Aspect ratios, bass clarinet, first Lemax of the year, etc.

Where to start this week…

Well, the cell phone bullshit extended to Tuesday, and took my brother’s intervention to fix it all. All I can say is I absolutely hate dealing with telecomm bullshit.

And my old carrier’s sales team has been calling me every single day, even though I told them at the start of the week I wasn’t coming back and to stop calling me. And I stopped answering.

Some days the scumbags called me twice.

Finally, this morning I got sick of it and straight up blocked the number. Fuck you, Rogers.

But let’s talk about more pleasant things.

I’d ordered an exercise bike the other week and Sunday afternoon I had a chance to get it assembled whilst watching the DVD of U2’s PopMart.

Just one problem: this is my brother’s TV and we couldn’t find the remote. Which means that some of the functions on the menu can’t be messed with.

Including aspect ratio, which is a problem when the video was shot in 4:3 but the TV is 16:9 and I can’t change it for the duration of the DVD.

Generally it’s not that terrible of an annoyance, except I was kinda hoping to spend the time assembling the exercise bike looking up and ogling Bono in shiny tight leather pants from back in the day.

And, I mean, I did, but it was Big Boned Bono. The camera adds 10 pounds and the incorrect aspect ratio adds another 40. He was absolutely not that fat in the ’90s.

On the flip side, I bet if I’d popped in a Duran Duran DVD, it would have made their bassist look as if his wife bothered to feed him occasionally.

Anyway, the bike got assembled. And I’ve ordered a replacement remote.

It’s a bit Mickey Mouse, but it works and is easy to move around. I drag it out in front of the TV 3 nights a week to cycle and when not in use, I drag it off to the side of the room.

In between, I’m trying to walk in the evenings, but it also kinda depends whether or not it’s still hot outside. If so, I’ve been skipping it as I’m feeling a bit too sensitive to the heat. In the next week or so we should start having some cooler temperatures, including tonight and for the next couple days before we get another hot spell.

I say that and then I’m looking at a move to LA or Phoenix, LOL… but that’s different, because those are American cities, and the heat will be outweighed by the benefits of not being in “stupid frozen Canada” (as Zamo always calls it) with its goddamn Karenocracy.

What else… I hit the driving range again this week but didn’t bother to take any pictures. This week had me trying to just shoot straighter, but my distance was mostly garbage.

And I landed a bunch of balls in the water hazard again.

But at least I was paying a lot of attention to my stance and for the most part knew what I did wrong each time. Now to avoid all the mistakes in future driving range trips.

On the same trip down to Victoria, I was on a mission to find Lemax Spooky Town pieces from Michaels. So, on the app it showed that they had “limited quantities” in stock for certain items at the Uptown location and others at the Millstream location.

I popped in the Uptown and couldn’t find the display, so I asked one of the staff. She said they’d gotten a couple each of maybe 3 or 4 houses and a few of the figurines, but they were told not to put the display out until they had everything.

However, they could sell them via the in-store pickup (so I bought one, the Carnival of Carnage, through the app and she was able to bring it out to me). And they are shipping from stores for orders placed online. (Earlier this week I ordered Zombie Records and it was shipped to me from Lloydminster.)

So, when I got home with the Carnival of Carnage, of course I had to “test” it.

(I’ll write this up for a Monday memorabilia/collections post with more details and photos.)

I’ll probably just leave it set up right here. The rest of the Spooky Town pieces shall come out to play sometime after Labor Day.

On the same day, I had to go to Long & McQuade to pick up some reeds for my B-flat clarinet (had to go down to 2.0 strength from the 2.5s I’d been using lately as I was having troubles with the 2.5s and getting a good clear tone out of them, so my teacher suggested going down a level; he also suggested trying a synthetic reed for consistency).

After getting those, on a whim, I asked the clerk if they sell used bass clarinets and at what price. The price she gave me was about half what a new bass clarinet would go for, and I vaguely remembered that the last time I rented from L&M, they had some policy where a portion of your monthly rental fee goes to a “rental credit” that can be applied to purchasing the instrument you’re renting.

And the monthly fee was pretty reasonable for an entry-level bass clarinet. And they had 7 in stock.

So, I’m renting a bass clarinet… again… (before moving here in 2017, I’d been renting one from the Vancouver L&M for several months).

I’m keeping an eye out on eBay for a decent one at a cheap price, but if nothing comes up, I might well just buy this one within a year.

I’ve also been raiding my garden for snacks:

Not a lot of cukes this year, but some of the cucumber starts I planted died and I also seeded some but I guess they didn’t come up.

I was thrilled to see one of the three daylilies I planted this year (as sad little bare-root babies from Breck’s) has indeed flowered, despite my recent neglect.

The other 2 are still alive but probably won’t flower til next year.

‘Enchanted Forest’ daylily:

Guess that means it’s time to wrap things up with a couple other pics from the garden: