randomly lift off and shoom its way to your vehicle the second you hit the breaks with me holding the other end. fortunately, if you’re me, as these things aren’t very good independent navigators. Since this thing isn’t programmed to find you, you’re just gonna have to hop your happy ass outa the vehicle and come find me. I’m sorry. But hey, if you do it right, you’ll get paid. Call it corporate motivation. Hey–it worked when I had a thing with a paycheck.
  • Here’s a thing for the thought mines. There are two people standing on the front steps of a house, in front of which you’ve just parked your happy ass. Both are holding those things that are not locator beams. Both are clearly visible, as evidenced by the fact you’re parked pretty much in throwing range of the front door. It’s a very short walk to the front door. It’s also in earshot. Staying in your vehicle and calling the house to let us know you’re here, therefore, is a teeny tiny bit counterproductive. It’s also highly likely to get you mocked in a “how not to taxi a blind guy” entry. Don’t. Just don’t. Because no one will answer, and you’ll be waiting for us, and we’ll be waiting for you, and only one of us will come out looking like an idiot. Also it’s just plain uncool.

There will probably be more added as they’re thought of, or sent to me. In fact I’m pretty sure there will be. But in the meantime, if you know a cab driver who’d find this somewhat useful, by all means slap the link in several dozen places with a strong suggestion to read it. In fact I’m thinking of printing this off for a couple drivers we get around here regularly. In the meantime, happy cabbing. And remember, just because I can’t see doesn’t mean I can’t slap you for being an idiot. Let’s not make me prove it.

In which I do absolutely nothing profound for 12/12/12 12:12.

So If you’re a nerd, kinda like me, you find today’s date somewhat amusing. I suppose the same thing goes for if you follow any one of the 80 million people who officially declared today “international sound check day”. So here’s the thing. In honour of today, and to celebrate the fact you’re not gonna see very many more dates like this, I did… absolutely freakin’ nothing. Okay, not entirely true. At 12:12 on 12/12/12, I was somewhere between asleep and awake. Probably more towards the asleep end of the spectrum. That’s how I celebrate most geeky dates like that, you see. Entertaining, yeah? I suppose I could make up for it by doing 12 shots of vodka tonight in 12 minutes, but I’m not allowed to operate heavy machinery after I’ve been drinking. Or the blog, for that matter. Or, uh, just about anything potentially breakable–lest it become slightly more breakable in my otherwise, er, somewhat steady hands. So instead, I’ll spend 5 seconds on google, and link you to a list of 12 songs with 12 in the title. And that, right there, would be my 12/12 contribution. sorry it’s not right at 12:12. Guess I’m just not that profound. Sue me.

frat parties just ain’t what they used to be.

God, we must have been the dullest college/university types ever growing up. You know, with dedicating the entire first week of school–or sometimes longer–to drinking, and the occasional initiation prank/hazing. Oh and let’s not forget the ACDC you could hear from halfway up the hall. That’s nothing these days. Alcohol enemas are in, now. Yes, okay, so maybe they blow you way past what would be considered the impaired driving limit. And sure, old Xander over there ended up in the hospital. But damn what a drunk he had on when he went! I mean, it could be worse, right? It’s not like he had himself a liquid nitrogen cocktail or anything. And hey, he kept his stomach. That’s a plus. Yeah. On second thought, blasting ACDC until the folks on the floor below me come knocking sounds like an epic idea. At least if I hit the emergency room, it’s for reasons that make sense–like I had my teeth knocked out for blasting ACDC. See? Boring.

Rob Ford is an idiot, the left half of Toronto’s got a hate on, and other asorded goodness.

What we have here is a random thinggy. Because random thinggies are good. Even if done at half past odd while coming off a weekend spent in Pembroke with a machine that could use a couple replacement components. And even if done by a guy who apparently wouldn’t know what spelling was if it walked up and shook his hand. Thank christ this will see some editing before it sees the light of day. Maybe. And since I should be sleeping before we have to leave in an hour and a half, have a list.

