Monday, June 11, 2012

The June Post!

Ok, Ok, I know it’s time to post again, but at least it has not been a month since the last one – but getting close!P5263551

But get a load of this (rant).  My Mastercard got ‘compromised’ on April 20th while I was still in Vegas.  They called me right up and told me (that was nice), and said that they would send out a new card in 3-5 business days.  If that had happened, I would have had a new card waiting for me when I got home at the end of April.  But I guess it didn’t, and in mid June, I am still waiting for those idiots at the Bank of Montreal to get a clue.  To be fair, there was a problem with my address initially – as their online system refused to accept a crucial part of my new address.  But once I got home I began my weekly frustrating calls to Mastercard to try to connect with my new card.  They ‘said’ they had sent one out via Canada Post, which failed to arrive, but when questioned, it seems it never was sent.  Their story keeps changing.  They claim that they could not send the card to a post office box – even though I would wager that half of Canadians get their mail that way.  And they would not send it by courier – not sure why, but I live out in the country, and these idiots can’t seem to wrap their ‘Eastern Canada city slicker minds’ around that one.  So last week they finally agreed to send it in some expedited fashion to the local UPS depot, which in this town happens to be the florist.  (Am I starting to sound like Tioga & George yet?)  So I checked with the florist and even picked up their mail for them one day, but of course it was not there.  Today being Monday, I did my weekly call to MC to see where the card was now!  Usually, I am on hold for 10-15 minutes, while the nauseating recorded voice chides me for not doing all such inquiries online.  Of course, since they cancelled my card, I cannot go online and even check my account.  But at least today I was not online for a long wait, and the person answering the phone actually spoke English, which was quite a novel change.  But this nice person (Brittany) insisted that a registered letter could not be sent to a postal box!  Hello!  Half the people in the world get their registered mail this way.  And so, once again, they had lied to me and did not send the card as promised. Finally, she came up with a plan – that it would be sent to the local Bank branch, where I could pick it up on Thursday.  I suggested this option about 5 weeks ago, but it was rejected at that time as unworkable.  I know, don’t ask me!!!  I’ll phone them again next Monday if I have an cell phone minutes left and see what the excuse is this time …   Rant end.


Ok, now for a good (and shorter) story.  My kitchen faucet broke, and needed a replacement part.  I went to the local Home Hardware store and asked if they had parts.  They didn’t, but gave me a toll free number for Moen, the faucet maker.  To shorten the story a bit, I found the correct parts on their website, and emailed a request for the parts, giving my credit card (NOT mastercard) number and both a mailing address and a courier address (the flower shop!), and asked if they could please send me the parts.  They replied that the parts were in the mail, and for free, because I guess it was under warranty!  I week later, the free parts arrived in my mailbox (see how easy that is, Mastercard).P5193375

So what’s new?  Well lots of things I guess.  Other than a few short multi night road trips, I have been more or less hanging out at my stick house and doing a lot of flying, and promotion of my flying photo business.  That has been going rather well with lots of interest from the local realtors, and some landowners.  The oil and gas companies have been largely ignoring me, but after the recent oil pipeline break near here, I have been making great contacts with the pipeline companies, the media, and all the many other agencies that come out of the woodwork when there is a spill!P5203454

Trying to get some liability insurance for my wee 2lb helicopter has been interesting with companies quoting rates higher than I pay for my 4000lb truck!  My helicopter would be hard pressed to scratch paint or break a window if you were trying to – while my truck hurtles down the highway daily at high speed, trampling Smart Cars and imports with impunity Winking smile.P6033658

Ok, what else?  Well, like all Rv’ers returning to a stick house, I have been enjoying showers longer than 2 minutes, a comfortable recliner, unlimited power, water and space.  Hailey spent the first couple days racing up and down the basement stairs and crawling up into the rafters.  Now she enjoys hours of hunting outside without a leash or harness.  The mice are fearful.P5263537

Due to a slight miscalculation Winking smile, I have just now run out of ‘almost free’ US beer, and am faced with the ugly reality of having to pay about $2/can instead of the 50 cents that I was accustomed to down south.  No beer in Safeway here, but at least we are better than Ontario – which seems to be stuck in the beer dark ages.P5263541

