Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Trip to Lund, BC: Part I

For the May long weekend, John and I set out for Lund, BC, otherwise known as the end start of the highway on the west coast.

We got off to a rocky start as we had an oil change the day from Great Canadian Oil Change on 8th St near the Centre on Circle & 8th before we left and the seal was put on incorrectly. Needless to say we leaked oil to the point where we ran out (and were extremely pissed) and we had to call our emergency road side assistance for a tow to Golden that was 8km away (thanks VW for the 4 year road side assistance). After a 30 min. wait, we got towed into Golden to the nearest mechanic shop near the Kicking Horse River Lodge. By then the shop was closed so we booked a room at the lodge. I'm pretty sure I don't have to describe the mood we were in at this point. I will keep you posted on whether or not we get reimbursed for the mechanic bill (which we should) and our hotel bill. We tried to make the most of the situation and went for supper at Eleven22 where we shared a hot pot of steamed mussels, and John ordered the Roasted Duck Breast and I had the Tomato and Pesto Pasta. I had a taste of John's duck and I have to admit, it was the best duck I've had in a long time.

So next day rolls around and we contemplate about what our next plan of action is, continue on to Lund or turn around and go home as we wasted 2 days and we had no idea what condition the car was in. Luckily I see the mechanic outside his garage cleaning up the yard. I end up talking to him and discover that he is open on Monday (which is a holiday) and he would try to squeeze us in. We cross our fingers that he is able to squeeze us in and there is no major damage to the engine. We ended up sharing a huge Grande Burrito from the Bugaloo Cafe in the lodge. It was huge and I was glad we shared it.

We spent the day wandering around town and walked across the longest timber framed pedestrian bridge in Canada (you can view pics of its construction here). Here I am on the bridge:

Being that it was Sunday hardly anything was open. We did stop in a pub for a Mt. Bigbie beer and played a game of pool. We spent the rest of the day reading and lounging. Finally supper rolled around and we decided to eat at the Kicking Horse Grill restaurant where we shared a trio of meat and the best steak I've had in a long time. Wonder if we ever made it to Lund :) Stay tuned.

Friday, May 9, 2008

My new hair style

After all these years I have finally found a hairdresser that I like. Her name is Joanne Chu who works out of Chel Salonspa. She did a fantastic job of cutting my hair short and adding bangs when I finally needed a change from my long hair. That was a while ago and she is now expecting a little one and is getting ready to go on maternity leave. I decided I better book an apointment with her before she left. Below are pics of the finished product and I couldn't be happier.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

2008 Ducati Monster 695

So I've been trying to resist posting about this but I just can't hold back any longer. We are the proud owners of a red 2008 Ducati Monster 695 as of last Saturday! Known as the Ferrari of motorcycles, the Monster is a beauty to behold. It's naked look is unique to Ducati's and its engine purrs like a newborn kitten.

Some specs:
  • motor 695 cc L-twin engine
  • power 53.7 kW/73 HP @8500 rpm
  • torque 45 lb-ft - 6.2 kgm @6750 rpm
  • front suspension Marzocchi 43 mm upside down fork
  • dry weight of 370 lbs
A bit of background info, I have always wanted to drive a motorcycle for as long as I can remember and it's finally coming true! I've had the opportunity to drive the bike around the block (mind you I didn't leave first gear as I have never driven a bike before and wanted to get used to the controls) as well as Prairieland parking lot (where I did drive in second gear) before I got kicked out. Just to calm everyone down, I do have my learner's and am also enrolled in the Saskatoon Motorcycle Safety Course which starts next week. Thanks to all those that have helped me thus far, you know who you are :-) I was hoping to refrain from posting as I wanted to post pics of me actually driving the bike but I don't have the patience for it. So without further ado, here are some pics:

Disclaimer: The bottom RIGHT picture will never happen as I would rather drive the bike than be a passenger :P

It's harvest time!

Started late April 2, our AeroGarden grower has reached harvest time! Today is the first day we get to enjoy the fruits of our labor (which is 0 work really). We harvested some basil for some good ole fashioned spaghetti (disclaimer, my husband makes AWESOME homemade spaghetti). Pictured to the left is the current herb grower after we harvested some basil. MMM I can't wait to eat other herbs.

