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Netflix Double Billing

Just the other night Shannon noticed that we were being double billed by Netflix. I logged on to the site and noticed that our billing history showed charges coming off our credit card on the 27th of every month. On our CC statement we were also being billed on the 3rd of every month so I chatted with support to see what was up.

The first thing they asked me was if I have a YOPmail account. A quick internet search uncovered that YOPmail is a temporary and disposable email account service. I assured Netflix support that I didn’t have a YOPmail account and they informed me that I had 2 active accounts and that they would close the YOPmail one.

I asked how this happened and they quickly assured me that the other account was now closed and that they have flagged my CC somehow so that no new accounts can be opened with it. Here is basically how the rest went down…

ME – “Yes but how did this happen?”

SA – “Rest assured Mr. Peever the other account is closed and you will be refunded the 2 months that were charged.” the agent was quick to say.

ME – “Well actually it’s 3 months but I don’t see any other charges to my CC. It seems strange to me that someone stealing my CC information would just use it to pay $14 for Netflix each month. How did this happen?”

SA – “Your refund with be $13.99 times 2.”

ME- “Actually it should be 3 months as I will already billed on the 3rd of this month from the fraudulent account that you just closed.”

SA – “I have put in for your refund and it will take about 30 days to process. Just about enough time for you to forget all of this…”

My thoughts are that Netflix does this on purpose. I think they use YOPmail to create additional accounts for people and charge their CC on a different billing cycle in hopes that they don’t notice. I think that those who do notice quickly are instantly refunded a month less than they should be refunded and Netflix makes a tonne of cash on that extra month. I think people who don’t notice for a long period of time need to pursue the issue with the CC people to get their money back and Netflix keeps the extra cash they made double billing the customer until they noticed.

I believe all of this because I don’t believe that someone steals CC information only to steal Netflix once a month for $14.

Whatever you believe, check your CC statements if you’re watching Netflix.

Superman’s Song

The #metoo movement is in full force and it’s really got me thinking. So much in fact that I feel the need to voice my opinion. It’s just the view of a “life broke”, “privileged, white male” so do with it what you will.

In 1991 a band who called themselves the Crash Test Dummies (from Winnipeg, Manitoba) released the single “Superman’s Song” and I think it helps define all men in the midst of #Metoo.

“Superman’s Song”

Tarzan wasn’t a ladies’ man
He’d just come along and scoop ’em up under his arm like that
Quick as a cat in the jungle…

Harvey Weinstein is Tarzan and Hollywood is his jungle.

Women are initially attracted to his power and the security he can provide in an otherwise very unstable environment. They come to Hollywood and seek him out for what he can provide. So much in fact that they may be willing to endure certain conditions otherwise unfavorable under normal circumstances to benefit and thrive under his rule. He wears nothing but a loin cloth to meetings but he’s also the key for survival. Weinstein knows he is king and feels like he can do what he wants no matter how unconventional or abusive. Women are lured back to hotel rooms like Jane on a vine for what might seem like their own good.

In the end these women are able to regain their own sense of security and self worth and see him for the animal he really is.

But Clark Kent, now there was a real gent
He would not be caught sittin’ around in no junglescape
dumb as an ape doing nothing…

Clark Kent is every man in this scenario. The people you work with, the mailman, the guy at Starbucks making your coffee to your boss at the bank. Some have power and wealth, some have a good looks and a sense of humor, and some have a kind heart and sensibility. The fact is they are all created equal, with the same biological instinct to copulate.

“I was just borrowing a little friction from a stranger.” – Dave Chappelle.

Clark was just a guy at the Daily Planet working his 9-5 who carried the burden of a huge secret. Not that he was Superman, but that he had the hots for a co-worker and didn’t know what to do with that. Should he ask her out? Tell her she looks nice in that dress? Instead he just pushed down all his feelings like a gentleman in hopes that one day she might feel the same way.

