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Saturday, July 31, 2010

Happy Birthday Gabriel

It’s been a while, hasn’t it?
With the A/C back on and the cooler temperatures in general, there’s nothing left to moan and groan about. In fact, I was downright cold yesterday. I had goosebumps.
If only the A/C had broken down now, now that we don’t need cooling.

So with nothing left to complain about, let’s concentrate on the cat family. My little boy, Gabriel, turns two tomorrow.
It seems like yesterday that I picked him up. A tiny ball of fluff. He was such a little angel. Hence the name.

Gabriel as a kitten



Gabriel today



For his birthday he got a little present ... a mouse. He plays with the thing so much, biting it, clawing it, throwing it around that this is actually his fourth mouse. Take a look at the before and after shot.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

A bit psychic?

Am I getting a bit psychic?

On my way to the bowling, I’m standing in the bus today and I’m thinking “If this bus had to brake really hard for something, I wonder how much we would all be thrown forward?”

Within the next minute to bus had to break hard for a car and we were all thrown forward. How do you like that?

Even though I was holding on to the rail, I was knocked off balance and reached out for ... anything. (Which happened to be one of the side windows).

I came very close to landing on a woman’s bosom thought. An enormous bosom I might add. I small cat could have slept there.

Today being Tuesday, we went bowling tonight. Our scores were rather weird:

Dieter: 183 – 185 – 135
Me : 176 – 135 – 185

Strange hu.
As always, good fun though.

Monday, July 26, 2010

Is there a professional bias against Danica Patrick?

If there is a professional bias against Danica Patrick, she has no one but herself to blame.  On the one hand Ms. Patrick wants to be respected as a professional driver, but on the other hand she continuously sabotages her own career by posing seductively in sleazy outfits, casting a surreptitious glance at the camera.
Various sport stars endorse the products of their sponsors, but the majority does so in a classy, sophisticate and often humorous way.
As a connoisseur of healthy foods, Tony Stewart encouraged the viewing audience to eat healthier by promoting Subway sandwiches.  Jeff Gordon drew attention to Pepsi; while Jimmy Johnson did his bit for Gillette shaving razor blades.
The difference between the men doing these commercials and Danica Patrick promoting her sponsors is that the men kept their clothes on.
If Ms. Pattick wants to be on the same level with these drivers, she has to stop parading around in her barely there knickers and push-up bra.  She may also want to reconsider being coifed and made-up like a porn star.
Simona De Silvestro is an Indy car driver too and is first and foremost a professional driver.  When photographed she is wearing her fire suit bearing the names of her sponsors or a respectable outfit.
Voted among the ten most beautiful female sport stars are Maria Sharapovain tennis, Michelle Sung Wie in golf and Kari Traa in skiing.  All these women have promoted their sponsor's products, but none of them sink as low as Danica Patrick does.
As for driving talent, let’s have a look at the current Indy car series.  All drivers race Honda engines, with a Dallara chassis and FS tires.  Yet while Dario Franchitti leads with 246 points, Danica Patrick trails along in 11th position with a mere 158 points. 
When trying her hand at NASCAR’s Nationwide Series, Ms. Patrick didn’t do much better.  Ranked 66th she is 1958 points behind the leader.  In the first race she crashed her car, in the second race she finished but was several laps down, in the third race she again crashed her car.
What Ms. Patrick lacks in talent she makes up for in attitude.  She has been known to throwing tantrums, including yelling at her pit crew, throwing her helmet around and stomping off to her trailer.  In short, a driver sports fans love to hate.
Perhaps if Ms. Patrick concentrated more on driving and less on publicity she would get some respect from her fellow drivers and the public alike.  Even is Ms. Patrick doesn’t win a race, is it too much too expect that she actually captures or pole position or leads a couple of laps?
If a picture is worth a thousand words, the following are worth a whole dictionary.



Danica Patrick



Jeff Gordon (NASCAR Champion)



Danica Patrick



Jimmy Johnson (NASCAR Champion)



Danica Patrick



Tony Stewart (NASCAR Champion)




Sunday, July 25, 2010

To bowl or not to bowl ...

It would appear that if I’m not moaning about one air-conditioner, I’m moaning about another.

