Defunct

Life over the last few months has been full of obstacles, insofar as maintaining a blog goes. One of the biggest pieces of advice given to me when I went back to school for Corporate Comm, is “Never stop writing”.  Great advice if nothing else gets in the way, like responsibilities and horribly frustrating commutes from work. [I have been fortunate that drives in are smooth]

I’ve been relegated to banging out cookie-cutter emails for the last two years and it has killed my ability to write creatively. Not so much in a way like a never-ending writer’s block, no. But the block is mental and it is more in the way of just not having the desire to put my hands on the keyboard. Though, aforementioned commutes don’t enhance this much more. And at least, when I bang out cookie-cutter emails, I avoid poor wording choices like “Presently”, “Momentarily” and “Utilize”. (FTR: the correct words are “currently’, “in a moment” and “use”.) 

I really do miss writing and being able to write. But, content is king and I have got much to say these days.

“You don’t make art out of good intentions.” ~Gustave Flaubert

Though, this has not stopped me from coming up with hilarious one-liners on social media. In the land of 140 character limits, brevity is king. I think I need to go tweet that now.

I also need to go drum-up a list of ideas of things to write about. I need to sharpen my pencil, so to speak.
Like they say on Imgur.
OBLIGATORY CAT TAX

catIS6_469x311

Goddamnfly 

Every family has its funny small child story (or maybe a few even). One within mine, was “goddamn fly”. 

The story goes that one of my francophone cousins, who hadn’t been taught any English yet, learned “goddamnfly” from my uncle, who was bilingual. My cousin, unaware of the name for flying house pests most likely assumed, at his very young age, that was what there were called. Why? Because that’s what my uncle would call them when they buzzed around the house, landing on potato salads and the like.

So, the kid picked up that name and would point out a fly buzzing around the house, while exclaiming “Papa! GODDAMNFLY!” 

I bring this up because it is summer and, we have a tendency to leave windows open and leave food out. This attracts flies, but not the kind that inspired the story above. No, the flies of discussion today are the miniature ruiners of fresh produce: the minuscule fruit fly.

Like many others, we’ve become annoyed by these little flying pests. 

Well, I’ve become annoyed too much. Time to strike back!
IT’S A TRAP! 

Searching the interwebz for a quick and easy solution, I have found a relatively easy DIY project. 

All you need is a mason jar, apple cider vinegar, a piece of paper, scotch and masking tape, and a drop of dish soap.

Step one: assemble your parts. Find a half-liter mason jar and fill it with about an inch of the vinegar. Drop in your dish soap.

Step two: fold a piece of paper in half. Now make it into a funnel shape and tape it. 

Step three: put your funnel in the mouth of the mason jar and then secure it with the masking tape. 

Step four: place your fruit fly death trap somewhere convenient to them, but out of the way for you.

I just put one of these traps together. So while I’ve been typing this up, I have begun my wait. Come my ugly little pretties… come and DIE! 
As a side note, apparently these wee nasties like sink drains and garbage receptacles, so clean those before you employ the trap. Run hot water on sink for a minute and then pour in baking soda. Then pour in vinegar, let it do its thing, and 2-5min later run more hot water. Use whatever works for you on garbage can.

Superb Ru

Well, i did it.

Last week at least. I visited the local Subaru dealer, which in my case was extremely local as they’re 2k away.

I spoke to the rep I had met with upon my first visit. My first visit and meeting with him was for a simple test-drive. I had only gone out for one other test-drive and that was with Mini. And as much as I loved the driving feel of the Mini, I knew it wasn’t for me. (But if you’re in the market for one and live in Markham, go see Alex at MiniMarkham). Realistically, I had already made up my mind. I did my research and the test-drive only confirmed what I had felt then. I was seeing stars before I even got behind that demo.

So, fast forward a week and I’m back at Subaru to iron out the details and do the paperworks, like getting credit-approved for the lease.

It’s the lease/credit approval that had me worried for a bit. I had a rough year or two, that encompassed my return to school. Financially, I was in a bad state after I finally started working again. It was so bad that when I switched banks, I was effectively denied on the spot, a new credit card. OUCH!

Pleaides

Through hardship, to the stars

And yet, while I was in the process of submitting my information to Subaru, I was getting approved for new credit cards at my old bank (Long story, I use two banks). So, apparently, after the last year and a half, I’ve repaired my credit score a bit.

