agoodwinsmith: (Default)
Remember the shipping bolts ordered from Sears? I was glad they arrived. I was a little perturbed when the first thing I see is a standard form attached to the receipt, bigger than the receipt, achtunging that things cannot be returmed to Sears but must go back to the maker.

Yep - the bolts didn't fit.

The threads weren't even close.

If you or your pension plan is invested in Sears, get your money out now.

Oh golly.

Jun. 3rd, 2017 09:01 am
agoodwinsmith: (Default)
We are now living in Salmon Arm in my Mom's sewing room. Just about everything got packed. The movers realized we were moving from Vancouver and not Victoria, so they arrived at 3:00 pm, having missed the 11:00 am ferry. So, that meant they couldn't start the move because there is NO PARKING on Cordova between 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm, without exceptions, which I told the movers about again and again [1]. The movers thought I was kidding, and were surprised when the parking checker was there at 3:08 threatening them with towing (yes, the city has access to equipment that will tow a 7 ton moving truck). So the move didn't start until 6:00 pm.

There are more funny-later stories to tell about this move, but it isn't later enough yet, so I will just say that I am glad that we got rid of so much stuff because the 12 by 12 storage unit is stuffed solid.

[1] - when I worked shift work, I stopped telling my boss the very particular days I needed off (very rare, but needed) because it just seemed to focus their attention on that date so that I would be scheduled for a very critical don't-miss-it-or-lose-your-job thing on that day. So, it is only normal that after being cautioned repeatedly about the no-go of parking between 3:00 pm and 6:00 pm, that it would focus the mind so powerfully that the warned people would arrive precisely at 3:00 pm.
agoodwinsmith: (Default)
I am a person who keeps every tiny thing because it brings back a memory that I cherish. Yes, I hoard.

It is amazing how the lure of keeping things for sentimental reasons gets weaker and weaker as the moving day arrives.



I am not using a flame thrower, nor planning to use a flame thrower, but one can see how such an item could be used to advantage.

agoodwinsmith: (Default)
So. It is possible to overburden one's phone until it absolutely freezes and does not respond to buttons or begging. I had too many internet tabs open and it froze completely. However - I let the battery run down - let it absolutely drain - recharged it, and all is as it was. Whew.

Let me tell you - the thought of losing all my contacts three days before moving day - argh argh argh.

The battery is pretty good: It was at 94% when it froze at 10:05 on Thursday morning and it was completely toast at about 2:00 pm today. I don't know when it failed, but the phone was still frozen the last time I looked at 10:00 am today.

LG X Power. :)

(I can't imagine having my whole life on there - email, social media, banking - blue screen of death would be unbearable.)
agoodwinsmith: (Default)

I sniveled about the Sears bolts - and they have arrived.

Which reminded me of Monday, when I texted someone that not only were we late, and then delayed, but that now we were at the stop, there were no buses. There hadn't been for ages, until I texted, whence came many buses.

Which reminiscence also reminded me of my favorite tactic for finding something in a store: I find a clerk, ask them, and the thing will be right beside them. I now go and find the clerk and look around - and yes: often the thing I want is there.

I think it is unfortunate that whining works, but it does, so I will.
agoodwinsmith: (Default)
We had the junk removal services here today, taking away two broken down couches, a warped metal filing cabinet, buckets and hoses and broken plant pots, and assorted unnamable debris. If you are in the lower mainland (Vancouver BC and environs) I would like to strongly recommend Mister Junk Removal to you:

They did Lorne's brother's apartment - and got all (many many) his books to various donation places. They are reasonably priced, and careful, and on time, and I would use their services again in a heartbeat.

We also had the apartment inspection - oh boy. I am not a good housekeeper - and we have cats (currently cat, but aged, so more so) who barf when you least expect it. Ugh. Yes, the carpet will have to go.

I keep saying this, but it keeps on being true: everything left to pack is so heavy and weirdly shaped. Either we need a long narrow flat box (bamboo door screen), or a pair of perfectly square boxes (top and bottom of a domed cake stand/ punch bowl contraption), or I need a bunch of really lightweight things to go in a box with a cast iron dutch oven - and we're out of light things because they have already been stuffed in other boxes.

The one who is suffering is the aged cat: we keep packing (or throwing away) his sleeping places. All the clothes closets are full of packed boxes. Both couches are gone (inside and out). He's getting a little tired of heading off for a nap and having to search out a new place.

Now. If Sears would just get on with delivering the shipping bolts for the washing machine, that would be welcome.

Rosy view.

May. 15th, 2017 04:39 pm
agoodwinsmith: (Default)
I now remember why I don't drink ruby red grapefruit juice and gin. It tastes so good and harmless one has thrown one's caution to the winds before one even realizes one has stood up. So very more-ish, indeed. I would also like to caution you that the fact that one's troubles fall off like so many paperbacks off a cat is another feature requiring navigation.

