Running into a brick wall

Shut that NOISE!

Music is so subjective.  Why is it that when I hear a sustained note on David Gilmour’s (of Pink Floyd) guitar it brings a tear to my eye, and yet when I hear the repeated loops and processed vocals of any song in our current top 40, I want to repeatedly run into a brick wall to the cadence of the electronic drums?

I admit to not being that up to date with what is the latest and greatest musically.  In my older age, I am finding it harder to memorize band names that choose random letters, rearrange them, and add a “featuring some domestic animal (ie Pit Bull)”.  It is much easier to remember names like “Beatles”, or “Queen” than Ty Dolla $ign.

I want to repeatedly run into a brick wall to the cadence of the electronic drums

Looping Ad Nauseum

I started realizing how out of touch I was with about four years ago. My gym shut down and I was forced to sign up with the Good Life. I would hit the gym at 5:30 am, and the same songs were cranked through the airwaves.  It was electronica on steroids!  The beats did not motivate me. In fact, it made me want to run from the gym screaming!  What was even worse is that these beats became “ear worms”.  They stuck with me for the whole day!!

I am not sure how this type of music moves people emotionally, except, maybe to talk louder, become more agitated,  and to make more noise over the din.  Repetitive looping is popular in our iTunes generation. Though it is rhythmic, composing music has migrated from writing albums, to singles for iTunes, then to the new reality where single bars are composed that are repeated and layered. If you can talk rhythmically and cannot sing, you can always use auto-tune! If you don’t believe me, install Songify. You can write a catchy song by saying a few words and let the software do the trick!

If you cannot sing, you can always use auto-tune!

Ever go for a walk in the mall?  The stores blare “loops” to try to entice shoppers.  Ever hear house parties in the neighbourhood? Loops are blaring on outdoor speakers for all to enjoy!

Yesterday was Canada Day. I walked briefly around the neighbourhood to see what the denizen were up to. There were lots of house parties, all playing “house” music with those same repetitive beats and loops.  In fact, the looping started as early as 8 am. The only activity planned at that time was a senior’s breakfast. I can only imagine how well that music went with eating pancakes and sausage first thing in the morning.  Sausage grease aside, the music alone would give me indigestion!  The songs were so similar, in fact, that the variety of loops just blended into each other creating a weird dissonant harmony.

It All Sounds the Same

My walk in the ‘hood demonstrated how similar modern music is.  You would think with all the variety of notes, tempos, chords, and timings there would be an infinite number of different songs available.  Especially when you break things down to the “bits and bytes” level. Is it possible to run out of new music? Well, technically no (as illustrated in a fun 10 minute youtube video on this subject, which gets a little geeky), but it sure feels like it.  There are literally billions and billions of musical variants and possibilities. Reality, though,  we tend to gravitate to certain patterns we like more than others and are influenced by what came before us.

Is it possible to run out of new music? Well, technically no, but sure feels like it

This also applies to lyrics. There is a notion called “common poetic meter”.   Emily Dickinson was known to use this rhyming scheme in most of her poetry.  It is why the songs like Amazing Grace,  House of the Rising Sun, and Giligan’s Island can almost interchange the lyrics with the melody.  Speaking of which, the song “Stairway to Gilligan’s Island”  takes the concept and stretches it a bit

One thing that has not changed in musical history is the nature of popular music.  If something sells, the market will get saturated with it.  How many ripoffs of the Beach Boys were there in the 60s?  The artists all looked like the Beatles too!

What Changed?

If what history demonstrates is true, that humans gravitate to certain musical patterns that have some influences from what came before us, then our tastes should always be evolving.  It seems, though, in my case, that my tastes are evolving back in history, and not keeping up with the times.  I am now appreciating the songs I did not like on AM radio. Disco no longer sucks! At least there is a band playing! I am regressing, not progressing with the musical times!

Disco no longer sucks! At least there is a band playing!

Growing up, I only had access to an AM radio that had a few stations. There was only really one radio station that played music, so it was “genre agnostic”.  Your listening ears really perked up when you heard John Denver following a great kick-ass Van Halen song.

The nice thing about listening to music like that is that you never knew what song was coming.  If you did not like a song, you would not pay much attention to it as the next song may be better. If you liked a song, you would buy a 45 to repeatedly listen to it, or maybe purchase the album if you wanted to deeper explore that sound.  Admittedly, I bought several albums I am embarrassed to admit owning (do any of you have Barry Manilow or Abba in your collections?).

We tend to gravitate to certain patterns we like more than others and are influenced by what came before us

As there was only one or two stations, everyone in the house heard the same songs. Whether we liked them or not, we knew them all. The household participated in the music.

There came a point where the music became less household and more personal.

Turn That Noise Off!

Music sometimes shows the division between the generations. I recall my parents liking some of the music I listened to, like the Beatles, or some of the current bands of the 70s.

In the early 80s, I started to listen to FM radio. FM offered music radio stations catering to a certain style. As my musical tastes refined, I gravitated more to rock.   I bought my first rock album, Rush’s Exit Stage Left, and started to play it with Geddy Lee’s screeching vocals. It was that album that triggered the first “What is that you are listening to” response from my parents. The fact that Rush earned the Order of Canada did not matter. I think most teens and parents have had that experience. Do you remember yours?

Rush was the first band that my parents asked me to turn down the volume when I listened to music! The fact they earned the Order of Canada did not matter.

If the axiom of musical gravitation holds true, that we gravitate to patterns we know, then there was likely nothing that Rush offered to my parents that connected them to their musical experience. For me, there was a natural evolution of Beatles, Cream, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, and Rush. There is a connection of musical influences.  Listening to Rush without any musical context can be tricky, especially if one’s context may have stopped at Frank Sinatra.

My Musical Context Has Not Changed

I can listen to some popular music.  There are some artists, like Lady Gaga, who have musical references to my 80s influences. I think that is a general rule for any artists who is in a “super stardom” zone. They speak to all generations musically.  There are a handful out there.  I tend, though, to gravitate to what I know musically, and look to see modern twists on it. Of late, Joe Bonamassa has got my ear. He is a blues guitarists who has lots of progressive rock influences.  That appeals to my musical upbringing. Some long-lasting and well-established bands, like ACDC, Rolling Stones, and Iron Maiden, have multiple generations attending their concerts, all by choice. Justin Beiber have parents attending because they have to for their kids. This may be  bi-product of music being passed down from one generation to another.

Ever since the age of AM radio has stopped, I have seen my musical tastes getting more and more limited as I do not naturally search for styles I don’t gravitate towards. I did not have to listen to country, or rap, so I did not try. In the 90s, radio was becoming more and more refined to genre, and my genre of choice was not well represented.  Rap, house, and sampling became the dominant art form, and as I had no real connection to it, I could not appreciate it. To me, rap and house were pop music purgatory.  For those raised on the evolution of dance and rap music, modern looping is much more natural expression (though I don’t get the gangsta appeal in predominately white suburbia).

Some long-lasting and well-established bands, like ACDC, Rolling Stones, and Iron Maiden, have multiple generations attending their concerts, all by choice. Justin Beiber have parents attending because they have to for their kids.

Music De-valued

Looping music is the easiest form of music to put together. You do not need to play an instrument. You just need a good computer and some knowledge of sound engineering to make “quality” music. If you have a bit of rhythm, you do not even have to sing. It is like reading rhythmic poetry, while talking through a megaphone.

