Was it the vax?

I got an email today titled, "A Message from Air Canada's President". He apologized about the upcoming cancelation of flights in the summer months. It was initially confusing because I don't have any domestic or US flight but then I realized that he's telling all possible customers to not bother booking any North American flight in the next couple of months.

Air Canada's stock fell as much as nearly 9 per cent in early trading on Thursday, after the company said it would cut more than 15 per cent of its scheduled flights in July and August.

The Montreal-based airline said on Wednesday that it will reduce its schedule – already operating at a capacity below pre-pandemic levels – by an average of 154 flights per day in July and August. Most of the affected flights are to and from Toronto and Montreal, the airline said, on domestic and Canada-U.S. routes.

Air Canada fired thousands of workers two years ago and then implemented vaccine mandates last year. My best guess would be that 20% of their original labor force has zero interest in returning to work for them which closely aligns with the volume of cancellations. Plus, it's likely that a few of the vaxxed pilots have had totally unexpected and unrelated health issues that make them unfit to fly. Sad!


Squeezed

The price of butter tracks almost exactly with my experience: $3 to $4.29; a 43% increase. The most insane price increase I've noticed is for corn. It used to be $0.2 each, now it's going for $0.5.


Did someone say unaffordable?

The median household income in my city in Canada is roughly $75,000 (US$60,000). The median price for a detached house in the last quarter was $1.1 million (US$873,000). So, that's 14.6x!

A median apartment goes for $650,000. That "affordable" option gives us 8.6x!


Unnecessary risk

Brutal. The tiny loss of muscle and reflexes happens every day but our pride, independence, and stubbornness won't allow for the harsh truth. The results can be ugly.


The King

Deadlift is definitely the king of strength training exercises. It highlights any weakness in the chain: ankles, knees, back, forearms, and wrists. Of course, too many avoid it because a heavy deadlift is a) not easy, and b) absolutely exhausting.


Won't you feel sorry for Moderna?

It will always be amusing to know that after Canada mandated vaccine passports for government employees, restaurants, cinemas, theaters, for travel, and in some places for simply shopping at Walmart, that we got the largest wave of infection! Many people were coerced into getting the 1st shot, 2nd shot, booster, another booster while being explicitly told that they wouldn't get infected ... and then they got infected.

Not to mention the horrendous side effects from the "vaccines". The general population is no longer interested in bending over for another jab. This can be seen in the numbers as compliance is significantly lower for each additional shot.


Ontario Storm

The storm went through the most densely populated region of Canada:

A damaging derecho swept through southern Ontario and Quebec Saturday, toppling trees and power lines, overturning cars, cutting electricity and even tossing debris through windows. The storms have resulted in at least eight deaths.

Eight deaths. That number is shockingly low considering that cars were flipped, trees were uprooted, and powerlines went down.

A few minutes before it hit, the sun was completely covered, the light dimmed like it was 9 p.m. Then, all the windows started rattling. I looked outside and saw birds attempting to sit still but the wind knocked them away. The maximal level wind and rain lasted about five minutes; we, fortunately, didn't get the worst.

Looks like a coastal city getting hit by a hurricane!

When home is not safe:

A real estate "paper cut":

Fury:


Ugly but so comfy

I went to the local mall to buy shoes a few years ago. The stores didn't even have my size. Went to a different mall, visited many stores, and finally a sales guy came back with a couple of hideous black monstrosities. I had tried a lot of ill-fitting and uncomfortable shoes that day and was prepped for disappointment... It felt like I was walking on a cloud! They were New Balance black joggers. A few years later, I tried in vain to find similar shoes. Settled for a different brand.


You will own nothing!

Enjoy your pods, peasants!

The housing crisis in the San Francisco Bay Area has gotten so bad that one startup is now offering renters the chance to live in a “bunk bed pod” with 13 other people for just $800 a month.

I lived in a student house with 9 other people and we had 3 washrooms and that was sometimes a problem. The luxury apartment above is for 13 people and it has 2 washrooms! How is that going to work?


