Dark, Dank and Dreary

It started late yesterday, with random blops the size of spitballs, like the clouds were daring each other to land a good one.  Then slowly, the drops increased to a steady rhythm, still without much enthusiasm.  Periodically, the sun would peek through the clouds, as if checking to see if it was safe to appear.  Then, bored, the sun wandered off, and the tap-tap-SPLAT would start again.

It continued like that through the remainder of the day and night, with today dawning grey and lackluster.  Once again, the rain and the sun dance around each other, playing hide-and-seek, with neither party wanting to exert much effort.  

Since California is still in the clenches of a drought, no one is allowed to complain about this kind of weather!  The amount of precipitation that falls in this kind of weather is measly at best, but try though it might, it impresses no one.  People just look up at the sky and shake their heads, like dealing with a cranky toddler’s tantrums.  

Despite their very best efforts, HSBC is NOT going to be able to stop us from coming up with the needed deposit on the rental home in Santa Clara.  Out of desperation, Glenn finally came up with a way to scrape up the needed funds for the deposit, and last month’s rent.  It involved maxing out the cash advances on both of our credit cards, but that was what HAD to be done.  Considering that it was the folks at Apple, in the Transitions department, that recommended this bank to us, saying that they had branches in both Canada and the USA.  The staff at the branch in Waterloo, where we opened our Canadian accounts, assured us that transferring between them and their American counterparts was ‘trivial’.  When we arrived down here to open our US accounts, things were not quite so positive.  

The staff here had NO idea how to do these transfers.  If we were transferring from a bank in China, or Hong Kong, no problem, they said.  But Canada?  Never told how to do it.  So meanwhile, our money sits in the branch in Canada, and we can’t access it.  That money was for our deposit and first months rent, due when the keys are handed over.  Without access to the money, the deal stops dead.  Luckily, Glenn wangled the way around it, and things will proceed as planned on Friday at 4pm.  

As for HSBC, he is going to write a heart-felt letter to the folks at Apple, suggesting that this bank should be avoided like the plague!  Meanwhile, we will go and discuss things with one of the other US banks, and see who wants to play nicely.  Since I have stock in Wells Fargo, thanks to Uncle Ray’s will, we’ll try there first.  

This experience has made me feel like I have an abnormal number of ears, at least that’s the way we are being treated!  Honest folks, we’re not trying to do anything underhanded, we just want to move in and get settled in our new area.  I tried calling the utility companies today, to set up the billing for the house, but that met with no end of problems.  Apparently without an SSN (Social Security Number), you don’t really exist.  Because I’m a dependent of a person that got a TN Visa, I’m not eligible for an SSN.  Not only can I not work, I can’t even do the paperwork for the bills.  Obviously, I’m going to have to look into having that extra ear removed.

Luckily, not everyone is unwilling to associate with me.  The local chapter of the MS Society is delighted that I volunteered to help out with anything that needs doing, concerning their annual fundraising MS Walk.  I’m supposed to meet up with the chapter manager, Tara, tomorrow, and we’ll go over what they need me to do.  She mentioned something about setting me up to do the online registrations, which would be ideal.  I’ve done the registrations many times before when we were in Ottawa, so know basically what is required.  It will be nice to be doing something that might use a portion of my brain, albeit small.

Our darling dog, Peter, is to arrive tomorrow.  He, and his kitty siblings, have plane tickets for tomorrow;  Peter is on the 8am flight, while the cats are on the next one, at 1130am.  Once he gets through customs, the transport rep will bring him here, to the temporary apartment.  The cats, when they arrive, will be delivered to the vet here in Santa Clara.  This is because this unit only allows us to have one pet, so Peter is the lucky one.  We will get the cats from the vet once we are moved in to the house, hopefully in a few days.  We don’t want to leave them there too long, as it is expensive:  $24 per day, per cat.  I’m sure they’d rather be back with us anyway, so we will try to arrange to get them later Saturday, if the truck arrives in town and can unload Saturday morning.  I know, if, if, if!

Our car, on the other hand, isn’t expected until later next week.  It is riding a train, and last we heard was in Duluth, Michigan.  It phones home periodically.  Image

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