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More Vague First World Problems

I made a large purchase last week Tuesday, and have had problems paying for it. Oh, I’ve got the money, I mean I’ve had some difficulty sending it to the seller. I put a deposit down instantly over the phone by credit card, that was easy enough, but sending the bulk of the funds due has required over a week. This is in part due to the seller’s sluggishness in contacting me with payment details, and partly due to how modern banking is set up.

My smaller bank, which is actually a part of a Big 5 big Canadian bank, doesn’t have a SWIFT code to send wire transfers, so I had to select a bank draft option for $10. It was that, or wait 2-3 business days to move the money electronically to another bank, to pay them $50 to wire it. Then they couriered me the draft (couldn’t send it directly to the seller, oh no). Purolator didn’t leave a delivery notice, or a bozo stole it, or the wind blew it away, so I waited an extra day before complaining to the bank about the slow delivery. They gave me the tracking number and said it was in the city. I picked it up, and turned it around back into the system for almost $25 to be at the seller by next day.

Why not Interac email? They’ve a $3K/day limit, and the seller only wanted wired money, or a bank draft (certified cheque). Why not credit card? Something like a 2.5% merchant fee, so the seller would take a few hundred dollars hit. Why not Bitcoin? Because they’ve not set up to take it, and convert it into dollars at their end (or hold it, more sensibly). It could be a lot easier than multiple phone calls to banks, and an early morning trip to the industrial side of town where Regina doesn’t even have sidewalks or bike lanes to get there.

Saskatchewan’s Worst Former Minister?

Gerry Ritz makes his latest bid for the role of most disgraceful person who happened to be a Minister of the federal government, from Saskatchewan.

Anyone who has ever looked at Catherine McKenna’s tweets realizes that Tarsand Trolls all call her “Climate Barbie” as a personal insult because she’s a blond woman who they think is not smart.

The Minister is obviously smart, and should not face taunts about her appearance, especially from another MP like Ritz. His cheese slipped off his cracker long ago, clearly.

Ted Cruz Likes Porn, Literally

8 months ago, this Twitter user claimed Ted made the same mistake while watching Twitter-hosted porn:

Solar Eclipse from Regina, SK

The eclipse today was visible from Regina, but not the totality available to Americans in many states.

Solar Eclipse August 21, 2017
My new Canon SX540 HS did a good job with a pair of solar eclipse filter glasses taped over the lens. The sunspot chain was very sharp and visible at 200X digital zoom, 80ISO.

I made a projector that worked well:

Solar Eclipse August 21, 2017

ADDED: Here’s 2012’s annular eclipse in Regina.

Plastic Is Out of Hand

Plastic almost always ends up as waste within a year or two of its production. We’re making too much of it also, at an increasing pace.

“Of the 8.3 billion metric tonnes of virgin plastics ever made, half was made just in the last 13 years,” Geyer said. “Between 2004 and 2015 we made as much plastic as we made between 1950 and 2004.”

It’s sick. The problem is accelerating. We need to ban plastic bags in grocery stores in Regina, as a local starting point to fight the problem.