The Housing Market Insanity

Here's a photo of a simple house that's a one-hour drive away from Toronto:

Dundas house

There are 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms, and it's 2,100 square feet. Not too small to be cramped and not too big to be ostentatious; it's just the right size for an average family.

It's on sale. Can you guess the asking price? $1.6 million*. The 20% down payment would be $320,000. The monthly mortgage payment? $6,700. That's $80,400 a year for 25 years! A husband and wife together would need to make a minimum of $200,000 income to even think of buying such a basic house.

Only the top 2% of households in the province can afford it.

* $1.23 million in US dollars.


Potatoes are awesome!

Tasty, versatile, and incredibly inexpensive.

Baked "fries" with tallow is one of my favorites. Season with pepper, Himalayan salt, and oregano. Serve with roasted garlic. For extra decadence: dip in sour cream.


Starting death

I know that walking is good for the body but I dislike it for its own sake. If there's a reason for it, then I'll do it. A 30-minute walk around the city for nothing? Nope. A 30-minute walk to get groceries? Sure!

For most, it's part laziness and part avoidance of pain. One time, an older colleague told me about going to the gym and doing dumbbell curls. She did the motion with her arms with a sad face and said, "I didn't like it!" The weight? Five pounds. I had to resist from laughing.

Now, imagine telling her about barbell squats and deadlifts! When asked in real life, I mention the benefits of the big lifts. To my knowledge nobody has taken the hint. These are people who lose important strength every year. Climbing stairs to the second floor makes them hyperventilate. Basic strength training would immensely improve the quality of their lives but they're set in their ways.


Painful lesson

If I eat only vegetables for lunch, then the hunger pangs strike hard five hours later. However, if my meal is a salted New York steak cooked with butter, then I'm good for a solid ten hours. Dinner is usually a few glasses of water after that protein-powered lunch. Too many people hear "just eat fewer calories to keep weight in check" and they cut out the calorie dense  and relatively pricey proteins but, of course, it doesn't work.


The NIMBY morons

Yup. It's the same in Canada. Forget roads and rails that take kilometers of area; the construction of simple real estate is slow as molasses. For example, a car dealership was sitting empty in the city. The land was bought; the new owner wants an apartment building in its place. The tiny dealership was torn down five years ago. The construction for the apartments hasn't even started. Locals aren't happy about the upcoming "tall" building and the city is dragging its feet.

In that time, rent and house prices have almost doubled.


The second largest country in the world

The economists at the largest bank in Canada can see the plain reality:

Housing affordability in Canada was at its worst level in 31 years at the end of 2021, according to RBC Economics, which is warning that there’s no relief in sight for the country’s already-stretched homeowners.

Here's a shocking statistic for those who live outside of Canada:

Almost half of median pre-tax household income (49.7 per cent) would have been required to cover mortgage payments and other costs tied to owning a home, on an aggregate basis, in Canada in the fourth quarter of last year.

Note these two words: pre-tax and household. Take the median Canadian couple where both people work. Assume that their income is the same. In the current market, the entire after-tax income of one person is not enough to cover the housing costs for the average property! This means that both people must work to live in the average-priced house.

An anecdote: rent for a one-bedroom apartment in my building used to be ~$500. Now, it's $1,500. A new worker making minimum wage working 50 weeks of the year would make $25,000 after tax in Ontario. So, after rent, a low-skilled single person would have $7,000 left to spend in the entire year.

This is not going to end well.


The versatile potato

Absolutely. Potato, is without a doubt, the best food to eat if one wants to lose weight.

I've had it as my only meal of the day a few times: one pound of boiled potatoes, salt, pepper, garlic powder, paprika, and hot sauce. If you want a little protein, then add tuna with olive oil.


Ravenous hyenas

Reminds me of my younger siblings. My mom would have a few biscuits and snacks saved in the kitchen for guests. She would put them up high in the cupboards in steel containers; thinking that the little devils couldn't see them. In reality, she couldn't see that were empty till it was too late.


