we made three really important choices I think. We found the right venue in the Heritage Hall on Main Street in Vancouver. It's a lovely old building that didn't re quire much decorating and had that air of history without being anything so formal as a church. We got great caterers in Presto Catering, who laid on a full Italian style feast for us with pastas, chicken and salmon. Lastly we hired Photobooth Vancouver [pbv] to do two hours worth of photoboothing rather than buy everyone a wedding favour.
In fact everyone's wedding favours were the photos that they took, at no charge to them, in the photobooth. Everyone had a blast, and I think in retrospect we wish we'd hired the photobooth for at least an extra hour if not more, and seemed to really get into having their pictures taken and getting to keep their own unique souvenirs of our wedding. Best of all after about two weeks we got a disc in the mail with all of the photobooth prints that everyone got to take home, plus the individual photos that make up the prints. That's 500 photos which have been loading onto my Flickr account all day. The full Flickr set of our pictures can be found on my Flickr account [fkr].
and shows like The Daily Show it has become apparent to me that I no longer care at all about America's health care question. I realize that it's an important issue facing Americans but the fact is that you can only watch people acting like complete tools so long before you start to get frustrated and annoyed. I understand that some Americans want universal health care, and I understand that others don't. However the complete inability to keep the debate focused on reality is starting to drive me mad. And the fact that the Republicans keep demonizing Canadian, British and other health care systems without even really understanding what they're talking about is also frustrating. This is from an editorial in Investor’s Business Daily arguing against health care reform in the US:
The U.K.’s National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) basically figures out who deserves treatment by using a cost-utility analysis based on the “quality adjusted life year.” One year in perfect health gets you one point. Deductions are taken for blindness, for being in a wheelchair and so on. The more points you have, the more your life is considered worth saving, and the likelier you are to get care.
People such as scientist Stephen Hawking wouldn’t have a chance in the U.K., where the National Health Service would say the life of this brilliant man, because of his physical handicaps, is essentially worthless.
To which John Gruber of Daring Fireball pointed out that Stephen Hawking was born and raised in the United Kingdom [df]. Just because his vocal computer doesn't have an English accent and he doesn't end each sentence with "pip pip, jolly good!" I suppose he's an honorary American.
but I have never had anything to complain about with my apparently horrible health care. I have of course heard the horror stories from America about a trip to the emergency room, some x-rays and pain killers costing $8,000 but since I've never experienced that I can't really comment. I think in any system, no matter who pays for it, there's going to be a few horror stories if only because anytime you're talking about millions of patients and thousands to hundreds of thousands of doctors, nurses and employees a few bad things are bound to happen. So then let's talk about my medical history, and we had best get started now otherwise we'll be here well past dinner.
I was born with tricuspid artresia, a heart defect that essentially means that there is a hole between the two halves of my heart. The half with the oxygenated blood was not properly separated from the half with blood without oxygen. In graph terms the blue blood and the red blood was mixing to form a kind of purple-ish blood that left me constantly short of breath. It's rare and it took a bit to diagnose but eventually it ended up being decided that I needed surgery.
I had surgeries when I was three months old, three years old, six years old and again when I was seven. The latter two were open heart surgeries, and one I ended up spending about six months in the hospital recovering from after getting an infection. I spent most of those six months in the intensive care unit, and that had to have been expensive. My parents were young, well certainly younger than they are now, and had they had to pay for my care they most likely would not have been able to expand their business and become as well off as they are now.
The government covered the cost of my surgeries, and they were able to keep running their business without laying people off or having to sell off their convince stores or gas stations. Instead of being financially destroyed by having to fund my operations they were able to keep working and they've well paid off the cost of my surgery by the extra taxes that they've paid for being in a higher tax bracket. In turn having survived I've now had a number of years of paying GST and at least fourteen of paying income tax.
to be fair it's hard to talk about what my parents might have had to pay back in the 1980s. I do think that it's important to understand that at no point during my long and expensive stay at the University of Alberta hospital did any government official show up and say that if I cost them much more they were going to have to put me down. There were no "Death Panels" and there was no conversation about how much my life was costing the tax payers of Alberta. And trust me if there was a province that would have put Death Panels into place to help cut costs it would have been Alberta. I mean it's not socialist like Quebec.
