The Goddess Weighs In

Living Large and Healthy

The Goddess On The Moon

For two weeks I chose to remove myself from the world, well not completely, and not the whole world, but from my little part of the world.  I went to Florida, I swam every day, I worked on my novel and I slept.  I did check in once in a while to make sure that the world was still there, but most of the time I opted out.  I chose to be part of a new world for a little while and I liked it.  I liked the freedom of not constantly checking for emails and tweets and a certain degree of calm enveloped me.

When I got home I was ready to be home.  I was ready to insert myself back into my little part of the world, refreshed, recharged and renewed.  Unfortunately my little spot in the universe had been messed with.  While installing new water mains in my area someone had forgotten to “call before you dig” and had managed to slice through my phone line.  A little sleuthing and it became apparent that my phone line had been cut about a week prior, but since I wasn’t here to complain neither the city nor my service provider did anything to rectify the problem.  It took four days to get someone to come out and look at the lines.  I was repeatedly told to crawl around my house and check for loose connections or a faulty handset and to turn my modem on and off.  I even managed to get  to the grey customer access box attached to the outside of my house and with a screw driver and sheer determination I managed to get the thing open and find an external jack.  After crawling all over my house, moving furniture and playing musical phones it turns out that you can immediately tell if the problem is inside your house, which by the way costs 80+ dollars to remedy, or outside your house which is the responsibility of your provider.  Frankly I think it would have been nice to know this before I bellied down behind dressers and bookcases, but at least I will know this the next time.

The first service tech was bright and cheery and bore a striking resemblance to a young Woody Allen.  He puttered around in my back yard and then I swore I saw lines being tossed up in the air out of the corner of my eye.  I wasn’t seeing things, this 5 foot nothing man managed to work a phone cable from a box two blocks away, across various phone poles, lasso it around my plant hanger and attach it to the little grey box.  Behold let there be a dial tone! Relieved I thanked Woody and went to check that my internet was working.  It wasn’t.  I ran back to the backyard and he was gone.  I had left him cleaning up bits of wire and debris from his phone wire rodeo act but poof he’d done a runner.  I immediately called my provider and they were surprised that reestablishing my phone line had not done the trick.  They helpfully told me that I should crawl around the house and test all the phone jacks.  I thanked them for their advice, boldly lied that of course, that was the first thing I tried after the tech left, and I asked how soon a new tech could be here.  They told me I could go about my business and run my errands since no tech was going to be available until the next day.

Sunday morning I got a call that a tech would be at my house between 5 and 9pm.  Way to ruin a girl’s weekend.  I ran some errands and then waited.  As I watched DVD’s on my laptop I was sure I saw something bright yellow go through my back yard, but when I got up it was gone.  Then I saw it again.  It was the tech’s bright yellow hard hat.  This second tech had taken the liberty of wandering my back yard without announcing himself and when I introduced myself he told me I had a phone.  I said yes, but no internet.  He shrugged, told me I should contact my service provider and left.

I was back on the phone calling my provider in seconds flat.  The next available service was on Tuesday, between 8am and 12pm.  I called my boyfriend to see if he could come over and wait since I couldn’t miss work and he obliged.  He called me at work and told me that I needed a new modem and that part of the issue may be that I have a dry loop instead of a wet loop.  Well I never!  My eyes started to glaze over and I contacted my provider and gave boyfriend permission to speak on my behalf.  They would send a new modem in a couple of days.  Two days later the modem arrived.  I picked it up from the post office, I lovingly carried it to my home office, I freed it from its wrappings and I gingerly plugged it in.  And then I wanted to smash it to a million pieces because I still had no internetz.  I called my provider again and got on my desk top computer in my office and he walked me through a number of screens and boxes to click or unclick respectively and still nothing.  He scheduled a service call for Saturday.