Today being Sunday, we set off for All Star Bowl at 11:30 as we do every Sunday.

The moment I walked in I could feel that the air-conditioner was not on. It has been like that in the past and it absolutely infuriates me.

The staff has to work and run around in the alley and moans that the environment is too hot for them, but it is even worse for the bowlers.

You try chucking a 14 pound (6.3 kg) ball down a 62 feet (19 meters) lane a couple of times, see how you feel.

Anyway, since the side door was open and we had come all the way, we decided to have a couple of games.

Halfway in the first game I saw Luba, one of the daughters of the owner of the alley, walking in and switch on the air-conditioner.

See this really ticks me off. When Luba, or one of the other members of the family are in the bowling alley, the air-conditioner gets switched on. When it’s just the staff and the bowlers, they have to cope with the heat. Why can’t the A/C be on all the time?

After three games we had to give up. Even with A/C it was too hot. Too bad really because we started off really good: 175 for Dieter, 172 for me.

And the heat isn’t the only problem, the lanes are far from perfect. Sometimes the lanes are bone dry, sometimes they are drenched in oil. As for the machines ... sometimes a ball comes back, sometimes he doesn’t.

In an attempt to fix some of the problems, management hired ‘experts’ to come and have a look at things. The machine of lane 1 was taken apart and the bits and pieces were all over the lane. It was quite funny as it looked like they were having a sale.
Not so funny was seeing the experts at work ...





One guy was looking at the bits and pieces like he didn't have a clue how to put things back together again. The other walked up and down the lane, looking at things, but didn't pick anything up. Three weeks the lane was like that.

Were they waiting for a part or were they waiting for their fairy godmother to wave her wand and say "Bibbedi babbedi boo," so everything would magically fly into place.

This is what happens when people, who are not bowlers themselves run a bowling alley ... it’s a slippery slope and the only way is down.

Maybe it’s time to look for another bowling alley.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The good news - the bad news

The good news ...

The A/C in our building is on again. In the beginning it was still a bit of a struggle, but now 14 hours later, everywhere is nice and cool again.

Looking back I don’t know how we managed. I think I’ll always remember how I sat in the living room with a cold wet towel around my neck and my feet in a bucket of cold water.

The cats are fine too. For the first time in days, they chased a moth. The knocked over a lamp in the process, braking the bulb and getting the lampshade a little skew, but I wasn’t at all upset with them. For too long I saw them sleeping on the floor with absolutely no energy. So it was good to see them running around again.

Now they're sleeping or just relaxing.




The bad news ...

While browsing Workopolis today I noticed no less than four ads from a well known employment agency. One for an EA and three for an AA.

I instantly sent off a message to my consultant drawing her attention to those ads.

Within five minutes the phone rang and she told me those were generic ads.

“In case one of our clients is looking for an EA or AA we need people on our books,” she told me.

“I would imagine with the current unemployment rate and the way people are desperate for work you would have enough people on your books,” I replied.

I can understand that agencies place generic ads, but then the ad should be worded as generic.

Why give people hope where there is none?

It finally happened

Well they had to get it right eventually.

Yesterday they predicted rain for today and it finally happened, it rained.
I didn’t actually see it raining, but when I got up this morning the streets were wet.

With the rain came cooler temperatures.

And guess what ... on this cool, gray, supposedly wet day, the A/C in our building came back on. For the first time in nearly three weeks I feel comfortable again.

Looking back, I don’t know how I managed.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Do I have moron written on my forehead?

It would seem that with the high unemployment rate, scammers come out of the woodwork left, right and center.

A while back I was contacted by Marek Polonski, a Polish business man who needed someone in Canada to receive and send payments for his business via Western Union. I was to keep a percentage of the fee and on top of that I was to receive a generous salary.

As it turned out, Marek Polonski had a little money laundering scheme going on. I was lucky not to have gone along with this scheme because, if found out, not only would Marek Polonski be prosecuted, I would have to pay back all the money that I received in my account. Roughly about $1,000 per week.

Three weeks later I was contacted by one John DeMoor. He offered me more or less the same ‘employment’. Receiving and sending payments for his business + salary.

Today I received an email from John Mullins. Apparently he saw my resume on Workopolis and offered me employment as a financial adviser. To use his words ...

