Spent the day running around. I had five things to accomplish, and none of them went as planned!
First on the agenda was a new licence plate sticker. When I picked the car up in Kingston, I knew the plate sticker had expired. So the first thing I did was to drive over to the licence bureau to hand them another $74. But the little car was now five years old so it required an e-test. It had been sitting for five months, so I figured it had better be driven for a while to ensure the systems were back to normal and that might ensure that it passed. Anyhow, yesterday my first stop along the way was for an e-test. There were four cars in front of me, and they said the wait would be at least an hour. I hate waiting. So I drove off to my next destination.
Downtown Ottawa has among the highest parking rates in North America. $2.00 for 40 minutes at a city "pay and display". They removed all of the parking meters recently and now you can even pay with a credit card. Pretty bad when you need a credit card to pay for parking. Anyhow, I stood there for about five minutes trying to figure out the damn machine. What was wrong with the old system?! Finally, I got frustrated and drove to a nearby branch of my bank and parked for free.
I needed to reapply for my U.S. entry visa. Due to a minor indiscretion while hanging around with the wrong crowd 30 years ago, I am technically inadmissable and have to apply for a waiver every few years. It's always approved, but they soak me for $70 for the application, and another $575 to send it in. That's my lot in life, and there's nothing I can do about it, so I just do it. Anyhow, I went to pay the $70, and my Visa card was declined. I've had this account for years, but it was a brand new card and I only activated it last week. So, tried again, and declined again. Paid with my debit card and went back to the car, got on the cell phone and asked what the problem was. Turns out my account was put on hold due to possible "fraudulent activity". Sure enough, there were three recent charges from Las Vegas! I guess what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, because I sure knew nothing about them. If it WAS me, I hope I won!
Then it was off to the UPS store to get a mailing address. For some reason, we still receive some mail even though we access everything important online. Got the mailing address, but they need photocopies of two pieces of Ruth's ID, and of course I didn't have those with me. Turns out we can email them later. And, it was more expensive than they told me three months ago, but I probably didn't take into account the 13% tax we have here in Ontario. And maybe they had a little price hike recently. It cost $212 for the mailbox for a year, and they will package up our mail and send it to us wherever we happen to be by request.
Then I did manage to get the e-test done at a different location along the way. Another $40 gone for nothing. The car passed, but the way the day had been going I was honestly worried that it wouldn't. By this time I was getting hungry, and the only place within walking distance was a McDonalds, so I figured I'd grab something while they did the test. I haven't been in a McDonalds for about 10 years, if not more. There's a reason for that, and it will be at least another 10 years! Then it was off to the licence bureau.
They call these licence bureaus "Service Ontario". They don't mention good service, just service. Should be "Poor Service Ontario". Well sure enough, the lineup was out the door. Did I mention I hate waiting? Well I'm not going to play their silly game, and I turned around. Went to a different location along the way to my mother's place, but it was the same problem. I'll try again tomorrow, but I'm not going to make a special trip. Obviously I have to get it before crossing into the U.S. tomorrow, but if I have to I'll get one in Cornwall before the border.
Then I went to my mothers. She had a VCR which wouldn't work properly ever since she moved. Took her to Future Shop to get another one (yes, you can still buy a VCR) and back to her place to hook it up. Got it all wired up, and the same problem was there! Took me an hour of fiddling with it, but it turned out that there was a bad cable involved. We'll return the new VCR tomorrow.
And how was YOUR day??!!