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Wayside Observer

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    In your worst nightmares

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Wayside Observer's Achievements

  1. I saw a ALRV. I passed by the Davenport and Bathurst sides of Hillcrest on my way to work after the dentist and the ALRV is still sitting outside and it is 4207 like I suspected the last time I passed by a few days ago. Then I saw another streetcar a bit further south: 4600. The boring one. Normally custom would dictate posting a picture of the interesting one except I don’t have any on my phone and I am not going to go to HCRR to take one.
  2. Rolling a bunch of errands into a loop has found me sitting on the Ossington bus. It’s a bus line I’ve never needed to use and eventually I realized the last time I was on 63 Ossington, it was still a trolley bus. Then I realized the same is true of a couple of the others that were trolley buses out of Lansdowne. Yikes.
  3. When your Kodachrome comes back from processing and you discover that Qualex (the corruption of Quality and Express because it's neither) has scratched your film...again...but because it's sold with processing included in Canada, you'd end up getting double charged if you pay to send it to a third party lab like A&I or Dwayne's. Holy crow, writing that was a trip down memory lane. I'm looking at old slides and seeing the scratch marks one frame to the next pisses me off now just as much as it did when they came back from processing. Back in the day when this was happening film after film, I actually bought a couple rolls of cheap expired film and shot it through my cameras, rewound, then pulled the film out out of the canisters and inspected it for damage to scratch test my cameras and it was clean. The damage was happening at the Fairlawn NJ Qualex lab that handled Kodak's prepaid K-14 processing. Trust me: Pre digital photography? The struggle was real. The struggle was expensive. The struggle was time consuming.
  4. The other thing is there's the spread that makes it less painful for the retailer when you redeem points because you spend them at retail prices but, to use Loblaws as an example, the things you buy with them are supplied at Loblaws at their cost. A $20 purchase that you make on points costs them less than that because Loblaws doesn't incur their own markup.
  5. I'm sure this sort of compound promotion is probably looked at as a loss leader. Not many many people are likely to have bought four packages of toothpaste inside that narrow window of eligibility in order to clean up like that. Then there's the reverse. What I've noticed is they'll put stuff on special where you get some amount of points per x dollars spent on some product and then they'll put the same product on sale so that the price comes in slightly below that x dollars required to collect the points, forcing you to buy two or more. The other night it was 6,000 points on $20 of paper towels but they were priced so that even the largest package came to $19 and change so it was right below the threshold. The way it worked out, you needed to buy a minimum of $30 worth of paper towels to get over the threshold to collect the points, which is what I did, but that's a lot of money for someone on a really tight budget to tie up in paper towels to get the bonus points. I already had paper towels on hand at home too but I figured I'd stock up, collect the points, and not have to buy any for a while to come. Even then, I was wondering if I'd overpurchased. Then yesterday I lifted up the two pieces of carpet in the side door landing of the stairs and took them outside to clean them and the mess I found underneath where the rubber backing had rotted and turned into this black rubber sand that was sticking to the floor was disgusting. The carpets got thrown out and I then I used a bit more than a whole roll of paper towels cleaning up the mess they left behind. After that, I was glad I stocked up. I would've been annoyed if I left the 6,000 points on the table if I hadn't stocked up after going through that in one go.
  6. It probably was an internal process, more specifically an internal process that went bad. Computers are fun, I'll give them that.
  7. I saw a streetcar. I was driving up Bathurst St. after work and saw an ALRV sitting outside at Hillcrest. It took a moment but it did dawn on me that this isn't normal anymore. Unfortunately I couldn't see the fleet number from the car. Probably 4207 leftover from the open house?
  8. You made sure nobody was going to pickpocket your wallet while you were distracted looking at those trucks, right?
  9. 2000 PC Optimum points for fuelling twice at Esso looked like a good deal and my Optimum card is linked in the Speedpass app. Visit 1: Receipt says to call member services. Visit 2: receipt says to call member services. I call member services and get a spiel about how they don't integrate with Speedpass anymore. They can only adjust one of the receipts. Neither will be valid with the promotion which ends today. I told them not to bother. What I did do was work back through my own records and the de-integration between Optimum and the Speedpass app had to take place between June 20 and August 26, and was not communicated by email. If you used the app during the period of the promotion, you not only didn't get the base points but also won't collect the 2000 bonus points which equates to a promotion of $2. That's pretty scammy, but then when you collude to fix the price of bread and collect millions of federal subsidy money for new fridges, parting with $2 a head for customer incentives would be pretty vulgar, wouldn't it?