The digital world has made music very easy to put together. Access to streaming services and peer-to-peer networks (like Napster) has dramatically reduced sales. The only way a musician can make money is by touring and branding themselves (KISS is iconic in rock, but music aside it was their ability to sell themselves that was their real talent).

You just need a good computer and some knowledge of sound engineering to make “quality” music.

By looping, the production costs go down. You don’t have to hire musicians, pay money for studio time, and it can be done in a basement.  The focus has shifted to writing a good album, to writing a handful of loops.

The experience for the listener has changed. Once I would intentionally put an album on my record player and listen for 20 minutes, then actively change the side! The artwork and liner notes were interesting to look at while I listened. Now, an album’s art work may be a pdf file that accompany some iTunes purchases. Leafing through a pdf is not the same experience as I play my library of several thousand songs randomly in the background. Music now is background noise, or is used to block out the noise of others. Music has become a passive activity. I now can turn on my Google Music streaming service, enjoy what I am listening to, without actively knowing anything about the artists behind the music. Sad, but true.

Music has become a passive activity.

Even concerts are more about sound, light, and spectacle with less emphasis on musicianship.

Bringing it Home

If music is a household experience, then all the different genres could represent family members. For me, looping is the “Uncle Ralph” that no one wants to talk about because he is obnoxious, says the same stories over and over again, is loud, and does not know when to stop talking.  When Uncle Ralph is at family gatherings, no one wants to get cornered by him.  Most families have an Uncle Ralph. When Uncle Ralph does not attend the family gathering, there may be relief that he is not there, but there may be an underlying feeling that his presence is missed. The family is not really the same without him.

I can say safely, I would not miss Uncle Ralph. My musical home has not evolved to appreciate what he brings to the table.

Things to look at:

On youtube: Kirby Furguson: Everything is a remix

The Shadow Knows – Launch of dissatisfiedbruce

Welcome to the inaugural post of my new blog site,  I have been blogging on and off for the past few years, mostly as an exercise to practice my written communication and to offer some “life” reflections. Thanks to all those who have read my posts in the past and encouraged my writing.  I am always flattered when I hear of someone reading a post or two. Hope it is worth your while!

So why am I blogging about dissatisfaction? Seems quite contrary, after all, preaching the positive is all we hear about.

Ever see Facebook posts written in the form of 100 Days of <insert positive sentiment>?   How do you respond to those?  Like them?  I  sometimes question the need to revel in the fact that someone has a gratitude journal entry of their child picking out a pair of clean underwear for the first time.  I guess it may be an important life moment, especially if the kid prefers to go digging in the laundry bin for last week’s pair of Superman briefs. I too would enjoy wearing superhero underwear, and certainly have had my share of these “life moment” posts.

The Shadow knows…

I have been raised on a culture of Monty Python and Mad magazine.  My favorite Mad cartoonist, Sergio Aragones, had a segment called “The Shadow Knows“, part of the magazine’s “Light makes Right” department.  The humour is simple, and fits in a single frame. There is a scene of something of a typical daily interaction, but the Shadows depict what the players in the scene are truly thinking. There are many examples found on the web, like a solid collection on Pintrest.  The Shadow Knows’ reflects the time and the humour of the 70s, and seeing them now made me realize how we have become much more sensitive to certain topics. That said, I believe the concept is inherent to most humans, and I am certainly guilty of that. I try to do what is right, but sometimes my desire is to do something completely different.

I wonder sometimes, what does the Shadow know when he sees a Facebook post about one’s grateful reflection about how a colour of a flower brightened a whole day? Would the Shadow actually be dealing with a basement that is flooding with water, with kids that are sick, and a husband (or wife) that has decided to run off with the plumber?

I am wired in reality. I can take Facebook posts at face value, but sometimes I wonder if there is something lurking beneath the warm fuzzy sentiments I see. My personality, for example, would not focus on the flower. I would see what the Shadow sees, and focus on the plumber draining my bank account (while, hopefully, draining my basement). Note, I will never run off with anyone who will model their hairy butt crack in low hanging jeans.

What is more satisfying and interesting?
Looking at a colourful flower, or a plumber?

Often, when I read gratitude posts that should only be metaphors, I wonder what is the true motivation. The metaphor means something to someone, but I just don’t get it. I would love to hear the “why”  the metaphor was posted and “how” it applies to the person posting it. In short, I appreciate the story behind the message, something which gets missed in this 140 character messaged world.  The absence of the story sometimes makes the sentiment a bit vapid, and without substance to me. Whether intentional or not, it can come out as insincere. Was the flower truly the inspiration of the day? Was there more going on that meets the eye? Inquiring minds want to know!

Imagine the following scenario.

My car breaks down and I lost a day of work. Definitely not a good thing and my day is ruined, and, perhaps, laced with stress. I post on Facebook “Day 1 of 100 days of loving life. My life is now fulfilled because I had an orgasmic-tasting meal at McDonald’s (personally, I would find McDonald’s more diarrhetic, but that’s just me) .

Why ignore what really happened? For me, the story is not complete. It would be more interesting if McD’s  is the only choice of restaurant I had, I was hungry while waiting on a mechanic, and I am  a vegetarian (not true, but adding for illustrative purposes). Sad story. Not fun to go through, and if I was a vegan, would struggle with wanting to eat their fries as it is deep fried with their chicken? What if I tried a Big Mac for the first time in 30 years?  The meal would not be the best, but the their is more interest and some funny ironies.  Remember, I would be waiting on the estimates from the mechanic, which will jack up the price of that McNugget-less lunch to that of a beluga caviar! The Facebook post only shared a small, and slightly untrue, part of the picture. The Shadow knows all, and it is more fun!

Never satisfied by truth…

I do like to hear other people’s stories, and really appreciate it when tools like Facebook are being used in this capacity, as opposed to being an auto-meme generator (and re-generating times 100).  In fact, my timeline has more jokes, memes, shares, and videos than actual events of what is going on in people’s lives. It is an important aspect of Facebook, but not very deep and satisfying. They are the McDonald’s of posts.

Fast food can be quite satisfying.
Until you eat more than two bites. I can attest to this with my annual KFC cravings.

As much as I like to read about the day-to-day stuff, it is sometimes hard and sobering to be reminded of what you don’t have.  Not everyone can go on a family trip to Europe, not everyone has the cash to buy a Mercedes Benz each month like I would buy a bus pass.  That can be a source of dissatisfaction. The whole notion of being able to “keep up with the Jones'” is present, no matter how much I deny it.  I think that is a bi-product of living in a world that defines a normal on what I own, the title of my job, how far I travel, the size of my family, the depth of my swimming pool, the fur lining in my slippers, the price of my breakfast cereal, and how green and evenly trimmed my grass is. The moment I put my satisfaction in materialism, it becomes very easy to become dissatisfied. Reminders of how the material brings (what seems to be) satisfaction to those around me can bring about dissatisfaction. Got to remember to be satisfied with my ripped jeans and socks with holes in them, and my cedar hedge that is growing wildly and taking up three quarters of my yard, not to mention that I have yet to find a gluten-free cereal that resembles the taste of  Lucky Charms.

What is your favorite cereal?
Alpen. Only one that fills me up. Gluten-free nightmare!

