Landlord Nonsense

Landlord Nonsense

Relevant but Not

    I’ll open with something I enjoyed first. Nothing to do with my landlord directly but I wouldn’t have been rushed to do my switch from Ubuntu to Arch if not for this situation and I am quite liking being on Arch as a workstation. It’s making putting the documents together easier on me because I am happier in the environment I am doing it in. In general this is a pretty terrible experience on me and isn’t something anyone should be putting up with.

Part 1 – Procrastination

    After another couple of days going through the text and email communications between my landlord and I, I missed posting on here. I’m a little upset about this because I promised I would do it yesterday and told myself it would be a proper post. Yet here we are, me feeling exhausted while needing to go grocery shopping and to spend far too much on ink cartridges so I have paper copies of the text logs I have put together. I shouldn’t have to do this but here we are instead.

    I cannot change the past, and I cannot change needing a break from dealing with the nonsense this word insists I deal with. I have a tally count to summarise the 34 page log that doesn’t include emails. I was going to pull out some of his better comments to me but I can save that for another post when I have the time. I do plan to vent about this situation on here, maybe we can work towards setting a precedent so rights are upheld instead of making people fight for them while impoverishing them at the same time. I will say though that procrastinating on looking at it for a day this weekend did cause me to remember I’m a coder and don’t need others to decode files for me and turn them into tables. I can use python and Pandas. Turned hours and hours of work into just a few minutes of coding, which was nice to allow me to catch my breath. Making text logs viewable is a pain.

    Anyways, my blog theme handler is being super annoying again so I’m going to end this here and maybe make some breakfast. I really need to have time to organise this as well but I am only one person haha.

 

Tally
Texts = 20
WhatsApp = 13
Emails = 12
Physical = 3

Total = 48

Issues
Electrical = 6
Heat = 7
Shower/plumbing/kitchen taps = 7
Pests = 5
Fall from no salt = 7

Total = 32

Lacked functioning heat = 2 years

Electrical issues = 5 years

Plumbing and water issues = 4 years

Pests = 4 years

 

 

– Anthony

Linux – Mostly Ubuntu

Linux – Mostly Ubuntu

Linux – Mostly Ubuntu

     The best way to view Linux, Ubuntu specifically, it’s how you wanted your computer to be when you had Windows XP in the mid-2000s. It’s not perfect by any means and it can also take some tech-savviness to get it to work well in some cases. But once you get it set up it’s easy, but with 2022 features. If I didn’t tinker with how it’s set up I wouldn’t have a single issue with it currently. I had it working flawlessly but keep testing more and more on it and typically this makes a mess of the installation..

An Image of the Linux Logo, Ubuntu Logo, Ubuntu Mate Logo, Linux Mint Logo, and Pop! OS logo

The Good

 

I’ll start with the sunshine, as all Linux users do, I just don’t plan to ignore the caveats later. I will also preface this with the fact I am not a fanboy nor am I all about hiding my information, I don’t feel like I have anything to hide and although advertising doesn’t work on me sometimes the targeted stuff helps me find things I need. For someone like me, it’s a tool I can use to help me navigate this hell-hole haha. Lastly, for the people who don’t know what Linux is because most of us use the term incorrectly. It’s a kernel, which is the code that links everything we do to the hardware in the system. The OS in my case is Ubuntu which is basically what lets us all interact with the kernel easier. Computers are just layers of different translators stacked on top of each other, which might help you explain why a reboot is often just the easiest way to fix a problem. Then with Ubuntu you also have different flavours, which just means a different program package comes with the OS instead of their default. In my case, I use Mate which changes the desktop, and file manager, basically everything in Linux is an app like your phone and most programs can be downloaded pretty easily from an app store. Most flavours have their own app stores, just like your Samsung vs HTC vs LG situation.

