Never thought I would be fighting so much for these financial things in Canada.
-CRA mailed tax refund to wrong address
-Called CRA to get it changed to correct address. They said I need to fill out some form to invalidate the other check they sent and prove I never deposited it in my account. I filled it out and mailed it to them.
-CRA decided that they were going to re-assess my TFSA contributions for the past 10 years, and for some reason, decided I was a non resident in 2010 and 2011 (even tho I was) and compounded penalties on my account for the last 10 years, then put a $17,000 bill on my tax account.
-I filed a dispute claiming that the CRA did not calculate my contributions correctly. They said it will take up to 18 months to look at the dispute and resolve it. CRA took my tax refunds and $2,000 that I paid them earlier and withholds it from me because they think I still ‘owe’ them money while it’s in dispute. So for the next 18 months, I cannot get anything back from the CRA.
If you think that wasn’t enough…
-I returned $2000 worth of Amazon packages that I purchased to review on Youtube, and sent them all back with tracking.
-My credit card gets cancelled by TD because they thought some fraudulent transactions were on it and issues me a new card.
-Because my condo unit was broken into, all mail is re-routed to some faraway postal location and I have to take Uber there and back to receive my new card.
-Seller confirms they received the returns, Amazon says they refunded me for all of them.
-The refunded transactions got stuck on the old card. I have to call TD and ask them to manually push the refunded transactions onto my new card.
-One of the transactions refunded by Amazon ($1200 worth) never shows up on either my old card or new card and it’s been well over 7 business days. Amazon says they definitely refunded me and TD says they definitely don’t see anything on my old card and on my new card.
-I have to dispute this transaction to force Amazon to push me a correct refund that will actually show up on my card.
So in addition to an ongoing lawsuit I’m still in (QuadrigaCX from last year, will not get resolved anytime soon), I have 2 disputes I’m currently waiting on resolution from that’s tying up at least $12,000 of my money, and that’s not even mentioning the fact that my previous Vancouver landlord scammed me earlier this year of my security deposit and I could have easily sued him for that but that would have put me into yet another lawsuit which I didn’t want to be in.
I never thought my financial situation in Canada would be so complicated all the time. Why did I leave the US again..?
Update on the Amazon refund situation: I got my refund and I asked TD to close the dispute, but instead of closing the dispute they (for some reason) added ANOTHER dispute onto the card for the entire amount of my purchase again, without crediting me. So now I got the seller hounding me again about why im disputing another charge when I actually didn’t, and I got a massive charge on my credit card that just randomly appeared out of nowhere. Why did TD do this??
Another story with Fedex:
-Fedex supposed to deliver to me last week. I called them and asked them where my package was. They said they were waiting for my payment, and because of COVID19 they can only take payment by phone not by person (which is extremely weird because I paid a Fedex guy just last month in person).
-So I paid them, and the following week they never delivered. I called and asked where’s my package. They said they were waiting for payment. I said I already paid them, and they said ok we’ll deliver it to you the next day.
-Next day comes and goes, they never delivered. I called them again, they said they take some time for someone to pick up my package or something and it will be delivered soon.
-I’m still waiting for my package
WHY are people so incompetent in this country???? Like I have to call them multiple times just to get them to do their freaking job
..in other news, I have decided to finally buy a new apartment, after selling my SF apartment in 2018 (effectively at a $200,000 loss since QuadrigaCX took all my proceeds of that sale), and it’s a pretty decent condo unit in Downtown Vancouver near BC place. This area is basically the ‘new’ Yaletown, and is probably going to be further developed in the future. The area has many of the same amenities and views as Yaletown, except the prices of the condos are roughly $50k cheaper for the same units on average, so I thought it was relatively ok. The place I ended up getting for $660,000 CAD ($500k USD) which was a decent discount from the list price of $689,000 CAD. It also comes tenanted which is nice, since I’m mostly looking for a place as an investment right now.
Plus, the interest rates right now in Canada are extremely low, and I managed to get approved for an interest rate of 1.6% variable, which is extremely low.
I only have $120,000 CAD out of the $150,000 CAD I would need to cover the deposit on the condo (20% deposit) + closing costs, so I would need to borrow an additional $30k from my parents as well. I’m actually surprised that my parents can lend me that much given that I already lost them the money that they gave me for my SF apartment because of the QuadrigaCX mistake I made.
Remaining things to do:
-get a lawyer to write up the transfer of the deposit/rent/etc -purchase insurance for the unit -electricity isnt covered by the strata, so have to open a BC Hydro account for the condo and pay that as well
-borrow $30k from my parents to cover the deposit + closing costs
-Get $2000 bonus from CIBC for getting the mortgage with them. Lock in the 1.6% variable rate (I can switch to fixed at any time but the guy said that the rates should remain low for the next little while so I got nothing to worry about) for a $528,000 mortgage.
