Friday, June 26, 2009

Happy Pride!

This week Emilio decorated the store with so much pride paraphenalia that I almost panicked. There is still a bit of the US anti gay attitudes left roaming around in the worry portion of my brain. When you live for 40 years in a suppressed and oppressed environment just two years in an open one is not enough to recover completely. But after my brief panic the customers still came except now they wish Zulie, Emi and I "Happy Pride". Which warms us every time we hear it.

I am proud of us. What we did to get here and where we are going. Happy Pride Everyone!

P.S. Any of you binational couples worried about moving out of the US, please read this blog from start to finish and know that you will be fine. The successful moves of all our friends blogs linked here are a testament that you can do it and will be ok. We are here for you, just ask.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

BBB dropped the case when I filed my lawsuit.

I get that once it went to legal action that they cannot handle it, but what about warning other consumers?


Complaint ID#: 1049671
Business Name: RESTAURANT LIQUIDATORS LTD.

Thank you for contacting your BBB regarding your complaint.

The complaint was received by your BBB on June 9, 2009 and has been assigned case# 1049671 in our files.

We regret to inform you that your BBB can not process your complaint. The case has been reviewed and was found to contain issues that are out of your BBB's Purview.

It is our policy to process only those complaints fall into your BBB's scope. Items such as landlord/tenant issues, criminal allegations, requests for punitive damages, employer/employee disputes, cases already involved in litigation, civil rights violations,business to business collection issues, etc... are not handled by your BBB.

A summary of this complaint case can be seen by clicking here.

A list of agencies that can help you with these types of complaints can be obtained by visiting our website at www.bbblondon.on.ca.

Thank-you for contacting your BBB.

Sincerely,


BBB Complaint Department
complaints@london.bbb.org


___________________________________________________________________________


My response to the BBB
When I was investigating this company before I purchased from them I did not see any BBB complaints. If I had I would never have given them my hard earned dollars. I mortgaged my home for my new business and these people sold me 5 malfunctioning machines that hurt my business. If the BBB isn't willing to warn consumers and drop our case when they go to lawsuits, then how are you protecting consumers?


Regards,

Tom S
Sweet Creamery Inc.

______________________________________________________________________
More back and Forth


From: XXXXXX
Subject: RE: BBB Complaint Case#1049671(Ref#34-1048319-1049671-15-11510)
To: "'Tom S'"
Date: Thursday, June 25, 2009, 12:35 PM


Dear Tom S,



The BBB is a dispute resolution service and once a complaint has been filed in court the BBB can no longer resolve the complaint as it is being resolved through the court system. As you have filed in court prior to allowing the complaint process to finish the BBB cannot assist you. BBB reports are provided solely to only assist consumers in their purchasing decision.



Sincerely,


Ashley,

- - - - - - - -


You also are not putting a record of my valid complaint on your website to help other consumers. Why is that? Your website says you keep reports of complaints.

I do not see a link on your website to any organization in Canada willing to provide this vital protection for small business owners.

Tom

Barrack Obama the lying backstabber

I think it's imporant to point out why I am so angry with the President of the US.
During the campaign he said he is a fierce advocate for gay equality. Recent events where he supports the DOJ document comparing our families to incest and the raping of animals is way too far.

Here is a clear example of the complete and utter hypocrisy and lying from the President. This is very important because we are immigrants due to the unfair policies in the US towards us.

Obama is is refusing to enforce the law that unfairly deports the foreign-born spouses of (STRAIGHT)Americans who die in the first years of their marriage. The Obama administration is going to defer enforcement of that law until Congress can change the law.

Now we saw the same Obama legal team stating last week the Defense of Marriage Act must be upheld because it is existing law. Yet when it comes to straight Americans Obama and team will not enforce unfair immigration laws, but when it comes to us, they defend our discrimination. He has the legal ability to stop the deportations of our loved ones, but because we are gay he will not.

I cannot believe a man of colour of a mixed race marriage who was born at a time when his parents union was illegal in many US states can be so callous and uncaring for the civil rights we deserve. It makes him worse than overt homophobes, at least they don't bother to pander to us then stab us in the backs.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Thank You PFAW

June 23, 2009

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Obama:

I am writing to respectfully urge you to bring the energetic moral vision that you championed as a presidential candidate to the cause of equality for gay and lesbian Americans.

Among the reasons that millions of people were inspired by your candidacy was your eloquence on behalf of an America in which everyone is offered respect and equality under the law. At People For the American Way, we disagreed with your decision to stop short of supporting marriage equality, but we welcomed the clarity with which you articulated the constitutional principle of equality in so many other areas. That vision energized not only gays and lesbians, but many other fair-minded Americans who recognize discrimination as a national moral failing, who view equality under the law as a defining part of the American Way, and who believe the country is ready to discard discrimination based on bigotries that should be left in our past. That vision would be even more powerful coming from you as president, but since your election we have heard very little.