This isn’t Hollywood. This isn’t the kind of jungle where you can just swing in and sweep someone off their feet. There’s rules to follow and as men we have to do our best to separate ourselves from the apes. The only problem is that some of us are better at it than others.

Superman never made any money
For saving the world from Solomon Grundy
And sometimes I despair the world will never see another man like him…

Superman is the ultimate example of a man that all women want, and all men aspire be. A man who treats women with kindness and respect and requires no affirmation for doing so.

Hey Bob, Supe had a straight job
Even though he could have smashed through any bank in the United States
He had the strength, but he would not…

I love this lyric. It’s symbolic of a man with all power in the world, who could use it to have sex with anyone, even Brock Lesnar if he wanted, but he would not. A super male who makes all the right choices to protect the women in his life.

Folks said his family were all dead
Their planet crumbled but Superman, he forced himself to carry on
forget Krypton, and keep going

We need to stop making excuses for our actions and have the strength to confront them.

Tarzan was king of the jungle and Lord over all the apes
But he could hardly string together four words: “I Tarzan, You Jane.”

There will always be corrupt men, just as there will always be corrupt women. I think we need to be careful not to condemn the innocent and have a responsibility to expose the guilty.

Sometimes when Supe was stopping crimes
I’ll bet that he was tempted to just quit and turn his back on man
join Tarzan in the forest…

This lyric speaks to every man’s struggle to suppress the urges that make him a man. It’s the old saying that “good guys finish last”. It’s the draw to the dark side. I can only speak for myself when I say that being a good man is work. Men love women and that doesn’t turn off. There will always be sexual ambiguity that exists between a man and a woman in any place in time. In fact there is a great scene in the movie “Beautiful Girls” that sums this up brilliantly;

“Look. The supermodel’s a beautiful girl, Will. She can make you dizzy, like you’ve been drinking Jack all morning. She can make you feel high for the greatest commodity known to man – promise, the promise of a better day, the promise of a greater hope, the promise of a new tomorrow. This particular ore can be found in the gait of a beautiful girl – in her smile, in her soul, in the way she makes every rotten thing about life seem OK…A beautiful girl’s all-powerful and that is as good as love.”

Ironically there are only two things that can bring Superman to his knees. One is Kryptonite (a made up compound nobody can really comprehend because it only comes from a made up alien colony fictionally referred to as Krypton), and Lois Lane (a smart beautiful woman).

But he stayed in the city, and kept on changing clothes
In dirty old phonebooths till his work was through
And nothing to do but go on home…

There is a sexual oppression that “good” men face on a daily basis. It’s been said that on average most males think about sex every 7 seconds. To suggest that women are powerless and that we live in a man’s world might only be one perspective oppression. One that continues to see progress over the years as well. Men have very little clout when it comes to sexual pursuit. Of course I am generalizing here but if a woman wants to have sex, in most cases, she can just goes out and get some! In a black and white world based on sex and relationships women hold all the power. It’s the kind of oppression that will never change, a gap that will never narrow.

The pursuit of sex drives men to seek out these positions of power that men in Hollywood are exploiting as sexual efficacy. To play devils advocate it’s the same proverbial thumb that presses on my back to make sure I do my part as a married man to keep my wife happy and content, take out the garbage, and make dinner a few times a week. Happy wife, happy sex life.

When the #metoo movement first started flooding my Facebook page I copied the post and changed the “women” to “people”. Some of my friends didn’t like this much. I don’t think this is a man vs woman thing at all. You would be naive to think that I have never gone out to eat with a woman and not be expected to pay for dinner just because I am a man. You would be naive to think that I am the only man to ever have a woman forcefully push my head “down there”. In fact when I was a 19 year old privileged white male I passed out at a party and woke up naked in a girls bed who I was told had sex with me. That’s RAPE right? Me writing #metoo on my Facebook page isn’t taking anything away from women, it’s embracing and applying it to all people – hell ya #ustoo.

