DSL, well, no, you can’t have it…

Yesterday, I reported that I was getting DSL service through an Ontario company called VMedia.  It was a good deal, under $70 per month for unlimited DSL service, 50mbps down, 10mbps up.

Shortly after signing up, I got an email from them that they were unable to verify my address.  This did not surprise me as UPS was unable to find my address back in August to deliver a SIM card from Rogers, they finally did, 2 days later…  Anyway, I called back and was put through to billing, I think it was.

Anyway, after explaining that no, I am not in Coleman, Alberta but DO share the same postal code and then saying that I had tried Telus (who was going to do the install) and they didn’t service my location, they determined that no, they can’t offer service at my house.  I was not surprised.  I sort of know how DSL works from back when it was first introduced, I am too far from the nearest switching station (I think they are called).  She tried to offer me their service via cable, I told her that we don’t have cable where I am.  If we did, I would have stayed with Shaw Cable when I moved here.

I was suspicious right from the get-go since if this service was available, my neighbours would have had it added in their homes.  Of course, technologies change so I held onto a faint bit of hope.  Alas, it’s not to be.  They’ve already refunded my money so all is well and this chapter, is closed.

The other option that I had tried already, through a local company, Tough Country Communications might still work.  I don’t have a direct line of sight to use them, but one of my neighbours (that I’ve never met) across the river from me is on considerably higher ground than I am and he uses them for internet.  If he allows Tough Country to install a relay on his roof, I’d be able to get service through that.  So, I contacted Tough Country again and although the technician who came to do an assessment here in July put down notes to contact the person on the other side of the river, those notes didn’t make it to the sales team.  My call got her into the file and she’s going to follow-up.  It won’t be as fast as Rogers, but it will be significantly cheaper and offers unlimited data.  I am hoping to find out in the next couple of weeks if this is a possibility or not.

For now, I will continue with Rogers, it works great.  The cell tower is close and I have an excellent signal.

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DSL where I am? Sounds like it…

As I have mentioned, I have canceled my internet with Xplornet.  I was using their satellite system and in heavy cloud cover, I had intermittent internet, at best.  That doesn’t work when I use internet for my work and need reliable internet all day, every day.  I have a Rogers Hub which works great.  It is LTE speed and does a good job, the only issue is that it’s sort of expensive.

So, I’ve been looking for an alternative and have called a bunch of providers.  I am just outside of the town of Coleman, Alberta, about 8km from the outskirts of the town.  In town, Shaw cable offers service, but not here.  Telus isn’t available here either apparently.  I did fine one who offers DSL service though, VMedia, based out of Ontario.  I have signed up and they will be installing next week on Monday.  I am hoping that because my postal code is the same as Coleman, they don’t think I am actually in Coleman, guess we will see.

For a year, I get the discounted rate of $39.95 per month for 50mbps down, 10mbps up and unlimited data.  I do need to pay for the modem rental as well, $9.95 per month.  After the first year, it jumps up $10 per month to $49.95 plus the modem rental.  Great prices and I won’t go broke streaming baseball and movies and what not.  I do hope it works as advertised.

Yesterday, we had some gorgeous fall weather, even though it is still summer.  It was 13C and the sun was blazing.  The dogs and I played in the backyard for 30 minutes or so and we were all tired.  If it is that warm today, I think we will go down to the lake again, possibly for one of the last times this year, at least when they can splash around in the water.  The mountain peaks are snow covered and I am sure snow won’t be too long here on the ground.  October is supposed to be a nice month though with above average temps so here’s to hoping.

UPDATE – 11:38AM MDT, spoke with VMedia this morning and arranged the install.  Well, as it turns out, no, I cannot get DSL services where I live which does not surprise me at all.  I am too far from a switching station (I think they are called) for DSL to work and there is no cable out here either.  Maybe some day, but for now, no.  So, luckily, Rogers HUB works great.

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Weekends go by too quickly…

The weekend was good, as most weekends are, but it went by way too quickly, as most weekends do.