Now that is out of the way, as I said it’s very much like using Windows XP was. As I stated earlier I use Mate. It can be intimidating to pick one initially because there are a lot of choices. Ubuntu is the most friendly, from there most of the flavours are pretty easy to pick up. The main ones are best because there are large communities behind them. Mint, Ubuntu Mate, Kubuntu… I didn’t like Pop OS! And would say avoid Arch as a new user.

The choice seems annoying at first but becomes incredibly useful once you start using your system. Think of every time you have looked at something in the taskbar and thought to yourself, “I don’t like this here. Why can’t I rearrange this how I want and have more taskbars?”… well now you can! You can also choose a completely different desktop environment (although I prefer to stick with ones preinstalled because most groups test compatibility and such so you don’t have to). It can be as fancy or as plain as you want. It sure is nice being able to have resource monitors in my taskbars on two screens. It takes me more time to configure it, but ultimately it’s worth it in how much time it saves me. My PCs are workstations and home entertainment machines so being able to fine-tune their interfaces is a game-changer for me.

It’s pretty reliable overall, but not perfect. I also personally haven’t tried to update from an older version to a newer version. I also wouldn’t upgrade in the first few months of release, but I feel that’s a given with most products. But it’s at a point I would install it on my parent’s computers for them to use and not worry they would mess them up like I always had to worry about with windows XP. The best thing with it is it keeps everything installed through its “repos” (app stores) updates as well as the OS so there is just so little worry about. I didn’t just pick Ubuntu up, I have been trying to for 15 years and have used it daily for the last 2 now on my secondary PC. My Windows 10 installs have by far been more problematic to me in the last 2 – 5 years than my Ubuntu one has, but a lot of that is down to me being able to figure out issues when they have arisen. The difference with Ubuntu is I caused the issue, not the company behind the OS trying to save a buck.

Also if there is a program you need to do something, it’s probably free and easily accessible. I have built my own suite of programs around working on both Windows and Linux with a small mix of cloud services to make things accessible across many devices. I get into Video editing, Graphic design, Web page building, Coding… just about anything else I feel like, and it’s all easily done on Linux, and easier than I did on Windows once I learn the new programs. The programs are just there free to use because people wanted them so they code them and they just exist. It’s really neat when you think about it.

For me, one of the biggest benefits is how much better it handles the hardware. Windows has always struggled to use multi-core processors efficiently. Linux on the other hand excels at it so suddenly a 5 – 10-year-old PC or laptop can multitask better thus meaning it’s useable and can run most programs again. Even my old laptop can run games I didn’t think it ever could, I couldn’t get them working on Windows. The most recent updates to Linux and Ubuntu both seemed to have made it even better at managing it. Its task manager is built to be fine-tuned to a degree you just don’t have in Windows. There is also little concern about getting a Virus if you stick to the repositories available to you on your installations, much like your phone. But unlike your phone, the lack of viruses is mostly down to the lack of users.

As I alluded to earlier privacy is a bigger benefit as you aren’t being watched, although I know there’s some fuss with Ubuntu. At the end of the day, you need to accept you are getting a service and that info will be used to better it in various ways, even if it’s selling the way you act to others.

 

Cons

 

Although I have mentioned a couple above and brushed them off. Errors do happen and when an error does come up on Linux I would compare it to how I think fixing modern cars is easy because the computer can tell me exactly what is wrong, but it’s because I understand what it’s telling me whereas most do not. So most people think electronics in cars have made things more difficult. Linux tells you exactly what is wrong but in a different language that most people don’t understand. So when it goes wrong it can take a lot of Google searching to find the fix. Windows wins here because it gives you a simple code you can just google and get an answer to in most cases.

The biggest issue comes if you need the Microsoft store or like to game A LOT. Like in the mid-2000s gaming is an absolute chore most of the time which is why so many people think their consoles are better than a beefy Windows 10 PC when they just aren’t anymore. But many titles on steam load up problem-free which is where I have most of my games anyway. I don’t game enough anymore for the lack of having access to Xbox GamePass to bother me. I end up not using it when I subscribe to it because most of the games aren’t things I would sit and get into for hours and hours and if they are why do I need access to so many other games. It makes more sense for me to own the game if I plan to play it for many years than pay for it over and over every couple of months. Gaming is becoming mundane so I am doing other things or sticking to the 2 or 3 games I enjoy until new interesting games come along.