Even still, the credit approval was dodgy. I was not informed before leaving the dealership that I was good to go. No, that came a day or two later in an email. The following day he sends me an email to inform me that the car is on a boat, on its way to Vancouver. Yay!

I'm on a boat! LOL!

                     I’m on a boat! LOL!

Transit time has my new ride arriving at end of August. Couldn’t come sooner. But in the meantime, i should probably consider selling my current car. Yeah, I should get on that.

But no matter, the road is life

From the pages of Kerouac. I find myself ecumenically in similar situation. The suitcases are going to be removed from the vehicle, to await loading to something new before the journey continues.

I’ve been working for the last nine months or so for a large distribution company, that provides third party logistics to an even larger company called Unilever. My role at this company has been that of handling the most boring, yet high-paced and high impact issues – easily summed up in one easy sentence: When will my shipment be ready? (I don’t know, so stop asking already!).

Brochures, only two, need just one

Brochures, only two, need just one

This job has put me into a position where I spend a lot of time on the road. More than I would like. More than my car would like. Alana (so named by an ex-girlfriend) is getting on in years; long in tooth. She rattles; she shakes; she rusts. She gets me from A to B, although sometimes while making funny noises. That leaves me non-plussed. Funny noises are my gig! At least, when I’m not trying to sound like a certain high-placed Newfie working at CBC.

Thus, I drive a lot. Average* ~55km, one-way, each day. Five days a week – 50 weeks a year. That’s pretty much more than 28K/a. This is naturally, until I find myself in a new residential situation that cuts down that mileage to a more respectable and sane level annually.

And because of all this mileage, Alana is getting tired. I worry for her. She needs to be retired from this daily routine of highway abuse. She needs to enjoy the existence befitting of a 13+ year old car. An existence as a winter beater, or maybe in the hands of a young punk, desiring to build an awesome sleeper car.

So, this morning I departed to the likes of Mini Markham and Subaru Markham, for a closer look at my top two choices. Two surprisingly different vehicles, each with a rap sheet of pros and cons to them. Strangely, both are reduced to simple truths

Mini = efficient fun
Subaru = safe and practical

The mini, while a fantastic drive, had me concerned for weird reasons. I am not a claustrophobic person, but i felt that way while behind the wheel of the demo I drove. The compact size of the german-made, british wonder-car had me feel like I was trapped in a very fast moving box. While I loved the idea of an engine that shuts off at intersections, I felt that that feature interfered with the car’s acceleration from a stop, in a rather jarring manner. It was like I was driving a car with two turbochargers, both improperly tuned for my driving style. The car would lurch upon start and then again a second later as the turbo kicked in.

End result and decision = not for me, even if the ***hole side of my driving self wants to say otherwise.

Now, the Subaru was a different story. It was a familiar story actually. In which the hero defeats the villain and gets the girl kind of familiar, but with a twist. That twist being the girl was perfectly able to save herself, except that she didn’t have shoes and was in a room full of broken glass. The hero saves her only because he had a spare pair of shoes in his bag.

That spare pair of shoes of course is my euphemism for four wheel drive. When the temperatures drop, the rest of that analogy will make sense.

And that’s why I am considering Subaru in the first place: Four Wheel Drive.

History – I had a huge scare this past winter when going to work. Short version: It was a dreadfully snowy morning and there was ice underneath the snow on the road. I hit a patch and slip diagonally across lanes on the 407 — into the path of a plow truck. All that went through my mind then was “bye-bye Alana”.

All that happened was a twoonie-sized dent in my front passenger side wheel-well. I was lucky. Alana was lucky.

So, that’s when the problems started to get worse for her. Since then, I had a mishap with a raccoon, late one night. Said raccoon would’ve survived had it not crapped itself and changed its mind when crossing the highway. Alas, he cracked Alana’s air dam, and possibly screwed up her shock absorber. I can only guess, because I’m not that big of a car-nut, but every so often, I hit a dip, pothole or speed bump and that’s what it feels like.

As I said before, I drive a lot. I’m on the highway a lot. I need to be able to enjoy those hellish minutes and hours that I lose each time I hit the road. Its not enough for me to have a new stereo and functional parts, minus funny noises. I need to feel safe and sane when facing the nutbag hordes that traverse the 401 on their daily routine at the same time as I do. FWD will help with that, other Subaru options/features will take care of the rest.

Here’s to finding a new way to drive, and not having to put my suitcases on the side of the road when I need to get moving most.