Print Story I Smell Poo!
By CheeseburgerBrown (Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 09:35:09 AM EST) poo, shit, faeces, droppings, scat, guano and stress (all tags)
Sometimes life is easy. Othertimes, less so.

I Anti-Heart Banks

So, when we refinanced our mortgage for greater fiscal lube value the bank that holds our mortgage made a big song and dance about how they'd really like to have our other business. The fact that I receive a regular paycheque now made their little banking mouths water and their little banking genitals hard and wet. They made us an offer of an attractive package, and we were convinced: we agreed to move our other accounts to the new bank, and let them handle our credit concerns.

Living as we do in an automated world we expressed some chagrin about the mess of switching all of our money connections from the old source to the new source. The bank was prepared for that contingency -- they have a service called Easy Switch in which they take care of the whole kit-kaboodle on our behalf.

So, how well did the Easy Switch service from Scotiabank function?

Piss poorly.

Know what happened? None of our old accounts were closed after the balances were paid out, so they all continued to accrue service fees. And since the balances had been paid that meant they all instantly went into arrears.

Approximately half of our automated withdrawls were successfully moved. The other half continued to hammer at our old "closed" accounts, racking up piles of NSF fees ($35 per). Even after we manually made contact with the parties in question, the overwhelming majority of them still failed to follow our instructions, and continued to ignite NSF lights across the board.

Also, confused about the new mortgage arrangement they had made with us, Scotiabank tried to extract our mortgage from the old account. Three times in as many days ($105), to be precise. When we called to sort that out they said "sorry" and then attempted to extract our old mortgage amount and our new mortgage account from our current account, overdrawing it into the sixth circle of Hell ($105). When we called to straighten that out they said "sorry" and then, come next payment, took out double payments again.

I spoke with an officious clitwrench at Scotiabank who told me that the banking officer who had set up our new mortgage had made an error, and we were behind a payment. None of the other two banking officers we dealt with while trying to clean up the mess noticed this mistake. So, as soon as the balance was available, Scotiabank just took it without explanation.

"You signed the policy," said the bitch.

"You had two people sitting in on the session, explaining every step of what I was signing, and they both assured me that I understood the pay schedule correctly. And I've spoken with two other people since who've looked at the situation -- and nobody noticed this error on your part. Is there some kind of contagion of incompetence at your branch?"

"As I've indicated, you signed the papers and that's all that matters in the end."

"That's charming. And what should I feed my baby this week? Old newspapers?"

"So this has negatively impacted your cashflow?"

"Yes, having a surprise balance of minus sixteen hundred dollars has indeed negatively impacted my cashflow. You must be some kind of an accounting genius."

"Now sir --"

"You listen to me. You got our business and then proceeded to botch twice as much as you got right. If you want to keep our business, you'd better smarten up fast. First things first, when can I expect reimbursements for all these NSF fees, and how much are you increasing my overdraft so I can buy groceries today?"

"Okay, here's what I'm doing to do --"

"Allow me to interrupt. I just told you what you're going to do. All you have to do now is do it. I'm waiting."

...And so on and so forth.

Our ordered cheques did not arrive. The little security number on the back of my credit card doesn't work. Our cashback allowances on the accounts are wrong.

On and on and on.

So, today I call our old bank to command them to close off my accounts. The first representative I get on the telephone tells me I can't do that over the phone without being mailed a five digit magic code for telephone banking, so I hang up on her and call again. The next representative says I can close the accounts over the telephone, but I have to answer some security questions. For some reason that makes no sense in a world of facts and consistency I fail these questions.

"Suck donkey balls," I tell the representative, and hang up on her.

I call back and get a nice fellow who is able to help me out without any difficulties, except that he won't close my line of credit because the bank owes me money. They won't transfer the money electronically, so I'll be obliged to go into a physical branch and demand a cheque sometime during their mind-numbingly inconvenient hours of meat-based operation.


Littlestars calls a third bank who held one of our accounts to demand to know why the account has not yet been closed despite receiving clear instructions, and they tell us it "isn't their policy" to receive instructions from another financial institution, even if they are our duly authorized legal representative in the matter. "Nice fucking policy. Kiss my ass, Easy Switch."

Our insurance company can't seem to understand that we've switched accounts, no matter how they are informed. After two NSFs they demand payment in full for the entire year's worth of premiums, payable immediately. So now Easy Switch has required me to pull $1500 out of my anus at a moment's notice.


I'm so-o-o-o-o-o-o-o-o glad we decided to switch to Scotiabank. I mean, there just wasn't enough irritation in my life. I'm so grateful they're there to fill that void for me.