I find it even harder to understand how  material “blessings” gets wrapped up under the “God” banner, which sometimes gets proclaimed by certain extreme religious folk. The irony is religion does not normally preach materialism (though I understand some sects do). They will be thankful to God for answering prayers that they got a job with a huge salary increase, wonderful house with swimming pool, and healthy family. They post religious platitudes on social media which are totally meaningless, and frankly, insulting, to people like me who are not engaged in these circles. These platitudes are just blanket faith statements like “Leave your problems at the foot of the cross”. I have no idea what that means, especially without any substantiation like I mentioned above. On an aside,  I have never seen anyone thanking God directly for an amputated limb, loss of job, family getting involved in organized crime, or for making Disco suits fashionable. I get that does not seem right, but you do hear, for example, UFC fighters thanking Jesus for blessing them with the ability to kick the crap out of someone; or wealthy families thankful for their financial income. That too, sounds wrong.

The 100 Days series…

With all these thoughts jumbled in my head, I took on the challenge last year of writing my 100 Days of Dissatisfaction on Facebook. They somewhat expressed my Shadow.  All I did was track a thought in my mind each day that annoyed me.  It could be my reaction to the odd neighbour, or someone who smelled like they slept with their dog.  I found that writing about them was humourous and cathartic. Further, people who knew me got the humour of it.  What amazed me was that I was able to keep this going for 100 days. It was not difficult.  I have supported a football team that has struggled for years. I have never seen my baseball team win a World Series. I am well off, but I can never seem to keep up with the Jones’ (not that I want to). I have seen 5 year olds on youtube play guitar better than me despite my having over 30 years of experience.  I see people smiling doing the mundane, or smile when I know they really want to cut off someone’s head. Not to mention, I can write a book about my perceptions of my OCTranspo (Ottawa bus service) experiences.

What amazes me more is that there are some people who took some of my posts very seriously, and to heart.  I can laugh at my “dissatisfaction”.  I am revealing “my Shadow”, which some may appreciate to be something resembling a truth, and I hope, not too many are offended.

Seeing all this dissatisfaction through a homourous lens actually opened my eyes to the good stuff in life. By making light of the stuff that annoys you, it is easier not to be brought down by them. You learn just laugh it off.

Wifey survived my 100 Days of Dissatisfaction. She would groan in pain each day when she read my Facebook feed. So what did she do?

And now for something completely different…

She registered the domain to help me continue the tradition! That action in itself was one of the ironies that is a foundation to this blog. The Web site is dedicated to her (I am sure, to her chagrin), as she is the person I have spent the last 25 years complaining to about all this stuff. She is the one that puts up with my cynical and cantankerous ways – but most importantly, we have spent most of this time laughing with,  through all the ups and downs of life, and finding irony and sarcasm to cope with the tough stuff.  It is the tradition I hope to continue through the writings in future.

Dissatisfied with marriage?
Not me! I got the best wifey in the world!

I posted the original 100 Days of Dissatisfaction done in 2015 as the official first post of the site.  I am in the process of compiling another one this year.  I am finding that each post could be a story in themselves, which I will share every now and again.

Let me know what disatissfies you (apart from this blog!). It can make for a great entry!



2015 Edition

Day 1 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction –  Day is done. It is 9:30 pm

Day 2 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – auto flush did not work all day in bathrooms in the office

Day 3 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction  – I know I am bad at arithmetic, but trying to figure out the science fiction math of a budget is beyond my comprehension. Where do these numbers come from?

Day 4 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – simply put – ‘lunch at Marcello’s’ featuring their all you can puke buffet

Day 5 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – brought my lunch to work today, only to remember that I brought it as I bought a chicken salad at Subways!

Day 6 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – I barely moved from my couch

Day 7 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – it is now 5:37, I do not know what I did today or recall time flying by so quickly!!

Day 7 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – when 32C feels like an arctic blast (editors note, I guess I forgot I already did a Day 7, or miscounted later on)

Day 8 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – empty 61 zoomed by me at Lebreton. The bus was empty. Sent tirade to OCTRANSPO . ‪#‎overheating‬

Day 9 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – requested James Bond film Licence to Kill from the library. Went to the library to pick it up and ended up getting ‘License to Kill’ starring Denzel Washington. Did not realise one letter difference in titles mattered!

Day 10 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – yesterday I waited for 45 minutes for my 5 minute doctor’s appointment and I was second one to arrive at the clinic. But maybe I should be thankful! Today, wifey had to wait the normal 2 hours for her 10 minute appointment.

Day 11 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – I was going to say seeing the Dentist (easy way out). But since my teeth  are looking cleaner, I cant really say that I am dissatisfied. You may ask what is my secret to achieving such good oral hygiene? Well the only thing I have done differently over the last several months is to eat copious amounts of jujubes!! What I am truly dissatisfied today is that I really got sucked into a Facebook vortex and wasted too much time on it. Yes, I am off work today!

Day 12 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – was thinking of activities to do around town during my week break. I have seen most of the tourist sites but found this little gem which is right around the block from my home. Suggested it to wifey. Response – ‘you got to be kidding me’ . Wifey dissatisfied, which by extension, I am.

Day 13 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – a “404 error” in the web world means that a page cannot be found on a web site you are visiting. Most sites would display a page that says something like “page not found, maybe you should try to look for your page here..”. I saw a post showing how the conservative party is taking their attack adds toward Justin Trudeau even to their web site. Here is their 404 – My reaction…shouldn’t you invest your time running the country instead of attacking your opposition? Flip side, the liberal’s web site – has geese carrying a moose! What the heck is that suppose to mean? Aren’t you suppose to attack your opposition with your 404? Bad web from our nation’s leaders!

Day 14 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – Goodlife gym boasts using weight machines 2 to 3 times a week will see results fast . According to the sign I read, it’s as easy as 1-2-3′. I wonder what they mean by ‘fast’ results. I have been going for about 10 years and I have not seem any results, not unless you count the bulge around my waste!

Day 15 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – before moving to Ottawa, work days on Fridays usually were a bit more relaxed. Not the case since moving here, Fridays are usually the days that everything goes wrong. I have come to accept that as part of my routine and am now use to it. Of course, last week, I took a Friday off and unfortunately, the ripple effects went into Monday. Mondays are bad days at the best of times…and yesterday took the cake. Compound that with an offsite meeting in a remote part of the city and all the key players did not show up! Tuesday is shaping up to be “really good”!

Day 16 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – cruising through the Google Newstand to see what magazines are available (I am a long time Time magazine fan). It costs the same or more to buy the e-versions of magazines!! That includes all the advertisements!!

Day 17 of 100 Days of dissatisfaction – Feds are kicking in 1 Billion dollars to extend the Ottawa LRT system to Bayshore. I guess it won’t be in my lifetime where I see any transit improvements in my west end burrow, so busing in 40 foot tin cans continues. I guess on the bright side, at least all the deviants who ride MY bus and get off at Bayshore will have an alternative way to get home.

Day 18 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – when someone you know from your youth dies too young, it puts life in a different perspective, that it can be easily taken for granted, which I can be guilty of. RIP Lynn Carter (some of my long time friends may remember)

Day 19 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – I declare my vacation week a ‘pantless’ vacation. Day 1, I have no shorts, they are all in the wash! Dilemma!