  • If you live in Ontario, you’ve probably heard about the Rob Ford kerfuffle. He’s been ordered–well, pending appeal, anyway–removed from office as toronto’s mayor after participating in and voting on an issue that, well, kind of involved him. There are two really good entries on the subject by Toronto Mike, with some pretty nifty comments on both, from both the folks in favour of and against what happened and how it happened. The short version: Rob ford is an idiot for voting on a resolution in council as to whether or not he should pay back what amounts to pocket change if your name is Rob Ford–even if he voted with the majority, and would have ended up not having to pay it back anyway. But that there’s one person in Toronto, namely the voter that took him to court over it, that has the power to remove someone the majority voted in from office is a little tiny bit concerning. Not quite as concerning as the fact the judge interpreted the Municipal Conflict of Interest Act to mean removal was his only option. Or as concerning as the fact that mayors of several other cities (I’m looking at you, Quebec) have either resigned or not for far worse. And let’s not talk about Dalton McGuinty. Both sides kind of flopped this one. And now toronto gets to more than likely go through another election–in which Ford wasn’t even banned from running, meaning he could very likely end up right back where they tried to kick him from. Not bad for a broke city.
  • The NHL has killed off pretty much half the season at this point. Is anyone even still paying attention? How many more times are talks going to end up going nowhere before they just come out and tell us what we’re already expecting? Bright side: the Leafs have their first .500 season going into Christmas since… uh… anyone remember when? Now about baseball.
  • We were staring at -13 degrees C coming on the end of last week. That’s freaking cold degrees, if you’re in the US. It was a fair bit above freezing in spots yesterday–note: not *this* spot, as evidenced by our driveway. Mother nature, please to be making up your mind. Thankya.
  • May and I came to Pembroke this weekend for a Christmas party. Well, it’s what the natives call a Christmas party–they serve passable dinner, we get to hear a couple speeches, then a couple somewhere in the neighbourhood of tolerable old guys from around here get up on stage and try not to kill what would otherwise be okay songs. But the conversations were good, anyway.
    • Related: I learned more about my cousin’s girlfriend in a couple hours during that party than I think I ever wanted to know about someone I’m not dating. Small towns’ll do that to ya, I guess. Is it too late for a refund?
  • This. So much this. It was on my mockery list. Then I read this post. I can do no better. Well, okay, I *probably* could. But both caffeine and alcohol are required and I only have easy access to one.
  • The one year I don’t get a lot of folks asking what I’d like for Christmas is the one year I’m exceedingly easy to buy for. I’ve had an iPhone for a bit over a year and a half. This means iTunes. This means gift cards. So if you’re looking…
  • There is a Twitter. It is awesome. And I had nothing whatsoever to do with it. But, should you find yourself watching the afore mentioned twitter and then developing a liking for Big Bang Theory, you can gladly hand the credit this way.
  • And lastly, because there can never be enough promotion, click, then hit play. You’ll love it. Yes, I’m a part-time fortune teller now. And also the awesome factor. I’m right. You’ll see.

Have bluetooth, will keyboard. Again.

Folks who’ve been following me a while will remember me writing about this device. For those that haven’t and don’t, a short summary. Thinkgeek goes bluetooth keyboard, and I almost buy an iPhone just for that–until I realise I’m flat freakin’ broke. Well, among other reasons but that’s the primary. So I later bought me an iPhone anyway. And a bit later after that, bought me one of those there keyboards. And inside of a month and a half, it became an incredible waste of $60. Fun times, except no not really. So fast forward to July of that year–well, June really, but who’s counting? Jessica came up for what would be one of her last times, and had with her a non-thinkgeek keyboard for my using pleasure. And use it I did–until it went sideways after less than 3 months. Needless to say… I have not so good luck with keyboards for iPhones. So when Steve over there mentioned he was getting his hands on this one for his own battle of the phone, I thought hey, what the hell why not. Then I cringed. Then I clicked. Then I kicked myself in the face. then I hemmed and hawed and tossed the link at May. Then I bought two of the suckers. And now, after over a year of no keyboard tied to this phone, I have to get used to the damn style again. I’ll say this for these keyboard, though. The way Thinkgeek makes them now, I wasn’t as apt to reflexively pitch it across the room on site–the keyboard slides out, as opposed to flips out, from the back of the phone. Which makes it significantly less likely it’ll get jammed and run the risk of breaking–which is what happened way too often with the previous model from Thinkgeek. At first, I thought the keyboard didn’t actually fully come out for some reason–it looked like part of it was still stuck under the phone. But no, that’s just me expecting too much. A random feature neither of my previous keyboards had–and just one more goddamn thing to get used to. But, things of note. I can somewhat type on the phone again now. Yes, touch typing was getting there, but now? Yeah, screw that. Also, in list form, because list form rules.

  • In ways, this keyboard is similar to my last one–no, not to Thinkgeek’s first model, thank christ–so getting used to it is taking less time than I expected.
  • I have WordPress on the phone already, from my last attempt at mobile blogging. Of course, it’s been acting up a bit more recently–so I may actually end up tossing it until it behaves. Paging the wordPress devs…
  • If keyboard and app cooperate, there will be mobile random again. And hey, I think I still have a category for that.
  • Sadly it won’t be by email. I’m still trying to beat that into submission.

It’s way too overdue, but it happened. Have bluetooth, will keyboard. Again. Until my track record proves itself.

And it’s blog-a-long blogging, take 75.

And once again, I very nearly forgot this site existed. I mean, aside from the fact it kind of also doubles as my email. And it’s been shifted around a bit to a new, less crowded and more spacious home. Okay so maybe it’s just updating this thing I keep forgetting to do. Oopsies. I should fix that. And probably mock something or other–I must be due for that eventually. Life needs to stop happening, then other things can happen.

So about that. What’s been happening this time? Well, let’s see. Somewhere between now and the last time I remembered to update this thing, the following happened in no particular order.

  • I found several more jobs to apply for
  • Promptly got nowhere with any of them, but you’ll have that
  • Found out I had 5 days to find a roommate or lose this apartment
  • Found out I’d be losing this apartment
  • Ended up becoming remarkably less single
  • Somehow managed to stay about as sane as is normal for a me

That is to say, it’s been fun. And remarkably short on geek. But I did learn a thing or two in my absense–namely, Bell Canada actually gets the art of static IP addresses! Who knew? Okay, so now that that bout of way too enthusiastic is out of the way, let’s see if I can go longer than 2 weeks before falling off the face of the earth again. Somebody really needs to kick me in the knees when I do that…

Bits of random and chunks of what the fuck is this.