Most programs on Linux feel like they are several years old, mostly because they are. There’s no need to make needless marketing name changes or needless style changes if it already works for you. That said in the case of Libre Office, even with its many styles I find I am tending to use Google Docs now instead anyways just to make things more portable and it works faster. Big things like Discord, OBS, Browsers, Spotify, etc all feel modern and just their Windows counterparts so you won’t notice it there. But try to set up a firewall or network share (stuff most people never even think of) and you’ll quickly find yourself buried in a terminal. The Terminal is only so talked about with Linux because it’s ubiquitous no matter what computer you are on. I wish I had learned to fix Windows more this way but ultimately the fact every windows PC is the same meant I didn’t need to.

 

TL;DR

 

     I feel Ubuntu is finally at a point where it can meet the needs of power users and people who don’t really understand PCs as long as they have someone who does to set it up for them. But the idea of a factory build computer maintained by a company with Ubuntu on it seems perfectly doable now for most people. The only people who will have issues are those who are in the middle and want to use the PC to do more but need it to be at the press of a button, they will find Ubuntu annoying to learn. Although most things are far less complex on Linux when you take the time to learn them it takes time to learn them.

     Ubuntu is the German car of OSs. It works and is easy to maintain and fix… you just need to be willing to learn how they think to see how easy it is.

     My A4 is notorious for being difficult to work on even though the entire front fascia of the car unbolts with a handful of bolts to give you the most access to an engine I’ve ever had in a car before… haha. When you know what you are doing it’s a super reliable and easy to maintain vehicle, as long as you don’t ignore issues for too long. Linux is similar to that and Ubuntu is that with lots of hand-holding so you don’t have to become a rocket scientist to use it(just a joke on how Linux is used in some satellites and such).

 

– Anthony

 

Getting Older is Weird

Getting Older is Weird

Getting Older is Weird

     For the first time in around 8 years, I went for an eye exam yesterday. I was partially dreading it not because I had any real concerns about my vision but just because I am on Ontario Works (OW) while I wait for my Sickness benefit and Employment Insurance (EI) to be sorted out. They are being very slow with processing and communication as it is and with my more complicated situation, it exacerbates the wait time it seems. For example, it took about 2 months for me to be told I could submit a doctor’s note and get Sickness benefits before my EI which should get to me faster. Thankfully I had a doctor’s appointment a couple of days later I had also been waiting a couple of weeks for. But I haven’t heard back since even though I called 3 times and it’s now the third week. So I am temporarily covered for an eye exam and glasses for up to $200. My glasses need to be replaced and having them is very helpful with text on computer screens. My prescription is so low it’s almost laughable on paper but it’s more about just focusing my astigmatism a little and the difference between my eyes. Makes a massive difference for me in low light and small text.

 

The Actual Visit

     So I went in for my appointment with them already knowing I was covered through OW so I was feeling a little easier about that. They were extremely accommodating towards the fact I was hobbling around with a cane. The little things like coming to me with the paperwork and pulling a chair out for me while I took the longer time to make my way across the room really made things much easier for me. I had an ultrasound the prior day and I wasn’t expecting to be in so much pain after having the machine pushed into my injured areas but it’s been a sore couple of days at this point. Going to have to wait to hear from my doctor what the next step there is.

     But I digress and should be staying on topic instead so I can get this done in a single sitting. It’s not really about getting my eyes tested, it’s about seeing society treating me different because I am ageing and not able-bodied at this moment in time. So I mentioned to the optometrist I have been seeing floaters in recent years but felt they were likely normal with age and that the black spot in my vision is still there and unchanged. It’s like a dead pixel off in the distance. We did all but the peripheral vision check. Having my pupils dilated sure was a trip, I think it triggered a migraine with the weather.. this one is worse than the ones I’ve had lately.

