The Lifer Video

I wrote The Lifer for my brother, Peter Collins, who is doing life at Bath Institution, Ontario.

All of the artwork in the video is by Peter. In September 2012, the prison confiscated all of his art-making equipment. Since then, there has been no paintings or drawing from Peter. I think that is a real shame.05cellabstract05

Small Town Hockey Night

Small Town Hockey Night is my submission to the CBC Hockey Song Contest. If you like it you can use the handy thumb icon to say so, and that information will be charted by the NSA for your own safety.

Mike Moore from the Wikkid Website came over yesterday and helped to mix the track. He also is singing some of the vocals. You can hear him up high in the chorus.

Daisy: A Story of Hope

Daisy: A Story of Hope is a slideshow that was drawn and written by my brother, Peter Collins. I’m doing the voice-over.

You will need to download the file in order to view it – the site (“”) that holds it will only play the audio. After downloading it, Quicktime or Windows Media Player will play it.

The Logic Escapes Me (con’t)

Sent Thursday, September 19th, 2013

Hello Christian,

Thank you for taking the time to write back and update me about the issue. I apologize for the delay in my response.

To make sure this matter gets look into thoroughly, I took your case to a Senior Advisor for a second review and it was determined that the issue is not on our end when making a purchase customers need sometimes the purchase amount 2 times the tax and we suggest you to put more credit and try again .

I also have some suggestion below that will help. Your account information in your user profile needs to be corrected. I’ll walk you through this process to get you back up and running in no time.

1) Visit the My Apple ID website at:

2) If the site is not displayed in your preferred language, click the flag icon in the lower-right corner of the page, then select your country from the next page.

3) Click the “Manage your Apple ID” button.

4) Type your iTunes Store account name (which is your Apple ID) in the Apple ID field, type your password in the password field, then click the Sign In button.

5) Click “Addresses” in the column on the left. If you have multiple shipping addresses, remove any out-of-date or duplicate addresses by clicking Delete. Also, make sure the state or province field is filled out correctly for each address. To edit an address, click Edit. Edit all of your shipping addresses and make sure the appropriate state is selected in the State drop-down menus.

6) Now click “Phone Numbers” on the left. The area codes should be in the area code fields and the phone numbers should be in the phone number fields. If an area code is missing, or if it is in a phone number field, your account information may not save properly.

7) Make any other necessary corrections, then click the Save Changes button.

8) Click Log out in the upper-right corner.

When you make your next purchase on the iTunes Store, you will be asked to review your billing information. At this point, you can change your information or simply click Done at the bottom of the screen to proceed. Once you click Done, you should be able to purchase on the iTunes Store using your store credit.

If the iTunes Store continues to display an error message when you try to make a purchase, please include a screen shot of the error message itself.

Again, I apologize for any frustration this may have caused you, and I thank you for being an iTunes Store customer.

So I follow these steps and on Friday, September 20, after carefully following the instructions, I reply:

Hi Claire – thanks for getting back to me.

OK. I have followed steps 1 through 8 and will attempt to buy something small in iTunes. I get the “sign in to download from iTunes” dialogue box. I fill it in and get the “Verification is required” dialogue box. I click on the “Billing Info” button and that takes me to this page:

iTunes Screen Shot 2013-09-21 at 1.55.28 PM

It wants me to put a credit card on even though iTunes is showing that I have $247 CAD on my account.

I try the App Store. I try to buy Disk Doctor for $1.99. The same thing happens.

App Store Screen Shot 2013-09-21 at 1.58.49 PM

In neither case is there an error message coming up. ITunes and App Store are simply ignoring the $247 on my account.



The Logic Escapes Me

This post is an appeal to my massive fan-base. Like in the old Tarzan movies when Johnny Weissmuller made that jungle cry and the elephants and lions trampled down the wicked poachers and Apple Support people.

I have saved up some money and been buying iTunes cards to accumulate enough to purchase Logic X at the Apple App Store. I now have almost $250 CAD in iTunes money. Logic costs $199.99 USD. With exchange rates as of September 17th, 2013 and Ontario sales tax, my total should come to about $232 CAD. Nevertheless, App Store will not accept my “Download App” request and wants me to “select a method of payment”. Naturally, I went to App Store support and there I met Claire. Here is our correspondence so far:

I have about $202.00 in my App Store account, but the App Store will not allow me to purchase Logic X which is listed at $199.99 – when I click “purchase app” it sends me to a page to select payment method. Is this a US/Canada dollars exchange issue? Please help.

