[personal profile] blogcutter
First, an update on that wonderful (mostly) vegetarian restaurant located within the Glebe Community Centre, The Pantry. I first wrote about its being under threat in November 2013, asking "Can this Pantry be saved?" Then on May 26, 2014 a more optimistic entry, where it seemed it would get a reprieve, at least for a couple more years.

Well, those couple of years have come and gone, and I heard on the news yesterday that it has (probably) served its last meal. This time, the main issue seems to be not so much competing programs offered by the Community Centre as the decision of the current proprietors to retire, with no one waiting in the wings to fill their shoes.

Of course, the restaurant always closed during the summer anyway. Its schedule was tied to that of the (Ontario) school year, being closed during Christmas holidays and March break as well. There is some talk of possibly establishing another restaurant somewhere within the Community Centre, though whether that would be another vegetarian place and where in the centre it would be remains unclear. So stay tuned, folks. Maybe we can look forward to a similar situation to Books on Beechwood, one of the last independent bookstores in town - when the former owner decided to retire, one of its loyal customers stepped up to the helm. We can always hope!

Secondly, an update to "Your neighbourhood pharmacist", which I wrote on August 4, 2014, several months before the last major flare-up of my arthritis in April 2015.
In that entry, I argued among other things that we don't tend to fully utilize the skills and expertise of our pharmacists.

Since then, it appears that pharmacists have been under increasing pressure to earn their keep and justify their existence. I think maybe they earn a certain number of brownie points (or at least don't accrue demerit points) for every "medication review" they conduct with a patient and for every time they phone you to "remind" you that it's time to renew one or other of your prescriptions or that your renewals have all run out, and would you like them to fax your doctor to get permission for another 3 renewals? It got so annoying that I basically ended up telling them "Don't call us, we'll call you." Moreover, when they begin a phone call with letting you know that "This call may be monitored for quality control purposes" it raises some serious red flags about the privacy and confidentiality of one's medical information. Big Pharma is watching you?

On a more positive note, I think maybe I HAVE finally trained the pharmacy NOT to dispense my medications in containers that are almost impossible for me to open when my arthritis is at its worst. But it took a lot of persistence on my part, even after they supposedly had a note on my file and I on one occasion even mentioned it in a voicemail when I phoned to renew a prescription. I still don't go too far away from the pharmacy without first opening the little white bag to make sure they've complied with my instructions. And I'll also acknowledge that I've had no more episodes of getting someone else's prescription. Occasionally they still aren't able to completely fill a prescription, but they do give me enough pills to tide me over until the rest of them come in.

Finally, an update on my PRESTO card. If you were following my blog in 2013 and 2014, you may recall I had a whole host of problems with it initially, what with the top-up feature not working, and then the card itself failing. On May 26, 2014, I wrote an entry where things seemed to be going more smoothly. And that was the case for a couple of months until the replacement card failed as well! But this time, it seems the Presto folks at Rideau Centre were a little more ready for me. They quickly replaced my card, I didn't have to pay $6 for it, and the nice man loaded on a few free trips (which I'm not sure ever did get billed to my credit card). I still had to phone Presto to get the balance from my old card transferred to my new one and it still took 24 hours or so but at least it didn't seem to be quite such a rigamarole and I wasn't stuck in some endless telephone tree for hours on end. And nearly two years later, the card is still working (touch wood - but don't touch anything magnetic!)

A good thing too, because tickets are being phased out to make way for rapid transit and all-tech options for fare paying. Of course, all fares have gone up as of today (and will rise again on January 1). Amongst other factors, it appears that the Metrolinx folks are trying to extort yet more money for the "privilege" of using the PRESTO card system that's been plagued with problems since day one. Ah, well - hopefully most of those problems are behind us now. And I do think it'll be nice to finally have a proper light rail system in Ottawa - once it's up and running.

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