Virgin inflation

Virgin mobile changed their pay-as-you-go plan a while ago. Used to be you could top up for any amount you wanted and it wouldn’t expire for 90 days.

I don’t use the cell phone that much. I think I’ve only ever had to buy more than the minimum amount of credit to keep the account alive once, and that was for Anime North. I’d just pay the minimum $15 every three months before the expiry date and my account would just keep growing. I didn’t care how much I was paying per minute or any of that. I was paying $5/month to have a cell phone, and I was pretty much okay with that.

But the bastards changed it on me. Now, if you only put in $15, it expires after 45 days. $10/month instead of $5. Ouch.

They didn’t warn me about this. I just found out the last couple times I topped up. I made a mental note to look into it.

Top up time again and [checked the web page]( They have a sliding scale for expiry now, based on the amount of the top up. If I top up at $25, it expires after 90 days. That’s $8.33/month, which is better than $10. That’s the best option. $100 expires after a year, but that’s still $8.33/month, and you’re locking up more money than you need to.

I’m pretty sure cell phone companies just don’t want me as a customer. Or at least they don’t see my usage pattern as something they want to bother with. (If somebody were to offer some sort of decent data plan, they could probably milk me for more, but data in Canada universally sucks ass). At least Virgin comes reasonably close to offering something that I can live with without substantial amounts of anger and hatred.

* * *

I am currently living on my easy chair, alternating between the cold compress and a heating pad. My sister (who does sports therapy stuff so deals with things like cracked ribs a lot) says this is potentially a good thing. I’d rather stick to the heat, but she says the cold compress is what I should be doing at least until tomorrow.

I can’t sit up straight for any length of time, which makes doing my job rather difficult. I’m going to try bringing the computer into the living room to see if I can set up an easy chair workstation. This could be fun. (It’ll just take a while. I think I’ll use my desk chair to wheel various components back and forth. Lifting and carrying stuff is bad).

Winter’s final crushing blow

So I set out on my walk to work this morning and I got to a nice little path through the forest behind Cedarbrae school. I like that path. It’s nice. I saw blue jays there last week. I was listening to [Red](, which wasn’t off to the most promising start, and I was steadfastly ignoring the goddamn snow.

Anyway, I got to the path and I knew it was icy. So it wasn’t really all that much of a surprise when I fell on my ass.

I laid there for a minute or two trying to assess the damage. It hurt. I couldn’t breathe very well, but I’ve had the wind knocked out of me before. I pulled myself up on a fence and I still wasn’t breathing very well. So I decided I probably wasn’t going to work today. So I went home.

I got home and I was in a bit of a bad way. I decided I should probably call my doctor. But when I got to the phone, the most prudent course of action seemed to be to call 911 instead. So I did that.

I could stay standing, but my legs were getting a bit weak. Sitting down was kind of hard, but once I was down, it was okay. Still in pain, and still having a hard time breathing, but okay.

The fire truck came first. I was pretty sure the dispatcher said that an ambulance was coming, but the firemen were nice and gave me oxygen and made sure my spine wasn’t broken and I didn’t have a concussion. Then the ambulance came. One of the paramedics fell on the ice in front of my house, so that helped me feel less stupid about things.

I’m pretty sure she was okay.

They were nice too and weren’t too upset when I nearly threw up on them after the firemen took their oxygen away. What missed the baggy mostly ended up on my carpet anyway. I was okay when they put the oxygen back. And I got a lovely trip in the ambulance.

They apologized for taking me to St. Mary’s. But it didn’t seem that bad to me. I got to hang around with a young lady with a penchant for prescription narcotics and a couple people which what I’m pretty sure was undiagnosed whooping cough, although I’m not a doctor. Things settled down to just a dull pain after a while and I wished I’d brought a book to read or something.

I had lots of tests done and eventually i got x-rayed and I was told that I had a fractured rib but nothing else serious, so I was discharged and made my way home.

I never got my health card back, though. I’m a little peeved about that. It was one of the red and white ones that never expire. I hope it turns up, but I’ve probably better let the government know soonish or my identity will be sold to credit card fraudsters or Syrian operatives.

Now I’m at home, drugged up but still in pain and lying on a bag of frozen blueberries. I’m quite happy I can type like this. I’m going to take tomorrow off, though, as sitting up isn’t a whole lot of fun. So I’ll probably just watch DVDs or something. It’s a distraction if nothing else.

In summary: I hate winter and I want it to fucking end already.

That’s all I have to say.

This should be three posts, honestly

I got a haircut yesterday. I went to my usual place. When it came to my turn the barber who was free happened to a rather attractive young woman with close-cropped shaved blonde hair.

I’d gone in not really sure what I wanted done, except that I knew I needed a haircut. So what I’d ended up getting was maybe a bit shorter than I’d perhaps been planning.