Saturday, I did my monthly run into Lethbridge.  I had a 9am appointment at TD bank as I wanted one of their debit Visa cards.  They found an old account of mine that was last accessed in 2003 and it was an RRSP/Savings account that I had set up back in 1990.  Unfortunately, it wasn’t enough to retire on, so I guess I will work today.  After the bank, I did my trip to Costco.  The Lethbridge Costco is SO much better than any of them in Calgary.  You can actually find a parking space within a few feet of the entrance and it isn’t so crowded that you can’t maneuver your cart around.  I was in and out pretty quick, dog food was the main objective and I got some other needed items.  I had asked for recommendations on Facebook some time ago and a lot of people suggested the Kirkland brand of dog food.  I did some research into it and it was just about as good as the food I was feeding my dogs, but it costs me about 1/3 as much.  I was spending a bit over $250 per month for food, 3 bags per month.  These are larger bags (isn’t everything at Costco larger?) and cheaper, I now spend $85 per month.  I will use extra gas and time getting to Lethbridge, but it’s a good Saturday morning out of the house.

I stopped in Pincher Creek on the way back to look at beds at the Brick, they have some on sale but I am not quite ready to buy as yet.  The people cleaning my place were here shortly after I got home.  The renovations have all been completed so they were cleaning some of that mess up and some trouble areas from the previous tenant.  All is well now with the house which is fantastic.

Sunday was sort of a miserable day weather-wise.  It was cold, windy and rainy.  At times, I thought we were having a monsoon.  I wasn’t able to go on a hike with the dogs.  Well, I guess I could have, but we’d all have been soaked through and I am sure it would not have been a lot of fun.  I tried a new sports streaming service called DAZN to watch the Bills game yesterday as it wasn’t on TV here.  It was quite good, no buffering, good video and good audio.  If it continues being that reliable, I will subscribe, I am on a free month.  It’s only $20 CDN per month which isn’t bad at all.  It also includes baseball so it means I won’t need MLB.tv next year if I do subscribe and it supports Chromecast as well.  I also watched the “new” Ghostbusters remake, it was excellent, possibly better than the original.  I had heard bad things about it, all of those things were wrong.  If you haven’t seen it, I would highly recommend it, one of the best recent movies I’ve seen.

I watched the Sunday Night Baseball game, Dodgers @ Cardinals, the Cards won which is good for my team, the Rockies.  I think I’ve also decided that the Dodgers are now my most hated team in baseball, displacing the Yankees from their long-held number one spot.  Congrats Dodgers, that was a tough thing to do.  I hope your playoff aspirations die quickly in the last few weeks of September.

So, back to work this morning and another new week.  Enjoy yours.

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Weekend Update…

Well, my plan to help out my friend with her dog has hit a snag. I checked with the property management company and I’m not allowed any additional dogs.

I can’t say I’m surprised by this, who really wants more than three dogs in a house, 3 is a lot to begin with. I feel very bad for my friend though. She is likely going to need to re-home her dog and she’s quite stressed about it.

I guess, in hindsight, I shouldn’t have offered before I checked.

So, no guest dog for me and no new friend for Blondie, Hera and Twix. Hopefully the dogs can play together a bit over the next while.

It’s the weekend, yay to that. The weather does not feel like late summer, but rather late fall. Of course, I’m not in Calgary any longer. We had snow flurries the last few days, none stuck to the ground luckily but the mountain tops are now snow covered. I’ve turned on my heat, the earliest ever. Yesterday morning, the house was a rather chilly 12°C. So, I weakened and on goes the heat.

In other news, I’ve reluctantly decided that I have to cancel my trip to Ontario for October. I’ve spent way too much money lately and airline tickets for flights in Canada are ridiculous. I also looked at how much I’d likely spend while in Ontario and I don’t want to burry myself. I’m thinking I’ll plan for a spring trip. I had though about heading to California in the spring but my cousin will no longer live there as she’s retiring at the end of the year. She’ll be back in Toronto come spring anyway so I can see her there. I’m disappointed that I won’t see friends and family, it’s been a year and a half now. I can save over the winter now though and it’ll be much easier. So, planning now for the end of March or early April.

