Oh hey look, we get our very own casino.

Because we don’t have anything better to do with our time, Ottawa’s pushing for a casino of its very own. And hey looky that, it’s got the mayor’s backing. Could this possibly mean I won’t have to learn french just so I can go have a stress free gamble without needing to wander down Niagara way? Well, uh, possibly. If the freakin’ thing doesn’t suck huge. Which, given–hi, we’re talking Ottawa, here–I’ll be brushing up on my french relatively shortly. But hey, it’s good to have choices.

In which we develop another earthquake and no one here notices until, um, now.

So apparently just after midnight last night, the Montreal area discovered an earthquake. I say apparently, because unlike, oh we’ll say, this one, we felt absolutely nothing. And, well, considering we’re on the freakin’ 6th floor, you’d think we would. It was apparently a 4.5 on the scale. Are we the only ones who didn’t actually know we had an earthquake until several hours after it happened? Or have we perhaps failed epicly at observation? That happens too. Either way, earthquake. Again. Around Ottawa area. Again. That’s it, I aughta just move to toronto.

In which my girlfriend, which I do have, tries to walk off with my guidedog. Which I don’t have.

People say the most absolutely randomest of things. Usually at the most oddly weird of times. For anyone who actually knows us, May has a guidedog. Had one for years. Long before she’s met me. I’ve never had one. Haven’t figured I wanted/needed one. what I do has worked since, well, I started doing it. And, well, if it ain’t broke, I don’t necessarily feel up to fixing it (*). And that leads us to a thinggy that just out of nowhere said hello while busing it home.

We’re nearly to our stop, and May goes to get up. I’m staying put temporarily, because there’s a few people between me and where I need to be and well, fighting to get through them on a moving vehicle just doesn’t happen. So the lady across from me decides May’s just the absolute meanest person to walk the planet. She’s supremely concerned about me, and insisting to me that May just got up and walked off with my dog. I actually had to briefly argue with this woman that no, in fact, the dog who’s leash is in May’s hand, who’s at May’s heal on the way off the bus, does not belong to me.

she knew I was blind–I’m going to assume because of the cane, but that’s a guess. Did she, like, completely skip over the fact May was also? Is that what happened? Because May got up and headed for the door, and the cane didn’t come out. Or, uh, something. I honestly have absolutely no idea.

Little known fact for the reader types in and around the Ottawa area. There are quite a few folks who rely on guidedogs. For those that do, they’re awesome–the dog in this conversation is just more awesome than the rest. But not every blind bloke in Ottawa has or wants a dog. Not every blind bloke with a dog in Ottawa takes that dog with them wherever they go–May’s left hers at home a few times and took the cane, just on account of it’s less complicated, sometimes faster, and there’s just some places you don’t need to be taking your dog–like, say, the pet store to get food (talk about your massive source of distraction, and you can’t even really correct for that). And for the love of chese, if one blind bloke gets up and heads for the exit with a dog in tow, chances are pretty good the dog belongs to the blind bloke in question. Especially if they’re with me. Who, again, doesn’t have one. Follow? Awesome. Somebody wanna see that weird bus lady gets this?

(*): I do, on occasion, modify that expression in such a way that it now says “if it ain’t broke, tweek it ’til it is”. But that usually applies to geeky things. And some people’s brains, but you’ll have that.

Guest Post: Ottawa vs. Petawawa SPCA

The following is a cross-post from the Awesome Wonky Lynx. Click over to her site for more, and potentially related. Or not. whichever.

Looking to adopt an animal? Want to add a new four legged friend to your household and thinking the SPCA is the best way to go?

Well, do not go through the SPCA in Ottawa they are more for talking you out of adopting than working with you to find that best match. They have a questionnaire you must fill out and they claim it’s only to get to know you and make sure you know what you’re looking for in a pet.

James and I have been trying to adopt a dog through the SPCA in Ottawa since the end of August and we’ve had nothing but fights with them. Any time we found a dog that would match us and call them about each dog they argued with us about how the dog wouldn’t fit in. For example, this dog loves to bark and wouldn’t be good for apartments, bu hey we told them time and time again that our apartment is cool with dogs and there’s loads of them around and they all bark including the one we already have.Example 2, this dog doesn’t do that well with kids, but hey, that’s ok too since right now we don’t have kids so it’s something that we can work on. That way in the future and the dog is a little older being around kids won’t matter. How about this one, this dog hasn’t been trained at all and you guys said you don’t want to do training. No no you nits, we said we are quite flexible when it comes to training depending on the dog.