So what’s in it for old Superman? Why not join old Tarzan in the Jungle? Because we are better than that. So many of us are better than that. Let’s all be better.

Superman, in all his symbolic glory, is a moral compass for all men to follow into the jungle at a time when women are standing among treetops, cupping their mouths and screaming for help – MEEEEEEeeeeeTOOOOOOooooo! And like animals hiding behind trees careful not to expose ourselves men and women will step out and unite to forge a path through this junglescape that leads straight to a better and utopian Metropolis.

Man, what a great tune!

* “Superman’s Song” was the first single of the Canadian folk-rock group Crash Test Dummies and came from their 1991 debut album The Ghosts That Haunt Me.

Happy New Year

It’s only fitting that I start the year off going to bed at 1am and waking up at 5am thinking about the load of laundry that I forgot about. Now I need to make one of those resolutions that people make to motivate myself to be better at finishing what I started. Or in this case, remembering what I’ve started, because that seems to be more of the problem.

In just a couple of hours now we will all be heading over to Agape Table with this years load of toothbrushes and toothpaste. Once again the support we saw was overwhelming and each year I am thankful that through the generosity of others Lexi and Ashlyn get to have this enlightening experience every year. They both take away something different I am sure but it’s something we get to do on our break for other people, which is awesome.

It’s been a shut in week with the cold weather and Lexi on the verge of Pneumonia. Poor kid is just coming out of being sick with a fever since Christmas Eve thanks to some TLC and the antibiotics. Seems someone is always sick this time of year and then it hits us all. That didn’t stop us from having an awesome Christmas though. We just had to change a few things up and adjust a little bit. We spent some quality time with family and that is what matters most.

27 Handyside Ave.

We love to spend NYE with the kids and last night Joel and family came over for dinner and we had a nice casual dinner and just hung out. It seems like we haven’t seen them in a long time when Kevin shows up talking like crazy and racing Ashlyn up and down the hall. Joel and I took a selfie at one point and looking at it really brought me back. We have been friends for 40 years! One day you’re playing C.H.I.P.S on the street on your Big Wheels and 40 years later your watching 2018 come in on YouTube after putting your kids to bed.

 

So thankful for friends and family as always. Wishing you happiness and a benevolent New Year.

Heaven Is A Better Place Today

I woke up this morning and after my shower instead of heading downstairs to find some underwear I went straight to my closet and put on my Hip shirt. I know that doesn’t sound like anything odd but I ALWAYS do shirt last, after a teeth brush and layer of deodorant so that I don’t get anything on the shirt. As I was looking through my shirts I also brushed past the shirt I had made for the last concert that reads “Here’s a glue guy, performance God…” and it was just enough to put it in my head. I walked back downstairs to brush singing “heaven is a better place today”.

I was in the movement room at work, alone, when my phone started blowing up. “Gord died…” was the first thing I read from Al and it hit me like a tonne of bricks. I just had trouble pulling it together. Then as other people started texting me it was just too much emotion. It was definitely a tough day working with kids. One woman I work with also loves the Hip and when I first met her we were both wearing Hip gear. I was the one who told her when she got in this morning and her eye’s just welled up and she went straight to the phone to call her husband. The impact of it all was just so HARD, HUGE, and HAUNTING.

I tried hard to compose myself throughout the day but it was hard. One text I received said:

“sad day – I was thinking of you this morning. Great memories – thank you for bringing the Hip into my life!”

Back to square one. I just kept telling myself that Tom Petty died just a few days ago and I don’t remember any grown men walking around the office all welled up. Pull it together man, I kept telling myself. Then I read the obituary on Maclean’s – that was a mistake.

What I realized was that it wasn’t just about the passing of an amazing man. A man I feel some kind of personal connection to that I have never met. I realized it’s about all of you. All of the people who share this music with me and the memories that pop into my head when I hear it. The concerts, the road trips, the parties, the clubs, the camping, the hockey, the socials, the weddings, the friendships…all of it.

