Well, I’ve been back from Toronto for about a week now – it was an amazing trip, and while I don’t remember what happened on the trip in Winnipeg anymore, I made sure to type up some blog notes on my phone on a daily basis while I was there. So, one of these days, I need to sit down, find a way to import those notes, and make a post about the whole trip. That is, if I ever get the time. I never have time for myself these days, and even though I have access to the Net at work again, it doesn’t mean I can use it for playing… much.
Candace and I have been hanging out an awful lot this week, but then again, she really saved my hide this entire week. She picked me up from the airport when I got back from Toronto, she drove me around when I didn’t have a vehicle, and she even brought me to the eye doctor (more on that later)! We also had a movie night and she visited at the WP and got to know Mom and AM. They all clicked and got along well together. Future wife material much? Well, we’re just friends, as far as we’re both concerned, but I just dread the day when Mom starts pressing the issue. For now, we just hang out and have meaningless but interesting conversations. Oh, and her new Mustang is pretty sweet. I told her that if I ever get a Bumblebee Camaro, we’d rule the streets of Thompson! Hahaha. No, really.
Work has been busy as usual, and I’ve been occupied with several projects, while finishing up some outstanding cases that I had. One of which was a process documentation for onsite support on how to configure a legacy WYSE terminal. Yes, we still have them. We realize they’re legacy and we’re slowly phasing them out, but until they’re all gone, we need to know how to get them working on the new Thin servers.
When I got back to Thompson, two things happened – my glasses broke and my car was dead at Inco. My glasses are very old, and it’s been about 5 years or so since I got them. So, I set up an appointment with Moore Specs, the local eye doctor and glasses store, run by my friend’s sister. I always go to her because she has a really good sense of style, glasses notwithstanding. So, I saw the eye doctor first, and he said that my vision hasn’t really changed all that much over the years, but that I should start making regular appointments just to be on the safe side. I concur. Also, he addressed the psoriasis issue with my eyelids, and he recommended a specialist to me, which is great. I’ve been wanting to take care of it for some time, but with a lack of doctors in town, competent service is somewhat lacking. So, anyway, Bobby (and Candace, who was with me at the time) helped me to pick out two different pairs of some very nice glasses, and my total bill came to roughly $550. However, when I e-mailed my benefits office, they informed me that glasses aren’t covered, only the check-up! What a crock! I think I might have to switch over to individual Blue Cross. The contractor benefits are just not worth it; now I’m $550 in the hole from my budget plan and I have to somehow make back that money through the restaurant, deliveries, and home computer repairs, while at the same time, paying off other outstanding bills I accumulated since the Toronto trip. Great (not really, but you can’t hear sarcasm very well when reading text).
So, anyway, on to my car – Eugene brought it to work the week I was in Toronto. However, Thompson was experiencing 40 below weather, in which my car does not start, even when plugged in for hours or boosted by another car – so I usually leave it running during weather that cold, or I start it every hour for a few minutes, even when it’s plugged in. Like I said before, my car and extremely cold weather does not mix. So, idiots that they are, Dad and Eugene went out twice to boost the car. They didn’t seem to understand that after cranking the engine several times in that kind weather, nothing good would come of it. And it didn’t. When I got home, Dad went out there with me (and incidentally, the weather got somewhat warmer) and I immediately had a bad feeling when I tried to crank the engine and I got no response except for a clicking noise. It was a bomb! I jumped out of the car and dragged Dad along behind me, diving into the snow a few feet away as the car exploded into several molten pieces, sending shrapnel everywhere that fortunately didn’t hurt us. Who would try to kill us? My enemies from the ex-KGB? Those terrorists I thwarted in Guam this past summer?
Wait, I must be getting tired, because my blog just suddenly went fictional. Let me try to wake up and get my bearings again.
Anyway, where was I? Ah, yes, I tried cranking the engine and got no response except for a clicking noise. Something wrong with the starter again. Dad and Eugene definitely blew something. We had no choice but to call a tow truck and get it dragged to Canadian Tire. They told me to come back after the New Year, since their backlog was tremendous. I thought to myself, ‘Okay, so what am I going to do for a car for the next two weeks?’ I can easily car pool with Eugene in the early morning for the first week, but then Eugene would be headed to Winnipeg on Thursday, so that would only work for three days. I racked my brain on Monday at work, and for fun, thought to myself, ‘Well, it sure would be cool if I had money to afford another vehicle.’ I had been recently thinking about a Toyota Matrix, and it wasn’t long before I started searching for one on AutoTrader Canada. I found a couple good candidates, and went for the cheaper one, signing up for financing for fun, just to see if I would get approved. By golly, I got approved. So, I really took it seriously and worked out a test budget to see if I could accommodate a car loan – it was within reason and I would only be set back by about nine months on my debt-free budget plan, so I quickly mobilized my efforts and took all the free time I could get to find the Matrix I wanted. The McPhillips Toyota dealership in Winnipeg had a 2003 Toyota Matrix XR available for a reasonable price, and it checked out fine in Carfax reports online, and my questions were answered promptly. So, I did a quick calculation and called up my bank to get a car loan so that I could get everything arranged through the bank. They consolidated my current loan with the car loan for me, and I got approved. So, I called the dealership, we made arrangements, and after faxing papers to sign and getting another consolidation loan with the bank to factor in extended warranty and such, my car was officially purchased today (which is actually Friday, since this blog entry will be posted after midnight on Saturday). In the middle of all this, Canadian Tire called me and said that they were able to squeeze my car in and replace the busted starter. Eugene drove it to Winnipeg, and Eugene is picking up Esmond at the UC and driving back up to Thompson with him in the Matrix, and they should be arriving in roughly an hour or so. I’m staying up to wait for them. I can’t wait, even though I’m tired!
I just realized that I could have blogged about the Toronto trip instead, but this is way more interesting, I think.