Most of our top Financial Security Advisors have joined our organization from totally different career backgrounds and they have taken our company's slogan "the freedom to choose, the power to get there" and applied it to their own career goals, to give them a satisfying and rewarding career.


Hmm, people from different career background that become financial advisers ... can’t say that I would trust them with my money or investments. Don’t you need some sort of university degree to give financial advice?

I also found it a little weird that a director of a financial company would contact me at 8:00 p.m. from a private email address. You would think that doing business would take place between business hours from a business email address, not from jmullinsf55financial@rogers.com

Still, never one to just throw away an opportunity, I replied to the email and asked how people from different background qualified as financial advisers.

I received the following response:

I will not reply to your questions because it does not seem that you are really interested in pursuing this career opportunity. Please do not be offended if I do not respond to any further e-mails from you.

Hm, touchy isn't he?

It just ticks me off. The unemployed have it bad enough, they don’t need scammers to take advantage of them.

R136a1

I read an article today on the discovery of the R136a1 star in the Tarantula Nebula galaxy. The article described the enormity of the star giving its size, weight and brightness.

It made me wonder how these so called scientists come up with these figures. I mean, it’s not like they can go up there and measure the bloody thing.

I also wondered why. Why does anyone need this information? So now we know the size of this star and that it’s brighter than the sun and that it’s seen in the Tarantula Nebula galaxy, so what? Who cares?

I find it simply stunning that some people study other galaxies. What, they became bored with our own galaxy? To saw everything there is to see, or know everything there is to know?

If they were to report that they found life on another planet, here or in another galaxy, that would be of interest, that would be a breakthrough, but it’s a star for heaven sake.

Seinfeld once worked the ridiculous findings of scientists in his stand up comedy. He stated that some scientists concentrated on growing the pitless melon. “Never mind,” he said “that people are suffering and dying from illnesses nobody has a cure for. These scientists devoted their life to growing a pitless melon.”

What does this have to do with the discovery of a new star? Well, I’m sure you can put two and two together.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

A bit of this and a bit of that

If anyone is considering a change of career ... weather person might be an idea. No knowledge or experience necessary. Just say what the people want to hear and you’ll be fine. Should there ever be a complaint, say that there was a wind change and nobody will hold it against you because, one cannot control the wind, right?

Take today for instance. For today we had a temperature prediction of 23 degrees C (73.40 deg F) with rain all day. I can’t tell you exactly how warm it was, but it was more than 23 degrees, I can tell you that. If I have to guess I would say it was 27 deg (80.60 deg). As for rain ... if you saw a drop of water, so did I.

We had blue skies and white clouds all day. I kept waiting for the gray clouds and hoping that some rain would come, but it wasn’t to be.
Now rain is predicted for tomorrow.

The way I see it, there is a good chance of that happening. Tomorrow I have an interview and with my luck I’m gonna get wet. You know how it goes with interviews ... when you have to look your best, you end up looking like something the cat dragged in.

Anyway, I spent the best of my afternoon doing tests for an employment agency. What a pain that was.

The first test was an office behavior test, 60 questions with answers such as:

Strongly agree
Agree
Neither here nor there
Disagree
Strongly disagree

Next up a Windows 97 test. Oh my, that was an adjustment. At home I have been working with Windows 2000, Windows Vista and Windows XP. What do I remember of Windows 97 ...

Next a legal terminology test. Good Lord, the words I came across there ... I think a lawyer would frown from time to time.

Then an editing test. A series of letters and numbers to match up with another series of letters and numbers. After looking at that for fifteen minutes I didn’t just see letters and numbers ... I saw stars.

Finally a two minute typing test. Okay a typing test is tricky for me. Usually I’m a very fast and very accurate typist, but mention the word ‘Test’ and my brain short circuits and my fingers tie into a knot.
Gradually I relax of course, I can feel that as I go along. Unfortunately, in this case, by the time I started to relax, the typing test was done.

Oh well, let’s hope my results are acceptable.

Then tonight it was bowling. Every Tuesday night is league night, remember? Not much to report there. Didn’t do particularly good, didn’t do particularly bad, just played average.

It was nice to be outside though. Get some exercise, get some fresh air, talk to people ... I think I’ll sleep good tonight.