I called my internet provider yesterday, Xplornet and cancelled. It worked great in August when the weather was good. It’s been very cloudy this week and my internet is going up and down like a yoyo. Since I didn’t have that issue when the weather was good, I can only presume it’s cloud related. From what I hear, it’s far cloudier here than it was in Calgary. I need reliable internet, I use it for work, so, while I’m still in the free month, I decided to back out. They’ll refund the money I’ve paid out and a tech will come to remove the dish and reclaim the equipment. I’m keeping my Rogers Hub, it works great. No latency issues and actually seemed far faster than satellite. It’ll cost me a bit more, but it’s worth it to be reliable. Sorry, Xplornet, I had hoped it would work out.

I’m up far too early today, heading into Lethbridge for a Costco run, the dogs need food. Hopefully the weather will be good for the trip in, not supposed to snow, but it is still summer after all, isn’t it?

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Internet and the weather…

I cancelled my main internet provider today. I’m inside the first month, so they have a money back guarantee. I’m pretty remote and this is satellite internet. In the second half of August, it was fine. Now that it’s September and it’s been pretty cloudy, the connection is constantly dropping. The installer told me it would be fine except in really bad storms. Ummm, no. Not the case. It does not work in heavy clouds. I’m not talking snow or a thunderstorm, just heavy clouds. I use this for work and I need it to be reliable.

So, I’m back to Rogers and am using their Hub. It’s at LTE speed and the nearest tower is about a kilometer away. It works quite well for work purposes. It’ll cost me a bit more, but hey, it’s reliable.

The other issue with satellite internet is the latency. There is a 2 second delay on everything. That doesn’t sound like a lot, bit it makes working from home painful.

Anyway, I’m glad I discovered the issues before my first month was up. I have paid for 2 months of service and installation but it’ll be refunded.

I don’t have a back up now, but I don’t think Rogers will be down too often.

On another note, summer appears to be over. We’ve had snow flurries and cold temps. I’ve had to turn the heat on already, this is the earliest ever. Oh well, we didn’t get the snow that Edmonton did anyway.

The weekend is here. Costco run tomorrow in Lethbridge and not a lot else planned for the weekend. Enjoy yours.

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Lots happening…

The electrician was at my place on Tuesday and did all of the work that he needed to do.  There were issues with many of the touch sensitive light switches so they were replaced with regular light switches.  A new outdoor sensor light was installed and it lights up most of the driveway which is great.  A new switch and wall outlet were installed in the main bathroom and a GFI outlet was installed in the half bath.  The light over the jet-tub in the bathroom was replaced as well.  He was here for just over an hour or so, it’s so nice to have everything done.

The house is all set up now, it’s about time, I know.  I do have to find a home for a couple of things but basically, it’s done.  It is nice being able to turn the bathroom light off with a switch, one forgets how nice modern conveniences are when you don’t have them.

Now, I just need to get the cleaner scheduled to come in.  Should happen in the next day or two.

Somehow, in my move or over the last couple of weeks, one of my hoodies, my favourite hoodie has gone missing.  It was a gray hoodie with a large Babe Ruth logo on the front.  I bought it last spring, it was a nice hoodie, actually, I ordered a red one (no logo) since I liked it so much and my other red hoodie had seen much better days.  I have no ides what happened to it, a hoodie is sort of tough to lose, one might think.  I’ve unpacked everything and it’s not anywhere that I can find it.  I’ve ordered a replacement anyway so it will be a couple of weeks before I get it.  Of course, as soon as the replacement comes, I am sure I will find the other one, somehow.  Odd anyway.

Last night, a dog friend of Blondie, Hera and Twix came over.  The dogs played outside for 30 minutes or so, non-stop running around and being happy dogs.  We came inside as it was windy and cold last night, they were better inside, I don’t allow rough-housing in the house.  Cinder is a black lab and pitbull mix, young, just over a year old.  Her owner is a friend of mine, lives in Coleman.  Anyway, she works at the mine and works 15 hour days, 4 days on, 4 days off.  So, when she’s working, Cinder is going to stay with me and my dogs and then go home when she’s off.  She knew it wasn’t fair to the dog to have her alone all day and only be let out a few times by a neighbour.  My friend was thinking of re-homing her so I proposed this as an alternative.  I think it will work out, we will see how it goes.  So, 4 days a week, I will have an extra pack member.  She’ll keep my 3 hopping, that’s for sure.  Cinder’s Mom will pay her expenses, food and bring over a dog bed or two and everything else, she’ll just be crashing here.  Cinder is going to spend the night here on Friday night and I will drop her off on Saturday morning, I think all will be well, my dogs get along with Cinder pretty well.  I guess, for now, if the Crowsnest SPCA ever replies to my email about fostering, I will have to say my place is full.