I’m a little tiny bit more human than I was earlier today, so as a free something type thing, have a thing. There’s a whole crap ton of other shtuff that still has yet to post–it’s coming, promise–and more still I get to add to it, but this should see you through until then. It’s in no particular order, but it is in a list. See? Accomodating and everything.

  • I saw several hundred job ads today, which is a change. So of course, that change has to come with a catch. Because it does that kinda thing. Today’s catch? Every single goddamn one of those ads was completely and entirely in French. I kid you not. I only moved here last year–I shouldn’t be contemplating moving elsewhere. Or should I? You be the judge.
  • I’ve decided. As far as pitchers go, the Bluejays are a jinx. Steve’s probably gonna wonder what the hell I’ve been smoking, but here’s my evidence. And yes, random games from random years is evidence, dammit. First it was Roy’s postseason no-hitter in 2010, while with the Phillies–the freakin’ Phillies, goddammit! And in Detroit yesterday, Justin Verlander came damn close to one. If memory serves, he played quite sucktastically the few times I saw him in a Jays suit. Who the hell is this guy? At least Roy was still good when he was with us–he just became a god after he left. But this? Yeah. Jinx. Has to be. Now hearing arguments to the contrary.
  • It’s the long weekend. Officially the first long weekend of the hot. That means countdown to AC. I suspect sometime this week or next, it shall exist once again in the living room window. Now, the question becomes–do I get completely plastered after putting it up, before putting it up, or while putting it up? Either way, I think there’s booze in my future.
  • Speaking of booze, long weekends and that Steve guy, he’s at it again. Long weekends mean booze, and one or both usually means audio. So he and Carin, of Vomit Comet fame, are obliging. Their first one went damn near an hour. Their second? I have no idea. And they’ve still gotta survive tomorrow and Monday. That hangover’s gonna blow hard, I do believe. Go check ‘em out, toss ‘em a comment or 5, and–hell, since it’s all over Steve’s twitter anyway–fire a question or few at ‘em if you’ve got ‘em. Rumor has it they’ll answer anything. Or at least they’ll fake it.

This is my brain. This is my brain on random. Enjoy. Now, where’d I put that shtuff I was gonna add to the mock list…

The following links will mock themselves. But you can feel free to help.

Yes, yes, yes, I’m way behind. And I have things saved that are long overdue to be ranted upon–but the following 3 links, just… really… what more can be said?

  • I get the thrill of joining the “mile high club”. Really, I do. I’d never *do* it, mostly because those seats are damned uncomfortable on their own, but I get it. Here’s the thing, though. I thought a plain was required? And no, I don’t mean to jump out of–although, nice touch, guys.
  • Growing up around guns, you tend to learn two very important things. Keep them out of the reach of small children, and don’t take them to the bathroom. Well, okay, so maybe some folks only learn one. Hey, Darwin? I’ve got one.
  • Very, very few folks will be familiar with my actual reason for leaving the W Ross school when I did. In terms of readership, very few folks will probably even be filliar with the W Ross. One school in New Jersey, though, seems to be borrowing right from the school’s handbook–and has decided a a no hugging policy would absolutely rock. Yeah, I’m not getting it either. But I’m probably not supposed to.
  • And of course, I’m forgetting entirely the entire mess with SIPA (go internets go!) and the newest form of what the yarf from that corner of the world, CISPA (hey internet? Yeah, can we do it again?). Both bills mock themselves, but if you’re not entirely familiar with the latter, these guys have a pretty good take on it. And yeah, it’s a little bit what the yarf.

It’s amazing the things I miss when I’m being tossed in 6 different directions. And later, I get to prod the TSA in the eye with something hot. Again. God, I miss that. As for now, though, enjoy reading. Just remember the rules–if you’re gonna snark, do it in the comments. That’s why we’ve got ‘em.

2011 in review. Or an entry.

I’d love to say last year was exceedingly exciting, but in reality, the best I can come up with is average. And, since I haven’t been keeping up with statistics and the like for about half the year, there’s not much sense in pulling a year-long popular posts type thing–those will return starting end of this month, life permitting. The year was so average that, well, I can listify it. So, I will. Because lazy wins on this day after booze.

  • Of course, the team I call my own (hint: over here) choked again. In spectacular fashion. They call this the rebuilding year–well, those of us who haven’t seen the playoffs since 2004 are still waiting. Oh well. We’re also used to it.
  • I got a lot closer to spending the rest of my life with someone–I even had a quote in hand for a wedding, which was something a lot of people–myself included–didn’t see me doing.
  • I moved back to Ottawa, where I actually started to put my life back together–or, rather, where I actually started to have a life again. This whole getting out and doing things idea? Yeah, let’s keep hold of that, yeah?
  • That wedding quote I mentioned? Turned out it wasn’t going to be needed after all–I ended up single this year. It was hard getting there, a lot of things went down that kind of kicked me in the face, but I can’t say I didn’t see it coming.
  • Met some extremely awesome people this year–and actually started talking to a couple of them more regularly. Get these people in the same room with a nifty amount of something alcoholic and there may not be a room left, but hey, we’d have fun doing it.
  • Did a ton of job searching. No job finding, but plenty of searching. That’s halfway, right? That’s what they tell me, anyway.
  • And, most importantly, survived to see 2012. Some days I don’t know how, but you’ll have that. Provided life doesn’t continue to kick me in the face, this year will rock in comparison.

So how was your year?

State of the geek, and other such badness.

