Tuesday, 22 October 2013

A true story told with silly gifs

Tonight a very perky young lady rang my doorbell. She said something about making sure I got my green benefit on my energy bill, I seem to have been skipped?

I was right in the middle of playing a game on my iPad and I was cooking supper. So I made her repeat herself and she kept speaking really quickly and throwing out words like "green" and "discount" and saying things "Have you heard about _____?"

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My hackles raised because she was talking fast and not making sense, while trying to make it seem that she knew all about something that I should know about.

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I asked her who she was and she said was from "Green SomethingSheSaidReallyFast Energy" and they supply energy to my gas company. And then she asked to see my last bill to see if I got the discount.

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So from her point of view, it was okay for her to see my Enmax bill, because her company supplies power to Enmax. She said, "Haven't you seen the wind farm near Lethbridge?" and I'm all dazed and I say, "I don't drive down there."

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Anyways I refused to show her my bill (with my name on it...) and she said I could check it myself to see if I got the rebate and I asked what she was selling and she said she wasn't selling anything and I had enough.

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So I told her that I wasn't showing her anything and I was sure she was trying to sell me something that I didn't want and as I shut the door, she shouted out that she wasn't trying to sell me something!

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I briefly wondered if I was turning into the neighbourhood cranky old fart.

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And then I started to eat my supper and was cruising around some favourite sites when I saw this headline: Complaints roll in about door-to-door energy marketers.

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I was right to shut my door in her deceptive little face!!!

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And now I'm getting sleepy and should probably go to bed. The cats are demanding their nightly bedtime treats.

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Monday, 21 October 2013

Model shoot - October 20

Yesterday I went to a photography meetup - it was a bit of a mess. And I underestimated how much walking there would be and how much it would affect me almost 7 weeks post-op. I was exhausted yesterday and today. But it was a good learning experience for trying different locations and about photographing people. We were split into different groups of photographers and rotated models.


Sunday, 20 October 2013

Moon photography

From a park in the neighbourhood.
The moon in Calgary

From my backyard, with a telephoto lens and cropped.

Friday, 18 October 2013

House plans

I love crown moulding but realize that may be out of my DIY league and frankly, more work than I want to put into it. So I was thinking it would be nice to find a white or pale wallpaper border to put up instead - turns out that there are wallpaper borders made to look like crown moulding. Hmmm.

I also need to figure out a way to cover up the exposed wall behind my new thermostat - don't be shy, suggest something. :-)


I really like the thermostat. It has three programs - weekdays, Saturday, Sunday. The Nest looks super cool and appealed to my geek heart - but I couldn't justify spending $250 on a thermostat when the whole point was to save money on my utilities bill.

Tuesday, 15 October 2013

Six weeks post-op

And I'm feeling groovy! Okay, I was tired after work today. But I'm getting stronger.

So far, no issues. I have my post-op appointment with Dr Perky next week.

TMI after the cut ...

Tuesday, 8 October 2013


I had a long post composed in my head ... but it's late, I'm sweaty and need time for a Lush-full shower before bed.

"You can't park there!"
Today was my first day back at work, post-surgery. I drove to a little side street, where I can legally park all day and is relatively close to the train station. As I parked and got my bag out of my car, I saw a man in a nearby driveway looking at me with a hard face. He was helping his kids into his SUV but he kept looking over at me like I'd done something to piss him off.

Eventually he started calling over to me. In essence, he feels the space in front of his house is part of his area and I can't park there.

Well, yes I can - I've carefully looked for signs saying I can't and they don't exist. There are restricted zones and no parking zones around - but not where I was parked. And I'm not the only person who parks there and walks to the station. And there is still plenty of space to park on that street.

However, I chose not to engage in a discussion - he'd clearly worked himself up to be quite angry and irate over what he considered to be a trespass, and me, I wanted to get to work on time.

So I said I was sorry, I hadn't thought I was blocking anyone, but I would move my car. He continued to yell about all the "train parking" and how it had to stop as I put my bag back into my car and I moved. I parked across the street from him and placed a very firm mental image of his house in my mind, complete with the lovely blue spruce in his yard. So that I won't park there again.

I mulled it over on my way to work. He made the choice to be quite angry and I made the choice that I wasn't going to join the fight.

I did get to work on time and many, many people welcomed me back.

"You can do it!"
Last spring, I decided I should buy a programmable thermostat to save on heating expenses (natural gas). But the thought of installing one was very intimidating. A coworker offered to install one for me when I bought one.

I bought one recently but said coworker is getting ready for a fantastic well-earned vacation so I didn't ask him. When I inquired about assistance on Facebook, I was told that it would be so easy to install. I thought it would be so easy to electrocute myself.

Bit by bit, my friends and family talked me through it (and my brother offered to do it in two weeks time when he'll be in Calgary). First I had to figure out which breaker the thermostat was on. Only one of the switches was labelled. I spent one evening turning off breakers, then going upstairs to see which lights went out. I labelled them as I went, for future reference. And eventually I figured it out.

Last night was the first night I attempted to install the thermostat. I took off the cover and unscrewed the bolts going into the wall. The baseplate of the existing thermostat was seemingly glued to the wall. Everyone told me it was just paint. Today, some of my coworkers said to score along the baseplate with a knife and pry it off. So on my way home, I bought a bad ass box cutter and a flat scraper.

By this point, I'd lost my intimidation and was determined to get that thermostat installed damn it!

It turns out that I didn't need the cutter or the scraper. The baseplate just popped off. Huh.

So I kept going. One of my brother's tips was to photograph the wiring before I disturbed anything. So I did, and put the pictures on Facebook. I'm handy enough that I was able to mount the new baseplate and level it without asking for help.

It got a little trickier with the wires - from the Googling I did last night, I was expecting a white wire and a red wire with my ancient analog thermostat. I found a white wire and a black wire. I sensed that the black should be treated as the red wire, but needed some confirmation.

My cool aunt called and put her husband on the phone. He confirmed that black=red and asked about the terminals. I wasn't able to describe them over the phone, so I took another picture and uploaded it to Facebook. He also had some tips for me about trimming the wires.

I almost had to go to Wal-Mart for a teeny tiny screwdriver for the teeny tiny screws on the terminal. When I went upstairs to change, I spotted a nail file. That was teeny and tiny enough for the job.

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And eventually, it was all put together. I turned the breaker back on, cranked up the heat ... and it worked.


After I posted about it on Facebook, I read the manuals and figured out how to switch it to Celsius. :-)

So I went from "I can't install that" to "heck yeah, I installed that!" Felt good.