Showing posts with label bitching and moaning. Show all posts
Showing posts with label bitching and moaning. Show all posts

Thursday, May 25, 2017

In which Reitman's breaks my heart again

I blogged before about how Reitman's broke my heart by discontinuing my jeans.  Just weeks later, they've done it again.

During my chafing-induced frantic acquisition of yoga pants, I found an absolute treasure at Reitmans: cotton yoga pants with pockets, styled so that (I was able to convince myself) they looked like real pants rather than activewear.  A strategically placed seam at the front emulated (from a distance) a crease that might be ironed into a pair of dress pants, and the drawstring at the top was easily covered by my shirt.  They worked with sneakers and a hoodie, they worked with boots and my good coat, they worked with everything.

I promptly purchased two pairs and, once I realized my jeans were discontinued, started using them as my go-to casual pants.

Then, after only a couple of months of using them as my go-to pants, they got a hole in the crotch.  And when I went to buy more pairs, I discovered that they, too, have been discontinued.

This is particularly frustrating because they were barely a year old, and I had only been wearing them as my go-to for a few months. (And wearing them during the hour or two a day when I'm out of the house.) I definitely wore them for less than 300 hours in total, and quite possibly as little as 200 hours.  I definitely washed them less than 5 times, and quite possible as few as 2 times.  And yet they wore out.

If they were still commercially available, I wouldn't be complaining on the internet. I would shrug my shoulders, say "Meh, 21st-century fast fashion, what can you do?", cheerfully buy a few new pairs at whatever the price and keep wearing them forever. They're that awesome!

But the fact that they wore out after only a couple of months' regular wear means that, if I wear them regularly, I only have a couple of months before they're forever lost to me. So now I have to ration every step and every wash. Every time I decide which pants to put on, I have to think about whether today's activities are worth the wear and tear on the pair of pants I really want to wear, or whether I should wear a suboptimal pair of pants to save my favourites for later.  It's so disheartening! I think about the decades of statistical life expectancy I have left, and cringe in dread of having to keep myself properly clothed for that many decades.

And the thing is, I actively want to buy all my clothes at Reitman's and never shop anywhere else again!  I love clothes, I hate shopping, Reitman's has always been reliable for me, plus Reitman's is literally the closest clothing store to my home.  All I want is to walk into Reitman's, pick up the reliable standard pants that have always worked for me and whatever pretty tops and skirts and dresses they have this season, hand over my credit card, and be home in half an hour. I don't want to shop elsewhere, because it's more work and less predictable.

But Reitman's is making this impossible, by discontinuing the clothes that work for me and not having a comparable replacement.

If they're going to discontinue the clothes, at least make the last batch sturdy enough to last. If they're going to make them so flimsy they get holes in only a few months, just keep them in stock and I'll keep buying them!

Monday, July 09, 2012

Complaints about baby toys: pianos and xylophones

My Favourite Little Person has a toy piano and a toy piano/xylophone combo. The problem is neither of them has a full octave of notes, and on one of them (I forget which) the notes don't even form a scale - they're just random notes that aren't all in the same key. The result is that you can't play any real songs on either of them. So I decided she should have a proper octave with all the notes in the same key, so she (or her grownups) can play an actual song.

You would not believe what a tall order that is!

I looked through three different stores, and found five different toys that didn't have a proper scale (in addition to the two that MFLP already owns!), and only one that did have a proper scale. Some of them didn't even have the notes in order from lowest to highest - different keys played completely random notes! Even the beautiful-looking wooden toys that fussy parents would daydream about their child playing with aren't in tune! The one that I did find (Little Tikes Jungle Jamboree Tiger 2-in-1 Piano) had a number of online reviews from people saying that they one they got was out of tune, although it also had some reviews from people saying that theirs was in tune. So I'm seeing only one attempt to even produce a proper scale, and apparently it doesn't always turn out right.

This really bothers me. It seems almost disrespectful of the children who will be playing with the toys. As though, just because all these kids initially get out of the toys is that mashing keys with their itty bitty baby hands causes noise, they don't deserve an instrument that can actually make even rudimentary music. Which seems detrimental to child development, really. Even if MFLP isn't up to playing an actual song on her toy instruments, the adults and older children in her life are. If she sees someone else play Twinkle Twinkle Little Star on her toy, she'll learn that you can play actual recognizable songs on an instrument. When I was a kid we had a toy keyboard and a toy xylophone in addition to a real piano, and I remember it being a minor revelation that I could play the same songs the same way on all three instruments. Today's children deserve that learning moment!