Before I relinquish all elegance of phrasing, I would like to say: huzzah.
agoodwinsmith: (Default)
I have been sick with the flu - at least 7 days, maybe more - I've lost count. Aches, chills, shudders, orbit-disturbing dry hacking coughs, spirits in the waste bin, etc etc. I thought I was better Friday and went out - bad bad plan. I am just now feeling like my eyebrows are not my enemies (this is because hair roots can ache - oh yes they can).

We are still packing. We've given notice for the end of May. I've called a mover. We don't have a place to move to. I have no new address to give to places that want you to have a current address with them (banks, credit cards, pension plans, etc etc). I am well beyond all freaked out about this.

Moving low-water front-loading washing machines involves getting "qualified technicians" to come and bolt the drum with special shipping bolts. These were not left with us when it was delivered because only "qualified technicians" should install them. However, after nine years, Sears doesn't want to know about you anymore, and fobs you off on a contractor- they don't even set it up for you for a price. It is a lovely machine, and I have really loved using it and having it for the last nine years, but one knows that one is going to spend a lot of time and money and angst to get it moved - and it will never work as well again. I can hardly wait.

IMPORTANT: if you have a desk at work, then when you retire, do not retire until you have a desk at home. I cannot stress this enough. This is like suddenly not having hip joints, or something. In a vague way, you knew that hip joints were important - but you had no idea how much you use them for everything, including brushing your hair and singing the national anthem.
agoodwinsmith: (Default)
In the bad old days, unethical board members "helped themselves" to their employee's pension funds - as loans, of course - often draining them completely before the company tanked.

Can't happen now, you think? Oh boy.

If you are pre-retirement, you *must* put your own money away to work for you in retirement. Nothing is safe or sacred. Winning lawsuits after the fact won't actually get you your pension back.

As Detritus said: "Bad bad bad. Even worse."

Open ID

Apr. 14th, 2017 11:06 pm
agoodwinsmith: (Default)
Okay, oh people who know more than me: what is good about Open ID and what is bad about it?

The latest DW email encourages newbies to get their Open ID before they delete their LJ accounts.

In general I don't like the idea of having one sign in protocol for all my online things. Easy to use, yes, but if compromised, oh dear.

So, for those of you who love Open ID - why? And for those of you who hate Open ID - why?

I suspect I won't change my chicken-hearted little mind, but every now and then someone shares something that gives you a whole new viewpoint to look from. Yay new viewpoints.
agoodwinsmith: (Little Seagull)
Except that I go back tomorrow afternoon for the goodbye party.  Which isn't bad, but I know how much work there is to do, so going back there after people have had a chance to ransack my office and go argh - hmmm.
agoodwinsmith: (Little Seagull)
Last day is this coming Wednesday.  All I have left to remove from my office is my tea pot, kettle and water jug, plus a pencil case, and a final painting.  It feels odd working in there.

Tuesday is my Mom's third chemo treatment - assuming her blood work says they can go ahead on schedule.

There's still nothing to buy in Salmon Arm.

The new cell phone is a welcome distraction.  I haven't put anything serious on it (such as facebook) because I'd probably never surface.  I'm not going to put any money-related info on it because putting that on something this easy to lose is a bad idea.  I can see why people don't have a password to lock the screen - what a fiddly thing and difficult to use while jolting around on a bus - but I'm gonna perservere.  The message template of opposing bubbles is quite appealing, and I like that conversations are grouped by person (my previous little green phone simply had a historical sequence).  I haven't quite figured out how to always have it with me and have both hands free (hit replay for no-pockets-in-women's-clothes rant).  So far so fun.

An odd thing is that I have to go back to work on Thursday if I want to attend my farewell party.  Peculiar.  Okay, there are two of us leaving the same week, me on Wednesday and she on Friday, but it still feels peculiar.
agoodwinsmith: (Little Seagull)
Okay.  So, my last day at work will be a week this coming Wednesday.  I'm not going to have everything ready to hand over, and I am also not ready to lose my identity as an employed person - especially employed by this employer.  People always say: Oooo - you work for Employer Name? - wow.  It makes a person feel good.  Oh well, eh?

Mom is in her week of seclusion in this second round of chemo.  The aches and pains lasted longer this time, and even though she is feeling better (as one does at this point in the process), she has a finite amount of energy which runs out before she is ready.

