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Wayside Observer

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  1. This is worse than watching paint dry or grass grow. I packaged up a couple small items into a box and paid an absolute fortune, as in I'm still suffering from sticker shock, for Canada Post's fastest air shipping to Sweden on October 13th. It sat for a full calendar week until October 20 until being sent from the big Canada Post plant in Mississauga to Sweden and the estimated delivery date is November 4th. They're still using the various COVID-19 excuse crutches (safety protocols, outbreaks, parcel volume) to justify it. You look at the overall vaccination rate and disease numbers for Ontario which covers the local post office up the street and the big plant and the airport in Mississauga the parcel left the country from and have to wonder how much validity is left in those excuses except for maybe parcel volume, but we're still well ahead of the Christmas mail rush though. Add the federal vaccine mandate that Canada Post is going to be subject to imminently and that excuse is really going to be defanged so it's going to be interesting to see how this plays out between likely continuing poor performance and increasingly dwindling viability of the COVID-19 dead horse.
  2. Here's a question I've been tossing around a bit: Have any of you spoken with someone who remembers when the TTC started up in 1921 and took over the private operators? All of the elderly people I knew who were old enough lived in the UK at the time and the Canadian ones were born in the early 1920s just after the TTC came into existence so I never had the chance to hear from anyone who had firsthand experience with the changeover.
  3. 1) Automotive interior panels 2) Automotive electrical connectors 3) 12 volt electrical systems 4) Burned open circuits due to the I-squared-R losses in #2 caused by the heavy current demands resulting from the low voltage in #3 with #1 making it a royal pain to get in and repair the damage. At least cars aren't 6 volt anymore but 12V isn't much better.
  4. If you can borrow a USB keyboard and mouse from somewhere, you should be able to get around the problems with the built in ones and get logged in and at least run the machine enough to get whatever you need off of it and onto the backup laptop. That still sucks though. Hopefully it's easily repairable with a thorough cleaning.
  5. The big deal in today's announcement is that the provincial documents are now going to be issued with the trademark "Canada" with the flag flying from the top of the d's tail over the last a, so maybe that'll make the provincial documents look officially federal enough if you get them reissued again (plain, with QR code, now with QR code and federal logo!). Maybe. But the federal government's quoted in multiple media outlets with this quote: The bottom line, says a government background document, is that each country “decides what type of vaccination proof is required, the types of vaccines they accept, the number of doses required, and any exemptions to public health measures. Even with a Canadian COVID-19 proof of vaccination, a traveller may not be considered fully vaccinated in another country.” In other words what they're saying is, if the cheap cop-out we kept you waiting all year for isn't good enough for the place you're going to, tough, not our problem. And this was after many months of "hard work" too. No kidding. Sheesh.
  6. I know. For crying out loud, if they were going to abdicate it, they could've at least abdicated it promptly six, seven, eight, nine months ago and let everyone get on with it using their existing provincial vaccine recepts instead of forcing everyone to wait all this time for nothing. Working hard, my ass.
  7. Canadians should use provincial proof of vaccination to travel internationally, officials say Are you serious? That's it? After they've supposedly been working so hard for many months on this, that's it? The federal vaccine passport is "use your provincial/territorial credentials" and hope the place you're going to accepts it. It makes me wonder if the complaints about Trudeau's vacation and slow return to business in November for a couple of weeks before parliament closes again for the Christmas break for six weeks even matters all that much when this F-minus-minus level of effort out of Ottawa yet again means there's clearly not a whole lot of a difference between this "working hard" and being on vacation with parliament closed.
  8. One would hope. Actually, here in Ontario, when indoor dining resumed again, that got a lot of formerly closed washrooms at coffee shops etc. opened up again. It was brutal over the winter and spring though while every single public washroom was closed and there was nowhere to go.
  9. Fleet information would be the big seller, relatively speaking. What I was getting at was the more boutique you get off the beaten path away from the relatively mainstream stuff like the vehicles and system history, the narrower the pie slice gets. I don't know of any thorough books on the TTC's history from 1970 to present day either. I get the sneaking suspicion that none have been written.
  10. Wow, every once in a while the Toronto Star surprises me in a good way: The need for ‘wartime speed’: Time is running out on using COVID as excuse for delays and reduced service at city hall (alternate link) Whaddaya mean "Because COVID-19" isn't a good enough excuse for everything anymore? I only think the scope needs to be widened from Toronto City Hall to everything. This has really turned into the new replacement for the worn out "security reasons" crutch that was the catch-all excuse for everything for years and years after 9/11. A lot of people who saw that movie called this one right away back in March/April of 2020 and here we are 19 months later...
  11. I heard it late last night while I was driving into work listening to the traffic report and the thing that stuck out to me was the "Citynews...everywhere" tagline that's a spin on the old CityTV...Everywhere tagline. What gets me is that someone else can do their best saying the words or the variation of it they're using on 680, but it just isn't the same without Mark Dailey delivering it. You can hear an example of what I mean here. The nighttime trolleybus right off the top on Bay at Edward (World's Biggest Bookstore down the street!) just underscores how gone that whole era is now:
  12. Tons of places in Europe have grassed rights of way and it isn’t a problem. Of course, creating problems or making existing ones bigger is a fine tradition here…
  13. It's a rapidly narrowing pie slice of people that are interested in the details of the vehicles and it gets really narrow when it comes to infrastructure things like permanent way, the signalling, the communications, the power distribution etc. It'd be interesting to see something put together about things that have come and gone like the PAX phone system or some of the older streetcar substations where the equipment inside these old buildings has been turned over several times because of technological change but there isn't much interest and getting the material, if it exists, to put together a softcover book would be very difficult. On a completely unrelated note with respect to the 100th anniversary, I have it on good authority from several TTC employees that the historic cars were towed by LFLRVs to Roncesvalles. I thought they were moved under their own power but apparently they were towed which means my inquiring mind has a question. What I want to know - and those of you who know me know I've got my mischevious grin on right now - is this: Did someone remember to cut out one or both trucks on 4549 before towing it across town or did they have success with getting half of the wheels to spin backwards?
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