Quickly, a few things.
Today was the occasion of the first commute to work since the great migration. I have to confess I had some anxiety about this aspect of our move; formerly, we were able to log a twenty minute door-to-door trip to get to work, which definitely had its advantages (I can almost hear Mike comparing his own daily trip, jaw dropped in wonder that anyone would willingly prolong their daily travels as Spouse and I have done.) Anyway, our daily trip figured to be anywhere from thirty minutes to an hour each way. Knowing how long others commute each day, I felt a little silly even thinking about it, but I still wondered how Spouse and I would react to that kind of change to our daily routine – I guess it was a little “fear of the unknown” kind of thing. Anyway, our maiden voyage to the salt mines clocked in at just under 50 minutes from the moment that we got in the car in the driveway. That includes a couple of minutes to get the People’s Transportation unstuck from the glorious frozen Juniorvanian mud in the driveway (we had quite a cold spell move through the area overnight), and time spent walking from our parking space to the Building of Endless Toil.
Bottom line: it wasn’t bad at all. Spouse and I were both breathing a little easier, I think, when we proved to ourselves that we could do it and that it wouldn’t be that painful. This travel time is a price we can pay for the pastoral beauty of residing in Juniorvania.
The unpacking/home arranging is coming along apace. Spouse and I were making some changes in the mud/laundry room on Monday afternoon that involved putting up some shelves. Knowing that the People’s Department of Public Works would be so engaged on Monday, Sunday was spent largely in a frantic search through all available unpacked boxes for the cordless power drill/screwdriver set that I got for Christmas a couple of years ago. Monday was the day for this gift to truly shine, but its whereabouts were sadly unknown. I exulted Sunday night, and I’ll admit it, I even danced around a little bit in the kitchen when my multiple Cousteau-ian descents into the packing cartons jammed in our storage room were rewarded and I was able to locate the errant power tool. Joy quickly turned to despair on Monday afternoon when I realized that the battery pack that drives the thing for some reason now holds only enough charge to drive approximately 1.5 inch and a half long screws. Change of plan, power tools are for wimps, time to go the manual route.
Popeye and Henry both seem to be thriving. Popper spent basically all day outside yesterday, and when he wasn’t outside, he was determined to bring a large portion of it inside in the form of twigs, leaves, and assorted detritus. We’ve been vacuuming a lot, and when I say “we” I mean “Spouse”. Henry has discovered that the many windows in the house offer an excellent vantage point for
stalking watching the birds at the various feeders we’ve hung from low-hanging tree branches throughout the yard. We’ve already seen many a robin (who apparently didn’t get the memo about today’s snowstorm) and various chickadees, jays, cardinals and a woodpecker of unidentified (as yet) variety. Mr. Audobon will be hearing from us on that issue.
Life is pretty good among the People, with one exception: communications.
The Juniorvanian Broadcasting Corporation established a link to the outside world via satellite last week through a foreign service provider: Bell ExpressVu. Without going too far into the details of Juniorvanian animosity for the corporate behemoth that is Bell, suffice to say that the Glorious Leadership most emphatically stressed to the Procurement Department of the Government of Juniorvania that it would be best if communications services (phone, internet, television) could be secured via contract with more friendly corporate entities. Long story short: in this wee corner of the globe, Bell is the only show in town and the Procurement mandarins returned to the Glorious Leadership hat in hand and meekly declared their failure to establish succesful alternative links. For a few days last week, it looked as though this failure would pass without significant consequence for those responsible: the satellite HD picture was visibly better than that previously enjoyed via cable, and the available channels were many. The Procurement mandarins even survived a brief crisis involving communications failure between the UHF remote that is supposed to – but did not – operate the dual tuner from a remote location in the house (i.e. up in the bedroom, far from the site of the actual tuner). The crisis was averted by installing a coaxial extension to the rear of the receiver and relocating the UHF antenna in a less interference-intensive area of the house. The mandarins heaved a sigh of relief, and life went on in Juniorvania.
Well, as of this evening, those incompetent arseholes are all going to be sacked, I can tell you that.
We are having a mild snowstorm – this ain’t no BLIZZARD OF OUGHT EIGHT, and nobody’s going to be writing dedicated theme music to play over the title bumpers on CNN, because this is not an update-worthy weather event. Despite the modesty of this meteorlogical activity, however, the satellite signal is kaput. Gone. Zilch. Non-existent. Result: the People of Juniorvania are completely deprived of their evening in front of the tube, the one that they were greatly anticipating. The National Plan was to camp out in front of the Leafs/Bruins game and root the Buds on to whatever the hell they’re hoping to achieve now that we aren’t going to make the playoffs and we’re also not going to secure any kind of a decent draft choice.
Instead of watching the game in 42 inches of glorious high definition colour, augmented by the 5.1 Dolby digital surround sound system that the People painstakingly unpacked, erected and wired up on the weekend in anticipation of just such a moment, I am in Mission Control – high atop Juniorvania, listening to the game on Internet radio. Yeah, yeah, yeah, I know I wrote this and this about the romance of listening to the game, but dammit, sometimes the People just want to sit on their fat arses and watch the boob tube. This was definitely one of those nights.
The screen on my TV continuously – and blankly – thanks me for “my patience” while it continues to not show me the game. I telephoned the number I was given by Bell ExpressVu for Customer Service. They must have a different understanding of those words at Bell, because the result of that phone call was a recording that advised me that “as a result of severe weather in my area”, I might be experiencing disruptions in the satellite signal, which would return upon the cessation of the severe weather event. Being the accomodating and pleasant chap I am, I wanted to discuss the semantics of this message with a live human so I mashed keys until the automated menu – which very much wanted me to pay my bill, but would not reveal the secret codes required to contact humans employed by Bell – coughed up an entryway into the live Customer Service call queue. That queue commenced with another recording that advised that “the typical wait time” for service was eight to ten minutes. In other words, I was going to have to wait ten minutes on hold to tell someone that I’m not impressed that it’s snowing – a little bit – and I can’t watch TV, and of whom to inquire whether I would only ever be able to access the weather channel when it was a clear and sunny day, instantly rendering redundant all of the programming on that channel. The automated recording thanked me for my patience.
I didn’t have any, and hung up.
On a completely unrelated note, I know I promised to post the winner of the poetry contest, but it’s growing late and I want to be sure I do the winning entry justice when it is posted. Rest assured, the wait will be worthwhile. I promise to try and be a little more regular posting here now that the initial craziness of the Great Migration has subsided. I am also going to try and cobble together a little photo essay on the whole deal but, y’know, the best laid plans yadda yadda yadda.