So. I’ve once again gone and not done this kinda thing in at least a month. You’d think I’d learn to stop that, after 2009, but well–yeah, you know. Where to start and not come off like I haven’t a clue. Well, okay, like I haven’t any less of a clue than usual. Things have been more than a little up and down the last month and a bit. More up than down lately, but you’ll have that. I’ve been going through some things not altogether fit for blogging–they weren’t fit for discussing in general, but you do things like that when you’re, well, the best way to put it is not quite yourself. Things are looking a little better now, at least. Sometimes I still think I’m on shakey ground, but again, you’ll have that. Still, things are being worked out, other things are just being accepted, and I’m getting back to where i was–much to the dismay of a few people, I’m sure. Moving on to bigger and better, as it were. Which, yeah, means I’ll find plenty of things to mock, have plenty of personal things to throw out here just because, and probably do much more bitching about the job market. Because that’s what you do when you’re me. The month of August and first half of September were… well… fun, except not, but now, it’s high time to either get things together or get gone. And, because I’m doing exactly that, have the rest of this entry in list format.

  • Employment prospects were looking good, right up until they weren’t. Typical patern for anyone who’s been looking for work the last 3 years–hell, Zoom found herself a job after 2.5 years’ looking herself (congrats for that, by the way). I can’t even be surprised it took 2 and a half years–but only because I’m working on 3 and a half. But, again, you’ll have that.
  • Certain plans have been brought to a screaming hault while things related to what I’ve been dealing with away from the blog get themselves worked out. They may come up again. Or they may not. See certain things, acceptance of.
  • Hockey starts this week. Yet another reason for me to get back into blogging. Go Leafs go! Preferably farther than last this year.
  • Related: I am such a bad horrible not so good fan. Thursday is hockey night. Thursday is also departure night. Which means I miss hockey. Not getting off to a positive start this year, me.
  • Thanks giving shows up again this coming weekend–meaning, well, 8 (7, since it’s after midnight?) days from now. I take off Thursday to spend the weekend at the parents’. It’s gonna feel more than a little strange not having Jessica here this year, but as they say, it happens. Maybe next year.
  • It used to be awesome warm outside. In 24 hours, it hit OMG WTF where’s my brain cold. They’re forecasting awesome warm again this coming week. Fall, make up my goddamn mind–these windows don’t like to be opened/closed on a daily basis.
  • And lastly, finding interesting ways to save money–and yet more interesting ways to purchase apps for the purpose of accessibility testing? Priceless. For everything else, there’s a maxed out creditcard.

Do what you do, kids. Mockery commences at some point. Just, well, right now? I got nothin’.

PS: Go postseason baseball go! I don’t really care who wins–the Redsox are toast. Just, for the love of cheese, whoever does, do something about Philadelphia will ya? That’d be wicked nifty.

State of the geek.

I still exist. And surprise surprise, nothing’s busted this time. I’ve been most of the time playing catch-up with the stuff everyone else has written, not to mention helping Shane out when he decided to up and nuke himself. Yeah, classy. In and around that, I’ve actually managed to find a tiny little handful of jobs to apply to–including one from a company I’d escentially given up on. After the departure of the fiance, that’s been pretty much it–yeah, exciting stuff, no? I’m getting back into the usual routine, though, which means–yes, you guessed it–mockery, snark, general harassment, and oh yeah, the popular posts for June and July that never actually got done. Plus, my official, final review, of a former web host. Until then, I leave you with these few short, barely twitter-worthy (so they wind up over here, instead) thoughts.

  • I live in Ottawa. Why for am I reminded of Toronto, then, what with emergency vehicles passing by here every half hour?
  • Listening to an online scanner, one should not be able to pick up pieces of live music in the background while the person using the radio’s attempting to talk–or rather, yell–over it.
  • Related: Said background music and the fact I can actually pick it out should not amuse me.
  • One of us gets stressed, somebody sends us Mcdonalds money. Drama doesn’t have to suck completely.
  • And lastly, is it wrong of me to sit here and listen to the afore mentioned online scanner, wondering if someone’s going to get a call to this address or one near it? Anyone?

Why they should never let me near Ottawa. But they did.

Every time I come to Ottawa, whether it’s to live or visit, I always have this wicked huge list of things to do. And almost always, within the first week or two, I end up making a sizeable dent in that list. Which is exactly why it is they should absolutely never let me anywhere near Ottawa. Reasons this is bad for me include, but are not limited to:

  1. Random, most-of-the-day walks that take up more distance than most people could see themselves walking and still being healthy
  2. Stops along said walks to occasionally collect random bits of random, in photo form
  3. These wouldn't survive mailing. Will electronic do?

  4. Popping into random specialty stores just to see what they’ve got on for cheap that’s semi-original (hint: there’s a crap ton)
  5. Yet more walks, with yet more photoworks, with yet more scenery
  6. This is so not me. You can't prove it.

  7. Yard sales–every second weekend, on every second block
  8. Random crap picked up at said yard sales, for cheap–like my new coffee table (it’s on wheels)
    • Or the old coffee table, which doubles as a temporary TV stand (it cost me a dollar, 5 years ago)
  9. Grocery shopping, sans the actual shopping–hey, I’m lazy, and I hate shopping
  10. Milano Pizzeria–no, seriously, if you must have pizza, you must have Milano
  11. And oh yeah, yet more photoworks
  12. I could just kinda be here all day. You wouldn't mind, would you?

