Winter 2018 saw more snow
than I've experienced since moving to Chatham.
In March 2018 I found a
new shop in Chatham that can do alternations like shorten trouser legs,
sew on buttons, etc. and all at a very reasonable cost. The
Company is Rojena's Alterations at
181 King St W, Chatham, N7M 1E4 Tel: (519) 937-4846.
a new pair of trousers shortened and 3 pairs of trousers with replaced
buttons and all for $12.00. Took then in on the Friday and could have
got them back on the Saturday but decided to pick them up on the Monday.
some electrical work done from a local company,
Electrical, and while doing the work they found that a plug socket
and ceiling light wasn't grounded and that had to be fixed to bring the
job into code.
might add that I asked Maple City Electric to look at doing this job for
me but they were useless when it came to communication. They send
someone to look at what I wanted and said they'd be in touch to give me
a quote. Well not only did they not get back to me but I even
phoned to remind them but wasn't phoned back. Frankly I wouldn't
trust a company that is rude enough not to get back to you in a timely
manner. So my advise is not to use this company.
might add that after Wrights Electrical left I found all my upstairs
lights were not working and neither did the kitchen light. While
I'm not that technical it seems they put in a ground protector to
protect the nob and tube I still have in the house. It appears that when
the lights surged slightly it blew the fuse and hence all those lights
went out. The father came out at past 7pm to see what the problem
was and said his son would be in in the morning to fix the issue. While
his son was able to explain the issue it was clear to me he hadn't
tested the system before leaving so hopefully he has learned a lesson.
We all make mistakes but hopefully he won't repeat this one in the
New sockets so that I can have both deep fat
fryer and microwave on at the same time and not trip the fuse.
Also a new light under my cupboard to provide better lighting onto the
Installing the new sockets.
I might add that when i purchased the house
I asked the contractor to upgrade my wiring so this goes to show this
Showing the light switch and ceiling
unit which wasn't grounded.
Fire Brigade visited
In June 2018 I had a frying pan fire and the
alarm went off. For some reason my ADT service did not call me but
I found afterwards they'd left a voice message. That resulted in
the Fire Brigade being called out which was not needed as I'd already
sorted out the problem.
I have an electric cooker and I was frying
up some bacon for a bacon sarnie and while making the coffee I smelt
smoke and turning around I saw the frying pan was on fire. I
removed it from the heat but then the fire alarm went of and I then had
to do the usual process in having to switch it off. Of course it
keept going off as smoke is still in the house. Just as I got that
sorted I head the fire sirens and yes it was the fire brigade <sheesh>.
They came in to check all was well which it was.
However I had to figure how it had happened
and I remembered that when I took the pan of the hob it was bright read
just as it would be if I'd put it on max. Well I then put in back
on at medium and lo and behold it went to max. That meant
something was wrong with my cooker. I phoned the company and they
had me on record as buying it in 2005 so clearly out of warranty they
gave me a service contact number to get someone out to fix it.
I was put onto James Beecroft's Appliance
and Refrigeration Repair (519 674 0704) and they came out the next
day ($95 call out fee). He identified the problem as being a
sensor issue so he arranged to order the part and came back on Thursday
21st June and fitted it and so I'm back up and working albeit $207. 32
out of pocket.
However I still had the same issue so
decided to just purchase a new cooker so some $300 of so down the tube
for nothing. Also don't recommend that comany either.
A financial windfall
Got in some good news to compensate and as
you'll see from the above letter I'm to get some extra money from
Around 2 months ago I got in a letter from
them telling me I might be eligible to receive a Guaranteed Income
Supplement and they included a form which I had to sign and send back to
them which I did and this is the result. So from what the letter
states I'm due to get a $7,004.31 lump sum payment and my monthly
pension will go up from my current $165.00 to $664.81 with quarterly
This was totally unexpected but of course
Diabetes and health issues
I've had some issues of late with having
loose bowel movements while I am sleeping at night. Not a pleasant
experience for sure. Talked to my Doctor about it and she
recommended that I stop taking my 2 metforman tablets at night but
continue to take the 2 in the morning. A month into this new
regime the loose bowel movement is cured - thank goodness. However
I am finding I am now having to almost double my dose of short acting
insulin to keep my blood sugar levels under control.