  10. I was thinking about your post when I grabbed these pictures. The pigeons aren’t stupid. Pigeons and doves are normally ground feeders and the perched on my feeders aren’t large enough to land on to feed the normal way. This pigeon figured out how to eat from my feeders with a tremendous amount of wing-flapping aerobatics to keep pressed up against the side of it while feeding. That was an impressive sight to see even though the pigeons aren’t the birds I was intending to feed with these feeders.
  11. I'm not surprised. I read the article and the comments below and several people are totally right about Saturday. It was a nightmare. The Gardiner was jammed. Lakeshore was jammed with a de-facto loss of a lane due to the right line being the unofficially designated Uber pickup/dropoff lane. All of downtown was jammed. My normal 1 hour-ish door to door commute to work took 3.5 hours including finding an alternate place to park. For that amount of time, if I had gone the other way, I could've driven to work in Windsor including a civilized pit stop at one of the On Routes on the 401 instead of riding the brake pedal and trying to figure out where the closest washroom to the parking lot I was trying to get to was going to be. I hate to say it but Go Transit was right to kibosh running buses into downtown. They'd have all driven right smack into total gridlock and gotten stuck eventually leaving no service running.
  12. My cat shed a couple of clumps of fur and I was about to throw them out when I had an idea. Since we were talking about animals encountering the third rail and I have the equipment to test this, we can dig into it and see what the numbers say. We have our two samples courtesy of my cat: We have the big, mean insulation tester. What am I doing in the setup menu? I've got the 500V test range changed to a user defined value of 600V instead to better mimic what typical subway third rail is at. This is hardly going to be a scientific test with random samples of dead cat fur but we can make it a bit more realistic with a change in instrument setup so why not. Testing open and short we've validated the meter and cabling so we're ready to go ahead and pump 600 volts into cat fur to simulate what happens when one of the Chaplin Cres. neighbourhood cats brushes up against live third rail. I wasn't quick enough with the phone to get a picture of the large tuft of cat hair which started at about 230 GOhms while it charged up before the meter topped out. The small tuft topped out immediately. Notice how the cat hair ended up at the same value as the leads open? Add to that the fact that wood ties and/or stone rock ballast when dry are also pretty good insulators and that's why the TTC isn't blowing animals to smithereens in the open cuts. I also sent the pictures to a couple of transit professionals and they told me they're not surprised at the results. One guy said he's only seen electrocuted animals when they've managed to contact the third rail and the running rail when the ground side running rail is adjacent to the third rail, and that's usually happened after being struck by a train and they've fallen in there. Other than that, he hasn't found much electrocuted wildlife during his career. I am not saying the third rail isn't dangerous. It is. I'm not going to post a link to this, but there is a video of someone who got killed by it in New York City and the power distribution system shrugged it off and was still able to move a train up to the station as if the person wasn't there loading it down at all. This is just to dig into why, despite the danger, small animals more often than not get away with what they do.
  13. I spent a lot of my life living near Yonge and Davisville and watching trains in the open cut between Berwick and Chaplin, and I saw plenty of wildlife crossing the tracks including the third rails without issue. It was mostly raccoons, cats, squirrels and the occasional skunk. I never saw anything get electrocuted. Why? It wasn't easy for the critters to set up a complete circuit in order for that to happen. Wooden ties and stone ballast rock on a dry day are good insulators. Critter fur is a good insulator. Once you realize that, you can stand on a bridge and watch cats and other animals walk underneath the third rail, brushing up against it the whole time without any problem and understand why they're not bothered by it. 600V low voltage DC electrification isn't nearly high enough to punch through all that. I never saw one manage to contact the adjacent running rail at the same time, which may or may not be the ground or signal rail. On a wet day, there's probably enough leakage current from the third rail passing through the surrounding area that critters will feel it before they get near it and stay away.
  14. Well, what non-vegan outrage al I eating right now? A mushroom and sausage omelette with a side of bacon, fried up leftover mashed potatoes, and beans with maple syrup mixed in. Three cast iron pans for used for this. And I did a load of laundry at the same time as the stove was on while the central air is running so this should gouge me at on-peak hydro rates except it isn’t because I opted for tiered as soon as Doug Ford opened that option up in late 2020. Pretty much everything that could be wrong with this meal is wrong with this meal. And it’s so good - passed the taste test with flying colours. Sorry SJWs.
  15. I saw a streetcar. 4500, the boring one, at King and Church.
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