Three years of inflation

Sale price increases in Ontario, Canada:
January 2020 --> August 2021 --> March 2022

Eggs (12): $2 --> $2.8 --> $3
Milk (4L): $4 --> $4.7 --> $5.3
Butter (1lb): $3 --> $3.5 --> $4.3
Coke (6 x 710ml): $2 --> $2.8 --> $3.3
Potatoes (10 lbs): $2 --> $4 --> $5
TV dinner (300g): $2 --> $3 --> $3.5
Peanut butter (1kg): $3 --> $4.5 -->$5
Chicken legs (1 lb): $1.5 --> $2.5 --> $3
Lean ground beef (1 lb): $3 --> $5 --> $5.5
Prime rib roast (1 lb): $5 --> $7 --> $9

When one looks at real estate, food, and oil costs from the beginning of 2020 to the predictable end of 2022, in three years, the inflation rate will be roughly 50%.

For someone struggling with an annual income of $30,000, that's a $10,000 pay cut!


Buy it for life

I had a Black and Decker cheapo blender before. One day, it just stopped working. Did my research and got the best.

That tamper definitely helps. Vitamix is built like a tank. A lot of shops around here have the professional model with the cover. It's powerful and loud! 


So very glum

Today: 120C. A little windy but otherwise fantastic for February.

Thursday: -5 to 50C. Colossal amount of freezing rain.

Friday: -200C. The snow storm hits with full force. Ugly weekend follows.

It's like three different seasons in three days.


The truth hurts

About ten years ago, an economics class was asked about the average yearly pay of a teacher in their high school. The lowest guess was $200,000. One kid said $1 million!

Reality? Closer to $50,000.

Of course, these students don't want to work in a school when they graduate. They want a more flashy and prestigious job. They're confident that their starting salary will be far greater than what they think a teacher makes.

Most of these kids don't have a clue.


Can't sleep early

A tiny positive for teenagers in the last two years:

In a new study from Switzerland, researchers found Swiss teenagers who were home-schooled during school closures between March and June 2020 in the first wave of the pandemic ended up getting significantly more sleep than before the lockdown, which correlated with other improvements in their wellbeing.

"The students got about 75 minutes more sleep per day during the lockdown," says developmental pediatrics researcher Oskar Jenni from the University of Zurich (UZH).

It was a huge pain to wake up early for school, university, gym or work. It's something that I can't explain but my sleep schedule always reverted to 2 a.m. to 10 a.m. when I didn't have to wake up early. Even two different environments like Arabia and Canada couldn't alter that stubborn biology.

It's funny that I prefer a 10-6 sleep schedule but it is what it is.


It isn't 7%

Prices updated from what I wrote a few months ago:

Milk (4L): $4 --> $5
Butter (1 lb): $3 --> $4
Eggs (Dozen): $2 --> $3
Potatoes (10 lbs): $2 --> $4
Coke (6 x 710ml): $2 --> $3
TV dinner (300g): $2 --> $3.5
Peanut butter (1kg): $3 --> $5
Chicken legs (1 lb): $1.5 --> $3
Lean ground beef (1 lb): $3 --> $5

That's the change in my local sale prices in the last 24 months in Ontario, Canada. I doubt the US has it any better. The Federal Reserve increased the money supply by 40%. Prices are simply catching up. Imagine, if you made $20,000 a year before and prices didn't change at all but your income crashed to $14,000. That's the same reality. This is the largest tax increase on the poor since the late 70s.


Fake errors

Another aggravating thing that these companies do is to not support old hardware on newer operating systems. Over a decade ago, I built a new computer and after installing the new Windows noticed that my HP printer wasn't supported. So, I simply opened the older OS in a virtual window and got the printer to do its job. And yeah, the manufacturer ink toner costs over a $100. I got it for around $20 from a different supplier.


Cold and Crazy

The temperature in Singapore barely goes outside a 10-degree range in the entire year.

The most hellish time in Saudi Arabia for me was when it hit 52 degrees Celsius. The absolute coldest was around 5 degrees. So, a range of about 47 degrees in my entire life in Arabia.

