As a new co-owner of a house, I've come to realize that condo living does have it's perks. One such being not having to deal with the sheer ridiculousness of the City of Toronto Solid Waste Management program. You would think something as basic as trash collection wouldn't cause anxiety or unease. It's a fairly basic game plan, put your garbage on the curb and someone comes and picks it up.
Apparently Toronto did not get the memo. As I previously only resided in condos where you throw everything down a chute and then peace out, this new curbside feature was a little different. I noticed we were provided with 3 bins of varying sizes and colours. Luckily because the city assumes everyone is incompetent, they are labeled, garbage, recycling, and green bin. I had no idea what green bin meant however and I'm still not sure I know what to put in it to be honest.
Our neighbour was kind enough to provide us with a photocopy of her waste collection calendar. (She takes this stuff extremely seriously) and literally as we were unpacking our stuff, she was in our face with the calendar. She INSISTED that we need to keep this and follow it religiously. That was the last time I saw the calendar. Not sure whatever happened to it, but I obviously felt that I could manage something as straight forward as putting your shit at the curb every week.
My husband travels during the week for work leaving me with this boy task. I did some research and got the basic game plan set. The first few weeks I just put out all three bins. My strategy was diversification. Each bin just had a bit of everything, that way ensuring that at least some trash and recycling and what is apparently referred to as "organic waste", would be out of my house. This process involves rolling a recycling container larger than myself down a long path and down 3 stairs to the curb as well as the two other slightly smaller bins. The first two weeks I hadn't quite grasped the skills and the giant one flew out of my hands and took off down the street and spewed out all over. Glass bottles were rolling around our neighbourhood for weeks. Sorry about that.
Each week at least one of the bins would be empty when I returned from work so I was clearly on the right track and I gave myself a little high five. Nice one girl. My neighbour was none too pleased with this approach and for the next month she personally rolled out the appropriate bin(s) each week that met with the collection calendar schedule and redistributed the contents! She also returned them to the side of my house each evening, because most weeks they would be thrown all over the road for several days until I got around to grabbing them. Furthermore she is like 80 years old so I look like one serious asshole.
One day a few weeks ago I came home to a newsletter that was an entire new calendar and notification that collection would be moving to a new day. I feared the worst with this because as it was, I was only achieving a 60% success rate with getting the right day and bins at the curb each week, if I managed to get them out at all. I imported this info into my blackberry and set up 30 alarms and reminders that the day has changed. September rolls around and Thursday is now going to be my lucky day. On Tuesday night however starting at 9pm I start to hear all of the rolling of these ridiculous bins down sidewalks out to the curbs. Is it back to Wednesday? WTF I give up.
Seriously, this is way too complicated. I'm a fairly intelligent human but I will never understand why the city needs to make this more complicated than negotiating a nuclear arms deal. It's trash. It gets trucked to a dump and piled up with a bunch of other trash on top of other trash. Too many rules, they don't even pick up each bin each week, I thought paper went in the recycling bin, but apparently "soiled paper" goes in this green bin. Like I have 10 free hours a day to adhere to this like my neighbour. From now on I'm going to drive over to the condo I used to live in, break in, and throw everything down the chute.
What goes in the Green Bin?
Meat, poultry, fish products
Pasta, bread, cereals, rice
Dairy products, eggs and shells
Coffee grounds/filters, tea bags
Cake, cookies, candy (who would throw this away??)
Diapers, sanitary products
Animal waste, bedding, cat litter
House plants, including soil
Paper – soiled (siiiiiick)
Food packaging, ice cream containers, popcorn, flour and sugar bags
Tissues, napkins, paper towels (not soiled with chemicals such as cleaning products)
(food item goes in Green Bin, wrap goes in garbage)
The fact that we rely on technology to get us through each day, seriously probably every second of the day is pretty incredible. I'm pro technology that's for sure. But as evidenced in the PVR project, when technology fails me, I am not a happy human. (By the way my PVR still does not actually record, just a little update on that)
My automobile came equipped with a state of the art navigation system. I thought this was amazing that from now on I would never struggle to figure out how to get places, and would never get lost. I've learned that this turned out to be a completely incorrect assumption on my part.
Whenever I am traveling to a destination I've never been to, I attempt to program my nav system to get me there. For starters, the voice activated system requires that you speak in a tone exactly such as it speaks to you or it will not understand you. It uses an accent not even found in nature, so I must pronounce Toronto, "Dourondo" to get it to understand what the hell city I'm indicating. Furthermore, it should be obvious since I'm actually currently in Dourondo and it's not that much of a stretch that I may want to check out a destination in my own city. In most cases after 3 times of repeating it, Nav tells me that no one by that name exists in my telephone directory. 30 minutes later I've pulled over on the side of the road and manually scrolled through each letter of the alphabet to spell out where it is I'm trying to go. Seriously, interpreting contour lines on a topographical map and understanding when I should be traveling uphill would probably be faster than what I experience. Alright, I'm departing on my journey here we go.
Nav also is kind enough to provide me with an ETA so that I can call ahead and tell my appointment that I will be late due to spending an extra 30 minutes programming the location into my automobile. The ETA feature turns out to be completely inaccurate, as it tells me I will arrive at 6:45pm. Every minute I drive, it adds another minute to this ETA. How is this even remotely useful? Really it should just say "I don't know when the hell you will arrive so just drive and get there whenever the fuck you get there".