So that questionnaire that is suppose to be just a guide line for the Ottawa SPCA, yeah, they lie. They use it to keep telling you no no no that won’t work. We’ll call you when a dog comes up or keep looking on the site and let us know when you see another one.

After doing that 6 times and getting the same results the Ottawa SPCA can go fly a kite.

Now, here’s the awesome thing. James and I are in Petawawa this weekend to do the whole Thanksgiving thing with the parents. We walked into the SPCA here this morning and found a very beautiful girl named Nova. We had a look at her, played with her a bit in the yard, got to know what she’s like and how she may act at first and that was that. On Sunday we take Noah to meet Nova and since I’m pretty sure all will go well there our new girl comes home with us then.

So once again if you’re looking to adopt a pet go anywhere but the SPCA in Ottawa.

Cat

In which Ottawa’s taxi system takes a page from the obscure.

Because of, uh, the nature of me, occasionally taking cabs is kind of a fact of life. Particularly when talking about not knowing exactly where you’re going after you, for instance, get yourself off the bus and pick a random direction. So to avoid a migraine, it’s taxi time. May and I took that route when we decided an evening for dinner would be the thing to do. Getting to the restaurant, no problem whatsoever. Getting back, though? If ever there was a set perfectly fit for a taxi related soap opera, we were sitting in it.

We called for Blueline Taxi, as the usual routine goes. Made the arangements to get us home, and all was well. A car showed up, dropped someone off. We hopped in, fully intending on taking that car back to our place. And we very well would have, but then that would completely and totally have ruined our cab opera and well, we can’t have that.

We just started pulling out of the parking lot, and didn’t get more than maybe 5 feet into it, when another cab pulled in beside us. He rolled down his window, and that’s about when the drama started. A little background, for clarity’s sake. Apparently, there’s a law on the books–an actual, honest to goodness city bylaw–that allows a driver to charge another with stealing his fare. It comes complete with a $25 fine and has apparently been on the books for damn near on 50 years. Also note this is the first I’ve heard of it and, well, I’ve been around the city a few dozen times.

So both cars are now sitting in the parking lot, windows rolled down. The other driver, we’ll call him Tool, is just having a gay old time calling our driver, we’ll call him Clue, out for stealing his fare. He must have spent a good 5 minutes going on about how he was asigned our call and we had to go with him. We argued. Clue argued. Repeatedly. The vehicle we were sitting in showed up first, and that’s the one we were fine with taking. But Tool wouldn’t hear it. He kept repeating how Clue was stealing his fare and he’d be calling to complain about it, yada yada blah. Eventually, we ended up switching vehicles. Partly because it was just getting ridiculous and we were really hoping to be well on our way home by now, and partly because, hey, it’d shut Tool up. Or so we thought. This is why I’m not allowed to think, you see.

Most of the way home was taken up with much of the same argument. Him explaining, yet again, that he couldn’t let Clue take his fare, and how that was his call and we were supposed to have waited for him. We, again, explained that we didn’t give a rat’s ass which vehicle took us home. Clue showed up first, so that’s who got our money. Had Tool, you know, not been a tool and showed up first, he’d of gotten our money and there’d have been no issue whatsoever. And the circle repeats. Eventually, we decide this is just getting absolutely headache inducing. We drop it, pay the tool, get ourselves inside. I called and started things rolling in the complaints department, which eventually lead to me finding out about that obscure Ottawa bylaw.

According to this bylaw, if you call a cab, you are actually supposed to wait for the vehicle specificly asigned to you to come and collect you, whether it takes 15 minutes or half an hour. Anyone else who collects you, whether they offer or you ask (for the record, we asked), opens them up to a charge of stealing the asigned driver’s fare. That charge can hit a driver for $25. Or, in simpler terms, more than what either driver was going to get paid for taking us home in the first damn place. I’d say I’m switching companies effective, uh, immediately, but since this is apparently an Ottawa thing, that won’t make much difference. But the way Tool handled himself, let’s just say switching companies still crossed my mind. And all because of a very obscure, little known and apparently little enforced city bylaw from 50 years ago. Okay, that, and a highly unprofessional tool.