The First Big Revelation

     This was the first big “Wait a second here” moment for me. It wasn’t the conversation when I entered the room where she ultimately asked “So why doesn’t your leg work?”… My leg injury is likely temporarily, so that felt normal as you expect when injured. It was that my comments about my eyes were taken seriously. Almost my entire life the vast majority of my pretty serious health issues have been shrugged off by people who didn’t listen and ultimately just told me “You’re young”. So for me, it was pretty blatant when suddenly I realised I was the person being taken seriously because I was considered old enough to be checked out. Even my family doctor laughed at my ex when she complained I didn’t go for regular physicals and such telling her most young men don’t need to. She was a good doctor overall, but some of her advice was kind of dated when I look at it now, not the point but I’d like to make it clear I liked this doctor as she did take my concerns seriously.

The Second Revelation

     The second one was during a conversation where we talked about our own health and that of our ageing family. We both have family members with diabetes and joint issues and seem to be formulating plans to try to not suffer like that in our later years. It’s unfortunate so much of the dietary and general health information is so bad. Now it’s a little easier to dig in to see if something is legitimate as we have access to forums of people willing to tell the rest of us about it, takes time and effort after all, but our parents didn’t have that so their health looks much different than our own. It was that we both realise we are ageing but you don’t really see it at the time. This is where the second big thing hit me…. This is what my kid is going through watching me struggling to get around. I felt bad for a bit that I’ve been letting her down since we are mostly stuck inside since mobility costs money when you can’t just walk it and public transit options are very lacking… I keep trying to come up with ways to not have a car that doesn’t involve moving and either they are unsafe (cycling is dangerous with distracted drivers), or take an eternity compared to a car. A bus trip one way to my kid is about an hour and $3 (according to google it’s around 30 – 40 min) and I still need to walk further than I am capable of currently. The cost to use the bus just to see my kid is almost as high as my insurance. The bus passes here are kind of expensive compared to owning an older car when you know how to fix them. We could get around more but can’t afford to use it anyways.

 

     So as I said this is where it hit me that my child is going through watching me age just like I did with my parents. I don’t know why I’ve never really considered it previously, alas… I guess I\m lucky to have the insight to see it while it is happening so I can enjoy the experience now rather than in my memories. Ageing doesn’t scare me, I would just like to make it hurt as little as I possibly can.

The Third Revelation

     Is when I look at how much effort I just put in so I can lay here in bed on my laptop typing this out instead of just using my PC. It’s because I hurt so much sometimes sitting in my chair is too much and laying in bed with a phone puts me in positions that end up hurting and I dislike it. Plus I couldn’t imagine trying to write on something with such a tiny screen. I already hate trying to proofread in those tiny boxes on social media haha.

**Tech babble, skip if you want haha**

It’s that I not only made sure I got the same OS running across all 3 of my machines. I went with Linux just because it allows my older hardware to do more and Windows these days causes me more issues and is harder to sort out. Imagine trying to develop on something where they change the file system structure out of nowhere so suddenly half of your stuff doesn’t work just because they wanted to force people to use the Microsoft store instead. I specifically went with Ubuntu although that may change soon as the only reason I did was that network sharing is super easy in Ubuntu Mate through the file manager Caja, but it’s broken currently so now I know how to do it manually. More steps but not difficult so now I have network sharing between all three PCs. Two I use side by side to complete everything I need to do, mostly because I stream at some point I find myself doing things that require enough power to justify a second machine to be on. This also allows me to run 4 screens without needing a brand new GPU as mine only supports up to 3.

