what NBC sounds like in canada

This is what NBC sounds like in Canada. I guess it’s okay to have a message, but no need to get all Yankee Hotel Foxtrot about it. I snipped off the obnoxious taco ads; NBC is so ad-infested that they have to wedge them in their videos.

I was trying to watch a Molly Lewis video, but it failed. Guess they forgot the WW in the web …

Canada Day softball

On Canada Day, I rigged up my bicycle with a camera set to take a picture every 20 seconds, and a GPS to track my location. I had no control over when the camera would fire as I rode round the neighbourhood. Out of the 150+ photos it took, this one from Jack Goodlad park came out quite well:
The rest of the pictures are here: My Neighbourhood, Canada Day 2010 « Numpty’s Progress

Canadian Comedy Central

I don’t know why people keep banging on about how funny Comedy Central is, because whenever they embed a video, this is what I get:

Am I missing something? Is it the new, newer universal punchline? Something like:

1: My dog’s got no nose.

2: How does he smell?

1: In Canada, Comedy Central Videos are available on The Comedy Network.


Q: What’s yellow and deadly?

A: In Canada, Comedy Central Videos are available on The Comedy Network.

not available in your country

As a minor celebration of our 8th anniversary of arriving in Canada, I give you (with explanation later) the collected transcripts of my Google Voice calls:

  • Hey, gimme a buzz me back this is Ron man, you know. Lamb oxen, this is Ron 205, buzz me when you get a chance later.
  • That probably in about a.
  • Hey from A D this is Ron man and 12 5 man If you are a I’ll buzz me, man. I’m gonna do some business man, so pick up you know of a receive, a. My, but alright with equating later.
  • Hello, this is not. He wants to join for your learn, not you, that fallen off. Bye.
  • Hey, Got this way about you could give me a call back and give me a call. Real quick, I’m outside. Thank you.
  • Hello.
  • Hello, Would you know that. Love you all River Run them.
  • Not available at the. It’s.

In a moment of boredom while visiting the US, I must’ve signed up for Google Voice. I’m not entirely sure what my number is, and I can’t access the account inside Canada. I haven’t given the number to anyone, yet I’m getting these voicemails. What can it mean? As a wise person once said, “Lamb oxen, but alright with equating later.”

No Canadian weather? That sucks, Asus!

I just got a ASUS O!Play HDP-R1. It’s one of the current crop of media player boxes, like the WDTV. I suspect they’re all the same MIPS hardware/Linux firmware inside. (Hey, you can telnet into it! Whee! Or something.)

At first, I couldn’t get it to work with my network share, but after a firmware upgrade, all is good. The new firmware offers web content, including weather. So I hopped along, and tried to access Toronto weather:

Err, some of us live outside Asia, Europe and the United States, y’know …

Open letter to Jason Farris

Jason Farris is President and CEO of Citizens Bank of Canada.

Dear Jason,

So you’ve decided to “no longer offer savings and loan products“. For a company called Citizens Bank, your new business plan sounds neither much like a bank, nor of much benefit to citizens.

I moved to your bank less than a year ago. I love the public ethical standards that you hold.  I love the online banking facilities — they’re almost as good as my UK bank was offering back in 2001, so that means they’re stellar for Canada. I love the way that if you’re kept on hold for too long at Citizens Bank, the bank will call you back in five minutes or less — and actually does. I love the way that your employees go out of the way for clients — your Toronto account manager came to my house in the evening to help fill out the paperwork. (Never mind that you let him go a few months later when the “current economic conditions” hit.)

I moved to Citizens because my other bank holds the Canadian platinum-iridium standard for absolute bloody ineptitude (actually, I suspect they had it, but lost it somewhere). In the very rare occasions they can help, they charge you for it — even using their bank machines with their card will give you a monthly charge. I did look into a local alternative bank, but they were rude and unhelpful, rather more interested in tallying up and closing in half an hour than helping me with my enquiries.

You’re giving me the option to move to TD. This is my impressed face. What are they but yet another big downtown bank? What’s their ethical policy? Where’s their community reinvestment? Will they return my calls, or help me set up accounts out of hours? I think you know the answer, Jason.

I’m very disappointed, Jason. I’m also embarrassed, as I recommended your bank to many people, some of whom opened accounts, and will now have to close them. You’ve let me down badly, just when I thought I had found a bank I could trust.

All Good Things,


Bob Briehl, the autoharp man in Canada

After ferrying Catherine around for another exciting adventure in LibraryQuest, we took my autoharps to Appalachian Instruments in Oakville for a repair. I have half expecting Bob to declare at least one of them a junker, but apparently they’re more than salvageable. Indeed, the older Type A is apparently a rather nice 1950s wood-bar black felt Silvertone, and the Type B, despite the warped top, is a good little player except for a couple of weak springs. Bob’s busy repairing and generally refurbing them, and we should get them back in a week or two. Should we form an autoharp folk duo?

Bob’s the local luminary of the autoharp, and has many models and spares in stock. It’s best to leave a message on the store’s phone, as he’s not always there. He also teaches, and does house calls.

Appalachian Instruments
117 Westside Drive, Oakville ON L6K 1P2
171 Solingate Drive Oakville ON L6L 3S8
(905) 845-0638

Update: Bob advised of a change of address.

the cure for hockey

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The above is a pictorial representation of the 11 additional pucks required so that they wouldn’t need to fight over one. Please donate generously, and you can help Canada become a world-class country with a proper sport …

indigo’s most overpriced yet

I saw the most obscene markup in indigo this evening: the Linux Format OpenOffice.org special edition was priced at a hefty $34.95. This costs £10 in the UK.

The thing is, UK prices are quoted tax-inclusive. The ten quid you see is the ten quid you pay. Not so in Canada. In the most boneheaded move ever, our prices don’t include tax, so that $34.95 really costs you $39.84 (in Ontario, at least).

According to Google, £10 is $20.53. Indigo’s markup is almost 100%

no hybrids for canada

I was looking to perhaps rent a hybrid for a longish business trip. My company’s preferred supplier, National, doesn’t do them in Canada, but does in the US:

no hybrids for canada

Why do they get them, and we don’t? Don’t say there’s no demand; I‘d rent one …