And then there's Canada:

On December 26 around 2:00 p.m. EST, a temperature of -51.1°C was recorded in Rabbit Kettle, Northwest Territories, while Louisbourg, Nova Scotia simultaneously became the warmest spot in the country at a balmy 4.6°C (40.3°F), which is an impressive national range of nearly 56 degrees.

Once the temperature in my Canadian city went from -20°C to +20°C within 24 hours. The snow on the ground turned into a lake. Walking on the sidewalk wasn't fun with traffic splashing the water everywhere.


The Colored Faces of White Supremacy

The prey has to understand the reality of predators:

On Wednesday, the Santa Clara District Attorney’s Office announced hate crime charges against six suspects in 70 crimes after a sprawling year-long investigation, according to the Bay Area News Group. And it definitely appears that yes, some of the most prolific attackers do specifically target Asian women, often seniors. They know this because according to the DA’s evidence, “ethnic slurs were allegedly used against some of the women,” and “the men allegedly targeted Asian women because they believed [Asians] ‘don’t use banks’ and would be carrying cash.”

The Black guys look to be over 200 lbs. The old women likely weigh closer to a 100. Easy targets.

I've personally heard of similar attacks in Canada as well. An Asian girl told me that a man approached her, slapped her face, and stole her money. She was too shocked and stunned to react. She was alone and had just left an ATM.

In another case, an Asian girl was using her iPhone while walking on the sidewalk close to her dorm and a fellow jogger swooped down on his bicycle and snatched her phone.

Carry pepper spray and travel in packs or leave the diversity-filled shithole cities.


Sugar and sloth

Staggering. Soon, only one out of every fourth person will be at a healthy weight. The food companies sell sweet poison and the pharma firms provide you easy pills to survive for a while. It's an insidious system. Though, at the end of the day, you have to wake up and decide to change your eating habits. It's not easy but that's life.

A few suggestions from experience:

  • Limit your meals to a six-hour window in a day. Even better, move to one meal a day if you can; drink only water for lunch or dinner.
  • Drastically reduce your intake of carbs (bread, rice, pasta, etc.) and sugary foods and drinks.
  • Fats and proteins are your friends: butter, eggs, chicken, fish, beef, etc.
  • Walk. An average of half-hour per day will make one lose roughly one pound per month. It doesn't sound like a lot but it definitely adds up over time.

Remember, this isn't a diet plan for a few months. It's a consistent effort for the rest of your life. It's uncomfortable and most likely painful in the beginning but the mind and body will adapt and improve.


No mercy from the money printer

As I wrote a few months ago:

Eggs: $2 --> $2.8
Butter: $3 --> $3.5
Milk (4L): $4 --> $4.7
Coke (6 pack): $2 --> $2.8
Potatoes (10 lbs): $2 --> $4
TV dinner (300g): $2 --> $3
Peanut butter (1kg): $3 --> $4.5
Chicken legs (1 lb): $1.5 --> $2.5
Lean ground beef (1 lb): $3 --> $5

Milk and butter prices are set by the government in Canada. They're set to go up by roughly 30% by the end of March. The Federal Reserve increased the money supply by 40%. Prices are simply catching up. Imagine, if you made $20,000 a year and prices didn't change at all but your income crashed to $14,000. That's the same reality. This is the largest "tax increase" on the poor since the late 70s. 


Maximize the min

Absolute garbage health advice:

The red made me laugh. I had eggs earlier today and then it's ground beef (chili) with shredded cheddar later in the week.


Losing trust

Vox Day:

I haven’t believed a word coming out of the medical science community since the whole Food Pyramid thing was conclusively proven to be backwards. While most Americans duly ate more bread and pasta while reducing their fat consumption and became overweight, I kept the weight off because I saw how people who ate more meat and less carbohydrates lost weight and stayed in shape. Of course, I was already skeptical due to the flip-flopping on whether it was butter or margarine that was good for you.

It’s not that the individual general practitioners are always wrong, the problem is that the medical community as a whole doesn’t hesitate to lie any more than the media does.

