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Archive - May, 2005

----- 05.28.2005 --------
I'm just sitting at home waiting to go out tonight. My buddy Toby's getting married and tonight is his stag. His wedding will be July 23rd at his fiancee's family's farm outside of Bancroft. It should be a really fun wedding and I'm looking forward to the weekend get away. Last night Jen & I went out to meet up with a friend of her's visiting from Australia. We met her at a bar called "The Social" which is located at 1100 Queen St. W. It was an interesting place but we decided it was just too loud to carry on a decent conversation and moved on to the Beaconsfield a couple doors down, across the street from the Drake Hotel. It was a small place, but a lot of fun! Later we went over to a friend of a friend's place (Jamie) who we were hanging out with and had a couple beer up on her roof. It was a cool building... I think it was a converted warehouse and had lofts. Anyway, that was night.... leading to today's hangover! Fortunately I didn't have to work.... but we couldn't all be that lucky ;).

Well, nothing too much is new. I got a Pearl Jam ticket today and am looking VERY forward to the show Sept. 19th. Unfortunately my Internet was out and I couldn't buy a ticket right at 10 AM when they went on sale.... but fortunately Blake picked up a ticket for me. I've never seen them in concert and it's 1 band I really want to see! In terms of shows, I have a DVD with a concert from NY that just rocked! I can't wait to see them for myself :) Anyway.... I gotta get running. Before I do, here's a really cool link somone gave me: The Zoom Quilt. Wicked! :) OK... cheers everyone!

----- 05.21.2005 --------
Finally, a long weekend! May 2-4 weekend.... the weekend to start summer. And it is beautiful outside! I just got back from a nice roller blade west of here. Not quite as far as the Humber Bridge, but it was still 12K round trip. And best of all, my speedometer is working for my blades! Yesterday I took it apart and tested the batteries, which I suspected might be weak. Nope, they were fine. But the contact didn't see too good so I raised and press in the side ones so that it had a better contact on the battery. Seems to have done the trick! I went out for a short blade yesterday to Jen's and then today it worked the full 12K. Avg Speed of 13.8 KM/H. Max speed of 30.5 KM/H. That was going downhill around the Boulevard Club. Summer is here! :)

Jen & I celebrated our 7 month anniversary yesterday. She made me dinner and we had a few drinks up on her roof. Then we went for a walk to the "Distillery District". It turns out this weekend is a Jazz Fest. We weren't interested in paying the $25 each to enter, but we did want to have a drink. So we sat on the patio of the "Boiler Maker" (I think that was the restaurant's name) and had a drink. I could hear 3 distinct Jazz acts happening around us.... and the $25 one was crystal clear! For free :) It didn't sound worth $25 anyway! I drank a "Mill St. Coffee Porter". It was delicious! Anyway, today we slept in and then went to the Golden Griddle and had a mediocre Eggs Benedict. Did the trick, but wasn't great. After brunch we went to St. Lawrence Market & picked up some food for the BBQ tonight: Tuna Steak, Sea Bass Kababs, Shrimp Kabobs and bacon-wrapped scallops. So fresh! I can't wait to grill 'em up! Anyway, that's about it for now. I better shower and then we'll fire up the grill. I hope everyone has a safe and happy long weekend. Cheers!

----- 05.14.2005 --------
Not sure if I mentioned it or not, but last month I had an outage on my Internet & Cable service. I was 4 days without. I know... but somehow I survived ;) So the Rogers tech tells me that since Bell offers Express-VU in my building, they now have access to the wiring closet in my condo. It turns out that it was a Bell tech that disconnected me while trying to setup a new customer. Grrr... Anyway, I get my bill from Rogers and they haven't credited me for the 4 days I was out, which comes out to $18.56. So, Rogers agrees I am owed this and when I ask if the credit will show on my next bill. The guy on the phone tells me "No sir, you're going to have to call Bell to get that credit". I says PARDON!?!?!? I'm not even a Bell customer! They pissed me off a few years ago so I dropped every service I had with them. But what the hell, so I pick up the phone and call Bell. After laughing at my request, I am absolutely furious. Mostly at Rogers for actually asking me to call bell instead of comping me the $18.56. For a company of that size and their deep pockets, that would have been their best way to handle it. Let me know it's not their fault, and credit me as a way of saying "You're still a valuable customer".

So I'm now on the phone with Bell and pissed off a Rogers. So since I'm already calling their competitor, why not let them price out my business? My cable & Internet bills are quite substatial... I have the movie network, all the digital line-ups, a PVR, high-speed Internet... it all adds up on the monthly bill! I'm sure either of these companies would value such an account. So Bell does the math and can't quite match Rogers, but they are only off by a couple dollars. Not really worth it to switch, but they've offered me $50 incentive to give up Rogers. Hmmm... that's 10 months they'll beat Rogers if I look at it that way. But then there's the hassle of changing. Oh wait... no there's not. My emials are all robgirard.com... nice and "ISP-independent". I made sure of that when I gave up Bell SYmpatico last time. Maybe these big players don't deserve my business? Maybe I should use a local ISP such as Internet Light and Power (ILAP). And TV? Who needs it! I guess I'll call back Rogers and give them a chance to credit me the money. Am I willing to ditch their service? Sure I am! Is it worth keeping me for less then $20? If I were looking at the big picture, I'd certainly think so if I was them! That's over $1500/year! And what do they actually "give" me? Nothing.... they are already paying for the services they offer... I'm just another customer that will help pay for it. Hell, it's already paid for.... my monthly fee is gravy to them! Stay tuned.... we'll see if $18.56 is worth losing an account over.