  13. And I guess that whole employment thing doesn’t hurt, once I figure out what that is

If that’s a week in Ottawa, no freaking wonder the previous 2.5 years just kinda sailed by at warp speed. I know this much about Ottawa on my second time around, at least–I’ll definitely get back in shape. Now, then. Where’d I put the rest of my to-do list?

Anyone wanna guess what this is?

No? Okay fine. This would be, for the first time in a little bit over a month, my attempted reemergence into the realm of this whole blogging thing. This may or may not include yet more mockery, and that thinggy I’m supposed to do about what you guys were reading last month–conveniently, 4 or 5 days before I should be doing that thing about what you were reading while I was being all unavailable and things. There’s an abso-freaking-lute metric ton of crap I probably could, and should, be writing about. Sadly, most of it kind of stopped applying about 2 weeks ago–sorry, life does that to ya. Things that do get a mention here and may or may not be elaborated on when I have slightly more brain power. In list format, because hey, first post in a month, here. Lazy.

  • Moving: Jessica got herself all moved in, relatively in one piece and with most of what sanity she has left after dating and being engaged to me intact. Her stuff, thankfully, also made it to the other end in one pice. Find her take on that and several million other things over on her blog. Go now. I’ll wait.
  • Technology: I’d started the process before I left, and finished it while down there–in and around the above mentioned move. Shortly before my return to Canada–where I’m currently flaed out now, the new laptop I’d been aiming for met me here. It’s nifty cool, in the wicked sense. Still getting used to using Windows 7 on a more than occasional basis, but hey, so far I’m not complaining much.
  • The stupid: there’s acrap ton of it. It starts with local cab companies, and it’ll all warrant separate entries. Again, see the need for more brain power.
  • Hockey: the playoffs are closing rappidly in on us. There will be playoff mockery involved. There will not be Leafs recaps involved–again. Ah well. You saw it coming.
  • Leafs: I quit. At least for this season. I haven’t done a recap since mid-February. To recap this many games would be both exceedingly spammy and a very good reason to develop a migraine. Naturally it would also double as an excellent exercise in frustration–like all mid to late season attempts at playing the comeback kid do. You’re just not that team, Toronto. Sorry.
  • Mockery: Oh, dear lord, the mockery. Not in this post, but the mockery. I’m buried in it. It’ll get posted over the next couple days. Trust me–it’ll be more than worth the wayt.

So that’s kind of where I’ve been. Now, where’d I put my caffeine?

The halfway update thinggy from Rochester.

Hey, it only took me 4 days–considering my previous record, that’s not bad.

The trip itself went amazingly well. So did all the 80 million things I had to get done before I fled the country–with the exception of the post office, but that entry I’ll save for when I have more brain cells to devote to the topic. I’ll leave you with this regards to that, though. Not only are they inaccessible, but they’re starting to inch across the line towards incompitent. Still, we got past that and everything else went smoothely. Hit my bus on time, actually with about an hour to spare, so took it easy around the place. Got into Rochester an hour and a half late through no fault of my own–hi, people holding us up at the border, nice to slap you. That, also, gets an entry of its own when more brain power is available. Jessica has spent the majority of this week sick, so we took it wasy after getting here. She called out from work on Tuesday, and almost slept the entire day away with the exception of being awake long enough to eat and talk for a few minutes with Heather–we really need to get that girl a blog of her vary own, speaking of. Then it was bed and sleep again. She went to work yesterday, I started getting cought u on things. Got a little closer to getting caught up on things today, and she got a little closer to being back to her old self after again taking it easy last night. We’ve got some running around to do tomorrow, then it’s off to see everyone’s favourite new mom and baby on Saturday. Somewhere in between that and the rest of next week, I have a metric ton more mockery to throw up here–including a couple things I was clued in on by Shane on his blog while I was buried in everything else. Here’s a very wee tiny small sampling of the coming stupid.

  • The CRTC gets a federal slapdown, and nobody elle loses much sleep.
  • The next big thing in terror: toy soldiers with equally toy guns–I dunno. Thank the British.
  • Surprise surprise. OC Transpo doesn’t actually have a labour plan. Told you that strike wasn’t a smart idea.
  • My hockey team actually wins. Twice. It figures they be games I’m physically incapable of watching.
  • Speaking of hockey, hi, Ottawa. Still sucking after the all star break, I see. Don’t worry, I have a special blog post just for you. Courtesy the Onion.
  • Breaking Canada, one US politician at a time. Next on the ridiculous meter? Potential visa requirements for border crossings. Because passports just weren’t stupid enough.

There’s more, but I’m running out of brain juice and well, I do have something very slightly less than screwed up to blog about before I go fall over beside my fiance. Tiny little hint: this is not a good year for traveling if you’re us. And now, back to whatever it was you were doing before I interrupted you. I’ll be back.

It’s the pre-departure oh my God drive me crazy writeoff monday mental checklist.