Propane:  In the US, propane is pumped by the gallon, and they always open the valve on the side to see when the tank is full.  In Canada, propane bottles are filled by weight, the valve is never opened, and most places carefully check the date on your tank and won’t fill it if it is 10 years old or so. If you had a tank, (hypothetically speaking of course) that was expired, you would have to know which places don’t often check!P6013609

Coins:  Sorry US, but we are way ahead of you with coins.  Our dollar and two dollar coins are way way better than quarters if you have to use a laundromat, vending machine, or car wash.  But, at the Shell car wash in Page, Az, the bill changer issues US $1. coins, so I know you have them!  So please get with the program and start to use them!  I also found a car wash in Oregon last year that used dollar coins, so the trend is spreading, sort of.P5263575

Nice to be back at home, too where none of the gas pumps ask for my zip code, and I can happily pay at the pump again.  And no, none of those ‘tricks’ has ever worked for me.  Of course, you need a 2nd mortgage to buy fuel or food here.  But we do have Tim Horton’s!

Speaking of hockey – (Tim was a Toronto Maple Leaf player long before the coffee empire was formed), just finished watching the LA Kings finishing off NJ for the Stanley Cup.  Interesting to hear how many of the Kings (and coach Sutter) come from small town western Canada.

For some reason, the mosquitoes have been almost non-existent so far this year, which is nice.  The leaves are finally out on the trees, and I have now mowed the grass three times already!  There has been some late season snow in some areas the last few days, but it has missed us, as have most of the tornado watches, etc.  The geese, deer, swallows, woodpeckers are making quite a racket, that drown out the two vehicles a day that go by here. And I have seen my first black bear and moose near here recently, though they are certainly not uncommon in this area.

Pipeline oil spill pics.


That’s it!  Maybe I’ll post again in July!


  1. Glad to see your back (Blog that is). Sorry about my previous alien probing comment. Won't happen again. Really great helio photos. Cheers Duane

  2. Always a good idea to have a second or even third credit card. (as you no doubt do)
    I wouldn't have had quite the patience you had in dealing with Mastercard I'm afraid. They'd have had a week. That would have been it. Then it would be off to Visa of Discovery, or even someone else's Mastercard.
    I had a Cdn. Tire Mastercard for years that I would use for fuel. Worked great and I'd get a discount. Decided to cancel it before moving to Europe though. No particular advantage to having it here.

    I enjoyed the read.

    Enjoy your summer.

  3. In the last photo, Hailey is probably thinking, "On no, there goes my Dad phoning that Mastercard place again"!!

  4. Sorry to hear about the beer problem up your way, will it make you feel any better to know that Miller High Life Light is still $14.47 US a thirty pack at the local Shop & Save in Dardenne Prairie MO. That comes out to 48.2 cents per can .Wonder why beer is so expensive in Canada, last time I was camping up their the OPP said to be careful on the highways after 10PM as a lot of drunks were out. So I know the market is there. Have a great week and be safe out there. Sam & Donna...

  5. Glad to see you're still taking Pics with the copter. They're Fantastic! Be Safe and Enjoy!

    It's about time.

  6. Great photos! Good luck with the MC and the beer. Love the cat pics, what a cutie.

  7. Quad photo

  8. Just back from Lake Michigan Lake. There are so many beautiful places to see..
    I did a couple of short video using my quadrocopter. As I can see you are in same hobby, so it may be interesting for you

    You can find more videos and photos in my blog

    Best regards

  9. Sorry forgot, link to my blog

  10. We have had the dollar coin for some time but its rarely in circulation, but if you go to any US bank and ask for it they should be able to give them to you, but MOST vending machines are not set up to take them!!
    WHY not use NEXT DAY FED EX or UPS to send your card to your home address? They think sending it to a florist shop is safer than sending to a post office box? weird!

  11. We'll take what we can get - keep up the good work!

  12. Just started reading your blog and I AM enjoying it. Read from the 1st post too.