The Scoop On This Disability Tax Credit-Related Payment Thing

So there’s been a bunch of confusion about this new one-time COVID-19-related payment of $600 that you get if you have the Disability Tax Credit here in Canada. People are running around wondering if they need to apply for something special to get the payment. If you already have the Disability Tax credit, no, you don’t.

Now, let’s do the longer version. Like I said, if you know you have a Disability Tax Credit Certificate filed, and it’s all good, then you just wait for the payment. That link says it will come in the fall. The fun comes if you have any doubt about whether you have a valid Disability Tax Credit Certificate on file. Depending on whatever they determine when you first filled it out, you sometimes have to renew the certificate. Mine just keeps rolling over since my eyes aren’t going to spontaneously heal no matter how many people try to pray for me. Whatever the case is, the status is tied to your account. So, if someone does your taxes, you can go ask them to let you know if you have one of these, or if you have access to all the features of CRA My Account, you can go check for yourself. After you log in, go to credits and benefits, and you will find a heading for Disability Tax Credit, whether you have a certificate and a link to view it if you have one.

If by some unfortunate set of circumstances, you are eligible for the Disability Tax credit and don’t have the certificate, you still can get it before it’s too late. They say you have until September 25 to get it and be able to get this one-time payment. What you need to do is get a T2201 form and you and your doctor fill it out. I don’t even remember doing this, probably because my folks were smart and did this when I was 18, and at the time, I was 18 and a clueless stupidhead about things like this. But that’s how it works. You should probably move quickly because I think I read somewhere that it takes up to 8 weeks for them to process the T2201 forms…and you barely have that before the window closes. So go, go, go!

To those who need to get their Disability Tax Credit stuff together, good luck. To the rest of us, you can relax now. The payment will come.

I Don’t Think Tunein Wants My Money Anymore

When they dropped audiobooks from premium a couple of years ago, I was ultimately ok with it. I wasn’t happy to see them go, but I didn’t listen to them nearly as much as I thought I might. It was nice to know they were there when I wanted them, but I mostly used the service for baseball anyway, so it was fine. But as of yesterday, baseball is gone too. That is not fine.

Update to MLB Listening
Select MLB audio, including live home calls, is no longer available on TuneIn Premium. You can still access tons of baseball audio, including podcasts, marquee games and the World Series.

I’ve been a happy subscriber for years, but I think our time together may soon be coming to an end.

  • The commercial free music is nice, but it’s a side benefit for me, not a main feature. If I want commercial free music, I have Spotify for that.
  • All of the streams of over the air stations are available for free. Yes I’ll have to put up with ads in the app, but lots of apps have ads in them. I think I’ll be fine.
  • I don’t need premium to subscribe to a podcast. There are lots of ways to do that.
  • The news programming they offer is centred on America, and you can tell by the way I spell centred that I’m not American. Canada does a fine job covering American news anyway. Sometimes a better job than America does, I would argue.
  • I don’t care about the NFL, so that’s not going to be keeping me around.
  • Last time I checked, a good number of NHL games were still streamable for free in Canada. The Leafs were for sure, and most of the time they would be what I’d be listening to.

So unless they have a surprise up their sleeve and quick, I think that unfortunately once I hit the publish button on this, I’m going to grab my phone and hit the cancel button on Tunein premium. It’s just not worth the $12 a month with tax for me anymore.

How We Are

lyrics are here.
I figured now would be a good time to say how we’re doing. I know that soundtrack is a little dark, and it’s darker than it needs to be, but it’s been going through my head, in the sense that when something sudden and life-changing happens, your priorities completely shift. It feels appropriate. That, and when this whole pandemic started, there was a part of me that was afraid of all the worst possibilities happening, and prayed they wouldn’t. Thankfully, they didn’t, but the song comes back to me sometimes…and makes me cry.

About that. Contrary to the statement above, I have not continued to be a walking waterworks. This is partially because I’m figuring out this new normal, and partially because people are getting better at expressing themselves, and not simply by screaming at me. People ask whether they can come in the elevator, or speak up when they’re in there, so every trip down isn’t an exercise in uncertainty. It’s a lot easier to walk around when you know what to expect from each other. I’m not about to waltz into a grocery store, and even going over to the mall is not something I enjoy, but just being in the neighbourhood is tolerable. I find myself changing things too, like if I’m going to go into the room where the mailboxes are, I will say a little louder to Tansy, “Let’s check the mail!” It reminds me of those old nature videos where they would tell you to make lots of noise while walking through the woods so you wouldn’t startle the wildlife.

