Categories
Apple life

M2 Macbook Air

Ever since my MacBook Pro (2015) screen went kaput a couple of years ago, I’ve been sharing a computer with my wife. Back in March I decided to go all out and ordered a top-of-the-line MacBook Pro with M1 Ultra, but ultimately I cancelled my order and held out for this beautiful completely redesigned MacBook Air with Apple’s M2 processor. It arrived yesterday and as fun as that other computer would have been, I think I made the right decision.

Categories
life

A Hero’s Journey?

I took our van in for an oil change today and with some time to kill decided to take a little walk in downtown Lethbridge. I had just crossed the street when I noticed a little girl in a truck holding a napkin that was fully engulfed in flames. Her eyes were wide and I thought about how crazy this scenario was as I raced up, opened the door, and watched her drop the flaming napkin onto the truck floor. I swished the fiery cinders out trying not to burn myself but not wasting any time. She looked like she was in about grade three (8 years old).

I asked where her parent was and she said inside the store, so I went inside the motorcycle shop and asked around. One employee told me that the guy from that truck was test driving a bike and has been gone for a long time — like a half hour.

I talked to the girl again making sure she was ok and asked how it started which she explained was that she was playing with the cigarette lighter and accidentally started the napkin on fire.

After talking with a lady who works there that said she would keep her eyes on the truck I took the above photo of my hand and continued my walk.

I guess I probably did the wrong thing by just walking away at this point and not calling the police. This parent obviously needs to get it together, however, I also have distrust issues with our local law enforcers and I didn’t want to be the potential catalyst that blows up this guy’s life. I did consider that maybe this little girl’s caregiver needs a wake up call to realize you don’t leave an elementary aged child alone in a running vehicle (with air conditioning at least) for a half hour while she experiments with fire.

I doubled back after about 15 minutes of guilt and she and the truck were gone. A couple of my fingers are a little burned but no blisters so I’m fine.

My oil change was done at that point so I came home a hero — and also, I guess, a coward.

Categories
life

Our Little Boy Blue

Boo is one of the two cats Ange brought with her when we got together. It was quite some time before I learned his real name was actually Little Boy Blue. Ange explained that his name evolved over the years from Little Boy Blue into Blue and eventually stuck on Boo1. I sometimes called him Boo-bons (affectionately short for bubonic—yes, as in plague—because early on he liked to scratch me).

He came from a ditch

Ange was driving home from work and saw a cat (that wasn’t Boo) crossing the highway and run into the ditch. Something compelled her to follow it. She pulled off the highway and saw, sitting off the large concrete pad of a sign, was a little kitten with huge ears. He was looking pretty rough, so she picked him up and he bite her index finger. He bit her hard, so much so that had to shake him off her hand. When he came off he ran away and she couldn’t catch him again. The next afternoon she was again working at the same place and on the way home it was raining. She decided to go to the sign and see if the kitten was there. This time she put on some fish gloves and a little cardboard box and somehow she was able to catch him. He was probably tired and hungry. He had a big abscess on his back. She put him in the box and took him straight to the vet. The vet put a cone on him and she kept him quarantined in the bathroom of her basement suite.

Lost

Boo fit the mould when it came to the “cats have nine lives” proverb. Only a couple of months later, while he was still a little kitten and hadn’t yet been neutered, Andrea left him with roommates while she went away on a trip. Boo was supposed to stay inside but was snuck out and didn’t return. Her roommate was afraid to let her know that he had lost her kitten, so when she got back she found out the bad news. A couple of weeks later, a kind stranger called after seeing one of the posters she had hung up at a local animal shelter. The man had found Boo at the research centre outside of town climbing inside a dumpster. He picked up Boo and dropped him off at the shelter and even left money with the shelter to go with Boo. Andrea was so happy to have him back she made up a nice thank you basket and gave them a gift card for Georgia’s restaurant. She still likes to enthusiastically tell the story about how happy she was to get him back.

Over the last couple months Boo’s health began declining rapidly, and unfortunately at the beginning of the month it came time to say goodbye. We’ll miss him.


1. Relevant XKCD Words for Pets

Categories
Disney life travel

Our 2022 Disneyland Trip

On Tuesday, April 19th we left today and entered the world of yesterday, tomorrow, and fantasy. It’s the happiest place on Earth — Disneyland!

And we WERE happy, because getting there was no easy task. Before we left I knew that our two hour drive (by distance) was never going to take a mere couple of hours. Traffic backing up is normal going from Palm Springs to LA, but this day was a holiday — I figured it would be a particularly good day to travel, avoiding the typical commuter traffic. Not to mention, we were setting out at noon, a time one could assume to be easiest to make the journey. Well, unfortunately, it turns out we were embarking at the worst possible time. Tens of thousands of Coachella concert goers were returning to the city on the Monday after Easter. The freeway was like a parking lot. Our exasperated three year old daughter put it best as she exclaimed, “We’re moving like turtles!” Slowly and steadily (and 5 hours later) we arrived at our destination in Anaheim.

Categories
life

Dusty Drive

Wind gusts were up to 110 km/hour today. The highway was closed on my way home from work. The dust was so bad I could barely see the cars ahead of me. An RCMP officer blocking the road told me about a collision ahead and to take the side roads instead. She was irked that people were driving so fast in such poor visability.