I Anti-Heart Old Oak

Now, we are not naive, are we? We know that insurance is a game of numbers, not compassion. Never the less, I was advised that the numbers should work for my current "situation" so I decided to try to go through insurance.

What is the situation? Well. Short version:

Our next door neighbours are pricks. Ever since we moved in they've been venting excess water from their sump pump directly into the schoolhouse yard, flooding large amounts of land and eroding the ground underneath our storage sheds. My solution? Work with the by-law officers. My father-in-law's solution? Re-route their water outlet when they're away on vacation and let them deal with a little flooding for a change.

He asked me what I thought of that and I told him to fucking undo it as soon as possible, lest he destroy any chance of negotiating with them on amicable terms.

He agreed, but didn't undo it.

So the neighbours came home to $35,000 of damage to their finished basement, necessitating the use of an industrial-scale pumping truck to move all of the water and muck out of their house.

They were displeased, and have subsequently sued my father-in-law (Old Oak) for the cost of damages as assessed by their insurance company. The fun! part of this is that Old Oak does not have tenants' insurance. This means he will be obliged to liquidate what few assets he has in order to pay for his defense. The price tag starts at $5000.

My step-father (Beurre d'Arachide) tells me that I might be able to handle the suit through my insurance company as the homeowner, thus sparing Littlestar's parents going bankrupt and Old Oak being in a profoundly bad mood for the next two to four years (or more). It would mean I'd be making a claim on my policy, of which only a handful can be made before the insurer decideds I am too risky to continue insuring. Never the less, I figure "this is what insurance is for" and I go ahead and make the claim.

Next I get to spend several days, hours at a time, on the telephone chatting with claims agents, lawyers and the adjuster. They say everything looks good to proceed, as soon as I sign a waiver stating that, should things go in an untoward way, I agree to be on the hook for any money they may have to pay out plus all legal expenses.

Naturally, I ask for a definition of "untoward."

It comes down to this: should the plaintiffs be able to prove any malicious intent on the part of Old Oak, the damages would not be covered under my policy and I, personally, would be liable for about $45,000.

The adjuster suggests that I confer with legal counsel before signing the waiver, so I spend a day playing telephone tag with Prosciutto. Prosciutto, who is an insurance lawyering ninja, explains to me that if Old Oak (or anyone else called to testify, including my dottering mother-in-law) can be tricked into an admission of intent, we're boned. He asks me candidly, "Could there have been malicious intent?"

I take a moment to think about the man who came up with the plan to soak a neighbour's house in buckets of liquidifed dog shit as an act of revenge; a man who was positively giddy as he announced how he had re-routed the water outlet toward our neighbour's house; a man who tore down a dam keeping a lake alive at his sister's cottage after she refused to sell him a portion of the land; a man whose every action in all the time I've known him has hinged on vindictiveness and vitriol...

"Yes," I say to Prosciutto; "it is indeed conceivable that he did act out of malice."

Prosciutto wants to know if I believe Old Oak is coherent and together enough to be reliably coached in his testimony.

"Well, he's seventy-one, he's bi-polar, and he's suffered a severe head injury. So it's fair to say his behaviour can be difficult to predict."

Prosciutto emphasizes that if we told Old Oak what's at stake, could he keep his story within the lines?

I considered this. If Old Oak knew he could cause me to have to pay out $45,000 by simply saying "I did it on purpose" at any point, could he be counted on to avoid such a statement? Let's think: this is a man who believes I am in cohoots with my parents lawyers to steal his retirement savings; who considers me to be a "grifter", a "liar", a "thief" who's out to get him; who accuses me of turning his family against him; who confided to his son less than one month ago that I represented an insurmountable nuissance in his life, and he was contemplating having me killed.

(Yeah. Seriously.)

Littlestar insists that Old Oak would never actually arrange for my death, but I think she misses the point. Someone who would even contemplate my murder is decidedly not someone who could be trusted to act in my interests -- not when with three easy words he could cost me $45,000 without causing himself any harm. Certainly not when the person in question is mentally ill, despises me, and is prone to vengence.

So today I called back the adjuster. I said, "Let's call the whole thing off. Dude is on his own."

It's done. But it makes me sad.

Old Oak will indeed end up losing his retirement savings, just as he has always feared. And then, when they can't get enough money out of him, they'll probably turn around and sue me anyway to recover the rest.

I very much, very earnestly, wish Old Oak could understand the consequences of what's happened, and then do the only thing possible to spare the innocent parties: take his own life.

Gasp if you're a pussy, but there it is. I wish the old man had the balls to kill himself.