Yup. The Food Pyramid is completely backwards. Following it basically guarantees that one becomes and stays unhealthy. I still remember how one of my colleagues was horrified to learn that I used to eat three boiled eggs for breakfast. OMG, too much cholesterol. So bad for you. This is the same guy who would go through an entire bag of Oreos for his late night snacks.

Anyway, while the lies about history and the latest news are easily propagated and difficult to see through, the falsehoods about health can be simply refuted by personal experience. Those who lost strong sons and lively daughters to a "vaccine" learned this the hard way.


Cars everywhere

I noticed that at my workplace many years ago. Quite a few colleagues would jump in their cars to get coffee from a shop that was within walking distance. It was doubly strange when they did that during lovely spring weather.

An average person would have to walk 12 hours to burn off one pound. It's easy to do that in one month. That's 12 pounds in a year. It's low-level calorie burn but it adds up to a substantial amount over time.


Burning calories

That was pretty funny. Anyway, instead of a treadmill, I used an elliptical machine for my gym cardio before Corona Chan made its debut. I could burn over a 1,000 calories in an hour. I kept pushing it and once did 2,700 calories in 2.5 hours. That wasn't a smart move. Afterwards, I didn't go over 2,400 calories in one session. More than that and the exhaustion and body soreness would be too much. I had found my limit.


Red or blue?

One of my friends in high school asked me to go watch a movie in the theatre.

"Which movie?"

He told me. 

"Does it have something to do with math?"

"I don't know but it looks good."

The movie was a little slow in the first half. It more than made up for it with its jaw-dropping finale. I had watched a landmark sci-fi action movie in 1999. Oh, it definitely wasn't about math. Now, Mr. Wick will resurrect the role that made him famous.


Irresponsile parents

I've noticed this in Canada as well:

The volume of sugar that kids eat today is out of control. For example, "healthy" fruit juices pack an insane amount of calories. Worse, they're not satiating at all -- which means more calories added later.

Just a few days ago, I saw a family, a biking trio -- mom, dad, and a son. It was strange to see a severely overweight boy but normal looking parents. Those unhealthy habits are tough to overcome. Exercise won't cut it. The diet must change. The kid likely gets whatever junk food he wants. The parents have to put the foot down.


Not getting incentives

Benevolent socialists have often fixed the price of food because the evil farmers are gouging the average person. Then, everyone is shocked when the farmers simply stop growing crops because they can't get money for their labor. The same logic applies to renting:

There was an application process for renting an apartment in my area. One had to submit personal information for a credit check while also having an in-province job history of a minimum of five years. That was in 2004. It isn't just six months rent upfront. Landlords can use strict criteria to weed out potential troublemakers. For example:

  • age
  • race
  • job history
  • credit score
  • marital status

So, if you're a single guy in his early 20s working at a fast food joint who has saved a few thousand dollars for renting a new apartment, then you'll still be rejected because you're not safe enough for the landlords who've been drained by parasites.


Did you get your non-vax?

That's the problem: Most People Are Idiots.

I met a neighbor today. She's an old lady. She asked, "Did you get vaccinated?"

"No."

Pause. "Are you going to get vaccinated?"

"No."

"Oh. That's unfortunate."

Shrug.

"You know many employers are requiring that workers get vaccinated."

"Yes."

I didn't argue. Just went along with my day. She got her two jabs and still wears her mask. Soon, she'll be told to get her nth shot and she will. Her choice.

Oh, it only took a few months for Trudeau to flip:

After the majority of Canadians got their two jabs, he conveniently switches his position to openly discriminate against the unvaccinated. He bets that the petty majority will continue to support him.


Money printer goes brrrr

I looked at the local sale price increases of a few items compared to two years ago.

Eggs: $2 --> $2.8
Butter: $3 --> $3.5
Milk (4L): $4 --> $4.7
Coke (6 pack): $2 --> $2.8
Potatoes (10 lbs): $2 --> $4
TV dinner (300g): $2 --> $3
Peanut butter (1kg): $3 --> $4.5
Chicken legs (1 lb): $1.5 --> $2.5
Lean ground beef (1 lb): $3 --> $5

For a second, I was surprised by the tiny increase for milk. Of course, the milk price is set artificially high by the Canadian government. So, it didn't go up as much because it's not the market price. Add in the price increases for rent, electricity, internet, electronics (especially graphics cards and laptops) and your average person is getting squeezed hard.