**Tech babble done***

 

     Now back to the more normal side of tech most people would understand. Basically, I have it set up so I can access files I need if I suddenly need to jump in bed. It’s still early in its configuration but it takes time to come up with a plan using what I have on hand. If I could just buy whatever equipment I wouldn’t be this resourceful to begin with haha. This has caused me to come across FocusWriter. It still requires you have some self-control to not get distracted but I do find it far more like using the older word processors on a relatively blank screen. Maybe with a stereo playing some nice music in the background as you write. It’s a nice and simple word processor that I think just about anyone can figure out. I really enjoy having the typewriter sounds turned on as I write. Which is the biggest point of this third realisation. I enjoy the sounds to a device my child has seen but will likely never use. I miss the smells, sensations, and feeling someone did this when you come across an edit or find where something isn’t quite aligned correctly of using them.. but I don’t miss the jams, the dirty fingers, the difficult to correct errors or the lack of spelling & grammar checks. The other nice thing with my laptop is I can turn the lights down low, dim the screen quite a lot and then be able to use it to write with a migraine, like I am now. Soon I will have some meds to try for the more severe ones which will be nice. But I’m prepped if they aren’t a magic fix, I don’t expect them to be.

     But yeah, all that to say I feel old because I went to go get glasses and wasn’t treated like a young person getting glasses anymore. Now finding myself writing in an app on Ubuntu that lets me hear typewriter sounds as I type for the calming effect of feeling young while writing. Doing so on a computer never hit me quite the same as doing it on a typewriter. By hand sucks thanks haha.

 

 

The Surprise!

Anyways. It turns out my landlord isn’t showing up today as although we have decided things are normal again the tech who was coming with him for the fire inspection tested positive this morning… saved by the hair on my chinny chin chin… had he tested positive afterwards I wouldn’t have even been notified.

People say to protect yourself but then remove every option to do so as they give you an evil smirk saying “Good luck”

 

– Anthony

The Surprise!

Anyways. It turns out my landlord isn’t showing up today as although we have decided things are normal again the tech who was coming with him for the fire inspection tested positive this morning… saved by the hair on my chinny chin chin… had he tested positive afterward, I wouldn’t have even been notified.

People say to protect yourself but then remove every option to do so as they give you an evil smirk saying “Good luck”

I have also included a photo of me with my pupils dilated for your amusement.

– Anthony

The Blogging Really Begins

The Blogging Really Begins

The Needless Opener

     For starters.. let’s all hope I can remember my tab spacing choice (5 spaces this time). Since when I write on my browser I don’t know how to accomplish it with the press of a key yet and always forget to google it. Has to be worth throwing myself off a writing mood to look it up and I always forget by the end.

     Today started with catching up on sleep accidentally, I am testing out THC pills akin more to taking an Advil or Motrin rather than smoking and hurting my lungs. But also not taking them today as I still don’t know how they effect me for daily activities yet and I need to go out and do things. I felt overly anxious due to the things I need to deal with this week so I took some time for a 10 minute guided meditation session to help set the tone of the day, helps keep me and my child calm through the busyness. Outside of that it’s mostly been having to fix my PC because I decided a 500 GIG SSD isn’t large enough for my Ubuntu install to be a daily driver and windows would be relegated to the smaller drive and Ubuntu would get the 1TB SSD. Alas if I wasn’t poor I would just have two 1TB SSDs instead. Well in my attempt to just clone it over I learned that although it used to work with how bios boot records were handled, it doesn’t work with UEFI. Now I could learn how to sort this out as I am running off of the 1TB drive anyways but it would take me more time than just backing up my games and reinstalling Ubuntu and Windows fresh. Which is crazy to think of.. But most of the wait used to be updating if I am honest. But I’ve spent a couple of hours backing up Games and am almost ready to do a fresh install which is easy when Chome and VScode with git keep all of my important settings backed up.

Now The Actual Point

     The important tasks today are both my ultrasound for my leg so maybe I can see where that is at and a plan for recovery can be made, or I am going to find out I need a different scan that will take longer. For now the cane allows me limited mobility, but enough to do some grocery shopping and such. Outside of that the last 3 months has almost entirely been sitting in my apartment. Thankfully I have a nice office chair with lots of adjustments so I can stay comfortable and adjust it when I hurt to get more time out of bed. Maybe most people might be concerned about it, I’m just happy to be headed towards knowing if I should be looking at life going back to normal or if I am looking at a big change. Both are a lot of work currently so I’d like to know where I’m at before progressing greatly, unfortunately seeing a doctor after the pandemic is proving to take far longer than it used to.