Most importantly, we are well and everybody in our immediate circle is healthy. We know a lot of people who haven’t been so lucky and have had brushes with Coronavirus, but that is as close as it has gotten to us.

I’m getting used to wearing a mask when I do have to go out to stores. Thanks to my cute parents, we have quite the arsenal of masks of all sorts of colours on hand, and I might end up with more, if I find a clear-window one. It really does amaze me how much spit goo comes out of our faces without trying very hard, and I can totally see how shouting and singing can generate more spit goo. Occasionally, I have had to yell something, and yuck! I’m regretting it for the rest of the time I have the mask on my face. I’m very happy that so far, all the masks I’ve worn haven’t thrown off my hearing. I don’t know what the difference is, but I’ve been lucky.

Whenever I am out somewhere and have to touch something that everybody touches, I hear this song in my head.

Well at least I’ll remember how much I have to wash my hands.

I finally did get a haircut at the beginning of July. The whole time I was out, I was wondering if I was doing the right thing. But Tansy’s nails looked like they belonged in a horror movie on some kind of nightmare-fueling beast, so I decided that if I was going to be out milling around, I might as well get my hair cut too.

The experience wasn’t too bad. I was wearing a mask and so was the hairdresser. I had to wait outside until they were ready, but that was fine. They saw me arrive and the one doing my hair just stuck her head out and told me it would be a few more minutes. I didn’t have too much hair go into my mask and it didn’t stay there. With it being as hot as it was, I was glad to have not so much friggin hair! When I walked in, they went “Woe! It is long!” Yup, it hadn’t been cut since December, bangs hadn’t been trimmed since March.

When Tansy got her horror-movie nails trimmed, I was relieved to find she hadn’t put on a pandemic pudge. I guess the strolls we do get in and the running around throwing squeaky balls is doing enough of a job. Having vets come and pick up your dog curbside is a weird experience. She had a few lumps and bumps that I wanted checked, so I had to point them out for them before they took her away. Thankfully they were all nothing to worry about.

But it’s amazing how many people you come into contact with on a simple errand with 3 stops and some train-riding. I was trying to keep track of what I did when and who I talked to in case god forbid I got sick and had to do the contact-tracing thing. Let’s see. There was the train at x time, then the hair place, then I went to the bank and spoke to 3 people, including the security guard who the Aira agent loudly proclaimed was not wearing a mask…she didn’t know my headphones weren’t on. Then there’s the person who helped me find the LRT station, then another train, then the people I saw outside the vet, then the vet, then the cabby! Yikes! That’s from one afternoon! I always like to remember people’s names, but now I really try to remember people’s names.

I had one tiny scare back in mid July. I went to the mall to get some shorts fixed because I suck and don’t know how to sew a button. The next day, Steve and I both woke up with identical symptoms. They were nothing massively frightening, but I had a moment there where I wondered if I should not have braved the mall. Thankfully they went away on their own and were probably nothing more than a fluke, but it was a teeny bit frightening.

I have to post this song, because it’s funny, and because it makes me laugh for my own personal reason. One day back a few weeks ago, I was having a heated discussion with my parents about all the Black Lives Matter protests. They were saying ridiculous things like “Yeah people wouldn’t attack them if they weren’t scary too” and “if only they could be less angry about it.” After it wasn’t so heated, mom got talking about Karens and said “If you hear stuff about someone being a Karen, they’re not talking about you.” At the time, I had been living under a bit of a rock because I hadn’t heard the term, and I laughed and wondered why I would think they were talking about me. Then, it was everywhere! When I came across this song, all I could hear in my head was my mom saying “They’re not talking about you.”

I don’t know if the lyrics are up, so here they are.