Try saying that 3 times fast. While you do that, I’ll be busy very quickly disposing of a departure Monday. This is more of a “God please don’t let me forget something” exercise primarily for me, but if you’re curious just how dead my Monday is, here’s a hint. I leave in an hour and don’t stop ’til Tuesday. Between now and then, I have a shitload of things to accomplish. In no particular order, I need to:

  • Finish packing things I’ll need to carry with me, IE: foodstuffs
  • Yank my phone off the charger, pocket phone, pack charger
  • Put together the package I’ll be shipping off on my way out of here
  • Hand mother relevant info re: packages to be expected in within the week that will also be shipped out while I’m not here
  • Drop into UPS/Purolator, fire the offending package across the border
  • Stop somewhere to grab something to take with me for supper
  • Also optionally grab lunch
  • Confirm the presence of the card I need to secure my bus ticket
  • Probably, misplace that card at least once–it’s not a complete trip without it
  • Run past the bank, deposit a money order
  • Take out US cash
  • Pray to God I have enough Canadian cash left over after the taking of US cash to shovel into my mother’s gas tank
  • If we’re not pressed, and we shouldn’t be, drop in for a haircut and an excuse to sit on something that isn’t moving umpteen miles an hour
  • Get in to the station in just enough time to grab my ticket and run
  • Barely make the bus–hi, Ottawa lunch hour traffick, nice to not see you
  • Breathe

Okay, I’ve had a full day just looking at this. Now to actually go do it. Catch you all in Rochester, unless I’m bored. Then it’s roadmail posting. Behave. Or, if you absolutely must avoid behaving, go hang out with these two for the day. Probably enough mockery between them to make up for my absense. If not, I have enough saved. Catch you tomorrow!

The-jdh.com turns 5, and my incitefulness takes a walk.

Back in 2006, before I had much of an idea I’d be getting into this whole regular blogging thing, I thought it’d be kinda neat to try out this whole having your own web address thing. I did the registration process, the configuring, and after a while, I even started shoving my email over there. Hey, I was 22–that was a big thing for me. Then later on came the first incarnation of the blog, and I actually got into a sort of semi-regular habbit of at least throwing, er, something up there. Even if it wasn’t overly entertaining–it was considered my very own answer to Blogger and LiveJournal. I’d throw something at it, and maybe it’d stick. Or maybe it’d be one of the myriad useless little quizzes I’d post out of boredom. That was what it was here for. Then I got serious about it.

I still didn’t do it with the expectation of milions of readers and thousands of comments–good thing, as I think I managed maybe half a dozen at one time, but I did it because it was there for something to do. 5 years later, I still post whatever comes to mind–or across my desk via RSS feeds. And I still do it for something to do. I’m not expecting 80 million readers, though when I write something that catches on I don’t exactly shake my head at it. I do it because. And hey, sometimes, I actually offer something up that other people don’t know. And sometimes, other people drop by and I learn a thing or two. Okay, so maybe that’s why I do it.

I keep trying to invent something inciteful/witty/whatever, but I got nothin’. Not a very impressive showing for 5 years. So instead, have 5 of my favourite posts from all 3 incarnations of the blog.

In which James seriously needs to stop failing at this blogging thing.

It just randomly occured to me, as I was plowing through various things that have been piling up while life was busy throwing us curve balls, it’s been exactly, as in to the day, two weeks since I’ve actually posted anything up here. And probably longer than that since the anything had actual content. Oops. Publishing don’t number 1, and I did it. Oh well, you’ll have that. And the worst part of it is, the two weeks in question actually stood a chance at being somewhat exciting. If by exciting you mean a small rolercoaster of fun.

Where to start. Big news in the nowheresville household, we had our eye on a larger apartment and moving back to Ottawa. Well, back to Ottawa for me–Shane has never actually had the good fortune of living there, specificly. So we had the apartment lined up–the lady showing it to us had us sold within the first 10 minutes. We filled out the application. Then, we sat around here and waited. The application ended up not going through, which made things very interesting–note to readers, if you’re looking to make a major move like this and you’ve already gone ahead and set things in motion to have services moved/activated on your moving day, watch out for that quick 180. It’s real hard to hit the off switch when they come back and say you can’t actually have the apartment. Or maybe that’s just a Rogers thing–anything’s possible. We ran into that problem when the phone call came in that we didn’t actually land the apartment. We have a pretty good idea *why* we didn’t land the apartment, and while yeah it sucks, we know for next time. Too bad, too–it was a wicked awesome apartment.

Fortunately, since we look for bright sides on this here blog when we can, the apartment falling through means it doesn’t complicate our return from yet more planned events in the past two weeks. Shane had originally planned to drop in on his girlfriend at the beginning of February, but situations ended up coming up that sort of necessitated he be down there now. I’m still on schedule for bothering Jessica, who has actually managed to update her blog more than once this month, at the beginning of the month as initially planned. We were originally going to come back from our respective vacations on the second of March and promptly pack the place up for moving, but now we have a little bit of flexibility re: when we come back, just in case things decide that falling sideways while we’re down there is the order of the day. It also gives me a bit more time, if necessary, to help Jess with her own move at the end of February without having to worry about shooting back up here for mine. And, since I like not being attached to a deadline, I can presently put a questionmark on my return date–we shall have to see how things play out.

The fun doesn’t stop there, however. In list format, with explanatory posts to come when I have more brain power. Because presently, this caffeine thing isn’t working for me anymore.

  • Life decides at the worst possible time to throw one hell of a curve ball. We got smacked with one this past weekend–and are still recovering. Which reminds me, I need to move a few more things over to the replacement external HD.
    • Related: Hey Dell? You can ship Shane’s laptop any freaking time, now. Seriously.
  • Those guys from Toronto actually one a game or two. That should be posted about before I forget. Again.
  • Sadly, they also lost a shitload. That, I wish I could forget about posting about.

