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Jun. 29th, 2012 @ 03:10 pm On Being Canadian
Current Mood: thankfulthankful
Yes, it's a long weekend. Yes, there are parties and concerts and festivals to go to. But let's all take a minute to remind ourselves how lucky we are to live in this great country. There is no war, no famine, no drought. We have health care that works. We have freedoms that don't exist in many places, even just over the border. So don't whine about how your Canadian Netflix subscription is inferior. Watch it with pride.

Happy Canada Day, my friends!
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new dad, baby room
Jun. 14th, 2010 @ 09:09 pm Important information about your RBC Banking
Today, I received a note in the mail from my bank. The bank where I've done virtually all of my business for the better part of twenty years. I was even employed there at one time. Anyway, I've taken the liberty of translating this latest correspondence into easier-to-understand language:

>Dear Mr. D,
>I'm writing to you today to let you know about a change to your
>banking services that might affect you.

I've recently been promoted to Head of Payments & Banking Services, and it has come to my attention that you've been getting away with something.

>In the past, we may have waived your fees on the purchase of
>Money Orders, Drafts or Single Signature Travellers Cheques, even
>though these services were not included as part of your current
>RBC account or other bank product.

Someone once thought you were a valued client and saw fit to throw in a few added perks to make you feel special. You're not.

>As of July 24, 2010, however, standard charges will be applied:
>$6.50 per Money Order or Draft and 1% of the total amount for
>Single Signature Traveller's Cheques.

As you may know, our sector has taken a hit lately, and we must do whatever it takes to nickel and dime our way back to eye-popping profitability. You know, like when we charge you close to 40 bucks for a book of cheques that we used to give away (they ARE gold-plated, after all).

>If these features are important to you, I invite you to consider a banking
>package that includes these, and other money-saving features for one flat
>monthly fee. The RBC Signature No Limit Banking or RBC VIP Banking accounts
>are all inclusive packages which offer benefits such as unlimited debit
>transactions and fees waived(1) at non-RBC ATMs.

We tried to re-jig our banking packages to make more money, but we kind of screwed up that last time. We didn't think you'd actually figure out how to get free transactions. Oops. (1)Many conditions apply.

>For advice on which of these banking accounts best suits your everyday
>banking needs, simply visit your branch, call us 1-800 ROYAL 1-1 or
>visit our website at and use our Account Selector Tool.

You'll need an inconvenient appointment, but why not speak with one of our new hires about something they know little about. I'd give you my number, but I've got a tee time booked.

>We appreciate your business, and thank you for choosing RBC Royal Bank.
>If there's anything we can do to be of service, please do not hesitate to
>contact us.

We're pretty sure we won't lose you as a customer over this, since it's such a hassle to move banks and we all know those other guys are just as bad. And to be honest, please don't call.

>Yours truly,
>Doug Collins
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blueberry, oxford
Feb. 21st, 2010 @ 11:06 am Baby pool for Ella is now available
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new dad, baby room
Feb. 15th, 2010 @ 03:52 pm (no subject)
Current Mood: accomplishedaccomplished
I've had a complaint that I don't update enough here.

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blueberry, oxford
Apr. 1st, 2009 @ 11:14 am Petey Pool
John & Rhia's baby needs a name, and guessing it could mean cash in your pocket!*

Get in on the Petey Pool action while it's not too late!


*small admin fee applies
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blueberry, oxford
Feb. 20th, 2009 @ 12:18 pm Curling tickets
To fully appreciate the extent of my prize tickets to the upcoming Men's World Curling Championships, I set out the two blocks of tickets end-to-end:

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Feb. 6th, 2009 @ 02:33 pm On FB: "it certainly isn't safe for kids to be there anymore, if it ever was."
I know I beat this issue to death, but people need to understand it before they have regrets.

"Facebook is going to test the boundaries of privacy with plans to allow corporations to use its extensive customer base for market research."

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blueberry, oxford
Feb. 6th, 2009 @ 09:55 am My mind is full these days
... which I guess is good. I think being occupied without too much stress is the ideal state.

So I seem to be succeeding at achieving a good eating/fitness balance. I'm currently in much better form than I had been at Thanksgiving, which was really my low point. Admittedly, I was eating too much junk and being sedentary in general. So shining a light on those two areas has helped a lot, both physically and mentally. My strength, endurance, memory, and general state of mind have improved markedly. The level of nutrition I'm getting is obviously paying off, and I am treating myself too.

The accounting course is a bit more challenging that I had initially expected, but I'm getting through it. Still not sure where it will take me, but at least I'm pushing myself to do something.

The podcasting is a lot of fun, but I think we're ahead of our time in terms of general acceptance of the medium. Doing a weekly show is taking a bit more of my time than I'd like, so I think we may naturally gravitate back to a biweekly show which works well.

I've decided to attend the Green Party's National Convention, being held in Pictou over the last weekend in February. The lineup of speakers seems interesting, and it's not an excessive amount of money, so I figured what the hell. I'm not the world's biggest Greenie by far, but many of their policy positions still make a lot of sense to me.

I'm also excited to be attending the Men's World Curling Championships, being held in Moncton the first week of April. I won a double event pass from a local radio station when they were raising money for Christmas Daddies. It's the perfect gift for me - not to mention that the prize is valued at close to $800.