    Secondly I have to vote. Okay, I don’t have to today I could do it later this week but I have other things to do and would rather just get it out of the way the first day I can do it. The local early polling location just opened today, some of the others opened earlier but I wanted to wait for the closer one. It’s more of an annoyance since I am just voting between choice which all are about the same, for the ones with a chance anyways, and all three have made it very clear they work for themselves and not us. I’m just hoping it’s dead since I have to wait until later in the evening to go.

 

The Long Goals

   This week I need to day with several things. Most importantly being writing a long letter to several people in leadership and media positions locally, provincially, and federally given I have hit an impasse with their system not making sense for what it enforces.. it has hit that point. While also juggling the several massive financially issues this whole multi year long situation has caused. It isn’t right they ask the victim to compromise after they have already to a degree well beyond what the general compensation rules even cover….. It’s going to take a day or two and a lot of focus. I have spent the last several days planning on it’s structure and topics in my mind hoping I do a half decent job at writing it so others can understand it clearly. I planned to write about how it all goes here. People tend to like hearing about this sort of drama when I talk about it so I thought I would share not only to make noise towards it for myself but also so others who might be in this situation might find a way to approach their own plight without going down the usual dark road many people would dealing with this.

 

    Maybe as I put together more of the evidence I plan to use for a letter I will most likely take the entire week and weekend to put together with the evidence, I can write about it here. I need the evidence elsewhere so this this is a two bird with one stone situation although I would much rather focus on one thing rather than two. 

The sooner I get all of this sorted the sooner I can get back to coding and working on bettering things in general.

 – Anthony

 

That Was Sobering!

That Was Sobering!

That Was Sobering!

 As many of us, in Southern Ontario, are aware… a large powerful storm just rolled through. Although the nature of this may not seem like a surprise to anyone who may read this from outside of this small part of the world for us this weather isn’t common or normal, but is becoming so. So how do I feel about this, and the culprits that caused it…...

Photo of a firetruck blocking off a major road with 3 electric utility poles leaning over towards traffic after the windstorm in Ontario May 21 2022

The lead-up!

   Friday I had a long conversation with someone during which they brought up their concern with how most people are so reliant on their technology but have no real solutions for if the power goes out. This made me think of how I don’t have a radio for that situation anymore, but I’ll try to get more into that later. I already knew we were looking “forward” to some thunderstorms during this long weekend, I thought we might watch them by the large window in my apartment. Alas that would happen but it would not play out as relaxing as I had hoped. The weather went from being nice to dark very quickly, the only other time I remember seeing weather change like this was when I was visiting Florida as a child and a tornado caused a reasonable amount of damage close to where we were. As the dumb Canadians we all got in the minivan and went to the store to go shopping after, only to see the destruction when we got there. Things got dark, the sky looked green… I did not like what I saw and suspected the power would likely be going out, although I didn’t expect it would be in such spectacular fashion on the infrastructure side of things which I will also get into later. By the time it started to downpour and we were trying to close the windows the power was already flickering. And then… it was out! Before I even finished explaining to my 9 year old how I wasn’t as prepared as I would like to be for a power outage we were now in a power outage. The storm was down to a light drizzle not 5 minutes after that and basically non existent shortly thereafter. 

