Broken tests, mixed up mugs, garden news, and future shows

Only a few more days til this Mercury retrograde screws off back to Hell for a few months… until the next one.

So, I mentioned before that my brother was in Mexico as part of the process of relocating there (and I will likely follow within a year or two because Canada sucks, eh?) and I’ve mentioned about him returning to Canada recently. This entailed a 14 quarantine and he’s staying at my house rather than his current official residence at my dad’s place (he owns a house in Vancouver still but has it rented out now).

So, there’s a bunch of stupid rules and hoops to jump through and 5 million negative tests etc. to please the government’s Karenstapo. One was that he was given a test to take on day 8 of the quarantine and a courier picked it up to take to some lab somewhere.

And in the process, it got dropped or otherwise smashed, so his test was rendered invalid. This then involved him having to call many times to get information on getting another test sent out, which he didn’t even find out he needed to do for several days after Day 8 when he discovered his test had been damaged and for some reason the company in charge didn’t automatically send a new one, he had to request it.

And then though he confirmed my address with them as the destination, they sent one to my dad’s… which won’t get there til Monday, 2 days after his stupid quarantine/house arrest was supposed to be finished.

But also it turns out they sent at least one additional test kit, which will come to my house, but probably not til Monday or even Tuesday. Either way, he needs to hope that this one doesn’t get smashed by the courier again, but I guess somewhere deep in the government’s incoherent website there’s some small print about a maximum of 28 days of quarantine, which is probably about when he’ll be getting his test results.

I’m not going to rant too much more on the topic, but let’s just say I have friends in Los Angeles, aka Lunatic Central, who have been shocked to hear the shit that’s been going on in Canada. (And here on the West Coast, we’re nowhere near as bad as Ontario has been. I’m surprised there aren’t Ontarians floating across the Great Lakes on rafts, Cuban-style, looking to flee to the land of the free… well, I guess they’d mostly be landing in Gov. Witch-mer’s Michigan, which isn’t much of an improvement, whereas the Cubans were all landing in Florida, which—as any iguana can tell you—is the Promised Land.)

Los Angeles. Where the idiot government filled in a kids’ skate park with tons of sand last summer despite astronomically small odds of getting infected outdoors and a 99.5%+ survival rate even with all the tampering with the numbers. In fact, I think they did it twice because the kids dug the sand out the first time.

Also where things are now open again from what I understand, months after Florida and Texas did with no calamity.

Los Angeles… where freedom and even some small measure of sanity has returned, unlike back home.

But hey, that’s why my clan is learning Spanish. My brother is going first, and his son is also planning to figure out a path to permanent residency in Mexico. (My first choice is the USA, but I’ll go where I can get in easily and relatively quickly.)

I guess that’s a roundabout way of saying “don’t expect any sort of ‘happy Canada Day’ bullshit here.”

On the same day that he got the bad news that “oh yeah, your test was broken, we’ll try to get our shit together to send you a new one but won’t actually ship it til Day 13 of your quarantine and the courier doesn’t do shit on the weekends so stay in house jail another week at least”, I got some much more minor postal screw-up news.

Well, e-Bay screw-up to be specific. A large box was on my doorstep when I haven’t ordered anything requiring it. The tracking number matched a parcel that should have been a U2 tour programme, the sort of thing normally sent in a bubble mailer. Thinking maybe the seller was just super cautious (it happens), I opened the box to find 4 vintage Fire King coffee mugs.

Um… nice… but I didn’t order those.

The order had come through the Global Shipping Program for eBay, wherein the seller mails stuff to a central depot in Kentucky where it is pre-cleared through customs and double checked then resealed with the final shipping label with the buyer’s address slapped on top. I peeled off the shipping labels and held them up to the light to see if I could make out a name or address, and it seems like the cups were destined for a Michael whose last name starts with a Z. I couldn’t make it all out but it seems to be one of those long Polish last names.

Shit… Well, in these cases, it’s clearly eBay’s fault at the GSP for swapping shipping labels and fortunately it doesn’t happen very often. I messaged the seller, who was bummed but totally understanding, and then I followed what I found on the eBay help forums that said to request a refund. I attached photos of everything and explained what I saw on the labels, the seller then replied to eBay to ask them to mark it down as a GSP mistake, I was granted a refund and from what I understand they shouldn’t ding the seller for the cost of that refund since it’s not his fault.

And they don’t bother with any sort of attempt to match the swaps up or whatever, so I keep Michael’s cups and I guess I hope he likes U2.

