About Borderfree, Ecost, and Canada Post

About two months ago, we ordered a document scanner for the company. The problem was that all Canadian retailers charged exorbitant prices for the thing – upwards of $600 CAD – when the selfsame scanner was available from US retail giants for under $300 USD. Even with the exchange rate, we would save hundreds of dollars – or so we thought.

I went online with the company credit card and bought the document scanner from Ecost, an internet retailer based somewhere in the States. They shipped with a broker, Borderfree, which is essentially an agent of Canada Post that specializes in getting things across the border. All good, right? Everybody wins, except for the lousy Canadian rip-off artists.

Wrong. Ecost sent the parcel, Borderfree got it over the border, and Canada Post went and delivered it to the wrong address. Someone named “J. Joyce” signed for it, someone who, I might add, doesn’t work at or have any connection to De Boer Tool. So here we are, two months later with no document scanner and no particular way to find out what happened to us. The schills who work at Canada Post refer us to Ecost, who refers us to Borderfree, whose customer “service” representative works for Ecost, none of whom can find out what on the great and mighty earth happened to our parcel. Ecost (or Borderfree, or both) has been in contact with Canada Post and determined that the product has been delivered. They keep telling me that “J. Joyce” signed for it, and I’m like “thanks, I know that already” and that it’s been delivered to 335 Admiral Blvd, Unit 23, Mississauga, Ontario, Canada; I keep replying that we DO NO have the stupid parcel in our posession.

Ergo, I will never use Canada Post for anything. Ever. Not mail, not parcels, nothing. They can’t get that right, they don’t deserve my business. I’ll email and Purolate everything else. Until then, I’m on the runaround, constantly emailing and phoning Ecost to try to get something done about this. Every few days they email me back something that I already know, and that they should already know. I still don’t have what I’m looking for.

About things.

Google Earth has been launched for free, and we’ve bee playing with it a bit at work. And by a bit I mean a lot, and by a lot I mean way too much. But it’s an amazing program, even if some of the satelite photography is a little… wonky. And of course, with mere broadband and not a pipe bigger than the Chunnel it takes a while for stuff to load until it’s been cached on the local system.

Speaking of cache and local system, if you set Mozilla Firefox to work offline and type in “about:cache” you get a very interesting report on what exactly is cached in both memory and to disk. Very interesting indeed, says I. Just a hint for the privacy paranoid among us: delete your cache, history, cookies, passwords, and anything else you’ve left behind before you exit this program. Preferably get a Sanatize extension and a file shredder program. Also make sure all your emails are sent using 128-bit encryption.

About to be five dollars richer.

I have a five dollar bet today, and so far I’m winning. I don’t really want to win, because it’s not that important that I have another five dollars, but it’s the principle of the matter don’t you know. So in the spirit of all that is British, slightly sarcastic, and riddled with overstatement, I say “The game is afoot! I smell the sweet aroma of a fiver even from my chair!”

Do you ever wonder what it’s like to climb a mountain? I do, sometimes. Like, what is it that causes a man to do that to himself, just to say he could? And more to the point – what’s it like to feel you foot slip a fraction of an inch and know that if you let go now the tether might not hold and you might fall?

I do, sometimes. But then there comes a point in every man’s life where he realizes he can’t (as Neal Stephenson so aptly put it) with a few months training in Japan become the world’s biggest badass. And yes, I am that old, and that man, and I’m not a badass. The criminal probably whips me, not the other way around. I am not caped, nor am I a crusader.

I am, however on a mission. And I’m about to win five dollars.

About coming in to work.

I’m getting quite sick of a few things here at work, most of which I won’t burden the public or semi-public with. But I will say this: I’m quite sick of my sisters acting like their jobs are either part time or whatever time they feel like it. Not so much Lisa, who you can pretty much count on (unless she’s planning a wedding or something), but the other sisters who work here: they just come and go as their schedules permit and of course stuff doesn’t get done. So some tools didn’t go to Quebec last night like we promised – but I got to do violin lessons! And of course the one time I didn’t come in I got reamed out for it, even though I was caught in Ancaster in the snow and then wanted to go to Toronto with my then-girlfriend. Yeah, that’s a bit frustrating.

