Friday, July 20, 2018

Nancy Kilpatrick Writer: The Box! Not exactly porn.I am struggling and cou...

Nancy Kilpatrick Writer: The Box! Not exactly porn. I am struggling and cou...: The Box! Not exactly porn. I am struggling and could use help from a male of normal strength or a strong woman. Help with what? you ask...
The Box! Not exactly porn.

I am struggling and could use help from a male of normal strength or a strong woman. Help with what? you ask. I need to remove a large and heavy object from an enormous box and despite pep talks from friends, I have at my disposal only a feeble brain, combined with a back issue, and a great fear of injury to both myself and damage to The Object within The Box. Consequently, I am thinking, instead of acting.

Yesterday, the UPS guy was adamant—he would not carry The Box up one flight of steps to the second floor, where my apartment is located. I tried to sweet-talk him but ultimately resorted to trickery. I knew this delivery required a signature and while he was getting the 75 pound box out of the truck, intending, as he said, to just put it in my downstairs doorway, I went upstairs. He couldn't have gotten past The Box to get to me for my signature so he had to carry The Box up, whining all the way: "Don't you have somebody to carry it up?" "The company says I don't have to do this!" "I'm already late!" I wanted to say, well, if you had just carried it up right away instead of arguing with me, you would already be driving in your truck, finishing your route! But, for once, I remained silent.

Last night, as I stared at The Box with FRAGILE pasted on every side, and icons of warning: 2 men should lift it, I took a deep breath and used my silly office X-acto, not one of the giant X-actos which I couldn't find, to cut away layer after layer of all sorts of clear wrap. plastic rope, barriers to protect the sides, and so much more and finally got the top of The Box open, which sounds simple but was not. Immediately inside was a tight-fitting Styrofoam shelf I lifted out with difficulty which contained in the compartments various parts, their usage unknown to me. Under that was The Object.

Today, in trepidation, I will proceed to remove The Object from The Box. I have few skills at my disposal, and physical reality often stymies me, but I have narrowed it down to two solutions (the third is standing beside The Box weeping, but I'm a big girl now and have put that option on hold—for the moment).

Option 1 - Cut The Box open down the front and pull The Object out. This would be easiest and yet if there's a problem and I need to return The Object, I will need The Box intact.

Option 2 - Pull The Box down so The Object lies flat and (I was told) simply pull it out. This will allow me to attach things I may need to attach, like wheels, if there are any, after which I can (simply) lift it upright. I hesitate because The Box displays many bold arrows in royal blue pointing upward with the words KEEP UPRIGHT. I don't know if this means for shipping, or if The Object should always be upright under any circumstances, or if putting it down for a few minutes won't harm it provided the lie down is of short duration, or what. Icons and single word/little phrases supposedly do not require an editor and yet I do not have a clear sense of meaning.

Despite my fears, I've decided to pull The Box down onto what I hope is The Object's back (it's wrapped in something opaque so I can't really see what's what.) And I will attempt to (simply) pull it out.

I'm desperate to find a manual inside. There's nothing in the Styrofoam tray but a sheet of paper that warns I should check all Styrofoam to make sure nothing is attached to it before I toss the packaging. The Box has a cord attached to The Object for plug-in to an outlet that was stuck because it was shoved in first, I guess, and The Object was blocking me from taking it out and everything was jammed, but I managed to get the plug-in end free. So far, the hose in the Styrofoam tray is understandable. But there are also two things in the Styrofoam tray and I have no clue about what they are or what they do. (Praying for a manual!)

I've dallied long enough and will pause to execute Option 2. Back after this non-commercial break with the results.


Contrary to my low expectations, after tipping The Box, having the back of The Object on the floor made it easy to pull it out of The Box by clinging to the material covering it (which told me to beware of suffocation if I intend to put my head inside this material). There was nothing under it but more Styrofoam and a fake box bottom. I managed to remove all the plastic tapes and covers and The Object already has wheels or rollers or something so I don't have to attach them. I just need to attach the hose that goes out my problematic windows. Once I felt relieved of the burden of having to figure things out, I could readily see that the 2 round things are extensions for the hose.

There is no manual. The Box has a few identifications of parts of The Object, like where the settings bar is (on top where it says SETTINGS) and the filter on the side, but nothing more. The hose is pretty obvious, even to me, and the cover surrounding the hose also, and now the 2 extensions. I guess The Object is mostly a plug-and-play. One other thing in The Box—a small ant. I know it's not from here because this summer we only have the giant ants. I managed to capture it and put it outside where it might die from breathing Montreal air, or be consumed by one of the giants, but, alas, that was my best rescue strategy.

Here's a wee video (hopefully) of the packaging. And a picture of The Object. Likely you've guessed what it is. This is a gift from a kind and generous friend (anonymous by request) who surprised me out of the blue. It came all the way from Vancouver, travelling 3,682.59 kilometres (2,288.32 miles) to reach me. 