On top of that, how hard is it to actually do it right? If you're mass-producing a product, you need to give exact specifications anyway. Someone has probably documented by now the relative bar sizes needed to produce a major scale. Take 15 minutes to look it up. Have your student intern calculate it as a project. There's no reason why a proper scale would make any appreciable difference in manufacturing costs, and it would certainly give your toy a reputation for better quality compared with the competition. It would also give the toy greater educational value and greater longevity for the end-users, because, long after "It makes noise when you hit it!" ceases to be amusing, "I can figure out how to play songs" will still be amusing. Even if you're a nefarious manufacturer who's into planned obsolescence, people whose children outgrow kiddie toy musical instruments aren't going to replace them with other kiddie toy musical instruments.

Are toy makers really that lazy that they can't get the one key usability detail right?

Saturday, July 07, 2012

Victoria's Secret has changed my underwear for the worse!

It was time for fresh new underwear, so, like I've been doing for the past 5 years or so, I ordered a few pairs of the Victoria's Secret high-leg cotton brief. I first learned about it on a Tomato Nation thread, and I was able to get some good discount codes so I decided to give it a try. It was the perfect underwear! Comfortable, breathable, the elastics stayed where they're supposed to without making me look like a sausage, the cut was modest enough that I felt attractive but not so full as to make me feel frumpy, with the waistband below my belly-button but above the sticky-outiest part of my belly. My preferred plain black looked sexy and classy and together, and got rave reviews from those who are entitled to express an opinion on my underwear.

Unfortunately, they've changed the design somewhat. The fabric is of lower quality (thinner and seems more likely to rip than my old five-year-old pairs with the seams resewn), the elastics don't stay in place and keep trying to give me a wedgie, the seams on the hips are itchy (whereas the previous design didn't even have seams on the hips!), and, rather than being plain black, they have a pink Victoria's Secret logo on the left hip, which isn't even reflected in the photo of the product on their website.

In short, they've taken a product that made me feel comfortable and sexy and confident, and, with a few subtle design changes, made it into a product that makes me feel uncomfortable and tacky and gross.

And, to add insult in injury, now I have to shop for new basic underwear, which is particularly annoying because you can't even return it! This is a completely unnecessary chore and expense and irritant! All they had to do was nothing. Just keep manufacturing and selling as usual, I'll just keep buying as usual, and everyone's happy. Now I'm pissed off and returning my purchases, so both I and Victoria's Secret are out some time and money and effort, plus I'm uncomfortable and pissed off. What does this achieve?

Dear Victoria's Secret: please return your cotton high-leg brief to the previous design, from before the plain black one had a pink logo on the left hip. If you do this, I'll stop complaining and keep mindlessly buying them forever.

Meanwhile, can anyone recommend a plain black cotton panty that isn't too skimpy, has a waistband that falls below the belly-button but above the sticky-outiest part of the belly, and has elastics that stay put without causing wedgies?

Thursday, December 01, 2011

You can't just replace screen time with exercise

I was annoyed to wake up yesterday morning to my radio telling me that the Heart and Stroke Foundation thinks we should be exercising when we would normally be watching TV or looking at the internet. As though those two things are anywhere near interchangeable.

Screen time is pleasurable and relaxing; exercise is a chore.

Screen time is multitaskable, conducive to cooking or eating or housework or light reading or more than one kind of screen time at once; exercise requires the full attention of your whole body and entirely too much of your mind.

Screen time is logistically simple - just turn it on and plop down; exercise requires different clothes and a shower afterwards and, depending on your health situation, planning what you do or don't eat before and/or after.

Analogy: suppose I decide that people aren't intaking enough current events and should read more newspapers. When they protest they don't have the time, I say "How much time do you spend driving around in car every day? Why don't you spend that time reading a newspaper instead?"

Not that simple, is it?

This irritated me so much that I skipped exercising yesterday just because I didn't want them to win.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

One more complaining post, then I'll blog about something different next

People I know who have serious or chronic medical problems complain that they feel betrayed by their body. Their body has always been strong or beautiful or fertile, and then suddenly it's not and it betrays their vision and sense of themselves.

I've never felt strong or beautiful or fertile. I've never needed to play sports or wear small clothing sizes or bear children or perform fantastic feats of sexual prowess or walk long distances or lift heavy things or be energetic or any of that stuff. I've always been quite willing to cheerfully admit that my body is pretty much useless for anything except sloth, and I have no problem with that.

Similarly, I've never been a terribly indulgent person. I'm an introvert with low novelty-seeking. I don't need to travel the world or climb mountains or set world records. I'm happy alone with a good meal and a good book. My happy places are food and fandom, and food is the only one over which I have control. (Fandom is dependent on other people creating new stuff - whether it be canon or forum posts - whereas I can just go buy a slice of cake whenever I want.)

This bastard knew just where to get me where it would hurt the worst.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Why I find my reflux disagnosis disempowering

The problem with reflux management protocol is that most of the lifestyle changes are negative. Don't eat this, don't eat that. Don't eat at these times or under these circumstances.

This is why I feel disempowered.

I felt empowered after my initial appointment with my doctor to treat my swallowing problem. He examined me, ordered some tests, and prescribed the most likely useful medication (which he totally got right in one!) I then had things to do. Go to the lab, drop off this culture, and give them some blood. Go to the pharmacy, fill this prescription, take it as directed. The results will either be useful or informative. Report to this location at this time to drink barium. I was helping generate data and find solutions.

One thing I found very useful in managing my weight was eating a salad when I got home every day. It wasn't a don't. I was totally allowed to eat whatever I wanted. I just had to have a salad first. And, over time, I could see a tangible achievement: look how my weight is dropping!

That's also how I manage my money. I divert a certain amount from each paycheque into a different, less accessible account. I'm not telling myself I can't buy stuff. I can buy whatever I want! I just have to move that money aside first. And, over time, I could see a tangible achievement: look at my life's savings!

But what are my achievements in managing reflux? I didn't eat tomato sauce today or yesterday. My morning coffee was 25% smaller. I didn't have wine yesterday. Those aren't tangible, and if I think about them too much I'll feel deprived. And the best possible result is I'm not feeling this little feeling that isn't even painful and is barely even present but makes me paranoid (although it was less present and paranoid-making today than yesterday.)

So I somehow have to figure out how to turn all the thou shalt nots of reflux management into positive actions to take.

I have a small, initial positive step. Traditionally, while I do my evening wind-down, I drink a glass of wine, a glass of milk, and a cup of sleepy tea, all over a period of two or three hours. The prospect of prohibiting wine is too overwhelming at this point, so what I'm doing is changing the order. Now it's milk, then tea, then wine. This means I might be ready to fall asleep before it's time for the wine, so I'll be ready to go right to bed without actually using self-discipline to deprive myself of the wine. It worked yesterday, while watching a comfort-food movie and doing my bedtime ablutions during commercial breaks. Will it work consistently? I have no idea.

Ironically, my high rate of tomato sauce consumption was originally a small positive step in eating healthy. I found myself craving pasta with tomato sauce with some frequency, so I decided to routinely eat it every day in as healthy a combination as possible (multigrain pasta, low-fat cheese, sodium-free tomato sauce) and eat it for breakfast. That nipped my craving in the bud and got a large, healthy breakfast into me so I could be alert for work and eat less later in the day when it's less healthy to do so. And now it looks like it's been hurting me all this time.

My 2008 New Year's Resolution was to step back when I'm feeling frightened and overwhelmed and use the tools at my disposal to restore my mood rather than trying to push my way through dark moods (which, I'd discovered, just prolongs them). This has served me very well and made my life much easier. But, I've discovered, one of the most effective tools to make this happen is comfort food, all of which is now contraindicated.

Monday, August 30, 2010

Current annoyances

1. My G1 licence (which I only have for ID) expired a while back, so today I went to Service Ontario at College Park to renew it. I was a good girl and arrived nice and early at 8:30. I was given a ticket with a number in the 50s. By 10:30, the numbers had only made it as far as 25. I had to be at work at 11, so I had to leave. All that getting up early and waiting in line for nothing! I've never before in my life been in a situation where two hours of waiting in line time wasn't enough to get a simple errand like that done! So now to add insult to injury, I'm going to have to take another day off, wake up early, and spend literally half the day waiting in line.

