Roam If You Want To


I will be at table 222 (with Topatoco) on the 2nd floor Saturday 5/7 and Sunday 5/8. I will have books 1 and 2 (and I will draw dumb things in them for you), stickers, buttons, prints ( a “The Doctor Is In” print), and maybe a couple of shirts.

The Doctor Is In T-Shirt

“The Doctor Is In” shirt based off the “You’re The Last of The Time Lords, Charlie Brown” comic is here! - Geeky Nerdy T-Shirts, Funny Tee ShirtsI was concerned that during my trip to Toronto I might have the urge to  tweet about famous Canadian coffee in red cups or tiny delicious donuts, only to come home to find that AT&T had placed a lien on my house… or my child. So I called them to talk about adding international data to my plan for a month. They told me I could add 20mb of Canadata for $25 (THAT IS A SUPER FARE PRICE YOU GUYS), or I could pay the standard rate of… wait for it… $20 per… (I bet you think I’m going to say Gigabyte)…. (I’m not)… per…. MEGA-MOTHERFUCKING-BYTE! That’s roughly $30 for the contents of a floppy disk! Jesus H. Canadian Curling Christ!

@thathenderson had a good point, “Think of it this way: An invisible floppy flying over your head in a million pieces costs ONLY $28.” I guess I am complaining about how expensive MAGIC is.

Anyway, I will be pretty silent this weekend unless I come across some free wifi. Do you Canadian guys get that with the healthcare? Also, this will likely be the last comic of the week since I will be travelling all day Friday. Hopefully I will get some pics and make some Fancy Photo Comics when I get back.

Come see me at TCAF. Money is SUPER tight right now and I need this to be a good con or I’m going to have to take on some more freelance projects which typically means less comics for you. If you can’t make it, maybe consider making a donation, buying something from the store, buying Book 2, or a Sharksplode shirt why don’tcha?

COMMENTERS: What other digital crimes might I commit and what penalties may I face while in the Great White North?

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  1. My Belgian prepaid provider (15€ gives me 2gb data, 2000 sms and an hour of voice) allows me to roam most of West-Europe, and the USA, at 0.5€/mb. Canada would cost me 3.5€/mb, but then they're not our neighbors…

    I guess US telecoms really are the big evil, money sucking vampires they're made out to be…

  2. See, the reason it's so expensive up here is that we don't have AT&T. Like, at all. So to get your data through the American Telephone and Telegraph pipe, they need to do some funky shit with your signal. God only knows. Bounce it off a series of decades old Anik satellites that the CBC sold off in the 80s, maybe.

    Anywho, TCAF is in a library. Good chance that you can get wi-fi. Very worst case scenario, Google Maps tells me there's a Starbucks across the street.

    • I think you hit it right on. Someone at AT&T is still convinced data goes through pipes.

      "They want to send us data from Canada? What about an import tax? Who's carrying it across the border? We need to charge for that!"

    • Wait, what? You don't have unlimited data? I mean, I know that the major carriers all make the off-contract prepaids cost ridiculous amounts to try and convince people to sign contracts, but with the carrier I'm on (not going to name names since that feels like dirty unpaid advertising, but you can figure out out) I just pay a flat fee a month and I can download however much I want. Their phone plan only allows certain ports, so I can't torrent on my cellphone, but anything short of that is fair game. I can listen to gigabytes worth of podcasts a month and not have to worry . . . but I guess I forget that this is far from universal. You have my sympathies.

  3. that sounds almost as horrible/badass as the wolpertinger, a flying vampire deer rabbit that wants to steal your girlfriend, theyre related to the alcaholic jackalope.

  4. The alt text, once again, has won. I'm not the only person that remembers this program. See if you can't bring us back a Barfie Burger while you're traipsing about the frozen north!

  5. Where they REALLY stick it to you is with the Francophone law – when I was up in Toronto in March, the RCMP-MCP showed up at my hotel and forced me to resend all of my texts en francais.


    Où ils vraiment le coller à vous est à la loi francophones – quand j'étais à Toronto en Mars, la GRC-MCP a montré à mon hôtel et m'a forcé à renvoyer tous mes textes en francais.


  6. I thoroughly confused the border guards on the way in and out of Windsor last weekend. I was in the Detroit area for Penguicon and Canada was RIGHT THERE so I should go. So I did, and wandered around for a couple of hours. Took the tunnel in and the bridge out, it was fun.