Karen, Karen, Karen, Karen
I’m beggin’ of you please just wear a mask
You go on rants at Trader Joe’s and sit on the ground at the Costco, sayin’ wearin’ masks is the devil’s law.
(Every single one of you that are obeying the devil’s laws are going to get arrested!)
You wreck displays at Target stores, and throw good cold cuts on the floor, and please stop talkin’ ’bout your drawers Karen.
(I don’t wear a mask for the same reason I don’t wear underwear. Things gotta breathe.)
Karen, Karen, Karen, Karen
I’m beggin’ of you, please don’t lick that glass
Karen, Karen, Karen, Karen
Please just wear a mask, you big dumb ass.

I have to admit that hearing my own name spoken in a scolding way, even when I know it’s not being directed at me, is jarring. Maybe Mom had a point.

Walking around and listening to people talking under their masks has been making me think. I kept thinking that they sounded like something somewhere, and then I was watching an episode of Star Trek Voyager, and it dawned on me. They sound like Ferengi! Observe.

It’s not perfect, but just next time you’re talking to someone who’s wearing a mask, imagine them saying “profit” or “rules of acquisition” and see if I’m right. Maybe this will only work for Star Trek fans.

That’s about it for now. Hopefully everyone can get through this unscathed, and please don’t do anything that could take our recently good case numbers and send them skyward. I want to be able to think about seeing my family for some sort of holiday this year.

Short People Got Many Reasons To Live!

Wow, I have often bitched about my height before, but maybe, just maybe, there’s an advantage to being short in these times. It seems that taller people are at higher risk of getting Coronavirus. Finally, all these years of needing stepstools to reach things, needing to have my pants hemmed and needing to drag myself onto high bar stools don’t seem so bad. Along with not needing to duck for most low-hanging tree limbs, I can add the ability to duck under the Coronavirus mist to my very small list of magical short person powers! Wooo!

Who knows how long that theory will hold up, but it made me laugh so I had to post it.

This Song Makes Me Laugh For All The Wrong Reasons

I think I’ve said it before. My dad has some wacky expressions. I don’t know how many times, as a kid, I heard him say something, thought he was weird for it, and then discovered it came from a book or a song or whatever. Now I catch myself getting the same reaction from people. At least I can give them a link to most of my wacky references. Definitely dad uses some creative cursing, and he did more back years ago.

One thing he used to say when he was really frustrated with someone, after they left the room of course, was “Go piss up a rope!” Whenever he would say it, he was angry about something, so I couldn’t laugh right away, but I would catch myself giggling at the vision that brought to my brain.

Then the other day, this song came on Spotify.

Here are the lyrics.
Ok, so dad isn’t the only one who says that either.

Here We Go Again…

I figured that was an appropriate soundtrack for what I was going to say. I wish I could find proper lyrics. I would write them out but there are a couple of spots where I’m not sure of them all.

Somebody posted this article about the resistance to wearing masks in 1918 and it sounds eerily familiar. The only difference was I think the 1918 pandemic was even more deadly than this one.

Yet even though compliance was high, some complained that the masks were uncomfortable, ineffective or bad for business. Officials were caught in public without masks. And after the war ended, and there was no longer a sense that people should wear masks to keep the troops safe, some dissenters even formed an “Anti-Mask League” in San Francisco.

Yup, it definitely sounds familiar.

At least now, our masks are made of something stronger than gauze, and hopefully nobody plans to poke holes in them so they can smoke while wearing them.

What do they say about repeating history? Ug.

Cinderella, Can’t You see he’s a jerk?

I think I made Steve very confused the other night. He came back out to the balcony where I was, and I said “In that last song, I’m pretty sure the guy’s a prick!” Poor Steve hadn’t heard the song I was talking about, so he was very befuddled. But I found the song and listened to it again. Yup, he’s a total prick.

lyrics are here, so you can be as sure as I am that he’s a prick.

It’s the classic story of boy meets girl, boy lives with girl, boy and girl make a baby together, boy kicks out girl when she tells him the news about said baby on the way? Whaaat?

I know that happens all the time, but the song sounded like such a sweet song, so I was surprised at the words. If you’re going to do something that seems like a total asshole move on the surface, at least give us a shred of a reason to like you. Tell us about how you found out that she was missing her pill on purpose…but I guess back then there were no pills. Tell us about how she lied about being pregnant. Tell us how the baby isn’t yours. Without that, you just look like a jerk! Did you miss that lesson about the birds and the bees where they told you how you are part of this baby-making process too? You do say you’re an old man, but I’m pretty sure they had figured out that piece of the equation before you were born. I’m pretty sure you could have done something to prevent it. Why is it all her fault?

