Thursday, 22 December 2011


Are you running away yet? ;-) It's okay, there's a brief reprieve.

Today was somewhat better than yesterday, thank goodness. At least I didn't have a leaky pipe in the basement that I had to call a plumber to fix. I did, however, slightly lose my nut on the poor guy at Fido (my cell provider).

I upgraded my phone a few days ago, and have been waiting for it to be delivered by UPS. While I was on the phone doing the upgrade, I had them change my address so that it would be shipped here, but no, that part of the call didn't stick and delivery was attempted to my place in Newmarket. I'm there only sporadically these days, and I'm not going up there to hang out for a day hoping the UPS guy is going to show up. I called to get the delivery changed to here and was told to call UPS directly to do that, and so I did. It turns out that I can go pick it up, and though it's out of my way to do so, I'd rather do that than wait til next Thursday to have it delivered. They're closed on Mon and Tues next week for the holiday, it would take another day for them to get their act together and so it would be Thursday before it would get here.

Also, my data plan was changed from a Blackberry plan to a different one because the new phone is an Android. This would not be a problem if I had already had my phone when they switched it over. They switched it at around noon on Tuesday, but it's now Thursday and I still don't have my new phone. It will be another day until I have it, yet I'm paying for a data plan I can't use. I was rather offended by that and let the guy have it. He ended up turning my Blackberry plan back on for me, and gave me a credit on my next invoice for my troubles. I'll have to call them tomorrow to get it changed back again, and then probably argue with them again about the length of my term. I deliberately went with a two-year term as opposed to a three-year one because I just can't cope with the thought of being stuck that long. I don't anticipate changing providers, but who knows how badly they'll piss me off between now and then.

My new toy, which hopefully will be in my hot little hands by tomorrow morning :-D I'm looking forward to having some fun with it.

The other thing I did today was make a big mess in the kitchen. I'm late, but I had to make my fruitcake this year. I had a very pretty moment while making it and inadvertently doubled the fruit but luckily I caught it before making the cake batter. So I wound up with four fruitcakes instead of two, though I do have a plan to get rid of two of them. One is going to a friend at work and I think another will go to my upstairs neighbours at the apartment. They're British and so enjoy the dark fruitcake at Christmas. I gave them one last year and John, at least, enjoyed it very much.

When I say fruitcake, I do mean fruitcake - there are four kinds of raisins and four different kinds of dried fruit in this recipe. It's somewhat bastardised from the one I got from my stepmother, because that one calls for a pound and a half of candied peel and cherries... ugh. I don't like those at all. So, I used Thompson raisins, sultanas, Lexia raisins, and currants as well as dried mango, apricots, peaches and strawberries. The rest of the recipe is just fine, but I really have to sub the fruit for the candied crap. The downside is that in cutting all that stuff up, I've gotten a blister on my finger from the knife rubbing against it for the time it took me to do the chopping. (It took quite a while - chopping dried fruit is tough.)

The sad part is any time I mention fruitcake most people I know run for the hills because they're thinking it's something like the garbage that's sold in the grocery stores and re-gifted forever and ever. If I could only get them to try the one I make, I'm pretty sure they'd change their minds. If they didn't like raisins they'd be pooched, of course, but if they do I think they'd like this one. Even my guy said earlier when he tried it, "That's good!" in a tone of surprise. He should know better :-P
I have been checking the online news sources regarding contract negotiations and the like, and I have to say that I really need to navigate away from the pages before I get to the comments section. The ignorance and rudeness of some of the people commenting is frustrating and hurtful. If I were to tell you that Joe Blow down the hall from you at work is making 40% more per year with better benefits and better working conditions while doing the same job that you do, would you not be a little pissed? We're not asking for the full wage gap to be made up, but half would be a good start. As for pensions and benefits, the only pension I have is what I can put away in an RSP for myself, and we pay quite a bit for the benefits, and Manulife keeps upping the premiums and cutting the benefits that are covered, just like every insurance company around. Regarding working conditions, a lot of our drivers are working an eight hour day that's spread out over up to 15 hours. How is that good, in any way? It contributes to fatigue and to more stress in the home life than is good for anyone. Driving distracted and driving while fatigued can be just as dangerous as driving impaired. Those are a form of impairment actually, and I heard that from a provincial police officer. The comments about being happy we have a job, and the "Pay me $15/hr and I'll go do it" just make me want to slap that person upside the head. We do a specialised job - it's not glamourous, but most of us do it because we love to drive. We're being paid to do something we enjoy, and that does make some of the rest of the garbage easier to take, but when we're offered a contract where the increase over the next three years isn't even enough to buy a medium coffee at Tim Horton's and our benefits are increasing in price, we had no choice but to say, "No. We are worth more than that. We are more deserving than that."

That's all my rambling for today,


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