A Whole Night of Guitar Hero

…and hating my blackberry. BUT it’s very good for Scrabble and cheating with dictionary.com


Post from My Phone

As much as I like my Blackberry, it’s very difficult to make WordPress work properly through their mobile site. Formatting photos to appear in this blog is easy enough, but since there is no preview button, I have to be completely confident with my HTML before I post anything. I have ONCE managed to successfully post a photo through this (thank god for copy and paste), but it took me three tries to make it work properly.

I am unable to see or moderate comments through their mobile application, even though I suspect I should be able to do so, so I really have no idea who is coming to this site unless I’m on a “real” computer.

I am seriously considering renewing my home internet service, but living without it hasn’t been THAT much of a pain. I am still able to connect my phone to my computer to use it as an external modem, but it’s not exactly reliable.

In other news, I recently got a vacuum. I don’t know how I lived for so many years without one. It’s amazing being able to clean up all the little bits of dust and hair that seem to invade my floors. My recent project for my house has been refinishing kitchen chairs, and being able to vacuum up all the sawdust is a lifesaver. I don’t think I could have committed to sanding chairs if I had to sweep up all the bits! One day I’ll get around to fixing the back gate which doesn’t quite hang properly, but I suspect that requires more “handyman” skills than I currently have. It’ll get figured out, but for now, it’s sort of fun body-checking it to get it to open and close properly. Opening it with a nice big forward-kick makes a nice noise. When that gets old, or the neighbors complain, it’ll be time to fix the gate.

Toronto Hydro Has Mastered Customer Service

I must be the luckiest girl in the world.

At 9:29am on Monday, I was woken up by my cell phone ringing in my ear. I’d falled asleep and had dropped it under my head somehow. Not recognizing the phone number, and with no name coming through on the caller ID, I was considering just letting it go to voicemail, but hell, it’d woken me up anyway, so I answered.

It was Toronto Hydro.

The man on the phone wanted to know if I’d emailed their VP.

No… I didn’t email the VP… I was going to call you guys today though…

After a bit of talking, it came to light. I wrote a blog post on Saturday about my about my completely-ridiculously-high hydro bill. On Saturday night, the VP of Toronto Hydro read my blog. And he emailed it to their grow-op investigation guy. And that guy called me. His name is Gord, and he wasn’t quite sure if he had the right person, but having my name emblazoned across the top of my page, and being the only “Laura Abel” in their customer database pointed him in the right direction.

Well Holy Shit, Toronto Hydro has the absolute best, customer service programme I have ever heard of. EVER.

To be realistic, I suspect that using the phrases “Toronto Hydro” and “grow-op” anywhere near each other online prompts an investigation. (Sorry if I just created more work for someone…)

Apparently I don’t quite fit the profile of a typical grow-op (who knew?), but the new smart meter I have is either not quite working properly or someone mis-read my meter. After reading the meter for them, it turns out that what I’ve been billed for is actually about 300% higher than the amount of electricity I’ve actually used. They are going to re-issue my bill for something closer to a hundred dollars.

Thank you. Seriously, I cannot thank you enough. I had been half-expecting to wait on hold for at least fifteen minutes (all the while paying for cell phone minutes) while some rinky-dink old lady telephone operator searched for my account details and then declared to me ‘no, that’s just how much electricity you used, your house was built in 1913, what did you expect – you should use more compact flourescent light bulbs’.

Imagine that. I got a bill. I suspected it was wrong. I was going to call them and (mostly) unprompted, they called me.

Big brother is watching you, and he moonlights as a city employee, apparently working late, trolling the internet on Saturday nights.

Happy Birthday to the White Album, and my Grampa!

Today is my Grampa’s birthday, and it’s also the 40th anniversary of the release of the White Album…

Go read about the album

If my neighbours have a grow-op…

then they’ve tapped into my hydro. Seriously, who gets a five hundred dollar hydro bill in a 400 square foot house? I have to look into this… There is no way that my fishtank, three computers and a microwave take up this much electricity. All the appliances are new within the last 2 years, the lights are OFF for at least twelve hours a day, and my furnace is gas… I don’t have a deep freeze, and the lights outside are all solar powered.

If they have a grow-op, AND they’re stealing my hydro, AND they’re not sharing either profits or product with me, I am very mad. Then again, maybe Toronto Hydro just didn’t read my meter properly. I’ll call them on Monday.