Ottawa strikes out on pro baseball. So who’s surprised?

So remember wayyyyyy back when, when we were tossing around the idea of bringing a double A team to Ottawa? Yeah, that one. Guess where it’s not going? We were flirting with a Jays minor team. Were. right up until they extended their current contract. It’ll be at least 2014 before that becomes a possibility again, if ever it does. They’re putting in a good showing, though. Now, the million dollar question. Will anyone actually show up to watch? That is, if they can actually get someone to show up to play?

Hey look, Ottawa can actually compete with Toronto on something!

Nevermind that what they’re competing for is second place on the “most expensive city to rent” list. We can actually compete! Toronto still has the upper hand on us so far (we’re number 3), but we’ll handle those bastards. Just like Ottawa’s hockey team handled Toronto–oh wait. Nevermind. Neither city can touch Vancouver, which is either wicked awesome for us or wicked crappy for Vancouver, but when a tiny little closet with a bathroom (they call those bachelor pads) runs just about as much in 2011-2012 as my 1-bedroom started at in 2006, and the actual buildings themselves haven’t really changed a whole lot since then, somebody up in here has a problem or 5. But we’re competing with Toronto! Go Ottawa go!

OC Transpo finally fixes itself. Sort of.

A transit strike, and several moron drivers later, the city finally decided maybe the folks they have in place, or perhaps the system itself, just isn’t quite performing as advertised. repeatedly. And the same old story from the guy they had in charge of it previously was only managing to piss folks off more than the strike did–very impressive, considering that was quite the accomplishment in itself. So they’ve gotten around, after a little over 3 years, to a top down smackdown. New OC Transpo commissioner, new senior management, and I think I saw the odd new driver in my travels. I’m not sure exactly how much it’ll actually help, but hell, it can’t hurt. Now, if counsel will actually let this new staff do something, you know, useful. Yeah, I can dream. It’s perfectly somewhat healthy. We’ll know if it makes much difference teh next time their contracts implode…

This can’t end well. Ottawa wants baseball team 2.0.

Up until either 2009 or 2010, Ottawa had a minor league baseball team here called the Lynx. They relocated recently, around the same time the Montreal Expos packed up their toys and shuffled off to Washington. You didn’t hear much from that team usually, unless you were 1: watching Ottawa’s A-Channel station or 2: bored enough to attend a game. Very rarely did they make the playoffs, and even then, they didn’t exactly fill the stands. Hence the relocation. Which is still better than what happened to both of Ottawa’s football teams, but I’ve pretty much determined that to be a lost cause. That was the end of pro baseball in Ottawa. Until now. It would seem the city wants to try again, and is coughing up about half of what it’ll cost to renovate the stadium as an insentive–the rest is coming from the company who wants to actually put the team in Ottawa. I’m ordinarily highly enthusiastic about a new sports team coming to the city–especially if the ticket prices are in such a state that they don’t actually cost me 3/4 my grocery money to actually attend a game. But considering the city’s luck with funding/begging sports teams to play here? This can only end badly for everyone involved. On the other hand, this team can at least–hopefully–use the fact they’re not associated with the Phillies as a selling point. That should boost sales.

In which the job market tries my patience. New catch word: trilingual.

For at least the last few years, even in the private sector Ottawa’s favourite word has been bilingual. And no, sadly, they don’t mean *our* bilingual (*), as much as myself and Shane would really, really love it if they did. Escentially, it means two things.

By law, it means you must be fully fluent in English and that other, Quebec-centric language. Yeah, that one. Occasionally, it means English and some other language, like for instance, Spannish–who the hell offers official services in Spannish, in Canada? It also means positions I’m otherwise fully qualified for–hello, jobs so damn similar to the one I was booted from in 2008 it’s not funny–become so far above my pay grade it’s almost embarrassing to say so. Yes, I can fix your computer. Yes, I can even take your static HTML-based website (yes, some companies still use those) and turn it into a dynamic, blow your socks off accessible, website in any language and on any platform of your freaking dreams–and probably customize the thing to boot, without knowing a damn thing about the specific ins and outs of that language (go open source technology go). But I can only speak one, much more widely used, language. Yeah, sure I’ll wait for you to call me. What, no call? Oh–you hired the French-speaking guy who has no idea what WordPress or even PHP is. Gotcha. But at least I got this nifty little thanks for coming out letter. I’ll add it to the pile. See, employment insurance folks? I *am* looking for work. Here’s all my “thanks for applying but we don’t want you” emails.