But let's move more recently during my university years. A few months having a pace maker put in, something suggested during one of my yearly check-ups with my cardiologist for the previously discussed heart condition, I started having intense abdominal pains. A few nights they became so bad that I ended up going to the emergency room. Pain killers, a few hours in the ER, x-rays and other tests cost nothing. Eventually they discovered that I had gallstones [wp] and a few days later had surgery to remove them. The surgery, the series of tests, the hospital stay the ER usage all cost me nothing. Nobody from the government showed up to determine if I should be treated, nobody was in charge of what happened to me other than myself and the medical professionals working at Kelowna General Hospital.
for which I recently saw a specialist and then spent a night at Richmond Hospital being examined in a fairly sophisticated sleep study room. It's true that before I jumped right to the sleep study room I had to visit my regular doctor to get him to send me to the specialist who then prescribed the sleep study but I doubt that it's different under a private insurance company.
I have an awful hard time getting them to cover me. Since I was born with a heart condition I have a pre-existing condition and nobody will cover me. I have been lucky to have jobs where my employer provides insurance and so I get covered under that. If I had to find my own private health insurance I'd be out of luck, and given the way that the companies behave in America if I did live in the United States I would most likely be out of luck even with the best employer provided coverage.
Yes even in Canada there is still private health insurance. While all insurance plans differ they tend to cover what the government does not such as extended health care (prescription drugs, medical supplies, hearing aids, vision care, semi-private or private room in hospital, complementary health services such as chiropractic and registered massage therapy), dental plans and the like. My braces would have been covered by my private health care, since straight teeth are not a life or death issue.
you're not going to convince me. If you're an American and bump into a Canadian on holidays ask them about what they think of American health care. Better yet ask them what they would do if they had to go to the doctor's in America. Short of severe injury most Canadians would probably report that they would rather wait until they got home, unless they've bought quite a good travel insurance package. We all suspect that even coughing in the direction of an American doctor will cost us around eight hundred dollars, so we tend to tell each other things like, "Oh well just suck it up until you get back home."
And yes as someone in a middle tax bracket maybe in the long term I will have paid more into the health care system via my taxes than I will ever get out of it (though given my medical history that's unlikely). However the fact that I know that if I ever need medical attention nobody is going to check to see if I have proper insurance or a large enough bank account before administering care is a relief. When I was in university and had to deal with gallstones if I had been presented with a bill for the hospital care I had received I would have had no way to pay it. My parents would have had no way to pay what could have been hundreds of thousands of dollars for my pre-existing heart condition and the surgery that has allowed me to continue to live.
So while the American right turns fear tactics on again, after finding that screaming "terrorist" no longer wins Presidential elections, and starts talking about Death Panels and the creeping specter of communism, I'll have you keep your hands off of my Canadian Health Care. If you want to call it a demon, then by gosh it's the most helpful demon I've known.
A nice feature of the iPhone's 3.0 OS that works well with Apple's Mobile Me service is the Find My iPhone feature. The one drawback with it is that it only works when the phone is actually connected to the network. So when my phone was stolen on the weekend I was able to track if for a bit, but my attempts to telephone and text the thief to encourage him to return it ended just prompting him to turn the phone off.
In which I compare the joys of being a kid at Christmas to the joys of working retail during the holiday season.
When I was growing up my parents were always self-employed, so taking Christmas holidays never seemed to be a problem. Some years we'd have family over to visit, and other years we'd drive down to San Diego to visit my grandparents who were snowbirding [wp] there for the winter. Kelowna rarely got snow, San Diego never did and the few years we spent in White Rock also tended to be snow free.
