Thursday, October 17, 2019

Day 74: Those two would test the patience of an angel

Between You, Me and the Lamp Post

Day 74: Those two would test the patience of an angel

You’ve probably seen them on the road … dogs in booties, cats with a sweater on, or some other ridiculous outfit.
For starters, I’ve never understood how the owners of these pets managed to make their cat or dog keep those garments on.

Back when I was a kid, I spend the better part of an afternoon knitting socks for my cat, Pitoe. When the socks were finished, I put them on Pitoe’s paws, or shall I say … tried to put them on his paws. He was of the opinion that he didn’t need socks and he made that very clear. I was of the opinion that he did need socks and commandeered the situation with a great deal of perseverance.

In the process I ended up with more than one scratch, but in the end Pitoe had his socks on. Or so I thought. No sooner had I put Pitoe on the floor than he started shaking his paws … front left, front right, back left, back right … the socks went flying. So much for that idea.

Over the years I tried a few dress ups with my cats, but none of them were particularly thrilled with the idea, so no more of that nonsense.

However, now I’m having a change of heart.

Last night Halley and Greyson wanted to go out. They’re used to going out on the balcony. It’s understandable, they’re locked inside the apartment all day, so when we come home they can’t wait to get some fresh air.

Unfortunately, it’s no longer July when the air is warm, it’s October and the air is just a bit too fresh for me. When the balcony door is open, within no time the living room turns rather chilly. Not that the chilly temperature bothers Halley and Greyson. Take yesterday for instance.

As soon as we came home, Halley and Greyson took their position by the balcony door … they wanted out. Fine, they were let out. They jumped on the ledge of the (safety netted) balcony and looked at the construction workers down below, the cars that came and went in the parking lot, the pigeons and seagulls that swooped overhead, and the finches who came to peck at the bird food.

After a while I called them in but neither of them was willing. "Halley, Greyson, it’s cold, come inside!” I said with more urgency. They responded with a firm, no. “Fine,” I said, “knock when you want to come in.” Since it was getting cold in the living room I closed the door. Two minutes later Halley scratched at the glass, she wanted to come in, Greyson in her wake.

I opened the door, the two of them walked in, I closed the door.
Before long they wanted to go out again. I opened the door, they walked out, I closed the door.
When next I let them in, their paws and fur was cold. That’s when I started considering getting them each a sweater and some booties.

And so it went … in, out, in, out, in, out, in.

“You’re in and now you’re staying in,” I told them as I yet again had to get up to open and close the balcony door. When next Halley scratched to go out, I held firm. Enough was enough.

But I had reckoned without Halley’s determination. Now when she wanted out she didn’t just scratch the glass, she went into turbo overdrive. I lasted for less than one minute before getting up with an “Alright then, I’m coming.” 

Eventually though I had to put a stop to this. When next she scratched to be let out, I got up. Not to let her out but to give her a piece of my mind. "Halley," I said, "this has to stop. You've been in and out all night. It's late, it's dark and it's cold. Now stop it and go to sleep!" And would you believe it, it worked. She turned tail and went to bed. 

I should have yelled sooner.

Wednesday, October 16, 2019

Day 73: What else is gonna go wrong today ...

Between You, Me and the Lamp Post

Day 73: What else is gonna go wrong today ...

There are days that you just know everything is going your way. The sun is shining, you look great in your outfit, your hair does exactly what you want it to do, there’s hardly any traffic and … everything is just perfect.

And then there are days like today …

I woke up shortly before 6:00 a.m. to the sound of thunder and flashes of lightning, accompanied by a steady stream of rain. When I'm home I love rain. The dark clouds, the pitter patter of water droplets on flat surfaces, the gurgling of gutters. However, when I have to go out it’s a different story.

I hardly ever take an umbrella with me because, while such an item keeps me reasonably dry, it’s a nuisance on the subway. It’s big, it’s wet, and along the way it might poke people who knows where. As a result I took two showers today … one in my bathroom and one on Queen Street.

Soaking wet from head to toe I arrived at Tim Hortons where more trouble awaited me. No sooner was I seated with my fragrant hot cup of coffee and delicious croissant than a homeless woman approached me shouting that I was in her seat.

The last time I checked, Tim Hortons didn’t have reserved seating so I was not eager to move. She made an issue of it though, shouting that she was there first and blah blah blah, to the point that there was a bit of a gefaffle.

Normally I don’t back down from bullies, but in this case I thought it better to move. Not only was the woman homeless but she looked and acted deranged and there was no telling what she would do next. There was the chance that she would scratch me and that was to be avoided at all cost. Dirty and maybe carrying some disease, I didn’t want to get infected by something nasty. So I moved to another table. Not quick enough though as she swiped my things off the table. My coffee, croissant and reading glasses case went flying.

Fortunately, this attracted the attention of the staff of Tim Hortons who not only served me with a fresh cup of coffee and croissant but got on the phone and called the police. Knowing how busy the police is, I didn’t expect them to show up any time soon, but at least an effort was made.

