April 30, 2006

A Mixed Bag

Filed under: analog — mhoye @ 8:43 pm

I start a new job tomorrow, a dream job for somebody with about five years more experience than I have, at TVO. I got the apartment that I asked for, freshly renovated, affordable and in a pretty fun part of Toronto. I’m in Toronto right now, staying at Arlene’s family’s place in North York. Arlene just left for Kingston. I won’t see her for two weeks, and she was crying a little when she left.

I really don’t know how I should be feeling right now, but if it’s all the same to you I’m going to err on the side of sad, frightened and tired.

Comments are closed, because I really don’t want to hear it.

April 24, 2006

611 Is A Joke

Filed under: analog — mhoye @ 11:40 am

I’ve been trying to get a land line put into my new apartment for a few days now. As you might imagine, what with me blogging about it right now and all, it has not gone swimmingly well. As I see it, there are two possibilities at this point. Either (1) all of Bell Canada’s internal processes are designed specifically to provide their employees with inadequate or misleading information, or (2) they’re all a bunch of liars and thieves.

Having hit a very thin window of charitable mood, let us assume option 1.

I called Bell on Friday, spoke to a very courteous young man, and informed him that my fiancee is a doctor and was on call this weekend, and we would very much like to have a land line installed, please and thank you. He said that yes, Bell can indeed do rush jobs in circumstances like that, and that they would install the line as soonest as possiblest, and that it would go live sometime Saturday morning. He offered, in short, everything I could have asked for: a prompt response in an urgent situation. The bricks that build customer loyalty, really.

It was a shame, I think, that it didn’t play out that way. On Saturday, nothing happened. I pick up the phone and get dead air, I call the number they gave me and the message says that number is “not assigned”.

On Sunday, I phone Bell, and the girl at the other end insists that it is a problem at my end. “It appears to work fine from our end”, she says.

That would be, I observe, a lie, because when I phone that number from my cellphone I am told that the number is not assigned. Not busy or unavailable; unassigned. She then tries to sell me line insurance, and tell me that she’ll send a technician tomorrow to take a look at it.

That turns out to be another lie, because the next morning I don’t get a technician – I get a phone call, saying that the previous tenant hasn’t disconnected their phone service, so they can’t put a new one in. This message appears while I’m in the shower, so I don’t get the chance to tell them that this is another bunch of lies, because (1) the previous tenant (my current landlord) has moved their old number to a new line at their new place, and (2) I pick up the phone and there’s no dial tone, so there’s very-obviously no service on that line, and (3) none of that matters, because this is my fucking phone line now.

The root of this problem, I expect, is that my landlord didn’t use Bell. So maybe my apartment is some sort of cursed consumer-ground now as far as Bell is concerned, and punishment for the consumer-sins of the previous tenant will be visited upon subsequent tenants for untold generations. Or, more likely, their databases don’t talk nice to each other and I’m in the middle of that fuckup getting finger-cuffed.

But I really don’t care about any of that; what I want, here, is not to be repeatedly and reflexively lied to by the people I’m trying to give my money. This isn’t, I think, too much to ask.

Update: It’s the most remarkable thing, but the guy came by and installed my line yesterday. He was a very nice man who I did not belabor with the river of bile I’d been saving up for the occasion, mostly because of his very civil approach. He came to the door, introduced himself and said “I’m here to make sure your phone is connected. Could I take a look at it?” and, behold!, it worked.

I asked him what the difficulty was, and he said that he’d had to move a few wires around in the cabinet at the end of the road. His explanation was completely unrelated to anything I’d been told earlier, and you may now employ your surprised faces at any time.

April 18, 2006

Move Gotten On, Check

Filed under: analog — mhoye @ 11:32 am

Moved out, moved in, and my friends have proven themselves invaluable once again. Many hands, as you’d expect, have made for light work, and now we’re out of a trying spot. Many thanks, everyone. Everyone did their bit, but I would like to enter into the log that pound for pound Catherine probably did more work that anyone else, even though the poundage involved was slight and travelling up and down the stairs looked tricky. Her parents have also taught her to tell me periodically that she’s not food, a useful survival tactic, because she’s really not so big yet that I might not make that mistake.

Our new apartment is great, even though getting our box spring up our Authentic Dirk-Gently-Brand Extremely Narrow Staircase turned out to be Very Exciting. We’ve got a bit less closet space, and I’m going to miss having a gas stovetop, but at this point I think it’s safe to say that’s all I’m going to miss. We have no internet connection at home yet (fully 6 APs in range, and all WEP/MAC protected, crazy) but soon.

I would also like to note my pioneering use, this weekend, of the phrase “I’m not getting fat, that’s my entourage.”

