Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Yesterday, I received lovely gifts from across The Pond from interneterwebby friends who shall remain nameless*, but no less excellent for being so.
Peppermint and chocolate and slate badger coaster... OH MY!
*unless they wish to reveal themselves, which is fine by me

Sunday, September 28, 2008

In which the convenience of on-line banking becomes... no so much

First of all, I rarely lose things. I still have two handmade yarn dolls my aunt gave me when I was born. Although one is suffering from a slight disfigurment after an unfortunate encounter with a cat, the point is, I still have the things. A person who can hang onto something that long should be able to keep track of their bank card, right?

Wrong. Opened my wallet last night and there it was, gone. Racked my brain to think where I could have left it. Checked all pockets, etc. No dice. No bank card either. Ugh.

This morning, I called the last two places I used it. Not there. Oh, poo.

Went to the bank today to get a new one issued. Shouldn't be a problem. They punch your numbers onto a card, activate the strip, you sign it. Presto chango. New bank card. Everything else should stay the same. Should being the operative word. I've done it several times before when cards have worn out. They do that, you know, when it is your main method of accessing your bank account... remember that point. It will factor in momentarily.

I immediately took my shiny new card to the ABM to test it (because I CAN be taught by misfortune, - never assume anything works straight away) and the machine cheerfully informed me that my account was Not Accessible.

Back to the teller, who even more cheerfully informs me that the computer assures her that I have NEVER had that account linked to my bank card. Only my charge card has EVER been linked to that card. The one account into which my paycheque is deposited and out of which I pay all of my bills, do all of my shopping... never linked to the bank card and the other account that already has its own card with no other purpose IS linked.

I blink.

I beg to differ. She cites the Authority of the Computer. I beg to differ again.

A supervisor is summoned. She cites the Authority of the Computer. I beg to differ.

I point out the lunacy of having one account linked to two cards and the other account, the main account, the one from which I live, the one that allows me to purchase such trinkets as FOOD, not linked to any card at all... I think I even asked the question, "What would be the point?" although I cannot confirm at this time that I used my out loud voice for that.

The supervisor seems to see some logic in this argument. She begins to type. The card is linked. I test it. It works. Yay.

Later, at home, I go online to pay some bills online. The online banking site informs me that my password is wrong. I try three times, carefully typing in the card number and the password that worked only two days ago. Nada. At a loss, I click on the Forgotten your password? (You twerp heavily implied) link. I am informed that I do not have online banking privileges. OH YES, I DO. My brain melts.

I dial the 1-800 number on the banking site. At the prompt, I type my card number very carefully into the telephone. I am informed I do not have a telephone banking password. I BLOODY WELL DO! I wait, cringing at the muzak, for a real person to become available. I am informed by an insanely cheerful computer lady that, due to the increased number of calls, wait times have been increased and I may wish to call back at another time. Excellent. I opt for eventually being able to buy food again and stay on the line.

Eventually, oh... YEARS later, a real person answers. A nice lovely person. I explain my dilemma. She explains these things happen. I bite back any inappropriately nasty comment. She asks me questions to ensure that I am me. Satisfied that I am, she tells me she's going to connect me to the auto-function that allows you to enter your telephone banking password confidentially. Huzzah.

The annoying muzak resumes momentarily and then the crazy computer lady tells me that "This function is not available at this time." My brain vapourizes.

As I am sputtering, the nice real lady comes back on the line and apologizes for the malfunction and says she'll connect me again. Muzak. Nice computer lady tells me to, "Please type in your 3-digit.... We're sorry but your transaction cannot be completed at this time." *sputter*

The nice real lady comes on AGAIN. Clearly she has the patience of a saint. She once again apologizes and reconnects me to the obviously deranged computer lady at the auto-function. The computer lady finally manages to contain her e-ADD long enough to stay focused while I type in all three numbers. Yay! Third time lucky. My password is accepted.

