For the Sake of Fairness

Okay, I take it back. The dirt-cheap computer I bought last night at Future Shop works fine; it was the extra memory chip that was at fault. Not faulty, but at fault: it was the wrong one for the particular model of computer. That wasn’t a big deal since we had to go back to Future Shop anyway; in our rush last night to get out (because the store was closing), we grabbed a non-wireless card, so it had to be exchanged.

I must say the new computer is quite peppy. The intrepid Stephanie managed to get the two computers networked and secured, and, in fact, I’m writing this entry from, or TextStyle2, as I’m listening to trance techno on WinAmp (which would drive BeeGoddessM up the wall). Steph even managed to get the two computers to see each other’s files but, unfortunately, that’s no longer working. I’ll futz around with that tomorrow, though.

I’m really enjoying so far. I don’t feel as crammed, and the view inside and outside is more pleasant. If I get the network working perfectly, I might end up spending as much if not more time at, at least in the next little while. I’ll see…

A Theory as Good as Any Other

Yesterday or the day before, someone who frequents my Web host’s discussion forum posted a question about an e-mail problem one of his/her client was having with Outlook Express. It wasn’t anything like the problem I have with one constituent of my largest client, except that her problem, too, seems linked to Outlook. So I replied to the forum poster about my experience, and how the only solution in my client’s case, although it defies logic, is to delete and re-create her account on the mail server.

As I was posting this reply, I was thinking about how it’s been MONTHS since my client experienced this problem. But, unfortunately, I didn’t knock on wood as I thought this. And lo and behold, who should be calling and e-mailing me in a panic this morning!

So after investigating, I realized that the solution would be the same illogical process. I then sent her a voice-mail and e-mail message to confirm what I had done. Her reply—and theory—is probably the most credible so far: “I think it’s just Outlook’s way of keeping the communication open between us.”

For every rotten or difficult client one can have, there are a dozen kind and understanding clients like this one. And that’s good.

Conrad Black

About the only thing I can think of saying about Neo-Conservative Asshole Extraordinaire (and former Canadian) Lord Conrad Black is “Ha! Ha!” (as the Simpsons’ Nelson Muntz would say). This is a guy for whom, I’m sure, Margaret Thatcher was the subject of many masturbatory fantasies.

Well okay. I have one more thing to say. Has everyone noticed how these really odious right-wingers, particularly those in the U.S., are crashing down in flames these days? And in truth, it feels so good to see the Conrad Blacks, the Barbara Amiels (Black’s wife) and all those of their ilk finally getting their own after they’ve been so damn smug for all these years while being such spectacular crooks and liars. I just hope that ordinary, conversative-minded people everywhere realize and finally learn that those they supported and idolized with so much gusto all this time would just as soon take all their candy and, while they’re at it, slap them in the face with the greatest contempt.

A First!

I’m 40 years old and this is the first time I celebrated Thanksgiving on the last Thursday of November. Indeed, yesterday was American Thanksgiving, whereas Canada’s is on the second Monday of October, when Americans celebrate Columbus Day. Of course, the reason I celebrated U.S. Thanksgiving is that we have an American among us. For me, the MOUNDS of mashed potatoes were by far the best part—thick, rich, wonderfully carby mashed potatoes. The last time I ate mashed potatoes was …well, Canadian Thanksgiving! 🙂

Highs and Lows

Funny how even analysts can’t explain the fluctuations in the price of gas.

Here in Halifax, the price for a litre of regular unleaded peaked in early September after Hurricane Katrina at $1.39, which for a U.S. gallon (not factoring in the currency difference*) translated to $5.26. Then it slid gradually afterwards. In late-September, when I was visiting my brother who lives on the border to northeastern Maine, it was $1.17 at the Esso station around the corner from his house but $0.96 just 12 kilometres down the road in Hamlin, ME. By mid-October, the lead news story on CTV was how gas dipped below $1.00 (i.e., $0.99.9) in much of the Maritime provinces. And last week in Halifax, it reached $0.89, which, let’s face it, is 50 cents per litre ($1.89 per U.S. gallon) less than the September peak. Now it’s back up at $0.94, so the game of “Do I Fill Up Now Or Do I Wait In Hopes It Goes Down Again” has resumed.

* The Canadian dollar has been steady at 83-85 cents U.S. for much of this year. Exporters hate it, but ordinary Canadians love it because they can afford to visit the States again, and Canadians buying services from the U.S. aren’t feeling the pinch of the historic 62-cent low of 2002.