10/21/2010

A Flynn story

Category Border Collies
Flynn our 9 year old Border Collie has/had an infection that required antibiotics. We hide his pills in peanut butter or stick them in the homemade portion of his dog food. Occasionally he finds them and spits them out and occasionally I have had to resort to the stick the pill in his mouth and hold it shut until it dissolves approach. Yesterday, I gave him his food with an immersed pill. I was walking by as he was finishing eating and there at the bottom of the bowl sat the pill. Flynn looked at me, I looked at him, he gave me a reproachful look and then licked the pill up and swallowed it. He never fails to amaze me.

06/30/2010

The Kobo

Category E-reader
I have been toying with the purchase of an e-reader for some time. I was very tempted to buy the kindle when it first came out, but passed because it only worked at the time in the US. By the time the Canadian version was released there were enough competitors that I put the decision off for a while. Then, I saw that Kobo had released a reader for $149 that was initially only available in Canada (but will shortly be available at Borders). $150 seems to be a magic price point (at least for me) so I ordered one and have now been using it for a couple of weeks.


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06/30/2010

Even IBM rips off Canadians

Category Licenses
I had to order some additional Domino Express Licenses today. When I go to the Passport Site, it quotes me $145 a license because I am using the US$ as my default currency. However, when I go to place the order the price rises to $192. That is a 32% up-charge for buying the product in Canada (and that doesn't include tax). Right now the exchange rate is .95, so someone is making a nice 25% profit on the transaction. The sad part is I will pay for this with my US Amex card so the payment will be converted back to US dollars, and Amex will charge me 2% for that as well.

02/16/2010

A loss

Category Personal loss
So far I am sticking with my exercise and dietary changes (mostly - just not eating cookies in the afternoon and a chunk of cheese in the evenings) and I am now down to 190 pounds. The best part is feeling better - I have a lot more energy and I am enjoying the exercises. The plus side (for Maggie) is that I seem to have taken over all of the cooking. I started doing a lot more cooking when she was in class a year ago and continued this when she became professionally busy. Now I seem to have more free time (less time on facebook - and few billable hours) I'm doing the menu planning, shopping and cooking. The difficult part is that while I have always taken on a share of the culinary duties over the years, I cooked "man food" (i.e meat and potatoes) now I am trying to eat semi-vegetarian (meat stock is OK or meat can be used for flavoring) during the week so it means I have to learn how to make vegetarian meals which are outside my cooking comfort zone. I certainly think I have mastered Risottos, but I have yet to make the perfect paella (although I am getting closer and closer)

02/07/2010

Two Hotel Experiences

Category
Discovering that our passports were due to expire we used some Amex points and made a quick trip to Florida. We made reservations at two resorts through Amex, one was a Starwood, and the other was a Marriott. In both cases because Amex made the reservations, neither hotel knew anything about us - Amex didn't ask for and didn't use any of our frequent user numbers etc. In both cases we paid for an upgraded room. The room at the Starwood hotel was supposed to be in a "quiet annex" but instead was just along a long corridor. Even though the hotel was less than 30% full, we discovered that we were given a room on the one floor that had yet to be refurbished. When we grouched about this on the last night of our stay to the bar tender he arranged to have us moved to a nicer room on a floor with freshly painted rooms etc. In contrast, when we arrived at the Marriott resort they upgraded us to a suite because there were not completely full. Two approaches to customer service - I can tell you which one worked to earn my loyalty.