The Daily EO: September 10th, 2013

It’s fleeting sometimes: has been painted over.

I pulled up behind this vehicle off Highway 1 at Hastings the other day:


I thought to myself, another crazy Jeep owner, so proud to be part of the Jeep Cult. . . ure.  But I looked closer. . .

September 10th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary:  Love it!




The Daily EO: July 15th, 2013

I recently decided to refresh our living room.  Well…. actually that is not true.  I decided to refresh my living room about 2 months ago, and only recently did something about it recently.  Which was posting our existing furniture on Craig’s List.   A nice young couple decided they wanted our coffee table, but didn’t have a car and asked me to deliver.

Well, considering I asked $100 for a table – ad they agreed to – that I thought I would only get $50 for, I didn’t have a problem dropping it off.  It was only across downtown a bit.  So, after they came to our place to see it, we agreed we’d meet at their house in half an hour.  They took the bus, so we beat them there.  Just for the record – we couldn’t drive them because the car was full of coffee table.  We aren’t bad people!

Anyways, while we sat in our car outside their apartment in the West End (where there is no parking), we noticed a couple standing on the sidewalk eating grapes together.    They looked a bit impatient but were just generally chilling eating their grapes.  It seemed weird.

As we watched them a little longer, we realized they were waiting for something or someone.  And then it finally dawned on us what they were doing there.

July 15th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary:  We aren’t on the ferry, people!   Leave a little space.

photo 1 photo 2.

The Daily EO: May 14th, 2013

My brother is very much like my parents and in some ways like me, but mostly just like him.  He is particular, careful, precise, fastidious, and a planner.  He thinks that I am sloppy, careless, chaotic and something like a hurricane or tornado.  Those who know me and don’t know him do not understand how someone as plan focused and organized could be considered any of these things.  But I must tell you, in comparison it is true.  If you want something done exactly and painstaking correctly and carefully, you ask my brother.  If you want it taken care of on a well thought out and exacting plan, ask my brother.  If you have multiple competing deadlines, chaotic frenzy that needs sorting and a plan for just getting through – you ask me.  And don’t complain about the state of my desk in the meantime.

I tell you this because it was my brother Todd who spent hours vacuuming my car when the window was smashed.  He spent a lot of time picking out the glass, moving the seats around for better angles and looking for the shining bits.  I was thinking “C’mon already, that is enough!  Let’s go!” – too much energy was already spent on this smash and grab.

But he persisted.  And yet over the last couple of months, I find this every now and then:


I show you this, not because I want to say a careful man did a bad job, but to show how it is impossible to get all the bits of glass out of a car.  If the world’s best can’t get it all, nobody can.

May 14th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary:  Sparkling memories which are not all together welcome.


The Daily EO: March 25rd, 2013

I am usually in my car at 7 am every morning to head to work.  Maybe a little later, but around that time.  I have spent a lot of time in my car in the last 12 months.  Mostly reading maps and and figuring how long we were from our next stop in Saskatchewan.

And now I spent about an hour a day in that car as I commute to work.

Of late, I have spent too little time in bed before getting into the car again, so that has caused me to spent too much time wasting money in the Starbucks drive-thru line at Cordova and Powell.

I hate sitting in that line for 3 reasons:

  1. I am wasting money on tea that I could easily have made at home, but was too lazy to do so
  2. I am burning minutes that I could be in transit to work which is why I got up so early in the morning in the first place
  3. My car has an annoying rattle when it idles, and I am embarrassed by it

On this Monday when I got in, I blearily mentally reviewed what I was tackling when I got into work this week.

Despite my best intentions, my occupied brain didn’t notice when my hands turned left into the Starbucks.  Again.  Sigh.

March 25th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary:  No rattle in my car because my husband fixed it on Saturday.  Ah, the Sounds of Silence.

The Daily EO: February 21st, 2013

Do you remember when gas $.59/litre?  Do you spell litre as “liter”?  If no to both, then you’re probably not Canadian or you’re too young to be up this late reading a blog.

I have never commuted far distances in my life, so in the last six months, I have visited the gas station much more frequently then I have been accustomed to.  And I drive a Honda Fit, so really my stops there about once a week, but that is about 3 times more than I normally used to go.

I remember when gas was $.59 and $.49 and $.39 even.  For the $.39 I wasn’t legally able to drive, but I remember seeing the numbers.  I also remember when gas hit $.99/litre.  Unfortunately, I was in automotive industry at the time – making vehicle accessories for credit happy Americans driving gas sucking behemoths.  When gas costs $.99/litre, people tend to stop driving Hummers, huge trucks and other type vehicles.

But they adjusted and the truck market somewhat recovered.  And like you all – I’d abruptly stop and make a u-turn if I saw a station advertising $.99/litre.