After all the detours, the winds had died down, visibility was returning, and then as I approached Coaldale, I found myself behind a “freedom convoy” of protesters. Farmers in their tractors protesting… I don’t know what — that they are tired of people being mad at them for not wearing masks? Anyway, luckily for me, they were only blocking one lane.

What would normally be a half hour drive took a full hour.

Categories
life pandemic

Covid Continues

Earlier this week I implied that Covid was a breeze but with all the sleepless nights and harsh cough burning in my lungs — the most succinct thing I can say now is, this sucks. After 13 days I’m really starting to wonder when I’m finally going to get better.

After missing 5 days of work my admin explained that she was going to need medical documentation that I was still sick. I made a phone appointment and started explaining the situation to my doctor and how I had taken another test but it still showed me as being positive when she cut me off saying it doesn’t matter because I was STILL SYMPTOMATIC. She kindly wrote up a note saying I would be off “until symptoms cleared.”

I feel guilty for being away from work for so long but I can’t imagine showing up to my grade fives all stuffed up and coughing and explaining how I had Covid but because enough time had passed (and the guilt was getting to me) it was just time for me to return. I’m mad that these thoughts are even going through my mind. It’s dumb for a person sick with Covid to even think about returning to work before they are better; yet, here I am, doing exactly that.

Categories
life

HomePod Mini

I ordered a HomePod Mini which arrived today.

My daughter asked if there was a baby Siri inside. I explained that it was the same Siri as the big Homepods’. Ignoring me, she exclaimed, “Oh, so cute! She’s going to hatch!” and then started laughing.

I’ve been using the intercom feature to call into the kitchen while I’m sick in bed. It’s also nice to turn on white noise to help get some sleep while I’m sick. My favorite is the “sounds of the forest”.

Categories
life pandemic

Covid, A Week Later

It’s been seven days since the kids and I tested positive with Covid. For something that has occupied our worst fears for the last two years, we have faired extremely well.

I realize, of course, that Ange and I are fully vaccinated and that with the kids being so young they are unlikely to suffer major complications. It’s also true that the omicron variant is a much different beast than the earlier strains but it has still been a week of worry as the kids have had fevers and short bouts of coughing fits.

I’m not well enough to return to school tomorrow, I still have a headache and stuffed up sinuses.

It’s my belief that this whole five days to recovery is far too short and is exactly why we got it in the first place — we were in extended contact with someone who tested positive seven days previous but we were led to believe the infectious stage was over.

In the time since we tested positive we know a couple others that have also contracted it. One of our friends says she knows four families (including us) that have it right now.

Even though our hospitals are as full as any time in the pandemic, I think this might be the beginning of the end.

Categories
life pandemic

I Have Covid

The dreaded unstoppable covid arrived in my family over the weekend (probably) and was confirmed for each of us today in positive test after test. Andrea lucked out and hers came back negative but for the rest of us, it’s COVID-19!

The youngest of the family has taken the worst of it. He didn’t sleep much last night and what little shut-eye he got, he did it in our bed breathing directly into my face.

Although I haven’t been terribly ill, I could tell I wasn’t well enough to go to school so I took a medical day and I’m glad I did. Now it turns out I’ll be home for the rest of the week (5 days for fully vaccinated Canadians) while my son and daughter are each expected to quarantine for a full 14 days because of their unvaccinated status.

The testing was not popular in our house.

“You hurt me Mom!” accused Ian, the two year old, after having the probe sent up his nose. His sister (13 months older) screamed and twisted as I held her down so we could get a sample. Ian tried to assure her — now emboldened by his status as one done testing — but it had the opposite effect, “It’s hurts a little bit. It’s a little bit.” (O.M.G. that kid is cute). She revved up the squirming to full kicking.

Anyway, as the test stripes started to appear Andrea didn’t need the full 15 minutes to declare my positive result. In the end the stripe was faint but Ian’s was darker purple than the control.

Covid Tests - 3 positive 1 negative

As I’m about to wrap this up, Andrea mentions to me that she thinks she feels a sore throat developing. It’s going to get us all eventually.

Categories
life pandemic travel

Christmas Vacation Cancellation

We’ve been planning our Christmas vacation to California since last June but with the new omicron variant throwing a wrench in the gears we finally pulled the plug on the trip last Tuesday. Now I’m just hoping we can still get our kids together with their cousins and grandparents over the Christmas break. Such is life in a pandemic.

Back in June WestJet’s website said we could book with confidence knowing we could cancel our flights and get our money back with no fees or hassle but when I called them on Tuesday, the customer service rep told me that I will get the money back as a credit and that the credit will last for two years before it expires.

I was livid. After a moment of almost losing my cool I realized I needed to keep it together and asked her if there was anything she could do to help me get a refund. As it turns out there is a website that I could go to and fill out a form to apply for a refund. I’m still mad that they were pretending like they weren’t giving out refunds but at least things worked out for us.1


1. At least it appears it might work out but I can’t actually apply for our money back until after our original departure date on Saturday; give me a break! Anything to make getting our money back just a little bit harder. It’s so shady of them.