OK... calm down Rob. Better. So, what happened since my last update? Well, I got my CPAP finally. That's a "continous positive airway pressure" device used for sleeping. It's basically a mask that blows air into my nose to stop me from snoring. Although "snoring" itself can be irritating to others, it doesn't bother me. But the sleep apnea does. That's when your airway collapses and you stop breathing briefly. Every night I have several of these per hour. The result? It disrupts the REM sleep and cuts into the quality of sleep. It also deprives the body of the needed oxygen to recharge and puts pressure on the heart which can lead to Angina (sp?). So, I've slept 2 nights with the mask now. Although a little annoying at first, the quality of sleep was night and day. Literally! I woke up refreshed both mornings, even after waking up a couple times during the night with a clausterphobic type reaction to the mask. I'm sure I'll get used to it. I am looking forward to getting the proper rest that everyone else gets everynight! Moving on... what else is new? Jen is in Quebec City this weekend with her Mom & Grammy. I'm all alone this weekend :( I went for a blade today and last night I just stayed in. Speaking of Jen, she just emailed me saying she's back in her hotel room. So, I think I'll wrap this up and give her a call. I hope all is well with everyone. Cheers!

Well, I just got off the phone with Rogers and they credited a little more then the amount I asked for. I told them I was willing to drop my services if things didn't go my way and fortunately I had a service rep who understands "Service". That's too rare these days! And he's going to escalate this because as more and more competitors enter the marketplace, that's more companies with access to the wiring closet of multi-resident locations. Anyway, he handled the call great and I'm sticking with Rogers... and I feel good that I stuck to my guns. :) Although I was willing to drop service, it would have been a pain... although all worth it for the principal of it :)

----- 05.09.2005 --------
Jen & I went down to Windsor this weekend to visit my family for Mother's Day. We took off Friday afternoon and rented a car. We had a great trip! We brought our blades and went out blading on Saturday. Saturday night we went out With my sister Laura and her boyfriend Tom. We went to Johnny Shots to drink & shoot pool. It was a really fun night! Sunday wasn't too much fun though! I got a lot of sun on the weekend.... Saturday I was working out in the yard with my Dad and Tom. We were sealing a crack in the wall of the basement. From the outside of course, which of course involved digging. I don't mind.... I enjoying being out in the sun digging. It's like a workout, except you actually get something accomplished! Anyway, I just thought I'd write a real quick update and update my blade meter while I was at it. I took a bunch of pics but unfortunately I couldn't get any really good shots of the golden finches that were eating out of their bird feeders. Everytime I snuck up to get a picture, one of the dogs would come bounding over and scare them away. And finally when I did get nice and close, the battery in my camera died! Anyway, I got this picture of a wasp in flight that I think looks pretty cool. That's all for now! Cheers!

----- 05.04.2005 --------
I ran into little "Brewdog" today on my way home. This time I brought a camera to work in case I saw him again. Sure enough, he was hangin out at his hole, on the hill side beside Steam Whistle Brewery (Toronto, ON). In fact, this urban little guy live right under the CN tower! I didn't think there was much wildlife around.... I guess I was wrong! I hope the little guy can survive there.... he's so close to Lake Shore! I did a little search for Groundhog on the Internet and "Steam Whistle" and it came up empty! So, since I couldn't find anything, I guess I get to name him. So, his name is "Brewdog" and that's final. So I took a few pics, but the light wasn't great and he's really skittish. So, I zoomed in and cropped the ones I did take and posted them here. Alternatively, you can click on his pic below or access the page through my pics page. OK, I guess that's all for now! Oh... one more thing.... don't forget it's Mother's Day this weekend!!! I love you Mom! :) By for now...

----- 05.04.2005 --------
Here it is again... Luke Skywalker Day (May the 4th....). OK, bad joke, but you smiled, didn't you. Or atleast you groaned. Moving On. Am I stuck in Ground Hog Day? The weirdest thing... on my way home on Monday, I walked past a ground hog! Downtown Toronto and there's a ground hog! I thought the underground was all concourse... but I guess there's room for this little guy too. His burrow is at light post 7, on the little hill beside Steam Whistle Brewery. I saw him again in the same place! You know what this means? Time to bring my camera to & from work with me! I just gotta get a pic of him! I bumped into my cousin on my way home right around the spot and showed him. He was as surprised as me to see the little guy.

Unfortunately little Robbie is gone now. He was a lot of fun to have around for the few days we have him. He had a ton of energy! Hard to believe he was 7!!! Poor little guy is going in today to get neutered! How can you do that to a 7 year old?!?!? Seems cruel to me. Atleast if you do it young they won't miss it. Or will they? I dunno... I just hope the little guy is alright. Well,l I better get to bed soon. It's getting late and I'm pretty tigered. All's well with me... I hope you all can say the same :) Cheers!

----- 05.02.2005 --------
Just a quick update because I'm just on my way out. My sister Laura came up this weekend with her boyfriend Tom. It's the first time I met him.... sort of. I actually met him in Australia last year briefly, but he was only a coworker of hers' then. Anyway, great guy and we had a lot of fun showing him Toronto. He hadn't been here before, except for by the airport.

The other big highlight of this post is little robbie, pictured below. Jen is fostering him from the Canadian Yorkshire Terrier Rescue. He's so cute! I'll admit, I've never been much of a yorkie fan. They've always come off as little sucks who always get what they want. But not this little guy. His independence is impressive. Anyway, here's a pic of him. I think he has to go back tomorrow.... but it's been a really fun weekend with him. And him & Sleeman actually seem to coexist quite well.... for cats & dogs that is :) Anyway, that's all for now! Cheers!


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