Thursday, 26 March 2009

Time to update

It's time for a new look. Kim took this picture at Point Pelee National Park. It's about 50 km south of us here is Windsor, the southernmost point of Mainland Canada. The point itself is a sand spit that moves with the current. This particular year it was quite predominant, last year, it almost disappeared. The erosion of the point is such that one of the beaches that follow the point down to the danger area was almost wiped out. There are currents here at the convergence of the west and east sides of the point, that will pull you under in seconds. Many have died at the point over the years. It's quite well monitored, and only the very stupid find their way into the water here. It's been years since anyone disappeared.

Here's the unedited pic, the point is quite noticeable. You can actually walk right out onto it to the point where your feet are getting wet, I did go that far on this day, probably another 100 metres past the point we're at now. You can't see in the pic, but the point snakes to the left and disappear like sand would on a beach. It just slips under the surf.

Winter here is astounding. The ice piles up at the convergence of the point. Massive blocks of lake ice crash into each other, smashing each other up into the air like giant pieces of lego piled on one another. In the winter, if you're brave enough, you can go miles out onto the ice by climbing the blocks.

This was taken four years ago. It would be neat to get another pic of the three of us here now, the kids are much bigger.

Side note:
Bell finally showed up to install the DSL line in our new building today. When I told the tech about the issues of the past two weeks, he nodded quietly, and said "yup, sounds about right".


Tuesday, 24 March 2009


So we're moving our offices. This means new phone and data lines to be installed, new equipment purchased, etc. The usual crap involved in moving a business office. Simple stuff. We're moving on April 24 and everything must be running by then - this responsibility has fallen to me. No problem, I like a challenge. I just don't like Bell Canada.

On Monday, March 16 I called to set up the installation of the DSL line in the new place. Simple job, one line, static IP dry loop. About an hour by the installers. First off it took an hour on the phone with Bob in India set set it up. All set, got my order number, the date was set for Friday, March 20. At the end of the day I finally checked in with Bell to see why they hadn't called yet (the building being empty, they have to call ahead for me to run down and let them in).

They lost the order.

So I yelled, and they put me on hold and went digging. The order turned up, but the scheduled install wasn't for the 20th, it was actually scheduled for March 24th. Today. Alright, I said begrugingly, we'll do it Tuesday. Everyone is entitled to a mistake.

This morning arrived with an optimistic glimmer of data flow and crackling VOiP lines. I happily went about my day thinking any minute Bell would call saying that the installer was en route and I should head down there. Just on a whim I called them around 11. After a long winded conversation requiring a translator I was told they were on their way soon. I would wait again.

At 1pm I got a call from the installer. I grabbed my coat and ran. Within minutes I had the data room cleared, the lights on, hell, I would've made coffee if the pot had arrived yet.

I waited for an hour. Then Mary called from the office, half hysterical, half laughing. "The installer just called, wondering where you were", she said. "He's waiting for you in front of the address in Toronto".


For those of you readers not familiar with our Ontario geography, Toronto, specifically Woodbridge (north of the city), is 4 hours and 400 kms away. I ordered the DSL for Tecumseh, just outside of Windsor. Now when you call Bell for anything the first thing they ask is the number you're calling from. In this case, a 519 area code. Toronto is either 416 or 905.

These morons couldn't even send the truck to the right area code.


I ran back to the office and got on the phone. The conversation went something like this...

ME: I ordered DSL for my new office and you sent the installer to Toronto. WHY?

BELL: I'm sorry sir, we'll set this right, just tell me your order number and the number you're call from.

ME: Blah blah blah numbers numbers, you get the idea.

BELL: Well sir, it appears we have no record of that number

ME: %$##@$%^&*()(*^%$$#!!!!!!!

BELL: Sir, please...

ME: **^%$#@!@!$^!I(@))#@(#*#$^#^@?????

BELL: Sir, give me the address of the new building

ME: 1116 Lesperance Road, Tecumseh, ON, N8N 1Y2

BELL: Sir, that is not the right address, we have for the install is 1614 Lesperance Road


BELL: Sir, it appears the postal code was incorrectly written down.

ME: ^%$#@#~%!&!*(!)~!!+~**&!????

BELL: Calm down sir, we'll get this sorted out. Will you hold while I arrange something?

ME: fine.

15 minutes later....

BELL: Sir? Thank you for holding, I have arranged for installers from Windsor to be on site between now and 6pm. They are aware it's an emergency install. Is that OK?

ME: yes. (quite calm now, I'm on the verge of giving up)

BELL: If you give me a contact number I will call you first thing in the morning to confirm the install, I promise

ME: blah blah blah (thinking, whatever, I've heard "I'll call you" before).

BELL: Thank you for choosing Bell, good day.

So I headed down again. It was 4:15pm. Knowing they wouldn't possibly show up soon, if at all, I grabbed a magazine to help kill the time. Now, the only thing in this building right now is lights. I sat on a window sill reading quietly, cell phone by my side. At 6pm, the appointed hour, I called my boss. He guessed pretty quick.

They never showed up.

I sat there for almost 2 hours waiting for someone I knew wouldn't show. The only saving grace in this mess was the fact that I got paid for sitting there. Tomorrow, I'm supposed to get a call from Bell. I know I won't. What would surprise the hell out of me is is they actually did call. Tomorrow I will start again.

Bell has over 500 people in their service centre, which is somewhere on the other side of the world. They wouldn't tell me where, probably India. Not a wonder that they sent the installer to Toronto, they don't use postal codes in India, nor do the reps speak english. The only reason I'm even pursuing this stupid company at all is that I have no choice. Corporate decided we must use Bell lines. They have clout with this company, many contracts across the country. But at the end of the day this clout did nothing for me here in Tecumseh. Or is it Toronto? Fuck if I know, I just play along.

Tomorrow should be fun.

Anyone else hate Bell?



1. My house is temporarily a performance stage prop room. There is stuff everywhere that pertains to Kim's Odyssey of the Mind competition, and I'm afraid to touch anything. When I pick up what I think is garbage, I'm met with "don't touch that - it's a piece of a sandwich for our myth prop!" I've grown wiser over the past week, and just don't clean now.

2. Today is my sister's birthday. She's 43. If she had a blog I would direct everyone there to wish her the best. But she doesn't. It'll make her day a little quieter.

3. Spring still isn't here. Yesterday it was 5 degrees, today, 9. Still not very warm, I'm itching to get out and start doing stuff, but the cold just won't let go. It's not doing much for my morale.

4. Bug cut her forehead with Kim's razor yesterday. She has a nasty slash across the middle of her head. She said she was thinking about something, of course with the blade in hand. The thing bled like a stuck pig, we defined it to her as the worst paper cut she's ever had, and by the way, WHAT THE HELL WERE YOU THINKING?

5. Work continues to frustrate. I'm trying to get the communications installed, but the company our head office wants us to deal with keeps losing every work order we set up. They even lost the change of ownership we set up a year ago. I had to do everything all over again. Morons.

6. I'm in the midst of one large freelance graphics project, one website, and one messy house. Therefore, in an effort to head off any sort of time management criticism, I've started playing GTA again from the beginning.

I'm sure there's more, but lately my life has been quite uninteresting. Just cruising along through the days, waiting for the shitty weather to stop so I can pull out my bike. Then I won't play GTA so much.