Irish luck

This morning I received an Irish luck email from a friend in Wicklow, Ireland.

The email stated that the message had to be forwarded to several friends for the luck to work.

I don’t usually forward chain mail, but today I made an exception.
I need some luck and I figured maybe so do others, so I sent the message to ten or fifteen people, can't quite recall how many.

Within minutes I received a call from a company inviting me for an interview.

Luck? Coincidence?

Monday, July 19, 2010

Can you spell that please?

Toronto is a melting pot of different races, cultures and languages. I’m all for giving everybody a fair chance, but where it comes to business, especially the profession of receptionist, I feel that the individual should be proficient in English.

I made a medical appointment this morning and nearly went around the bend in the process.

The following is part of the conversation:

“Dr. Smith’s office.” (Not the doctor’s real name)
“Good morning, I would like to make an appointment with Dr. Smith.”
“Are you patient of Dr. Smith?”
“Yes.”
“Your name is?”
“Manero, Conny Manero.”
“Spell please.”
“M as in Mary, A, N as in Nico ...”
“Is appointment for Mary of Nico?”
“Neither, the appointment is for me.”
“Name please.”
“Manero.”
“Can you spell that?”
“M as in Mary, A, N as in Nico ...”
“Is your name Mary or Nico?”
(sigh)
“Neither. My name is Conny, Conny Manero.”
“Spell please.”
(Oh no not again)
“M – A – N – E – R – O .”
“Mango?”
“Manero.”
“Thank you Mary Mango. I can give you appointment for next week.”

Mary Mango? I wasn’t about to correct her. I didn’t have the patience or it.

Sunday, July 18, 2010

Finally

IT’S RAINING, IT’S RAINING, IT’S RAINING!!!!!!!

I’m so happy I could go outside and do like Gene Kelly did ... dance in the rain.

And so our Sunday came to an end. Usually we go bowling on a Sunday, but today we decided to give it a miss. The second week in a row I might add.
Reason ... you guessed it, too hot. I’m beginning to sound like a broken record.

It is quite a trek for us to get to the bowling alley. Walk to the station, take the train, take a bus and then walk another stretch to the bowling alley. Try doing that loaded with a bowling bag containing a 16 pound and a 14 pound ball and other equipment.

Plus All Star Bowling Alley isn’t always the coolest place. On Tuesdays, on league night the A/C is on, but sometimes on Sundays it is not. They probably figure, why put on the A/C for one or two bowlers? For management who doesn’t do much of anything the no A/C temperature may be okay, but it’s quite a different story for the players.

All in all this has been a very unproductive weekend. No bowling, no shopping, no cleaning and oh dear, no writing.
My goal is to write two or three articles per day, but this Saturday and Sunday has gone without any writing at all.

Better make up for my slacking next week.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

On the balcony

Aah this is the life. For a change this is not written under the Toronto sun, but under the Toronto moon and stars.

Although it has cooled off tonight and we have three fans going, it is still stifling warm inside.

While watering the flowers on the balcony, I felt how nice and cool it was outside, so I decided to move to the balcony with my laptop. It is so much better here.
Nice view too.

On my left are two neighboring buildings where it seems most of the occupants have gone to sleep as windows are dark. Here and there, there still are some lit up windows though.

In front of me is the building’s park, now completely deserted. Beyond the park is a pond, also deserted. There used to be ducks and geese, but I haven’t seen or heard them in a long long time. Beyond the pond is a residential area, now covered in darkness but dotted here and there with white and orange lights. Street lights I presume.

On my right is a railway, a townhouse complex, a bingo hall and a soccer field. And beyond that, some 25 miles away, the skyline of Toronto with the CN tower as the most noticeable light beacon.

Aah it’s so peaceful and quiet here, this balcony would be the perfect place to sleep.


Rain?

Sun, sun, I’m sick of this sun. I wish I could throw a bucket of water at it.

I woke up at 7:00 this morning and saw gray skies. I was so happy I nearly leaped out of bed. No sun, cooler temperatures, perhaps even rain ... YEAH!!!

The gray skies didn’t last long. By 9:00 a.m. the bloody sun was back.
31 deg C (88 deg F) it is and again uncomfortably warm.