Nothing else much on the horizon really.  I will make my monthly trip to Lethbridge on the weekend.  Costco, Canadian Tire, a few other places.  My trip to Ontario is planned, all I need to do now is buy tickets.  I have to wait until my new credit card arrives.  The fraud department detected some transactions that they thought were suspicious and sure enough, they were.  So, the old card was canceled and a new one is on its way.  I will then book my trip to Ontario.  It will just be a quick trip, I don’t want to overstay my welcome.

The weekend is almost here, so is winter by the feel of it.  Central and northern Alberta have already gotten some snow.  For now, the Pass is snow free, I hope it stays that way for a bit.  It is still summer after all.

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Crowsnest Pet Care

I saw an ad in one of the groups I am on in Facebook for a company called Crowsnest Pet Care.  They offer to let your dogs out while you’re out and other pet type services.

I had to work in Lethbridge one day last week to get some critical updates for my computer and was going to be gone from 6:30am until 4pm or so, too long for the dogs to wait for a pee break for sure.  So, I contacted them and they arranged to come out to the house to meet the dogs.  As long as you are friendly with me, the dogs are friendly with you.  I am unsure what they’d do if you weren’t friendly with me, and YOU probably don’t want to find out…

Anyway, the meeting went well, why wouldn’t it, my dogs are sweeties. The next day, they came and let the dogs our around noon and took a bunch of pictures that they posted on Facebook.  It was a great deal too.  I’ve booked them for a couple of other visits when I am going to be in Calgary over the next month or so.  They don’t do boarding which is sort of too bad.  I’ve also booked Blondie and Twix to do a hike with them and a few other dogs.  I am leaving Hera off this first time as she has some issues with other dogs at times, especially small ones.  The owners of the company said we could include her the next time and they’d properly introduce Hera to the pack.  When Blondie and Twix are out with them, I will take Hera down to the lake and she and I will hang out together.  I am sure she’ll love that.

Anyway, if you happen to be in the area, I’d highly recommend them.  They can be found on Facebook at:  Crowsnest Pet Care

The electrician is at my place today, fixing some minor issues.  After he’s done, the renos will be done and I will be good to go.  A cleaner will come in and do a full cleaning and bingo, perfect place.  I will be happy to have it all done.


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Great weekend…

I am on day three of my three day weekend. The weather has been awesome. From the looks of the forecast, this may be the last of summer.

On Friday, I took the dogs down to the lake. A dog that Twix met here was there, so she met Blondie and Hera this time, and the four of them had a ton of fun and my three were exhausted. Twix is quite the swimmer, loves it more than her sisters. Oddly, Blondie isn’t a swimmer, but she’s never really had the opportunity. Back in Ontario when she was a puppy, I didn’t take her to Lake Ontario and when we moved to Alberta, although she’s had plenty of opportunities to swim, it’s mostly been in the Bow River and it’s got quite the current. Anyway, she goes in up to her chest and that’s about it. Perhaps I’ll go in with her and see if I can get her swimming.

I ended Friday at The Pie Man in Blairmore. Excellent food, best fish and chips I’ve ever had. It was a good day.

Yesterday, I made a trip into Lethbridge to pick up some supplies for The Pie Man, took the dogs along for the ride. On the way back, I stopped and looked at a Jeep Wrangler, I know I will get back into one some day. It was a 2 door, like my original Jeep, all of the power options and a navigation system as well.

A nap was in order for the afternoon, ended up being three hours long. Took it easy Saturday night. Watched Kansas City attempt a perfect game, just caught the ninth inning, unfortunately for the pitcher, he gave up a walk in the 9th to end the perfect bid and then a single to end the no hitter. It’s a very rare event, indeed.