This is particularly annoying because for years I have been writing to provincial politicians encouraging them to create an ID card that has the same ID value as a driver's licence, but does not entitle the bearer to drive. I'm sure there are blog posts on this subject somewhere within the archives. They already have the resources to screen people and photograph people and issue this ID, and they could even make money off it because initially at least they could totally get away with charging the same fee as for a G1. This would solve the ID problem for people who are medically unable to drive, make the line move faster because they wouldn't have to conduct knowledge and eye tests of all G1 applicants, and facilitate the process of getting seniors to stop driving when the time comes (it's a lot easier to get Grandma to give up driving if she no longer has a driver's licence, and it's a lot easier to get her to let her driver's licence lapse if she doesn't need it to open a fricking bank account).

Few things in life annoy me more than when I've solved a problem and communicated the solution to the people who can make it happen, but still have to be inconvenienced because they won't make it happen and I can't do it unilaterally.

2. I recently started subscribing to Discovery Health because they have a morning exercise show. It's called All-Star Workout, and it's really quite good. Good variety, suitable intensity, easy to follow - totally worth the extra $2.79 a month on my cable bill. But now it looks like they're discontinuing that show come September, which means that there are NO English-language non-yoga exercise shows on in the morning on any of the channels Rogers provides. (Yoga is fantastic, but I put on weight if I do only yoga.)

What happened? There used to be a number of different ones to choose from, and now there are none. Surely I'm not the only one who finds this the most convenient way to exercise. You can do it in the privacy of your own home, it doesn't cost anything (other than cable fees, which most people are paying anyway), it provides far more variety than you'd get from DVDs and more innovation than you could come up with yourself.

So now, in addition to simply motivating myself to exercise, I have to come up with how to exercise. My entire adult life, I've just turned on the TV and done what it tells me, and it's worked well. But now I have to make my own plan, figure out whether to get DVDs or a Wii or what, and this for something that I absolutely detest doing. Exercise is the least favourite of all my chores!

In the US, they have a TV channel called FitTV that shows exercise programs all day every day. We should have that here! It would be beneficial to public health! We're always hearing about how people are too sedentary and need to exercise more, so why not make it as easy as humanly possible? You turn on the TV any time of the day or night, and someone is there to guide you through your workout. What could be easier? We could even just use the US TV channel, just have our cable companies carry it. They do carry some TV channels from other countries directly, and surely FitTV would be more beneficial to Canadian society than, say, Spike.

Friday, June 11, 2010

Wherein a surprise cheque in the mail makes me depressed

In my mail today was a brown envelope from the Government of Ontario. Ontario? WTF? So I open it, and it's my first HST transitional rebate cheque, for $100.

That just pisses me off.

It isn't the tax that pisses me off. It isn't the fact of the rebate that pisses me off. It's the fact that they never corrected the major inequity in the rebate: Single individuals get $300, but couples without dependent children get $1000.

That is, quite simply, wrong. Living as a couple is not more expensive than living as two single individuals. The rebate for a couple with no dependents should not under any circumstances exceed the rebate for two single individuals.

Of course, I pointed this out right away, as soon as the March 2009 budget came out. I blogged it and emailed it to my MPP and the Minister of Finance and Dalton McGuinty. I talked to people about it, and all the married and cohabiting couples in my life agreed with me that it's unfair, so I encouraged them to write to their MPPs. Basically I spotted a flaw in the plan and did everything I'm supposed to under those circumstances. But they didn't correct it.

I am incredibly frustrated because lately it seems like this is happening with everything.

- Transit City has been defunded, and none of the candidates are proposing solutions that will solve the part of the problem that affects me personally.
- Abortion is being excluded from international development maternal health programs.
- No one is working to correct the flaw in the ORTA that allows landlords to increase rent as much as they want if the building happens to have been built after 1998.
- The new copyright bill makes it illegal to break digital locks.
- The City of Toronto is encouraging buildings to close their garbage chutes rather than encouraging them to use them for recycling or organics.
- They're requiring stores to charge people 5 cents for plastic bags and eventually banning the use of biodegradable bags rather than simply requiring stores to use biodegradable bags in the first place.
- They introduced age-specific (rather than experience-specific) restrictions for young drivers.
- They seem to be seriously considering forcing a rape victim to testify in court with more of her body exposed than she is comfortable with.