The nice real lady comes back and asks me if I pay any bills online. On being told that I do, she informs me that I will now have to set that up all over again and can she help me with this? I hear the last of my brain vapour evaporate into the ether. "Of course, you'll need all of your billing account numbers to do this."

I thank her for the offer, but as I do not have my bills conveniently tucked into my back pocket at this time, I shall have to forego her generous offer and RE-ENTER ALL 35,000 ACCOUNT AND ID NUMBERS at a later time.

Thank you!

No, thank YOU!!!
Update The card reappeared, tucked between bills in my purse. Argh. I.M.MORON.

Friday, September 26, 2008

Woe, woe and thrice woe - Part the Fifth – Lobsters and mussels and tee-offs, oh my!

When we left our intrepid blogger in Part the Fourth, it was approaching supper time on a Friday and she was hurtling westward at 112 kph, approximately 600 kms into a 672 km trip, sipping the world's oldest coffee, with a dying cell phone, no car charger, a distressing wobble coming from the wheels and having decided to press on despite the car's exhaust system being disturbingly grumbly.

I don’t have an immediate need for gas, but fill up anyway to save myself the trouble on the return run. I not only fill up the tank, but buy still more coffee (mmmm… coffee) which I then proceed to spill getting into the car, because I didn’t need a lid on the cup. Oh no. Not me. Status quo. Back into the gas station to buy a package of paper towel. *sigh* Wipe it up and onward I go…

The last bit of the drive takes me through one of the most beautiful areas of the island with lovely rounded mountains that were sheered off during the last ice age. They look like Lego or Playmobile settings. I loves me some mountains!

I arrive at the resort and find “my” chalet. Co-workers are all already there, having flown in earlier. And they’ve got the hot tub fired up. Just the thing after a long drive.

I then spend the entire weekend doing battle with venue staff to ensure meeting needs are met. I feel like I am in a bad dream wherein every new character is created new with no prior knowledge or contact with the other characters. I feel like Smokey the Bear, putting out a forest fire with an eye dropper. I feel like a deck chair organizer on the Titanic. I feel desperate…

Despite having worked out a detailed game plan with their event coordinator prior to the event, with a separate page for detailing the requirements for meals, meetings and every errant sneeze, details regarding what we need are scarce on the ground. It all appears to have been for naught as few other venue staff have any idea what I've prearranged and when they do have an idea, it's inaccurate. The staff are all lovely but they don't know what it is we need done or when. The coordinator forbad my contacting other resort staff members individually, assuring me that she would pass along all the pertinent information to the others and claiming it would be “too disorganized” otherwise.

Did she pass on the information? Did she heck as like.

A few examples, as to list it all would take an entire weekend...

The golf pro (who is in every way a lovely individual, he was just mis- or un-informed) has prepared lists of foursomes and has our tee-offs starting 40 minutes prior to the requested time, which would make them DURING the meeting. This despite my having made ir clear, in writing, that the golf tournament is on a load-and-go basis (foursomes are made up as people arrive, rather than dictating who plays with whom). I had, in fact, typed at the top of the list of golfers, DO NOT USE TO MAKE UP ADVANCE FOURSOMES – LOAD-AND-GO BASIS ONLY.

I’m curious as to how the golf pro got the list of names but did not get the notation at the top telling him not to waste his time doing up foursomes. It shall forever remain a mystery. A mystery wrapped in a damp golf towel and stuffed into the bottom of a golf bag.

And the food. It was wonderful. Truly wonderful. There was one just the one small problem. Some of it would have been lethal to some of our attendees. The event coordinator had assured me that the chef was au courant with all possible allergies, sensitivities, dietary restrictions, etc., that we could possibly throw at him.

Let me just say that there were mussels and shrimp featured in a buffet for which I had advised we had someone attending with an AIR-BORNE LIFE-THREATENING SHELLFISH ALLERGY and could we please have NO SHELL FISH on the menu. And when advised that one of our staff members could not eat the pasta as she is allergic to wheat, he blithely advised that he would be more than happy to prepare a SPECIAL PLATE for her – of Durham wheat pasta. Right… fruit cup it is, then.

