I'm ranting at you, July! (July mini-rants)

Youse guys may soon have to endure my rants about the liquor store workers’ strike and the liquor board. Not yet, but I’m starting to work up a head of steam. The only way to get liquor now is through online ordering and home delivery. They state that normal delivery times are 2 to 5 business days, but due to the strike it might take longer.

Yeah. I have two orders in the pipeline right now, placed just about 24 hours apart. It’s been two full business days and nary a peep. The order numbers appear to be incremental, and if so, it means that in that 24 hour period, 35,337 orders had been placed by thirsty denizens of Ontario. That’s nearly 1500 orders per hour, all going to one single distribution channel never intended for this kind of volume.

I’m beginning to fear that “2 to 5 business days” might translate into weeks or more as the whole ordering and delivery infrastructure creaks under this unprecedented onslaught of order volume. I’m currently on emergency reserves of Caesars!

Take it easy; calm down. I’d suggest a nice relaxing weekend in Montreal. There are about six trains there daily on Via, and it’s a nice trip. You don’t have to drive and put up with Montreal traffic. Great food (mmm, real Montreal smoked meat), lots of history, plenty scenic, and has a lot to do in general.

Then, before you get your train back, hit an SAQ and grab three or four forty-pounders of your preferred vodka and stuff them in your luggage. Easy-peasy!

Other than that, if you need me, let me know. Based on past packages I’ve sent to friends in Ontario (not booze though), UPS will take about a week, but they may have a faster option, if you’re willing to pay for it.

You know, that’s an interesting suggestion, and it’s not beyond the bounds of reason. But I’d probably drive to Montreal. Better than Via because I could take a cooler, fill it with lots of authentic Montreal smoked meat and real kielbassa and maybe even Moishe’s chopped liver and then throw in a bag of ice for the trip back. But before that, I’d buy – not a mere couple of forty-pounders of vodka and rum, but a couple of cases!

The thought did cross my mind that the SAQ might have a problem if they suspected I was from Ontario, since it’s technically illegal to transport booze across provincial borders, but then I realized – hey, this is Quebec! Quebeckers, deeply immersed in francophone culture, consider laws to be a mere peccadillo peculiar to English types and best ignored. Especially when they’re the ones on the receiving end of liquor profits! :grin:

In all seriousness, this is shaping up to be a long strike. At the moment, the two sides aren’t even talking, just trying to wait each other out. A big, big problem is that the union’s main grievances are about the decision to allow more types of liquor sales in grocery and convenience stores, which is a public policy decision completely outside the control of LCBO management. And it’s a decision that brings Ontario in line with more enlightened jurisdictions that already do this.

And our Premier, who’s in a position to legislate the strikers back to work, is a teetotaler who obviously doesn’t appreciate the gravity of the situation!

I’m normally is support of unions, but in this case, Fuck those guys!

Technically, yes, it’s illegal, in spite of that SCC court decision. But it’s been my experience that small amounts for personal use are often overlooked, by all provinces.

Example: I started in Alberta, heading for Toronto. I had two 24s of Old Style Pilsner, which was unavailable in Ontario at the time, and was a favourite of the friend with whom I’d be staying when I got there. Naturally, when I stopped for the night (Regina, Dryden), I’d have a couple of beers. Warm or not, I deserved a couple after driving hundreds of kilometers in a day.

So after driving in from Dryden I’m in the parking lot of the Comfort Inn in northern Sault Ste. Marie, enjoying the evening with a warm beer, and hoping my second one chills down in the ice bucket. Three OPP cruisers pull in, and officers get out.

No, nothing to do with me; as I would learn, the officers were in town for a meeting of some sort. But one sees me and wanders over.

“Hi! Where’d you drive in from?”

“Dryden, Ontario,” I said.

“And you’re coming all the way from … Alberta?” he asked, looking at my license plate.


“Well, if you came in from Alberta originally, and made it here today from Dryden [roughly 800 km/500 miles], then you sure as hell deserve a beer or two. Or maybe three. Just don’t drive tonight, okay?”

I assured him that I had no intention of doing so. It was going to be something to eat, hitting the hay, and an early start tomorrow. He had no problem with that plan.

I’m sure the story would be different if I had three dozen cases of Alberta-brewed Old Style Pilsner in the back of my truck, but I didn’t. And he wasn’t going to bust me over having one-point-something cases. Keep the amounts reasonable, and it’s not worth it to bust you.