Valentine's Day also happens to be Convocation Day for my lovely wife, who is a newly minted CA . I'm thankful that we're going to the Halifax event - it looks like a class act. Luckily, I was able to take advantage of a 2-for-1 suit sale to help me look the part. And I can't wait to see what Betty Ruben picked out for her to wear...
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blueberry, oxford
Jan. 6th, 2009 @ 04:26 pm Musique de Pomme
If it's true that Apple is going to remove DRM from the iTunes music store, I might actually start buying more music again.
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Oct. 21st, 2008 @ 10:02 am Kids today
As I was walking to work this morning, there was this kid on a skateboard crossing the street and ending up ahead of me. I'd give him 11 or 12 years old at the most. He apparently finished his yogurt beverage and threw it down on the road in one smooth motion as if it was the most natural thing he had ever done. He stopped on the sidewalk in front of me to adjust something and as I caught up to him I gave him a stern look and said, "I think you may have dropped something back there" as I motioned to the empty container. "You might want to pick that up and put it in the garbage".

I think I came across as intimidating, because he did as I suggested (or at least I think he did - I didn't stick around to observe). I don't know what it is, but I don't ever remember it being okay to just toss crap in the street. I wonder if this is one of those fatherly instincts, and if I would have done the same thing 5 years ago....
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hello city
Oct. 21st, 2008 @ 09:58 am (no subject)
I don't really care so much about the whole 'Cadman affair', but check out the size of this 10-month old from today's Globe:

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blueberry, oxford
Sep. 19th, 2008 @ 10:02 am ...Because I'm off today
take a picture of yourself right now.
don't change your clothes, don't fix your hair...just take a picture.
post that picture with NO editing.
post these instructions with your picture.

Man, I love my MacBook
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blueberry, oxford
Aug. 28th, 2008 @ 10:44 am (no subject)
The Barenaked Ladies sure seem to have an unusual way of grabbing media spotlight lately...
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hello city
Jul. 21st, 2008 @ 10:25 am MOVIEBOGO
Here, kids - enjoy a movie on me...

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blueberry, oxford
Jul. 15th, 2008 @ 10:54 am Rogers txt
I just learned last night that you can pay Rogers $6 to send 125 text messages in a month OR you can pay them $5 to send 500 text AND 50 picture/video MMS messages.

Just thought I'd pass that along.
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May. 6th, 2008 @ 09:37 am Two solitudes
Yesterday I spent more than 7 hours in the waiting room of the Moncton Hospital (aka "English" or "City" hospital) for a procedure that the doctor from the clinic could not do.

I needed to have a sebaceous cyst on my back lanced, as it had become infected and painful (I've had this thing half my life, but it never gave me a problem until now).

So after a disheartening day of listening to a waiting room crammed full of sick people cough and complain, and the annoying Dr. Phil who was way too loud on the television, I had to leave without being treated so that I could pick up my family.

I realize that 'heart attacks come first', but come on. This place screams of preferential treatment. If you know someone working there, you're in like Flynn. No joke.

We arrived back home and my situation was pretty uncomfortable, but I dreaded the thought of going back there. So I decided to go to the "French" or "Regional" hospital to see if my luck would be any better.

As it turned out, this was the right move. There was only 1 person in the waiting room when I arrived, and I was registered, treated, and discharged in under 90 minutes. To top it off, they were super nice and professional (as opposed to cranky and secretive at another place I know of).

Unfortunately, the reality of my experience has now been validated by several people. These two hospitals are like 6 blocks from each other! No wonder people are so disenfranchised with the state of health care.
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blueberry, oxford
Apr. 15th, 2008 @ 08:57 pm Not my most positive post ever...
I was hungry a few minutes ago, but now I feel sick from reading about the 20 worst foods in America. I know I don't have the best eating habits, but this is truly gross. And motivating.

And how about that dangerous plastic story. Is anything safe anymore?

Oh, and apparently my 'new' dentist that I thought was awesome dropped dead yesterday. No word yet on whether any of these things are somehow related.
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blueberry, oxford
Apr. 3rd, 2008 @ 07:40 pm on the subject of e-profiling
I've been thinking a lot lately about the whole internet privacy debate, and the aggregate of information that some entities have built up on me - particularly the Google.

It hasn't helped that there have been some rather conspiracy-typed headlines of late... like that Facebook is just a front for the CIA, etc.

Not that I've ever really put a whole lot out there that would put me at risk... it's not like I'm much of a target.

But then there's the whole freakishly exposed side of things, like if something terrible were to happen to me and all the mainstream media started scavenging up little scraps of my life from the internets...

Alas, there is likely little to worry about. But I think I might spread some of my usage patterns around a bit more thin... like using a different search engine and my own webspace for e-mail. I feel like I need to find some balance without going nuts about it... but where to draw the line? Do I stop using Air Miles because they also know me too well? The credit card companies?

Any thoughts?
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fame, brochure, RBC, banking
Mar. 18th, 2008 @ 10:30 am (no subject)
A quick update of my life these days

- It's budget day in New Brunswick. We're not expecting anything awesome.
- I've been sleeping really well lately - so has Marshall!
- It has been sunny for several days in a row - Vitamin D feels good.
- I'm taking a managerial accounting course starting in April.
- I am no longer alone in the office; it's great to have colleagues!
- We are so glad we chose a variable rate mortgage.
- rmilk.com is an awesome way to keep a to-do/reminder list
- I am listening to so many podcasts these days (mostly tech stuff)
- Watching the Brier was okay, but not spectacular (the Scotties was better)
- I won 4 times in a row on Tim's cups (each has a 1 in 9 chance)
- I'm cooking turkey dinner on Friday.
- I'm having a hard time in fantasy hockey this year. Next season will be better.
- We haven't taken nearly enough pictures lately.
- My cousin in Ottawa is likely to have her second baby any day now!
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blueberry, oxford
Feb. 1st, 2008 @ 01:31 pm My kind of stunt

This is incredibly cool...

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thumbsup, IWK