I find it really hard to be jaded when the world is full of human angels. 

The Object

The Packaging

Sunday, June 03, 2018

Nancy Kilpatrick Writer: The Montreal Maze!Like everyone, I'm trying to s...

Nancy Kilpatrick Writer: The Montreal Maze! Like everyone, I'm trying to s...: The Montreal Maze! Like everyone, I'm trying to save money. I'd like to go on a trip for pleasure this year and to that end I am usi...
The Montreal Maze!

Like everyone, I'm trying to save money. I'd like to go on a trip for pleasure this year and to that end I am using The Jar savings plan.  My friend Suzi recommended it and, so far, it's working well.  You get a jar and...Week 1 you put $1 in the jar. Week 2 put $2 in the jar, and so on. In a year it totals $1378. It's meant for people who have a lot of change in their pocket or purse. I'm not one of those people. I rarely have accumulated change, but still, I think it's a good savings plan. I've just finished week 8 and week 9 starts tomorrow.  But I don't have any change or even cash to put in the jar tomorrow and here's why.

I'd been waffling about going downtown to see Cat on a Hot Tin Roof at the Cineplex theatre where they run Classic Films. I saw the film decades ago, and recently saw the National Theatre Live stream in a cinema. It was good and made me want to rewatch the Taylor/Newman film. Once I decided to go, I also waffled about whether to buy the ticket online or at the theatre.  Yes, I'm a waffler, big time! I bought it online.

Went to the bus stop. No bus. OK, I've got lots of time, said I to myself. As I stood there, reading the red notice sign, which seemed to contradict what was on the STM (transit system's) Internet site, I realised the site was wrong and the notice posted was right. No bus going south to downtown.

OK, 20 minutes later I walked the 4 blocks to Parc Avenue, only to find another red notice sign. This one said 'Orange' as the instructions for where to find the relocated bus stop. The signs are in French, but I can read simple French. But, 'orange'? What could that mean? A woman pushing a baby carriage who is French said it's that orange-ish pole where the bus stops. I walked to the pole. There was no new sign. Then I saw several houses further up the street a red notice sign on a parking pole. Read that, and it said the bus stop was now at a street about 12 blocks away!  The woman with the carriage was passing and I asked her if what I was reading, that the bus stop is 12 blocks away was correct or did it mean the bus ONLY stops 12 blocks away from this relocated bus stop? French is her first language. She didn't understand it either. And like me, she admitted she rarely can understand these red notice signs.  It's why I've watched so many people over the years staring at a notice sign for 10 minutes trying to figure it out!

I waited another 20 minutes, no bus. Called a taxi. Waited 15 minutes for that. The driver came, and we only got as far as 20 blocks south.  Traffic couldn't go south towards downtown because the southern route was blocked. There was a bus waiting and it couldn't move either, or turn, just sat with warning blinkers on.

The turn choices were west or east.  West goes up the mountain which our new mayor has blocked off to traffic until September for the benefit of cyclists, pretty much cutting off easy access from one part of the city to the other for everyone who lives here.  So my taxi driver turned east...and we sat in traffic for another 15 minutes.  I decided I'd had enough. I paid for the ride and got out. I asked one of the many traffic cops trying to unsnarl the traffic jam if there were any buses going north, since I'd given up and wanted to head for home. He didn't know and said to call the STM.

I was near a supermarket and thought, ok, I can pick up a few essentials, the day isn't wasted. Did that, came out, no buses north. North was the direction I had to go to get home. No traffic east either--street fair happening and that was blocked. Everything and everyone was jammed up. Cars could turn north onto the main boulevard (where there were no buses today) ,but for anyone needing to go south and downtown, that didn't make sense, so vehicles were doing U-turns to go back and to the mountain road to the west, hoping, I suppose, there was a north-south route on the way. Good luck with that! If not, they'd have to U-turn again and hit the same jam and turn left onto the big main boulevard heading north. I was standing at the corner of the main boulevard, looking at the blocked west, south and east routes and seeing zero traffic north.

I was hot. I walked a couple blocks north, thinking maybe there might be more traffic on one of the bigger cross streets.  Only 2 or 3 cars were turning onto the large boulevard every 4 or 5 minutes; the majority were obviously U-turning to head west to the blocked mountain road. After 15 minutes, finally! a taxi turned. I flagged him down, which was pretty easy, since his was the only car on the boulevard at that time. He asked where I was going, since he knew where his vehicle couldn't go. Fortunately, he could take me all the way home.

