And to all a good night


The stocking are hung by the chimney with care, the gifts are now all wrapped and set out, and the “cookies and milk” (this year eggnog and nanimo bars) are left for Santa.


The desire to believe kept Joe awake hoping to catch sight of Santa until almost midnight, but now I must turn into bed and get some sleep — cause my bet is it is going to be an early rise.

… And I feel fine!

Turns out, you can get through these apocalypses if you just know the right people…

And she doesn’t have a scratch on her!

Well, turns out the end of the world went just about exactly how I thought it would go. Hanging out way to late, drinking a little too much, and having a great time with friends.

And in case you missed it, we have started a new Mayan calendar and thus a perfect opportunity for a new beginning. Time to break-out the resolutions and start fresh. What are you planning for the next 5,125 years? Get in shape? Start a new job? Start a family? Retire?

Think on it!

It’s time to Live Creative

Life is more exciting when you D.I.Y.

Melissa and I are starting a new spot to show our more interesting projects around the house, and this is where we are going to put them. Take a look, get some ideas, and explore your own creative side.

Visit Live Creative

My take on technology

In addition to the Live Creative blog, I am trying to rekindle the Technobabel site for my more technical posts. Things like predictions on upcoming gadgets, reviews of different products, and technology-based challenges and solutions that come up in my day-to-day life. I mean, heck, I work it and live it so it is time to start to share it.


RBC Bank (US) Online Banking Failure

Recent changes to the RBC Bank (US) online banking website have really been making me upset. Most of my issues or cosmetic or basic usability issues which are likely a result that I do this for a living, however, today I was pushed over the top.

Recently, it turns out we made a payment from an account that did not have the funds available (wrong pulldown selection from a screen where the fund available are not listed) — and after the payment which failed they changed an NSF fee. No warning! – No Notice! – Not Acceptable. Worse yet, after the first attempt failed the credit card then attempted to pull the payment a second time a couple days later which caused a second NSF fee. — No notice! No authorization!. So now we are down $70 … before we even noticed there was a problem. And it was us who noticed by seeing the NSF fees being posted to our account – for all we know at this time, the credit card company was going to attempt to pull the payment yet again. Don’t know.

My two issues here:

(1) The original issue was caused due to a missing “if” statement on the website to verify funds were available to make the payment – something that would have been caught at Teller. As someone who does this for a living this is a failure of the website and is completely unacceptable today. THIS IS A BUG and charging fees against customers is completely unacceptable when it could have been prevented.

(2) A re-attempt at payment should only have been done after authorization, or it should have been flagged with “fee already assessed”. This should really be illegal!

Technology is suppose to make things easier, cheaper, faster. Online banking should look to provide an improved the banking experience. At the moment, the RBC US Banking website is failing completely on this front — and worse it has taken many steps backwards from where they were just a year ago. Seriously — things have gotten worse.


This is the first time I am serious considering changing banks … for now I am waiting to see how they handle this customer support. But I would really want to see is (1) reversal of all fees (from both the account and any potential CC fees) and (2) I want a conversation with the software team currently in charge of their website — they need some serious help.