Snow or no snow the Christmas Break was truly that, a break in the rhythm of real life. School would end and for two weeks I'd go from worrying about trying to learn French to worrying about how much eggnog I could drink in one day without my mother telling me I was going to get fat. In Kelowna we'd go sledding at Bertram Creek Park if there was enough snow. In San Diego there'd be at least one trip to the zoo, and daily trips to the mall that my grandparents would use as a sort of home base of leisure.1
These days of course I have a job, strata fees and having gotten fat off of eggnog a need to eat great quantities of food which for the most part needs to be paid for. Since despite my ability to shred on guitar in Rock Band, I have yet to become a rock star and because of the eggnog my male modeling career is over, I had to go out and get a job in retail. The thing with retail is, there is no Christmas Break.
Last year I had to work six days a week through December, with the promise of course that the law states that I'd be making overtime wages on a good deal of that. Of course working overtime and getting paid overtime are two different things so I'm not going to be doing that again for this company. But still, taking time off during Christmas is not an option, even if I had a bank balance that did not make the Baby Jesus want to offer me frankincense and myrrh.
If Christmas used to be a break in the pattern of my existence, it's now an escalation. Like one of those cartoons where Donald Duck tries to sleep with a leaky faucet in the next room and just as he's about to fall asleep the rate of the dripping increases until he has to leap from his bed and tear down his house trying to stop the water.
At least there's eggnog.
1 My grandparents would walk or drive to the closest mall, and then walk around it. Then they'd have coffee with a collection of other elderly people who seemed to be assembled through central casting.
Between school, work and freelancing I'm starting to feel a little bit tweekish [wp]. Being busy is of course good, since work and freelancing pays the bills, I'm starting to feel like I've been on the go for so long that I could just curl up right here and have a nice long nap. I've had a fairly recent vacation [jks], but while Las Vegas was fun it certainly was not relaxing.
I just deleted two full paragraphs explaining why I felt so stressed out, including a large section on the ins and outs of my days off, but at the end of the day that doesn't matter. What does is that I feel like I need to have a nap, or at least a nice comfortable spot in the store near the iPhone display where I can lay down and cry for awhile.
I need a staycation [wp].
What I really want to do is to get two days off in a row, and just disconnect. I'd like to stick my iPhone in a drawer for two days, grab my iPod and just enjoy life without a telephone, email or anything else. These days I try to go a day without using a phone and I inadvertently start a citywide manhunt for my lifeless bloated corpse. I need to find a way to modularly unplug myself from life for awhile, without everything else falling apart.
Now excuse me, I need to go lay down and have a nice cry.
It's official, nobody who lives in Vancouver is actually from Vancouver. I'm currently in my technical editing course and half the class is from Ontario and more students are from South Africa than Vancouver.
Ask around, you'll see I'm right. Does everyone born in Vancouver move to the US or Ontario?
— "Kite", U2
i was going to quote the U2 song "40", but there was too much God mentioned in it and I've got to save something for my post ten years from today. I've got to keep something in the reserve tank, and while one should always be writing as what they were working on was the last thing they'd ever write, I feel like I've got to keep a little bit in reserve. Even now, hinting at what I might quote ten years from now, I'm playing a dangerous game. You could just Google the lyrics and then make a point of not dropping by my blog in a decade, just because you already know what I'm going to lead off with. I may have tipped my hand, but hopefully your poor memory and apathy will make the song choice seem like a spur of the moment flash of inspiration.
It's a big birthday, a big year. All of the other milestones that I've roared past in the inevitable process of aging have been mere hints of what was to come. If I figured I'd have found myself a career by twenty-two, only to find myself deeply committed to being a student journalist and never graduating at that age, it was okay because I'd not yet hit twenty-five. By twenty-five I figured that the detours my life had taken me had been worth waiting a bit longer to actually discover what it was that this life was for. Thirty though, well it's hard to consider this a simple extension of my teenage, or young adult years.
John Lennon is famous for saying, "Life is what happens to you while you're busy making other plans."