February 21st, 2013 Extra-Ordinary:  How many things that seemed outrageous just a couple years before become desired and mainstream?  I ponder these things while I sit at the pump paying a $1.29/litre celebrating my good deal on gas.

The Daily EO: January 29th, 2013

I get riled up over certain types of injustices.   And I recognize while writing this, that the “injustices” in my world that I get riled up over are minor and not worth considering when compared to the injustices suffered by much of the world.  I do get that, but when something is in my face, impacting my family, friends or team members, I get nuts about it.  And if it affects my husband – watch out!  I become absolutely insane.

When I returned to BC – after being born and raised here – I had to get car insurance.  Unlike other provinces, car insurance is only offered by the Insurance Corporation of British Columbia (ICBC).  Privatization versus government agency?  I don’t know which is better really – but the drawback to ICBC is that you cannot “take your business elsewhere” if you don’t like the costs, options or service.

In purchasing my car insurance here, I was able to provide 7 years and 8 months of claims free history from my insurance companies in Ontario.  As well, I had 7 years of claims free history prior to my move.  This claim free history – which I have EARNED – resulted in getting the maximum discount of 43% (and 53% of the “optional portions” like comprehensive, etc).  That is good, because I live downtown Vancouver – the highest insurance zone in the province.

My car was broken into at the end of December:

This cost me = $300 (window deductible for ICBC) + $500 (tenant insurance deductible) + ~$150 (increase in tenant insurance due to losing my 10 year claim free status) = $950

This cost the insurance companies:  $170 (balance of window deductible for ICBC, much of which is HST that is going to the government anyways) + $500? (because Intact insurance STILL has not settled my claim) – ~$150 (that Intact is going to be getting from me through higher premiums) = $520

To recap:  Criminal Activity that WAS NOT MY FAULT resulted in me “sharing” the cost with the insurance company 67%/33% – that doesn’t even factor in the premium I paid in the first place.  And 1 month later, the Intact Insurance still can seem to figure out how much an LG Optimus cell phone is worth.  (um, google it, people, they have the internet on computers nowadays).

During this whole thing, ICBC sent me a letter saying that my premium was miscalculated and I now owe them $370 more dollars because I am a “new resident”.  No, I was born and raised here, but happened to live in Ontario for 10 years.  But no, now my insurance discount can only be 40% both mandatory and optional regardless of my risk as a driver.

Turns out that ICBC says if you leave for more than 8 years, your BC heritage is erased.

Does that make me upset?  No, it makes me CRAZY!

I called them.  I escalated my complaint.  I told them that I was being geographically discriminated against!  I am a Canadian citizen that has lived in Canada my whole life!  Apparently “in a couple of days” they will send me the link to send a letter to the “Fairness Commissioner”.  That was 2 weeks ago.   Thanks so much, ICBC.

And what can I do about it?  Nothing – because it is fiscally irresponsible to not have insurance and there is only one company for car insurance.   It just takes one distracted moment to severely injure someone and one random event to lose my entire home.   So, I will fight this “I’m not a returning resident” classification with ICBC, but continue to pay premiums.

Insurance companies are in it to make profit.  And it is in their best interest to delay claims, build loopholes, and increase premiums.  It doesn’t matter if it is private personal firm in Ontario, a governmental agency, WSIB, WorkSafe BC, pet insurance, health insurance (when was the lat time that your glasses only cost $200?) etc – if you are paying a premium, there is some sort of loophole to maximize the premium.

January 29th, 2013 Extra-Ordinary:  I’m fighting this – I am not paying ICBC extra.  They don’t get to make arbitrary rules not based on actuarial data.

See G.? – I didn’t write about it.





The Daily EO: October 1st, 2012

Sometimes I drive erratically.  I make quick right turns, pull u-turns, move speedily into another lane, drive significantly under the speed limit, switch back and forth between lanes, hammer on the brakes, and occasionally use my hand-held device.  I do hope ICBC is not reading this, but these things are true.

October 1st, 2012 Extra-ordinary:  I wish I could have my Ontario plates back so people know I am learning, not a yahoo.  I’m trying people – this place is hard to get around in even if I have a map on my phone.

The Daily EO: September 11th, 2012

To register a non-BC car in British Columbia, you have to complete a safety inspection.  That is okay with me I suppose, but it seems like a conflict of interest like many “inspections”. So a mechanic is being paid by me to do an inspection, but yet answers to the Government of BC on whether he is certified to do these inspections.  So, he can be really stringent and annoy me with a whole bunch of things that have to be done – that also likely increases his take in the short-term.  But, if he dings me for all this work, then chances are I am not coming back next time.   And I tell all my friends.  Who guards the guards?  Hmmm?