The hardest part of this whole process is the lack of information shared in advance.  We know that after the third cycle of chemo, Mom is going for radiation, and she will have to go to Kelowna (2 hour drive each way) for that.  But we don't know when that will start, how many sessions, how frequently the sessions, etc etc etc.  For people who plan for every contingency, this is way tooooo little information.  That "cross that bridge when we reach it" mantra sounds really good until you realize that if you'd known ahead of time that you were going to go in for radiation every week-day for a month, then you could have arranged some cheaper accommodation to save on driving back and forth.  Cheaper accommodation doesn't get arranged on a whim.

We still haven't seen a place we would like to buy.  We're getting to the point that if we pack any more we won't actually be able to function because (a) there won't be room left for a trail amongst the boxes, and (b) we will have packed all the things we need on a daily basis.  We are already living with some work-arounds because things are packed.

I am going to miss Vancouver because of the excellent (compared) transit, and because I can buy Murchies Teas, mochi rice pie/cake from TNT, beautiful parmesan & Italian pasta sold by the number from Ugo & Joe's, Army & Navy deals, and amazing fabrics and notions from Dressew.

Also, while it has reached very chilly-for-here lows, it has reached argh-levels of low temperatures there.  Poot.  I have all these beautiful brollies and no snow boots.  And my winter jacket is not gonna cut it.  Bum.

However, there is a faint chance that marijuana will be legalized before I die, so we can look forward to growing our own weed plant in our own garden.  Not a bad ambition.  :)

agoodwinsmith: (Little Seagull)
It is an LG X Power, and it is a cute as a button and shiny.  :)
agoodwinsmith: (Little Seagull)
Aw.  Livejournal just lost my post with my carefully written heart-revealing bits.  I don't have the spoons to write it again.
agoodwinsmith: (Little Seagull)
It's actually Christmas Eve here, but it is already Christmas elsewhere.  :)

Lorne arrived safely in Salmon Arm yesterday.  The Coquihala was lousy, and the road from Kamloops to Salmon Arm, although much of it multiple lane highway, was two ruts in the snow, one for each direction.  He went for a nap three hours ago and hasn't surfaced yet.  He brought cat, and now Chuck and Mom & Dad's two girls are determining who is top cat and who gets the best places to sleep.  No fights yet,just hissing.

We are in Salmon Arm for Christmas because my Mom has been diagnosed with cancer.  She had a complete hysterectomy in November, but it didn't get all of the cancer, so she has started chemo therapy.  She had her first treatment this past Tuesday, and I came up on Sunday to attend it, and the information session the day before.

As you may have seen earlier, my parents put their house up for sale in the summer.  It sold the day before my Mom got her diagnosis.  So,while my Mom went down to the coast for her surgery and then came home for recovery, they have been moving house.  In fact, I went up to Salmon Arm before my Mom was out of the hospital because they had people coming to pack up things in their house and someone needed to open the door.  :)

So, this has been a very stressful fall for all of us.  We are at Mom and Dad's new condo in Salmon Arm, and there are still boxes everywhere.  Aaaaand we're having another four people over for Christmas Dinner.  Of which, one pair is my aunt and uncle, and my uncle just had a bout of arrythmetic heart, which took him into hospital two days ago (he's out now), and the other of which are family friends, and the woman just had knee surgery this past Monday.  These dinner parties always seems like a good idea until one gets closer to the day.  :)

The other part of this is that my father's cognitive abilities are starting to be compromised, so he can't do everything on his own anymore.  As long as Mom is around he's fine and you would never know, but he can't pay bills (numbers) or do small repairs (sequences),so my Mom's biggest worry is what will happen if she is gone or even just too unwell to keep an eye out for him.  Therefore, I am retiring early and we are moving to Salmon Arm.  My last day of work will be 01 February 2017.  Again, when I choose that date it seemed so far away.  We currently have the long break at work, so when I get back I will have 20 days to get my job tidied up so that someone can step into my shoes.  Argh.

However, all anxieties aside, we have this Christmas to celebrate together, with family and friends, so that's pretty good!

Best wishes to you and yours!
agoodwinsmith: (Little Seagull)
It has been for sale for a while, but I hadn't taken time to go view the listing.  I knew that there was a video, but, you know, I had no idea it would make me nostalgic for the house before it is even sold.  Here's the link to the youtube video:

My Dad built that house - contracting things like concrete and the roof and serious electrical, plumbing, and gas.  But he framed it and did so much.  The pantry in the laundry room is a beautiful example of his work - as is the sauna downstairs.

It looks a little odd without the cats sprawled all over everything.  :)
agoodwinsmith: (Little Seagull)
So, I know that I have been spending a lot of time moaning about the changing economic landscape; and sometimes I am sweaty on my own behalf (puny pensions!), and sometimes I am sweaty on the new generation's behalf (no jobs!), and all the time I am very angry about the politics of austerity and how greedy "conservatives" the world round have broken most economies  - that were allowing most people to have a comfortable life -  in order to uselessly add more money to their own collection.  I say uselessly because for the austerity crooks another million dollars is as meaningless as another five dollars - it won't change their lives in any measurable way.