Later on, he kind of says he regrets what he did, but it doesn’t seem clear to me. He talks about thinking about the boy and wondering if he had all the toys. So did they give the boy up? Did he kick the girl out and he never heard from her and the boy again? But I think she’s still there because he says she should have left that morning, left that day. So…does he really regret it? After becoming an old man, he still blames her completely for the baby. Just awesome!

I think way too much about songs sometimes.

It’s A JBL Flip Your Lid 5!

I’m trying to unravel a mystery, and hope that maybe writing about it will help.

So…Friday night, we had to accept the fact that Steve’s beautiful iPod dock bit the dust. Well, the dock itself is probably fine, but the cord that went from old ass iPhone 4 port to lightning port got frayed and not so good, so since they charge 50 bucks for that teeny weeny piece of cord, we decided the dock is probably done for.

So I had bought a bluetooth speaker, a JBL Flip 5 to be exact, for the purposes of streaming sound from the computer to outside. So we thought hey, why not just use it instead of the dock? And a new era was born.

The sound was pretty great, and we were enjoying it happily. We plugged it in because we didn’t want it to die on us, especially since I wasn’t sure what sort of warnings it gave us when the battery was low. We were merrily enjoying our music when…pop! It came to an abrupt halt! We did not like that pop!

It was so weird. After the pop, when it was plugged in, it wouldn’t make any on or off noises, and the lights were flashing red and blue, as if it was trying to pair. But when I would unplug it, it would make the on noise and all the lights would come on and go off again. Or, it would make the on noise followed very shortly afterwards by the off noise.

I started to wonder if somehow, even while plugged in, we had drained the battery. I started noticing that if I left it alone for a minute, I would get a few seconds of power between the on noise and the off noise.

I took it inside, wondering how we could have broken a speaker by…using it for its intended purpose. I started to google, and found a video about how to charge your JBL Flip 5.

At first, I laughed and thought “Who needs a tutorial video on how to charge something? You plug it in, you wait! What the hell else is there?” And then I thought maybe I needed a video on how to charge it since it was laying inert in front of me after being plugged in all day.

I did learn some things, and excuse me if I am about to sound like the derpiest derp who ever derped. I didn’t know that when you buy a USB cube thingamabob, it has a whole ton of specs written on it. I figured it had the basic stuff, but I didn’t realize how much it had. So the guy in the video said to make sure that it can give 3 amps to the speaker. Ok, we’ll start there.

I fired up Aira, and they told me that the cube I had used had 2 amps. Hmmm. Well, maybe that was the problem? Maybe it’s ok to plug it into a cube like that if you’re just charging it, but it gets less good if you’re playing music while plugged in? Maybe, since we were running the thing for 7 hours at a loss, finally it just had taken all it could?

So I pulled out another cube we have, and Aira said it could do 2.4+1 Amps. What the hell does that mean? Maybe with this one, we will be ok? But the confusing part is from what I have read, not many cubes run at 3 Amps. But all JBL sends you in the package is a USB cable. They expect you to supply your own cube. If they have special requirements, shouldn’t they supply an adapter that will give it what it needs? Why not offer an AC adapter? Were they thinking that would make it less portable, or there would be too many holes in the speaker? I do feel like I’m talking like an old person right here.

After googling my face off, someone said they plugged it in to charge at the computer and it was fine after. So I did that. The next morning, I confirmed that the battery indicator thinggy was fully lit. I turned it on and it would stay on! But it didn’t make the noise indicating that it was ready to play music. I struggled some more, and reset the thing, thinking I’ll just have to reconnect the things I want. Then it still didn’t make the happy connection noise. Then finally, it did make the happy connection noise…so maybe I should have been more patient the first time. Oh well, it sounds like it has healed.

So here are my questions. Hopefully somebody smarter can help me understand where I done screwed up. Is my theory about running at a loss correct? It almost seems right, but there’s still part of me that just isn’t sure. Shouldn’t the battery have just stayed at a sucky level but the power should have sustained enough to not just stop the music with a resounding pop? Don’t people run music for a long time without worrying about it coming to a screeching halt?

