This Skyline model is amazing, especially considering that it is part of a 5-Pack -- in recent years, Mattel has been putting less complicated, less-detailed models in 5-Packs, presumably as some sort of cost-conservation measure. But this one has amazing detail on its rear and is a really well executed car.


Bell Wins One

So I know it is popular to complain about the various companies that provide services to us. Telecom companies especially, since they seem to like to do the minimum amount of work necessary to collect the maximum amount of money.

However, I have a different story.

See we've got Bell Fibe through the "Better" bundle from about three years ago. Nominally this is a 25/10 service, and we routinely see around 20/3 through it. Not fantastic, and actually slower than the Rogers service it replaced -- but we keep it because A) its bundled into the Bell service we have, and B) Bell made it easier to switch -- by listing trivial details like what TV channels come with which TV packages, and listing on their web page a willingness to sell an "unlimited bytes" add-on -- than Rogers made it to stay with them.

The other Saturday, Jenn tells me that the internet is slow. Now I'd left something running through the morning while I was away with Nathan, and just assumed that that something was still running. Well it was -- or rather, a side-effect of what I'd left running was running -- but there was no question about it, the internet was slow.

Since I'm a network admin, I decided that I should rule out all of my gear. This is easy to do since my current home network is a firewall behind the Bell router thing, so I could just plug a laptop directly into the Bell thing, get an IP address, and test from there.

Yep, Internet is still slow, it isn't our gear. Even power-cycling the two Bell boxes isn't helping.

So here's where the story starts.

I call the Bell line and jump through the phone tree. After about ten seconds on hold, I get forwarded to someone, and she turns out not to be the triage/ticket-entry-person, but the actual tech who'll be looking at the issue. I mention to her that since I got straight to her on Saturday that this means my problem is specific to me, not a network issue, otherwise all my neighbors would be on the phone and I'd have waited on hold longer. After fifteen minutes, she agrees with me that there's some problem, and tells me she can have the next available tech come to have an on-site look.

The next available time? 8-12 in the morning the following day.

On Sunday.

So ok, the next morning the Bell tech shows up at about 8:15AM.

On Sunday.

Since we have a pair of ancient Bell devices, he says before he does any troubleshooting he'll just replace them with a single, more up-to-date device.

An hour later, he's got all the systems up and running, and everything looks good. We conclude from this that there was a problem in one of the two boxes he pulled out, so just doing the replacement solved the issue. No need for any further diagnostics.

He even boosted the speed a bit, so now I'm running something like 32/4 instead of 20/3. This is likely the best I'll get until either A) Bell drags real fiber out to my neighbourhood or B) I go with someone else for Internet.

So let's review. On a busy Saturday, I got directly to a tech without waiting. On Sunday morning, I got a home visit from a tech who fixed my problem in less than an hour.

Now that's service.



Warmup from Section 105, Row J

Man, its been a long time since I watched hockey in an arena. It's like visual overload -- all the things you never see on TV are right there and distracting, such that I found I was rarely following the actual "action" per se.

Being there was a curious experience. There seemed to be as many -- if not more -- Boston shirts and jerseys than Ottawa ones. And even though this is supposed to be the big 25th Anniversary season, things didn't feel like anyone was making a big deal over... well... anything. File me under those who think not bringing back Lyndon Slewedge was a big mistake. It somehow feels like things were more involved back in the early days of the Corel Center.

As to the game, I thought that Boston was getting better chances than Ottawa was, even if Ottawa got more of them; also the wheels seemed to come off of the Boston game somewhat in the third, as the game was pretty tight up until then.


Can Anyone Tell Me What The Hell Point Of This Picture Is

"So a bad thing happened to this family, and here's a photo of some of them, but we can't identify any of them, so we'll blur it out."

What the hell.

And the kicker is that CBC must have tweeted out that photo like FOUR times as the events unfolded.


Somebody Turned On The Winter

Alex waiting for his transportation on the first winter morning of the year.


