Wednesday, August 25, 2010

It takes a douche to know one...

Did you hear the one about the porn store told to take down their sandwich board? Wilde's, on Bank at Gilmour, was paid a visit by a by-law officer because the sign out front of his store was apparently 'offensive'. Turns out seeing the sign reminds somebody of a bad childhood experience, and that somebody wants by-law officers to censor it.

So what's the sign a picture of? An older man eyeing a young boy? Some crazy BDSM nightmare fetish? A big white van (which would trouble him if he's an asthmatic like me, because it would remind him of the onset of rampant gas-guzzlers, prior to which air was fresh)?

Nope. No picture at all, just words. You can read them yourself, all you have to do is list the bristol board cover that says "This covered sign has been Censored by the City of Ottawa ANAL By-law #2004-239."

And lift it is what a number of people did when I was in the area recently. Young couples, middle-age couples, individuals. Universally, they read the sign and had a giggle:

"Put a smile in your ass with our anal douches :*)"

Of course, the by-law officers mindlessly followed this guy's complaint--you know, 'just doing their job to enforce by-laws'--and forced Wilde's owner, Robert Giacobbi, to cover the sign.

Of course, had they really been doing their job, they would have noticed the boobies on display across the street at Wicked Wanda's. (Then again, maybe they did notice, but aren't quite so hard on Wanda)

Quoted in Capital Xtra, the complainer, Richard Cormier, says that "children don't have to see that."

Also on the list of things children don't have to see is grown adults breaking shop windows to keep them from speaking freely. Which must be why Cormier smashed the window in the middle of night, while children are asleep.

Now if only we can get them to stop advertising those white vans...

- RG>

Sunday, August 08, 2010

I'm poor again (but not for long!)

I recently got a new job, which pays considerably more than my old one (I wanted to link to the comment I left on someone's blog sometime about all the things that were good about my previous job, but I can't find it). The main downside is that it's full-time, whereas the old one was flexible part-time.

The upshot is that by making more money, I'm no longer poor, at least until the term is up at the end of next July. I'll have lots of time to save up between now and then.

I'm not entirely sure exactly what the after-tax income will be, as I haven't yet had a complete pay period. I do know that It's a lot more than what I was making before, which was nearly enough to live comfortably. Being unable to budget for a new high-falutin' lifestyle, I've kept to my old, miserly ways.

Except for the laptop I just ordered online.

I figured it was time, since my laptop is breaking again (the sound is going and I don't feel like taking it apart and re-soldering it again, the replacement battery I bought isn't hold its charge as long as it used to, and the SD card reader remains broken). I had also wanted to buy a spare AC adapter, keyboard/mouse, and replace the battery again, and since I'd been planning on getting a new laptop soon anyway, now was as good a time as any. This one has served me well enough, and this way I can give it to a friend who has had to computer-surf (using other people's computers, as in couchsurfing) since her computer died.

The outgoing laptop's a Dell Vostro 1000 that I bought in September 2007. I chose once again to go with Dell--this time a Latitude E5500--because I like:
  • The many ways Dell lets you customize your machine (choose the "small business" option ALWAYS!)

  • I can still get it with Windows XP

  • I've been able to buy replacement parts for my old laptop at reasonable prices (this time I've gone for 3-year full hardware support since I can afford it upfront)

  • The online repair documentation is thorough

  • Many of Dell's business laptops have minimal amounts of crapware/bloatware (this was the advertised feature that first attracted me to the Vostro, is what turned me off this time to the XPS, and appears to still apply to the Latitude)

  • it comes with 4 USB slots, not two like so many other laptops (or only one, like the MacBook Air!), plus an SD card slot

  • the new laptop will come with a clit mouse. I haven't had one of those since my old IBM ThinkPad, three laptops ago.

Not all the after-market money I spent on the Vostro is lost, either: I had bought a 500GB hard drive to replace the 120GB one that came with it and filled with photos (did you know that computer stores can copy the drive's content to a new drive, so you don't have to reinstall Windows and all your programs? So convenient!). I can swap the 120GB drive back and use the 500GB in my new lappy.

Since I haven't been spending much more than I did before the new job, this purchase will delay my plans to pad up my savings. On the bright side, it also means no more impulse buys for at least a couple pay periods. Which means I'm poor again, but not for long!

- RG>

Monday, August 02, 2010

Robin, Robin, where are you?

Ottawa photoblogger extraordinaire Robin Kelsey has been having troubles with his blog recently. Yesterday he couldn't access it from home, and today I notice that it says "This Account Has Been Suspended" (Curious that it doesn't say who the account is with, and the URL gives no hints). The RSS feed still appears to work, as I can see that the entry "Skull" was added 16 hours ago.

Anyhoo, since you can't leave comments on a page that's down, so I thought I'd put up a message here at my place. Hope things get sorted out soon, Robin!

- RG>