Related: Mixed in with the last couple weeks’ fun helping of funness were multiple large doses of snow. And yes, an extra side order of snow. I’m selling it for cheap. Want some? Please?

Now, let’s see how many of these hockey posts I can crank out before I go fall over. And later today, or tomorrow, a metric ton of mockery. No, I’m not kidding. I’m looking at two pages of blog material over here. And now I actually have time to post it. This might get very unpretty.

Putting the holy busy back into holiday. Or something.

the last couple days have been, well, oh my god busy in the extreme. Hence the lack of anything vaguely resembling a post in that time. Yeah, that includes hockey posts–but oh well. In really quick, list format. because I’ve only got a couple minutes and then it’s off to see the wizard. Or rather, collect my fiance. Whichever.

  • Christmas shopping. Done. that only took creativity and money. Thank God that’s in short supply–oh wait, that’s a bad thing. Nevermind.
  • Finalizing plans for Christmas at the parents’, as we usually have it every hear. Insane will probably be the word of the day.
  • Mass amounts of grocery shopping. Jessica wants to do a Christmas breakfast, and dammit she’ll have her stuff for a Christmas breakfast. Even if it kills me. Or breaks the bank account. Thank God it did neither.
  • As said, off to grab Jess from the bus station in a few. She’s up for Christmas, and then a somewhat shortened new years. Welcome to the one time New Years day ends up on a Saturday and she’s gotta work the Sunday.
  • And in completely unrelated news: the blog may or may not be moving away from DreamHost, as part of a venture I’m currently a part of setting up. More details when I’m not trying to condense everything into bullet points.

That’s me this week. So how’s your holiday going?

I’m beginning to post a lot like Christmas.

It being that time of year again, and me being insanely busy–as I very usually am when this time of year shows up, there hasn’t been a whole lot in the way of actual content up here that wasn’t something vaguely resembling mockery. Or something thrown at me from relatives via email–hello, previous entry. In compensation, have a list of some of my favourite posts from Christmas seasons past, over the blog’s 3 incarnations. And who knows, I may find time later on to do one or two to add to the list.

Enjoy your holidays, and try not to do anything I wouldn’t do. It’s probably bad for you.

My creditcard issuer has creditcard issues.

I have the good fortune, or not–depending on your perspective, to be in posession of a creditcard. Up until last week, the card worked pretty well flawlessly for anything from ordering pizza to paying the occasional bill online, in the event I’m too damn inpatient and/or lazy to bother with the slightly more traditional internet banking transfer. However, the last week or so, it’s decided to rather summarily flip me off. Randomly, it decided the CVV code I was using since I got the card–I only got the thing maybe last year or the year before–the code I’ve been using to make 90% of those purchases was no longer as valid as it was 5 minutes before I decided to use it. So I’ve been going through a pretty interesting little roundabout dance with Royal Bank, also known as them what issued my card. Their system, as much as they won’t actually admit it, appears to have ate my CVV code. This is more of a record of what’s going on for my own purposes, and well, in the event some other poor fool winds up with a similar problem. As things happen, I’ll probably come back to this post. My 7 days of fail started pretty much exactly a week ago. In list format, because. Lazy.

  • After much arm twisting, teeth pulling, and generally screaming at folks, I got the fundage to purchase the screenreader I need from Frontier Computing
  • Called them up and, after a bit of phone dancing, landed the purchase $1100 and some change later
  • Fast forward to last Friday, we’re trying to throw money at things down on that other side of the border, requiring I change the address on the card temporarily to a US one–a thing I’ve done a few times before
  • Change the address, go to make the payment, get declined due to CVV issues
  • CVV is correct, and was entered multiple times by both myself and Shane just to be on the damn sure side
  • Call up the bank, WTF at them for a few minutes, get told the CVV’s correct–well, yes, I had a feeling–and to call the merchant
  • Rather than beat our heads against that right then, we try throwing a payment in the general direction of AT&T
  • Once again, incorrect CVV, once again, we call the bank, once again, CVV is correct
  • Make that payment to AT&T via a telephone rep, who *didn’t* ask for the CVV, and it goes through no problem
  • Try to find a payment for our first attempted US payment over the phone, no luck
  • Try online again, get summarily flipped off, call the bank and, yep, everything’s correct–it’s the merchant’s fault
  • Switch back to the Canadian address, and we decide to finally find a use for one of my Tim Hortons gift cards–why in the hell I had two of them, I’ll never know–so it gets handed off to Shane, and we try to throw a few dollars at it via the card
  • Once again, we get summarily flipped off because of the CVV, and once again, RBC blames the merchant–this is the third one who’s flipped us off re: the CVV, so now I’m a little less open to that possibility than I was before
  • Saturday, we escentially get into hockey mode–which, of course, means pizza, which means ordering via creditcard on account of the bank machine’s over there and we’re not
  • That, of course, goes through no problem–of course, they also don’t ask for the CVV either (Hey, I thought they should; not doing so was their idea.)
  • Monday, we find out we have approximately 4 days to get paperwork into government offices, and not exactly world’s likeliest chance at being able to physically deliver it to the offending office–sometimes, not being able to drive and living in a small town gets to sucking hardcore
  • We decide on a whim, since most if not all of what’s needed is available online, we’ll pull it to the local machine, sign up for a fax number (hello, MyFax), and fire it off to the office that way
  • Assuming, since we know it can’t be the merchants all at once having issues it must be RBC that’s broken, and hoping against hope they’ve fixed it, we give signing up for it a try–and, once again, are summarily flipped off
  • Now, I’m about irritated and decide screw it I’m going to bed–this was kind of squeezed in between and around various phone and other exchanges with people who generally couldn’t seem to find their way to a clue
  • I give MyFax a try again several hours later, no go, Idaho–so again, decide to put it on the back burner until I figure out where the problem’s hiding out
  • Rogers, in its infinite wisdom, decides to then pick this morning as the absolute perfect time to decide the money I threw in their general direction isn’t getting to them fast enough, so they flip the switch what puts an end to our phone service
  • Not thinking, because why would I want to do that at 5:00 in the morning, I decide–hey, James, let’s just take care of what they say you owe them now and when their money catches up to them, they can just count that towards your next bill
  • Of course, the broken that is my creditcard escapes me at this point, so I call in, go through the routine, get summarily flipped off again thanks to bad CVV
  • Once again, call the bank, go a few rounds with the phone rep, who promptly blames the merchant–also, once again
  • Walk all over this rep, then summarily flip him off
  • Take a break from dealing with this, call Rogers directly, apply the appropriate clue that says they will get their money when I have it and not a minute before, then take care of some highly unrelated business before tackling this again
  • Call back to RBC, get a rep who’s first response isn’t quite so much to blame the merchant or, for that matter, RBC’s second favourite thing to blame throughout this issue–me
  • He does, at least, confirm no, the $1100 and change purchase didn’t likely set off alarms that, in simplest of terms, broke my card
  • Go a round or two with him, he also confirms the CVV does what it’s supposed to, decides something about the card’s dead–no, really?
  • Sends me out a replacement card, different card number, different CVV, same lovely little creditcard balance–but at least I got a shiny new interest rate out of it