   Great.. So now what? Although I’m from a small town where the power going out regularly was normal. I am a city dweller now and the power almost never goes out and when it does it tends to be quick since I live in a downtown area with businesses. I don’t have candles, although getting some and holders has been on my list lately it’s just not THE priority knowing I have lights on a few phones I can power up with my car if I need to. Thankfully the cellular communications towers weren’t taken out so we still had data, although even that proved to show flaws the longer it went on… yet another thing to cover later. This time it’s the general public being dumb. My phone had a reasonable charge of around 60% and it has a decent sized batter so it gives me a lot of use. My 9 year old on the other hand was already realising keeping everything she owns almost dead constantly may not be a wise choice in the long run. I’m able to load up my local hydro provider (what we call electric companies here in Ontario, like bagged milk.. it’s a local thing confined to a few areas) where they had the information already there with outages so I at least knew it wasn’t just me, because I sure wasn’t going out to ask my neighbours haha. I still wasn’t sure what had caused it and was hoping it wasn’t a tornado… but the youngster and I could hear a lot of sirens from emergency vehicles from different areas around us. You can tell by how they lay on the horns and how aggressive the driver is on the throttle, with a motor that loud it’s easy to hear it, how bad the situation they are expecting might be. It didn’t sound good.

 

Now what?

 

So all I know is things don’t sound great and the power it out.

Is it a hydro substation?

Maybe a transformer popped on a pole, a surprising amount of our infrastructure is still above ground here even in the areas they keep developing, or in a neighbourhood?

Maybe a tornado took down a few poles, since they are usually well kept when near homes and most of this city is developed and maintained? Right?

 

   So now I go to Twitter thinking that will likely be my fastest way to find out what is happening, I was correct, but it wasn’t as fast as I would have liked. That said although nothing was on the feed yet a friend almost immediately sent me a pic of the culprit. Several main feed hydro lines had fallen over in the wind. Yes… main feed, around residential, stores, and even a large high school at that intersection.. you did in fact read that right. this is also something I will get more into later. So I think to myself “great…. that isn’t going to be a quick fix” but now it made sense why the power kept coming on and going off like someone had hit a power pole.. because the “wind” took a few of them. At this point I’m going to the spots I know I stash things like batteries and such, to my surprise my portable battery pack is almost fully charged and my Bluetooth speaker seems to have a charge as well so I turn it on, but turn it down to conserve power, and I think let’s check the local radio stations to see what they are saying about the issues from the local authorities. within about an hour I went from thinking the radio was a useful tool for information in an emergency to realising the recent cuts by both Bell and Rogers, some of which was ironically being complained about by local viewers on one of the prerecorded shows I came across, mean no one is there most of the weekend to report anything at all. No emergency messages through the system they annoy us with when it’s for a test but not when it’s an actual city, or province wide emergency. It was shameful the only warning I really got was the weather network spamming weather warnings within a minute or two of each other.

   All in all I got lucky and my battery pack was charged, I had some food to get us by that didn’t need to be heated. Generally it wasn’t that bad for us outside of my daughter wanting to go to the park and me being too injured to take her once the weather got nicer. We coloured and such. With the energy companies website I was able to check things here and there and know a rough time as to when they expected to be finished. My 9 year old kept needing a reminder it wasn’t a definite time to count down to haha. I ended up sleeping to deal with the humidity and leg pain. Other parts of my province don’t seem to have been quite as lucky and many were without power for various reasons but usually all with the same root cause.

For others it wasn’t as nice.. there was far worse damage in other cities and our leaders should be ashamed of how this is playing out currently.

That said. To the emergency responding to emergencies and crews working to restore power and services through the weather… you are heroes. You are only fixing an inconvenience for me that can be life threatening for many others. I appreciate everything they did for us! The leaders on the other hand.. disgraceful. These people are struggling through years of infrastructure neglect.

now onto the issues

 

1. The First Issue – Lack of Publically Funded Communication Networks

   What happened? Money.. As always money has happened. As someone who grew up pre-internet being the main communication form I understand how linked to me having power or a network of locations needing power for me to have a connection. In an emergency this is a bad way to do things. I am surprised, and very concerned, we don’t seem to have any real alternatives left anymore. This brings up the fact that letting corporations own local radio stations isn’t a good idea long term and has basically made them non existent along with many of our local newspapers as well. We NEED pubically funded radio and people need to have hand crank radios for an easy to power device we can even add things like a flashlight to. These are devices that exist but are useless now because the radio stations we rely on don’t really exist anymore.