Any reasonable person is aware of the extraordinary challenges that faced the nation as you took office, including a dire financial crisis that has cost millions of Americans their jobs, homes, and access to health care. You have not shied from these most daunting of challenges. But it seems that you have shied from promoting the vision of equality that you articulated during your campaign.

Legislative change is needed, and we will continue to push Members of Congress and the Democratic leadership to move forward to end discrimination against LGBT Americans even as they grapple with other urgent national priorities. We are counting on you to call for and help win passage of legislation that you pledged to support.

As importantly, Mr. President, you are uniquely capable of communicating to the American public the moral and constitutional values at stake in ending discrimination against gay Americans. Beyond the clear harm to gay and lesbian Americans, the lack of your leadership on these issues damages both America's sense of fairness and the credibility of your administration.

Your recent action to extend some benefits to the same-sex partners of federal employees, and your statement from the Oval Office committing yourself to work tirelessly toward equality, could have been the kind of moment that was celebrated as a milestone on the march toward equality. But instead it had the feel of, and was reported as, an incremental half-measure rushed onto the stage to placate a discontented political constituency.

While your comments in opposition to the Defense of Marriage Act at the recent signing ceremony were welcome, they would have carried more weight as part of a larger ongoing effort to educate the American public about the moral need for LGBT equality. Moreover, the impact of your words was blunted coming so soon after your administration's brief in support of DOMA using arguments that degraded gay and lesbian couples. You may have felt it was your duty to defend the law, but your argument that discrimination against same-sex couples doesn't count as discrimination and citation of case law on incest to claim that marriages of gay couples are unworthy of legal recognition was beyond the pale. Americans who support equality would not have been at all surprised if that brief had been filed by the Bush Administration. Coming from you, particularly without a broader public affirmation of your commitment to equality, it had the force of a hard slap in the face by someone we trusted.

Moreover, in the absence of a stronger statement about the importance of equality for all Americans, it has been equally difficult for your supporters to understand the continued discharges under Don't Ask Don't Tell of service members devoting their lives to our country. Congress should vote to repeal the destructive law that destroys military careers and robs the armed forces of highly trained soldiers, but until that happens, you should use your authority as commander-in-chief to suspend discharges of these personnel until that law is changed.

We have seen you change a nation's conversation with an extraordinarily compelling speech on the issue of race in America. We have seen you change the perceptions of the world with a historic speech on history, pluralism, respect, and democracy to the world's Muslims. We have seen you bring grace and conviction to the debate with your speech at Notre Dame about preserving a woman's right to choose.

On the question of LGBT equality, it's time to make that speech.

Mr. President, you have the opportunity to be on the right side of history. Every day, LGBT Americans face discrimination and are being denied their constitutional rights. There is no one in public life who could, and based on your stated principles and promises should, do more to move America forward toward becoming a country in which LGBT people are respected and treated as fully equal under our Constitution and laws.

We ask for your leadership and voice. When you lead, we will back you with every bit of heart and determination we can muster.

Sincerely,

Michael B. Keegan
President
People For the American Way

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

I filed my first lawsuit Restaurant Liquidators

Last week things with Restaurant Liquidators went from bad to worse. So Monday June 15th I filed my first lawsuit. I can write about this now that I just got a confirmation call they have been served the papers.

The only reason Restaurant Liquidators contacted me was because I made a BBB complaint and used Kijiji and Craigslist to warn other consumers. In their BBB reply they lied and I have the proof and revised the complaint with an update. As "Dave" from Restaurant Liquidators said he will make sure I never see any money from a lawsuit and my response will always be that I am interested in justice, I want justice more than I want the money back.

I am not seeking revenge, I simply want fairness and to be treated with respect, neither of which they seem to understand. I have had Century Refrigeration (a great honest company, use them!)come back 3 times to repair the bad machinery they sent us and still have two machines just sitting around collecting dust.

Now my complaint against Kijiji. They pulled my ad against the company yet allow them to continue to advertise and rip off other consumers. I've contacted news media to highlight this problem. Kijiji is now officially boycotted and I hope you will also join me. They are not interested in protecting consumers, and I have e-mail from them as proof.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Once binational, now trinational

From time to time Emi and I get a request to do an interview. Last week our immigration Laywer in New Jersey, Joyce Phipps (Highly Recommended) referred Emilio to a reporter looking to interview him regarding his Asylum case and the mess we went through. We've been trying to scramble time to talk to him, but working 7 days a week doesn't give us much time.

Recent events dealing with the US. The DOJ sent a letter asking for some documents regarding Emilio. Emi is still banned from re-entering the US, which is completely ridiculous to anyone who knows Emilio. It's like banning a Care Bear from the country.