Next time I blow out the candles on a cake, that's what I'll be thinking about. Next time I see a shooting star or get the good end of a wish-bone -- I'll only have one thing on my mind: the bastard must die. Please Baby Jesus, won't you take him away?

An accident will do. Power tools, car crash -- I don't care.

Just make him stop wrecking everybody's shit. He's already done a good six decades of damage. Isn't that enough? How can the universe owe him anything further when all he does is despise life and make living it a misery for anyone he touches?

The existence of Old Oak is a damn good argument for the non-existence of God. (Well, Old Oak and the Holocaust, I guess.)

So, I did try to do the right thing. I did try to spare him and his wife a lot of grief. But, in the end, Old Oak is simply way too much of a volatile, hateful pig-fucker for me to do him this favour.

He made this bed.

I Anti-Heart Exhaustion

I go to bed and close my eyes and forget the world every night, but for some reason I am not recharging. I am so very tired of waking up tired. In the mornings my eyes are half-way swollen shut, asymmetrical and twisted by puffy blue bags top and bottom.

I put ass-cream on them before I go to work, so I can see well enough to drive. It takes down the swelling very effectively. That's a supermodel tip for you. (I always rinse the applicator, because you never know where it's been.) I am not a supermodel, but I play one on TV.

(I don't, actually.)

My appetite is more poor than usual. I am grumpy in the morning, and in the evening. In between I'm okay, though. I'm drinking more coffee, more tea, more Coca-Cola. It doesn't seem to help much. I always feel like I am made of stone.

I go to bed early. I sleep all night. I awake feeling like a stepped-on piece of burnt toast.

I have dreams in which pieces of broken pencil have become lodged under my skin, and I have to paw and jimmy at too small and too bloody a hole to try to work out the long, splintered cylinders of yellow wood.

Sometimes in my dreams I have tweezers to help me, but usually not. Usually I just use my fingers.

The wheels on my Volvo are out of alignment, so the car wobbles on the highway. This makes me feel like I'm going to lose control and die, careening across lanes on spinning rims, flipping over and bouncing down into the rocky bottom of any one of the pretty valleys I drive by on my way to and from work.

I come home and pour a glass of straight vodka, which makes Littlestar worry. Then I have another.

I Do Not Anti-Heart Work

I got my raise. I'm initiating change, and the nobles are responsive. I got a couple of new suits.

Yesterday I bummed a tobacco cigarette off a cougar with big knockers, because I was feeling tense. She said my cologne smelled nice. I said, "I have to go stand over here now."

I'm going to be directing a Hip Hop music video. I'm excited and terrified.


< My Heart's Devotion | BBC White season: 'Rivers of Blood' >
I Smell Poo! | 77 comments (77 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
I hate Scotia Bank by Phil the Canuck (4.00 / 5) #1 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 09:49:57 AM EST
Hate them with the power of a thousand suns. If every branch and property of theirs burned to the ground tomorrow, I would dance in the ashes and piss on the smouldering corpses of their employees. They suck.

So... by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #23 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 11:44:05 AM EST
i've had no problems by 256 (2.00 / 0) #25 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 11:48:18 AM EST
with HSBC.

but then, my finances are pretty simple.
I don't think anyone's ever really died from smoking. --ni

[ Parent ]
All banks suck, don't do business with them by ShadowNode (4.00 / 1) #31 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 12:12:06 PM EST
It's a fundamental conflict of interest. They can either serve their customers interests, or their shareholders interests. Not both. Use credit unions. Certainly they'll have assholes among them as well, but they won't be assholes whose job it is to bilk you for everything they can. That, and they have more ATMs than any bank (they play nice with each other and don't charge other credit unions for using them).

Also, never let anyone you wouldn't give full access to your accounts do automatic withdrawals, since it's essentially the same thing.

Good luck with the troll in the basement. Can they really sue you? You aren't his mommy, how can you be responsible for his behaviour?

Damn you spellchecker, assholes is too a word.

[ Parent ]
All banks suck by Phil the Canuck (2.00 / 0) #34 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 12:24:29 PM EST
I have dealt with four major Canadian banking institutions in my adult life:

(TD) Canada Trust
While they have all made mistakes, the only one that has never had me foaming-at-the-mouth angry is Canada Trust. Plus, they have hours that allow real, living customers access to services. YMMV.

[ Parent ]
TD Canada Trust by edward (2.00 / 0) #40 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 01:41:45 PM EST
Have you ever gone into a TD branch and tried to change money? I went into one once with a $20 bill and all I wanted was some change for the bus. I mean, that's what a bank should be for, right?

Well they asked me if I had a TD account and I said no (because I don't) and they told me that they couldn't give me change if I didn't have a TD account. They wanted my identification to change a fucking $20 bill.

