The Volcanoes of Presqu’ile aren’t quite the same this year

IMG_0293-0I finally made it back to the park since the main road in to the park from the main gate was paved last fall. It was amazingly quiet. This winter has been harsher than usual, what with the snow and the temperatures. We haven’t had a thaw yet, so animals and birds are few & far between. Brighton Bay (aka Presqu’ile Bay) is completely frozen over, so the swans have had to go elsewhere. You can see a few buffleheads in the photo below – they are the black dots in the water!

It looks like a lot of ice was blown out into the lake recently. You can see it off in the distance, just waiting for a southerly breeze to nudge it back against the shore again. As it is now, there are a number of natural harbours in the ice that has remained along the shore.

Cogeco Customer Service rates a ZERO in my books…

… as well as their Billing Department!

On Labour Day, at 1850 hrs, I received a call from Royal Bank Security advising me that there had been suspicious activity on my credit card account. They asked me if I made a particular purchase, which I hadn’t. So immediately, they cancelled my card, and would issue me a new one in a day or two. Fine.

The next day, I called, e-mailed or changed billing practices for everyone to let them know what was going on. Everyone got the message, except for Cogeco. When I called them, they said no problem. The bill was in the queue and could not be changed. (Why, I’ll never know!) It’ll fail but no sweat, she said. I changed the method of payment from credit card to chequing account, and left it at that.

I called again in October just to check on my account, and the guy chuckled when he said I owed quite a bit, including a bill from the previous address. He couldn’t tell me how much for some unknown reason, but all seemed to be OK. So on October 9th, I transferred $200 from my chequing account to cover part of that bill. Then, on October 10th, Cogeco withdrew $136.66 from my chequing account.

I then forgot about this until December 2nd. I checked online and noted that I was being billed $8.00 interest. For what, I asked myself! So, another call to Cogeco. The lady I ended up talking to turned out to be rather snippy. Apparently, I was not billed in November as a recent bill had come back NSF. Right – but that was from the credit card. No, she insisted, it was the chequing account. I attempted to correct her, but she started to get snippier with me. Cogeco seems to always be correct, damn the customer. At that point I just told her to cancel my damn account.

I am still waiting for my final bill, but before I pay that, I am going to have to check to see just how much they took me for this year, as the snippy woman said no money was taken from my chequing account. My bank records differ on that.

Cogeco lost a loyal customer of 5 or 6 years – just like that. It took as long to cancel their account as it did Royal Bank to cancel my credit card!

It has been gone for almost a week now, and I haven’t missed it at all.
What kind of way is this to do business? When a customer has problems with the billing, not a peep is heard from anyone. There were problems with the change of address and two account numbers. On their part, there was the mistaken belief that the chequing account came back NSF. It was also noted that throughout, their web site was telling me the payments were coming out of my chequing account. One hand there doesn’t know what the other hand is doing! I am glad I am rid of them!

I should add that Cogeco never reached out to me with regard to this matter. Another mishandling of the problem! When will companies ever learn?

2014 in review

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 920 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 15 trips to carry that many people.

Click here to see the complete report


IMG_0579.JPGAfter owning this super-deluxe KitchenAid mixer master for the past couple of years, I finally used it for the first time today. I never had enough room in the old place on Maplewood Avenue to use it. It really does make life easier when you’re baking, although I’d have to say that stopping it to scrape up all the bits was a bit more difficult. But I’ll get used to it.

AGO & Porchetta

My brother invited me to the AGO to view an Alex Colville exhibit.

It is quite the exhibit, with many of his paintings on display, from the early 40’s through to his final painting, a couple years ago. There were also studies on display for a number of his paintings. I didn’t realize just how exacting a painter needs to be to get the scene right. He was very exacting in his studies, measuring to the ½-inch!


It is the first time I have been to the AGO (Art Gallery of Ontario) since the renovations were completed. The view above is the front of the museum along Dundas Street West. It is massive, and looks amazing.

Inside is this twisting staircase, that extends outside (enclosed) of the museum.



On departing the AGO, we headed west to Ossington and a private gallery “Angell Gallery.” Here they had a few pieces of art by Kim Dorland on display. His very liberal use of oils adds a 3-dimensional look to the paintings. Very interesting style, I liked “After The Party” and “Fireworks.” But I’m afraid I’d have to sell the car for a down payment on either!

We left there and stopped at Porchetta on Dundas West. Absolutely amazing slow-roasted pork sandwiches are on their menu. With crackle! We each had the House Special, with extra meat & extra mustard. We didn’t get the soup, but it was butternut squash & prosciutto! When I head in to Toronto again, I’ll definitely eat there again!


As if that wasn’t enough, Gary wound his way over to Queen Street East, to Ed’s Real Scoop. Real ice cream. Velvety smooth and delicious! I had cup of strawberry & butter pecan and Gary had strawberry & milk chocolate. It was almost too much. I really don’t need to eat anything else today!

I’ll have to head in to Toronto a little more often!

Brighton Photo Club Trek to Cobourg

The Brighton Photo Club organized a trek to Cobourg last Tuesday for a photo shoot at City Hall, the marina and ecological garden. It was a perfect day, with some cloud to add interest to the sky.

We met at City Hall at 0945, and toured through its 3 floors. Quite nice architecture from long ago. After that, we headed over to the Cat & the Fiddle Old English Pub where we had a very nice lunch. Here I thought it was so nice of the club to buy us lunch, but no… we had to pay for that ourselves. It was excellent never-the-less. After lunch, a few of us headed over to a park, marina and eco-garden. 

For the first time ever, I filled the small SD card I had in my Canon DSLR in no time & had to buy another card to carry on. Of all the photo’s I took, only a couple turned out OK. The exterior windows of city hall intrigued me, as well as the bannister inside. Outside, I managed to snap a pic of a large butterfly fluttering around a fountain. The rest were ho-hum, and destined for the bit bucket!


Flowerbox Window



I am not much of an architectural photographer, but it was a great way to spend the day.

Proctor Park Hike

It’s been a while since I hiked the trails of Proctor Park. It is quite lush in there, what with the kind of summer we had. The trails were quite damp & earthy. I didn’t spot any puffballs, but if there were any, I’m sure they would have been harvested by someone.

I’ll have to go back to keep track of all the changes through the seasons.