Saturday, December 18, 2010

Donating to WikiLeaks and the Julian Assange Defence Fund Made Easy...

...or as easy as it's going to be in the foreseeable future.

Straight away, I'm not going to editorialize or comment one way or the other on the value of WikiLeaks as an organization or on the innocence, guilt, or multitudinous hairstyles of Julian Assange.  There is another resource out there to help you make up your mind if you haven't done so already.  It's called the internet, and it's right over there. →

The sole purpose of this post, from which you can likely gather my opinion on the matter (unless you're completely daft), is to make donating to Julian's defence fund (from Canada, at least) as simple as possible - because it's really NOT simple, at least to the layperson lacking in banking savvy. <sarcasm> Thank you, PayPal and various credit organizations. </sarcasm>

One: I bank with RBC (Royal Bank of Canada), so all of my screenshots are from their system.  I provide the following hoping that most other Canadian banking institutions are similarly set up.

First off, you've got a function for paying bills and/or transferring funds online.  Befriend it.  You can go to the bank in person and pay $40 for a wire transfer, or you can pay $13 to do an International Remittance online.  Select that.  See below.  (I've also included all of the following screenshots in a separate gallery as I don't trust that my formatting will work according to plan.)

Once you've selected your International Remittance option, your bank should be able to populate all of your personal information with what pre-exists according to your bank account data.  Select the United Kingdom as the country to which you wish to transfer funds.  Again, see below.

The next step is pretty basic.  Pick which account you want to transfer funds from, and run with it.  For currency, use GBP.  Speaking from a finance background, you want to talk to the receiving bank in its native currency - it leaves less room for confusion.  The receiving bank may not arbitrarily accept foreign funds, so you want to stay on the same page as them.  Below for reference.

Once you fill in whatever you feel like in this form, it'll bring up a cost review sheet.  The conversion from CAD to GBP isn't always a pretty thing.  Suck it up.

THIS STUFF IS IMPORTANT.  If you're already a dynamo in the world of wire transfers, you can find everything you need here.  If not, copy precisely what I've shown below:


After this, you should get a couple of screens asking to verify what you've entered in the last couple, then a very long list of terms that you need to agree to, and finally an option to confirm all of the above.  Please ensure you double check everything you've entered above.  For reference, again, in case you were too lazy to click on the link above:

Bank:  Barclays Bank plc 

Name of Account: “FSI - Julian Assange Defence Fund”  

Account number: 93842452 

Sort code: 20-77-67 

BIC/Swift code BARC GB22.   

IBAN:  GB86 BARC 2077 6793 8424 52

If you're having any difficulties and need some assistance, please contact me at

And if you don't appreciate what I've written so far, why are you still reading?




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Saturday, December 11, 2010

What Happened at The Husband's Christmas Party THIS Year

As you are aware from yesterday's post, last night was The Husband's Christmas party.  I promised you an update.  In the best interests of my hangover, I'm going to keep it very brief and to the point.  Here goes:


Number of minutes spent lurking near dessert table during "Operation Steal Cute Pinecone"



Number of times "Husband, cover for me!" was uttered:



Number of times The Husband had to question why he was covering for me:



Number of minutes it took to explain "Operation Steal Cute Pinecone" to The Husband



Number of cute pinecones successfully stolen:

6  (YES!)


Number of funny looks I got when I left the bathroom stall where I had photographed said pinecones* and went back to the party:



Number of funny looks that were probably due to the fact that it appeared that I had used the washroom and gone back to the party without washing my hands:



Number of minutes it took me to figure out that "oh, THAT'S why" I was being looked at scornfully:



There are numerous other things I could tabulate, but honestly, the most important thing is that I got my pinecone(s).  The party was fun.  This year I avoided awkward conversations by wandering around and finding interesting things to look at.  On that note, I'm going to head to the couch and look at the inside of my eyelids for a couple of hours.

As a parting gift, allow me to share with you the best text-message interchange of the evening:

RH:  My husband's boss just pulled my ponytail.  On purpose.  I may stab him.

DM:  Holy crap.  You should.  Just do it.  Act like it was an accident.  Use a spoon.


Happy holidays, all.  xo


* photo attached


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Friday, December 10, 2010

A Refresher: What Happened at The Husband's Christmas Party LAST Year.

Here, on the day of The Husband's 2010 Christmas Party, I find myself reflecting upon what happened at his last Christmas Party.  I wonder if tonight will be similar.  Or different.  Or better.  Or worse.

Below is my blog post from Saturday, December 12, 2009.  Stay tuned for a Saturday, December 11, 2010 update.


DISCLAIMER:  The statements below do not reflect the opinion of others present at The Husband's Christmas party.  They also don't mean that I had no fun at all at said party.  The food was excellent, the venue was beautiful, the band is always really fun, and the staff was wonderful and attentive.  Well, except that one guy.  Anyhow, as parties go, it was a good one.  Below is more the fault of me being socially awkward.  And the funny thing is, I'm not particularly socially awkward.  But throw me into a room where everyone only talks about work that I know very little about and most have trophy wives that are either at the Peg Bundy end of the spectrum or the Jacquelyn Kennedy-Onassis one (nowhere in between), and, well....

I like to count things.


Minutes spent applying cosmetics:



Minutes spent otherwise getting ready:

40 (not bad, if you ask me.)


Minutes spent in hotel lobby looking like lost sheep because we couldn't remember which room the party was in and The Husband wouldn't ask anybody:



Awkward conversations with people I've never met and/or only see once a year that made me wish I'd feigned a migraine or appendicitis:



Times The Husband remembered to introduce me to anybody:



People from The Husband's workplace that I enjoy talking to:



People from husband's workplace that I enjoy talking to who actually showed up at party:



Alcoholic beverages (caesars) consumed:



Alcoholic beverages (caesars) consumed that were "allegedly" doubles from above total:



Minutes spent wondering if there was actually any alcohol in the bottles they were mixing drinks with or if it was all a watering-down ruse to save the company tons of cash on the open bar*:



More plausible number of alcoholic beverages (caesars) actually consumed:



Amount of tomato-clam cocktail consumed:

approx. 4 gallons


Amount of Tabasco® sauce consumed:

approx.1 gallon


Amount of Worcestershire sauce consumed:

Who knows.  I can't pronounce it, so don't care.


Meatballs consumed:



Meatballs that were actually meat:



Meatballs that were actually falafel:

1 (but delicious)


Minutes spent wishing I was way more intoxicated, otherwise having more fun, or far more inclined to take an avid interest in everybody "talking shop" around me:



Minutes spent in washroom texting more interesting people, tweeting, or just plain enjoying the notion of sitting down somewhere quiet (with a cupholder**):



Items stolen from washroom:

2  (But both were hotel lotions and just sitting there on the counter.  I'm pretty sure you're supposed to take them.)


Minutes spent lurking in foyer waiting for staff members to disappear so I could clandestinely steal a cute pinecone out of a floral arrangement:



Number of cute pinecones successfully stolen:



Number of times I made an arse of myself:

a shockingly low 1***




* Verdict: no booze included in booze.  Came home shockingly sober.

** Handy cupholder in restroom.

*** During heartfelt speech about former staff member who tragically bit it earlier in the year, my cellphone starts ringing.  The Exorcist theme.  On a positive note, I had recently changed my cellphone ringer from Chopin's Funeral March, which would have been a horrible combination of both more and less appropriate simultaneously.

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