Queens of the Stone Age

On Monday, May 5, I got to see Queens of the Stone Age live at the Odeon Events Center in Saskatoon. This was my first concert at the Odeon and I have to say it was an awesome experience. Doors opened at 6:30 so my husband and I grabbed a burger at O'Sheas at 5:30 which happened to be right across the street. There were people already lined up outside the doors and the line just grew as time went by.

We waited until the doors opened and the line died down before going. The show opened up on a high note by a band from Iceland called Mugison. As opening bands go, these guys rocked the show by pumping up the crowd with their entertaining stage presence.

The opening band gets off stage and not long after 9:30 rolls around. Out comes QOTSA and the crowd goes wild. They open with "“Feel Good Hit of the Summer” and from that point on, they ruled the stage. The show was up close and intimate and the band sounded just ike their cds. It wasn't long before the heat rose in the venue and everyone in attendance was sweating including the band but no one really gave a shit. The band barely took a break never mind stopping to wipe the sweat from their face. The show finally ended with them coming back to do a couple encores, ending with "Song for the Dead".

Queens of the Stone Age definitely rocked the joint and alleviated my fears of seeing a show in such a small venue. Looking back, if I had a choice between seeing a show at Credit Union Place versus the Odeon Event Center I would pick the Odeon any day. Thanks QOTSA as you definitely put on an awesome show.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Baywest Appliance Service Inc. has very poor Customer Service

Everyone knows how important it is to have good customer service; great customer service is even better. All it takes is one disgruntled customer to tell all their friends and family and there goes potential business. People have a tendency to talk about negative experiences over positive ones as negative experiences leaves a bad taste in consumers' mouths. I am one of those disgruntled customers.

Our Frigidaire fridge has been making an annoying ticking noise every so often throughout the day even though it is a brand new fridge. In the past we've been able to tune it out but during the days where I was home during the entire day the noise started aggravating me. I ended up calling Baywest Appliance Services Inc located on 1st Ave N in Saskatoon. I called and was told that they would send out a service person at a time convenient for both of us. So far so good.

The service person came at the arranged time with what I assume was an apprentice as he really didn't do anything. As you would expect, when something is wrong it never occurs when a service person is present. I have to admit he did do everything in his power to make the ticking noise occur, from opening the fridge doors and changing the temperature in the fridge to make the motor run. Naturally nothing happened and 5 minutes later he left telling me to pinpoint where the noise is coming from. So that was that.

The next day he phones to ask if everything is running okay. I completely appreciated the call but in my head I am thinking, what the hell, you didn't do anything to fix my original issue while you were here so why would it be okay? I never knew things fixed themselves on their own. I was taken aback by this question as obviously he never did anything to fix it (and I had said it was a re-occuring noise from the start) so I said it wasn't okay at all. He tells me again to try and pinpoint the noise and states that fridges makes noises all the time. That made me irritated as he had no clue what kind of noise the Frigidaire fridge was making so don't try to brush my problem off like it's a normal sound and I was making a big deal out of nothing. I replied by saying that this was not a normal ticking noise and I never had a fridge, a brand new Frigidaire fridge nonetheless, make a ticking noise. What next I wonder as that was the extent of our conversation.

So at this point I have no idea if I am going to hear from them or not but a couple days later he does phone. He states that he has heard of problems like this (still this irritated me as he has not heard the noise still) but it originates inside of the fridge and it is not worth fixing as it is a lot of work. Again thinking to myself I came to the conclusion that he still has no idea what he is talking about because when we first spoke after his visit he told me that its normal that fridges makes these noises and now he states he has heard of my problem?!?! This frustrates me even more as he tried to pass off my "problem" as being a normal occurrence only to come back later saying that other people have complained about similar problems and it was too big to fix. I ended up saying that the noise is really irritating and it can't be normal and he said it was better to live with it than fix it. WTF? Obviously I can't live with the noise if I called you over to fix it.