Day 20 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – Starbucks encourages their employees to “get to know you”. Usually, the best these kids can do is to sound cheerful when they take your order. It is very difficult to get to know someone in a 15 second interaction, especially when hungover from the night before. You may get lucky though, and one will use your name at some point during the transaction (usually to write it on a cup).  They are evaluated on it. This morning, as I went through drive through, I was asked “Are you going to play golf?” I said no, then she said, “Oh, you look like a golfer”.  I am now disappointed. I don’t want to look like a golfer. I want to look like a heavy metal rock star. Image ruined!

Day 21 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – missed as I obviously forgot

Day 22 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – Our lovely neighbour, who we affectionately call “Angry Dad” has decided to crank his stereo on full blast all afternoon so that his Electro-Dance music could be heard all the way to Montreal.  At least we do not hear him yelling at his kids all afternoon, but I can’t hear myself think and wonder is this normal for most men to listen to this type of music?

Day 23 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – Tulo to Toronto? Wow! He is one of my favourite players! That gives me even more reason to follow the Blue Jays. That said, they need starting pitching. Their starters can barely give them 5 innings every night. They already have league lead in offense! They don’t need more to get them to the playoffs!

Day 24 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – Moore’s clothing offers many 2 for 1 deals. What they fail to tell you is that it is on their clothes that are double the normal price, so no real savings!

Day 25 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – Long and McQuade’s music store have been doing a lot of promoting of a giveaway for a Gibson Signature Alex Lifeson model. It is an 8000$ guitar.  Figured I needed to buy some guitar strings, and wanted to try out some Gibsons and enter the contest. Not only did my local store not participate in this giveaway, they did not have ANY Gibson guitars available for me to noodle around on!  Ended up just buying strings, but not my usual brand. They were much, much more expensive than  I normally pay!

Day 26 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – Crave TV looks pretty cool. Has a lot of great HBO/Showtime content. Need to be on Bell to subscribe. That will never happen. Love Internet in Canada!

Day 27 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – Went to the Ottawa Valley to peruse the stores.  Barely got a word out of any of the store keepers. Was it my breath, or are they just shy salesmen?

Day 28 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – so looking forward to this Federal election. Thanks Stephen Harper for all that additional time you are giving us to think about who to vote for, it really does not matter. I have never lived in a riding where the vote really matters.  I was raised in a Liberal riding where the vote margin was about 10:1 in favour of the Liberals, I now live in a riding where the vote margin is about 10:1 in favour of the Conservatives.  So does my vote really matter, especially when one can win a majority government without the moral majority of the vote?

Day 29 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – went to take my morning bus, and noticed it was running very late. After 15 minutes, I called OCTranspo to find out what was going on, it is Monday after all. They told me it is an Ontario “civic holiday” Monday and buses are on a Sunday schedule, which means no buses for my route. I work in Gatineau, QUEBEC!!

Day 30 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – Kermit and Piggy have broken up…disappointed. Looking forward to seeing their little frigs!


Day 31 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – It’s bad enough that these people knock on my door Saturday mornings, but now I have to see them shoving the Watchtower in my face everyday since early spring at our park and ride. I guess they are getting tired of getting the door slammed in their face all the time! I never see anyone talking to them, which is a bit of a surprise given that we have lots of Mormons in our neighbourhood.


Day 32 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – I chaired a meeting today. This is what one of the participants doodled…was this an artistic interpretation of how he sees me? I guess he did not have a good time ; )


Day 33 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – this is my experience listening to my music on the bus going from Eagleson to Bayshore this morning…like most mornings on the 40′ sardine cans I ride in. Pay attention to gentleman who sneezes next to me (without covering his face mind you). Click link below to live my experience! I sit in the front where it is quieter!

Day 34 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – every time there is a long weekend, the city of Ottawa delays their garbage pickup. For me, that means instead of having garbage picked up on a Friday, it gets picked up on Saturday. That is really annoying. The only day of the week I get out and run around the neighbourhood and I get to: 1. Try not to gag on green bin composting pukey rotting food smells. 2. Inhale bugs that are flying around the green bins. 3. Enjoy the view of garbage cans, green bins, blue boxes that line up the streets. 4. Avoid the many garbage trucks out to collect all this junk, emitting their noxious fumes and loud engine growls. 5. View my neighbhour’s trash spewed all over their lawn cause they put things out a day early and the racoons got at them.

Day 35 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – dryer part broken and needs to be replaced. Repair man came and did an assessment, but did not have the part. Said he will come back today. Only question remains…at what time?  It is now 2 pm


Day 36 of 100 days of dissatisfaction. My Presto Card mysteriously disappeared at work. When I got home, decided to login to the Web site to report my card is lost.  Here is the messaging.  BTW: How can I confirm this 16 digit number if I lost my card!!!

Report Lost PRESTO Card

If the card number below is correct, please click Submit.

To change the card number, please click Previous.

To cancel your report, please click Cancel.

PRESTO Card Number:

Day 37 if 100 days of dissatisfaction – I am sick today and took a sick day from work. The best way for me to feel better is to crawl under a blanket in a quiet environment and rest while not using my brain too much. Unfortunately, for some unknown reason, it sounds like my neighbours are hosting a turkey convention (at least that is what it sounds like from my indoor perspective given the pitch, the speed, number of people, talking outside). Also, there is no one here to rub my tummy!

Day 38 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – I just heard that this year, I get to celebrate my birthday with the international protest against Uber. I guess the Cabbies are going to protest by being late and having their debit machines not working….

Day 39 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – Saw woman with T-shirt that says “Normal is Boring”. I like the sentiment, but does she realize that she lives in Kanata?

Day 40 of 100 days of dissatisfaction (for Friday) – took the bus to the Bayshore mall. Seems like they don’t want anyone shopping there. Took me  a half hour to find the entrance way (access to the bus station was blocked). Then went looking around for an hour for a store that has been there for  a while, only to discover it has shut down. To make matters worse, I did go to another store for a purchase only to discover the bank machines are down! Total bust and useless mall. Takes forever to get around, and with the construction, easy to get lost!

Day 41 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – hard to be dissatisfied when you get to celebrate your wifey’s birthday. Had an awesome day with her. When she went to bed, I figured I would settle to watch the football game of Ottawa vs. Calgary, I stopped watching when Ottawa was losing 32-3. Tuned in to see how my Nationals were doing, they were being clobbered 9-3. Then figured I would watch a movie, Lucy. It started really cool….then ended really badly! Went to bed upset

Day 42 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – I am now registered for my email account at work. I have a “2” at the end of my name. Seems like I was not in line to have a “1” or no number at the end of it, so I am third in line for the most coveted bruce.gordon email…I wonder if they will allow duals to the death for it when the guy retires.

Day 43 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – did a blood test, was 10th in line this morning, including a horker in front of me. Nice. Arrived at work for 9:00 for slew of meetings until noon, at lunch break was drawn into another one. Completed my day with a further slew of meetings from 12:30 – 4:30. Info overload, no work done, and voice horse

Day 44 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – in the process of doing student interviews. I like working with students. They bring a much needed pulse to the workplace. This round, though, I there are some candidates who have a hard time answering questions. One, when asked “Have you offered advice to someone” said that he gave relational advice to his friend encouraging him to  break off with his girlfriend (this is an IT job he is applying for). Another, when asked what does he bring to the team says “I get my s-it done”.  Going to be an interesting decision.