But, all good things, as the saying goes, must come to an end, and apparently, so must all bad, as finally, mercifully, Saturday night arrived and it was all over but the crying. And with no one murthered, which was a miracle. In fact, the whole thing was seen as a success, which is just as well as I’m out of commas.

Next up - Woe, woe and thrice woe - Part the Sixth – Yes we have no resonator

Almost done, only two more lovely parts to go.

P.S. This saga starts here. You'll have to scroll down for Part the First, as Blogger doesn't provide more specific links.

Friday, September 19, 2008


Aarrrrr, me maties! It be International Talk Like a Pirate Day! Arrrrr! Here be a sea shanty!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Woe, woe and thrice woe - Part the Fourth - What's that on the road - A head?

When we left our intrepid blogger in Part the Third, it was 1:30 p.m. on a lovely (now that she was about 400 kms inland) Friday and she was hurtling westward at 112 kph, approximately 473 kms into a 672 km trip, sipping the world's finest coffee, with a dying cell phone, no car charger, a distressing wobble coming from the wheels and having decided to press on despite the car's exhaust system being disturbingly grumbly.

So I'm toodling along, weather much improved, coffee much improved, wishing I'd brought slightly livelier CDs that don't threaten to lull me to sleep, when I notice the care ahead of me swerve slightly to avoid something on the road.

Something in pieces. Brown. And not brown. Disturbingly red, in fact. Scattered the width of the west-bound lanes. It is an Ex-Bunny.

And then I see it. A cute, wee, ickle bunny head, sans cute, wee, ickle bunny body (see, brown and red above), still relatively intact, spinning in rapid circles in the middle of the lane. I carefully aim the car and resist the urge to lift my feet, braced for the possibility of a miscalculation in the trajectory of the spins, with the resulting *crunch* of wee bunny skull.

But I dodge that bullet and continue west-ward. The rest of the trip is resoundingly DULL after that point.

I reach the last Usual Refueling Stop before my destination and check the gas gauge. I am quite amazed to realize that I must be getting fabulous gas mileage, as I have driven almost all the way across the island on less than one tank of gas. Either that, or I have the largest gas tank on a mid-sized import known to humankind. I fill 'er up, and trundle onward. I am almost at my destination and about to drive through one of my favourite sections of highway on the entire island.

Is mountains. Squeee!

Sunday, September 14, 2008


You got some 'splainin' to do!

Sunday, September 07, 2008


Saturday, September 06, 2008

Dr. Who - Ood is the loneliest number

Friday, September 05, 2008

You CAN get here from there

Here, for your listening enjoyment, are the last 12 search terms that landed people here. Not as snork-worthy as some, but still amusing.

1. skulking loafer what is - Strange grammar this is. And you can blame Jeff for this result, as he left a comment using the expression "skulking loafer" on a post in October 2006. Which leaves me wondering if Google is some kind of e-cryogenics. Everything we have said on any blog, chat room, comments box, will live frozen in place forever... frightening thought, isn't it?

2. etymology can't get there from here - Well, apparently... it can!

3. audio-voyant - I heard this one was going to show up.

4., 8. & 10. stacey's country jamboree - This is a perennial search engine route to this blog. I mentioned it once. ONCE!!! And why so many people search for this, I.Do.Not.Know.

5. & 6. wrath of dawn - There is a heavy metal group called Dawn of Wrath and also a group called Before the Dawn that performs a song called "Wrath." The link between 'wrath' and 'dawn' is strong, Obi Wan.

7. my spring shoes locations - Honey, if you can't remember where you left your spring shoes, do you really expect the nice people of teh internets to be able to help you? And locations? Plural? What have you been doing, hording them like a squirrel? Beside, I'm lucky if I can remember where I left the shoes I wore yesterday. But if I had to take a guess, I'd say you should look for the left pink flip-flop in the vegetable crisper. You can thank me later.