So, my cheap day totalled $6.99 for the movie ticket plus $15. for the first taxi, $8.70 for the second taxi. Total: $30.69. And I didn't get to see the movie! And I didn't get to the ATM I'd planned to visit to get cash for various things, including The Jar! Thank you City of Montreal public works department for the eternal construction; and Mayor Valerie Plant, who cares about bike riders and apparently no one else; and as always thanks to the STM that manages to block every route every year for something or other and doesn't care enough to update their bus service on the Internet site or to post a notice on their website--which I checked, and my bus stop code wasn't listed as a problem, But it was! Or to post simple information on their red signs, and I'm not even asking for English, just simple in French!

Once I reached home, I did chat with Hamza on the site who understood and while it's not Cineplex's fault, he is sending me a free pass. Unfortunately, it takes 7-10 days to arrive--must come by smail--so I will have to buy yet another movie ticket for $6.99 to see the film on Wednesday, the only other day it's at the downtown theatre. So my new total will be $37.68 to see this movie on Wednesday (not including the groceries I wouldn't have bought if I could have gotten to the theatre!)

If this was the first time this happened to me, I wouldn't be so livid. But variations on this have happened many times. Suddenly, no bus, even though the Internet says there is a bus. Suddenly road closures--in every direction. Suddenly a large taxi fare for going nowhere.  In fact, I went in a square: west, south, east, north, east to home. Over 2 hrs!  Arriving home at the exact time the movie would have begun.

You not only can't make this crap up, but who would want to?

Wednesday, May 02, 2018

Nancy Kilpatrick Writer: More about the !@#$%^ Muffins!Yesterday I made muf...

Nancy Kilpatrick Writer: More about the !@#$%^ Muffins!Yesterday I made muf...: More about the !@#$%^ Muffins! Yesterday I made muffins for the first time. It was a fiasco. 12 muffins took 3 hours of my life which I n...
More about the !@#$%^ Muffins!
Yesterday I made muffins for the first time. It was a fiasco. 12 muffins took 3 hours of my life which I not only will never get back but which will remain as one of my daymares forever. They are tasteless but at the same time too sweet. I've recovered generally from the ordeal, but here are my afterthoughts. 

The stupid thing is I only buy muffins maybe every 2 months at the supermarket, six of the Farmer's Market brand, so it's not like I eat them daily. And yet I became obsessed with trying to make them myself in order to find better-tasting and healthier muffins. The ones I made yesterday are in a theoretically air-tight bag but I don't feel like eating them now. I had the first one when they were warm, and last night--a second just to see if the taste improved at room temp. It did not. Since I still have a mound of basic ingredients, I will hunt down more recipes using honey on the net (where I got these two recipes). I'll add cinnamon or vanilla or ginger or nutmeg and also use lemon or orange zest as Facebook friends suggested when I make the next batch, which I thoroughly expect will be the last batch I ever make.
Why I thought baking would be a restful activity, I do not know. Many years ago in my youth when I was involved with a cooperative vegetarian restaurant and ended up spraining my ankle so instead of my usual job which required me driving an extra-long van to the city's huge food terminal where restaurants and food stores buy their food wholesale, I was relegated to the kitchen helping the baker make apple crisp and a whole pile of other desserts and bread. I found the work onerous and to distract myself for the weeks I was there convalescing, I would sing and hum the same song over and over (likely driving my poor co-worker insane). I'd heard this song on an old Incredible String Band Album that someone owned and was quite taken with it. **Remember, this was Back In The Day!**

The song is "Big Ted" and for your edification, here with this snippet of my ancient history, is The Incredible String Band singing what became a flashback for me yesterday, particularly the important last line of one verse, recapped below:

The sows are busy with piglets fine, I'd put them in the forest now if they were mine, 'cause I know they like acorns AND I DON'T LIKE BACON (yes, I hate BAKIN').

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

Nancy Kilpatrick Writer: Fantastic Book CoversI've publicly thanked artist...

Nancy Kilpatrick Writer: Fantastic Book Covers
I've publicly thanked artist...
: Fantastic Book Covers I've publicly thanked artists who have done book covers for me but I wanted to give a major shout out to the ...
Fantastic Book Covers

I've publicly thanked artists who have done book covers for me but I wanted to give a major shout out to the following people.  As every writer and reader knows, a cover can make or break a book and I'm eternally grateful to these artists for their covers. I have published many other books, but for most, I don't know the artists personally, but these I do. Some have worked with their own images and others with stock images, but either way, the results are amazing. I've included links to their work, where possible, and am featuring the book covers they created or designed for me.

Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Nancy Kilpatrick Writer: Here's a new Interview with me on the first hour o...

Nancy Kilpatrick Writer: Here's a new Interview with me on the first hour o...: Here's a new Interview with me on the first hour of The Bonus Material Podcast, hosted by Thom Carnell and Langley West. I talk about w...

Here's a new Interview with me on the first hour of The Bonus Material Podcast, hosted by Thom Carnell and Langley West. I talk about writing and publishing, and, of course, myself!