A Bend in the Road

A couple of weeks ago I came across this article talking about efforts being made to retain access to the ground fish fishery within the community of Martha’s Vineyard. While the fishery is not the first thing that comes to mind when I think of Martha’s Vineyard, it like most coastal communities along the northeastern US and Atlantic Canada were settled because of the bounty of the northwest Atlantic. Through time and attrition, access to the resource trickled away from smaller boat fishermen into a more corporate system.

To say the article hit close to home is an understatement.  On our island, we have watched as mobile herring, ground fish and a portion of the scallop fleet slowly moved from independent fishermen to corporate control and subsequently to individual transferable quotas and fleet rationalization.  The result: the loss of those fisheries and jobs from our community.  Now, our multi-species fishery has become largely dependent on the lobster fishery with other fisheries acting a supplement. Dependence on one species is a bit of a scary concept.

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I Want My MTV

First of all, I should say this is not a reflection on anyone who works in a customer service call centre. It is not a job I envy or think I could do. I would more than likely tell someone where to stick their problems within the first couple hours of the day. It is though a reflection of my frustration with a corporate computerized system that just wouldn’t let me watch tv.

Towards the end of July I started having trouble with my satellite TV. The picture would freeze, but would work again if I reset the unit. So Saturday afternoon on August 1 while attempting to watch a Blue Jays game and resetting the unit every half hour or so, I decided to call Bell technical support. It took 3 calls, because the unit would work then freeze again, but it was finally agreed that I needed a new receiver. I asked if there were any deals available as I’ve been a long time customer. The loyalty department was great; they offered my a great deal on a new receiver and a further discount on my bill. We set up an appointment for a technician to come that Thursday (August 6) and install the new PVR. We also discovered I’m still paying on my old unit and if I returned it, I’d save another $4.00 a month. Sounded good to me, so I asked them to send the shipping package. I hung up the phone feeling quite pleased with my experience.

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Poop Patrol

I am not really sure where the name “Charlie” came from. My criteria for dog’s names is quite simple: it should end in a long “EEE” for ease of calling and preferably not be a name of someone close, either in distance or relationally.  That is, while naming my puppy after a brother in law (both of whom have names that end in a long “EEE”) may provide me with some twisted amusement, it probably won’t do much for long term family relations.  Anyway, while pondering names on a meandering drive to a meeting, I struck upon “Charlie” and so it was.

On the drive home from picking home up, around the time he was chewing on my door (leaving teeth marks no less) I mentioned maybe he should have been “Marley” instead of Charlie.  “Marley and Me” is a favourite of mine (both the book and the movie) though I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone with an older dog.  (I may have been openly sobbing while sitting by a pool reading the book.) When I look at Charlie though, I’m beginning to think my instincts that first day may have been right.


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