Usually on a Saturday morning the apartment gets cleaned. Dusting, sweeping, vacuuming, washing the kitchen and bathroom ... that sort of thing. Not today though, it’s too hot to move, let alone work.

Dieter is doing something, but I’m sitting right smack in front of the fan. I guess you can tell from all my moaning and groaning about the heat that I’m not exactly a fan of summer.

All this heat is doing wonders for the flowers on the balcony though. Planted as tiny little plants the flowers in the containers have just about exploded.






Anyway, it’s now 2:30 and I see some gray clouds coming. Please let it rain, let it rain, let it rain.

Friday, July 16, 2010

New chiller

The residents of 301 Prudential Drive just found a notice by their door. The notice read and I quote:

CHILLER UPDATE

Dear Resident,

“AT THE END OF EACH TUNNEL THERE IS A LIGHT”. In order to avoid any life threatening situations during these summer months, we would like to inform you that after a successful attempt the management was able to obtain the authorization from the Ministry of Environment to repair the chiller. Therefore, our service provider, Carrier, is in the anticipation of securing the parts and will repair and operate the chiller by the end of next week; in the interim, the Board and Management will be arranging to replace the chiller in order to comply with the new Government Rules and Regulations.

We are deeply aware of your suffering during this calamity, however, we ask for your further patience to execute the essentials.

Truthfully,

The Management Office
Harris Property Management

What a bunch of baloney. Management didn’t need authorization from the Ministry of Environment to repair the chiller. The Ministry had advised management two years in a row to replace the chiller, but the president of the Board of Directors had chosen to ignore this advice.

To be on the safe side, we, the residents, should stay on top of their promise to replace the chiller. My guess is that once the chiller is repaired, they might try to duck out of buying a new model.

Mickey a.k.a. Lassie

Earlier today I related the story of Chanel’s ‘disappearance’ and now the spotlight turns to Mickey.

Mickey, or shall I say ... 'Lassie’.

You remember Lassie, don’t you? The beautiful, smart Collie, who by barking, let his owners know that there was some kind of emergency. What an amazing dog that was. But, what Mickey did today is nothing short of amazing too.

Nothing stirred, everything was quiet and yet suddenly around 2:00 p.m. Mickey, who had been sleeping on top of the wall unit, got up, jumped on the floor and ran – not walked, but ran – to Dieter’s bedroom.

Within seconds he was back in the living room, looked at me and meowed. Not a ‘Hello’ meow, but a meow that demanded attention.

“What’s the matter boy?” I asked.

When Mickey saw that he had my attention he went back to Dieter’s room. I followed.

What I saw could have turned into a catastrophe, had it not been for Mickey’s sharp hearing and quick response. On the floor was Charlie, trapped in a box underneath Dieter’s desk.

Charlie must have jumped in that box (you know what cats and boxes are like), the box must have tipped over and the way the box was positioned, Charlie couldn’t get out.

Whether it was Charlie who signaled a 911 distress call, or Mickey who just picked up Charlie’s vibe that something was wrong, I don’t know, but thanks to Mickey, Charlie was saved. What a smart kitty cat.

The disappearance of Chanel

The weather forecast promises rain and thunderstorms for today. To be on the safe side they neglected to say where exactly. Is this rain to fall in Richmond Hill, in Kitchener, in Waterloo? From the looks of it, we in Toronto are not going to get anything. All I see are clear blue skies with big white puffy clouds here and there. A bit like the sky of ‘The Simpsons’.

To cope with the heat the cats have taken to their own private places to chill. Let’s take Chanel for instance ...

Yesterday morning I did a quick headcount and only counted four out of five cats. Chanel was missing.

I looked in all the usual and unusual places, but there was no sign of her.

“Chanel! Chanel!” I called ... no response.

I looked all over the apartment again. I went from room to room, looking under beds, in cabinets, behind cabinets, in closets, on windowsills ... nothing.

“Chanel!!!” I was getting frantic now.

None of the doors had opened, so she couldn’t have slipped out, but where was she?

I made a third trip around the place, calling as I went along. No response.

Where was that darn cat?!

Then I got an idea ... treats, if I rattled the bag of treats, maybe she would just show up.