Folks have stepped up their game in this area now. Where you could get buy if you only survived on two languages, in the last couple weeks I’ve seen a growing number of trilingual positions. Usually, again, the first two are obvious–the legally required ones. But that third, who the hell uses it officially in Canada language–again, usually Spannish–makes itself known. And again, positions I could nail in, say, 2008 or earlier? Yeah, those ones? Thanks for coming, but can you please leave? It’s what lead me to apply for a position completely out of my field, with a company who’s interviewing/hiring practices give me cause for concern–that’s an entry for later.

Guys. You’ve got a ton of qualified people hanging about. Most of them probably more qualified than me. A few of them even used to work with me–and, at last report, were still looking. Only problem? I can count on one hand how many of them speak two languages, nevermind three. And you’re not even asking for folks who can speak the secondary language some of these people can. That’s just asking for a tool with decent linguistic skills is all that is. And half of them probably still don’t speak *our* second language.

(*): I speak English, and Clue. Sadly, as far as employable folks go, I’m probably in the minority–at least by legal standards. As far as folks who’re actually employed? That second language is endangered–I’m looking directly at you, Rogers.

And sometimes, Murphy actually throws folks a break.

A bit over a month ago, SMART Technology up and decided to close things down and lay a bunch of people off. I’ve been there–it sucks, to put it mildly. The way this economy’s going, it sucks twice. But, they don’t join the long list of former employees receiving help from the Ottawa or Ontario government–a la what RIM did around the same time. Instead, these guys caught a hell of a break. In the form of a $7.1 million lottory win. Just a little bit of proof the economy doesn’t have to entirely and completely suck for everyone. Now where’d I put this week’s LotoMax ticket?

In which summer punches me in the face. Ow.

I swear, I didn’t do all that much outdoors today, simply because within 5 minutes of me being out there, I start to feel like I spent the last hour at the gym–except without the good feeling of having worked out. I had to make a real quick run to the store, and by the time I got back, I could have rung out my shirt. Needless to say, tonight/tomorrow, I’m staying very close to my air conditioner. There’s a heat warning/advisory/thinggy out for tomorrow, it looks like. I have only one thing to say. What was your first clue?

Finally, OC Transpo goes completely accessible. Sort of.

On Tuesday, after much, much too long, OC Transpo finally grew a set and retired its high-floor buses, replacing them with their low-floor equivalents. Awesome news for anyone with mobility issues who had a hell of a time boarding the older models–I have no trouble with this whole walking thing, and I’d occasionally nearly land on my face if I didn’t know exactly which bus was picking me up. A side benefit is, apparently, now all buses in Ottawa are equipped with the automated stop announcement system. Now, here’s hoping the system actually gets a bit more reliable (I’d provide a link, but it 404’s on me… way to go, Ottawa Sun).

So much for fair play. Thanks, Ontario soccer league.

Remember when you were always being nagged at to play by the rules or you’d wind up watching instead? Anyone? There are 10 girls on one local soccer team who won’t be getting that lesson–and 10 more who probably wouldn’t mind if they did. After using a player during the season who wasn’t listed on the team’s actual roster, the Louis Riel Rebelles were shocked to learn they’d been disqualified from the tournament that was taking place this week. So shocked were they, and so put out in disbelief that such things would actually be frowned on, the school took the league to court–and, surprise, had the decision overturned. The decision came down only a few hours before the tournament in Hamilton was to begin. The team they replaced? They got to find out after already sitting in Hamilton for the games. Ten grade school girls got to hear from their coach, “Thanks for coming out–oh, and by the way, you’re not playing today. The court said so.”. Fair play? Not in this league. So another group of kids gets to learn all about our definition of follow the rules, and they all lived judicially ever after. Way to go, Ontario.

