National Novel Writing Month

November 2nd, 2013:

November is NaNoWriMo month.

Press Start
Graphic Link to NaNoWriMo Start Page.

I might not get a lot of blogging done if I’ll be chugging out at least 1600 words a day for all of November writing a nano-novel.

But then again it’s taken me 2 & 1/2 hours per night to write almost 2,500 words per night.

& because this is happening while Mercury is Retrograde, I didn’t start a brand spankin new novel, I picked one up I’d started a couple years ago and continued on with it. So far so good, the test will come on November 10th when mercury stops and then begins to move forward again, lets see if this novel can hold my interest when that happens.




Smart Centre

Kent Hadware, Northdside, Fredericton.

This is the Kent Hardware Store in Fredericton’s North Side.  25 Two Nations Crossing, high up a hill, At a Smart Centre.

The Smart Centre on Two Nations Crossing on the North Side is across the road from Frank’s Diner. This Large Shopping Center has 3 Big Box Stores: Kent Hardware, Canadian Tire (Which includes a section that is a Mark’s Work Warehouse) And a Walmart.

The people in the Kent Hardware store are typically warm and helpful. (Typical for warm and friendly Fredericton.) They have a very good selection of the kinds of things you’d go to a hardware store for and their prices are reasonably within the range that you’d expect them to be. (I saw some pretty good prices on wood stoves, chimneys, bathtubs and showers. We weren’t there to buy any of these things, but I noticed they had decent merchandise with decent prices.) And After we’d been in the store for a couple minutes and looked lost, one young woman who worked there came over and asked if we needed help with anything. We said, yes, as a matter of fact we did. And she led us right to what we were looking for. (This has been a reoccurring theme here. Low pressure, helpful salespeople in stores we were not familiar with.)

Canadian Tire Store in NOrth Fredericton

This is the Canadian Tire Store at 75 Two Nations Crossing In Fredericton’s North Side.

Canadian Tire also has a better than expected selection of goods in a wider variety of categories than I expected. Sales ‘associates’ here were not high pressure types and I appreciate that. The one thing that ‘bugged me’ about this store happened when I came in on a weekday afternoon on a mission to replace a watch that had just ‘given up the ghost’. After I stepped inside the Canadian Tire Store, looking for the Mark’s Work Warehouse. A young woman I expected to be helpful asked me if I wanted a chance to win $5,000.00- would I take a short survey? and steered me toward a bank of touch screen CRT Monitors, where half a dozen other customers were standing, looking confused, answering questions as they popped up. The short survey got longer with more and more questions popping up and then the touch screen wanted my name, address, phone number and email address. I tore up the chance to win the $5,000.00 and walked away feeling worse than ‘used’ ( also backed out of the point I had gotten to in this ‘survey’ and erased all my answers, or at least tried to. A two minute trip to a store had taken an extra ten minutes and felt way too intrusive to me. The Canadian Tire Store’s mechanics in the town we came from in Ontario were known by the locals to be dishonest,  and to try to convince customers that they needed more work than they actually needed, and then charge for repairs they did not make. I don’t care if the other departments in a store have wonderful people and wonderful goods and services. If they allow dishonesty and maybe even outright fraud, I don’t want to support that store at all. I have not heard anything bad about the Canadian Tire Store here in Fredericton, and I am more than willing to give the store the benefit of the doubt, or more like it, presume them honest until proven otherwise. I will still go to this particular store, for now, and happily enjoy what price breaks I can get on stuff I need.

I should probably warn you not to ask me what I think of Walmarts. I’ve known people who worked for Walmart who were ordered to punch off the clock and get back to work. And if they didn’t like that, well, they would be fired, And God help them if they needed the paycheck to support a family. And they better not believe they could get get anything from unemployment, heck they’d been fired for insubordination. And nobody would believe they had been fired without just cause. They also told me that Walmart has a policy of not hiring anybody to work full time so they don’t have to pay full time benefits. Supervisors and Managers might be allowed to work full time. To be fair, most of these horror stories happen in the USA.  One Canadian Walmart’s employees, in Quebec, voted to bring in a union to represent them. Walmart closed that store. If I can help it, I will not buy anything in a Walmart. That’s where I’m coming from.

But , wait a minute, this is Fredericton. people here are a whole lot nicer, warmer, friendlier, and probably more ethical and honest than any group of people I have lived among in the last fifty years or so… And I think I know somebody who works at this Walmart, so I will ask this person if this Walmart practices fair and reasonable policies with its employees. If so, I will report here that I was wrong to believe that any more than the one or two Walmarts that I know about (that I know for sure do not deserve a penny of my discretionary income) are built on the same cynical and unethical model.

If you don’t want to read what I have to say as I can’t help but veering off into a tirade against unethical, immoral, dishonest, overbearing corporate monsters, skip the rest of this article. I don’t like “Smart Centres” or “Smart Meters” or “Smart Appliances”.  Instead of blasting you with what I have come to believe are ‘True Conspiracies”, I would recommend a book By a Medical Doctor. Dr Sam Milham Called “Dirty Electricity”. And I’m hoping that nobody in Fredericton will ever be forced to accept a smart meter, limited to buying ‘smart’ appliances, poisoned by flouride in the water, or bullied into accepting anything they truly do not want.

Home Hardware

Home Hardware Store Photo taken at night.

I took this photo at night at the Home Hardware Store at 286 Main Street, where they are open today (Thursday) from 8 am to 9 pm.

Personally, I have found Home Hardware people to be among the most friendly and patient and helpful sales people I’ve interacted with. In every home hardware store and building centre I’ve gone to the people who worked there have gone above and beyond what they could reasonably be expected to do for their customers. This one (at 286 Main Street on the North Side of the river) is no exception.

There are at least two Home Hardware stores in Fredericton, the other one I know about is a Home Hardware Building Centre at 155 King Street.

Facebook Link When I did a search on Home Hardware stores to find out how late they would be open, I found myself directed to facebook (which I am not crazy about- If you don’t have a facebook account that facebook and unscrupulous hackers can mine for all sorts of private and personal information that you’d probably rather not share with them, you don’t get to view whatever page or site you’re looking for. In that case, you now discover that the web site you thought you were going to is on a service (facebook) that  you probably don’t want to get mixed up with.) But anyway, I got to their facebook page and discovered that they have a script that told me they were open until 9 pm tonight. I was happy to discover this because I needed a few things which I didn’t know I needed until this evening.

The sales people do not nag you here, or at least I did not feel pressured in any way, but they do attempt to be helpful if you (as the customer) look confused or lost. I  was having a bit of a time finding something I thought would be in an aisle marked “Hardware” and the person who noticed me looking confused asked if I needed help finding something. I admitted that I did, & when I told him what I was looking for, he brought me right to it and pointed out that one item (of the three I could see right off when he led me to them) was on sale for 50% off.

That’s what I like best about Home Hardware stores. They’re helpful and they go above and beyond what we’ve come to expect from other stores.