Also I received an audit of my 2007 taxes, we know of one other couple (Nick & Mason) this happened to after moving to Canada. Coincidence or just more hell the US government enjoys putting us through, you decide.

So the Venezuelan and the American who fell in love in New Jersey, who had to move to Canada to remain together are still getting shit from the US government. I think that makes it trinational. I cannot wait to be a Canadian citizen and am probably going to do the process of removing my US citizenship. Especially after Obama and team stabbed us in the back, as was expected.

I am embarrassed by my US passport anyway.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Totally Tired

but if there is a good reason to be tired, it should be due to working hard on your own business. We're still stumbling here and there but we are managing it so far.

Restaurant Liquidators turned out to be worse jerks than I even imagined. Last week some fool name Dave called and actually got me thinking of negotatiating with them, then stupid little Adam Soufan called me on Monday and cursed me out for filing a BBB complaint. The interesting thing about these charlatains is they ignored me until I filed the BBB complaint and placed truthful ads on Kijiji and Craigslist warning other consumers to not buy from them. They said they will sue me and in their distorted thieving minds they think telling the truth that 5 machines from them failed is "Slander". I educated them on the definition of slander and telling the truth is not an example of it.

Other than dealing with those losers, we're keeping our energy focused on the success of the business. We hired a wonderful young woman named Zulema who is part of the SOY, Support our Youth program which our friend and neighbour runs.
Today is rainy so it should be slow. Sleep is now a luxury due to my two full time jobs.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Consumer Protections Warning info@easyelectric.ca

Easy Electric and it's owner Medi took over $300 from us to quote a hydro upgrade and he never provided the quote. So never ever use Easy Electric in Toronto for your electrical needs.


These scumbags prey on business owners and deserve to have their license revoked.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

Consumer Protections-Warning Restaurant Liquidators London Ontario

Emilio and I believe when someone does outstanding work for us to write an e-mail praising that person’s effort. We recently did this for our banker Cindy who went way beyond her duty to help us with our business account. We even decided to switch our mortgage provider to her bank and told her management she is the reason we do this.

In an early post I wrote about our equipment provider and referred to him as an angel, well he’s anything but…

We purchased used equipment because new equipment was way beyond our means. We would never be able to open the shop with all new. We found Restaurant Liquidators in London Ontario through an advertisement. They are far but we specifically chose them for their 90 day guarantee. We purchased ice cream dipping cabinet, two freezers, a display case, soft ice cream machine, two coolers and whip cream maker. The items were delivered to our shop on a Monday. In the mean time our hydro upgrade was still happening so we could not test all the machines until the weekend. Immediately three failed that we were able to plug into single phase outlets. We called Restaurant Liquidators and were assured they will fix them. As soon as we had the hydro completed we asked for Adam Soufan of Restaurant Liquidators to come to the shop to fix the machines, he arrived on the Saturday after the 3 phase upgrade was complete with a guy named Frank. He was able to fix the freezer in the back and the ice cream dipping cabinet but not the display case. He thought he fixed it and would not answer my calls for 3 days telling him it was not working. On the night before our opening he told me to get a repair person to come in and he would pay. He talked to the technician and the man told him what was wrong. We did and it cost over $1000. We covered the repair. Again for days he avoided my calls and e-mails. The day after we opened Kim (My Canada Included Justice) was helping Emilio and I at the shop and the soft ice cream machine backed up and shot chocolate ice cream in his face. It was hysterically funny. A little while later the machine shot chocolate ice cream all over Emilio’s back and the store. Luckily no customer’s were hit. It wasn’t funny anymore. So again I sent e-mails and called him often trying to get a response. We shut down the machine and never used it again. Then the second freezer started shutting down on it’s own in an extended defrost mode. This problem corrected itself days later, but we’re still not confident with it. Finally Adam Soufan called back again and tells Emilio he would only pay $500 for the over $1000 bill, I left him an angry message telling him he will pay the whole bill and that I want a refund for the soft serve. A week of no calls and or e-mails from him but lots from me. At this point we are open 8 days and the whip cream machine stops working. So I write e-mails and make calls again telling him 5 machines mechanically failed at one point or another. I want the soft ice cream and the whip cream machine taken away with a refund for them and the repair bill. Again days go by and he leaves an early morning message at the store knowing we would not be there. At this point we are calling from different phones so we can trick them into speaking to us. The most ridiculous call was a guy who answered that said “Adam is right here”, they have a conversation and comes back and tells me Adam isn’t there, I laughingly told him I heard them talking and to tell Adam I am suing him. I got a call back saying he wants to come up and fix the machines. I told him at this point I am not interested in any more machines fixed or replaced from Restaurant Liquidators.