But don’t let me gripe you to death; Douglas Wilson (when he’s not fighting off the Moscow Diversity Suppression Committee) writes some great stuff. The following is no different:

One of God’s great patterns is that of taking apart, and then restoring fully. The restoration, the resurrection, is fuller, deeper, and richer than the original unity ever was. But before God tears, we consistently tend to panic, afraid that this time He will not be able to put anything back together. But He always does.

About recording.

So I went out and bought a Fast Track USB module to record with, and wow. I’m blown away. Alright, not quite blown away, but it’s a sweet piece of equipment. It’s got an XLR and 1/4″ input, monitor and phones output, and basically zero latency. So for the last three hours that’s all I’ve been doing: fooling around with it to make it sound pretty. Now, as for my voice and guitar playing skills, that I have to work on. However, I at least have the right tools.

About what I overheard.

I overheard this at the shop today:

Person 1: The quickest way to a man’s heart is through his…
Person 2: *uncomfortable silence*
Person 1: Stomach! Through his stomach!
Person 2: Oh.

About last night.

I did something absolutely crazy last night just because I could – or, more likely, because I’m pretty much a wack-o. It went down like this: at about 12:30 last night I was talking to Mary (oddly, because you know, we used to go out and all that) and she was totally frustrated: her parents had left her without a vehicle and without a working colour or suitable greyscale printer, and she was trying to print out some flyers for the church, ones that she had said she would do. The fact that she couldn’t actually get them done on top of an entire day just chock-full of stress was really, shall we say, getting to her. So I was trying to come up with a solution, something to do with an available printer, and the best I could come up with was that my workplace has a very fast, very high resolution laser printer.

My famous last words: “Here’s the plan – I’ll be there in fifteen minutes. Be ready to roll.” That was at about 1:00am.

When it was all said and done – including re-designing the pamphlet because of a PDF mixup – I had her back to her house at 5. That’s right. 5.

Like I said – I’m pretty much crazy.

Dan (Cigars and Coca-Cola. Yeah.)

About a dream.

Last night after I finished recording my dreams, goals, and ambitions in my private journal, I had a dream in which pretty much every one of them was broken down and crumbled around my feet. Now, I don’t put much stock in either omens and my subconscious, but that’s a little disturbing, wouldn’t you say?

In in the lueu of having anything deep and insightful to say, I’ll quote some lyrics from Mae.

Remembering, everything,
about my world and when you came.
Wondering, the change you’d bring,
means nothing else would be the same.
Did you know, what you were doing, did you know.
Did you know how you would move me well,
I don’t really think so.
but the night came down and swept us away.
and the stars they seemed,
to paint the most elaborate scene to date.

How could we know, this song this show,
we learned so much about ourselves.
From Toledo, to Tokyo,
the words were scribed on every page,
and now there’s books up on our shelves.
Did you know; how you would move us, did you know.
When the lights, first came upon us,
and we, saw the everglow.
and the moments magic swept us away.
and the young mans dream, was almost seen so plain.

When was the night,
that showed us the sign.
Revealed in the sky, to leave all behind.
But where to begin? throw the caution, to the wind.
We’ll reach for the stars, everything is now ours.

Did you know, how you would move me, did you know.
Did you know how you would move me well,
I don’t even think so.
but the moments magic swept us away.
and it’s so close, but we’re so far away.

It’s so close, but we’re so far away.

Dan ( Not Freud. )

About China.

I was thinking in the car today – and I don’t do that often, so forgive me – that most of our commodity goods that subsidize our lifestyle come from China. But this won’t last long, as two things are going to get in the way: first off, the rising standard of living in China; and secondly, the rising price of natural resources all over the globe.

At which point our debt level will come back to haunt us, as will our sky-high standard of living which will be unsustainable when spread across not only North American culture and Japan but across North America, Japan, Europe, and a great deal of China.

Dan (Not a fan of commodity [read: cheap] goods.)