I do not think that Rogers ever did anything right the first time for me when I was their customer. If I called to cancel a block of stations, they would do it but then add the Rogers Magazine to my account, somewhat negating the savings that I was trying to achieve. Not so with Time Warner. I called them last week to ask for my service to be restored when I got here today, and they told me that everything was being restored 5 days ago. They had recorded my wishes from last spring and were going to execute on the day we agreed back then. I was pretty certain that when I got here I would have to call for some reason. So far not so; everything is working fine.

This is for Jamie

I have been thinking lately about the possibility of someone starting a new appliance company. We know that GE and MayTag make appliances; we all have them in our homes - Major appliances like crappy refrigerators, crappy stoves, crappy dish washers, crappy microwave ovens, and crappy clothes washers and dryers. There are other manufacturers too, like crappy Bosch, crappy Samsung, and crappy LG.

My thinking is that it would be a good idea to start a company that made really good, simple, constantly improving appliances. I vision a product that is steel not plastic, that constantly evolves not to meet marketing needs, but to make it more reliable, deliver more essential function, and be more energy conscious. It will reuse a very high percentage of its parts from year to year rather than being redesigned with new knobs and switches each year.

Deming would be proud of these appliances. Their design and development would fit within the Sigma Six quality programs from Xerox. They would not be about new models for the sake of new models, they would change only when a real improvement to reliability, ecology, function or cost can be delivered. The warrantee would reflect the quality. Long warrantees with No-Question customer service.


I have been a Rogers internet customer for a long time. For more than one reason I have been thinking of dropping my Rogers Home Phone, TV, and Internet service and moving to an "Internet only" model for TV and Phone. With the introduction of Sling.com in the US I decided that I would make the move now as we head south for the winter. I cancelled everything 3 days ago.

This morning Rogers gave us a rude shot when they let me know that by cancelling our internet service, Carol had lost the email address that she has been using for the past 20 years, and that if she did not move her email to Yahoo.ca today the email in the old account would be lost. My email is OK because years ago I had moved to Apple's mail services with Google's Gmail as my backup.

So . . . my advice would be that you should never include your email service within a larger technology bundle. Keep your email with a free service (Google Gmail is great). Bundling your email with your TV, your phone, your internet connection reduces your ability to take advantage of new hardware technology in your neighbourhood. It also reduces your ability to move to another carrier because of service issues and the like.

For the record my current plan is:

Service Estimated Cost
Bell Fibe Internet 60GB download, Unlimited Usage ~$80 per month
Apple TV for all TVs one time purchase
Netflix subscription for Movies $10 per month
Sling subscription for News, Sports, HBO and Tennis Channel $40US per month

I will need to use a PVN to access Sling from Canada, but I already have this (Avast PVN) and have tested Sling using it. The PVN is a necessity when you are trying to access US content (such as Pandora) from Canada.

Carol and I are in established in our hotel room in Fort Wayne. I think that we just made it out of Collingwood on time for it was cold, and windy with traces of sleet and snow all the way from Duntroon to Shelborne. We are listening to an audio book as we drive, "The Girl On The Train". I was so engrossed in the story that I missed the exit to highway 69 near Port Huron and then an hour later took an exit to highway 96 near Angola. I am not certain that I should be listening/reading as I travel.

Our friends Keitha and Ross hosted a Bean-town Festival last evening for cult-like collection of neighbours. Everybody is nuts about baked beans. Some folk even brought their own tupperware. Keitha claimed that she cooked 8 pounds of beans for 10 people. 8 pounds of beans, properly rehydrated is just slightly more than what is required to fill a 5 gallon pail. 10 people, 5 gallons. Roughly 2 quarts of beans per person - then desert. there was barely room for a couple of beers and and a snort of rum. It was a very nice evening.



The 4th day is always the longest driving day - 616 miles; all I can do at my age. We did it with only 4 stops. If I could live in the US full time, Flagstaff would be very high on my list of possibilities. The population is about 70,000, it has a University and a historical district that is wonderful. Brew pubs and restaurants abound. It is 100 kilometres from the Grand Canyon, 4 hours from Las Vegas, 1 hour from Sedona. It is situated 7000 feet above sea level. A terrific town.