Day 45 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – cable TV is sooooo expensive and I don’t really watch it anymore… Except for sports!!! I need my football fix, and NFL on the internet would cost me more than cable !!!!

Day 46 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – DIE YOU LITTLE BASTARDS!!! This fruit fly nonsense never happened before the city introduced green bins to collect compost related waste!


Day 47 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – this is my music geek coming out.  I love music, and enjoy technology and programming. I use to track and share what I listen to. It is fun for me to see my listening habits, which bands I gravitate too, as well as the ones of my friends. To submit this info, you use a tool calls a “scrobbler”. While you play your songs, the tool scrobbles what you listen to to their site. This week, they posted a new Web site and the scrobbling stopped working. Seems like the tool can only scrobble about 10 songs at a shot, so lots of info missing. Since my “inner geek” did not want to lose stats for the week, I programmed updates for the missing song data. I would like to say time well spent, but really…not really.  BTW: Here is my profile. Sort of fun (my last 7 days listening is not really a reflection of all time listening…see it and it will make sense)

Day 48 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – I have a doctor’s appointment at. 740pm on my anniversary, ‘great ‘ way to celebrate. This should be a decent length wait tonight. Only Methuselah is in line ahead of me. Hope he only has a cold. BTW only been here 30 minutes so far, and no line movement

Day 48 of 100 days of dissatisfaction (cont) – doctor only 45 minutes late so far, Methuselah seeing him now. Wonder if I have enough battery power in my BlackBerry to last this wait.

Day 49 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – before I saw the doctor yesterday, went to refill a prescription at a pharmacy. Doctor said I had to up the dosage, which required a new pill. Went back to pharmacy today. Waited in line to drop off my prescription. One guy ahead of me. He took 15 minutes explaining his life story about something or other to the technician. I dropped off my prescription in 30 seconds FLAT. Waited 40 minutes. Returned in line with one person ahead of me who had a problem paying with his credit card. Resolved in about 10 minutes. Then he was asking technician insurance plan questions, another 10 minutes. Finally he was moved to the side to address his billing issues and some pharmacy questions. Over an hour to pick up a $3 prescription. Evening a bust

Day 50 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – realized I got to renew my car license sticker AND it seems that I have to get the car emissions tested for this wonderful government cash grab Drive Clean program. Seems like my car needs it, even though it is still pretty new, but old clunkers that are pre-1988 are exempt.

Day 51 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – I have to do “online” training. Very basic stuff. The way the course is set up, I spend more time clicking than reading. Further, the questions I have to answer are really common sense and could have been done up front to save time. Two hours of my life I will not get back and I how have a sore wrist.

Day 52 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – For some reason, today after sending a lengthy email with a lot of attachments to HR administration, in different formats, I totally lost it when I received a reply requesting that I combine all 12 attachments into a single document in order for my request to be processed.

Day 53 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – slight twist on today’s post. Trying to look at the glass a half full today. Please post why you think Kanata is a great place to live and what makes it a unique and distinct city.

Day 54 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – blueberries are good, but they are no substitute for strawberries, especially if you want strawberries in a peanut butter and strawberry smoothie. Just does not work!

Day 55 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – Ever do PC points for groceries? I have a card. This evening while carting around the store, I hear over the intercom an ad reminding people to ‘reload’ their cards on the internet for all the feature products they are offering points on. The ad featured a a very happy woman who reloaded her card and was excited to by Joe Fresh jeans (no idea why Joe Fresh jeans would cause such a thrill), the unhappy woman just bought groceries at very bad prices. I do faithfully load up my card. At the check out, I had 18$ in the bank and I did not earn any points in the store tonight Could not cash it in either. You need at least 20. Fine. Go home, and what is awaiting me in my email box? An offer to reload my card. I proceed. What did I see? All the groceries I just bought were on special for point collectors. I got none. No Joe Fresh Jeans for me, I guess (the message was sent after I bought the groceries).

Day 56 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – They say exercise is good for you. I get up each morning at around 5:15 to hit the gym. I feel alive. I feel energized, then I hit wall at 9:00 am. Around the time I get to work

Day 57 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – Not at ACDC concert tonight (maybe only one in city not there)…only thing on TV is Big Brother.

Day 58 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – wifey prevented me from being dissatisfied! And vacation starts for a week!

Day 59 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – just watched episode 6 of Daredevil on Netflix. Everyone says its amazing, but it seems so slow so far! Figured I would watch an ‘upbeat’ episode of the American version of the Office after, something from season 6, and it was painful (in fact, everything after season 4 is an act of self torture!)

Double counted day 59 Day 59 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – I am tired of the house next door being all fenced up all the way around. With all the additional traffic of onlookers coming around, and the number of people asking me “what happened here” and “did you know about this”, I am considering either : 1 writing a book explaining the situation and selling my rights to the story to the highest bidder 2. offering guided doors around the house for 5$/pop. 3. Selling I survived my neighbour’s hemp garden T-shirts on ebay.
BTW: It is now for sale…a handyman’s dream! The funny thing, they are undercutting an identical house next door by about 50K
Grow op listing
next to door to grow op (they are immaculate)
Day 60 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – I like taking the train. On a whim, looked up train rides to Halifax. Return economy is about $400. The quote said that an upgrade to sleeping quarters may be cheeper than I expect, so I had a look at the prices. Was $1300 one way. That is 2 return flights!
Day 61 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – a few years ago, I got a Visa card with an improved chip security. I have to key in a PIN to make a purchase. Now, that ‘improved’ security seems lost as I can now tap the card to make a purchase. In fact, I noticed today that you don’t have to tap, my card just has to be in the vicinity of a machine to make a purchase! Wonder if I will be buying other people’s groceries in the near future!

Day 62 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – British Boy Band One Direction played Ottawa last night. I am not dissatisfied missing them. What astonishes me is that they are playing Ottawa for TWO nights! That must mean that they are playing cities like Montreal for two WEEKS! And they are selling out! Have you ever listened to them? Guarantee that no one will remember there songs in 2 years. Side note: I am dissatisfied bands like ACDC play only one night. I guess that means that, like their music, tickets to their shows ultimately have more value.

 Day 63 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – I respect keeping kids safe, especially when they come off the school buses after a long hard day at school. I was driving down our road, and in the opposite direction, about 200 yards from me, a school bus turns ON his flashing red lights while still driving. I have no idea when or where he is going to stop, so I proceed to stop immediately. He zooms by me and stops a bus length behind me and lets off his kids (he was flying down the road). He made me break the law! BTW: This is not the first time this has happened with aggressive school bus drivers. They should get 9 demerits for flashing red lights while driving!

Side note, this was at 2:35…since when do kids get out of school so early!! Don’t they start at 11?