Well truthfully he was famous for being a Beatle, which makes the wild and crazy turns his life took him on while he was "busy making plans" seem a little more awesome than working at the same job for nearly a decade while I scramble to get some more schooling stuffed into my head so that I can find this elusive "career" and start this adult life. My lifeclock has already turned red, and we are entering lastday [wp].
I would of course hope for Renewal at the fiery ritual of Carousel, but then again that's a reference that might be lost. All I can say is I'm on the look out for Sandmen.
The only "adult" thing that I've feel like I've done, probably in my entire life, is getting engaged earlier this year [jks]. Everything else about me just feels like a slightly dumber, fatter version of the Jeffery Simpson that graduated high school back in 1997. By this point I was meant to have at least one published novel, a screenplay being seriously considered by Steven Spielberg or at the very least my own small desert island for retreating to between standup comedy gigs. Instead I'll wake up thirty years old not as Prime Minister of this great nation, or even a smaller shittier nation with lower standards, without a record deal or even pet mogwai.
these last few days I've just been feeling really tired. Part of it is trying to squeeze in time to do my freelance writing and part of it is that I've just not had any chance to slow down since Las Vegas. Granted also staying up past one in the morning playing Rock Band with Nathan also contributed a bit to it [jks].
Today is a day off, but it's also a day that I'm going to be up late at a drive-in movie. At least that's the plan. Drive-ins used to be a fairly regular thing for my family, well maybe I'm exaggerating a bit. They were still special occasions, but when we were young and lived in Edmonton I'd go to sleep early then get up and my parents would take us to the Drive-In. The only movie that I know I watched there was Gremlins, but since they're generally double features there must have been more than that one.
Lydia and I went last year to the Twilight Drive-In in Langley, the one we're going to again tonight, and saw The Departed and Beerfest. The Departed was first and it was great. If you've not had a chance to see it go out and rent it. That's right, stop reading this go and rent it and this will still be here to read once you've done watching the movie.
Beerfest was okay, though I think by that point we were both too tired to really enjoy it.
Tonight we're going to see Ghost Town and Eagle Eye. Ghost Town should be good, since anything with Ricky Gervais in it tends to be quite funny. This is his first staring role in a film, and the first major thing he's done that he hasn't had a role in writing so we'll see how he does as just being an actor.
Eagle Eye is the newest film with Shia LaBeouf in it. He's the kid from Transformers and he was in the latest Indiana Jones movie as Indy's son. He must have some dirty photos of Steven Spielberg because Spielberg produced Transformers and Eagle Eye and of course Indiana Jones is Spielberg and George Lucas' pet project with Lucas producing and Spielberg directing.
Without Steven LaBeouf might not be getting any work, so blackmail is the obvious answer.
haircuts have never been one of my favorite things. I suppose there are people in the world who really enjoy them. I'd like to meet one of these people. In person, because I suppose if you want to throw it open to the whole wide internet you're going to find a few odd people who really get off on getting their haircut. Normal people, the sort that I see socially or in the line at Safeway, probably agree with me that getting hair cut is a chore. Oh it's not the world's worst chore by any means, it's better than having even the most minor of surgery, or needing to go door to door trying to convert people to your new cult on a Friday evening, but it's still annoying.
Before I moved to Vancouver I had it as good as I probably ever will haircut wise. One of my former co-workers at the Paramount Theatre had finished hairdressing school and was working at a salon on my way up to university so stopping in either before or after school was never a problem. Melanie had been hired at the theatre at the same time as I had, and had gone to our graduation prom as Ryan's date so we were social work friends. That bit helped deal with the first problem of getting your haircut, which is the need to make small talk.
With Melanie we knew the same people, I had met her long-term boyfriend Jay enough times to almost care what he was doing and we had enough common friends through Ryan or the theatre that we could pass an hour every month or so talking about what everyone was up to. When I didn't feel like talking we could also go about our business of cutting hair and having hair cut, without the need for awkward forced conversation since after having worked with me for nearly five years she knew that I really was not a particularly talkative person and if I was quiet it was not because I hated her. At least I hope she knew that, I guess I never really checked to make sure that was the case.
