It’s the 24th of April in Southern Ontario. I live as far south as Detroit, and it Snowed today. Wha’Happun? Did we not get Mother Nature a nice enough present for Earth Day?
I took the car to the Chevy Dealer last week, to have them Deal with the no-start problem. As I suspected, the charge was almost $600. Then the service manager said the traction control/ABS brakes thing was a separate problem that would take almost another $500 to cure. The cats may have to go on a diet when we start eating their food. I don’t know whether any one of these fixes has taken care of the fainting speedometer, and I haven’t been locked out of the car recently. My key would sometimes fail to turn in the lock, but that was just because it is the most-used, and most-worn. They charged me six bucks and cut me a new one. The wife traded her seldom-used one to the son.
I found another automotive idiosyncrasy the other day. We stopped at the pharmacy, on the way home from the wife’s doctor, with a list of prescriptions. As usual, she wasn’t feeling too energetic, so I went in alone, leaving the keys in the ignition. Just as I was coming back out, in hobbled the wife. She had remembered a question or two she wished to put to the pharmacist. She told me she had pushed the door-lock button, as she got out. I asked her for my keys. Oh, were they still in the lock? She has her purse, does she have her keys? Yes! At least we aren’t locked out. I walked over to the car and opened the driver’s door, and turned to look at her. She was still fumbling to get out the remote on her key-ring. Apparently, if you leave the keys in the ignition and push the lock button, all the doors lock, except the driver’s. So there sat the car, with the driver’s door unlocked, keys in the ignition, and no-one watching it. The only thing missing was a large sign on the roof reading, Steal Me.
The day after I posted about taking the daughter to pick up her hearing assistors at the better hearing clinic, I read a short piece in the local paper that said that two employees from the clinic in the next city, which we used, and one from a branch in a city down the highway, were arrested and charged with fraud. It is Alleged that they overbilled for goods and services and charged for services not rendered to the Ontario Health Insurance Plan, the Canadian Ministry of Health and the Federal Long-term Assistive Devices Program. My guess that they were under investigation was correct. We’ll never get the stolen money back, and now we’ll have to pay more to have them prosecuted, and possibly jailed.
I’m still reading. They’re still S**tting. A story in the local paper is headlined, “In pursuit of riches in the asteroid belt.” It’s about a plan to capture near-Earth asteroids, and mine them for things like platinum, which is really valuable, as well as water for human space-use, and iron, for building structures in space. It would be relatively easy and inexpensive to do because these hunks of rock are closer than the moon. They are Not, however, as implied, in the asteroid belt, which is a couple of hundred million miles away.
Quebec, our beloved Francophone province, has a Quebec Office of the French Language, despite the fact that the poutine they speak is almost incomprehensible to people in France. When they import French-language movies, made in Paris, they have to have subtitles to be understood. This warehouse of cultural egotism threw a snit-fit last week. A hospital in Montreal, where 75% speak English, purchased some soiled linen baskets from a supplier in the USA. The baskets say, ”Soiled linen”. The petty language police got up on their Frogs-legs to protest mocking their culture and disrespect for Quebec’s linguistic uniqueness. Dear Quebec; Get over yourselves! After the Battle of The Plains of Abraham, two hundred years ago, you were offered the options of being a defeated people, or a productive, co-operative part of this great country. Please choose one and shut up about it.
Over the years, many people have suggested that those receiving social assistance, welfare, unemployment, etc., should be required to perform some sort of service for the community which supports them. Various provinces and cities have enacted ordinances which prevent this. For example, the number of hours put in, divided into the amount of money given to an individual, might result in a figure less than the minimum wage law. We can’t have that. That might incite someone to actually get a paying job. Just keep handing the money over with no strings attached.
Some social engineers have come up with a back-door approach which gets around some of these problems. The Language-Nazi doesn’t have any great objection to a scheme which will reduce the Unnecessary burden on an already strained economy. I am steamed, however, about what they’ve decided to call it. When someone is forced to put in work without direct payment, it will be known as Mandatory Volunteerism. This joins Military Intelligence, and Government Ethics as one of the most linguistically self-contradictory phrases ever invented.
BrainRants would probably tell you that, this is the Army system, just without the stupid name. “I want three volunteers! You, you and you!” My handicapped daughter lives in geared-to-income housing. She can’t sweep sidewalks or clear drains, but she is the president of the housing complex she lives in, and puts in lots of hours on her computer, making sure that goods and services are obtained, and payments are made.