Thursday, 26 April 2012

Canada Infographic

----- from Twitter

So true!
*click image to enlarge*

Bank Inflation

A few years ago Bank of Montreal (BMO) added a new feature to their ATMs, I think it is called "Fast Cash" and it used to just dispense $40 and then spit out your card right away; this eliminates lots of steps, like the ATM asking if you want to do another interaction or if you want a receipt. (I actually rarely use this feature.) I noticed the other day that this amount has skyrocketed. Some machines now say they dispense $60 for their "Fast Cash" feature and at others I have seen $100.  Doesn't this just encourage people to carry more money and spend more? Is that in a banks best interest? Perhaps, through focus groups, or trends, or something, they determined that these amounts were preferred by customers instead of the original $40.

I just researched this ATM feature online, yes I do things like that when I'm curious. The BMO website now says that some ATM machines have a feature on them that you can program ATM customizations into your card. This includes language preferences but also the amount you want the ATM to suggest for the "Fast Cash" option. Then instead of just "Fast Cash" and the amount selected by the bank you get the option of  "My Usual Fast Cash" and the amount that you have programed. I don't think I have a usual amount so won't be doing this but I think it is cool to see these slight changes in machines that we basically take for granted.

Side note: I swear I have been places in Europe where ATMs did not have fees at the machine (just charged quietly afterwards by your own bank back home.) However, my brief research on this fact doesn't seem to outline where I would have been, since most places have the fees when you are using a bank's ATM other than your own. Also, Yen and I got in a huge debate before we left for China since I wasn't taking much cash (actually only the Yan that Taylor and Kristen had given me.) I insisted that I would pull from an ATM once we got there and that was the easiest and often cheapest way to do it - he insisted that my card would not work. Of course it worked and I still believe that when traveling pulling cash from a foreign ATM with your bank card is pretty much the best way to do it.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Signs Of Spring

Over the last couple of days the following has happened:
- Left a window open in Bayit for a full day
- Unpacked all my spring/summer shoes
- Saw my first robin of the season
- Sunscreen has moved to the seasonal section of Shoppers
- Teri made mojitos
- My parent's put the boat in the water
- I wore the slip-on silver Puma's I bought for Taylor's wedding

Changes To The Back End

They redid Blogger! The writing of posts is very slick now; the interface has become quite trendy-looking. One major changes is that 'Tags' and now called 'Labels.' But really though whole layout of the posting page is different. I don't think it does anything to the look of the blog though, so no one else will notice.

Thursday, 19 April 2012

Tips For My Twitter

For all those that read Always Standing but don't use Twitter, you may have been curious or confused about the little Twitter-Feed that appears on the left side of the blog - Twitter Updates. It shows the last 4 or so posts that I have made on my personal Twitter. (Though if you have Twitter, please also follow my professional account as well.) I guess my suggestion would be that after catching up on the posts on Always Standing, you can click on the "Follow me on Twitter," that is in small print below all the updates, to go to my profile page and catch up on the smaller updates there.

The feed provided on Always Standing actually doesn't capture everything. For example, at the moment the top Tweet is "We literally could not be closer! @justintetreault and home plate #gojaysgo" which is a post I made last night about the baseball game I went to with J (if you click the link, there is also a picture.) However, on my Twitter page the first Tweet showing is one written by J (about the same game, with a different but similar picture) that I reTweeted, "At the @BlueJays game with @SweetonChris Great seats." Often reTweets don't show up on the Always Standing list.

My suggestion - click that little link at the bottom of that list (the only link that works actually, despite other things looking like links) to catch up on my 140 character Twitter posts.

Tuesday, 17 April 2012

Missing An 'R' For 3 Months

A guy mentioned to me on the phone today that 'coordinator' was misspelt in my email signature. He actually said, "I didn't want to say this in an email, but I noticed a typo in your email signature. Coordinator is spelled incorrectly." I don't really know why that is something that you wouldn't want to email someone about. However, the main thing is that I have had this signature for almost 4 months now! How has no one caught it? Me, my boss, the thousands and thousands of people I have emailed since I last updated it? Seriously!! It is on the first line of my email signature, in a huge font. Admittedly my email signature is really long, it contains a lot of information including the Twitter feed, and website, and Facebook ID, and address, and a tag line, and on and on but still, it starts with "Christine Sweeton, Coordinator." Well, now it does; previously it said, "Christine Sweeton, Coodinator."

Monday, 16 April 2012

A Good Weekend

I had a very nice weekend, despite battling a cold.
In no particular order, I...
- Cleaned my room with my mom
- Played Trivial Pursuit at Teri's
- Hung out with my parents
- Read some of Life of Pi
- Went to breakfast with Kristen and my parents
- Slept a lot
- Bought groceries
Productive and pleasant!

Wednesday, 11 April 2012

First Photo

A couple of weeks back, morning.
Kristen and I are getting ready to commute to work.
I'm in my room, Kristen is in the kitchen.
Kristen: Can I look at your new phone?
Me: Sure!
Kristen: Wow, the camera is really good.
Me: Did you just take a picture?
Kristen: Yeah.
Me: That is the first photo taken on the phone.
Kristen: Oh, cool.
Me: What did you take it of?
Kristen: The bamboo.
Me: What?...Why?
Kristen: It is zen.

"It is zen."
By Kristen G.
Taken using my Google phone, the Samsung Nexus S

Tuesday, 10 April 2012

Wow! Go Toronto!

Under the Travel Section of the National Geographic website is a section of Top 10s. These range across the board, listing things like best beaches, caves, and picnic locations. I saw on Twitter today that Toronto received the highest honours in a recent compilation of the Top 10 Food Markets. Toronto may appear in other lists too, I haven't had time to look through them. (Though I do plan too because I am itching to travel and websites like this are fun to browse.)

St. Lawrence, Toronto, Canada
This farmers market emporium has operated since 1803, when it cohabited with Toronto’s city hall. Redeveloped between the 1970s and 1990s after long neglect, the area’s mix of homes and businesses showcases urban regeneration. More than 120 retailers dispense everything from seafood to coffee.
Planning: The market is in Toronto’s old town; Saturday is market day.

Sadly, I haven't really been! I tend to go on Sunday when it is closed and always end up looking through the antique market that sets up nearby.

Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Why I Need To Run

I need to go from a run (or at the very least the gym) so badly.
-I hate my body right now, with reason
-I have been a little down lately and the endorphins would be helpful
-I have low energy but then struggle to sleep at night

Tuesday, 3 April 2012

Earth Hour

It has been a long time since I have had a good Ottawa Erin quote (Both Erins live in Ottawa now so I guess I should switch to the names used when they get tagged in Always Standing posts.) Erin AH has always had some of the funniest quotes. See: Balls, Bread, & Drugs.

So, out for breakfast with Steph and Erin AH. Talking about Earth Hour since it always falls around Steph's birthday and we usually do something fun, like play boardgames by candlelight. However, this year, Steph and I napped though it - which still meant lights off and energy conserved.

Me: So, what did you do for Earth Hour?
Erin AH: Oh, I don't do Earth Hour. I celebrate Human Achievement Hour.
Me: What?
Erin AH: Yes, I just go around and turn everything on.