I told them under no circumstances did I have to have a TD account and that I certainly didn't have to provide identification to change a $20 bill. The guy balked and gave me the change, but he made a big show of putting my $20 in a plastic ziplock bag and setting it aside. I have no idea what he was afraid of but apparently when I change $20 bills they suspect me of having counterfeit money or drug money or who the fuck knows.

Incidentally, the $20 was pulled right out of a bank machine moments before, and it was one of the new $20s, so there's no way it was bogus.

Clearly, no bank is immune to asshattery.

[ Parent ]
Teller Service by Phil the Canuck (2.00 / 0) #51 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 03:23:16 AM EST
None of the major banks provide teller service free, which is what you wanted.

[ Parent ]
I must copy and paste section one by greyrat (4.00 / 2) #2 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 09:50:34 AM EST
into an e-mail to msrat as the Best Example Evar of why I still pay bills every month with the same good ol' paper-based checking account I've had for the last . . . 23 years.

I pay my bills with paper checks too. by toxicfur (4.00 / 1) #8 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 10:22:36 AM EST
And no many how many pieces of paper those companies send me and no matter how many times my electronic banking page redirects me to a "pay your bills automagically!" page, I'm going to keep writing checks. CBB's story dissuades me from ever changing my mind.

The amount of suck that you can put up with can be mind-boggling, but it only really hits you when it then ceases to suck. -- Kellnerin
[ Parent ]
bill pay works great by MM (2.00 / 0) #9 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 10:32:55 AM EST
as you control who gets paid what when. Automatic withdrawls are another story, although I do several of them (auto insurance, cell phone, etc). I wouldn't use it for big payments like car and house loans, though, for the obvious reasons...

[ Parent ]
autopayments by ucblockhead (2.00 / 0) #16 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 11:28:24 AM EST
I don't trust the banks to do it right. Instead, I set up auto-payments with each payee individually. This way, if there's a screwup, it's the company that wanted the payment that screwed up, not the bank, so there's less room for argument.
[ucblockhead is] useless and subhuman
[ Parent ]
That's the Same Here. by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #22 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 11:43:23 AM EST
The bank was just responsible for the transfer to the new accounts, so we wouldn't have to contact each payee individually.

Since we've had to do so anyway, their "switch" help didn't really only hurt.

Finally, in my experience it doesn't seem to matter who fucked up when a payee doesn't get their money: the payer (me) is always in the wrong.

Companies and institutions don't make mistakes. And if they do they couldn't help it. And if they could help it, it isn't their policy to do so.

I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
Honestly, by edward (2.00 / 0) #33 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 12:20:59 PM EST
I don't know why you'd ever use one of those "Easy Switch" type services. Opening and Closing a bank account is what I would call a "primary banking activity", the sort of thing that should be done by you, manually, in person, at your home branch.

Also, never, ever authorise an auto-payment/direct deposit scheme. I don't have one for any of my bills and I never will. YOU should always be the initiator of any banking activity that moves money in or out of any of your accounts.

You can still use Internet or Telephone banking to initiate these transfers, so you don't really lose any particular convenience. Of course, when someone owes you money you will still have to have a physical cheque or cash that you will have to take to a physical bank, but there are a great many benefits to having the physical proof of payment anyway.

It's a question of knowing what is "automateable" and what is not. Opening and closing bank accounts is definitely not automateable and I doubt that it ever will be.

[ Parent ]
you don't do direct deposit? by garlic (4.00 / 2) #38 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 01:27:07 PM EST
Who still has their work give them checks? that's so pre 1970s.

[ Parent ]
I've had direct deposit by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #48 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 01:44:40 AM EST
since 1985.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
my work does not give checks by StackyMcRacky (2.00 / 0) #66 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 06:35:48 AM EST
if you won't do direct deposit, they set up an account for you and direct deposit it in there. they give you an atm card to pull the money out.

[ Parent ]
Since I'm currently self-employed by edward (4.00 / 1) #75 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 10:00:54 AM EST
My clients are invoiced, and they then send me real honest-to-god cheques. Even the companies that require their employees to be paid by direct-deposit still do business in this way.

[ Parent ]
i wish i had by Mrs FlightTest (2.00 / 0) #76 Fri Sep 15, 2006 at 02:20:50 PM EST
direct deposit, my employer is too cheap to pay for it. apparently before i started working at the company some of the employees requested it, the director agreed only if the employees would pay for it themselves!!!

[ Parent ]
sump me gently by clover kicker (4.00 / 1) #3 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 10:03:40 AM EST
I'm trying to think of a way to re-route someone's water outlet that wouldn't look like deliberate sabotage.