Whatever. I no longer am at home during the day and have gone back to tuning out the noise. Then at the end of the month, maybe 3 weeks later I get a bill in the mail for $65.95 where it states in the description that the problem was "checked okay". Again wtf as I stated it was still making an annoying ticking sound and just because we couldn't replicate the noise when you were here does not mean that everything is ok. Not only that but I was never told there was going to be a charge for a house visit (although realistically most businesses charge for house calls but tells the customer upfront). With all due respect I understand and am okay with getting a service bill but that usually comes at the end of the service when the issue is FIXED. Completely annoyed I phoned the company to inquire what the bill was all about and that everything was NOT ok. The receptionist picks up and as I tell her that I don't agree with the bill she tells me I have to take it up with the service person that came to my house. Fine. She gives me his cell number and I call it. He picks up and is completely friendly and pleasant only to become irritated and abrupt as he brushes me off when he hears that I am questioning the bill. He tells me to call the office and leave a message for him and he'll get back to me. Presently I don't think he ever did call me back so fine, you don't return my call I am not going to pay the bill. Bottom line the fridge is still making a ticking noise and is not fixed.

So this all started back in the end of January and I didn't hear back from the company until April 28 when I am at work. I answer and the most bitchiest/rudest sounding person I have ever heard is on the other end of the line. She states her name and the company she works for which for the life of me I could barely understand as she spoke like she didn't want to be working. I greet her back and then in a snotty voice she states that there is an outstanding bill owing. I replied back saying I know about the bill but my problem wasn't fixed and you (the company) never did anything while you were at my house. She replies back even snottier that the charge is just for sending a service person to my house. I asked even if my problem was not fixed I still get charged and she replies back that it is a service charge and doesn't even offer a solution to my problem. Irritated I said I would send it in the mail when I feel like it and hung up.

I still have not paid the bill but I will probably at some point. However I will tell anyone and everyone that the service at Baywest Appliance Service Inc., 738 - 1st Ave N in Saskatoon has the worst possible service I have ever had and will recommend everyone avoid them. Does anyone have a similar service with them or for that matter, a company to avoid?

Thursday, May 1, 2008

There are some extremely sick and disturbed people in the world

I read a disturbing article the other day regarding a father, Mr. Fritzl, that imprisoned his daughter Elisabeth for 24 years in a cellar. The horrific story was revealed when one of her 3 children (ages 19, 18, 5) that lived with her in the tiny cell fell ill and doctors requested the mother come forward to provide more details. None of her children that lived with her saw daylight until they were freed as the cellar was windowless.

What's even more disturbing was that her father not only held her captive but raped her repeatedly and fathered 7 of her children. 3 of her children ended up living with her father and his wife who was under the assumption that Elisabeth had ran away and sent 3 of her children home. Now at the age of 47 Elisabeth is reunited with the rest of her children.

I can't even begin to imagine the ordeal that Elisabeth is going through, having missed a large portion of her life and the psychological damage her father has done to her and her children. And what is he facing? A possible 15 years in prison! In my opinion that is not even close to being justice. If you think about him 1) drugging his daughter and imprisoning her in a cell 2) imprisoning her for 24 years 3) raping and fathering 7 children 4) imprisoning 3 of her children so they miss their entire childhood and never see daylight 5) burning the body of a child that died during birth (who is to say he didn't kill the baby) 15 years is definitely not enough. I hope once more investigation is underway that he will be put away for life.

I can't even begin to comprehend how people who are in a parental/authoritative position can treat others in such an inhumane way. Is it because they lack mental capacity to know what is right from wrong? I have troubles believing this as people who commit such crimes go through their daily routine knowing what is right from wrong. I can only believe such a statement if they commit a crime every single minute of their life and are lacking the mental capacity to think straight. It then leads me to think they feel they are dominant and arogant enough to get away with whatever they want. That makes me sick and I hope people who commit crimes against others pay for it by time in jail (long jail time might I add) and get the help they so need.

What cyclists should never do

They should never listen to their music and ride in the middle of the road. I don't care if it is a residential street (which this case it was) or not. Not only was HE doing this but he was riding as slow as molasses. So the corner I turn at is coming up and I think I can drive around him. But no, he has to slowly cut me off, nearly running into me. Now I don't normally use my horn but in this instance I did. People, don't listen to your music while riding in traffic, how hard is that.