Day 64 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – Those of you who know me well understand that NFL football is my vice. That said, the NFL’s popularity is sky rocketing and it is enjoying record revenues, all this despite players who murder, beat their spouses, take illegal substance etc. Not to be outdone, the New England Patriots are a skilled football team who always try to find ways of winning “off the field”. They have been caught illegally videoing other teams practices. They deflated footballs to give them an advantage. They poach players from other team’s practice squads to get the scoop on their opponents. I watched the Pats play the Steelers Thursday night, and there was discussion of problems with headsets that the coaches use to communicate during the game. Mike Tomlin, the Steelers head coach, who is a man IMO of integrity reported the problem during the game. This post was on the Steelers website this morning, which represents the dissatisfaction of an organization. When will the NFL learn that this Patriots team always will find a way to cheat and should be banned from the sport. (BTW: the fact that I am a Miami Dolphins fan has nothing to do with this post!)
Day 65 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – I did two day 59s, so I obviously cannot count.
Day 66 of 100 days of Dissatisfaction – typical of the neighbourhood I live in. The area beyond the hedge in my back yard is public property owned by hydro. I mow my section as I often leave my backyard by the gate. It not my responsibility, but I do it just keep the area neat. Some other neighbours do the same. While mowing it, a man wearing a wife beater and a look that reminded me of a balding Mr. Tudball (Tim Conway’s character in the Mrs. Whiggins’ sketches on the Carol Burnett show) approaches me. I have never met this man before. He does not introduce himself (typical) and asked in an angry tone if I knew the neighbour (living to the right of the picture). I said yes,they are very nice people. He goes on to tell me this long sad story of how he was getting fed up of seeing the tall grass behind their house and was worried about bugs, so he has been mowing it all summer…but he vowed to me that he was no longer doing it! Honestly, I don’t care and I really do not know what he wanted of me except to tell me he is not mowing the neighbours public property. If this was really an issue for him, would it have been more productive to go around the block and ring the doorbell of my neighbour to discuss it? Was he hoping I would deliver his message? Man up dude. BTW: I do not know where this guy lives, never mind not knowing his name, and I really could not keep a straight face through this conversation!
Day 67 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – after much hype, I am now on Outlook and my new work email address is now in place.  The migration went really well, but for some reason, I have over 700 email to read today, which is a little bit more than the average.  To compound things, my friendly colleagues replied to me twice for every message I sent, just to keep my inbox well sated!
Day 68 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – It is my birthday, and yes I had a great time celebrating with cake, wifey , and Iron Maiden. Funny thing, only had 5 (out of 180) friends wish me a Happy Birthday on Facebook. Even for me and my miserable ways, that is low. Ends up my security settings were reset (not by me) to mark my b-day as private. So, to the 2 who remembered my day, bless you! For the 4 who wished me a happy birthday without prompting, but found out through my timeline, bless you! For the remainder of the 175 that would have dropped me a warm personal note if reminded, bless you too! And for those that would not have bothered typing “happy birthday” even with a FB reminder, oh what the heck ,many blessings on you as well! ; )
Day 69 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – Last year, colleagues at work somehow figured out that it was my birthday. I arrived at work and three people arrived at my desk to wish me happy birthday…only to immediately tell me that all our web servers were down and there is a crisis to deal with. This year, no one new my birthday yesterday, so the day went well. The day after my birthday, one colleague remembered and wish me a belated birthday. Shortly thereafter, had to manage more server issues!
Day 70 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – I am a public servant. I have to remain neutral of my political opinions online or anywhere. That is hard when I see stupid and meaningless political memes going around, especially of parties I don’t support. But you know what? After watching last night’s debate, I can safely say, it is very easy to be neutral!
Day 71 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – Facebook is working on a dislike button. The idea is to use it to empathize with a post. For example, it is a bit odd to “like” a post where someone announces the death of a loved one. Flip side, I  wonder how many people will get unfriended because of this feature.
One thing for sure, I am glad it is not available during my days of dissatisfaction!

Day 72 of 10 Days of Dissatisfaction – There are many reasons why I do not subscribe to NFL Sunday Ticket to see all the football games. Today’s NFL experience whacks it out of the park for dissatisfaction:

1. Repeated commercials (and there are many of them, expected and annoying).
2. Repeated commercials taunts me with Dairy Queen Bakes (I LOVE ICE CREAM and APPLE PIE, but I am on a gluten and dairy free diet)
3. To watch the dolphins, I have to watch online in the format below (very painful with all the play stoppage for commercials)|
4. Dolphins lose in typical Fish style. A meltdown at the end of the game, against a very very weak team.

Same old Dolphins. Same ulcer feeling in my gut. Bright side, Dallas’ hope for a perfect season is shot (Romo and Bryant injured, team lead by Branden Weeden…the name says it all)

Day 73 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – what is this world coming to? Got off the bus to see a little girl (maybe 8 years old), wearing ballet slippers, white stockings and a tutu walking down the street removing the signs of a prominent political candidate in our community. She removed 4, then bolted back to her house where I saw her get into a pickup truck (I guess to dance class). Did her dad tell her to do that act of vandalism? Did it matter if it was for a party I don’t support?
Day 75 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – My wifey loves(d) cats. I bought what I thought was an excellent Christimas gift last year, a 365 day cat calendar. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but the photographer does not have a clue how to take pictures of cats. 95% of the photos are of cats that look like they were the bi-product of a taxidermy experiment that went wrong (similar spaced out expressionless shots like the first one in the series). There have been two exceptions posted below. btw these are the only ones that have had a different “look” all year, including today’s
Day 76 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – LOVE self checkout at the grocery store. There is always someone having difficulty paying for the purchase, or someone who insists on going through these lines with 10 million items (usually fruits and veg, which they do not know the codes for) accompanied by screaming children, or someone who sorts through a huge coupon book for each item, so needs to see the attendant for each item being bought. To make matters worse, I usually want to get through this process as fast as possible, and to have a friendly computer say “please put your item in the bag” even when I have done so, every time I scan something, or ask me “how many bags I would like to purchase” when I really don’t want to contribute to the grocery store’s overly inflated profits by buying a 5 cent bag that costs 5 cents for a 1000 can put me over the edge! I think I should be paid the same as a cashier, since I am doing their job. But I don’t even get a discount!
Day 77 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction. Tomorrow is garbage day. I have often wondered why taking out the trash is traditionally the ‘man’s’ job.
Day 78 of 100 days of dissatisfaction – Sign of my age. One of the most memorable trips wifey and I went on was to Arizona, about 15 years ago.  We went to a mini-Las Vegas on the border of Arizona and Nevada. They film all the Vegas films there, and fro $50 each, we had travel from Scotsdale, Hotel at the Flamingo Hilton, and free food for two nights. I often talk about this small town to friends. This week, I was telling someone about it, and completely forgot the name of the city. It took me five days and I finally remember after intense concentration and discussion with Wifey (who forgot too!). It is called Laughlin, Nevada.
Day 79 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – At the post office, I was served by two young women with zero personality (normal). While doing my business, I hear two employees talking behind me very loudly. One, at the top of his lungs screams with a comedic tone “You hear about Alex? He ripped his pants!” Then I hear another voice say “No way! That is the third time he did it” Laughter ensued. I tried to ignore it, and contain myself, but I felt a tear role down my cheek. Facing me, two stone expressionless faces. Not even flinching. They barely say good bye. I turn to leave and saw no one behind me. Did I imagine it all? Alex obviously needs to upgrade his pants size, at least for the sake of his customers. Hope he wasn’t a plumber…it is bad enough that they always have their Crack showing
Day 80 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – sick today. Had to sleep in the afternoon, but that’s ok, figured I would catch the tale end of some football games. There were none to choose from. The most exciting game was a fieldgoal barn burner between the Steelers and the Rams (12-6). I was hopeful the Dolphins game would be a little more interesting. Ends up this team, with all the hype and promise there was during the preseason, looks even WORSE than last year. Boring one sided thrashing by Buffalo. Lackluster lethargic Dolphins team. Leaving my logo as is on Facebook until the team fires the coach.
Adding to my frustration, the Washington Nationals were officially eliminated from postseason base ball last night. I follow them, despite leaving Montreal. Seems like they are living up the Montreal Expos tradition of choking when it matters towards the end of the season.
 Day 81 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – I was reminded (via email) that my Apple Music subscription is about to expire.  I signed up with for a three month trial to check out their collection since I listen to most of my tunes on my iPod touch and my Apple TV. It makes sense  (I love my Google All Play music btw!).   I was also lured in with the promise that there will be apps available for Android and will be available on Apple TV. When I signed up, I saw some interesting play lists in iTunes, so I figured I would put them on my iPod Touch to listen to on my rides into work. Got a message saying that my iPod is not supported for Apple Music. That’s ok, it is a few years old, so I just assumed my iPod was obsolete.  A month into my trial, wifey got me a slick iPod Nano. I thought, great! I can listen to Apple Music on it (it is new after all). Got the same message. Yesterday, I looked up on the Google Store for Apple Music, it was not there. I figured maybe I can listen to it on Apple TV. Unable to play it on that.  Seems like Apple have not released the Android App or patch for Apple TV yet despite what was advertised.  Only way I can listen to Apple Music is by sitting in front of my computer. BAH!
Day 82 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – I am all for rain. I am also for dressing up to go the office. What I am not for is riding on cram packed, 40 foot bus, feeling crushed in like a pack of sardines, with the heat on full blast (when it is 19 degrees outside). Bus feels like an amazon jungle You can see the steam rise on the windows. I leave the bus wet, damp, and my clothes smell strong of dryer sheets for some reason. I am wetter than when I walk out of the shower. Which raises the point. Why do I bother showering?
Day 83 of 100 Days of Satisfaction – Have you ever worked on a project that seems to have no end, no planning, changing direction, fixed deadlines, and the whole thing may be canned in the near future? This seems to be a recurring theme in my professional life. Lucky for me, I am flexible. I am sure all those that have worked with me (either professionally, socially, or voluntarily) in the past can vouch for that! And no, I don’t mean flexible as in yoga. I have the suppleness of a telephone pole. : )