And there are at least two other things too. I know I had at least 10 things, but I'm so upset I can't think of them.

All of these are things that I wrote my elected officials about. I wrote sensible, reasonable, coherent letters (much more sensible, reasonable and coherent than this blog post) identifying the crux of the problem and proposing specific solutions. In at least half the cases (garbage chutes, plastic bags, rent increases, driving restrictions, HST rebate) my solutions were objectively better for all involved. (They might in fact be better for all of these issues, but I can't objectively assess my solutions in all of them.) I did exactly what I was supposed to and was helpful and productive, but none of this stuff got fixed.

But when they came up with the excellent of idea of making O Canada inclusive, people wrote in and complained so they chickened out. And when they came up with the excellent idea of updating sex ed for the 21st century, people wrote in and complained and they stopped. But they never stop when I write in and complain.

I am drained and frustrated and exhausted. I'm being a good and diligent citizen, and no one is listening. But they are listening to the people who want to hurt me.

Our standard of living has been stagnating or declining since 1980. I was born in 1980. Things have been getting worse my whole life!

My parents were about the same age I am now when they had me. They had been married for seven years, so the choice to have a child was deliberate and mindful. And this choice must have been informed by the context in which they grew up: be good, and life will get better. My parents were good. They did well in school and went to university and got good sensible jobs, and were therefore able to achieve a much higher quality of life than the one that they grew up with. So they tried hard to make us smart, insofar as parenting can influence that sort of thing, so that we could achieve the same.

I was also good. I did well in school, got a good sensible job, never hurt anyone, and turned out vaguely smart as well. And I'm being a good girl politically too, always writing my elected representatives with good, logical, sensible, coherent letters that propose helpful solutions whenever I have something useful to contribute. But it isn't working! And, in a number of cases, they're actually hindering my quality of life!

This all feels so depressing and hopeless.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Currently pissing me off

A good part of my politics are based on the thought "What if [bad thing] happens?" I want mechanisms to be in place so that I, and everyone else, can get through the bad thing without too much damage.

But it pisses me off when people work against me politically on the sole or primary basis that they find the "What if [bad thing] happens?" approach pessimistic, and choose to believe that [bad thing] won't happen, because, golly, it just gets them down to plan for bad things! So because of this, they don't want to sacrifice a negligible amount of money or convenience to help build a safety net.

This is particularly irksome because in my adult life the two things I've been most pessimistic about that people have most tried to change my mind about are the following:

1. What if the Great Depression happens again?
2. What if I buy a condo and then soon afterwards unexpectedly need to access the assets invested in it but the value of the condo has dropped in the meantime?

I've been worrying about these things since...I guess it would be 2003, when I read Ten Lost Years and when I started looking at what goes into buying a condo. People tried like crazy to convince me not to worry about them, not to make life decisions based on these possibilities, and certainly not to waste our tax money insisting on a social safety net that would get everyone through these disasters.

And then, a year or two ago...they kind of happened.

And yet, when I'm pessimistic, people still try to talk me out of it and work against addressing it politically.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Pissed off

If I could change just one fact of life, I would make it so that whenever you put time or effort or resources or hard work into doing something, it always ends up better than when you started. There are few things more frustrating than trial and error situations where you still have to put in all the work but the end result is worse than if you had done nothing at all.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

It's a conspiracy I tell you!

Why do the very most horrid halloween decorations and the ditzier-than-I-could-ever-fake women loudly squeeing over petty details of wedding plans on the subway and the ignorantly anti-atheist people on internet communities and the painfully dull economics texts and realization gleaned from these painfully dull economics texts that none of the financially-knowledgeable people in my life actually know more than I do about the aspects of finance and economics that apply directly to my own life all have to converge during the very worst PMS day in my cycle?

Thursday, July 24, 2008

It's PMS week, that explains everything

Yesterday I got all pissed off because someone was wrong on the internet. Today I'm getting all pissed off that random people aren't taking into account things that I've already diligently and thoroughly explained in my blog.