Once at work more bad luck awaited me. When I got dressed this morning I got too warm and decided not to wear the sweater I had laid out last night. Big mistake. Now that I’m at my desk, I’m cold and my hands are freezing. 

What else is gonna go wrong today ...

Monday, October 14, 2019

Day 72: Thanksgiving massacre

Between You, Me and the Lamp Post

Day 72: Thanksgiving massacre

When a hundred people die individually, nobody knows, nobody cares. When a hundred people die together, it makes the news and it’s called a tragedy. 
When millions of turkeys are slaughtered, we call it Thanksgiving. 

Do you understand the picture above? We love cats, and dogs for that matter, but we mercilessly slaughter barn animals.
Why is that some animals are loved and others are killed without a second thought? 

Is it because cats and dogs are cute and barn animals are not? What does that say for people? Do those of us who are beautiful or at least good looking have more right to live than those of us less attractive?

A few days ago, millions of turkeys walked around happily. They felt the warmth of the sun, pecked at bugs in the grass, and enjoyed each other’s company. Today they sit golden brown on your table. Do you ever think what happened to them between then and now? They were grabbed and slaughtered.

If a million turkeys were killed, and each turkey had one liter of blood in him or her, that means a million liters of blood was spilled. Do you ever wonder what happens to so much blood? I Googled it and this is what I found:

It is taken to rendering plants with blood processing facilities, or disposed of in sewers (which lead into the nearest water body), in landfills or spread over land. Some amount is used to make human food and animal feed.

Frightening isn’t it, blood is disposed of in sewers that lead into the nearest water body ... that means blood ends up in rivers, lakes, and oceans. So when you swim in a river, lake or ocean, you’re actually swimming in blood.

Equally disgusting is the fact that some blood is used in human food. I Googled that too and found that blood is used in:

Pig or cattle blood is most often used. Typical fillers include meat, fat, suet, bread, rice, barley and oatmeal. Varieties include biroldo, black pudding, blood tongue, blutwurst, drisheen, kishka (kaszanka), morcilla, moronga, mustamakkara, sundae, verivorst, and many types of boudin.

So today, on Thanksgiving, don’t just give thanks for family, friends and all the good things you enjoy in life, thank the turkey who gave his life, for you. 


Sunday, October 13, 2019

Day 71: Analysis of how to write an article

Between You, Me and the Lamp Post

Day 71: Analysis of how to write an article

Do you know something that might be of interest to others?  Do you have a speciality that you would like to share or teach?  If you do, you have the stuff great articles are made of and captivate and audience.

Respected authors recommend that when starting out as a writer, you should write about what you know. Just as a child has to learn to crawl before it can walk, so a writer has to get experience in his craft.
If you’re not sure what to write about, think about your job, your interests and hobbies. These are usually the things you know a lot about and are passionate about. When you write about them your passion will shine through.

Once you venture outside your comfort zone, thoroughly research the topic you want to write about. You need to know the facts. Nothing destroys your credibility as a writer more than presenting an article with incorrect or outdated information.

A great title is important. You need to make your article easy to find for people who search the web for information. A suitable title will tickle their curiosity. The introduction of your article should consist of a summary of what the reader of your article can expect. 

Remember SEO content. SEO content is keyword phrases that search engines pick up on. These keyword phrases should be pertaining to the subject of your article and repeated a few times in the body of your article. Keywords should preferably be at the beginning or very end of a paragraph. Don’t pepper your article with keywords though, remember that you are directing yourself in the first place to a reader, not a search engine.

If you are writing a recipe, be sure to include all the ingredients and materials so that your readers have all the tools they will need for a particular dish.  Then write step by step instructions on how to go about the preparation of this dish.

Read your work, preferably out loud so you can hear the flow of the sentences.  Pay attention to punctuation.  Finally, spell check your work and read it again. A spell checker may pick up on most of the mistakes, but not all of them.  When in doubt, Grammarly can help. Not only will Grammarly help with spellchecking your document, but the
program also pays attention to good grammar and can be used as a plagiarism checker. 
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Friday, October 11, 2019

Day 70: Dust, bugs or orbs?

Between You, me and the Lamp Post

Day 70: Dust, bugs or orbs?

Some thought it might be dust. Others claimed it might be bugs. Others still said they were orbs. Personally, I’m inclined to believe the latter. Before I go any further, take a look at this video and see what you think.

You’ve no doubt seen three lights, leaving a trail. Have you ever seen dust taking such a specific path? No, dust floats and certainly doesn’t leave a trail. Bugs might leave a trail in the right light conditions, except, there was no light in the living room at that time. The camera filmed via infrared. The path the ‘bugs’ take is also rather specific. One comes in from the left and curves its way to the cat tree, joined by another coming in from the center. Then one comes in from the ceiling and in one swoop jumps into the top basket of the cat tree. So that leaves us with the possibility of several orbs.

This activity is a nightly occurrence. Let’s say for argument sake that they are orbs. Sometimes there is only one, other nights there are several.

These orbs, if that’s what they are, would explain why the cats have been acting so strangely, especially Holly.