Day 84 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – Sad day (again) in the US. Maybe this is crazy, but I think the right to own a gun is trumped by the right not to be shot by one; and maybe I am dreaming in technicolor, but I wish mental health care was as easy to get as, say, a gun.

To quote John Oliver from the Daily Show “One failed attempt at a shoe bomb and we all take off our shoes at the airport. Thirty-one school shootings since Columbine and no change in our regulation of guns.”

Day 85 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – I am always amazed at the amount of profanity out there and how the art of oral communication is lost. When I was young, I was known to drop an f-bomb or two. Even sometimes now, I do as well. I also understand that some words are not as offensive as they were a few decades ago. When Rhett Butler said “Frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn” in Gone with the Wind (1939), that stunned audiences. Now, we don’t blink an eye when someone swears. For some it denotes toughness and intimidates. Others, it is used for humour and shock. And yet others, it is a natural and cultural expression – as I heard today, for the first time today, while waiting for the bus, an entire sentence comprising (for the most part) 1 colourful word used as a noun, verb, and adjective. The only other words in the sentence were “You can” and I think a “the”. Hate to hear how they order a full seven course meal at a restaurant, or to try to communicate technical requirements for a new complex software.
Day 86 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – Beautiful weekend day in the suburbs. Odd thing is, everyone is out driving around doing whatever it is the denizen do. There is NOBODY walking, biking or enjoying the sunshine, just zooming around in their cars, rushing to the grocery store to get that 2 for 1 deal on canned tomatoes, and they are all sold out.  Suburb roads are about the equivalent of driving on the Queensway during rush hour.
Day 87 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – Saw someone I knew  at the grocery store.  Looked him straight in the eye and said hello, only to be promptly ignored.  I have found that in Ottawa, saying hello is not something people do, unless you have some sort of signed contract in blood permitting that social exchange.  In fact, people “may” talk to you after seeing your face regularly for two years in a common community, like your office.  And you wonder why Ashley Madison is so popular for Ottawans.

Day 88 or 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – Wifey was kind enough to buy me an Apple Gift Card for my birthday. It seems, that an Apple Gift Card cannot buy music from iTunes. It can only be used for hardware or accessories from the Apple store. I just bought a computer and a Nano. So I figured I would ask Apple if I could exchange it for an iTunes card (after reading on their sight, it was clear that there are two types of cards). Heck, I was thinking I could even BUY an iTunes card with my gift card. Here is their no brainer reply, which was very helpful and I feel like I have been “pointed in the right direction”.

Hi Bruce,

Greetings! This is Kathrinna, your iTunes Store Advisor. Thanks for contacting us.

I understand that you’d like to use your Apple Gift Card on iTunes Store. I know how important for you to redeem your gift card. Rest assured that I will point you to the right direction to have your issue addressed.

Bruce, I’d like to share that, Apple Store Gift Cards can be used to purchase Apple hardware and accessories at any Apple Retail Store or

On the other hand, iTunes Gift Cards can be used for music, movies, TV shows, apps, and books. iTunes Gift Cards can’t be used at an Apple Retail Store or for purchases from Apple Store Gift Cards can’t be used on the iTunes Store.

For more information about gift cards, see this page:

Also, I’d like to clarify that, our gift card exchange program has been suspended and it is uncertain as to when or if the program will be started again.

Since this was purchased by your wife, I recommend that you tell her about this and try to get in touch with the customer service where she purchased the gift card to see whether it could be exchanged on their end or could refunded.

I hope I was able to clear things out and thank you for understanding. Take care!



Day 89 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction  We have neighbours across a yard we call “crazy cat people”. They always seem to have five cats climbing running around their yard, and they seem to be interchangeable….there is a new cat every year. I love cats, but because we are the only house with a hedge (no fence), the cats use our backyard as a convenient expressway to the front of our house, where they use our yard as a form of public litter box.
Today, I was greeted by this pathetic creature.  Looks like it wants a snack.

Day 90 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – The world of modern technology. I have a tablet, an ipod Touch, a chromebook, and a BlackBerry. It seems that I spend most of my life “recharging” devices and managing how I go about recharging them. Tonight is grand. All my devices need to be recharged. I have more devices to recharge than available plugs in my room! So for tonight, in absence of real cool devices, I am posting my dissatisfaction “old school”, from behind computer!

Day 91 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – yes, another grocery store adventure. You may sense there is a bit of a theme here, especially with regard to how much I detest grocery shopping!

Tonight’s episode featured a long lineup at checkout. In the spot in front of me, a six year old child had his arms straight out in front of him, walking in circles like he was Frankenstein, bumping into everything. He repeated (with slight accent) “I am a zombie, I am a zombie” over, and over, and over, and over again, with the odd grr thrown in.

I was tempted to feed him some brains just to get him to stop this zombie act and to try to convince him to do something different, like pretending to be a rock. But then, I felt sorry for him, as most adults in this city are zombies, and usually don’t turn into them until they are well into their twenties, or start work in the public service.

Six is WAY to young for anyone to catch this sickness.