Yes, this blog, read by like five people, written by me with all my stellar credentials of is...yeah.

I think during PMS week I shouldn't be allowed to do anything on the internet except look at cute puppies, watch funny youtubes, and read good fanfiction (but only good fanfiction because bad fanfiction pisses me off too.)


Yes, I'm still up. Because someone is wrong on the internet!

I'm kind of frustrated. In a community I lurk in (but don't post in because the people there are so smart and cool they're eons out of my league) someone posted something that's wrong - the kind of wrong that Snopes would normally debunk, but Snopes hasn't touched it yet. And they're planning to take action based on it.

I know this thing is wrong from knowledge that I happen to have but have no formal training in, combined with critical thinking, but I'd need to make a big massive long cited essay to prove it to someone with whom I have no particular credibility. And that's not exactly the politest way to delurk, especially not in a community full of people who are way smarter and cooler than me.

It's just very frustrating seeing a normally very smart person be misled like this, and watching other similarly smart people be similarly misled on the basis of the first person's usual credibility, and I just can't come up with any way to swoop in and announce that a credible regular who's normally way smarter than me is just wrong wrong wrong.

My kingdom for a Snopes link.

Monday, June 16, 2008


The exercise lady on TV is being fucking sanctimonious today.

- "Once you start working out, you can never go back!" Oh, I would go back at a drop of a hat lady, it's just that I need to keep my blood pressure low enough to stay on the pill.

- "You'll feel better, your mood will be better..." No, actually it just makes me cranky and angry.

- "You'll spring out of bed instead of just lying there doing nothing, it's about quality of life!" If I had spent another 90 minutes in bed this morning, I would have had cool dreams. Having that every day would be quality of life, doing this just eats up my time!

- "People hate hearing these messages, but you gotta hear them!" I'm here already. All your fucking sanctimonious nagging can do at this point is drive me away to the computer, which is fun and does make me feel good and is part of my quality of life.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Wherein the LCBO makes me feel like a disenfranchised child

One day, when I was a kid, my family was visiting the zoo when it started raining hard. Since we had already seen most of the zoo and didn't have umbrellas, we decided to go home. I started walking towards the car. My parents started walking in the other direction. I told them that they were going the wrong way - we came in over the bridge, and the bridge is right there! They insisted that I stop dawdling and go with them. (Unfortunately, at this point I was still young enough that being walking away alone without my parents would have been too big and scary.) So we went the wrong way, walked across the whole entire zoo, got directions, then walked back across the whole entire zoo. By this point I was soaked to the skin, and if we had gone the way I said to in the first place we would have been literally halfway home by then. So I was really pissed off, and doubly disgruntled that my parents thought I was unreasonable for being pissed off. I was smart and diligent enough to remember where we parked, I did everything right, but I still got inconvenienced because the people who were wrong were bigger and stronger and louder.

This is exactly how I feel about the LCBO banning plastic bags. I've already solved this problem! I saw the problem coming, came up with a solution has more positive outcomes than a ban and is more convenient for everyone, wrote up a nice pitch, and sent it to the powers that be. I'm the one who came up with the best possible solution. (And this isn't ego, I haven't heard a single better solution. Got one? Post it in the comments.) And yet, I still have to be inconvenienced every single time I buy wine for the next 75 years just because the people who like the suboptimal solution are bigger and stronger and louder.

If I wanted to be treated like this, I'd go to the zoo with my parents!

Monday, November 05, 2007

I think the mirror broke

So I wake up this morning, stumble to the shower, turn on the water, and it does that weird spitty thing that water does when the pump has been off. Then the water that starts coming out is a bit dirty-looking. I think okay, it got turned off at some point, I'll let it run a bit until it clears up. So I make myself some coffee and come back in five find GREEN residue all over the bathtub. A frantic call to a frantic superintendent later, I learn that a booster pump turned off during the night and I should just let the water run until it clears up. So I let it run and run, but it isn't clearing up. Experimentation finds that only the hot water is contaminated, so (after a futile attempt to clean the green residue - I've got some of it off but the rest won't budge) I have a cold shower cum spongebath. (Why is the water from the cold tap actually cold instead of being room temperature?) Then I try to get myself ready for work, despite the fact that I'm running way late from this water problem and the supers keep running in and out of the apartment to check on things (times like this I'm glad they're gay, because some of my previous superintendents I wouldn't want around when I'm in just a bathrobe). Finally, after running the hot water taps for an HOUR (and hot water is already the biggest part of my utility bill) they start to clear up.