Perhaps you’re familiar with the TV commercial for Whiskas treats where a cat comes crashing through walls and doors to get to the treats. Not that I expected such a reaction from Chanel, but if she would just show herself.

I retrieved the bag from the cabinet and rattled it. Charlie, Mickey, Charlotte and Gabriel immediately came running. I rattled the bag again and Charlotte gave one of her throaty meows, looking at me with eyes that said “Well, what are you waiting for?”

As I dished out some treats, there was Chanel, coming to get her share. She just appeared out of nowhere.

“Where have you been?” I asked her. No response of course.

I guess I’ll never know where Chanel had disappeared to. Is it possible that cats can beam up and beam down like Scotty used to do with the crew of 'Star Trek'?

Thursday, July 15, 2010

Complaining helps

A lot of people, including those near and dear to me, claim that contacting the government over issues of concern is a waste of time.

They seem to think that, because so many complaints are received, government officials cannot possibly read them all, let alone respond to them.

Well I have news for them.
I complained about the lack of A/C in our building due to negligence of the building’s management and Board of Directors and in addition mentioned that the building’s elevators are far from safe.

And guess what, within three business days I received the following response:

Hi Conny

Thank you for contacting 311 Toronto.

I have placed a service request for both of your issues. For the air conditioner the reference # is 619142 and for the elevators the reference # is 619154. An investigator will be looking at these issues within the next 5 business days. If you need to follow up on these requests you can contact 311 Toronto (just dial 311) and quote the reference numbers above.

I hope this information helps.

Regards,

Daniel E.
311 Toronto

See, some people DO care.

TorontoJobs.ca workshop

A little cooler today. Only 29 deg C (84 deg F). Only ... hm, sounds funny. Well, I suppose compared to the 45 deg (113 deg) we had last week this is cool.

However, now I’m a little steamed up about another matter.

I received an email from TorontoJobs.ca in my inbox this morning to attend one of their workshops. I don’t know how they got hold of my email address, but apparently I’m invited. Price of the event ... $49.95

They should be ashamed of themselves. $49.95 to hear a bunch of blah, blah, blah on how to construct a resume, how to make use of employment agencies and how to network.

My guess is that those looking for a job know exactly how to construct their resume, make use of employment agencies and how to network, that’s not the problem, the problem is not enough jobs for too many job seekers.

From what I heard, an average of 500 applications are received for one job. At least 480 of those resumes are never read.

Do they really think out of work people are going to waste their money on such a workshop? Some will of course, some will do almost anything in the hope to snag a job. I wonder if they realize that government agencies run that very same course for free?

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Never send a man to do a woman’s job.

Since we seem to be in for the long run without A/C, I thought it might be a good idea to get me some shorts. So I asked my son, Dieter, to swing by the mall on his way home from work and pick some up.

When he came home I inspected his purchases and ... well, there was a problem.

The first pair of shorts I pulled out of the bag were white and looked rather suspiciously like the boxer shorts my dad wears. But okay, I wasn’t going to wear them outside, so I guessed they would be okay. As long as they were cool, that was the main point.

The second pair of shorts though was unacceptable. They looked nice enough in color and cut, but .... they were a size 14.
I’m a size 7.

“They were in the size 7 section,” Dieter said when I pointed out the size difference.
“Didn’t you look at the label inside the actual shorts?” I asked him.
Apparently not.

Never one to just give up, I took the size 14 shorts to my bedroom and tried them on. I pulled them up, closed the button, did up the zip and ... they fell right to the floor.

For any further purchases I think I’ll brave the heat and do my own shopping.

Let it rain, let it rain, let it rain

Toronto woke up to another sunny day. We were promised rain for yesterday and today, but so far not a drop has fallen. Oh we saw dark gray clouds yesterday and it’s a little overcast today, but if there was any rain it fell somewhere else.

Outside it’s not too bad. In fact, when I went outside yesterday – on my way to bowling – the first thing I noticed was how nice and cool the air felt. The second thing I noticed was how many people were outside.

Usually the lawn of our condo building is more or less deserted. There might be the odd child running around, or someone walking their dog, but in general the front garden is not a popular area. However, now it seemed to be a hotspot. There were old people sitting on benches, men and women seemingly sleeping on blankets, people playing with their dog and children on bicycles.