And now for the bad news: I found that UPS won’t ship booze. If necessary, I’ll load up with your preferred brand and drive to Ontario. Been too long since I’ve been there anyway. Should that be the case, my preferred brand of tomato juice is Heinz. :wink:

My memory precision is halting but I think @wolfpup prefers his tomato blood with mollusk juice enhancing it. You’d best bring your own. You can have my share of both, I can’t abide tomato blood or mollusks~just perch a giant chilled shrimp on the rim of my glass of gin as a garnish.

He does. It’s a bit of a private joke between us that he loves Caesars and I love Marys, and as long as vodka is included in our tomato-based drinks, no matter whether the tomato juice is plain or enhanced, we get along just fine.

ETA: @BippityBoppityBoo , I’ll be glad to take any unwanted tomato juice off your hands.

I’m normally a union supporter, too, but on several occasions I’ve been smeared as “anti-union” here because I don’t believe that union actions should be justified by “anything goes” extremism but should be limited to peacefully withdrawing the services of their members. One example, for instance, that cast me as supposedly anti-union:

The garbage workers strike about 15 years ago. They stopped picking up garbage (fair). They stopped anyone else from picking up garbage (fair). They stopped, delayed, or harassed innocent homeowners taking their own garbage to transfer stations (NOT fair). On some occasions they beat up drivers going around neighbourhoods offering to pick up garbage for a fee (violence is never justified and is criminal).

The problem in this liquor strike is that union demands are way beyond the scope of their negotiated contract with the employer. Their threats and demands are primarily directed against the legislated policies of a democratically elected government. And it may get worse. It would not surprise me if at some point they start interfering with the online ordering and home delivery process – if they haven’t already – even though not a single worker involved in those activities is doing a union job. The strikers are retail store workers. They’ve succeeded in closing down the retail stores. That is all the power they’re legally entitled to.

Another great example of union overreach is when CUPE – the Canadian Union of Public Employees – insinuated themselves into the Israel-Palestine conflict, which has absolutely fuck-all to do with anything they have any business being involved in.

It’s not surprising since it’s technically illegal. I still hold out hope of receiving my home delivery orders. I was all excited when I got a late-night email a few minutes ago that I thought might be a shipping notice for one of my liquor orders. Nah, it was just a boring notice of the government sending me yet another tax credit! If only there was some way I could exchange tax credits for vodka!

You are correct, Bippity, but I am not prejudiced against those who for some reason, doubtless due to some genetic deficiency for which they are not to blame, cannot appreciate the glorious Caesar. If he wishes to take up a part-time career as a bootlegger, @Spoons would be supplied with the makings of the (*shudder*) Bloody Mary with my (*shudder*) blessings!

“United we stand, divided we fall” still means something. The LCBO is one union. When I worked for the Brewer’s Retail (you know I originally come from Ontario, right?), we had about four unions working for the corporation. As a retail worker, I was UFCW, but when I was seconded to the warehouse on Lakeshore Boulevard, I was in with Brewers’ Union while remaining a member of UFCW. There were a couple of others too. All of us had to work together in the way that one single union didn’t have to, unlike the LCBO. “Divided we fall” means something.

As for genetic, I suppose there’s something there. My Mom loved tomato juice, and I guess that’s where I got it from. Mom also loved making music singing and on piano, and I guess that’s where I got that from. Dad and Sis had no use for making music at all. Mom loved horse racing, and I do too, and Dad and Sis couldn’t be less interested in it. So genetics may play a role.

But you do have me thinking. A couple of local friends and I have been discussing a road trip to Toronto, to take in a couple of Blue Jays games and a day at Woodbine Racetrack. Nothing definite yet; it’s all blue-skying. But it would be a road trip, and it would be easy enough to load a case of vodka in among all the other stuff we’d bring. Hmmm …

Yay!! Progress! My first LCBO order just shipped! With any luck, the second order might ship tomorrow since they were about 24 hours apart. When both are delivered I will be overflowing with vodka and have plenty of rum. :cocktail:

The bad news: due to overwhelming volume they say that delivery might take up to five days. I have a tracking number but a delivery ETA won’t even be available until tomorrow.

The online ordering system is a lifeline but this strike is a real PITA.

That’s exactly how I’d expect Canadian cops to act. :laughing:

So awesome.

Saw a funny t-shirt today, but I can’t buy it because I’m not sure it’ll still be funny come November.
LibTees (creator-spring.com)

Thanks, I couldn’t figure out how to post the image.