How does it warn you that the battery is about to push up daisies? Is it just by lights? I understand why having audio warnings would be a pain in the arse, but if you can’t see the lights, I wonder how you’d know, besides experience?

Speaking of daisies, we had a bit of a daisy chain arrangement going on where I was. The USB cable went into a cube which went into an extension cord which went into a power bar. *hides guilty face* Could that have been the problem? It was like we were leaking efficiency all along the chain?

So…I think I didn’t break my poor speaker after one use. It might just be ok. But it’ll be a while before I can trust it completely.

Enjoy Baseball While You Can, Everybody

Well…that didn’t take long. I knew it was bound to happen, but even I, who is surprised that we’ve gotten to the point where baseball games are being played at all, thought it might take a little longer than like four days for everyone to start getting Coronavirus.

Two major league games scheduled for Monday night were postponed as the Miami Marlins deal with a coronavirus outbreak that stranded them in Philadelphia.
The Marlins’ home opener against Baltimore was called off, as was the New York Yankees’ game at Philadelphia. The Yankees would have been in the same clubhouse the Marlins used last weekend.
The Marlins postponed their flight home Sunday night after their series finale against the Phillies.
Major League Baseball announced the cancellation of both games about 7 1/2 hours before the scheduled first pitch, saying additional COVID-19 testing was being conducted. “The members of the Marlins’ travelling party are self-quarantining in place while awaiting the outcome of those results,” MLB said in a statement.
Miami pitcher Jose Urena was scratched from his scheduled start in Sunday’s game, and catcher Jorge Alfaro went on the injured list Friday. No reasons were given for the moves, but manager Don Mattingly said those who tested positive would be quarantined in Philadelphia.
The Marlins’ precarious health raised anew doubts about MLB’s ability to finish the season during a pandemic. In Cincinnati, Reds second baseman Mike Moustakas and centre fielder Nick Senzel felt sick Sunday, a day after a teammate went on the injured list because he tested positive for COVID-19.

So when do you guys figure we get our first forfeit because somebody can’t field a healthy team in time? And what are the chances that this season, even though it’s not really a real season, finishes as scheduled? For that matter, what is it going to take for MLB to call it off if things get even more out of hand? If it’s my choice I’d say the moment a team forfeits a game we should probably be done, but knowing how these things work that would only result in executives putting pressure on teams not to sink the year and you’d wind up with unhealthy people being forced to play until they physically couldn’t.

Seriously, I don’t know how you prevent things from getting worse. There’s just too much state to state travel for there not to be problems. The NHL has the right idea with their hub cities and bubbles. It doesn’t mean things will be 100 percent trouble free, but minimizing travel and exposure to outside forces does increase the odds of things being ok.

While we’re talking baseball, what do we think of the fake crowd noise? I don’t like it, but I don’t hate it as much as I thought I would. I was raised on WWE style fake crowd noise, which is awful. This, so far, isn’t nearly so bad. It’s distracting at times, but on the games I’ve checked out so far they’ve done a pretty decent job with it.

But you know what I do hate? This runner on base in extra innings crap. I’ve already said my piece there so I won’t do it again, but it has to go. Just play the game the way the game is meant to be played or go with my overtime idea. Sending a guy half way home without him having to do anything is something you do in a kids league where the score doesn’t matter and the most important thing is that everybody has fun and gets ice cream. It doesn’t belong at the highest levels where you’re supposed to have to earn things.

We Can Make What?

When Rogers Ignite changed their slogan to…this,

we couldn’t figure out what it was saying. Was it we give Mike a mop? We can like Mark? We can go to Mars? We can make a month? We can make a monk? Guaca macca mole? We can make a march? We eventually settled on “We can make a mark” but we still weren’t sure.
Then there was the new version of the commercial

We started to wonder if it was “we can make more” but the questions continued. We can make more what? Then we wondered if it was “We can make a morgue,” and we were curious if the family of this poor fellow in the ad might make one to put him in if he paused their wifi too many times.

After much debate, I decided to google it…and the mystery was solved! Thank you, Reddit, for two things: 1. You answered the question, and it is “We can make more” and the longer form is “We can make more possible”, and 2. You proved that it wasn’t just us who couldn’t figure out what the slogan was saying. Thank you infinitely!