    • I found a foot tall tube of mentos that I had to have. I was hoping for giant mentos but it's just a bunch of regular sized tubes inside the big tube. It's still nifty and made for some fun photo ops at the con. Currently it's chilling out on my bookshelf next to a Cthulhu plushie and my giant Beaker head (Meep!)

      I wanted to call up my friends and say, "Guess where I'm calling from? I'm calling from CANADA." (I'm easily entertained) but saw the roaming icon and decided it probably wasn't worth it.

  7. I hear that they have forced lumberjack camps up there for those who dare to go over their alotted talk time.

  8. I have to travel to Toronto periodically for work. One great thing is the "Wifi" bus from the airport–much cheaper than a taxi and it has powerplugs and free wifi. The data roaming situation, as you mention, is crazy, so I never enable roaming for data. One day, though, we found ourselves desperately needing to send an email prior to leaving for a meeting, but there was no free wifi to be found. But what's this? The wifi bus drives by! So we peeled out and followed it until our email left the phone. Good times.

    • Totally agree regarding that bus – was much more pleasant than a taxi, and it was nice to be able to send a few last-minute messages without paying for roaming.

  9. If your texts don't contain at least one use of the word "eh", then the Mounties come in, wrap a warm comfy scarf around your eyes, and take you to …. THE ROOM WITH THE MOOSE!!!!

    What's that? He's eating … WALNUTS!!!! OH GOD, NOOOOOO!!!!!!!

  10. They go one step further than waterboarding… let's just say they have ways of making you pronounce the letter "O"

  11. But on the plus side, if you turn off your cell data stream, your battery life goes through the roof. THROUGH IT.

  12. I…honestly had no idea that the millibit even existed. To charge so much for it is insane. I could yell loudly and transfer more data than that.

  13. Geez, and I thought Canadian data rates were terrible for actual Canadians. They *really* make you pay for it when you're roaming. That said, you'll probably be able to access a lot of free wifi in Toronto.

  14. The prison thing is true. When I'm out busting criminals, they all pretty much give up when they see me or the cops so they can go straight to jail and enjoy the perks. I would suggest picking up some beaver repellent though. We've got beavers everywhere, and they're quite rabid.

    And as for our internet, don't get me started. The real super-villains in Canada are Rogers/Shaw and Bell, who cap our bandwidth and charge us more money if we go over.

    • Yesterday Shaw called me, trying to convince me to switch to some high-speed plan of their. "Nope," I said cheerfully, "I'm quite happy with how Telus isn't enforcing any sort of bandwidth limit, and I'll never even consider Shaw while they impose caps." That shut the telemarketer up pretty damn fast.

    • Jesus, I should be so lucky as to get Telus and their 120Gig/$40 a month where I am. I live in a small rural area where until very recently the only choice was dial-up, satellite (which is next to useless for anything– no VoIP, no streaming anything, and $75+ a month)– and us: we were a small local Internet provider. $40/month, no caps.

      • –and then I hit post without realizing half my post had disappeared. XD

        Long story short, the only options now are dial-up, satellite, and the competition, at $40/month for EIGHT GIGABYTES OF TRAFFIC. A MONTH. EIGHT GIG. Jesus.

  15. Just checking Twitter gets you a deadly touch from a manta ray!

    Oh wait!! that's Australia…

  16. The subway is good, but I'd avoid the PATH underground walkway system unless you're with a Canadian. Some portions have been infested by wild Canadian Grues. They lose several tourists each year in the dark spaces, but their cash falls through the grating and helps support the economy. It was also the template for a couple of levels of Starcraft I, and I doubt you were able to bring a Science Vessel with you over the border.

    Double-double, regular or black?

  17. Mmm, Tim Horton's coffee. I live in Seattle, but I would move to Canada just for that. Well, and the almost-free health care, but coffee is much more important. 🙂

  18. good luck with the trip. As a Canadian who lives down here in Arlington Texas I am envious of your visit to the motherland. With the summer coming I will not be too happy here but then I remember the winters in Toronto and think that I have chosen wisely.

  19. I just met Joel and he was cool. He was safe and not harmed in any Canadian way at all. His coolness exuded from every pore. I feel awash in cool.

    I'm also probably the only gay man ever not to ask for a picture of Josh.

    Thanks Joel and hope your weekend was awesome!

  20. Wow…You Can't do That on Television reference in the scroll over text…awesome. Awesome to the max. Now I must wonder if Moose actually did age well. Or if she hangs out with Dave Coulier.

  21. If Joel had an sim-unlocked phone he could have just bought a prepaid sim card. Though, only the Canadian iPhones are actually factory unlocked, so a lot of good that would have done.

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