Or at least that’s the least worst case scenario: that our 2 orders were the only ones that got swapped. I can also envision a case where somehow the first order of a shift gets screwy and then a succession of orders each got the previous order’s mailing labels in which case there might be a daisy chain of us all getting the next person’s stuff.

Ah well. At least it’s the Vertigo tour program, which is relatively easy to get a copy of.

Knock on wood that there isn’t an issue with the autographed hardbound copy of U2 by U2 that has just cleared customs and which should arrive next week, because that’s not so easily/inexpensively replaced. (My brother, who hates U2, cheerfully said that it’s good that I bought that one, because “when they die, those autographs will be worth a ton!” Uh… thanks for that morbid thought… let me introduce you to my friends I, J, and S, who are also looking forward to that particular “when”.)

What else… looks like I’m making zucchini loaf and zucchini brownies tonight or tomorrow.

I actually don’t really care for zucchini loaf, but my dad likes it, so he’s getting a couple loafs for Father’s Day along with the other stuff I got him. I do like zucchini brownies, though I think I still have some in the freezer from last August’s batch.

And there are more zucchinis growing.

In other garden news, there has been some, but not much, denting of the mulch pile, with 5 wheelbarrows’ full removed to finish mulching the bed under the palm tree and the little faux-Japanese strip along the south side of the house.

And I shovelled those wheelbarrows off the side of the mulch by the neighbor’s fence, so I can now get a wheelbarrow along the side to the front of the pile so I can start removing from the sidewalk side in the hopes of getting my car in the driveway again without blocking the sidewalk.

My brother’s car is a shorter hatchback, however, so for now he gets the driveway spot.

Speaking of my brother and the great outdoors, he was mentioning about a neighbor in Mexico who had a whole flock of hummingbirds coming to his feeder, and how when the feeder ran out, the hummingbirds would come stare at him on the next patio over in expectation that he would hop the fence and fill it.

Apparently some hummingbird in my backyard gave him the same stinkeye the other day, lol… anyway, I had a hummingbird feeder kicking around unused, so we cleaned it up and made the sugar water mix and put it by the driveway.

I also got a seed feeder to hang by the pond and a second nectar feeder to put in the backyard. I hope the little buggers are happy. Don’t say we never did nothin’ for ya.

Of course, so far we haven’t spotted any customers at the nectar bars. Go figure.

Mind you, there’s a ton of other nectar available in my garden from actual flowers in my garden, so that hummingbird was kinda giving him the stinkeye for no good reason.

What else… I set up a Zamo the Destroyer YouTube channel and I intend to move all the existing “videos” of the podcast (actually all just still images with titles and the audio) there over the next couple weeks. Then I need to make about 120 more of said “videos” to cover the episodes I didn’t make them for yet, and that will take a while.

In other YouTube news, I’ve wanted to figure out a livestream I could do a couple times a week that would be fun and authentic and also not a huge pain in the ass to do in terms of prep etc. I think I’m getting closer to dialling it in and hypothetically I may well have decided on a name and grabbed the URL.

However, I don’t expect to start it prior to August or even September, so… never mind.

I know I have friends who want me to do a show immediately, but I want the show to be the right show.

Hell, I’ve even thought about reviving the Vampire’s Ball somehow (obviously not on CiTR since I don’t live there anymore and college radio was pozzed to Hell and back enough 6 years ago when I bailed on CiTR… it certainly hasn’t gotten any better since, lol…) I do kinda miss DJing, but if I went back to it, it would probably be done live on Mixcloud or something along those lines.

Terrestrial radio isn’t completely dead, but between corporate interests like Corus and their focus groups and special interests and SJWs, both the commercial space on terrestrial radio and the campus/community space are completely hostile to real independent programming, especially in terms of music-based programming.

Back in the day, the real alternative radio was pirate radio, but that’s not a thing anymore either, everyone just went to the digital realm.

That said, I’m not trying to make it in music anymore and haven’t been for ages, so any music-related activity, including hosting a “radio” show, is squarely in the hobby realm now, meaning it depends on the time and energy I have left over after more important projects. So… this Nuevo Vampire’s Ball idea is pretty far down the priority list. If I have time and energy after running the livestream I’ll be launching and the weird doll web series, and the writing work, etc., then maybe 1 night a week I might look into it. Otherwise, forget it.

Let’s wrap up with a couple other pics from the garden: