Omar Khadr, you’ve got more class than the whole f– cabinet.’

‘Omar Khadr, you’ve got more class than the whole f– cabinet.’ Green leader regrets f-bomb

Although the annual Ottawa Press Gallery Dinner is known for its unorthodox speeches, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May cast an awkward pall on the proceedings with an extended speech that ended with her being led off the stage. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Fred Chartrand 0511 na may Green Party Leader Elizabeth May speaks at the Annual Parliamentary National… Continue reading

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Have Motor vehicle Drivers Changed?

I’ve been driving for about 42 years and believe that drivers have changed significantly in the last 10-15 years.

Road Rage is a recent phenomenon that I think is primarily due to the change in motor vehicle drivers.

How have drivers changed? Well, in my own daily drives I have noted that driver courtesy is rare today compared to say 20 years ago. Rather than someone offering to let you pass or merge you have competition for the front of the line. Race to cut someone off so you can be first. Rather than ‘wait your turn’ we have people failing to stop at all at stop signs.

I also noted that people seem to believe that either Red Lights and Stop Signs don’t apply to them or that perhaps they’re merely suggestions to stop.

The double line in the middle of the road is also meant to keep drivers from crashing but many today feel that you are supposed to straddle the lines.

The skill at making a left turn is almost non existent anymore. Did you know that you need to go around the corner, not cut the corner. How many times have I come to an intersection and had to stop 15 feet short because someone cut the corner making a left turn and was now coming right at me head on.

Maybe it’s just Ottawa drivers? I know that I heard an insurance company report that listed Ottawa as having the worst drivers in Ontario (maybe in all of Canada). I’m assuming it is rated on the number of claims per capita.

I think if the police in Ottawa would ticket more drivers things might improve on the roads. Maybe we could pay off the city debt in short time with all the revenue. Every day I see cars failing to stop at stop signs, running red lights, making illegal U turns, talking on cell phones or texting while driving. I also see very aggressive drivers that do dangerous things on the road just to save seconds or maybe a minute on their drive to work. Seriously, are you that anxious to get to work that you have to risk lives to get there a few minutes earlier?

Driver skills are low too because I see many cars this winter in the ditch. Speed is a factor in almost all of them. One road in front of a high school has had a car off the road in the ditch almost every week. One day there was one car in the ditch and on overturned on the morning drive. The speed limit is 60 kph and it’s a school zone. How do you flip a car on a straight road doing 60 or less at rush hour?

My next question to you, assuming you believe as I do that drivers have changed, is why? What has caused this shift to selfishness, self-centeredness and the total loss of courtesy on the road? Maybe it’s due to the Internet and the increased feeling of anonymity in the world.

What do you think? How can we fix this or should I just give up driving in order to stay sane?

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Review for “Kiehl’s since 1851”

I tried some of the products from this company out and was finding some I liked and some I didn’t, but mostly I didn’t like the fact that the costumer service is like not even there.

I placed a couple of online orders with Kiehl’s at their website and I got a confirmation email stating that: “If you have any questions about your order, you can contact us at 1-800-KIEHLS-2 (1-800-543-4572) or e-mail us using the contact us form on our site for a prompt response to your inquiry. ”

Both orders were received very quickly (however the tracking number arrived by email two hours after the order arrived at my door both times).

My first order had no issues, but my second order arrived with samples leaking all over the place (oil) and poorly packed. They were also the wrong samples.  One of the two items that I ordered (the main reason for my order) wasn’t shipped. No mention of why it didn’t ship.  My questions – Was it back-ordered and will ship later?  Was it cancelled? Should I reorder or buy elsewhere? What about the Free Gift Card I was supposed to receive with an order over $30?  Oh yes, now that part of my order didn’t ship I’m below that level so I’ve now paid shipping for two items and got one and lost my $15 gift card to boot. NICE! (I also did not like the product that I did receive and left a review of that product on their website.  It was a body wash that was runny and didn’t lather well.  The scent was also overwhelmingly strong. Sort of like washing in cologne.)

I’ve called the 1-800 number last week and was told they’re not answering the phone and to call back later.  I sent a contact form online and was told they’d reply soon.  Two business days have passed so I called again this morning.  I was on automatic hold for 10 minutes and hung up.  I’m sorry, I don’t have all day to wait for you to do your job.

So today I sent another contact form email and got another noreply email stating they would contact me within 3 business days.

Why not contact the local Kiehl’s store?  Okay there is one at Rideau Centre in Ottawa.  Driving there and parking is going to cost me so I’m going to phone…. oh no, they don’t have a number listed on the website for their stores and 411 hasn’t got them either.  Something tells me that this company doesn’t really want to talk to me.

Sorry Kiehl’s lack of customer service for online business is a deal breaker for me… bye bye.

UPDATE December 14, 2014

Kiehl’s finally replied to my sent contact form from last week and offered to give me a full refund, which I accepted.

