Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Banks are evil

Banks only love you when they want your money. They are very good at not showing the love when you want their money, even when you 'deserve' it. Okay, I'm tired and that line made little to no sense. I recently had a fight with my bank because they mailed my replacement Visa card to my old address (Our mortgage is with them too so why they felt we would stay at the old place is beyond me.)

We rarely use this card so we did not notice. I finally did try to use it and discovered the expiry date had passed. Of course, I was using it to book a trip for a friend's wedding (none of my friends think it would be cool to get married locally) and so of course I had to book by a certain time to book with the wedding party.

For some strange reason my bank could not grasp this concept. I would tell them I needed my new card in a week and they would suggest an option that takes 7 - 10 business days. Even when there were options that would take less time. Eventually I had called so often that I knew all the buttons to press to get to a real person and had memorized postal codes, birth dates, mother's maiden names, etc so well that they thought I was reading from notes.

At this point my story is not yet done. Either tomorrow or Thursday I should get a new card, which is one day sooner than I need it. But so much has gone wrong this far that I am overly skeptical. As usual I only report the bad news so look forward to more griping to come.

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Sunshine no more

The weekend forecast is for a little snow in Vancouver. As of this moment, it hasn't hit the Downtown area yet, but it has clouded over and it 'feels' like it will snow. We have a little running around to do, getting groceries and the like, but other than that, foul weather won't really bother me too much as most of what I want to do this weekend is indoors.

One of the things I was hoping to do was install WINE on my Ubuntu partition, but for some reason, when I open the package manager, it will not let me select that package for install. I think it has something to do with the fact that I run an AMD64 version of linux, but it would suck if I have to install WINE manually, as then I won't get notified when there are updates. Plus, it would have been nice for a non-technical person like me to just 'let the OS handle the details' like so many other packages.

Why would I want to install WINE, if I already have Vista running, you may ask. Well, I'm hoping that I can run some windows-only apps under linux that currently don't work so great in Vista-64. A little backwards, I agree but I felt it was worth a try at least. This isn't a pressing thing to do, but more like me tinkering a bit - stay tuned for the post where I announce that I completely trashed my linux install in the process.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Weekend sunshine

Originally uploaded by iTripped
This is pretty much how Vancouver looks today - sunny but a little crisp. I can't really call it 'cold' without offending the rest of Canada but that's how I would describe it to locals.

I've been having a pretty good weekend and FINALLY got a haircut yesterday - something that was months overdue. This weekend seems to be the one where I get a few things done around the house, like completing the rewiring project in our condo (a simple matter of replacing all of the plugs, cable, phone jack, switches and thermostats in the condo with something uniform)

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Vancouver - Windy city

Downtown Vancouver
Originally uploaded by iTripped
This is what Downtown Vancouver looked like this morning. Clear, calm skies, It was a nice commute into the office.
Last night, the winds were so bad that Vancouver's newest skyscraper, the Shangri La had things blown off it. Things like sheets of plywood and plates of glass. One sheet of plywood went through a car parked on a nearby street. After that, well the local police blocked off every street within a 2 block radius. I was very happy to not be driving downtown last night, to say the least.

The wind was fun though - it's not often that we get wind like that (I didn't check the weather so I can't say how hard it was blowing) but there were times when we pedestrians were having fun trying to walk in a straight line. It reminded me of when a hurricane would blow into town back in Halifax.

Monday, January 07, 2008

Nigerian 419 scam

We were looking at laptops available on Craigslist Vancouver and stumbled upon an offer that seemed like a very good deal - the computer was at least $300-400 less than most others comparable to it. We were in the market for just such a machine. Naturally, I emailed the seller.

amybenson28@yahoo.com responded to say that she had moved to London, but was still in fact selling the laptop. Actually, she had quite a lot to say about how she was selling it. She had the whole thing worked out in advance so that I could get the laptop in as little as two days, thanks to the good folks at UPS. I won't bother to quote the actual email, but needless to say it read like a standard 419 scam which meant that we would not be getting this particular laptop.

There really wasn't much I could do beyond flagging the item on craigslist (I did) and walking away from this. I wasn't in the mood to pretend to be interested in hopes of stringing along 'Amy'. But then, I suppose if someone else was interested in that, I've already provided enough information to do so...

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Flame Broiled Burger King

What the heck? TWO posts in one day! At lunch time I took a look out the office window and noticed that BURGER KING was ON FIRE! (note the 10 foot flame shooting out the exhaust vent on the roof)

The funny thing is that people were still going into the store while it had the flames shooting out. I'm guessing those whoppers were smelling for several city blocks - talk about non-free advertising. (kind of like their non-trans-fat-free foods, I guess.) Eventually the city's other finest group, the firefighters show up and got things under control. Or at least, they were finally able to evict the patrons from the store.

Does this still count as homeless?

Do not disturb
Originally uploaded by iTripped
I walked past this sight on my way to work this morning and was left with more than just a few unanswered questions. If this person is this industrious, why are they not working at one of the many construction sites surrounding them? Has every cop in Vancouver been on Vacation since New Year's Eve? Do they plan on leaving him here until someone actually complains about it?

Don't get me wrong, I was more amused than anything else. I'm sure that the city's finest will have things cleaned up in no time. It was just the first day back to work for me and I was surprised by the industriousness of the individual.

Tuesday, January 01, 2008

I Resolve To

No, this is not going to be one of those 'resolutions' New Year's posts. Last year I actually made good on my resolution and did not broadcast it here, so I will take the same approach this year too. Hopefully with the same measure of success.

The year 2007 was good to me. I'm hoping that 2008 continues this trend and that's really about all I'm asking for. We certainly traveled a lot in 2007, going to Germany, the US and also a trip back to the east coast.
Wow, this reads like a book report. I must have nothing to say. Confession time: I just like posting some of my pictures and add some 'blah blah' around it to make it look somewhat relevant. Not that it really matters since I'm one of those stereotypical bloggers who has maybe 1 or 2 others who casually glance at this page. But I embrace my banality and revel in the lack of any significant content. (I pay more attention to formatting out extra carriage returns and typos than to grammar or 'flow'.)

So: for 2008, I pledge to continue to blog in the same non-relevant, unfocused style. Like many other things, I hope that 2008 is merely a continuation of the things I enjoyed in 2007. Happy new year, reader!