GPS Central: in stock, with a silent “not”

For the upcoming midwestern trip, I’d ordered some Mapsource maps  from GPS Central to help navigate across the mitten. They said they were in stock; indeed, they still do at time of writing:

gps central

I was very disappointed to get a note today saying that they were really out of stock, and they can deliver after the time I need it. GPS Central had previously been great, but they let me down by misrepresenting on their website. I cancelled the order.
Prairie Geomatics came to the rescue. They’re shipping tomorrow, for the same price (and cheaper shipping). I spoke to a real person to confirm.

ill-advised name, great store

BM-Electronics swapped my ill-fated nVidia card for a shiny fast MSI ATI PCIe card with no restock fee; yay BM!

They’re rapidly becoming my favourite computer store; they always have what I need, and it always does what they say it does. It may look a bit grubby, but it’s great

king ov shim

To round out the Dawes Super Galaxy, I got a pair of used Sun Tour Superbe non-aero brake levers from Bicycle Specialties. Wouldn’t you know it though, but one of them was for thicker (Cinelli?) bars than the narrow GB Randonneurs that are on my bike.
Armed with a sharp knife, a straight edge, and an empty can of Irn Bru, I cut myself some shim stock to fill out the gap. The lever has a little lateral play, but it’s not moving up or down any. I am the king ov shim!

we’re talking fish

Called in at Finatics Aquarium (599 Kennedy Rd, Scarborough, ON, M1K 2B2 – 416-265-2026) yesterday. The owner, Mike Bandura, was very helpful for the complete novice fishkeeper. I think we’ll be stocking our new aquarium from there.

my letter to etymotic

To: Etymotic Research Inc. Customer Support

I recently placed an order with you for accessories for my Isolator ER-6i headphones. I was very disappointed when UPS added an additional brokerage charge of approximately US$27 (plus taxes and duties) to the order. Since the value of the the order was only $43, your courier’s brokerage charge was almost two-thirds the value of the goods ordered.

Please consider using another courier for Canadian orders. USPS/Canada Post’s brokerage charges are much smaller, of the order of $5.

I would also like to note that none of your agents in Toronto seems able to stock these spares. I visited all three of the dealers mentioned on your website:

  • Long & McQuade had no stock, and didn’t seem particularly keen on ordering any for me.
  • Carbon Computers, though very helpful, only had eartips for the ER-6, and didn’t know that they wouldn’t work with the ER-6i.
  • CPUsed sold me an incomplete bag of ER6-14 eartips; only 6 tips for the full price of 10. When they weren’t assuring me that they’d work with the ER-6i, they were trying to sell me a set of Shure E2C headphones, which they said were better.

Up until now, I have been widely recommending your products. Until I know that you’re serious about supporting your Canadian customers, however, I cannot recommend your products to anyone in this country.

why does etymotic hate its canadian customers?

Etymotic — makers of otherwise fine headphones — must really hate its Canadian customers. Not merely do the local suppliers not stock replacement eartips, but getting them shipped from the US incurs UPS‘s unbelievable brokerage charge, which approaches the value of the parts you’re ordering.

A more coherent posting will come later when the old strongly-worded letter of complaint goes out.

Rolser shopping cart

My late grandmother’s intense dislike of them notwithstanding, it looks like a shopping cart from Rolser Canada could be just the thing for the carfree-about-town. Lugging shopping bags about is teh suk.

The intensely tony Pepper Mill in Hazelton Lanes seems to be the stockist for Toronto.

ididn’tBook

For a truly soulless evening, take yourself down to the BestBuy at Scarborough Town Centre.

STC is a mega-mall, with the obligatory huge concrete and asphalt deadzone around it. Its current sales slogan is For what defines you, which must mean that its denizens are in a pretty parlous state, existentially speaking. Its only slightly attractive feature is its derelict KrispyKreme store, which opened as a flagship, then frazzled almost as quickly as a KK’s dextrose rush. Abandoned donut shops are Canada’s ruined abbeys; places of worship gone to seed.

BestBuy itself is an outcast from the mall, in an especially ped-unfriendly way. Perhaps the only defined route there is through a monster split-level Wal-Mart, but I didn’t have enough hitpoints to make it through that particular slough.

I’d checked their website, and it said that the store had iBooks in stock, at $50 below retail. Did the store have any on display? No. The Apple section was set behind the customer service desk, which was a scrum of slightly disgruntled shoppers. So I left without seeing one.

I wandered in a bit of a post big-box haze to McCowan RT, a weird little station at the very end of the rails. At least I was rewarded with a beautiful sunset over the 401 at McCowan; all boiling red and purple. That’s about the best you’ll get near STC, and for free, too.