Day 92 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – yes this is an early morning edition, but my day started with a bang. For years, we receive flyers and papers delivered to our home. We get so many, the deliverers don’t really have enough place to put them. They do their best to cram them in our mailbox (they have damaged a few along the way), or leave them on the ground to be blown around by the wind on our yard or to be soaked by the rain and snow. I have placed signs “NO FLYERS”, but it seems that only illiterates deliver flyers. And I kid you not, there is a LOT. Each grocery store produces a Sunday paper each week. We have the local newspaper. We get little bags filled with more paper. During the holidays, every store has one. I guess I should not complain, they do deliver the day before garbage pickup day.

As a last ditch passive aggressive effort (after all, the bleeding obvious of my not wanting them was not enough), I placed my recycling bin under my mailbox, with the hope the message would sink in and they would place the flyers in the bin. Well, that did not work.

BTW: yes, it is quite dark at 6:45 am

Footnote: the bin does look full, that is because I had to pick up a huge pile of paper on my step, which I proceeded to slam in the bin before deciding to take a photo.

Footnote2: The small sign on the door to the right says “No solicitors”, which seems another occupation where illiteracy is a career asset.


Day 93 of 100 Days of Disaatisfaction – in a burst of nostalgia, tonight I decided to watch old wrestling videos of matches I liked as a kid on youtube. I was struggling to get youtube working on my iPod Touch 4G, but finally got to watch some vids. I was saddened by the realization that wrestling is fake…
BTW, my thimbs are way to big to type on my ipod. It took me 20 minutes to do this post!
Day 94 of 1000 Days of Dissatisfaction – Wifey reliving her childhood by watching Jem and the Holograms.  If you have never watched this 80s tripe, it is about a group of helium inhaling, Brittney Spears wanna-bes who get magical powers to give them the ability to lip synch almost perfectly, while trying to play air guitar. The music, the stage production, and the marketing is done by a super computer called Synergy. Their enemy, a real band that is marginalized by the industry, called the Misfits, plays music that sounds almost identical to the Holograms. Despite the Misfits  hard work, they are constantly ripped off by Synergy and the Holograms, forcing them to busking on the streets.
Here is a sample of this show. Judge for yourself
I am looking forward to Jem doing a cross over with GI Joe’s Black Metal artist -Golobulus
Day 95 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – Ever binge watch a TV show?  This is a day off for us, so we figured we would watch “How to Get Away with Murder”.  It is on Rogers on Demand. When we tried to access the On Demand channel, the PVR said that the channel was “undefined”, so it took us about an hour to resolve our technical issues.  Once done, we sat to watch the show.  I think this is an excellent show and worth watching. However, is it just me, or are they making TV shows drag out much longer than they have to? There are many “filler” scenes set to music, granted, they are sex scenes, so music is appropriate, though flanging funk would have been better than melancholy indie. I guess it would be hard to have meaningful dialogue in them (unless you are Game of Thrones, in which case a whole story is told by a character while lesbians demonstrate their creativity in a brothel…probably why people don’t know what is going on the show). Ever watch the Office? All 9 seasons x 26 episodes per season. I am sure there were a few episodes the writers were “stretching it” a bit. Or how about that classic Breaking Bad fly in the laboratory episode?  Excellent fodder to avoid advancing the plot when you know you have too many episodes to write. Ya, there are still many good TV shows out there, but I guess concept of “mini series” where there is a logical start and end just does not work anymore.

Day 96 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – off sick from work and noticing that kids are coming home from school before 2:30 pm! They are now playing in the streets making a racket – my peace ruined. Obviously they do not study after school, so how many hours do they actually sit in a classroom each day? I recall coming home after five from school, and that was on days when I did not have any sport team practices! My next question, if their school hours are shorter, why bother sending them to school in the first place? Can they not do stuff online with their Playstations?


Day 97 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – got a promo in the mail. I get a 10$ bonus by joining Costco. Ever shop at Costco? You can get great deals, but is 10 dollars enough incentive to lure new members? One item at Costco is about $100 dollars, so 10% on one purchase not too bad, but what if you get 8 items? BTW I think membership is still about 50$, so this bonus won’t even go towards a purchase!

Day 98 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – Can’t wait until my first day off from my Days of Dissatisfaction. Why? It is the election night. Why should that matter? Cause after the last 100 days, our phone has been called at least 5 times a day with one political party or other asking for their support (going as late as 9:15 pm), and our doorbell rung every day with people who ignore our “no soliciting” sign to tell us how great the Natural Law Party is (or equivalent). I am getting tired of politics. It is the reason why I moved from Quebec to Ottawa.


Day 99 of 100 Days of Dissatisfaction – I have been playing guitar on and off for about the last 30 years. I seek inspiration by reading lots of articles about other musicians, and watch youtube videos of axemen wielding creative renditions of popular songs. Lately I have seen two “inspirational” posts on my timeline (found below).

The first is of an 11 year old playing Dream Theater, and it seems she has had this talent since she was 8. FYI For those of you who do not know, John Petrucci (guitarist of Dream Theater), is one of those guitarists who are “untouchable” by us mere mortals who are hacking away on the guitar.

The other, is of an 81 year old man who can WOW the crap out of anyone.

For me, the message is clear, according to Facebook. Petrucci is easy enough for an 11 year old to play (I am now disillusioned as I cannot even play Neil Young songs), or it will take me another 34 years to get to the level of play of the 81 year old!

Quitting guitar! ; )


Hard to believe, that the 100 day journey is ending.  When I started, I was not sure that I could get past 20 days, but finding things to be dissatisfied about was pretty easy, especially in this city, which, to quote the Joker from Batman, needs an enema. When one looks for it, there is a lot of ripe material to draw from. What have we learned from this journey:

  • OC Transpo buses are designed for discomfort and are inconveniently scheduled; all intentional to discourage ridership and encourage overall traffic congestion. Ottawa is third worse in Canada btw.
  • driving in Ottawa, especially rush hours on the Queensway, are lots of fun if you enjoy listening to commercials on the radio
  • public servants in Gatineau are not entitled to any fine dining. Tim Horton’s is the best that they can get, second to Couche Tard hot dogs and burritos
  • people in this city are natural targets – either they are just plain too serious, or express themselves so poorly due to an inherent passive aggressive nature that prevails. Sarcasm is dangerous.
  • Technology, though useful, requires constant attention, and takes us away from the things we should be doing

The funny thing, I did not go down the religion stream. I figured I ranted for over a year about my dissatisfaction with religion, so no need for a repeat. And for most people, even the mention of the word religion creates a bad sense of gastro-indegestion. Religion, though, is SUCH an easy target, especially in religions that preach “love thy neighbour” and go about hating their God’s creation, all in the name of religious liberty. For a group of people who claim to drink from the “well of life”, one  would expect deep satisfaction. In reality, as a body, they are depressed and are really dissatisfied, a result of setting a moral bar impossibly high and living in constant fear (also a contradiction).  This is really prevalent in the States where religion and capitalism are an unholy union.

Despite my grumpy posts, I have learned that there is much in life that does satisfy.  With the twist of irony, it is easy to see it when you look at the negative with a humorous twist. Good community is what  ultimately satisfies, especially with the all the quirkiness of what is all around you and being able to laugh at the things that annoy you .

Thanks all for being friends, being a part of my community, and sharing this journey with me.

Hope you had as much fun as I did!

Don’t be a stranger, keep in touch ; )

Bye for now