I chickened out and didn’t go *really* short. I think it’s probably about the same length as it was when I got fed up with the long-haired page boy look last year. And upon reflection (literally–like in front of the mirror), I think I probably should’ve gone a bit closer to the quick.

Although I’m debating whether the only reason I’m thinking that is because the hairdresser said I looked good with short hair, which made me feel all giddy and retarded.

* * *

I watched [Idiocracy]( this afternoon. It’s a weird little unknown science-fiction movie by Mike Judge (King of the Hill, Office Space, you know who I’m talking about). I’d heard that there was some conspiracy to bury the film based on its unkind portrayal of corporate America. Which may be true, but had me hoping for something a bit more devastatingly awesome.

It’s actually kinda of a fun movie. Average guy Joe (played by Luke Wilson–you know, from Dumb and Dumber) is cryogenically frozen for 500 years and awakes to discover that, since stupid people have become significantly more prolific breeders than intelligent, career-focused people, humanity has become profoundly dumb.

So the world has gone to shit, and it’s up to Joe–now the smartest person in the world) to set things right. To his credit, he does figure out that watering crops with Brawndo sports drink is probably a bad idea, even if it does “have electrolytes that plants crave.” (Brawndo, you see, decided that water was a threat to its profit margins and bought the FDA so that water could be relegated to toilets where it belongs).

Nice jabs at mass media and corporate culture. The unspoken advocacy of eugenics left a bit of a bad taste. I’m still not entirely sure what to make of it. Something like a cross between Dumb and Dumber and a Twilight Zone episode.

I admit, I had too-high expectations. It’s pretty fun. It’s got some clever bits. Worth watching, but it’s not going to change the world, sadly.

* * *

After watching [that BBC gardening show](, I’m itching to do something with the gardens this year. Not too sure what, yet, or whether I’ll actually get around to watering regularly. That’s always the problem. Regardless, it’s probably time to start planning…

Never, ever have stuff shipped through UPS

My QuickPAD finally made its last trip to my door on Friday. Which meant I stood a chance of being able to pick it up yesterday.

UPS has this interesting set-up for picking up packages. Even though they bought Mailboxes Etc. and have all these retail storefronts they could be using, if you want to pick up a package, you have to go to the UPS shipping warehouse thing off of Homer Watson in Kitchener. That’s a bit of a drive. What’s more, their customer counter is only during morning and evening rush hours: 4:30-6:30 pm being when I’d be able to get in there.

I left work at about ten to six, then, and had to stop and get gas (It’s still at around $1.06/litre around here) because I doubted I’d be able to make it there and back otherwise.

I got there in amongst a swarm of brown vans belting out diesel exhaust. I patiently waited in line for my turn at the cashier’s desk.

Like I was saying, the UPS customer service desk is literally in a warehouse. A very loud, concrete and metal warehouse with trucks lined up along the delivery bays. You can see people running around scanning things, yelling at each other and literally throwing packages–packages very much like your own–into the back of vans. No care whatsoever is given to the customer experience here. You’re thrown into the middle of a factory floor. All because you had the audacity to work during the day, and didn’t feel like leaving a cheque with one of your neighbours.

My turn came up and I gave the woman my delivery notice. Instead of being handed my package, which had apparently had its last trip in the van on Friday, I was told that it was still sitting on a truck, and that they were paging the driver to ask when they’d be in.

So I got to wait an extra 15 minutes or so in the warehouse, inhaling the diesel fumes and watching boxes being thrown from one place to another.

After the allotted time has passed and I had served my time for being such a horrible package recipient, I was allowed the honour of paying the extortionate brokerage fees that UPS charges you for paying GST and PST on your behalf. Canada Post does the same thing, but they charge you a flat $5 for every package you receive (which really annoying for subscriptions, but that’s another rant entirely). UPS’ brokerage fee, on the other hand, comes out to roughly what you pay in taxes. In this case, I got to pay an extra $30 for their delectable services.

And thus I am reminded why I should always, always remember to make sure anything shipped to me is not shipped via UPS.

At least I got my new toys, finally. And they are lovely to behold.

Sayal Electronics

The weather’s been too horrible to get out for lunch much lately. But I’ve been meaning to get back to [Sayal Electronics]( up on Phillip to pick up some USB cables and look around for stuff. I love that store. It fills my heart with nerdy glee and makes me glad I live where I do.

Except when I got there, it was just a concrete slab with a roof. The walls were gone. So was everything else.

Turns out they [moved to Cambridge]( Right next to where Stak-A-Shelf moved, by the looks of things. I’m 97% sure it’s RIM’s fault.

Goddamn you, RIM, you’re making my neighbourhood suck.