I also visited the Diabetic Clinic which
is an annual visit and I found out that there is a form you can send in
to get help with the cost of needles. Needles are not covered by a
prescription so you need to pay for them and so this payment which is
around $170 a year does help to mitigate the cost.
M&M Food Market
I was recommended to try this freezer
chain as I was told they did an excellent Butter Chicken Curry meal.
And I can confirm this is totally correct. I've purchased several
since my first one. I also tried their breaded fish product which
is also excellent and will buy it again. If you haven't visited
them you might want to check out their web site at
Doug Ford sworn in as Premier of
Ontario on Friday 29th June 2018
The Conservatives took over from the Liberal party's 15 year reign in
Doug Ford, Ontario’s new Progressive
Conservative premier, named 20 ministers to his cabinet before he was
sworn in on Friday on the steps at Queen’s Park..
Mr. Ford won power earlier this month with a campaign that was focused
heavily on cutting taxes, curtailing government spending and helping the
“little guy” at the expense of what he called the province’s elites. His
swearing-in ends 15 years of Liberal rule in Ontario and signals a major
shift in the province’s politics.
Mr. Ford has named his former rival for the PC party leadership,
Christine Elliott, as his deputy premier and minister of health.
Caroline Mulroney, who also sought the Tory leadership earlier this
year, has been named Attorney-General and minister responsible for
Vic Fedeli was named finance minister, a key role in Mr. Ford’s
government as the new premier has promised to slash income taxes, cancel
the province’s cap-and-trade system on carbon emissions and return
Ontario to a budget surplus by the end of his four-year mandate. Mr.
Fedeli is the former mayor of North Bay and was the PC Party’s interim
leader after Patrick Brown resigned in January amid allegations of
Mr. Ford’s cabinet is leaner than that of outgoing Premier Kathleen
Wynne, which had 28 ministers including Ms. Wynne.
“I promised the people that I would make our great province the best
place in North America when it comes to business, creating jobs and
raising a family. And I am going to keep my promise,” Mr. Ford said in a
statement before his swearing-in by Ontario’s lieutenant governor,
The full cabinet of 21, including Mr. Ford, is:
Doug Ford, Premier and Minister of Intergovernmental Affairs
Christine Elliott, Minister of Health and Long-Term Care and Deputy
Peter Bethlenfalvy, President of the Treasury Board.
Raymond Cho, Minister of Seniors and Accessibility
Steve Clark, Minister of Municipal Affairs and Housing
Vic Fedeli, Minister of Finance and Chair of Cabinet
Merrilee Fullerton, Minister of Training, Colleges and Universities
Ernie Hardeman, Minister of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs
Sylvia Jones, Minister of Tourism, Culture and Sport
Lisa MacLeod, Minister of Children, Community and Social Services and
Minister Responsible for Women’s Issues
Monte McNaughton, Minister of Infrastructure
Caroline Mulroney, Attorney-General and Minister Responsible for
Rod Phillips, Minister of the Environment, Conservation and Parks
Greg Rickford, Minister of Energy, Northern Development and Mines, and
Minister of Indigenous Affairs
Laurie Scott, Minister of Labour
Todd Smith, Minister of Government and Consumer Services, and Government
Lisa Thompson, Minister of Education
Michael Tibollo, Minister of Community, Safety and Correctional Services
Jim Wilson, Minister of Economic Development, Job Creation and Trade
John Yakabuski, Minister of Transportation
Jeff Yurek, Minister of Natural Resources and Forestry
At the start of September 2018 my air conditioning failed. Luckily
it was on the last really hot day so I could actually live without it
until next year but decided I may as well look into replacing it now.