Capital Taxi just gained and lost my business in the span of a week. Good job, boys.

Capital Taxi, a local company here in Ottawa, came recommended from a few folks we know around these parts shortly after we moved up here. I suspect those folks will be reconsidering their choice after the events of the last week. It all started on Tuesday, when a local blind man was out with his wife and son taking care of the business your typical family would need to take care of–grocery shopping, running to the bank, all that lovely shtuff. The cab driver, who has not been named but who drives taxi number 637, was dispatched to pick up the family and take them home. Upon seeing the young man’s cane and sun glasses, the driver proclaimed he doesn’t pick up disabled people. David Labrecque ended up finding alternative means to get home. As for the driver? I made some calls, as did Shane after writing his own post on the subject, and got very little actual response. The company wouldn’t Id the driver, or comment. The on-duty dispatcher didn’t even know about the issue, or so they said. And of course, nobody knew the mysterious driver of taxi number 637. So I left a call in with the Ottawa bylaw office–to which they had yet to respond–for the relevant information on the driver in question. And then, the decision came down–the anonymous cab driver would lose a day’s pay. No, sorry, he had already lost a day’s pay having had to attend the investigation. Capital Taxi would be doing nothing further re: this issue. This stuff can’t be made up.

The Ottawa bylaw request is still pending–and will be followed up with on Monday, first thing (somebody should probably remind me). There will also be an open letter in the near future, addressed to the Ottawa Sun, Capital Taxi, and in true James open letter format, posted to this blog. Hopefully, that open letter will include the name and relevant information of this mysterious driver, identified only by a number |(cab number 637). In the meantime, local readers are strongly advised to stay as far away from Capital Taxi as humanly possible. If left with no other option besides Capital Taxi, local readers are encouraged to put off what needs doing until another option who isn’t Capital Taxi presents itself. Capital Taxi, you have just lost my business. And I’m only just getting warmed up.

Things I missed about Ottawa number 4597: visiting Pembroke.

I always said Pembroke was the kind of place I loved to visit, but wouldn’t want to live there. Having lived here several times and visited several more, every time I switch I become more and more convinced of that. Which is another of the reasons I’m in love with living in Ottawa. I like Pembroke, as far as small towns go. But it’s the kind of place you go for a day or two, maybe a week if you need to. Then, it’s back home to online grocery delivery, places to walk to, potential places to work, and actual transportation. It’s weird, odd, and slightly strange, but a thing I missed about Ottawa was visiting Pembroke. I should do this more often. Or, you know, maybe not.

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?

OC Transpo flips off the community, doesn’t want you to actually find your bus.

Now this is new. Apparently, an Algonquin College student came up with a mobile application, available at whereismybus.ca, that uses GPS data to determine in realtime where your particular bus is. That data was apparently publicly available from OC Transpo. Was, at least, until a few days after the application was released. OC Transpo then rather quickly said thanks, but no, and yanked the GPS data–thus pretty much killing that application. Awesome. So now not only are they talking about cutting services and tweaking their brand, but they’ve decided you don’t get to actually find out about the services that aren’t being cut and how long it’ll take for them to actually get to you. Nice work, OC Transpo. Way to justify increasing user fees. Yeah, I feel like taking up riding again.

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.

OC Transpo is playing around with reverse economics again.

For the fourth year in a row, OC Transpo, better known as that thing what used to get me to work anywhere from 10 minutes early to 15 minutes late, has decided to increase fares. The reason? According to the current chair of the OC Transpo commission, low ridership is to blame. So to offset the lack of revenue prompted by dropping ridership numbers–which probably wouldn’t have happened if the city and OC Transpo union hadn’t screwed us all over the place re: that bus strike, the remaining riders will be given a very good reason to look elsewhere for their rides–higher prices. A monthly bus pass now costs about $91. And for their increased fees, they get the privilege of riding buses that just so happen to be a little more empty. Reverse economics has hit Ottawa in 2011. And just in time for that other city what perfected the art of reverse economics to cancel its own fare increase. Impressive, Ottawa. Except for that part where it’s not. Please to be leading by example. Oh, wait–I forgot who I was talking about. Forget I said anything.

You know it’s bad when even the crazed are done. Hi, Ottawa Senators.