I can't think of any.

What you should do: by Driusan (4.00 / 3) #4 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 10:06:27 AM EST
  1. Come to the Shawshack with slozo tonight.
  2. Eat with us.
  3. Drink with us.
The order of 2 and 3 can be reversed.

Vive le Montréal libre.
I'll be there in... by greyrat (4.00 / 1) #7 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 10:22:05 AM EST
...carry the one...twenty two hours -- Wait...


[ Parent ]
Possibly True. by CheeseburgerBrown (4.00 / 1) #20 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 11:40:02 AM EST
But, instead, I'm going to spend an evening at home at Littlestar and zero houseguests -- a rare opportunity at the old schoolhouse these days.

I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
my odds of ever owning a single unit home by MM (2.00 / 0) #5 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 10:14:26 AM EST
drop everytime I read stuff like this.

Plus in 9-12 months I'm pretty sure I can score a condo with a dirty, evil lowball offer.

I'm pretty happy with condo living. by garlic (2.00 / 0) #15 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 11:17:38 AM EST
You get more chores than apartment living, but no yardwork. Biggest thing to be wary of is old lady run home associations with crazy fees and rules.

[ Parent ]
that seems to be the main risk by MM (2.00 / 0) #27 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 11:53:58 AM EST
along with the usual potential for thin walls and noisy neighbors.

[ Parent ]
I didn't know Scotia was a Florida-based bank by ReallyEvilCanine (2.00 / 0) #6 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 10:19:19 AM EST




I'm real sorry this shit's happening to you and hope it gets sorted quickly. I see your next children's book in the story of Old Oak Adjusts the Pipes, possibly an entire series. You know as well as I do that every good story starts with a villain.

the internet: amplifier of stupidity -- discordia

Childrens book ? by sasquatchan (4.00 / 2) #10 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 10:35:35 AM EST
Old Oak adjust the pipes sounds like a GREAT porno title. You can't let that one go..

[ Parent ]
That's true, senior pron is a quickly growing by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #13 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 10:53:11 AM EST
segment, or so I've heard.

[ Parent ]
Re: Old Oak by lb008d (4.00 / 4) #11 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 10:36:15 AM EST
You did the right thing. It's nice to see in this weenie-touchie-feely day and age someone's who's willing to let someone else suffer their own consequences.

I just hope you don't get stuck with any liability.

Since He Himself... by CheeseburgerBrown (4.00 / 1) #19 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 11:36:20 AM EST so vocal about this young generation having no sense of responsibility, I'm sure he'll be all too happy to bear the brunt of his own actions.

But, indeed yes, the shit may sling so far that I get some on me, too.

Ah, life!

I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
i doubt it. by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #37 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 12:32:13 PM EST
in my (admittedly limited) experience, the people who bray loudest about other people being irresponsible tend to be irresponsible.

but PROUD of how responsible they are.

If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
Say, do you like Hitchcock? by georgeha (4.00 / 2) #12 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 10:51:46 AM EST
What do you think of Strangers on a Train? And surely, you have no reason whatsoever to head into western New York.

i read the first 17 chapters today by 256 (4.00 / 1) #14 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 11:08:53 AM EST
of Night Flight Mike. It's really good.

Incidentally though, the fat laughing buddha is arguably either the zen monk Hotei or a symbol of the Maitreya Buddha, but is certainly not the Siddhartha Buddha.
I don't think anyone's ever really died from smoking. --ni

Siddhartha: The Mopey Buddha by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #17 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 11:34:57 AM EST
Okay, thanks. Let's chalk that one up to Mike's ignorance, shall we?

Glad you're enjoying the story. There will be more to come, provided I can wring some writing time out of my schedule.

I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
yeah, what actually struck me most about it by 256 (2.00 / 0) #21 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 11:43:19 AM EST
was that the narrator (and by extension Mike) knew the name Siddhartha at all.

while we're on the subject, it's much more likely that Lorenzo would have returned from India with images of the Siddhartha Buddha anyway. The laughing buddha is more of a chinese and japanese symbol.

also: when are we going to see you and your lovely wife?

ni and i were talking baout riding our bikes up your way some weekend before the weather gets ugly, if you'd have us. but we'd also love to host you down in the city. is the young mademoiselle still around to watch your young so that you might join us for some proper youthful revelry?
I don't think anyone's ever really died from smoking. --ni

[ Parent ]
Mike's a Nerd. He Reads a Lot. by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #28 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 11:54:34 AM EST
About visitation: we can't come tonight, but we're anxious for another opportunity to rub elbows. You're welcome up our way anyway, naturally.