Extreme Wrestling goes upscale

The Extreme Wrestling Alliance is putting on an event this weekend at, of all places, the Toronto Centre for the Arts’ Studio Theatre. Seems odd, but I don’t suppose you can do much wrong with a guy whose major claim to fame is a sweet mullet and (from his myspace profile) has “been arrested on three occasions: 1) For giviner. 2) For gettin’ er done. 3) For Disturbing Cougars”.

I honestly think this video is worth a laugh, and the I don’t hate the graphics too much either:.

Cody Deaner’s Signs you might be a Cougar:

1) Post 30 year old

2) Extremely Lovely

3) Girl that knows how to party.

Nov 13, 2008 04:30 AM

When they say “break a leg” at this theatre event, they might actually mean it.

Extreme Wrestling Alliance will debut its first event tomorrow, dubbed “Renaissance,” at the Toronto Centre for the Arts’ Studio Theatre.

The event will feature eight matches with the likes of Sexxxy Eddy, Cody Deaner and Phil Atlas on the card, with live commentary provided by “Dangerboy” Derek Wylde, who recently retired after a 15-year career in the ring.

Veteran promoter Rob Gorican was initially skeptical about using a traditional theatre space, but after a detailed recon, he found the 200-seat Studio Theatre ideal for his purposes; the seats are retractable, allowing ample room for the wrestling ring, the atmosphere is stately and refined and there’s even balcony seating.

“It’s going to be your typical wresting event, a little bit fancier than people are used to,” Gorican said.

Gorican, a long-time fan of the wrestling matches once held at Maple Leaf Gardens, promises real wrestling action minus the hokey, soap opera-like storylines so commonly associated with World Wrestling Entertainment.

If the event is a success, Gorican hopes to stage four or five such events an annual basis.

Extreme Wrestling Alliance’s

`Renaissance’: 7:30 p.m. Toronto

Centre for the Arts’ Studio Theatre, 5040 Yonge St. Tickets: $22

at Ticketmaster

Bruce DeMara

From The Toronto Star


After being offline for nearly two weeks, my blackberry is now tethered to my computer as an external modem! Good lord, I hope Rogers can’t tell the difference between this and my regular on-device browsing, cause THAT’LL be an interesting bill to receive! Anyway, live and learn, we’ll see what happens when I get the bill on December 3rd.

I will definitely not be downloading any shows anytime soon, as this is reminiscent of the days of dial-up, but I once again have the internet at home! (Though to be fair, it’s connected at 115.2kbps.) After a week of wondering about ‘fair use’ and thinking it would be really difficult to do, I finally just figured it out. It’s not like I have anything else to do, quite frankly. The goldfish died, and the other fish are easy to care for. I stained the counter in the kitchen, and once that was done, it was on to the next project. This project was titled

How the hell am I going to live without internet? I don’t want to find out. I’d better get the internet.

1) I already had the Blackberry desktop software junk installed, but it has to be running in the background in order for this to work.

2) Plug the damn thing in via USB.

3) This is where it got kinda tricky, and I had to do some poking around online (via the stupid blackberry browser). In the advanced modem properties tab, I typed +cgdcont=1,”IP”,”internet.com”

4) Create a new internet connection using a dial-up modem. The dial-up number is *99#

5) I can’t figure out how to set my OWN username and password, but it seems that Rogers defaults to wapuser1 with wap as the password.

And that’s it! When I try to connect to the internet, it asks for my device password (which is something I set), so at least there’s some idea of security.

Four out of four forums I was reading about this said to disable IP Header Compression in the TCP / IP tab. (I have NO IDEA why they say this has to be disabled, I don’t even know what it does.) I haven’t disabled it because I skipped that step being impatient to get online, but with it enabled it still seems to work just fine. Actually, with it enabled, wordpress kept crapping out on me. Thank god for auto-save. I have no idea what IP Header Compression is or does, but with it enabled, some sites go to the default browser page of “I have no idea where you want me to be looking for that page, but it ain’t there”. So it’s disabled. Make that step #6.

It is so freeing to be typing on a full-sized ergonomic keyboard and not the little crappy poke-at-it-while-you’re-driving blackberry keypad. Now I’m going to go watch my free television. Ha. Screw you Rogers. (Unless you ignore me and just get me back with a giant phone bill…In which case I’ll just pretend like I have no idea what tethering is… and then pay the bill.)