-Wait for CRA updates on dispute -Wait for TD/Amazon updates on dispute -Wait for updates on QCX lawsuit from EY/MT
Items I purchased still waiting on: -Astro Slide phone, coming out next year -Nixie Tubes, shipped from Ukraine should be coming in next few days -Cinera Edge, HMD backed in Kickstarter should be coming next year -Refund for Atari VCS which I initially pre-ordered but decided against it
-Jelly Phone 2, should be getting end of year -Jerry West jersey, shipped from China -Klipsch R-41PM speakers + Pokemon game, shipped from US -iPhone 12 Mini, pre-ordered with my Apple friend’s discount, shipped from US
Platform: Nintendo Switch Developer: 5pb Release: Dec 10, 2019 (for Western markets) Price: $40 USD
Steins;Gate: My Darling’s Embrace is a spin-off of the popular Steins;Gate series of visual novels. This spin-off in particular, focuses on pure dating sim / romantic comedy elements and takes the Steins;Gate universe in a very light-hearted direction, so be warned that if you are looking for the same sort of tension that you usually found in Steins;Gate then this spin-off is not for you. Also, it is highly advised that you play either Steins;Gate or Steins;Gate 0 before going into this spinoff, just to get a better introduction and background to most of the characters. There’s no true bad endings or game overs in this game.
Plot: The main protagonist, Okabe Rintaro, has found himself in a new Delta attractor field, which seemingly does not have any world shattering consequences like the Alpha or Beta attractor fields do. This is a relatively peaceful attractor field, and several new gadgets have been made by the Lab members. There’s notably a gadget that cuffs two lovers together, zaps them if they argue or try to get away and will only let them break free if they have the same thoughts together. Another gadget displays the thoughts of a person and transmits it to a video display, and yet another gadget broadcasts video publicly for the whole world to see. Clearly, all these gadgets work together to much embarrassing effect for the Lab members. In particular Rintaro finds himself with one of 6 possible Lab members to be in romantic subplot with.
Gameplay: Like other Steins;Gate games, it uses the D-Mail system. So the different routes are affected by when (or if) you open your phone at certain times, which people you contact, and which emails you send (or don’t send). The rest is standard visual novel reading as this series is not point and click or investigative in nature.
Characters: Steins;Gate has fairly memorable characters, and all of them are represented here with no new additions.
-Okabe Rintaro: the protagonist of Steins;Gate who is a self described mad genius, who comes across as both eccentric and self-loathing at times.
-Daru: Okabe’s closest male friend, a pervert and a prodigal programmer and hacker who can bypass almost any security system.
-Kurisu Makise: the heroine of the original series, a tsundere, a scientific prodigy, and canonically Okabe’s main lover. Of course, she is presented as a romantic option here.
-Mayuri Shiina: Okabe’s closest female friend, cute, innocent, a bit ditzy but always there in need for her friends. Another romantic option here.
-Suzuha Amane: A time traveler from the future, usually a very serious personality from the other series, she’s a bit more light hearted here, and thus appears as another romantic option here.
-Faris NyanNyan: A cosplaying catgirl who comes from a well to do background and owner of a popular maid cafe. Available as another romantic option here.
-Luka Urushiba: Biologically a male, but always appears and acts very feminine, leading many to mistake his gender. He’s one of Mayuri’s close friends, and – despite his gender – also available as a romantic option in this game 😉
-Moeka Kiryu: Nicknamed ‘Shining Finger’ for her preference for and speed at texting, a very introverted girl who – unlike the original series – does not pose any kind of threat in this game, and thus is available as another romantic option.
Graphics: Steins;Gate has always had a signature graphical style with pastel-looking backgrounds and characters and if you enjoyed that style, then nothing changes here. I personally do like this style as well.
Music: Again, I’ve always enjoyed Steins;Gate’s background music which I think have always matched the mood of the scene. In this game since it’s so lighthearted it’s mostly that kind of music as well, which is fine by me.
Conclusion: 7/10. It’s definitely not as engrossing as the original Steins;Gate (10/10) or Steins;Gate 0 (9/10) for me, since it focuses mostly on romantic comedy here, which is a tried and true genre for visual novels. Since I reference Muv-Luv a lot (a great visual novel series for those of you who haven’t played it), I’ll continue with the analogy that if Steins;Gate and Steins;Gate 0 were the Muv-Luv Unlimited/Alternative then this spin off must be the Muv-Luv Extra of Steins;Gate. I.e it’s really light-hearted, relatively short, and if you are just looking for a visual novel to lighten up your mood then this will do it. If you’ve always wondered what the Steins;Gate universe could be like if the characters didn’t have to deal with the impending doom or SERN/WWIII/Mayuri/Kurisu’s death and wanted a more light hearted ‘fun’ take on the universe, or maybe wanted to ship Rintaro with one of the main cast, then this one is it. Otherwise I consider this one a fairly average visual novel; it’s not a must get or anything, but it will help you unwind after a long day at work.