So now I've got green stains on my bathtub that I don't know how to get off, my paper towels are still stuck behind the washer/dryer, I've got to run an empty wash cycle to make sure the washer doesn't turn anything green but I can't do that until I've retrieved the paper towels, I feel gross and smelly because I didn't have a proper shower, and I've got to take ALL the dirty dishes OUT of my dishwasher and run an empty cycle and put them ALL back in.

And on top of everything else, in all the confusion I forgot to take my pill this morning, so I was almost 12 hours late with it. Which, of course, causes my uterine lining to go "Warning, warning, ethinyl estradiol levels have dropped severely, all hands abandon ship!" Which, in turn, produces more laundry that I can't do until I've retrieved the paper towels, which I don't know how I'm going to do that because I couldn't find one of those hand-grabby toys anywhere.

Sunday, November 04, 2007

Bad luck

My package of paper towels fell behind my dryer, which is a problem because it's a stacked washer-dryer in a closet and i can't even move it an inch. So I spent two hours using various creative ways to try to fish it out, without success. Then I decided to give up and go buy one of those grabby toy things tomorrow. So I put back all the stuff that lives on top of the machines (don't worry, it's all too big to fall behind there) and in doing so accidentally knocked down the hand mirror i'd been using to look behind the machine. So now my paper towels are behing my dryer, probably causing a fire hazard, my towels badly need to be washed (and they're the one thing that MUST go in the dryer because they're too heavy for my clothesline thingy when wet, I now have to retrieve the stuff from behind the machines blind, and I've probably just broken a mirror.

And I'm still doing time for the last mirror I broke. I wonder if they're concurrent or consecutive sentences?

ETA: I think maybe an actual fishhook would help. Anyone know where to buy those?

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Things that piss me off

I don't particularly enjoy xmas. It's so long and drawn out and noisy and "OMG, everyone must be happy because this is the happiest time of the year!" all for a celebration of the birth of the messiah of a religion that I don't believe in.

What pisses me off is people telling me that I should celebrate and enjoy (as though you can just enjoy something because someone tells you to) xmas because it isn't really a xian holiday, it actually has Pagan roots.

But I'm not Pagan either! The fact that it has Pagan roots is completely irrelevant! So a holiday in one religion I don't believe in actually has roots in another religion I don't believe in? If they discovered that Ramadan had Buddhist roots, would everyone suddenly start fasting during Ramadan?

It also seems to me that this line of reasoning might be a bit disrespectful to Pagans, although I can't quite articulate why.


Not a thing that pisses me off, just an observation resulting from a long and winding train of thought that came to me before I hit Publish Post:

I make no secret of the fact that I have a negative view of my former religion. I figure as someone who was once on the inside, I'm entitled. I've been there, I've lived it, I've given it really quite a lot of thought including a full-fledged crisis of faith, and I've come to the conclusion that it's a negative thing. Not everyone's going to agree with me, but I don't care; I know whereof I speak.

What I find odd is that people judge me for being anti-xian in exactly the same way they'd judge an outsider who had never been exposed to xianity for being anti-xian. They view my negative assessment of the religion I grew up in, studied, wrestled with, carefully examined, and ultimately decided to leave (entailing some family drama) as being just as intolerant as a negative assessment coming from someone who has never even heard of the contents of John 3:16. To me, that sounds like considering the following to scenarios perfectly equal:

"I'm heard of that Bob fellow, and I HATE HIM!"
"You are so judgemental!"


"I was married to Bob for 15 years, and he was an abusive husband who made my life miserable. I HATE HIM!"
"You are so judgemental!"

I've been trying to figure out if there's anything comparable other than religion where this can happen, where an insider's negative assessment is considered just as unjustly judgemental as an outsider's. I can't think of anything offhand.