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Rogers Nextbox 3.0 PVR Playback Issues

nextboxI’ve had issues with my Rogers Nextbox 3.0 with playback on recorded shows.  What happens is that sound and sometimes both sound and image are blank for several seconds and I have to rewind to play it again.  The second time it plays fine but then another gap and I repeat the process.  (Sounds like wash, rinse repeat).

I’ve contacted Rogers and had several people on the phone and in my house not able to find the problem.  So for almost a year I took over an hour to watch a show that should take 40 minutes (without commercials)  So what’s the fix?

Simple, your Nextbox doesn’t work for playback if you record in 1080p (which is supposed to give you the best picture)  Solution is to set your settings for viewing on 720p.  No more problems.

Why 720p rather than 1080i you ask, well 1080i is interlaced and gives you only half the picture 1080p does.  So unless you have a large TV 720p may due you just fine.  I’m no expert so read about it in PC mag

Why doesn’t Rogers know this?  Good question.

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Summer is coming to an end so let’s recap!

Summer is almost over as this is Labour Day Weekend.  I’m going to tell you about my summer vacation.  Sounds just like what a lot of kids do when they go back to school in September.  Write about your summer vacation…

Well my dear wife and I have done a few things over the summer I can share with you as a review of hotels and places to eat, or not.

Wakefield Mill is a resort hotel with spa and restaurants in the Quebec side of the Ottawa region.  It’s less than an hour drive from downtown Ottawa so it’s a nice weekend getaway idea.  But it is only an idea.  In reality it wasn’t the best choice for a romantic weekend.  The room was okay, however it takes a while to get hot water to the shower or tub.  The tub is in the main room and didn’t come with instructions.  But after we cleaned up the flood it wasn’t bad as we both could fit in the huge tub.  The view out the window was pretty good even on a cool rainy and windy weekend.  We had booked ahead for room and spa treatments.  Disappointing for my wife, her therapist called in sick and she had to settle for “not the massage” she booked.  There are several types of massage and what she booked was no longer available due to the sick call. ($95 for something you didn’t want?)

The food available at the Wakefield Mill was not of a high quality.  The words to describe would be, bland, over sized chunks of tofu tempura and a whole baby bok choy tempura, tasteless, did I say bland?  I’m not normally a harsh critic however it was really not good.  My wife ordered the Eggs Benedict and the Hollandaise sauce was like vinegar, the eggs were coddled not poached and the English Muffin may not have been an English Muffin at all.

Rated … I would not go again.

Nest up, we took a night in Montreal.  My wife had a work function to attend and asked me along.  So we headed out to Montreal and stayed at the SpringHill Suites by Marriott Old Montreal.  This was a nice room and was close to the event and in Old Montreal which was great for eating out and shopping.  The price was a little high but the location was great.  The included breakfast was unfortunately not what I would have liked.  Sort of DIY everything.  Make your own toast, waffles etc. The cold cereal and coffee were not DIY.

We did eat at a very good restaurant in the area that from appearance I wouldn’t have entered but it got good reviews and I can taste why.  It is called Amigo at 1027 boul st laurent. 2 floor.  Enjoy!

Later in August we traveled by Via Rail to Toronto from Ottawa and stayed at the Renaissance Downtown Toronto so we could attend a Blue Jays game, visit the Ripleys Aquarium and look at the CN Tower from the ground.  Not fond of high things.  The aquarium, in my opinion, is worth the visit.  Sharks, Stingrays etc all abound and much much more.

The Renaissance hotel was a nice treat, however it would have been great if the wifi was free rather than $12 a day.  I’m just saying, even coffee shops have free wifi.  We did make use of the pool and hot tub for the short two night stay.  We did do a lot of walking around the area and had a few meals in a couple nice places.

The first place to eat on my list was Fionn MacCool’s at 310 Front St W, one of Prime Pubs establishments.  The food was very good and the service was extremely friendly.  I’d go here again. Keep in mind it right across from the Blue Jays game so it could get very busy before and after the game.

Another nice pub style place was the Amsterdam Brewhouse.  Now this spot got a lot of mixed reviews and I actually wasn’t even going to visit based on these bad service reviews.  But at the last hour of our stay we took a walk and ended up face to face so… we went in for lunch.  Again a pleasant surprise, the food and service was good, but I should say we were attending off hours as it was after lunch hour and before dinner.  So I’m not sure how bad the service gets when it’s packed and it is a large space to service.  The beer is also good here but keep in mind this is not a large brewery and it’s common that some beers are out of stock or seasonal.

We also stopped for a few refreshments (beer for me) at the Mill Street BrewPub but not in time for a small tour. But the beer was tasty and cold after the long walk to the Distillery District from the hotel.

This weekend, Labour day, my wife and I went to the ByWard Market area and the Rideau Centre to shop and tour around.  Of course we had a meal while there and this time we tried The Courtyard Restaurant at 21 George St. Ottawa. We enjoyed a late Brunch, my wife again ordered the Eggs Benedict (Florentine style) and this time it was delicious.  The Hollandaise sauce was done right and the eggs perfect, spinach fresh and just wilted on an English Muffin.  Chef Ramsey would be proud.

Now back to rush hour traffic and “Winter is coming”.

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