It’s the knowledge that today is the day the music died. Literally. What I can only explain as the soundtrack to my life now has a beginning and an end. I know that the music lives on but it makes me sad to think about the flame that brought so much happiness to my life has gone dark. Knowing that I will never again sit in an arena and see Gord live weakens my will a little. I can clearly remember them all and never wanting that feeling to end. Even just sitting in my car alone and cranking it up – it could never get loud enough, no number on a dial could ever explain it.

So that’s what I did on my way to pick up the kids after school. Got lost in it.

When Shan got home we asked GOOGLE to play some HIP and opened up a bottle of wine I never thought there would be an occasion for. We drank for Gord – and then Al came over and we all drank for Gord, just as we have so many times before.

RIP Gord Downie – Thank you for everything.

Thunder Bay 2017

With summer winding down and Shan already getting back into school mode I thought I would take a little trip to Thunder Bay with the girls. Not only would I get some Ratte time (that was missing this summer on the camping front) but I would also get some quality time with the girls that I am going to miss so much once school starts back up.

The Ratte’s were in Winnipeg for a couple days before so we just basically followed them back to Tbay. Paul drove with me and the girls so it was nice to have 8 hours to just hang out and catch up. The girls are incredible in the car now. Usually Ashlyn can be needy but we had a little talk about how it would be harder for me to sort her out when I am trying to drive safely and she was awesome the whole way there and back. In about Dryden I gave them these LOL Dolls that I had bought a couple days before we left as a surprise. They are a chore to open up so it took them some time to sort them out and once they were all open they played in the car with them all the rest of the way.

We had an awesome visit with the Rattes. The highlight for the girls was just playing outside with the kids every chance they got. Paul has a really nicely paved driveway where they just spent hours on scooters, shooting hoops, and practicing on the wheelchair Paul had in the garage. We also took in a boat ride, a movie, the Persian Man, the park and a place called “Boulder Bear” where the kids climbed for almost 3 hours.

Paul and I got out to play hockey a couple times while I was there. It’s another world in Thunder Bay. It’s a Thursday night skate at 9pm and most of the guys are older than me. Hard guys, that do the heavy lifting at the mill all week and on Thursday nights after hockey they go to this bar called the “Wayland” to drink beers and eat pizza. We got home around 1am and although I was dreading my 8 hour drive on Friday morning I am sure it beats getting up to go to the mill. I am pudding compared to these guys and it was an honor to get to play with them even for just one night.

On the way home we made lot’s of stops but most memorable was Kakabeka Falls and our stop for lunch in Blue Lake.

   Thunder Bay 2017 Album

Back Step

It seems each summer Shan and I decide that we need to get at least ONE house project done on our summer budget. This year it was the back step and slanting sidewalk.

Destruction of the existing back step was our first concern. I took a few whacks with a sledge and broke the hammer so Shan said I should go and rent a jackhammer. I was still determined at this point to get this done frugally so I borrowed a hammer from a neighbor and channeled all that doubt into rage and this was the result.

Even Penny looks impressed.

Post project we always go back and forth about how to attack these things. Not being “very handy” there are some things out of my comfort zone and in this case it was drilling into the foundation. I wanted to put a header on the house to attach the frame so Shan’s dad offered to help with that. I also talked to my other neighbour who suggested I bring the step out another block so that you don’t have to step off the step to open the door like you had to before. Brilliant if you ask me. So we increased the size of our header to accommodate that and JD guided me with where to put the lag bolts and how the frame would come together and attach. Big thanks JD for all the help with that.

Notice those big holes in the frame so that it can be flush with the house and the lag bolts can come through? Well drilling those is not fun unless you have a really good drill. I found that out the hard way! Shan helped me put together the frame and I think we did a super good job. Once that was done I attached it to the house and built the legs to level it out and keep it steady. We ordered a yard of 1/4 down to fill the frame and planned on using the rest for the sidewalk. Shan thought a yard was too much but it turns out it’s not.