In Vancouver I've never really found a place that I've liked. I've tried the expensive salons, tried my friend Vanessa when she was cutting hair, tried not one but two places in Metrotown and tried a variety of cheap hole in the wall places around the Denman Street / West End area. I haven't enjoyed or liked any of them. So each time I would go longer and longer between haircuts until this last time I think it was four months. My hair went from really short to growing long enough so that I could stretch it down past my nose.
Lydia wanted me to go to her friend's roommate, which sounded awful since it's all the social awkwardness of a regular haircut with the added pressure that I might actually see this person socially at some point. I don't want to chitter chat when getting my haircut. If it was socially acceptable, and if I didn't need to listen to directions from the hairdresser during the process, I'd simply listen to my iPod through the whole thing. Sadly it isn't, so I don't.
I'm debating just shaving my head. I would have it not to hide a bald spot Mark Messier style, but rather just to eliminate the need for having to be a hairdresser's patient. The only thing holding me back is that my special doctor says that the only reason nobody knows what a deviant I am is because my hair hides my skull's true shape [wp].
ince the great hard drive crash of 2008 [jks] I've been slowly rebuilding my computer from the ground up. No, wait that makes it sound like I'm doing something complex and technical. Rather what I'm doing is slowly re-installing applications onto my hard drive as I have a need for them. The first things on there was the software that I had on discs, like Microsoft Office and the Apple iWorks suite. From there I've been adding the programs that I've acquired from the internet, though I've been far more relaxed about getting those back on.
What applications have worked their way onto my hard drive and back into usage? Well how about a list of five just so that we can give an uneven number to go along with my uneven track record of regular blogging.
5) NetNewsWire [ng]:
NetNewsWire is one of my most used applications on my iPhone and the fact that both the mobile and desktop version of the world's most popular RSS reader is free is pretty damn cool. It's the best way to follow blogs, news websites and pretty much anything with a RSS feed. I don't use it to feed podcasts through to itunes, though it can do that as well. It's probably the best way to add new feeds, manage them into folders and also read them. The fact that it allows me to create blog posts from incoming content could be useful if i used it more.
4) iTunes [ap]:
Okay, this one is obvious. I figured it was so obvious that it might not be worth mentioning, but iTunes is my most used application by far. Whether it's loading music onto my Apple TV, my iPod or my iPhone or just giving my tunes to type by it's almost constantly running on my computer. I'm really enjoying the new iTunes 8 which seems to have solved a problem I had where, since I am using an external hard drive accessed through Wi-Fi to store my music library, iTunes would lose the library forcing me to spend about forty minutes re-acquainting iTunes with my music once a week or so.
3) Ecto [is]:
I have to admit I don't use desktop blogging software as much as I should. It really makes writing, editing and maintaining a blog so much easier, but because I use multiple computers plus my iPhone to blog I tend never to use it. However through Metroblogging Vancouver [mbv] I got a free copy of Ecto and I always give using it a go. It helps avoid having to struggle with HTML, which I often have to use when posting with Safari. Ecto's the first piece of software so far that's not free, but the fact that it's less than $20 should help make it a consideration.
2) Adium [ad]:
Apart from iTunes Adium is the only program that's almost always constantly running on my computer. This free application combines the capabilities of pretty much every instant messaging service known to man into one single app. MSN, Yahoo, ICQ, AOL and others are all there and with the addition of Facebook chatting it's got everything that I've ever used to talk to people online with. In fact between this and the very slick Facebook iPhone application I don't actually ever log in to Facebook anymore.
The one thing it's missing, and I'm pretty sure it's currently technically impossible anyway, is the ability to combine conversations with people using multiple platforms, so that you could merge a conversation you're having with someone on MSN into one you're having with someone else on Yahoo.