Middle East in Canada?

Summer temperatures in the mid to late 40s is normal in the Middle East. I once experienced 52 degrees Celsius in one miserable Arabian summer. However, this is definitely not normal for Canada:

That's brutal. People here consider days with 30+ temperatures as a heat wave. They're not ready -- mentally and physically -- for such scorching, life-draining heat. Worse, the infrastructure isn't there -- many don't have air conditioners which become a necessity in such circumstances.

Between last Friday and Wednesday, the BC Coroners Service saw a 195 per cent increase in the number of unexpected and sudden deaths it typically sees in a five-day period. During that time, 486 deaths were reported. That number is usually closer to 165, officials say.


The B stands for Broken

The Tech Giant of old can't handle the modern stuff:

IBM's planned company-wide email migration has gone off the rails, leaving many employees unable to use email or schedule calendar events. And this has been going on for several days.

Current and former IBMers have confirmed to The Register that the migration, 18 months in the making, has been a disaster.

Reminds me of my workplace. The old email system was ugly, clunky, and slow. After the company moved over to a shiny, new email system, my boss came up to me and asked a question about something he emailed to us the day before. I had a confused look. "I didn't get the email."

"...What!?"

Apparently, some people did get it while others didn't. It was a fun few weeks.

Among those employees unable to access their email, there's concern that disappeared messages may not be restored. We've even heard that IBM employees have been approached by recruiters posing questions like, "Why are you still at IBM? They can't even get email straight."

At least, they're super woke!


The current year

My electricity used to be on a two-month billing cycle. The utility company changed it to a one-month schedule a few years ago. Now, my payments are approaching the same amount as they were before that change. In other words, electricity has doubled in price in a very short time. Add in the skyrocketing housing market, rent and the recent spike in food prices and real inflation is squeezing the average person. Of course, the government data shows a modest 1.314% inflation. So, it's cool.

The same holds true with crime statistics. If the police don't even bother recording the petty thefts, burglaries, and physical assaults, then did they really happen?


Nightmare in Canada

The average sale price of a house in Saint John, New Brunswick is $250,000. Right now, the most expensive house for sale in Saint John is priced at $1.2 million. Compare that to Toronto where the average sale price of a detached house is $1.75 million. This will rip apart families and friends:

Soaring home prices in Ontario, which are up between 30-50 per cent from last year depending on the area, are forcing a growing number of residents to give up on their dreams of home ownership.

A new survey by Right at Home Realty found 51 per cent of respondents say they believe they may never be able to afford a home in their current city or town. It gets worse for people looking in the Greater Toronto Area at 55 per cent and 59 per cent in the 416 area code region.

Hamilton, a largely middle class city one hour away from Toronto, has become unaffordable for most:

Vancouver, Toronto and Hamilton are, according to new research, the least affordable cities in North America.

Vancouver was the least affordable city, with Toronto in second place and Hamilton in third. All three are more expensive places to live than New York and L.A.

I have been looking at real estate in the Greater Toronto Area for a few years. It's crazy how a house that would sell for roughly $100,000 in parts of the US can often be priced at a million dollars in Canada. It's simply unattainable for most Millennials and Generation Zyklon in the Crazy North. 


Powered by debt

Millions have lost their jobs or had their pay slashed in the last year. Now, they'll face the full wrath of the money printer:

The invisible tax of rising inflation will do far more to harm working and middle-class Americans than Biden’s proposed tax hikes. The trillions of dollars in congressional spending and money printing from the Federal Reserve is already having a dramatic effect on the price of ordinary goods. [...]

