This in from Our Man in Manitoba

Line 2, our home tele­phone line, rang at 12:40 PM Pacif­ic Stan­dard Time. I answered and amidst a great deal of sta­t­ic and echo from my voice back at me, I made out the voice of a man with a Que­be­cois accent, who said that he was our dri­ver for North Amer­i­can Van Lines, and had our stuff. He was at a truck stop in Man­i­to­ba, he con­tin­ued, and that he would meet us at Cus­toms in Van­cou­ver, but had no idea where that was. He also said that he would call us on Mon­day with details, and it looked very much like he would be deliv­er­ing our fur­ni­ture and belong­ings on Wednes­day, August 31st.

We were thrilled to get some kind of a com­mu­ni­ca­tion, no mat­ter who or what it was. The truck to pick up our belongs in Boston arrived right on sched­ule on the morn­ing of July 5, some 52 days ago, but any sched­ule after that dis­ap­peared into the mists of time. In fact, this is the first we had ever got­ten a tele­phone call from any­one con­nect­ed with North Amer­i­can Van Lines. Oh, we’ve talked to them. Over the over the past weeks, our calls to their 800 num­ber grad­u­al­ly changed in tone from polite and curi­ous to plead­ing to furi­ous to threat­en­ing. No mat­ter when the mov­ing van arrives, it will be over a month and half late (46 days, to be exact, since they orig­i­nal­ly agreed they would deliv­er — in writ­ing — on the 15th of June).
We had grown accus­tomed to wait­ing for our things, to liv­ing in a sparse­ly fur­nished apart­ment, using the same cloth­ing, tow­els and sheets that we hand-car­ried with us over the bor­der. Now it looks like our things will arrive just as the sum­mer is end­ing, and pos­si­bly even by the month of my birth.

So, as the last box­es of home improve­ment items (some fans) arrived, they are about to be buried in a sea of box­es with com­put­er equip­ment, fur­ni­ture, clothes, per­son­al items, papers. Hope­ful­ly there won’t be too much dam­age, but I can’t imag­ine that all of this time has gone on with­out at least one or two mishaps as our belong­ings were prob­a­bly loaded and offloaded to ware­hous­es 4–5 times. I do have a back­up of all the com­put­er data, so if that is destroyed, there is a way to get it back. I hope that our art­work and leather fur­ni­ture has­n’t been dam­aged by the extreme heat they must have endured. At least there was­n’t a piano in the load.
I’m told that we’ll prob­a­bly have about 48 hours to report on bro­ken or dam­aged items. Let’s hope we can find that quick­ly. In the mean­time, I guess this will be the last week­end before our past catch­es up with us (although crawls up to us is a more accu­rate state­ment). We can enjoy our lack of clut­ter just a few days longer.

The US — and it’s Dol­lar — Con­tin­ues to Sink Fur­therI still keep track of the news from the behe­moth floun­der­ing to the south of us. Despite all of the hor­ri­ble things going on, the same sto­ries seem to keep repeat­ing over and over again; more deaths in Iraq, Rove even more pow­er­ful (despite the fact that he clear­ly com­mit­ted trea­son and endan­gered the life of a CIA agent, but hey, who cares), Oil con­tin­ues to go up in price, US gas stocks are deplet­ed, Amer­i­cans con­tin­ue to get fat­ter (obe­si­ty is at an all-time high), and dumb­er (‘Intel­li­gent Design’ is now even talked about as often as Mol­e­c­u­lar biol­o­gy, which is like putting Astrol­o­gy along­side Astron­o­my as a sci­ence). How much longer can it go on? Does the US intend to drag the rest of the world down with it? I hope I’m far away enough to insu­late us from the muck that spews from Bush, Cheney, Rice, Rums­feld and Robert­son’s mouths (one won­ders what else that last guy can say before any­one real­izes what a dis­gust­ing crea­ture he is — or is Chris­tian­i­ty now tru­ly back to the days of Cru­sades and Inqui­si­tions, where it’s fine to kill the name of the Church’s own self­ish inter­ests?). In addi­tion, as the US con­tin­ues to sink in the eyes of the rest of the world (of which I now count myself), the dol­lar sinks as well. That’s a real pain, as we haven’t been able to change enough of ours to Cana­di­an dol­lars fast enough. The dol­lar used to trade at $1.25 or so to the Cana­di­an dol­lar. Now it’s at $1.19 and falling. At this rate, in short time, the Cana­di­an dol­lar will be worth more. Good news for us in the long run, at least.
I won’t talk about Cana­di­an pol­i­tics as com­pared to US pol­i­tics. Frankly, there just isn’t much here to talk about. Maybe when your life isn’t neg­a­tive­ly affect­ed on a dai­ly basis by the actions of your gov­ern­ment, it just does­n’t come up as much in con­ver­sa­tion, eh?