Thanks, cc

Hello Christian,

Thank you for contacting iTunes Store Customer Support. My name is Claire and I will be assisting you today. Hope your day is going great so far.

I understand you’re unable to purchase “Logic X” which is listed at $199.99. I am happy to assist you.

I have checked our records and I would like to confirm your current store credit balance of 202.83 CAD.

Christian, the item may have added a tax above the original price that is why you are unable to continue purchasing this. The iTunes Store endeavors to offer you competitive prices on current selections.

Your total price will include the price of the product plus any applicable sales tax (in effect on the day of download). Apple reserves the right to change prices for products offered at the iTunes Store at any time, and does not provide price protection or refunds in the event of a price drop or promotional offering.

You’ll find answers to your questions about pricing and many other topics in the iTunes Store Terms of Sale:

If you have a specific question about your account, billing, downloading music, or iTunes Store content, please let me know. I will be happy to assist you further.

I hope this information has been helpful. Thank you for using iTunes Store.

Have a great day!


iTunes Store/Mac App Store Customer Support

Please Note: I work Sunday-Thursday, 7:00AM-4:00PM EST

Fair enough. Sales tax may be an issue. It would be nice if App Store could just make that clear instead of making me check with support people, but I’m a good sport and Claire says she is happy to assist me. Anyway, I go get more iTunes money (like Itchy and Scratchy money – like regular money, but it’s fun!) and try again. In the meantime, Claire is confirming prompt and full resolution of my issue. And she’s still happy! I can tell. That makes me happy too.

Hello again,

This is just a quick follow-up to your previous request. I wanted to ensure that your iTunes Store issue has been taken care of. I am looking forward to your reply so that I can be certain it has been fully resolved.


iTunes Store/Mac App Store Customer Support

Please Note: I work Wednesday-Sunday, 8:00AM-5:00PM EST

Note my cagey, non-committal response ;)

Hi Claire

I’ll know as soon as I can buy another card to pay for my sales tax.



Unfortunately, things go bad, like in Romeo and Juliet.

Hi Claire

My App Store account is now at $232.83. In Ontario sales tax is %13. If I add that to $199.99 (price of Logic X), I get $225.99, so my account should cover it. Would you be able to tell me or find out why I still can’t purchase Logic X?

Thanks very much!


Claire responds, but with no salutation or working hours.

Hello Christian,

Thank you for writing back.

At this time, I can see no errors on my end. What I can suggest you now is to add more credit, or add a credit card to your account to the account then try to purchase again.

If you need further assistance, please email back and I will be happy in assisting you.

Now, that might be a little fib, since I do email her back…

Hello Claire – Thanks for your reply.

I do not have a credit card. That is why I have bought over $200 in App Store money. Having covered my sales tax on top of the purchase price of Logic X, there should be no need to add more credit.

If you cannot tell me why I can’t purchase Logic with the money I have on the account, I don’t really have another course of action. Logic is only sold through the App Store at a price of $199.99.

If the App Store cannot resolve this problem or tell me what the problem is, can I have my money back?

Thanks again.


… and there is no reply. Of course, this is Tuesday, and Claire is off. I shall keep you updated…

OK – this was sent Thursday, September 15, 2013, couple of days after my last email.

Hello Claire – I can’t really drop this matter. I have spent too much money accumulating enough to download Logic X. I have put $15 more into my account so it is up to $247 CAD. The App Store still won’t download. This issue is not resolved so I don’t know why you are not answering my last email to you.

The App Store shouldn’t be able to just take my money and refuse to let me download the app. On the other hand, I don’t know what I can do about it. I have put our email exchange onto my blog at and I guess I will look for a Canadian consumer protection agency and see if they will look into it.



I Fell in a Hole

I Fell in a Hole is a joint thingy with me and my brother Peter, who had the idea for it.


I Fell in a Hole twenty-five years deep – I had other plans but they’ll have to keep

When I was young I was an angry man – I did some things and my trouble began

Goodbye Darling, I love you lots but I have to go

I got tripped up, it was my own fault – I Fell in a Hole

Write me a letter and drop it on down – I can read it when the daylight comes around

Think happy thoughts and send them to me – One fine day I will be free

Goodbye Darling, I love you lots but I have to go

I got tripped up, it was my own fault – I Fell in a Hole

I Fell in a Hole twenty-five years deep – I had other plans but they’ll have to keep