1) Handbrake [hb]:
Though it's kind of visually boring, hence the reason for no pictures, Handbrake is so incredibly useful. Basically it's the best, and as far as I know only, way to copy DVD movies onto a Mac. Loading television shows and movies from my DVD collection onto my Apple TV and my iPhone would be impossible without this little piece of software. Having recently loaded the complete series of Yes Minster into my iTunes library I've come to appreciate it even more. Again like everything else I've recommended, other than Ecto, it is free.
i t feels like every post I make these days is a post asking for forgiveness after another long period of this blog laying fallow. Each and every entry seems like it's asking for forgiveness for the length of time since I've last blogged and promising to be more attentive to you, my dear readers. Does it feel that way to you?
Again I've been writing for The Georgia Straight [tgs] and though I haven't been working as much this past week I've been travelling with Lydia. We took a long weekend and went to Vancouver Island to visit Tofino and Victoria. Lydia blogged about eating on the island [iatl] and I guess I don't have a whole lot to say beyond that, so I'll leave you with the link.
One of the things we did do in Victoria was look at venues for the wedding. We checked a few places, mostly heritage homes and none of them seemed to work for us. They were either not the right type of place, required us to use their expensive in-house caterers or had the overall feel of a bingo hall. After already mostly eliminating Kelowna from our list of cities to get married in, it seemed like we were crossing Victoria off the list as well.
I don't know how it came up, but talk turned to the Heritage Hall on Main Street in Vancouver [hh], and since I had been to Curtis's wedding there I sent him an email asking for a rough estimate on how much he paid. His reply was surprisingly inexpensive and so we booked a viewing for Wednesday and after looking at it and talking to the woman in charge of rentals we've booked the hall for August 9th 2009.
Which is a huge relief, since now that we've got a date and location everything else can slot into that. I guess the last really big thing is the caterers, and once that's sorted we're just having to deal with a few minor details like the flower arrangements for the tables and whether or not we're going to ask people to sit through speeches or a slide-show or possibly both. Lydia's for neither and I'm for both. I figure if we're feeding people the least they could do is pretend to care about us for half an hour, even if they'd rather be watching a rerun of The Office.
i will admit it's been awhile. I got busy writing [tgs], and then my computer crashed and I've spent the last three days fighting to get it working. Thanks to the Genius at the Pacific Centre Mall's Apple Store I figured out my plan of attack, but it's likely that I won't be able to save most of the files that I had been transfering from one computer to another for slightly over a decade. Though most of it was no big loss, I don't really need a saved game for each of the last three Sim City games, some of it was worth keeping.
Thankfully I'd actually backed up all my photos a few weeks ago onto DVDs. The last six months or so of photos that I hadn't backed up are mostly on my Flickr account [fkr] so that is not a major problem. Sadly I've lost a great deal of writing, and while most of it was just scraps and fragments it's still gone. Most of it I have backups in the real world, with the eVent! articles and a lot of the Phoenix stuff in boxes in storage. Some of it though is just gone. All of which makes me wish I'd have been more diligent keeping my writing archive site up-to-date [teotw].
It is though a clean slate, a chance to start again. My Macbook is running considerably faster with it's freshly erased and near empty hard drive than it was with a nearly full drive with programs and files migrated through three other Apple laptops (an iBook and two Powerbooks).
My only worry is whether I'll be able to reinstall Adobe CS2. I've got the actual purchased discs, but for some reason the registration code didn't work last time I tried to install it.
Now though I should be back to blogging on a more regular basis. Well, hopefully.
i am a sucker for a good bit of concert merchandise. Give me a t-shirt with a cool logo on it and I'll gladly hand over $30 for something that costs ten times less than that to make. Hand me a poster for $15 and I'll roll it up and stick it in my closet with big plans to use it to decorate the wall in the home office that I don't yet have and may never get. Hoodies, love them. I've got Matthew Good soccer jerseys. I've got backpacks, pins and baseball caps.