I am not going that far, so in my mind I do not expect my journey to take more than 20 minutes. 45 minutes later Nav is reporting that I will arrive in 20 minutes. Which has what it has been reporting since my departure. I'm getting really frustrated here. I have also figured out that it has taken me through 35 different residential neighbourhoods, with 5 million stop signs complete with a lot of traffic. This CANNOT be a good game plan Nav wtf? One hour and 15 minutes later I finally arrive, and the store is closed and I'm shit out of luck.
This is not the first instance of Nav being a total asshole. I recall many other instances where I thought to myself, this makes zero sense. But technology is always smarter than me so I've always just accepted it. I'm here today telling GPS systems of the world to suck it. You are useless. How do I know? Because for months now every time I am going ANYWHERE, driving to work, to my home, to a store around the corner, I program the location. And every time it delivers me to my destination using the slowest possible, most inconvenient nonsensical route that could ever exist. I could get there faster if I located a sloth in South America, and rode it from the jungle down there up to Dourondo to my destination.
Do not trust them. Unless you enjoy driving around aimlessly for 2 extra hours a day and screaming at your car when you tell it you want to find a TD Bank on Adelaide Street in Toronto, and it's directing you to a Pizza Pizza location in New Hampshire.
Not sure if anyone is familiar with this fairly recent development in the land of smartphones/internet tech crap...but I will fill you in anyway.
You sign up for this program, and then every where you go, you log in, and "check in" where you are. Basically letting the entire world know what's up. I'm not a fan of this program for a few reasons. Number 1, why do I want the world to know where I'm at? If you are important enough, you will be hanging out with me, therefore fully aware of what I am up to. Number 2, pretty sure it's an amazing application for burglars. The family who lives down the street just checked in, at Disneyland? Perfect, let's go break into their home and steal all their shit! And number 3, to be honest unless you are famous and seriously awesome....I don't give a shit that you are golfing somewhere in Virginia. I'm not going to go meet up with you. Oh you're the mayor of some Subway restaurant in Montreal? If that's one of your life accomplishments that's a little pathetic.
I can just see this blowing up in someone's face when they virtually "check in" at a spa in Las Vegas on Friday, yet they called into work sick. You'd think people wouldn't be that stupid but no doubt there are those out there engaging in this type of behaviour.
My husband is a Four Square culprit. I have told him time and time again that when he's with me, he's not to check his ass in anywhere. I honestly don't want people knowing that he took me on a date to Wendy's. The only positive thing I can see coming out of this, is that it helps me track him down. This morning I noticed he checked in at Heathrow Airport. Well I guess he's in London right now. Maybe by the end of the day he will be crowned the mayor of fish and chips.
It's no secret I love television. And I also try to have a life on occasion. That being said it was pure ridiculous that my household did not contain a PVR/DVR whatever you call it, some type of video recording device so that I didn't have to bust my ass home all the time and park it in front of the tv and not move each night.
Last year I complained to my husband that homeless people probably have them and we don't. Which is likely the reason that he made me wait forever, until I truly valued the device and wouldn't take it for granted. I don't know, whatever. Needless to say, I nearly exploded when I found out that not one, but TWO digital recording devices would be installed in my home on Friday September 9th. This was going to be life altering. The tech arrives at 10:30am, and 4 hours later, we are apparently good to go. The unfortunate thing was that we immediately had to head out of town. So the entire weekend away, I was mentally programming my devices, loading them up with programs in my mind so that I could efficiently get to work upon our return. I was ready.
It turns out, that these super advanced internet based recording devices, (note the word record in the phrase) do not record anything! I mean I seriously went to town on this thing Sunday night, and set up every recording possible for the next year. Only to learn that when I decide to watch something, and access "recordings" it tells me I have none.
Obviously I'm physically ill over this. I've now missed two hours of the Bachelor Pad Finale. I check and it's still set to record. What is happening? WHAT IS THE POINT OF HAVING A DEVICE TO RECORD IF IT DOESN'T ACTUALLY RECORD SHIT?
I took a day to chill out over this clearly very stressful issue. Tonight I spent 2 hours on the phone with technical support and they are just as perplexed as I am. "So you're telling me your device is not recording?" Yes that's what I'm saying, the recording device that your company installed for me to be able to record, play, fast forward, pause and rewind, does zero of those things. She had me do test recordings, as if I'm a complete asshole and didn't try that before calling. Still nothing. After two hours and no progression, I will have to waste some more hours tomorrow morning when a resolution consultant will telephone me to make further attempts to resolve the issue of complete basic functionality failure of their equipment.
For the past 3 years every time something ridiculous happens in my life I have attempted to find the humour in it, and filed it away in "blog about it". Well... this is it. I'm blogging.
For the record I'm aware that I've used the most basic blog template in existence. I just want to write shit down, not spend time finding the perfect shade of whatever to make this more aesthetically appealing. I have enough problems in my life, I don't need to be spending hours customizing fonts. I might throw down a picture every now and then for emphasis, but I'm taking it one step at a time.
In short, my view is that life is a project. And that is what this blog is about.