Friday, September 21, 2007

Pissed off at Rogers

I got a voicemail from Rogers today alleging that my computer was launching a DOS attack, so they disabled my internet connection. I'm very pissed off at how this was handled though. First, I had to wait half an hour just to speak with a human being - while constantly being told by a recording that I should go online to their technical support website (Gee, I'd love to!)

Then I talked to a guy and he escalated me to a security guy, who told me that I had a virus. But he couldn't give me any information on what kind of virus it apparently was, or what IP address it was apparently attacking (he gave me the last three octets, which is meaningless), or what port it was apparently attacking, or even agree on what time this alleged attack occurred. So how am I supposed to fix it? His only suggestions, after a very condescending lecture on what exatly constitutes a DOS attack, were to format the drive and reinstall windows, or to call a technican (by which he meant a futureshop-type technician, which is on par with my own technical skills if I'm allowed to have Google) In the meantime I'd run a full virus scan and ad-aware, and they both found nothing. Which is unsurprising because I run a full virus scan (and update defs) on a daily basis and do the same for ad-aware on a weekly basis. So I told the guy I'd bet him $10,000 that there was no virus on my computer, and he said he'd reconnect my connection, but if the DOS attack happened again my account would be suspended for a week. Without any warning or further information. So I said fine. This was at 7:30.

By 9:00, my account still hadn't been reactivated. So I called again, waited again, got another tech who went through the EXACT SAME SCRIPT! And then told me that the previou tech hadn't said he's reconnect me when he did say so explicitly! And then lectured me extensively about having malware on my computer! So dude FINALLY agreed to reconnecct, reread me the whole disclaimer thing again, and told me to unplug my modem for 10-15 minutes(!) and then I'd be reconnected.

Which I was. And now I'm running TrendMicro Housecall just to double check things. But I really resent how there is no leeway in this process for an honest mistake. The whole thing is based on the assumption that I'm either malicious or incompetent. If I could have specific information about the IP address being attacked or the port or the exact time of the attack, I could track what my computer was doing at the time. But no, instead they don't even give me the leeway to make a reasonable diagnosis and talk to me condescendingly. I have impeccable technological hygiene, I have the tech knowledge to fix whatever the problem is, but I just don't know offhand. But these security guys are working from a script and can't help me diagnose. And meanwhile, every test I know how to run, all my logs, everything I can google up, shows that my computer is not doing anything wrong. It's behaving the same as it has for the past 2 years, I can identify every single process that's currently running, and I have no sign whatsoever of what this alleged problem is. But if this alleged incident reoccurs again, they'll cut me off for a week without even telling me. I'm not happy.

Edited to add an analogy:

If I had some problem that was on Roger's end and they couldn't resolve it on the first try, it would be unreasonable for me to demand a week's free service. The most reasonable way to troubleshoot an unknown problem does involve some trial and error, and as a user I have to accept that. Now, if my computer does start launching a DOS attack, I'm perfectly fine with them cutting me off mid-attack. But the most reasonable way for me to troubleshoot an unknown problem would be to eliminate all processes and then reconnect them one by one. So, to successfully identify and resolve the problem, the attack would have to be relaunched. What should happen then is they disconnect me and call me automatically to inform me of the attack, then I say "Okay, I've just identified what's causing it, I'll eliminate that." Then they reconnect me and everything's fine. To arbitrarily disconnect me for a week if the attack reoccurs just once is completely counter to good troubleshooting principles. A three strikes rule, with notification (including specific time and duration) of each offence would be far more appropriate.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Open letter to everyone involved in disseminating Harry Potter spoilers

Dear everyone who had any hand in putting Harry Potter spoilers where people who don't want them might accidentally stumble upon them, and all media outlets who reported or gave the impression that they were reporting Harry Potter spoilers:


Because there were so many spoilers floating around where I might accidentally stumble upon them, I had to put myself on a media blackout in the last couple of weeks leading up to Deathly Hallows, just so that I could enjoy the actual denouement of the plot rather than having bombshells dropped on me without any setup.

Because I had to be on media blackout, I completely missed the fact that Eddie Izzard was playing at Just For Laughs this weekend. Eddie Izzard!!!! Just For Laughs!!!! And I completely missed it because I had to completely ignore all news media just to make sure I'd be able to enjoy this one last book properly!

Oh I am pissed!