Product Placement

Nathan and I went to Bayshore after his Little Rocks to look for some Christmas presents for Mommy, and for some reason he insisted on having his picture taken with the Mercedes cars on display.


Hockey Day In Kanata

Lots of kids from the school board got to go to see the Ottawa '67s play the Peterboro Petes today at the Canadian Tire Center.  I went along with Alex's class as a parental assistant. Alex really seemed to like being out with Daddy for a day instead of in class. I had fun, too.


Dr. Strange

Writing this up makes me realise that I still have not written up Captain America: Civil War. However, Dr. Strange is not that movie, it is a different movie.

We didn't get to see it opening weekend, or even opening week. Even so, I was a pit surprised when we arrived at the theatre 10 minutes before showtime to see this:

Including us, there were probably half a dozen people in the theatre by showtime.

Another thing that was surprising: the Marvel Studios splash at the beginning was all movie clips, with no comics. Looks like Marvel is trying to stand on its reputation as a movie studio rather than a provider of comics. Which is a bit sad, since all of the movies are rooted, at least vaguely, in comics, and it seems a shame not to at least acknowledge that.

Anyways, the movie gets up your nose really quick with the "this is magic, take it or leave it" and as long as you buy into that as a premise you'll do fine. Stephen Strange gets on my nerves a bit, this movie does have a bit of the "beating a dead horse" thing going on when it comes to Strange's (lack of) acceptance of the mystical. Everyone says this is one of the best Marvel movies ever -- I wouldn't go that far, but it's definitely top half.

Did You Hear Leonard Cohen Is Dead?

I know he's beloved and all that, but I got really tired of him on Friday. I had to spend the day in the car on Friday (Inkerman, represent!) so I got to listen to wall-to-wall Leonard Cohen all day.

Seriously, the day went like this:

  • Thursday night: Twitter: Leonard Cohen is dead.
  • Friday 7AM news: Leonard Cohen is dead.
  • Friday 7:10AM morning show: OMG Leonard Cohen is dead, let's talk about how much of an impact he had on us for 15 minutes and then play two of his songs.
  • Friday, 7:30AM headlines: Leonard Cohen is dead.
  • Friday, 8;15AM CBC morning show: Leonard Cohen is dead. Let's play one of his tracks.
  • Friday, 8:30AM news: Leonard Cohen is dead.
  • Friday, 10AM news: Leonard Cohen is dead.
  • Friday, 10:05AM, Q: Leonard Cohen is dead. Here's an interview that a previous host had with him.
  • Friday, noon news: Leonard Cohen is dead.
  • Friday, 12:10 CBC phone-in: Leonard Cohen is dead. Call us and tell us how that's affecting you.
  • Friday, 1PM news: Leonard Cohen is dead.
  • Friday, 1:05 PM: Leonard Cohen is dead, so we've cancelled our usual 1PM to 3PM programming to bring you a repeat of a special we did about him several years ago.
  • Friday, 3PM news: Leonard Cohen is dead.
  • Friday, 3:10PM, afternoon drive: Leonard Cohen is dead. Let's talk about that for 10 minutes and then have the listeners request rarely-played tracks of his all afternoon.
Yeah. I actually didn't listen to the meat of all that, once I learned that Leonard Cohen was back on the menu, I jumped back into my phone's bluetooth for music. But still.

In other news, Leonard Cohen is still dead.


OMG Spectraflame

Hot Bird
2006 Cool Classics Series 2
I love Spectraflame. Spectraflame is a wonderful, wonderful finish and I appreciate Mattel using it sparingly because while we all know I'd buy a brick if it was painted Spectraflame, using it all the time would make the other finishes look shabby by comparison. Keeping it for occasional, premium line use is just good marketing.



Nathan had his first Little Rocks session today. He did very well for his first time on the ice -- although it is tricky keeping the slider leg under you when you are first getting used to it. Since I needed to come to Bayshore to get my glasses lenses installed anyways, we came to Moxie's for lunch while we waited.



After a long pause for reasons we don't understand, Alex is back on a bit of a roll with the ice cream, starting off again on his road to Montreal.