According to a recent poll, the Senators are done. Not just done, but according to the Ottawa Sun article, toast. So say 66% of fans questioned in the linked article. Uh. What was their first clue?. It’s been said before, and it’ll be said again. The Stanley Cup will never go to Ottawa. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go watch my Leafs try hard not to lose this game.

Related: Have a random video. Embedding is apparently not an option–the rat bastards–so have this instead. Go Sens go! And take the Canadians with you.

Hey, Ottawa? Don’t borrow this idea from Calgary. Kay?

Apparently, cab companies in the Calgary, Alberta area are considering the possibility of charging people a “late ride fee” for the need to get somewhere via taxi between 10:00 PM and 4:00 AM. They say it’s to pay for vehicle upkeep/maintenance etc. I think I’ll just call bullshit right about now. After about midnight, at least in Ottawa–note I’ve never lived in Calgary–bus routes tend to get themselves shut down for the night. After about 1:00 in the morning, if you ain’t got a ride home from a coworker, or a wickedly awesome family member who doesn’t mind coming to fish your ass from work and dumping you in your driveway at half past dark, you ain’t got a ride home. Unless you feel like coughing up the $30 or so to get yourself home at half past dark in the morning. They start thinking about increasing their fees just during those hours, and I’m going to once again start questioning why on God’s green and blue planet OC Transpo still doesn’t run 24 hours.

Now, granted I don’t know what the transit situation’s like in Calgary, but if it’s anything like Ottawa, the cab driver’s probably your best friend after about 11 in some places, 1:00 everywhere else. Or, if you’d prefer, no bus fair plus no driver’s license equals no real choice–whichever you rather. And you probably already have to get creative to be able to aford to get yourself home from work after the place closes down at 1:00 in the morning–oh yeah, that was fun. Really. And along comes a “late ride fee” of an indeterminate amount to be slapped on your bill along with whatever’s charged on the meter? Yeah, I think not.

Calgary, if you’re smart, you’ll give this idea a second thought. Then promptly toss it under the bus where it belongs. Ottawa, for the love of chese, pretend you don’t actually see this idea. Trust me, it’s not a very good one. Now if only that served to convince me you wouldn’t go on ahead and run with it. What I wouldn’t do for a 9:00-5:00 job now.

PS: This could also serve as a kick in the ass to make OC Transpo 24/7. Also not holding my breath on *that* idea, but it wouldn’t hurt.

Attention 1310 news: there is nothing “special” about Victoria’s stolen iPhone.

Sometime last week, a University of Ottawa student wound up needing to replace her iPhone. Someone decided she didn’t really need the one she had, so offered–rather forcefully–to take it off her hands. Two things make it headline worthy, according to 1310 news–one of which is untrue. The girl in question was blind–and, if it’s who I’m thinking of, I actually used to know her, and less accurately, the iPhone was incorrectly labeled as being specially designed for her with text to speech software in place. As much as I disagree with apple on several hundred levels, I do have to say they’ve at least done that right–the same text to speech software is available in every iPhone sold, at least in the last year or so. This particular one just so happened to have it enabled. That’s what made it extremely easy, once they decided to do it, for three Rogers employees to replace the phone. Had the technology she was using been specially designed for her use, the story probably wouldn’t have had the ending it did. Now if every news article could end kinda like these ones here, special needs included or otherwise.

Related: If this person’s the same one I’m thinking of, I kinda wondered what happened to her. Now, I know. Thanks, 1310, for that if nothing else.

No, it’s not officially winter yet. This is just practice.

If you live in Ottawa or the valley, you’ve seen craptastical weather. Below freezing, and there’s crap of various types falling from the sky–some of it, from what I’ve been hearing, coming down white. For the record, no, winter didn’t start a month early–though some days, you may wonder. This is what I like to call the winter warm-up.

Just a bit ago, we were treated to a very impressive 20 minutes of freezing rain in Pembroke. I got to run outside with a couple dogs for the tail end of it–lucky, lucky me. And then, just to screw with us, Environment Canada has decided hey, tomorrow we get to see April-style weather. Bright side: minimal actual preparation before going outside. Not so bright side: consistency, let’s have some.

Yeah, you guessed it. I got nothin’. So have a random local weather related blog post instead. More content tomorrow. Or not.