Today has started pretty early, although 5am seems to be the new norm for me waking up. The dogs are fed and have been out. I’m going organize the last few things in the house today. I think the dogs and I will also return to the lake later this afternoon. The high is supposed to be 21 and we might not see those temps again this year.

Back to work tomorrow and it’s a 5 day work week. I’ll find a way to survive. I hope you had a good weekend as well.

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All done, the house I mean…

Wow.  After 2 weeks, my bathroom is finally done.  Everything in the house and outside is now done.  Well, just about.  An electrician needs to come in and do some minor work and then cleaners will come in.

The doors on the shed weren’t repaired, so I will have to contact the property management company about that.  The sheds were cleaned though, I think I will use one half of them for firewood, it will keep it dry anyway, well, presuming the door is fixed.

The garage has been totally cleaned out, top to bottom.  There was a LOT of junk in the rafters, it’s all been removed.  It is amazing the amount of stuff that the previous tenant left when he moved out.

I have a new box for the garbage outside, complete with a latch that I can lock – let’s see if the wild animals can figure out a lock…

All I need to do now is decide if I want to replace the dishwasher or not.  At the moment, I am thinking I won’t.  Washing the dishes by hand hasn’t been that bad and really, I am one person, how many dishes can I possibly produce?  I guess I will see if it annoys me enough to get a dishwasher and have it installed.

I will definitely be getting a garage door opener.  There is no way that I want to come home in -30 degree weather and have to get out of the car, manually open the garage door (and I would have to go inside the garage as there is no outside handle), then get back into the car, drive into the garage, back out once more to close the door and then leave the garage.  I saw in the Canadian Tire flyer, they have a garage door opener on sale for $199.  Sounds good to me.  My buddy can install it for me.  Done.

I need to order some firewood for the upcoming winter.  The wood stove puts out some excellent heat, will be nice on cold winter nights, or cold winter mornings.  It is already going down to zero or below now in the morning and it is still summer.  I have not as yet turned the heat on and I am unsure if I can make it to my normal October 1 date when I normally wait to turn the heat on.  It’s supposed to be warm today, mid 20’s so no need for heat today.  I will see if I can make it until October 1, with the help of the fireplace, I probably can.

I think I am going to enjoy living here.  The area is beautiful.  It’s quiet, it’s dark at night.  You can see stars in the sky like I haven’t seen in a long time, always living in the city.  The neighbours around me are friendly which is always good, so is everyone in town.  It’s a different world living in a small town, that’s for sure.

I have a long weekend coming up, I am off tomorrow since I worked this past Sunday.  I am looking forward to a relaxing weekend.  Hopefully the weather will be good so I can take the dogs to the beach, possibly for the last time this summer.  Enjoy.  🙂

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Labour Day

It’s Labour Day today, in Canada and the US anyway, I am unsure where else it is observed.  So, that means it is a day off for most of us.  In Alberta, stores are generally open, malls, grocery stores, restaurants and what not.  I hope that the people working getting a day in lieu at some point in the future.

My employer is closed of course.  There will be the odd person who will be working today, but it will be fairly rare.  It is, after all, the last long weekend of the summer and also, the unofficial end to summer.  We have a few weeks until summer officially ends but this is pretty much it.

I have no plans today really.  I do need to do dishes, by hand – now, that is labour.  I will replace my dishwasher in the near future, so that will be good.  For now, I’ve been lazy, so there are dishes that have piled up.  I also have to do a load or two of laundry.  So, I guess no plans isn’t really true, it’s domestic chores day.

The renovation guys are supposed to come in today at some point.  The garage needs to be swept out, I think they are done working in there and the new deadbolts need to be installed.  A new partial floor needs to go in the bathroom, I am interested to see what tiles have been purchased, I am sure they won’t match what’s in there since those tiles are likely from the 70’s.

The shed in the back is mostly done, it’s been cleared out, it does need a new door on both sides though.  Most of the garbage has been hauled away, likely only one small load to go.

It will be nice to have the renovations done, I am not banking on today necessarily, but hopefully tomorrow.  When they are done, I need some minor electrical work done and then a cleaning person will come in and clean top to bottom.

It will be nice having a house that’s done.  I will have everything setup at that point which will be good.

So, back to my domestic stuff, I hope that you have a great Labour Day.

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