AN UNCLE BEN MOMENT?

On Saturday afternoon I was leaving one of the stores downstairs from my apartment. As I exited the door, I could hearing someone running with some considerable pace to my right. I looked over and it was a dude running down the concourse. He was really booking it. Now along with retails stores, this complex contains a bus loop and a rapid transit station, so once in a while you’ll see people jogging to catch a train or a bus. This dude, however, was running in the wrong direction, away from all points of public transportation.

As he ran past me, I was wondering why he was in such a hurry. Maybe he left the iron on? Late to meeting someone? He was full-on sprinting though, so whatever was making him run like this, it seemed urgent. A few seconds after he ran by, another man came jogging along, moving much slower than the first dude. He had a phone to his ear, talking to someone, and he was obviously following and looking for the sprinter. Huh. The second man looked like a taxi driver to me. The age and body shape was pointing me to that line of thinking. If I had to guess, the sprinter had probably ducked out on paying the cab fare. This happens a lot to taxi drivers unfortunately.

From where I stood, I could see down the street a fair bit so I just stopped to watch. The sprinter kept looking behind him. Before the second man showed up, the sprinter slowed down to a brisk walk. As the second man rounded the corner though, they made eye contact, and that forced the sprinter to take off again, all while looking back. The second man then continued his pursuit, though again, at a much slower pace.

It was at this point the sprinter disappeared from view so I continued on with my day. Before I turned away though, for a brief second I was pretty confident from where I was standing, I could have chased the first guy down. Not sure why that thought popped into my head.

Now interestingly, the sprinter originally passed by me close enough that if I wanted to stop him, I could have stuck out my leg and tripped him. Of course, at that moment, I had no idea another dude was pursuing him so I really had no reason to stop him. It sorta reminded me of that seminal moment in Spider-Man’s history where Peter Parker decides not to stop a petty thief running by him, who later on kills his Uncle Ben in a robbery. Of course, I don’t have an Uncle named Ben so perhaps my thinking was too far-fetched. I really wish I knew if that second guy eventually caught up to the sprinter.

THIS WILL NEVER END

As I wrote in my previous post, a drywall repair guy came today to apply the second coat of compound on the repaired holes. It went really quickly and the second coat smoothed out a lot of the rough patches from the first coat. When the guy was done, I was so relieved this stupid home reno project was finally over. I wanted to vacuum up all the dust and debris and set everything back up but I had to get to work, so I left everything.

When I got home this evening I was so excited to get everything back to normal. I got my vacuum and cleaned up around the work area. There was a lot of drywall dust. The last thing I wanted to do before moving back my furniture was to put on the cover plate onto the electrical outlet that had been moved. I grabbed the plate and as I went to place it over the outlet, I immediately saw a problem. Above and below the plate was a gap of about a quarter inch to the drywall. It was really noticeable with the cover plate in place. It wasn’t something I could just overlook. I didn’t notice it before because the gap was small enough not to jump out at me without the plate on. I let out a long, long sigh and cursed. Was it a mistake to do this home reno in the first place?

I took some pictures and wrote an e-mail to the contractor explaining what his drywall guy had done or I guess neglected to fix. I told him they needed to come back and correct this. Maybe if I was a little more of a handyman I probably could fix this on my own but you know what? Why am I paying this contractor money if I’m doing some of the repairs myself? I’m super frustrated and it’s not like this whole thing had gone smoothly before either. I don’t know how the contractor will respond but he better send someone back.

ANTICIPATION

Some dude showed up on Tuesday to repair the drywall in my living room where my fireplace used to be. If you’ve been following this stupid saga you know that I had to endure some shady electrical work but now that’s behind us.

The gentleman who did the drywall repairs was very nice. He fixed all the holes in the wall and applied the drywall mud. When he was done though, he insisted that a second coat be done which is pretty standard I guess. The first coat needs to time to dry so he said he’d be back in 48 hours or tomorrow morning if you’re scoring at home.

Once the second coat has been applied, the project will be over. Finally. Yes, I know that the wall needs to be re-painted but I don’t care. I can worry about that later. My living room has been in disarray for nearly two months now. I have a TV stand that I bought and assembled from Ikea that’s just waiting to be used. I just want to enjoy watching my TV at eye level when I’m sitting on my couch. I have a ton of PS4 games I want to start playing. An unpainted wall isn’t going to stop me from that.

CASE OF THE MONDAYS

I have this annoying habit these days of waking up about an hour before my alarm is supposed to go off. I try to go back to sleep but I’m usually not successful. I close my eyes but I don’t enter into a state of what you would call sleep.

Today was different however. I was in a deep, deep sleep when I was blasted back into consciousness by the sound of my ringtone on my phone. Jolted awake, I grabbed my phone to see it was five minutes before my alarm was about to go off. The person calling was my house contractor. I surmised he was calling to schedule the last bit of work on that fireplace removal gone wrong. I answered the call and I was right, he was calling to see if his crew could come tomorrow morning to finish up the job. With what must have been a groggy voice I told him that would be fine. After he hung up, I put my head back on my pillow. Why was I in such a deep sleep this late?

