b3ta.com user BlackArmadillo
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27 (gah!)
Expat in Canada
Metal wrangler by day, food journalist by teatime...ish

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» Guilty Secrets

Santa Scam
This is terrible, and I hope that my Mum isn't a b3ta reader (I find it unlikely: she's offended by nearly everything). I've never told anyone this before.

I'd figured out the Santa thing by the time I was 6 or so. No malicious playground revelations, just me putting two and two together and coming up with a rather disappointing four. Christmas was always a massive event at our house, with thousands of dollars spent on presents. I was spoiled, no question. I never told my parents that I knew about Santa, because I didn't want to reduce my haul of gifts. I just continued to write the yearly missive, put out the treats, and pretend that everything was normal.

Not too bad, right? Well, here's the bad, highly manipulative part.

I exploited my knowledge when I was nine. I wrote a letter to "Santa", saying how I didn't want any presents that year, and instead to get something nice for my parents, because they deserved it more. (I feel dirty just typing that.) God, I was a manipulative little shit. But a highly effective manipulative little shit. I got reams of presents that year.

Children=devious and evil. I know that from personal experience.
(Fri 31st Aug 2007, 15:21, More)

» The Great Outdoors

Solo trip
It was 2001, and I was in the process of breaking up with a particularly awful boyfriend. I decided that what I needed was a solo trip around Ontario: I'd take my kayak, and camp wherever I found myself.

One of my first stops was at a national park on Georgian Bay. You had to kayak in and out of the site; it was on an island. I was pretty familiar with the area, and felt pretty safe. It was early May, so it was quiet. I didn't see any other campers on the island. I set up my tent, properly stowed my food to keep it away from the animals, and settled in for the night.

At some point during the night, I was awoken by the noise of something in the bushes. I wasn't too sure what it was, but it sounded pretty big. I was fairly sure it wasn't a raccoon. I'd never seen or hear of a bear on the island before, but I was pretty sure that was what I was dealing with. I lay there afraid of making any noise or making a move for fear of attracting attention. After a while, I decided to reach for my cellphone; I thought I could call the ranger station and get some help. I blindly groped for my cellphone and turned it on... to find it didn't work in that area. I lay in the tent for the rest of the night, paranoid that every noise was a bear.

Finally, it was light, and I felt brave enough to open the tent flaps. There were paw prints in the sand, the bear had played with the kayak during the night. Luckily, nothing was damaged. I threw everything in the kayak as quickly as I could and got the fuck out of there.

It was probably one of the scariest experiences of my life, but the trip on the whole was pretty amazing. I stuck to campsites a little less off the beaten path for the rest of it, though!
(Fri 30th Mar 2012, 3:31, More)

» Cheap Tat

Largest piece of tat?
I'd rather have one really good thing, rather than a bunch of crap. Unfortunately, I didn't choose my forklift. (Yes, I did say forklift: I'm a welder and fabricator.)

My partner and his dad found this...thing. It was only about $1200 Canadian (about 500 GBP. A good forklift should be about $10,000 used) and although it seems like a deal, any sane person would know why this one was so cheap at first glance.

The first thing to assault the eyes of any casual viewer is the paint job. Scratches in the bilious green coating reveal layers and layers of various coloured paint underneath, remnants of other owners with other colour schemes. But really, that's just esthetics.

Mechanically, there are some issues, too, unsurprisingly. To start off with, the thing's electric, and it didn't come with a charger, which led to me being stuck out in the yard with a dead forklift at the bottom of a hill. (For the record, I assumed it had come with a charger, or that they'd bought one. The gauge that shows the level of charge is broken, naturally.) I had to borrow a neighbour's larger forklift and tow it back inside. Oh, the indignity! It also leaks hydraulic fluid whenever you let it sit for five minutes or longer, and the forks won't stay tilted back: they slowly drift forward. Nice when you're trying to carry a load. But it won't lift anything heavy anyway; I still borrow the neighbour's forklift if I have to load anything large. It also has trouble making it up the hill into my shop even when it is charged, so if you take it outside to load a truck, you may never get it in again, particularly if you're carrying a load. I hate it. It would make a better boat anchor than a lift truck. Even my partner concedes it was a bad purchase and talks about getting rid of it, but who would buy the thing? Probably have to pay to get rid of it.

Do I get some sort of prize for having the biggest (and quite possibly shittiest) piece of tat?
(Mon 7th Jan 2008, 13:19, More)

» The Dirty Secrets of Your Trade

When I was in high school, I worked at a bakery in a large, upmarket supermarket. I used to get asked questions all the time about freshness, i.e. was this made today, do you get this in every day (some items were made by large commercial bakeries and shipped in), etc. People were always incredibly suspicious about it, and wouldn't believe me (or anyone) if they were told the products were fresh.

But the thing is, they always were. We had very strict policies about disposing of baked goods, and anything made the previous day and left unsold was given to the food bank.

Shocking, I know. The food was actually not misrepresented, spat in, wanked in, or too old. But just try and tell the customers that.
(Thu 27th Sep 2007, 21:31, More)

» My computer gave away my secrets

Frightening the cable man
About two years ago, I was having constant problems with my Internet service: it was slow, would disconnect constantly, etc. After weeks of arguing with the ISP's tech support, they finally came around to check the wiring. I wasn't at home, but my boyfriend had graciously agreed to come by and wait for them.

Cable man arrives and does his thing. He thinks the problem is fixed, so he asks the boyfriend if it's okay to check the computer to make sure. Boyfriend says okay. The cable guy opens up an IE window to be greeted by the image of a naked girl tied up with a ball gag shoved into her mouth. My boyfriend hadn't considered that my homepage was (and had been for some time) a BDSM lifestyle site. He's the shyest and most retiring guy ever, and he turned 40 shades of red. All he can think to say to the repair man is "It's my girlfriend's computer!" and I bet the cable guy was thinking, "Yes, I bet it is, mate."

When I got home and my boyfriend told me the story, I spent several minutes rolling around on the floor laughing at his discomfort. My homepage is now Google, but I'll have to change it back and make sure that my boyfriend is the only one home if the cable guy has to call again.
(Fri 10th Feb 2006, 13:47, More)
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