My new all-time favorite piece of tour merchandise ever however is now the Radiohead Sigg bottle that I picked up last night at their concert at Thunderbird Stadium [mbv]. I'm a huge fan of Sigg bottles, and I use my two current ones almost constantly. I took one around as my main source of water in Europe, and I try to avoid using plastic bottles or buy bottle water in stores because of the toxic chemicals that are meant to leak into the water from plastics. Not only that but cutting back on plastic bottles is good for the enviroment, even if they're recycled.
$25 for a Radiohead Sigg bottle is a no brainer then. It's metallic so the chemical issue isn't a factor, and its washable so it's not going to end up in a garbage dump anytime soon.
Over the last week or so I've been writing a guide to how to like a life of great wealth without spending much money. This guide would have taught you how to do things like go to see touring Broadway musicals without spending a dime. That sounds useful, but sadly the entire 200 page work can be boiled down to "get engaged to a woman whose roommate works at a radio station."
I was going to try selling the guide at local flea markets, but after the dismal sales of my first book [blrb] I decided that a 500 page book whose basic message didn't even take up half of the back of the jacket on the hard cover version was a bit cheeky. I mean I'm not Deepak Chopra, I don't have the name recognition to pull that shit off.
What prompted my writing of the book was when Lydia's roommate Sarah got us free tickets to the Vancouver opening night of Spamalot [mbv]. It had been a play that I'd been interested in going to, but by the time it was announced that the touring company was coming to Vancouver I'd already moved out of the phase of my life where I could afford to pay for things and into the phase of my life where I eat rice and bulk chicken breasts. The fact that the United Nations isn't delivering the rice from the back of trucks to my house is a small victory, I mean it's actually store bought. So that's me for the win.
The other advice I have is know someone who works in the tourism industry. Through the hostel Lydia got this wicked pass that gets her and a guest, typically me, into all sorts of tourist type spots. On our weekend, which last week just happened to be Canada Day and the day after, we used the pass to take the False Creek Ferries three times, ride the Vancouver Trolley, go see the newborn baby Beluga at the Vancouver Aquarium and then go to Science World all for about four dollars each.
All of which is handy since I've got about $150 that I'm stretching until the 15th when I'm next paid. The fact that the part time job is coming out to about one shift a month (June had two shifts and July brings zero), means that stretching a dollar is important. Even more important now that for the second time in about a year I've had my wages cut at work.
So these past few days have even been extremely beautiful. Well at least the weather in Vancouver has been very beautiful. Warm, sunny and with not one drop of rain to be seen darkening the sky it's been very un-Vancouver.
Lydia and I have been trying to figure out what sort of vacation plans we can make. There was some light talk about a trip to Las Vegas with my parents in September, but that seems to have died down. I'm trying to get a camping trip arranged with Nathan and Krista for August but after making bold claims about wanting to camp Lydia is feeling a bit nervous about the bears and the potential lack of washrooms that come with camping.
At some point we will get to Kelowna, both to scout out wedding locations and caterers and to just enjoy the sheer heat. Last year it was a bit cooler while we were there, and I was wanting Lydia to really get the sweltering Kelowna experiance where you'd kill a small child for a cold glass of lemonade. There's also a trip to Tofino at some point, since we really enjoyed out brief time there last year so much that I even claimed to want to move there [jks].
Don't worry, I probably won't. Though that would keep me from worrying about the future of Metroblogging Vancouver [mbv].
I started work at Elfsar, the Yaletown comic book store, last month and was hoping that it would be a good source of additional income. I was also hoping that working there would break up work at the Rogers, the way that working at the theatre used to break up working at Rogers back in Kelowna. The trouble is because it's been slow, they just have no shifts for me. After two shifts this month, I'm not working there at all in July.
At least I've got my staff discount I guess.
Meanwhile the iPhone hasn't even arrived and I'm starting to get tired of it. Every day is a flood of people wanting to know things, which would be fine if Rogers told us anything. Today we weren't even allowed to tell people about the recently announced plans despite the fact that they were in the newspaper and on Rogers' site. I feel like we should just wear t-shirts that say, "We know even less than MonkeyJizz365 on Howard Forums, so don't bother asking."
