Not To Be Trusted With Knives











{July 6, 2007}   I’m a Big Kid Now

My sister has been harassing me for the last decade to start an RRSP and my excuse of “I live on student loans below the freaking poverty line!” just doesn’t cut it anymore. Since I’ve been happy so far with my dealings with Vancity, and since I knew that they have options for “socially responsible investing,” I decided to start my RRSP with them. So now I have an RRSP. Just like a grown up.

This had me thinking about my grade 4 teacher. I remember, just like it was yesterday, her telling my class that within our lifetimes there would be no more paper money and no more coins. “Everything will just be points,” she said, “and you’ll pay for things with a plastic card and your paycheque will just show up as points in your account.” I remember thinking she was crazy. No paper money, no written cheques… in my lifetime? No way, I thought! Granted, we aren’t quite there yet (e.g., my favourite produce store only accepts cash), but we are pretty damn close. Today alone:

  • points automatically went from my employer to my two bank accounts
  • points automatically went from my employer to the government (for my taxes, CPP, EI) and to my pension plan
  • points automatically went from my bank account to my student loan accounts
  • points went from my other bank account to my two credit cards and my cell phone company via online banking
  • points went from that bank account to an RSP account

And all of this was done without anything physical changing hands… someone typed something into a computer and viola! – it is done.

And, what’s more, for signing up for a new internet connection1, I got a “100 point” AmEx card. Each point is worth $1, so I’m not sure why they don’t just call it a $100 card. But regardless. I used it to buy myself a bluetooth headset for my beloved Treo. So, yes, now I’m going to be one of those people, walking around with an earphone, looking like I’m talking to myself. On the plus side, when I’m talking to myself, people will just thinking I’m on my phone now.

1and it wasn’t even really a new internet connection. I was just going to change the account from Danielle’s name to mine, but the customer service person said, “why don’t we just cancel hers and start one in your name? There’s no connection fee and you’ll get a free gift and a free router/modem.”

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After work tonight, a trip to the mall in search of wedding shower presents. I very rarely go to the mall, as I much prefer to buy stuff at consignment stores. So I decided to take advantage of the mall trip and finally replace the coffeemaker that I broke1. Spent an inordinate amount of time in Zellers trying to decide if it was worth double the price to get a coffeemaker with an alarm function so that I can wake up to a freshly made cup of coffee. I do so like to wake up to the smell of my organic, fair-trade Bolivian coffee brewing! But double the price?? Finally, my friend Linda arrived2 to point out that I could buy the non-alarm coffeemaker and plug it in through a timer, so that it would function as an alarm, but without paying double the price. Linda is smart like that. So I get the cheap coffee pot, lug it around the mall as we grab some dinner and then head to the Bay in search of wedding shower presents. Spend an inordinate amount of time trying to decide what to get, then inspecting the items to ensure they are perfect3. Have attention drawn by giant yellow signs that read: “CLEARANCE! 50% OFF!” “That coffeemaker looks like a spaceship!!” yells Linda. And it really does. And it has the alarm function. And, at half off, it’s the same price as the alarm-less one that I’m holding at the time. So I buy the spaceship and then lug *two* coffeemakers across the mall4 to return the first one. But it was so worth it! Check it out:

You know you are jealous!

Of course, by choosing form before function, I have the slightly inconvenient problem that this coffeemaker is too wide to share my meagre counter space with my (also over-sized) toaster, which was already fighting for space with my kettle. Meaning that I will need to do some creative rearranging of the kitchen (I’ve re-deployed the kettle to live next to the microwave, which sits under the stereo, but need to find a new home for the toaster). But the rearranging is long overdue, as evidenced by this note I had to put up for myself, after blowing the circuit one to many times:


Hmmm… maybe the toaster could go on top of the microwave and the stereo could go into the living room.. or on top of the other kitchen cabinet… which would require the liquor to be relocated… or… oh well, I’m sure I’ll figure it out. Of course, I should probably unpack all my boxes of books, which would give me more room to do stuff. Which of course would require me to get a bookshelf on which to put those books… which would require someone with a vehicle…

1I’ve given up looking for a replacement pot, as it’s clear that I’m just never going to find the one that fits and they have long since discontinued that model. Now that I’ve bought the new coffeemaker, I’m certain that I will find the perfect pot the next time I go into a thrift shop.

2She had been delayed by the minor problem of having locked her keys in the trunk of her car. D’oh!

2I can’t tell you what we got, on the off chance that the intended recepients of the gift reads this posting. I don’t think they will, but my postings are imported into Facebook, so it’s not outside the realm of possibility. I’ll tell you later, ‘cuz, if I do say myself, this might be the COOLEST. GIFT. EVER.

4OK, to be honest, Linda lugged one and I lugged the other. ‘cuz she’s a good friend like that.



et cetera