Mlle. J. has returned to St. Maarten, sadly. We're on our own, kid-wise. We're not imposing too much babysitting on Slozo.

Tonight we just need to relax without any houseguests, a rare treat. Glass or seven of wine, etc., etc., etc.

I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
IAW256 by toxicfur (2.00 / 0) #18 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 11:35:53 AM EST
I've been reading NIght Flight Mike every day. It took me a couple of days to get into it, but now I'm bummed on the weekends. And I realized that it's going to be over soon. :-/ I hope you find the time and the energy to amuse us random internet people again soon.
The amount of suck that you can put up with can be mind-boggling, but it only really hits you when it then ceases to suck. -- Kellnerin
[ Parent ]
You Know... by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #29 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 11:56:31 AM EST
...the biggest problem I have with writing something short is that it seems like the majority of readers find it a bit tough to "get into" my stories at first. No matter how smashing and gripping I think my intros are, they seem to meet a pretty universally lukewarm response.

People say things like, "I was wondering where it was going for the first five chapters."

Obviously this is a problem I need to address.

I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
I think... by toxicfur (2.00 / 0) #30 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 12:08:07 PM EST
if I'd waited, like I did with Simon of Space, and read the whole thing when it was finished, it wouldn't have been something I noticed. Certainly your short stories posted all at once get me right from the beginning. I have the same reaction to lots of things I read in pieces.
The amount of suck that you can put up with can be mind-boggling, but it only really hits you when it then ceases to suck. -- Kellnerin
[ Parent ]
Posting in Pieces by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #32 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 12:12:21 PM EST
I think most of my stories do better in one big gush. I adopted the piecemeal strategy simply because I felt frequency was important -- i.e., having something to post every day.

I just can't write enough often enough to post everyday without breaking things into smithereens.

I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
I prefer... by toxicfur (2.00 / 0) #35 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 12:27:17 PM EST
you posting in pieces than you not posting at all. Keep at it, as you have the time and energy.
The amount of suck that you can put up with can be mind-boggling, but it only really hits you when it then ceases to suck. -- Kellnerin
[ Parent ]
Yikes by Bob Abooey (4.00 / 1) #24 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 11:46:04 AM EST
I'm a bit confused.

If it's their water to begin with, why are they able to sue Old Oak? Why can't you just counter sue? Or why didn't the authorities do something about it when you went to them???

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

Run-Off Channel Is Borked by CheeseburgerBrown (4.00 / 1) #26 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 11:51:14 AM EST
Basically, they're supposed to vent their excess into a run-off channel between the two properties. The channel has become malformed over the years, meaning all of their excess just pools in our yard.

My solution: attack them with the by-law officers to keep them in check until I can afford to re-landscape the side of the yard to build in a properly shaped furrow.

His solution: trespass on private proverty (a no-no), take their outflow pipe, and redirect it into a flower-bed right beside a window into their basement (big no-no, legally speaking).

Their claim alleges that he did not simply point the water away from our property, but in fact deliberately set it up to flood their house. This may not be the truth...but it may.

That's the rub: once you set foot on property that is not your own, all of your actions are highly suspect, especially when they lead to multi-thousand dollar damages.

I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
ISTM by aphrael (2.00 / 0) #36 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 12:31:02 PM EST
that you could have sued them, back before he rerouted the water pipe.

not that i approve of lawsuits over shit like this that ought to be resolvable by amicable agreement over a bbq and a beer in general, mind you; it's just sad that you'd probably be better off today had you followed that path then.

If television is a babysitter, the internet is a drunk librarian who won't shut up.

[ Parent ]
Oooh, How American! by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #61 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 05:52:39 AM EST
Dude, you're letter the extra-California world affect you! ;)

The fact of the matter is that the neighbours have not caused any material harm to my chattels at this point, so suing them for a wetness nuissance wouldn't accomplish much.

In Canada one can only sue for direct and verifiable monetary damage, not just because you're annoyed or inconvenienced. It's a little bit stricter than down south.

Besides, why would I want to spend a few thousand suing the fucker when I could just spend a few thousand to fix the problem? Landscaping the backyard is much more fun than going to court.

I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
ah hindsight by StackyMcRacky (2.00 / 0) #68 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 07:00:08 AM EST
it's too bad the neighbors didn't offer to help CBB with the landscaping issue in the first place.

[ Parent ]
HAHAHAHA! by ammoniacal (2.00 / 0) #42 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 04:24:33 PM EST
Old Oak cracks me up. That shite's straight outta Guns of Navarone.