9. kidividi - The phonetic version of the name of a local lake.

11. site: wrathofdawn.blogspot.com - If you know the URL, why search it? Why not just type in into the address field of your browser and have at it? And by the way, searching the entire URL turns up each and every post you've ever made and nothing else, which might explain, but hellooo? archives...

Also, 70% of people visit here for 5 seconds or less. The discerning visitors no doubt, who know rubbish when they see it.

But here's the shocker. A full 24% visit for over an hour. What's the deal? Even I don't stick around that long. Perhaps they walk away from their computer and forget to close the browser.

That is all. Last one out, turn out the lights please.

Oh. And close your browser. There's a good boy.

Thursday, September 04, 2008


more animals

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

Woe, woe and thrice woe - Part the Third - A decision

Here it is! The blog post the world has been waiting for. Okay, thousands... okay, all my readers... okay... this is for Dawna.

When we left our intrepid blogger in Part the Second, it was 9:30 a.m. on a foggy Friday and she was hurtling westward at 112 kph, approximately 100 kms into a 672 km trip, sipping the world's worst coffee, with a dying cell phone, no car charger, a distressing wobble coming from the wheels and having just discovered the car's exhaust system was disturbingly grumbly.

So, I'm halfway to the first designated pitstop. The fog is still heavy, but it should clear soon as I turn inland.
Normally, I love to drive. Toodling along at about 100 kpm down the highway on the way to somewhere fun is my idea of heaven. But it's hard to enjoy it when you're braced for disaster.

Despite the worrisome car symptoms and bad weather, I make good time and pull into the service station right on target. There's no point in asking about repairs here. Between servicing the community and serving as the usual port of call for travellers such as myself, there's no way they'll be able to look at my car. So I just stop long enough to stretch my legs, buy some real coffee (don't need gas - heh!) and soldier on to the next community about 2 1/2 hours along.

The weather clears as I drive west; the fog lifts and the pavement dries. It remains overcast. The plucky moose stay right where I want them... IN THE WOODS.

I reach the next usual pitstop in the cross-island drive, which shall remain nameless. Let's just call it The Town That Pretty Forgot or 3TPF. I exit off the highway to the usual major industrial drag with fast food place, including my beloved Tim's, to which I head for lunch. The traffic is unbelieveably heavy for a town of only about 13,000 or so. Luckily Tim's is on the right as turning left would be nearly impossible. As I sit eating my lunch, being stared at by the locals for being a stranger, I watch the seemingly never-ending traffic. Where the frap are they all coming from? Going to?

More importantly... are any of them mechanics?

So as I'm sitting there, I mull over my choices. Do I try to get repairs? There's a muffler repair shop right across the street. But the chances of getting in this late in the day is next to nill and even if I did, I'd never get out of there until about 5 p.m., which won't get me to the resort in time for registration.

Do I continue?

The last time my exhaust system sounded like this, it suddenly let loose and was so loud and vibrated so badly, I couldn't stand to drive at 50 kpms, never mind 100. There's no way I will be able to continue on if that happens. And there are long stretches of uninhabited areas to drive through. If the car breaks down there...

But I've got all the materials needed to set up the registration desk in my trunk.

So... there is nothing for it but to soldier on.

It's now about 1:30 p.m. This is going more swimmingerly, by the moment, don't you think?

Next up: Woe, woe and thrice woe - Part the Fourth - What's that on the road... a head?

Monday, September 01, 2008

Flamin' Nora!

From a local news website:

"A vacant home on **** Lane in **** was destroyed by fire early this morning. Fire Chief **** ****** says they got the call just before 4:30 and the structure was well ablaze WHEN THEY ARRIVED WITH FLAMES SHOOTING FROM THE ROOF.

(capitals mine - shuddup Duck)

Surely they've taken the term "fire" truck too literally?