I got three quotes in from Postma, QPS and
Handy Bros. I decide to go with Handy Bros as they impressed me
with the care they took to check out my home. For example Postma
just came in and quoted me for a 2.5 ton unit as did QPS but QPS did
check out my furnace and checked the power panel. The Handy Bros
chap, Jake Myers, took the time to calculate the square footage of the
house and whereas the other two just said I needed a 2.5 ton unit Jake
told me I only needed a 2 ton unit which is actually the same size as my
old one which is 29 years old. He explained that too much tonnage
can be as bad as too little. He also checked out my furnace and
power panel but he also checked out my duct work. He explained I
do have a duct issue and he's going to send someone over to take a
closer look at this to see if it's practical to fix the issue. He
pointed out that older homes like mine make it more difficult to add
duct work and so it might not be cost effective to resolve the issue.
He also make sure I knew the Seer
efficiency rating which on the unit I am purchasing is 18 SEER.
This means I should save around $400 a year on heating and cooling
costs. He also pointed out that the new unit should do a much
quicker job of cooling the house and should do a better job as well than
my old one.
On the whole he spent around 1.5 hours
with me and I decided he'd done a better job than the other two
companies so decided to go with him.
The total cost of the unit is $5,253.83
including tax and he gave me the option of paying for this at 0%
interest over 2 years at $218.88 a month and I can also pay this off at
any time. As I've just paid off my car loan which saved me $350.00 a
month I am in a position to pay this off over the two years from income
rather than take it out of capital.
I will say I could have saved some money
by going with either of the other two companies but I think I have a
better overall price when you take into account the efficiency rating of
the unit. The one I am getting is...
I got a visit as promised from Lawrence at HandyBros to check out my
duct work. In the process he discovered that my air conditioning
unit breaker on my main panel had tripped and thus was why my air
conditioning had failed. [sheesh]
And so they are now cancelling my order.
I did say I'd take out their monthly maintenance plan to check both the
furnace and air conditioning unit each year. Least I can do given
the situation. Mind you that's the first time that fuse has ever
tripped so guess why I never even thought of checking it.
The maintenance plan is a one off payment
of $59 and then $20 a month thereafter. They come twice a year... once
to check my air conditioning and the other to check the furnace. So
start of the Summer my air conditioning will be checked and at the start
of Winter my furnace will be checked. The first visit will be later this
month to check the furnace.
And Lee turned up on 17th September to do
my furnace check. As part of the service they also provide a new filter
for the furnace. However he did note that my thermostat wasn't working
properly as there was a lose wire which he fixed so am good to go as
they say. He did say my humidifier filter needed replaced but that was
an extra cost of $62 + tax which I Paid. He said that should last
me 2 years.
Lee from England
I might add that my current air
conditioning unit is 29 years old and so they built them well in them
I am having some issues with my guttering in that when we get heavy rain
I note the water runs over my gutters and of course they do also get
clogged with leaves and other matter.
I decided to do a serious job to get them
fixed and after a lot of looking around decided on using Leaf Filter
gutter protection. I am doing this in two parts. The first
which is going to cost me $1372.25 incl. Tax is to fix the gutters which
includes cleaning all gutters and downspouts, inserting hidden hangers,
seal the system, realign them and do any repairs needed. They will
do this after all the leaves are off the trees so sometime in November.
The chap that visited was Paul Godden, a
Newfie, who now lives in London.
In around a years time I will then look at
purchasing their filter guard product which could cost another $2,000.
You can find them at:
He took a photo of me and here is a copy
Paying off my car loan
I mentioned above that I've paid of my car loan. I was saving
money in a high interest account at my bank and noted this was giving me
1.8% interest BUT my car load was costing me 4.5% interest and so of
course it made sense to take money out of this high interest account to
pay off that loan which is what I did.
The Irish Link
In Scotland my favourite pork sausage was Richmond Irish Pork Sausage.
Since coming to Canada is has been very hard to find a sausage similar
to it. In fact I've talked to many Scots and British ex-pats that
when going back to the UK often say they are most looking forward to
getting the Great British Breakfast.
Well the good news is that I've found a
good sausage which compares very well with the British Banger and it is the
And so you might try searching for them to
find a supplier near you.
New web hosting company
I had a lot of problems getting Steve to
fix problems with my web sites so I decided it was time to resolve this
and that meant dumping him and moving to a new web hosting company.
The problem of course was getting a
hosting company that would provide Front Page extensions on the
server. I eventually found the company 4goodhosting which is based
in Vancouver although they also have a Toronto office.