My car went through its inspection –  just some housekeeping things came up, and came with the strong recommendation that do my front brakes and replace my tires.  However, the shop was not going to make these failure items on my inspection.  Good.  But I am getting the brakes done anyways.  Nobody wants weak brakes on the mountain passes of BC.

September 11th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  A bizarre and unproportional feeling of sadness when I watched the removal of my front door window tint.  Apparently, not allowed in BC.  And driving home?  It was so so bright.  I’m still squinting.

The Daily EO: August 20th, 2012

My husband is selling his 1996 black Honda Prelude SRV coupe.  When I first met him, the Prelude was his baby.  He spent ample time washing it, waxing it, and certainly nobody else drove the car.   I don’t know when it happened, but somewhere along the line, he realized that the Honda Prelude was just a car. There were other things more important to him. After dating for about 3 years, I actually drove it. And the washings petered down to a couple of times a year.

His friends still ask after the Prelude – always referring to “her”.  It was part of Emile’s identity – he drove that black Prelude, he was that guy around Celestica.  It drove like a dream, cornered like mad, yet each month, just not the same.  Rattle here, rust there,

He held on to it – it was paid for, and if he could just squeeze one more season out of it, we could avoid putting the money out for a new car.

But now it sits in the garage – knowing its fate, I’m sure.  I can only hope that someone comes along who loves it as much as my husband did.

August 20th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  She had her day, The Prelude.  Sometimes things are more than just things.

The Prelude in her Youth

The Daily EO: June 8th, 2012

Late one night I was driving home from a 12 hour shift from work to my house in Midland.  I was tired, but my pockets heavy with tips.  My trip was about 20 minutes and required me to travel on Highway 400 and Highway 12.  Highway 400 runs from Toronto to Parry Sound and has 4 lanes with exits with huge overpasses, etc.  Highway 12 is smaller with only 2 lanes and if you want off, you just turn.  I started our on Highway 400 at my usual 110 km/hour.

Shortly after departure, the car started making a weird noise – kind of like a grocery cart with a wonky wheel.   I slowed a bit, but other than the noise, all seemed okay.

I hate to contribute to the cliché of females being car ignorant, but unfortunately I must admit I am not particularly car knowledgable.  I own a 2007 Honda Fit with standard transmission – good on gas and fun to drive.  I am a pretty good driver, I like to drive and I like to drive fast.  Emile taught me the four strokes (intake, compression, um .. .  power, and exhaust) against my protests.  I know enough – keep it filled with gas, oil and wiper fluid; how to change a tire (thanks mom and Emile) and that when it starts making weird noises, listen.

I pulled over to the side of the road to examine the tires.  All four were fully inflated, no sticks in the wheel well, nothing looking out of the ordinary.  Hmmm.  Well, carry on then.  I called Emile to get him to listen to the noise over the cell phone.  Shockingly, he could not identify it.  He told me to come on home, but to drive a little more slowly.  By then I was on Highway 12, so I slowed and counted the minutes until I would get home.

Well, I should have pulled over.  I should have listened to my gut.  Because soon after the call, my front driver’s side wheel came off, leaving me to drive my car with only 3 wheels.  I am pretty proud of how well I drove that night to get the vehicle back under control and quickly to the side of the road.   Nobody was hurt, people stopped to help me and we even were able to find the seemingly perfect wheel in the tall grass.

You all know the rest of the story:  call home, call a tow truck, insurance claim, lengthy repairs, police investigation (as there was no physical reason that could be found as to why my wheel come off, they suspected mischief), etc.  I am thankful I had come of Highway 400, I had slowed down and that the wheel didn’t cause any injury to any other vehicle on the road.

Today I went for a run.  I tend to take my car to drive to a starting point because our street has lots of speedy traffic and limited shoulders.  I parked, hid my keys and headed out.  2 km out, 2 km back (record pace again!).  As I rounded the last bend, I noticed I’d left my lights on.  No matter, I can now run 4 km in 23 minutes.  Surely my battery can handle that.  No, apparently not.  I was a 3 minute walk from home, but what a pain.  Sigh.

I called Emile to confirm it was the battery (not the alternator, starter, etc) based on the noises when I turned the key (the guy really needs to get better at cell phone diagnosis).  He told me to turn everything off and let the battery rest.  Let the battery rest?  What kind of stupid advice is that?  Seriously man – the battery is just going to spontaneously re-energize?  Well, I guess I’ll call a friend for a boost.   Thanks a lot.  Honestly, like I’ll just sit here for 3 minutes and then miraculously turn the key and the car will start. . . Oh.  Well. . . look at that.

June 8th, 2012 Extra-Ordinary:  Batteries apparently need rest.  Emile’s advice is pretty sound.