The tech was scheduled to arrive anywhere between 12 and 6pm.  He showed around 2:30 and I directed him to my modem.  He could not hide his surprise that he was the 4th tech to visit my house for this problem and could not hide his displeasure upon hearing that one of his colleagues had merely told me I had a phone and left.  He went upstairs and in 10 minutes he called me to test out my internet.  The solution to two weeks of being stranded on the moon, bereft of internet and social networking was to wiggle a tiny button on the back of the modem.  He wasn’t sure what the button did, and quite frankly as long as my service was restored I really didn’t care, but in 10 minutes this god of a man did what 3 other techs and countless phone calls could not do.  He gave me back the interwebs.

For those of you who are curious I switched my service to Teksavvy earlier this year.  The price can’t be beat, however it also took two weeks and four service visits for them to correctly set up my internet in the first place and they forgot to tell Bell that I had switched, as they had promised to do, so I had the unique pleasure of paying double for my internet service for a couple of months before I realized what was going on.  The problem overall however is not Teksavvy.  The issue, and I swear I am not a conspiracy type, but this just can’t be ignored, is that Bell techs don’t seem to be particularly interested in helping customers who are no longer with Bell.  If every service issue took four techs and a lot of phone calls to resolve Bell would soon bankrupt itself, but if they are outsourcing to other providers who are paying for the service then why not charge another provider for multiple visits and as an added bonus frustrate customers to the point that they may consider returning to Bell service.  It’s an hypothesis, I have no concrete proof, but man it seems a lot more than likely that something sinister is going on here.

Regardless, the Goddess is back on terra firma and happy to see you all.

– the Goddess

 

 

 

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Vitamin D Stat!

We had more snow last night.

I shouldn’t complain.  I’m Canadian, I’m hearty. I know how to snowshoe, I know how to cross country ski, and I know how to build a quinzhee, but all I want right now is sunshine and warmth and the chance to go outside without shivering under multiple layers of clothing.  The days are getting longer.  I know that this is temporary and soon the snow and ice will melt and the buds will poke through the soil and rise to meet the sun. Come summer I will be complaining about the heat and humidity, but right now it seems idyllic.  Thank you for letting me whine.

beach

 

– the Goddess

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Apropos Of Nothing: Warm Goat Cheese Salad With Chicken

Some days I just need to share how much I love something.  This isn’t a vegan recipe, it’s not a challenge and depending on how much cheese you add it’s not even a “light” meal, but if you’re looking for something a little different and you like a bit of curry, a bit of goat cheese and a tonne of flavour you have to try this.  A friend made this for me a few years ago and since then I’ve made it for a lot of other people and always to rave reviews.

Mixed greens or Mesclun mix

Goat cheese

Curry powder or paste

Red pepper cut in strips

Onions cut in strips

Portabello mushrooms chopped or favourite mushrooms sliced

Grilled chicken, diced or shredded (optional)

Extra virgin olive oil

Balsamic dressing or your favourite oil/vinegar based dressing, sometimes I make my own concoctions with balsamic, horseradish and extra virgin olive oil

1. In a small bowl mash the goat cheese with the curry powder.  This is to taste. Usually mine is pretty yellow with a little white, but experiment.  If you taste the cheese at this point the flavour will be more intense then what you will experience mixed with the other flavours. Put this in the fridge to chill.

2. Using the olive oil sparingly saute the onions.  Remove from pan, then saute the peppers.  Remove from pan and saute the mushrooms.  If it’s just me I toss them all in together, but they can look a little muddy from the mushrooms. Keep warm!

3. In large individual salad bowls layer the ingredients:

  • Greens on the bottom
  • Chicken
  • Curried goat cheese
  • Sauteed onions, peppers and mushrooms
  • Dressing to taste.

The trick is that the cheese melts through the salad because the veggies are warm.  You do not need to use very much cheese, probably a tablespoon per salad will suffice, or to taste, and trust me less is more.  Typically what I do when serving this is put out the individual ingredients and let people put it together themselves, but whatever works for you.  If there are leftovers I store the components separately and then you can microwave the veggies, or I just use them cold and the salad is still really good.  I’ve also made the salad with green peppers or leftover pork loin and it’s still an amazing blend of flavours.  I think next I may try some grilled veggies on the bbq like eggplant and zucchini.

Bon appetit!

– the Goddess

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