Steve as usual was less than helpful so it
was a struggle to get everything moved over to them but eventually
managed to get it all over and their support people did an amazing job
getting everything working and especially stuff that hadn't worked for
So.. everything is now working apart from
my mailing list software but hopefully that will be fixed shortly.
My only complaint is that I got an
unexpected bill of some $2,600 for programming work. The thing is
that while I knew they charged $100 an hour for that work I never knew
they were actually charging me for this within the support ticket.
In fact if you read through the entire ticket log there is not one
mention of anything that was chargeable. When you go to get some
support issue at most companies if the first line support folk can't
help they'll escalate you to the next level at no cost. And so I didn't
expect any bills for the support I was getting.
Here is the bill explanation I got from
Below are the paid programming hours owed to date. Let me
know if you have any questions or require clarification.
The following tasks were done on https://electricscotland.com
1) Fixing the RSS feed display on the required pages
The RSS feeds were not being displayed properly. The code
for that had to be added on the pages that showed the feed. This was
later told by the client not to work on them.
Time Taken- 4 hours.
I in fact fixed this
myself and it only took me half an hour to do it.
2) Fixing the print friendly button.
Print button was pointing to a blank page which was a
perl file. Wrote an equivalent js code to take the print of the
necessary portions. Issues in propogating the shared borders onto the
rest of the pages.
Time Taken- 10 hours.
This is a script that worked on my
old site and I am convinced that it was a simple pathing error.
Like on my old site it ran from /escgi but on the new server this path
was not available. So I would have thought it easy to fix yet it
took them 10 hours to do this work and in the end I go an entirely new
program which in my view is not as good as the old one.
3) Creating Campaigns on admin end.
The campaigns were not being added on the admin end.
Issue was due to an incorrect insert query.
Time taken- 2 hours
4) Creating Maillists on admin end
The maillists were not being added on the admin end.
Issue was due to an incorrect insert query.
Time taken- 1 hour
5) Browsing Members/Campaigns/Maillists.
Members and mailists created were not being shown due to
an error in the structure of a column
Time taken- 2 hours
The above three points were to do with
getting my mailing list program to work and despite spending 5 hours it
still isn't working. The outstanding issue is that while the program
reports it is sending out the emails they are in fact not being sent.
6) Games not being displayed properly
Games were not being run on chrome. Created a separate
page for Dress the Chief game to display the swf formated game on the
The other 2 games are written on java, did not look at
the issues of those 2 games due to insufficient knowledge in java.
Time taken-1 hour
I can accept this
charge as it is reasonable.
7) Mails not being sent from the settings_test.php
Mails were not being sent using swiftmailer due to no
authentication given. Since the version of swiftmailer installed was
outdated I installed a new one and rewrite the existing code.
Time taken- 6 hours
I assume this was to do with my
mailing list program but I don't actually know but can't think of any
other issue that it could be connected with.
Sue (the programmer)
Michael Torner (the Boss)
So while I would be
happy to recommend them as a hosting company you would need to be very
careful about any issues they report being escalated as that probably
means they are going to charge you.
I have negotiated a
50% discount on the bill but feel really let down by this company and
feel I have been conned. However given the heavy support I
received from their normal support people I decided to accept this lower
I might also add that
you shouldn't use their own mailing list software to send out a
newsletter. I found to my horror that having sent out the first
mailing that when folk replied to it their message were then copied to
the whole list. I ended up getting over 1000 emails flooding into
my inbox and I was not a happy camper.
So all is now working
apart from my mailing list software. And I managed to fix the
postcard program and the Arcade in our community through my own efforts.
Their site can be
So on balance I was
happy with their service and can give them 10 out of 10 for the response
speed and how well they got my domains moved over and registered as a
secure server with https. As to the programming I do feel that the
boss of the company is being conned by the programmer which I don't
think did a good job and it took her far too long to resolve any issues
with one still not resolved. So on the programming front perhaps 2 out
of 10. I also feel they need to be more transparent on any charging work
as it was not clear that I was receiving any charge at all and not one
word was mentioned about this. That is simply wrong and that
policy needs to change in my view.
I might add as an
update that I ended up installing a new mailing list program which is