Five minutes later, I turned off my alarm, dragged myself out of bed, and began getting ready to get to work. I didn’t feel all that great on the commute in. It wasn’t until I actually got to my desk that I felt how bad the day was going to go. I felt exhausted and it was just after 10am.

Despite drinking copious amounts of green tea throughout the morning, it took two shots of espresso at 2pm for me to feel somewhat normal. It was only after that I got some work done. This particular Monday was not very enjoyable.

FORENSIC FILES

Though I try not to, whenever I find myself on vacation and in my hotel, I watch a lot of hotel TV. It’s a treat for me because I don’t have cable at home. It seems no matter where I go, I always catch a few episode of Forensic Files. I even saw an episode while I was in London! There’s something about that show that just draws me in. First, you know it won’t take up much of your time. The show is thirty minutes so it’s an easily digestible chunk of entertainment. Second, it draws you in immediately. In less than a minute, the show lets you know what happened, sets up the mystery, and basically dares you to not to continue watching. How could you not want to find out who the killer was? Last but not least, the unmistakable voice of the narrator, the late Peter Thomas added so much to show. His distinct delivery, the way he gave the audience the necessary bits of information was as much of a draw as the content of each episode. It’s a shame his voice has been silenced.

Forensic Files is now on Netflix and there are evenings where I don’t plan on watching it and suddenly I’ve seen three episodes without realizing. I need to go to bed now but I’m contemplating squeezing in one more episode. It’s just 21 minutes, that’s not a long time right?

UGH X 2

Recall that the last time I wrote about my “simple” home reno was in this post. In that correspondence, I detailed how a less than communicative electrical subcontractor was causing me stress. When said electrical subcontractor finally showed up, they refused to do half the work and only did one of the two tasks I asked of them. They moved a power outlet for me but didn’t move a data outlet because they said the cables belonged to Telus and Shaw. That’s a ridiculous reason as Cat 5 and coax cables inside your home are yours and don’t belong to any telcos.

I chose to hire my own electrician who would was able and willing to move the data outlet. I did my own research and got a dude to come in last weekend. He was able to move the data outlet, even though he had to splice together extensions for the coax and Cat 5 cables. I tested the connections and everything was working great. As he was about to leave, he saw the power outlet the first electrician moved. He noticed something strange about it and took a closer look. He immediately saw work that wasn’t up to code. As he looked closer at the work, he found code violation after code violation. He honestly surprised at how terrible the job was for something so easy like moving a power outlet a few feet. I was really concerned about having an unsafe outlet in my home, so I asked the electrician if he could fix up the previous work and bring it up to code. Of course, I offered to pay him for the extra work. It took a bit to clean up the original crap job but he got it done.

I was very annoyed at my original contractor, for hiring that crap electrical subcontractor in the first place. I wrote him a strongly worded e-mail explaining what my own electrician found and I even included pictures of the shoddy work (before it got fixed) to prove to him what a mess it was. I also said that we would have a serious discussion about how much money he would take off the final bill once all the remaining work was done. To his credit, the contractor apologized for the work and agreed to not charge me for the electrical work for this project. I probably should have argued he should also pay or reimburse me for the second contractor as well but I just want this to be done.

The last part of the job is to fix up the dry wall as there are now several large holes in the wall from all the work that has been done. They also need to install some new floor moulding where the fireplace used to be. After that is done, I can put this home reno project behind me. I still think it was something I should have done but I learned a lot about the home contracting business from this one “simple” project.

SEEMS PRETTY APT

With all the information that is now coming to light, I’m not sure how charges of treason aren’t being drawn up as I write this. Lucas got a lot of flack for the prequels but perhaps we didn’t recognize him as a prescient filmmaker, who foretold the fall of a republic.

HOW YOU CAN HELP

If you’re like me, you’re extremely concerned by the absolute lunacy coming from the Trump regime down south. Normally, the instability of one country doesn’t affect other nations too much but when that country is the United States of America, it affects the world. That’s why when things go bad for the US, we all feel the effects as well.

The new regime has already started or signaled its intention to begin attacks on numerous fronts, including the media, women’s reproductive rights, healthcare, and the plight of refugees. As a spectator, watching from afar, you might seem powerless but a friend of mine has started giving money to causes he believes can fight the Trump regime.

He’s already donated to the ACLU, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and also paid for a subscription to the New York Times. I also reminded him that other worthy organizations include Planned Parenthood, the Washington Post, and the International Rescue Committee.

It may seem odd that as Canadians, we’d be donating to causes and organizations that mainly operate in the US but as I mentioned before, the world benefits when the US is at its best and it is far from that right now. So, the reasons are somewhat selfish. If you feel the need to balance out your charity dollars with a donation to a corresponding Canadian organization, that’s even better. As an example, there’s Action Canada for Sexual Health and Rights and our local food bank.

I recognize that everyone’s beliefs are different and you may balk at even donating a cent to any one of these organizations. That’s fine and I respect that. If you are, however, a person that shares my concerns about what is happening, consider what you can do to help. I think I might start off my Tuesday morning by donating a few dollars to Planned Parenthood and subscribing to the Washington Post.

I was told the name of the movie would not appear on the hotel bill