I’ve given this man so many occasions to do the right thing and he refuses. I told him I planned a lawsuit and he kept buying time telling me he needs to speak to his partner, then to his receptionist. So tomorrow I advised my attorney to file the lawsuit for the equipment and loss in sales, So the lesson here is don’t fuck with Tom and don’t buy from Restaurant Liquidators in London Ontario. We’re just lucky the gelato and ice cream sales have been good despite these setbacks.

Friday, June 05, 2009

My Katie

Trying to keep up with the store has me having odd moments of crying spells, then work mode kicks in. On my walk home from the shop I passed the park me and my girl spent so many enjoyable hours in. I couldn't help but weap. I always say my favorite time of day is at the dog park with my Katie and our dog and human friends. My favoritie sound is Buster purring in my ear in the morning and my favorite sight is Katie walking in front of me and her tail wagging a mile a minute looking back to make sure I am there. Katie was one of those dogs that smiled. She really knew how to show joy. She didn't care much to play with other dogs but she loved the humans and at the dog park she was a star among the non canines. I think she scored the most treats by far because rather than play she would just hang with us humans with her paws crossed laying in the grass.

I stayed in the kitchen again tonight because I am a private mourner, other than this blog I am really not talking about it. I can't talk about it because I start to weap uncontrollably and I am one ugly crier. Face all contorted and red.

I need to share a Katie moment. Back when we were still religious we took Katie to a blessing of the animals. Just as we approached the church Emi slipped a fake pearl necklace on Katie. He knew I would object to it as an attention grabbing thing. (Note to everyone Tom hates being the center of attention more than anything, I don't even like blowing out birthday candles). Katie somehow knowing it would draw attention, ate it up. She was showing off and having a grand ole time as everyone commented on her pearls. This story was reminded to me today from a co-worker who heard it from my boss.

Katie was addicted to me in a way. When I work from home she would lay down within eye sight of me. If I moved she moved. Sometime when I went to the washroom she would scratch the door. It's nice to be loved that much. The odd thing is she hated to be held, she was her own woman. Don't try to control her. The only way she kissed is if she could french you, she went right for the mouth and my last moment with her she did exactly that, she kissed me.

When we moved to Toronto I was scared, nervous, afraid even. So was Katie if anyone recalls our issues with her at the time. But my daily walk with Katie got me out of my shell, got me talking to people. I met tons of neighbours. She and I adjusted together. We learned to love Toronto together. Us suburbantites actually enjoyed and felt at home here. Katie thrived this last year and half. So did I. Even better Sweet Creamery is partially because of Katie and it's success is certainly attributed to her. You see in taking her to the dog park I learned an ice cream shop was wanted badly. I also met so many people that those people have spread the word and we are making triple the sales we expected.

I ache for the loss of my beautiful friend. I am also thankful for the time I had with her and that she suffered very little. I love you Katie, my sweet beautiful girl.

My Heart Aches

Last night Emilio brought Katie to Sweet Creamery so I could walk her home with me. He had to come home for a scale. I noticed my girl was a little slow. I woke up at 3am and noticed her breathing was odd but she was sleeping. Emi was on the computer and I talked to him about it. In the morning she threw up water she was drinking. I immediately made a vet appoinment. At 1045 I drove to the vet in our neighbourhood because she was so weak. Mid afternoon I tearfully learned she had a tumor on her pancreas. After xrays and and ultrasound it was suspected to be cancerous. I drove her by the store to see Emi before we went to emergency care for surgery. I waited two hours and then I was able to be reunited with my girl before she went into surgery. We walked and talked, she peed and she wanted badly to escape and just come home. We laid on the floor together where I foolishly promised she would he ok.

I didn't want to go home so I went to Sweet Creamery. I decided my best place was making gelato in the kitchen away from smiling people. I got a call from the doc a couple hours later, after opening her up her cancer was far worse than anticipated. I had to make the most diffcult decision of my recent life. I did and crumpled in a heap of human jello for longer than I care to admit. At 3:30 I am trying to deal with the loss of my little girl.

I didn't tell Emilio right away as he had to deal with customers. We later cried it out, but I doubt for the last time. If you ever want unconditional love, get a dog. Katie loved me so much and showed me how important I was to her. I returned the favour.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Kick Ass Weekend

Thanks to Nick, Mason, Adam & Eric we surpassed sales beyond our imagination. These beautiful men came to our rescue. We were so overwhelmed with demand that Emi and I could never keep up. Our friends, the best friends a guy can ever ask for selflessly showed up and threw on aprons and worked their asses off to make Sweet Creamery a success. My heart is full with love for them.

I am still amazed we pulled this off, people are coming back every day for more, some more than once a day. We cannot keep up with the demand. People are raving about it. I am so proud of Emi.