Meanwhile the internet's turned into a festival of idiots over the Canadian iPhone plans. Why people expected them to be the same price as the AT&T plans in the US I'm not sure. Anyone who had spent about ten minutes looking at Canada's data rates could have guessed what the plans were going to be within about five dollars. The fact that they're better than any current data rates in the country isn't the issue, the issue is that they're not the best in the world. Or something. People just need to go back to high school and retake economics or business education, of course typing "iPhone FAIL" into their blog gets more hits.
And hey look, I'm not someone who defends Rogers blindly. They make mistakes, but for the most part they make fewer mistakes than Telus or Bell and the ones they make tend to be the classic big corporation mistakes that any company with several hundred employees make.
Telus for example sent Lydia a bill last week for over $1100, even though she hasn't had a phone with them since 2003. It seems that when she closed her home account to switch to Shaw they kept her account open, and kept charging her without sending her a bill until five years later they were about to send it to collections. Or something. They never actually told her why she owed this money, or even how much she owed since the amount kept changing every time she called them.
A few hours on hold later and she got them to delete that, thankfully.
Meanwhile my mother wanted me to delete a previous post mentioning the iPhone, scared that I'd be fired. It seems that some Rogers dealers are firing people for just that, and others are making their employees sign paper work saying that they can't say anything bad about the iPhone or they'll get the sack. The amount of money that people are imagining that Rogers is going to make off of this is turning everyone into fraking idiots. We weren't this concerned as a nation when we helped invade Afghanistan.
I loved my iPhone, that I now can't use or I'll be fired, and I'm sure I'll get a 3G one and love it even more but it's just a phone. It doesn't cure cancer. It doesn't make you good at playing Dr. Mario. It's super cool and the best phone I've ever used but it's just a phone.
I can't wait until summer is over and everyone relaxes a little.
At least Telus doesn't believe that I owe them money. Then I'd really need some Elfsar shifts.
This morning I'm off to see Nathan early in the morning. We've been talking around the notion of doing something, like a video show or a podcast for years and I'd like to finally record something. I'm sure the fact that we've yet to come up with a subject, format or method of working together will in no way affect the quality of what we end up producing. I mean let's face it, it's not like half the stuff in your average art gallery was made with any sort of planning. Art isn't what you plan at, art is what happens when you just let yourself create.
Or at least that's what I'm sure my high school art teacher would have taught me if I hadn't of switched into band after the first week because I found the art kids too weird. Now there's an alternate life to think about, how would I have settled into Okanagan Mission Secondary School if I'd have stayed in art.
I'll tell you one thing for sure I would not have gotten lost in the bad part of Anaheim California with Karen Wilson while on a band trip. Not that anything came of that adventure, we neither made out nor were we murdered for our Air Jordan's.
Just a quick post to note that Lydia and I went up to Whistler on our day off yesterday, but I'm still working on getting the photos and video to Flickr so I'm holding off blogging about it until I've got all that stuff online. What I do have online is some more pictures of my parents' new puppy Charlie. This time I give you a video of him investigating the camera.
Right, okay so it's not the sort of hard hitting content that you've come to expect from my blog. I suppose I could get a meth addiction to provide myself with some blog worthy content. Until that pans out however I've got not much to go on. At least until I get some time.
I just wanted to say that I'm still alive, just in case you thought that I might have died at some point during the Emerald City Comic Convention. Working two jobs seems to eat up quite a bit of my time, and I've not been able to post as much as I'd like. I will be changing that in the near future, though how I'm not quite sure.
In the meanwhile my parents got a new dog, well my mother did. It's a Havanese [wp] and it's name is Charlie, because it's the same colours of a dog that my mom had years ago. Charlie, the first one, was a part of the family before I was and lived for around sixteen years. Hopefully Charlie 2.0 will have as long of a life. But damn, puppies sure are cute little things aren't they?
Soon, blogging. Yes. For now though enjoy the puppy picture. I have more of them on my Flickr site if you're interested in looking. The Flickr link is in the sidebar.