So far, we still have absolutely no freaking idea what made my card go sideways. RBC blames the people I’m giving the info to, or me for entering the wrong info. Everyone I give the info to blames the bank for not confirming it, or me for giving them the wrong info. The bank is able to varify my info, shooting holes in half of both their theories. And I still sit here confused. This thing, whatever it is, isn’t over yet–not, I suspect, by any means. The post will probably be added to as things develop. I should have the new card in about a week or so, and if it’s just as broken, RBC and me will go yet another round. Sometimes, I love banking breakage. Only not really.

This debate hurts my head.

And, surprise surprise, it reminds me why it is I wouldn’t lose too much sleep over not getting out to vote next week. In list format, because I’m lazy.

  • Andrew Hayden: spending most of the debate picking at the other candidates, and interjecting his 0.5 cents where it’s not welcome–like, say, when someone else is supposed to have the floor. Go away, Andrew.
  • Clive Doucet: Pro-LRT, anti-tunnel, no idea what he’ll do with municipal taxes to compensate–or if he knows, he sure as hell isn’t saying. Also: Really? You’ll criticise O’Brien on how he handled the OC Transpo strike, but you’ll give me the stink eye for criticising the same? And yeah, I’m still not a fan of spam. You go somewhere else, too. Just not the same place as Andy–I don’t think he likes you. Or anyone.
  • Jim Watson/Larry O’Brien: Where’s the difference? One taxed us municipally, one taxed us provincially. Both are pro-LRT, pro-tunnel, anti-clue. And they spent the debate sniping back and forth at each other more than Andrew Hayden did at any of them. But aside from the fact Watson actually answered a question re: how much the LRT system would cost, whereas Larry well, um, did the exact opposite, they look very much the same to me.

I asked the candidates in the debate to maybe knock off the bickering and actually answer the questions being asked. I don’t particularly think they came close to doing that. If I didn’t one day plan to rmove back to the city, I might be inclined to view this more comically. As it is, though? I think I’m actually kind of scared. That’s not an easy accomplishment. Nice work, guys.

PS: Andy, the biggest criticism we had about Larry O’Brien is he wouldn’t work with city council. You didn’t even work with the moderators of the debate. You fail. That is all.

Random observations: In death series.

In list format, because I’m just smashing these things together while one of the books are playing. And, for the record, Salvation In death? All of these observations rolled into one nifty little package.

  • Eve Dallas is one hell of a snarky, sarcastic, bitchy bitch. I’d have a beer with her if she wasn’t fictional.
  • Her husband’s very nearly as snarky sarcastic. Not quite as–Eve’s the main character, after all. But hey, if she was to wind up in a coma or something, the series might very well do just fine without her–so long as he didn’t end up in a coma right next to her.
  • Some of the witnesses in this series? To call them airheads would be an insult to airheads everywhere.
  • Some of the recurring supporting characters? See my commentary re: witnesses.
  • The only female character who doesn’t have legs up to her very nice boobs is, once again, Eve. Who doesn’t even have the very nice boobs.
  • Bright side: she’s got some pretty wicked social issues. Watching her work through them is kind of interesting.
  • Holy royal hell. Just how many different and overly exagerated sexual positions can two people physically get tangled up in? Is she a bloody featherweight or something?
  • Again with the flying cars. So 1960′s. At least these ones have GPS and autopilot. Now when can I drive one?

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