Sunday, November 19, 2006

Half full - Half empty -- you be the judge!

Bad news: I posted earlier, our car died. What a big, fat pain it was trying to function in a one-car world. We are two people who both live a "need to be in two places at once" world, and having one car to do that was very stressful and annoying.

Good news:
We bought a new car - a kinda rustish coloured Pontiac Sunfire. Its cute, and fun to drive. Its a lot smaller than driving ...yes...I admit it...a mini-van.

So, now we play rock, paper, scissors to see who gets the van and who gets the car, lol.

Bad News:
Last Saturday night, we were shopping in Ottawa. It was cold and pouring rain. Paige has severe arthritis, and was very lame that day. So, we used our handicapped placard to go into the store. We never use this thing...but she really needed it that night.

We come out of the store, and there's a ticket for $300 on our car for parking in a handicapped spot without a placard. WHAT?!?! On the ticket, it says that we must appear in court in order to fight the ticket. Ugh...its an hour away, and will mean someone taking time off work, etc.

Good News:
I called the city bylaw people right away, and told them I would wait there with Paige for the bylaw officer to come back--so that he could see we had both the placard and Paige with us. About 8 calls later, we (I hope) have had the ticket cancelled without having to go back to Ottawa.

Bad News:
Wayne was refused entry in the US yesterday. We were going to NH to a baby shower for my niece. As we went through customs, the guy asked a ton of questions, including, "Have you ever been fingerprinted?" Both of us replied yes...I had been fingerprinted in the early 80's when my company hosted the Presidential Debates in Manchester. I had to have FBI security clearance to be able to participate.

Wayne was fingerprinted when he was 18 -- he was in a bar with a bunch of friends from University -- drinking underage. It was raided by the police and they were all taken in and fingerprinted. No one was charged with anything.

Well...apparently, because he did something "illegal," he now has to get a waiver that cost $400 and requires an insane amount of paperwork -- documentation from employers, letters from the RCMP (Canadian Police), letters of character,etc. takes 6 months for this to go through.

Unbelievable...he has been to NH 4 or 5 times a year for 20 years...even got married there, and now this silliness.

He has a spotless record--not even a speeding ticket!

There were about 25 people denied entry yesterday as we sat there -- we were told that this particular customs spot had been selected to basically rip everyone apart...that they do these randomly, and when it happens, its utter chaos at those stations.

One guy who was denied was going to a family reunion, and was the entertainment there. Because he gets paid as a part-time musician here, he was told that he was stealing an American's job (even though he was going to play French Canadian music!), and because of that, he has been denied entry for the next 5 years. Crazy stuff.

Good News:
Well...I guess the good news is that Wayne was not detained, other than the couple of hours there, and when we crossed the Canadian border, I was not hassled as an American.


Tara Marie said...

You know, I always forget about the boarder crossing.......I usually don't even think about it, but fortunately, I did remember to have all the chidren's birthcertificates and a notorized letter from Rick that it was OK to take the children across the boarder a few years ago [to go visit him in Montreal while he was at school] because we did get stopped and questioned that time and I would have been quite upset on driving 9 hours just to turn around and go home.

I'm so happy about your new car.

Anonymous said...

Wow, Hannah and I were just talking about how we miss our little trips over to Windsor. She tells me that by summer we are going to need passports to cross over the border.

Sorry he had such an experience--ugh.

I too am happy you were able to get a new car.