Over the past year, food prices are up 3.5 percent, with eggs and meat up by over 5 percent; gas is up 22 percent and is expected to get even higher by this summer; lumber is up 250 percent; new home prices are up $36,000, with overall housing up 11 percent; and new cars are up 9 percent, the highest in 68 years. In April, 13 percent of new car buyers paid more than the sticker price. Other goods — from household items, baby care and general merchandise — are already up between 5.2 and 7.2 percent from this time last year. The cost of eating out shot up by 3.7 percent over the past year, and some takeout specials such as chicken wings have nearly doubled. Coffee futures are up 24 percent since October. Even growing your own food has surged in price, with the cost of seeds and potted plants jumping by 10.5 percent.

I was thinking about buying a new PC recently. The actual price of the whole build comes out to almost double the MSRP! And that's assuming all the parts are even available for purchase. As of right now, the top three 3000 series GPUs from Nvidia are sold out in Canada.

The primary driver of the current inflation comes through money printing by the Federal Reserve. The Fed nearly doubled its bond purchases since the beginning of the pandemic, pumping almost $4 trillion into the economy. This is about as much as the Fed purchased between 2008 and 2014, during the worst of the Great Recession. From February 2020 to March 2021, the total of circulating cash, mutual funds and banking deposit money supply increased from $15.473 trillion to $19,896 trillion. The Fed effectively monetizes the federal government’s debt, creating both a cover for higher deficits and increasing the money supply further. From 2019 to now, the national debt jumped from just under 80 percent of gross domestic product to over 100 percent.

We had a one-month stock market crash last year. We're due for a giant meltdown like we had in 2000 and in 2008.


The Bell Hell

Walter Schultz doesn't like leaving anything to chance. The licensed private investigator documents everything — so when he contacted Bell Mobility in February for a better deal on his service, he recorded the exchanges.

Three different customer service representatives made the same offer, which he accepted, that included 10 GB of data for $55 per month.

But Bell later told the Kitchener, Ont., man he couldn't have the deal — because it didn't exist.

I know someone who used to work at a Bell call center. Too many reps, mostly foreign students, would often make ridiculous offers to customers to get them to stay but, in reality, those deals didn't exist for current clients. Many times such offers were exclusive to new customers but they came with a time limit -- the sweet low prices would apply for six months and then skyrocket to the original, high rates. Of course, this important information wasn't shared. So, one ended up with pissed off customers six months down the line but by then the reps already had met their numbers, got their bonus, and had moved on to greener pastures.

Bell and Rogers are truly hated by a large number of Canadians because what they're doing is deceptive and illegal. Why do they keep getting away with it? A law professor explains:

He says the biggest problem for consumers is "accessing justice," because it's often too expensive to enforce consumer rights if a telco refuses to budge and the CCTS rules against the complainant.

"Already consumers always feel that they're in a weaker position, and I think they are, which is why we have legislation to protect them… but what are [they] going to do? Commence a legal action for $100? Most people will not," he said.

Stop using their services. There are plenty of reasonable and cheaper alternatives.


So much data

My first laptop in 1998 had a 2.1GB hard drive. Now, we have 20TB hard drives and there's more to come:

Seagate recently published its long-term technology roadmap revealing plans to produce ~50 TB hard drives by 2026 and 120+ TB HDDs after 2030. In the coming years, Seagate is set to leverage usage of heat-assisted magnetic recording (HAMR), adopt bit patterned media (BPM) in the long term, and to expand usage of multi-actuator technology (MAT) for high-capacity drives.

The capacity jumps over the past two decades have been phenomenal.

Seagate and Western Digital have been looking to radically increase sequential and random performance of HDDs by installing more than one actuator, with multiple read/write heads into one drive. Seagate's Mach.2 technology — which embraces two actuators — can almost double IOPS-per-TB performance of a hard drive and substantially increase its sequential read/write speeds.

Soon, we'll have mainstream SSDs with sustained transfer speeds of two gigabytes per second. Most hard drives manage only 10% of that. They're basically separate beasts. Nowadays, one should get both for the desktop: an SSD for the main drive and the hard drive for extra storage and backup. However, for most laptop buyers, solid state disks are a superior choice because of speed. Plus, who wants to carry around a slow 20TB drive in their laptop anyway?