And I know that a lot of my anxiety is fueled by my age.  I feel the end is nigh because it is for me (not immediately,but not never either).  I feel "things" are worse because they are worse for me (my computer is aged, and does not receive every command from my keyboard, so my regular typing speed is reduced, and the need to watch for missed things is distracting, but I haven't had an increase in wages for five years while my living expenses have increased, so this is a purchase requiring delayed gratification - also my knees are not my happy five year old's knees that I still unconciously believe is the normal I should experience forever).

Also, I think sometimes that one's belief in the decline of the world is fueled by memory.  After the latest horrible news report I again have that unconcious belief that we have all now learned that that horrible thing is horrible and so it won't happen again - but it does.  So I think each new murder feels like it is more than just itself.  Each new horrible thing echoes with all of the previous horrible things one has heard, so that more memory means that each one gets heavier and heaver.

So, I am aware that my concerns are self-fueled - but I am *still* going to rant about economic things that are unnecessarily craptastic.
agoodwinsmith: (Little Seagull)
So, back on 27 Feb 16, Andrew Ducker posted this:
Hidden Rules Among Classes chart from Ruby Payne  28Feb16-1 reduced 14Mar15

hmm  ...  I will try inserting it again later.  Second try equally fruitless.  Third no better.  No, cannot add the photo of the chart.  I will try again from work on Monday.  Woof - this is the "reduced" size.  Sheesh.

you can see his post here:

and I made a comment (I've copied my comment here as the first comment below).

The general gist was that I identify myself as part of the lower class (living paycheque to paycheque as I do), and that I think a lot of people falsely place themselves in the middle class category.  I don't mean they are lying; I mean that they are self-deluded.

Anyway.  I know this chart was developed by do-gooders wanting to make themselves feel better by providing the kind of superficial help that doesn't change the charity-recipient's circumstances enough to make them eligible to be invited to dinner at the charity-giver's home.  And I find it interesting that it has raised a lot of hackles ( ),so is it wrong or encroaching on received wisdom?  Dunno.  It seems like a useful starting place.

What I now find intriguing is that it can be a useful tool in the opposite direction.  If I am a person from the class of poverty, and I am making something I want to sell to the classes that are wealthier than me, then treating my customers the way I want to be treated will not work at all.  If I wish to make an application for a loan for a business, it is likely that the things I stress as proof of worthiness will not be of interest.  I think on paper I would be able to pay attention to the concerns of those I am petitioning, but in face to face life I would not be able to maintain that approach.  And making a joke to prove that I wasn't taking myself seriously (poor person's faux pas) would only prove to those I am petitioning that I am not taking the situation seriously (wealth faux pas).

I am thinking about this because a friend of mine has been struggling to launch their business, and I have come to the conclusion that they are providing a luxury service but approaching people who need bargains.  Given my background I have no idea how to help them be noticed by the people who will pay for the service.  Ruby Payne's chart helps me think about it.

Canada pretends it doesn't have a class system.  Canada is also self-deluded.
agoodwinsmith: (Little Seagull)
So.  My culture makes children's animated movies where worker ants are boys ( and worker bees are boys ( and boy cows have udders (, and this is passed off as one of those metaphor things, and not important; and this usurpation of female agency is pretty common.  One of its most straight forward messages is that what is true is never as important as what should be true.

There's also a little bit of the big pink fake plastic breasts that are apparently a common feature of drunken men by themselves being drunkenly humourous, as per Blackadder ( (and others, I'm sure) about this whole making female attributes safe by rendering the attribute that derives its value from its essential femaleness as not actually female.

Which is all ubiquitous and habituating.

But then something creeps you out again, making you aware of your self-forged kiddie gates:

There is currently a commercial for the Laughing Cow cheese snacks, which has the mother-like Laughing Cow admonishing us to eat healthy snacks, in that really condescending stereotypical Cinderella-Evil-Stepmother-guaranteed-to-make-you-want-to-never-ever-do-the-sensible-thing-again way.  And .... and .... she has no udder.

In the 3/4 image of the Laughing Cow above, it is possible that her udder is just delicately out of frame - but in the commercial, she is sitting on the couch beside the snacker, and there is nothing in her lap, except that vaguely indecent pale patch of a teddy-bear belly.

Even when we want to draw our authority from female authority, it has to be weakened; trivialized.

It's those weird little moments that scald your awareness and remind you of the concessions you have made with your culture so that you aren't too scary to the easily scared.


agoodwinsmith: (Default)

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