Sunday, November 26, 2006

I'm just wondering

... if unexpectedly warm weather is evidence of global warming, what cold weather is evidence of. It's been miserable here since before Hallowe'en. Today it was minus 22 degrees. And snowing!!

Ah well. A few years ago I made the switch to proper ice radials for winter driving. Big difference. I know that my stopping distances are better than with my so-called all season tires on, and the colder it gets, the more the tires help.

On the motor sofa the all-season tires are made by Kumho, which I switched to after doing some research. If I had to drive on just a single set all year round I might well stick with them, because they were on the car through the first couple of weeks of snowy roads.

Here in Alberta we don't need snow tires; the snow we get is almost always dry and loose. But what we get that the East doesn't get is packed down icy roads and weeks of cold temperatures where normal tires get hard and slippery. Bring on the Canadian Tire Nordic IceTraks!

Or Blizzaks, or whatever. But good old Crappy Tire does just fine. And what a hoot - I bought their cheap and drab black winter wheels and dressed them up with fancy plastic wheel covers! I felt like I was 17 again.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

7 weeks a suitcase can sure wrinkle the shirts.

Yes, the wayward suitcase has returned, having been to Kuala Lumpur while I was in Australia, then in Australia while I was in England, and finally here in Canada. Air Canada's toll-free baggage "service" phone number was worse than useless (when I was trying to get hold of the local baggage office to give them delivery instructions Air Canada said they could not communicate with their Edmonton office, but that I should send a message to the Edmonton people via Qantas!).

As it turns out, Qantas was hardly innocent in this misadventure either. First, they and Air Canada do not talk. This much is clear. Second, they sent the luggage back to Edmonton via Alaskan Airlines, but did not tell anyone why the luggage was on the plane. Had I not gone in person to Air Canada's baggage desk, and had them decipher the on line file, and walk down to the Alaskan baggage area behind the customs barrier, I might never have seen the bag again. Even though, I might add, it has my name and office phone number in 3 inch high print on the side of the suitcase.

All's well that ends well. But it intrigued me that the bag had been opened (the combination lock was at its open setting) yet everything was still there.

Just seriously, topographically, three dimensionally wrinkled.