Platform: Nintendo Switch Developer: Sprite Release: Aug 21, 2020 Price: $60 USD
Aokana: Four Rhythms Across the Blue (not sure why they named it that) is a visual novel with a premise that’s a bit different than most visual novels – instead of being a typical dating sim or investigative type visual novel, it focuses on a competitive sport.
Plot: In Aokana’s universe, there’s an invention called Anti-Gravity Shoes which like the name implies, allows its wearers to fly in the sky. There’s a popular sport in the game called Flying Circus which makes use of the shoes. The sport is deceptively simple: it’s a one on one sport where the players have to stay within a square, and a player scores a point either by touching the outer posts of the square consecutively before the other player, or by touching the other player’s back. The player with the most points at the end of regulation wins.
Of course, there’s more to it than that. There’s different playing styles – Fighter (focuses on touching the opponent’s back), Speeder (focuses on touching the posts before the other player), and All-Rounder (can do either, but does not specialize as much as the other two). There’s lots of basic and advanced moves shown in the game. There’s also different types of Anti-Grav Shoes and different settings for them. Honestly, the sport and the strategies they explain are fairly well detailed for a visual novel like this and sometimes I felt myself getting sucked into this fictional sport and rooting for different teams as if it actually existed.
The protagonist, Masaya Hinata, was a former top FC (Flying Circus) player, who quit the sport due to a traumatic event, and is now tasked with coaching a team of 3 girls and 1 guy to lead their school to the FC championship.
Gameplay: Ok, it’s not entirely focused on the sport, there are some dating sim and eroge elements in the game – but they happen mostly towards the end of the game and are very light by visual novel standards and nothing too shocking occurs. Hinata can date/focus on one of 4 girls in the game, depending on which options you select in the game, but the options don’t come up very often, so the majority of this game is basically just reading.
Characters: I love the characters. They’re probably the strong point of this game. Masaya Hinata is not that pervy compared to most visual novel protagonists, and mostly focuses on the tasks at hand. He’s a relatively serious protagonist, despite the harlem of girls around him, and that’s a welcome change of pace from all those perverted protagonists from other visual novels I’ve played.
-Asuka is the main and default girl in the game, she’s a very cheerful type that’s hard to dislike, a bit ditzy sometimes, but also an FC prodigy and the school’s best player. -Misaki is Hinata’s close female friend, an academic genius, has an odd sense of humor and a bit of a tomboy. I have no problems with Misaki, I think she’s pretty cool. -Mashiro. I personally don’t really like this character. She’s a borderline lesbian stalker with her one sided obsession with Misaki, and honestly doesn’t really have many redeeming qualities unlike the other characters. Still, she’s in here as a ‘cute/dorky’ type. -Rika is Hinata’s next door neighbor and unlike the other 3 girls she’s the only dateable option that’s not from the same school. She has a pretty serious personality that makes it hard for me to get into her, but some players may like her. -Madoka is the FC club’s manager and a very silly girl with a lot of funny comments sometimes. Honestly it makes her charming and I wish she was a dateable option, but alas she is not. -Shion is Madoka’s older brother and president of the FC club, the only guy Hinata coaches, and has an obsession with muscles and working out. -Aoi is Hinata’s homeroom teacher, his former mentor, a former FC superstar player and the FC Club advisor. -Shirase is the Grav Shoe’s store owner and drops by sometimes for advice. -Satouin is a typical princessy-type girl who is one of the regular opponents for the FC Club -Shindou is the initial antagonist in the game, a top FC player and a big opponent for the FC club -Saki and Irina are the final antagonists in the game, and behave (and play) in a manner that suits that title
The characters overall are very fleshed out and the humor plays out pretty well sometimes between them, I think the fact that the characters are interesting also makes the FC matches fun to get into as well.
Graphics: I have no complaints about the graphics in this game, they are high quality modern Anime style graphics and I’m not surprised that just like Steins Gate, Yu-No, Muv-Luv and others – that this game has been adapted into an Anime series. There’s sometimes characters moving in the background or animations but those scenes are relatively uncommon. The chapters are even split into ‘episodes’ making it feel more like an Anime.
Music: The background music is very fitting to the scenes, and sometimes during certain eventful scenes, jpop music will start playing, making this game feel even more like an Anime sometimes. I have no problems with that.
Conclusion: 9/10 from me. I really enjoyed this visual novel more than I expected. I usually play dating sims, sci-fi and investigative type visual novels, so it’s kind of refreshing to play a title that focuses on a competitive sport and coaching these girls instead of just romance. Sure there IS romance, but it’s very sparse and light compared to other visual novels. The characters are very easy to get into and that makes the FC sport and matches themselves very interesting to get into too. Had no complaints about the graphics or music either. The only thing is people who are expecting a visual novel with more gameplay should probably look elsewhere – this visual novel is very heavy on reading with very little gameplay elements. There’s a few choices here and there but that’s about it. Overall I do recommend this title if you are ok with mostly reading instead of clicking options.