Free trade!

In an earlier post I wrote about the hassle when you live in Canada, and want to buy something online, from the US. When I wrote that post, I’d placed a small “test post” with a stationery store in Virginia; The stuff I’d ordered — envelopes and a few notebooks — arrived in the mail. No additional costs, such as taxes or customs fees. Fine! I did it again … ordered a few more notebooks. This store carry a kind of notebooks, made from Tomoe River paper, that are particular to them, i.e. you can’t get ahold of them elsewhere. This is a very special kind of paper, and I’m a little in love with it. It’s extremely thin, but no matter how wet pen you write with, there’s no bleeding or anything else. It also, somehow, brings out the colour of the ink, beautifully, I think. It’s not a real contender to my favourite paper Clairefontaine, but sometimes it comes in handy with a thinner book.

Now, they arrived yesterday — same thing, no extra fees.

This made me curious about the rules, so I’ve finally found out how it is … why I had to pay so much when I bought the iPhone wallet from TwelveSouth. I was really interested, because this store has some pretty awesome stuff🙂

Turns out you can buy $20 worth of stuff from the US, without paying any extra, but if you live in the US, you could buy stuff from there for $800 (!) without paying. President Obama signed a new law recently, bur our law isn’t revised since 1985. Twenty dollars!!! Imagine that … in today’s day and age you don’t get much for that amount. One notebook and 25 envelopes🙂

Either way, now I know, so if I want more of those notebooks, I’ll have to buy them three at the time or pay customs. I don’t know how much that would turn out, but I’m sure there are ways to find out.

In most cases, this is no big deal, since most of the stuff you might want, can be purchased on Amazon Canada. This wasn’t the case with those Clairefontaine envelopes and, of course, the notebook (it’s their own Goulet brand).

clouds moving in

We have a grand view from up here on the 9th floor and the building itself is situated on a hill. IMG_3303

It was a pretty ordinary day with sun and clouds, but just before sundown a different kind of clouds were moving in. The light outside changed to some weird, greenish colour, which I wasn’t able to capture. An hour later it looked like this:


I shot this video, which is rather pointless but at least you can hear the pouring rain. It was a soft and gentle rain … badly needed. Because I have the paid upgrade I can upload videos. One wonders what happens with them if I don’t renew next time?!

oh deer [227/365]

For today’s post I had nothing on my mind that felt pressing🙂

I took a lot of pictures, while my friend was here, that were sitting, unprocessed on the external hard-drive. I was too ‘busy’ and too sick to do anything except trying to be social. I’m still not well, and have to go and see someone tomorrow.

Tonight, I started to look through my folders, a little half-heartedly, and found this fawn. I totally love it, when they still have their spots and I’ve rarely got any picture of that. This was in a residential area … right outside someone’s window! Curious as they are, it didn’t mind that we stopped the car, opened the door and got the camera out!


left handers day [226/365]

Today is International Left Handers Day, I found out by chance, in Twitter. Do we need a day?! Well … there are so many other days — Day of the Cinnamon Bun, and stuff like that, so why not.

I’ve never considered being left-handed a problem. They didn’t try to force me to write with my right hand in school, that had stopped a few years before I started. They suggested I could try and write with my right hand, but as that didn’t work, they never mentioned it again. Can’t remember now, whether I was the only one in my class or not. I think I was.

Kept reading for a bit in Twitter, what people had to say about being left-handed, and I noticed one recurring thing that I’ve experienced myself: People who’ve known you pretty much all your life, all of a sudden realise you’re left-handed! They’ve never noticed it, even though they know you well!

The only downsides of it has been not to be able to write with a fountain pen —  that’s over now, as you know if you’re following this blog — and not being able to use wire bound  notebooks … at least not the ordinary way. I’m somewhat ambidextrous so I use scissors with my right hand; no problem there. My handwriting was never beautiful, but it’s getting so much better now, since I started using the fountain pen, so I’m really pleased about that.

I’m happy with being a “south paw”, and I’m in good company … five of the last seven US presidents have been left-handed 😆.

It’s not about who’s right, it’s about who’s left😀

cat post [224/365]

DSC_7816.NEF(1)First we had Gerry’s son here, for four nights, then shortly afterwards, my friend arrived. She stayed for two weeks. I think that became too much for McDuff. Normally, he handles Kevin, the son, well, and he never stays longer than four nights. This time it was different.

I started noticing, that when Lena took a nap, he sat in the hallway, gazing into ‘her’ room. He sat there for a long time … like ten minutes or so. Then he started to go into some sort of hiding, in places he never frequents otherwise. He didn’t sleep, he just laid there and gazed at us — a kind of vitriolic gaze🙂

Lena, my friend, took this a little personal — as if the cat didn’t like her, but I doubt it was that. Rather that he didn’t get his usual amount of attention. Now it’s been two days since she left, and he’s slowly getting back into some kind of normalcy — his usual routines.

My weather app told me we’d get thunder & lightning around 5PM tonight. However; our feline app didn’t show any signs of that and it turned out he was right: no thunderstorm for us. It’s extremely hot and muggy so a little bit of thunder might have cleared up the air but it was not to be.

upgrades [223/365]

Just noticed that WordPress now offers a third upgrade option, called “Personal”.

It’s very basic, but alright I guess, if you just want a domain name and to get rid of the ads. There’s also, what they call, “basic” customization, and it’s really basic. You can change colours and backgrounds and fonts … no CSS-editing here.

It’s probably a good move on their part, though, to offer one more option to the price of US$ 5,99 a month.