Holly often looks up at the ceiling, not just staring at it but seemingly looking at something very specific. In the process, she turns her head this way and that way, as if following something that is flying around. Other times she does more than just looking, she makes babbling sounds. Not meowing as such, but short noises. Those of you who have cats will know exactly what I mean.

Just how long we’ve had these orbs in the house we don’t know. We bought a monitor some two weeks ago and that’s when it started. That very first night the camera recorded this video. In the beginning, you’ll see Halley, but near the end of the video, you’ll see the first orb. 

There will be those who will argue that they are not orbs. In pictures, these round glowing things also show up and this is what one website had to say:

However, with higher shutter speed, those flashes off of the particles in the air show up as a bunch of orbs. They aren’t paranormal at all and are nothing to be afraid of.' 

I can understand that, but what I'm showing is not a picture, it's a video and one can clearly see how these lights follow the cats up the cat tree and up the cabinet. 

Have another look and see if you can make sense of it. 

Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Day 69: Bloomex - their customer service sucks

Between You, Me and the Lamp Post

Day 69: Bloomex - their customer service sucks

This has been a highly frustrating day. It started this morning. Or actually, it started over the weekend.

Dieter and I were invited to lunch by a friend (let’s call her Amanda) who recently moved from a townhouse to an apartment.

While I was looking forward to see Amanda again, I was also rather excited meeting the five kittens she fosters.

So intent on meeting the kittens was I that I completely forgot to take along a housewarming gift for our hostess.

After our visit, which was both nice and sad (I didn’t get to take any of the kittens with me) I decided to rectify my mistake and send Amanda a bouquet of flowers. To do this I contacted Bloomex and this is where the trouble started.

I sent the flowers on Monday and when I hadn’t heard from Amanda on Tuesday, I send her a follow-up email. I thought it rather strange that if she received the flowers, she wouldn’t let me know. I found Amanda’s reply this morning stating that she hadn’t received the flowers.

This was rather upsetting. For one, the cat was out of the bag and the flowers would no longer be a surprise, and two ... if Amanda hadn’t received the flowers, where were they? I had received this email from Bloomex

Your Order has been Delivered

I contacted Bloomex on my phone and started a chat with customer service specialist Paul. After the initial complaint, Paul stated “Hold on while I investigate”. I waited and waited and Paul never got back to me.

Next, I moved to my computer and started another conversation, this time with Kelly. Kelly stated that the delivery guy had tried to deliver the flowers but couldn’t find the address.

And this is where I’m partly to blame. I had mentioned the address as 120 Kling Street (not Amanda’s real address). This was my mistake as it should have been 120 King Street. Now, this is where I’m starting to wonder about the intelligence of the courier person.

Courier people know Toronto like the back of their hand and know very well that there’s no such thing as Kling Street. When in doubt, they look at the postal code which pinpoints them to the exact location.

Apparently, this courier person didn’t have much intellect as he couldn’t find the address. Which begs the question ... why didn’t anyone contact me? At the order form, I had given my phone number and email address, yet nobody contacted. Instead, I received an email stating that a delivery had been made.

A string of emails followed. First, they were apologetic and I was now I VIP client and I didn’t need to worry, the flowers would be delivered today.

Next, I was no longer a VIP client and I had to pay an extra $8 for delivery changes, as it was my fault that the flowers couldn’t be delivered.

It is now Wednesday evening and Amanda still doesn’t have her flowers.

While Bloomex might have a wide selection of flowers at reasonable prices, their customer service sucks! If Bloomex wants to improve their reputation, they should change courier companies and make use of people who actually know Toronto.

What’s more, Bloomex blew a major contract. This order for Amanda was just a trial run. If this order had gone smoothly I would have recommended them to the head office of a string of funeral parlors, people who order hundreds of bouquets a month.

Sorry Bloomex, no such contract for you.

Day 68: Is the government running an unemployment scam

Between You, Me and the Lamp Post

Day 68: Is the government running an unemployment scam

Every now and then, the Canadian and United States government alike likes to boast that the unemployment rate is down by 3%, 6% or even 10%. This is not strictly true. It’s not that a certain percentage of people have found jobs, the truth is that a certain percentage of the unemployed have lost their benefits or were rejected for benefits.

Personally, I work exclusively for Adecco Scarborough and they keep me rather busy. Over the years I’ve become a regular with clients who request my services again and again.

Earlier this year, after having completed a temp assignment I applied for unemployment benefits and received the response that my application was rejected due to lack of hours worked. I had roughly 300 hours and I needed 450.

Later on in the year I applied again for benefits and was again rejected. I had 500 hours and I needed 700.

This week, after having completed more temp assignments, I applied yet again and again my application was rejected. I had 862 hours and I needed 950 hours.

I have two assignments coming up which will give me more than the required 950 hours. My guess is, once I have the 950 hours they will state that I need 1050 hours. And so on and so on. So basically, I will never qualify for unemployment benefits.

The strange thing is though, when I went to the unemployment office, the place was packed with Middle Eastern men and women. All there to collect their money.

Am I being discriminated against because I’m Caucasian? Maybe I should apply for refugee status. Not only will I not need a job, because I will receive ample welfare, but I will get free housing and a bunch of other benefits.