Some stains are so bad that they just ruin it forever.


For those following my passport saga, I got an email about 11pm last night from the passport office informing me that my passport had been approved and should be delivered next week. (This was after sending me an email at 6pm telling me that processing might take 2-3 weeks, now that they had received the birth cert I had express-mailed to them on Monday :roll_eyes: )

I credit the express processing to my Congresswoman (and I’d like to thank @romansperson for suggesting that I contact her). She, or at least her office staff) jumped on this as soon as I emailed her and even allowing for the holiday I was amazed at the speed of the processing. Valerie Foushee has my vote for any office she runs for now and in the future.

And now I need to start booking tours and activities in Iceland and Glasgow. :smile:


(extra letters for Discourse).

Another testament to contacting your congresscritter:
It was a saga.
Way back in the mists of time I finally decided to become an actual US citizen via the naturalization process. I had been living in the USA for 20 years, gotten married and produced an offspring. Didn’t really think I’d ever leave.
It was autumn and I gathered up the assorted required documentation (including my 20 year old green card) and shipped it off to the INS. And heard nothing. Spring rolled around and I thought maybe they’d had enough time to take a look so I contacted them. I don’t remember how convoluted that process was but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t easy.
“Who” they said. “Never heard of you”, they said.
“Hmmm”, said I.
In the meantime, my then husband won a trip to Germany to take place that October. So I resent all the documentation and crossed my fingers. Time passed. July came. July went. August came and I began to get a bit concerned since I had no current passport and no green card any longer. Figuring passport I could solve I contacted the German consulate in Boston (it was closer than the Brazilian-NYC) and requested an appointment to get my passport updated. No problem. A trip to Boston (3 hrs one way) and I had a valid passport in hand.
But… that pesky green card. Some more phone calls (pre-internet days) yielded the information that without a green card I would not be returning to the USA. Which really would have sucked due to the aforementioned husband and offspring.
More phone calls, this time to an acquaintance at the congresscritters office and I duly received an official looking letter that would supposedly allow me back into the USA. But it didn’t look quite right and I researched some more.
In the meantime August went and September came. And went. Still nothing from the INS of course.
Finally, the day before we were due to depart we heard from the acquaintance at the congresscritter’s (who incidentally was on the Immigration etc congressional committee) that the official letter would not get me back into the country and we had to take assorted paperwork to a specific person at the INS office in Boston who would issue another official piece of paper that would get me back into the country.
Our plane was departing at 2pm and my admittedly heroic ex drove to Boston for 9am, managed to find VIPperson to get paperwork and returned to catch our flight that day.
The trip to Germany was on and an adventure of another sort.
But when we checked in at Munich Airport to return the first official paper was a ‘nein’. The second, last minute paperwork took a while and some consultation with managers but they did let me board the plane in the end. Yay.

Good luck in your travels LurkMeister. Look up the address of the US consulate in Scotland just to be safe.

It took until the following spring to get my USA citizenship. I’m a Canadian citizen now. :slight_smile:

Edited to change Ireland to Scotland. I is an idiot.

The Biden-Bashing has gotten pretty bad and I hope that the real issues start to get reported on more (inflation down, jobs up, markets up, etc.).

Still, this is something that I did Not have on my bingo card…!

Did anyone watch Morning Joe today…?

Obama consulted with George Clooney first… and Then George Clooney decided to pen that NYT OpEd piece? Did George Clooney just ghost write for Obama?

And why? Jealousy!?

As background, I handle financial matters for my elderly mother, as well as for my father’s estate. This week I have had to deal with two less than stellar examples of bureaucratic competence in tax offices.

This week I received two official letters from the IRS for my mother - one saying that her SSN was missing from her 2021 tax return, and the other demanding payment, with interest, of her 2021 taxes. (Her one and only US tax return was for capital gains when her Florida condo was sold when she became unable to travel down for the winter any longer.) She never had an SSN and, knowing this, the IRS had issued an ID number in its place, which they listed in the letter, and which I pointed out to them in my reply. For the other, I enclosed a copy of her processed cheque to the US Treasury which had been attached to her return.

I had applied to CRA for their certification that my father’s tax account is finalized before doing the final distribution of his estate, and had been waiting for a while. This week I found out why - the payment attached to his final tax return had never been applied to his account. Now I will need to visit his bank to get a copy of the processed bank draft to send to them.

Not impressed either way, especially with CRA, which I have never had any problems with despite being the go-to family tax preparer for decades.