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

[ Parent ]
How does he not get arrested? by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #49 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 01:49:40 AM EST
Trespassing, vandalism, etc. You must have very easygoing and forgiving neighbors.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
Easygoing? Forgiving? by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #59 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 05:50:00 AM EST
Nah, they're cunts. When they were first approached about this issue in a civil, conversational, give-and-take attitude they responded with incredulity and shouting.

They're dicks.

Whether a matter is civil or criminal is up for the police to decide, not the neighbours. The constable on the scene called it civil, for whatever reasons.

I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
Ahh.. okay by Bob Abooey (2.00 / 0) #53 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 03:54:57 AM EST
I still find it odd that you're responsible for doing landscaping to keep the water off your property that they're pumping out, but I'm not a landowner so I don't know diddily-poo about laws, least of all Canadian laws.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

[ Parent ]
that sucks. by dev trash (2.00 / 0) #39 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 01:33:33 PM EST

Blizzard of Death '06
that sucks by 606 (2.00 / 0) #41 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 02:25:43 PM EST
I'm still rooting for ya, man. But I suggest you steal a few piles of cash from the rap video prop department to help you out for the interim.

Oh, I saw a rap video the other day that didn't have fancy cars and hoes. Check out Dusted by Leftfield featuring Roots Manuva. I guess it might actually be more of an electronica video. Oh well.

imagine dancing banana here

I Will Check It Out. Thanks. by CheeseburgerBrown (4.00 / 1) #58 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 05:48:39 AM EST
I'm simulating work right now, however, so I'm trying to keep a cap on the multimedia.


I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
Roots Manuva by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #65 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 06:34:02 AM EST
Damn good, despite the stupid name. I have a lot of time for a rapper who boasts about drinking ten pints of bitter in song.

It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
I'm not going to read all that page-munging text by debacle (2.00 / 0) #43 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 04:42:12 PM EST
But it sounds to me from the first part as if you're complaining because you did something stupid (trusted a financial institution) and got handed your ass in the process.


Quality of Service Declining by CheeseburgerBrown (4.00 / 1) #57 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 05:47:56 AM EST
If I did that by debacle (4.00 / 2) #60 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 05:50:08 AM EST
I'd have to start charging for it.

I think I may have actually taken up blogging - I just piss my latest batch of neuron firings into a carafe, swish it around, and see what float to the top.


[ Parent ]
tiredness by alprazolam (2.00 / 0) #44 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 06:03:05 PM EST
Just want to say that somewhat regular activity/exercise, and better eating habits can go a long, long way towards making you feel better overall. Do you eat breakfast? Also I think reading before bed may improve the quality of sleep.

I Eat Well, But Seldom Move by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #56 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 05:47:20 AM EST
I'm a big believer in breakfast. I eat a pretty balanced diet. I am, however, profoundly motionless for a majority of every day except when I'm wrestling with my kids.

Time is the issue there, not a lack of motivation.

Reading before bed is always a good idea, you're quite right. I haven't been doing that lately.

I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
well.... by alprazolam (2.00 / 0) #63 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 06:25:59 AM EST
you said something about drinking a coke...if it was diet then that's one thing, but regular cokes are sugar laden and will screw with your insulin levels and end up draining your energy.

[ Parent ]
Have I missed something? by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #45 Wed Sep 13, 2006 at 11:50:59 PM EST
  1. Call your bank manager, not the "help" line.  Threaten to take your case to the ombudsman, and the press.
  2. Can they prove it was Old Oak that moved the runoff?  If there was malicious intent then surely it's a criminal case, not a civil one.  In which case you're off the hook.

Maybe. by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #55 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 05:45:40 AM EST
1. I'm going to take the afternoon off work to go to a city I no longer live in to talk to some meat-based ATM who will just give me the same runaround? Not without trying the telephone, first. I got 2 out of 3 tasks accomplished on the phone -- 66% is a pass when dealing with bureaucrats. Ultimately I will have to go the branch, yes, but it was worth a try.

2. They can prove it because he admitted it to the police. It's on record. The constable decided to call it a civil matter and pressed no charges. Nevertheless, that doesn't exclude the possibility of intent in the civil matter.

I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
re 1) by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #62 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 05:58:10 AM EST
I meant talk to Scotia's bank manager.

2) He's fucked, hang him out to dry.  Does he recall that you a) did not advise him to re-route the sump and b) asked him to re-route it and c) that he said he would.

Presumably, the sump is still overflowing into your backyard?  In which case, engineer an "accident" - left a laptop out in the garden whilst you nipped inside for a cuppa, laptop breaks taking your IP with it,  and sue the neighbours back.  If you can be arsed.