2. The Second Issue – Mindless Poorly Educated, Inconsiderate, People

   This has always been a problem in these situations. People often don’t think of others because we are trained to be capitalistic consumers at a very young age. We want to have more than the people around us, never ever less. Doesn’t matter if we need it, we WANT IT. With our phone systems, and electricity for that matter, people think the resource is unlimited because they can’t ever physically see the limits. As someone who has worked in that industry and climbed my butt up the towers to actually work with the equipment… I will tell you there is a very finite amount of data and even call capacity to go around. It’s a lot better than it was 20 years ago but is still more akin to the phone systems back then. When the power and cable would go out they would have regular notifications on the radio to tell people to try to keep off the phones to keep them open for actual emergencies and not to sit having conversations for hours to pass the time.

   So data showed it’s ugly limitations when I ended up having difficulty even managing a consistent stream of audio for radio. Why? because people all jumped on their phones to watch Netflix. Usually that is throttled through a single home connection. For phones it’s not since a single household can have multiple sim cards and thus multiple unlimited connections vs the typical one we can just throttle all of them with. So they throttle all of us.. poorly.. which even made accessing some websites difficult such as Hydro to see the status of things. This is when I just went for a nap.

  We NEED to be considerate and realise everyone else is also trying to do the same thing so try not to hog all of the data capacity with video streams.. listen to a podcast or something if you must.

 

 

3. The Third Issue – THE BIG ONE – Infrastructure Collapse Due To Neglect

   Now this one is a doozy… but in general the infrastructure systems are all collapsing in North America. I see a lot of dams and roads showing that in the USA and here in Canada I have noticed it with our roads, water, and power infrastructure systems the most. I think we can all see the roads suck far more than they have in the last 30 years I can recall. In Ontario I’m sure everyone knows the Gardiner expressway fell apart due to years of neglect and deeming it too costly. Well now we are seeing this with our highway overpasses such as the 403. As for water the region I am in had to admit to not even budgeting for emergency repairs or long term maintenance of water infrastructure when they had to raise taxes to accommodate for it all. These are subjects for a different time but just highlight a much larger issue with our current leadership… they live in pretend bubbles that aren’t part of the real world and thus never plan accordingly for the real issues at hand.

   So this brings me back to the more relevant state of the electrical grid. This bothers me because in 2003 we had the clear discussion around Ontario, Buffalo, and New York State when we all lost power due to the electrical grid being neglected for profit and thus causing the massive power outage. So why now am I watching major feed lines being blown over in the wind? I can’t say I didn’t notice how many of the poles around here are in terrible shape and we just prop them up.. In general it’s neglect when it comes to maintenance but also neglect when we engineer them in the first place. These are signs of an even bigger issue of Money doesn’t work and when we pretend it does it goes to the wrong people so we all pay for the issues over and over. Privatising Ontario Hydro was a MASSIVE mistake the Conservative set in motion and that the Liberals kept going.

This is an issue so big if we do not rectify it the coming more severe weather will bring our society to a screeching halt! Pretty much everything we currently do isn’t sustainable long term entirely by our own choices.

 

 

 

 

Solutions

More on a personal front here

   – Continue to work towards keeping more and more dry supplies that don’t require heat to be edible or cold storage to stay fresh. Ex. I usually have dry beans, tuna, and bread around.

   – Make sure to check my battery packs and spare phones so they are charged, especially when I know a storm is coming.

   – Possibly get a Radio, but we need to fix radio stations for it to be useful on off hours

   – Possibly work on bringing up issue with local leaders regarding radio and infrastructure neglect

 

 

 

 

 

 

We have made a situation where climate change can still be sorted out, but given we aren’t doing much about it currently it seems we best start planning for the less pleasant aspects of it and neglecting our infrastructure just isn’t going to be an option in the coming years.

 

– Anthony