What $100 looks like on your driveway.

Honestly at this point in the day I was done after hauling in all the 1/4 down. I figured I could finish the rest tomorrow and that is when Nolan appeared out of nowhere! He came equipped with work gloves and shovel in hand. With his help we were able to lift and level the remaining sidewalk that was slanting toward the house. That was our initial job for the summer before it grew into a new back step. Nolan really pushed me to get it done that day and in the end there is no way I could have done that without him. Also, the next time I need that done I will hire someone. I think it turned out awesome but someone who knows how to do it properly could get it done with a lot less swearing. It also didn’t help that the kids were water bombing us while we were working but it made it fun! HUGE thanks to Nolan for being the kind of friend who just shows up at your house when you are doing this kind of thing.

Here is the end result…

Still need to move the hose over.

Kinda makes me want to do a front step next year!

Otter Falls 2017

Heck Otter Falls will always have a special place in my heart. More so after this week with the “Bickerson’s”.

I have done a lot of “laking” with JD over the years. Some camping, but mostly “laking”. Some of my fondest summers were spent on a boat with that man and so I was looking forward to this one as soon as Shan booked the sites. Shan was too, imagine a week of picture perfect camping with your two brothers, their families, and grandpa all together in one place. It was just that…perfect.

Tim, Les, Syd, and Riley all arrived in Winnipeg a couple days early (from CGY) so it was nice to get a visit in before we left. Lexi and Ashlyn were so pumped to have them here that it took a couple days for it to sink in that we were all going camping together. For Shan and I it was bonus time with Tim and Les who we don’t see nearly enough since Tim cut the apron strings.

For camping Shan booked sites as close together as possible so we could all be close together. We also needed something big enough to fit Tim’s rented house on wheels. A massive motor home that he managed to park in one move! Props for that. Shan even had shirts made!

It was an awesome family weekend. The kids all played, chased frogs, swam in the lake and ate giant marshmallows from JD. We made friends with our neighbour who even took them out tubing (thanks Clint, talk about memories). The adults swam too and drank a little, and played frizknock, and ate Jos’ Louis and little fancy sandwiches. Mike and Tara took us to Rainbow falls for a day and we all just hung out at the falls. It was the best.

Definitely a weekend our family will not soon forget. Big thanks to all who helped make this one happen.

Peeves July 30

Sometimes I am grumpy, you should be too.

Wire Brushes

I have been seeing all these posts on my important Facebook feed about people being rushed to the hospital with pieces of wire lodged in their esophagus. Turns out cleaning your BBQ with those wire brushes is now unsafe. It only took 40 years of my life and access to social media for me to find this out. I blame the dollar store. I think people are buying these $3 ones at the Dollar Store and they are falling apart just enough to make your hot dog lethal. Buy a good one if you need to use this useless tool. Crumpled up tinfoil does the same thing and people with all kinds of time on their hands have yet to let us know the foils of foil.

Pistachios

The cost of pistachios is outrageous. I know they come from Central Asia but how many times do we need to pay for shipping on these things? Are we paying to have these picked by the bag. I decided to treat myself for my birthday so I ordered some online because things are usually cheaper on Amazon. Fingers crossed I get them in time!

I didn’t really order these because I like being married.

Ashton Kutcher

Has no business on Shark Tank. That’s like Kevin O’Leary sitting around the circle in Forman’s basement telling jokes. It just doesn’t make sense. Just because you have lot’s of money to invest doesn’t mean you’re a shark. I am sure to his credit he is very business savvy but he is a flounder among sharks. Let’s be real, Kelso – stay in your lane.

Cigarettes Out Car Windows

I get that nobody wants a stinky cigarette butt in their car but if it doesn’t stop you from smoking in there then deal with it. When I see someone flick a lit cigarette from a moving car I think low class. When it’s the car in front of me and it hits my car I feel like catching up to that vehicle, getting in, and cutting my toenails in the passenger seat.