[ Parent ]
You're Crafty! by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #67 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 06:58:38 AM EST
Re: 1) I'm off to Scotia at 18h00 today.

Re: 2) I couldn't agree more, at this point.

Re: I'd like to keep lawyerplay to a minimum. I'll find the money to fix the embankment next spring, and then if it gets eroded I'll have receipts to prove specific damages.

I am from a small, unknown country in the north called Ca-na-da. We are a simple, grease-loving people who enjoy le weekend de ski.
[ Parent ]
Good work by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #73 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 07:29:58 AM EST
  1. Kick arse and take names.  No mercy.
  2. In point b) I mean to undo the re-routing

[ Parent ]
Only one cure for that sort of tired by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #46 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 12:39:04 AM EST
A holiday. Sounds like you need one anyway.

Banks - our grandparents had it right: keep your money under your matress.

It's political correctness gone mad!

Is the existence of this diary ... by yicky yacky (4.00 / 1) #47 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 12:45:38 AM EST

... judicious, considering ..?

Vacuity abhors a vacuum.
Yes, It Is. by CheeseburgerBrown (2.00 / 0) #54 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 05:41:13 AM EST
THis story shows why by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #50 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 01:55:37 AM EST
I do all of my banking in person. When I moved from Utah to Virginia I went into the bank and got a cashier's check to close out the account, hand carried it to the bank in Virginia, and deposited it there. When I move I go into the local branch, sit down with an account rep, and give them the new address. Written down, not verbally.

All my bills are paid by check. I have direct deposit, but no automatic withdrawals.

I've been with the same (sort of) bank since 1972. It was a small, local, bank that, 8 or 9 mergers later, is now Bank of America. They're even open in the evenings so I can go in after work.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

I'm a Luddite too by Bob Abooey (2.00 / 0) #52 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 03:47:35 AM EST
I don't even do the direct deposit (well, since I never get paid on time it wouldn't work anyways) nor do I use a debit card, I pay with cashola or check or credit card (online only) I don't buy.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

[ Parent ]
No debit cards! by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #70 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 07:08:15 AM EST
Mine stays in my desk at home except for the one day/week (Friday) when I go to the ATM at the bank and withdraw the week's spending money.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
I don't even know the PIN to mine by Bob Abooey (2.00 / 0) #71 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 07:18:22 AM EST
I should get it re-PINed in case I need it in some wild emergency.

I get cash for two weeks when I deposit my check and that's that. I do have a slush fund that I keep stashed for emergencies and for fun purchases, but I only use that if 100% necessary.

My biggest problem these days is buying crap online while at work. It's too damn easy.

Warmest regards,
--Your best pal Bob

[ Parent ]
I rarely buy online by wiredog (2.00 / 0) #72 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 07:20:40 AM EST
No PayPal account, either. About the only online purchase I make is airline tickets.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

[ Parent ]
I'm getting that way by nebbish (4.00 / 1) #64 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 06:30:59 AM EST
There's a problem with card transactions showing up on my bank balance so I never have a clue how much money I've got, which I've solved by just using cash. And after a pretty scary incident where 500 quid went missing from my account last year due to me bungling a banking transaction (I got it back in the end), I like to have a written record, dated and signed by the bank, of pretty much everything I do.

No denying it makes things more awkward though.

It's political correctness gone mad!

[ Parent ]
written down means nothing by StackyMcRacky (2.00 / 0) #69 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 07:04:36 AM EST
when i was forced to use one of the retarded credit unions here, they screwed up my name change and address 5 times.  yes, i had to go in 5 times to get my name changed and address changed.

they also used a typewriter to fill out the forms i had to sign.  they would then read the signed forms and input the data into a computer.  wrong wrong wrong.

[ Parent ]
BoA? Get out of the water! Get out of the water! by greyrat (2.00 / 0) #74 Thu Sep 14, 2006 at 08:33:31 AM EST
Seriously. I worked for them once. Get as far away as you can. Find another small local bank -- or better still a credit union, which is less likely to be bought out.

[ Parent ]
My admiration by johnny (2.00 / 0) #77 Sat Sep 16, 2006 at 04:43:29 AM EST
That you can continue to produce art under these circumstances. I feel my own batteries recharging lately, but wonder if I'll ever get back to the insane drive of earlier years, when I did work despite krushing kharma, a lot of it of the moneyworry kind (the rest mostly health-of-my-loved-ones kind).

As somebody who got too into the drink himself once upon a time, I'll second littlestar's concern about vodka, at the risk of sounding (whatever). Be careful with that shite.

She has effectively checked out. She's an un-person of her own making. So it falls to me.--ad hoc (in the hole)

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