It crossed my mind how nice it would be if we could all live outside for the duration of this no air-conditioning period; if we could all bring blankets and just camp outside. There is soft green grass, beautiful big trees, flowers and even the occasional squirrel and wild bunny.

The bowling alley would have been an even better place to stay for a while. Ah the feel of the cold air when I first walked in ... I never wanted to leave.
Coming back home was not a nice experience. As soon as I opened the door I felt like I was walking into a sauna. Even with the windows open and the fans going, the heat is trapped inside the rooms and feels oppressive.

Oh, if only I could have gone back outside and spend the night under the stars. I could have, but it wouldn’t have been fair on the cats. They are hot too. If I left, even if I left the fans on, I would have to close the windows. At least by staying with them I can make them as comfortable as possible.

Not that they seem all that bothered. During the day they sleep stretched out on the floor and in the evening they play. Not as enthusiastically as they used to, but they at least come alive after sundown.

When will we have A/C again? Who knows. I haven’t even bothered phoning the office because on a previous occasion I’ve been told it could take two to three weeks. My guess is, management doesn’t know either. All the residents of 301 Prudential Drive can do is wait and hope it doesn’t take too long.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

A new 'chiller'

There is good news and there is bad news.

The bad news is, the ‘chiller’ of the A/C has packed up. After fiddling with silicone and gaskets, and the machine being red flagged by the Health & Safety inspector, the A/C technicians have given up.

The good news is that the building is getting a new chiller. Long overdue and at a most inopportune time, but better late than never.

More bad news is, it could take weeks for this new chiller to arrive. Apparently there are no chillers in Canada, so management went shopping in the States. As soon as the chiller arrives it will be installed.

Of course, I and everybody else in this building is wondering when that will happen. Will the machine arrive in July? August? Or will we get cooling when we no longer need it?

Meanwhile people have been most helpful with suggesting cooling tips.

- Dress loose and light
- Avoid activity such as cooking and cleaning (I can definitely live with that)
- Put wet cloths in front of the fans
- Put ice in front of the fans

I'm trying everything.

Meanwhile the fans are doing their job.
The two small ones are keeping the bedrooms cool and a big one is cooling the living room. He is so big and powerful, I have him on speed 1. On speed 3 he would blow the cushions out of the sofa.

Have a look at this big boy ...

Monday, July 12, 2010

The Beginning

At 301 Prudential Drive, an aging condo building in Scarborough, residents are fainting in their units.

Amidst the sweltering heat Toronto is experiencing, the residents find themselves without air-conditioning. The building is equipped with air-conditioning but management neglected to service the machine properly and as a result residents are now boiling in their units.

This is not the first time that the residents of this condo building find themselves battling the heat. Back in May of this year, when all condo buildings had their air-conditioners switched on, 301 Prudential Drive lacked cooling.

When questioned as to why there was no cooling, management stated that the air-conditioner had problems. A technician was called and a few days later it was reported that the problem was ‘fixed’.

Apparently it wasn’t fixed very well as the ancient machine, a mere three months later, has given the ghost again. This time the technician found a leak which he patched up with some silicone.

The silicone didn't do the job though. When a health and safety official come around, he red flagged the machine. He actually red flagged the machine in 2008 and in 2009, urging management to buy a new machine, but this didn't happen. They rather payed a fine than buying a new machine.

Management operates under the instructions of a Board of Directors. The president (Shaun) wouldn't give his okay to buy a new machine.

Because of him everybody is now suffering.

We, and many others, have bought fans to keep us cool.
A small fan in each of the bedrooms, a large fan in the living room.
Today, with a temperature of 80 degrees it is okay, but last week when we were having 100 and 113 degrees the situation was almost unbearable.

Our pets were suffering too. Now they're okay again, but during the very hot days they were on the floor without any energy at all. To cool them I sponged them down with cold water and freshened their water bowl every few hours.

What angers me the most is that this could have been prevented. If management had listened to the Health & Safety inspector and gone ahead and bought the chiller when first recommended, we wouldn't have to suffer.

If I ever get my hands on the stingy president ...

Stay tuned for updates on this situation and other stuff that happens under the Toronto sun.