April 12, 2006

Getting My Move On

Filed under: analog — mhoye @ 10:09 pm

This coming Saturday at around nine A.M., Arlene and I are moving out of our somewhat palatial digs here at the sprawling Hoye/Chan compound, and will be moving ourselves and our entourage to our isolated summer estate.

Some of you, I’m sure, have always wanted to be a part of my entourage, but have never been sure how to ask. No more! On that very morning, not only can you be a part of the growing legend, the epic saga that is me, you can also help me lift my crap into a rented van at no extra cost to yourself. In exchange for that, whoever you are, I will buy you pizza and allow you to use me as a reference should the famous and/or wealthy come calling to verify your credentials (“cred”, they call it) before allowing you into their inner circles. Indeed, possibly their inner sanctums.

You are welcome to consider this your first step into a larger world of fame, fortune and, one presumes, the corresponding debauchery, but I make no guarantees on that front. I, behold my stark contrast, consider this to be a straightforward pizza-for-labor exchange, so no photographs, please.

April 8, 2006

Not So Much A Confession

Filed under: lunacy — mhoye @ 10:09 am

I spent five minutes yesterday telling a kid that the mint he stole from me was really a pill, and that it would give him great big compound-lens bug eyes, like a human fly. I called it “hexagonitis”, and told him that it was a severe side effect in children.

I would like you all to know that I don’t feel the least bit bad about this.

April 5, 2006

I Fought Sturgeon’s Law, And The Law Won

Filed under: digital — mhoye @ 10:23 am

Back in the leaner days of media, when I had a meager 256 megabytes of mp3-workable storage to work with I felt pretty good about my music collection; I put a bunch of songs on it, I listened to them, and when I wanted to listen to something new I moved them around and did that.

This avoided pure shuffle and imposed choice – I picked the songs, so they were songs that I liked, q.e.d, kthxbi.

My new, monstrously overcapacitized iPod has been something of a revelation, because while it takes a goodly amount of time to move stuff on to and off of it, I can put everything on there. I never had to hit the skip button before, but now I do, because here’s the situation: it turns out that I’ve got an awful lot of mediocre music in my collection.

I’m sure this comes as precisely no surprise to most of you, but reasonable people can disagree about which miserable corner of my music collection is most egregious. It’s amazing, though, how much of my music collection has aged so badly; a lot of things that seemed pretty good when I was but a young pup now seem pretty thin and weak in my crotchety old age. Furthermore, get off my lawn you kids.

I don’t know whose fault this is, but a cursory examination of this situation has revealed that it will be very difficult to pin it on somebody else. My friend the interweb, I need your help. Tell me about the good music. Help me purge the bad music. My tastes tend to run to things that don’t get played on the radio, being frequently crunchy and profane, but I’ve also got a pretty good collection of blues and soul, because what I like most of all, the stuff that has stood the test of time, is authentic.

Help me, lazyweb. You’re my only h0pe.

April 1, 2006


Filed under: analog — mhoye @ 10:23 am

Well, kind of a lot has happened. I’m going to call it a good week or two, and here’s why.

  • After two interviews and some nailbiting reference-checking, I’ve been offered, and accepted, a sysadmin’s position at TV Ontario, in Toronto. This is a big deal, and a job that looks like a really good fit for me.
  • We’ve wrapped up, with a few small exceptions, wedding-invitation-sending and wedding-registry-stocking. This is a great relief to all concerned; we’ve even agreed on a set of dishes, a minor miracle. That which does not kill your relationship, I think, should at least be something you can laugh about in hindsight. Also: weddings are hard.
  • Funny story: you remember how I couldn’t make my iPod play videos? It wasn’t my fault: it was a bug in the iPod. This week Apple released a firmware update for their iPods that fixes, among other things, that video playback bug. Which means that all that work I did on that video conversion script suddenly works, and now I can watch Gunslinger Girl on the bus. Bliss.
  • We’ve got a beautiful new apartment, which I am going to describe as a win on a number of levels, though perhaps I am going to wait until we have moved thoroughly out to sic my verbal stylings on the topic unfettered. In the meantime, understand that we suddenly and over my objections have no landline, and hence no ‘net, chez Hoye a la momento. Ask me how thrilled I am about that. I dare you; I have discovered a truly remarkable profanity, which this margin is too small to contain.

Very shortly, I’ll be looking for a place in Toronto. Possibly, though not necessarily, semi-furnished. Pointers would be appreciated. Doesn’t have to be big, or pretty, but month-to-month is a strong selling point. Arlene is going to be following on soon, and I have a wedding to pay for; a year lease is a non-option.

But, yo, all told a few good days.

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